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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 severai 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plan of the Peabody Institute, and was one of the Trustees; to it he bequeathed his library and manuscripts, the latter not to be published till 1900. Hc 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.
Mr. Kennedy's writings were very popular during his life-time and deserve to be so still, for his three novels give graphic and excellent pictures of their times, and are true in their historical details, while his Memoirs of Wirt are quite as interesting. His “ Cousin Lucretia’s” remedy for chills was actually used by his grandmother, Mrs. Pendleton of Virginia (see Tuckerman's Life of Kennedy); and HorseShoe Robinson was a real hero of the Revolution whom Kennedy met in upper South Carolina, 1818.
A COUNTRY GENTLEMAN IN VIRGINIA.
(From Swallow Barn.)
The master of this lordly domain is Frank Meriwether. He is now in the meridian of life—somewhere about fortyfive. Good cheer and an easy temper tell well upon him. The first has given him a comfortable, portly figure, and the latter a contemplative turn of mind, which inclines him to be lazy and philosophical.
He has some right to pride himself on his personal appearance, for he has a handsome face, with a dark blue eye and a fine intellectual brow. His head is growing scant of hair on the crown, which induces him to be somewhat particular in the management of his locks in that locality, and these are assuming a decided silvery hue.
It is pleasant to see him when he is going to ride to the Court House on business occasions. He is then apt to make his appearance in a coat of blue broad-cloth, astonishingly glossy, and with an unusual amount of plaited ruffle strutting through the folds of a Marseilles waistcoat.
A worshipful finish is given to this costume by a large straw hat, lined with green silk. There is a magisterial fulness in his garments which betokens condition in the world, and a
heavy bunch of seals, suspended by a chain of gold, jingles as he moves, pronouncing him a man of superfluities.
I am told he keeps the peace as if he commanded a garrison, and administers justice like a Cadi.
He has some claim to supremacy in this last department; for during three years he smoked segars in a lawyer's office in Richmond, which enabled him to obtain a bird's-eye view of Blackstone and the Revised Code. Besides this, he was a member of a Law Debating Society, which ate oysters once a week in a cellar ; and he wore, in accordance with the usage of the most prominent law-students of that day, six cravats, one over the other, and yellow-topped boots, by which he was recognized as a blood of the metropolis. Having in this way qualified himself to assert and maintain his rights, he came to his estate, upon his arrival at age, a very model of landed gentlemen. Since that time his avocations have had a certain literary tincture; for having settled himself down as a married man, and got rid of his superfluous foppery, he rambled with wonderful assiduity through a wilderness of romances, poems, and dissertations, which are now collected in his library, and, with their battered blue covers, present a lively type of an army of continentals at the close of the war, or a hospital of invalids. These have all at last given way to the newspapers—a miscellaneous study very attractive and engrossing to country gentlemen. This line of study has rendered Meriwether a most perilous antagonist in the matter of legislative proceedings.
A landed proprietor, with a good house and a host of servants, is naturally a hospitable man. A guest is one of his daily wants. A friendly face is a necessary of life, without which the heart is apt to starve, or a luxury without