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The Blennerhassetts

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Maria P. Woodbridga, a resident of larietta, describes in Lippixicotf's ■Tayazine the secret to sume of the Tiost romantic imd painful events of which the West has been the theater. Our readers generally know how Harmon Blennerhassett lived in ease on an sland in the Upper Ohio; how lis wife was admired for her beauty and rindness, and how her husband's conneetion with Aaron Burr brought ruin upon the family. The subseqnent 'ortunes of the Blennerhassetts is lees tamilwr to the public, and it is of them that the author has written. Mr. Blennerhassett joined Burr on the night of Dec. 10, 1806, to escape arrest. He was followed by his wife a week later. A party of dranken soldiers had already taken possession of the house and spread desolation all around. By the lst of January Mrs. Blennerhassett had joined her hu'sband. The Burr expedition proved a failure, and they went to Natchez. The Uushand was arrested, but acquitted. Ho then returncd to the North. only flgain to be set at erty after several weeks' confinement. Meanwhile a flood liad added its eftects to the vandalism of the marauders, who liad stripped the house of its furniture and broken its window-frames to get possession of the leaden weights; Mfl negroes had either been sold to salisfy impatient creditors, or had escaped to the Ohio shore. The island itself was in tlie possession of aKentucky creditor, who dovoted it to the cultivation of hemp. There was nothing to do but to go back to Natchez, where Mr. Blcnnerhassett bought a plantation. This he sold for $27,000, after the War of 1812 had crippled all branches of business. The above snm paid his debts, bnt little more. What remained of his island home was"burned by the accidi Aal ignition of the hemp witli whieh it was stored. He took his family to New York. where he had a friend in his conntryman, Thomas Addis Emmet. He did not sncceed, however, in the practice of law, which he now took lip, nor was he more prosperons in Montreal, wliithcr hehad removed at the reeommendation I of his friend the Duke of Kichmond, I then Governor General. He had been promised a Judgeship on the occurrence of tlie first vacaiu y, but none occurred. His once lovely wife is described about this time as having " lost every vestige of her former elegance and beauty," though, when animated by conversation, the interesting expression for which she was so remarkable would become As his law practico (lid not prosper, Mr. Blennerhassett tried to enforce a reversionary claim to property iu Ireland, but was barred by the statute of limitations. Added to tliis was the grief which the dissipated liabits of Dominick, the oldest of their three gons, occasioned. The second was amiable but helpless, while the third was too young to be of any service. Finding "it impossible to make a living in Mont-real, Mrs. Blennerhassett visited her friends, the Eramets, in New York, in 1822. They cheeied her by their friendly comiséis, but the misconduct of Domin'ick caused her fresh grief. He liad studied medicine, and she finally obtained for him a position as surgeon's assistant in Commodore Porter's e-xpediüon then about to sail. He behaved so badly, however, that he was very soon sent back to her. She rcg'irded him as afanost irrcsponsible in his fearful appetite for drink, and placed hiin to board with a poor woman at $3.50 a week. Just as slie and her Bid vvre sta'-üiig for Montreal, having discovered that there was no chance for employment in the States, it was found that Dominick had enlisted as a common soldier. His mother never saw him again. A friend of the family afterward found him wandering about New Orleans in rags. A position as apothecary in a charity hospital was n 1 e 1__" 1 il, „ fnM G + founcl for hiru, bnt ne soon ien ior 01. Louis, where lie probably died unknown and uncared for. Meanwhileherliusband was making desperate efforts to gaiu a livelihood. He -vent to England and sought a-ppointments in vain, and his threat of publishing a book containirig acandalous revelations about a royal personage nearly related to the King proved an equal failure. Mrs. Blennerhassett publíshed a little volume of her own entitled "The Widow of the Koek, and Other Poems." but it -was a failure. Finaïly Mr. Blennerha3sett's maiden sister gave them a home in England, though her means were but scanty. In 1831 the husbaiid died of paralysis on the Island of Jersey. His wife, thongh shattered by physical and mental ills, surved him eleven years. Shortly before her death she revisited the United States, and urged on Congrega a claim for compensation for the damage done by the troops to the Ohio river propertv in 1806-7. The plea might have been successful, Imt slie died m JNew. York before it was granted. Harnion, the second son, had first stndied luw, but, failing in it, had become a portrait painter. He shared his eider biother's habita, and aaok as low as hc. He died in the alms-honse, on Blaekvvell's islaud, in 1854, it is supposed directly from the effects of a bath, an unaccnstomed thing with him. Joseph Lewis, the youngrst and only remaining son, was a Jawytrin Missouri, joined the Cosfederate htmco and died near the close of the late war. Tlms ended the career of a farnily which began life under the pleasantest circvimstances. St Valentine was beiiemiea m iwme by order of Claudius II., Feb. 14, 270. One writer says " be was a man of most admirable parts, and so faruous for Lis love and charity that the custom of choosing Valentines on liis fesüvul took its rise from thence." Others derived the custom from the birds being supposèd to select their mates on this day ; others from a practioe prevaient i:i ancient Rome at the festival of Lupercaüa, when among other ceremonies voung women's names were drawn by chance from a box by yonug men. ïhe Christian ohuroh changed the forrn of the ceremoiiy. On the cvc of öt. Valentine's day' it was the custom to have the names 'of a select number of omsex put into some vessel by an eqaal number of the other; and every one drew a ñamo which was, for the timo being, called his or her valentine. The custom of choosing vakntines existed very early. . Prcsents of gloves, gartersand jewelry were coinmon as valentint s.


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