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he again accesaed an appointment as representative o Congress, of which body he was unanimously elected president. In this exalted station he presided with great ability; and on his retirement, received the acknowledg. ments of Congress.
Mr. Lee was opposed to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, without amendment. Its tendency, he believed, was to consolidation. To guard against this, it was his wish that the respective States should impart to the Federal Head only so much power as was necessary for mutual safety and happiness. He was appointed a Senator from Virginia, under the new Constitution.
About the year 1792, Mr. Lee was compelled, by his bodily debility and infirmities, to retire wholly from public business. Not long after, he had the pleasure of receiving, from the Legislature of his native State, an unanimous vote of thanks for his public services, and of sympathy for the impaired condition of his health. He died on the 19th of June, 1794, at the age of sixty-three years.
In private life, Mr. Lee was the delight of all who knew him. He had a numerous family of children, the offspring of two marriages, who were tenderly devoted to their father. As an orator, he exercised an uncommon sway over the minds of men. His gesture was graceful and highly finished, and his language perfectly chaste. He reasoned well, and declaimed freely and splendidly; and such was his promptitude, that he required no preparation for debate. He was well acquainted with classical literature, and possessed a rich store of political knowledge. Few men have passed through life in a more honorable and brilliant manner, or left behind them a more desirable reputation, than Richard Henry Lee.
FRANCIS LEWIS. FRANCIS LEWIS was a native of Landaff, in South Wales, where he was born in the year 1713. Being left an orphan at the age of four or five years, the care of him devolved upon a maiden aunt, who took singular pains to instruct him in the native language of his country. He was atterwards sent to Scotland, where, in the family of a relation, he acquired a knowledge of the Gaelic. From this he was transferred to the school of Westminster, where he completed his education; and enjoyed the reputation of being a good classical scholar.
Having determined on the pursuit of commerce, he entered the counting-room of a London merchant, and in a few years acquired a competent knowledge of his profession. On attaining the age of twenty-one years, he converted the whole of his property into merchandise, and sailed for New York, where he arrived in the spring of 1735. Leaving a part of his goods to be disposed of by Mr. Edward Annesly, with whom he had formed a commercial connexion, he transported the remainder to Philadelphia. After a residence of two years in the latter city, he returned to New York, and there became extensively engaged in navigation and foreign trade. He married the sister of his partner, by whom he had several children.
Mr. Lewis acquired the character of an active and enterprising merchant. In the course of his commercial transactions, he visited several of the sea-ports of Russia, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and was twice shipwrecked on the Irish coast.
During the French or Canadian war, he was agent for supplying the British troops, and was present, in 1756, at the surrender of Fort Oswego to the French general, de Montcalm. He exhibited great firmness and ability on the occasion; and his services were held in such consideration by the British government, that at the close of the war he received a grant of five thousand acres of land.
The conditions upon which the garrison at Fort Os. wego surrendered, were shamefully violated by de Montcalm. He allowed the chief warrior of the Indians, who assisted in taking the fort, to select about thirty of the prisoners, and to do with them as he pleased. Of this number, Mr. Lewis was one. Thus placed at the disposal of savage power, a speedy death was one of the least evils to be expected. It has been asserted, however, that Mr. Lewis discovered that he was able to converse with the Indians, by reason of the similarity of the ancient language of Wales, which he understood, to their dialect.* His ability to communicate by words to the chief, so pleased the latter, that he treated him kindly, and on arriving at Montreal, requested the French governor to allow him to return to his family without ransom. The request, however, was not granted, and Mr. Lewis was sent as a prisoner to France, from which country, being some time after exchanged, he returned to America.
Although Mr. Lewis was not a native of America, yet his attachment to the country was early and devoted. He vigorously opposed the oppressive measures of Great Britain, and esteemed liberty the choicest blessing that a nation can enjoy. His intellectual powers, and uniform nobility of sentiment, commanded the respect of the people; and in 1775, he was unanimously elected a delegate to Congress. He remained a member of that body through the following year, 1776, and was among the number who signed the Declaration of Independence. For several subsequent years, he was appointed to represent New York in the national assembly; and performed various secret and important services, with great fidelity and prudence.
In 1775, Mr. Lewis removed his family and effects to a country seat which he owned on Long Island. This proved an unfortunate step. In the autumn of the following year, his house was plundered by a party of British light-horse. His extensive library and valuable papers were wantonly destroyed. His wife fell into the power of the enemy, and was retained a prisoner for several months. During her captivity, she experienced the most atrocious treatment, being closely confined, and deprived of a bed and sufficient clothing. By the influence of Washington, she was at length released; but her constitution had been so impaired by her sufferings, that in a year or two, she sank into the grave.
The latter days of Mr. Lewis were spent in comparative poverty. He died on the 30th day of December, 1803, in the ninetieth year of his age.
* It is almost needless to remark, that such an occurrence is, to say the best of it, extremely improbable. There exists no affinity between the ancient language of Wales and that of any of the Indian tribes known in North America.
PHILIP LIVINGSTON. PHILIP LIVINGSTON was born at Albany, on the 15th of January, 1716. He was the fourth son of Gilbert Livingston, and his ancestors were highly respectable, holding a distinguished rank in New York, and possessing a beautiful tract of land on the banks of the Hudson. This tract, since known a the Manor of Livingston, has belonged to the family from that tim to the present.
Philip Livingston received his education at Yale College, where he was graduated in 1737. He soon after engaged extensively in wmmerce in the city of New York, and was very successful in his transactions. In 1754, he was elected an alderman, and continued in the office for nine successive years. In 1759, he was returned a member to the General Assembly of the colony, where his talents and influence were most usefully employed. His views were liberal and enlightened, and he did much to improve the commercial and agricultural facilities of the country.
Previous to the revolution, it was usual for the respective colonies to have an agent in England, to manage their individual concerns with the British government. This agent was appointed by the popular branch of the Assembly. In 1770, the agent of the colony of New York dying, the celebrated Edmund Burke was chosen in his stead, and received for the office a salary of five hundred pounds. Between this gentleman and a committee of the Colonial Assembly, a correspondence was inaintained; and upon their representations the agent depended for a knowledge of the state of the colony. Of this committee, Mr. Livingston was a member. From his communications and those of his colleagues, Mr. Burke doubtless obtained that information of the state of the colonies, which he sometimes brought forward to the perfect surprise of the House of Commons, and upon which he often founded arguments, and proposed measures, which were not to be resisted.
Mr. Livingston regarded with patriotic indignation, the measures by which the British ministry thought to hum. ble the spirit of the colonies. His avowed sentiments, and the prominent part he had always taken in favor of the rights of the colonies, caused him to be elected, ir 1774, a delegate to the Continental Congress. He wa' also a member of the distinguished Congress of 1776, and was among those whose names are enduringly recorded on the great charter of their country's freedom and national existence. He was re-elected to the same assembly the following year, and was also chosen a Senator to the State Legislature, after the adoption of a new Constitution. He again took his seat in Congress, in May, 1778, but his health was shockingly impaired, and such was the nature of his disease, which was a dropsy in the chest, that no rational prospect existed of his recovery. Before his departure from Albany, he took a final farewell of his family and friends, and expressed his conviction that he should not live to see them again. His anticipations proved true. From the period of his return to Congress, his decline was rapid ; and he closed his valuable life on the 12th of June, 1778. Suitable demonstrations of respect to his memory were paid by Congress; and his funeral was publicly attended.
Mr. Livingston married the daughter of Colonel Dirck Ten Broeck, by whom he had several children. His family has furnished many distinguished characters. Mr. Livingston was amiable in his disposition, and a firm believer in the great truths of Christianity. He died respected and esteemed by all who knew him.
THOMAS LYNCH. THOMAS LYNCH was born on the 5th of August, 1749, at Prince George's Parish, in South Carolina.
Before he had reached the age of thirteen years, young Lynch was sent to England for his education. Having passed some time at the institution of Eton, he was entered a member of the University of Cambridge, the degrees of which college he received in due course. He left Cambridge with a high reputation for classical attuinments, and virtues of character; and entered his name at the Temple, with a view to the profession of law. After