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highly of this work of Little's, and recommended it to many of his acquaintances as a work of merit, and one calculated to correct the mistaken notions produced by the falsehoods of the New World. But now he looks like the solemn Owl and says nothing; he does not even make a noise after night. I am anxious to hear from you again and hope it will not be long before I have that pleasure. Inform me when you expect to return. We have cold weather here and a deep snow on the ground. Your affectionate Brother,
W. T. Barry. To Doctor John Barry from Kentucky, Philadelphia.
II. W. T. BARRY TO JOHN Barry.
LEXINGTON, Ky., January 2nd, 1807. Dear Brother.
Yours of the ist and ioth Ult. came together by this day's mail. I feel much indebted for the important information they contain. I was cnly surprised at one thing, and that is that the British Government and B. . . . should be co-operating. I would rather conjecture that it is the Spanish and French Govts., from the conduct of the Ministers of those Countries resident in the U. S. The Marquis of Irugo’ is certainly friendly to the views of B. and if B's plans are against the Spanish provinces, Irugo is betraying the cause of his Sovereign. Another thing, why do not the French and Spanish Ministers remonstrate with our government against the machinations forming to injure their provinces? I am informed the British Minister disclaims any connection with the party and has informed the Secretary of State, Mr. Madison, that the existing conspiracy has its origin in New Orleans. This is certain, and detailed to me by an agent of the U. S. There is great noise here; people are cursing B. . . . and all his adherents. The would-be Lexington Franklin, alias Bradford, has publicly declared that B. ... is the greatest rascal in the world; that his opinions are entirely changed with regard to him. But this change is easily accounted for; times have been eventful since you left this. In a former letter I mentioned the election of Pope, the resignation of Adair,' and the election of Clay in his stead. Bibb was elected to fill Clay's place in the State Legislature. The sickness of his family caused him to resign very soon. I was elected in his place, and continue a member yet. The Session closed last Saturday; we were in conclave two or three days, and had many of B's plans disclosed. Mr. Graham, Secretary of N. Orleans, had just arrived from Washington. He bears a Commission from the President of the U. S. authorizing him to enquire into the traitorous plans that are formed, and to arrest offenders against the laws. He detailed to us all he knows, which is too tedious to mention in full. He says, the first object is an attack on N. Orleans to get possession of the publick treasure which is upwards of two million, arms, etc.; to keep possession of that place; to revolutionize the Spanish provinces and establish an independent Govt. distinct from the U. S. and ultimately to bring about a separation of the Union. This information has come from Blannerhasset, thro' a gentleman who he tried to seduce from his country. Mr. Graham has Blannerhasset's letters to this gentlemen offering him a Commission if he would join. Graham conversed with Blannerhasset himself and understood from him enough to satisfy him that a plan as above mentioned, was formed. Everybody is now convinced that B. . . . is a traitor. The Secretary of War, Dearborne, has written to the Governor of this State, directing him to order out the Militia to the amount of 200 or 300 men, which has been done. Some are stationed at Newport, opposite Cincinnati; some at Louisville, and some at the mouth of the Ohio, to stop the boats of B. that attempt to descend. The Legislature of this State passed a law authorizing the arrest of persons who are engaged in the project. The State of Ohio passed a similar law and the Militia in that State are ordered out. Wilkinson's Army have gone with him at their head, to N. Orleans. This movement is unaccountable, and it is supposed to be unauthorized by Govt; if so, a blow is struck at N. Orleans e'er this. B. . . . left this more than three weeks ago. He is said to have gone from here to Genl. Jackson's in two days; he travels night and day. Genl. Adair has followed him. George Adams followed him to Nashville, and will, I suppose, go down the river. Everything is in commotion here. You mention Martin D. Hardin's being in Philadelphia; he is said to be an agent of Genl. Adair's; his departure from this State was sudden and unexpected. It is the general opinion that Adair is in the project. There is no doubt that Genl. J. of Tennesseel" is; he is to furnish 500 men. 80 men have been enlisted for B. near Vincennes. Blannerhasset descended the river about three weeks since. Part of his boats were stopped; he had to run off and leave his wife at Marietta. Comfort Tyler, it is said, has passed Cincinnati in the night and gone on down the river. A great many young men have descended the river; but if any are behind, they will be stopped if they attempt to go down now. B. . . . sold bills of exchange in this place to the amt. of $42,000, and it is expected they will all be protested; if so, it will ruin some of the Merchants here. I shall be sorry for some, but for others I am not. Sanders purchased $15,000, Craig $4,000, Anderson $5,000, and others the balance. The prospect of losing money has touched the Merchants in a tender place. Their country may go to ruin, and they will sit calm in their counting houses, but touch the strong box, and they are aroused immediately. It pleases me to think that the servile, syncophantic, parasites of B. are now paying for the honour of his acquaintance. They have submitted to be trampled on, and then pay the man who has abused them, like the servile spaniel, who licks the foot that kicks him. I could say much more but have not room in a letter. I expect to see you soon, when we can talk this matter over. My part in the great Tragedy about to be performed is pointed out by the finger of virtue and patriotism. I will sacrifice all that is dear to me, before I will injure my country. Lucy sends her love to you. Our friends are well. Your affectionate Brother,
* John Pope, elected senator from Kentucky for the term 1807-1813.
"From the United States Senate. Henry Clay, elected in his place, sat from December 29, 1806, to March 4, 1807.
AM. HIST. REV. VOL. XVI.-22.
III. W. T. BARRY TO HIS INFANT Son.
October 2nd, 1810. I was born in the County of Lunenburg, Virginia, of honest Parents, obscure and humble in life; with property enough to make independent and place them far above the reach of want, but not enough to bring them in the most distinguished circles.
I was the youngest of four children, three brothers and a sister. My father, altho' not a man of education himself, was impressed with its importance and resolved to give his children as good an education as his circumstances would admit of. After going to an English school, my oldest Brother was sent to an Academy in N. Carolina, where he made rapid progress in his studies and was distinguished above his fellows for quickness of parts; after completing a College Education he studied Physic and entered upon the practice, as I shall hereafter have occasion to mention. My second Brother and myself were at school together; we were constant companions in all our engagements and amusements. We went to the Latin School and commenced the study of that Language; together we learnt the grammar. The school broke up. He went to keep store with a country merchant, I remained at an English school. He afterwards went to keep an Apothecary Shop in Petersburgh.
In the year '96, when I was about 13 years old, my Father removed with his family to Kentucky and settled about 7 miles from Lexington. My eldest Brother still continued to study Physic. My Brother Leonard and myself were sent to the Kentucky Academy in Woodford.
IV. W. T. BARRY TO MRS. SUSAN TAYLOR.
WASHINGTON, 16th May, 1829. My dear Daughter,
I am happy to hear by your letter of the 3rd of the good health of your family and our friends at Belle Vue.
Yesterday's mail brought me a letter from my dear John.
He writes in good spirits and says his health is much improved. He made a good impression here, especially on the mind of the Secretary of War." I find that slander has gone abroad against the amiable lady of this gentleman. I was not acquainted with her until I came to the City." She appears to be an artless, sincere and friendly woman. She may have been imprudent, as most of the ladies here are, but I cannot believe she was ever criminal. Major Eaton is himself, one of the most estimable men I ever saw; he is the confidential friend of the President, and has quite as much, rather more, weight with him than any other member of the Cabinet. The truth is, there is an artistocracy here, as there is in all places, claiming preference for birth or wealth, and demanding obeisance from others, they allow none but sycophants who cringe to them to have standing or character. Mrs. Eaton was the daughter of a Tavern-keeper belonging to the democracy, she has by good fortune (if it may be so considered) moved into the fashionable world. This has touched the pride of the selfconstituted great, awakened the jealousy of the malignant and envious, and led to the basest calumny. You must receive with caution what comes through the family of Judge.
11 John H. Eaton.
12 But in a letter to his wife, February 24, 1815, Barry mentions as one of the agréments of his boarding house “a charming little girl, the daughter of Mr. O'Neal, who very frequently plays on the piano and entertains us with agreeable songs”. Presumably this was the future Mrs. Eaton.
. . He wanted to be Secretary of War; Eaton was preferred to him and he is a disappointed man. Selfish and ambitious, he has thought of himself more than of his friends or country. His character was known and he was not wanted in the Cabinet. This, of course, is confidential. But it is true. The President and his family (a most interesting and amiable one) are on terms of intimacy and friendship with Major Eaton and his, so are the other heads of Department. As to myself, I am now living in Major Eaton's family. I remained some weeks at Gadsby's Hotel, but as soon as Major Eaton commenced housekeeping he offered me a room with such sincere evidence of friendship and regard that I could not decline it. His servants, carriage and horses, are all at my command. He has treated me like a brother; offers me his name in making any pecuniary arrangements I desire, and does everything to make me comfortable. Both he and Mrs. Eaton treated our dear John with marked attention and kindness whilst he was in the City, and it is no small matter for a Cadet to have the good will of the Secretary of War. I have been thus particular because of the calumny that is abroad. If rumor were to be credited, but few handsome ladies in the fashinable world in the City would be free from blemish. The world is bad enough; helpless women are exposed to innumerable dangers; they often err, but men are most to blame, and the Slanderer, above all characters, I most detest.
I have been much occupied with my public duties. They are becoming more familiar to me, and I shall get along very well with my friends; the approbation of my enemies I do not calculate on. In appointments I am cautious; the government here are often deceived and, of course, make some bad selections. But where abuses have been practiced, changes are and ought to be made; it is not done in other cases. Your Post Master at New Port, and all others like him who have acted well, are safe. But those who have abused their privileges, circulated Coffin hand bills, abused Mrs. Jackson, and acted partially in their stations, ought not to expect to remain in office. It should be recollected that offices are not private property; they belong to the public; those held at the will of the President, ought to expect to go out when they lose his confidence. In my station I lay aside personal feelings, unless duty comports with their gratification. It would have afforded me pleasure to have appointed Mrs. Taylor's brother to the P. Office at Maysville, but the views of the President were, of course, controlled by the wishes expressed of the people of Ky, and especially of the members of the Legislature in favour of Mr. Marshall. I have made changes at Frankfort and Louisville against my feelings, but policy called for them; indeed, justice to the administration required it. Mr. Clay is at Work; his partisans who have abused their stations and who are still devoted to his interests cannot or ought not to remain in office.
It is quite probable that by the time you get this letter your Mama will be with you. Request her to travel slow and not fatigue herself or the children. I have made arrangements for them on from Wheeling, and will, if I can, meet them on the road. She will come in handsome style, comfortable, free from expense (save Tavern bills, etc.), and with kind and marked attention everywhere. I have invited your Uncle John W. Overton to come on. General Jackson says he shall have employment here. It is probable I shall find a place for him in my Department. I shall doubtless call frequently on Mr. Taylor to aid me in my business in Ky. and Ohio. I hope fondly and shall expect from you and him a visit, after we are fixed here.
Kiss your dear little ones for me, and present me kindly to Mr. Taylor and all the rest of my friends that are of the family.
Your affectionate Father,
W. T. BARRY.
V. BARRY TO Mrs. TAYLOR.
[WASHINGTON, June 11, 1829.]
Developments are constantly making here, of frauds and peculations upon the public treasury, practiced in the late administration, that wil justify removals and awaken public indignation. It cannot be expected of any administration, to keep near them in offices of high trust and confidence, personal or political enemies. Removals awaken sympathy that is momentary and passes off, whilst the silent but constant influence of official station and power is continually operating.
It is not necessary to act from a spirit of vengeance in punishing enemies, but it is right and politic to encourage and reward friends; it tends to animate, whilst the opposite course would discourage and distress them. Besides it is no punishment to restore men to all the rights of citizens. Public employments must necessarily and ought to be upon the principle of rotation in office. The sentiment of monarchy is growing rapidly; men and their friends cling to office and lay claims to it as private property, and cry out robbery if they are turned out. These men that complain so loudly thought it no robbery, nor did I, to turn the new Court Judges out of office. If Adams had succeeded, what would have become of the friends of Jackson? This question should be answered. Do we turn out men that the Democratic party wish retained? Are the real friends of General Jackson and his administration displeased; would they rather have enemies than friends in office?
If the great body of public officers are to be retained, why change the head of the nation. Those who prefer the calm of perpetuity in office, would certainly be better pleased that the Executive head be made permanent. This will not suit a republic; it was not the case in Greece or in Rome. Republics are necessarily agitated and excited; when they cease to be so, the calm ends in monarchy and despotism. But I have not time for further speculation. Show this letter to my friends, Col. Tibbatts and Mr. Taylor, as I have so little time to write one letter must do for all, and as I have began to answer you, have concluded to write a little to them. ..
VI. BARRY TO MRS. TAYLOR.
[WASHINGTON, June 25, 1829.]
How uncertain are the pleasures of this world. Your Mama, who has seen so much trouble, had brightened up with new prospects of happiness. Day before yesterday we were to have dined with the British Minister, yesterday with the President, but, alas, we have been
13 As to Old Court and New Court (of Appeal), see Sumner's Jackson, pp. 127, 133. Barry had been chief justice of the New Court, abolished at the end of 1826.