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and never expressed a desire to do so, unless it might be to march into Canada during the last war. Wedded to the endearments of domestic and private life, he manifested the sincerity of his attachment to them, by resigning the successive offices of United States senator, judge of the Supreme Court, and others which he held, and declining several that were tendered to him, and devoting himself to his profession and family.
He never seemed conscious of personal danger. By this, I do not mean that he experienced no fear-or stili less, that he was possessed of courage. These are qualities that may be, and frequently are, found in the worst of our species. Education, habit, accident, may invest any one with courage; animals possess it. But General Jackson had something more. His whole life is studded with examples of this. I refer to a few, which are selected as most unnatural, and most likely to have disturbed his composure. When a young man felt called upon to attempt an indignity upon him, stricken in years, and president of the United States, his cane was instantly raised to chastise him, and he was with difficulty restrained. When an exasperated mob surrounded the President's House, and threatened his life, the marshal offered him a score of constables; the military and naval officers volunteered to him a guard; the members of his cabinet, and other friends, desired to watch with him in his house : he resolutely declined all these offers. Towards evening he procured two or three guns, and, with only his nephew and a servant in the house, went to sleep as quietly as an infant in his cradle. When an assassin set upon him in the capitol, with a double-barrelled pistol loaded, as he was making his way out from a funeral, after one barrel had been snapped within ten feet of his face, and the other was pointed at him, he advanced upon the madman with uplifted cane, and would have struck him to the earth, but for the interference of friends. He was never taken by surprise-counted no odds required no notice. I doubt •if ever a man lived of such immoveable nerve, who was so entirely unconscious of personal danger-so wholly forgetful of himself and his perils.
His attention to young men was of the most kind and attentive character. He had no children, and, as has been so beautifully said of General Washington, Providence denied him children, that he might be the father of his country. He entered into all the feelings of youth, sympathized with its amusements and pleasures, forgave its frailties, was always ready with advice and assistance for those who asked either, and manifested a sincere and warm interest in the conduct and fortunes of his young acquaintances. How this added to his fascination, may well be judged.
In 1794, he was married to his late wife, Rachel Donelson, who had previously been divorced from her husband, Mr. Robards. She
is described as having been remarkable for beauty, affability, and sweetness of temper; and nothing could exceed the tenderness and touching devotion of General Jackson to her kindred. Perhaps I do wrong to expose so tender and delicate a relation as a husband's love to the rude gaze of the public; but those who knew the lamented deceased would hardly recognise his character if this distinguished feature were absent. During her life, she had not a wish ungratified, not a want unanticipated. Her remotest kindred became as her nearest and dearest relatives—her ordinary acquaintances as his most attached friends. After her death, which occurred just previous to his assuming the presidency, her image was ever at his side, thoughts of her ever in his mind. He declined the honour of an imperial sarcophagus, and only sought a tomb by her side. His dying moments were cheered, at his request, by bringing her portrait in his sight; and his last breath wafted to heaven a prayer that he might join her! He was a truly good
Not that he passed his days in deeds of ostentatious benevolence—not that he sought out splendid altars at which to worship --not that he attached himself, in early life, to a particular sect, or adopted particular tenets, and considered all who difiered from him as irretrievably lost. His was not a religion of clime or a country, or a sect or a persuasion ; but he illustrated, in his daily walk and conduct, by acts of private benevolence, kind regard for all around him, universal charity and love—that true piety of the heart that worships God everywhere and any way, that cannot be feigned, and invites no false imitation; and when he came to die, he manifested the courage of a true believer. Death comes in many shapes where it may be met unmoved. In the rage of battle, amid the din of arms, in the confusion and shock of contest, the cheer of the victors, and the groans of the vanquished, I am told, and can well
I imagine, all sense that life is in jeopardy is banished. So, too, where a strong man, in the vigour of his health and intellect, in the full possession of his faculties, is summoned to yield to the king of terrors, his constancy may not forsake him. But to sit for weeks bowed down with bodily anguish, the eye and the ear gradually growing dull, the faculties failing; to watch the sands of life surely and palpably wasting away—if I may so speak—thus prostrated and enfeebled, to stare death in the face, and describe his approaches in writing to your friends; to summon one's family to the bedside, and calmly take leave of each member of it; to calmly await his fatal stroke without inviting or avoiding it; he who does this, must rise above and beyond the allurements, the vexations, and the pains of this world, and feel an assured hope of a glorious immortality.
So died Andrew Jackson! at peace with God and man, forgiving his enemies, and invoking blessings on his country. May it be said of those who are now looking into his new grave to cavil and censure, that their last end was like his !
Fellow-citizens, I have thus faintly and feebly sketched the character of him whose memory we honour. I have committed my remarks to paper, because, otherwise, I could not be certain what I should say, and I wished carefully to avoid giving any offence. I know I have imperfectly discharged the duty assigned to me. I have made nothing that deserves the name of preparation, nor should I wish to do so; death gives no note of preparation, and he who follows his shafts, and mounts over the desolation they cause, should require no preparation. Grief vents itself in simple and unstudied language. Elaborate eulogies may be impressive or the reverse, not according to the merit of the subject, but to the skill of the performer.
The appearance of mourners here to-day is most suitable. The Masonic fraternity lament the loss of a high officer; these splendid volunteer companies do right to honour one who won his earliest honours in the ranks of the militia, and reflected glory on the citizen soldiery. The officers and privates of the army most fitly pay respects to one who, with a single bound, sprang to their front ranks, and in a twelvemonth's career immortalized the skill and valour of the American arms. Benevolent societies! you should be here, for benevolence has lost a patron. Executive, legislative, judicial officers, Jackson was the associate of some, the predecessor of others, the compeer of all of you. Few and lingering survivors of those who achieved our independence, a comrade has preceded you, who shed his most youthful blood at your side; you do well to gather and to grieve round his tomb. Ladies! you are honouring one, the most gallant of mankind one who repelled the invaders of our country, pressing forward under the brutal watchword of “beauty and booty”-one whose whole heart was
in an individual of your sex, whom he loved in life, and whose death he continually mourned; but through whom, and in whom, and for whom, he respected and honoured all the rest of the sex.
Citizens all! your presence here is natural and necessary. The United States have lost a defender, humanity a friend, the world a benefactor.
Fellow-citizens! a word at parting. Fifty years from to-day, and in the ordinary course of human events, he who addresses you, and all those within reach of his voice, will slumber in the grave. These forms, now so vigorous, voices so full, eyes so bright, will have passed away; probably the party divisions of the day will be effaced; perhaps the government itself may be changed. But the
fame of him we now honour will be perpetuated in song and in story-history will record his great deeds—poetry will illustrate his
many virtues—the canvass and the marble will hand down his lineaments to posterity; and whatever personal or party feeling may now suggest, it will then be no mean praise to say of us, “He was the one who joined in a tribute of respect and gratitude to the patriot Jackson.”
DELIVERED AT PITTSBURGH, JULY 17, 1845,
Hon. WILSON MCCANDLESS.
“ THE LORD OF Hosts has taken away the mighty man, and the man of war,” the accomplished civilian and the great captain of
The people praise him—the nation mourns him: he has gone down to an humble and unpretending tomb, there to await the summons of the archangel to the resurrection of the just.
What a spectacle is here presented to the eye of the civilized world! This is no tribute to power, no suppliancy to wealth ; no bowing of the knee to congregated authority. It is the voluntary offering of a free and generous constituency to one linked to them by ties that nature holds indissoluble. Like the silver cord of pure affection, which connects us with beings of the spiritual world, these ties cannot be severed by the convulsions of personal and party warfare. In one mind and one spirit, and as brethren of the same household, you have come up to this place in sadness to perform a melancholy but patriotic duty.
The bells have tolled—the funeral song is sung—the muffled drum has revealed its mournful tale—the proud emblem of our national sovereignty is shrouded in sable—the trumpet to the cannon speaks throughout the land, that one of her gifted sons has fulfilled his destiny, and surrendered his spirit to God who gave it.
And, fellow-countrymen, in commemorating the virtues of departed worth ; in celebrating a name full of interest and love of country, let us not forget that this Hero, like his great prototype of the Revolution, relied not on his own arm, but upon that Omnipotence which controls the operations of republics and kingdoms, and who also sheds upon us His tender mercies, with all the renovating influence of the early and the latter rain.