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cient Dominion." She had her husband's predi. lection for private life. In a letter to an intimace she writes : “ It is owing to the kindness of our numerous friends in all quarters that my new and unwished for situation is not indeed a burden to
When I was much younger, I should probably have enjoyed the innocent gayeties of life as much as most persons of my age; but I had long since placed all the prospects of my future worldly happiness in the still enjoyments of the fireside at Mount Vernon.
“ I little thought, when the war was finished, that any circumstances could possibly happen, which would call the general into public life again. I had anticipated that from that moment we should be
uffered to grow old together in sol. itude and tranquillity. That was the first and dearest wish of my heart.” 1
Much has been said of Washington's equipages, when at New York, and of his having four, and sometimes six horses before his carriage, with servants and outriders in rich livery. Such style, we would premise, was usual at the time both in England and the colonies, and had been occasionally maintained by the Continental dignitaries, and by governors of the several States, prior to the adoption of the new Constitution. It was still prevalent, we are told, among the wealthy planters of the South, and sometimes adopted by “merchant princes” and rich individuals at the North. It does not appear, however, that Wash. ngton ever indulged in it through ostentation. When he repaired to the Hall of Congress, at his inauguration, he was drawn by a single pair of horses in a chariot presented for the occasion, on the panels of which were emblazoned the arms of the United States.
i Quoted in a note to Sparks, p. 422.
Besides this modest equipage there was the ample family carriage which had been brought from Virginia. To this four horses were put when the family drove out into the country, the state of the roads in those days requiring it. For the same reason six horses were put to the same vehicle on journeys, and once on a state occasion. If there was anything he was likely to take a pride in, it was horses; he was passionately fond of that noble animal, and mention is occasionally made of four white horses of great beauty which he owned while in New York. His favorite exercise when the weather permitted it was on horseback, accompanied by one or more of the members of his household, and he was noted always for being admirably mounted, and one of the best horsemen of his day.
1 For some of these particulars concerning Washington we are indebted to the late William A. Duer, president of Columbia College, who in his boyhood was frequently in the President's house, playmate of young Custis, Mrs. Washington's grandson.
Washington's Residences in New York. — The first presi. dential residence was at the junction of Pearl and Cherry streets, Franklin square. At the end of about a year, the President removed to the house on the west side of Broadway, near Rector street, asterwards known as Bunker's Man. sion House. Both of these buildings have disappeared, in the course of modern "improvements."
Alarming Illness of the President. — The Senate rejects one
of his Nominations. — His sensitive Vindication of it. Death of his Mother. - Her Character.- The Executive Departments Instituted. — Selection of Officers for the Treasury and War Departments. — Hamilton instructed to report a Financial Plan at the next Session of Congress. — Arrangement of the Judiciary Department. — Edınund Randolph. — Adjournment of Congress. — Its Character, by Fisher Ames.
S soon as Washington could command
sufficient leisure to inspect papers and
documents, he called unofficially upon the heads of departments to furnish him with such reports in writing as would aid him in gaining a distinct idea of the state of public affairs. For this purpose also he had recourse to the public archives, and proceeded to make notes of the foreign official correspondence from the close of the war until his inauguration. He was interrupted in his task by a virulent attack of anthrax, which for several days threatened mortification. The knowledge of his perilous condition spread alarm through the community; he, however, remained anagitated. His medical adviser was Dr. Samuel Bard, of New York, an excellent physician and most estimable man, who attended him with un
remitting assiduity. Being alone one day with the doctor, Washington regarded him steadily, and asked his candid opinion as to the probable result of his case. "Do not flatter me with vain hopes," said he, with placid firmness; "I am not afraid to die, and therefore can bear the worst." doctor expressed hope, but owned that he had apprehensions. "Whether to-night or twenty years hence, makes no difference," observed Washington. "I know that I am in the hands of a good Providence." His sufferings were intense, and his recovery very slow. For six weeks he was obliged to lie on his right side; but after a time he had his carriage so contrived that he could extend himself at full length in it, and take exercise in the open air.
While rendered morbidly sensitive by bodily pain, he suffered deep annoyance from having one of his earliest nominations, that of Benjamin Fishburn, for the place of naval officer of the port of Savannah, rejected by the Senate.
If there was anything in which Washington was scrupulously conscientious, it was in the exercise of the nominating power; scrutinizing the fitness of candidates; their comparative claims on account of public services and sacrifices, and with regard to the equable distribution of offices among the States; in all which he governed himself solely by considerations for the public good. He was especially scrupulous where his own friends and connections were concerned.
far as I know my own mind," would he say, "I would not be in the remotest degree influenced
in making nominations by motives arising from the ties of family or blood.”
He was principally hurt in the present instance by the want of deference on the part of the Senate, in assigning no reason for rejecting his nomination of Mr. Fishburn. He acquiesced, however, in the rejection; and forthwith sent in the name of another candidate ; but at the same time administered a temperate and dignified rebuke. 6 Whatever may have been the reasons which induced your dissent," writes he to the Senate, “I am persuaded that they were such as you deemed sufficient. Permit me to submit to your consideration, whether, on occasions where the propriety of nominations appears questionable to you, it would not be expedient to communicate that circumstance to me, and thereby avail yourselves of the information which led me to make them, and which I would with pleasure lay before you. Probably my reasons for nominating Mr. Fishburn may tend to show that such a mode of proceeding, in such cases, might be useful. I will therefore detail them.”
He then proceeds to state, that Colonel Fishburn had served under his own eye with reputation as an officer and a gentleman ; had distinguished himself at the storming of Stony Point; had repeatedly been elected to the Assembly of Georgia as a representative from Chatham County, in which Savannah was situated; had been elected by the officers of the militia of that county Lieutenant-colonel of the militia of the district į had been member of the Executive Council of tho