R. H. Dana, Jr.
, wrote, Dec. 11, 1851:—
Your kind reception at Washington is not attributable, sure enough, to the influence of our Boston oligarchy; but their power does not extend much beyond the pavements and Nahant.
They are bigoted without being fanatical.
wrote to Longfellow
, December 9:—
Shields is now speaking.
Everybody has treated me with cordial kindness.
Clay, I think, has upon him the inexorable hand.
He has not been in his seat since the first day. Seward is a very remarkable man; Berrien, a very effective speaker.
I have been pressed by work and care very much, and sigh for some of those sweet hours which we have had and I have lost.
Again, December 28:—
I feel heart-sick here.
The Senate is a lone place, with few who are capable of yielding any true sympathy to me. I wish I were in some other sphere.
Let no person take office or embark in politics unless for the sake of a sentiment which he feels an inexpressible impulse to sustain in this way.
These latter days have had some recreation.
For instance, Tuesday, dinner with the French Minister; company pleasant; Cass very genial and friendly; Calderon always affectionate to me; our friend Ampere, who talked of you. Wednesday, dinner with the President; more than forty at table; dinner French, served à la Russe, heavy, beginning at 6 1/2 o'clock and ending at 9 1/2; miss Fillmore pleasant and attractive, particularly when she spoke of you. Thursday, dinner at F. P. Blair's, about seven miles out of town,—a family party, with a diplomat and a politician.
Friday, dinner with Seward, whom I like much, and with whom I find great sympathy.
Saturday, dinner with Robert Walsh, whose new wife has very little to say. Sunday, dinner with Lieutenant Wise, whose little establishment is very complete.
He calls his wife “Charley.”
I thought once or twice he spoke to me. Would that I were with you, and could share your calm thoughts!
As for me, farewell content; farewell the tranquil mind!
met a welcome from the first in the houses of the New York senators, being received there without ceremony.
He counted Mrs. Seward
and Mrs. Fish
among his best friends, and his relations with the former continued unbroken till her death.
He also enjoyed the renewal of intercourse with a college mate, Charles Eames
, then an editor of the Washington
‘Union,’ the Democratic
organ, whose accomplished wife became his sympathetic and ever faithful friend; few American women of her time have had so choice a circle of admirers, among whom