Baltimore March 3d. 1824.

My Dear Wife,

I left Baltimore Washington early yesterday
morning & arrived here at noon. It was so un-
certain whether the protracted Argonaut cause
would come on, that I thought it inexpedient to
wait, & therefore had several conferences with
my colleague, Mr. Ogden, & left it in his care, if
the Court should reach it. I fear they will not.
One can have no idea of the slow pace of every
thing in Washington -- except time. That flies
away insensibly, the day is made so short. Nine
o'clock is considered an early hour for breakfast,
the Court opens at eleven & Congress begins its
Session at 12. They adjourn at four, which
is the earliest dinner hour, & of course the
day is just gone -- or rather it is just begun
in one sense, that of social meetings & con-
versation.     On monday I had the high gra-
tification of seeing the Chief Justice -- the greatest
man in this Country -- & of hearing from his lips
the opinion in the celebrated steam boat case. It
was worthy the subject, -- one of the most impor-
tant that constitutional questions that has yet
been decided.     At first sight of Judge Mar-
shall you would think him, as he certainly is, one
of the most plain, simple looking old men in the
world, but on examining his countenance

marks of greatness are discovered. His voice is extremely
low & feeble, so that all the lawyers [soon?] left their
seats at the bar & crowded into the area betwen the bar &
the Court bench to hear him. You will not wonder
that I was deeply interested in witnessing the scene of
the highest tribunal in the nation pronouncing a con-
struction of the Constitution on a point which has agitated States
several years, & promulgating principles which will go
far towards settling the intercourse between the States.
It was rendered more interesting also from the reflexion,
the fear that many the mighty mind capable of pro-
ducing so clear & profound an argument, may soon
cease to operate -- in this world. How different was
this scene -- how much more exalted
than that at Mrs. Adams's levee or drawing room in
the evening--an immense multitude crowded together,
stowed in three rooms, opening into each other by
small doors -- one room as is usual particularly
jam'd, -- a mere mass, with a two little places scooped out
for a few young folks -- as Dr. Treadwell your favorite
-- would call them -- the air almost irrespirable -- servant
servants elbowing thro' with waiters elevated over their
heads to save them from the greedy grasp of hungry expectants
hungry for a [illegible] of [illegible] are for officers for offices and refreshments, untill
they could reach the point proposed -- now & then a
few ice creams -- a little lemonade & a sort of
metheglin in sight --all in motion as far as the
space would admit -- shaking of hands -- talking of
tariff or presidency -- many plotting in corners no doubt
against the success of their host, who was standing all the time in one snug place -- trying to be pleasant and sociable. But this scene, frivo-
lous as it might at first appear, is not without its interest and its advantages. It was highly social,
& gives one an opportunity of seeing almost all whom
he wishes to see. There were collected many of the our most
distinguished men, -- whether as Statesmen, politicians,
Judges -- Lawyers or men of fashion. There was one who
would have delighted your Mother -- Major Hicks -- a young
Cherokee -- about 27 or 30 years of age -- tall -- erect-well
formed -- polite -- with mild interesting
countenance -- one of the handsomest men in Wash-
ington. I gave him the her letter to Brown, who he said had
returned to the City from Norfolk & Richmond.
I had understood before that he had left, for the Cherokee Country.
If I had staid in W. another day, I should have visited
David B. & Maj. Hicks -- who is at W. on business with the
government. He speaks english very well, & gives an
interesting account of the state of his tribe, and their pro-
gress in civilization & improvement -- especially in
[agricultural?] employments.     I should have
liked to stay a day or two longer in W. but it is
important for me to be at home at the Court --
Ipswich, as it was so doubtful whether any bus-
iness would come on at the Court in Washington.

I saw all the Lions except John Randolph, the
greatest & most worth seeing of them all -- but the crea-
ture did not show himself in the House last week. I
expected to see him at the funeral of a Virginia mem-
ber, but was disappointed. If I had remained at W. I
should have dined with him.     The weather this week
has been most delightful. I have visited the Washington
monument etc. this morning -- Such a sky I scarcely
ever beheld. It is like one of our very finest mornings
in the first of october.     Tell N I am [illegible] much pleased
with Baltimore & am not at all disappointed, tho' I was pre-
pared to like it so much. This evening I shall be at a supper
given to Miss Livingston at his friend Burkheads. From

the civility of the Gentlemen here I should be in
business at dinner time for a week -- am sorry I cannot
stay a day longer, but must regulate my visits &
by the steam boats, & shall therefore go from hence on fri-
day morning. Richard's wife keeps about and makes every effort,
but is in most delicate health -- very slender. She appears to
be perfectly amiable & to have a fine mind. The child has
a very bad cold.     Tell Caroline I am delighted to
hear she is behaving so well, and shall remember her accordingly.
Dear little Lucy -- kiss her over and over for me -- sweet thing --
what would I not give to hear her sing "Lallah -- Lallah -- diddle --
diddle" this morning -- how much better than Pearman's Lilla
which I heard here last evening. I thank you for your
second letter.

Your's most truly etc. etc. ,
L. S.


Mrs. Leverett Saltonstall
Chestnut Street
[This page also includes some notes written in pencil listing topics discussed in this letter.]