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

By Ben: Perley Poore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
GROWTH OF THE METROPOLIS.

THE CRAMPTON DIFFICULTY--UNSUCCESSFUL FRENCH MEDIATION--THE
DIPLOMATIC CORPS--INFORMATION FOR PUBLICATION--MR. BU-
CHANAN IN ENGLAND--WASHINGTON HOTELS--THE NEW HALL OF
THE HOUSE.

MR. CUSHING conceived the idea of getting up a difficulty with Great Britain, as likely to advance the prospects of President Pierce for re-election, and to divert the attention of the people from the anti-slavery question. The pretext was the recruiting in the United States, under the direction of the British diplomatic and consular representatives of the Crown, of men for the regiments engaged in the Crimean War.

Mr. Crampton, the British Minister, was a large, well-built man, with white hair and side whiskers, courtly manners and great conversational powers. His father had been a celebrated surgeon in Ireland, from whom he afterward inherited considerable property. He lived at Carolina Place, on Georgetown Heights, in good style, entertained liberally, rather cultivated the acquaintance of American artists and journalists, and was often seen going on an angling expedition to the Great Falls of the Potomac. He undoubtedly directed the objectionable recruiting without the slightest diplomatic skill. He seemed to go to work in the rough

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