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authors, so beautifully did he pronounce the language. No one ever doubted his perfect uprightness, or questioned his great ability as a Judge. I remember an incident which

a occurred in my presence, wbich demonstrated with what scrupulous regard he avoided the possibility of any imputation upon his honor, or his impartiality. A neighbor of his, Mr. H-, who had the reputation of being a West

a India nabob, and who at the time had an important suit pending in the Court of Chancery, sent him a demijohn of old arrack, and an orange tree for his niece, Miss Nelson, then residing with him. When the articles were brought into Mr. Wythe's house, with the message from the donor, Mr. Wythe requested the servant to take them back to his master, and to present to him his respects, and thanks for his kind intentions, but to say that he had long ceased to make any use of arrack, and that Miss Nelson had no conservatory in which she could protect the orange tree. I was amused at another scene, which I witnessed between him and the late Justice Washington of the Supreme Court, then practising law in the city of Richmond. He called on the Chancellor with a bill of injunction in behalf of General - to restrain the collection of a debt. The ground of the application was, that the creditor had agreed to await the convenience of General ment of the debt, and that it was not then convenient to pay it. The Chancellor attentively read the bill through, and deliberately folding it up, returned it to Mr. Washington, enquiring with an ineffable smile upon his countenance," do you think, sir, that I ought to grant this injunction?" Mr. Washington blushed, and observed that he had presented the bill at the earnest instance of his client.

Mr. Wythe's relations to the Judges of the Court of Appeals, were not of the most friendly or amicable kind, as

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may be inferred from the tenor of his reports. Conscientiously and thoroughly convinced of the justice and equity of his decrees, he was impatient when any of them were reversed, and accordingly evinces that feeling in his reports. Mr. Pendleton, from what I have heard and the little I knew of him, I suppose was more prompt and ready, and possessed greater powers of elocution than his great rival. Mr. Wythe's forte, as I have understood, lay in the opening of the argument of a case; in which, for thorough preparation, clearness and force, no one could excel him. He was not so fortunate in reply. Mr. Pendleton, on the contrary, was always ready, both in opening and concluding an argument, and was prompt to meet all the exigencies which would arise in the conduct of a cause in court. The consequence was, that Mr. Pendleton was oftener successful than Mr. Wythe in their struggles at the bar.

On one occasion, when Mr. Wythe, being opposed to M:. Pendleton, lost the cause, in a moment of vexation. de declared, in the presence of a friend, that he would quit the bar, go home, take orders, and enter the pulpi. You had better not do that, replied his friend, for if you do, Mr. Pendleton will go home, take orders, and enter the pulpit too, and beat


there. Mr. Pendl«con was far less learned than Mr. Wythe, but he possessed more versatile talents, was an accomplished gentlemın, and better adapted to success in general society and in the busy world. Although not so finished a scholar a Mr. Wythe, he had a much more pleasing style of composition. The high consideration in which Messrs. Pendleton and Wythe were both held, was often evinced by the distinguished honors and eminent offices which they received from their parent State. It was particularly exhibited in the organization of the Convention which adopted the Constitution of the United States, when Mr. Pendleton was appointed to preside over

the body, and Mr. Wythe to preside over the Committee of the Whole, which he did during, I believe, the entire sitting of the Convention—the Constitution having been considered and discussed in Committee of the Whole.

Mr. Wythe's personal appearance and his personal habits were plain, simple, and unostentatious. His countenance was full of blandness and benevolence, and I think he made, in his salutation of others, the most graceful bow that I ever witnessed. A little bent by age, he generally wore a grey coating, and when walking carried a cane. Even at this moment, after the lapse of more than half a century since I last saw him, his image is distinctly engraved on my mind. During my whole acquaintance with him, he constantly abstained from the use of all animal food.

It is painful and melancholy to reflect, that a man so pure, so upright, so virtuous, so learned, so distinguished and beloved should have met with an unnatural death. The event did not occur until several years after I emigrated from Richmund to the State of Kentucky, and of course I am not abn, from personal knowledge, to relate any of the circumstances which attended it. Of these, however, I obtained suc. authentic information as to leave no doubt in my mind as to the manner of its occurrence. He had a grand nephew, a youth scarcely, I believe, of mature age, to whom, by his 'ast will and testament, written by me upon his dictation before my departure from Richmond, after emancipating kis slaves, he devised the greater part of his estate. That youth poisoned him, and others-black members of his household-by putting arsenic into a pot in which coffee was preparing for breakfast. The paper which had contained the arsenic, was found on the floor of the kitchen. The coffee having been drank by the Chancellor and his servants, the poison developed

its usual effects. The Chancellor lived long enough to send for his neighbor, Major William Duval, and got him to write another will for him, disinheriting the ungrateful and guilty grand nephew, and making other dispositions of his estate. An old negro woman, his cook, also died under the operation of the poison, but I believe that his other servants recovered. After the Chancellor's death, it was discovered that the atrocious anthor of it had also forged bank checks in the name of his great uncle; and he was subsequently, I understood, prosecuted for the forgery, convicted, and sentenced to the penitentiary ; but whether that was the fact or not, can be ascertained by a resort to the records of the proper criminal courts in Richmond.

I have written this hasty sketch, not as a memoir of the illustrious man of whom it treats, but for the purpose of contributing some materials, which may be wrought by more competent hands, into a biography more worthy of his great name and memory. I conclude it by an acknowledgement, demanded of me alike by justice and feelings of gratitude, that to no man was I more indebted, by his instructions, his advice, and his example, for the little intellectual improvement which I made, up to the period, when, in my 21st year, I finally left the city of Richmond.

I am, with great respect,

Your friend and obedient servant, MR. B. B. MINOR.



"It is a hard matter," says Washington Allston, " for a man to lie all over, Nature having provided king's evidence in almost every member. The hand will sometimes act as



a vane, to show which way the wind blows, when every feature is set the other way; the knees smite together, and sound the alarm of fear under a fierce countenance; the legs shake with anger when all above is calm.” Mrs. Jameson, quoting this remark, adds in confirmation of it, " An eminent lawyer who is accustomed to examine witnesses, once told me, that in cases under his scrutiny when the words and oaths have come forth glibly, and the whole face and form seemed converted into one impenetrable and steadfast mask, he has detected falsehood in a trembling of the muscle underneath the eye, and that the perception of it has put him on the scent again, when he had thought himself hopelessly at fault; so true it is that a

cannot lie all over." Now I can easily believe this account of the lawyer; for I remember that some years ago when I was a practising barrister, a man came to me one day to engage me to defend him on a trial for murder, (a most foul and shocking one it was,) when wishing to ascertain whether he was really guilty or not, I questioned him very closely about the case, and watched him very narrowly all the while, but he protested his innocence with such absolute assurance, and his face was such a perfect mask of indifference, showing no sign of criminality, that I was almost induced to believe that he might be innocent, when, looking keenly on him, I saw a little blush, or something like it, come out upon the tip of his ear, which satisfied me, or at least made me strongly suspect, that he had done the deed: which was afterwards most clearly proved upon him, and subsequently by his own confession. So I agree with Allston, that “it is indeed a hard matter for a man to lie all over."



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