The tragedy at Washington.The whole country is shocked, and its moral sensibilities outraged, by the horrible tragedy lately perpetrated at Washington, of which a member of Congress was the victim. It was, indeed, an awful, yet we will hope not a profitless catastrophe; and we blush for human nature when we observe the most systematic efforts used to pervert to purposes of party advantage and personal malignity, a result which should be sacred to the interests of humanity and morality—to the stern inculcation and enforcement of a reverence for the laws of the land and the mandates of God. Nearly a month since, a charge of corruption, or an offer to sell official influence and exertion for a pecuniary consideration, against some unnamed member of Congress, was transmitted to the New York Courier and Enquirer by its correspondent, “the Spy in Washington.” Its appearance in that journal called forth a resolution from Mr. Wise, that the charge be investigated by the House. On this an irregular and excited debate arose, which consumed a day or two, and which was signalized by severe attacks on the Public Press of this country, and on the letter-writers from Washington. In particular, the Courier and Enquirer, in which this charge appeared, its chief Editor, and its correspondent the Spy, were stigmatized; and Mr. Cilley, a member from Maine, was among those who gave currency to the charges. Col. Webb, the Editor, on the appearance of these charges, instantly proceeded to Washington, and there addressed a note to Mr. Cilley on the subject. That note, it appears, was courteous and dignified in its language, merely inquiring of Mr. C. if his remarks, published in the Globe, were intended to convey any personal disrespect to the writer, and containing no menace of any kind. It was handed to Mr. Cilley by Mr. Graves, a member from Kentucky, but declined by Mr. C., on the ground, as was understood, that he did not choose to be drawn into controversy with Editors of public journals in regard to his remarks in the House. This was correct and honorable ground. The Constitution expressly provides that members of Congress shall not be responsible elsewhere for words spoken in debate, and the provision is a most noble and necessary one. But Mr. Graves considered the reply as placing him in an equivocal position. If a note transmitted through his hands had been declined, as was liable to be understood, because the writer was not worthy the treatment of a gentleman, the dishonor was reflected on himself as the bearer of a disgraceful
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : the Scotch -Irish of New Hampshire .
Chapter 3 : early childhood.
Chapter 5 : at Westhaven , Vermont .
Chapter 6 : apprenticeship.
Chapter 7 : he wanders.
Chapter 8 : arrival in New York.
Chapter 10 : the first penny paper—and who thought of it.
Chapter 12 : editor of the New Yorker .
Chapter 15 : starts the Tribune .
Chapter 16 : the Tribune and Fourierism.
Chapter 18 : the Tribune and J. Fenimore Cooper .
Chapter 19 : the Tribune continues.
Chapter 20 : Margaret Fuller .
Chapter 21 : editorial repartees.
Chapter 23 : three months in Congress.
Chapter 24 : Association in the Tribune office .
Chapter 26 : three months in Europe .
Chapter 27 : recently.
Chapter 28 : day and night in the Tribune office .
Chapter 29 : position and influence of Horace Greeley .
Chapter 30 : Appearance—manners—habits.
 I will indulge the reader with one article entire from the Jeffersonian; 1, because it is interesting; 2, because it will serve to show the spirit and the manner of the editor in recording and commenting upon the topics of the day. He has since written more emphatic, but not more effective articles, on similar subjects:
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