Perley's Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis - Vol. 1

By Ben: Perley Poore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII.
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS.

THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT-- VIRGINIA HOSPITALITY--SECOND-HAND
STYLE--THE PATHFINDER'S MARRIAGE--BARONDE BODISCO, OF
RUSSIA--MR. FOX, OF GREAT BRITAIN--THE AUTHOR OF "SWEET
HOME"--THE DAGUERREOTYPE--THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH--THE
NEW YORK TRIBUNE--RESIGNATION OF MR. WEBSTER--RECONSTRUC-
TION OF THE CABINET--FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE PRINCETON--MAR-
RIAGE OF PRESIDENT TYLER.

JOHN TYLER, who was fifty-one years of age when he took possession of the Executive Mansion, was somewhat above the medium height, and of slender figure, with long limbs and great activity of movement. His thin auburn hair turned white during his term of office, his nose was large and prominent, his eyes were of a bluish-gray, his lips were thin, and his cheeks sunken. His manners were those of the old school of Virginia gentlemen, and he was very courteous to strangers. The ceremonious etiquette established at the White House by Van Buren vanished, and the President lived precisely as he had on his plantation, attended by his old family slaves. He invariably invited visitors with whom he was acquainted, or strangers who were introduced to him, to visit the family dining-room and "take something" from a sideboard well garnished with decanters of ardent spirits and wines, with a bowl of juleps in the summer and of egg-nog the winter. He thus

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