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must arrest the career of South American deliverance from thraldom. They must blow out the moral lights around us, and extinguish that greatest torch of all which America presents to a benighted world pointing the way to their rights, their liberties, and their happiness. And when they have achieved all these purposes, their work will be yet incomplete. They must penetrate the human soul, and eradicate the light of reason and the love of liberty. Then, and not till then, when universal darkness and despair prevail, can you perpetuate slavery, and repress all sympathies, and all humane and benevolent efforts among freemen, in behalf of the unhappy portion of our race doomed to bondage.
Our friends, who are cursed with this greatest of human evils, deserve the kindest attention and consideration. Their property and their safety are both involved. But the liberal and candid among them will not, cannot, expect that every project to deliver our country from it is to be crushed because of a possible and ideal danger.
Animated by the encouragement of the past, let us proceed under the cheering prospects which lie before us. Let us continue to appeal to the pious, the liberal, and the wise. Let us bear in mind the condition of our forefathers, when, collected on the beach of England, they embarked, amidst the scoffings and the false predictions of the assembled multitude, for this distant land; and here, in spite of all the perils of forest and ocean, which they encountered, successfully laid the foundations of this glorious republic. Undismayed by the prophecies of the presumptuous, let us supplicate the aid of the American representatives of the people, and redoubling our labors, and invoking the blessings of an all-wise Providence, I boldly and confidently anticipate success. I hope the resolution which I offer will be unanimously adopted.
[AFTER the triumphant election of General Jackson as President in 1828, and his imposing Inauguration to that office, March 4th, 1829, a number of the friends of Mr: Clay, (who had resigned the post of Secretary of State the day before that Inauguration, and was preparing to return to his Western home) insisted that he should meet them around the festive board prior to his departure. To this request he acceded. The fifth toast was:
“ Health, prosperity, and happiness to our highly valued and esteemed guest and fellow.citizen, HENRY CLAY. " Whatever the future destination of his life, he has done enough for honor, and need desire no higher reward than the deep seated affection and respect of his friends and his country.”
This having been received with profound enthusiastic feeling, Mr. Clay arose and addressed the company as follows:]
In rising, Mr. President, to offer my respectful acknowledgements for the honors of which I am here the object, I must ask the indulgence of yourself and the other gentlemen now assembled, for an unaffected embarrassment, which is more sensibly felt than it can be distinctly expressed. This city has been the theatre of the greater portion of my public life. You, and others whom I now see, have been spectators of my public course and conduct. You and they are, if I may borrow a technical expression from an honorable profession, of which you and I are both members, jurors of the vicinage. To a judgment rendered by those who have thus long known me, and by others though not of the panel, who have possessed equal opportunities of forming correct opinions, I most cheerfully submit. If the weight of human testimony should be estimated by the intelligence and respectability of the witness, and the extent of his knowledge of the matter on which he testifies, the highest consideration is due to that which has been this day spontaneously given. I shall ever
calumnies which have been so perseveringly circulated to my prejudice, have stood by me with a generous confidence and a noble magnanimity. The measure of their regard and confidence has risen with, and even surpassed, that of the malevolence, great as it is, of my personal and political foes. I thank you, gentlemen, who are a large portion of my late constituents. I thank you, and every one of them, with all my heart, for the manly support which I have uniformly received. It has cheered and consoled me, amidst all my severe trials; and
I not add, that it is honorable to the generous hearts and enlightened heads who have resolved to protect the character of an old friend and faithful servant ?
The numerous manifestations of your confidence and attachment will be among the latest and most treasured recollections of my life. They impose upon me obligations which can never be weakened or cancelled. One of these obligations is, that I should embrace every fair opportunity to vindicate that character which you have so generously sustained, and to evince to you and to the world, that you have not yielded to the impulses of a blind and enthusiastic sentiment. I feel that I am, on all fit occasions, especially bound to vindicate myself to my former constituents. It was as their representative, it was in fulfilment of a high trust which they confided to me, that I have been accused of violating the most sacred of duties-of treating their wishes with contempt, and their interests with treachery. Nor is this obligation, in my conception of its import, at all weakened by the dissolution of the relations which heretofore existed between us. I would instantly resign the place I hold in the councils of the nation, and directly appeal to the suffrages of my late constituents, as a candidate for re-election, if I did know that my
foes are of that class whom one rising from the dead cannot convince, whom nothing can silence, and who wage a war of extermination. On the issue of such an appeal, they would redouble their abuse of you and of me, for their hatred is common to us both.
They have compelled me so often to be the theme of my addresses to the people, that I should have willingly abstained, on this festive occasion, from any allusion to this subject, but for a new and imposing form which the calumny against me has recently assumed. I am again put on my defence, not of any new charge, nor by any new adversary ; but of the old charges, clad in a new dress, and exhibited
by an open and undisguised enemy. The fictitious names have been stricken from the foot of the indictment, and that of a known and substantial prosecutor has been voluntarily offered. Undaunted by the formidable name of that prosecutor, I will avail myself, with your indulgence, of this fit opportunity of free and unreserved intercourse with you, as a large number of my late constituents, to make some observations on the past and present state of the question. When evidence shall be produced, as I have now a clear right to demand, in support of the accusation, it will be the proper time for me to take such notice of it as its nature shall require.
In February, 1825, it was my duty, as the representative of this district, to vote for some one of the three candidates for the Presidency, who were returned to the House of Representatives. It has been established, and can be further proved, that, before I left this state the preceding fall, I communicated to several gentlemen of the highest respectability, my fixed determination not to vote for General Jack
The friends of Mr. Crawford asserted to the last, that the condition of his health was such as to enable him to administer the duties of the office. I thought otherwise, after I reached Washington city, and visited him to satisfy myself; and thought that physical impediment, if there were no other objections, ought to prevent his election. Although the delegations from four States voted for him, and his pretensions were zealously pressed to the very last moment, it has been of late asserted, and I believe by some of the very persons who then warmly espoused his cause, that his incompetency was so palpable as clearly to limit the choice to two of the three returned candidates. In my view of my duty, there was no alternative but that which I embraced. That I had some objections to Mr. Adams, I am ready freely to admit; but these did not weigh a feather in comparison with the greater and insurmountable objections, long and deliberately entertained against his competitor. I take this occasion, with great satisfaction, to state, that my objections to Mr. Adams arose chiefly from apprehensions which have not been realized. I have found him at the head of the government, able, enlightened, patient of investigation, and ever ready to receive with respect, and, when approved by his judgment, to act upon the counsels of his official advisers. I add, with unmixed pleasure, that, from the commencement of the government, with the exception of Mr. Jefferson's administration, no chief magistrate has found the members of his cabi
net so united on all public measures, and so cordial and friendly in all their intercourse, private and official, as these are of the present President.
Had I voted for General Jackson, in opposition to the well-known opinions which I entertained of him, one-tenth part of the ingenuity and zeal which have been employed to excite prejudices against me, would have held me up to universal contempt; and what would have been worse, I should have felt that I really deserved it.
Before the election, an attempt was made by an abusive letter, published in the Columbian Observer, at Philadelphia, a paper which, as has since transpired, was sustained by Mr. Senator Eaton, the colleague, the friend, and the biographer of General Jackson, to assail my motives, and to deter me in the exercise of my duty. This letter being avowed by Mr. George Kremer, I instantly demanded from the House of Representatives an investigation. A committee was accordingly, on the 5th day of February, 1825, appointed in the rare mode of balloting by the House, instead of by selection of the Speak
It was composed of some of the leading members of that body, not one of whom was my political friend in the preceding Presidential canvass. Although Mr. Kremer, in addressing the House, had declared his willingness to bring forward his proofs, and his readiness to abide the issue of the inquiry, his fears, or other counsels than his own, prevailed upon him to take refuge in a miserable subterfuge. Of all possible periods, that was the most fitting to substantiate the charge, if it was true. Every circumstance was then fresh ; the witnesses all living and present; the election not yet complete; and therefore the imputed corrupt bargain not fulfilled. All these powerful considerations had no weight with the conspirators and their accessories, and they meanly shrunk from even an attempt to prove their charge, for the best of all possible reasons—because, being false and fabricated, they could adduce no proof which was not false and fabricated.
During two years and a half, which have now intervened, a portion of the press devoted to the cause of General Jackson has been teeming with the vilest calumnies against me, and the charge, under every chameleon form, has been a thousand times repeated. Up to