Toward the close of the —th Congress I was designated a member of a committee on the part of the House to accompany the remains of the late Senator Thurlow to their last resting-place at the old home in Kentucky. And it might be well to state here that I am quite aware that some of my ungrateful countrymen apply the spiteful term "junket" to a journey of this description. When one considers the sacrifices we Congressmen make in order to serve the nation, it is hard to believe that unthinking persons begrudge us a little pleasure. In many cases we give up all home life, business interests, and personal comfort, and take up our abode in second-rate hotels and boarding-houses. We are continually pestered and annoyed by office-seekers, book-agents, cranks, and reporters; and, alas, we form habits that cling like barnacles, try as hard as we may to shake them off. A taste of public life is fatal to most men, and the desire to feed from the public crib goes right to the bone. It is like a cancer, and it is removed only with grave danger to the afflicted. Everything, therefore, which may lighten our burdens and tend to relieve the situation should be the aim and study of our constituents. But this may be digression.
The trip out was necessarily a quiet one, though a well-stocked buffet kept the delegation from absolute depression. Leaving Washington early in the afternoon we arrived at the little Kentucky town the next morning about eleven o'clock, and found that we had yet some five miles to go over bad roads to the homestead. We were met by two nephews of the deceased, with a host of relatives and friends. The son, Albert Thurlow, came on with us from Washington. There was ample accommodation in the way of conveyances, and we proceeded slowly up into the higher country. In something more than an hour the house was reached—a big home-like structure, large enough for us all, and the entertainment most lavish. The estate was an extensive one, and the innumerable outbuildings and well-stocked barns gave evidence of wealth and thrift. A long drive between rows of lofty poplars led to the main entrance, and the view from the front of the house down to the river was superb. There were servants in abundance, and nothing had been overlooked to insure our comfort. The stables were the attraction for most of our party, and several kings of the turf were brought out for inspection. We were taken all over the place, and many things of interest were shown us. A Bible and powder-horn, once the property of Daniel Boone, books with the autograph of Henry Clay, duelling pistols, quaint and almost priceless silver and china, and a rare collection of old prints and family portraits. The walls in one room were fairly lined with cups, the trophies of many a famous meet.
And such whiskey! There is nothing like it in Washington, or in the whole world, perhaps. A volume might be written in praise of that mellow, golden fluid. There were many in our party who would gladly add to this glowing testimony, and wax eloquent over the virtues of that noble life-saver and panacea, referred to by our good hosts as "a little something." Accustomed, as most of us were, to the stuff served over the Washington bars, this was indeed well worth the trip out....