| American History Stories, Volume III|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Anecdotes from the time Washington became president through the War of 1812, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and the sectional differences leading to the Civil War. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-12 |
JEFFERSON AND RANDOLPH
Here is an anecdote of Jefferson and Randolph, told by an
old Virginia senator.:
"When I was a boy of nine or ten I often dined
 with my father at Monticello. Jefferson was a lonely
man, the beauty and purity of whose family relations
have been only recently made known in his biography by
his niece. He took great pride in Monticello. Wanting
a Chinese gong for the clock tower, in order to
certainly secure it, he sent by three different vessels
going to China. As it happened, each vessel brought a
gong, and one he sent to my father.
"I finally presented it to the Staunton fire department.
When, in those troublous days, we were melting up bells
into cannon, that was also sent, but was returned as
too valuable a souvenir to be destroyed.
"I did not like John Randolph. He was the most
spiteful of men. If he was witty, his wit always left
a sting. When I was a young man I went down to
Richmond. Randolph was then in the Assembly. Charles
Fenton Russell, a fine, genial man, was just concluding
an address, saying, 'I am sorry to have been obliged to
consume so much of the time of my fellow-members.'
" 'So am I,' squeaked out Randolph, in his high,
"But he did not always get the best of it. Daniel
Sheffey was a little Dutch shoemaker in one of the
western counties, who showed such ability that some
influential person interested in him had him taught to
read; he afterwards studied law and became one of the
most brilliant and
 prominent men in the State. He and Randolph were in
"Randolph was intensely aristocratic, and felt no small
contempt for the Dutch shoemaker. One day in
Congress, Sheffey made a fine speech, and one in which
he had shown no small degree of humor.
"This was more than Randolph could bear. He got up and
in the most elaborate manner began to compliment
Sheffey on his convincing logic; but added, 'Let my
honorable friend keep out of the field of humor, in
which his powers have not fitted him to shine.'
"Quick as a flash Sheffey was on his feet. 'The
honorable member is right,' he said; 'and since he
never trenches on my province, I will hereafter never
intrude on his.' "
"To know Sheffey's appearance is necessary to
appreciate the force of his quick retort on the house,
for he had a little head, an enormous paunch, little
short legs, and resembled more than anything else a
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