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lished, and was of course the subject of general conversation, many of his countrymen, who held his opinions in high estimation, asked him what he thought of it. He told them with an air of gravity, that he did not pretend to be a judge of these things now-that he was old, and did not read muchbut that there was one thing which satisfied his mind, and that was, “ that general Washington was for it, and John Warden against it.” Mr. Warden was a Scotch lawyer of considerable celebrity, but known to be unfriendly to American independence : he had just finished an harangue to the people in opposition to the system.

In the spring of 1779, Mr. Lee retired from congress, and returned to the home to which both his temper and inclination led him, with pleasure and delight. He was not, however, long permitted to enjoy the satisfaction it conferred ; for the internal affairs of his native state were in a situation of so much agitation and perplexity, that his fellow citizens insisted on his representing them in the senate of Virginia. He carried into that body all the integrity, sound judgment, and love of country, for which he had ever been conspicuous. and his labours there were alike honourable to himself, and useful to the state.

He did not remain long in this situation. His love of ease, and fondness for domestic occupations, now gained the entire ascendency over him, and he retired from public life with the firm determination of never again engaging in its busy and wearisome scenes : and to this determination he strictly adhered. In this retirement, his character was most conspicuous. He always possessed more of the gay, good humour, and pleasing wit of Atticus, than the sternness of Cato, or the eloquence of Cicero. To the young, the old, the grave, the gay, he was alike a pleasing and interesting companion. None approached him with diffidence; no one left him but with regret. To the poor around him, he was a counsellor, physician, and friend; to others, his conversation was at once agreeable and instructive, and his life a fine example for imitation. Like the great founder of our republic, he was much attached to agriculture, and retained from his estate, a small farm for experiment and amusement.

Having no children, Mr. Lee lived an easy and a quiet life. Reading, farming, and the company of his friends and relatives, filled up the remaining portion of his days. A pleurisy, caught in one of the coldest winters ever felt in Virginia, terminated the existence of both his beloved wife and himself within a few days of each other. His last moments were those of a Christian, a good, an honest, and a virtuous man; and those who witnessed the scene were all ready to exclaim, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his."


CARTER Braxton was born at Newington, the seat of his father, a handsome mansion situated on the northern bank of Mattapony river, in the county of King and Queen, Virginia, on the tenth of September, 1736. His father, George Braxton, a wealthy planter, derived the greater part of bis estate from his ancestors, who, it is believed, had acquired it principally by commercial pursuits. He was probably a man of some consideration in the colony, as he was united in marriage to the daughter of one of the king's council, and was himself a member of the house of burgesses. In the year 1748, he represented the county of King and Queen, and was a colleague of the celebrated John Robinson, for a long time speaker of that house. His mother was Mary, daughter of Robert Carter, a member, and, during the year 1726, president of the king's council: from her, the subject of this memoir derived his first, or christian name. She died on the seventeenth of September, 1736, in the twenty-fourth year of her age, leaving two children, George and Carter; the former rather more than two years, the latter seven days old. It is impracticable to ascertain the precise time when the death of the father, George Braxton, occurred;

but it is probable, from several concurring circumstances, that he died when his two sons were youths.

Carter Braxton received a liberal education at the college of William and Mary, at that time one of the best seminaries in the British colonies. He derived from his father and grandfather, a very considerable fortune, consisting chiefly of land and slaves. He possessed three or four large plantations in the county of King William, on Pamunkey river, the products of which were tobacco and Indian corn, at that time the staples of the country, and also a very large body of land in the county of Amhurst, most favourably situated for the culture of tobacco. He acquired the possession of this large estate at an early period of life, and there were few young men in the colony on whom fortune smiled more propitiously, in the beginning.

At the early age of nineteen years, he married Judith Robinson, a young lady of great beauty, and daughter of Mr. Christopher Robinson, a wealthy planter of the county of Middlesex, and a relative of speaker Robinson. By this marriage, he acquired an accession to his already large estate. This lady bore him two daughters, but in giving birth to the second, died on the thirtieth of December, 1757, in the twenty-first year of her age.

Soon after the death of his wife, Mr. Braxton embarked for England, where he remained several years, and returned to his native land in the autumn of 1760. It is believed that his principal object in making this visit, was the improvement of his mind and manners, by an intercourse with the best and most polished society in the metropolis of the British empire.

On the fifteenth of May, 1761, he married Elizabeth Corbin, the eldest daughter of Richard Corbin, of Lanneville, King

and Queen county, who was at that time, and until the commencement of hostilities, the king's receiver general of the customs in the colony of Virginia: by this marriage he had sixteen children, of whom six died in infancy. Mrs. Braxton survived her husband, and died, at an advanced age, in the year 1814. Of this large family of sons and daughters, one only, a daughter is now living. His two daughters by the first marriage, and the eldest by his second, and four of his sons, married happily, and have left behind them numerous descendants; the remaining four lived unmarried, and of them two daughters and a son died at an early age: the other, Mr. Corbin Braxton, died in 1822.

The extent of Mr. Braxton's fortune rendering it unnecessary for him to study any profession, his occupation, during the carly part of his life, was that of a gentleman planter. His labits were undoubtedly very expensive, according to fashion of that day amongst all those who have been denominated the landed aristocracy of the colony. During his first marriage, he built an elegant mansion on his estate, called Elsing Green, which is still standing on the banks of the Pamunkey: and he afterwards erected another, still more spacious, on his plantation, known by the name of Chericoke, on the same river: this building was destroyed by fire during the revolution, and, with it, many of his valuable papers. At each of these mansions, he is stated to have lived in considerable splendour. His cellars were filled with the finest wines, and his plate and other furniture, were of the richest kind. His manners were refined, and his hospitality generous ; and his house became the resort of the gay, the fashionable, and the rich. But, although he indulged in this expensive course of living, --a course, not more agreeable to his own taste, than rendered necessary by the high standing

VOL. V.--M

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