Chancellor Walworth and Pine Grove .


"Whom do we count a good man? Whom but he

Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,

Who judges in great suits and controversies,

Whose witness and opinion wins the case?"

Ė Miltonís translation of Horace


ON the corner of Broadway and Van Dam Street, fronting on the former and facing east, stands the old homestead of the Walworth family, embosomed in a grove of stately pines. In giving a sketch of this place, and of the distinguished man who was its owner and occupant for more than half a century. I shall aim at neither a biography, nor a panegyric, but such a description of the man and the mansion belongs naturally to the reminiscences and traditions of Saratoga.

Reuben Hyde Walworth was born on the 26 th of October, 1788, in Bozrah, Ct. He was the third son of Benjamin Walworth, of the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer, County, N.Y. His father removed to Hoosick during the Chancellorís early childhood, and resided there until his death. The family was originally of London, England, the American branch deriving from William Walworth, who emigrated from that city in 1671, and settled on Fisherís Island, and afterwards in New London. In the early part of the Revolutionary war, Benjamin Walworth was quartermaster of Colonel Nichollís New York regiment in the service of the United States, and acted as adjutant of the regiment at the battle of White Plains. It is related as an interesting fact, showing the rapid growth of cities in America, that, at one time, when seeking for an eligible site to erect a mill, the entire tract of land now occupied by the City of Troy was offered to the father of the Chancellor, and to his business partner, Philip Hart, for the sum of $2,000, which was not accepted.

Reuben H. Walworth settled at Plattsburg, Clinton County, in January 1810. Here he married his first wife, and here he practised law for many years, holding various offices in the county, and representing his district in Congress from 1821 to 1823. Mrs. Walworth used to relate that while at Washington it happened on one occasion, when her husband was visited at his boarding-house by Henry Clay, that the two gentlemen remained for a long time closeted in private conversation. She and her aunt, who were left in an adjoining apartment, had formed their own opinion of the great men about the capital, and were no admirers of that distinguished Senator. They indulged themselves therefore in expressing their unfavorable opinion of him, saying that they were sure he came there for no good purpose, and hoping that Mr. Walworth would not allow himself to be taken in by his witty tongue, etc., etc. To their confusion, the latter soon opened the door, and said: "Ladies, your conversation is no doubt very interesting to yourselves, but it is well for you to know that the partition is very thin, and that Mr. Clay hears every word you say."

By this first wife the Chancellor had six children, of which the oldest four are still living. His three surviving daughters all married young, and have large families; and of his two sons the younger, now deceased, has five surviving children, including two boys, the only grandsons left that bear the grandfatherís name.

At the invasion of Plattsburg by the British army in September, 1814, Mr. Walworth was aid to Major-General Mooers in the United States service; and it was his good fortune to witness McDonoughís battle and victory on the lake, being deputed to watch the contest from the shore, and report the issue to his chief. The house in which he resided for many years was occupied by the British during their short stay in Plattsburg, as an hospital, and bears the marks of bullets to this day. In April, 1823, he was appointed Circuit Judge of the Fourth Judicial District, which office he held for five years. In October of the same year he removed to Saratoga Springs. He was received there with great hospitality by his life-long friend, Gideon M. Davison, who gave lodging and entertainment to him and his family until his own residence was put in order to receive him.

The old Walworth place was purchased at that time of Judge Walton, its first occupant and builder, for the small sum of $2,000. In those early days it was a much more secluded place, and exceedingly beautiful. The railroad then had not divided it, and a delightful wood that bounded it on the rear extended far back beyond Matilda Street to the Waterbury farm and orchard. Almost the entire block opposite the Chancellorís was used as a public ground, and was a favorite resort for both guests and villagers. It was called the "Pine Grove," and was traversed by fine walks. One very spacious walk was the usual means of transit by foot from the "Upper Village," or north end of Van Dam Street to lower Broadway. Broadway itself extended no farther back than Rock Street, the woods heading it off at that point. The aforesaid "Grove" enclosed a tenpin alley, which was, if memory serves me right, the only alley of the village, and was much resorted to. Swings hung down between the tall pines, which in warm and fair weather were in almost constant motion. Here sometimes the Indians encamped, sold their bows, canes, and baskets, and shot at pennies to show their skill; and here, too, the militia often met for drill on "training days," "armed and equipped as the law directs," with muskets, rifles, fowling-pieces or in lieu of these with umbrellas, canes, or broom-sticks.

Opposite the Chancellorís on Broadway, and just outside the wooden fence which enclosed the Grove, the Fourth-of-July gun was sometimes placed, dividing this honor with Congress Hall. On such occasions Primus Budd, a princely mulatto, presided over this battery of one gun. A planet of the first class was he on Independence Day, and, like Saturn, carried his rings with him. The boys considered "Prime" as something superior to the Chancellor, or to any of the dignitaries of the village. It so happened that the authorities conceived it possible to manage this gun without Primus. The consequence was that three human arms were blown off by a premature discharge, and the ramrod passing Grove Street, alighted near the corner of Church. "Next time," said Primus, "I guess deyíll know enough to give public business to Ďsponsible persons."

At the north west corner of this same grove resided also Mr. Peterson, occupying a small wooden house with a smaller candy-shop adjoining. He was a notable man, and, like Primus, had his days of glory. Whenever the masons turned out, his portly person was sure to be seen in full regalia, with a cozam nobis so prominent that the little apron stood out in front horizontally. At Masonic funerals he carried a large Bible, and it rested on the said prominence as easily as on a pulpit cushion. Alas! how fortunes vary! With its grove and visitors, that supported the old manís modest merchandise, the house and the shop have both disappeared, and the ground whereon they stood has been absorbed into the Willoughby estate. What became of poor Peterson no one knows Ė whether expanded indefinitely or become absorbed also; probably the former, for his tendency was that way.

The entire space occupied by these pleasure grounds has long since given place to private residences, and the name of "Pine Grove" remains attached to the Walworth homestead opposite, being indeed originally a patch of the same ground.

Judge Walworth presided in his circuit until 1828, when he was appointed Chancellor of the State of New York. This office he held for twenty years, when the new constitution of 1848 abolished the Court of Chancery. In 1828 he removed to Albany, occupying first a house in Park Place, near the Academy, and afterwards a house in Washington Avenue above Dove Street, the present residence of Amasa J. Parker, Esq. In the spring of 1833 he returned to Saratoga Springs, and to Pine Grove, where he continued to reside until his death.

Mrs. Walworth, his first wife, whose maiden name was Maria Ketchum Averill, was a lady of singular sweetness and benevolence of character. Together with her husband she united herself with the Presbyterian church at the time of their marriage, to which communion she always remained attached. Of a truly devoted and unaffected piety, she was gentle and pliable in everything except where conscience was concerned Ė there she was immovable as a rock. She delighted to be among the poor and sick, and her love for little children was unbounded. Not an urchin in the village, however ragged, whether white or black, but "knew her like a book," and felt thoroughly at home with her. Indeed, she was greatly beloved by all classes, old or young.

Every one in Saratoga knows, or knew, Dexter, the livery-stable man, whose large frame and venerable white head were to be seen for so many years in front of the United States Hotel. There, in the summer season, from morning until sunset, he kept under one of the trees a chair for his own exclusive use. Never any one was known to sit in that chair but himself. Napoleon could cross the Alps with his artillery, but he never would have attempted to sit in Dexterís chair. No one ever suspected him of being soft or sentimental. But I particularly remember that the good old man idolized the memory of Mrs. Walworth, and never could speak of her without the tears coming to his eyes.

Gentle and amiable as this lady was, she had, when occasion called for it, a courage and resolution that amounted to heroism. On one occasion, in the early days of her residence at the Springs, a drunken aboriginal from the Indian encampment opposite entered the kitchen and demanded cider. This was before the total abstinence days, and the Chancellorís cellar was well stocked both with wine and cider. The cook, thinking he had already enough, refused to give him any, whereupon he drew his knife and threatened to kill her. Mrs. Walworth chanced to enter the kitchen at this moment, and comprehending the whole situation at a glance, seized the tongs, which she laid about the head vigorously, and drove him out of the house. Mrs. Walworth died at Pine Grove, on the 24 th of April, 1847, surrounded by the devoted members of her family. As Christian, wife, mother, friend, and neighbor, a model in every relation of life, her memory is still tenderly cherished in the locality where she lived so long, loved and was beloved.


Pine Grove: Its Distinguished Visitors .


The "Pine Grove" was for a long period of years a much-frequented place. Few residences in the land have seen more of the great celebrities of the country, especially of her distinguished jurists and statesmen. It has known Daniel D. Tompkins, De Witt Clinton, Martin Van Buren, Enos T. Throop, Silas Wright, Churchill C. Cambreling, William L. Marcy, Albert H. Tracy, Francis Granger, William H. Seward, Stephen A. Douglas, Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Chancellor Kent, Judge Story, Judge Grier, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, William L. Stone, Catharine Sedgwick, Mrs. Sigourney, Edward C. Delavan, Gerrit Smith, Generals Scott, Wool, Worth, Gottschalk the pianist, and a host of others, Governors, Senators, and Congressmen, celebrated authors and soldiers, who have chatted in its parlors, dined at its table, and walked about under the shade of its pines. The Chancellor never forgot an acquaintance, and was fond of bringing every one to his house. Every morning during the summer season he looked carefully over the list of arrivals at the hotels, and hastened to call on every one he knew. The Grove has known the portly form of Joseph Bonaparte in tights, and the squat figure of Mar Yohannan in multitudinous folds of cloth.

Clergymen always found a welcome there, whatever their type of faith or form of worship. Its traditions array such names as Eliphalet Nott, Lyman Beecher, William B. Sprague, George W. Bethune, Samuel H. Cox, Francis Wayland, James Milner, Archbishops Hughes, McCloskey, Purcell, Kenrick, and Spalding, Cardinal Bedini, and Bishop Alonzo Potter. Methodist Bishops have visited there whose names I do not know, and at a very early date a Catholic bishop from Canada, in quaint knee-breeches and large buckled shoes, whose zeal in the cause of temperance brought him in connection with the Chancellor. Thither also came, at various times, innumerable missionaries from foreign parts, and now and then a russet-coated elder from the Shaker settlements.

Lewis J. Papineau, Dr. E.B. OíCallaghan, and Marshall S. Bidwell, exiled from Canada by the unsuccessful rebellion of 1837, found here a hearty welcome, and always remained on terms of the most intimate friendship with the Chancellor. It is said that the first named of these illustrious exiles, after his precipitate escape from Canada, was found friendless and unknown in the city of Albany, by James Porter, Esq., at that time Register in Chancery, who took him to his house. Here the Chancellor made his acquaintance, and carried him to Saratoga. Mrs. Papineau and her children were entertained for some time at Pine Grove, and a son, L.J.A. Papineau, was an inmate there for two years.

The front room in the north wing was the Chancellorís office for forty-three years. Any one passing the house, or entering by the north piazza, might see him hard at work, throughout the day, and his lamp was burning there still until two, three, and often four oíclock in the morning. His constitution was of iron, and his capacity for labor was enormous, and yet he loved recreation, and no man could enjoy society better. He loved to spend the hours of evening with his family at games of chess, backgammon, or whist, or in lively conversation, until all the rest had retired to bed, when he returned to his office, and to his solitary labors of the night. From these habits it may easily be inferred that he was not an early riser. And yet he often rose early in the summer-time, when the Congress Spring was crowded with visitors, and the desire to meet his friends would bring him there among the rest.

He was a great talker and a most lively one, and when a good story was told by himself or others, he would throw his head forward, rub his hands together, and laugh until the walls rang again. He never stood upon his dignity, but was always ready for any fun, even to the latest years of his life. He had been a notable jumper in his youthful days, and once even as late as 1835, when Judge Nelson (late of the United States bench), John A. Collyer, the late Attorney-General, Benj. F. Butler, of New York, and other like grave gentlemen of the Bar and Legislature were enjoying themselves together, he challenged them to show their agility by leaping over the parlor chairs, and set the example himself. They were all wild enough at the time, but wisely declined this challenge. Less discretion was manifested on another occasion by a young Presbyterian divine, who was preaching on trial in the village at the time, and was seduced into a trial of his legs at the Grove. A clothes-line was stretched at a good height between two trees, which the Chancellor easily cleared with a running leap. Divinity was not so successful. He landed astride of the line, and after an extremely awkward gyration went most ignominiously to grass. The piety of the bystanders was no great check upon their merriment, some laughing in hearty bass and some in high soprano.

In the same "office" aforesaid the Chancellor held his "motion courts." This was not only a convenience for himself, but generally agreeable to the members of the bar. By going there, instead of to Albany, they were able to combine a little business with a trip to the Springs. A wood-box being covered with a carpet, an arm-chair was placed upon it, and the little office was thus converted into a court-room. Here, during a long course of years, distinguished counsel came to make, defend, and argue motions in chancery. Hither came Ambrose Spencer, Chief-Justice of New York; John C. Spencer, Joshua Spencer, Charles OíConor, Samuel Stevens, Mark Reynolds, Benj. F. Butler of New York; Daniel Lord, Wm. H. Seward, David Graham, and many other men of equal mark, though of a later generation. Here once William Kent and George Griffin were pitted against Daniel Webster, in some case involving the Illinois State bonds, which crowded the room, piazza, and sidewalk with anxious listeners, until out of consideration for these the Chancellor adjourned to the Universalist church. {Now a private residence, owned and occupied by a daughter of the late Daniel T. Reed. Mr. Reed, who died on May 6, 1875, was, with the exception of Mr. and Mrs. Jewel, the oldest resident of Saratoga. He was a native of Washington County, and was born in the year 1785. About the year 1824 he removed to this village and purchased the lot on which the late Judge W.L.F. Warrenís house now stands, on the corner of Broadway and Church Street, on which he erected a hotel. Two years later it was burned, and he purchased the Franklin House on Church Street, and enlarged and repaired it. He kept this house for about thirty years, and then sold it to Deacon Britnall. He then built the house on Matilda Street standing on the corner of the railroad, and resided there a few years. He next purchased the Universalist church building, on the corner of Church and Matilda Streets, and converted it into the boarding-house which was kept by him, in connection with his daughter, until his death.} "This cause does not end here," said Griffin, in a tragic tone of voice; "we shall meet again at Philippi." "Ay!" replied Webster, with a grim humor that convulsed the audience; "the learned counsel will meet us again at Philippi, but will they pay us when we get there?"

Here the celebrated Spike case dragged its slow length along for many years, in which nearly all the great lawyers of the land had a finger. It was a reference case, which the Chancellor undertook after the abolition of his office. The original suit was brought in the United States Court for the infringement of a patented right to give a peculiar rap to the head of a railroad spike in the process of its formation; and the question before the referee was to ascertain the increased profits of a party of manufacturers (Winslow, Corning & Co.) so rapping as aforesaid, and the consequent damages to the other party (Burden & Co.) having the exclusive right so to rap as aforesaid. Mrs. Walworth once in conversation with Governor Seward said: "I wish you would explain what this everlasting Spike suit is about. I donít understand it." "Indeed, madam," he replied, "I should be very much ashamed if you did. I have been engaged in it for several years and I donít understand it yet."

To this same office came the new aspirants to chancery practice, and signed their names to the roll of counsellors. This was a veritable roll made of strong parchment, piece added to piece as the list increased. It holds the names of almost all the distinguished lawyers of New York now living. It is at present in the possession of William A. Beach, a resident of New York City, but a native of Saratoga, and one of the honored names on the roll.


Peculiar Professional Traits .


Chancellor Walworth may justly be regarded as the great artisan of our equity laws. In some sense he was the Bentham of America, without the bold speculations and fantastical theories which, to a certain extent, characterized the great British jurist. What Bentham did in removing defects in English jurisprudence, Walworth did in renovating and simplifying the equity laws of the United States.

Before his day, the Court of Chancery in this State was a tribunal of illy-defined powers Ė of uncertain jurisdiction, in a measure subservient to the English Court of Chancery in its procedure. Chancellor Walworth abolished much of that subtlety Ė many of those prolix and bewildering formalities which had their origin in the recesses of the mediæval ages. He reduced the practice of his court to certain standing rules, which he prepared with great industry. These rules greatly improved the old system of equity practice, and though he has been charged with thus complicating the Court of Chancery with expensive machinery, it cannot be gainsaid that with Chancellor Walworth equity was the soul and spirit of law, "creating positive and defining rational law, flexible in its nature, and suited to the fortunes, cases, and reciprocal obligations of men." {The contents of fourteen volumes of Paigeís Chancery Reports , and a large part of the matter comprising the contents of the thirty-six volumes of Wendell and Denioís Reports , attest to his vast judicial labors.}

It scarcely, however, belongs to a sketch of this kind to dwell upon the legal acquirements, the judicial character, or the public reputation of Chancellor Walworth. But certain peculiarities which he had when presiding in court were as well known to his fellow-villagers as they were familiar to the lawyers who frequented his little forum at the Grove, and may be considered as local reminiscences.

In endeavoring to master the points of a case he had a method of his own, and it was necessary for counsel to conform to it in their arguments. Those who frequented his court soon learned to humor him in this respect; but strangers were often annoyed by his interruptions and contradictions. He wanted to make up a sort of brief for his own use at the very beginning, and in making this he put the counsel to his catechism. He required, not only the names of the parties and the general nature of the cause or motion, but the peculiar character of each oneís interest, and the main points at issue, clearly stated, before he would listen to any argument, or to any rhetorical preambles. These preliminaries being arranged to his satisfaction, he would lay up his pen over his ear, push back his chair, put his thumbs into the armholes of his vest, and then, and not before then, the counsel might proceed without interruption. But woe to the unlucky man who accepted papers for a motion, however simple, without taking time to read and prepare for it, trusting to be allowed to begin by reading the affidavits! And woe to any one who, having no legal ground to stand on, looked fondly for time and grace to make the mere show of a good fight! Time, indeed, he sometimes got, but only the time in which to be fearfully and wonderfully badgered.

A noted lawyer of Brooklyn once, after reading his affidavits, was endeavoring to enter upon his argument in support of a motion. But the Chancellor was not satisfied. "I think," he said, "that Widow Van Bummel ought to be heard from in this matter." "Indeed, your Honor," replied the counsel, "I do not see how the Widow Van Bummel can have any possible interest in the motion." He endeavored to proceed, but was soon interrupted again, "I should like to know what the Widow Van Bummel has to say." After a hard contest for liberty to proceed, despairing at last of success, the counsel began tying up his papers again, and said testily: "Well, your Honor, I will hunt up this Widow Van Bummel, and see if she has anything to say; and if there is any other old woman in the United States, or elsewhere, that your Honor would like to see, I will bring her into court."

All widows and orphans in the State were wards of the Court of Chancery. The Chancellor construed this tutelage in the most simple sense, and acted accordingly. His wards had easy access to him without any formalities of red tape. He listened to their stories patiently, instituted enquiries after his own fashion, and often made some prompt order in their favor upon such informal application. The trustee of a young Albanian refused to let him travel to Europe, on the ground of its being a useless expense. The young man made a complaint to the Chancellor in person, alleging that there was plenty of money, and that the desire was reasonable under the circumstances. The Chancellor thought so too, and gave an order to that effect. A person of weak intellect, and who passed for non compos mentis , had not been allowed to manage a large estate which he inherited from his father. This was represented to be a hardship. The Chancellor sent for him privately, conversed with him on business matters, and deeming that he had sufficient capacity to keep things together, put promptly in possession of his property. No Barnacles of the Circumlocution Office stood on guard at "Pine Grove." {One is reminded by this trait of Chancellor Walworth of a well-authenticated anecdote related of Alexander Hamilton. On one occasion a client came to him stating that he had discovered a flaw in a will which left certain property to his wards. He accordingly hoped, by securing the services of Hamilton, to substantiate this defect, and thus secure the property for himself. Hamilton took the papers and told him to call the following day. Punctually the client was on hand. Hamilton then said he had examined the papers left with him. "You are now," also added Hamilton, "completely in my power, and if you do not at once deal justly by your orphan wards, I shall immediately take up this case and see that they are righted." His client, seeing himself thus caught in his own trap, made complete restitution.}

The Chancellor was a great water-drinker. He always kept a pitcher of water and a glass on his desk, and the frequent passage of the glass back and forth from the desk to his lips was something wonderful. Governor Seward once astonished a party of gentlemen who were sitting at table after dinner, by asserting that Chancellor Walworth and -------- (naming a celebrated statesman of New York) drank more brandy and water than any other two men in the State. It seemed a most unwarrantable attack on the former, who was well known as a total abstinence man and President of the American Temperance Union. The Governor soon explained that the Chancellor drank the water, and the other party the brandy. Zealous advocate of temperance as he was, his efforts in the cause were not always prosperous, as the following anecdote will show. Riding once in the railway cars, when his vis-a-vis was a very corpulent and red-faced Assemblyman, he grew enthusiastic in praise of his own favorite drink. "To my mind," said he, "there is nothing in the world equal to pure cold water. Donít you think so?" "No," growled the other, "I donít care a ---- for your pure cold water. Itís poor stuff." "Why," insisted the Chancellor in surprise, "what objection can you have to cold water Ė pure cold water, understand me, sir?" "D---! thatís just what I object to," roared the uncompromising Assemblyman; "it donít make good beer." This for a time silenced our water-drinker; but presently he remarked that most men were given to too much eating. "If he only knew it, a man requires to eat very little, in order to sustain life and to be healthy." "Well, yes," the other reluctantly admitted, "perhaps so; but by George! he wants a great deal of drink. His guns being now all spiked, the Chancellor gave it up.

He was very fond of riding. He enjoyed a mettlesome animal, and loved to bring such a one up to face a band of music, or the puffing of a locomotive. The oldest villagers will remember well a sorrel horse named "Araby," which he bestrode for many years and was, at the time he purchased him in 1834, or thereabouts, a perfect model of life and beauty. They will also remember a riding suit of homespun, not differing much from the horse in color. Both horse and homespun grew old in service, and gave him finally the appearance of a country farmer on a plough-horse. Mounted on the animal once of a summer morning, and waiting at the Congress Spring for a "dipper boy" to bring him his glass of water, he attracted the attention of a wealthy and dashing gentleman who was standing by with a party of friends. "Wait a moment," said the gentleman with a wink, "while I quiz this old farmer"; and then, advancing with much gravity, he began to ask the Chancellor in regard to this horse, asking what he would take for his "colt," what speed was in him, whether his sight was good, etc. All of which questions were answered with great good humor. On returning to his own party, one of them said: "Well, Colonel, what do you think of the Chancellor and his horse?" "Chancellor!" he said in amazement; "Chancellor who?" "Why, Chancellor Walworth; didnít you know him?" "O my God!" said he; "Iím in the devilís own luck this morning. Confound my impudence! Iíve a suit in that manís court for a hundred thousand dollars."

No village has suffered more from fires than Saratoga Springs, beginning with a great fire about forty-six years ago on the south-west corner of Broadway and Church Street. Then came the burning of the old two-story wooden school-house, near the Universalist Church, on the site afterwards occupied by a school-house of stone. (Small buildings these, but memorable to those of us who have been whipped there.) The fine old Pavilion Hotel, once the favorite resort of Cubans and Southerners generally, was destroyed by an early fire, and so was the Columbian. Scarcely a hotel in the town and of the village that has not been burned down at least once. At most of these fires, particularly the first mentioned, and at the two burnings of the United States Hotel, the Chancellor was an active and intelligent fireman. When no regularly authorized person presented himself, he very rapidly assumed authority, and no one thought of disputing his orders. He supplied the want of engines and horse-trucks, ranging the citizens in lines to pass buckets of water, changing and directing these lines as the exigencies of the time required. When the last fire occurred at the United States Hotel, he was on the roof of the building, although nearly eighty years old, moving about amid the flames with great hardihood and presence of mind.

On the 6 th of April, 1851, Chancellor Walworth married again. His second wife was Sarah Ellen, daughter of Horace Smith, of Locust Grove, Mercer County, Ky., and widow of Col. John J. Hardin, who was killed in the Mexican war at Buena Vista. She brought with her to Saratoga the three young children of her first marriage, two manly boys well known in the village, where they passed their childhood, and a daughter, the present Mrs. Ellen (Hardin) Walworth, who married her step-brother, and with her family of children still occupies the family mansion.

The second marriage was, like the first, a very happy one. The new wife brought with her to Pine Grove not only a sweet and loving temper, but a certain Southern style of hospitality which consorted admirably with her husbandís own disposition. A cheerful circle of friends soon gathered around her. She loved to keep open house, and many more familiar faces passed in and out than ever thought to ring the bell, or wait in the parlors. She survived her husband nearly ten years, still dwelling at the Grove, although in greater privacy, until her own recent and lamented death in July 1874.

His legal and political relations with others, his residence at a watering-place so frequented as Saratoga Springs, but still more his social habits and cordial, warm-hearted disposition, had gained for him a very enlarged circle of acquaintances. Few men have been more extensively known throughout the country. Perhaps no man in it ever remembered his friends so well. He seemed never to forget either faces or names. His memory reached beyond the personal knowledge of individuals to their relations and connections in life, their marriages and intermarriages, their family history, genealogies and chronologies. Often it happened that strangers on being introduced to him for the first time would be astonished to find that he knew more of their families and family connections than they did themselves. He may perhaps have acquired the habit of noticing these things in his first chancery practice. Certain it is that, after retiring from office, the study of genealogy became his chief relaxation and enjoyment, his peculiar hobby. His leisure time when in the house was chiefly occupied in writing upon this subject, and he delighted to talk about it with others of similar tastes. The history of the multitudinous begetting and marrying done in his motherís family, entitled The Hyde Genealogy is said to be the largest account of a single family ever published. It contains 1,446 pages in two volumes of large octavo. While composing this work he corresponded with every one that he thought could give him the least information. His letters caused great commotion in certain quarters. Some imagined that he must have discovered a great mine of wealth, and wrote to enquire what their share was likely to be. Some claimed descent from Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, thinking that perhaps his estate had gone begging down to our times. Others seemed to fancy that Hyde Park, London, was to be divided, and hoped not to be forgotten in the distribution. Although the Chancellorís expectations were more modest, he was none the less alive on the Hyde question, and hunted up his relatives into remote generations with a zeal that never wearied. A daughter of his once recommended him to put up for a sign over his office-door, "Cash paid for Hydes."

In search of materials for this book he travelled about from time to time, more particularly in New England, visiting those from whom he expected to get information, inspecting parish records, and deciphering the worn-out letters on many a moss-covered tombstone. Any one that knew the keenness of his intelligence and his wondrous memory, and that saw the industry and perseverance with which he pursued this dryest of all the dry sciences, can easily understand the process which long before had made him the glory of the bench and the pride of the bar.

His notions of honesty were high above the prevalent standards of our day. He held in abomination that greedy and reckless traffic in the rise and fall of land, gold, stocks, securities, etc., which is commonly called "speculation," but which he denominated gambling. If not contrary to law, he held it to be contrary to natural morality, and would never take part in it in any way. During that wild fever of speculation which preceded the terrible crash of 1857, he was offered a great price for some land of his. His reply to the feverish applicant was: "It is not worth so much. You can have it for half the price, if you want to keep it. Otherwise, you will do better to leave it alone."

It is difficult for any one who had only seen him in public life and amid the cares of his office and profession, to appreciate his social and domestic character, the kindness and affectionateness of his heart, the delicacy of his attention to others, the liveliness of his conversation, his exuberant and sometimes boisterous merriment, his fondness for the society of the young, with whom, even in his extreme old age, he loved to romp without the slightest thought of his own dignity. If dignity means a grandeur of soul arising from a high sense of honor, he had his full share of it. If it means to assume the posture of one who expects worship, it is a grace which he never acquired. It was something strange Ė with all his respectful courtesy to others, and his actual veneration for every great and good man Ė how little he exacted for himself.

Chancellor Walworth died at Pine Grove on the 28 th of November, 1866, of an attack of diabetes, from which disease he had suffered more or less for three or four years previously.

He was attended in his last moments by his brother, Dr. Benjamin Walworth, of Fredonia, and surrounded by the members of his family, to whom he bade farewell a short hour before his death in the most touching manner. His body was interred in the village cemetery, and in the family plot. This plot had long been an object of his especial care and interest. It was his custom for many long years to go there on Sunday morning before service, and when flowers were in season to carry thither bouquets which he had gathered in his garden. Indeed, he loved to walk around through the avenues of this cemetery, and visit his many friends in their resting-places, as if prompted by that same scrupulous and affectionate courtesy which he manifested to them when living, and which was so strong a characteristic of his nature. His body now lies beside that of the wife of his youth, among the graves that he had so well cherished, and beneath the soil where his affectionate hand had so often scattered roses.

The family mansion is still standing in the old Grove, very little altered in external appearance since the day when the Chancellor first came to the Springs. But henceforth neither stranger or villager, when passing by, will see him work in his garden, as in the olden time, or romping with his grandchildren under the pines. No light will twinkle at late hours of the night through the office window. An unwonted stillness and loneliness has settled upon the place. The magnet which drew thither so many feet is no longer there. The joyous and affectionate heart which made the old walls glow with life and hospitality has ceased to beat. The Pine Grove is disenchanted. And soon, perhaps, the busy hand of innovation will demolish the buildings, divide the grounds, and level the stately pines. New residences will spring up, marshalled like soldiers in close line upon the street, and obliterate every mark by which now we recognize the quaint old mansion and lovely grove where dwelt the last of the Chancellors.



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