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THE HUDSON. - Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel, vol. 1 
Retrospect of Western Travel in Three Vols (London: Saunders and Otley, 1838). Vol. 1.
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I went three times up the Hudson; and if I lived at New York, should be tempted to ascend it three times a-week during the summer. Yet the greater number of ladies on board the steam-boat remained in the close cabin, among the crying babies, even while we were passing the finest scenery of the river. They do not share the taste of a gentleman who, when I was there, actually made the steam-boat his place of abode during the entire summer season, sleeping on board at Albany and New York on alternate nights, and gazing at the shores all the day long, with apparently undiminishing delight.
The first time we went up, the early part of the morning was foggy, and the mist hung about the ridge of the Palisades,—the rocky western barrier of the river. There were cottages perched here and there, and trees were sprinkled in the crevices; and a little yellow strand, just wide enough for the fisherman and his boat, now and then intervened between the waters and the perpendicular rock. In the shadowy recesses of the shore were sloops moored. Seagulls dipped their wings in the gleams of the river, and the solitary fish-hawk sailed slowly over the woods. I saw on the eastern bank, a wide flight of steps cut in the turf, leading to an opening in the trees, at the end of which stood a white house, apparently in deep retirement.—Further on, the river widened into the Tappaan sea, and then the hills rose higher behind the banks, and wandering gleams lighted up a mountain region here and there. The captain admitted us, as strangers, (of course without any hint from us) into the wheel-room, which was shady, breezy, roomy, and commanding the entire view. Hence we were shown Mr. Living's cottage, the spot where André was captured, and the other interesting points of the scenery. Then the banks seemed to close, and it was matter for conjecture where the outlet was. The waters were hemmed in by abrupt and dark mountains, but the channel was still broad and smooth enough for all the steam-boats in the republic to ride in safety. Ridges of rock plunged into the waters, garnished with trees which seemed to grow without soil: above them were patches of cultivation on the mountain sides, and slopes of cleared land, with white houses upon them. Doves flitted among the nearest trees, and gay row-boats darted from point to point; from one island to another.
West Point, beautiful as it is, was always visible too soon. Yet to leave the boat was the only way to remain in sight of the Highlands; and the charms of the place itself are scarcely to be surpassed.—The hotel is always full of good company in the season. Mr. Cozens keeps a table for the officers, and is permitted to add as many guests as his house will hold: but, under such circumstances, he takes pains to admit only such as are fit company for his permanent boarders. The views from the hotel are so fine, and there is such a provision of comfort and entertainment, that there would be no hardship in sitting within doors for a week: but we made the best use we could of our opportunities, and saw and achieved everything pertaining to the place, except mounting the Crow's Nest; an expedition which the heat of the weather prevented our undertaking.
In some solitary spots of this settlement the stranger cannot help meditating on the vast materials of human happiness which are placed at the disposal of the real administrators of this great country. How great is the apparatus to be yet put to use! Here, where life is swarming all around, how few are the habitations of men! Here are woods climbing above woods, to the clouds and stretching to the horizon, in which myriads of creatures are chirping, humming, and sporting; clefts whence the waters gush out; green slopes ready for the plough and the sickle; flat meadows with a few haycocks lying at the foot of mountains as yet untouched. Grasshoppers spring at every step one takes in the rich grass, and many a blue dragon-fly balances itself on the tips of the strongest blades; butterflies, green, black, white, and yellow, dazzle the eye that would follow them; yet how few men are near! A gay group on the steps of the hotel, a company of cadets parading on the green; the ferryman and his fare, and the owners of this and that and the other house perched upon the pinnacles of the hills;—these are all as yet visible in a region which will hereafter be filled with speech and busy with thought
On the steep above the landing-place I was introduced to Mr. Irving, with whom I had a few minutes' conversation before he stepped into the ferry-boat which was to take him over to the Foundry to dinner. Many other persons with whom I was glad to have the opportunity of becoming acquainted were at the hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were our guides to Fort Putnam, after dinner; walkers as active and resolute as ourselves. The beauty from this elevated platform is really oppressive to the sense. One is glad to divert one's attention from its awful radiance by walking in precipitous places, by visiting the cell in which it is said, but doubtfully, that André was confined, or even by meditating on the lot of the solitary cow that has the honour of grazing in the midst of the only ruins that dorn American scenery.
A lady in the hotel offered to meet me on the house-top at five o'clock in the morning to see the sun rise. I looked out at three; there was a solitary light twinkling in the academy, and a faint gleam, out of a cloudy sky, upon the river. At five the sky was so thickly overspread with clouds, that the expedition to the house-top had to be abandoned. The morning afterwards cleared, and I went alone down to Kosciusko's Garden. I loved this retreat at an hour when I was likely to have it to myself. It is a nook, scooped, as it were, out of the rocky bank of the river, and reached by descending several flights of steps from the platform behind the hotel and academy. Besides the piled rocks and the vegetation with which they are clothed, there is nothing but a clear spring, which wells up in a stone basin, inscribed with the hero's name. This was his favourite retreat; and here he sat for many hours in a day, with his book and his thoughts. After fancying for some time that I was alone, and playing with the fountain and the leaves of the red beech and the maple, now turning into its autumnal scarlet, I found, on looking up, that one of the cadets was stretched at length on a high projection of rock, and that another was coming down the steps. The latter accosted me, offering to point out to me the objects of interest about the place. We had a long conversation about his academical life.
The student apply themselves to mathematics during the first and second years; during the third, to mathematics, chemistry, and philosophy; and during the fourth, to engineering. There is less literary pursuit than they or their would like; but they have not time for everying. Their work is from seven in the morning till four in the afternoon, with the exception of two hours for meals. Then come drill and recreation, and then the evening parade. During six weeks (I think) of the summer, they camp out, which some of the youths enjoy, while others like it so much less than living under a roof, that they take this time to be absent on furlough. The friends of others come to see them, while the pretty spectacle of a camp is added to the attraction of the place. Every care is used that the proficiency should be maintained at the highest point that it can be made to reach. The classes consist of not less than 140, of whom only 40 graduate. Some find the work too hard; some dislike the routine; others are postponed; and by this careful weeding out, the choicest are kept for the public service. This process may go some way towards accounting for the present unpopularity of the institution, and the consequent danger of its downfal. The number of disappointed youths, whose connexions will naturally bear a grudge against the establishment, must be great. There is a belief abroad that its principle and administration are both anti-republican; and in answer to an irresistible popular demand, a committee of congress has been engaged in investigating both the philosophy and practice of this national military academy; for some time previous to which there was difficulty in obtaining the annual appropriation for its difficulty in obtaining the annual appropriation for its support. I have not seen the Report of this Committee, but I was told that the evidence on which it is founded is very unfavourable to be conduct of the establishment, in a political point of view. The advantages of such an institution in securing a uniformity of military conduct in case of war, from the young soldiers of all the States having received a common education; in affording one meeting point where sectional prejudice may be dissolved; and in concentrating the attention of the whole union upon maintaing a high degree of proficiency in science, are so great, that it is no wonder that an indignant and honest cry is raised against those who would abolish it on account of its aristocratic tendencies. I rather think it is a case in which both parties are more than commonly right: that it is an institution which can scarcely be dispensed with, but which requires to be watched with the closest jealousy, that there may be no abuse of patronage, and no such combination as could lead to the foundation of a military aristocracy.
I saw the well-selected library, consisting of several thousand volumes, the spacious lecture rooms, and students' apartments. I often wonder whether students are at all aware of the wistful longing — the envy — with which those who are precluded from academical life, view the arrangements colleges. No library in a private house conveys any idea of the power of devotion to study which is suggested by the sight of a student's apartment in a college. The sight of the snug solitary room, the bookshelves. the single desk and arm-chair, the larum, and even the flower-pot or two in the window, and the portrait of some favorite philosophical worthy,—these things send a thrill of envy through the heart of the thoughtful politician, or man of business, or woman, who cannot command such facilities for study. I know that the fallacy of attributing too much to external arrangements enter here: that many study to as much advantage under difficulties as any academical member in his retirement:—I know too that the student shares the human weakness of finding evil in his lot, and supposing that he should be better in some other circumstances;—I know this by a revelation once made to me by a college student, for whose facilities I had been intensely thankful, — a revelation of his deep and incessant trouble because, he was living to himself, selfishly studying, and obliged to wait four or five years before he could bestir himself for his race; — yet, in spite of all this knowledge that the common equality of pleasures and pains subsists here, I never see the interior of a college without longing to impress upon its inmates how envied and enviable they are. It is difficult to remember that the stillness of the cell is of no avail without the intentness of the mind, and that there is no efficacious solitude in the deepest retirement, if the spirit is roving abroad after schemes of pleasure or ambition, — or even of piety and benevolence, which are not the appointed duty of the time. But I have wandered from my new acquaintance in Kosciusko's garden.
I was surprised to learn the extraordinary high average of health the place can boast of. The young men enter at the age of from fourteen to twenty, stay three or four years, and number about 300 at a time. The mortality in the seventeen years preceding my visit was only five. For eight years before the winter of 1834, there had been no death, Within a few months after, the superintendent's wife, a servant, and a cadet died; and this was, of course, considered an extraordinary mortality. I rather wondered at this account, for the young men look anything but robust, and the use of tobacco among them is very free indeed. It is prohibited, but not the less indulged in on that account,—nor from the absence of evil maniple in their superintendents. My new acquaintance made very frank confessions on this subject. He told me that he believed the free use of tobacco had extensively and irreparably injured his health, and that he bitterly mourned his first indulgence in it.
“Do not you mean to leave it off?” said I.
“Do you think you could not?”
“I could; but it would take three weeks to cure myself; and during? that time I could do nothing: and I cannot afford that. I could not learn lessons without it, and the loss of three weeks would injure all my prospects in life.”
“Hardly so fatally as the rain of your health, I should think. Is your case a common one here?”
“Too common. But I assurance you I do all I can to prevent the bad consequences of my own example. I warn my juniors as they come in very seriously.”
“Do you find your warnings of much use?”
“I am afraid not much.”
“They have the usual fats of mere precept, I suppose?”
“Yes, I am afraid so.”
The manners of the cadets are excellent. They are allowed, under restrictions, to mix with the company at Mr. Cozens', and thus to be frequently in ladies' society. There is a book kept at the hotel, where every cadet must, at each visit, enter his name at length, and the duration of his stay.
The second time I was at West Point was during the camping-out season. The artillery drill in the morning was very noisy and grand to ladies who had never seen anything of the “pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” Then the cadets retired to their tents; and the ladies flitted about all the morning, making calls on each other. When we had discharged this first of a traveller's duties, we sauntered to the cemetery. Never did I see such a spot to be buried in. The green hill projects into the river so that the monumental pillar erected by the cadets to the comrade who was killed by the bursting of a gun in 1817 is visible from two long reaches. One other accident had occurred a little while before: a cadet had been killed by a comrade in fencing. The tombs are few, and the inscriptions simple. Broad, spreading trees overshadow the long grass, and the whole is so hemmed in, so intensely quiet, that no sound is to be heard but the plash of oars from below, and the hum of inseets around, except when the evening gun booms over the height. or the summer storm reverberates among the mountains.
Such a strom I had witnessed the evening before from the piazza of the hotel. I stayed from theparade to watch it. As the thick veil of rain came down, the mountains seemed to retire, growing larger as they receded. As the darkness advances. the scene became strangely compound A frined sat with me in the piazza, talking of the deepest subjects on which human thought can speculate. Behind us were the opne windows of the hotel, where, by turning the head, we might see the dancing going on,—the gallant cadets and their pretty parners, while all the black servants of the house ranged their laughing faces in the rear. The music of ther ball-room came to us mingling with the prolonged bursts of thunder: and other, and grander strains rose from the river. where two large stream-boats, with their lights, moved like constelations on the water, conveying a regiment from Pennsylvania which was visiting the soldiery of New York State. They sent up rockets into the murky sky, and poured new blasts of music from their band as they passed our promontory. Every moment the lighting burst; now illuminating the interior of a mass of clouds; now quivering from end to end of heaven: now shedding broad livid gleams which suddenly revealed a solitary figure on the terrace, a sloop on the waters, and every jutting point of rock. Still the dance went on till the hour struck which abruptly called the youths away from their partners, and bade them bie to their tents.
On returning from the cemetery, we found Mr. and Mrs. Kemble. from the opposite side of the river, waiting to offer us their hospitality; and we agreed to visit them in the afternoon. Mr. Kemble's boat awaited us at the landing-place by three o'clock, and we rowed about some time before landing on the opposite bank, so irresistible is the temptation to linger in this scene of magical beauty. The catholic chapel of Coldspring is well placed on a point above the river: and the village, hidden from West Point by a headland, is pretty. From Mr. Kemble's we were to be treated with a visit to the Indian Fall. and were carried within half a mile of it by water. We followed the brawling brook for that distance, when we saw the glistening of the column of water through the trees. No fall can be prettier for its size, which is just small enough to tempt one to climb. A gentleman of our party made the attempt; but the rocks were too slippery with wet weed, and he narrowly escaped a tumble of twenty feet into the dark pool below. The boys, after bringing us branches of the black cherry, clustered with the fruit, found a safe and dry way up, and appeared waving their green boughs in triumph at the top of the rocks. The tide had risen so that the river was brimming full as we returned, and soft with the mountain shadows: but we landed at West Point in time to see the sun set,—twice, as it happened. At the landing-place we stood to see it drop behind the mountain: but just after we had hidden it good night. I saw that a meditative cadet, lying at length upon a rock, was still basking in the golden light. and I ran up the steep to the piazza. There, in a gap between two summits, was the broad disk, as round as ever; and once more we saw it sink in a trnquillity almost as grand as the stormy splendour of the preceding night.—Then ensued the eveing prarade; guitar music in the hotel; and dancing in the camp.
This evening, a lady and her daughter steamed down from Fishkill with a request to us to spend a few days there; and a clergy man steamed up from New York with an invitation from Dr. Hosack to visit him and his family at Hyde Park. We could not do both; and there was some difficulty in contriving to do either, anxiously as we desired it; but we presently settled that Fishkill must be given up. and that we must content ourselves with two days at Hyde Park.
The next morning, I experienced a sensation which I had often heard of, but never quite believed in:—the certainty that one has wakened in another world.—Those who have travelled much, know that a frequent puzzle, on waking from sound sleep in new places, is to know where one is,—even in what country of the world. This night, I left my window open. close to my head, so that I could see the stars reflected in the river. When I woke, the scene was steeped in the light of the sunrise, and as still as death. Its ineffable beauty was all; I remarked no individual objects; but my heart stocd still with an emotion which I should be glad to think I may feel again. whenever I really do enter a new scene of existence. It was some time before my senses were separately roused: during the whole day. I could not get rid of the impression that I had seen a vision; and even now I can scareely look back upon the scene as the very same which at other hours I saw clouded with earth-drawn vapours, and gilded by the common sun.
At eleven o'clock, we left West Point; and I am glad that we felt sure at the time that we should visit it again;—a design which we did not accomplish, as the place was ravaged by scarlet fever at the season of the next year that we had fixed for our visit,—Mr. Livingston, who had just returned from his French mission, was on board the boat. My letters of introduction to him were at the bottom of the my trunk; but we did not put off becomming acquainted till I could get at them.
Mr. Livingston's name is celebrated and honoured in England, (as over all Europe) through its connexion with the Louisiana Code,—this gentleman's great work. He was born and educated in the State of New York. While pursuing his studies at Princeton College in 1779 and 1780, he was subject to strange interruptions; the professors being repeatedly driven from their chairs by incursions of the enemy, and their schlors on such occasions forming a crops to go out and fight. The library was cattered, the philosophical apparatus destroyed, and the college building shared with troops quatered in the establishment: yet young Livingston quitted college a good scholar. He was a member of the fouth Congress, and there made himself remarkable by his exertions to ameliorate the criminal code of the United States, then as sanguinary as those of the Old World. In 1801, he returned to the practice of his profession of the law in New York, but was not long permitted to decline public life. He was appointed attorney of the state of New York, and mayor of the city. He remained in the city, in the discharge of his duties, while the yellow fever drove away every one who could remove. He nearly died of the disease and was ruined in his private affairs by his devotion to the public service, In 1801, he resigned his offices, and retired to Louisiana, (then a new acquisition of the United States.) to retrieve his fortunes: and from thence he discharged all his obligations, paying his debts, with interest upon them, to the last farthing. He was deprived, by a mistake of President Jefferson's of an immense property which he had acquired there, and was involved in expensive litigation of many years duration. The law decided in his favour, and the controversy ended in a manner the most honourable to both parties; in a reciprocation of hearty good will.
During the invasion of Louisiana by the British, Mr. Livingston took a prominent part in the defence of the State: and when it was over, undertook, with two coadjutors, the formidable task of simplifying its laws, entangled as they were with Spanish prolixities, and all manner of unnecessary and unintelligible provisions. His system was adopted, and has been in use ever since. In 1820, the system of municipal law was revised at New Orleans, under the superintendence of Mr. Livingston, and his amendments were put in practice in 1823. He was at the same time engaged, without assistance, in preparing his celebrated penal code. When it was all ready for the press, in 1824, he sat up late one night, to ascertain finally the correctness of the fair copy; and, having finished, retired to rest, in a state of calm satisfaction at his great work being completed. He was awakened by a cry of fire. The room where he had been employed was burning and every scrap of his papers was consumed. Not a note or memorandum was saved.
He appeared to be stunned for the hour; but before the day closed he had begun his labours again; and he never relaxed, till, in two years from the time of the fire, he presented his work to the legislature of Louisiana, improved by the reconsideration which he had been compelled to give it. Men of all countries who understand jurisprudence, seem to think that no praise of this achievement can be excessive.
He afterwards represented Louisiana in both Houses of Congress, became Secretary of State in 1831: and in 1833, Minister to France. His was a busy life, of doing, suffering, and, we may confidently add, enjoying: for his was a nature full of simplicity, modesty, and benevolence. His industry is, of itself, exhilarating to contemplate.
During the whole preceding year, I had heard Mr. Livingston's name, almost daily, in connexion with his extremely difficult negotiations between the United States and France,—or rather between President Jackson and Louis Philippe. I had read his despatches,(some of which were made public that were never designed to be so,) and had not been quite satisfied as to their straightforwardness, but concluded, on the whole, that he had done as much as human wits could well do in so absurd, and perplexed, and dangerous a quarrel, where the minister had to manage the temper of his own potentate, as well as baffle the policy of the European monarch. A desire for peace and justice was evident through the whole of Mr. Livingston's correspondence; and under all, a strong wish to get home. Here he was,—now ploughing his way up his own beloved river, whose banks were studded with the country-seats of host of hsi relations. He came to me on the upper deck, and sat looking very placid, with his staff between his knees, and his strong, observing countenace melting into an expression of pleasure when he described to me his enjoyment in burying himself among the mountains of Switzerland. He said he would not now hear of mountains anywher else,—at least not in either his own country or mine. He gave me some opinions upon the government of the King of the French, which I little expected to hear from the minister of a democratic republic. We were deep in this subject, when a great hissing of the steam made us look up and see that we were at Hyde Park, and that Dr. Hosack and a party of ladies were waiting for me on the wharf.—I repeatedly met Mr. Livingsten in society in New York, the next spring, when a deafness, which had been slight, was growing upon him, and impairing his enjoyment of conversation. The last time I saw him was at the christening of a grand-niece, when he looked well in health, but conversed little, and seemed rather out of spirits. Within a month of that evening, he was seized with pleurisy, which would in all probability have yielded to treatment; but he refused medicine, and was carried off, after a very short illness.—Dr. Hosack died some months before him. How little did I think, as I now went from the one to the other, that both these vigorous old men would be laid in their graves, even before my return home should call upon me to bid them farewell!
The aspect of Hyde Park from the river had disappointed me, after all I had heard of it. It looks little more than a white house upon a ridge. I was therefore doubly delighted when I found what this ridge really was. It is a natural terrace, over-hanging one of the sweetest reaches of the river; and, though broad and straight at the top, not square and formal, like and artificial embankment, but undulating, sloping, and sweeping, between the ridge and the river, and dropped with trees; the whole carpeted with turf, tempting grown people, who happen to have the spirits of children, to run up and down the slopes, and play hide-and-seek in the hollows. Whatever we might be talking of as we paced the terrace, I felt a perpetual inclination to start off for play. Yet, when the ladies and our selves actually did something like it, threading the little thickets, and rounding every promontory, even to the farthest, (which they call Cape Horn.)I felt that the possession of such a place ought to make a man devout, if any of the gifts of Providence can do so. To hold in one's hand that which melts all strangers' hearts is to be a steward in a very serious sense of the term. Most liberally did Dr. Hosack dispense the means of enjoyment he possessed. Hospitality is inseparably connected with his name in the minds of all who ever heard it: and it was hospitality of the heartiest and most gladsome kind.
Dr. Hosack had a good library,—I believe, one of the best private libraries in the country; some good pictures, and botnical and mineralogical cabine's of value. Among the ornaments of his house, I observed some biscuits and vases once belonging to Louis XVI., purchased by Dr. Hosack from a gentleman who had them committed to his keeping during the troubles of the first French Revolution.
In the afternoon, Dr. Hosack drove me in his giground his estate, which lies on both sides of the high road; the farm on one side, and the pleasure grounds on the other. The conservatory is remarkable for America; and the flower-garden all that it can be made under present circumstances, but the neighbouring country people have no idea of a gentleman's pleasure in his garden, and of respecting it. On occasions of wedding and other festivities, the villagers come up into the Hyde Park grounds to enjoy themselves; and persons, who would not dream of any other mode of theft, pull up rare plants, as they would wild flowers in the woods, and carry them away Dr. Hosack would frequently see some flower that he had brought with much pains from Europe flourshing in some garden of the village below. As soon as he explained the nature of the case, the plant would be restored with all zeal and care: but the lessons were so frequent and provoking as greatly to moderate his horticultural enthusiasm. We passed through the poultry-yard, where the congregation of fowls exceeded in number and bustle any that I had ever seen. We drove round his kitchen-garden too, where he had taken pains to grow every kind of vegetable which will flourish in that climate. Then crossing the road, after paying our respects to his dairy of fine cows, we drove through the orchard, and round Cape Horn, and refreshed ourselves with the sweet river views on our way home. There we sat in the pavilion. and he told me much of De Witt Clinton, and showed me his own life of Clinton, a copy of which he said should await me on me return to New York. When that time came, he was no more; but his promise was kindly borne in mind by his lady, from whose hands I received the valued legacy.
We saw some pleasent society at Hyde Park: among the rest, some members of the wide-spreading Livingston family, and the Rev. Charles Stewart, who lived for some years as missionary in the South Sea Islands, and afterwards published a very interestig account of his residence there. His manners, which are particularly gentlemanly and modest, show no traces of a residence among savages, or of the shift and disorder of a missionary life; nor of any bad effects from the sudden fame which awaited him on his return into civilized life. I remember with great pleasure a conversation we had by the river-side, which proved to me that he understands the philosophy of fame knowing how to appropriate the good and reject the evil that it brings, and which deepened the respect I had entertained for him from the begining of our acquaintance.
The Livingston family, one of the oldest, most numerous, and opulent in the States, has been faithful in the days of its greatness to its democreatic principles. In Boston it seems a matter of course that the “first people” should be federalists; that those who may be aristocratic in station should become aristocratic in principle. The Livingstons are an evidence that this need not be Amidst their splendid entertainments in New York, and in their luxurious retirement on the Hudson, they may be heared going further than most in defence of President Jackson's idiosyncracy. Their zeal in favour of Mr. Van Buren wasa accounted for by many from the natural bias of the first family in the State of New York in favour of the first President furnished by that State: but there is no reason to find such cause. The Livingstons have consistenly advocated the most liberal priciples, through all changes; and that they retain their democratic opinions in the midst of their opulence and family influence is not the less honourable to them for their party having now the ascendancy.
Dr. Hosack and his family accompanied us down to the wharf to see Mr. Stewart off by one boat, and our party by another, when, on the third day of our visit, we were obliged to depart. Our hearts would have been more sorrowful that they were, if we had foreseen that we should not enjoy our promissed meeting with this accomplished and amiable family at New York.
Dr. Hosack was a native American, but his father was Scotch. After obtaining the best medical education he could in America, he studied in Edinburgh and London: and hence his affectionate relations with Great Britain, and the warmth with which he welcomed English travellers. He practised medicine in New York for upwards of party years, and filled the Professorship of Botany and Materia Medica in Columbia College for some time. He distinguished himself by his successful attention to the causes and treatment of yellow fever. But his servies out of his profession were as eminent as any for which his fellow-citizens are indicated to him. He rendered liberal aid to various literary, scientific and benevolent institutions, and was always willing and indefatigable in exertion for public objects. One of the most painful scenes of his life was the duel in which Hamilton perished. Dr. Hosack was Hamilton's second, and probably as well aware as his principal and others that the encounter could hardly end otherwise than as it did. Dr. Hosack was in New York with his family, the winter after my visit to Hyde Park. He was one day in medical conversation with Dr. McVickar of that city, and observed that it would not do for either of them to have an attack of apoplexy, as there would be small chance of their surviving it. Within two weeks both were dead of apoplexy. Dr. Hosack lost property in the great fire at New York; he over-exerted himself on the night of the fire; and the fatigue and anxiety brought on an attack of the disease he dreaded; under which he presently sank from amidst the well-earned enjoyments of a vigorous and prosperous old age. He was in his 67th year, and showed, to the eye of a stranger, no symptom of decline. His eye was bright, his spirits as buoyant, and his life as full of activity as those of most men of half his years. I always heard the death of this enterprising and useful citizen mentioned as heading the list of the calamities of the Great Fire.