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it is said, his uncle, Patrick Henry. His style is abundant, classical, finished. He was in the State Legislature 1828-32, and in the United States Senate 1836-42.
From 1845 to 1851, he was president of his Alma Mater, South Carolina College, and during his office it rose to a high point of efficiency and became the most popular edu. cational institution in the South.
As an example of Mr. Preston's simpler style and a de. scription of the charming social life of Columbia—the spirit of which still lives and graces the capital of South Carolina—the following extract is given. It is from a newspaper article on the death of Mr. Preston's former law-partner, Col. M'Cord, and is a noble tribute to him and to his distinguished wife, Mrs. Louisa S. M'Cord.
LITERARY SOCIETY IN COLUMBIA, 1825.
(Written on the Death of Colonel David J. M Cord, 1855.) Many will bring tributes of sorrow, of kindness and affection, and relieve a heaving bosom by uttering words of praise and commendation; for in truth, during many years he has been the charm and delight of the society of Columbia, and of that society, too, when, in the estimation of all who knew it, it was the rarest aggregation of elegant, intellectual, and accomplished people that have ever been found assembled in our village. Thirty years since, amidst the sincere and unostentatious cordiality which characterized it, at a dinner party, for example, at Judge De Saussure's, eight or ten of his favorite associates wanted to do honor to some distinguished stranger—for such were never permitted to pass through the town without a tender of the hospitality of that venerable and elegant gentleman-whose prolonged life exhibited to another generation a pattern of old gentility, combined with a conscientious and effective performance of not only the smaller and more graceful duties of life, which he sweetened and adorned, but also of those graver and higher tasks which the confidence of his state imposed upon his talents and learning. To his elegant board naturally came the best and worthiest of the land. There was found, of equal age with the judge, that very remarkable man, Dr. Thomas Cooper, replete with all sorts of knowledge, a living encyclopædia,—“Multum ille et terris jactatus et alto”— good-tempered, joyous, and of a kindly disposition. There was Judge Nott, who brought into the social circle the keen, shrewd, and flashing intellect which distinguished him on the bench. There was Abram Blanding, a man of affairs, very eminent in his profession of the law, and of most interesting conversation. There was Professor Robert Henry, with his elegant, accurate, and classical scholarship. There were Judges Johnston and Harper, whom we all remember, and lament, and admire.
These gentlemen and others were called, in the course of a morning walk of the Chancellor, to meet at dinner, it might be, Mr. Calhoun, or Captain Basil Hall, or Washington Irving; and amongst these was sure to be found David J. M'Cord, with his genial vivacity, his multifarious knowledge, and his inexhaustible store of amusing and apposite anecdotes. He was the life and the pervading spirit of the circle,-in short, a general favorite.
He was then in large practice at the bar, and publishing his Reports as State Reporter. His frank and fine manners were rendered the more attractive by an uncommonly beautiful physiognomy, which gave him the appearance of great youth.
M'Cord entered upon his profession in co-partnership with Henry Junius Nott; and when a year or two subsequently, this gentleman, following the bent of his inclination for literature, quitted the profession, Mr. M'Cord formed a connection with W. C. Preston,—thus introducing this gentleman, who had then but just come to Columbia, into practice. The business of the office was extensive, and the connexion continued until their diverging paths of life led them away from the profession. The association was cordial and uninterrupted throughout, whether professional or social; and the latter did not cease until the grave closed upon M'Cord. While in the law, however, although assiduously addicted to the study of it, his heart acknowledged a divided allegiance with literature; which he seemed to compromise at length by addicting himself to cognate studies—of political economy, the jural sciences, and political ethics.
When he left the bar, and retired from the more strenuous pursuits of life, he found occupation and delight in these favorite studies—stimulated and enhanced by the vigorous co-operation and warm sympathy of his highly accomplished wife, who not only participated in the taste for, but shared in the labors of, these studies—and amidst these congenial and participated pursuits the latter years of his life were passed.
As his early life was amidst struggle and bustle—the fumum strepitumque of the public arena—so his latter years were amidst the repose of an elegant and lettered retirement, in his well-cultivated fields and amongst his books. His last moments were solaced by the tender assiduities of his congenial helpmate, of his children, and of his old and longfamiliar friends.
JOHN PENDLETON KENNEDY.
1795-1870. JOHN PENDLETON KENNEDY was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and received an excellent early education. He studied law, and was much in public life; he filled a large place in his native city as a man of culture and a publicspirited citizen. He served in the State Assembly and in Congress, and was Secretary of the Navy under President Fillmore when several important expeditions took place, that of Perry to Japan, of Lynch to Africa, of Kane to the North Pole. Kennedy Channel was named in his honor by Dr. Kane.
He made several trips to Europe and while in Paris became well acquainted with Thackeray. “The Virginians was appearing as a serial, and the printers needed a new chapter. Thackeray said to Kennedy, "I wish you would write one for me.”—“Well,” said Kennedy, “so I will if you
will give me the run of the story." And he really wrote the . fourth chapter of Vol. II., describing Warrington's escape and return home through the region about the Cumberland, which he knew well.
He drew up the plan of the Peabody Institute, and was one of the Trustees; to it he bequeathed his library and manuscripts, the latter not to be published till 1900. aided Poe in his early literary life and was always his friend. He died at Newport, whither he had gone for his health, and was buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore. See Life by Tuckerman.
Essays in Red Book, sa satirical journal edited by him and Peter Hoffman Cruse).
Swallow Barn, (novel of Virginia life).
Horse-Shoe Robinson, Tale of Tory Ascendancy in South Carolina.
Rob of the Bowl, a Legend of St. Inigoes.