Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

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tions; while he kept up a familiar acquaintance
with the Greek and L,atin classics. In all the
universities of Europe, a more accomplished
scholar could scarcely be found. All through
life the Bible constituted an important part of his
studies. It was his rule to read five chapters
every day.

On the 4th of March, 18 17, Mr. Monroe took
the Presidential chair, and immediately appointed
Mr. Adams Secretary of State. Taking leave of
his numerous friends in public and private life in
Europe, he sailed in June, 18 19, for the United
States. On the i8th of August, he again crossed
the threshold of his home in Quincy. During the
eight years of Mr. Monroe's administration, Mr.
Adams continued Secretar>' of State.

Some time before the close of Mr. Monroe's
second term of ofBce, new candidates began to be
presented for the Presidency. The friends of Mr.
Adams brought forward his name. It was an
exciting campaign, and party spirit was never
more bitter. Two hundred and sixty electoral
votes were cast. Andrew Jackson received ninety-
nine; John Quincy Adams eighty-four; William
H. Crawford forty-one; and Henry Clay thirty-
seven. As there was no choice by the people,
the question went to the House of Representa-
tives. Mr. Clay gave the vote of Kentucky to
Mr. Adams, and he was elected.

The friends of all the disappointed candidates
now combined in a venomous and persistent as-
sault upon Mr. Adams. There is nothing more
disgraceful in the past history of our ccmntry than
the abuse which was poured in one uninterrupted
stream upon this high-minded, upright and pa-

triotic man. There never was an administration
more pure in principles, more conscientiously de-
voted to the best interests of the country, than
that of John Quincy Adams; and never, perhaps,
was there an administration more unscrupulouslj
and outrageously assailed.

On the 4th of March, 1829, Mr. Adams retired
from the Presidency, and was succeeded by An-
drew Jackson. John C. Calhoun was elected
Vice-President. The slavery question now be-
gan to assume portentous magnitude. Mr. Adams
returned to Quincy and to his studies, wjiich he
pursued with unabated zeal. But he was not
long permitted to remain in retirement. In No-
vember, 1830, he was elected Representative in
J[!ongress. For seventeen years, or until his death,
he occupied the post as Representative, towering
above all his peers, ever ready to do brave battle
for freedom, and winning the title of "the Old
Man Eloquent." Upon taking his seat in the
House, he announced that he should hold him-
self bound to no party. Probably there never
was a member more devoted to his duties. He
was usually the first in his place in the morning,
and the last to leave his seat in the evening.
Not a measure could be brought forward and es-
cape his scrutiny. The battle which Mr. Adams
fought, almost singly, against the pro-slavery
party in the Government was sublime in its
moral daring and heroism. For persisting in
presenting petitions for the abolition of slavery,
he was threatened with indictment by the grand
jury, with expulsion from the House, with assas-
sination; but no threats could intimidate him, and
his final triumph was complete.

On the 2ist of February, 1848, he rose on the
floor of Congress with a paper in his hand, to
address the speaker. Suddenly he fell, again
stricken by paralysis, and was caught in the arms
of those around him. For a time he was sense-
less, as he was conveyed to the sofa in the ro-
tunda. With reviving consciousness, he opened
his eyes, looked calmly around and said "This
is the end of earth;" then after a moment's pause
he added, " I am content." These were the last
words of the grand " Old Man Eloquent."



Gl NDREW JACKSON, the seventh President
LI of the United States, was born in Waxhaw
I I settlement, N. C, March 15, 1767, a few
days after his father's death. His parents were
poor emigrants from Ireland, and took up their
abode in Waxhaw settlement, where they lived
in deepest poverty.

Andrew, or Andy, as he was universally called,
grew up a very rough, rude, turbulent boy. His
features were coarse, his form ungainly, and there
was but very little in his character made visible
which was attractive.

When only thirteen jears old he joined the
volunteers of Carolina against the British invasion.
In 1 78 1, he and his brother Robert were captured
and imprisoned for a time at Camden. A British
officer ordered him to brush his mud-spattered
boots. "lam a prisoner of war, not your serv-
ant," was the reply of the dauntless boy.

Andrew supported himselfin various ways, such
as working at the saddler's trade, teaching school,
and clerking in a general store, until 1784, when
he entered a law office at Salisbury, N. C. He,
however, gave more attention to the wild amuse-
ments of the times than to his studies. In 17S8,
he was appointed solicitor for the Western District
of North Carolina, of which Tennessee was then
a part. This involved many long journeys amid
dangers of every kind, but Andrew Jackson ne\er
knew fear, and the Indians had no desire to re-
peat a skirmish with "Sharp Knife."

In 1791, Mr. Jackson was married to a woman
who supposed herself divorced from her former
•husband. Great was the surprise of both parties,
two years later, to find that the conditions of the
divorce had just been definitely settled by the
first husband. The marriage ceremony was per-
formed a second time, but the occurrence was
often used by his enemies to bring Mr. Jackson
into disfavor.

In Jaiuiajy, 1796, the Territory of Tennessee
then containing nearly eighty thousand inhabi-
tants, the people met in convention at Knoxville
to frame a constitution. Five were sent from
each of the eleven counties. Andrew Jackson
was one of the delegates. The new State was
entitled to but'one member in the National House
of Representatives. Andrew Jackson was chosen
that member. Mounting his horse, he rode to
Philadelphia, where Congress then held its ses-
sions, a distance of about eight hundred miles.

Jackson was an earnest advocate of the Demo-
cratic party, and Jefierson was his idol. He ad-
niired Bonaparte, loved France, and hated Eng-
land. As Mr. Jackson took his scat. Gen. Wash-
ington, whose secpnd term, of office was then
expiring, delivered his last speech to Congress.
A committee drew up a complimentary address in
reply. Andrew Jackson did not approve of the
address, and was one of the twelve who voted
against it. He was not willing to say that Gen.
Washington's administration had been "wise,
firm and patriotic. ' '

Mr. Jackson was elected to the United States
Senate in 1797, but soon resigned and returned
home. Soon after he was chosen Judge of the
Supreme Court of his State, which position he
held for six years.

When the War of 18 12 with Great Britain com-
menced, Madison occupied the Presidential chair.
Aaron Burr sent word to the President that there
was an unknown man in the West, Andrew Jack-
son, who would do credit to a commission if one
were conferred upon him. Just at that time Gen.
Jackson offe;-ed his ser\'ices and those of twenty-
five hundred volunteers. His offer was accepted,
and the troops were assembled at Nashville.

As the British were hourly expected to make
an attack upon New Orleans, where Gen. Wil-
kinson was in command, he was ordered to de-



scend the river with fifteen hundred troops to aid
Wilkinson. The expedition reached Natchez,
and after a delay of several weeks there without
accomplishing anything, the men were ordered
back to their homes. But the energy Gen. Jack-
son had displayed, and his entire devotion to the
comfort of his soldiers, won for him golden opin-
ions, and he became the. most popular man in the
State. It was in this expedition that his tough-
ness gave him the nickname of "Old Hickory."

Soon after this, while attempting to horsewhip
Col. Thomas Benton for a remark that gentleman
made about his taking part as .second in a duel
in' which a younger brother of Benton's was en-
gaged, he received two severe pistol wounds.
While he was lingering upon a bed of sufiering,
news came that the Indians, who had combined
under Tecumseh from Florida to the Lakes to ex-
terminate the white settlers, were committing the
most awful ravages. Decisive action became nec-
essary. Gen. Jackson, with his fractured bone
just beginning to heal, his arm in a sling, and
unable to mount his horse without assistance,
gave his amazing energies to the raising of an
army to rendezvous at Fayettesville, Ala.

The Creek Indians had established a strong
fort on one of the bends of the Tallapoosa River,
near the center of Alabama, about fifty miles be-
low Ft. Strother. With an army of two thousand
men, Gen. Jackson traversed the pathless wilder-
ness in a march of eleven days. He reached their
fort, called Tohopeka or Horse-shoe, on the 27th
of March, 1814. The bend of the river enclosed
nearly one hundred acres of tangled forest and
wild ravine. Across the narrow neck the Indians
had constructed a formidable breastwork of logs
and brush. Here nine hundred warriors, with
an ample supply of arms, were assembled.

The fort was stormed. The fight was utterly
desperate. Not an Indian would accept quarter.
When bleeding and dying, they would fight those
who endeavored to spare their lives. From ten
in the morning until dark the battle raged. The
carnage was awful and revolting. Some threw
themselves into the river; but the unerring bul-
lets struck their heads as they swam. Nearly
every one of the nine hundred warriors was

killed. A few, probably, in the night swam
the river and escaped. This ended the war.

This closing of the Creek War enabled us to
concentrate all our militia upon the British, who
were the allies of the Indians. No man of less
resolute will than Gen. Jackson could have con-
ducted this Indian campaign to so successful an
issue. Immediately he was appointed Major-

Late in August, with an army of two thousand
men on a rushing march. Gen. Jackson went to
Mobile. A British fleet went from Pensacola,
landed a force upon the beach, anchored near the
little fort, and from both ship and shore com-
menced a furious assault. The battle was long
and doubtful. At length one of the ships was
blown up and the rest retired.

Garrisoning Mobile, where he had taken his
little army, he moved his troops to New Orleans,
and the battle of New Orleans, which soon ensued,
was in reality a very arduous campaign. This
won for Gen. Jackson an imperishable name.
Here his troops, which numbered about four
thousand men, won a signal victory over the
British army of about nine thousand. His loss
was but thirteen, while the loss of the British was
twenty-six hundred.

The name of Gen. Jackson soon began to be
mentioned in connection with the Presidency,
but in 1824 he was defeated by Mr. Adams.
He was, however, successful in the election of
1828, and was re-elected for a second term in
1832. In 1829, just before he assumed the reins
of government, he met with the most terrible
afiliction of his life in the death of his wife, whom
he had loved with a devotion which has perhaps
never been surpassed. From the shock of her
death he never recovered.

His administration was one of the most mem-
orable in the annals of our country — applauded
by one party, condemned by the other. No man
had more bitter enemies or warmer friends. At
the expiration 6i his two terms of office he retired
to the Hermitage, where he died June 8, 1845. The
last years of Mr. Jackson's life were those of a de-
voted Christian man.

9 7 2^^iJ ^^ .^-z^^^ ^'(^'^^-'^^^^-^


|ARTIN VAN BUREN, the eighth Presi-
dent of the United States, was born at Kin-
derhook, N. Y., December 5, 1782. He
died at the same place, July 24, 1862. His body
rests in the cemetery at Kinderhook. Above it is
a plain granite shaft, fifteen feet high, bearing a
simple inscription about half-way up on one face.
The lot is unfenced, unbordered or unbounded
by shrub or flower.

There is but little in the life of Martin Van
Buren of romantic interest. He fought no battles,
engaged in no wild adventures. Though his life
was stormy in political and intellectual conflicts,
and he gained many signal victories, his days
passed uneventful in those incidents which give
zest to biography. His ancestors, as his name indi-
cates, were of Dutch origin, and were among the
earliest emigrants from Holland to the banks of
the Hudson. His father was a farmer, residing
in the old town of Kinderhook. His mother, also
of Dutch lineage, was a woman of superior intel-
ligence and exemplary piety.

He was decidedly a precocious boy, developing
imusual activity, vigor and strength of mind. At
the age of fourteen, he had fini-shed his academic
studies in his native village, and commenced tlie
study of law. As he had not a collegiate educa-
tion, seven years of study in a law-ofiice were re-
quired of him before he could be admitted to the
Bar. Inspired with a lofty ambition, and con-
scious of his powers, he pursued his studies with
indefatigable industrj'. After spending six years
in an office in his native village, he went to the city
of New York, and prosecuted his studies for the
seventh year.

In 1803, Mr. Van Buren, then twenty -one years

of age, commenced the practice of law in his aa-
tive village. The great conflict between the Federal
and Republican parties was then at its height.
Mr. Van Buren was from the beginning a politi-
cian. He had, perhaps, imbibed that spirit while
listening to the many discussions which had been
carried on in his father's hotel. He was in cordial
sympathy with Jefferson, and earnestly and elo-
quently espoused the cause of State Rights, though
at that time the Federal party held the supremacy
both in his town and State.

His success and increasing reputation led him
after six years of practice to remove to Hudson,
the county seat of his county. Here he spent
seven years, constantly gaining strength by con-
tending in the courts with some of the ablest men
v,'ho have adorned the Bar of his State.

Just before leaving Kinderhook for Hudson, Mr.
Van Buren married a lady ahke distinguished for
beauty and accomplishments. After twelve short
years she sank into the grave, a victim of con-
sumption, leaving her husband and four sons to
weep over her loss. For twenty-five years, Mr.
Van Buren was an earnest, successful, assiduous
lawyer. The record of those years is barren in
items of public interest. In 1812, when thirty
years of age, he was chosen to the State Senate,
and gave his strenuous support to Mr. Madison's
administration. In 18 15, he was appointed At-
torney-General, and the next year moved to Al-
bany, the capital of the State.

While he wias acknowledged as one of the most
prominent leaders of the Democratic party, he had
the moral courage to avow that true democracy did
not require that ' 'universal suffrage' ' which admits
the vile, the degraded, the ignorant, to the right


of governing the State. In true consistency with
his democratic principles, he contended that, while
the path leading to the privilege of voting should
be open to every man without distinction, no one
should be invested with that sacred prerogative
unless he were in some degree qualified for it by
intelligence, virtue, and some property interests in
the welfare of the State.

In 182 1 he was elected a member of the United
States Senate, and in the same year he took a
seat in the convention to revise the Constitution of
his native State. His course in this convention
secured the approval of men of all parties. No
one could doubt the singleness of his endeavors to
promote the interests of all classes in the com-
munity. In the Senate of the United States, he
rose at once to a conspicuous position as an active
and useful legislator.

In 1827, John Quiucy Adams being then in the
Presidential chair, Mr. Van Buren was re-elected
to the Senate. He had been from the beginning
a determined opposer of tlieadmniistration, adopt-
ing the ' 'State Rights' ' \'iew in opposition to what
was deemed the Federal proclivities of Mr. Adams.

Soon after this, in i S28, he was chosen Governor
of the State of New York, and accordingly resigned
his seat in the Senate. Probably no one in the
United States contributed so much towards eject-
ing John Q. Adams from the Presidential chair,
and placing in it Andrew Jackson, as did Martin
Van Buren. Whether entitled to the reputation
or not, lie certainly was regarded throughout the
United States as one of the most skillful, sagacious
and cunning of politicians. It was supposed that
no one knew so well as he how to touch the secret
springs of action, how to pull all the wires to
put his machinery in motion, and how to organize
a political anny which would secretly and stealth-
ily accomplish the most gigantic results. By these
powers it is said that he outwitted Mr. Adams, Mr.
Clay, and Mr. Webster, and secured results which
few then thought could be accomplished.

When Andrew Jackson was elected President
he appointed Mr. Van Buren Secretary of State.
This position he resigned in 1831, and was im-
mediately appointed Minister to England, where
he went the same autumn. The Senate, however,

when it met, refused to ratify the nomination, and
he returned home, apparently untroubled. Later
he was nominated Vice-President in the place of
Calhoun, at the re-election of President Jackson,
and with smiles for all and frowns for none, he
took his place at the head of that Senate which had
refused to confirm his nomination as ambassador.

His rejection by the Senate roused all the zeal
of President Jackson in behalf of his repudiated
favorite; and this, probably, more than any other
cause secured his elevation to the chair of the
Chief Executive. On the 20th of May, 1836, Mr.
Van Buren received the Democratic nomination
to succeed Gen. Jackson as President of the United
States. He was elected by a handsome majority,
to the delight of the retiring President. ' 'Leaving
New York out of the canvass, ' ' says Mr. Parton,
"the election of Mr. Van Buren to the Presidency
was as much the act of Gen. Jackson as though
the Constitution had conferred upon him the power
to appoint a successor."

His administration was filled with exciting
events. The insurrection in Canada, which
threatened to involve this country in war with
England, the agitation of the slavery question,
and finally the great commercial panic which
spread over the country, all were trials of his wis-
dom. The financial distress was attributed to
the management of the Democratic party, and
brought the President into such disfavor that he
failed of re-election, and on the 4th of March,
1841, he retired from the presidency.

With the exception of being nominated for the
Presidency by the "Free Soil" Democrats in 1848,
Mr. Van Buren lived quietly upon his estate until
his death. He had ever been a prudent man, of
frugal habits, and, living within his income, had
now fortunately a competence for his declining
years. From his fine estate at Lindenwald, he
still exerted a powerfiil influence upon the politics
of the country. From this time until his death,
on the 24th of July, 1862, at the age of eighty
years, he resided at Lindenwald, a gentleman of
leisure, of culture and wealth, enjoying in a
healthy old age probably far more happiness than
he had before experienced amid the stormy scenes
of his active life.



\ A / President of the United States, was born
YY at Berkeley, Va., February 9, 1773. His
father, Benjamin Harrison, was in comparatively
opulent circumstances, and was one of the most
distinguished men of his day. He was an inti-
mate friend of George Washington, was early
elected a member of the Continental Congress,
and was conspicuous among the patriots of Vir-
ginia in resisting the encroachments of the British
crown. In the celebrated Congress of 1775, Ben-
jamin Harrison and John Hancock were both
candidates for the office of Speaker.

Mr. Harrison was subsequently chosen Gov-
ernor of Virginia, and was twice re-elected. His
son William Henry, of course, enjoyed in child-
hood all the advantages which wealth and intel-
lectual and cultivated society could give. Hav-
ing received a thorough common-school educa-
tion, he entered Hampden Sidney College, where
he graduated with honor soon after the death of
his father. He then repaired to Philadelphia to
Study medicine under the instructions cf Dr. Rush
and the guardianship of Robert Morris, both of
whom were, with his father, signers of the Dec-
laration of Independence.

Upon the outbreak of the Indian troubles, and
notwithstanding the remonstrances of his friends,
he abandoned his medical studies and entered the
army, having obtained a commission as Ensign
from President Washington. He was then but
nineteen years old. From that time he passed
gradually upward in rank until he became aide
to Gen. Wayne, after whose death he resigned
lis commission. He was then appointed Secre-.
tary of the Northwestern Territory. This Terri-
tory was then entitled to but one member in Con-

gress, and Harrison was chosen to fill that position.
In the spring of 1800 the Northwestern Terri-
tory was divided by Congress into two portions.
The eastern portion, comprising the region now
embraced in the State of Ohio, was called ' ' The
Territory northwest of the Ohio. ' ' The western
portion, which included what is now called Indi-
ana, Illinois and Wisconsin, was called "the Indi-
ana Territory." William Henry Harrison, then
twenty-seven years of age, was appointed by John
Adams Governor of the Indiana Territory', and
immediately after also Governor of Upper Loui-
siana. He was thus ruler over almost as exten-
sive a realm as any sovereign upon the globe.
He was Superinfendent of Indian Affairs, and
was invested with powers nearly dictatorial over
the then rapidly increasing white population . The
ability and fidelity with which he discharged
these responsible duties may be inferred from the
fact that he was four times appointed to this
office — first by John Adams, twice by Thomas
Jefferson, and afterwards by President Madison.

When he began his administration there were
but three white settlements in that almost bound-
less region, now crowded with cities and resound-
ing with all the tumult of wealth and traffic.
One of these settlements was on the Ohio, nearly
opposite Louisville; one at Vincennes, on the
Wabash; and the third was a French settlement.

The vast wilderness over which Gov. Harrison
reigned was filled with many tribes of Indians.
About the year 1806, two extraordinary men,
twin brothers of the Shawnee tribe, rose among
them. One of these was called Tecumseh, or
"the Crouching Panther;" the other Olliwa-
checa, or ' ' the Prophet. ' ' Tecumseh was not
onlv an Indian warrior, but a man of great sagac-



ity, far-reaching foresight and indomitable perse-
verance in any enterprise in which he might en-
gage. His brother, the Prophet, was an orator,
who could sway the feelings of the untutored In-
dians as the gale tossed the tree-tops beneath
which they dwelt. With an enthusiasm unsur-
passed by Peter the Hermit rousing Europe to the
crusades, he went from tribe to tribe, assuming
that he was specially seht by the Great Spirit.

Gov. Harrison made many attempts to con-
ciliate the Indians, but at last war came, and at
Tippecanoe the Indians were routed with great
slaughter. October 28, 18 12, his army began its
iparch. When near the Prophet's town, three
Indians of rank made their appearance and in-,
quired why Gov. Harrison was approaching them
in so hostile an attitude. After a short confer-
ence, arrangements were made for a meeting the
next day to agree upon terms of peace.

But Gov. Harrison was too well acquainted
with the Indian character to be deceived by such
protestations. Selecting a favorable spot for his
night's encampment, he took every precaution
against surprise. His troops were posted in a
hollow square and slept upon their arms. The
wakeful Governor, between three and four o'clock
in the morning, had risen, and was sitting
in conversation with his aides by the embers
of a waning fire. It was a chill, cloudy morning,
with a drizzling rain. In the darkness, the In-

Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 3 of 83)