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Self-made Men: Hon. ZADOCK Pratt. — The reader's attention and admiration will be elicited by the article in preceding pages upon the life and character of the late Judge HitchcOCK, of New Haven. The lesson taught in the example of that distinguished jurist will not be lost upon the young struggling American ; for he cannot fail to see that to be born into the world with a career of labor and self-reliance before one, can be regarded as no misfortune to the persevering, the upright and the true-hearted. The man who by the force of early habit ‘learns to labor and to wait ;' who lives from day to day by the exercise, in his sphere, of his hands or head, and seeks to improve himself by all that he sees and encounters around him, acquires for himself that property of soul, which has always upheld, and always will uphold, the self-made man. He secures for himself the faithful companion, which, while it has always lent the light of its countenance to men of rank, and minds who have deserved it, has ever shed its greatest consolations on men of low estate and almost hopeless means.' It took its patient seat beside Sir WALTER RALEIGH, in his dungeonstudy in the tower; and laid its head on the block with More; but it did not disdain to outwatch the stars with FERGUSON, the shepherd's boy; it walked the streets in mean attire with Crabbe ; it was a poor barber with ARKWRIGHT ; it was a tallow-chandler's lad with FRANKLIN; it worked at shoemaking with BLOOMFIELD in his garret and Roger SHERMAN in his cobbler's-shop; it followed the plough with Robert Burns; and high above the noise of loom and hammer, it whispers courage to many thousands at this moment, in every quarter of our land. We have been led to these remarks by reading in the last number of the Democratic Review' a sketch of the private and public career of the Hon. Zadock Pratt, late member of Congress from this State. Like Judge HITCHCOCK, Mr. Pratt is a selftaught, self-sustained, and eminently practical man; and his history is so useful that we shall make no apology for devoting some space to setting it, in synopsis, before the reader. We have often admired, at the house of an old and highly-esteemed friend, a fine painting by the gifted DURAND, representing a charming rural village, nestling in a pleasant valley, and surrounded by high mountains, green to their summits with hemlock trees. This is Prattsville, in Greene county, and this flourishing place may be said to be the production, in one sense, of the man whose name it bears. But let us begin at the beginning. ZADOCK Pratt is descended from the band of pilgrims who first broke ground on the shores of New England, in 1623. His father was a tanner and shoemaker. He was engaged in several hard-fought battles in the Revo.
lution, and was twice taken prisoner, and suffered in the prison-ships in this harbor. We may add here that the son emulated his father, by joining the patriotic diggers' on Brooklyn Heights in the last war; he was subsequently a captain in our State artillery regiment, and afterward an active colonel of a regiment of infantry. ZADOCK, the subject of this notice, we are told,'had no other education than that of a com. mon school, working out of school-hours to pay for his board. He had very early to contend with the difficulties of his position. He often mentions with satisfaction, that the first money which he ever earned was by gathering huckleberries. He worked in his father's tannery, and employed his leisure hours in braiding whip-lashes, etc., for which he readily found a market, and in a short time, by saving his little earnings, he found himself possessed of some thirty dollars — quite a treasure for a working boy. He was now apprenticed to a saddler, served out his apprenticeship, worked a year at his trade, at the wages of ten dollars a month, and then commenced business for himself. He now labored fifteen or sixteen hours a day; and this system of in- . dustry, coupled with prudence' and judicious enterprise, soon placed him on the road to fortune. Among the rules which it may be said formed the business creed of his life, were the trite and homely, but expressive maxims, which he used to post up in his work-shop and store, and mark upon his account-books; • Do one thing at a time.' • Be just and fear not.' • Mind your own business.' Blessed with an excellent constitution and an iron frame; with an indomitable resolution and perseverance, which no difficulties could daunt, no exertions weary ; labor was to him the salt of his existence, seasoning his daily bread, and stimulating him to farther and higher exertions. From this time his course has been uniformly onward and upward.'
When Mr. Pratt purchased in 1824 the tract and water-power now included in the village which bears his name, and commenced his operations, the forest on either hand, to the very tops of the mountains, was a dense growth of hemlock, adapted to his purposes; communication was easy with New-York ; and he at once saw that here was the spot for him to establish a mammoth tannery. He lost no time in commencing operations; and his labors were crowned with the most complete success. His establishment soon yielded employment in various ways to more than two hundred men, to all of whom he gave encouragement to settle around him. His tannery was five hundred feet long, containing over three hundred vats, requiring a consumption annually of fifteen hundred cords of wood, and six thousand cords of hemlock bark, in the manufacture of sixty thousand sides of sole leather, which he annu. ally sent to market; or more than a million of sides in the last twenty years ; employing a capital of over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, without a single litigated law-suit.' We are not surprised to learn that as Mr. Pratt rose upon the tide of his prosperous business, his friends and neighbors flourished with him. The little town was rapidly settled and improved ; streets were laid out, and ornamental trees planted by his own hands; schools were established, churches built, and houses and stores multiplied, antil the village has become one of the most pleasant and flourishing settlements in the region of the Catskills. He himself erected more than a hundred houses, and his munificence is seen in all the churches and public buildings of the place, of which more than one-third the cost was defrayed from his own pocket. Nor was he less a public benefactor in establishing the Prattsville Bank, under the free banking law of this State, an institution of uuquestioned credit, whose bills are kept constantly at par in this city, while its business, (of great public convea
nience in the mountainous region in which it is situated,) averages nearly a million of dollars annually. Colonel Pratt, having secured the good opinion and constant respect of his neighbors and fellow-citizens at large, was looked upon by the working community in which he resided as one whom they could safely trust with political perferment. He was therefore, in 1836, put in nomination for congress, and was elected by more than twenty-seven hundred majority over his competitor, having received the almost unanimous vote of his own town; a sufficient evidence that he was the most esteemed where he was the best known.
While in Congress, Mr. Pratt devoted himself to the utility of legislation ; and his example certainly demonstrates the advantage of sending men of practical business habits to our national council, and shows how much that is really important to the people may be performed by one man, when he is more anxious to act than to speak. His speeches were confined to plain statements of important facts which he had thoroughly investigated. Coming from an agricultural region, 'he originated the proposition, which was finally adopted by Congress, providing for the introduction through our consuls and national vessels, of foreign seeds and plants, and for their gratuitous distribution to all portions of the country, through the medium of the patent office,'the beneficial effects of which measure have already begun to be appreciated; and his addresses before the agricultural societies of his own county were widely commended and circulated. It is to Mr. Pratt, as a member of the congressional committee on public buildings, that the capital is indebted for the beautiful General Post-Office edifice; but for his exertions, it would have been erected of the porous sand-stone, which in process of time crumbles like wet gingerbread, instead of the admirable marble of which it is constructed. He was an early and ardent advocate of the cheap postage reform; of the improvement of the public grounds at Wash. ington; he introduced the resolution for the Branch Mint at New York; for the publication and engraving of all the important inventions patented at Washington, to be distributed throughout the country; to require, once every two years, an inventory of the public property in the hands of public agents; for the establishment of a Bureau of Statistics; and various other important measures, which we have not space to enumerate. Indeed, the reports made to Congress by Mr. Pratt cover more than a thousand pages, during his career in that body, to which he declined a reëlection, in an able address to his constituents, giving a faithful account of his stewardship. At first a poor boy, yet always true to the dignity of labor;' energetic and persevering ; living with and not upon his neighbors, as he advanced in means ; liberal and true-hearted, in private as in public life, Mr. Pratt presents an example which we hope will be lost upon no young reader of these pages. We are glad to know that he is still in the prime of life, and in the full enjoyment of his bodily and mental vigor; a fact indeed which is sufficiently evinced by his portrait, which combines, in no ordinary degree, the appearance of health, self-possessed dignity, firmness and kindness. In looking at this picture, in hearing the original converse, and in reading the sketch of his life, we have been confirmed in a long-settled belief that that man is scarcely half-educated who has not in his early years had something to struggle for, and who has not at some period of his life lived among *the people' in the country. There is scarcely one of our most eminent public men whose private and public history is not an illustration of this undeniable fact; and it is a fact sull of encouragement and hope to the toiling, self-denying, self-respect. ing country boy.
Anniversary Festival of Saint Nicholas.
As the chosen and official organ of the Saint Nicholas Society,' we proceed to lay before our readers the proceedings at the anniversary festival of the good old Saint, celebrated at the City Hotel on the seventh ultimo. The society, in unusually large numbers, assembled at the capacious receiving-rooms of the City' at five
o'clock; and after the reëlection of the PRESIDENT, Chief Justice JONES, and the Committee of Managers, with the election of four Vice-Presidents, in the persons of James De Peyster OGDEN, JOHN A. KING, HAMILTON Fish, and CHARLES KING, Esquires, the members, with their distinguished associates and invited guests, (among the former of whom we remarked his ex-Excellency, WASHINGTON IRVING, late Minister to Spain, with Henry Brevoort, Esquire; and among the latter, Naval Commandant STETTIN, Mr. Van Wart, of England, together with the chief officers of all the sister societies,) repaired to the dining-hall, to the inspiring music of DODWORTH's band. The decorated hall; the four long ornamented tables,
surmounted,' if we may say so, by the cross-table on the dais, or raised platform, at the upper end of the room, at which sat the venerable PRESIDENT, in his venerable cocked-hat; the Presidents of the various sister societies, and other honored guests; the tables themselves, groaning under the weight of rare potables and edibles, such as Messrs. JENNINGS and WILLARD know so well how to supply; the waiters, in the livery of the days of Peter STUYVESANT; all these made up a coup-d'ail which
may be conceived but cannot be described. Grace was pronounced in a few brief and well-chosen words by Rev. Dr. VERMILYE, when the company sat down to the discussion of the store of good things before them; among which we were glad to encounter sundry of the choicest relishes' of the old Dutch tables; sour-krout,' krullers,' spack and applejes,'olikoeks,''nolletjes,' and the like, never forgetting schnaps' and pipes. When the inner man had been satisfied and refreshed, the PRESIDENT announced the following regular toasts:
OUR PATRON SAINT, ST. NICHOLAS: The best of good Saints; his most acceptable offerings are deeds of kindness and love.
AIR : Long Time Ago. OUR CITY: Constant progress is her destiny; a pure and high civilization be her aim and her triumph.
Home, Sweet Home. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
President's March. THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
Governor's March. OUR COUNTRY: Glory and honor to her coming years.
Hail Columbia. THE EARLY FATHERS OF New-AMSTERDAM: Types of an unpretending humanity, they need not the smoke of an ever-rising incense to magnify into colossal dimensions their real stature.'
Mynheer Van Donck.' OUR SISTER SOCIETIES: St. NICHOLAS welcomes them right heartily to his board, and extends anew to his loyal tributaries the assurance of his sovereign protection.
For we're a Band of Brothers.' THE ARMY AND NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES: Their flag is emblematic of each ; they have proved themselves true blue;' they have plucked 'stars' from the sky of glory, and they have dedicated the stripes' to their foes.
The Star-spangled Banner. THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT NICHOLAS: Excluded by no Salic law from the only throne to which they aspire, a republican heart.
Here's a Health to all Good Lasses.' In reply to the toast to The City,' His Honor the Mayor, after a few well-considered remarks, in keeping with the theme of his sentiment, proposed the following: "THE KNICKERBOCKERS : Who taught us that the science of free government was Frugality, Industry and Integrity.'
Joseph FOWLER, Esquire, President of the St. GEORGE Society, arose and responded as follows, in a manner perhaps the most felicitous of the evening :
MR. PRESIDENT: The gloomy month of November, so trying to the nerves of JOHN BULL, having so recently made its exit, you will not be surprised to learn that it has left one of his family in somewhat of a melancholy mood : but as, on the other hand, the saying is reduced to a proverb, that.Eng. lishmen are never so happy as when they are miserable,' (Laughter and applause,) it is not likely, Sir, that much of your sympathy will be extended to me. Still, I am very much out of sorts; and being so situated, I find I cannot do better than follow the example and tread in the footsteps of one of my illustrious and saintly contemporaries, a gentleman never caught napping; a man indeed of extraordinary tact. At a recent anniversary festival, when called upon to display his prolocutory powers, St. David most pathetically declared, that he rose with embarrassment and emotion.' In that precise posture, Sir, St. GEORGE is now placed. I have risen with the same kind of embarrassment; not proceeding, as I assure you, from any conscientious abhorrence of these annual dinner. parties - quite the reverse; but from that sort of vague, undefined fluttering which, in spite of all my efforts, will come over me just at the very moment I ought to be ready to burst, as it were, with the fulness of uncommunicated thought. (Renewed laughter and applause.) Not that I purpose entirely to back out, Sir, or to excuse myself under the plea of being unaccustomed to return thanks on these festal occasions, for that would hardly go down; because you all very well know that I have been going the rounds long enough at any rate to have grown bald, if not gray, in the service. Ay, there's the rub, my friends; so long have I been engaged in the business that I am compelled in all capdor to confess that the whole novelty, the whole originality, the whole pbilosophy of the system is, in my poor self, used up. •Misery loves company,' however; and, if I mistake not, I am not the only one taken aback. It appears to me that sundry of my saintly contemporaries are beginning to breathe very hard; to betray certain quick, spasmodic vibrations, as if sensible that their time was at hand; as if conscious their trouble was about to begin. (Great laughter.) They have my sympathy, is that will be of any comfort to them; for after all, Mr. PresidEXT, talk as you may about practice making perfect,' there are few things more difficult than to give a new form of words to fainiliar combinations of thought; especially is it difficult to one who, like the humble person who addresses you, is miserably off for rhetoric, and only qualified to speak in the common, every-day language of social life. My brother saints, I am sure, feel as I do, that thus, at each succeeding anniversary, to be brought into harmonious contact with each other is a very delightful custom; they feel as I do, Sir, that these national benevolent festivals go off most charmingly until the time arrives for the payment of the national debt; the first instalment of wbich St. GEORGE is always expected to discharge. Now, Gentlemen, that we have reached this, to us, ings, do pray come to our succor; pray compassionate our agitations; and by your lenity and forbearance embolden us not only to dismiss but even to smile at our own periodical apprehensions.
*As the representative of the St. GEORGE Society I rejoice in having one more opportunity of assuring you of the unalterable fellowship and good-will existing in the breasts of all who belong to that institution toward the Sons of St. NICHOLAS. And delighted I am that such feelings do exist between us ; for fast are we multiplying around you. The last census discloses the fact that there are upward of ninety-five thousand natives of the British dominions now residing in this city; a fact however which excites less of our wonder when we remember that JOHN BULL is presented yearly by his wife with an increase of three hundred and sixty-five thousand members to his family. Such of his redundant race who are conducted to this portion of America certainly come to that part in which the virtues of the Anglo-Saxon race are sure to be best evoked. The vicious we may hope will stay away; all those indeed whose characters won't bear investigation. To the worthy immigrant no better advice can be given than that of being enjoined to study the history of New-York ; its Empire State and noble city; for it is a well-attested history, fruitful in its records and recitals of heroic deeds, and in its images of resplendent virtue; and may I pot add, in the eloquent language of Chancellor KENT, that its history is 'well.fitted to elevate the pride of ancestry, to awaken deep feeling, to strengthen just purpose and enkindle generous emulation.'
• But, Mr. PRESIDENT, I am making a sad trespass on your patience, and I will therefore add but one word. In my official capacity as President of the St. George Society I have so often taken leave of my brethren of St. NICHOLAS that they must begin to think it quite a joke; but when with becoming gravity I now assure you that this is positively my last appearance' before you ; that all