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believe him to be a gentleman, at least the equal of John Slidell in ability and veracity. . If we are mistaken in our recollection, that he had the particulars recited from Mr. Slidell himself, he will no doubt inform us and Mr. Slidell from whom he had them, and we shall then be one step nearer the author of a tale, which, according to Mr. Slidell's latest testimony, is false.”
On December 28th Brainard published another letter, in which he admitted that he had had conversations with the editors of the Republican paper about the hardships, etc., of “Douglas' slaves,” but denied having given Mr. Slidell as an authority. There the matter ended. The story failed to accomplish its original purpose, viz., to defeat Douglas' election. It resulted in obtaining Mr. Slidell's testimony that the slaves were in the possession of a gentleman “than whom a more honorable man or better master cannot be found in Louisiana.” It also resulted in a question of veracity between two leaders of Douglas' active opponents—the Republican editor, and Dr. Brainard, a federal office-holder. Upon the subject there never has been and is now but one opinion in Chicago. Hundreds had heard the story as published by the Republican paper, and until Mr. Slidell's letter of denial no one had ever doubted that he had authorized it. This having been the most violent, will possibly be the last paroxysm of abolition regard for the moral and physical condition of “Douglas' plantation of human chattels.” The total failure of the attempt to injure Mr. Douglas before his constituents by this malicious fabrication was but a sorry return for the self-abasement committed by those who participated in repeating the slander. Dr. Brainard still holds federal office in Chicago. He has never given up the name of his authority, and the point whether he did not furnish Mr. Slidell's name in the first instance is involved in a question of veracity between him and the Republican editor. The public have never doubted on which side was the truth.
Mr. Douglas is the owner of a very large landed estate in Illinois. His grounds at “Cottage Grove,” near the southern limits of Chicago, are extensive and very valuable. In 1856 he deeded ten acres of this valuable land—worth possibly six thousand dollars an acre—to the Trustees of the Chicago University, an institution organized under the auspices and patronage of the Baptist denomination. Upon this land thus donated has already been erected a portion of the University buildings, and already a large class of students, under the direction of an
accomplished faculty, are receiving instruction. The cornerstone of the University was laid with appropriate honors on the 4th of July, 1856, and the ceremonies were attended by an immense concourse of people.
In 1856 Mr. Douglas disposed of one hundred acres of land on the western limits of Chicago, for the round sum of $100,000. His contributions that year in aid of the election of Mr. Buchanan, particularly to aid the Democracy in carrying Pennsylvania, were liberal in the extreme. In Illinois he was present in person; he was aided by Richardson, Harris, McClernand, Morris, Marshall, Shaw, Smith, Logan and a host of Democrats; and though Illinois, unlike Pennsylvania, had no candidate on the national ticket, still when called upon by Douglas and his friends, gave to the son of Pennsylvania a free, unbought, and generous support—a support that no expenditure of money could have obtained—a support given voluntarily by intelligent freemen to the candidates of their party, pledged to sustain the cherished principles of the Democratic platform.
IN the spring of 1853 Mr. Douglas visited Europe, and spent several months in personal observation of the practical workings of the various systems of government. He stayed a considerable time in England, and though he had the pleasure and honor of being presented to several of the monarchs of Europe, it was done at no sacrifice of personal independence or yielding of American principle.
THE AMERICAN COSTUME.
He was presented to the Emperor of Russia, and was not presented to the Queen of England. The circumstances attending his success in the one case, and his failure in the other, furnish a practical lesson of the respect due to national etiquette.
When he was in London there were several eminent gentlemen of the United States there at the same time; these as well as Mr. Douglas were about to be presented to her majesty at the next reception. When the time came, there came also the inexorable requirement that the Americans must put off that costume and dress which is universal at home, and put on another which is entirely discarded in their own country. Mr. Douglas protested, as did also his countrymen, but the requirements of royal etiquette could not be evaded. The alternative was to submit to a change of costume, or be denied a presentation to the queen. Mr. Douglas accepted the latter, and his companions put on the dress required by the court; they were presented and he was not. Subsequently he visited St. Petersburg, and for two weeks examined personally all the public institutions of the capital, and sought a thorough knowledge of the manners, laws and government of that city and of the empire. He had not made known his official position. After this time he left his card at the residence of Count Nesselrode, and promptly received a cordial and pressing invitation to that minister's palace. The interview was a pleasant and agreeable one; the political affairs of the United States and of Europe were discussed unreservedly and with mutual gratification. At this, or a subsequent interview, Mr. Douglas announced his intended departure from the city, when Count Nesselrode inquired if he did not desire a presentation to the emperor. Mr. Douglas expressed the great pleasure such an honor would be to him, but suggested the difficulty of the “court dress.” Count Nesselrode, after some consultation upon this point, frankly told Mr. Douglas that he was right; that a citizen of the United States entitled to be presented to a monarch in Europe, if received at all should be received in that dress in which he would be admitted to the presence of the President of the United States, and added that if Mr. Douglas desired to be presented to the emperor he could possibly arrange the interview within a few days. Mr. Douglas thanked his distinguished friend for his kindness to him personally, and also for his manly and honorable tribute to the dignity of American citizenship. The result was that in a few hours Mr. Douglas was visited by an officer of the imperial household, with a notice that he would be received by the emperor. Mr. Douglas had the good fortune to be placed in the hands of Baron Stoeckle, who is well known in the United States from his official position in the Russian embassy at Washington. The emperor was at that time celebrating, at some distance from St. Petersburg, a grand Russian national festival, and was reviewing the imperial army. Accompanied by Baron Stoeckle, Mr. Douglas proceeded in an imperial carriage and under an imperial escort to the neighborhood of the camp, where he left the carriage and proceeded on horseback towards the position on the field occupied by the emperor. At a proper distance he was met by officers of the imperial staff and conducted to the emperor. He was the only American present at that magnificent display of the power and wealth of the empire; representatives from all quarters of the world were present to witness one of the grandest festivals of Russia, graced by the presence of the imperial household and of all the most distinguished individuals of the empire, and yet into this scene of royal magnificence Mr. Douglas was admitted and welcomed with a frank cordiality by the emperor, in the same black suit of cloth in which, just before his departure, he had visited Franklin Pierce. The rule asserted by Mr. Douglas and confirmed and approved by Count Nesselrode—the veteran diplomatist and most eminent statesman of Europe—is the true one. Americans are the only people who are required to put on a masquerade dress to obtain admission to the presence of the Queen of England. The rule that persons of all nationalities may be admitted in that costume in which they would be received by their own sovereign is observed toward all persons except citizens of the United States. They are excepted. An officer in the service of a petty prince of a German kingdom, if presented, can obtain audience in the same suit that he would appear in before his prince, but an American will be excluded unless he puts off the dress in which he was admitted to the table of the President of the United States, and puts on the tinseled toggery prescribed by authority. Against this unjust discrimination between his countrymen and citizens of other nations Mr. Douglas protested, and preferred a total exclusion from the presence of royalty to a submission to any such degrading rule. Mr. Douglas visited Sebastopol and all the scenes shortly after made historical by the war then gathering in Europe. He visited all the principal points on the continent, storing his mind with practical information concerning the commerce, laws, and governments of the countries in which he sojourned, information which has since proved of great advantage to him.
His descriptions of what he saw in Europe, his conversations and interviews with the great and illustrious men whom he met during his trip, are of the most entertaining and instructive character. No one who has ever enjoyed an evening with him, when he discoursed of these things, has ever failed in expressing the delight and gratification afforded by Mr. Douglas' graphic delineations of men, and his charming pictures of scenes and events in Europe.
MR. DOUGLAS AND THE PRESIDENCY.
In 1848 the Democratic State Convention in Illinois unanimously recommended Mr. Douglas as a candidate for the presidency. He was then but thirty-five years of age, and had already attracted the attention of the nation by his abilities and great success as an orator. His services in Congress, during the four years he was a member of the House, and his one year's service in the Senate, had recommended him most strongly to a very large portion of the people of the country, as a man possessing more of the natural characteristics of Jacksonian power and Democracy than any other statesman.
Mr. Douglas, however, was a friend and supporter of General Cass. The doctrines declared in the celebrated Nicholson letter were doctrines of pure popular sovereignty. As in 1856, so in 1848, he preferred infinitely a platform embodying correct principles to any personal honors or distinctions. He and his friends were warm supporters of General Cass for the nomination.
The result of that convention is well known. The names of Buchanan, Woodbury, Calhoun, Dallas, Worth, and others were presented. The two-thirds rule was in force. On the first ballot Mr. Cass received 125 votes, Mr. Buchanan, 93, Mr. Woodbury, 58, and the other votes, making up the aggregate of 253, were scattered. Gen. Cass lacked 45 votes of having two-thirds, and two votes of a majority. On the second ballot he received 133, being a majority, but still less than twothirds. The friends of other candidates then seeing that the distinguished statesman of Michigan was the choice of a majority, after the third ballot, yielded to what was the expressed