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office of the Hon. Theophilus Parsons, for many years afterwards chief justice of Massachusetts. While pursuing his studies he found leisure to write several newspaper essays, which attracted much attention, and displayed a maturity of taste and judgment seldom attained so early in life. In 1794 Washington appointed him minister to the Netherlands, and subsequently transferred him to Portugal. He was afterwards, at different periods, minister to Prussia, Russia, and England; and was one of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty of peace with Great Britain at Ghent in 1815. In 1817 he was appointed Secretary of State, in which office he continued during Mr Monroe's administration, eight years; when he was elected by the House of Representatives President of the United States-the people having failed in making a choice. Like his father, he encountered strong opposition, and only served one term in this office, being defeated in a re-election by General Jackson. He then retired to his farm at Quincy, but did not long remain in private life; for two years afterwards, he was chosen representative in Congress, and continued to be re-elected until his death, which occurred in the capitol at Washington, February 23, 1848. Two days previous to this sad event, while engaged in his duties in the House of Representatives, he received a paralytic stroke, which apparently deprived him of all consciousness. He was borne to the Speaker's room, where he received every attention that could be bestowed by anxious and devoted friends, but all in vain his hour was come. The last words he was heard to
utter were, "This is the last of earth!"
Mr. Adams was a man of rare gifts and rich acquisitions. A diligent student, and economical of his time, he found opportunity, amidst all his public cares, to cultivate his tastes for literature and the sciences. He was one of the finest classical and belles-lettres scholars of his time, and filled the chair of Professor of Rhetoric and BellesLettres in Harvard college for several years. Even in his old age, he often astonished his hearers with the elegant classical allusions and rhetorical tropes with which he enriched and embellished his own productions.
THE SEVENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, A STATESMAN of rare integrity, and a general of invincible skill and courage, was born at Waxhaw, Lancaster county. S. C., in 1767, and while yet a mere lad, did something towards achieving the independence of his country. It is said that he commenced his military career at the age of fourteen years, and was soon after taken prisoner, together with an elder brother. During his captivity, he was ordered
by a British officer to perform some menial service, which he promptly refused, and for this refusal he was "severely wounded with the sword which the Englishman disgraced." He was educated for the bar, and commenced practice at Nashville, Tenn., but relinquished his legal pursuits to "gain a name in arms." In the early part of the war of 1812, Congress having voted to accept fifty thousand volunteers, General Jackson appealed to the militia of Tennessee, when twentyfive hundred enrolled their names, and presented themselves to Congress, with Jackson at their head. They were accepted, and ordered to Natchez, to watch the operations of the British in lower Mississippi. Not long after, he received orders from head-quarters, to disband his men, and send them to their homes. To obey, he foresaw, would be an act of great injustice to his command, and reflect disgrace on the country, and he resolved to disobey. He accordingly broke up his camp, and returned to Nashville, bringing all his sick with him, whose wants on the way he relieved with his private means, and there disbanded his troops in the midst of their homes.
He was soon called to the field once more, and his commission marked out his course of duty on the field of Indian warfare. Here for years he labored, and fought, and diplomatized, with the most consummate wisdom and undaunted courage. It was about this time that the treaty of the " Hickory Ground" occurred, which gave him the familiar sobriquet of "Old Hickory."
The crowning glory of his whole military career was the battle of New Orleans; which will ever occupy one of the brightest pages in American history.
At the close of the war he returned to his home in Nashville; but in 1818 was again called on by his country to render his military services in the expulsion of the Seminoles. His conduct during this campaign has been both bitterly condemned and highly applauded. An attempt in the House of Representatives to inflict a censure on the old hero for the irregularities of this campaign, after a long and bitter debate, was defeated by a large majority.
In 1828, and again in 1832, General Jackson was elected to fill the presidential chair; thus occupying that elevated position for eight successive years. He then retired to his hospitable mansion ("The Hermitage") near Nashville, "loaded with wealth and honors, bravely won," where he continued to realize all the enjoyments that are inseparable from a well-spent life, until death translated him to those higher rewards, which "earth can neither give nor take away." He died Jure 8, 1845, and his last hours were soothed by a trustful reliance on the Saviour of the world for salvation.
MARTIN VAN BUREN,
THE EIGHTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, Was born in the flourishing town of Kinderhook, New York, September 5, 1782, and early received the best education that could then be obtained in the schools in his immediate vicinity. Having sufficiently prepared himself for the study of law, he entered the office of Francis Sylvester, in his native town, where he remained about six
years. But law did not engross his whole time: he found leisure occasionally to peer into the mysteries of political economy, and finally arrived at the conclusion that his chances for fame and fortune were at least equal in the arena of politics to anything he might accomplish by a strict adherence to legal pursuits. Fully impressed with this idea, he early set about cultivating what little popularity could be gained in his limited sphere, and so won upon the confidence of his neighbors and friends as to be appointed, while yet in his teens, a delegate to a convention in his native county, in which important political measures were to be acted upon.
In 1808 he was appointed surrogate of Columbia county, the first public office he ever held; and in 1812 and 1816 he was elected to the state senate, in which body he became a distinguished leader of the Madison party, and one of its most eloquent supporters.
In 1821 he was elected to the United States Senate, in which he held his seat for nearly eight years, and became remarkable not only for his close attention to business, but also for his devotion to the great principles of the democratic party.
In 1828 he was elected Governor of his native state, and entered upon the duties of that office on the first of January, 1829; but he filled the gubernatorial chair for only a few weeks. In March following, when General Jackson was elevated to the Presidency, he tendered Mr. Van Buren the post of Secretary of State, which was accepted. At the expiration of two years he resigned his seat in the Cabinet, and was immediately appointed minister to England; but when his nomination was submitted to the Senate, (June 25, 1831,) it was rejected by the casting vote of the Vice-President, (Mr. Calhoun,) and of course he was recalled. As his friends attributed his rejection entirely to personal and political rancor, it only served to raise Mr. Van Buren in the estimation of his political adherents; and the result was, that in May following he was nominated with great unanimity for the Vice-Presidency by the Democratic Convention at Baltimore. His triumphant election was regarded not merely as a high compliment to himself, but as a wholesome 'rebuke to his opponents.
In 1836 he was put in nomination for the chief magistracy, to which he was elected by a large majority over General Harrison; but at the next Presidential election, the tables were turned, and he only received sixty votes out of two hundred and ninety-four.
After his defeat, he returned to Kinderhook, where he remained some time, and then visited Europe, with one of his sons, whose restoration to health was the principal object of his journey.
Not long after his return, he consented to become once more a candidate for the Presidency, and in 1848 received the nomination of the Free-soil party; but he did not secure a single electoral vote. Since then, he has had little to do with political affairs; yet it has been recently manifested that his opinions have undergone some modification, and he is now avowedly favorable to the election of the democratic nominee, James Buchanan, to the office of President.