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one dwelling besides his escaped destruction. Bucket in hand he clambered over the roof with the agility of an expert firemau, and with heroic determination fough the flames wherever they appeared. Whilst his neighbors at once gave up all hope of saving their homes, he fought and triumphed over the fire fiend.

Dr. Fisher's early struggles, along with his naturally kind heart, made him the life-long friend and counsellor of students and young ministers. As treasurer of the board of beneficiary education he was brought into frequent correspondence with students who need ed and received the support of the Church. Many of our most useful men, some of whom now whitening with age, still recal with pleasure his words of counsel and sympathy to them when they were beneficiary students.

Like all mathematicians, he was remarkably methodical. He naturally had an eye for accuracy of details. He was just as determined to have the harness accurately put on his horse as he was to have the items of his annual report to Synod clear and truthful. Dr. Davis says that during his ministry at Chambersburg Dr. Fisher once told him that one thing always worried him while hearing him preach. Not the sermon, but a small square post at the end of the pulpit, gave him trouble. He said, "I am always annoyed by that post, because one side of it has been worked crooked." Was there ever one among the thousands of people that worshiped in this venerable building during the fifty years since its erection who noticed the little defect in this post save Dr. Fisher?

In his earlier ministry a fall from his horse dislocated his shoulder, which thereafter would now and then slip out of joint for him, and sometimes on inconvenient occasions. It usually came from a misstep or fall, when he would suddenly throw up his arm. One Sunday evening, after having preached in the country, we returned after churchtime and slipped into the Presbyterian church, taking our seat near the door, after the services had been commenced. Coming out at the close, he failed to notice a step in the vestibule, and as he reached for my arm he suddenly stepped

down, threw up his left arm, and fell on the floor as if he had been shot. He became very sick and helpless as a child. The whole congregation had to pass us, many of whom crowded the vestibule and stairway in the greatest excitement, fearing that he was dying. A physician being present, put five of us to work to pull the joint into its place. Three pulled at one arm and two at the other, in opposite directions. No wonder the poor brother was pale as a sheet and groaned like a dying man. No sooner had his shoulder-joint been set than he arose, took a long breath, dusted off his clothes, reached for my arm, and walked home as if nothing had happened. Often have I thought of our awkward predicament, blocking up the passage of a large congregation in the small vestibule of the old Falling Spring church.

Dr. Fisher had strong convictions, and when he happened to differ from others of contrary convictions equally strong, the two would collide with a crash. In controversy he was sometimes seemingly harsh, not from ill-will, but from an earnest desire to help the right. In the many difficulties connected with the history of our publication affairs, he often had to vindicate his policy against grave attacks. With the complication of its financial troubles and the want of sympathy and support in certain quarters, is it a wonder that he sometimes became sensitive and sore, and defended the interests committed to his hand with great emphasis, and not always without personal severity? Here and there his judgment was doubtless at fault, as whose is not; yet, duties assigned him, great and small, he strove to perform with equal alacrity and fidelity. His somewhat impulsive nature sometimes gave needless offence by outrunning his more calm and deliberate judgment. He had a marvelous capacity for work. No matter how much he had to do, he always accepted of new duties like a man of much leisure. And the work might come whence it would; from a warm friend, or from one who had wronged him, he would perform it with equal cheerfulness.

Of late years his venerable figure formed a striking feature in our ecclesiastical meetings. He was fond of tell

ing how of late years, on a Christmas season, he happened to walk through one of the stree's of Allentown, Pa., when a little child with bright and inquisitive eyes came running up to him and exclained: "Are you Santa Claus?" I suppose the dear soul thought his long, white beard and kindly face looked like pictures of the great patron saint of the children, and that perhaps he had its rich little package with him. It will take the Reformed Church a long while to become accustomed to the absence of this hard-working man. Many others of us have, by reason of sickness, been absent at times from our posts of duty. In forty years Dr. Fisher has never been absent from his, save for a few weeks at a time. I believe that his death affects personally more hearts than would that of any other man in the denomination. He had some faults which some others have not. He may not have possessed some good qualities which some others possess. He was not as acceptable a preacher as some, and not as profound a theologian as others. But such as he was, of his kind and type, the Reformed Church in the United States has never had among her many good and faithful servants one in all respects equal to Samuel R. Fisher.


Wheatland is just as it was left at its owner's death. The small grove of old trees in the rear of the house remains untouched. A few of the ornamental trees in the grounds may have been disfigured or blown down by the storm. Although owned and reverently cared for by the President's niece, an air of

An Ex-President among his Neigh- neglect usual to uninhabited premises


is perceptible all around. Unpurel trees and vines, unmown lawns, neglected gardens, and unweeded walks all show that the indwelling of a family group, affording the many-sided touches of a human presence are needed to give a home the air of a living habitation.

The GUARDIAN is no place to speak of Mr. Buchanan's political career. I shall simply give a few reminiscences concerning him as a citizen and a neighbor. For from my boyhood his home was at Wheatland, about a mile from our house, which could be seen from our play-grounds. He was a man of fire presence, tall, well-built and of a very graceful exterior. He was always attired in a dress-coat and a rather broad, white necktie, giving him a dignified, clerical appearance. Indeed his faultless clothing indicated a man of cultivated taste. Of course nature did much for

Princes and lords may flourish or may fade;
A breath can make them as a breath has made.

On the Marietta turnpike, a short distance west of Lancaster, Pa., is a plain two-story brick building, standing on a slight elevation, some distance back from the road. A porch extends along the front, and the style of the building is quite plain, void of any of the socalled classical adornments peculiar to modern architecture. Although not high, this elevation overlooks a large part of the finest portions of Lancaster county. Towards the four points of the compass, you have an out-look such as our country rarely affords. But for certain features belonging to the surroundings of the mansion, a stranger

might take this to be the home of a plain, retired Lancaster County farmer. A passing traveller would not suspect that this had ever been the hospitable home of a President of the United States; that along the drives up the gentle slope of this lawn rode the then great men of the nation; that in this unadorned mansion plans were formed and projects started and matured which were felt throughout the civilized world. This was the home of James Buchanan, the bachelor President of the United States. Hither came a former ocupant of "the white house," when tired with the affairs of State, to seek quiet and rest around his own hearth. Here he spent his sad old age. And after having reached the highest office in the gift of the nation, and tasted all the sweets of political success, and more than the keen anguish usual to such a career, he died in this dwelling; and here around his remains his old friend, Dr. J. W. Nevin, with tender sadness, spoke words of Gospel comfort and kindly personal appreciation at his bier.

him, but education added its graces to nature's gifts. Among a crowd of thousands of people his appearance would at once have attracted the notice of a stranger as that of a distinguished man, "a gentleman of the old school." His head would always incline to one side, a habit he is said to have unconsciously contracted by reason of a defect in his eye-sight.

He was an admirable public speaker; with a clear, musical voice, a graceful manner, a pleasing presence, and a very agreeable and distinct articulation, it was a pleasure even for his political opponents to hear him speak. In the city of Lancaster he always had a large following, as this was then prevailingly democratic. But no county in the State gave him less political sympathy than that of Lancaster. Yet the announcement of Buchanan's name among the speakers of the democratic county conventions, always secured large assemblages. For a man in his station he was easy of access by rich and poor. Although his coachman was always ready to do his bidding, until bowed under the weight of years, he seemed to prefer going a distance of a mile to the city afoot. He was a warm friend to those who politically befriended him and usually found pleasure in doing them favors. I know of instances where this was done at great pecuniary risks.

Wheatland is only a short distance from Franklin and Marshall College, of whose Board of Trustees he was for many years the honored President. After his election as President of the nation the faculty and students of the institution paid him a visit of congratulation. At three o'clock, P. M. of a certain Friday in December, 1856, over one hundred members of the college repaired to Wheatland in pro cession. Mr. Buchanan cordially received them in the general receptionroom of his mansion. Dr. E. V. Gerhart, then President of the college, for mally introduced the students, and briefly stated the object of their visit. Mr. William A. Duncan, now a prominent lawyer of Gettysburg, Pa., delivered an address of congratulation. Mr. Duncan said, in behalf of his fellow students, that they came not as Democrats, flushed with success, to shout in loud


huzzas the triumph of party; nor did they come as the vanquished opposition to express any dissent from the result of the late campaign; but they came happily as members of college-most of them as Pennsylvanians-all of them as children of this mighty and glorious Republic-with warm young hearts, to extend to him their heartfelt congratulation. They felt honored in knowing that their principal officer had been selected as the pilot to guide our noble ship of State through all the vicissitudes that may compass her. Their hearts bad beat with honest pride when from the lofty tower of their college, they could view the residence of the President of the Board of Trustees, and the most distinguished statesman of Pennsylvania, but what must now be their gratification when from that eminence they can not only view the residence of the distinguished statesman, but even of the President of the United States. In conclusion the speaker wished the President a prolonged life of usefulness a successful, peaceful, honorable and blessed administration-that our great nation might rejoice in his wise and paternal direction of affairs that he might live to retire from office with the benediction of God and man to his declining years, and that the shades of time might fall lightly on his honored bead."

President Buchanan replied: "That he felt greatly indebted to his young friends for their visit. He had the assurance that their congratulations were sincere, as they sprang from the hearts of youth, which had not yet had time to become corrupted or hardened in the ways of the world. The bosom of youth was the abode of sincerity and truth, and it was indeed a pleasure and an honor to receive the warm outpourings of their hearts. He said he had always felt a great solicitude for the interests of Franklin and Marshall College; it was a noble institution, aud he was proud to be the President of its Board of Directors He was extremely gratified to learn that it had fair prospects, not only of a large number of students, but of great usefulness It was gratifying to see so large a number of worthy young men already enrolled on its list of students. He referred to their responsi

that none of the young men of Franklin and Marshall college were addicted to this dangerous practice."



bility, reminding them that when the present generation had passed away, and been gathered to their fathers, on them, the young of to-day, would rest He then alluded to the course and the responsibility of forming and ad- habits of study necessary to insure sucministering the future government of cess in a student's life. Many young the country; and of preserving intact men prided themselves in running over our glorious Union and Constitution. a great many books and gaining a There was not, he said, a young man superficial knowledge of many branches among them, however humble his po- of science. This was of no practical use. sition, who might not aspire with an He would urge them to learn thoroughhonorable ambition to fill the highest ly all they undertook to learn to acoffice in the gift of the people; but in quire knowledge distinctly—and then order to gain positions of honor, useful- they would be able to use it to some ness and distinction, they must remem- practical advantage in after life. They ber that everything depends upon them- should apply themselves with diligence selves. They must carve out their to their allotted studies by day, reflect future from the opportunities of the by night upon what they had thus acpresent. Kind parents and friends quired and appropriated as the best capihave afforded them rare opportunities of tal with which to engage in the strugacquiring that knowledge which con- gles of life. He had met with many stitutes power. If they neglect or men of prominence who had looked at abuse the opportunities-if they idle the indexes of a great many books, and away the golden hours allotted for the had a general smattering of knowledge, improvement of mind-if they are not but it was all surface work, and of no obedient to their professors in all that practical use. He hoped his young relates to the good interests and success friends here present would avoid falling of the institution-then they might be into this error. At the close of his reassured they would have cause to re- marks the President in parting cordially pent of their folly through long hours shook hands with the students. After of bitter sorrow in after life-for they the procession had again formed on the could never retrieve the past. He said grounds in front of the house, they gave he had been a college boy himself, and three rousing cheers for the President none of the best of boys either, being of the Board of Franklin and Marshall fond of fun like themselves. There College, and the President of the United were many little eccentricities in the States. This was quite an event for the life of a college student that might be boys, and a cause of just pride that the pardoned or overlooked; but there was President of the nation was at the same one habit which, if formed at college or time the presiding officer of their instiin early youth, would cling to them in tution. after life and blight their finest prospects. He referred to the use of intoxicating liquors, and declared that it would be better for that youth who contracted an appetite for strong drink that he were dead or had never been born: for when he saw a young man entering upon such a career, a fondness for liquor becoming with him a governing passion, he could see nothing before him but a life of sorrow and a dishonored grave in his old age. Many lads, he was aware, considered this habit a mark of smartness, but he regarded it as an offence that can not be pardoned, especially in a student at college; and he concluded his earnest appeal by expressing the hope and belief

In his varied positions of honor and political trust Mr. Buchanan never forgot the courtesies and duties of a good neighbor and a private citizen. Oa election days he would come to the polls of our little Lancaster Township, and exchange greetings with his neighbors of both parties, and perform his duty in a way common to the humblest citizen. He would greet and sympathize with the plain country folk as an equal. In not a few families he knew the children and younger folk by name, and would here and there show marks of kindly interest in the form of a suitable present. I remember, when a timid youth, of standing aside of him at a wedding. The daughter of an old time

The ex

personal and political friend was mar- acts were bitterly denounced.
ried. It happened on a cold winter day, cited state of the country greatly aggra-
shortly before he was sent as minister vated this condemnation. No President
to Great Britain. He came in a two- had ever left the White house upon
horse sleigh. The embarrassment of whom the press poured such a torrent
the young people, natural in such a pre- of disapproval. How would his old
sence, was soon removed by the affable neighbors receive him after such a term
easy, frank conduct of Mr. Buchanan, of office? He had become cordially at-
He showed himself perfectly at home on tached to the community in which he
such subjects of conversation as would had his home for well nigh fifty years.
interest them. I still remember how There he laid the foundation of his po-
beautifully the bride blushed as, calling litical success. As a lawyer and states-
her by her first name the venerable and man he gained his first foothold as a citi-
distinguished bachelor, with cheeks as zen of Lancaster county. His plain,
blushing as hers expressed his congratu-peace-loving country neighbors, with
lations with graceful ease.
their antiquated forms of dress, and
their industrious, frugal habits, were a
peaceful folk whose tenets forbade their
bearing arms. But their sympathies
and prayers were for the Union of the
United States. And the hearts of their
young sons burned with patriotic fire,
and by the score led them into the army.
On his last return to Lancaster he was
received by a crowd of people in the
square of the city I can not just now
put my hand on the precise words of his
speech as reported, but substantially he
spoke as follows: He addressed them as
his old neighbors, among whom he had
for many years had his home. After
having passed through a long and
varied experience in the service of his
country, he came back to them, aged,
worn out and weary, seeking among
them quiet, rest, and a grave. With
touching tenderness he spoke of their uni-
form personal kindne s to himself, and
said he expected to spend his few re-
maining days among them as a private
citizen. Many eyes were moistened as
these words of a retiring President of the
nation were spoken to the assemblage.
His remaining life was sad. From
whatever cause, the results of his ad-
ministration must have keenly disap-
pointed him. The office which was the
aspiration of his active life brought him
a crown of thorns. He seemed to grow
old rapidly. His form was bowed, his
face pale, and he speedily declined into
the inevitable decrepitude and infirmity
of old age. On pleasant days one could
see him riding to town, sometimes mus-
ingly sitting in front of Michael's hotel,
greeting his passing friends with his old-
time cordiality. For awhile these visits
were not without their annoyances. Now

My father was a staunch old line
Whig, as were all his sons at that time.
So far as I know none of the voting
members of the family ever cast a vote
for our distinguished neighbor. Yet
this made him personally none the less
cordial. And when my dear father
was borne to his tomb the white-haired
ex-President sat ear his coffin during
the funeral services. It was on a very
unpleasant December day, during a great
storm, when torrents of rain swept over
the earth with fearful violence; on a
day when one would expect few but
young and vigorous people to venture
out of doors. Through this tempest
came the sage of Wheatland, his once
straight and tall form now somewhat
bowed beneath the burden of age and
recent crushing cares. Less than three
months later he was again present at the
funeral of my brother's wife. He had
known and befriended her from her
youth. For several minutes he stood
with uncovered head aside of the coffin,
breathing heavily with trembling emo-
tion as his eyes rested on her pale face.
His presence on both occasions to me
presented a touching scene. After hav-
ing enjoyed the highest political honors
within the reach of a citizen of the Re-
public, he here meditates solemnly in
the presence of death on the emptiness
and evanescence of all earthly distinc-
tion and glory.

At the close of his Presidential term he returned to Wheatland. The country was then intensely excited. The dark clouds of war were sweeping across the country. The evils which he so much dreade, and in his own way strove to avert, had at length come. Some of his

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