W. O. Absher.

Portrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States online

. (page 3 of 76)
Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 3 of 76)
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is as follows: "That we should consider any attempt
on the part of European powers to extend their sys-
tem to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous
to our peace and safety," and "that we could ro'
view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing
or controlling American governments or provinces in
any other light than as a manifestation by Europeai-
powers of an unfriendly disposition toward the Uniter
States." This doctrine immediatel\- nfifected the course
of foreign governments, and has become the approved
sentiment of the L^nited States.

At the end of his fecond term Mr Monroe retired
to his home in Virginia, where he lived until 1830,
when he went to New York to live with his son-in-
law. In that city he died, on the 4th of July, tSji,




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''^J'Trxi



SIXTH PRESIDR^^T.




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JOr^l] QUI136Y -^D^IlQg.










- I <JH\ QUINCY ADAMS, the
■, id ^i\th I'resident of the United



'btates, was born in the rural
home of his honored father,
John Adams, in Qiiincy, Mass.,
on the I ith cf July, 1767. His
' mother, a woman of exalted

worth, watched over liis childhood
during the almost constant ab-
sence of his father. When but
eight years of age, he stood with
" hib mother on an eminence, listen-
ing to the booming of the great bat-
tle on Bunker's Hill, and gazing on
upon the smoke and flames billow-
ing up from the conflagration of
Charlestown.

When but eleven years old he
took a tearful adieu of his mother,
to sail with his fatner for Europe,
through a fleet ot hostile British cruisers. The bright,
animated boy spent a year and a half in Paris, where
his father was associated with Franklin and Lee as
minister plenipotentiary. His intelligence attracted
the notice of these distinguished men, and he received
from them flattering marks of attention.

Mr. John Adams had scarcely returned to tliis
cou.'.try, in 1779, ere he was again sent abroad. .Again
• ol.A Quincy accompanied his father. At Paris he
applied himself with great diligence, for si.\ months,
to :.fudy; then accom pained his father to Holland,
v'here he entered, first a school in .A-msterdam, then
the University at Leyden. About a year from this
time, in 17S1, when the manly boy was but fourteen
yea"s of age, he was selected by Mr. Dana, our min-
ister to the Russian court, as his private secretary.

In this school of incessant labor .and of enobling
culture he spent fourteen months, and then returned
to Holland through Sweden, Denmark, Hamburg and
Bremen. This long journev he took alone, in the
winter, when in his si.xteenth year, .\2ain he resumed
ais studies, under a private tutor, at Hague. Them e



in the spring of 17S2, he accompanied his father i;
Paris, traveling leisurely, and forming acquaintance
with tiie most distinguished men on the Continent
examining arcnitectural remains, galleries of paintinus
and all renowned works of art. At Paris he agaii,
became associated with the most illustrious men ol
all lands in the contemplations of the loftiest temporal
themes which can engross the human mind. Afte"
a short visit to England he returned to Paris, ana
consecrated all his energies to sludv until May, 17S5,
when he returned to .America. To a brilliant young
man of eighteen, who had seen much of the world,
and who was familiar with the etiquette of courts, a
residence with his father in London, under such cir-
cumstances, must have been e.xtremely attractive
Init with judgment very rare in one of his age, he pre-
ferred to return to .America to complete his education
in an .American college. He wished then to study
law, that with an honorable profession, he might be
able to obtain an independent support.

L'pon leaving Harvard College, at the age of twenty
he studied law for thiee years. In June, 1794, be-
ing then but twenty-seven years of age, he was ap-
[lointed by Washington, resident m.inister at the
N'etlierlands. Sailing from Boston in July, he reachea
London in October, where he was immediately admit-
ted to the deliberations of Messrs. Jay and Pinckney
assisting tliem in negotiating a commercial treaty with
(jieat Britian. After thus spending a fortnight i.
London, he proceeded to the Hague.

In July, 1797, he left the Hague to go to Portugal a?
minister plenipotentiary'. On his way to Portugal,
upon arriving in London, he met with despatches
directing him to the court of Beiiin, but requesting
him to remain in London unril he should receive his
instructions. \\"hile waiting he was married to ar
American lady to whom he had been previously en-
gaged, — M'ss Louisa Catherine Johnson, daughte-
of Mr. Joshua Johnson, .American consul In I ondon
a lady endownd with that beauty and those accom-
plishment which eminently fitted her to move in X\A
elevated sphere for which slie was <i'j*s'iced



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.



He reached Berlin with his mle in November, 1797 ;
where he remained until July, 1799, when, having ful-
filled all the purixjses of his mission, he solicited his
recall.

Soon after his return, in 1S02, he was chosen to
the Senate of Massachusetts, from Boston, and then
was elected Senator of the United States for six years,
from the 4tli of March, 1S04. His reputation, his
ability and his experience, placed him immediately
among the most prominent and influential members
of that body. Especially did he sustain the Govern-
ment in its measures of resistance to the encroach-
ments of England, destroying our commerce and in-
sulting our flag. There was no man in America more
familiar with the arrogance of the British court upon
these points, and no one more resolved to present
a firm resistance.

In 1S09, Madison succeeded Jefferson in the Pres-
idential chair, and he immediately nominated John
Quincy .^dams minister to St. Petersburg. Resign-
ing his professorship in Harvard College, he embarked
at Boston, in August, 1S09.

While in Russia, Mr. Adams was an intense stu-
dent. He devoted his attention to the language and
history of Russia; to the Chinese trade; to the
European system of weights, measures, and coins ; to
the climate and astronomical observations; while he
Kept up a familiar acquaintance with the Greek and
Latin classics. In all the universities of Europe, a
more accomplished scholar could scarcely be found.
.All through life the Bible constituted an imiwrtant
.part of his studies. It was his rule to read five
chapters every day.

On the 4th of March, 1S17, Mr. Monroe took the
Presidential chair, and immediately apixiinted Mr.
.Adams Secretary of State. Taking leave of his num-
erous friends in public and private life in Europe, he
sailed in June, 1S19, for the United States. On the
1 8th of August, he again crossed the threshold of his
home in Quincy. During the eight yearsof Mr. Mon-
roe's administration, Mr .\dams continued Secretary
of State.

Some time before :he close of Mr. Monroe's second
term of office, new candidates began to be presented
for the Presidency. The friends of Mr. .-Xdams brought
forward his name. It was an e.xciting campaign.
Party spirit was never more bitter. Two hundred and
si.\ty electoral votes were cast. Andrew Jackson re-
ceived ninety-nine; John Quincy Adams, eighty-four;
William H. Crawford, forty-one; Henry Cl.iy, thirty-
seven. As there was no choice by the people, the
question went to the House of Representatives. Mr.
Clay gave the vote of Kentucky to Mr. .^dams, and
he was elected.

The friends of all the disap;iointed candidates now
;orabined in a venomous and persistent assault upon
Mr. .Adams. There is nothing more disgraceful in
ife« po-sl historj' of our country than the abuse which



was poured in one uninterrupted stream, upon this
high-minded, upright, patriotic man. There neverwas
an administration more pure in principles, more con-
scientiously devoted to the best interests of tlie coun-
try, than that of John Quincy Adams ; and never, per-
haps, was there an administration more unscrupu-
lously and outrageously assailed.

Mr. Adams was, to a very remarkable degree, ab-
stemious and temperate in his habits; always rising
early, and taking much exercise. When at his home in
Quincy, he has been known to walk, before breakfast,
seven miles to Boston. In Washington, it was said
that he was the first man up in the city, lighting his
own fire and applying himself to work in his library
often long before dawn.

On the 4th of March, 1829, Mr. Adams retired
from the Presidency, and was succeeded by Andrew
Jackson. John C. Calhoun was elected Vice Presi-
dent. The slavery question now began to assume
[Xjrtentous magnitude. Mr. .Adams' returned to
Quincy and to his studies, which he pursued with un-
abated zeal. But he was not long permitted to re-
main in retirement. In November, 1830, he was
elected representative to Congress. For seventeen
years, until his death, he occupied the post as repre-
sentative, towering above all his peers, ever readv 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 escape his scrutiny. 1 he
battle which Mr. Adams fought, almost singly, against
I he prosljvery party in the Government, was sublime
in Us 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 assassination
but no threats could intimidate him, and his final
triumph was complete.

It has been said of President Adams, that when his
body was bent and his hair silvered by the lapse of
fourscore years, yielding to the simple faith of a little
child, he was accustomed to repeat every night, before
he slept, the prayer which his mother taught him in
his infant years.

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 par.nly-
sis, and was caught in the arms of those around him.
For a time he was senseless, as he was conveyed to
the sofa in the rotunda. With reviving conscious-
ness, 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."



SEVENTH PRESIDENT.



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NDREW JACKSON, the
seventh President of the
' United States, was born in
Waxhaw settlement, N. C,
March 15, 1767, a few days
after his father's death. His
parents were [xwr emigrants
from Ireland, and took up
their abode in Waxhaw set-
tlement, 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 forai un-
gainly; and there was but very
tittle in his character, made visible, which was at-
tractive.

When only thirteen years old he joined the volun-
teers of Carolina against the British invasion. In
17S1, he and his brother Robert were captured and
imprisoned for a time at Camden. A Brirish officer
ordered him to brush his mud-spattered boots. " I am
a prisoner of war, not your servant," was the reply of
the dauntless boy.

The brute drew his sword, and aimed a desperate
Dlow at the head of the helpless young prisoner.
.\ndrew raised his hand, and thus received two fear-
ful gashes, — i^ne on the hand and the other upon the
head. The officer then turned to his brother Robert
with the same demand. He also refused, and re-
ceived a blow from the keen-edged sabre, which quite
disabled hiai. and which probably soon after caused
his death. They suffered much otlier ill-treatraent, and
were finally stricken with the small-pox. Their
mother was successful 't\ iibtaining their exchange.



and took her sick boys home. After a long illn^SL
.\ndrew recovered, and the death of his mother soon
left him entirely friendless.

Andrew supported himself in various ways.s \z\\ 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 amusements of the
times than to his studies. In 17SS. he was appointed
solicitor for the western district of North Carolina, of
which Tennessee was tlien a part. This involved
many long and tedious journeys amid dangers of
every kind, but Andrew Jackson never knew fear,
and the Indians had no desire to repeat a skirmisl)',
witn the 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 conditionsof the divorce had just been
definitely settled by the first husband. The marriage
ceremony was performed a second time, but the occur-
rence was often used by his enemies to bring Mr.
Jackson into disfavor.

During these years he worked hard at his profes
sion, and frequently had one or more duels on hand,
one of which, when he killed Dickenson, was espec-
ially disgraceful.

In January, 1796, the Territory of Tennessee then
containing neariy eighty thousand inhabitants, the
people met in convention at Kno.wille to frame a con-
stitution. Five were sent from each of the eleven
counties, .\ndrew Jackson was one of the delegates.'
The new State was entitled to but one member io
the National House of Representatives. .\ndre>v Jack-
son was chosen that member. Mounting his horse he
rode to Pliiledelphia, where Congress then held its



ANDREW JACKSON.



sesiioiis, — a distance of about eight hundred miles.

Jackson was an earnest advocate of the Demo-
cratic party. Jefferson was his idol. He admired
Bonaparte, loved France and hated England. As Mr.
Jackson took his seat, Gen. Washington, whose
second 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 api)rove of the address, and was one of the
twelve wlio voted against it. He was not willing to
say that Gen. Washington's adminstration had been
" wise, firm and patriotic."

Mr. Jackson was elected to tlie 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 fjr si.x years.

When the war of 1S12 with Great Britian com-
menced, Madison occupied the Presidential chair.
Aaron Burr sent word to the President that there was
an unknown man in the West, Andrew Jackson, who
would do credit to a commission if one were con-
ferred uixan him. Just at that time Gen. Jackson
jffeied his services and those of twenty-five hundred
volunteers. His offer was accepted, and the troops
were assembled at Nashville.

As the British were hourly e.\pected to make an at-
tack upon New Orleans, where Gen. Wilkinson was
in command, he was ordered to descend the river
-ivith fifteen hundred troops to aid Wilkinson. The
expedition reached Natchez; and after a delay of sev-
eral weeks there, without accomplishing anything,
;he men were ordered back to their homes. But the
energy Gen. Jackson had displayed, and his entire
devotion to the comrfort of his soldiers, won him
golden opinions; and he became the most popular
man in the State. It was in this expedition that his
toughness gave him the nickname of " Old Hickory. '

Soon after this, while attempting to horsewhip Col.
Thomas H. Benton, for a remark that gentleman
made about his taking a part as second in a duel, in
which a younger brother of Benton's was engaged,
he received two severe pistol wounds. While he was
lingering upon a bed of suffering news came that the
Indians, who had combined under Tecumseh from
Florida to the Lakes, to exteniiinate the white set-
tlers, were committing the most awful ravages. De-
cisive action became necessary. Gen. Jackson, with
his fractured bone just beginning to heal, his arm in
a sling, and unable to mount his horse without assis-
tance, gave his amazing energies to the raising of an
army to rendezvous at Favettesville, Alabama.

The Creek Indians had established a strong fort on
one of the bendsof the Tallapoosa River, near the cen-
ter of Alabama, about fifty miles below Fort Strother.
vVith an armv of two thousand men. Gen. Jackson
traversed the pathless wilderness in a march of eleven
Jays. He reached their fort, called Tohopeka or
Horse-shoe, on tHe 27th of Marcli. 1814. The bend



of the river enclosed nearly one hundred acres 01"
tangled forest and wild ravine. Across the narrow
neck the Indians had constructed a formidable brca.st-
work of logs and brush. Here nine hundred warriors,
with an ample suply of arms were assembled.

The fort was stormed. The fight was utterly des-
perate. Not an Indian would accept of quarter. When
bleeding and dying, they would fight those who en-
deavored to spare their lives. From ten in the morn-
ing until dark, the battle raged. The carnage was
awful and revolting. Some threw themselves into the
river; but the unerring bullet struck their heads as
they swam. Nearly ever)one of the nine liundred war-
rios were killed A few probably, in tlie night, swam
the river and escaped. 'This ended the war. The
]X3wer of the Creeks was broken forever. This bold
plunge into the wilderness, with its terriffic slaughter,
so appalled the savages, that the haggard remnants
of the bands came to the camp, begging for peace.

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

Late in .August, with an army of two thousand
men, on a rushing march, Gen. Jackson came to
Mobile. A British fleet came from Pensacola, landed
a force upon the beach, anchored near the little fort,
and from both ship and shore commenced 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 two thousand six hundred.

The name of Gen. Jackson soon began to be men-
tioned in connection with the Presidency, but, in 1824,
he was defeated by Mr. Adams. He was, however,
successful in the election of 1S28, and was re-elected
for a second term in 1S32. In 1829, just before he
assumed the reins of the government, he met with
the most terrible affliction 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 memorable
in the annals of our country; applauded oyone party,
condemned bv the other. No man had more bitter
enemies or warmer friends. At the expiration of his
two terms of oflice he retired to the Hermit^ige, where
I he died lune S, 1S45. The last years of Mr. Jack-
I sou's life were that of a devoted Christian man.




/ 7



/. ^L^//.J ^:k^-uc^^



EIGHTH PRESIDENT.



ck.







AKTIX VAN BUREN, the
eighth President of the
L nited States, was born at
Ki iderhook, N. Y., Dec. 5,
17S2. He died at the same
ce, July 24, 1S62. His
Indy rests in the cemeter)'
"^ l\i\^ " ^' Kinderhook. Above it is
^yS^P\^ a plain granite shaft fifteen feet
high, bearing a simple inscription
about halt way up on one face.
The lot is unfenced, unbordered
or unbounded by shnib or flower.

There is but little in the life of Martin Van Bureu
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 an-
cestors, as his name indicates, were of Dutch origin,
and were among the earliest emigrants from Holland
to the banks of the Hudson. His father was a f;iniier,
residing in the old town of Kinderhook. His mother,
also of Dutch lineage, was a woman of superior intel-
ligence and e.xemplary piety.

.■fe was decidedly a precocious boy, developing un-
usual activity, vigor and strength of mind. .At the
age of fourteen, he had finished his academic studies
.11 his native village, and commenced the study of
^aw_ .\^ he I'ad not a collegiate education, seven
years ot study in a law-office were re p.iired of him
'before he could be admitted to the bar. Insjiired with
■J. lofty ambition, and conscious of his jxjwers, he [iiir-
sued his studies with indefatigable industry. .After
spending si-c yeirs in an office in '•is native village.



he went to the city of .\ew York, and prosecuted his
studies for the seventh year.

In 1S03, Mr. Van Buren, then twenty-one years of
age, commenced the practice of law in his native vil-
lage. The great conflict between the Federal and
Republican party was then at its height. Mr. Van
Buren was from the beginning a politician. 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 eloquendy espoused the
cause of State Rights; though at that time the Fed-
eral party held the supremacy both in his town
and State.

His success and increasing ruputation led him
after six years of practice, to remove to Hudson, th^
county seat of his county. Here he spent seven years,
constantly gaining strength by contending in thi
courts with some of the ablest men who have adorned
the bar of his State.

Just before leaving Kinderhook for Hudson, Mi.
Van Buren married a lady alike distinguished fof
beauty and accomplishments. After twelve short
years she sank into the grave, the victim of consump.
tion, leaving her husband and four sons to weep ovei
her loss. For twenty-five years, Mr. Van Buren wai^
an earnest, successful, assiduous lawyer. The record
of tJKjse years is barren in items of public interest.
In rS I 2, when thirty years of age, he was chosen to
the State Senate, and gave his strenuous support to
Mr. Madison's adminstration. In iSi^, he was ap-
[lointed Attorney-General, and the next year moved
to .Albany, the capital of the State.

'.Vhile he was acknowledged as one of the most
Ii.ominent leaders of th« Democritic party, he had



4S



MARTJN VAN BUREN.



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 ever)- 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 1S21 he was elected r. 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 community. In the
Senate of the United States, he rose at once to a
~:onspicuous Dosition as an active and useful legislator.

In 1827, John Quincy Adams beirg then in the
Presidential chair, Mr. Van Buren was re-elected to
;he Senate. He had been from the beginning a de-
;ermined opposer of the .Administration, adopting the
■'State Rights " view in opposition to what was
leeraed the Federal proclivities of Mr. Adams.

Soon after this, in 1828, he was chosen Governorof
the State of New York, and accordingly resigned his
■5eat in the Senate. Probably no one in the United
States contributed so much towards ejecting John Q.



Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 3 of 76)