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softening their hostility by any unworthy attempts at personal propitiation. Genuine Democracy can have very little respect for the motives and influences which appear to have actuated the vast majority of that party in its secession from the Democratic party, and it would be worse than labor lost to attempt to bring them back. It will be much easier-and every day's experience is so proving it to gain over to the principles and policy of the Administration thrice their number, from the sound and liberal portion of the Whig party itself. Let them go in peace. Let every man be free to obey the natural inclination of his opinions in the selection of his political course and party associations. The Democratic party is itself, and has always been, the object of too incessant and furious a persecution of abuse, from a Press of which three-fourths has always been under the control of their opponents, to incline a man of candid opinions to follow such an example, in the maintenance of its cause and the advocacy of its principles. Let the Conservatives, then,-all of them that shall still choose to follow the guidance of their principal leaders-go in peace; and, embittered as are usually the relations between former associates on such a separation, let us not deny them the same courtesy we claim for ourselves, of a liberal presumption of sincerity of opinions and honesty of motives. Every sincere Democrat must be glad of the secession, and will regard it as a much needed purification of the Democratic party itself,-but this not with reference to the personal characters of the men, but to the essential character and tendency of their principles. I certainly know more than one individual among their number, for whom no collisions of political opinion and action could ever diminish that sincere personal respect and regard, which I should be very slow to extend to many of the most zealous and loud of the supporters of our own doctrines and measures.
Mr. Garland in particular has peculiar claims to an indulgent consideration of his position, and to a liberal construction of his motives. His democracy except on the single yet vital question of the separation of Bank and State, cannot, I believe, and never has been impeached. Though his conduct on the divorce question, and his associates for the last two years have sundered him widely from the great democratic party, yet it should be remembered that he acts on this very question under a potency of instructions not less strong than those which compelled Mr. Buchanan to vote under a protest, against the Sub-treasury bill. He was first run by the friends of General Jackson as a friend of the State Bank System and in opposition to General Gordon's scheme of a Sub-treasury, which had been insidiously introduced the previous session of Congress, when the former plan was in the full tide of an apparently successful experiment under the auspices of the Administration.
He was successful over his competitor, and thus came to Congress, as it were, pledged against a plan which a prodigious change of circumstances soon after rendered the cardinal policy of his own party. Mr. Garland's great party error was that he did not meet the crisis. He did not rightly understand it. The disgraceful explosion of the whole Banking System did not alter his confidence in it, and instead of calmly profiting with his party by the experience of the crisis, and seeking with them to repair it by a firm and resolute return to the true and simple principles of the Constitution, he turned aside in the vain hope of reconstructing the shattered edifice at his feet. The heat of party contest, or the soreness of exasperated. feeling may have led him into more decided opposition to his old party than he at first intended, but I do not think him, like most others of the new sect, totally lost to democracy. I am very certain, that he can neither be led or driven either into Whiggery, or National Bankism, and I am not without my hopes of soon seeing him return in good faith to the bosom of the great party with which he has been identified so long. He feels ill at ease in his new sphere, and as the unholy alliance between Conservatism and Whiggery becomes more and more apparent, James M. Garland, or I am greatly mistaken,-will abjure it. He has as little sympathy with the evils of the Banking System, or wish to perpetuate its faults as the most unwavering democrat, and I for one, do not despair of a candid and honorable return by him to action with his friends.
I have been making very free with Major Garland's name and the pages of the Democratic Review, but I know your political candor and consideration of opponents, and as to the rest my speculations may go for what they are worth.
As my pen seems to run upon Virginians, I cannot omit a gentleman, whose seniority at all events is entitled to precedence, and turn with my friendly reader to the old gentleman in the seat on the right of the centre aisle, and near the inner circle. Time has scattered memorials of experience and of care on his temples, but his complexion is still fresh, and his eye still lights up with the fire of youth. He is a favorite with all parties in the House, and, I believe, the oldest man, and the oldest member in Congress. It is Mr. JOHN TALIAFERRO, pronounced Tollever. He is near seventy years of age, and has been a member of the House, at different times, since the memorable year of 1801, when he was brought into Congress upon the overwhelming tide of Jeffersonian democracy, from a district that had been thoroughly and exclusively Federal. His competitor was the late Colonel John Tayloe, of Mount Airy, a Hamilton and Pickering federalist, and the contest was, according to tradition, one of principle, and very severe. Before that early period, Mr. Taliaferro was a leading member of the Virginia As. sembly. For many years, he was the champion of Democratic
Republicanism, in his district; sometimes succeeded, and was sometimes beaten, and, for years in succession, agitated the House with contested elections between him and his federal competitor, General Hungerford. He was a member of the House at the trying crisis, preceding and during the late war with Great Britain, and enjoyed, in an eminent degree, the confidence and intimate friendship of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, and was always considered a practical and unwavering republican of the school founded by these our "patres conscripti." After the accession of Mr. Adams, however, a change came over the spirit of his politics, and he became "absorbed" in the "National Republican," or what is now called the " Whig" party, in which he has since continued. Mr. Taliaferro has always been an industrious, and more than that, a working member. He has seldom mingled in general debate, but has found other ways quite as potent for influencing votes. As a speaker, however, he held in former days no mean rank. He presented his views with a clearness and precision of language, and an aptitude of illustration, that commanded attention, and won conviction. At the hustings, I have been told, he was allpowerful, by means of his suavity and plausibility of manner, and his adroitness in the management of his topics.
Mr. Taliaferro is now known as one of the most agreeable and pleasant men in Congress, and, at the same time, as one of the most useful and industrious members. He is cheerful and full of anecdote, and when you see him offer his snuff-box to a passer by, and give a preliminary flash from his small grey eye, you may rely upon it that something exceedingly facetious and pleasant is forthcoming.
In person, Mr. T. is a little below the common height, and his figure is trim and well built. His style of dress is plain and neat, and his manner is that of an accomplished gentleman and courtier of the old school. Mr. T., I believe, never followed any profession, except the noble one of agriculture; and it is said that, as an agriculturist, he was unequalled by any man in Virginia, except perhaps, the "Arator," Col. John Taylor, of Caroline.
But a white-haired and florid-looking elderly gentleman, is addressing the Chair, and you can observe that his manner excites general attention mingled with some anxiety in many a member full of the unuttered speech that is peeping out of his pocket, or laboring in his breast: He is SAMUEL CUSHMAN, from Portsmouth, Rockingham county, New Hampshire, and well known to the country by the party soubriquet of P. Q. Cushman, which the letter-writers have affixed to his name from the unrelenting frequency with which he is apt to cut short a debate big with the fate of tropes and figures and political rhetoric, by the infallible edge of the Previous Question. He was born in the State of Maine, while it was
a District of Massachusetts. By profession, he is a lawyer; by nature and choice a politician. He is a veteran in politics, a martinet in party discipline. No man was ever more true to his party, for, espousing a cause with sincerity, he supports it with unbounded zeal. He has been frequently called to fill posts of trust and honor in the State which he now represents in Congress. He has been elected, if I mistake not, to both branches of Legislature, and has also served as County Attorney, and Attorney General, situations which required talents, and demanded integrity and honor. But, to serve in Congress, is to be transferred from a provincial theatre to the Metropolitan boards. Here, far higher attributes, more exalted talents, are required to arouse applause, or even to escape the sneers of the "groundlings," and the galleries. The honorable gentleman does not aspire, I believe, to fill the highest parts, either in comedy or tragedy, but he has always appeared in a very respectable line of characters. Sometimes he has been damned, with faint applause, and has very often been subjected to the ridicule and misrepresentation of those bigoted partisans who can see no merit in a political opponent. It has been gravely charged upon him that he moves the Previous Question. Truly, he does, and for that very service, if he had never done any thing else, he deserves a monument as a public benefactor. One man who can arrest a tedious, long-winded, factious, time-killing debate, is worth forty who can provoke or keep up one. It requires some moral courage, some spirit, and some tact also to move the Previous Question, and to move it, too, at precisely the right point of time. This gentleman is a good tactician, and he knows the proper moment when to draw off the skirmishers and sound the charge. With the practical duties of legislation he is well acquainted, and his business know. ledge and habits render him an efficient member of the Committee of Commerce, and other very important Committees on which he has served. He is very frequently forced into debate, either in defence of the principles of his party, or of some of his personal or political friends, in the Administration, who have been made the subject of wanton and malicious attack, and this duty he always does with urbanity and good temper.
As regards his character in private life, he is amiable and blameless. His character here is unblemished. His manners are easy and bland; his deportment courteous to all; his temper mild and equable, and his disposition kind and obliging. His age is, apparently, about sixty; his eyes dark, small, and piercing; person of the middle size, rather spare, and very erect; his motions quick; step elastic; and dress fashionable. A very useful and good man is this same much abused SAMUEL CUSHMAN.
A SKETCH, IN RUSTIC RHYMES, TAKEN FROM HAMPSHIRE COUNTY, VA.
"Princes and lords may flourish or may fade,
Hail! hunting-shirt-hail! mountaineer!
No studied invocation here
Your aspect blithe invites:
The trackless snow
Throws back a thousand-tinted glow,
From leafless oak and hickory bare
To pick their morsel scant:
Are Hampshire's woodland vaunt.
No dread of avalanche to crush;
Thy march is on the rock-based steep,
VOL. V. NO. XV.-MARCH, 1839.