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the pledge offered in the report as a bona fide pledge of the subscription indicated, and they are perfectly willing to give to the friends a carte blanche after the report has been adopted to incorporate in the bill based upon the report, a section in such form as they may deem best calculated to place the desired increase of the capital stock to five millions additional beyond all casualty, and to secure in the strongest manner, the subscription of three millions on the part of the State, to be paid pari passu with the subscription on the part of the stock-holders. With these fair and liberal propositions I call upon the friends of the James river and Kenawha 'improvement, to ground their unnatural opposition, if they do not wish to defeat that which they are attempting to preserve, Separate yourselves from your ill-sorted and suicidal alliance with the enemies of all improvement, who are using you to subserve their purposes, and who will spurn you when you have lost your weight and influence by the alienation of your true friends. If you give a selfish, contracted, and illiberal vote, strangling every other improvement in the State, I ask with what face you will present yourselves at the next session of the legislature, or at the session thereafter, asking their aid in the prosecution of your work? Do you flatter yourselves that the representatives from those portions of the Commonwealth, fresh from the defeat they have sustained at your hands, smarting under the injuries you inflicted upon them, and exasperated by your monopolizing selfishness, will grant you one dollar. My word for it, if this bill fails by your votes, you will have registered the last vote-certainly the last general vote of the south-west, north-east and north-west in your favour. I entreat you, therefore, by the deep interest you feel in this scheme-by the deep stake the Commonwealth holds in it; by all the glorious results which are expected to flow from it, to pause and ponder well before you give it the fatal stab. Stand forth boldly as the friends of a liberal system and you have nothing to fear; but shrink back with distrust and selfishness within your own shells, and you will assuredly have coals of fire heaped upon your backs. A few words more, and I leave the subject with the house.
I hope, said Colonel Peyton, that a fair and candid consideration of the views which I have presented, will be somewhat instrumental in advancing a cause which I have so much at heart, and which I conscientiously believe will contribute incalculably to the wealth, fame, power, and prosperity of the State. The imaginative powers are too feeble to conceive, much less to picture forth the change which a complete system of internal improvement would bring over the land. I will not attempt it. I hope, however, that the splendid results of the experiments of our more enterprising neighbours have had their influence upon the public mind, and given the friends of internal improvement a preponderance in our councils. If so, I trust we shall improve the opportunity which it affords of fixing this session as the great epoch from which to date the prosperity of the Commonwealth; an era which every patriot and philanthropist will revert to with heartfelt gratitude and the most triumphant feelings; as one next only in importance to that glorious day which stamped our freedom with the seal of the Declaration of Independence, in the lasting and inestimable benefits which have resulted from it to the good “Old Dominion,” the renowned magna mater virum; the morning star of our political regeneration-the “pillar of cloud by day and fire by night,” during its long and wearisome, and eventful progress; the Corinthian capital which imparts grace, and beauty and finish to the magnificent temple which we have erected and consecrated to the rights of man.'
The able and animated debate of which the foregoing was the concluding speech, was followed by a close vote, upon the report of the committee on internal improvements, and to the lasting credit and prosperity of Virginia, it was carried, thus becoming the law of the land.
Amidst the onorous and distracting duties in which he was involved, during this winter, it is pleasing to state that he found time to show, by his correspondence, that the dear ones sitting in the home circle far away, were never long absent from his thoughts. Among the numerous letters to various members of the family about this time, were
ones, addressed to the writer, then a lad at school, full of good advice and affectionate expressions of kindness.*
The author has endeavoured as previously said by correspondence with his family and friends in Virginia to procure some of these letters, but such was the destruction, by fire and other causes during the civil war, of mansion houses, libraries, etc., that he has been unable to procure any which possess particular interest.
In the month of June, 1840, my first visit was made to my brother on his Roanoke estate.
The family, from Montgomery Hall, was about to proceed to Isleham, on Jackson River, one of my fathers estates, about seventy miles from Staunton in the County of Bath, to pass the summer. They were in the habit of spending a portion of every summer there and in excursions to the baths which exist in this part of Virginia. Before leaving home my father sent me on my trip to Roanoke, accompanied by one of his favourite slaves, Ned Phipps. Mounted on a handsome bay cob, I was followed, at a respectful distance, by Old Ned carrying my clothing in a huge portman teau attached en croupe. This remarkable African, a good, kindly, garrulous old man, had attended my father during the war of 1812-15 as a body servant (of which he was not a little proud) and from his experience, age, and faithful character, was ordered to follow me in a threefold capacity, as guide, protector, and valet. Though, as I have stated, the grim and dignified Ned started on the journey in my rear we had no sooner lost sight of the Hall, than the sociable instincts of the venerable negro led him to spur up and place himself by my side. I did not object to this, being fond of his stories, some of which would have done no discredit to Baron Munchausen. On account of his wonderful tales he was slurringly called, by his fellow servants, “Ned Fibs.” Our familiar conversation was kept up somewhat in the style of the famous Knight of La Manche and his squire Sancho Panza, until we approached a town or village, when, of his own accord, Ned would quietly drop to the rear and never resume his former position till we had lost sight of the last house. The force of habit was strong in old Ned, who had learned respect for superiors, as he said, "while in the army." Besides he was a stickler for the proprieties of life, and had I wished him to remain by my side in public places he would have refused. He was tested on this point the first day of our journey, when near the village of Fairfield, where I halted to replenish my brandy flask and tobacco pouch for the benefit of Ned, who was uncommonly fond of both stimulants-neither of which I used. - To my request that he would keep by my side he answered firmly, almost peremptorily :