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vice of his country, which had characterized his military
In the mean time, having been selected as a candidate for the presidency, he resigned his seat, and returned to his family in Tennessee. He was elected president of the United States, and was inaugurated on the fourth of March, 1829. Among the measures adopted during his administration, were the modification of the tariff, the veto of the Maysville road bill, the removal of the Georgia Indians, the veto of the bill rechartering the United States Bank, the defeat of nullification, the removal of the deposits in the United States Bank, and the recovery of indemnity for the aggressions of Brazil, Denmark, and France. He was elected for a second term to the presidency, and, at the close of his administration, retired from public life, to enjoy the pleasures afforded by agricultural pursuits, and the quiet essential to the comfort of his declining age.
MARTIN VAN BUREN. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, was born at Kinderhook, New York state, December 5th, 1782. His parents were of Dutch descent, and in humble circumstances. The elements of his education were received at an academy in his native village, which he left at the age of fourteen, and commenced the study of the law, in the office of Francis Sylvester, Esq., which study he finished in the city of New York, with Mr. William P. Van Ness. He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in 1803, and commenced practice at Kinderhook. He removed to Hudson in 1809; was elected a member of the state Senate, 1812; and, in 1815, was appointed attorney-general of the state, from which office he was removed, by a revolution in politics, 1819, which elevated another party.
From 1811 to 1813, Mr. Van Buren was identified with that class of politicians opposed to the war with England, but subsequently advocated the propriety of the war, and was an efficient supporter of President Madison. On the 6th February, 1821, he was appointed by the New York legislature a member of the United States Senate. In
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will see the party that elevated Mr. Van Buren to the presidency again in power.
Whether or not his age or inclination will again favor active participation in public life, or continued retirement for the future, remains to be seen. The latter would probably be in accordance with the dignity vi an ex-president of the United States.
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. William Henry HARRISON was born at Berkley, in Charles county, Virginia, on the 9th of February, 1773, and was educated at Hampden Sidney College. He lost his father in 1791, and found himself poor in the gifts of fortune, but rich in the lessons of liberty and patriotism, derived from his noble father. He commenced the study of medicine, and pursued it with earnest devotion, until the war-whoop of the Indians, in the north-west, aroused in his mind an ardent desire to distinguish himself among the defenders of his country. Though this inclination was opposed by his guardian, Robert Morris, yet he could not divest himself of it; and when he found his wish approved by General Washington, he gave to it the energies of his whole being, and, with the liveliest gratitude, received from him an ensign's commission in a company of artillery destined to be stationed on the Ohio. At the age of eighteen, he entered a field of toil and strife, that many a veteran would gladly avoid.
The deep and deadly hatred of the north-western Indians against us had been sedulously fostered by Britain through the whole course of the revolutionary war, and never ceased with her acknowledgment of our independence. Though the brightest jewel had fallen from her crown, she was determined at least to mar its beauty, and, if possible, to shatter and destroy it. Large amounts of presents had been annually lavished on the Indians, who were thus induced to believe in the sincerity of British professions of friendship, and to give them aid in all their machinations against the people of the United States. During the six years following the peace of 1783, it is estimated that 1500 defenceless inhabitants became vic
tims of savage ferocity. In 1794, Wayne advanced into the heart of the Indian country, and on the 20th of August he gained a complete victory over the combined forces of 2000 Indians and Canadians. In the despatch to the president, the name of Harrison is honorably mentioned. In 1794, when he was but twenty-one years
Harrison received a captain's commission, and was placed in command of Fort Washington, with extensive powers and heavy responsibilities, which would have been intrusted to none but a man of tried integrity and sterling ability. He married the daughter of John Cleves Symmes, distinguished as the founder of the Miami settlements.
In 1797, Harrison resigned his commission, and received the appointment of secretary of the North-west Territory. Two years after, at the age of twenty-six, he was elected delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States. The absorbing question of legislation for his constituents, was the disposal of the public lands. Hitherto, the lands had been sold only in large parcels, not less than 4000 acres. Of course, very few could purchase from government, but were compelled to obtain it from the extensive dealers at à considerable advance in price. Harrison, from his extensive acquaintance with the wants and wishes of the actual settlers, was appointed chairman of a committee to inquire into the expediency of making sales of smaller parcels, in order that the settler might obtain it at the minimum price, and the exorbitant exactions of monopolizers be thereby repressed. Through his exertions, the bill granting the sale of sections of 320 acres was passed; subsequently it was sold in still smaller parcels.
In 1800, Harrison was appointed governor of Indiana. Through the whole course of his administration, his perfect integrity shone conspicuous. Though he possessed the power of confirming or of rejecting certain grants to individuals, the stain of a bribe never rested on his hand.
But one heart fraught with malice was found to harbor a wish to tarnish the unsullied integrity of Harrison. One McIntosh ventured to accuse him of defrauding the Indians in the treaty of Fort Wayne. An action for slander
was brought against him, which resulted in a fine of 4000 dollars, of which Harrison gave one third to the orphans of some of those who had perished in the field, and restored the remainder to the culprit himself.
As commissioner and superintendent of Indian affairs, his correspondence with Congress exhibits him in the most favorable light.
The government of the United States was particularly anxious, at this time, to avoid a collision with the Indians, while the inclinations of the Indians, whetted by the false representations of the British, all urged them to war. The treaty of Fort Wayne was made in the absence of Tecumseh; and, on his return, he threatened with death some of the chiefs who had executed it. Harrison invited him to a conference. Tecumseh approached the conference with four hundred warriors, whose appearance indicated deep and determined hostility. Tecumseh urged his argument against the right of one tribe to sell land without the consent of all. Harrison replied, that the Miamis, with whom he had formed a treaty, were the original possessors of the lands they had transferred, and the Shawnese, who had been driven by the Creeks from Georgia, had no right to attempt to control them in any thing relating to their territory. This roused the ire of Tecumseh. He sprang to his feet, exclaiming, “It is false!” and, calling on his warriors, they gathered around him, with war-clubs in their hands, raised to begin the battle. General Harrison calmly drew his sword, repressed the ardor of his men to punish their insolence, and, with a resolute brow and appearance, his keen eye resting on that of the fierce Tecumseh, told him that he was a bad man; and that he would have no further talk with him ; that he must return to his camp, and leave the settlements immediately.
The bold warrior found that he had mistaken his man. From the mildness and urbanity of his general bearing, he evidently believed that he had only to make demonstrations of hostility, to obtain from him whatever he desired; but when he saw the same calm, but resolute exterior, differing in nothing save in the additional keenness of his flashing eye, and the more erect and lofty bearing of his person,