Cherokee Phoenix

From the American Spectator

Published July, 2, 1831

Page 1 Column 2b

From the American Spectator.

We insert today some account of the last moments of this great and good man. Those who knew him, or who have perused his writings, will agree with us, we doubt not, in the opinion that, as a philanthropist and a Christian, he had no superior in this country. All the elements of intellectual and moral excellence were so happily mixed and blended in his character as to make it approach very nearly to the beau ideal of human perfection. With the Editor of the New York Observer, we say that we 'have never known the man upon the correctness of whose judgment, in most matters, we placed more confidence.' But eminent as was Mr. Evarts for mental endowments, and for attainments in knowledge and piety, all his knowledge was veiled in humility and softened by a benevolence which attracted the affections even of strangers and gave him a power over the hearts even of the enemies of virtue. The worldly minded and the infidel were awed by his purity and charmed by the gentleness and urbanity of his manners. His integrity was an iron pillar, but the flowers of Heaven grew, and the light of Heaven played continually around it. His life resembled a deep, clear, untroubled stream, regular, majestic, and uniform in its course; and long will the world exhibit the evidences of its purifying and refreshing influence. It was wonderful that a man so feeble in health and quiet in spirit; who was never hasty; always ready to listen to others, and modest in expressing his own sentiments, should effect so much for the interest of mankind and the cause of God. But his mind was ever active, ever powerful. He labored for men as in the sight of God. He felt deeply the responsibilities of his office, and relied daily upon the strength of the Almighty. His essays, published about a year since, on the rights of the Indians, and signed 'Wm. Penn.' are a glorious monument to his fame. We hope some memoir of him will soon be given to the public worthy of his talents and his worth. We saw him, (and we believe it was the last time) on the day which witnessed the decision of Congress that the Indians should be removed. In the morning, before the House of Representatives had assembled, we met him at the Capitol. He spoke with emotion of the approaching crisis, and of his hopes and fears as to the result. It is a solemn time; the question is of vast importance; and said he; 'let us go to some unoccupied room, and implore the divine wisdom and grace in behalf of those who are presently do to what must probably save or destroy our poor Indian brethren, and maintain or break the plighted faith of the nation.' The writer consented, and united with this friend to his country, and his race, in his fervent supplications. Again the writer saw him, after the vote was taken. His countenance spoke more than his words. Calm as usual, he yet appeared like one afflicted by some great personal calamity. His remark, according to our best recollection, was of this kind- 'It is done; but our national sin will be neither forgotten, nor go unpunished by God.'