The Southern leaders occupied a commanding position. Those leaders constituted a remarkable body of men. Having before them the example of Jefferson, of Madison, of George Mason in Virginia, and of Nathaniel Macon in North Carolina, they gave deep study to the science of government. They were admirably trained as debaters, and they became highly skilled in the management of parliamentary bodies. As a rule they were highly educated, some of them graduates of Northern colleges, a still larger number taking their degrees at Transylvania, in Kentucky, at Chapel Hill, in North Carolina, and at Mr. Jefferson’s peculiar but admirable institution in Virginia. Their secluded modes of life on the plantation gave them leisure for reading and reflection. They took pride in their libraries, pursued the law so far as it increased their equipment for a public career, and devoted themselves to political affairs with an absorbing ambition. Their domestic relations imparted manners that were haughty and sometimes offensive; they were quick to take affront, and they not infrequently brought personal disputation into the discussion of public questions; but they were, almost without exception, men of high integrity, and they were especially and jealously careful of the public money. Too often ruinously lavish in their personal expenditures, they believed in an economical government; and throughout the long period of their domination they guarded the treasury with rigid and unceasing vigilance against every attempt at extravagance and against every form of corruption. James G. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress.