« AnteriorContinuar »
CHIEF JUSTICE LEWIS.
“A pyramid so wide and high,
That Cheops stands in envy by.' “I have not enumerated the numerous private charities of Mr. Childs. The magnificent building which he erected for The Ledger at a cost of half a million dollars, as a newspaper establishment, is unparalleled in the world; and he could not erect this building without providing that the press-room, composingroom, and reporters' room,
other room where his employés are engaged, should be carefully warmed, ventilated, and lighted, so that they should be comfortable in their employment, and enjoy good health in their industry. Even the outside corners of his splendid building could not be constructed without bringing to the large heart of Mr. Childs the wants of the weary wayfarer on a hot summer day. Therefore it was that each corner is provided with a marble fountain to furnish a cup of cold water to every one who is thirsty. Mr. Childs provides for the health of his employés during life. He has introduced bathrooms into various parts of the building for the use of the workingmen, who avail themselves freely of the privilege afforded them. He secures an insurance on their lives for the benefit of their families after death, and even then he does not desert them—he provides this beautiful and magnificent burial-lot for the
repose of their lifeless bodies. Such a man surely deserves the love and gratitude of his fellow-creatures on earth, and the blessings of his Creator in the world to come.”
No charity appeals to Childs in vain ; no object of patriotism; no great enterprise ; no sufferer from misfortune, whether the ex-Confederate or the stricken foreigner. He enjoys the confidence of President Grant, and yet was among the first to send a splendid subscription to the monument to Greeley. He, more than any other, pushed the subscription of over $100,000 for the family of the dead hero, George G. Meade, and yet Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, has no firmer friend. His list of unpublished and unknown benevolences would give the lie to
the poor story that he craves notoriety. When I carried letters from him to Europe in 1867, his name was a talisman, and it was pleasant to see how noblemen like the Duke of Buckingham honored the indorsement of an American who, thirty years ago, walked the streets of Philadelphia without a friend or a dollar. He made his money himself, not by speculation or office, and got none by inheritance. He coins fortune like a magician, and spends it like a man of heart. He likes society, and lives like a gentleman. He is as temperate as Horace Greeley ever was, and yet he never denies his friends a generous glass of wine. His habits are as simple as Abraham Lincoln's, yet his residence is a gem bright with exquisite decoration, and rich in every variety of art. He gives a Christmas dinner to newsboys and bootblacks, and dines traveling dukes and earls with equal ease and familiarity. He never seems to be at work, goes every where, sees every body, helps every body, and yet his great machine moves like a clock under his constant supervision.
In a sketch like this I have no space to do more than allude to The Ledger under the management of Mr. Childs; to the palace, which cost, with the ground, over $500,000, in which he prints and publishes it, and to his circulation, running at times to 95,000 copies a day. But there is one aspect that must not be omitted as I close these anecdotes. I mean the perfect independence of the paper in regard to local and general corruptions. It does not hesitate. It strikes out bold and quick. Its rhetoric is not so trenchant as that of Russell Jarvis, when he took “the bull by the horns” twenty and twenty-five years ago, and when he stirred the sensibilities of the medical students and the pro-slavery mobs; but it is more effective, because more moderate. George W. Childs, an intimate friend of President Grant, does not fail to tell him in his Public Ledger, as he does, I hope, in his private talk, that among those who affect to support Grant in Philadelphia, there are creatures who do not care
three continental farthings for him, except as they can use him. It is something to feel that there is at least one man in Philadelphia who has money enough not to want any more, and who can afford to tell General Grant the truth without being accused of a longing for his favor.
I N D E X.
Actors, Influence of, 271.
Family, 48; English descent, 354.
character of, 392.
closing years, 48; opposes annex-
early letter from, 355 ; diary of, 356.
H. Benton, J. S. Black, and Caleb Cush-
at sea, 297
Baltimore, eventful occurrences in, 160; fir-
ing on the Massachusetts troops, 225.
Sumner, 159 ; his hotel closed and re-
opened by authority, 161.
of his eloquence, 30.
ry Wikoff, 366; with President Buchan-
paper writer, 21; anecdote of, 22.
banquet to, 71.
geant, 198; his public life, 201.
Blair & Rives, of the Washington press,
New World, 413 ; autobiography of a
conjurer, 414; anecdotes from, 416.
Lincoln, 264; his patriotic poetry, 266.
acter, 41; scene with Senator E. D. Baker,
BAKER, E. D. B., scene in the Senate with
Breckinridge, 43 ; his political predictions,