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to General Johnston: Portray him as he was-great, good, single-minded, and simple. He was the devotee of duty, but disposed to soften its asperities to others. His was a character with few counterparts in ancient or modern story. It has been said that the noblest eulogy ever written consisted of a single word--the just. All who ever knew General Johnston will confirm that he was as well entitled to that epithet as the old Athenian, and, coupled with it, to another, the generous. Talleyrand's saying, No man is a hero to his valet, is true in the main; but General Johnston would have been a hero to his very shadow. Those who knew him best admired him most. His peerless, blameless life was long enough for glory; and but one brief day, perhaps one hour only, too short for liberty. One hour more for him in the saddle, and the Confederate States would have taken their place at the council-board of the nations. Governor Harris thus notes some of the points he had observed in
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 24 (search)
afforded the general-in-chief no little amusement by the volubility of his conversation. When the general asked the captain a question, before he could venture a reply his sub would volunteer an answer, and frequently make it the occasion of an elaborate lecture upon the intricate science of marine warfare. The captain could rarely get in a word edgewise. In fact, he seemed to accept the situation, and did not often make the attempt. It might have been said of this young officer what Talleyrand said of a French diplomat: Clever man, but he has no talent for dialogue. There had been so much talk about the formidable character of the double-turreted monitors that General Grant decided one morning to go up the James and pay a visit to the Onondaga, and invited me to accompany him. The monitor was lying above the pontoon-bridge in Trent's Reach. After looking the vessel over, and admiring the perfection of her machinery, the general said to the commander: Captain, what is the eff
it existed. Hundreds still remember his gracious life among us, and he and his lovely wife, one of the most charming and holy women of her day, as well as one of the most accomplished, are enshrined in many hearts as memories that are precious possessions. The President, Mr. Buchanan, paid Lady Napier a compliment, on her farewell visit before leaving the embassy, that was gratifying to every woman in society, and evinced his power of saying, upon the moment, as graceful things as Talleyrand. For some unaccountable reason Lord Napier had been recalled suddenly, Mr. Buchanan assured me that he had no idea why. Everyone in society felt the recall a personal grievance, and some of the English legation believed that the President or Secretary of State had intimated that another minister would be more acceptable. So great was the sympathy and regard for the retiring minister, that his friends gave him a large ball at Willard's, which was attended by the good society of all the ne
'Twere as hard To measure your offences, as it's been To estimate the wretchedness abounding, Since Mars his brazen trumpet has been sounding. What demon could possess you to abandon The Union--and your rights as Union men? The Constitution was enough to stand on; And on it were arrayed a host of men, Prepared to lay a strong, suppressing hand on The mad fanatics, who assailed you then. But you in frenzy gave us battle's thunder-- A monstrous crime, and worse — a monstrous blunder! 'Twas Talleyrand, French Secretary, said A blunder's worse than crime;--but never Hath any one in earthly annals read Of blunder like your efforts to dissever Our glorious country! Lucifer once made A similar but unprovoked endeavor! But different his fate — perchance you know-- When he “seceded,” they just let him go. I know that Milton undertakes to prove, (But probabilities a good deal straining,) That Lucifer, on falling from above, Enlisted armies, and had soldiers training, And then in mad, rebell
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Envoys to France. (search)
sum of money, in the form of a loan, by the purchase of Dutch bonds wrung from that nation by the French, and a bribe to the amount of $240,000 for the private use of the five members of the Directory. The proposition came semi-officially from Talleyrand, one of the most unscrupulous politicians of the age. It was accompanied by a covert threat that if the proposition was not complied with the envoys might be ordered to leave France in twenty-four hours, and the coasts of the United States be rts of the United States be ravaged by French cruisers from San Domino. They peremptorily refused, and Pinckney uttered, in substance, the noble words, Millions for defence, but not one cent for tribute! The envoys asked for their passports. They were given to the two Federalists under circumstances that amounted to their virtual expulsion, but Gerry, the Democrat, was induced to remain. He, too, was soon treated with contempt by Talleyrand and his associates, and he returned home in disgust.
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), France, early relations with. (search)
ll disputes between the two governments. Oliver Ellsworth and William R. Davie were chosen to join Murray. The latter did not proceed to Europe until assurances were received from France of their courteous reception. These were received from Talleyrand (November, 1799), and the two envoys sailed for France. The some month the Directory, which had become unpopular, was overthrown, and the government of France remodelled, with Napoleon Bonaparte as first consul, or supreme ruler, of the nation. The envoys were cordially received by Talleyrand, in the name of the first consul, and all difficulties between the two nations were speedily adjusted. A convention was signed at Paris (Sept. 30, 1800) by the three envoys and three French commissioners which was satisfactory to both parties. The convention also made a decision contrary to the doctrine avowed and practised by the English government, that free ships make free goods. This affirmed the doctrine of Frederick the Great, enunci
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), United States of America. (search)
s, insurance policies, certificates, etc., by act of......July 6, 1797 A duty on salt levied......July 8, 1797 Senate expels William Blount, of Tennessee......July 9, 1797 First session adjourns......July 10, 1797 President appoints John Marshall, of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, with C. C. Pinckney, as commissioners to treat with France; they meet at Paris......Oct. 4, 1797 [Commissioners asked to bribe members of French Directory, but indignantly refuse. Talleyrand, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, implicated. Mr. Marshall and Mr. Pinckney ordered out of France. C. C. Pinckney declared that the United States had millions for defence, but not one cent for tribute. ] Second session assembles at Philadelphia, Pa.......Nov. 13, 1797 First personal encounter in Congress between Matthew Lyon, of Vermont, and Roger Griswold, of Connecticut; the House fails to censure or punish......Feb. 12-15, 1798 Mississippi Territory organized......Apri
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Volney, Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf Boisgirais, Comte de 1757-1820 (search)
Volney, Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf Boisgirais, Comte de 1757-1820 Author; born in Craon, France, Feb. 3, 1757. When war with France seemed to be inevitable, in 1798, suspicions of the designs of Frenchmen in the country were keenly awakened. Talleyrand, who had resided awhile in the United States, was suspected of having acted as a spy for the French government, and other exiled Frenchmen were suspected of being on the same errand. It was known that Frenchmen were busy in Kentucky and in Georgia fomenting discontents, and it was strongly suspected that M. de Volney, who had explored the Western country, ostensibly with only scientific views, was acting in the capacity of a spy for the French government, with a view to finally annexing the country west of the Alleghany Mountains to Louisiana, which France was about to obtain by a secret treaty with Spain. These suspicions led to the enactment of the alien and Sedition laws (q. v.). The passage of the alien law alarmed Voln
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), X Y Z letters, (search)
sent back as one of the three envoys. Congress at once ordered an increase in the army and navy. Before the new ships were ready hostilities had actually begun. Commodore Truxton, in the United States frigate Constellation, captured a French frigate, the Insurgente, in West Indian waters, Feb. 9, 1799, and fought the French frigate Vengeance, which, however, escaped during the night. Over 300 American merchant vessels were authorized as privateers. The result was that France yielded. Talleyrand, the very minister who had dictated the insults, and whose secretary had demanded the bribe of 1,200,000 francs, now disavowed any connection with the French agents, X, Y, Z, and by order of Napoleon, who had assumed the charge of French affairs, pledged his government to receive any minister the United States might send. Without consulting his cabinet, Adams took the responsibility of again sending ambassadors. These men were well received, and orders were at once issued to French cruis
the French convention in 1795, in which all measures of length, area, capacity, and weight are based upon the length of a quadrant of the meridian measured between the equator and the pole. The origin of the system is due to the government of Louis XV., who named a commission to investigate the best means of reforming the great diversity of weight and measures then used in the different cities and provinces of France. These investigations were continued under his successor, and in 1790 Talleyrand distributed among the members of the National Assembly a proposal for the establishment of a single and universal standard of measurement. A committee from the Academy of Sciences, Borda, Lagrange, Laplace, and Condorcet, all men of the highest scientific eminence, were appointed under a decree of the Assembly to report upon the selection of a natural standard. They proposed, in their report, that one ten-millionth part of a quarter circumference of the globe at the meridian of Paris s
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