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tionships with the families of Seymour and Fairchild; and another of them married into the Fitzhugh family; and through their child, a triple connection was formed with the Seymour family.
Eleanor's second sister, Margaret, married Major Burrows. Major Gordon, a graduate of Princeton College of the class of 1786, was likewise a relative of hers. Eleanor is said to have been distinguished for her well informed mind, sprightliness of disposition, elegance of manner, affability, and excellent conversational powers; and she is said to have retained these qualities, as well as much of her personal beauty, to her old age. She was intimately acquainted with many distinguished personages, and was a charming hostess, in her husband's residence at Mount Pleasant as well as in Philadelphia. Mrs. Freneau had a poetic taste and wrote with ease; her compositions are said to have been distinguished by character and intelligence. She corresponded for some time before her marriage with Freneau in verse. An amusing anecdote is told of her sprightliness before her marriage. In one of Freneau's visits she left him to entertain the
other members of the family, and, slipping from the room while he was thus engaged, she dexterously sheared off some of the superfluous capes attached to his outer garment, such as we have already spoken of as having been in vogue; whether they were displeasing to her as being old-fashioned, or for some other reason, she probably stated in the verses in which she commemorated the feat, and which she enclosed to him. Her writings were consumed in the conflagration at Mount Pleasant, but in a paper of the day is found an extract from a letter of hers to her brother Samuel, he having removed with his family, consisting of his wife and one child who afterwards married General Van Rensselaer, to central New York.
1 Evening Post.
"I am forever thinking of you and our other dear friends in that new country. Had you and they been situated nearer together, and nearer to me, I should then care more for the world than I do. My two little girls and books are my chief comforters. I wish it was in my power to send you out as good a collection of the latter as we have here. You would not feel the loss of friendship and the want of company as much as you do. We must endeavor to make ourselves as independent of the world as possible, and let our own minds furnish us with that pleasure which too many are in search of abroad. . . . I know you will make the best use of tude. Mr. Freneau joins me in much love to you.' "2
The second great event of the year 1789 was the adoption of the Constitution, and its consequence, the inauguration of Washington as the first President of the United States. In one of the centennial publications in the year 1809, it was said that the President elect was met at Elizabethtown by a joint committee of Congress and escorted to New York, and that Philip Freneau, who afterward, as editor of the "National Gazette," made it hot for the Washington administration, accompanied the party across the bay, and in the excitement of the occasion probably huzzahed with the loudest. Another version is that he came up the bay from Charleston on the day of the procession, but he would not run up his colors in honor of the event. As the subject is an open one, we leave our readers to believe which they choose; we prefer the former. Upon the attendant ceremony it was Freneau's relative, the Right Reverend Samuel Provost, that conducted the religious services in old Saint Paul's Church.3
1 Cayuga and Cazenovia Lakes.
2 This brother died in Syracuse, New York, in 1862.
3 It is said that when the question of holding services on the day of the inauguration was agitated and Bishop Provost was appealed to on the subject, he said that he had always been used to look up to the Government upon such occasions, and he thought it prudent not to do anything till
Although the oath of office was administered, and the Constitution went into operation the last day of April, it was not until the fall of the year that any important step was taken. After the Cabinet and judges of the Supreme Court were chosen, the next matter was to decide upon the location of the future capital of the nation. New York was not willing to cede the amount of territory required, therefore it was decided to remove to Philadelphia for the period of ten years.
A certain writer,' in praising Philadelphia, and after enumerating all the various ports at which she traded, her schools, and other advantages, adds: "In fact, there may be obtained the knowledge of the arts and sciences, and here may be had, on any day of the week, tarts, pies, cake, etc.; and no jealousy amongst men, and no old maids." It seems quite evident, after this panegyric, why Congress selected this favored city in which to hold its sessions. Undoubtedly the anticipation of regaling themselves in their recesses upon the tarts, pies, etc., had great weight with those upon whom the selection devolved; and does not the fact go to prove that in reality woman was the factor that transformed this charming city of "Brotherly Love" into the city of Brotherly Discord it eventually became, and of introducing some jealous men into it? for a writer has said, "Man is what he eats, and woman is the caterer." Tarts, pies, and cake were the modern apple, the fair caterer the modern Eve; and, tempting the modern Adam, "he did eat; " and the modern Eden became a modern Babel.
However it was, Congress in removing itself to other quarters greatly discomfited the residents of they knew what Government would direct. Eben Hazard, hearing this, said: "If the good bishop never prays without an order from Government it is not probable that the kingdom of heaven will suffer much from his violence. (Bowen, in Century Magazine.)
1 Gabriel Thomas.
New York City. No more public fêtes and court balls; no more state pageants and processions; no more president, senators, or legislature. Freneau, too, was disappointed, as he had made arrangements to edit a paper in New York, called "The Daily Advertiser," but it would seem from a letter written by him to Madison, dated July 25, 1791, that the latter had offered him some inducements to go to Philadelphia. Freneau writes from Middletown Point, New Jersey, saying that he is detained there by some pressing business, but that if he should meet Madison upon his return to New York, which would be in a few days, he would then give him a definite answer relative to printing his paper at the seat of government, instead of in New York as he had intended. Freneau eventually succeeded in exchanging the "Advertiser" for the "National Gazette" of Philadelphia, and the first number appeared under his direction in October of the year 1791.
The revenues of the country had been well drained for the expenses of the war, and the indebtedness of the States amounted to eighty million dollars, an immense debt for an impoverished country. The princely fortune of Robert Morris had gone to pay his country's debts, and the fortunes of many others had gone in the same way. Affairs were bordering on bankruptcy, the colonial currency had depreciated to a few cents on the dollar, and the treasury existed only in name. Literary work, not being an absolute necessity, was below par; and, as we know, the loss of his fine ship, the "Aurora," had sadly crippled the resources of Freneau, who had now a family to support, and an estate and slaves to maintain. may have been to add something to his small editorial revenue that he accepted the proposition to become. foreign translator to the Department of State, with the paltry salary of two hundred and fifty dollars per
annum. It may have been, as some thought, that he accepted the position through some political motive. Amongst the Jefferson papers one may find the proposal made Freneau in the handwriting of, and signed by, the Secretary of State; it runneth thus:
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28, 1791.
SIR,The clerkship for foreign languages in my office is vacant; the salary, indeed, is very low, being but two hundred and fifty dollars a year; but also it gives so little to do as not to interfere with any other calling one may chuse, which would not absent him from the seat of government. I was told a few days ago that it might, perhaps, be convenient to you to accept it, — if so, it is at your service. It requires no other qualification than a moderate knowledge of French. Should anything better turn up within my department that might suit you, I should be very happy to bestow it as well. Should you conclude to accept the position, you may consider it as engaged to you, only be so good as to drop me a line informing me of your resolution.
I am, with great esteem, sir,
Freneau's appointment appears amongst the State papers, dated August 16, 1791, signed by Jefferson; below which, in Freneau's handwriting, appear these significative words: "I hereby resign the same appointment from October first, 1793.' He had held the office two years, one month, and fifteen days.
In a Philadelphia paper of the times appeared the following paragraph: "Thomas Jefferson Esq., Secretary of State for the United States, has appointed Captain Philip Freneau, interpreter of the French language for the Department of State." It seems that Philadelphia no longer lacked "jealousy amongst men, for an outcry was raised immediately. combination between an editor of a journal and the Secretary of State!" And they did not let any time