University of Virginia Library

Search this document 




Page 78


Dear Cousin Ephraim:—Here I am yet, and haven't much
else to do, so I might as well keep writin to you; for I s'pose
Uncle Joshua's in a peck of trouble about his bushel of corn.
I'm pesky 'fraid he'll lose it yet; for they don't seem to rip
up worth a cent since the first night they begun. The truth
was, they took hold rather tu ha'sh that night; and rippin up
them are four new Sinneters so quick, they scart away four or
five more old ones, so they didn't dare to come in again for tu
days. And that threw 'em all into the suds, head and ears.
It was worse than trigging the wheels, for it broke the Sinnet


Page 79
wheel right in tu, and left it so flat that all Job's oxen never
could start it, if they hadn't got it mended again. They tried,
and tried to keep duin something, but they couldn't du the
leastest thing. One time they tried to du something with a
little bit of a message that was sent to 'em on a piece of paper
from the House. The President took it in his hand, and held
it up, and asked 'em what was best to du with it. Some of
'em motioned that they'd lay it on the table; but come to consider
on it, they found they couldn't according to the Constitution,
without there was more of 'em to help; for they hadn't
got a korum. They said they couldn't lay it on the table, nor
du nothin at all with it. I was afraid the poor old gentleman
would have to stand there and hold it till they got the wheel
mended agin. But I believe he finally let it drop on the table;
and I s'pose there was nothin in the Constitution against

They got the wheel mended Monday about eleven er clock,
so they could start along a little. But them are four new
Sinneters that they ript up Thursday night, come right back
agin Monday, and sot down to the great round table; and
stood tu it through thick and thin, that they wan't ript up and
no such thing. Well, this kicked up a kind of a bobbery
among 'em, so they thought they'd try to 'journ. The President
counted 'em, and said they were 'journed, and might go
out. One of the new Sinneters said the President didn't count
right, and they wan't 'journed a bit; and they must set still
and have an overhauling about it.

So they set down agin, all but four or five Democratic
Republicans, that put on their hats and great coats and stood
backside of the room. The room was chock full of folks looking


Page 80


[Description: 688EAF. Page 080. In-line image. A man sits in a chair at a table, with his hat sitting upside-down on the desk. Another man is standing next to the table talking to the seated man. Behind them, men sit, without hats, and in the background men with hats stand. There are stars on the floor.]
on, and the President told 'em the Sinnet was 'journed and
they might as well go out, but they did not seem to keer tu,
and they put their hats on and began to laugh like fun. The
President sot still in his cheer, for I s'pose he thought if he
left it some of them are roguish fellers would be gettin' into
it. The man that keeps order told the folks they must take
their hats off when they were in the Sinnet; but they said
they wouldn't 'cause the Sinnet was ajourned. Then the
man went and asked the President if the Sinnet was ajourned,
and the President said 'twas, and there was no doubt about
it. And the spectators felt so tickled to think they could


Page 81
wear their hats when the Sinneters were setting round the
great table, that they kind of whistled a little bit all over the

Finally, after settin about half an hour, another man got up
and motioned to adjourn, and the President got up and put it
to vote agin. He told 'em if they wanted to ajourn they must
say ah, and they all said ah this time, and cleared out in five

But about this rippin up business; instead of rippin up the
Counsellors, as some thought they would, both Legislaters
met together to-day, and called in four of the Counsellors, and
nailed 'em down harder with an oath.

They've sot the committees to work like fun now, and it's
thought they'll turn off business hand over hand; for you
know it's almost March, and then the great Supreme Court
meets here. And they say they have a grand jury that picks
up all disorderly and mischievous folks, and carries 'em into
court, and the court puts 'em in jail. These Legislaters have
been cutting up such rigs here all winter, that they begin to
look pretty shy when anything is said about the first of
March, and I don't believe the grand jury'll be able to find a
single mother's son of 'em when the court gets here.

From your cousin,


Editorial Note.—The Democratic Republicans insisted that the Convention
which filled the vacancies in the Senate was not constitutional, and refused
to recognize the new members at the Board, and the President refused to
count their votes. After considerable turmoil the four new Senators withdrew;
in consequence of which several others of the same party withdrew
also, so that there was not a quorum left to do business. After two or three
days, however, they returned, and the new Senators re-asserted their claims
to a seat. Great confusion ensued; the President refused to count their
votes; and taking the votes of the other members he declared the Senate adjourned.
The National Republicans refused to consider it an adjournment,
kept their seats, and began to talk of re-organizing the Senate by choosing a
new President. Elder Hall, therefore, fearing the chair would be immediately
filled again if he left it, kept his seat, but still repeatedly declared the
Senate adjourned. The particulars of the scene are more minutely described
in the Major's letter.