Hon. David Buel, Jr.
Hon. David Buel, Jr.

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.
Many thanks to Bob McConihe for typing this lengthy biography.

HON. DAVID BUEL, Jr. was born in Litchfield, Conn., Oct. 22, 1784. His father, David Buel, of whom he was the fourth child and second son, was of Welsh descent. His ancestor was William Buel, the first emigrant of the family to America, - and the progenitor, with one small exception in a Holland family, of all who bear the name in this country.

The immediate American ancestor of David Buel was Peter, born in Windsor, Conn., Aug. 19, 1644. He was the third child and second son of William, and was a prominent citizen of Simsbury, Conn., from its earliest history. David, the father of David Buel, Jr., was born in Dutchess Co., N. Y., June 24, 1747 (N. S.), but removed to the town of Litchfield at an early age, and remained there until the year 1797, when he removed temporarily to Medford, near Boston, and in 1798, to Troy, N.Y., where he spent the residue of his life, dying Sept. 14, 1836, in the ninetieth year of his age. He had a family of seven children, - three sons and four daughters, - of whom, since April 17, 1817, but two survived, - his son David, and his daughter Mary Delia.

David Buel, Jr., until his father's removal from Litchfield, attended the town school from about the age of seven years, with the exception of a few months, when he went to New Milford, and attended a select school taught by the Rev. Truman Marsh, the rector of the Episcopal Church in that town. He speaks kindly and respectfully of his early teachers. To one of these teachers he thus alludes in 1857: "The teacher of my early years whom I remember with the greatest affection was Mr. Timothy Mather Cooley, still living at a very advanced age. He was for many years a pastor of the Congregational society in Granville, Mass., where he still resides. I met him at the last commencement of Williams College, of which he was a trustee. His manners were bland, his disposition was amiable, and his piety most ardent. Still, in extreme old age, and laboring under bodily infirmities, he is a most interesting old man, and especially so to those who have received their early instructions from him. I can never forget dear Dr. Cooley. He first awakened in me some desire to study and learn something. Until I was placed under his charge at about the age of ten or eleven years, my time at school had, I think, been almost wasted. I had learned perhaps to read tolerably, to write indifferently, and to perform simple operations in arithmetic. My father having, in 1797, removed from Litchfield to Medford, I attended the high school there kept by Mr. Wyman, and probably made some progress in branches usually then taught at the most respectable grammar schools as they were called. Our family removed, in the summer of 1798, from Medford to Troy, where they have ever since resided. Troy was then a village of a few hundred inhabitants. My father having embarked in mercantile pursuits, I was sometimes kept at the store. But I think I never had an inclination to be a merchant, of which I think my father became satisfied. For a year or two after our removal to Troy I attended the principal school then kept there, which, I think, with the exception of a school kept by Mr. George Greenwood, principally for small children, was the only school in the village. Indeed, I think for three or four years after the removal of our family to Troy I learned but little, and that not well at the school which I attended, and much of my time out of school was spent in play and sports, such as fishing, hunting, and athletic sports. I had no regular occupation."

He himself notes it as "rather a memorable circumstance" that from August, 1838, to April, 1839, his son Clarence, now the Rev. Clarence Buel, of the city of New York, then at the close of the eighth year of his life, went to Dr. Cooley's school in East Granville, Mass., Dr. Cooley having been the teacher of the father of Clarence in Litchfield, when David Buel, Jr., was twelve years old.

After giving an account of his small progress in his studies in his earliest years, he says, "I, however, when about fourteen or fifteen years old, became fond of reading; at first my reading was devoted to such books as ' Robinson Crusoe,' the 'Arabian Nights' Entertainments,' 'Don Quixote,' 'Gulliver's Travels,' and some others more calculated to amuse than instruct. At a little later period I commenced reading some historical works. I read through Hume's 'History of England,' Robinson's 'Charles V.,' and Rollin's 'Ancient History' before I began to think of obtaining a collegiate education."

With regard to his earliest recollections, he makes the interesting statement that they go back to the year 1788, when he was four years old. He well remembered that in the summer of that year his father was engaged in building a large house, intended for a hotel, on Litchfield Town Hill, and the rising of the frame called together a large number of people as assistants or spectators. "The appearance of the frame as the raising progressed left an impression on my memory which I have ever retained. The next event most vividly impressed on my memory was my baptism by the Rev. Truman Marsh, an Episcopal minister, on the 2d day of June, 1790. My younger brother Samuel was baptized at the same time. The baptisms were administered at my father's house in Litchfield."

In the year 1801 he went into the law office of his brother-in-law John Bird, then a young lawyer of rising distinction, and who was then a member of Congress. It was the wish of the father of David Buel, Jr., that he should serve a clerkship in the office. There were then in the office two respectable young gentlemen, Mr. Silas Hubbel and Mr. Alpheus Sherman. Mr. Hubbel was a graduate of Williams College. The subject of this biographical notice began to feel that his education at various common schools was not sufficient to enable him to attain high standing as a lawyer. With the approbation of his father he commenced the study of Latin and Greek. His Latin lessons were recited to Mr. Hubbel, for whose instructions he expresses himself gratefully. He recited in Greek to a gentleman who then kept a school in Troy. In less than a year he had read most of Virgil, Cicero's "Select Orations," and the Greek Grammar, and also, as he thinks, the Greek Testament through the Gospels and Acts. In the fall of 1802 he entered the sophomore class of Williams College, rather, he says as a probationer, for he was sensible how very imperfectly he was fitted in Latin and Greek studies. But he was pretty thoroughly grounded in arithmetic, geography, and English grammar. By close application he kept a fair standing in his class during the year, and at its close passed a good examination, and thenceforward ranked as second to none of his classmates. He had a marked place in the sophomore exhibition, an oration at the junior exhibition, and at commencement (1805) one of the honors, delivering an oration which was received with applause.

"My class," he says, "consisted of about thirty members, a majority of whom (1857) have finished their course on earth." The mathematical teacher, Mr. Gamaliel Olds, he often spoke of in after-years with the greatest respect for his ability as a teacher, and for his incisive wit. From 1803 to 1806, Mr. Olds was a tutor in the college, becoming a professor in 1806.

After his graduation Mr. Buel returned to Troy, and resumed the study of the law in the office of Mr. Bird, who had taken Mr. Blanchard as a partner. In this office he remained until the death of Mr. Bird, Feb. 2, 1806. Soon after the death of Mr. Bird, Mr. Buel entered the office of Daniel Jones, in Albany. His fellow-students were Mr. John C. Spencer and Mr. Wheeler Barnes. Mr. Jones, while his health permitted, was in the habit of hearing his students recite in Blackstone. His students found his examinations so useful that, when Mr. Jones became ill, Messrs. Spencer, Barnes, and Buel continued the practice of examining each other frequently on their legal studies. One exercise he specifies as very useful, "That was fastening in our memories the Analysis of Blackstone, commencing with his general outline divisions of his subjects, and tracing them to the minutest divisions, with the definitions." Their object was to make themselves masters of what Sir William Jones says is the most perfect outline which was ever drawn of any human science. When they had thoroughly mastered the heads of the divisions and the ramifications, they recited them memoriter to each other, and subsequently wrote off the analysis from memory. "This exercise," he says, "strengthened their memory and enabled them to read other legal works to more advantage by referring to and classifying whatever they read in the appropriate division of the commentaries. The analysis aided method and memory, and performed the function of an outline map in geography.

Within a few months after Mr. Buel entered Mr. Jones' office Mr. Jones was attacked with disease, which terminated in consumption, and eventually ended his life early, - according to Mr. Buel's remembrance, in the spring of 1807. After passing a few months in the office of Mr. Beers, the latter also became sick, and died of consumption. He then entered the office of Abraham Van Vechten, near the close of 1807 or the beginning of 1808. His connection with this great lawyer had such an influence upon his whole subsequent professional life that his interesting account of it is given in his own words:

"I had hitherto been in offices where there was but little practice, and I had but little acquaintance with the practice, except what could be learned from books. The only American book of practice which I had seen was 'Wycke's Practice,' a very imperfect treatise. I had also perused a manuscript treatise of Alexander Hamilton. The only mode of learning the practice was from English treatises, such as Richardson's, Compton's, Sellon's, and Tidd's, and from doing the work in the lawyer's office and attending the courts. Mr. Van Vechten (with his partner, Anthony Van Schaick) had a very extensive practice, both in the courts of law and equity. Indeed, Mr. Van Vechten and Mr. John V. Henry were almost the only lawyers north of the city of New York who were much engaged in the chancery practice. Both of them had a very large practice both in courts of law and equity. I solicited of Mr. Van Vechten the privilege of doing as much of the drafting in the office as I could perform. There were other clerks who did the copying. I remained in Mr. Van Vechten's office until I was admitted to the bar as an attorney of the Supreme Court, in 1808. Mr. Van Vechten afforded me every facility he could for learning the practice, both in courts of law and equity, and when I took my examination for admission as an attorney I felt myself competent to answer any question in practice which the examiners thought proper to ask.

"For Mr. Van Vechten I formed the most enduring friendship, and it was reciprocated by him to the end of his life. He was a man of great mental power. His education had been limited, but he never manifested any deficiency. He had made himself an educated man without the assistance of college instruction. He had a most logical mind. He was an acute and powerful reasoner, and occasionally spoke eloquently, but his forte was to convince the understanding of his listeners, whether courts, juries, or popular assemblies. He was several times elected to the State senate, and was most useful there as a member of the highest court of appeals, which then consisted of the Senate, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the chancellor. He was twice invited to a seat on the Supreme Court bench, but declined, preferring to remain in his elevated position at the bar. He was a most amiable man in private life. He was long beloved as the Father of the Bar. Few men have filled a larger share in the affections of all who knew him intimately. Nor was he only a man of this world. He was, I cannot doubt from a long and intimate acquaintance, a thorough Christian in his heart and life. No attachment which I have formed in life was more enduring and satisfactory than the friendship which we had for each other."

Noble tribute this, by one who became himself an eminent lawyer, to his father, teacher, and friend in the law, and in the relations of life. Mr. Buel named his fourth son, born in 1826, from his revered teacher, and after the Sunday on which this son was baptized in St. Paul's church, Troy, Mr. Samuel G. Huntington, a genial lawyer of Troy, entered Mr. Van Vechten's office in Albany, and surprised and somewhat startled the old gentleman by suddenly announcing to him that on the last Sunday he had heard the name of Abraham Van Vechten called out publicly in the church, to which the venerable gentleman did not say Adsum.

In later years Judge Buel procured from a cast of Mr. Van Vechten's face a medallion, which occupied a conspicuous place in the parlor of his house till after his death and that of his wife, and which is now in possession of his youngest son, Oliver P. Buel, Esq., of the city of New York.

It has been shown how well and thoroughly Mr. Buel prepared himself for his arduous profession of the law, upon the practice of which he entered soon after his admission to the bar, and in the large and successful practice of which he continued till the infirmities of a protracted age compelled him to retire from the practice of the profession which, for a long life, he had adored. He associated himself from 1809, successively, with various partners. In October of 1811 his health became bad, and under the advise of his skillful physician, Dr. Eli Burritt, he left Troy to pass the winter in a mild climate. He took passage, in January, 1812, in a sloop uncomfortably filled with passengers bound for St. Pierre, on the island of Martinique, and, after a voyage of twenty-four days, reached St. Pierre, off which they lay till permission could be obtained from the governor of the islands, then at Port Royal, to land at St. Pierre. Here he remained nearly two months, and then visited Nevis and St. Bartholomew. His descriptions of these Windward Islands are almost graphic, - of their climate, their productions, their people, their political condition. All these are fully set forth in his journals, and are, to this day, a body of most interesting reading, full of discriminating and genial remarks.

His Journal contains an anecdote of Lord Nelson, which, so far as we know, has never appeared in print. In Nevis, Mr. Buel made the acquaintance of "Mr. Bridgewater, an aged gentleman, who had been marshal of the island, and was an intimate acquaintance of Lord Nelson, who was for a considerable time stationed in the vicinity of Nevis and St. Christopher's in the year 1793; and subsequently Lord Nelson married his wife in Nevis, and numerous anecdotes respecting him are preserved in the traditions of the island. He endeavored to break up an illicit trade carried on between the island and the United States previously to the ratification of the Jay treaty. Mr. Bridgewater related one of his interviews with Lord Nelson as follows. Nelson had captured a vessel which a merchant in Nevis had loaded with island produce. The merchant determined to have Nelson arrested. The marshal, clothed with authority of a capias, went in a boat to Capt. Nelson's frigate, then in the harbor of Charlestown, some distance from the shore. As the marshal came alongside, Capt. Nelson, who was on intimate terms with the marshal, hailed him, telling him he knew on what errand he came. He ordered the sides of the ship to be manned, and the marshal was received with great ceremony. As soon as Nelson saw the marshal on the gunnel, he stepped within the doors of the companionway, on each side of which was stationed a marine with fixed bayonet. The lieutenant conducted the marshal onto the quarter-deck, where refreshments were served, Nelson conversing with him from his well-protected position in the companionway. The marshal, finding Capt. Nelson was resolved to make the cabin his castle, bade him good morning and went on to shore. "On another occasion, Nelson was on shore incog. at a planter's house. After he retired to bed, his host burst into his chamber and informed him that the marshal had come to arrest him, whereupon Nelson jumped from a window with his garments in his hands, and made good his retreat to a field of canes. It became a saying in the island that Bridgewater was the only man that Nelson ever ran from.

"It was in sight of this island that our gallant Truxton in the Constellation gave battle to the French fifty-gun ship l'Insurgent."

On the 12th day of May, 1812, Mr. Buel took his passage for New London in a schooner. They had rather a tardy passage, and the vessel arrived at New London in June. After going to Norwich-town, and making a visit to the lady to whom he was engaged, and whom he subsequently married, he returned to Troy and attended to his professional business as well as he could in the poor state of his health.

In this, his worldly life-work, he continued, with intervals of journey for the recovery of his health, till age compelled him to desist from all professional engagement.

But his professional career and achievements were marked ones in the eyes of his brothers in the law, and in the community and State in which his life was passed. His life as a lawyer was most laborious and painstaking, as might be inferred even from the thoroughness of his early training, and from his high appreciation of the requisites for a learned, able, and successful lawyer. After his marriage in 1814, he "returned to his professional vocations as his principal employment." "To this employment," he says, "I applied myself with diligence, and soon found myself pretty constantly engaged in the business of a lawyer. The profession of law, to a man who has any ambition to obtain a fair standing, taxes his faculties to the utmost. The Lucubrationes Viginti Annorum insisted upon by the old lawyers as necessary to accomplish any distinction in the profession, is no figure of speech, but a reality felt by all who have made themselves of any note in the profession."

This preparation of his causes was noted with admiration by his brethren of the bar. He came into court armed and equipped for the sharp legal contest before court or jury. His preparation was careful and laborious, as those were well aware who met him on the field of legal combat. Whether in vindicating the wronged against their oppressors, or in urging the execution of justice upon the unjust and the criminal, he was earnest, logical, and vehement in his address. In all the variety of cases which came for adjudication in courts of law and equity, in causes of the greatest importance, involving the largest interests and the most sacred rights, he was employed. He met in his legal conflicts, on in the associations of his profession, the distinguished members of the bar, his contemporaries, his father in the law, Abraham Van Vechten, John V. Henry, Daniel Cady, Samuel Stevens, John Duer, Reverdy Johnson, Joshua A. Spencer, John C. Spencer, George Wood, William Curtis Noyes, Martin Van Buren, Wm. L. Marcy, Nicholas Hill, Job Pierson and their peers; and he was still in practice with William A. Beach, John K. Porter, John H. Reynolds, and the noted lawyers in all parts of the State in our own day.

The points of his argument were methodically presented, and his addresses to juries were such as came home with force to the plain understanding of the men whom he addressed. He did full and ample justice to the cause of his clients, while he never compromised his love of truth and his desire that Right and Law might prevail.

A well-known inhabitant of Troy, Jacob D. Van der Heyden, on being asked by a stranger where he could find an honest lawyer in the city, promptly replied, "If you want an honest lawyer, go to David Buel." He loved his profession and he honored it, and was consummate in its practice. The language which he used in his addresses to court and jury was the true Saxon of our English tongue formed on the model of Shakespeare, whom he deeply admired, and Shakespeare, in the use of his mother English, has never been surpassed or equaled.

With all the intricacies of legal lore he was acquainted, for Coke upon Littleton had not discouraged or repelled him, and all his lore, when brought into use, was presented in the strong common sense with which his whole nature was imbued. That such a man should be crowded with business, which at length broke down his feeble bodily constitution, was no more than was to be expected.

Nor, through his previous preparation of his causes was thorough, was he unready in a sudden emergency, as the following anecdote will show. He was arguing a case before Chancellor Walworth, at Saratoga, with Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens in his argument cited an English case, which effectually closed the case against his opposing advocate. Judge Buel, nothing daunted, took occasion to consult the law library at hand, and came into court the next morning with the astounding information to Mr. Stevens that the case had been carried into the House of Lords, where the decision of the court below had been set aside. Mr. Stevens was entirely honest in his citing of the case, for he knew nothing of the reversal, and was deeply mortified by the disclosure of his adversary.

On the 23d day of May, 1814, he was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Hillhouse, the second daughter of John Griswold Hillhouse, of Montville, deceased. At the time of the marriage Miss Hillhouse resided with her family at Norwichtown, Conn. She was by her father and her mother, who was a Mason, connected by descent with some of the best known and distinguished families of Connecticut, - the Hillhouses, the Masons, and the Griswolds, - in all of whom men of mark and influence have lived in their day and generation. His wife survived him between five and six years. During their long married life there was between them the utmost harmony, affection, mutual confidence, and helpfulness. Mrs. Buel was a woman of rare and excellent traits of character. She was a woman of fine and clear intelligence, of a most emotional nature, and of a sympathetic heart. She had a large share of practical instinctive wisdom, and was always regarded by her husband as a valuable and trusted counselor in all their mutual concerns. Her social qualities were fine and engaging. Her hand was open in obedience to the promptings of a benevolent heart in deeds of love and compassion to her suffering and needy fellow-men. The traits of the virtuous woman were in her remarkably exemplified. "Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also and he praiseth her," and "her own works praise her in the gates" of the city where her married life was spent.

Stopping, on his journey home after his marriage, for two or three days in New Haven, at the mansion of the Hon. James Hillhouse, the uncle of his wife, and receiving and returning the calls of his friends, on his arrival at his home he returned to his professional vocations.

These had been interrupted in the fall of 1812 and winter of 1813 by a sickness which confined him to his room for several months. The tedium of his confinement was greatly relieved by his ability to read a great part of the time. "The confinement," he says, "afforded me an opportunity to review my past life, and I trust the solitude of the winter was a blessing to me. I was brought to the serious inquiry of the condition of my soul in the sight of God. The visitation was, I trust, a merciful one. I gradually recovered my general health, and was able in the spring of 1813 to return to my professional pursuits."

The solemn review of his religious condition during his sickness, of which he speaks, became a determining factor in all his subsequent life. He entered upon a life of religion as earnestly, more earnestly, than he had embarked in his professional career. From his birthday, Oct. 22, 1813, through all his subsequent life he recorded his reflections on the life of the year past, and again and again renewed resolutions which should be the guides of his life as a religious man. He himself sums up, Dec. 26, 1813, these resolutions, renewed at the close of each year and at every birthday, thus: "A frequent recurrence to the resolutions made on my birthday will always keep up the remembrance of my duties. They are all concisely summed up by the apostle when he exhorts to live soberly, righteously, and godly. 1, in sobriety is included temperance, chastity, purity, contentedness, humility, and modesty; 2, in righteousness all our social duties; 3, and in godliness all our religious duties, repentance towards God and faith in Christ, - faith which works by love, which produces obedience, charity, patience, and every other virtue." And at the close of his often-renewed list of resolutions occurs again and again the Latin proverb, derived from the practice of Apelles, the great Grecian painter, never, in a day, however occupied by business, to omit drawing one line at least in the art which he loved: "Nulla dies abeat, quin linea ducta supersit." This stands out in all his private journals, and shows how constant he was to be "diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

These recorded secret communications with himself and his God are deeply interesting in their character, and show how, amid all the crowd of worldly business, he ever kept in mind, and strove to obtain, the one thing needful. They reveal the deepest fountains of his life and character. Watchfulness and prayer were the characteristics of his life from his first serious devotion of himself to the service of his Maker and his Redeemer to the latest period of his sojourn upon earth. In him was realized the description of the Christian poet:

"There are in this load stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
With whom the melodies abide
Of th' everlasting chime;
Who carry music in their heart
Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
Plying their daily task with busier feet,
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat."

Nor was his religion confined to the recesses of his own soul, but in his intellectual, his churchly, his family, his social life, it shone before men. He was a critical student of the New Testament in the original tongue, and of Christian doctrine as set forth in holy Scripture, and his notebooks reveal his careful study of these things. Volumes are filled with abstracts of the sermons of which he was an attentive and appreciative hearer; his expressions of the joy of sacramental communion with his Lord are ardent and strong, his valuation of the sacred privileges of the Lord's day was intense, and in the good works of the Christian life he abounded. For years he took, with another likeminded with himself, charge of a Sunday-school among the colored people of the city. This service was gratefully received and largely blessed, and in this work was connected with a Sunday-school organization for the whole city. He also held service on Sunday evenings with the congregation of colored people, reading to them appropriate sermons, or assisting when a preacher of their own addressed them.

In 1815 he assisted in the organization of the Bible Society of Rensselaer County, was its corresponding secretary, and wrote several of the early annual reports. "This society upon the formation of the American Bible Society, in the year 1816, became an auxiliary to that institution and has continued to this time (1857) an active and useful auxiliary, equal, I believe, in the amount of Bibles and Testaments purchased and distributed to any auxiliary county society in the State, unless the city and county of New York and Kings County may be exceptions to this remark." He was a consistent and active member of the church to which he belonged. He was connected with St. Paul's Church, Troy, from the time of its organization in the earlier part of the century till the year 1830-31, when he and his father were among the prominent organizers and most liberal supporters of St. John's Church. In its organization and spiritual growth he took the deepest interest, and in the furnishing of it with good and efficient ministrations, giving to this work his prayers, his co-operation, and his counsel. Judge Buel again united with St. Paul's Church in the spring of 1839, and was senior warden of that church at the time of his death. As a member of the church, in the support of its charities, the advancement of its works, in its conventions and assemblages, he was faithful and interested in his line of Christian duty and service; and in the edification derived from the services and instructions of the church none, it is believed, were beyond him. He was president of the first temperance society organized in Troy, the fundamental principle of which was abstinence from distilled alcoholic drinks as an ordinary beverage. He was an ardent friend and supporter of the American Colonization Society, thinking that the best means that could be adopted for the amelioration and elevation of the colored race, and eventually for the Christianization of Africa.

In the cause of education he was an intelligent and earnest worker, taking an active interest in the Lancasterian school, a trustee of the Rensselaer Institute, which has attained so high a grade as a polytechnic school, and promoting the establishment of good classical schools and teachers in the city of Troy. He was also, for a number of years, a trustee of Williams College, Massachusetts.

Before the Troy Young Men's Association he delivered, in 1840, a well-prepared history of the city of Troy for fifty years. He also prepared and delivered a lecture on the life and character of Washington before the Young Men's Association of Troy, Jan. 4, 1839, and repeated it before the Young Men's Association of Albany, Feb. 22, 1839. In every way in which he could he co-operated for the intellectual and moral cultivation of the people among whom he lived. To the education of his children he paid special attention, seeking out and providing for them the best instructors, and himself watching and superintending their progress. He was himself an admirable Latin scholar, and on all the great subjects of human thought and interest was at home. In short, he was vastly more than an accurate, able, and successful lawyer. Of all that concerned the true interests and well-being of humanity he was an active promoter. To him the declaration which called down thunders of applause in a Roman theatre was most applicable:

"Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto."

His social position in the community in which he lived was the choicest, and in all that concerned the community and country in which he lived he took constant interest, and of notable events made continual records, which are preserved, and are of much interest. An interesting volume might be prepared of his notices of the men and women of the day who lived and died around him, - notices just, genial, graphic, and characteristic, with not a line Christian charity would wish blotted out. Among these many records, some short, others more extended, occurs this notice of Daniel Webster: "On Sunday morning, 24th October, 1852, Daniel Webster died, at the age of seventy-one, leaving a reputation as a statesman, orator, and lawyer not equaled in the world. The universal mourning on the occasion of his death has not been exceeded on any occasion since the death of Washington and Hamilton." He met Mr. Webster as one of the opposing counsel in one of the trials of the suit of Derick C. Lansing and others vs. David Russel and others, - a suit of long continuance in the courts, till it was finally settled in the Court of Appeals.

At this trial Mr. Webster and Mr. Stevens were for the defendant; Judge Buel, Job Peirson, and Seward Barculo for the plaintiffs. The trail was held at Poughkeepsie. Though Judge Buel has recorded his opinion that Mr. Webster, as a lawyer, was unequaled in the world, he nevertheless thought that in the conduct of this particular case Mr. Webster was not equal to his associate counsel, Mr. Stevens.

Of the society of which Judge Buel was a member, he was indeed a large part in its business and in its social relations. With the banks, the railroad management, all the public interests of the city of Troy, he was connected in active work and co-operation. He was a manager of the Troy Savings-Bank from the time of its incorporation in April, 1823, till April 9, 1857, when feeling the importance of freeing himself from care as much as possible, he resigned his place in the board amid expressions of regret at his taking this step on the part of his associates. "I trust," he says, "that the institution will be cherished and sustained by its managers and friends, and will long be a blessing to the poor." He speaks of its beneficent influence hitherto. He held the place of a member of the Executive Committee and the Mortgage Loan Committee, which occupied a considerable portion of his time, till the state of his health and the infirmities of advancing age made the duties for him too onerous. But his interest in the institution for its beneficent work was unabated. It is now one of the strongest and best savings-institutions of the State.

He was also a director of the Farmer's Bank of the city of Troy, an officer of the Troy Orphan Asylum, and in the State, a manager of the State Lunatic Asylum, and a regent of the University.

His attachment to Troy as the home and the arena of his active life was exceedingly strong. He admired the scenery in which the city is embosomed, he rejoiced in its prosperity, and he was at home among its people. In the long controversy in relation to the Albany Bridge, he took part from the year 1814 as counsel of the city. For a whole winter he gave his services to the city gratuitously before the Legislature and its committees. And on the 4th of November, 1841, the Common Council of Troy presented the thanks of the city to the Hon. David Buel, Jr., and the Hon. George R. Davis, for "the talent and perseverance with which they have gratuitously devoted themselves in furtherance of the best interests of the city, by contending for the preservation of the free navigation of the Hudson River, in danger of being impaired by the construction of a bridge below the head of tide-water, and "Resolved, that the clerk present a certified copy of the above resolution to each of the above-named gentlemen."

The mayor, in introducing the subject to the Common Council and communicating the success of the measures adopted and pursued, stated that these gentlemen "had rendered very efficient services to the city in opposition to that application, as counsel and otherwise, before the committee of the Legislature, and the Legislature at its last session, and that both these gentlemen have very generously declined receiving any compensation for those services."

He was one of the corporators and trustees of the Oakwood Cemetery, when its site was selected and it was laid out and prepared for occupancy. He delivered the address at the consecration of the cemetery, Oct. 16, 1850, in the conclusion of which he said, "It only remains for me, as the organ of the trustees of the association, by their authority and in their name, to declare that these grounds, with all these woods and lawns, these knolls and vales, these hills and glens, and these lakes and streams, are now in the presence of God solemnly consecrated, exclusively and forever, for the possession of a burying-place, in which the bodies of all who shall be here interred may quietly rest in their graves until they shall be called by the voice of the archangel and the trump of God to meet their judge." The description of the grounds and their surroundings, which he gives in the address, show how highly he appreciated the beauty, solemnity, and fitness of the site then forever set apart to this sacred use, to be a resting-place for the dead till the morning of the resurrection. On the 9th of May, 1853, he was engaged in the solemn duty of attending to the removal of the remains of his family connections and friends from the old Ida Hill Burying-Ground to Oakwood Cemetery, and there among those so sacredly deposited are his mortal remains, till he and his shall rise in the resurrection, we devoutly pray, of the just.

So various were his lines of official and beneficent connection with the people with whom he lived, and one of whom he delighted to be. He did not choose the arena of political life for the sphere of his activity. When he chose his profession it was with a single eye, and to it he singly, as his worldly calling, devoted himself. In 1818 he was appointed a judge of the County Court of Rensselaer County, and at the death of Josiah Masters was appointed First Judge. In this office he continued until the year 1828, when he resigned. During the time he presided in the court a large amount both of criminal and civil business was transacted there. During a considerable part of the time Hiram P. Hunt, Esq., was an associate judge, and a very industrious member of the court.

Though Judge Buel did not engage with zeal in the mere party contests of political life, he was interested in everything that affected the well-being of his country, and an intelligent observer of its passing history, as well as thoroughly acquainted with its constitutional and other history of the past.

In 1821 he was elected as a delegate from Rensselaer County to the convention called by an act of the Legislature to revise the State constitution. "The convention assembled at Albany the last of August, and continued in session about ten weeks. Daniel D. Tompkins, then Vice-President of the United States, was chosen president. A very considerable number of men of distinction and ability were members of this body. Among them were persons of well-known standing and talents, viz., Abraham Van Vechten, Chancellor Kent, Ambrose Spencer, William W. Van Ness, Elisha Williams, Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer, Samuel Nelson, Erastus Root, Peter R. Livingston, James Tallmadge, Jr., Nathan Sanford, Peter Sharpe, William Paulding, Jr., Ogden Edwards, Henry Wheaton, James Fairlee, John L. Lawrence, Jacob Radcliff, Henry Huntington, Jonas Platt, Nathan Williams, Ezekiel Bacon, Victory Birdseye, John Duer, Martin Van Buren, Rufus King, Samuel Young, Jacob Sutherland, and Robert S. Rose.

"Many of the subjects discussed in the convention were very interesting. Universal suffrage was then by a large part of the convention looked upon with apprehension. The reorganization of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government gave rise to much interesting debate. It has not been my lot to hear in any other place so much instructive and able debating as was found in that convention. The debates took a wide range; principles and theories of government were freely discussed. Mere party politics seldom appeared, either in the discussions or votes. Chancellor Sanford, Mr. Wheaton, and myself were appointed a committee to consolidate and arrange the provisions adopted by the convention. After spending, I think, two days and a considerable part of two nights in ascertaining what provisions had been adopted, and arranging them in articles and sections, the constitution was reported to the convention and adopted with very little alteration. This constitution continued in force about twenty-five years, when it was superseded by the constitution of 1846. Whether the latter was an improvement on that on 1821 is, perhaps, not yet decided [1857]. In one great and most important particular - I mean the election by the electors of the high judicial officers - many, if not a majority of intelligent men, believe there is not a desirable or useful change." The wisdom of this last remark may suggest occurrences of a later period, in the way of judicial action, which are too well known to require further notice.

But it may be mentioned that he took a conspicuous part in the debates of the convention, and that on the electoral question, on which he spoke at large, he was an advocate of universal suffrage, - of suffrage independent of any property qualification.

On receiving, in the latter part of 1845, a newspaper from a friend, containing a list of the "Living and the Deceased Members of the Constitutional Convention called in 1821," he thus reflects in his annual record of Jan. 1, 1846: "The list was prepared by a member of the convention, which has just completed its labors. An interval of twenty-five years between the assemblage of these bodies has made fearful havoc among those of the former, of which I was a member. At the adjournment of the convention of 1821, I had attained to the age of thirty-seven years. I am now sixty-two. That body consisted at its meeting of one hundred and twenty-six members. Their average ages, as recorded by themselves during the sitting, was forty-six. One member fell dead during the session, on entering one of the rooms of the capitol in which Peale's large painting, styled the 'Court of Death', was being exhibited. Seventy-four of the one hundred and twenty-six members of the convention are now numbered with the dead. Fifty-two survive, whose average ages are seventy years. Not a few of the deceased were nearly of my age; some were younger. Although I was then among the younger members of the convention, it is an interesting statement, and to me should be deeply impressive." And then he proceeds with interesting and practical religious reflections upon this statement. So, from year to year, did he watch and pray till the end came, ever turning these reviews of earthly life into the harbingers and the hopes of the life to which he was looking forward. Not that he abated his diligence in his worldly business, but that he watched and prayed and strove so to pass through things temporal that finally he should not lose the things eternal.

From the year 1821 to 1828 he was industriously engaged in professional pursuits. He attended most of the courts held in Troy and Albany, and "enjoyed a tolerable degree of health."

In May, 1822, he removed from the house in Third Street, in which he had resided since 1815, to the dwelling in First Street, which he had purchased, and in which he continued to live till the day of his death. This house was on the site occupied by the old Farmers' Bank, which was burnt in the great fire which occurred in Troy on the 20th of June, 1820, and consumed nearly all the buildings on the west side of First Street, north of Congress Street, and a large portion of the buildings on both sides of River Street, to the building now numbered 227 River Street, opposite the Troy House.

On the 30th of October, 1826, his mother departed this life, in the seventy-fourth year of her age. She was the daughter of Alexander McNiel, a Protestant, from the North of Ireland, who, with his two brothers, emigrated to this country previously to the Revolutionary war. He settled in Litchfield, Conn., and became (as wealth was then reckoned) a wealthy farmer. Mr. Buel says, "My mother was born in Litchfield, about the year 1751, and was married to my father in 1771. My mother was a woman of great strength of mind. She had not enjoyed the advantage of much early education, but she possessed rare gifts from nature. She was distinguished for her benevolence and hospitality. She spoke ill of none, and was the idol of her children; and enjoyed the love and esteem of a large circle of friends. She was devotedly pious, but made no ostentatious display of her religion, which was chiefly manifested in her good deeds."

For about fifteen years after his marriage, until 1828, Mr. Buel enjoyed a pretty uniform and improving state of health, and was enabled to labor industriously in his profession. But symptoms of disease, spitting of blood and other pulmonary symptoms, manifested themselves in 1828 or 1829.

In the fall of the latter year he went with his wife to Philadelphia to consult Dr. Physick, who pronounced the opinion that the affection was a bronchial one, which, unless checked, would eventually extent to the lungs. Dr. Physick directed him to go to the South for the winter, to confine himself to vegetable diet, avoiding all stimulants, breakfasting on black tea, and avoiding coffee and all alcoholic drinks, - and to take much horseback exercise. "He said to me, emphatically, that the worst thing that could happen to me would be to fall into the hands of the doctors, meaning (as he explained it) that drugs and medicines would be of no use, and positively injurious to me." With this advice he rigidly complied, leaving New York with his wife and two of his children, - a son and a daughter, - on the 16th of December, 1829, for Savannah, in the merchant ship "Thomas Dickson." She was a fine ship with a good cabin, which, there being no other passengers, they occupied with great comfort. The ship was going in ballast to Savannah to take in a load of cotton for Liverpool. They arrived in Savannah December 24th. They spent the whole winter in Georgia, - at Savannah, at Augusta, at Washington, Wilkes Co., Ga., traveling on the Savannah River by steamboat to Augusta, and from thence to Washington, fifty-five miles, by stage. They spent some time here with relatives of his wife. He himself set out in the early part of January on horseback with Mr. David P. Millhouse, his wife's cousin, a well-known citizen of Georgia, and a man much esteemed, most genial in all his conversation, for a journey to Milledgeville and Macon, where he visited Mr. Prince, a cousin of his wife, and their family.

His descriptions of his journeyings are graphic and interesting, - of the towns he visited, of the geology of the country, of its Indian remains, of its productions, its agricultural methods, of its institutions, of all, in fact, that would attract the attention of an intelligent and interested observer. His journals preserved valuable records of these observations. He made many pleasant acquaintances with the most distinguished men and the best families in the State, and was most hospitably received and treated. In March he made a second visit to Augusta, and returning, set forth on April 15th with his wife and daughter, he on horseback, they in a carriage, for Augusta, from which place he proposed to start on his homeward journey. While at Augusta he attended the Episcopal Convention, April 19th, and was complimented there with an honorary seat.

From Augusta he started on April 21, 1830, on horseback, for a journey to New York, accompanied by Rev. B. C. Cutler, and by Mr. Ripley, who traveled in a gig. This journey is described in his journal in an interesting was in its several stages. He visited old friends, and made new ones on the way, arriving in New York in May, 1830, and thence proceeded home by steamboat. "We had," he says, "occasion to feel most grateful to God for protecting us in our long and somewhat hazardous journey." His wife, with his two children, had gone home by packet from Savannah, and arrived safely several weeks before him.

He remained at home from May to November, 1830, attending to his professional business so far as his health permitted, and to his private affairs. His office business was conducted by his partner, Henry Z. Hayner, Esq., who was his partner from May, 1830, until 1833.

The continuance of pulmonary and bronchial symptoms made necessary the observance of rigid rules of diet and exercise. The exactness with which he obeyed the directions of his physician, Dr. Physick, was noticeable. It was the application to himself of advise which he gave to others, with regard to the affairs of life, as he often quoted the Latin maxim, "Cuique suadendum in sua arte." His course of diet strictly vegetable, and abstinence from stimulating drinks, even wine, combined with much horseback exercise, he continued from 1829 to 1837 or '38. He says, "To the strict regimen thus prescribed and adhered to, I have no doubt, I owe my restoration to a healthy state, which enabled me to apply myself diligently and laboriously to my professional studies and practice from 1832 to 1853-54, and to some extent a year or two longer." He took at intervals, three journeys to the Southern States, for the advantage of a milder winter and spring-climate. From November, 1830, to April, 1831, he was journeying in company with Mr. Bradt, a merchant of Troy, through the Southern States to Middle Florida, sojourning there mostly at Tallahassee, and taking horseback excursions over the country, and returning on horseback to New York, and thence by public conveyance to Troy. Again from Nov. 9, 1831, to April 28, 1832, he passed the winter till February 22d in St. Augustine, going south by sea, and returning by land on horseback, by stage, and by boat to New York and Troy. Again, from March 7, 1854, to May 22d, he made a tour with his wife, going to Charleston by sea, in South Carolina and Georgia, and returned by the railroad route to New York, diverging to Cumberland, Md., to visit his son, who was rector of the church in that place. From this journey he "derived no material benefit in health."

His journals of these several journeys, undertaken to fight the insidious disease which finally prostrated him, are full of interest, presenting a graphic picture of the scenes through which he passed, of the friends with whom he renewed or formed acquaintance, of the character of the population in the States through which he traveled, of their institutions, geography, geology, and mode of life; of all, in fact, that could interest an intelligent, sympathizing, appreciative observer. These journals are well worthy of preservation, and would be full of interest at this day if published.

He saw the most distinguished men in business, in literature, in the church, in political life, and has noted many observations, which are of permanent value in the history of our country. His descriptions of his journeys in Florida in 1830-31, when it was again in its native bloom, after the cessation of the Spanish occupancy, and was being settled by an intelligent and cultivated population, are particularly attractive.

In these journals his devotion to religion, to its interests and advancement, continually appears.

In one passage of his journals, in surveying all his journeys for the purpose of recuperating his health, he says of St. Augustine, "I have found the latter place, both in respect to the mildness and uniformity of its climate, and its superior accommodations, much the most comfortable place to pass a winter in, and, I think, most likely to be conducive to health." From Dec. 7, 1831, to Feb. 22, 1832, he has kept a table of the meteorological conditions of the site, which gives a perfect idea of its winter climate, its temperature, and barometrical conditions, from three observations each day, which is very instructive and complete. The lowest range of the thermometer in that period of time was 33o Farenheit, January 26th, at nine P.M. The highest, December 9th, at noon, 70o. The direction of the wind on each day is also noted at each observation.

He was much and intelligently interested in all questions which concerned the policy and welfare of our country. With regard to the institution of slavery his views were specially just, both as to the moral aspects of the institution, and as to its connection with the government, policy, and society of our country. He notes Jan. 5, 1830, when he was in Georgia, that he rode into Washington on a day when there "was a great public-sales day of slaves and other property by execution and sheriff's sales. Above a hundred slaves were sold at auction, and a great many rented or hired out for a year. I have witnessed nothing in the State so revolting to my feelings as these sales, in which members of families are liable to be sold to different masters. I find gentlemen here who are the owners of slaves, who cannot behold these sales without regret. If this part of the United States could be relieved from the evils of slavery already felt, and those more dreadful evils in prospect, it would be a most delightful region. But how this appalling evil is ever to be removed human sagacity cannot easily devise.

"I think, however, that the opinions prevalent at the North respecting slavery are not always correct. Cruelty to slaves by castigation, I believe, is held in as much detestation here as there. But the recent law of the Legislature of this State which prohibits instructing slaves to read or write seems to me impolitic as well as unchristian. I do not believe that the danger in teaching slaves to read is such as seems to be apprehended. On the contrary, the only hope of safety, I believe, must be sought in the moral and religious education of the future generations of blacks. Ignorance and ferocity are inseparable. They were found to be so in Hayti, and always will be so. Christianity alone can reconcile the slave to submit to his condition." A few days afterwards he went to Milledgeville, and was introduced to Gov. Gilmore, spending the evening by invitation at his mansion. "The Governor stated that the severe law passed by the last Legislature respecting colored people (which among other things prohibits their being taught to read) was enacted in consequence of an inflammatory pamphlet circulated to excite the blacks to rebel having lately been sent out from Boston to Savannah for distribution.

"But, with great deference to the opinions of the Georgia Legislature, I cannot think that proscribing letters to the negroes is a good way to retain their allegiance. Great severity excites sympathy, and often produces reaction. Slaves well instructed in the Bible are much more likely, in my judgment, to be contented with their lot than if kept in ignorance by severe penalties.

Hence, against the incendiary efforts of the first race of abolitionists he set himself in his sphere of influence. Accordingly, at a numerous meeting of the inhabitants of Troy, convened at the court-house, Sept. 17, 1835, at which George Tibbits, the mayor, presided, on motion of David Buel, Jr., it was "Resolved, That a committee to report resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting be appointed by the chair." Of this committee of nineteen Judge Buel was the chairman. They reported a preamble reciting the violent introduction of slavery into this country against the vain remonstrances of the inhabitants and laws of the colonial Legislatures; reciting also the draft of the manifesto of the thirteen States, in which they asserted that one of the causes which moved them to assert their independence was the refusal of the king "to restrain this execrable commerce," and his efforts to excite the negroes "to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them," and specifying the incendiary efforts of the abolition societies against the constitution and law of the land. They reported also resolutions deprecating the course of the abolitionists, and their employment of a foreign emissary for their purposes, on the grounds of sound morality, of the principles and guarantees of the constitution, of the Jesuitical principle of the abolitionists, that the end sanctifies the means, and on the ground of the incendiary character of their publications, and the tendency of the movement "to reduce the objects of their misguided charity to a condition infinitely worse than it now is, to involve the Southern portion of the confederacy in ruin, and to break up the Union into conflicting fragments."

"These resolutions were eloquently supported by David Buel, Jr., and Hiram P. Hunt, and they were then adopted unanimously and with enthusiasm. During the absence of the committee on resolutions, Daniel Gardner occupied the time of the meeting by an able address."

Thus did Judge Buel discern the cloud in our sky which culminated in our civil war and all its attendants of misery. He watched its gathering in the nullification which Gen. Jackson - whom he greatly admired - stifled in 1832, in the era of the Mexican war, and in the contest which resulted for a time in the admission of California and the compromise of 1850. He did not live to see the final result when the great question of controversy was taken out of the hands of men by the overruling providence of God, but he foresaw the tendencies which threatened the union of these States; and in the final solution of the great question, attained though it were through the intervention of intestine war, a friend to the colored race and a true patriot like him would doubtless have heartily rejoiced and thanked the God who had stricken off the fetters of the slave and given peace and renewed prosperity to the distracted land.

His views with regard to the Indian question are worthy of record for their sagacious foresight. He was in Georgia when the danger of conflict between the authorities of Georgia and the United States, and the resistance of the mandate of the United States Supreme Court with regard to the jurisdiction of Georgia over the Cherokee Nation in their State, were imminent and strong. He deprecated the collision as most perilous to the existence of the Union, and this peril was complicated by the connection of this Georgia controversy with the nullification principles of South Carolina with regard to the tariff in 1832. He was firmly of opinion that the extinction of the Indian title in Georgia, in accordance with the agreement of the United States with Georgia in 1802, and the removal of the tribe to a territory beyond the Mississippi, secured to them, would be the only peaceful and true solution of the vexing question. He says emphatically, "I could not easily be shaken in my belief that the only hope for the preservation of the remnant of the Indian tribes is to be looked for in their emigration to a territory over which no State government can pretend to exercise any power." The removal of the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Creeks, their large degree of civilization and prosperity in consequence of that step, and the provisions now suggested by the Secretary of the Interior for their becoming individual possessors of their own several lands, show the wisdom and foresight of the views thus expressed in 1832.

His intellectual pursuits were not confined to the studies of his profession. His mind was enlarged by the lessons of human history, of which he was an enthusiastic reader and student. His acquaintance with the constitutional history of the country is seen in the analysis of the constitutions of our several States, methodically arranged in the book which he doubtless prepared for his attendance upon the convention of 1821, and in his gatherings from the Federalist and other sources, which must have been of great service to him for the efficient discharge of his duty as a member of that convention.

His book of adversaria, or collections from classical and general literature and philosophy, and from the sphere of ethical and curious information, and from the utterances of wisdom, which he found in books, shows the variety of his courses of thought and observation.

Through all his life his favorite Latin proverb, "Nulla dies abeat, quin linea ducta supersit," was put in practice in his profession, in his religious life, in his neighborly and beneficent intercourse with his fellow-men.

With a feeble constitution continually threatened by disease, which rendered needful to the last intervals of recuperation, he worked on, the true servant of God and man, with his harness on till he could work no longer, - till his hand so trembled in the inditing of his interesting notanda that he could indite no longer. His last notes were written in the spring of 1850. His very last is given in full: "1860. Hon. Samuel Beardsley, of Utica, died on the 7th May. He was probably about seventy years old. He was a distinguished lawyer and judge and member of Congress." Then follows a portion of a word, seemingly the first two letters of the word "And," - and that genial and graphic pen, which had recorded so many interesting sketches of his departed friends, and distinguished associates, and of men of mark in the country, was laid down, no more to be resumed.

We give the closing scene of a well-spent, honorable, useful, and influential life, in the words of his son Clarence, written in the book which contains that last entry:

"1860, August 16. - HON. DAVID BUEL, JR., by whom all the previous entries in this book were made, departed this life at Troy, on the 16th of August, 1860, at about ten minutes after nine o'clock in the evening, aged seventy-five years, nine months, twenty-five days. The illness which immediately preceded his death was of short duration, having commenced only on the Saturday night of the preceding week (August 11th). But he had been in failing health for three or four years, and for the past two years his limbs had been affected in such a manner as to render it difficult for him to write with any degree of comfort. The foregoing pages of this volume and of another one of the same character show, however, the accuracy and regularity with which he continued his record of passing events, and is only one (among many) of the evidences of the precision and perseverance for which he was eminently characterized. He was surrounded at the time of his decease by all his children and grandchildren, with the exception of his son, Hambden, of Keokuk, Iowa, and his daughter-in-law Mary, wife of his son, D. Hillhouse Buel, and their infant daughter, Josephine A. Buel (who, departing in the bloom of Christian womanhood, is now with him in Paradise). The tributes of affection and esteem on the part of the members of his profession, and of the various corporate bodies with which he was connected at the time of his death, were unusually warm and earnest. And the united expression of the community in the midst of which he had passed a long and honorable life was one of veneration and regard for a citizen whose life was distinguished by its purity and integrity, not less than by its high intellectual achievements.

"His funeral took place from St. Paul's Church on Sunday afternoon, August 19th, at 4:30 P.M. His mortal remains were committed to an 'HONEST, FAITHFUL GRAVE' within the family lot at Oakwood Cemetery."

The expressions which were made after his death of the estimation in which he was held by the community in which he had lived are peculiarly clear and strong, as was remarked by the Budget of Aug. 20, 1860:

"The deep sense of public bereavement occasioned by the death of the late Hon. David Buel, Jr., the venerable lawyer, found partial vent on Saturday afternoon in a large meeting of the bar of Rensselaer County in the Supreme Court room. It is, indeed, seldom that the demise of any member of the bar calls forth so many of the strongest and most intellectual of the practitioners. Indeed, we do not remember an exception unless we recur to the meeting held in April last, commemorative of the late honored and lamented Job Pierson, at which meeting Judge Buel presided. From among the remarks that were made at the meeting commemorative of Judge Buel by Judge McConihe, Hon. Martin I. Townsend, Hon. Gardner Stowe, Hon. William A. Beach, Rufus M. Townsend, Esq., and Judge Mann, Hon. Thomas Clowes, Philip Baerman, Esq., and Judge Gould, all of whom warmly expressed their esteem and admiration of the departed judge, as a lawyer, a man, a public-spirited citizen, and a Christian, and by the younger members of the profession, who expressed their grateful remembrance of the kind office which he had rendered them, among these tributes of admiration and love we present the characterizing remarks of the Hon. Martin I. Townsend and the Hon. William A. Beach, in which their brethren heartily joined. Mr. Townsend, in presenting the commemorative resolutions from the committee to the meeting, spoke as follows:

" 'MR. CHAIRMAN, - We have met to-day to commemorate the virtues of a member of our profession, of whose career we may well be proud. David Buel, Jr., was a man who has done honor, not only to his city and his race, but to the profession whose studies moulded his intellectual character, and whose practice furnished a field for the exercise of his virtues. Judge Buel was, in the true sense of that term, a lawyer, a tireless laborer in the duties of the profession, a sleepless student of its learning. He seldom rested his judgments upon mere recollections and inferences drawn from the remembrances of principles elaborated in early life. But as questions arose he again and again recurred to the sources of knowledge, and by them corrected and modified his first impressions until his brethren well knew that any position or principle which he advanced he was able and ready to sustain by the authority upon which it is based, and when he appeared in court for the argument or trial of a cause, all felt assured that he came a master of the questions to be involved in the discussion. He belonged to the same school of lawyers with Van Vechten and Cady, and, having in his earlier life been much engaged in conflicts with them, an impartial community has ranked him as their peer.

" 'His professional life has been one to be imitated by every man desirous of attaining honorable distinction in its walks. But it was not merely in professional life that our deceased brother has set us an example worthy of imitation. His private and official life were such as to incline every heart to breathe the aspiration, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter day be like his." As a citizen, as a neighbor, and as an officer of the church which he honored, he has left a reputation full of pleasant memories, dear to his kindred and his neighbors, and not less dear to us, with whom he was so long and so intimately associated.

" 'But I shall ever delight to remember Judge Buel as a warm-hearted and noble-souled man. Coming to Troy as I did twenty-seven years ago an unfriended boy, he extended to me in my professional and social life a degree of kindness and consideration never to be forgotten, and I have ever been inclined to love and honor him more for the impulses of his heart than for his scholarly attainments or professional eminence. Impulsive and excitable himself by nature, his heart was ever ready to make reparation for a rash word, and to forgive to an adversary the little faults committed in the heat of professional conflicts. He had a large and noble heart, ready to warm with sympathy not only for his equals and associates, but for the humble and needy. At this day, when so many of those upon whom fortune has smiled arrogate to themselves consequence, and claim a personal merit for a stoical disregard of the rights and interests of the humble and oppressed, it is delightful to contemplate a character too high and noble to fear to exhibit such traits of true nobility.

" 'As long ago as 1821, in the convention which he honored by his membership, he was the warm advocate of the equality of the race before the law, contending, with Van Vechten and other noble associates, that men were a great brotherhood, whose rights depended upon the constitution of their nature and not upon the accidental distinctions of country, or color, or language. But our friend has gone from us. His career has ended. His record is made up, and we can feel no doubt but that the judgment we pass upon him here to-day will be more than sustained in that great Court of Review which, at no distant day, must pass upon our every act, whether it be good or whether it be evil, and that not by the dim light that aids our vision, but in the unerring light of Divine omniscience.'

"Hon. Wm. A. Beach at this meeting said: 'The annuls of professional life seldom present so rare an example as the one we assembled to honor. For more than fifty years our brother was an active practitioner. Zealous, indefatigable, learned, for more than half a century he explored the mysteries of legal science, and how manifold and brilliant were its revelations to his cultured intellect! How long his service to the common mistress! How prodigal the honors he won from her jealous despotism! We who for half that time have served the law seem to ourselves reverend and venerable, and yet before him who has left us we were children in years and attainment. I remember how often I have listened, in consultation and argument, to the rich outpourings of his knowledge. How, as his copious resources unfolded and enlarged, developing the wide range of his thought, my own mind expanded and seemed to reach a higher and nobler range of knowledge. I sometimes feel my services almost patriarchal; and yet I never met the impressive presence, motionless and silent now, that my inner soul did not bend with respectful love. I never took from him a word of approving friendship that did not exalt me in my own consciousness. Such is ever the power of honorable age and noble achievements. The proudest spectacle of earth is humanity crowned with the combined glory of years and wisdom. All mankind bow heartily and lovingly before the broken and tremulous form from whose unfaded eye glistens the undimmed fire of genius. In such, the unconquered mind will not yield to the omnipotence of time. Clear and strong to the last, it bears its mouldering robe of mortality, and from the perishing flesh leaps unencumbered upon its immortal race. Of such was the man whom we mourn, and so did he shake off the obstructions of earth and claim his kindred with the gods.

" 'Not alone as the scholar and the lawyer does our friend deserve our eulogy; learning misapplied, genius perverted, are blazing and blasting comets, more fatal, as more brilliant. The last half-century in the history of this city will attest how well he employed his resources. No wrong will murmur above his grave. His name will not be idly forgotten. The monuments of his philanthropy and untiring devotion to the interests of our city are too frequent and durable. In all its emergencies, he was its prompt and sagacious counselor, - its bold and tenacious defender. As he deserved to be, he was the oracle of our municipal temple. Nor were his fame and influence circumscribed by local limits. In the State and Federal courts he was the competitor and friend of those whose memories are monumental. Sometimes official honors reached him. He stooped to them from his professional elevation, but his true career and glory were amid the philosophy and science of municipal law.

" 'This is not the occasion for enlarged or elaborate eulogy. Our purpose is but to bid a kind farewell to our professional father. A little while ago he presided over our assembly when we parted with another whom we honored and loved. His limbs shook, and his voice faltered, but the flash of his eyes was bright as when of old it lightened the crowded forum. The conviction that full soon he would follow our honored friend deepened then our solemnity. It seemed as if their hands clasped above us in hasty parting, soon to be rejoined forever. The reunion has quickly come. Last of their generation among us, they lingered long and honored among the scenes of their toils and triumphs, and have left memorials which will freshen the verdure of their last resting-place.

" 'Laus est tam laudari a viris laudatis.

" 'The sweet remembrance of the just
Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust.' "

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