Old Newspaper Collections Project
By Clayton, Deb, & Holice
VT Watchman & Gazette, June 6, 1826
Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for being such a trooper and typing a ton of old news articles! Without her this project wouldn't be here!
VT WATCHMAN & GAZETTE, June 6, 1826
"Be just, and far not."
MONTPELIER, JUNE 6, 1826
MOUNT VERNON.--An unpleasant occurrence not long since transpired at Mount Vernon, which has occasioned some comment in the news papers. It was stated that Judge Washington refused permission to about thirty members of Congress to visit the tomb of Washington, and that the gentlemen delegated to call on Judge Washington, with a request to be allowed to land and visit the tomb, were not treated with civility due to strangers--much less with that due to men holding a seat in the Councils of the nation. In exculpation of himself Judge Washington has published a letter, disclaiming any intention to treat the delegation with incivility, and republished the following notice:
"The feelings of Mrs. Washington and myself, have been so much wounded by some late occurrences at this place, that I am compelled to give this public notice, that permission will not in future, be granted to steamboat parties to enter the gardens, or to walk over the grounds, nor will consent that Mount Vernon, much less the Lawn, shall be the place at which eating, drinking, and dancing parties may assemble.
"It is not my wish, by a particular recital of the unpleasant circumstances which had led to this notice, to give offense to any person; but I may be permitted to state generally, as my opinion, that a stranger, who had accidentally stopped here, upon many of the occasions alluded to, not knowing to whom the place had belonged, would hardly have taken it for the residence of a private gentlemen.
"The respect which I owe to the memory of my revered uncle, and that which I claim for myself, forbid my longer submitting to similar indignities. Responsible stranger and others, be their condition in life what it may, who may be led by curiosity to visit this place, will at all times, (Sundays always accepted.) received the same attention which has heretofore been uniformly and cheerfully shown such characters.
(Signed) BUSHROD WASHINGTON
July 4, 1822
Sir.--the above notice was published in Mr. Snowden's paper, and in the National Intelligencer, in July 1822, notwithstanding, parties have since been brought to this place by some steamboats, particularly during my absence from home. My object in sending you this letter, is to apprise you of my determination to sue the commanders of those steam boasts in which parties may hereafter be conveyed to Mount Vernon.
Your humble servant,
"To-------------------, Master of the Steamboat-----------------------,"
From the letter alluded to, and a subsequent article in the National Journal we learn, that the party embarked in a steam boat on the Sabbath, having no leisure on other days, and, after having proceeded some distance, were informed of the prohibition of steam boats from landing passengers at Mount Vernon--that a committee of three was on this account chosen to solicit leave of the proprietor of the grounds to visit the tomb--that the Judge was highly irritated by the conduct of the captain of the steamboat in bringing visitors, especially on the Sabbath, with a full knowledge of the notice which has been published, but which, it seems, was unknown to the company--and that, in consequence of this irritation on his part, the company did not find in him that urbanity, nor receive from him that cordial and respectful treatment, which it was deemed his duty to exhibit and to render. Judge Washington has done himself no small honour by his firm resistance to the violation of the Sabbath on his grounds. It is only to be regretted, that he did not, on this occasion, more effectually control his feelings, and present to the committee a calm, but decided remonstrance against the conduct, which he viewed to be an infraction of the Divine laws.
Copyright Clayton Betzing, 2001
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