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Minority Address, and William H. Roane, a son of Judge Spencer Roane, and a grandson of Patrick Henry, and withal an able and true man. I have no doubt that the Protest lost us the latter. It just arrived at the moment of the election, but the Explanatory Message was not received in time to correct its perversions."
Enters Yale College — Dietary troubles — Death of his brother George —
Leaves college in ill-health - Advice for Van Buren Enters the New York University - Leggett and the "Plaindealer” — Financial crisis of 1836-7 — Marcy and Tilden begin to diverge — Tilden's reply to " Marshall ” The Independent Treasury -- Prepares an Address from the Mechanics and Workingmen of the City in its favor.
It was ultimately decided that young Tilden should be sent to Yale College. He matriculated there in June, 1834, and in the last quarter of the Freshman year. Among his classmates, sixty in number, we find the now wellknown names of the late Chief Justice Waite, William M. Evarts, Edwards Pierrepont, and Benjamin Stillman.
It was not, however, in the order of Providence that that venerable seat of learning, upon which one of his kindred had conferred his name and yet more substantial benefactions, was to have the honor of seeing Tilden's name enrolled among her graduates. The diet, the climate, and the confinement affected him so unfavorably that, when he went home for the Christmas holidays, he was so completely broken down in health that it was decided he should not return."
Two or three of his letters to his father during his connection with Yale College have been preserved, which possess a certain interest, less for the light they throw upon the educational advantages he enjoyed there than upon the material difficulties which he encountered and the very characteristic manner in which he contended with them.
Tilden did not reside in the college buildings, but had lodgings in the house of a Mr. Gardner, below the Tontine, in a street at right angles with the front of the college buildings. At first he took his meals at the Commons, but finding the diet unsuited to his delicate sto ch he soon made different arrangements.
On the 6th of June, 1834, and only a few days after his arrival at the college, he writes to his father:
"I am nearly convinced that I shall be obliged to give up boarding at Commons. I have had two days' experience, and will give you our bill of fare. Day before yesterday morning we had a dish of meat, very fresh bread and butter, coffee, and nothing else whatever. At dinner, boiled shad and potatoes, fresh bread and butter and rice pudding, enough for those who could eat such things. At tea, fresh bread and butter and cheese and some molasses cake, which, by the bye, comes only occasionally. The next morning, shad and potatoes and fresh bread and butter again. Either of these articles I could sometimes eat, but could not do it constantly. I have not been as well as common for a few days; and when I study, it is necessary to diet with more care than when engaged in other employments, or in nothing. The bread has been uniformly newly baked, and, as I think of all the New Haven bread I have seen, slackly baked, and yesterday it was scarcely cold; and I could procure no other. I shall see to-day what I can do, and unless I can be assured of well-done and stale bread shall board with Mr. Goodman. Perhaps it is best to do so at once. The butter is pretty good.”
One cannot help inferring from this criticism of the Yale Commons menu of that day that the dietary which would have suited Tilden would not have been popular with many of his comrades.
On the 13th of June he writes again: that he has left Commons and that his "health is decidedly better and improving.”
On the 30th of June he writes that his health had recovered from the shock it had received when he first arrived there, and that he proposed to indulge himself in a few horseback rides. He hints that it would be too expensive to continue long. His devotion to the college curriculum did not prevent his keeping a strict reckoning of all
the misdeeds of the Whig Senators at Washington, nor from conning faithfully the columns of the "Albany Argus," whenever he could induce the family to remember to send it to him.
In 1834 the Senate rejected President Jackson's nomination of Stevenson, of Virginia, as minister to England.
"I cannot see what motive," wrote Tilden, "save the most unaccountable malignity, could have brought the Senate to the act. What will be the effect in Virginia ?”
On the 3d of July he writes his father:
"My health rather improves, and if it be possible must improve more, for the embarrassments of broken health ir the situation in which I am are indescribable. Seven weeks will be quickly gone; and I say (what I am not at all apt to do) the sooner the better.”
While he was at New Haven he received the news of the death of his brother George, who was three years his junior. In a letter from Samuel to his father on this subject there is the following inscription for his brother's tomb, presumably written by him :
In memory of
six months, and six days. This monument is erected by him who best knew his virtues, and affectionately cherishes a recollection of them.
In his anticipations of improved health he was disappointed. So far from improving, when he returned to his family at the close of the term his condition was alarming. He tried horseback riding, but without any decided advantage. His father weighed him one day, and again ten days later. He had lost seven pounds in the interval. His father turned pale, but made no remarks. That his emaciation at this time must have been such as to justify his father's alarm is confirmed by the following humorous paragraph with which Samuel concludes a letter written to his father soon after his return to New York:
e Our Hudson tailors took the doctor's [Younglove] directions to make my pantaloons on his broomsticks quite literally, so that I shall send them back to be let out. Let Moses write them not to make my thin ones so tight.”
A few days later his father took him out riding, and availed himself of the occasion to intimate a doubt of the wisdom of his returning to New Haven. After what we may be sure was an exhaustive discussion of the question, it was finally decided that he should not return, but should go to New York and enter the university then recently opened, at the approaching January term. In the interval we do not find the condition of his health abated his interest in politics, nor weakened his sense of personal responsibility for what was done at Washington. Writing as usual to his father, he says:
"I wish you would write to Van Buren urging him to impress as much as he can upon the President the necessity of avoiding everything that may seem violent or highhanded; to pursue the contrary course is to give to his opponents a decided advantage, and in fact to do just what they who are plotting his ruin wish him to do. It is understood that he will not adjourn the Senate, if they sit till 4th March. One other step of prudence is necessary : let him respect their negative upon appointments, and if they reject one nomination make another. They have the unquestionable right to reject upon whatever appears to them sufficient cause; if they abuse their powers by refusing concurrence in the appointment of
government directors on the ground of their being spies, it is both proper and prudent for him to submit to it. Besides, moderation on his part will place them in the wrong with the nation. If they reject good and true men, if they refuse appropriations, though it must be regretted as disgraceful to the country, it will be fatal to them.
"I learn privately that the type, press, etc., of the Standard’ were sold to-day at auction, and purchased by