Transcriber's Note Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in this text. For a complete list, please see the bottom of this document. Text printed using the Greek alphabet in the original book is shown as follows: [Greek: logos] Superscript letters are shown as follows: Jan^y A letter with a breve is shown as follows: ă
AS I REMEMBER
AS I REMEMBER
Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century
NEW YORK AND LONDON D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 1911
COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
Printed in the United States of America
TO THE MEMORY OF
Judge James Campbell
WHOSE BENIGN INFLUENCE I STILL FEEL
Samuel L. Gouverneur, Jr.
THE COMPANION AND PILLAR OF STRENGTH
OF MY LATER YEARS
THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED
The rambling personal notes threaded together in these pages were written at the urgent request of my family, and have provided a pleasant diversion during otherwise lonely hours. The idea of their publication was highly distasteful to me until the often repeated importunities of many of those whose judgment commands my respect persuaded me that some of the facts and incidents I have recalled would prove of interest to a large circle of readers. The narrative is concerned with persons and events that have interested me during the busy hours of a lengthy life. I have been deeply impressed by the changes wrought by time in the modes of education, which are now so much at variance with those of my childhood, and in the manners and customs of those with whom I have mingled.
I should be guilty of an act of grave injustice if I failed to express my grateful acknowledgments for the aid so unselfishly rendered, in a score of ways, by my daughter, Mrs. Roswell Randall Hoes, without which these pages would not, and could not, have been written.
I.—EARLY LONG ISLAND DAYS 1
II.—NEW YORK AND SOME NEW YORKERS 21
III.—SCHOOL-DAYS AND EARLY FRIENDS 50
IV.—LIFE AND EXPERIENCES IN THE METROPOLIS 69
V.—LONG BRANCH, NEWPORT AND ELSEWHERE 96
VI.—SOME DISTINGUISHED ACQUAINTANCES 118
VII.—FASHION AND LETTERS 138
VIII.—WASHINGTON IN THE FORTIES 170
IX.—SOCIAL LEADERS IN WASHINGTON LIFE 194
X.—DIPLOMATIC CORPS AND OTHER CELEBRITIES 229
XI.—MARRIAGE AND CONTINUED LIFE IN WASHINGTON 256
XII.—SOJOURN IN CHINA AND RETURN 288
XIII.—THE CIVIL WAR AND LIFE IN MARYLAND 312
XIV.—VISIT TO THE FAR SOUTH AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON 335
XV.—TO THE PRESENT DAY 365
Mrs. Gouverneur Frontispiece
Samuel L. Gouverneur, Junior 116
Mrs. John Still Winthrop, nee Armistead, by Sully 146
Mrs. Charles Eames, nee Campbell, by Gambadella 178
Brigadier General Winfield Scott, U.S.A., by Ingham 202
Mrs. James Munroe, nee Kortright, by Benjamin West 258
Miniature of James Monroe, painted in Paris in 1794 by Seme 284
Mrs. Gouverneur's three daughters, Miss Gouverneur, Mrs. Roswell Randall Hoes, Mrs. William Crawford Johnson 310
AS I REMEMBER
EARLY LONG ISLAND DAYS
I do not know of a spot where, had I been accorded the selection, I should have preferred first to see the light of day, nor one more in keeping with the promptings of sentiment, than the southern shore of Long Island, N.Y., where I was born. My home was in Queens County, on the old Rockaway Road, and often in childhood during storms at sea I have heard the waves dash upon the Rockaway beach. Two miles the other side of us was the village of Jamaica, and from our windows we caught glimpses of the bay that bore its name. My first home was a large old-fashioned house on a farm of many acres, ornamented by Lombardy poplars which stood on each side of the driveway, a fashion introduced into this country by Lafayette. My maternal grandfather, Captain John Hazard, who had commanded a privateersman during the Revolution, purchased the place from "Citizen" Edmond Charles Genet, the first Minister of France to the United States, and I have the old parchment deed of transfer still in my possession. During the War of the Revolution my Grandfather Hazard's ship was captured by Admiral George B. Rodney, and I have often heard my mother tell the story she received from his lips, to the effect that after he was "comfortably housed in irons" on Rodney's ship he overheard a conversation in which his name was frequently mentioned. The subject under discussion was the form of punishment he deserved, and the cheerful remark reached his ear: "Hang the damned rebel." This incident made an indelible impression upon my mother's memory, which was emphasized by the fact that her father bore the scars of those irons to the day of his death.
I have no recollection of my Grandfather Hazard, as he died soon after my birth. Jonathan Hazard, his brother, espoused the English cause during the Revolution. This was possibly due to the influences of an English mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Owen, of Shropshire. I have heard my mother say that her grandmother was a descendant of Dr. John Owen, Chaplain of Oliver Cromwell. A piece of silver bearing the Owen coat of arms is still in the possession of a member of my family. He entered the British navy, changed his name to Carr, and soon rose to the rank of Post-Captain. He eventually drifted back to America and died unmarried at my grandfather's home on Long Island many years after the war. The trite saying that history repeats itself is here forcibly illustrated by brother fighting against brother. It brings to mind our own fraternal troubles during the Civil War, which can never be effaced from memory.
Much of the furniture of my first home was purchased from Citizen Genet when my grandfather took possession of the house and farm. We understood that the French minister brought it with him from France, and many of the pieces, some of which are mahogany, are still in my possession. A bedstead which I still occupy has been said to be the first of its design brought from France to this country. Hanging in my bedroom is a set of engravings entitled "Diligence and Dissipation," after Hogarth, and also a handsome old print of the Savior in the Pharisee's House, all of which were purchased at the same time. Two alabaster ornaments are memories of my earliest childhood, one of which was a column casting a shadow that formed a likeness of Louis XVI.
My Grandfather Hazard had many slaves, and I remember hearing of one of them who ran away and took with him a carriage and pair of horses, and, who, when called to account for the act, threatened my grandfather's life. My mother, although suffering from a severe indisposition, ran out of the house for succor. The slave was taken into custody, and was eventually sent South and sold. Some of the other slaves I well remember. Among them was a very old couple with numerous progeny who lived not far from us in a hut in the woods on the Hazard estate. In subsequent years I heard my mother remark, upon the occasion of a marriage in the family connection, that when "Cuff" and "Sary" were married her father gave the clergyman five dollars for his services. Cuff was an old-fashioned, festive negro born in this country, and with the firm belief that existence was bestowed upon him solely for his own enjoyment. He possessed a genius for discovering holidays, and added many to the calendar that were new to most of us. For example, sometimes when he was given a task to accomplish, he would announce that he could not work upon that day as it was "Paas Monday," or "Paas Tuesday," and so on, continuing as the case required, through the week. He had supreme contempt for what he called "Guinea niggers," a term he applied to those of his race who came directly from Africa, in contradistinction to those who had been born in this country. One of Cuff's predecessors in the Hazard family was named Ben, and I have the original deed of his purchase from Hendrick Suydam, dated April 28th, 1807. The price paid was two hundred dollars.
In the village of Jamaica was a well known academy where my mother received the early part of her education. One of her preceptors there was the Hon. Luther Bradish, who some years later became Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York, and who at the time of his death was president of the New York Historical Society. Her education was continued at Miss Sarah Pierce's school in Litchfield, Connecticut, one of the most fashionable educational institutions of that period. I have heard my mother say that, accompanied by her father, she made the journey to Litchfield in a chariot, the name applied to carriages in those days, this, of course, being before there was any rail communication with that place. In close proximity to Miss Pierce's establishment was the law school of Judge James Gould, whose pupils were a great social resource to Miss Pierce's scholars. This institution was patronized by many pupils from the South, and during my mother's time John C. Calhoun was one of its students. A few years ago a history of the school was published, and a copy of the book was loaned me by the late Mrs. Lucius Tuckerman of Washington, whose mother was educated there and whose grandfather was the celebrated Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut. After my mother's marriage, she and my father visited Miss Pierce in Litchfield. This was during the Jackson campaign, while political excitement ran so very high that a prominent physician of the place remarked to my father, in perfectly good faith, that Jackson could not possibly be elected President as he would receive no support from Litchfield.
In Jamaica was the last residence of the Honorable Rufus King, our minister to England under Washington and twenty years later a candidate for the presidency. His son, Charles King, was the beloved President of Columbia College in New York, and his few surviving students hold his memory in reverence. The house in which the King family resided was a stately structure with an entourage of fine old trees. It eventually passed into other hands, and a few years ago the entire property was generously donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution to the town of Jamaica, and is now called "King's Manor."
My grandfather, Captain John Hazard, was about fifty years old at the time of his marriage to my grandmother, Miss Leupp, of New Jersey, who died soon after, leaving an only child, my mother. A few years later he married Lydia Blackwell at her home on Blackwell's Island, which her father, Jacob Blackwell, had inherited from his father, Jacob Blackwell, the son of Robert Blackwell, who was the progenitor of the family in this country and gave his name to the island upon which he resided. Several years later Captain Hazard was heard to remark that matrimony was a lottery, and that he had drawn two prizes. I have in my possession an old letter written by Miss Blackwell to my grandfather previous to their marriage, which is so quaint and formal that I am tempted to give it in full:
Miss Blackwell's compliments to Captain Hazard and desires to know how he does—and if well enough will be glad to see him the first leisure day—as she has something of consequence to communicate and is sorry to hear that he has been so much indisposed as to deprive his friends of the pleasure of his company for this last fortnight—May you enjoy every happiness this imperfect estate affords is the sincere wish of your friend,
Let me see you on Sunday.
Captain Hazard brought his new bride to the old home on the Rockaway Road where I was subsequently born, and she immediately took under her protecting wing my mother, who was then but little more than an infant. The babe grew and thrived, and never knew until she was a good-sized girl that the woman who had so lovingly nurtured her was only a step-mother. She learned the fact from a schoolmate who told her out of revenge for some fancied wrong; and I shall always remember my mother telling me how she hurried home feeling all the time that the cruel story was untrue, only to have it confirmed by the lips of the woman who had been as affectionate and unselfish as any mother could possibly have been to her own child. In subsequent years, when my mother gathered her own children around her, she held her step-mother up to us as the embodiment of all female virtue and excellence, all of which is confirmed by my own recollection of her remarkable character and exemplary life.
On the farm adjoining us lived a crusty old bachelor by the name of Martin, who in his earlier life had been professionally associated with Aaron Burr. No human being was allowed to cross his threshold, but I recall that years after his death I saw a large quantity of silver which he had inherited, and which bore a martin for a crest. He was a terror to all the children in our vicinity, and it was his habit to walk on the neighboring roads clad in a dressing gown. More than once as I passed him he accosted me with the interrogative, "Are you Nancy Hazard's brat?"—a query that invariably prompted me to quicken my pace. Mr. Martin kept a fine herd of cattle, among which was an obstreperous bull whose stentorian tones were familiar to all the residents of the adjoining places. When the children of our household were turbulent my mother would often exclaim, "Listen to Martin's bull roaring!" This invariably had a soothing effect upon the children, and strange to say this trivial incident has descended among my kindred to the fourth generation, for my mother's great-grandchildren are as familiar with "Martin's bull" as my sisters and brothers and I were in our own childhood.
Malcolm Campbell, my paternal grandfather, left Scotland subsequently to our Revolution, accompanied by his wife and son James (my father), and after a passage of several weeks landed in New York. His wife was Miss Lucy McClellan. His father, Alexander Campbell, fought in the battle of Culloden, and I have heard my father say that his grandfather's regiment marched to the song of:
"Who wadna fight for Charlie? Who wadna draw the sword? Who wadna up and rally, At their royal prince's word? Think on Scotia's ancient heroes, Think on foreign foes repell'd, Think on glorious Bruce and Wallace, Who the proud usurpers quell'd."
It is said he had previously been sent to Italy to collect arms and ammunition for the "Young Pretender," the grandson of James II. The battle of Culloden, which was fought on the 16th of April, 1746, and which has often been called the "Culloden Massacre," caused the whole civilized world to stand aghast. The order of the Duke of Cumberland to grant no quarter to prisoners placed him foremost in the ranks of "British beasts" that have disgraced the pages of history, and earned for him the unenviable title of "The Butcher of Culloden." It has been suggested in extenuation of his fiendish conduct that His Grace was "deep in his cups" the night before the battle, and that the General to whom the order was given, realizing the condition of the Duke, insisted that his instructions should be reduced to writing. His Grace thereupon angrily seized a playing card from the table where he was engaged in gambling, and complied with the request. This card happened to be the nine of diamonds, and to this day is known as "the curse of Scotland." A long period elapsed before those who had sympathized with the Young Pretender's cause were restored to the good graces of the English throne, and it was Scotland that was compelled to bear the brunt of the royal displeasure. The sins of the fathers were visited upon their children, and it is not at all unlikely that the sympathies of Alexander Campbell's son, Malcolm (my grandfather), for the last of the House of Stuart developed a chain of circumstances that resulted, with other causes, in his embarkation for America.
During the early period of my childhood I became familiar with the Jacobite songs which my father used to sing, and which had been handed down in the Campbell family. I was so deeply imbued during my early life with the Jacobite spirit of my forefathers that when I read the account in my English history of George I, carrying with him his little dissolute Hanoverian Court and crossing the water to England to become King of Great Britain, I felt even at that late day that the act was a personal grievance. Through the passage of many years a fragment of one of these Jacobite songs still rings in my ears:
"There's nae luck aboot the hoose, There's nae luck ava [at all]; There's little pleasure in the hoose When our gude man's awa."
Even now some of those songs appeal to me possibly in the same manner as the "Marseillaise" to the French, or the "Ranz de Vaches" to the Swiss who have wandered from their mountain homes, or as the strains of our national hymn affect my own fellow countrymen in foreign lands, whose hearts are made to throb when with uncovered heads they listen, and are carried back in memory to the days of "auld lang syne."
My grandfather, Malcolm Campbell, received the degree of Master of Arts from the University of St. Andrews, the great school of Scottish Latinity, and his diploma conferring upon him that honor is still in the possession of his descendants. Before leaving Scotland he had formed an intimacy with Andrew Picken, and during the voyage to America enjoyed the pleasing companionship of that gentleman together with his wife and their two children. Mrs. Picken was the only daughter of Sir Charles Burdette of London, whose wife was the daughter of the Earl of Wyndham. She and Andrew Picken, who was a native of Stewarton, in Ayrshire, a younger branch of a noble family, four years previously had made a clandestine marriage and, after vainly attempting to effect a reconciliation with her father, resolved upon emigrating to America. Their daughter, Mrs. Sara Jane Picken Cohen, widow of the Rev. Dr. Abraham H. Cohen of Richmond, Virginia, wrote the memoirs of her life, and in describing her parents' voyage to this country says: "It was one of those old-time voyages, of nine weeks and three days, from land to land, and a very boisterous one it was. There had been a terrific storm, which had raged violently for several days." This friendship formed in the mother country was naturally much strengthened during the long voyage, and when the two families finally reached New York, Mrs. Cohen writes: "Here we settled down our two families, strangers in a strange land. But the lamp of friendship burned brightly and lit us on the way; our children grew up together in early childhood, and as brothers and sisters were born in each family they were named in succession after each other." It is pleasant to state that this friendship formed so many generations ago is still continued in my family, as my daughters and I frequently enjoy in our Washington home the pleasing society of Mr. and Mrs. Roberdeau Buchanan, the latter of whom is the great granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Picken.
Soon after his arrival in New York Malcolm Campbell established a classical school at 85 Broadway nearly opposite Trinity Church. He edited the first American edition of Cicero's orations and of Caesar's commentaries, and also revised and corrected and published in 1808 l'Abbe Tardy's French dictionary. His first edition of Cicero is dedicated to the "Right Reverend Benjamin Moore, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York, and President of Columbia College," and another edition with the same text and imprint is dedicated, in several pages of Latin, to the learned Samuel L. Mitchell, M.D. He and his wife were buried in the graveyard of the Wall Street Presbyterian Church. It may not be inappropriate in this connection to refer to another instructor of an even earlier period which has come within my notice, who taught reading, writing and arithmetic "with becoming accuracy." In The New York Journal Or The General Advertiser of the 30th of April, 1772, appears the following advertisement:
THE RESPECTABLE PUBLIC is hereby informed that, agreeable to a former advertisement, a Seminary of Learning was opened at New Brunswick, last November, by the name of Queen's College, and also a Grammar School, in order to prepare Youth for the same. Any Parents or Guardians who may be inclined to send their Children to this Institution, may depend upon having them instructed with the greatest Care and Diligence in all the Arts and Sciences usually taught in public Schools; the strictest Regard will be paid to their moral Conduct, (and in a word) to every Thing which may tend to render them a Pleasure to their Friends, and an Ornament to their Species.
Also to obviate the Objection of some to sending their Children on Account of their small Proficiency in English, a proper Person has been provided, who attends at the Grammar School an Hour a Day, and teaches Reading, Writing and Arithmetic with becoming Accuracy—It is hoped that the above Considerations, together with the healthy and convenient Situation of the Place, on a Pleasant and navigable River, in the midst of a plentiful Country; the Reasonableness of the Inhabitants in the Price of Board, and the easy Access from all Places, either by Land or Water will be esteemed by the considerate Public, as a sufficient Recommendation of this infant College, which (as it is erected upon so Catholic a Plan) will undoubtedly prove advantageous to our new American World, by assisting its SISTER SEMMINARIES to cultivate Piety, Learning, and Liberty.
Per Order of the Trustees,
FREDERICK FRELINGHUYSEN, Tutor.
N.B. The Vacation of the College will be expired on Wednesday the 6th of May, any Students then offering themselves shall be admitted into such Class, as (upon Examination) they shall be found capable of entering.
The signer of this interesting advertisement was graduated from Princeton College in 1770, and subsequently became a lawyer. His distinguished son, Theodore, was widely known as a philanthropist and Christian statesman, and at various periods was United States Senator, Chancellor of the New York University, President of Rutgers College, a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States, and President of the American Bible Society. A grandson of the signer was the Hon. Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, the well remembered United States Senator and Secretary of State under President Arthur.
Speaking of the Frelinghuysen family, I recall an amusing story told at the expense of Newark, New Jersey. When the late Secretary Frelinghuysen presented himself at the gates of Heaven he was surprised not to be recognized by St. Peter, who asked him who he was. "I am the Hon. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen," was the response. "From where?" "Newark, New Jersey." "Newark?" quoth St. Peter, "I never heard of that place, but I will look on my list. No, it isn't there. I can not admit you, Mr. Frelinghuysen." So the old gentleman proceeded and knocked at another gate in the boundless immensity. The devil opened it and looked out. The same conversation occurred as with St. Peter. Newark wasn't "on the list." "My Heavens, Mr. Satan, am I then doomed to return to Newark?" exclaimed the New Jersey statesman, and went back to the Newark graveyard.
My father, James Campbell, was born in Callander, Scotland, and, as I have before stated, came to this country with his parents as a very young child. Both he and his father were clad in their Highland dress upon their arrival in New York. His childhood was spent in the great metropolis, and he subsequently studied law in Albany, with the Hon. Samuel Miles Hopkins, the grandfather of Mrs. Arent Schuyler Crowninshield. He was admitted to the bar, and almost immediately became a Master in Chancery. In 1821 he was appointed Surrogate of New York, a position which he retained for twenty years. He was always a pronounced democrat, but notwithstanding this fact he was reappointed ten successive times. In 1840, however, the Whig party was in the ascendency in the New York Legislature, and through the instrumentality of William H. Seward, who introduced a system called "pipe laying," the whole political atmosphere was changed. "Pipe laying" was an organized scheme for controlling votes, and derived its name from certain political manipulations connected with the introduction of Croton water in New York City. I have learned in later years that more approved methods are frequently used for controlling votes. Modern ethics has discovered a more satisfactory method through means of powerful corporations with coffers wide open in the holy cause of electing candidates.
This unfortunate state of affairs resulted in the removal of my father from office, and he immediately resumed the practice of law. Some of his decisions as Surrogate are regarded as precedents to this day. Two of the most prominent of these are "Watts and LeRoy vs. Public Administrator" (a decision resulting in the establishment of the Leake and Watts Orphan House) and "In the matter of the last Will and Testament of Alice Lispenard, deceased." He is said to have owned about this time the largest private library in New York City, composed largely of foreign imprints, as he seemed to have but little regard for American editions. The classical portion of his library, especially the volumes published in Paris, was regarded as unusually choice and well selected. He had also a large collection of Greek Testaments which he read in preference to the translations. He owned a copy of Didot's Virgil and I have always understood that, with the exception of one owned in the Brevoort family of New York, it was at that time the only copy in America. He retained his scholarly tastes throughout his whole life, and in looking back I delight to picture him as seated in his library surrounded by his beloved books. In 1850, about two years after his death, his library was sold at auction, the catalogue of which covers 114 closely printed pages. Among the purchasers were William E. Burton, the actor, Chief Justice Charles P. Daly and Henry W. Longfellow.
Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia College dedicated his Horace to my father in the following choice words:
To My old & valued friend James Campbell, Esq., who, amid the graver duties of a judicial station, can still find leisure to gratify a pure and cultivated taste, by reviving the studies of earlier years.
The following letter from Professor Anthon, the original of which is still retained by the family, was addressed to my mother shortly after my father's death.
COL[UMBIA] COLL[EGE], Sep. 3d 1849.
I dedicated the accompanying work to your lamented husband in happier years, while he was still in the full career of honourable usefulness; and, now that death has taken him from us, I deem it but right that the volume which bore his name while living, should still continue to be a memento of him. May I request you to accept this humble but sincere tribute to the memory of a most valued friend?
I remain, very respectfully and truly,
Mrs. Campbell, Houston Street.
When Professor Anthon was about forty-eight years of age Edgar Allan Poe described him as "about five feet, eight inches in height; rather stout; fair complexion; hair light and inclined to curl; forehead remarkably broad and high; eye gray, clear, and penetrating; mouth well-formed, with excellent teeth—the lips having great flexibility, and consequent power of expression; the smile particularly pleasing. His address in general is bold, frank, cordial, full of bonhomie. His whole air is distingue in the best understanding of the term—that is to say, he would impress anyone at first sight with the idea of his being no ordinary man. He has qualities, indeed, which would have assured him eminent success in almost any pursuit; and there are times in which his friends are half disposed to regret his exclusive devotion to classical literature."
My father was a trustee of the venerable New York Society Library and one of the directors of the old United States Bank in Philadelphia; and I have in my possession a number of interesting letters from Nicholas Biddle, its president, addressed to him and asking his advice and counsel. For eighteen years he was a trustee of Columbia College in New York, and enjoyed the close friendship of President William A. Duer, Reverend and Professor John McVickar, James Renwick, Professor of Chemistry, whose mother, Jennie Jeffery, was Burns's "Blue-e'ed Lassie," and Professor Charles Anthon, all of whom filled chairs in that institution with unquestioned ability. My father was also a member of the St. Andrews Society of New York. After his death, President Duer in an impressive address alluded to him in the following manner:
"Two of our associates with whom I have been similarly connected and have known from boyhood have also departed, leaving sweet memories behind them, James Campbell and David S. Jones, the former a scholar and a ripe and good one, once honoring the choice of his fellow citizens and winning golden opinions as Surrogate of this city and county."
President Duer had a most interesting family of children. His eldest married daughter, Frances Maria, was the wife of Henry Shaeffe Hoyt of Park Place, and died recently in Newport at a very advanced age. Eleanor Jones Duer, another daughter, married George T. Wilson, an Englishman. She was a great beauty, bearing a striking resemblance to Fanny Kemble, and was remarkable for her strong intellect. Her marriage was clandestine, and the cause, as far as I know, was never explained. Still another daughter, Elizabeth, married Archibald Gracie King of Weehawken, and was a Colonial Dame of much prominence in her later years. She was the mother of the authoress, Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer. President Duer's wife was Hannah Maria Denning of Fishkill, New York. I knew her only as an elderly woman possessing a fine presence and social tastes.
In my early life the students of Columbia College enjoyed playing practical jokes upon its dignified professors. As an illustration, I remember once seeing the death of Professor Renwick fictitiously published in one of the daily journals, much to the sorrow and subsequently the indignation of a large circle of friends. Professor Anthon, too, although a confirmed bachelor, had to face his turn, and his marriage to some unknown bride bearing an assumed name was an occasional announcement. But the most amusing feature of the joke would appear in the morning, when an emphatic denial would be seen in the columns of the same newspaper, accompanied by a quotation in spurious Latin. Professor Anthon lived with his two spinster sisters in one of the college buildings, and their home was a rendezvous for an appreciative younger generation. In connection with his duties at the college, he was the head of the Columbia College Grammar School, and I have always understood that he strictly followed the scriptural injunction not "to spare the rod." His victims were repeatedly heard to remark that these flagellations partially counterbalanced the lack of exercise which he felt very keenly in his sedentary life. But with all his austerity his pupils would occasionally be astonished over the amount of humor that he was capable of displaying. His handwriting was exquisitely minute in character, and I have in my possession two valentines composed by him and sent to me which are quaintly beautiful in language and, although sixty years old, are still in a perfect state of preservation.
To Miss Marian Campbell. The Campbell is coming! Ye Gentles beware, For Don Cupid lies hid in her dark flowing hair, And her eyes, bright as stars that in mid-heaven roll, Pierce through frock-coat and dickey right into the soul! And ye lips which the coral might envy, I ween, And ye pearl rows that peep from the red lips between, And that soft-dimpled cheek, with the hue of the rose, And that smile which bears conquest wherever it goes, Oh, could I but think that you soon would be mine, I'd send Marian each morning a sweet valentine. Feb'y 14, 1844.
(Written a few years later.)
Sweet girl! within whose laughing eye A thousand little Cupids lie, While every curl, that floats above Thy noble brow, seems fraught with love.
Oh, list to me, my loved one, list! Thy Tellkampf's suit no more resist, But give to him, to call his own, A heart where Kings might make their throne.
John Louis Tellkampf, to whom Anthon so facetiously alludes in the second valentine, was a young German who frequently came to our house, and who, through my father's aid and influence, in subsequent years became professor of German in Columbia College. When we first knew him he spoke English with much difficulty, and it was a standing joke in our household that once when he desired to say that a certain person had been born he expressed the fact as "getting alive."
Malcolm Campbell, a younger brother of mine, was graduated in 1850 from Columbia College near the head of his class. Among his classmates were Charles Seymour, subsequently Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Illinois, and the distinguished lawyer Frederick R. Coudert, whose father kept a boys' French school in Bleecker Street. My brother subsequently studied law in the office of Judge Henry Hilton, and for many years practiced at the New York bar. Upon a certain occasion he and Samuel F. Kneeland were opposing counsel in an important suit during which Mr. Kneeland kept quoting from his own work upon "Mechanics' Liens." My brother endured this as long as his patience permitted and then, slowly rising to his feet, said: "I have cited decisions on the point in controversy, but my learned opponent cites nothing except his own opinions printed in his own book. With such persistency has he done this that I have been tempted to write these lines:
"Oh, Kneeland! dear Kneeland, pray what do you mean By such a fat book on the subject of Lien? Was it for glory or was it for pelf, Or just for the pleasure of quoting yourself?"
It seems almost needless to add that this doggerel was followed by a round of applause, and that Chief Justice Charles P. Daly and Judge Joseph F. Daly, as well as Judge George M. Van Hoesen, who were on the bench at this time, joined in the merriment.
The commencement exercises of Columbia College, as I remember them, took place every summer in St. John's Church opposite St. John's Park, and I often attended them in my early days. Columbia College at this period was in the lower part of the city between College and Park Places, and was the original King's College of colonial days. All of the professors lived in the college buildings in a most unostentatious manner, and I readily recall frequent instances during my early childhood when, in company with my father, I walked to the college and took a simple six o'clock supper with Professor Anthon and his sisters.
My mother met my father while visiting in New York, and the acquaintance eventually resulted in a runaway marriage. They were married on the 10th of June, 1818, and nine days later the following notice appeared in The National Advocate:
At Flushing, L.I., by the Rev. Mr. [Barzilla] Buckley, James Campbell esq. of this city, to Miss Mary Ann Hazard, daughter of John Hazard, esq. of Jamaica, Long Island.
The objection of my Grandfather Hazard to my mother's marriage was not unnatural, as she was his only child, and being at this time well advanced in years he dreaded the separation. But the happy bride immediately brought her husband to live in the old home where she had been born, where the young couple began their married life under pleasing auspices, and my father continued his practice of law in New York. I had the misfortune of being a second daughter. Traditionally, I know that my grandfather most earnestly desired a grandson at that time, and when the nurse announced my birth, she was not sufficiently courageous to tell the truth, and said: "A boy, sir!" Her faltering manner possibly betrayed her, as the sarcastic retort was: "I dare say, an Irish boy."
My ambitious parents sent me with my oldest sister, Fanny, at the early age of four, to a school in the village of Jamaica conducted by Miss Delia Bacon. My recollection of events occurring at this early period is not very vivid, but I still recall the vision of three beautiful women, Delia, Alice and Julia Bacon, who presided over our school. This interesting trio were nieces of the distinguished author and divine, the Rev. Dr. Leonard Bacon, who for fifty-seven years was pastor of the First Congregational Church of New Haven. Many years subsequent to my school days, Delia Bacon became, as is well known, an enthusiastic advocate of the Baconian authorship of Shakespeare's plays. I have understood that she made a pilgrimage to Stratford-on-Avon hoping to secure the proper authority to reopen Shakespeare's grave, a desire, however, that remained ungratified. She was a woman of remarkable ability, and I have in my possession the book, written by her nephew, which tells the story of her life. I was Miss Bacon's youngest pupil, and attended school regularly in company with my sister, whither we were driven each morning in the family carriage. My studies were not difficult, and my principal recollection is my playing out of doors with a dog named Sancho, while the older children were busy inside with their studies.
During my Long Island life, as a very young child, I was visiting my aunts in Jay Street, New York, when I was taken to Grant Thorburn's seed shop in Maiden Lane, which I think was called "The Arcade." There was much there to delight the childish fancy—canaries, parrots, and other birds of varied plumage. Thorburn's career was decidedly unusual. He was born in Scotland, where he worked in his father's shop as a nailmaker. He came to New York in 1794 and for a time continued at his old trade. He then kept a seed store and, after making quite a fortune, launched into a literary career and wrote under the nom de plume of "Laurie Todd."
 Now Rutgers College.
NEW YORK AND SOME NEW YORKERS
About 1828 my parents moved to New York, and immediately occupied the house, No. 6 Hubert Street, purchased by my father, and pleasantly located a short distance from St. John's Park, then the fashionable section of the city. This park was always kept locked, but it was the common play-ground of the children of the neighborhood, whose families were furnished with keys, as is the case with Gramercy Park to-day. St. John's Church overlooked this park, and the houses on the other three sides of the square were among the finest residences in the city. Many of them were occupied by families of prominence, among which were those of Watts, Gibbes, Kemble, Hamilton and Smedberg. Next door to us on Hubert Street lived Commander, subsequently Rear Admiral, Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., and his young family. His first wife was Miss Jane Jeffrey Renwick, who was a sister of Professor James Renwick of Columbia College, and after her death he married Mary Lynch, a daughter of Henry Lynch of New York and the widow of Captain William Compton Bolton of the Navy. This, of course, was previous to his naval achievements, which are such well known events in American history. In after life Admiral and Mrs. Wilkes moved to Washington, D.C., where I renewed my friendship of early days and where members of his family still reside, beloved and respected by the whole community.
Mr. Thomas S. Gibbes of South Carolina, whose wife was Miss Susan Annette Vanden Heuvel, daughter of John C. Vanden Heuvel, a wealthy land owner, lived on Hudson Street, facing St. John's Park. Their elder daughter Charlotte Augusta, who married John Jacob Astor, son of William B. Astor, was an early playmate of mine, and many pleasant memories of her as a little girl cluster around St. John's Park, where we romped together. When I first knew the Gibbes family it had recently returned from a long residence in Paris, an unusual experience in these days, and both Charlotte Augusta and her younger sister, Annette Gibbes, sang in a very pleasing manner French songs, which were a decided novelty to our juvenile ears. Mrs. Gibbes's sisters were Mrs. Gouverneur S. Bibby and Mrs. John C. Hamilton.
Directly opposite St. John's Park, on the corner of Varick and Beach streets, was Miss Maria Forbes's school for young girls, which was the fashionable school of the day. I attended it in company with my sister Fanny and my brother James who was my junior. Miss Forbes occasionally admitted boys to her school when accompanied by older sisters. Our life there was regulated in accordance with the strictest principles of learning and etiquette, and a child would have been deficient indeed who failed to acquire knowledge under the tuition of such an able teacher. School commenced promptly at eight o'clock and continued without intermission until three.
The principal of the school was the daughter of John Forbes, who for thirty years was the librarian of the New York Society Library. He was a native of Aberdeen in Scotland, and was brought to this country in extreme youth by a widowed mother of marked determination and piety, with the intention of launching him successfully in life. He early displayed a fondness for books, and must have shown an uncommon maturity of mind and much executive ability, as he was only nineteen when he was appointed to the position just named. It is an interesting fact that he accepted the librarianship in 1798 with a salary of two hundred and fifty dollars a year in addition to the fines and two and a half per cent. upon all moneys collected, besides the use or rental of the lower front room of the library building. After many years of labor his salary was raised to five hundred dollars. Upon his death in October, 1824, the trustees, out of respect to his memory, voted to attend his funeral in a body and ordered the library closed for the remaining four days of the week. He married Miss Martha Skidmore, daughter of Lemuel Skidmore, a prominent iron and steel merchant of New York, and I have no doubt that Maria Forbes, their daughter and my early teacher, inherited her scholarly tastes from her father, of whom Dr. John W. Francis in his "Old New York" justly speaks as a "learned man."
Miss Forbes was a pronounced disciplinarian, and administered one form of punishment which left a lasting impression upon my memory. For certain trivial offenses a child was placed in a darkened room and clothed in a tow apron. One day I was subjected to this punishment for many hours, an incident which naturally I have never yet been able to forget. On the occasion referred to Miss Forbes was obliged to leave the schoolroom for a few minutes and, unfortunately for my happiness, appointed my young brother James to act as monitor during her absence. His first experience in the exercise of a little authority evidently turned his head, for upon the return of our teacher I was reported for misbehavior. The charge against me was that I had smiled. It is too long ago to remember whether or not it was a smile of derision, but upon mature reflection I think it must have been. I knew, however, in my childish heart that I had committed no serious offense and, as can readily be imagined, my indignation was boundless. It was the first act of injustice I had ever experienced. Feeling that the punishment was undeserved, and smarting under it, with abundance of leisure upon my hands, I bit the tough tow apron into many pieces. When Miss Forbes after a few hours, which seemed to me an eternity, came to relieve me from my irksome position and noticed the condition of the apron, she regaled me with a homily upon the evils of bad temper, and gave as practical illustrations the lives of some of our most noted criminals, all of whom had expiated their crimes upon the gallows.
In recalling these early school days it seems to me that the rudiments of education received far more attention then than now. Spelling was regarded as of chief importance and due consideration was given to grammar. There were no "frills" then, such as physical culture, manual training and the like, and vacation lasted but thirty days, usually during the month of August. Some of my earliest friendships were formed at Miss Forbes's school, many of which I have retained through a long life. Among my companions and classmates were the Tillotsons, Lynches, Astors, Kembles, Hamiltons, Duers, and Livingstons.
But in spite of the severe discipline of Miss Forbes's school, her pupils occasionally engaged in current gossip. It was in her schoolroom I first made the discovery that this earth boasted of such valuable adjuncts to the human family as title-bearing gentlemen, and in this particular case it was a live Count that was brought to my notice. Count Louis Fitzgerald Tasistro had recently arrived in New York, and his engagement to Adelaide Lynch, a daughter of Judge James Lynch, of an old New York family, was soon announced. On the voyage to America he had made the acquaintance of a son of Lord Henry Gage of England, whose principal object in visiting this country was to make the acquaintance of his kinsman, Mr. Gouverneur Kemble. Through his instrumentality Tasistro was introduced into New York's most exclusive set, and soon became the lion of the hour. We girls discussed the engagement and subsequent marriage of the distinguished foreigner (sub rosa, of course), and to our childish vision pictured a wonderful career for this New York girl. The marriage, however, soon terminated unfortunately, and to the day of his death Tasistro's origin remained a mystery. He was an intellectual man of fine presence and skilled in a number of foreign languages. He claimed he was a graduate of Dublin College. Many years later, after I had become more familiar with title-bearing foreigners, Tasistro again crossed my path in Washington, where he was acting as a translator in the State Department; but after a few years, owing to an affection of the eyes, he was obliged to give up this position, and his condition was one of destitution. Through the instrumentality of my husband he obtained an annuity from his son, whom, by the way, he never knew; and for some years, in a spirit of gratitude, taught my children French. His last literary effort was the translation of the first two volumes of the Comte de Paris's "History of the Civil War in America." His devotion to my husband was pathetic, and I have frequently heard the Count say during the last years of his life that he never met him without some good fortune immediately following.
After Mr. Gouverneur's death I received the following letter from Tasistro, which is so beautiful in diction that I take pleasure in inserting it:
WASHINGTON, April 26, 1880.
My dear Mrs. Gouverneur,
Had I obeyed implicitly the impulses of my heart, or been less deeply affected by the great loss which will ever render the 5th of April a day of sad & bitter memories to me, I should perhaps have been more expeditious in rendering to you the poor tribute of my condolence for the terrible bereavement which it has pleased the Supreme Ruler of all things to afflict you with.
My own particular grief in thus losing the best & most valued friend I ever had on earth, receives additional poignancy from the fact that, although duly impressed with an abiding sense of the imperishable obligation, conferred upon me by my lamented friend, I have been debarred, by my own physical infirmities, from proffering those services which it would have afforded me so much consolation to perform.
I should be loath, however, to start on my own journey for that shadowy land whose dim outlines are becoming daily more & more visible to my mental eye, without leaving some kind of record attesting to the depth of my appreciation of all the noble attributes which clustered around your husband's character—of my intense & lasting gratitude for his generous exertions in my behalf, & my profound sympathy for you personally in this hour of sorrow & affliction.
Hoping that you may find strength adequate to the emergency, I remain, with great respect,
Your devoted servant,
L. F. TASISTRO.
A valued friend of my father's was Dr. John W. Francis, the "Doctor Sangrado" of this period, who, with other practitioners of the day, believed in curing all maladies by copious bleeding and a dose of calomel. He was the fashionable physician of that time and especially prided himself upon his physical resemblance to Benjamin Franklin. He had much dramatic ability of a comic sort, and I have often heard the opinion expressed that if he had adopted the stage as a profession he would have rivalled the comedian William E. Burton, who at this time was delighting his audiences at Burton's Theater on Chambers Street. In my early life when Dr. Francis was called to our house professionally the favorite dose he invariably prescribed for nearly every ailment was "calomel and jalap."
One day during school hours at Miss Forbes's I was suddenly summoned to return to my home. I soon discovered after my arrival that I was in the presence of a tribunal composed of my parents and Dr. Francis. I was completely at a loss to understand why I was recalled with, what seemed to me, such undue haste, as I was entirely unconscious of any misdemeanor. I soon discovered, however, that I was in great trouble. It seems that a young girl from Santa Cruz, a boarding pupil at our school, had died of a malady known at this period as "iliac passion," but now as appendicitis. Her attending physician was Dr. Ralph I. Bush, a former surgeon in the British Navy, and I soon learned to my dismay that I was accused of having made an indiscreet remark in regard to his management of my schoolmate's case, although to this day I have never known exactly how Dr. Francis, as our family physician, was involved in the affair. I stood up as bravely as I could under a rigid cross-examination, but, alas! I had no remembrance whatever of making any remark that could possibly offend. At any rate, Dr. Bush had given Dr. Francis to understand that he was ready to settle the affair according to the approved method of the day; but Dr. Francis was a man of peace, and had no relish for the code. Possibly, with the reputed activity of Sir Lucius O'Trigger, Dr. Bush had already selected his seconds, as I have seldom seen a man more unnerved than Dr. Francis by what proved after all to be only a trifling episode. Soon after my trying interview, however, explanations followed, and the two physicians amicably adjusted the affair.
It seems that this unfortunate entanglement arose from a misunderstanding. There were two cases of illness at Miss Forbes's school at the same time, the patient of Dr. Bush already mentioned and another child suffering from a broken arm whom Dr. Francis attended. He set the limb but, as he was not proficient as a surgeon, the act was criticized by the schoolgirls within my hearing. My sense of loyalty to my family doctor caused me to utter some childish remark in his defense which was possibly to the effect that he was a great deal better doctor than Dr. Bush, who had failed to save the life of our late schoolmate. In recalling this childish episode which caused me so much anxiety I am surprised that such unnecessary attention was paid to the passing remark of a mere child.
Dr. Francis was as proficient in quoting wise maxims as Benjamin Franklin, whom he was said to resemble. One of them which I recall is the epitome of wisdom: "If thy hand be in a lion's mouth, get it out as fast as thou canst."
I may here state, by the way, that in close proximity to Dr. Francis's residence on Bond Street lived Dr. Eleazer Parmly, the fashionable dentist of New York. He stood high in public esteem and a few still living may remember his pleasing address. He accumulated a large fortune and I believe left many descendants.
The girls at Miss Forbes's school were taught needle work and embroidery, for in my early days no young woman's education was regarded as complete without these accomplishments. I quote from memory an elaborate sampler which bore the following poetical effusion:
What is the blooming tincture of the skin, To peace of mind and harmony within? What the bright sparkling of the finest eye To the soft soothing of a kind reply?
Can comeliness of form or face so fair With kindliness of word or deed compare? No. Those at first the unwary heart may gain, But these, these only, can the heart retain.
It seems remarkable that after spending months in working such effusive lines, or others similar to them, Miss Forbes's pupils did not become luminaries of virtue and propriety. If they did not their failure certainly could not be laid at the door of their preceptress.
Miss Forbes personally taught the rudiments but Mr. Luther Jackson, the writing master, visited the school each day and instructed his scholars in the Italian style of chirography. Mr. Michael A. Gauvain taught French so successfully that in a short time many of us were able to place on the amateur boards a number of French plays. Our audiences were composed chiefly of admiring parents, who naturally viewed the performances with paternal partiality and no doubt regarded us as incipient Rachels. I remember as if it were only yesterday a play in which I took one of the principal parts—"Athalie," one of Jean Racine's plays.
This mode of education was adopted in Paris by Madame Campan, the instructor of the French nobility as well as of royalty during the First Empire. In her manuscript memoirs, addressed to the children of her brother, "Citizen" Edmond Charles Genet, who was then living in America, and of which I have an exact copy, she dwells upon the histrionic performances by her pupils, among whom were Queen Hortense and my husband's aunt, Eliza Monroe, daughter of President James Monroe and subsequently the wife of Judge George Hay of Virginia. She gives a graphic account of the Emperor attending one of these plays, when "Esther," one of Racine's masterpieces, was performed.
The dancing master, who, of course, was an essential adjunct of every well regulated school, was John J. Charraud. He was a refugee from Hayti after the revolution in that island, and opened his dancing-school in New York on Murray Street, but afterwards gave his "publics" in the City Hall. He taught only the cotillion and the three-step waltz and came to our school three times a week for this purpose. Much attention was given to poetry, and I still recall the first piece I committed to memory, "Pity the Sorrows of a Poor Old Man." My father thoroughly believed in memorizing verse, and he always liberally rewarded me for every piece I was able to recite. I may state, by the way, that Blair's Rhetoric was a textbook of our school and the one which I most enjoyed.
Miss Forbes had a number of medals which the girls were allowed to wear at stated periods for proficiency in their studies as well as for exemplary deportment. There was one of these which was known as the "excellence medal," and the exultant pupil upon whom it was bestowed was allowed the privilege of wearing it for two weeks. Upon it was inscribed the well known proverb of Solomon, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."
Among the pleasant memories of my early life are the dinners given by my father, when the distinguished men of the day gathered around his hospitable board. In New York at this time all the professional cooks and waiters in their employ were colored men. Butlers were then unknown. It was also before the days of a la Russe service, and I remember seeing upon some of these occasions a saddle of venison, while at the opposite end of the table there was always a Westphalia ham. Fresh salmon was considered a piece de resistance. Many different wines were always served, and long years later in a conversation with Gov. William L. Marcy, who was a warm friend of my father, he told me he was present on one of these occasions when seven different varieties of wine were served. I especially remember a dinner given by him in honor of Martin Van Buren. He was Vice-President of the United States at the time and was accompanied to New York by John Forsyth of Georgia, a member of Jackson's cabinet. Some of the guests invited to meet him were Gulian C. Verplanck, Thomas Morris, John C. Hamilton, Philip Hone and Walter Bowne. The day previous to this dinner my father received the following note from Mr. Van Buren:
My dear Sir,
Our friend Mr. Forsyth, is with me and you must send him an invitation to dine with you to-morrow if, as I suppose is the case, I am to have that honor.
M. VAN BUREN. Sunday, June 9, '33.
J. Campbell, Esq.
Martin Van Buren was a political friend of my father's from almost his earliest manhood. Two years after he was appointed Surrogate he received the following confidential letter from Mr. Van Buren. As will be seen, it was before the days when he wrote in full the prefix "Van" to his name:
My dear Sir,
Mr. Hoyt wishes me to quiet your apprehensions on the subject of the Elector. I will state to you truly how the matter stands. My sincere belief is that we shall succeed; at the same time I am bound to admit that the subject is full of difficulties. If the members were now, and without extraneous influence, to settle the matter, the result would be certain. But I know that uncommon exertions have been, and are making, by the outdoor friends of Adams & Clay to effect a co-operation of their forces in favor of a divided ticket. Look at the "National Journal" of the 23d, and you will find an article, prepared with care, to make influence there. A few months ago Mr. Adams would have revolted at such a publication. It is the desperate situation of his affairs that has brought him to it. The friends of Clay (allowing Adams more strength than he may have), have no hopes of getting him (Clay) into the house, unless they get a part of this State. The certain decline of Adams in other parts & the uncertainty of his strength in the east alarm his friends on the same point. Thus both parties are led to the adoption of desperate measures. Out of N. England Adams has now no reason to expect more than his three or four votes in Maryland. A partial discomfiture in the east may therefore bring him below Mr. Clay's western votes, & if it should appear that he (Adams) cannot get into the house, the western votes would go to Crawford. If nothing takes place materially to change the present state of things, we hope to defeat their plans here. But if you lose your Assembly ticket, there is no telling the effect it may produce, & my chief object in being thus particular with you is to conjure your utmost attention to that subject. About the Governor's election there is no sort of doubt. I am not apt to be confident, & I aver that the matter is so. But it is to the Assembly that interested men look, and the difference of ten members will (with the information the members can have when they come to act) be decisive in the opinion of the present members as to the complexion of the next house. There are other points of view which I cannot now state to you, in which the result I speak of may seriously affect the main question. Let me therefore entreat your serious attention to this matter. Be careful of this. Your city is a gossiping place, & what you tell to one man in confidence is soon in the mouths of hundreds. You can impress our friends on this subject without connecting me with it. Do so.
Your sincere friend,
M. V. BUREN. Albany, Octob. 28, 1824.
James Campbell, Esq.
The Mr. Hoyt referred to in the opening sentence of this letter was Jesse Hoyt, another political friend of my father's who, under Van Buren's administration, was Collector of the Port of New York. During my child life on Long Island he made my father occasional visits, and in subsequent years lived opposite us on Hubert Street. He was the first one to furnish me with a practical illustration of man's perfidy. As a very young child I consented to have my ears pierced, when Mr. Hoyt volunteered to send me a pair of coral ear-rings, but he failed to carry out his promise. I remember reading some years ago several letters addressed to Hoyt by "Prince" John Van Buren which he begins with "Dear Jessica."
Table appointments at this time were most simple and unostentatious. Wine coolers were found in every well regulated house, but floral decorations were seldom seen. At my father's dinners, given upon special occasions, the handsome old silver was always used, much of which formerly belonged to my mother's family. The forks and spoons were of heavy beaten silver, and the knives were made of steel and had ivory handles. Ice cream was always the dessert, served in tall pyramids, and the universal flavor was vanilla taken directly from the bean, as prepared extracts were then unknown. I have no recollection of seeing ice water served upon any well-appointed table, as modern facilities for keeping it had yet to appear, and cold water could always be procured from pumps on the premises. The castors, now almost obsolete, containing the usual condiments, were de rigueur; while the linen used in our home was imported from Ireland, and in some cases bore the coat of arms of the United States with its motto, "E Pluribus Unum." My father's table accommodated twenty persons and the dinner hour was three o'clock. These social functions frequently lasted a number of hours, and when it became necessary the table was lighted by lamps containing sperm oil and candles in candelabra. These were the days when men wore ruffled shirt fronts and high boots.
I still have in my possession an acceptance from William B. Astor, son of John Jacob Astor, to a dinner given by my father, written upon very small note paper and folded in the usual style of the day:
Mr. W. Astor will do himself the honor to dine with Mr. Campbell to-day agreeable to his polite invitation.
James Campbell Esq. Hubert Street.
I well remember a stag dinner given by my father when I was a child at which one of the guests was Philip Hone, one of the most efficient and energetic Mayors the City of New York has ever had. He is best known to-day by his remarkable diary, edited by Bayard Tuckerman, which is a veritable storehouse of events relating to the contemporary history of the city. Mr. Hone had a fine presence with much elegance of manner, and was truly one of nature's noblemen. Many years ago Arent Schuyler de Peyster, to whom I am indebted for many traditions of early New York society, told me that upon one occasion a conversation occurred between Philip Hone and his brother John, a successful auctioneer, in which the latter advocated their adoption of a coat of arms. Philip's response was characteristic of the man: "I will have no arms except those Almighty God has given me."
In this connection, and apropos of heraldic designs and their accompaniments, I have been informed that the Hon. Daniel Manning, Cleveland's Secretary of the Treasury, used upon certain of his cards of invitation a crest with the motto, "Aquila non capit muscas" ("The eagle does not catch flies"). This brings to my mind the following anecdote from a dictionary of quotations translated into English in 1826 by D. N. McDonnel: "Casti, an Italian poet who fled from Russia on account of having written a scurrilous poem in which he made severe animadversions on the Czarina and some of her favorites, took refuge in Austria. Joseph II. upon coming in contact with him asked him whether he was not afraid of being punished there, as well as in Russia, for having insulted his high friend and ally. The bard's steady reply was 'Aquila non capit muscas.'" Sir Francis Bacon, however, was the first in the race, as long before either Manning or Casti were born he made use of these exact words in his "Jurisdiction of the Marshes."
In my early days John H. Contoit kept an ice cream garden on Broadway near White Street, and it was the first establishment of this kind, as far as I know, in New York. During the summer months it was a favorite resort for many who sought a cool place and pleasant society, where they might eat ice cream under shady vines and ornamental lattice work. The ice cream was served in high glasses, and the price paid for it was twelve and one-half cents. Nickles and dimes were of course unknown, but the Mexican shilling, equivalent to twelve and one-half cents, and the quarter of a dollar, also Mexican, were in circulation.
There were no such places as lunchrooms and tearooms in my early days, and the only restaurant of respectability was George W. Browne's "eating house," which was largely frequented by New Yorkers. The proprietor had a very pretty daughter, Mrs. Coles, who was brought prominently before the public in the summer of 1841 as the heroine of an altercation between August Belmont and Edward Heyward, a prominent South Carolinian, followed by a duel in Maryland in which Belmont is said to have been so seriously wounded as to retain the scars until his death.
Alexander T. Stewart's store, corner of Broadway and Chambers Street, was the fashionable dry goods emporium, and for many years was without a conspicuous rival. William I. Tenney, Horace Hinsdale, Henry Gelston, and Frederick and Henry G. Marquand were jewelers. Tenney's store was on Broadway near Murray Street; Gelston's was under the Astor House on the corner of Barclay Street and Broadway; Hinsdale's was on the east side of Broadway and Cortlandt Street; and the Marquands were on the west side of Broadway between Cortlandt and Dey Streets.
James Leary bore the palm in New York as the fashionable hatter, and his shop was on Broadway under the Astor House. As was usual then with his craft, he kept individual blocks for those of his customers who had heads of unusual dimensions. In his show window he sometimes exhibited a block of remarkable size which was adapted to fit the heads of a distinguished trio, Daniel Webster, General James Watson Webb, and Charles Augustus Davis. Miss Anna Leary of Newport, his daughter and a devout Roman Catholic, received the title of Countess from the Pope.
The most prominent hostelry in New York before the days of the Astor House was the City Hotel on lower Broadway. I have been informed that the site upon which it stood still belongs to representatives of the Boreel family, descendants of the first John Jacob Astor. Another, but of a later period, was the American Hotel on Broadway near the Astor House. It was originally the town house of John C. Vanden Heuvel, a member of one of New York's most exclusive families. Upon Mr. Vanden Heuvel's death this house passed into the possession of his son-in-law, John C. Hamilton, who changed it into a hotel. Its proprietor was William B. Cozzens, who was so long and favorably known as a hotel proprietor. At this same time he had charge of the only hotel at West Point, and it was named after him. If any army officers survive who were cadets during Cozzens's regime they will recall with pleasure his kindly bearing and attractive manner. Mr. Vanden Heuvel's country residence was in the vicinity of Ninetieth Street overlooking the Hudson River. His other daughters were Susan Annette, who married Mr. Thomas S. Gibbes of South Carolina, and Justine, who became the wife of Gouverneur S. Bibby, a cousin of my husband.
As I first remember Union Square it was in the outskirts of the city. Several handsome houses had a few years previously been erected there by James F. Penniman, the son-in-law of Mr. Samuel Judd, the latter of whom amassed a large fortune by the manufacture and sale of oil and candles. Miss Lydia Kane, a sister of the elder De Lancey Kane and a noted wit of the day, upon a certain occasion was showing some strangers the sights of New York, and in passing these houses was asked by whom they were occupied. "That one," she responded, indicating the one in which the Pennimans themselves lived, "is occupied by one of the illuminati of the city."
Robert L. Stuart and his brother Alexander were proprietors of a large candy store on the corner of Chambers and Greenwich Streets, under the firm name of R. L. & A. Stuart. Their establishment was a favorite resort of the children of the day, who were as much addicted to sweets as are their more recent successors. "Broken candy" was a specialty of this firm, and was sold at a very low price. Alexander Stuart frequently waited upon customers, and as a child I have often chattered with him over the counter. He never married.
The principal markets were Washington on the North River, and Fulton on the east side. The marketing was always done by the mistress of each house accompanied by a servant bearing a large basket. During the season small girls carried strawberries from door to door, calling out as they went along; and during the summer months hot corn, carried in closed receptacles made for the purpose, was sold by colored men, whose cries could be heard in every part of the city.
Mrs. Isaac Sayre's bakery was an important shop for all housewives, and her homemade jumbles and pound cake were in great demand. Her plum cake, too, was exceptionally good, and it is an interesting fact that it was she who introduced cake in boxes for weddings. Her shop survived for an extraordinary number of years and, as far as I know, may still exist and be kept by some of her descendants.
I must not omit to speak of a peculiar custom which in this day of grace, when there are no longer any old women, seems rather odd. A woman immediately after her marriage wore a cap made of some light material, which she invariably tied with strings under her chin. Most older women were horrified at the thought of gray hairs, and immediately following their appearance false fronts were purchased, over which caps were worn. I well recall that some of the most prominent women of the day concealed fine heads of hair in this grotesque fashion. Baldheaded men were not tolerated, and "scratches" or wigs provided the remedy. Marriage announcements were decidedly informal. When the proper time arrived for the world to be taken into the confidence of a young couple, they walked upon Broadway arm in arm, thus announcing that their marriage was imminent.
A dinner given in my young days by my parents to Mr. and Mrs. William C. Rives still lingers in my memory. Mr. Rives had just been appointed to his second mission to France, and with his wife was upon the eve of sailing for his new post of duty. I remember that it was a large entertainment, but the only guests whom I recall in addition to the guests of honor were Mr. and Mrs. James A. Hamilton. He was a son of Alexander Hamilton, and was at the time United States District Attorney in New York. It seems strange, indeed, that the other guests should have escaped my memory, but a head-dress worn by Mrs. Hamilton struck my young fancy and I have never forgotten it. As I recall that occasion I can see her handsome face surmounted by a huge fluffy pink cap. This Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were the parents of Alexander Hamilton, the third, who married Angelica, daughter of Maturin Livingston, and who, by the way, as I remember, was one of the most graceful dancers and noted belles of her day.
Thomas Morris, son of Robert Morris the great financier of the Revolution, was my father's life-long friend. He was an able raconteur, and I recall many conversations relating to his early life, a portion of which had been spent in Paris at its celebrated Polytechnic School. One incident connected with his career is especially interesting. When the sordid Louis Philippe, then the Duke of Orleans, was wandering in this country, teaching in his native tongue "the young idea how to shoot," he was the guest for a time of Mr. Morris. Several years later when John Greig, a Scotchman and prominent citizen of Canandaigua, New York, was about to sail for France, Mr. Morris gave him a letter of introduction to the Duke. Upon his arrival in Havre after a lengthy voyage he found much to his surprise that Louis Philippe was comfortably seated upon the throne of France. Under these altered conditions he hesitated to present his letter, but after mature consideration sought an audience with the new King; and it is a pleasing commentary upon human nature to add that he was welcomed with open arms. The King had by no means forgotten the hospitality he had received in America, and especially the many favors extended by the Morris family. Mr. Morris's wife was Miss Sarah Kane, daughter of Colonel John Kane, and she was beautiful even in her declining years. She also possessed the wit so characteristic of the Kanes, who, by the way, were of Celtic origin, being descended from John Kane who came from Ireland in 1752. She was the aunt of the first De Lancey Kane, who married the pretty Louisa Langdon, the granddaughter of John Jacob Astor. Their daughter, Emily Morris, made frequent visits to our house. She was renowned for both beauty and wit. I remember seeing several verses addressed to her, the only lines of which I recall are as follows:
That calm collected look, As though her pulses beat by book.
Another intimate friend of my father was Frederick de Peyster, who at a later day became President of the New York Historical Society. He habitually took Sunday tea with us, and always received a warm welcome from the juvenile members of the family with whom he was a great favorite. He was devoted to children, and delighted our young hearts by occasional presents of game-chickens which at once became family pets.
In 1823 and 1824 my father's sympathies were deeply enlisted in behalf of the Greeks in their struggles for independence from the Turkish rule. It will be remembered that this was the cause to which Byron devoted his last energies. The public sentiment of the whole country was aroused to a high pitch of excitement, and meetings were held not only for the purpose of lending moral support and encouragement to the Greeks, but also for raising funds for their assistance. Among those to whom my father appealed was his friend, Rudolph Bunner, a highly prominent citizen of Oswego, N.Y. Although a lawyer he did not practice his profession, but devoted himself chiefly to his extensive landed estates in Oswego county. He was wealthy and generous, a good liver and an eloquent political speaker. He served one term in Congress where, as elsewhere, he was regarded as a man of decided ability. He died about 1833 at the age of nearly seventy. The distinguished New York lawyer, John Duer, married his daughter Anne, by whom he had thirteen children, one of whom, Anna Henrietta, married the late Pierre Paris Irving, a nephew of Washington Irving and at one time rector of the Episcopal church at New Brighton, Staten Island. Mr. Bunner's letter in response to my father's appeal is not devoid of interest, and is as follows:
OSWEGO, 12 Jan'y 1824.
My dear Sir,
Though I have not written to you yet you were not so soon forgotten. Nor can you so easily be erased from my memory as my negligence might seem to imply. In truth few persons have impressed my mind with a deeper sentiment of respect than yourself; you have that of open and frank in your character which if not in my own, is yet so congenial to my feelings that I shall much regret if my habitual indolence can lose me such a friend. Your request in favor of the Greeks will be hard to comply with. If I can be a contributor in a humble way to their success by my exertions here they shall not want them, but I fear the angusta res domi may press too heavily upon us to permit of an effectual benevolence. If you wanted five hundred men six feet high with sinewy arms and case hardened constitutions, bold spirits and daring adventurers who would travel upon a bushel of corn and a gallon of whiskey per man from the extreme point of the world to Constantinople we could furnish you with them, but I doubt whether they could raise the money to pay their passage from the gut of Gibraltar upwards. The effort however shall be made and if we can not shew ourselves rich we will at least manifest our good will. Though Greece touches few Yankee settlers thro the medium of classical associations yet a people struggling to free themselves from foreign bondage is sure to find warm hearts in every native of the wilderness. We admire your noble efforts and if we do not imitate you it is because our purses are as empty as a Boetian's skull is thick. We know so little of what is really projecting in the cabinets of Europe that we are obliged to believe implicitly in newspaper reports, and we are perhaps foolish in hoping that the Holy Alliance intends to take the Spanish part of the New World under their protection. In such an event our backwoodsmen would spring with the activity of squirrels to the assistance of the regenerated Spaniards and perhaps there we might fight more effectually the battle for universal Freedom than either at Thermopylae or Marathon. There indeed we might strike a blow that would break up the deep foundations of despotic power so as that neither art or force could again collect and cement the scattered elements. We are too distant from Greece to make the Turks feel our physical strength and what we can do thro money and sympathy is little in comparison with what we could if they were so near as that we might in addition pour out the tide of an armed northern population to sweep their shores and overcome the tyrants like one of their pestilential winds. Nevertheless, sympathy is a wonderful power and the sympathy of a free nation like our own will not lose its moral effect. I calculate strongly on this. It is a more refined and rational kind of chivalry—this interest and activity in the fate of nations struggling to break the oppressor's rod, and it should be encouraged even where it is not directed so as to give it all adequate force. They who would chill it, who would reason about the why and the wherefore ought to recollect that such things can not be called forth by the art of man—they must burst spontaneously from his nature and be directed by his wisdom for the benefit of his kind.... We are all here real Radical Democrats and though some of us came in at the eleventh hour we will not go back, but on—on—on though certain of missing the penny fee. In truth this is the difference between real conviction and the calculating policy which takes sides according to what it conceives the vantage ground. A converted politician is as obstinate in his belief as one born in the faith. The man of craft changes his position according to the varying aspect of the political heavens. The one plays a game—the other sees as much of reality (or thinks he sees) in politicks as he does in his domestic affairs and is as earnest in the one as the other.
Salve—[Greek: Kai Chaire]
I have had a full meeting for your Greeks—and found my men of more mettle than I hoped for. We will do something thro the Country—We have set the Parsons to work and one shilling a head will make a good donation. We think we can give you 4 or 5 hundred dollars.
Mr. Bunner was over sixty years old when he went to live in Oswego, but he soon became identified with the interests of the place and added much by his activities to its local renown. In an undated letter to my father, he thus expatiates upon his situation in his adopted home, and paints its advantages in no uncertain colors:—
I am here unquestionably an exile but I will never dispond at my fate nor whimper because my own folly, want of tact or the very malice of the times have placed me in Patmos when I desire a more splendid theatre. I can here be useful to my family—to my district. I can live cheaply, increase my fortune, be upon a par with the best of my neighbors, which I prefer to the feasts of your ostentatious mayor or the more real luxury of Phil Brasher's Table. Our population is small, our society contracted, but we are growing rapidly in numbers; and the society we have is in my opinion and to my taste fully equal to anything in your home. We possess men of intelligence without pretention, active men as Jacob Barker without his roguery—men whom nature intended to flourish at St. James, but whose fate fortune in some fit of prolifick humor fixed and nailed to this Sinope. We have however to mitigate the cold spring breezes of the lake a fall unrivalled in mildness and in beauty even in Italy, the land of poetry and passion. We have a whole lake in front, whose clear blue waters are without a parallel in Europe. We have a beautiful river brawling at our feet, the banks of which gently slope and when our village is filled I will venture to say that in point of beauty, health and variety of prospect it has nil simile aut secundum.
Our house was the rendezvous of many of the learned and literary men of the day, who would sit for hours in the library discussing congenial topics. Among others I well recall the celebrated jurist, Ogden Hoffman. He had an exceptionally melodious voice, and I have often heard him called "the silver-tongued orator." It has been asserted that in criminal cases a jury was rarely known to withstand his appeal. He married for his second wife Virginia E. Southard, a daughter of Judge Samuel L. Southard of New Jersey, who throughout Monroe's two administrations was Secretary of War. In the "Wealthy Citizens of New York," edited in 1845 by Moses Y. Beach, an early owner in part of The New York Sun, the Hoffman family is thus described: "Few families, for so few a number of persons as compose it, have cut 'a larger swath' or 'bigger figure' in the way of posts and preferment. Talent, and also public service rendered, martial gallantry, poetry, judicial acumen, oratory, all have their lustre mingled with this name." I regard this statement as just and truthful.
Still another valued associate of my father was Hugh Maxwell, a prominent member of the New York bar. In his earlier life he was District Attorney and later Collector of the Port of New York. The Maxwells owned a pleasant summer residence at Nyack-on-the-Hudson, where we as children made occasional visits. Many years later one of my daughters formed an intimate friendship with Hugh Maxwell's granddaughter, Virginia De Lancey Kearny, subsequently Mrs. Ridgely Hunt, which terminated only with the latter's death in 1897.
From my earliest childhood Gulian C. Verplanck was a frequent guest at our house. He and my father formed an intimacy in early manhood which lasted throughout life. Mr. Verplanck was graduated from Columbia College in 1801, the youngest Bachelor of Arts who, up to that time, had received a diploma from that institution of learning. Both he and my father found in politics an all-absorbing topic of conversation, especially as both of them took an active part in state affairs. I have many letters, one of them written as early as 1822, from Mr. Verplanck to my father bearing upon political matters in New York. For four terms he represented his district in Congress, while later he served in the State Senate and for many years was Vice Chancellor of the University of the State of New York. He was an ardent Episcopalian and a vestryman in old Trinity Parish. He was a brilliant conversationalist, and his tastes, like my father's, were decidedly literary. In connection with William Cullen Bryant and Robert C. Sands, he edited The Talisman, an annual which continued through the year 1827. Mr. Verplanck lived to an old age and survived my father for a long time, but he did not forget his old friend. Almost a score of years after my father's death, on the 4th of July, 1867, Mr. Verplanck delivered a scholarly oration before the Tammany Society of New York, in which he paid the following glowing tribute to his memory:
In those days James Campbell, for many years the Surrogate of this city, was a powerful leader at Tammany Hall, and from character and mind alone, without any effort or any act of popularity. He was not college-bred, but he was the son of a learned father, old Malcolm Campbell, who had been trained at Aberdeen, the great school of Scotch Latinity. James Campbell was, like his father, a good classical scholar, and he was a sound lawyer. He was not only an assiduous, a kind, sound and just magistrate, but one of unquestioned ability. In his days of Surrogateship, the days of universal reporting, either in the multitudinous volumes in white law bindings on the shelves of lawyers, or in the crowded columns of the daily papers, had not quite arrived though they were just at hand. Had he lived and held office a few years later, I do not doubt that he would have ranked with the great luminaries of legal science. As it is, I fear that James Campbell's reputation must share the fate of the reputations of many able and eminent men in all professions who can not
Look to Time's award, Feeble tradition is their memory's guard.
The most prominent newspaper in New York in my early days was the Courier and Enquirer, edited by General James Watson Webb, a man of distinguished ability. He began his literary career by editing the Morning Courier, but as this was not a very successful venture he purchased the New York Enquirer from Mordecai Manasseh Noah, and in 1829 merged the two papers. Several leading journalists began their active careers in his office, among others James Gordon Bennett, subsequently editor of The New York Herald, Henry J. Raymond, the founder of The New York Times, and Charles King, father of Madam Kate King Waddington and Mrs. Eugene Schuyler, who at one time edited The American and subsequently became the honored president of Columbia College. James Reed Spaulding, a New Englander by birth, was also connected with the Courier and Enquirer for about ten years. In 1860 he became a member of the staff of the New York World, which, by the way, was originally intended to be a semi-religious sheet. During President Lincoln's administration General Webb sold the Courier and Enquirer to the World, and the two papers were consolidated. William Seward Webb of New York was a son of this General Webb, and the latter's daughter, Mrs. Catharine Louisa Benton, the widow of Colonel James G. Benton of the army, lived until recently in Washington, and is one of the pleasant reminders left me of the old days of my New York life.
The New York Herald was established some years after the Courier and Enquirer and was from the first a flourishing sheet. It was exceptionally spicy, and it dealt so much in personalities that my father, who was a gentleman of the old school with very conservative views, was not, to say the least, one of its strongest admirers. Several years before the Civil War, at a time when the anti-slavery cauldron was at its boiling point, its editor, the elder James Gordon Bennett, dubbed its three journalistic contemporaries in New York, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil—the World, representing human life with all its pomps and vanities; the Times, as a sheet as vacillating as the flesh; and the Tribune, as the virulent champion of abolition, the counterpart of the Devil himself.
During the winter of 1842 James Gordon Bennett took his bride, who was Miss Henrietta Agnes Crean of New York, to Washington on their wedding journey. As this season had been unusually severe, great distress prevailed, and a number of society women organized a charity ball for the relief of the destitute. It was given under the patronage of Mrs. Madison (the ex-President's widow), Mrs. Samuel L. Gouverneur (my husband's mother), Mrs. Benjamin Ogle Tayloe (Julia Maria Dickinson of Troy, New York), and other society matrons, and, as can readily be understood, was a financial as well as a social success. Tickets were eagerly sought, and Mr. Bennett applied for them for his wife and himself. At first he was refused, but after further consideration Mrs. Madison and Mrs. Gouverneur of the committee upon invitations granted his request on condition that no mention of the ball should appear in the columns of the Herald. Mr. Bennett and his wife accordingly attended the entertainment, where the latter was much admired and danced to her heart's content. Two days later, however, much to the chagrin and indignation of the managers, an extended account of the ball appeared in the Herald. This incident will be better appreciated when I state that at this time the personal mention of a woman in a newspaper was an unheard-of liberty. It was the old-fashioned idea that a woman's name should occur but twice in print, first upon the occasion of her marriage and subsequently upon the announcement of her death. My husband once remarked to me, upon reading a description of a dress worn by one of my daughters at a ball, that if such a notice had appeared in a newspaper in connection with his sister he or his father would have thrashed the editor.