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was contended to be the prerogative of the cation, both in and out of the House. Read president to decide with the consent and everything that relates to the state of your advice of the Senate. He also brought for- laws, commerce, and finances. Form and ward a resolution for the protection of Ameri- perfect your plans, so as to bring them forcan seamen ; and on each occasion found brother, both my freedom and my style. I
ward in the best shape. Forgive, my dear himself measuring his strength with Madi- write from my heart, not from my head. Be son, Sedgwick, and Fisher Ames. His re- persuaded that no extent of talent will avail, election in 1796, was vehemently opposed in without a considerable portion of industry, to a manner and by a man that bore ample testi- make a distinguished statesman.' mony to the importance he had obtained in
The debates in which Livingston most disthe eyes of the antagonist party, the Feder- tinguished himself in his third session possess alists, who, at the instigation of Alexander an historical interest, and throw light on the
Hamilton, made strenuous exertions to get a contrasted progress of democratic and mo**Mr. Watson preferred to him, on the curious narchical institutions. Two measures bearing ground, actually put forward in a handbill a suspicious resemblance to the English“ Gagof Hamilton's composition, that he kept a ging Bill," and a still stronger to the French chariot ; rendered more curious by the re- Law of Public Safety, were introduced by the torted fact that the Federalist candidate kept president (Adams) in 1798, popularly known a chariot too. There is a passage in M. as the Alien and Sedition Laws.
The one Nirard's Life of Armand Carrel alluding to made it a high misdemeanor, punishable with " that cabriolet which had been made such a fine and imprisonment, to combine to oppose topic of reprdach to him, either by men who any measures of the government, or to trawould have sold the tombs of their fathers to duce or defame the Legislature or the presihave one, or by those friends of equality who dent by declarations tending to criminate the call for it in fortunes to console them for the motives of either. The other invested the inequality of talents.” But this was at a president with power to imprison or banish time when it was truly and wittily said of suspected aliens, or perpetually exclude them
that each of them was from the rights of citizenship, or to grant striving to be the equal of his superior and them licenses of residences revocable at pleasthe superior of his equal; and it is new to us ure. - Both these odious measures,” says that such an objection could be raised with Mr. Hunt, “ were passed under the spur
of effect in the freshly emancipated colony still party discipline. Both excited at once the clinging to the habits and modes of thought bitterest opposition of the Republican party, of the parent country. From the intelli- and presently incurred the hearty abominagence that is almost daily reaching us, also, tion of the country. Such experiments in of the present social condition of New York, legislation are not likely to be repeated while we should infer that the display of wealth our form of government lasts.”
Never was in equipages and dress is no longer typical there a more unfortunate prediction. It is of, por associated in the popular mind with, precisely “our form of government” which aristocracy.
has proved most fruitful of such measures. On the occasion of his second candidature Arbitrary restrictions of personal liberty are in 1796, Livingston received a letter from his at this moment rifest in North America, the elder brother, the chancellor, which may be pride of democracy, and under the French read with advantage by many a rising lawyer Empire, the boasted creation of universal I who is looking to a seat in Parliament, or suffrage; whilst the existing generation of many a would-be statesman who under-esti- Englishmen practically know nothing of exmates the conditions of success :
ceptionally repressive or oppressive laws of “As I naturally feel myself much inter- any kind. The Alien and Sedition Bills were ested in your political career, I cannot but opposed at every stage by Livingston ; and entreat you to consider that you are at this his principal speech against the Alien Bill moment making immense sacrifices of fortune
was printed on satin and largely distributed and professional reputation by remaining in Congress. Nothing can compensate for these throughout the States. In one passage he losses but attaining the highest political dis- went the length of invoking popular resisttinction. But, believe me, this will never be ance to it if passed : it may be cited as a faattained without the most unwearied appli- vorable specimen of his style :
“ But if, regardless of our duties as citi- same month, was not anticipated. He probzens, and our solemn obligations as represen- ably began to see the importance of acting on tatives,-regardless of the rights of our con- his brother's advice by attending more to his stituents,-regardless of every sanction, human
professional prospects ; for his retirement was and divine, we are ready to violate the con almost immediately followed by his appointstitution we have sworn to defend, will the people submit to our unauthorized acts ? ment to the office of attorney for the district will the States sanction our usurped power ? of New York, as well as to the mayoralty of Sir, they ought not to submit; they would New York, then a post of dignity and impordeserve the chains which these measures are tance. The celebrated De Witt Clinton, we forging for them, if they did not resist; for are reminded, resigned, with a view to its let no inan vainly imagine that the evil is to acceptance, his seat in the Senate. Besides stop here ; that a few unprotected aliens only presiding over the deliberations of the Comare to be affected by this inquisitorial power. . The same arguments which enforce these mon Council, the mayor was ex-officio the provisions against aliens apply with equal chief judge of the highest court of this city, strength to enacting them in the case of citi- with jurisdiction civil and criminal. The
The citizen has no other protection for emoluments were such that a few years' inhis personal security, that I know, against cumbency carefully managed was reckoned laws like this, than the humane provisions I equivalent to a handsome competency. have cited from the constitution.
You have already been told of plots and conspira- worldly prospect wore a smiling aspect, and
Livingston was now thirty-seven; bis cies, and all the frightful images that are necessary to keep up the present system of ter- his varied duties were performed with spirit ror and alarm have been presented to you ;
and efficiency. His decisions gave satisfacbut who are implicated in these dark hints, tion; his refined hospitality as chief magthese mysterious allusions ? They are our istrate to distinguished strangers reflected own citizens, sir, not aliens. If there is any credit on his fellow-citizens, and he was 'unnecessity for the system now proposed, it is ceasingly active in'endeavoring to reform more necessary to be enforced against our own abuses and mitigate distress. citizens than against strangers ; and I have no scheme, in which he warmly urged the Me
A favorite doubt that, either in this or some other shape, this will be attempted. I now ask, sir, wheth-chanical Society to co-operate, was to found er the people of America are prepared for an establishment for insuring the employthis? Whether they are willing to part with ment of, first, strangers during the first month all the means which the wisdom of their an- of their arrival ; secondly, citizens who had cestors discovered and their own caution so been thrown out of work by sickness or casuallately adopted, to secure their own persons ? , ties; thirdly, widows and orphans ; fourthly, Whether they are willing to submit to imprisonment, or exile, whenever suspicion, discharged or pardoned convicts
. The leadcalumny, or vengeance shall mark them for ing feature of the project being the opening ruin? Are they base enough to be prepared of public workshops, like the Ateliers Nationfor this ? No, sir, they will—I repeat it, aux of 1848, the sound political economist they will—resist this tyrannical system; the will see at a glance that it could not have people will oppose, the States will not submit been carried out without a mischievous disto its operations ; they ought not to acqui- turbance of the labor market; and the Meand I pray to God they never may!
chanical Society wisely, we think, declined In the concluding sentences, he was copying, to concur in it. His practical philanthropy consciously or unconsciously, Lord Chatham's was of a nature that did not admit of denial famous burst : “ I rejoice that America has or dispute. In the summer of 1803,
the resisted ; three millions of people so dead to yellow fever broke out in New York, and all the feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to spread rapidly in all classes. First amongst submit to be slaves, would have been fit in- the self-sacrificing portion of the community struments to make slaves of all the rest." was the mayor, who not only saw to the exeAs the part Livingston took on this occasion cution of the needful official regulations, but raised him to the height of popularity, it does kept a list of the houses in which there were not appear, nor does his biographer explain, sick, and visited them all in turn as well as why he retired from Congress in 1801 ; for the hospitals. At length he caught the conthe domestic affliction, the loss of his first tagion, and his life was in serious peril for wife, which occurred subsequently in the a period. “He was now,” says Mr. Hunt,
" the object of extraordinary popular grati- | public defaulter for an amount beyond bis tude and regard. When his physicians called immediate or anticipated means to satisfy; for Madeira to be administered to him, not and the utmost that he could hope in the a bottle of that or any other kind of wine emergency was that a charitable interpretawas to be found in his cellar. He had him-tion of the circumstances would save him self prescribed every drop for others. As from disgrace. It was one of his duties and soon as the fact was known, the best wines perquisites in his official capacity to receive were sent to his house from every direction. certain moneys from public creditors through A crowd thronged the street near his door. the hands of agents, for whom he was responto obtain the latest news of his condition ; sible. He never could be made to attend to and young people vied with each other for pecuniary transactions or accounts; a weakthe privilege of watching by his bed.” ness or peculiarity for which his multifarious
Except in this absorbing crisis, he found engagements were partially an excuse, espetime for science and literature, as well as for cially in the fever year, when the chief deficit legislation and jurisprudence, and was al- occurred. Five years later, in the course of ways ready to promote parties of amusement, a controversy to which we shall recur, he or to add his joyous laugh to the merriment made a clean breast of the matter in terms of the gay and young. “I wish I could go which we cannot do better than adopt :to the theatre every night!” exclaimed a “ Well, my dear,”
“ It is time that I should speak. Silence lively niece of sixteen.
now would be cruelty to my children, insaid the
mayor, " you shall, you justice to my creditors, treachery to my fame. and he actually took her night after night The consciousness of a serious imprudence, until she was compelled to cry enough. Es- which created the debt I owe the public, I corting Theodosia Burr, yclept the celebrated, confess it with humility and regret, has renwith a party to see a frigate lying in the har- dered me, perhaps, too desirous of avoiding bor, he told her, as they neared the ship; if nothing can excuse, may at least be ac
public observation,-an imprudence which, “ Now, Theodosia, you must bring none of counted for by the confidence I placed in an your sparks on board; they have a magazine, agent, who received and appropriated a very and we should all be blown up.” He had a large proportion of the sum, and the moral mania for punning, but was obliged to own certainty I had of being able to answer any that the only tolerable pun he had ever made call for the residue whenever it should be was wbilst he was asleep. “He had dreamed made. Perhaps, too, it may be atoned for that he was present in a crowded church, at in some degree by the mortification of exile,
by my constant and laborious exertions to the ceremony of the taking of the veil by a The novice's name was announced as appointment attending this deadly blow to
satisfy the claims of justice, by the keen disMary Fish. The question was then put, who the hopes I had encouraged of pouring into should be ber patron saint. “I woke my- the public treasury the fruits of my labor, self,' said Livingston, “by exclaiming, “Why, and above all by the humiliation of this pubSt. Poly Carp, to be sure !
lic avowal." The fifth volume of Lockhart's “ Life of
The agent of whom he speaks was a confiScott” concludes with a laudatory quotation dential clerk, a Frenchman by birth ; and it from Captain Hall, and the remark, “—with will be fresh in the memory of most readers his flourish of trumpets I must drop the cur- that Thomas Moore was subjected to a simitain on a scene of unclouded prosperity and lar embarrassment by the failure of his deputy splendor. The muffled drum is in prospect.” in Bermuda, and that the “ disorder in the The stage of Livingston's life at which we chest,” which compelled Theodore Hook to have now arrived might well justify a similar quit his treasurership at Mauritius was also pause, and suggest a similar train of reflec- mainly owing to a clerk. tion. He was in the enjoyment of almost In his " Essay on Decision of Character,” every blessing, and not a cloud was visible Forster relates the true story of a prodigal, in the horizon of his future, when a crush- who, having sold the whole of his paternal ing blow fell upon him, shattering both fame estate and spent the last sixpence of the and fortune, and dooming him to a series of proceeds, seated himself on a rising ground severe trials for the best of his remaining commanding a view of the property, made a years. In the autumn of 1803, he became a solemn vow to get it back, and by dint of
industry and parsimony succeeded in so enterprise, and having made the resolution, doing. The dream of Warren Hastings' life did not lag in its execution. He at oncé was the recovery of his ancestral home of arranged his affairs, procured all practicable Daylesford. Moore met his unmerited mis- means of extensive introduction to Louisifortune with an equanimity that extorted the he had never yet been separated, in the care
anians, and leaving his children, from whom half-comic praise of Rogers : “ It is well of his brother, John R. Livingston, whose you are a poet; you could never bear it as wife was Eliza McEvers, the sister of their you do if you were a philosopher.” Sir mother, he embarked, during the last week Walter Scott nobly put forth bis full strength of December, 1803, within two months after at all hazards and against all remonstrances, retiring from the mayoralty, as a passenger till, like the overtasked elephant, he broke on board a vessel bound to New Orleans. down and died. But no victim or hero, he had reserved out of his property and now
All the money and pecuniary resources which genuine or apocryphal, could have displayed carried, consisted of about one hundred dola finer, more chivalrous, or more self-denying lars in gold, and a letter of credit for one spirit than Livingston. Having promptly thousand dollars more.” satisfied himself of his liability, he at once, without waiting for the formal adjustment,
He almost at once assumed the lead of the confessed judgment for the largest estimated
bar at New Orleans, where his knowledge of amount,--subsequently fixed at $43,666,- languages stood him in good stead ; and soon assigned over all his property in trust for the after his arrival he was requested to draw up State, and resigned both his offices. The a Code of Procedure, which thenceforth regucitizens of New York on their part were not lated the practice of the courts. Fearne, the wanting in generosity; he was strongly urged profoundest and acutest of English realto retain the mayoralty ; and a highly lauda- property lawyers, was deeply versed in chemtory address was voted and presented to him istry and other branches of science. With by the Common Council. But his mind was equal versatility, Livingston was wont to made up to quit the scene of the honors and amuse his leisure hours with mechanical conthe prosperity thus fatally reversed, and to trivances; and a carpenter whom he emquit it instantly for the field of exertion offer- ployed to make models, naïvely observed, ing the best chance of the speedy redemption
“ It is odd that a lawyer should understand and restitution for which he panted.
my trade so well as Mr. Livingston does : I In the spring of that very year, 1803, know nothing in the world of his.” He was Louisiana had been purchased by the United a zealous Freemason, and a passage from one States of France. New Orleans was the of his addresses as President of the Louisiana rising commercial city, the El Dorado of the Lodge is introduced for the sake of the anecSouth, where talent and enterprise would dote connected with it: have freer scope than in any more settled
“My brethren, have you searched your community. To New Orleans, therefore, he hearts? Do you find there no lurking aniwould go, and never return to New York till mosity against a brother ? Have you had he could return free and independent, with the felicity never to have cherished, or are his debts paid and his position no longer open you so happy as to have banished, all envy to a reproach.
at his prosperity, all malicious joy at his
misfortunes? If you find this is the result “ He now had need of all his philosophy. of your scrutiny, enter with confidence the He was considerably past the period of life sanctuary of union. But if the examination when usually, if ever, a man undertakes for discovers either rankling jealousy or hatred the first time such an adventure, and to this long concealed, or even unkindness or offenone all his habits and associations, his tastes, sive pride, I entreat you, defile not the altar and his affections, opposed themselves. It of friendship with your unhallowed offering ; was to quit the scene of his long prosperity but, in the language of Scripture, Go, he and happiness, his family, his friends, and reconciled to thy brother, and then offer thy the fresh graves of his wife and eldest son; gift. while the comfort and safety of his two remaining children, now nine and five years
Here the speaker was interrupted by the old, the objects of his tenderest feelings, sudden movement of two of the audience, would require them to be left behind for who rushed into each other's arms. They years. Nevertheless, he resolved upon the were real brothers, who had quarrelled, and
not been on speaking terms for several years. I enjoying the suspense of the members, till he “ No triumph at the bar or tribune,” said named Mr. Alexander, and proceeded, “ As Livingston, “ could be worth the satisfaction to Mr. Livingston, I have evidence that Dr. I felt at that moment."
Bollman brought a draught upon him for In 1805, he married bis second wife, Lou- $2,000 and upward, which he paid.” ise Moreau de Lassy, the young widow of a gentleman from Jamaica, and a native of St. oath might be taken to the truth of the char
“ He finished by asking the court that his Domingo. She is described as exceedingly
he had exhibited. He raised his hand, as beautiful. Slender, delicate, and wonder if to have the oath administered, when the fully graceful, she possessed a brilliant intel court mildly suggested the propriety of reduclect and an uncommon spirit.” Two months ing the statement to writing. He then hesitatafter their marriage, he wrote to his sister, ed. One of the judges offered him a seat at Mrs. Tillotson,
his side on the bench, and proposed himself
to take down the charges and testimony. 6. I have now, indeed, again a home, and This the general declined ; upon which the a wife who gives it all the charms that tal- court suggested that one of the judges would ents, good temper, and affection can afford; wait on
his excellency,' at any time that but that home is situated at a distance from might be convenient to him, to take his demy family, and in a climate to which I can- position. This offer the conquering hero not, without imprudence, bring my chil condescended to accept, and retired from the dren."
bar, after receiving the thanks of the presidFor a time everything seemed succeeding apology for the trouble the business had
ing judge for his communication, and an to his wishes. Besides receiving a large in- caused him. come from bis profession, he had made money “ But just as Wilkinson was about to by successful speculations in land ; and he withdraw, Mr. Livingston, who, till then, was beginning to calculate the time—three during this shocking scene of judicial sycoor four years at the utmost-before he could phancy, had sat in melancholy silence, arose return with credit and comfort to New to demand and then to entreat of the court York. But twice before that consummation leave the bar without substantiating his
that his accuser should not be allowed to could be reached, he was destined to be flung charge upon oath, in order that, if it should back and be pressed down by the heavy hand appear that he was guilty, he might be imof power, arbitrarily and wrongfully stretched mediately committed to prison, and if not, forth beneath that young tree of liberty that he should not be compelled to go home which was to overshadow the world with its loaded with the suspicion of crime. The apbranches. A private debt due from him peal was fruitless, and the general went his when he left New York had been assigned to way, promising, however, to make good the
charge on the following day.” Aaron Burr, who, in July, 1806, wrote to him by one Dr. Bollman respecting it, and
Of course he never did make good the arrangements were forthwith made with charge, the utter groundlessness of which Bollman for its discharge. When Burr's was thoroughly and fearlessly exposed by conspiracy broke out, General James Wilkin- Livingston without delay; but the general son, commander-in-chief of the army of went on his way exulting, with as little dread the United States and governor of Úpper of responsibility or regard to consequences Louisiana, then at Orleans, ordered the mil- as might be supposed to influence Marshal itary arrest of Bollman and two others on a von Wrangel, General Butler, or any other charge of misprision of treason : and on a military despot at this hour. habeas corpus being granted, personally at- “When he returned to his house after the tended on the return-day of the writ, to en- scene in court, in which the accusation of force its discharge. In the course of a speech Wilkinson had fallen suddenly as a thunderwhich he thought fit to address to the star- bolt upon him, his young wife, then the tled judges, he said he had taken this step for mother of their only child, but a few months the national safety then menaced by a lawless old, besought him earnestly not to withhold band of traitors associated under Aaron Burr, have not lived long together,' she said, and
from her any part of his confidence. We 66 whose adherents were numerous in the
you may not know the whole strength of my city, including two councillors of that court."
character or of my affection.
Whatever may He then cast his eyes slowly around the bar, have been the scheme of Burr, if you have