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panied 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.
end of about a year, the President removed to the house on the west side of Broadway, near Rector street, afterwards known as Bunker's Mansion House. Both of these buildings have disappeared, in the course of modern "im. provements."
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-SELEC
TION OF OFFICERS FOR THE TREASURY AND WAR DEPARTMENTS-HAMIL
TON INSTRUCTED TO REPORT A FINANCIAL PLAN AT THE NEXT SESSION OF
CONGRESS-ARRANGEMENT OF THE JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT-EDMUND RAN
DOLPH-ADJOURNMENT OF CONGRESS-ITS CHARACTER, BY FISHER AMES.
As 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 cora respondence 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 unagitated. His medical adviser was Dr. Samuel Bard, of New York, an excellent physician and most estimable man, who attended him with unremitting assiduity. Being alone one day with the doctor, Washington regarded him steadily, and
A NOMINATION REJECTED.
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.” The 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 was 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
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 any thing 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. “So far as I know my own mind,” would he “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. “ 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; had been member of the Executive Council of the State, and president of the same; had been appointed by the council to an office which he actually held, in the port of Savannah, nearly similar to that for which Washington had nominated him.
“ It appeared therefore to me,” adds Washington, “ that Mr. Fishburn must have enjoyed the confidence of the militia officers in order to have been elected to a military rank—the confidence of the freemen, to have been elected to the Assembly—the confidence of the Assembly to have been selected for the Council, and the confidence of the Council to have been appointed collector of the port of Savannah.”
DEATH OF WASHINGTON'S MOTHER.
We give this letter in some detail, as relating to the only instance in which a nomination by Washington was rejected. The reasons of the Senate for rejecting it do not appear. They seem to have felt his rebuke, for the nomination last made by him was instantly confirmed.
While yet in a state of convalescence, Washington received intelligence of the death of his mother. The event, which took place at Fredericksburg in Virginia, on the 25th of August, was not unexpected; she was eighty-two years of age, and had for some time been sinking under an incurable malady, so that when he last parted with her he had apprehended that it was a final separation. Still he was deeply affected by the intelligence; consoling himself, however, with the reflection that “Heaven had spared her to an age beyond which few attain; had favored her with the full enjoyment of her mental faculties, and as much bodily health as usually falls to the lut of fourscore.”
Mrs. Mary Washington is represented as a woman of strong plain sense, strict integrity, and an inflexible spirit of command. We have mentioned the exemplary manner in which she, a lone widow, had trained her little flock in their childhood. The deference for her, then instilled into their minds, continued throughout life, and was manifested by Washington when at the height of his power and reputation. Eminently practical, she had thwarted his military aspirings when he was about to seek honor in the British navy. During his early and disastrous campaigns on the frontier, she would often shake her head and exclaim, “Ah, George had better have staid at home and cultivated his farm.” Even his ultimate success and renown had never dazzled, however much they may have gratified her. When others congratulated her, and were enthusiastic in his praise, she listened