Friday, August 2, 2013
Oakey Hall--Great Man and Perhaps Unfairly Tarnished Politician
Was there in the 19th century any American politician comparable to Oakey Hall in intelligence and basic decency?
HOOSICK, NEAR TROY March 31, 1863 Oakey Hall writes to Evert Duyckinck:
In a little town to which business called me: in the midst of a driving snowstorm: just toward dusk: and with everything cheerless about me I learn of the death of George. It is a great shock: for I did not even know he was ill: & I shall not, I fear, reach town to attend the funeral, but shall try.
You know Evert I have knocked around the edges of society of all sorts & have for a man of my years seen a great deal of the bad side of life without being in it or of it. I can therefore well admire & esteem such a meek and unaffectedly just man as was George. To me he stands out in very bold relief as such a man. He was guileless, charitable to the failings of others, detesting wrong & deceit. You see I dwell on the things which to me seem great virtues. Others will speak of his talents, & literary labors & of his mind & its acumen. But to me a good man & that my friend is praise above all praise . . . NYPL-D