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cessively to 1789, including the last named year. In Oct. 1793, he was appointed a senator from the State, in the congress of the United States, for the unexpired part of the term made vacant by the death of the Hon. Roger Sherman. In this situation, he continued until he became judge of the superior court of Connecticut, in Oct. 1795. The station which he occupied as member of congress, both of the house and senate, called into exercise the utmost reach of his capacity, wisdom, and patriotism, in conjunction with those of the distinguished men, with whom he was associated. The perils of the country were great, and could be met only by unusual firmness and caution, on the part of the government. He contributed bis share to the production of that order of things which eventually took place, and wbich was signalized by unusual national prosperity. He took his equal station with the master spirits of the times, and though it is not known, that he was a frequent or eminent debater, yet he was much consulted in regard to projects and measures, and his opinions had great weight. It was perhaps, as some one has remarked, "characteristic of those days, that talents were displayed more by the wisdom of measures,-in their result,—tban by the display of logical debate. There was an intuition in the men of those times, which led them directly to a just conclusion. Nor was the talent in general for argument then, by any means equal to that of the present times. It is certainly, however, due to the character of the age that is past, to say, that wisdom and foresight were its prominent traits, by whatever process it was that the actors arrived at the results.” We may add, that there were several individuals who distinguished themselves in debate; and this was more especially the case during the latter portion of the period above referred to. It was when Mr. Mitchell held a place in the United States' senate, that is, from 1793 10 1795, that the most exciting questions arising out of the relations sustained by this country to Great Britian and France, involving natural rights, and the proper measures to be pursued in such a crisis, were discussed; and which elicited the highest debating talent of the national legislature. In general, however, it was much less an era of speech-making than it is at present, and happily the effect was much more salutary to the country. The caution of those days in regard also to a superabundance of legislation, may perhaps be recommended to our modern legislatures, for their advantage. We may forın an idea of it, from a familiar reply made by Mr. Mitchell, to a question as familiarly put to bim by one of his neighbors, upon his return home from a very protracted session of congress. "What Mr. M. have you found to do, for so long a time at congress.” Why, sir, we have had as much as we could do to keep from doing.

The part which Mr. Mitchell took, in one or two instances, in public measurses, while a member of the national legislature, will show the character of his services, and the obligations wbich his countrymen, especially the citizens of his native State, owe bim for his exertions. It is not perhaps extensively known, that to Mr. Mitchell's efficiency while a member of the U. S. senate in 1786, the State of Connecticut is chiefly indebted, for the establishment of her title to the Western Reserve. He labored in connexion with Dr. Johnson, his colleague, and nothing was wanting on their part, to secure an object of so much importance to the State. As they expressed themselves in a joint letter to Gov. Huntington, * after success had crowned their efforts, “ all the honest arts of political finesse, and every exertion of industry,” of which they were capable, were exhausted on that occasion. It is proper, however, to state, that before the negotiation was brought to an issue, Dr. Johnson had returned to Connecticut in despair of accomplishing any thing. The laboring oar was of course lest in the hands of Mr. Mitchell. Not long after, a favorable moment in the negotiation arrived, and Mr. M. lost no time in conferring by letter with Dr. Johnson on the subject. The doctor in reply, encouraged his

*We have in our hands a copy of a letter written during this period, the contents of which may gratify our readers.

New-YORK, May 20, 1786. Sir,- After congratulating your Excellency on your advancement to the chief seat in government, we would inform (you,s that the business of our cession of western territory, is not yet finished; no vote has yet been bad in congress upon it, although it has been three days at different periods under consideration and debate. Pennsylvania has thrown many obstacles in the way of acceptance, and we are not without our fears they will prevail so far as to prevent our wishes; we have urged for a decision with all our might, and we hope the en. suing week to bring the matter to a conclusion one way or the other; never did we undertake any thing in the political world so difficult, and which cost us so many pains and vexations. Our particular shares, of the land, if obtained, will be dearly' bought.

Congress has received intelligence from Mr. Adams, by which we learn the answer of the British Court relative to delivering up the western Posts. Lord Caermarthen has delivered an answer to a demand of Mr. Adam's, in which he allows the detention of the Posts to be contrary to the stipulations in the treaty, but offers in justification thereof, the following reasons-That the laws of America in many instances, prohibit the recovery of debts due British subjects. He begins with Boston, and declares she has forbid the courts rendering judgment for interest which arose during the continuance of the war; he then mentions the New-York trespass law, prohibiting any military order being received, as evidence to excuse persons committing trespass, and also her laws relative to debis. He goes through the continent, and enumerates the laws in every State which are supposed by him an infraction of the treaty, and makes the Southern States much worse than the Northern, and concludes by saying, when America fulfils on her part, Great Britian will endeavor to do the same. We are happy to find Connecticut is not among the number of those States who are accused of breach of treaty.

New York has in some mariner, granted the impost, as your Excellency will see by the inclosed copy of her law relative thereto.

Wm. Samuel JOHNSON,


colleague in view of such a state of things, to proceed in the application of his Caledonian skill in relation to the object. From ihe issue, it would seem, that it was very effectually applied. The negotiation, is rightly recollected, was principally carried on with Judge Wilson and Gen. St. Clair; who, without losing sight of the interests of their constituents, were personally friendly on the score of national affinity. The happy and successful senators, in the letter above spoken of, congratulate, as they well might, in view of the important acquisition, bis Excellency and their fellow citizens on the joyful event. And certainly Connecticut, in the proud eminence of having the largest school fund in the world, has reason to remember with gratitude the exertions which secured to her such a treasure.

We briefly advert to another instance in which, it is believed, the subject of this sketch exerted a propitious influence on the condition of his country. From the more secret history of the times, it is probable, although it is not known with certainty, that the suggestions of Mr. M., made in friendship to a leading member of congress, were remotely the means of saving the nation from a collision with Great Britain. We refer to the period of the British encroachments on the commerce of the United States, in 1793, and to the consequent famous commercial resolutions of Mr. Madison in congress, in the early part of 1794. Alr. Mitchell, whose sagacity penetrated very much into the springs of action, became persuaded, that the effect of those resolutions, if adopted, must eventually involve this country in a war with Great Britain. Impressed with this seeling, he laid open his views on the subject to Mr. Madison, when he had an opportunity in private, urging on his notice the probable fatal consequences of such a plan of legislation. What effect was produced on Mr. Madison's mind, is not known. The person who expressed his opinions to the mover of the resolutions, never was assured, nor could he assert, that they produced any effect. It is however known, that those resolutions were never called up by Mr. Madison for a final determination, and we can only infer the probability, that his own reflections on the measures proposed, were improved or remodeled by the representations of Mr. Mitchell.

To the list already given of the instances in which the public consideration was bestowed upon Judge M., it may be added, that in Sept., 1907, he received from the Corporation of Yale College, the honorary degree of LL. D., and that he was a member of the convention that formed the Constitution of Connecticut in 1818. At the latter period he was in the 76th year of his age, and unimpaired in his intellectual powers.

Few men, it would seem from what has already been said, have been entrusted with more of the business of the public, or with more kinds, than the subject of this sketch,-occupying as he did the seat of justice in its various gradations,-holding a place in the legislative hall of his native State, successively in each branch for many years,--and appearing repeatedly on the floor of congress, at first in the house of representatives, and afterwards in the Senate. Indeed he had an uninterrupted succession of public business of an important character, from 1778 to 1814, embracing a period of thirty-six years.

These facts show the degree of confidence which his fellow citizens reposed in him, and the conviction which was generally entertained, of his abilities and worth. That confidence was richly deserved, if it can be deserved by a long life spent in public services, with a spirit of disinterested patriotism, and a governing regard to the good of the community. The conviction so generally entertained of his capacity for public business, and his integrity in executing it, was well founded; for he seems never to have disappointed the expectations of his fellow-citizens. They were fully satisfied with the manner in which he fufilled the trusis committed to him,—with his efforts for the public weal. The purity of bis love of country, as was the case generally with the great men in connection with whom he acted, will never be questioned. It was the loveliest model of patriotism in any age or nation. It deserves to be held up for the admiration and imitation of all future time. It has been remarked by one who well knew the subject of this sketch, that in all the changes of politics, the exasperations of party, and the collision of sectional feeling, he seemed to seek only the public good.

The true interests of his country, so far as he comprehended them, he was unwaveringly bent upon promoting. He kept this object steadily and intensely in view, in all his public life. Even in the shades of retirement, and long after he had ceased to bear an active part in public business, be anxiously watched the progress of events, and felt a deep interest in the measures of the government. In the reign of party spirit, as it appeared in its earlier forms, we have heard his regrets in view of its prevalence, and he expressed the opinion, that neither in the name of the two political parties, nor in their objects, could there be a reasonable cause for ibe suspicions and malignant feelings that were engendered, and that no such difference existed as was designated, for instance, by whig and tory, in British politics. There he allowed there might be a real and radical difference of principle. This view of our party politics may well commend itself to the patriots and christians of the present time,—to the candid and judicious of all persuasions. This uphallowed political rancor should cease. For, however necessary or desirable it may be in a government like ours, freely to canvass its measures and strictly to watch its agents, it is certain that our political wranglings as now carried or promise any thing rather than benefit to the nation. The tempet of this everlasting warfare is wrong. Its effects are most pernicious. It pollutes, corrupts, destroys whatever it fastens upon. The malaria does not more certainly cut down the Tuscan peasant in bis summer labors on the Maremma, than our violent partisanship will eventually wither the root of national prosperity. It sacrifices to its fierceness and phrensy, to its cruelty and vindictiveness, private friendships, family concord, brotherly affection, patriotic devotion. It sets at nought all considerations of justice and right; scorns whatever is valuable in knowledge, venerable in virtue, or lovely in polished life. In short, the apprehension may be justly entertained, that through its influence in these times, we are losing sight of the public good, and jeoparding all that we hold dear as a people. In this view, it is refreshing to call to mind the noble instances of patriotism which a former age produced.

If we may inquire into the reasons of a confidence, so frequently and long reposed in the person whose life we are narrating, it is obvious to remark, that we shall find one of those reasons in his wide and liberal views of subjects on which he was called to act. This was a common characteristic of the leading men of those times. They were accustomed to take an extended survey of the great questions of national policy, which were presented to their consideration. They had a large forecast, and examined profoundly the bearings and relations of measures. The narrow schemes of private interest were discarded, and in general, they rose even above sectional prejudices. They acted not for themselves and the present times, but for posterity and future ages. In these comprehensive and catholic views, Mr. M. participated, as well from the native structure of his mind, as from the force of circumstances. Enlightened and sagacious in no ordinary degree, as a statesman, he discerned, and as a patriot, he pursued the true interests of the commonwealth. This broad and far-reaching sight secures the only true and desirable popularity. The statesmen of our times should be instructed by the examples of the purest age of our republic. Let them take liberal and large surveys of questions of national interest, and it would certainly, in many instances, improve their patriotism, as it would speak much in favor of their intellectual strength and training. They might not be the great men of a mob, or favorites of political partisans, but they would carry with them the respect of the judicious portion of the community, and be cheered with the prospect of being remembered with gratitude by posterity. There would not be such free attempts, as we fear are now made,

"To sound Or taint integrity.'

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