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even from far-distant China, did the tide of immigration flow, men of every grade in society giving themselves up to its current. Within two years from the date of the discovery, San Francisco had grown from an insignificant village of a few miserable huts to a flourishing city containing 15,000 souls. Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of the precious metal have been dug from the earth, nor is the hidden treasure yet exhausted.

583. On the 23d of February, 1848, Ex-president John Quincy Adams, who from 1831 had served his native state in the house of representatives, died of paralysis, with which he had been struck two days before while in his seat attending to his official duties. His dying words were, “This is the last of earth! I am content !” A life devoted almost wholly to the service of his country gave him strong claims on her gratitude, and the highest honors were paid to his memory.

584. Wisconsin, which had been formed into a territory in 1836, was admitted into the Union as a state in 1848. In March, 1849, Minnesota Territory was organized.

585. The probability that the war with Mexico would result in the acquisition of extensive territory on the southwest, early led to a reägitation of the slavery question. In 1846, David Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, introduced into Congress a proposition, called from him the Wilmot Proviso, that slavery should be prohibited in all territory that might be acquired by treaty. This proviso failed to receive the sanction of Congress; and, the question being thrown before the country for discussion, a party holding the views advocated by Mr. Wilmot was organized. They took the name of Free Soilers, and in June, 1848, nominated Martin Van Buren as their candidate for the presidency. The democrats brought forward Gen. Lewis Cass, of Michigan; the whigs, Gen. Taylor, whose brilliant victories in the Mexican

pour in? What is said of the growth of San Francisco ? What is said of the yield of gold ? 583. Give an account of the death of John Quincy Adams. 584. When was Wisconsin made a territory? When, a state? What territory was organized in 1849? 585. Soon after the commencement of the war, what question began to be reägitated? What was the Wilmot Proviso? What was its fate ! What party was soon after organized ? Whom did they nominate for the presi

1849]

GENERAL TAYLOR BECOMES PRESIDENT.

445

War had made him a decided favorite with the nation. Taylor was elected, and with him Millard Fillmore, of New York, as vice-president. Mr. Polk resigned the country into the hands of his successor on the 4th of March, 1849, and returned to his home at Nashville, Tennessee, where he died the following June, at the age of 54, esteemed and lamented by men of all parties.

CHAPTER XIV.

ADMINISTRATION OF TAYLOR AND FILLMORE, 1849–1853.

586. ZACHARY TAYLOR was born in Virginia on the 24th of November, 1784. The following year his father emigrated to Kentucky, and his youth was passed amid the dangers and privations of frontier life. He was brought up a farmer, but in 1808 gave up this vocation for a military life, having received a commission in the army from President Jefferson. The War of 1812 brought him into active service, and he distinguished himself in the north-west, particularly in the defence of Fort Harrison against the Indians. His services in the Seminole War and subsequently in Mexico have been already noticed.

Millard Fillmore was born in 1800, in Cayuga county, N. Y. He was apprenticed in early life to a wool-carder; but his superior talents attracted the attention of a prominent lawyer of Cayuga, in whose office he commenced in 1819 a course of legal study. On being admitted to the practice of law, he rapidly rose to distinction. After serving in the legislature and in Congress, he ran in 1844 for the office of governor of New York, but was defeated. Standing high in the confidence of the whigs, he was placed on the same ticket with Taylor, and with him took the oath of office on the 5th of March, 1849.

dency? Whom did the democrats and the whigs nominate? Who was elected ? What is said of the death of Mr. Polk?

586. Give an account of Taylor's early life. Of Fillmore's. When did they

587. Gen. Taylor appointed John M. Clayton, of Delaware, secretary of state. He was the first president whose cabinet contained a Secretary of the Interior. This new department was created just before the close of Polk's term, to relieve the secretary of the treasury and his subordinates of some of their multifarious duties.

588. So rapidly did California increase in population that in 1849 its people took measures for admission into the Union as a state, and adopted a constitution with a clause prohibiting slavery. The introduction of their petition into the thirty-first Congress kindled an intense excitement and convulsed the whole country. Part of the territory in question was south of the dividing line established by the Missouri Compromise, and southern senators declared that the prohibition of slavery there would be followed by the immediate dissolution of the Union. Other questions arose to complicate this main issue, and it seemed as if human wisdom would be incompetent to settle the momentous points in dispute satisfactorily to the conflicting interests concerned. Never since its formation was the Union in such danger. At this crisis, when every friend of his country trembled for the result, Henry Clay, again appearing as a peacemaker between excited sections, brought before the senate a series of resolutions covering the whole ground at issue. With all that glowing eloquence which placed him among the greatest of modern orators, he urged the necessity of mutual concession and compromise, and called on extreme men on both sides to forbear from overthrowing the glorious fabric which had been cemented by the blood of their fathers.

A committee of thirteen, of which Mr. Clay was chairman, was finally appointed to consider the whole subject. In May, 1850, this committee presented an elaborate report, which, in the spirit of Clay's resolutions, recommended an act that settled all the points at issue. The leading provisions of this

take the oath of office? 587. Who was appointed secretary of state ? What new cabinet-officer did Taylor appoint? 588. What question now arose to excite Congress and the whole country? What did southern senators declare ? Describe the state of feeling. Who attempted to settle the difficulty? What was Clay's course ? To whom was the whole subject referred by the senate? When did this

1850]

DEATH OF CALHOUN AND TAYLOR.

447

Omnibus Bill, as it was called, were as follows :-1. That, according to agreement made when Texas was annexed, new states not exceeding four should be formed out of her terriritory, to be admitted with or without slavery as they might choose. 2. That California should be admitted as a free state. 3. That territorial governments should be established for New Mexico and Utah, without any stipulation on the subject of slavery. 4. That Texas should give up its claim to the territory of New Mexico, in consideration of $10,000,000 to be paid her from the federal treasury. 5. That a more efficient law should be passed for the recovery of fugitive slaves. 6. That the slave-trade should be prohibited in the District of Columbia under heavy penalties. Such was the bill which as a whole was urged upon Congress by the united voice of the committee. To its discussion the summer of 1850 was mainly devoted.

589. In the midst of the excitement just described died one of the great men of the nation, John C. Calhoun. Born in South Carolina in 1782, he selected the law as his profession, was sent to the legislature of his native state in 1808, and three years afterwards to Congress. He became secretary of war in 1817, under President Monroe, and in 1825 was elected vice-president of the United States. From the close of Tyler's term he represented his native state in the senate, where he was regarded as the most formidable champion of southern interests. His death, which took place at Washington on the 31st of March, 1850, deprived the senate of one of its most effective orators.

590. On the 9th of July, the country a second time suffered bereavement in the loss of its honored chief. Taylor, like Harrison, fell at his post. A sincere patriot, with intense honesty of purpose and executive abilities of a high order, his death at this juncture, when his country needed every true heart and hand, was considered a national affliction.

committee report? What name was given to the bill they presented ? State the principal provisions of the Omnibus Bill. How long was it discussed ? 589. In the midst of the excitement, what distinguished man died? What is said of Calhoun's previous life? When did he become vice-president? How was he regarded? When and where did he die ! 590. What melancholy event took place

Public business was suspended, and eulogies were pronounced upon him by leading statesmen of all parties. By his decease Fillmore became president; and, the former cabinet having resigned, Daniel Webster was appointed secretary of state.

591. The Omnibus Bill having been thoroughly discussed, its provisions were separately agreed to, the Fugitive Slave Law, which was the last to receive the assent of Congress, passing on the 18th of September. Mr. Fillmore, who had earnestly striven to restore harmony, gladly affixed

his signature to the bill. The country was once more at peace. Clay had achieved his last and greatest triumph.

592. California thus entered the Union as the thirty-first state. Of the new territories organized by the Omnibus Bill, New Mexico, which was inhabited chiefly by Spaniards and Indians, contained at this time 61,525 free whites. Utah embraced a vast region between the Rocky Mountains and California, extending from New Mexico on the south to Oregon on the north. The Mormons, on leaving Illinois, selected it as the seat of the empire to which they believed themselves destined. Near the Great Salt Lake, at an elevation of 4,300 feet above the level of the sea, they founded a magnificent capital, with streets eight rods in width, and fine dwellings surrounded by delightful gardens. Brigham Young, one of their elders, was appointed governor of Utah by Mr. Fillmore.

593. About the commencement of Gen. Taylor's term, the island of Cuba became an object of general interest. Some adventurous spirits, believing that its annexation would be advantageous to the U. S. and that its inhabitants only waited for an opportunity to throw off the Spanish yoke, prepared to make an armed descent on this lovely “queen of the Antilles ", now nearly all that remained to Spain of her grand empire in the Indies. Pres. Taylor, in a proclamation issued August 11th, 1849, cautioned his fellow-citizens against vio

on the 9th of July! What is said of President Taylor? How was his death regarded! Who became president on his decease? Who was appointed secretary of state ? 591. Give an account of the passage of the Omnibus Bill. 592. What is said of New Mexico ? What, of Utah? What, of the Mormon capital? Whom did Fillmore appoint governor of Utah? 593. What island had shortly before this

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