« AnteriorContinuar »
distinguished first as the leader of the Tuscarora war, auil afterwards as the agent of the colony in England, through whose representations the constitutions of Locke were abrogated, and the colony passed from the hands of the Lords Proprietors into those of the Crown.
From this marriage descended three sons—William, Ralph, and Stephen. Ralph died without surviving issue. Stephen is the naturalist and scholar, previously noticed.* William, the eldest, was born in 1761, received the rudiments of his education at Beaufort, and long before he had arrived at manhood joined in the patriotic struggle against the mother country, along with his uncles John, Edward, and Robert Barnwell. Enduring his full share of the hardships and perils of that period, he was dangerously wounded at the surprise on John's Island, was taken prisoner, and while yet a minor was held worthy of being immured in the prison-ship. His name will be found on the list of those worthies who signed the memorable letter to General Greene.
At the close of the war, Mr. Elliott applied himself to repair the losses suffered by his paternal estate, through the ravages of the enemy, and approved himself an able administrator. Of remarkable public spirit, he devoted his energy, and to a large extent his purse, to the promotion of various institutions of charity, education, and public improvement, served with honor in both branches of the legislature, and died in 1808, when Senator from his native parish,—thus closing at the age of forty-eight a life of patriotic devotion, of untiring usefulness, and spotless integrity.
He was married in 1787 to Phebe Waight, a lady of Beaufort, and their eldest son, William Elliott, the subject of this notice, was born in the same town on the 27th of April, 1788. The rudiments of his education were received in his native town. He there entered the Beaufort College (since merged into a grammar-school), whence he entered, ad eundem, after a two days' examination, the Sophomore Class at Cambridge. He was distinguished at that institution, having received the honor of an English oration at the Junior exhibition; and though forced to leave college at the end of that year from a dangerous attack of bronchitis, he received from the government the unsolicited compliment of an honorary degree. His father having died while he was at college, Mr. Elliott applied himself, on his return home, to the managementof his estate. He was elected to the legislature, and served in both branches with credit; but from his liability to bronchial affections did not enter frequently into debate. In 1832, during the crisis of the Nullification fever, Mr. Elliott was a member of the Senate of South Carolina, and while unalterably opposed to a tariff of protection, as unequal and unjust to the Southern states, he denied that a nullification by a state was the proper remedy for the grievance. His constituents had come to think differently, and instructed him by a large majority to vote for the call of a convention, and in default of that, to vote for nullification of the tariff laws by the legislature. To this latter clause of their
• Ante, vol. L 601.
instructions Mr. Elliott excepted, as fatal to the union and subversive of the government, and, were it otherwise, impossible for him to carry out; because in his view contradictory to his oath of office, which bound him to maintain and defend the constitution of this State and of the United States. He contended that the tariff acts, however oppressive, sprang from a power clearly granted in the constitution, with one only condition annexed, that of uniformity; and that while that condition was inviolate, no palpable violation of the constitution could be pretended, and no state therefore, by the terms of "the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions," could be warranted in nullifying them. These exceptions were not satisfactory to his constituents, who, after hearing them, renewed their instructions, whereupon he resigned his office of Senator. From this time forward he has devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, to rural sports, varying the even tenor of his life by occasional inroads into the domain of letters, by essays on agriculture, controversial papers on political economy, addresses before Agricultural Societies, contributions to the Southern Review; by the essays of "Piscator" and "Venator," since enlarged and embodied in "Carolina Sports;" by a Tragedy in blank verse, printed, not published; and by occasional poems, of which a few have seen the light, and which serve to show what he might have accomplished in that department had the kindly spur of necessity been applied, or had other auspices attended his life.*
Mr. Elliott chose for the subject of his tragedy the Genoese conspiracy of Fiesco, in the management of which he has followed the narrative of DeRetz. Ho has handled the subject with freedom and spirit, in a mood of composition never lacking energy, though with more attention to eloquence than the finished accomplishments of verse. In one of the scenes with Fiesco, a conspirator is made to utter a glowing prediction of America.
Not here look we for freedom: In that new world, by daring Colon given To the untiring gaze of pleased mankind; That virgin land, unstained as yet by crime, Insulted Freedom yet may rear her throne, And build perpetual altars.
The passage is continued with a closing allusion to the American Union.
'Gainst this rock
Doria thus apostrophizes the city over which he ruled.
Watchmen of Genoa! is the cry, all's well!
• Carolina Sports, by Land and Water; Including Incldentfl of Devil Fishing, &C. By tho Hon. Wm. Elliott of Beaufort, 8. C. Charleston: 1888. 12mo. pp. 178.
Fiesco; a Tragedy, by an American. New York: Printed for the author. 1850. 12mo. pp. 64.
Address delivered by special request before the St. PauVa Agricultural Society, May, 1860. Published by the Society. Charleston: I860.
(Cursed beyond all, but her who slew her lord,)
Must wars, seditions, desolations, be
Thy portion ever more t The Ostrogoth
Has mastered thee—the Saracen despoiled, The Lombard pillaged thee. The Milanese And the rude Switzer—each hath giv'n thee law, The Frenchman bound thee to his gulling yoke— The Spaniard sacked and plundered thee! Alas I
Hast, thou cast off the yoke of foreign foes To feel the keener pang—the deadlier rage—
The agony of fierce domestic faction?
Rent were thy chains, and Freedom waved her wand Over thy coasts, that straight like Eden bloomed!And from the base of dark blue Appenine Thy marble palaces looked brightly forth Upon the sea, that mirrored them again, Till the rough mariner forgot his helm To gaze and wonder at thy loveliness 1 The Moloch, Faction, enters, and in blood Of brethren is this smiling Eden steeped! Crumble the gilded spire, and gorgeous roof; With one wide ruin they deform the land, And mark the desolate shore, like monuments!Staunched now, these cruel self-inflicted wounds; Staunched is mine own hereditary feud;
Nor Doria, nor Spinola; Ghibeline, Nor Guelph; disturb thee with new tragedies. Th' Adorni and Fregoso—names that served As rallying points to faction—are no more. Now, that thou hail'st the dawn of liberty, Say, Oh, my Country! shall a traitor mar, With hellish spite, thy dearly purchased peace?
Mr. Elliott's prose sketches of the piscatory scenes of his ocean vicinity are clever Sporting Magazine papers, lively and picturesque; with a speciality of the author's own in the gigantic game with which he has identified himself of the Devil Fishing of Port Royal Sound. The following will show the quality of the sport.
I had left the cruising ground but a few days, when a party was formed, in July, 1844, to engage in this sport. Nath. Heyward, Jun., J. G. Barnwell, E. B. Means, and my son, Thos. R. S. Elliott, were respectively in command of a boat each, accompanied by several of their friends. While these boats were lying on their oars, expecting the approach of the fish, one showed himself far ahead, and they all started from their several stations in pursuit. It was my son's fortune to reach him first His harpoon had scarcely pierced him, when the fish made a demivault in the air, and, in his descent, struck the boat violently with one of his wings. Had he fallen perpendicularly on the boat, it must have been crushed, to the imminent peril of all on board. As it happened, the blow fell aslant upon the bow,—and the effect was to drive her astern with such force, that James Cuthbert, Esq., of Pocotaligo, who was at the helm, was pitched forward at full length on the platform. Each oarsman was thrown forward beyond the seat he occupied; and my son, who was standing on the forecastle, was projected far beyond the bow of the boat. He fell, not into the sea, but directly upon the back of the Devil-fish, who lay in full sprawl on the surface. For some seconds Tom lay out of water, on this veritable Kraken, but happily made his escape without being entangled in the cordage, or receiving a parting salute from his formidable wings. My son was an expert swimmer, and struck off for the boat. The fish meantime had darted beneath, and was drawing her astern. My henchman Dick, who was the first to recover hiB wits, tossed overboard a coil of rope and extended an oar, the blade of which was seized by my son,
who thus secured his retreat to the boat He had no sooner gained footing in it, than, standing on the forecastle, he gave three hearty cheers, and thus assured his companions of his safety. They, meantime, from their several boats, had seen his perilous situation, without the chance of assisting him;—their oarsmen, when ordered to pull ahead, stood amazed or stupefied, and dropping their oars and jaws, cried out, "Great king '. Mass Tom overboard! I" So intense was their curiosity to see how the affair would end, that they entirely forgot how much might depend on their own efforts. Could they have rowed and looked at the same time, it would have been all very well; but to turn their backs on such a pageant, every incident of which they were so keenly bent on observing, was expecting too much from African forethought and self-possession!
In a few minutes, my son found himself surrounded by his companions, whose boats were closely grouped around. They threw themselves into action, with a vivacity which showed that they were disposed to punish the fish for the insolence of his attack,—they allowed him but short time for shrift, and, forcing him to the surface, filled his body with their resentful weapons,—then, joining their forces, drew him rapidly to the shore, and landed him, amidst shouts and cheerings, at Mrs. Elliott's, Hilton Head. He measured sixteen feet across I
To this we may add the striking introduction of General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's island residence in an account of another fishing excursion in the sound.
A third fishing-line was formerly drawn by placing the last pines on the Hilton Head beach in range with the mansion-house of Gen. C. C. Pinckncy, on Pinckney Island. But this mansion no longer exists: it was swept away in one of the fearful hurricanes that vex our coast! To this spot, that sterling patriot and lion-hearted soldier retired from the arena of political strife, to spend the evening of his days in social enjoyment and literary relaxation. On a small island, attached to the larger one, which bears his name, and which, jutting out into the bay, afforded a delightful view of the ocean, he fixed his residence! There, in the midst of forests of oak, laurel and palmetto, the growth of centuries, his mansion-house was erected. There stood the laboratory, with its apparatus for chemical experiments,— the library, stored with works of science in various tongues; there bloomed the nursery for exotics; and there was found each other appliance, with which taste and intelligence surround the abodes of wealth. It is melancholy to reflect on the utter destruction that followed; even before the venerable proprietor had been gathered to his fathers 1 The ocean swallowed up everything: and it is literally true, that the sea monster now flaps his wings over the very spot where his hearth-stone was placed,— where the rites of an elegant hospitality were so unstintedly dispensed,—and where the delighted guest listened to mnnv nn instructive anecdote, and unrecorded yet significant incident of the revolutionary period, as they flowed from the cheerful lips of the patriot. It argues no defect of judgment in Gen. Pinckney, that he lavished such expense on a situation thus exposed. In strong practical sense he was surpassed by no man. It was, in truth, his characteristic. He built where trees of a century's growth gave promise of stability; but, in ourSouthern Atlantic borders, he who builds strongest, does not build on rock,—for among the shifting sands of our coast, old channels are closed, and new ones worn, by the prevailing winds and currents, through ■which the waters are poured, during the storms of the cquiuoz, with a force that nothing can resist.
True to his antecedents, Mr. Elliott wielded in 1851, in his letters of "Agricola," the same effective pen against secession which ho had so energetically pointed in 1831 against nullification.
SAMUEL JACKSON GARDNER Samuel Jackson Gardner was born at Brookline, near Boston, Massachusetts, the ninth day of July, 1788; a descendant of one of the early settlers of the name in New England, and on the mother's side from Edward Jackson, who came from England in 1642. He was educated at Harvard; pursued the practice of the law for several years; was elected more than once to the legislature of his native state, but manifested an early repugnance to public life. Since he has resided in New York and has been a frequent contributor, and during the absence of Mr. Kinney, its editor, in Europe, the efficient conductor of the Newark Daily Advertiser. His essays, with the signature of "Decius," chiefly appearing in that journal, and occasionally in the Literary World, are written with ease and ingenuity on miscellaneous subjects, political economy topics, the principles of government, literature, manners; sometimes in a serious and moral, at other times in a critical, satirical, humorous vein. He has also written some fugitive poetry. His writings, always anonymous, have never been collected into a volume.
His son, Augustus K. Gardner, a physician in New York, is the author of a clever volume of sketches of Parisian life, published after a tour in France in 1848, with the title of Old Wine in New Bottles. He is also the author of several medical essays and tracts on civic hygiene.
WILLIAM J. GBAYBON Was born in November, 1788, in Beaufort, S. C. His father, a descendant of one of the earliest settlers in that portion of the state in which the colonists under Sayle first landed, was an officer in the Continental army to the close of the Revolution. The son was educated at the South Carolina College; in 1813 was elected to the State House of Representatives, and was subsequently admitted to the bar at Charleston. In 1831 he was elected to the Senate of his state, and, in the controversy which then agitated the country on the subject of the tariff, took part with those who held that the reserved rights of the state gave it the power to determine when its grants for government to the federal authorities were violated, and how those violations should be arrested within its own limits. He was a temperate and moderate advocate of this view of the question in controversy, and never disposed to push it to the extreme of civil war, or a dissolution of the Union. In 1833 he was elected a member of Congress from the districts of Beaufort and Colleton, holding his seat for four years. In 1841 ho was appointed collector of the port of Charleston by President Tyler, was re-appointed by President Polk, and removed by President Pierce from party considerations. In 1850, at the height of the secession agita
tion, Mr. Grayson published in a pamphlet a Letter to Governor Seabrook, deprecating the threatened movement, and pointing out the greater evils of disunion.
Mr. Grayson is a lover and cultivator of literature. He has been for some years an occasional contributor to the Southern Review, and a frequent writer in the daily press. In 1854 he published a didactic poem entitled The Hireling and the Slare, the object of which is to compare the condition and advantages of the negro in his state of servitude at the South, with the frequent condition of the pauper laborer of Europe. This, however, though it gives name to the poem, is not its entire argument. It contains also an idyllic picture of rural life at the South as shared by the negro in his participation of its sports and enjoyments. This is handled in a pleasing manner; as the author describes the fishing and hunting scenes of his native region bordering on the coast. An episode introduces a sketch of General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney on his retirement at his "island home." From the descriptive portions we select this picture of
A SUNDAY SCKCTI AT THE SOUTH.
His too the Christian privilege to share The weekly festival of praise and prayer; For him the Sabbath shines with holier light, The air is balmier, and the sky more bright; Winter's brief suns with warmer radiance glow, With softer breath the gales of autumn blow, Spring with new flowers more richly strews the ground, And summer spreads a fresher verdure round; The early shower is past; the joyous breeze Shakes pattering rain drops from the rustling trees, And with the sun, the fragrant offerings rise, From Nature's censers to the bounteous skies; With cheerful aspect, in his best array, To the far forest church he takes his way; With kind salute the passing neighbour meets, With awkward grace the morning traveller greets, And joined by crowds, that gather as he goes, Seeks the calm joy the Sabbath morn bestows.
There no proud temples to devotion rise, With marble domes that emulate the skies; But bosomed in primeval trees that spread, Their limbs o'er mouldering mansions of the dead, Moss-cinctured oaks and solemn pines between, Of modest wood, the house of God is seen, By shaded springs, that from the sloping land Bubble and sparkle through the silver sand, Where high o'erarching laurel blossoms blow, Where fragrant bays breathe kindred sweets below, And elm and ash their blended arms entwine With the bright foliage of the mantling vine: In quiet chat, before the hour of prayer, Masters and Slaves in scattered groups appear;
! Loosed from the carriage, in the shades around,
| No sounds unmeet offend the listener's ear;
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA. The University of North Carolina was established by the Legislature of the state on the 11th of December, 1789. Forty of the most influential men of the state were incorporated as trustees, and held their first meeting in the town of Fayetteville in November of the next year, making it their earliest business to devise the means needful for the support of the Institution, and to determine upon a place for its location.
Immediately after the University was chartered, the Legislature granted to the trustees all escheated property, and all arrearages due to the state from receiving officers of the late and present governments up to Jan. 1,1783, which grant was afterwards extended to Dec. 1799, together with all moneys in executors' and administrators' hands unclaimed by legatees. The site of the University, after much deliberation, was fixed at Chapel Hill in the county of Orange, about twenty-eight miles west of Raleigh. This place is central to the territory and population of the state, and is unrivalled for the beauty of its situation on an elevated range of hills, the purity of its air, and the healthfulness of its climate. Great interest in the welfare and prospects of the infant Institution was manifested throughout the community. Generous individuals gave large sums of money and valuable tracts of land for its support; and the ladies of the two principal towns of Raleigh anil Newborn presented it with mathematical instruments, pledging themselves never to be indifferent to its objects and interests. Many gentlemen gave valuable books for the library; and the Legislature from time to time increased and renewed its properties and privileges.
The first college edifice being sufficiently completed in 1794 to accommodate students, its doors were opened and instruction commenced in February, 1795. The Rev. David Kerr, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, was the first professor, assisted in the preparatory department by Samuel A. Holmes. Shortly after, Charles W. Harris, a graduate of the College of New Jersey, was elected to the professorship of Mathematics, which chair he occupied for only one year. There was of necessity much to be done in devising, arranging, and carrying out the most practicable systems of instruction, and of prudential government—a work demanding much practical ability and unwavering devotion to the best interests of the University.
At this early crisis, Mr. Joseph Caldwell, then a young man but twenty-three years of age, was introduced to the notice of the trustees, having already acquired a high reputation for talents, scholarship, and success, in teaching. This gentleman was born in Lamington, New Jersey, April 21, 1773; entered the college at Princeton at the age of fourteen, and was graduated in 1791, having the Salutatory Oration in Latin assigned him. Having served his alma mater with much reputation as Tutor for several years, he was in 1796 elected to the principal professorship in the University of N. C. Thenceforward the history of his life becomes the history of the Institution. For nearly forty years he devoted his best energies to the promotion of its interests, and the cause of education generally throughout the state of his adoption; and to his administrative skill and un
tiring zeal, its present high position and prosperity are greatly owing. Under his care, the prospects of the University speedily brightened and flourished, and in 1804 the trustees signified their appreciation of his services by electing him president— the first who had filled that office. This chair he retained till the time of his death in 1835, with the exception of four years from 1812 to 1816, during which period he retired voluntarily to the professorship of Mathematics, for the sake of relief from cares and opportunity to prosecute the study of Theology. Meantime the presidential chair was filled by the Rev. Robert H. Chapman, D.D. Upon i hat gentleman's resignation in 1816, Mr. Caldwell was again elected to the presidency, at which time his alma mater conferred on him a Doctorate in Divinity, and he thenceforth took an elevated rank among scholars and divines of the Presbyterian church.
From the time of Dr. Caldwell's first connexion with the University, almost everything of interest in its progress and government was submitted to his consideration, lie alene digested and made practicable the various plans of particular instruction, of internal policy and discipline. He raised the grade of scholarship and re-arranged the cvrrictilum so as to embrace a period of four years with the usual division of classes. The first anniversary Commencement wasin 1798, with ngraduating class of nine. The greatest good of the University, and indeed tho general progress and intellectual improvement of the state, were ever the most engrossing objects of Dr. Caldwell's care; and with untiring perseverance and fidelity, he presented the claims of education to the community, and appealed to their liberality for its support.
In 1821, the Hoard of Trustees was increased to sixty-five, the governor of the state being exojfficio their President, and all vacancies occurring to be filled by a joint ballot of the two houses of Assembly. The actual government of the University, however, is vested in an executive committee of seven of the trustees, with the governor always as their presiding officer.
In 1824, Dr. Caldwell visited Europe for the purpose of increasing the Library, and forming cabinets, and procuring a very valuable philosophical apparatus constructed under his own inspection. To these has since been added a cabinet of minerals purchased in Vienna. On the death of Dr. Caldwell, January 28, 1835, for a few months the duties of the presidency were discharged by the senior professor, Dr. Mitchell, when the trustees elected to that office the Hon. David L. Swain, a native of Buncombe county, who, though comparatively a young man, had served the state with distinction in the Legislature and on the Superior Court bench, from which he was elected Governor for the years 1833, '34, '35. He entered on the office of the presidency of the University in January, 1836, and from that time to the present the Institution has been steadily advancing in reputation, influence, and numbers. It is a fortunate circumstance in the history of this University, that for a period of nearly sixty years its government has been administered by two incumbents both so well qualified for the office as Dr. Caldwell and Gov. Swain.
The number of students having greatly increased, additions have from time to time been made in the means of accommodation and instruction, and to the Faculty. The college buildings are now six in number, located on a beautiful and commanding site, so as to form a hollow square, inclosing a large area or lawn surrounded by groves of native growth. The grounds are tastefully disposed and ornamented with choice shrubs and flowers, and the lawn slopes gradually from the buildings, several hundred yards, to the main street of the village of Chapel Hill. A hall has lately been erected for the reception of the University Library, liberal appropriations having been made for valuable additions. The two literary societies belonging to the students are also accommodated with imposing edifices; and the number of volumes in their libraries, and that of the University together, amounts to about fifteen thousand* The College students now (1855) number two hundred and eighty-one from fifteen different states in the Union, as ascertained by the last annual catalogue; the whole number of graduates since 1795 is eleven hundred and fifty-five. The number of matriculates has been estimated to be nearly twice that of graduates. The executive Faculty number at present sixteen, of whom the senior professor, Dr. E. Mitchell, Professor of Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy, a native of Connecticut and graduate of Yale College, has been connected with the Institution for thirtyseven years; and Dr. Phillips, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, a native of Essex county, England, has filled his present chair for twenty-nine years. Professorships of Civil Engineering and of Agricultural Chemistry have lately been established. The Department of Law is under the charge of the Hon. William H. Battle, one of the judges of the Supreme Court, and a regular course of lectures on international and constitutional Law is delivered to the Senior undergraduates towards the close of their second term by the president.
• Our drawing of the College buildings and grounds lias bcon kindly furnished by Mis* Phillips, daughter of the venerable Mathematical profo&sor of the Institution.
In 1837, the Trustees, with a liberality at that time without example, authorized the Faculty to admit gratuitously to the advantages of the Institution, all young men of fair character and ability who are natives of the state, and unable to defray the expenses incident to a college education. About fifteen have annually availed themselves of this liberality, many of whom now occupy with honor places of trust among their fellow citizens.
The number of Alumni who have attained distinction in public life will compare favorably with those who have gone forth from similar institutions in any part of the Union. At the last annual Commencement, six ex-Governors of this and other states were in the procession of the Alumni Association. Among numerous interesting incidents connected with the history of the University, which were presented in the coi:r o of a lecture delivered in the hall of the Housj of Commons since the beginning of the present session, it was remarked that among the alumni of the college were one of the late presidents, Polk, and oneof the late vice-presidents of the United States, W. R.King; the present Secretary of the Navy, James C. Dobbin, and the Minister to Franco, John Y. Mason; the Governor, the Public Treasurer and Comptroller, two of the three Supreme and six of the seven Superior Court Judges, the Attorney-General, and nearly a fourth of the members of the General Assembly of the state of North Carolina.
It is not less noticeable that among the distinguished clergymen of various denominations who received their academical training in these Halls, and who are at present prominently before the public, the institution can refer to one whose reputation is established at home and abroad as a model of pulpit eloquence—the Rev. Francis L. Hawks, and to five Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, with which he is connected—J. H. Otey of Tennessee, Leonidas Polk of Arkansas, Cicero S. Hawks of Missouri, W. M. Green of Mississippi, Thomas F. Davis of South Carolina.