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sufficient to say that in all his actions he manifested the deepest solicitude and anxiety for the welfare and happiness of his country and his fellow-men. He died on the twenty-ninth of June, 1852. Tributes of respect from all distinctions of men were offered to his memory, and the nation mourned their irreparable loss. The following remarks, which will close this general sketch, were delivered by his colleague, Mr. Underwood, in the Senate of the United States:—“The character of Henry Clay was formed and developed by the influence of our free institutions. His physical and mental organization eminently qualified him to become a great and impressive orator. His person was tall, slender, and commanding. His temperament ardent, fearless, and full of hope. His countenance clear, expressive, and variable—indicating the emotion which predominated at the moment with exact similitude. His voice, cultivated and modulated in harmony with the sentiment he desired to express, fell upon the ear like the melody of enrapturing music. His eye beaming with intelligence, and flashing with coruscations of genius. His gestures and attitudes graceful and natural. These personal advantages won the prepossessions of an audience, even before his intellectual powers began to move his hearers; and when his strong common sense, his profound reasoning, his clear conceptions of his subject in all its bearings, and his striking and beautiful illustrations, united with such personal qualities, were brought to the discussion of any question, his audience was enraptured, convinced, and led by the orator as if enchanted by the lyre of Orpheus. “No man was ever blessed by his Creator with faculties of a higher order of excellence than those given to Mr. Clay. In the quickness of his perceptions, and the rapidity with which his conclusions were formed, he had few equals, and no superior. He was eminently endowed with a nice discriminating taste for order, symmetry, and beauty. He detected in a moment every thing out of place or deficient in his room, upon his farm, in his own or the dress of others. He was a skilful judge of the form and qualities of his domestic animals, which he delighted to raise on his farm. I could give you instances of the quickness and minuteness of his keen faculty of observation, which never overlooked any thing. A want of neatness and order was offensive to him. He was particular and neat in his handwriting, and his apparel. A slovenly blot, or negligence of any sort, met his condemnation; while he was so organized that he attended to, and arranged little things to please and gratify his natural love for neatness, order, and beauty, his great intellectual faculties grasped all the subjects of jurisprudence and politics with a facility amounting almost to intuition. As a lawyer, he stood at the head of his profession. As a statesman, his stand at the head of the Republican Whig party for nearly half a century, establishes his title to pre-eminence among his illustrious associates. “Mr. Clay, throughout his public career, was influenced by the loftiest patriotism. Confident in the truth of his convictions, and the purity of his purposes, he was ardent, sometimes impetuous in the pursuit of objects which he believed essential to the general welfare. * * * His sympathies embraced all. The African slave, the Creole of Spanish America, the children of renovated classic Greece—all families of men, without respect to color or clime, found in his expanded bosom and comprehensive intellect, a friend of their elevation and amelioration. “Bold and determined as Mr. Clay was in all his actions, he was, nevertheless, conciliating. He did not obstinately adhere to things impracticable. If he could not accomplish the best, he contented himself with the nighest approach to it. He has been the great compromiser of those political agitations and opposing opinions which have, in the belief of thousands, at different times, endangered the perpetuity of our Federal Government and Union. He was no less remarkable for his admirable social qualities than for his intellectual abilities. As a companion, he was the delight of his friends, and no man ever had better or truer. They have loved him from the beginning, and loved him to the last. His hospitable mansion at Ashland was always open to their reception. No guest ever thence departed without feeling happier for his visit.”
SPEECH ON THE NEW ARMY BILL.
Mr. Clay delivered this speech in the House of Representatives of the United States, on the eighth of January, 1813, on a bill, proposing that twenty thousand men should be added to the existing military establishment.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I was gratified yesterday by the recommitment of this bill to a committee of the whole House, from two considerations; one, since it afforded me a slight relaxation from a most fatiguing situation; * and the other, because it furnished me with an opportunity of presenting to the committee my sentiments upon the important topics which have been mingled in the debate. I regret, however, that the necessity under which the chairman has been placed of putting the question,t precludes the opportunity, I had wished to enjoy, of rendering more acceptable to the committee any thing I might have to offer on the interesting points, on which it is my duty to touch. Unprepared, however, as I am to speak on this day, of which I am the more sensible from the ill state of my health, I will solicit the attention of the committee for a few moments.
I was a little astonished, I confess, when I found this bill permitted to pass silently through the committee of the whole, and not selected, until the moment when the question was about to be put for its third reading, as the subject on which gentlemen in the opposition chose to lay before the House their views of the interesting attitude in which the nation stands. It did appear to me, that the loan bill, which will soon come before us, would have afforded a much more proper occasion, it being more essential, as providing the ways and means for the prosecution of the war. But the gentlemen had the right of selection, and having exercised it, no matter how improperly, I am gratified, whatever I may think of the character of some part of the debate, at the latitude in which, for once, they have been indulged. I claim only, in return, of gentlemen on the other side of the House, and of the committee, a like indulgence in expressing my sentiments with the same unrestrained freedom. Perhaps, in the course of the remarks which I may feel myself called upon to make, gentlemen may apprehend that they assume too harsh an aspect; but I have only now to say, that I shall speak of parties, measures and things, as they strike my moral sense, protesting against the imputation of any intention, on my part, to wound the feelings of any gentlemen.
*Mr. Clay was, at this time, Speaker of the IIouse of Representatives.
t The Chairman had risen to put the question, which would have cut Mr. Clay off from the opportunity of speaking, by carrying the bill to the House.
Considering the situation in which this country is now placed,—a state of actual war with one of the most powerful nations on the earth, —it may not be useless to take a view of the past, and of the various parties which have at different times appeared in this country, and to attend to the manner, by which we have been driven from a peaceful posture to our present. warlike attitude. Such an inquiry may assist in guiding us to that result, an honorable peac which must be the sincere desire of every frien to America. The course of that opposition, by which the administration of the government has been unremittingly impeded for the last twelve years, is singular, and, I believe, unexampled in the history of any country. It has been alike the duty and the interest of the administration to preserve peace. It was their duty, because it is necessary to the growth of an infant people, to their genius and to their habits. It was their interest, because a change of the condition of the nation, brings along with it a danger of the loss of the affections of the people. The administration has not been forgetful of these solemn obligations. No art has been left unessayed; no experiment, promising a favorable result, left untried, to maintain the peaceful relations of the country. When, some six or seven years ago, the affairs of the nation assumed a threatening aspect, a partial non-importation was adopted. As they grew more alarming, an embargo was imposed. It would have accomplished its purpose, but it was sacrificed upon the altar of conciliation. Vain and fruitless attempt to propitiatel Then came a law of non-intercourse; and a general non-importation followed in the train. In the mean time, any indications of a return to the public law and the path of justice, on the part of either belligerent, are seized upon with avidity by the administration. The arrangement with Mr. Erskine is concluded. It is first applauded, and then censured by the opposition. No matter with what unfeigned sincerity, with what real effort administration cultivates peace, the opposition insist that it alone is culpable for every breach that is made between the two countries. Because the President thought proper, in accepting the proffered reparation for the attack on a national vessel, to intimate that it would have better comported with the justice of the king, (and who does not think so?) to punish the offendin officer, the opposition, entering into the roy feelings, sees in that imaginary insult, abundant cause for rejecting Mr. Erskine's arrangement. On another occasion, you cannot have-forgotten the hypercritical ingenuity which they display to divest Mr. Jackson's correspondence of premeditated insult to this country. If gentlemen would only reserve for their own government half the sensibility, which is indulged for that of Great Britain, they would find much less to condemn. Restriction after restriction has been tried; negotiation has been resorted to, until further negotiation would have been disgraceful. Whilst these peaceful experiments are undergoing a trial, what is the conduct of the opposition ? They are the champions of war; the proud, the spirited, the sole repository of the nation's honor; the men of exclusive vigor and energy. The administration, on the contrary, is weak, feeble and pusillanimous, “incapable of being kicked into a war.” The maxim, “not a cent for tribute, millions for defence,” is loudly proclaimed. Is the administration for negotiation? The opposition is tired, sick, disgusted with negotiation. They want to draw the sword and avenge the nation's wrongs. When, however, foreign nations, perhaps emboldened by the very opposition here made, refuse to listen to the amicable appeals, which have been repeated and reiterated by the administration, to their justice and to their interests; when, in fact, war with one of them has become identified with our independence and our sovereignty, and to abstain from it was no longer possible, behold the opposition veering round and becoming the friends of peace and commerce. They tell you of the calamities of war, its tragical events, the squandering away of your resources, the waste of the public treasure, and the spilling of innocent blood. “Gorgons, hydras and chimeras dire.” They tell you that honor is an illusion l Now we see them exhibiting the terrific forms of the roaring king of the forest: now the meekness and humility of the lamb . They are for war and no restrictions, when the administration is for peace. They are for peace and restrictions, when the administration is for war. You find them, sir, tacking with every gale, displaying the colors of every party and of all nations, steady only in one unalterable purpose, to steer, if possible, into the haven of power. During all this time, the parasites of opposition do not fail, by cunning sarcasm or sly innuendo, to throw out the idea of French influence, which is known to be false, which ought to be met in one manner only, and that is by the lie direct. The administration of this country devoted to foreign influence! The administration of this country subservient to Francel Great God! what a charge how is it so influenced? By what ligament, on what basis, on what possible foundation does it rest? Is it similarity of language? No! we speak different tongues, we speak the English language. On the resemblance of our laws? No! the sources of our jurisprudence spring from another and a different country. On commercial intercourse? No! we have comparatively none with France. Is it from the correspondence in the genius of the two governments? No! here alone is the liberty of man secure from the inexorable despotism, which every where else tramples it under foot. Where then is the ground of such an influence? But, sir, I am insulting you by arguing on such a subject. Yet, preposterous
-Bonaparte—I reply that
and ridiculous as the insinuation is, it is propagated with so much industry, that there are persons found foolish and credulous enough to believe it. You will, no doubt, think it incredible, (but I have nevertheless been told it as a fact,) that an honorable member of this House, now in my eye, recently lost his election by the circulation of a silly story in his district, that he was the first cousin of the Emperor Napoleon. The proof of the charge rested on a statement of facts, which was undoubtedly true. The gentleman in question, it was alleged, had married a connexion of the lady of the President of the United States, who, was the intimate friend of Thomas Jefferson, late President of the United States, who some years ago, was in the habit of wearing red French breeches. Now, taking these premises as established, you, Mr. Chairman, are too good a logician not to see that the conclusion necessarily follows! Throughout the period I have been speaking of the opposition has been distinguished, amidst all its veerings and changes, by another inflexible feature, the application to Bonaparte of every vile and opprobrious epithet, our language, copious as it is in terms of vituperation, affords. He has been compared to every hideous monster and beast, from that mentioned in the Revelations, down to the most insignificant quadruped. He has been called the scourge of mankind, the destroyer of Europe, and the great robber, the infidel, the modern Attila, and heaven knows by what other names. Really, gentlemen remind me of an obscure lady, in a city not very far off, who also took it into her head, in conversation with an accomplished French gentleman, to talk of the affairs of Europe. She too spoke of the destruction of the balance of power, stormed and raged about the insatiable ambition of the emperor; called him the curse of mankind, the destroyer of Europe. The Frenchman listened to her with perfect patience, and when she had ceased, said to her, with ineffable politeness; “Madam, it would give my master, the emperor, infinite pain, if he knew how hardly you thought of him.” Sir, gentlemen appear to me to forget that they stand on American soil; that they are not in the British House of Commons, but in the chamber of the House of Representatives of the United States; that we have nothing to do with the affairs of Europe, the par
tition of territory and sovereignty there, ex
cept so far as these things affect the interests of our own country. Gentlemen transform themselves into the Burkes, Chathams and Pitts of another country, and forgetting from honest zeal the interests of America, engage with European sensibility in the discussion of European interests. If gentlemen ask me, whether I do not view with regret and horror the concentration of such vast power in the hands of do. I regret to see the emperor of China holding such immense sway over the fortunes of millions of our species. I regret to see Great Britain possessing
so uncontrolled a command over all the waters of our globe. If I had the ability to distribute among the nations of Europe their several portions of power and of sovereignty, I would say that Holland should be resuscitated, and given the weight she enjoyed in the days of her De Witts. I would confine France within her natural boundaries, the Alps, Pyrenees and the Rhine, and make her a secondary naval power only. I would abridge the British maritime power, raise Prussia and Austria to their original condition, and preserve the integrity of the Empire of Russia. But these are speculations. I look at the political transactions of Europe, with the single exception of their possible bearing upon us, as I do at the history of other countries, or other times. I do not survey them with half the interest that I do the movements in South America. Our political relation with them is much less important than it is supposed to be. I have no fears of French or English subjugation. If we are united, we are too powerful for the mightiest nation in Europe, or all Europe combined. If we are separated and torn asunder, we shall become an easy prey to the weakest of them. In the latter dreadful contingency, our country will not be worth preserving.
TNext to the notice which the opposition has found itself called upon to bestow upon the French Emperor, a distinguished citizen of Virginia, formerly President of the United States, has never for a moment failed to receive their kindest and most respectful attention. An honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Quincy, of whom I am sorry to say, it becomes necessary for me, in the course of my remarks, to take some notice, has alluded to him in a remarkable manner. Neither his retirement from public office, his eminent services, nor his advanced age, can exempt this patriot from the coarse assaults of party malevolence. No, sir, in 1801, he snatched from the rude hand of usurpation the violated constitution of his country, and that is his crime. He preserved that instrument in form, and substance, and spirit, a precious inheritance for generations to come, and for this he can never be forgiven. How vain and impotent is party rage directed against such a man! He is not more elevated by his lofty residence upon the summit of his own favorite mountain, than he is lifted by the serenity of his mind and the consciousness of a well spent life, above the malignant passions and bitter feelings of the day. No! his own beloved Monticello is not more moved by the storms that beat against its sides, than is this illustrious man, by the howlings of the whole British pack set loose from the Essex kennel! When the gentleman to whom I have been compelled to allude, shall have mingled his dust with that of his abused ancestors; when he shall have been consigned to oblivion, or if he lives at all, shall live only in the treasonable annals of a certain junto; the name of Jefferson will be hailed with gratitude, his memory honored
and cherished as the second founder of the liberties of the people, and the period of his administration will be looked back to, as one of the happiest and brightest epochs of American history—an oasis in the midst of a sandy desert. But I beg the gentleman's pardon ; he has indeed secured to himself a more imperishable fame than I had supposed: I think it was about four years ago that he submitted to the House of Representatives, an initiative proposition for an impeachment of Mr. Jefferson. The House cordescended to consider it. The gentleman debated it with his usual temper, moderation and urbanity. The House decided upon it in the most solemn manner, and, although the gentleman had somehow obtained a second, the final vote stood, one for, and one hundred and seventeen against the proposition The same historic page that transmitted to posterity the virtue and the glory of Henry the Great of France, for their admiration and example, has preserved the infamous name of the fanatic assassin of that excellent monarch. The same sacred pen that portrayed the sufferings and crucifixion of the Saviour of mankind, has recorded, for universal execration, the name of him who was guilty, not of betraying his coun§ (but a kindred crime,) of betraying his O(1. In one respect there is a remarkable difference between the administration and the opposition; it is in a sacred regard for personal liberty. When out of power my political friends condemned the surrender of Jonathan Robbins; they opposed the violation of the freedom of the press in the sedition law; they opposed the more insidious attack upon the freedom of the person under the imposing garb of an alien law. The party now in opposition, then in power, advocated the sacrifice of the unhappy Robbins, and passed those two laws.” True to our principles, we are now struggling for the liberty of our seamen against foreign oppression. True to theirs, they oppose a war undertaken for this object. They have, indeed, lately affected a tender solicitude for the liberties of the people, and talk of the danger of standing armies, and the burden of taxes. But it must be evident to you, Mr. Chairman, that they speak in a foreign idiom. Their brogue evinces that it is not their vernacular tongue. What! the opposition, who, in 1798 and 1799, could raise a useless army to fight an enemy three thousand miles distant from us, alarmed at the existence of one raised for a known and specified object—the attack of the adjoining provinces of the enemy I What! the gentleman from Massachusetts, who assisted by his vote to raise the army of twenty-five thousand, alarmed at the danger of our liberties from this very army! But, sir, I must speak of another subject, which I never think of but with feelings of the deepest awe. The gentleman from Massachusetts, in imitation of some of his predecessors of 1799, has entertained us with a picture of cabinet plots, presidential plots, and all sorts of plots which have been engendered by the diseased state of the gentleman's imagination. I wish, sir, that another plot of a much more serious and alarming character—a plot that aims at the dismemberment of our Union, had only the same imaginary existence. But no man who has paid any attention to the tone of certain prints, and to transactions in a particular quarter of the Union, for several years past, can doubt the existence of such a plot. It is far, very far from my intention to charge the opposition with such a design. No, I believe them generally incapable of it. But I cannot say as much for some, who have been unworthily associated with them in the quarter of the Union to which I have referred. The gentleman cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must,” nearly at the very time Henry's mission to Boston was undertaken. The flagitiousness of that embassy has been attempted to be concealed, by directing the public attention to the price which, the gentleman says, was given for the disclosure. As if any price could change the atrociousness of the attempt on the part of Great Britain, or could extenuate, in the slightest degree, the offence of those citizens, who entertained and deliberated upon a proposition so infamous and unnaturall There is a most remarkable coincidence between some of the things which that man states, and certain events in the quarter alluded to. In the contingency of war with Great Britain, it will be recollected, that the neutrality and eventual separation of that section of the Union was to be brought about. How, sir, has it happened, since the declaration of war, that British officers in Canada have asserted to American officers, that this very neutrality would take place? That they have so asserted can be established beyond controversy. The project is not brought forward openly, with a direct avowal of the intention. No, the stock of good sense and patriotism in that portion of the country is too great to be undisguisedly encountered. It is assailed from the masked batteries of friendship, of peace and commerce on the one side, and by the groundless imputation of opposite propensities on the other. The affections of the people there are gradually to be undermined. The project is suggested or withdrawn; the diabolical “dramatis personae,” in this criminal tragedy, make their appearance or exit, as the audience to whom they address themselves applaud or condemn. I was astonished, sir, in reading lately a letter, or pretended letter, published in a prominent print in that quarter, and written, not in the fervor of party zeal, but coolly and dispassionately, to find that the writer affected to reason about a separation, and attempted to demonstrate its advantages to the different portions of the Union—
* See Marshall's Speech in the Robbins case, at page 20 —ante.
deploring the existence now of what he terms prejudices against it, but hoping for the arrival of the period when they shall be eradicated. But, sir, I will quit this unpleasant subject; I will turn from one, whom no sense of decency or propriety could restrain from soiling the carpet on which he treads, to gentlemen who have not forgotten what is due to themselves, to the place in which we are assembled, or to those by whom they are opposed. The gentlemen from North Carolina, }. Pearson, from Connecticut, Mr. Pitkin, and from New York, Mr. Bleecker, have, with their usual decorum, contended, that the war would not have been declared, had it not been for the duplicity of France, in withholding an authentic instrument, repealing the decrees of Berlin and Milan; that upon the exhibition of such an instrument the revocation of the orders in council took place; that this main cause of the war, but for which it would not have been declared, being removed, the administration ought to seek for the restoration of peace; and that upon its sincerely doing so, terms compatible with the honor and interest of this country might be obtained. It is my purpose to examine, first, into the circumstances under which the war was declared; secondly, into the causes of continuing it; and lastly, into the means which have been taken, or ought to be taken, to procure peace; but, sir, I am really so exhausted, that, little as I am in the habit of asking of the House an indulgence of this kind, I feel I must trespass on their goodness.
Here Mr. Clay sat down. Mr. Newton moved that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again, which was done. On the next day Mr. Clay proceeded:
I am sensible, Mr. Chairman, that some part of the debate, to which this bill has given rise, has been attended by circumstances much to be regretted, not usual in this House, and of which it is to be hoped, there will be no repetition. The gentleman from Boston, had so absolved himself from every rule of decorum and propriety, had so outraged all decency, that I have found it impossible to suppress the feelings excited on the occasion. His colleague, whom I have the honor to follow, Mr. Wheaton, whatever else he might not have proved, in his very learned, ingenious, and original exposition of the powers of this government, an exposition in which he has sought, where nobody before him has, and nobody after him will look, for a grant of our powers, I mean the preamble to the constitution,-has clearly shown, to the satisfaction of all who heard him, that the power of defensive war is conferred. I claim the benefit of a similar principle, in behalf of my political friends, against the gentleman from Boston. I demand only the exercise of the right of repulsion. No one is more anxious than I am to preserve the dignity and the freedom of de