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About Evening capital journal. (Salem, Or.) 1888-1893 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 22, 1893)
HE KEFUSED A CROWN
AN EXAMPLE OF WASHINGTON'S NO
BLE AND UNSELFISH NATURE.
Bow Tilts Action Impressed Gladstone
and Carlyle It Seemed Incomprehensi
ble to lionapnrte Washington's Rela
tion with Trumbull and Arnold.
Copyright, 1803, by American Press Associa
tion. Mr. Gladstone, in one of his chats with
Chauncey M. Depew, said that he was
inclined to tho belief that all in all per
haps the greatest man' since Martin
Luther was George Washington, and
the great English statesman went on to
explain what he meant by this charac
terization. Ho did not regard Washing
ton as intellectually possessed of such
genius as any one of half a dozen men
whom ho could name. His military
genius is undisputed, although of course
it is hardly fair to compare it with that
displayed by John Churchill or Napoleon
or Wellington. Judged simply by re
sults, it was as great as the victories of
any of these men. since it led to the es
tablishment of a nation destined to bo
pre-eminent in tho nations of the world.
Every one who has studied the mili
tary movements of the Revolution on
both Bides is aware that Washington
was very greatly helped by the distrac
tions which existed in Great Britain and
which made it impossible to concentrate
its efforts in tho American colonies.
What tho result would have been had
Great Britain sent a Wellington com
manding n great British army in case ho
and Washington joined in battlono man
Yet Mr. Gladstone thonght that in
some respects Washington stood the
greatest tests. His so called Fabian
policy, which consisted in extraordi-
narily skillful avoidance of battle when
defeat would have been almost certain
and when it required strategy of the
highest order to avoid it. was carried
out with the patience and tho conviction
of genius. Hia retreat after the battle
of Long Island was of itself, in Glad
stone's opinion, sufficient evidence of
great military nbility to justify his ap
pointment as commander in chief of the
But it was not in respect of military
quality that Mr. Gladstone regarded
Washington as 60 pre-eminently great.
It was in the perfect balance of all bis
greater moral and intellectual qualities
that this pre-eminence lay. His patience,
according to-Mr. Gladstone, was some
thing exceeding that of any other man
who achieved greatness, for it was pa
tience under extraordinary irritations,
and patience exercised for no personal
ambition, but simply for the cause.
His conception of what tho govern
ment which ho was seeking to establish
should bo was quite as distinct nnd com
prehensive as that of Hamilton, Jay,
Madison or Jefferson, although ho prob
ably could not have set forth in legal ar
gument as they did tho reasons for that
conception. They wero admirably 6et
forth in his messages, and especially in
his farewell address, although there are
indications that some of tho messages
were written by Hamilton, while the
farewell address was unquestionably
written by Livingston, although some
writers believe that Madison wrote it.
Bat if the phraseology was that of the
secretary the ideas were those of Wash
ington, nnd he undoubtedly set them
forth to his secretaries, asking them, who
were more familiar with tho literary use
of tho pen Juan he, to put them in fitting
' Mr, Gladstone regards the finest
rrinmph of noble, unselfish, patriotic
and majestic impulse to be illustrated
by one brief incident in Washington's
career. When Washington refused the
crowr then the world bad the finest ex
mplutoatioa of a noble, majestic nature,
. TU huidMt U jut MfwalliarM it
""""" 1 ' ' 11 'ggggacag
should bo. American youth know thai
Washington captured Coniwallis, made
a brilliant retreat after the battle of Long
Island and worried and fretted the Brit
ish armies into exhaustion during u seven
years' war. They also know that he was
president twice and declined to become
president a third timo. There are not
many who know that the only time tears
were seen in his eyes and the manifesta
tion of great personal sorrow was made
to those about him was upon that oc
casion at the close of the war when his
army, encamped upon the banks of the
Hudson, wasabouttobedisbandod. There
WASHINGTON UKFUSING T1IK CROWN.
were men who wore fearful that the am
bitions and jealousieH of some of thone
who had been of influence during the
Revolution would lead them to attempt
to gain great personal power. There
wero others who believed that as a result
of the victory there would be established
m America a constitutional monarchy
modeled after that of Great Britain
The nation as we now know it was a
government yet to he created.
So a company of officers men having
influence having talked thiH matter
over, agreed to go to Washington, ask
him to accept the crown of empire and
to promise him the support of the unny
in establishing thus a personal throne.
When they approached him Washington
believed that these officers and friends of
his had come upon some such errand as
led them often to seek him fpr counsel
He was in a happy frame of mind that
morning. The war was ended victori
ously, and he had already been in con
sultation with Hamilton and some others
respecting the form of civil government
which tho now free colonies should un
dertake. They offered him tho crown in but a
single sentence. A few years before,
across the river, Washington, being seat
ed at breakfast, had been approached by
an officer, who said to him that Benedict
Arnold had fled after an attempt to be
tray West Point into the hands of the
British. The news was appalling and to
Washington must have been extraordi
narily painful, since for Arnold lie had a
personal affection which he bestowed
upon only two or three of his other offi
cers. Yet so great was hisself command
so superb his capacity for suppressing
emotion, so thoroughly had ho schooled
himself to face adversity with calmness,
that those about him only saw a look of
sad sternness come to hia countenance as
he uttered the now historic words.
"Whom can wo now trnstV"
But when these officers proposed to
him the empire and tried to put the
scepter in his hand Washington broke
down. There was sorrow and there was
anger in his countenance and in his man-
bct. Tears camo to his eyes, and when
ho dismissed them with a sail gestnreand
only a brief word these men realized
th.it Washinirton hud been shocked and
grieved that it could have entered into
their hearts that ho for one moment conld
have regarded an empire as possible or
could havo fought through thoso seven
years that he might himself attain the
n mm - . ,tf'V
rented his moral greatness, but, accord
ing to the opinion of Mr. Gladstone nnd
other great English thinkers who have
studied his life, made it impossible that
a monarchy could ever bo established in
the United States.
Carlyle, who had no great opinion of
the American Revolution, believing, if
his private talks with Americans whom
he met have been correctly reported, that
it was little more than a guerrilla war
fare, nevertheless has said that this half
sorrowful, half angry and contemptuous
repulse to those who were bringing to
him a crown was something greater than
the command of tho American armies
through 6even years to ultimate victory.
It was an act that Europeans could not
Bonaparte was always inclined to be
lieve the story purely apocryphal, al
though he was a great admirer of
Washington and paid a higher tribute to
his military genius than some other
great captains have dono. But it was
incomprehensible to Bonaparte that a
man should have conducted a prolonged
warfare to success without any idea of
personal aggrandizement, and, moreover
Bonaparte himself had no conception
whatever of any other form of republic
in government than that hideous night
mare which followed tho French rovolu
Washington's greatness was impressed
ipon some "f the great men of tho times
u which he lived even before the world
understood his victories, and there are
iome anecdotes traditionary respecting
lis relations with two of tho ablest men
i- if the Revolutionary period which hav
mt become threadbare by constant repe
ition. and which' illustrate this impres
don of greatness which be gave to hi
Two of the ablest men produced bj
the Revolutionary era wero Jonatlnr
Trumbull and Benedict Arnold. Thej
were both natives of eastern Connect!
jut. Arnold was born only a few mil
from TrunlbuU's home. Trumbull wa
a man of great piety, spleudld executive
capacity and possessed in the highest de
gree the qualities of statemanship. Ar
nold was intellectually brilliant, but
even in childhood had revealed deficient
moral quality. He would have made a
great business man, and was in fact em-
barked on such a career when the guns at
Lexington brought him into tho field.
Trumbull, who was governor of the
Connecticut colony, greatly admired Ar
nold's energy in getting his company to
gether within an hour after the messen
ger brought the news of Lexington, and
at the bayonet's point demanding pow
der from the hesitating New Haven au
thorities, and then, equipped, leading
them la the march across country to
Boston. It was'Trumbnll who advised
Washington of this exploit, bo that
Washington became early Impressed
with Arnold's military ardor and ability.
Arnold's achievement in taking an
army across the wilds of Maine to Que
bec, which has been likened by some
writers to the marches of Xcnopbon or
Hannibal, gained for him the warmest
friendship of Washington.
Arnold's letters show that the, only
man in Revolutionary times for whom
he felt either fear or resicct was Wash
ington. In Washington's presence Ar
nold was subdued, gracious and respect
ful. Some of hia letters indicate that he
had for Washington a feeling ho had for
no other man, somethiug of affection,
and it was apparent to those who studied
the life of Arnold that the only person
before whom he stood tamed and whoso
authority he cheerfully acknowledged
was Washington. That indicates some
thing of that great moral quality which
led Mr. Gladstone to speak of Washing
ton as perhaps the greatest man since
Lnther. When ho was contemplating
his awful treachery the only thought
that gave Arnold pain was that Washing
ton would suffer. For the rwt be cared
not one jot.
Trouibull, although not bo conspicuous
1 . ..tnllnna n.li(h lu.1 til h ffaVOlt
f h rnlonaa as Bam Adams or Jeiw
. gwwock": 3SBSJ9ZF2&S&
v.. . - - - -rrtaaa
Jefferson, whs nevertheless regarded by
Washington as tho strongest iricml that
ho had to lean upon. It is probable that
ho revealed moro of his confidences to
Trumbull than to nny othor man. They
wero something nllko In thotr moral qual
ities, although Trumbull was of Ihtri
tanlc piety, whllo Washington was not.
though each of thorn was a religious
Somo fifty years ngo tho Hon. Learned
Hcbard wusf appointed executor of the
estato of William Williams, who was a
grandson of Jonathau Trumbnll, and
whoso father was ono of tho signers of
tho Declaration of Independence. In tho
settlement of the cstato JudgoHobard
came across a vact amount of corre
spondence, including letters which passed
between Washington and Governor
Trumbull. Somo of theso lotters were
formal business decuments: others wore
of a moro confidential nature. They re
vealed on the part of Washington a free
dom from reservo which nono of his
other correspondence shows. Ono or two
of them contained that term which
Washington publicly applied to Gov
ernor Trumbull, and which for many
years was regarded us a nicknamo for the
American nation. "Brother Jonathan."
Somo of Trumbull's correspondence
was also found, which shows that this
man of genius and clear intellect, a man
born to bo of authority himself, had
recognized in Washington that quality
of grcatnesF early ia the time of the
Revolution and before ho had demon
strated It to tho world. Trumbull's let
ters, whilo not extravagant, for ho was
not tho man to use extravagant terms,
indicate that Trumbull regarded Wash
ington ns having been specially furnished
by Providence with those greater quali
ties, not only military, but moral, winch
wero necessary to establish tho Ameri
can nation. Ho had almost tho feeling
for Washington which Arnold had, al
though in hia casa there was personal in
timacy and almost un equality of rela
tion which probably no othor man of the
Thus tho impression and influence
which Washington created and exerted
upon theso two men one of brilliant
ability, but morally bad; tho other of in
tellectual and moral integrity and of
statesmanlike quality suggest how it
was that to men of all quality tho Im
pression that ho gave was that of great
ness, exactly ns to the greatest intellects
of this day. liko Gladstone's, tho same im
pression has been given by a study of
his life. E. Jay Edwards.
THE WASHINGTON FAMILY.
In the presidential campaign of 1870 it
was often remarked as a curious coinci
dence that of the men elected president
every third one was childless. The list
ran: Washington. Madison, Jackson
Polk. Buchanan and but there seems to
have been a break in tho lino, so that the
omen failed on Tilden. It is also worthy
of remark that these childless men bad
singularly happy homo lives, and none
more so than George Washington.
Martha Dandridge was a beauty and
a Virginia hello when ut eorcntccu ehw
married Daniel Parke Custis. Of their
four children two preceded their father
to tho tomb, and when tho Widow Custis
married George Washington in 1759 she
had but a son and a daughter. History
gives us a few exquisito glimpses of the
homo life of Washington for the next
few years. Ho and his wifo wero very
nearly of the 6ame age; both born iu
1732; both were wealthy, refined and of
the highest standing among their Vir
ginia con temporaries. Washington loved
the two children as his own. There was
nothing to mar their domestic life.
But in 1773 Martha Parke Custis died,
and Washington was long affected with
a strange restlessness. Indeed his do
mestic life never again Beemed so calm
till after the Revolution. Martha was
sometimes called tho "dark lady" or
"dark beauty" because of her brunetto
complexion, but sho was both beautiful
and amiable. The son, John Parke
Custis, at the age of nineteen married
one of the famous Calvert family at Bal
timore, but he, too, died young died of
camp fever at Yorktown soon after tho
surrender. leaving four children. Of
these General and Mrs. Washington
adopted two. and thise constituted tho
Washington family seen in tho familiar
Eleanor Parko Custis, tho daughter,
was so young at her father's death that
she knew no home but Mount Vernon.
In 1709 sho became tho wifo of Major
Lewis. Washington's sister's son. Tho
son was the well known George Wash
ington Parko Cufctis, an author of some
note, who acquired tho famous Arlington
estato, where he tiled In 1857. His only
child, a daughter, married Robort E.
Leo, who thus became tho owner of
Arlington. J. H. B.
Teacher Willie, when I called at your
tonne yesterday and saw the "Life of
Washington" I gave yon Christmas I was
ranch grieved to notice that the leaves
had not been cut.
Willie (meekly-No'ra. If I'd cut
thoso leaves I wouldn't have half the
chance to swop it off,
George Washington was polite almost
to the nolnt of punctiliousness. Tho
iToryls often told of him that, having
mm. ineuu i-i'" ":, V ,
i.,ii .inli-b ri.tirt was. "What, do
" . . J , ...(,Unn In nnlUs.
' .,... !..
mmm vj m ie, i
A Reasonable View.
jmkxtflnr 22, issri.
lili2j LulllLl IlUlJoUlN.
mi--- ArTi r itiinium
WASHINGTON'S WOOING AND WAH
FARE ON ITS BANKS.
Ho Courted anil Vn Refused nnd n Kcoro
of Yean Later Fought ntid Won on the
Scene of Ills Early Disappointment.
Romance of a Rlrer.
ICopyrlgbt, 1603, by American Press Associa
tion.) Tho nudson river nnd various points
along its banks teem with historic glory.
To one who is familiar with tho record
ef tho colonies that afterward became
the United States of America tho men
tion of tho uamo evolves a panoramic
retrospect that has all tho gorgeousness
of it dream nnd tho solidity of fact.
There was tho old Dutchman who sailed
up tho stream looking for a waterway to
the Indies. Following tho explorer came
tho colonists, tho village of Now Amster
dam, and later tho city of Now York,
whllo at tho head of tidewater, nearly
170 miles from tho bay. rose tho trading
post of Albany, afterward destined to be
THE riHLUrSK MANOR.
tho capital of tho Empire State, nnd
far above thero frowned, as thoy still do
today, tho Adirondacks. probably the
oldest mountain range on the face of the
globo. It was from a boat on tho upper
Hudson that tho Indians carried John
son, tho noted English general, to the
"healing waters" of tho Saratoga springs.
It was on tho Hudson that West Point,
tho famous military acadomy, was es
tablished. On that stream Fulton
launched his steamboat, and near its
banks lived Washington Irving.
But tho chief historical charm, of tho
lower nudson particularly. Is associated
with tho events of tho Revolution und the
mighty mimo of Waslibigton. From
Garrison's down to tho sea tho land on
both banks teoms with splendid memo
ries of sacrifice, romanco and patriotism,
although in ono plaeo tho beautiful pic
ture of heroism and endeavor is tinged
by tho dark stain of treason. Wherever
a mansion still stands in Which tho Father
of His Country slept for a night it is
known and visited as "Washington's
headquarters." und thero aro several of
them. Two, though, have about them
that air of love or tragody with which
many delight to associate a great man's
It was at tho manor houso of her fam
lly in what is now tho city of Yonkers
that Mary Phillipso was born 103 years
ago. Washington mist nnd wnniil Uor in
1750. but sho refused his addresses and
by so doing possibly changod tho fate of
the colonies. When tho conflict with
England began a score of years later
she and tho rest of her family espoused
the Tory cause, und as a result they
wero attainted for treason and their
property confiscated. The turn of the
wheel of fortune brought Washington to
tho manor house again, not as u wooer
but as a warrior, Ho made tho mansion
his headquarters beforo and aftor the
battle of White Plains, and again took
possession of it in 1781 whilo his army
camped on Locust hill.
Tho houso is a fine old stmcturo, built
with the sturdiness and honesty of pur
nose for which the architects and me
chanics of tho colonial period were noted,
and is now tho principal official building
occupied by the Yonkers city govern
ment. Where tho tho minuet was
danced and the Christmas foast was
served, whoro brides camo home to be
como stately matrons und mothers, a
court now sits, und bluo garbed officials
go in and out of tho doors that were
wont to open In welcomo to gentlemen
who woro Bmall swords, satin coats,
knee breeches and laco ruffles at collar
and at wrist.
The sistor of Mary. Washington's scorn
ful sweetheart, was Susannah Phillipso.
who marriod Boverley Robinson und
went to housekeeping In tho old family
mansion, which stood on tho east sido of
a road leading to Pcekskill, about a mile
below Garrison's station. This place
was called tho Boverley Houso. and
around it centers tho story of the treason
of Benedict Arnold. It consisted of three
THE BEVERLEY HOUSE.
buildings joined together, oxtendlng east
and west and fronting toward the south.
Last spring It was totally destroyed by
fire, and three tall walla of blackened
brick and masonry, says u contributor
to tho Now York Evening Post, uru ull
that Is left of tho most Interesting dwell
ing on tho Hudson. It was Benedict
Arnold's headquarters in 1780. and from
It ho fled to tho enemy, Tho owner had
gone over to tho British somo time be
fore, und Putnam and Parsons lodged
thero while campaigning in 1778-0. On
July 81, 1780, Washington took up his
lodgings in the mansiou, and five days
later Arnold arrived, having been ap
pointed to tho command of West Point
and its dependencies.
Thus the river rolls on to the ocean
gathering its strength from the storm
in tho Adirondack mountain forests,
its beauty from the wide sweep of
plains, and luter from the lofty PulUuultw,
roui tho itua
Ueorco Wiwhiuntoii, of Vlnrhiiit. lint
commander in chief of tiio uruiiea of the.
United HUtwt of America.
. - . "" "V-Tojiv
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!" ! nttnli
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