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[2] was re-elected to Congress as the member for Boston. George Bancroft was appointed Collector of the Port, and Robert C. Winthrop chosen Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Dr. Nathaniel Bowditch, author of ‘The Practical Navigator’ and translator of the Mecanique Celeste, ended a career dedicated to science. George Combe, of Edinburgh, was delivering lectures on phrenology in Boston. Horace Mann was urging with prodigious earnestness and industry the cause of education. Daniel Webster was about to sail for Europe on his only foreign journey. The ‘Sirius’ and ‘Great Western’ were traversing the Atlantic,—the beginning of that ocean steam-navigation which was to give a new force to civilization.1

At Harvard College and the Law School all was well. Two terms a year now took the place of three; elective studies were allowed, and lectures admitted in part as a substitute for recitations. The new Library—Gore Hall—built of Quincy granite, was rising. The Law School numbered seventy pupils; and Professor Greenleaf, sole instructor when Judge Story was absent on judicial service, found himself overburdened with work.

In literature there was new activity. Prescott's ‘Ferdinand and Isabella,’ his first work, was winning golden opinions, and he was making researches for his ‘Conquest of Mexico.’ Cleveland was writing the ‘Life of Henry Hudson’ for Sparks's ‘American Biography,’ and editing ‘Sallust.’ Hillard was completing his edition of ‘Spenser.’ Felton was preparing a Greek Reader, and translating Menzel's ‘History of German Literature.’ Longfellow published ‘The Psalm of Life’ in Sept., 1838, and a few months later ‘Hyperion’ and ‘The Voices of the Night.’ Dr. Lieber visited Boston to superintend the publication of the ‘Political Ethics.’ Motley was writing ‘Morton's Hope.’ Greenleaf was gathering the materials for a treatise upon ‘The Law of Evidence.’ Story was in the full tide of authorship, writing and printing ‘The Law of Agency,’ and revising ‘Equity Pleadings’ and other works.

The period of financial depression,—one of the most remarkable in our history,—which began in 1837, still continued. The failure of some Boston banks had spread unusual distrust. Few local improvements were in progress; but it was thought worthy of record at the time that around the Common had been built a

1 The first arrival of the ‘Sirius’ and,‘Great Western’ at New York was on April 23, 1838. Nineteen years earlier, the ‘Savannah’ made a single experimental trip.

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