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POLITICAL PORTRAITS WITH PEN AND PENCIL.
(With a fine Engraving on Steel.)
The invaluable practical services re- pliment paid to them, in the fact, that, cently rendered by Mr. 'Tyler to the in taking one of their great men for cause of those principles which have this purpose, we have selected the paralways been advocated by this Review, ticular one whom they themselves took and sustained by its political friends, such very extraordinary pains to place have attached to his position an inter- in the position from which we did our est which necessarily extends in no best to keep him out. And when we add, slight degree to his person also. There that this kind and liberal desire to grati. are probably very few among our read- fy our political opponents, by presenting ers, who have any idea of the counte- them the first accurate likeness of their ance and appearance of a man, who own chosen President, received no innot only fills the most exalted official considerable stimulus from the cir. station in their country, but whose cumstance of the patriotic enthusiasm name, for the past year and a half, for him and his office, manifested at a from the direction of events, has been recent celebrated dinner to an English doubtless more frequently on their lips lord, we are sure we shall have comthan that of any other individual. The pleted our title to their most grateful portraits of Mr. Tyler which have acknowledgments. gone abroad into a very limited circu The following sketch of Mr. Tyler, lation, are in general the veriest daubs we feel bound to say, was written by a of caricature. A remarkably fine da- warm friend and political supporter of guerreotype likeness having fallen in that gentleman, and offered to us for our way, we have therefore deemed insertion, to accompany the portrait
. that an acceptable service would be We have preferred, on the whole, to rendered to our subscribers and the let it pass unmodified by any of those public, by causing it to be engraved for alterations of the editorial pen, which, insertion in the series of portraits of if begun, might perhaps run somewhich it now constitutes the thirty- what further than might be agreeable fourth Number. A counterfeit present- to the author. We have heretofore exment' of any human countenance, pressed so distinctly our own impresprince or peasant, executed by the un sions in relation to him, his position and flattering fidelity of this process-a course, that we deem it unnecessary to process of art which nothing exten state here more particularly how far uates nor sets down aught in malice,' we may agree to, and how far dissent -needs no endorsement to its accuracy from the views urged by the writer, of resemblance. We trust that our with the zeal of political and personal Whig friends will be duly grateful for attachment. For Mr. Tyler's recent the introduction in the Democratic important vetoes we sincerely thank Review, of a portrait of the Chief and honor him,-at the same time that Magistrate of their own choice and we feel bound to say, that the general election; and spare in future the re course of his administration in other proaches that have heretofore been respects has by no means been what sometimes made, against the exclu- we hoped at the outset it might possi. siveness with which the selection of bly be. He leaves us yet in no slight the subjects of this series has been con- degree of doubt, as to the spirit in fined to the prominent men of our own which his course has had its origin and party. We hope that they will appre- stimulus. Confidence is a plant of ciate the delicacy of the intended com- slow growth sometimes in other, also,
than aged bosoms. If Mr. Tyler has was continued to the son, and accordnow done well for one year, he had ingly, at Mr. Jefferson's demise, the before done very ill for ten. If his re- subject of our sketch was called on to cent deserts have been great, great also deliver a eulogy on the departed pawas all he had to atone for. An an- triot; a task to the performance of cient sage would pronounce no man which he brought the whole energies happy in his life, till death had set his of a cultivated mind, and an ardent adseal upon his mortal fate and career. miration of the character of the deSo too do we await a further develop- ceased statesman. This eulogy was ment of Mr. Tyler's administration, delivered at Richmond, and evinces a before deciding on the judgment which deep-seated conviction of the imporshould be recorded opposite to his tance of Mr. Jefferson's political prinname, in the annals of the great office ciples, and an enthusiastic appreciation imposed upon him, by that same fatali- of the eminent services he rendered to ty of accident which seems to have at- his country. At the early age of twentended his whole political career.—Ed. ty-one years, Mr. Tyler was elected to D. R.
the Legislature of Virginia, and five years thereafter was placed in Con
gress. In 1826, he was elevated to the It has fallen to the lot of but few distinguished station of Governor of individuals to exercise so potent an in- the State of Virginia, the duties of fluence on the destinies of their coun- which he discharged for about one try, as the subject of this sketch. But year and a half, when the Legislature recently elevated the office of selected him to fill a vacancy in the Vice President of the nation, a post Senate of the United States. Having which has heretofore been considered served in that capacity during one of far less than secondary importance term, he was re-elected, and continued to that of the Chief Magistrate, Mr. in that office until a difference of opiTyler by a solemn dispensation of nion arose between General Jackson and Providence became invested with the himself, on some measures of public attributes of Executive power on the policy, when, being instructed by the very threshold of his official career. Legislature of Virginia to vote in their The death of President Harrison, and favor, he resigned his seat and went his accession thereby to the station of into voluntary retirement. In the vaChief Magistrate, are events of too rious stations thus briefly alluded to, recent occurrence to require more than Mr. Tyler's talents and judgment were a passing notice. The limits assigned called into frequent exercise, and his to this sketch will not permit an ela- speeches and written addresses are borate review of the earlier incidents marked by forcible and brilliant conof his life, and we shall therefore but ceptions clothed in language of great briefly glance over the more prominent beauty and purity. features of his history, and proceed to The Whig Convention which asthe discussion of those great measures sembled at Harrisburg, in the State of of public policy which have been agi- Pennsylvania, selected him as their tated since his elevation to the Presi- candidate for Vice President, to which dency, and over many of which he has office he was elected in the autumn of exercised so salutary a control. 1840. Up to this period the influence
John Tyler was born in Charles City of Mr. Tyler's views was necessarily County, Virginia, on the 29th of April, limited to a comparatively circum1790, and is now in the fifty-third year scribed sphere of action, but the deof his age. His father for a considera- mise of General Harrison at ble period held the office of Governor placed him on an eminence where the of that ancient Commonwealth, and exercise of the legitimate functions of enjoyed the friendship and esteem of his station involved the most momenthe distinguished statesmen of his day. tous consequences to the well-being A neighbor and intimate friend of of the whole nation. Thomas Jefferson, he possessed the
Flushed with success, the Whig unreserved confidence of that eminent party anticipated no obstacle to the apostle of Democracy, which continued complete triumph of those favorite uninterrupted to the close of his ex- schemes, which, however veiled from istence. The friendship of the father the public eye during the presidential
canvass, were not the less cherished by has been accused of treachery by a the Federal phalanx throughout all the large portion of his Whig allies, but phases of their ever-shifting career, we find the burden of testimony deciRushing to the possession of place and dedly opposed to such a conclusion. power with an appetite whetted by Certain it is, that the settled policy of the protracted struggle which had pre- that party at the late presidential camceded victory, the wire-pullers found paign caused them 10 openly disavow themselves unexpectedly checked by ihe imputation attempted to be fastened the decision and firmness of an individ- on them by their opponents, that they ual elevated by themselves. And here were the advocates of a National Bank; it becomes us to pause and review the and accordingly we find even Henry position of the Executive at this im- Clay declaring at a public meeting at portant crisis.
Taylorville, Hanover county, Virginia, Having for a long period occupied on the 27th June, 1840, that the ques. stations of public irust, which ren- tion of chartering a National Institudered necessary the promulgation of tion “ should be left to the arbitrament his sentiments on the most grave and of an enlightened public opinion.” weighty subjects connected with our From a published communication political institutions, he found himself of Mr. Henry A. Wise, recently adsurrounded by intluences the most hos- dressed to his constituents in Virginia, tile to his pre-conceived and frequently the fact is directly asserted, that during declared principles, and was left the al- the time which elapsed between the ternative of abandoning the convictions nominations at Harrisburg and the of a long life and falsifying his charac- election, and while Congress was in ter for consistency, or of firmly main- session, it was considered necessary taining his fidelity at the cost of en- that the views of Mr. Tyler upon a countering the embittered assaults of National Bank should be obtained. those who were instrumental in his For this purpose Mr. Wise was selectelevation. Foremost among those im- ed to address Mr. Tyler on that subject, portant measures of national policy, who, in his reply, stated distinctly that the question of establishing a moneyed his views in relation to such an insticorporation by the General Govern- tation remained unchanged, and that ment stood forth, broad, massive, and were he the President he could never overshadowing.
sign a charter for any such incorporaOn numerous occasions—in the Se- tion while the Constitution remained in nate of the United States-on the hust- its present form. ings in Virginia—in communications to This he plainly and unequivocally individuals and public bodies, and in stated, that his views might be subcasual and private conversations, Mr. mitted to the Whigs in Congress, and, Tyler had steadily denied the constitu- through them, to the nation. tional right of Congress to charter such This letter was shown by Mr. Wise an institution.
to Mr. Biddle, of Pittsburgh, and other To fortify this settled conviction, the leading Whig members of Congress at President found that the evils which that time, and it was left for them to the framers of the Constitution had, say whether the letter should be pubwith far-seeing eye, anticipated from lished or not. They decided that Mr. the existence of such a monopoly, Tyler's letter should not go before the were more than verified by the blister public! The above explicit declaraing developments that were unfolded tion of the honorable menaber of Conin the management of the United gress appears abundantly conclusive, States Bank of Pennsylvania, with its and we are therefore justified in the admitted “odor of nationality; and conclusion that he was selected as the he wisely determined to stand by his candidate of the Whigs in 1840 for his principles without calculating the cost availability, without regarding the coheor inconvenience to himself personally, sion of his views withtheir own, or deThe result is before the country, and manding the abandonment or modificawe intend briefly to glance at the tion of his cherished convictions. Thus, effects, past, present, and prospective, by a Providential dispensation, neither which have followed and may be ex- usual nor uninstructive, the temporary pected to follow from his official acts. ascendency of a deceptive course of We are aware, indeed, that Mr. Tyler policy was overthrown, and the high
priests of Error were stricken with a and on the 16th September, 1841, singular but merited retribution while placed his official veto on the odious administering the sacrificial rites at the law. To properly estimate the value very altar of their triumph.
of Mr. Tyler's firmness, we must reOn the threshold of his administra- view the position of the Democratic tion the President was brought into party at this eventful crisis. Defeated official communication with advisers at all points, and overwhelmed by the selected by his predecessor, and, nerv- force of the political tornado which ing himself for the mighty struggle had swept over the land, they saw which he foresaw was approaching, he before them but a succession of aristopermitted some minor measures to pass cratic usurpations, whose effects would without opposition, which under other shake the very foundations of our vacircumstances he might have opposed. lued institutions. The firmness of Mr.
The passage of the bill to incorporate Tyler dispelled the gathering gloom, a Bank of the United States signalized and the meed of approval awarded him the great crisis, and demanded the ex. by the patriot at the Hermitage met ercise of his utmost firmness.
with a willing response from the DeWe learn from an eye-witness the mocracy of the whole Union, until its extraordinary measures which were echoes were lost in the caverns of the adopted at this period to overthrow the Rocky Mountains. President's settled purpose.
The defeat of their darling object Committees of Congress were in induced the Whig party in Congress, constant attendance at his rooms, as. and their allies in the Cabinet, to aisailing him with earnest appeals to his tempt to destroy Mr. Tyler's influence feelings and his interests on the one if they could not bend him to their hand, while on the other the phials of purpose. federal wrath were denounced if he To accomplish this they plied him continued obdurate. Even the privacy with artful queries as to the kind of of his bed-chamber was invaded at un- Government Bank or agency he would seasonable hours by individuals in sanction, noted all his remarks, and hushigh station, and the extraordinary ex- banded every isolated expression with pedient was resorted to, of summoning the intention of instituting a question his intimate personal friends from his of veracity between themselves and native State to beseech him to give his him. His veto of the second Bank sanction to the bill of abominations. Bill was followed by the resignation To crown the machinations of the fede- of all his Cabinet ministers except the ral politicians in and out of Congress, Secretary of State, who, with a lack of the members of the President's Cabi- delicacy which cannot be too bighly net, with an indelicacy and violation of censured, issued addresses to the pubduty unparalleled in the history of our lic criminating the President, and acGovernment, held a secret meeting at cusing him of deception and insincerity. the Treasury Department, apart from Their statements, however, being inthe President, and without his know. consistent with each other, failed to ledge, to devise plans to coerce him into effect the object intended, and their submission. While these extraordi- manifestoes and themselves are connary and persevering efforts were in signed to merited obscurity; or if reprogress, the Democratic members of membered, live alone in the contempt Congress were naturally suspicious of of the community. the fidelity to principle of one who had During the recess between the adbeen elevated to office by the Federal journment of Congress, at its special forces, and they consequently declined session, and the commencement of its any interference in the matter. The regular meeting in December last, the result was, that Mr. Tyler was left impoverished state of the National single-handed and alone to combat the Treasury induced the President to repowerful influences which were assail. commend the repeal of that section of ing his integrity, and was compelled the act to distribute the proceeds of to rely on the sustaining power of his the public lands among the States Maker, and the approving voice of his which authorizes such distribution own conscience.
whenever the duties on imports did not Fortunately for the country, he exceed twenty per centum on their planted bis foot on the rock of principle, value.
This recommendation, although evi. rigid adherence to right is susceptible dently justified by the exigencies of the of removal or modification. The pasGovernment, was assailed with great sage of the second tariff bill, embodybitterness by the Whig leaders in Con- ing the same unacceptable features as gress, and met with prompt rejection its predecessors, again elicited a presiby the federal majority of that body. dential veto, and the Federal majority
The breach between the President were left the unpleasant alternative of and his quondam allies had now evi- abandoning the ground they had so dently become irreparable, and we find vauntingly occupied, or of encounterthe remainder of the session of Con- ing the opposition of the manufacgress wasted in fruitless endeavors to turers, who were clamoring at the doors place the Executive in a false position. of the capitol, demanding legislatire The first movement to effect this ob- protection. The indignant rebukes of ject was made by that arch-leader of the people at the reckless conduct of the Federal forces, Henry Clay, who the congressional majority during a signalized his withdrawal from the session of nearly nine montlis' duration, Senate of the United States by an as at length forced an unwilling action on sault on the veto power, in which he the tariff question, which resulted in advocated such a change in the Consti- the passage of the present law. The tution as would annul or materially bill thus enacted in hot haste at the weaken this salutary check on con- close of the session, although odious gressional usurpation. His followers in many of its leading provisions, was in Congress were not, however, exactly necessarily approved by the Executive, prepared to adopt so revolutionary a and became a law. The views of Mr. suggestion, and the resolutions of Mr. Tyler, on the subject of revenue, apClay quietly repose on the table of the pear, from his published declarations, United States Senate, an enduring to be consonant with sound policy, monument of the folly of which their while the principle of indirect taxation distinguished author could be capable. continues to be adhered to by our
The next scheme to coerce the Presi- Government. The recent indications dent, was an attempt to reduce him to of returning sanity on the part of the a compliance with the wishes of the British Government, in relation to the Whig party, by virtually threatening inexpediency of levying prohibitory to cut off the supplies. On the last duties, warrants the hope, that the day day of July, the duties on all imported is not far distant when the principles of goods were reduced, by the terms of the free-trade will be more generally uncompromise act, to twenty per cent., derstood and recognised, and governbut the provisions of the law were ments will learn that unloosing the couched in language so ambiguous, shackles of commerce is the most certhat doubts were entertained of the tain method of attaining the highest power to enforce the collection of the state of national prosperity: The
The passage of "the little odious appendage to the apportionment Tariff Bill” legalized the provisions of law, which was adopted at the close of the compromise act, but provided at the session, and the repeal of the saluthe same time for the suspension, for tary provision of the distribution law thirty days, of that portion of the dis- before alluded to-followed by the imtribution law which prevented the di- mediate adjournment of Congress,vision of the proceeds of the public gave the President an opportunity of lands when the duties on imports ex- withholding his sanction to those bills, cceded twenty per cent. To sanction and thus defeating them without the this law would have convicted Mr. necessity of formal vetoes. A brief Tyler of gross inconsistency, while its glance at the tendency of the more rejection involved embarrassment to important measures adopted by the the national finances, and endangered whig majority of Congress, and which the public credit.
were disapproved by Mr. Tyler, will The President promptly vetoed the not be here out of place. bill (the veto message was sent to The country was passing through a Congress on the 29th of June) having financial crisis of unparalleled severity; wisely decided that the invasion of a and to the social and political evils high moral principle is irreparable, connected with the establishment of a while the inconvenience created by a Bank of the United States, would have