NO American city has suburbs more interesting than Washington’s. Those that hold first rank, naturally, are on the Virginia side of the Potomac, the region most redolent of the memory of the great patriot whose name was given to the capital. The Arlington estate, which lies nearest, was never the home of George Washington, but he visited it often, for it belonged by inheritance to the grandson of his wife by her earlier marriage ; and George and Martha were so pleased with it that they built a little summerhouse about where the flagstaff now stands, whence they could overlook the work going on in the new federal city across the river. Young George Custis, owner of the place, built the spacious dwelling substantially as we now find it, finishing it four years after Washington’s death. He left the property to his daughter Mary, who in 1831 became the wife of Robert E. Lee, then a lieutenant in the regular army, but thirty years later commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces. Their wedding. took place in the old drawing-room, where visitors now register their names.
Lee had just reached colonel’s rank when the Civil War broke out. He was opposed to secession, but, faithful to the traditions of State sovereignty in which he had been trained, decided that it was his duty to sacrifice all other ties and follow the fortunes of Virginia. After a painful interview with General Scott, who strove vainly to shake his resolution, he wrote, in the library across the hall from the drawing-room, his resignation of his commission in the United States army. Then, accompanied by his family, he set out for the South, never to return. In a few days the Federal troops took possession of the estate as important to the protection of Washington. Here McClellan worked out his plans for the reorganization of the Union army following the Bull Run disaster. A few years afterward, there being no one at hand to pay the war-tax laid on the land, it was sold under the hammer, and the Government bid it in. Before the sale had been definitely ordered, a Northern relative of the Lees came forward with an offer to pay the levy and costs, but the tax commissioners declined the tender on the ground that the delinquent taxpayer had not made it in person.
Meanwhile, the house had been turned into a military hospital, and the patients who died there were buried close by. When it became necessary to have a soldiers’ burial-ground near Washington, Quartermaster-general Meigs was permitted to lay off two hundred acres of the estate for the purpose. This was the beginning of the National Cemetery of today, where about eighteen thousand soldiers and sailors have found a last resting-place.
Sometime after the war, General Lee’s son brought suit for the recovery of the property and won it, the Supreme Court holding that the tax commissioners ought to have accepted the tender made them ; but Mr. Lee compromised with the Government, conveying to it his interest for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Since then the house has been put into excellent repair, and the land about it suitably enclosed and improved. On the upper edge of the estate has been established the military post known as Fort Myer, where cavalry-training is carried to a high point, weather observations are made, and a wireless telegraph station exchanges despatches with the Eiffel tower in Paris. Some of the land down by the river has been made over into an experimental farm under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture.
Happily, the Cemetery has been kept free from tawdry memorials and inconsequential ornament, and enveloped in an atmosphere of dignity well fitting its sacred character. Its most impressive tomb is that dedicated to the Unknown Dead, which contains the remains of more than two thousand soldiers found on various battlefields but never identified. “Their names and deaths,” says the inscription, “are recorded in the archives of their country, and its grateful citizens honor them as their noble army of martyrs.” Not far away is a fine amphitheater with a carpet of turf and a canopy of trellised vines, where memorial exercises are held annually on Decoration Day, the President almost always taking part. There is also a Temple of Fame, bearing the names of Washington and Lincoln, with those of the military leaders who particularly distinguished themselves in the Civil War. An extension has recently been made in the grounds devoted to sepulture, where the most conspicuous monument is that which commemorates the tragedy of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor. The base is built to represent a gun-turret on the deck of a man-of-war ; on this are inscribed the names of the victims, while from the center of the turret rises a mast with a fighting-top. A larger and more ambitious amphitheater, also, has been laid out in the extension.
From Arlington we can go, by the same road that Washington trod on his trips, to Alexandria, a town which fairly reeks with associations, from the colonial names of some of its streets – King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Duke, Duchess, Royal to its remnants of cobblestone pavement laid by the Hessian prisoners in the Revolution. Here is the old Carlyle mansion, where General Braddock had his headquarters before starting on his ill-fated expedition against the French and Indians. In its blue drawing-room Washington, as a young surveyor ambitious to serve his king, received the first rudiments of his military education ; and at the foot of yonder staircase one evening stood the same Washington, expectant, while pretty Sally Fairfax tripped lightly down to join him and be led through the opening cotillion at her coming-out ball.
This must have been a splendid mansion in its time, with a terraced garden descending to the riverbank, and a fountain in the midst of the flower-beds. It was built on the ruins of a fort used by the early settlers against the Indians ; the living-rooms of the fort be-came the cellar of the mansion, and the fort proper the plaza upon which the main hallway opens. You enter the house now through a cozy little tearoom established by a group of young ladies of Alexandria ; and it may be your good fortune to be shown about the premises by one of them who is herself a member of the historic Carlyle and Fairfax families and familiar with all their ancestral tales.
A prominent site in town is covered by Christ Church, where Washington worshiped, and where you can see the square family pew for which he paid the record price, thirty-six pounds and ten’ shillings. The church stands in a large, old-fashioned yard, sprinkled with the gravestones of men and women of local renown. Hither, on Sundays, drove the ladies from Mount Vernon, seven miles away, in a chariot with a mahogany body, green Venetian blinds, and pictured panels, drawn by four horses. The General did not take kindly to the coach for himself, but rode beside it on his favorite saddle-horse, followed at a respectful distance by Bishop, his colored body-servant, in scarlet livery. After service he would linger in the church-yard, chatting with his friends, till Bishop reminded him of the flight of time by bringing up his horse and holding the stirrup for him to mount.
A spirited historical controversy has been waged over the question of Washington’s attitude toward religion. The weight of evidence favors the idea that, though not bound by dogma, he had a broad faith in the philosophy of Christianity, always knelt with the rest of the congregation and joined in the responses, and occasionally remained for the communion. He certainly encouraged his slaves to believe in the efficacy of prayer; for once, when a long-continued drought threatened to ruin his crops, he called his farm-hands together on Sunday morning and bade them put up their united supplication for rain. They did so, and to their great delight the flood-gates of heaven suddenly opened and deluged the earth ; but the Washington family were caught in the storm on their way home from church, and could not make shelter soon enough to save Mrs. Washington’s best gown from serious damage or the General from being soaked to the skin.
In his younger days, Washington was fond of dancing, and used to come into town to attend assemblies at Clagett’s Tavern. The assemblyhall was up-stairs. It was afterward divided into three rooms, one of which, having fallen into the hands of persons who respect its pedigree, has been pretty well preserved. In the old times it had at one end a gallery for the musicians, accessible only by a ladder, which was removed as soon as they were all in their places. This arrangement was designed to compel them to stay at their work till released, and to drink only what was passed up to them with the approval of the floor-committee.
Across the corridor from the old assembly-hall was a chamber that later became interesting through its occupancy by an unknown woman who came to the tavern one morning in 1816, plainly in ill health. She was accompanied by a few servants, with whom she conversed only in French, and neither she nor they could be drawn into any communication with other persons, except what was necessary to engage accommodations and order meals. On the fourth day of her stay, there appeared on the scene a strange man,. who from various indications was assumed to be her husband. An hour after his arrival she died in his arms. He buried her in St. Paul’s cemetery on the. outskirts of the town, planting a willow-tree over her grave, and raising at its head a stone inscribed to the memory simply of “A Female Stranger,” with this stanza from Pope’s “Unfortunate Lady ”
“How loved, how honored once, avails thee not,” To whom related, or by whom begot. A heap of dust alone remains of thee, ‘Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.”
And the Female Stranger remains a mystery to this day, though many efforts have been made to discover her identity. A local suspicion that she was Theodosia Allston, the daughter of Aaron Burr, seems to be discredited by the fact that Theodosia’s disappearance occurred in 1812, and that her husband was dead long before the Stranger came to Clagett’s Tavern.
How public-spirited a citizen Washington was is attested by his having laid the foundation of Alexandria’s free-school system, presented the town with its first fire-engine, organized its first militia company, and got up a lottery to raise a fund for improving the country roads thereabout. He was an earnest Free-mason, and the lodge named for him owns a number of relics like the chair in which he presided as Master, his apron, his wedding gloves, his spurs, his pruning-knife, and a penknife which his mother gave him when he was eleven years old and which he carried till he died. It has also the last authentic portrait of him taken from life, a pastel done by William Williams of Philadelphia.
In and around Alexandria are other points of interest, including the house in which Colonel Ellsworth was killed, and one where, it is said, Martha Washington secreted herself for a while during her widowhood for fear of a slave uprising ; a theological semi-nary which has graduated, among other eminent di-vines, Bishops Phillips Brooks of Boston and Henry C. Potter of New York ; and the nearly obliterated remains of the road which, in 1765, General Braddock began to build into the West.
We can go to Mount Vernon by boat, or over a road which Congress has repeatedly, but without effect, been petitioned to acquire and improve. Already a trolley company has recognized a public demand and is running cars on a regular schedule from the heart of the capital city to the borders of Washington’s old estate. On the way down we pass Wellington, once the home of Tobias Lear, whom General Washington hired for two hundred dollars a year to act as tutor to the children at Mount Vernon, promoting him later to the post of private secretary. In both capacities, his employer provided, he “will sit at my table, will live as I live, will mix with the company who resort to the house, and will be treated in every respect with courtesy and proper attention.” Lear married three wives, one of them a kinswoman of the General’s. He acquired means, removed in later life to Washing-ton, and became a merchant with a warehouse on the river. His tombstone in the Congressional Cemetery recites an overflowing list of his virtues and honors, and posterity owes him a large debt for having preserved many of the Washingtoniana most valued now by historians.
Mount Vernon became the property of the Washington family by a grant from Lord Culpepper in 1670 to John Washington, the great-grandfather of George.
It was christened in honor of Admiral Vernon, a friend of Lawrence Washington, the half-brother who brought George up and superintended his education) George, who received it by inheritance, willed it to his nephew Bushrod, he to his nephew John, and John to a son of the same name. Financial embarrassments led the last heir to part with some of the land ; but to an area of a few hundred acres, including the mansion, the family tomb, and the wharf on the Potomac, he held fast till arrangements could be made for its purchase by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, a society of patriotic women who, with money privately raised, have restored the place and kept it in order ever since. There is good reason to doubt whether this would ever have come about but for the heroic energy of Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham of South Carolina, who, though a confirmed invalid, devised and executed a plan which saved the estate from being sold to a professional showman.
Just as in Alexandria we found ourselves in touch with a George Washington who was a flesh-and-blood Virginian as distinguished from the colorless paragon of the standard histories, so at Mount Vernon we meet the same Washington in his character of husband, farmer, and host. Even here, however, we are riot wholly beyond the penumbra of fiction ; for only five miles away is the town of Pohick, once the parish seat of Parson Weems, the inventor of the cherry-tree myth on which my generation were industriously fed. Although, of course, no one still living in the region can remember Washington, there are not a few who are familiar with the details of his daily life, handed down in their families from ancestors who did remember him. These make him out a very human country gentleman, who loved to ride, to shoot, to fence, and to wrestle ; who mixed business with pleasure in an occasional horserace or real estate speculation ; who disbelieved in slavery, and was recognized by his own two hundred bondmen as a kind master, yet was noted for getting more work out of a negro than any other slaveholder in Virginia, and for not hesitating to administer corporal punishment to one who deserved it.
We learn from these sources that he was “as straight as an Indian, and as free in his walk”; that he was what the ladies of that day, in spite of some marks left by the smallpox, styled “a pretty man” ; that his weight of two hundred and ten pounds was all bone and muscle; and that he stood six feet and two inches tall in his shoes, which ranged in size from Number eleven to Number thirteen. His hands seem to have been his only physical deformity ; they were so large as to attract attention and required gloves made expressly for them, three sizes larger than ordinary. His eyes, are variously described as “blue,” as “of a bluish cast and very lively,” as “a cold, light gray,” and as “so gray that they looked almost white.” These alternatives may be reconciled, perhaps, by Gilbert Stuart’s recollection that his eyes were “a light grayish blue, deep sunken in their sockets, giving the expression of gravity of thought.” His hair was originally dark brown and fairly thick; his face was long, his nose prominent, his mouth large, and his chin firm. He suffered a good deal with toothache, particularly after his military service, and, as the rural remedy was the simplest known, he passed his last years almost toothless. This drove at least one portrait-painter into padding the front of his mouth with cotton wool, to make his lips look more natural than they did when drawn over the ill-fitting artificial teeth which he inserted for state occasions.
The great man lived well, his principal meal being a three o’clock dinner, which he washed down with five glasses of Madeira, taken with dessert. This allowance he gradually increased toward the close of his life till it reached two bottles. In sending away for sale a slave whom, though troublesome, he guaranteed as “exceedingly healthy, strong and good at the hoe,” he expressed his willingness to take in part payment “a hogshead of the best rum” and an indefinite quantity of “good old spirits.” In our gout-fearing era, these data have the ring of immoderate indulgence, but measured by the standards of the eighteenth century they were temperate enough. It must be said for the General, also, that he was charitable in his judgment of the weaknesses of others, as shown by his contract with an overseer, to whom he conceded the privilege of getting drunk for a week once a year; and his campaign expenses for election to the Virginia legislature embraced a hogshead and a barrel of punch, thirty-five gallons of wine, and forty-three gallons of strong cider.
It makes us feel a little nearer to the Father of our Country to learn that he was not immune to the influence of bright eyes and dainty toilets ; that he was in love, or fancied he was, with several different damsels at as many different times ; and that his self-surrender occasionally declared itself in amatory verse too dreadful for belief. His most serious infatuation seems to have been with a Miss Cary, whom he courted fervently, only to be dismissed by her father with the sordid reminder : “My daughter, sir, has been accustomed to ride in her own coach !” As this was a knock-down argument for a stripling surveyor who was just struggling to raise his professional terms to twenty-five dollars a day when employed, he went his way, but sought consolation in winning Martha Custis, who resembled Miss Cary almost as a twin sister.
Of Mary Washington, mother of George, we get glimpses in the familiar chat of the vicinage. She appears as a rather difficult person, who tried the methodical soul of her son by her thriftless habits and her incessant complaints of being out of money. For years he did his utmost to induce her to rent her plantation further down the State, hire out her slaves, and live on her fixed income thus obtained, but to no purpose. Yet after he had become so famous that he was obliged to entertain at Mount Vernon all the traveling celebrities of two hemispheres, she suddenly took it into her head that she would like to come and live with him. In spite of his filial piety, candor compelled him to show her the impracticability of her proposal ; and, though he tried to soften her disappointment by sending her the last seventy-five dollars in his purse, she seems to have continued dissatisfied.
George was not stingy. On the contrary, on each of three plantations which he farmed he kept one crib of corn always set apart for free distribution among the poor, and never let this fail, even if he had to rob his own table supply or to buy corn at a dollar a bushel to make up a deficit. He was not a rich man, but for sentimental reasons held on to Mount Vernon after it had ceased to be profitable property. At his death, he was worth only about seventy-five thousand dollars in his own right, and, had he lived ten years longer at the same rate, he would have died a bankrupt. It was his wife’s better investments that kept up the expenses of their home.
As we go over the old mansion, we are shown the various rooms associated with Washington’s activities, and that in which his death occurred. Notwithstanding his sturdy muscular development, his throat and chest were always weak spots ; and in 1799, after a soaking and chill from a ride through a December storm, he went to bed with a cold which left him unable to swallow. Soon he realized that the end was not far off. It was characteristic of the man that he should then discharge the doctors from further use-less ministrations, give such directions about his burial as he deemed important, and calmly proceed to watch the waning of his own pulse. After a little the hand that held his wrist relaxed and dropped upon the coverlet, and the friends gathered in the chamber knew that all was over.
On the Maryland side of the Potomac, the suburb most convenient of access is Georgetown. In fact, it long ago ceased to be strictly a suburb, by incorporation with the city of Washington, from which it was separated only by Rock Creek, a narrow tributary of the Potomac. Officially, it is now West Washing-ton, and its streets have been renamed and renumbered so as to conform as nearly as practicable to the system in use in the capital. All the same, Georgetown has never lost its identity. It had a life of its own be-fore Washington was thought of ; and within my recollection the old society of Georgetown used to look askance at the “new people” with whom Washington was filling up. It is still sprinkled with hoary houses set in quaint ancestral gardens, though modernism has touched the place at so many points that we can get a glimpse of these survivals sometimes only through deep vistas lined with the red brick side-walls of urban blocks. The most attractive of the old mansions, and the best preserved, is the Tudor house, built by Doctor William Thornton about 181o. It is a good specimen from the Georgian epoch in architecture, standing fitly in the midst of a great square of lawn, with shade trees and box hedges to correspond ; and one of its traditions is that pretty little Nellie Custis went there to her first ball, though but I leave others to struggle with the problem of conflicting dates. One thing we do know, that the place has always been in the possession of kinsfolk of the Mount Vernon family.
Many amusing stories are told of Georgetown’s early days, when the Scotch element were so strong in its population that a man could not be appointed to the office of flour inspector without subscribing to a test oath declaring his disbelief in the doctrine of “transsubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper” ; when the city fathers sought to save the expense of employing a surveyor to calculate the width of the Potomac at a point where a bridge was to be built, by ordering out all good citizens to pull at the opposite ends of a measuring-rope ; and when the big triangle which was pounded as an alarm of fire fell from the belfry in which it hung, and fire-alarms were sounded thereafter by blowing a fish-horn through the streets. But none of these tales will have an interest for most visitors equal to the local version of the origin of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” For Georgetown was Francis Scott Key’s old home.
As the story goes, part of the British forces which marched upon Washington in the summer of 1814 passed through Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on a day when Doctor William Beanes, a prominent physician, was entertaining several friends at dinner. As the gentlemen talked, they grew more and more indignant against the invaders, and, news being brought to them at table that a few red-coated stragglers were still in town committing depredations after the main body of their comrades had passed on, some one suggested that the party go out and arrest these men as disturbers of the peace. This was done, but to little effect ; for as soon as the stragglers got away, they hastened to catch up with the army and lodge a complaint with their officers, who at once sent back a squad of soldiers to arrest the arresters. Three of the dining party, including Beanes, were carried off to Admiral Cockburn’s flag-ship, which was lying in the Patuxent River. Cock-burn, after administering a disciplinary lecture to the trio, dismissed the others but took Beanes as a prisoner on his ship to Baltimore.
Key, who was Beanes’s nephew, hastened to Baltimore as soon as he heard of the doctor’s plight, and under a flag of truce went aboard the vessel to inter-cede with Cockburn for his uncle’s release. His plea was vain ; and Cockburn would not even let him go ashore again till after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. When Key returned to Georgetown, he related his adventures at the next meeting of the local glee-club, and his fellow members urged him to put his narrative into verse. He read his production at a later meeting, and the club introduced it to the public, who adopted it as the national anthem.
Among the noted names associated with Georgetown, outside of political life, may be mentioned those of Joel Benton, the poet and essayist, who bought a farm on the Washington side of Rock Creek, since famous as the Kalorama estate ; Robert Fulton, the pioneer in steam navigation, who made some of his early experiments with water-craft and submarine explosives on the small streams of the neighborhood ; George Peabody, financier and philanthropist, who came as a poor boy from Massachusetts and worked as a clerk in a store in Bridge Street; William W. Corcoran, whose later career somewhat resembled Peabody’s, and whose real start in life dated from the failure of a little shop he kept in the heart of the town; and, last but not least, a youthful belle whose romance demands a paragraph or two of its own.
Baron Bodisco, Russian Minister to the United States during the Van Buren administration, lived, as did most of the foreign envoys of that time, in Georgetown. He was a bachelor, well on toward sixty years of age, uncompromisingly ugly, with a face covered with wrinkles, and a bald head which he tried to conceal under a somewhat obtrusive wig. He had for visitors one winter two young nephews, for whom he gave a dancing party at the legation, inviting all the socially eligible boys and girls in town. By some accident, one of his invitations miscarried and failed to reach Harriet Beall Williams, a most attractive and popular schoolgirl of sixteen. He hastened to repair his error as soon as he discovered it, and on the evening of the party hunted her up to make his apologies in person. It was a case of love at first sight. After that he contrived to meet her occasionally on her way to or from school, and ere long he became an avowed suitor for her hand. The courtship, though not displeasing to the girl, was for some time discouraged by her family. Finding her resolved to accept her elderly lover, however, they withdrew their active opposition, and Beauty and the Beast, as they were commonly called, were married in June.
The Baron, who had excellent taste in everything except his own make-up, superintended all the details of the affair, even to the costumes of the bridal party. The bridesmaids were schoolmates of Miss Williams, one being Jessie Benton, then aged four-teen, who afterward became the wife of General John C. Fremont. The groomsmen were generally contemporaries of the groom, so that the note of age disparity was uniform throughout. President Van Buren and Henry Clay were conspicuous among the guests. At the first opportunity, the Baron took his bride to Russia and presented her at court, where she electrified the assembled nobility by shaking the Czar’s hand in cordial American fashion. It delighted the Czar, however, which was more to the point ; and, although she did many unusual things, like declining the Czarina’s invitation to a Sunday function because she had been brought up to “keep the Sabbath,” she became a great favorite in the inner imperial circle, and loved to dwell on her foreign experiences after she came back to Georgetown to live. The Bodisco house is still pointed out to strangers.
Not all the historic associations of Georgetown and its neighborhood have been so peaceful. For a few miles out of town the river’s edge is dotted with sequestered nooks to which hot-brained gentlemen could retire on occasion, to wipe out their grievances in one another’s blood. The Little Falls bridge afforded such a retreat to Henry Clay and John Randolph after Randolph’s speech declaring that the “alphabet that writes the name of Thersites, of blackguard, of squalidity, refuses her letters for” Clay. The combatants took the precaution to cross the bridge far enough to avoid the jurisdiction of the District authorities. Clay’s first shot cut Randolph’s coat near the hip, Randolph’s did nothing. At the second word, Clay’s bullet went wild, and Randolph deliberately sent his into the air, remarking : “I do not fire at you, ‘Mr. Clay !” At the same time he advanced with hand outstretched, Clay meeting him halfway. Randolph, as they were leaving the field, pointed to the hole made by Clay’s first bullet, saying jocosely : “You owe me a coat, Mr. Clay.” “I am glad, sir,” answered Clay, “that the debt is no greater.”
The subject of duels calls to mind another suburb, to wit, Bladensburg, Maryland, where the defenders of Washington made their brief and ineffectual stand against the invading British in 1814. Here, for sixty years, in a green little dell about a mile out of town, all sorts of personal and political feuds were settled with deadly weapons. The most celebrated of these meetings was that of March 22, 1820, between two Commodores of the American navy, Stephen Decatur and James Barron. Like most duels, it was more the work of mischief-makers than of the principals themselves.
Decatur was at the height of his fame for achievements in the War of 1812 and against the Barbary pirates ; he was a fine marksman with the pistol, and had had several earlier experiences on the dueling-field. Barron, on the other hand, was under a cloud for some professional mistakes ; he was six years Decatur’s senior, had no taste for dueling, and was near-sighted. Down to the last, Barron was plainly disposed to accept any reasonable con-cession and call the affair off ; but Decatur was in high spirits and full of confidence.
Two shots rang out simultaneously, and both men fell. Decatur, who was at first supposed to be dead, presently showed signs of returning animation and was lifted to his feet, only to stagger a few paces toward his antagonist and fall again. As the two men lay side by side, Barron turned his face to say to Decatur that he hoped, when they met in another world, they would be better friends than in this. Decatur responded that he had never been Barron’s enemy, and, though he cherished no animosity to Barron for killing him, he found it harder to forgive the men who had goaded them into this quarrel. Both combatants were carried back to Washington, where Barron slowly recovered from his wound ; but Decatur, after a day of intense suffering, died in the house which still bears his name, at the corner of Jackson Place and H Street.
So habitually was this one ravine chosen for the settlement of affairs of honor that when two Representatives, Jonathan Cilley of Maine and William J. Graves of Kentucky, decided in 1838 to end a dispute with rifles, they outwitted pursuit by choosing for their fight the eastern end of the Anacostia bridge on the high-road to Marlboro, Maryland ; and a posse who started out to stop them went to the accustomed ground only to find it empty. This duel had naught of the dramatic quality of that between Decatur and Barron, but its effect on the public mind proved more far-reaching. Cilley was a young man of brilliant promise, highly respected as well as popular, with a wife and three little children. The quarrel was forced upon him because, in the interest of the proper dignity of Congress, he objected to a proposed investigation by the House of some vague and irresponsible insinuations made in a recent news-paper letter against sundry members who were not named or otherwise identified. Graves insisted that this speech was an insult to the author of the article, whose championship he gratuitously undertook.
The first two shots were thrown away on both sides. At the third fire, Cilley fell upon his face, his adversary’s bullet having killed him instantly. When the news of his death spread through Washington, indignation against Graves rose to fever heat, and his public career ended with that hour. The wantonness of such a sacrifice of a useful life, where the writer who figured as the cause of the quarrel did not even take a part in it, gave special point to the condemnation of the false standard of honor set up by the “code.” The funeral services for Cilley at the Capitol were attended by the President and Cabinet, in testimony to the high esteem in which he had universally been held ; while the Supreme Court declined its invitation in a body, as the most emphatic means of expressing its abhorrence of glossing murder with a thin coat of etiquette. Ministers, not only in Washington but in all the more highly civilized parts of the country, denounced dueling from the pulpit, newspapers published editorials and associations adopted resolutions against it, additional legislation for the abolition of the practice was introduced in various legislatures, and Congress passed an act to punish, with a term in the penitentiary, the sending or acceptance of a challenge in the District of Columbia.