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one dwelling besides bis escaped de- down, threw up his left arm, and fell on struction. Bucket in hand he clam- the floor as if he had been shot. He bered over the roof with the agility of became very sick and helpless as a an expert firemau, and with heroic de-child. The whole congregation had to termination fough the flames wherever pass us, many of whom crowded the they appeared. Whilst his neighbors vestibule and stairway in the greatest at once gave up all hope of saving their excitement, fearing that he was dying. homes, he fought and triumphed over A physician being present, put five of the fire fiend.
us to work to pull the joint into its Dr. Fisher's early struggles, along place. Three pulled at one arm and with his naturally kind heart, made two at the other, in opposite directions. him the life-long friend and counsellor No wonder the poor brother was pale of students and young ministers. As as a sheet and groaned like a dying treasurer of the board of beneficiary man. No sooner had his shoulder-joint education he was brought into frequent been set than he arose, took a long correspondence with students who need breath, dusted off his clothes, reached ed and received the support of the for my arm, and walked home as if noChurch. Many of our most uieful men, thing bad happened. Often have I some of whom now whitening with age, thought of our awkward predicament, still recal with pleasure his words of blocking up the passage of a large concounsel and sympathy to them when gregation in the small vestibule of the they were beneficiary students.
old Falling Spring church. Like all mathematicians, he was re- Dr. Fisher had strong convictions, markably methodical. He naturally and when he happened to differ from bad an eye for accuracy of details. He others of contrary convictions equally was just as determined to have the bar- strong, the two would collide with a ness accurately put on his horse as he crash. In controversy he was somewas to have the items of bis annual re- times seemingly harsh, not from ill-will, port to Synod clear and truthful. Dr. but from an earnest desire to help the Davis says that during his ministry at right. In the many difficulties conChambersburg Dr. Fisher once told him nected with the history of our publicathat one thing always worried him while tion affairs, he often had to vindicate hearing him preach. Not the sermon, his policy against grave at acks. With but a small square post at the end of the complication of its financial troubles the pulpit, gave him trouble. He said, and the want of sympathy and support “I am always annoyed by that post, be- in certain quarters, is it a wonder that cause one side of it has been worked he sometimes became sensitive and sore, crooked.” Was there ever one among and defended the interests committed the thousands of people that worshiped to his hand with great empbasis, and in this venerable building during the not always without personal severity ? fifty years since its erection who noticed Here and there his judgment was doubtthe little defect in this post save Dr. less at fault, as whose is not; yet, duties Fisher?
assigned him, great and small, he strove Io his earlier ministry a fall from his to perform with equal alacrity and horse dislocated his shoulder, which fidelity. His somewhat impulsive nathereafter would now and then slip outture sometimes gave needless offence by of joint for him, and sometimes on in-outrunning bis more calm and delibeconvenient occasions. It usually came rate judgment. He had a marvelous from a misstep or fall, when he would capacity for work. No matter how suddenly throw up his arm. One Sun- much he had to do, he always accepted day evening, after having preached in of new duties like a man of much leithe country, we returned after church- 1 sure. And the work might come whence time and slipped into the Presbyterian it would; from a warm friend, or from church, taking our seat near the door, one who had wronged him, he would after the services had been commenced. perform it with equal cheerfulness. Coming out at the close, he failed to Of late years his venerable figure Dotice a step in the vestibule, and as he formed a striking feature in our ecclesireached for my arm he suddenly stepped astical meetings. He was fond of tell
ing how of lafe years, on a Christmas might take this to be the home of a stason, he happened to walk through plain, retired Lancaster County farmer. one of the stree's of Allentown, Pa., A passing traveller would not suspect when a little child with bright and in- ihat this had ever been the hospitable quisitive eyes came running up to him home of a President of the United and exclained:“Are you Santa Claus?" States ; that along the drives up the I suppose the dear soul thought his gentle slope of this lawn rode the then long, white beard and kindly face great men of the nation ; that in this looked like pictures of the great unadorned mansion plans were formed patron saint of the children, and that and projects started and matured which perhaps he had its rich little package were felt throughout the civilized world. with him. It will take the Reformed This was the home of James Buchanan, Church a long while to become accus- the bachelor President of the United tomed to the absence of this hard-work States. Hither came a former ocupant ing man. Many others of us have, by of the white house," when tired with reason of sickness, been absent at times the affairs of State, to seek quiet and from our posts of duty. In forty years rest around his own hearth. Here he Dr. Fisher has never been absent from spent his sad old age. And after bayhis, save for a few weeks at a time. I ing reached the highest office in the gift believe that his death affects personally of the nation, and tasted all the sweets more hearts than would that of any of political success, and more than the other man in the denomination. He had keen anguish usual to such a career, he some faults which some others bave not. died in this dwelling; and here around He may not have possessed some good his remains his old friend, Dr. J. W. qualities which some others possess. He Nevin, with tender sadness, spoke words was not as acceptable a preacher as some, of Gospel comfort and kindly personal and not as profound a theologian as appreciation at his bier. others. But such as he was, of his kind Wheatland is just as it was left at and type, the Reformed Church in the its owner's death. The small grove of old United States has never had among trees in the rear of the house remains her many good and faithful servants untouched. A few of the ornamental one in all respects equal to Samuel R. trees in the grounds may have been disFisher.
figured or blown down by the storm. Although owned and reverently cared
for by the President's niece, an air of An Ex-President among his Neigh
neglect usual to uninhabited premises bors.
is perceptible all around. Unpurel
trees and vines, umown lawns, neBY THE EDITOR.
glected gardens, and onweeded walks
all show that the indwelling of a family Princes and lords may flourish or may fade; A breath can make them as a breath has made. 18
group, affording the many-sided touches
of a human pre:ence are needed to give On the Marietta turnpike, a short a home the air of a living habitation. distance west of Lancaster, Pa., is a The GUARDIAN is no place to speak plain two-story brick building, standing of Mr. Buchanan's political career. I on a slight elevation, some distance back shall simply give a few reminiscences from the road. A porch extends along concerning him as a citizen and a neighthe front, and the style of the building bor. For from my boyhood his home is quite plain, void of any of the so- was at Wheatland, about a mile from called classical adornments peculiar to our house, which could be seen from our modern architecture. Although not play-grounds. He was a man of fire high, this elevation overlooks a large presence, tall, well-built and of a very part of the finest portions of Lancaster graceful exterior. He was always atcounty. Towards the four points of tired in a dress-coat and a rather broad, the compass, you bave an out-look such wbite necktie, giving bim a dignified, as our country rarely affords. But for clerical appearance. Indeed his faultless certain features belonging to the sur-clothing indicated a man of cultivated roundings of the mansion, a stranger I taste. Of course nature did much for
him, but education added its graces to huzzas the triumph of party; nor did pature's gifts. Among a crowd of thou- they come as the vanquished opposition sands of people his appearance would to express any dissent froin the result at once have attracted the notice of a of the late campaign; but they came stranger as that of a distinguished man, happily as members of college-most "a gentleman of the old school." His of them as Pennsylvanians—all of them head would always incline to one side, a as children of this mighty and glorious babit he is said to have unconsciously Republic-with warm young hearts, to contracted by reason of a defect in his extend to him their heartfelt congratueye-sight.
lation. They felt honored in knowing He was an admirable public speaker; that their principal officer had been with a clear, musical voice, a graceful selected as the pilot to guide our noble manner, a pleasing presence, and a very ship of State through all the vicissitudes agreeable and distinct articulation, it that may compass her. Their hearts was a pleasure even for his political op- bad beat with honest pride when from. ponents to hear him speak. In the city the lofty tower of their college, they of Lancaster he always had a large fol- could view the residence of the Presilowing, as this was then prevailingly de- dent of the Board of Trustees, and the mocratic. But no county in the State most distinguished statesman of Pepp. gave him less political sympathy than sylvania, but what must now be their that of Lancaster. Yet the announce- gratification when from that eminence ment of Buchanan's name among the they can not only view the residence of speakers of the democratic county con the distinguished statesman, but even ventions, always secured large assem- of the President of the United States. blages. For a man in his station he In conclusion the speaker wished the was easy of access by rich and poor. President a prolonged life of usefulness Although his coashman was always a successful, peaceful, honorable and ready to do his bidding, until bowed blessed administration-that our great under the weight of years, he seemed to nation might rejoice in his wise and prefer going a distance of a mile to the paternal direction of affairs -- that city afoot. He was a warm friend to he might live to retire from office those who politically befriended him and with the benediction of God and u ually found pleasure in doing them man to his declining years, and that favors. I know of instances where this the shades of time might fall lightly on was dove at great pecuniary risks. his honored bead.”
Wheatland is only a short distance President Buchanan replied: “That from Franklin and Marshall College, he felt greatly indebted to his young of whose Board of Trustees he was for friends for their visit. He had the asmany years the honorcd President. surance that their congratulations were After bis election as President of the sincere, as they sprang from the hearts of nation the facully and students of the youth, which had not yet had time to institution paid him a visit of congratu- become corrupted or barde ned in the lation. At three o'clock, P. M. of a ways of the world. The bosom of youth certain Friday in December, 1856, was the abode of sincerity and truth, over one hundred members of the and it was indeed a pleasure and an college repaired to Wheatland in pro| honor to receive the warm outpourings cession. Mr. Buchanan cordially re of their hearts. He said he had always ceived them in the general reception- felt a great solicitude for the interests room of his mansion. Dr. E. V. Ger- of Franklin and Marsball College ; it hart, then President of the college, for was a noble institution, and he was mally introduced the students, and proud to be the President of its Board of briefly stated the object of their visit. Mr. | Directors He was extremely grauified William A. Duncan, now a prominent to learn that it had fair prospects, not lawyer of Gettysburg, Pa., delivered an only of a large number of students, but address of congratulation. Mr. Dun- of great usefulness. It was gratifying can said, in behalf of bis fellow students, to see so large a number of worthy that “they came not as Democrats, young men already enrolled on its list of flushed with success, to shout in loud students. He referred to their responsi
bility, reminding them that when the that none of the young men of Franklin present generation had passed away, and Marshall college were addicted to and been gathered to their fathers, on this dangerous practice.” them, the young of to-day, would rest He then alluded to the course and the responsibility of forming and ad- habits of study necessary to insure sucministering the future government of cess in a student's life. “Many young the country; and of preserving intact men prided themselves in running over our glorious Union and Constitucion. a great many books and gaining a Tbere was not, he said, a young man superficial knowledge of many branches among them, however humble his po- of science. This was of no practical use. sition, who might not aspire with an He would urge them to learn thoroughbonorable ambition to fill the highest ly all they undertook to learn to acoffice in the gift of the people; but in quire knowledge distinctly—and then order to gain positions of honor, useful- they would be able to use it to some ness and distinction, they must remem- practical advantage in after life. They ber that everything depends upon tbem- should apply themselves with diligence selves. They must carve out their to their allotted studies by day, reflect future from the opportunities of the by night upon what they had thus acpresent. Kind parents and friends quired and appropriated as the best capihave afforded them rare opportunities of tal with which to engage in the strug. acquiring that knowledge which con- gles of life. He had met with many stitutes power. If they neglect or men of prominence who had looked at abuse the opportunities - if they idle the indexes of a great many books, and away the golden hours allotted for the had a general smattering of knowledge, improvement of mind-if they are not but it was all surface work, and of no obedient to their professors in all that practical use. He hoped his young relates to the good interests and success friends here present would avoid falling of the institution—then they might be into this error.” At the close of his reassured they would have cause to re- marks the President in parting cordially pent of their folly through long hours shook hands with the students. After of bitter sorrow in after life—for they the procession had again formed on the could never retrieve the past. He said grounds in front of the house, they gave he had been a college boy himself, and three rousing cheers for the President none of the best of boys either, being of the Board of Franklin and Marshall fond of fun like themselves. There College, and the President of the United were many little eccentricities in the States. This was quite an event for the life of a college student that might be boys, and a cause of just pride that the pardoned or overlooked; but there was President of the nation was at the same one habit which, if formed at college or time the presiding officer of their instiin early youth, would cling to them in tution. after life and blight their finest pros- In bis varied positions of honor and pects. He referred to the use of intoxi- political trust Mr. Buchanan never forcating liquors, and declared that it got the courtesies and duties of a good would be better for that youth who con- neighbor and a private citizen. Oa tracted an appetite for strong drink election days he would come to the polls that he were dead or had never been of our little Lancaster Townsbip, and born: for when he saw a young man exchange greetings with his neighbors entering upon such a career, a fondness of both parties, and perform his duty for liquor becoming with him a govern- in a way common to the humblest citiing passion, he could see nothing be- zen. He would greet and sympathize fore him but a life of sorrow and a dis- with the plain country folk as an equal. honored grave in his old age. Many In not a few families he knew the lads, he was aware, considered this children and younger folk by name, habit a mark of smartness, but he re- and would here and there show marks garded it as an offence that can not be of kindly interest in the form of a suitapardoned, especially in a student at col- ble present. I remember, when a timid lege; and he concluded his earnest ap- youth, of standing aside of him at a peal by expressing the hope and belief wedding. The daughter of an old time personal and political friend was mar- acts were bitterly denounced. The exried. It bappened on a cold winter day, cited state of the country greatly aggrashortly before he was sent as minister vated this condempation. No President to Great Britain. He came in a two- had ever left the White house upon horse sleigh. The embarrassment of whom the press poured such a torrent the young people, natural in such a pre- of disapproval. How would his old sence, was soon removed by the affable neighbors receive him after such a term easy, frank conduct of Mr. Buchanan, of office? He had become cordially atHe showed himself perfectly at home on tached to the community in which he euch subjects of conversation as would had his home for well nigh fifty years. interest them. I still remember how There he laid the foundation of his pobeautifully the bride blushed as, calling litical success. As a lawyer and statesher by her first name the venerable and man he gained his first foothold as a citidistinguished bachelor, with cheeks as zen of Lancaster county. His plain, blushing as hers expres-ed his congratu- peace-loving country neighbors, with lations with graceful ease.
their antiquated forms of dress, and My father was a staunch old line their industrious, frugal habits, were a Wbiz, as were all his sons at that time. peaceful folk whose tenets forbade their So far as I know none of the voting hearing arms. But their sympathies men bers of the family ever cast a vote and prayers were for the Union of the for our distinguished neighbor. Yet United States. And the hearts of their this made him personally none the less young sons burned with patriotic fire, cordial. And when my dear father and by the score led them into the army. was borne to his toob the white-haired On his last return to Lancaster he was ex-President sat i ear his coffin during received by a crowd of people in the the funeral services. It was on a very square of the city I can not just now upplea ant Decemberday, during a great put my hand on the precise words of his storm, when torrents of rain swept over speech as reported, but substantially he the earth with fearful violence; on a spoke as fillows: He addressed them as day when one would expect few but his old neighbors, among whom he had young and vigorous people to venture for many years bad bis home. After out of doors. Through this tempest having passed through a long and came the sage of Wheatland, his once varied experience in the service of his straight and tall form now somewhat country, he came back to them, aged, bowed beneath the burden of age and worn out and weary, seeking among recent crushing cares. Less than three tbem quiet, rest, and a grave. With months later he was again present at the touching tenderness he spoke of their uni. funeral of my brother's wife. He had form personal kindne.s to himself, and known and befriended her from her said he expected to spend his few reyouth. For several minutes he stood maining days among them as a private with uncovered head aside of the coffin, citizen. Many eyes were moistened as breathing heavily with trembling emo- these words of a retiring President of the tion as his eyes rested on her pale face. nation were spoken to the assemblage. His presence on both occasions to me His remaining life was sad. From presented a touching scene. After hav- whatever cause, the results of his ading enjoyed the highest political honors ministration must have keenly disapwithin the reach of a citizen of the Re-pointed him. The office which was the public, he hero meditates solemnly in aspiration of his active life brought him the presence of death on the emptiness a crown of thorns. He seemed to grow and evanescence of all earthly distinc-old rapidly. His form was bowed, his tion and glory.
face pale, and he speedily declined into At the close of his Presidential term the inevitable decrepitude and infirmity he returned to Wheatland. The country of old age. On pleasant days one could was then intensely excited. The dark see him riding to town, sometimes musclouds of war were sweeping across the ingly sitting in front of Michael's hotel, country. The evils which he so much greeting his passing friends with bis olddreader, and in his own way strove to time cordiality. For awhile these visits avert, had at lengih come. Some of bis were not without their annoyances. Now