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My Memories of Eighty Years   By: (1834-1928)

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First Page:

MY MEMORIES OF EIGHTY YEARS

BY

CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW

TO MY WIFE MAY PALMER DEPEW THIS BOOK GREW FROM HER ENCOURAGEMENT

FOREWORD

For many years my friends have insisted upon my putting in permanent form the incidents in my life which have interested them. It has been my good fortune to take part in history making meetings and to know more or less intimately people prominent in world affairs in many countries. Every one so situated has a flood of recollections which pour out when occasion stirs the memory. Often the listeners wish these transcribed for their own use.

My classmate at Yale in the class of 1856, John D. Champlin, a man of letters and an accomplished editor, rescued from my own scattered records and newspaper files material for eight volumes. My secretary has selected and compiled for publication two volumes since. These are principally speeches, addresses, and contributions which have appeared in public. Several writers, without my knowledge, have selected special matter from these volumes and made books.

Andrew D. White, Senator Hoar, and Senator Foraker, with whom I was associated for years, have published full and valuable autobiographies. I do not attempt anything so elaborate or complete. Never having kept a diary, I am dependent upon a good memory. I have discarded the stories which could not well be published until long after I have joined the majority.

I trust and earnestly hope there is nothing in these recollections which can offend anybody. It has been my object so to picture events and narrate stories as to illumine the periods through which I have passed for eighty eight years, and the people whom I have known and mightily enjoyed.

C.M.D.

CONTENTS

I. CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH II. IN PUBLIC LIFE III. ABRAHAM LINCOLN IV. GENERAL GRANT V. ROSCOE CONKLING VI. HORACE GREELEY VII. RUTHERFORD B. HAYES AND WILLIAM M. EVARTS VIII. GENERAL GARFIELD IX. CHESTER A. ARTHUR X. GROVER CLEVELAND XI. BENJAMIN HARRISON XII. JAMES G. BLAINE XIII. WILLIAM McKINLEY XIV. THEODORE ROOSEVELT XV. UNITED STATES SENATE XVI. AMBASSADORS AND MINISTERS XVII. GOVERNORS OF NEW YORK STATE XVIII. FIFTY SIX YEARS WITH THE NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY XIX. RECOLLECTIONS FROM ABROAD XX. ORATORS AND CAMPAIGN SPEAKERS XXI. NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONVENTIONS XXII. JOURNALISTS AND FINANCIERS XXIII. ACTORS AND MEN OF LETTERS XXIV. SOCIETIES AND PUBLIC BANQUETS INDEX [not included]

MY MEMORIES OF EIGHTY YEARS

I. CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH

It has occurred to me that some reminiscences of a long life would be of interest to my family and friends.

My memory goes back for more than eighty years. I recall distinctly when about five years old my mother took me to the school of Mrs. Westbrook, wife of the well known pastor of the Dutch Reformed church, who had a school in her house, within a few doors. The lady was a highly educated woman, and her husband, Doctor Westbrook, a man of letters as well as a preacher. He specialized in ancient history, and the interest he aroused in Roman and Greek culture and achievements has continued with me ever since.

The village of Peekskill at that time had between two and three thousand inhabitants. Its people were nearly all Revolutionary families who had settled there in colonial times. There had been very little immigration either from other States or abroad; acquaintance was universal, and in the activities of the churches there was general co operation among the members. Church attendance was so unanimous that people, young or old, who failed to be in their accustomed places on Sunday felt the disapproval of the community.

Social activities of the village were very simple, but very delightful and healthful. There were no very rich nor very poor. Nearly every family owned its own house or was on the way to acquire one. Misfortune of any kind aroused common interest and sympathy... Continue reading book >>




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