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of any part of the American people. His- thrown himself and all he had into the tory has no parallel for the pungency of arms of its deadly antagonist, because the this man's rebuke, for the depth of his former would not and the latter did* flatter humiliation. A President in secure and him with hopes and promises of a reundisputed possession of the patronage election, was unable to obtain a single and power of the Government, holding vote, for a nomination even, in the Naand exercising the power to dismiss at tional Convention of that party for whose pleasure, some twenty or thirty thousand deceitful smiles he had sacrified truth, functionaries distributed through every fidelity, character, the hope of honorable township of the Union, who had aban- renown-in short, all that a good man doned the party which elevated him, and holds dear, and a bad man cannot affect to
It is exceedingly pleasant, and instructive, withal, to contrast the expressed emotions of the kind Democracy, when that party and Mr. Tyler were engaged in mutual courtship, with those significantly uttered, after the deluded man, having squandered his gifts in fostering this new affection, found himself suddenly, as being indeed of no longer use, deserted, despised, free to go any where else :
“Lean, rent and beggared by the strumpet-Wind!"-(aura populi :) In particular, note our honest contemporary, the Democratic Review, which,
-in November, 1812, expresseth -in 1845, March 1st, is not even great satisfaction in presenting its admir- able to wait until the unlucky'nondescript ing readers with a daguerrotype face of the tertium quid, as it felicitously styles him, man, discoursing thereafter in this fashion: has left his chair of authority, but consci. That “the invaluable practical services entiously seizes this hybrid novelty' four recently rendered by Mr. Tyler to the days in advance, for the express purpose of cause of those principles which have al. riding him (or it) summarily on a rail... ways been advocated by this Review, and which it does, to the “admiration', as besustained by its political friends, have at fore, of all its readers. tached to his position an interest which “For even though the hour,” saith the Renecessarily extends in no slight degree to view, “has not yet arrived, which to be his person also."
brightened by the reflection that Tylerism has ceased to exist, in any other than the
past tense,” &c. And afterwards, in a labored sketch of his And afterwards it declareth, “the blaze life, it defendeth him in every point at is- of a “ Lone Star” streaming up over our sue between him and the party that south-western horizon, alone sheds a cerput him into power—declaring in the tain degree of feebly reflected light on his course of it that “the firmness of Mr. retiring person, to redeem it from the enTyler had dispelled the gathering gloom tire darkness in which it would otherwise (of the democrats) and the meed of appro- have gone down"---refusing to allow that val awarded him by the patriot at the Her- those former ‘fiery passages with the mitage met with a willing response from Whigs, once so highly estimated, rethe Democracy of the whole Union, until flect now any light on himseif or his anits echoes were lost in the caverns of the tique friends, the Democracy. Also it Rocky Mountains" !..-(an expression im- observes: “Men rarely love a treason so plying that all those moveable persons who well as to forget to despise the traitor”.-have escaped from civilization into the which is remarkably true, for the authorithe wilderness, belong to the right sorť--- tyt; only that Loco-focoism, in those times, as they undoubtedly do.)
not only did “love the treason," but AF
FECTED not to“ despise the traitor." And again,--- That “Mr. Tyler is now se- He pronounceth, too, this “hybrid tertium parated from the Federal (meaning the quid" a double traitor, as having originally WHIG) party, by an impassable gulph”... deserted from their ranks to the Whigs, and would he only go on so, the Democra. then back again to them; (Scripture urgeth cy would think much of him !
the same thing against the dog and the sow); and that, also, is most true, as we are happy to recognize; for surely no such man could well have arisen anywhere else. As John Tyler was born in the Democratic ranks, so has he naturally returned to die there : it is hard to say whether his political birth or death will do them the more honor.
despise. He had • filed his mind to make talked of supporting him, and these did everything else subservient to this con- not mean it. They were even now specsuming passion for a second term, and ulating on the relative chances of the two his Postmasters, Revenue Officers, Land real candidates, and taking their posiOfficers, and every species of Executive tions respectively according to their prepensioners, had strained or seemed to dictions of the result. They alone labor. strain every nerve to secure · Justice 10 ed under the necessity of preserving a John Tyler! Many of the States had show of regard for him, and they alone chosen their delegates by Congress Dis- did it. Through the long agony of the tricts, so as to afford the most liberal op- succeeding desperate struggle, every man portunity for the play of intrigue and the who possessed any power, moral or inforce of accident. One must have anti- tellectual, of influencing the opinions or cipated that amid the fierce, though sub- the conduct of men, was cagerly pressed dued, struggles of the friends of Van Bu- into the arena-was called out by letters, ren, Calhoun, Cass, Buchanan, at least his views solicited, his sayings repeated, one Tyler delegate might have been his judgment relied on—but who asked, slipped in, by playing off one strong fac- who thought, of the opinions of Mr. tion against another, and so securing the Tyler ? And when the struggle was vote to a man so weak as to be feared by over, and the election of Polk proclaimneither, as a sort of compromise or drawn ed, there were cheers and congratulations battle. Aaron Burr, in his most obnox. for all the leaders and champions of the ious days, with Mr. Tyler's position and victorious host—there was an almost unipatronage, would have secured a fair versal and profoundly sincere sympathy show of strength in a Democratic Nomi- for the great statesman, who, by calumny nating Convention. But the convention and fraud, by concealment and evasion, met; the satellites of the Executive also by falsehood and misrepresentation, had held a convention at the same time and been overborne in the vehement contest. place! They would exert a happy influ. Thousands of determined adversaries, ence by their presence! They would de- now that the struggle was over, bore a signate by their prompt unanimity the man cheerful and hearty testimony to his lofti. best calculated to heal the fierce discord
ness of character, unequaled practical which reigned in the camp of the Demo- ability, and chivalrous magnanimity of cracy. All labor lost! The real conven
soul. But who congratulated, who contion quarreled and struggled for days, un- doled with, President Tyler ? Who but horsed the old party leaders, and consid- his valiant trencher-men wished that the ered the claims of many aspirants to the fortune of the victor, or the honor of the succession, but never gave a thought to vanquished, had been his? Who cared those of John Tyler. Many persons wheiher he grieved or rejoiced at the iswere proposed for President, many voted for, but John Tyler was never among The closing scene of his miserable them. From first to last, in calm or in public life—the gradual wasting away of storm, in days when all was hopeless the ravenous crowd which so recently beanarchy, and in hours of relative harmo- sieged the portals of the Executive Man. ny, nobody condescended to throw away sion-the shameless transfer of their sya vote on John Tyler. And when the cophancy to the prospective dispenser of nomination was made, though the name Treasury manna-the solitude (save when of the candidate was a revelation to most entertainment was provided) of those of those who finally supported him, and dreary hours of waning, vanishing greatmany were at first disposed to rebel ness—why should we attempt to portray? against a choice so strange and unexpect- Personally, Mr. Tyler has passed into a ed, none of them contemplated the des- fitting obscurity, which his friends must perate alternative of supporting John Ty- hope may be disturbed by no future acciler. Yes: after a brief interval had been dent. Be reflection and penitence the allowed for the expression of public sen- companions of his future years. timent, the unwelcome, but indisputable The moral of this strange, instructive truth overcame even the stubborn infatu- history is one which cannot be too early ation of this man himself. He found that
or too deeply impressed on the underhe had no strength, no popularity, no standings and hearts of our aspiring, party, not even a faction. Beyond his eager youth. From the grave of Mr. own office-holding dependents, nobody Tyler's reputation there rises a warn
ing voice, which says to every attentive not what he did, when, in the terror exsoul, “ BE True!" Falsehood, unfaith- cited by the first appalling burst of popufulness, dissimulation, treachery—these lar indignation, he urged the preparation may seem to prosper for the moment, but and dictated the provisions of a Bank bill the eternal laws of the Universe are which he would assent to—and this is against thein and must prevail. A brief to stretch charity beyond the bounds of hour of hollow and tottering triumph is possibility)--admit that the second Bank all that the most brilliant and perfect suc- Veto may in some way be justified—who cess in ill-doing can hope for.
can attempt to justify his Veto of that Had Mr. Tyler been a true man, he most important and patiently elaborated could not have overruled and defeated the measure, the first Tariff bill of 1842, beaction of Congress on nearly every im- cause it provided for the continuance of portant measure, except on the most im- the Land distribution to the States ? That perative and powerful convictions of du- Land distribution had formed one of the ty. He must have realized that the rep- great practical tests of party affinity for resentatives of the People, (not by acci- the preceding ten years. The Distribution dent, but by deliberate selection,) elected was originated, and ably, untiringly adeither simultaneously or subsequently to vocated by Mr. Clay, whom Mr. Tyler the choice of President and Vice Presi. had professed so zealously to support in dent, were far more likely to understand 1839; it had been advocated by Mr. Tythe wants and requirements of the coun- ler himself, in a Report to the Virginia try than he alone could be. He must have Legislature; in his letter (1840) to Mr. felt that the unprecedented manner of his Robinson, jun., of Pittsburg, Pa., and at unexpected elevation to the Presidency, other times. The Whig party and he instead of the man designated for that were alike committed to that measure; post by the People, and who stood pub- and his letter to Mr. Robinson, rebutting licly pledged* to unite in perfecting such a charge preferred against him of Antimeasures, with regard to the currency, as Tariffism, plainly set forth the entire the wisdom of Congress should devise, Whig doctrine on the subject, viz: suffifurnished a strong additional reason for cient Revenue to be raised by means of a bis forbearing the exercise of the ex- Tariff exclusively, and the Land proceeds treme power of the Veto. He must have to be fairly and permanently divided been tortured by the thought that the act among the States of the Union. And yet which he meditated was certain to send a this same John Tyler vetoed the great pang of disappointment and chagrin to beneficent measure of the Whig Congress, nearly every heart that had beat with joy solely on the ground of its providing for at the tidings of his election, and be hailed this distribution ! and Congress was comwith shouts of exultation and delight by pelled to surrender it, or leave the Govern. every relentless adversary of that cause ment without the means of subsistence. which had so honored him, and to which This was the second time that this benign he had professed devotion. He must have measure of harmony and peace with known that wherever his Vetoes should regard to the Public Lands has been crush. reach a rude opening in the wilderness, a ed beneath the weight of a Presidential saw-mill, or a shingle shanty, the ready Veto, purely because its author was Hen. instinct of every Whig, however unversed ry Clay. in public affairs or the verbal plausibilities But let us imagine that some mind can whereby infidelity to lofty trusts may be be found so peculiarly constructed as to varnished, would proclaim him a design. find no difficulty in reconciling with in. ing traitor. Must not an upright man tegrity and good faith the whole series of have shrunk from the confusion of his Mr. Tyler's Vetoes—to discover some friends, and the exultation of his adver- principle on which he may be justified in saries, thus foreshadowed, as more to be accepting a nomination as a Whig, and dreaded than death? Must he not have yet using the power thence resulting to sought, if need were, in the resignation of thwart and defeat the Whigs on every his accidental position an escape from an important measure on which they had alternative so full of horror ?
appealed to the country-how shall he, But admit that the Veto of the first Bank how can he, justify Mr. Tyler's sweeping bill was impelled by Mr. Tyler's cher- removal from office of Whigs to make ished convictions-admit that he knew room for their inveterate opponents? The
See General Harrison's speech at Dayton, Ohio, Sept. 10th, 1840
Whigs had been rigidly excluded from only in avoiding that obvious road which, office during the twelve preceding years; with least embarrassment to himself and they had labored faithfully with and for least difficulty in the selection, it was his Mr. Tyler in the great contest of 1840; plainest duty to pursue. It will be truly they had been appointed to office in part said of him, that it cost him more trouble by General Harrison, the remainder by to find the wrong way, than ordinarily himself. But Mr. Tyler sees fit to differ perplexes other men to discern the right. from the Whig majority of Congress on That, in seeking excuses to differ from a most vital administrative measure- his friends and gratify his enemies, he crimination and alienation ensue-and he was perpetually shifting from one awkproceeds to remove from office nearly all ward and difficult device to another, withthose who had supported, and put in their out the least attention even to the applaces men who had vehemently opposed pearance of consistency, until he succeedhim, some of who were the very men ed, at length, in alienating from his sohe had previously supplanted. Was not ciety every man whose support he should here a palpable confession on his part, have desired ; at the same time imbitternot merely of treachery, but of conscious ing the separation with an unhappy distreachery!
trust of his fidelity to those principles to The character of Mr. Tyler may be which he was bound by plighted honor. read by every one in his actions; but the That, while he was ever changing his following summary, by one of the most ground, conceding, retracting, affirming, able and eloquent political writers of the denying, his concessions were made withday, is so pointedly, so tersely, and with out sincerity, his retractions without exal so justly written, we present it as the cuse, and his conduct in all distinguished most fit conclusion of all we could wish for its want of dignity. That, with a
We quote from the “ Defence of fair, though moderate reputation for capa. the Whigs, by a Member of the twenty- city, before he came to the Presidency, seventh Congress.”
he lost this in the first few months of his “ His few partisans in the nation are service; disappointed the hopes of his clamorous in demanding justice to John friends; raised his enemies from the Tyler. Justice, assuredly, he will obtain despondency of recent defeat into the from the pen of History.
highest tone of exultation, and diffused “ It will represent him as a President through all ranks of the community an accidentally brought into power, who, opinion of his want of fitness for the high while the sudden honors of his station station to which he had been called. were yet new, manifested a heart full of That, emphatically the accident of an acgratitude to his friends and replete with cident, without popularity, without a good resolutions to serve the great public mind to conceive or a heart to execute interests which had combined to place great undertakings, he had chosen a posihim where he was. It will describe him tion of intense responsibility and univeras vainglorious, weak and accessible to fal observation, and committed himself to any extravagance of flattery ; of a jeal. a hazard which even the wisest and boldously quickly provoked by the ascend- est might contemplate with apprehenency of superior minds, and nervously sion." sensitive against the suspicion of being
may say of this President what under their influence. That, from the Milton has said of another unhappy rufear of such an imputation, he had thrown ler, whose melancholy fate furnishes the himself into evil associations, and sur- most awful example on record of the rounded himself with private and irre- danger in a Chief Magistrate violating sponsible counsellors, who, neither by his promises to the people," that for the station nor capacity, were entitled to give most part, he followed the worser coun. him advice, and who fatally drove him sels, and, almost always, of the worser into an open rupture with those whom it men.” should have been his pride to call his Enough. This is a melancholy chapfriends.
ter of history ; but it teaches one great “Variable and infirm of purpose, he lesson, which had better be learned thus will be exhibited as ever halting between early in our national existence-never opposite opinions. Anxious to impress again to set up for exalted political stathe world with a reputation for inflexibil. tion any other than thoroughly upright ity, he will be shown to be, in fact, with- men, whose integrity has stood the test out a judgment of his own, and resolute of time and temptation.
The horrors of the French Revolution but he is a speculating Frenchman, thinkstand out in such terrible relief in the ing more of his theories than of facts. history of that great event, that the mind Thiers' work is a fair offset to this is often unable to see anything else, and whole class of histories. The freezing the strong undercurrent is lost sight of. details of crime and ferocity are left out, The whole revolution is regarded as the and he moves straight on through his lawless action of an excited mob, which narrative with his one main object conhaving once grasped the power, hurled stantly in view, viz: the progress of the every thing into chaos with the incohe struggle. To him the wholesale murrency and madness of passion. The king, ders and massacres are accidents, while the aristocracy, and the clergy, are looked the history of the Revolution is a stateupon as silent sufferers, till borne un- ment of its rise, progress, and termider by this wild power which swept nation. The causes leading to each step, throne, crown, and titles into one bloody and its result in effecting political changes grave. We hear the tocsin sounded, are the main thing—the disasters that the générale beat, and see the flying accompanied these steps, but secondary crowds with pikes and lances, swarming matters. He is a statesman, and very around the royal palace, rending the air naturally contemplates every thing in a with shouts and curses, while human business-like spirit. He would follow heads are rolled by hundreds into the the government not the mob. Mr. Alison, gutters, and this we call “ the Revo. on the contrary, is a romancer, when he lution.” The waking up the human is not a ridiculous philosopher. The mind from the sleep of ages-the manner great objections to Mr. Thiers' work is, in which liberty grew step by step, till that were the only one we possessed Europe shook on her feudal throne at the of that period, we should get no adesudden daylight poured on her oppres. quate idea of the horrors that were comsions; and the immutable of retri. mitted in the name of liberty. The matbutive justice working amid all those ter of fact way he has of stating every mutations, hold but a secondary place in thing prevents us from being excited our contemplations. We forget also to where we should be, and leaves us in place the blame of the acts of violence darkness respecting many of the details. and atrocity where it ought to rest, not His descriptive powers are evinced far considering that the agents themselves more in sketching a spirited or riotous are not alone guilty, but those also who debate in the Assembly or National Conforced them by pride and tyranny to their vention, than in a guillotine scene. He is a execution.
cool-blooded man, whose feelings never The number of histories written of the run away with his judgment. French Revolution are legion, and yet The editor of the work supplies by we do not remember one which escapes frequent notes the details M. Thiers the charge of prejudice or incomplete. has omitted, and though they are badly
Scott wrote of it with a blind arranged, often confusing the reader as ness and recklessness of truth wholly he attempts to keep the thread of the narunworthy of him-Alison with a love rative, yet we would not do without for the tragic and horrible, and hatred of them. In his long preface he declares republicanism, that sunk him below even the history to exhibit “the adroit, keen, Sir Walter Scott. The different me- clear-headed man of the world,” while at moirs given us by those who were the same time, it is of “an animated, actors amid its scenes, or those whose practical, and dramatic character.” We friends suffered in prison or under the rather suspect the word “ dramatic” was guillotine, are necessarily colored by the put in to complete a full period, for it feelings of the writers. Mignet is per- not only contradicts the former part of haps an exception to the great class of the sentence, but is untrue in every way. authors who have written of this period, If one seeks a “ dramatic” history, let
* The History of the French Revolution, by M. A. Thiers, late Prime Minister o France. Translated, with Notes and Illustrations, by Frederick Schoberl. Complete in Four Vols., with Engravings. Philadelphia: Cary, Lea, and Hart.