Taken From A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors
of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia:
T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 195-196.
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[P. 195] It has been my lot to be frequently engaged in defence of the peaceable
principles of the Christian religion. During the last war with Great
Britain,(1) I felt a concern
to go to Washington, in order to try to prevail with our rulers to embrace
the first opening to close the contest. When there, I first called on James
Madison, the President of the United States, and mentioned to him how affecting
it was to contemplate the condition of the inhabitants along the frontiers
of our country, exposed as they were to the sound of the instruments of death,
He seemed to feel the weight of my concern for the return of peace to our
land, I had also an opportunity with James Monroe, then Secretary of State.
I found him surrounded with a large company of gentlemen and ladies, as they
are usually called. The company seemed to look upon us as out of place, and
some of them smiled upon our appearance and manners. But while I was opening
my concern, particularly in relation to the afflicted inhabitants along the
frontiers of our country, I observed several of those called ladies who shed
tears. The Secretary handed me a printed sheet of paper, which he said would
show me the justness of our cause. I remarked that I would look over it;
but before leaving the subject I would mention a case that had occurred between
two wealthy and high spirited men. They had unhappily misunderstood each
other, and a quarrel ensued. Such were their high-toned feelings of animosity
that all that could be done to reconcile them seemed to be without effect.
It happened, however, that these two men [P. 196] were one day riding out,
each in his own carriage, and about to meet in the road. The one thought
he would not turn out, and the other determined on the same course. But when
they were coming near to each other one of them reflected that it would be
a shameful business to break down in the public road, when there was ample
room for them to pass without coming in collision. With these thoughts he
told his driver to turn out. The other then said if the first had not turned
out, he intended to do so. In this ease he that first gave way acted the
most honorable part, while the other could make but a poor acknowledgement.
Now here is the difficulty. Men are commonly too self. willed, and will not
yield as they should do when provocation or disputes, real or imaginary,
occur, and thus it is that quarrels and wars are commenced and carried on
with a vindictive spirit. The secretary confessed that such was human nature,
and that hence it was that wars were continued in the world.
1. The War of 1812. -pds <-Back