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MASS MEETING AT SARATOGA.

VOL. 11.

1

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

The political excitement which pervaded the Union during the year 1840 was greater than has existed on any other occasion, for many years. Immense meetings of the most animated kind were held throughout the country, and were addressed by the ablest men. In the month of August of that year, Mr. Webster was called to Saratoga by a professional engagement as counsel in an important lawsuit for the State of Illinois. A large number of persons from all parts of the Union are generally assembled at Saratoga at this season of the year, and a strong wish was felt that Mr. Webster would make a public address on the absorbing political topics of the day. Although the little time he was to pass at Saratoga was too much engrossed by his professional duties to leave leisure for the slightest preparation, he found it impossible to resist the general wish ; and the afternoon of the 19th — the day before his argument in court — was appointed for a grand political meeting.

From an early hour in the morning of that day, and along every avenue, crowded vehicles were arriving in Saratoga from the surrounding country. The railway trains from Troy and Schenectady (and they were all behind their time, by reason of the vast crowds in and upon them) poured their living multitudes into the village. About two o'clock, P. M., a dark, lowering cloud, which had been gathering in the west, burst in a deluge of rain, accompanied with vivid lightning and thunder. But the storm soon passed, and the earth smiled again under returning sunshine. The face of nature was refreshed ; and the grateful coolness of the air gave new spirits and animation to the assembling throng.

Just before the storm broke, a very long procession on horseback and in wagons, with banners and music, arrived from the neighboring towns, and passed down the main street. Every house and piazza was crowded. The desire to hear Mr. Webster had drawn together the entire movable population of the neighborhood. In addition to this attraction, the Court of Errors for the State of New York and the Court of Chan.

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