Mr. Stephen Longfellow, Mr. Wilde, and Mr. Waldo—had taken a house, and lived by themselves. We called on them immediately. Mr. Otis alone was at home, detained, by a committee, from the morning session where the other gentlemen were. Mr. Otis was an intimate friend of Mr. Perkins, and he invited us both to take two rooms in their house that were unoccupied, an offer that we accepted at once. It was a most agreeable opportunity for seeing some of the most distinguished statesmen of New England. The next day, Sunday, was Christmas, but in Connecticut they then paid little attention to that day. We went to church in the morning, but gave the rest of the day and evening to solid conversation, for which there were such rich materials in the circle. In the evening a considerable number of the members of the Convention came to pay their respects to Mr. Cabot (the President), and made a few hours very agreeable and interesting. Among them I recollect the modest and wise Mr. West, of New Hampshire, and the vigorous, decisive Mr. Hillhouse, of Connecticut. I, of course, learnt nothing of the proceedings of the Convention, which sat with closed doors; but it was impossible to pass two days with such men, and hear their free conversation on public affairs, without feeling an entire confidence in their integrity and faithfulness to duty. On Monday forenoon we drove to New Haven, where I saw Prof. Kingsley and Prof. Day, but more of Prof. Silliman than of any one else. Prof. Nathan Smith, the eminent anatomist and surgeon, whom I had known at Dartmouth College, Hanover, took Mr. Perkins and myself to one of Prof. Silliman's Chemical Lectures. He had a large audience,—about one hundred and eighty; and many of them took notes in a way I had never seen done before. He lectured with great spirit, extemporaneously, and with an earnestness I had not witnessed before in such teaching. We also went about three miles from the town, to see a manufactory of muskets, made by very ingenious machinery, invented by the Whitney who made the fortune of the South, if not his own, through the invention of the cotton-gin,—which, more than any other single circumstance in the history of the South, gave the Slave States their resources for rebellion. I remember still with great interest the conversation we had with Mr. Whitney, and the explanations of his remarkable inventions, which he gave us with great earnestness. He was a man of clear and powerful mind, and a well-made, vigorous frame.
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