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Compromises and the Doctrine

2nd half

Return to Chapter 26 part 1 

 But the experience had sobered our ideas as to the solidity of the basis of our welfare, and made the men in Congress more solicitous as to the future. When consequently the question as to the balance of power between the free and the slave States began to come to the front, there was evidence that it would lead to serious opposition of views. Up to the time of the admission of the twenty-second State, the equilibrium had been preserved; eleven of them were slave, eleven free. But now arose the question of the admission of the vast territory then called Missouri, which covered most of the Louisiana cession. It was proposed to carve out of it a State extending from the meeting point of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, southward to the present Arkansas. The representatives. from the slave States wished this to be given over to slavery; but the Northern men, through Tallmadge, a New Yorker, as their chief spokesman, opposed it firmly; and when Cobb of Georgia declared that a "fire had been kindled which all the waters of the ocean cannot put out, and which only seas of blood can extinguish," Tallmadge replied, "If civil war, which gentlemen so much threaten, must come, I can only say, let it come. . If blood is necessary to extinguish any fire which I have assisted to kindle, while I regret the necessity, I shall not hesitate to contribute my own." The upshot of this first debate on Missouri was that the bill for admitting it was lost; but the matter of course came up in the next session. There had been no debate on slavery since 1808, when the law prohibiting further importation of slaves from Africa was put in force. This law had ostensibly been obeyed; but, with the large increase in our population, which now numbered over ten millions, there was room in the South for more slaves than the natural increase of the negroes supplied; and consequently a good deal of surreptitious importation had been going on, much of it under the shelter of the Spanish and Portuguese gags, which readily sold themselves to this disgraceful device. But England had kept up strenuous efforts to put down the traffic, and the American Government seconded her; and finally Spain and Portugal themselves had nominally joined with them. The more difficult the trade became the greater were its horrors, since the cargoes were now crowded into almost impossible space, in order to minimize risks, and captains did not hesitate to throw the wretched creatures overboard when too closely pursued. The traffic bred a band of scoundrels as black as any that ever existed; and the feeling against slavery among the inhabitants of the States which had no slaves became correspondingly strengthened; while the slaveholders were tosome extent driven to defend what they would other wise have joined in denouncing. Thus there was sure to be much animosity in the struggle which could no longer be deferred: and with a less solid-standing President than Monroe, might have led the country further than it did.

The South had altered greatly since 1776 in their attitude toward slavery. They had at first regarded it as a lamentable imposition derived from English tyranny, to be got rid of at the first opportunity. But after living with it and by it for forty years, they had insensibly grown to love it. In the first place, it was the condition of their wealth; for it was thought impossible for white men to labor as slaves did under a Southern sun. No one, either South or North, would be willing to beggar himself for the sake of a humanitarian sentiment; or if such an individual could be found, certainly a State could not. Suggestions had from time to time been made that there should be emancipation, with national compensation; but it had never borne fruit. It had also been attempted to get the blacks out of the country and settle them in some remote colony by themselves; and it was a partial carrying out of this scheme which created the African colony of Liberia; but it had no appreciable effect in solving the slave problem. Gradual emancipation had also failed; and the presence of free blacks in slave States was found objectionable, and they were required to go elsewhere under penalties; nor was there lacking opposition to the settling of free blacks from the North in slave States, though, as their freedom made them citizens, and the Constitution allows a citizen to enjoy equal rights in every State, this prohibition could not lawfully be enforced:-but, as a matter of fact, free blacks had no desire to settle in slave States, so this point was theoretical only. Finally a plan of Jefferson's to let slavery die out by removing black children from their parents, and taking them, say to San Domingo, was never seriously contemplated.

But the most cogent circumstance that bound the Southerners to slavery was the mode of life and the personal habits and prejudices which it had engendered. The slaves had inflicted slavery on their masters. The latter had insensibly come to confound the idea of labor with that of servitude; and thought it as derogatory for a white man to work with his hands as to have the overseer's whip laid across his back. They conceived that to be a gentleman one must have slaves; they took pride in them as proofs of gentility; and they acquired those overbearing and despotic manners which are natural to men who exercise irresponsible power over their fellow creatures; nor is it surprising that such men should wear the same haughty bearing in their intercourse with the free white men of the North, in Congress and elsewhere. The fact that this conception of what belongs to a gentleman was based on a preposterous fallacy did not render it less prevalent or emphatic, and, on the other hand, it did really create a lordly and charming society, with customs and traditions which endeared it to itself in an extreme and even passionate degree. It was an anachronism, especially in America; and it grew out of a social crime; but, in a sense, no one of the slaveholding community was to blame for it, and its darker side was hidden from Southerners, who either could not or would not discern it. That they knew the weight of civilized opinion condemned them of course made them cling to their peculiar institution more firmly; we all resent a profession of superior virtue in our fellows.

Under these circumstances the second Missouri debate, began. Pinckney spoke in support of admitting slavery into Missouri, and Rufus King opposed him. Pinckney-who might be termed, in respect of artful
finish of seemingly extempore oratory, the Pinckney of perfection-spun a glittering web of subtle sophistries; he was the ideal of the elderly exquisite; his eloquence was of the school later made famous by Edward Everett. King was his counterpart; grave, simple, but poignant, and having wholly the best of the argument. The American Government had purchased Missouri territory with the nation's money; it had the right to dispose of it as it pleased; and yet the South was denying it the liberty to decide what social institutions it should establish there. If Pinckney's contention were true, then the Missourians might have licensed not slavery only, but free love, or thuggism. But logic does but seldom decide matters of this kind; circumstances may diminish the weight of the most impenetrable argument. As a matter of fact, Missouri was settled, or to be settled, by a population derived from slave States, and desirous of keeping slaves; and if the Government used its Constitutional power to defeat their wishes, there would probably be resistance and revolt. The way to harmony was by compromise. It might have been better, or as well, to have fought the quarrel out then, instead of waiting forty years; but the statesmen of 1820 did not think so.

An attempt was made to get the Missouri bill through by tacking it on the bill for the admission of Maine, which was to be made a State by severing it from Massachusetts; in this way Missouri would have been admitted without restrictions as to its constitution. But the scheme failed; and the compromise finally accepted was that slavery, except in Missouri, should be prohibited north of the line 36° 30'. Clay's persuasive powers were ardently exerted for this end, and he may claim such credit as attaches to bringing about its acceptance. The debate became a loadstone to fashion, and the halls of Legislature were so filled with women that John Randolph, on one occasion, true to his custom of improving every chance for increasing his humorous notoriety, called attention to their presence, and declared that they would better be at home at their knitting. But women would have their way in this country, both then and since.

The Compromise put off the evil day, but only made its final coming more certain. For to the south and west of us there was a great expanse of territory under the nominal dominion of Spain, which could not fail to be coveted by Southerners as a field for the increase of their possessions and power. The most obvious possible acquisition was the enormous region called Texas, to which we had some shadow of claim as being part of the Louisiana cession. But Monroe perceived that were Texas admitted, either by cession or conquest, it would precipitate the calamity which the Missouri Compromise had postponed; the East could never permit so large a weight to be thrown into the Southern balance. He wished neither party to the controversy to win an overwhelming triumph; as our possessions in the northwest were augmented, it might become safe to enlarge our boundaries in the southwest also; but there was time enough for that. His decision was that of a wise and impartial statesman.

The new population now began to pour into Missouri in rather a defiant frame of mind. The constitution which they framed contained two objectionable provisions: That the Legislature should be forbidden to interfere with slavery, and that free negroes should be forbidden to settle in the State. The latter article, being against the stipulation of the Constitution of the United States that a citizen could live in any of the States, was made the ground of attack. The joint resolution admitting Missouri had still to pass, and gave the opening for debate. After much talk another compromise was devised; the clause excluding free blacks was not to be construed as authorizing any law abridging the rights of citizens. It was little better than a verbal quibble; but it served the purpose of sparing the Missourians' pride; while there was no real prospect that free blacks would ever wish to make Missouri their home. In truth all concerned were glad to get out of the scrape on any decent or plausible terms; and it was tacitly agreed that slavery should nevermore be mentioned by either party. There was worldly wisdom in the agreement; but such things are never final. If slavery were wrong, it could not be killed by ignoring it. A man might as well expect to get rid of consumption by schooling himself to take no notice of its ravages in his lungs.-Randolph and a few of his followers were irreconcilable; but they were not strong enough to require attention.

National credit was improving; but the need of strict economy was felt, and such projects as coast defense and exploration in the West were suspended. The appropriations for army and navy were reduced. It was generally felt that the administration had. done well, and Monroe and Tompkins were reelected for a second term. Indeed, a safer or more honorable and unselfish Executive it would be hard to find. Monroe was the last of the Revolutionary presidential timber, and with him were to disappear also some of the best qualities of our earlier rulers. His ideal of the true functions of his office had grown higher as time went on, so that he presented the rare spectacle of a politician ending his career on a loftier plane than he began it on. One who knew him well said of him that his soul "might be turned wrong side outward without discovering a blemish." His successor would be chosen on no party issue, for there no longer was one in our politics, but on grounds of personal power and influence, and thus the way was open for underhand intrigue, which the make-up of the Seventeenth Congress favored. There had never yet been a time when the aims of the mass of men in public life had been more petty and personal; and the transactions of Congress were trifling and unimportant.

Nevertheless, there were men of parts among the Presidential aspirants. Of these, John Quincy Adams, Calhoun, Clay and Jackson were the most conspicuous; Crawford, the self-seeking intriguer, was also a strong runner for the goal, but was destined to disappointment, which he well deserved. Another man who made vigorous efforts was De Witt Clinton; but his chances were never equal to his conviction of his political merits. Clay did not at this time make a serious struggle; he believed that his time would surely come later. Calhoun was suddenly attacked by the Presidential ambition, but he was young enough to wait. He was a singular person, of a certain profundity of mind, eloquent, fascinating and weighty; and his aims were, at the outset of his career, broad and generous, and free from local bias. But it is noticeable that though he charmed all, and his most intimate friends spoke highly of his parts, yet he was not deeply trusted; there were hidden depths in him which he never unveiled. Ambition was his bane; and as time went on it ate into his heart, and put bitterness and strangeness where there had been gentle and humane feelings. He had a noble intellect, but his nature was less noble, and did not stand the test of political life. He became the supporter of heresies which did great harm to his country. Adams was far from being a lovable man, but he was entirely trustworthy; he had not the great, hot heart of his father, but he was far more impartial and correct in the operations and ideas of his mind. Dry, cold, repellent and pedagogic in manner, he made no friends, though no one would deny him esteem and respect; he loved none, and none loved him. He was not a man to win general popularity, and did not seem therefore a likely candidate for the Presidency; but his honor and firmness, and his great experience of public life in all its higher walks, rendered him practically available, and in the compromise of interests, and with the Legislature to decide finally as between him and others, he might (as in fact he did) succeed. Another circumstance in his favor was the fact that he was a Northern man, and the North had a right to be represented in the chair of supreme authority; Virginia had contributed more than her share. As for Jackson, he was, in a curious way, a creature of accident and surprise, as well as a man of strong and salient character. No calculation of probabilities would have designated him as a possible candidate. But in one way or another he was continually in the public eye, and in a manner that endeared him to the people. When it was necessary to select a governor for the new realm of the Floridas, Monroe, somewhat rashly, fixed upon Jackson. Jackson accepted the appointment, but with some ill humor; his health was not good, and he had been irritated, though without adequate cause, in the matter of military promotion. Moreover, he was far from friendly toward the Spaniards, and when he found some Spanish officers still holding posts in the country, and indisposed to surrender them except after the unrolling of much red tape, his temper rose, and he acted with the arbitrary severity of an Oriental sultan. He seized the unhappy incumbents, threw them into prison, and appropriated the public documents in their charge; and he also arrested a judge who issued a writ of habeas corpus. This was technically all wrong; yet it was in harmony with the eternal fitness of things, and pleased our people much more than it did the officials who had to straighten the matter out. It is delicious occasionally to see a strong, honest, rightfeeling man trample upon rules and customs, and going straight to his point like a cannon ball. He soon resigned his appointment, and went back to Tennessee, where his popularity was even greater than before, and whence, in that era of half men and timid measures, it spread over the country, not without artful nursing by the crusty hero's friends. His name was more than once connected with the' Presidency, and everyone was surprised to see how seriously it was received, and, in many quarters, with what enthusiasm.

When the proper moment arrived, he was nominated as a candidate-Andrew Jackson, the Soldier, the Statesman, and the Honest Man. The man of the crowd had got on horseback, and would ride. ;The most noticeable change in the aspect of the country at this period was the advance in population and power of the State of New York, and the decline of Virginia. New York had now the largest population in the Union, and her internal improvements, in the way of roads and other means of communication, had developed her back counties to a surprising degree. She was the great maritime center of the country, and would soon be the second greatest in the world, and enunciation her political affairs were in competent and energetic hands. In Virginia, on the other hand, there was no brightness in the prospect, or comfort in the present; there was nothing but the glory and pride of the past. Her great men were no more, or were soon to pass away; the men of the day were insignificant and vain. She was weighed down with her slaves, who cost her almost as much as they were worth, even upon a strictly utilitarian basis; her poor whites were a use less encumbrance, and her planters were a whisky drinking, arrogant, degenerating class, though full of charms and winning traits of a social kind which made their generous hospitality delightful. But Virginia was already a proof of the paralyzing effect upon human development of the slave system, and she was totally lacking in the spirit which prompts men to roll up their sleeves and work for the common good. Her back counties were lapsing into the dark ages, and, compared with New York or the Eastern States, she was still in the last century. The Erie-Canal was not the only public improvement which had been begun; there was, among the most
prominent enterprises, the Cumberland Road. This was a highway extending westward through the Alleghenies, and was designed to pass onward to the Mississippi, and finally to reach the Pacific coast. It had been started as a national work; but question had arisen whether such national works were constitutional. The President, after studying the subject, arrived at the conclusion that they were not, and accordingly be vetoed the bill which had been seconded by Clay and Adams, and opposed by Jackson: The veto, however, was directed rather against the principle than against the small appropriation asked for; the road had been begun, constitutionally or not, and should at least be kept in repair, pending further inquiry into constitutional rights, or possible extensions thereof. The sober second thought of the country finally justified the President's course.

The main incident of Monroe's second term was the of what is called the Monroe Doctrine. Europe, alarmed at the unsettled political outlook, caused by the American and French Revolutions, which had shaken every throne, and jolted the crowns on royal brows, cast about to stay the tide of freedom, and three of the great Powers-Austria, Russia and Prussia-formed what is known as the Holy Alliance. Spain, in a rare burst of impatience with tyranny, had deposed Ferdinand; France assembled an army of a hundred thousand men and restored him to his throne. It was then determined by the Alliance to extinguish the new South and Central American Republics, and make them appendages of European monarchies. England disapproved this plan, not from any desire to promote republican institutions, but in her own interests; and Canning, the English premier, proposed an alliance to the United States. Rush, the American minister in London, replied, on the spur of the moment, that all necessary ends would be answered if England would recognize the independence of the South American governments; but this Canning declined to do. On the other hand, he would not interfere with any action which America might take. Monroe approved of Rush's attitude, and consulted with Jefferson and Madison as to what should be done. Jefferson replied, "The question is the most momentous that has been offered to my contemplation since that 6f Independence. That made us a nation: this sets our compass and points the course which we are to steer. And never could we embark under circumstances more auspicious. Our first and fundamental maxim should be never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. Our second never to suffer Europe to meddle in cis-Atlantic affairs. America, north and south, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She should therefore have a system of her own, separate and apart from those of Europe. While the last is laboring to become the domicile of despotism, our endeavor should surely be to make our hemisphere that of freedom" His system contemplated "keeping out of our land all foreign powers, and never permitting those of Europe to intermeddle with the affairs of our nations:' And considering that England avowed the principles of freedom, he thought that to accept her moral support in this course would be to maintain, not to depart from, the policy in question, and to make war impossible. Madison agreed with Jefferson, but suspected Canning of some ulterior designs. Monroe, thus supported, wrote his message, which immediately became and has remained one of *the most famous of. our state papers. It stated that America would consider any attempt on the part of the Holy Alliance to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety; and that the American continents; by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.

This was a momentous announcement. It would be historically foolish to maintain that it was the creation of Monroe's mind, or of that of Jefferson, or of any other individual. It 'formulated the feeling that had been gradually growing up throughout the Union. It was a statement of our conviction that the Americas had been set apart by Providence as the home of free institutions, in which none of the old, exhausted forms of government could be permitted to remain or to enter. Monroe had the insight and the courage to be the spokesman of this conviction. The warning against entangling alliances which Washington had given was designed as a safeguard against drifting into a position where, as a return for services rendered us by some European power, we would be constrained to allow it privileges which would compromise our political principles; it did not, and could not, prevent us from extending the American system, if opportunity offered, or circumstances demanded, to regions not in cluded within our continental boundaries as at present described. America might incorporate Europe; but Europe must not invade America.

The message caused a sensation in Europe as well as here; and the Holy Alliance relinquished all hope of carrying out its designs on this hemisphere. The doctrine which it embodied has been much discussed since then, but the United States have never receded from their position; and the attempt of Maximilian to occupy the throne of Mexico was the only example of an endeavor to thwart our will. Such an experiment is not likely to be repeated. The message was first read before the Eighteenth Congress, in December, 1823. The power of Spain had then been abolished on the main; after seventy-five years it was extirpated from the West India Islands, and even from Pacific the remote. The Eighteenth Congress contained Rayne, Van Buren, and Webster as new members, besides Clay and others who had already made their reputation; and it contrasted favorably with the former one. In the debates on internal improvements Clay and Webster drew toward each other; but upon a protective tariff they were opposed, Clay taking the protective side. Webster was of Federalist stock, but was independent; he as well as Clay supported a strong central power in the Government. In the Presidential campaign he was- against his fellow New Englander, Adams. He was the head of the Congressional judicial' committee, and fathered the new Crimes Bill, which became the basis of our criminal jurisprudence. His greatness was already beginning to be apparent: and he had as yet done nothing to engender enmities. He was a man who can hardly be described save in superlatives, and the estimates of his character ring the changes on terms which sound extravagant, but probably are the only ones fitted to convey a true idea of him. Those who came under his personal influence while he was at his best, exhaust the resources of language to express the impression he produced on them. He was a demigod in the first third of the century; to his opponents, later, he was a fallen arch angel. Many called him the greatest man that ever lived. The most recent views of him seem tending to renew the eulogistic vein which prevailed at his prime. He was a man of great intellectual powers, well balanced, and thoroughly trained. His nature was rich and deep, and of a largeness which made him without effort the first man in every company. He was a man on a continental scale, but without diffuseness or waste; every faculty was under the dominion of his will, and responsive to need. He was both synthetic and analytic in the quality of his mind; he grasped the whole, yet saw all the parts. He also had the instinct of sublimity, which gives appreciation of the loftiest and most general relations of things; so that when he turned his head, the world seemed to turn with it; and when he raised his arm, he seemed to signal to the stars. His personal appearance-the fashion of his head and body-were harmonious with this greatness of his mind and soul; so that there was no discordant note in the complete impression he made on the beholder. Mentally he stood on a plane so high that he could find little company; but he was humane and kind toward others, and willing to enter into friendly relations with any who could meet him. But the trouble with a man like Webster is that he cannot form ordinary relations with his fellows; and he cannot but be aware that nature, in making him a king of men, has isolated him. Webster could not but know his power-the effect his mere presence wrought; he knew what his voice and look could do; and he must have felt, as regarded the ordinary affairs of life, like a giant in the domain of pigmies; nothing was made to his scale. He could not dwell with his fellows on terms of equality; he was obliged to adapt himself to them in ways which involved some sacrifice of spontaneity. There must be, in other words, a certain histrionic quality in this man: not that he wished to act a part, but that he was forced out of his real character despite himself. The lack of equals with whom to associate drove him, in his fullest moments, to commune with great ideas of government and comprehensive thoughts of human destiny; at other times he would be indolent, like Hercules, with no labor to perform; or would try to diminish himself, as it were, to the caliber of his companions, because the human strain in him yearned to meet a mate, and would rather have inadequate fellowship than be always lonely. And because that vast organization and intelligence must have some object, some occupation, he accepted ambition, which first perhaps contemplated impersonal issues, but insensibly was directed so as to confound the aimer with the aim: lie came to identify himself with that which he pursued; and he sought no less unworthy a goal than the leadership of his country. But to gain that he must contend with the selfish ends of others, and thus be led to do things which were unworthy of himself. And after all he was to be disappointed. But he was constant through life to the great idea of a united America, and if, at times, he persuaded himself that means were of less account than the purpose which employed them, it is but to say that he was human.

There is nothing edifying in the story of the Presidential campaign of this year. Crawford, as the regular candidate, was at first the most prominent in the field; but the man in that big carcass was too small to win the prize. He was nominated by a Congressional caucus; but in the midst of the struggle he was stricken with paralysis and threatened with blindness; and though this did not make him withdraw his pretensions, it made the task of his supporters too hard. Adams tried to induce Jackson to accept the second place on his ticket; but this shrewd move failed, for Jackson would be second to no man. Calhoun showed political sagacity in offering to accept the Vice Presidency with Jackson as chief. Clay tried to get Crawford to retire and make over his chances to him; but Crawford held on. . Each State had some favorite son to recommend; and it soon became evident that there would be no majority among the leaders; the Legislature would have to decide between them. A national convention had not yet been thought practicable. Jackson became constantly stronger; the stars in their courses seemed .to fight for him; and a letter of his which was published by his enemies, in the hope of discrediting him, redounded to his advantage; it was one of a series which had been written to Monroe eight years before; and Jackson published the whole batch, which happened to contain numerous sentiments singularly pertinent to the present crisis, and he was greatly strengthened in the popular estimation thereby. He received more votes than any of the other candidates; but the House chose Adams, with Calhoun as Vice President. Jackson acquiesced with ostensible grace, but in private he expressed the belief that he had been betrayed by Clay; he was ever prone to fancy that secret enemies were combining against him.

The most agreeable event of the last year of Monroe's administration-which had been, upon the whole, one of the least faulty ever known-was the visit of Lafayette to America, after an absence of more than forty years. During this interval he had seen many vicissitudes, but had always been the same noble; simple, and devoted man that offered himself to our service in the first flush of his youth. In Europe, as here, he had fought for liberty, and had suffered in the cause. There was no speck on his escutcheon-not one. From first to last he -had been brave, honorable, generous, and noble; a Frenchman without guile. He had spent his fortune and his blood for us; now he was poor, and still limped a little from the wound he had received at Brandywine. He had never received the benefit of a grant of land which had been made to him at the close of the war; and the country wished to show him its gratitude even at so late a day. A national vessel was placed at his disposal to bring him over here; but he modestly declined such an honor, and sailed on a regular packet ship, reaching New York on the 15th of August. He had expected to take lodgings, and to be the recipient of social courtesies from his old companions-in-arms who still survived; and the reception he met with astonished him.

It is hard for the American nation to be moved to an expression of genuine emotion; they are slow to wear their hearts upon their sleeves; there is a dry humor about them, a touch of good-humored cynicism perhaps, which prevents gushing or heroics of any kind. Possibly they were more easily moved ninety years ago than they are now. But it is as true now as it was then that when our people are thoroughly convinced of the worth of a given person they are not afraid to show it. The evidence must be clear; but when the fact is established our response is as unmeasured as the sunshine. Lafayette's story was writ large before the world, and there was none to impugn it. Moreover, he was in many ways peculiarly endeared to us; he had been the dearest friend of our departed Washington; he had overcome all prejudices of birth and environment to give his heart and sword to our need; he had won the love and respect of all who knew him. He now came to us like an embodiment of a glorious and reverend past returned to assure us that all was true which we had heard of the achievements and grandeur of our fathers. Emerging from so deep and wide an abyss of time, Lafayette was a sort of gracious miracle; and all America rose up to take him to her heart.

It is of little avail to recount what were the specific acts of welcome accorded to him. The words he uttered at New York, when the sincerity and fervor of the popular reception were revealed to him, tell the story both for him and for us. "It will burst!" he cried with passion, pressing both his hands over his heart, while tears rained down his aged cheeks. We were strong, who had been weak; he was old, who had given us the strength of his youth; and as we, in our crowded thousands, looked upon his beloved figure; and as he beheld the vast array of cheering multitudes, with waving hats, fluttering handkerchiefs, and ardent faces; sending warm to his heart the sympathy and affection of their own, the generous soldier who had never faltered before the enemy, broke down, and had but that pregnant word to reply. The episode is one of the loveliest in all history; and the whole sojourn of Lafayette among us, extending over fourteen months, is forever memorable and honorable. What, in a nation, is so grand as its gratitude? What gift, to the recipient, is so sweet and glorious? While he was with us the ascerbities of party strife, the malice of rival ambitions, were hushed; in his presence shame was ashamed to sit. By his side seemed to tower the august shade of Washington, and in his kindly eyes shone the spirit of '76. And he,. contemplating the evidences of mighty prosperity which a generation and a half had wrought, was happy in his- soul that he had borne a share in creating the conditions from which it sprang.