xt7ns17sng1k https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7ns17sng1k/data/mets.xml Brown, Samuel Gilman, 1813-1885. 1852  books b92-121-28575364 English Printed by John Wilson & Son, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Clay, Henry, 1777-1852. Eulogy on the life and character of Henry Clay  : delivered before the students of Dartmouth College, Oct. 15, 1852 / by S.G. Brown. text Eulogy on the life and character of Henry Clay  : delivered before the students of Dartmouth College, Oct. 15, 1852 / by S.G. Brown. 1852 2002 true xt7ns17sng1k section xt7ns17sng1k 


              E U LO G Y

                       ON' THE




                OCT. 15, 1852,

         BY S. G. BROWN, D.D.,

     lWublisbeb be Requeot of tot Stubmnts.


         22, SCHOOL STREET.


                                          DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, Oct. 15, 1852.

   Dear Sir, -At a meeting of the Students, the undersigned were appointed a

Committee to request for publication a copy of the Eulogy on the late Henry Clay,

pronounced by you this afternoon.

                                Yours very respectfully,
                                                              W. C. THOMPSON.
                                                              H. M. BACON.
                                                              F. BATES.
                                                              F. B. LORn.

                                         DARTMOUTE COLLEGE, Oct. 16, 1852.

   Gentlemen, - The Eulogy upon Mr. Clay which I had the honor to deliver before

the Students was necessarily prepared in the midst of other pressing labors, and with

no expectation of publishing it. If, however, it can contribute to the pleasure of

any, I will not hesitate to place a copy at your disposal. With great regard,

                               Your friend and servant,
                                                                 S. G. BROwN.

Messrs. W. C. Thompson, H. M. Bacon, F. Bates, F. B. Lord.


               E ULOGY.

WHEN, on the 29th day of last June, the tidings
flashed from the Capital, East, 'West, North, South,
everywhere, that the tremulous hand of the great
Western Orator was at last still forever, - that the
voice which had electrified thousands was forever
hushed, - not one could be found, political friend or
political foe, who did not feel that a great man had
fallen. There remained all, or nearly all, the differ-
erences of opinion respecting the measures he had
advocated, which ever divided men; but the strifes of
party were forgotten, that all might meet in harmony
to commemorate the virtues of the venerable states-
man. Not then, for the first time within a few years,
had the nation been called to pause in its career
before the lifeless remains of one of her greatest men;
and it is well to remember, that a call of such signi-
ficance can, in our day, be repeated but once more.



  Our country has beheld two generations of eminent
statesmen. The first laid the foundation of the Re-
public; asserted successfully the right of the Colonies
to an independent existence; organized a Constitution,
and made one nation out of many states. The second,
breathing so much of the spirit of that elder day, from
the heart of which it sprung, has for the last forty
years been pre-eminent in the state; and only just
now, by the inevitable law of nature, is giving up its
place to others.
   The life of Mr. Clay covered nearly the whole
period of our national existence. Born in 1777, the
year of the battles of Princeton and Bennington, of
Saratoga and Stillwater, four years before the surren-
der of Cornwallis virtually put an end to the war, he
was old enough to understand in some degree the
rejoicing with which peace was proclaimed and our
independence secured. He lived to see the country
extend its boundaries from the Mississippi to the Pa-
cific; its population increase from three millions to
twenty-four millions; and its power, from absolute
non-entity, grow to be acknowledged and respected
all over the world.  Towards that prodigious and
unexampled increase in every element of material
and social prosperity, he might well feel that he had
done something; that but for him the fame of the



 nation would not shine so conspicuously as it now
 does; its diplomacy might have been less energetic;
 its internal affairs less impartially and wisely admin-
 istered; its eloquence less brilliant; its moral dignity
 and power less commanding and attractive. There-
 fore it is well that the natural instinct which prompts
 us to render our feeble homage to such a memory
 should not be stifled. Not foolish and unmeaning is
 it, that the student should pause in the midst of his
 studies to recall the incidents of that public and
 splendid career, and consider the elements of that
 greatness, though he should not venture to anticipate
 the voice of history in assigning the precise measure
 of its grandeur and its fame.
   I am not unmindful, however, that, with the honor
of addressing you on this occasion, there is an atten-
dant responsibility and a peculiar difficulty; - a
responsibility, for one would not, on such a theme,
speak carelessly and without discrimination; and a
difficulty from lack of fresh and original sources of
information, and from a natural and pardonable
distrust of one's self in speaking with authority of one
whose course has been so distinguished, and whose
fortune it was to be vehemently enlisted on one side
or the other of almost every political question which
for fifty years has interested and divided the country.



  HENRY CLAY was born April 12, 1777, in Hanover
County, Virginia, - a State so fertile in distinguished
men, and a County which prides itself also as being
the birthplace of Patrick Henry. His father was a
Baptist clergyman, who died when his son was but
five years old. His mother, after a second marriage, re-
moved to Kentucky, leaving behind her the boy, who,
after spending a little time as clerk in a drug store in
Richmond, entered the office of Mr. Tinsley, Clerk of
the High Court of Chancery. Circumstances looked
sufficiently unpromising for the unfriended lad; yet
one might have, even then perhaps, seen the working
of these elements which contributed to his future
elevation, and which are necessary for success any-
where, - the diligence, fidelity, patience, resoluteness,
and self-reliance, without which no external advan-
tages will be of much avail. These qualities attracted
to himself the notice of Chancellor Wythe, whose
amanuensis he became, and whose instructions proved
especially valuable.  He subsequently studied the
law with more care and formality in the office of
Robert Brooke, Esq., then Attorney-General, and
afterward Governor of Virginia; and in 1797, at the
age of twenty, was admitted to the bar. Without
loss of time he followed his friends to Kentucky,
where, without reputation or powerful patrons, and



with a necessarily limited stock of knowledge, he
commenced the practice of his profession. A person
with his cast of mind would be apt to supply his
deficiencies in learning by a quick observation, and,
like Patrick Henry, would make a knowledge of the
human heart, and adroitness in touching the springs
of human action, take the place of familiarity with
the principles or technicalities of law. He would
be skilled in the art of his profession, rather than
profoundly versed in its science. But he early mea-
sured himself, and estimated pretty fairly his own
attainments and capacity. "I established myself in
Lexington in 1797," said he in a speech delivered
in that place about ten years since, " without patrons,
without the favor or the countenance of the great or
opulent, without the means of paying my weekly
board, and in the midst of a bar uncommonly dis-
tinguished by eminent members. I remember how
comfortable I thought I should be, if I could make
one hundred pounds, Virginia money, per year, and
with what delight I received the first fifteen shillings
fee." His success was not long problematical: he
entered rapidly upon a valuable practice, which he
retained by patient and thorough study; by the
decision and intrepidity with which he conducted his
cases; and by those remarkable powers of catching



the sympathy, of impressing and controlling the un-
derstanding, which began so early to show themselves,
and were destined to be felt all over the country.
Remarkable as these native powers were, - and in
some respects none surpassed him, none equalled him
but Patrick Henry, - he was too wise to rely wholly
upon them for success. He knew that a basis of
large and accurate knowledge, and a thorough disci-
pline of the faculties, were needed by him who aimed
at any thing beyond temporary and often injudicious
applause; and therefore the evening hours that
others spent in recreation, he for the most part spent
in diligent labor.  However much others felt, or
were destined to feel, the magnetism of his genius,
he always relied on the stable and permanent ele-
ments which are within the reach of diligence and
fidelity. Nevertheless, the earlier successes of Mr.
Clay, so far as I have seen them noticed, must have
depended in a large degree upon those various un-
rivalled original powers which enabled him to make
the bench forget the law, and the jury to love mercy
rather than justice.
  It should be remembered, for the encouragement of
all who are aiming to rival the great orator, or who
are obliged, whether they exactly desire it or not, to
attempt the practice of the art, that, like Curran, he



was for some time a member of a debating society
before he could " screw his courage up to the sticking
place" of taking part in the debates; and, when
finally induced to speak, he addressed the President
as "1 Gentlemen of the Jury," and, becoming yet more
embarrassed by his mistake and the evident recog-
nition of it by his little band of auditors, he could
only stammer out again the same familiar form,
" Gentlemen of the Jury." What if he had yielded
to the diffidence and self-distrust
  Success at the bar soon opened the way for the
exercise of his talents in a different sphere. In 1803
he was sent to the Kentucky Legislature, where he
became conspicuous by a vehement contest with the
Hon. Felix Grundy, then, as afterwards, a distin-
guished leader in the State. In the course of his pro-
fessional life a few years from this time, (and the fact
itself is one of the best proofs of the esteem in which
he was held,) he was applied to by Aaron Burr to de-
fend him from the accusation of being illegally engaged
in military operations, on which charge he had been
arrested in Kentucky. It was then the prevailing
opinion that Burr was a persecuted man, and that his
arrest was the result of political hostility.  After
being engaged as counsel for Mr. Burr, and before the
matter was brought before the grand jury, Mr. Clay



was elected to the United States Senate for the un-
finished term of General Adair. This rendered it a
delicate question with him, whether to proceed in the
defence of one virtually charged with treason. Nor
was it till Burr solemnly assured him of the inno-
cence of his intentions, and of the approbation of the
United States Government, that he consented, and
put forth those efforts that resulted in the refusal of
the Grand Jury to return a bill of indictment. Sub-
sequently, when the position of Burr was fully dis-
closed, he felt so indignant at the deceit practised
towards him by that distinguished but. dishonest man,
that he refused to recognize him when they met.
  Mr. Clay remained in the Senate at this time but a
year, and it is interesting to remember, that the very
first speech which he delivered in that body, was in
favor of the system which had not then attracted
much notice, but which afterwards became so inti-
mately connected with his efforts and fame, viz. the
system of internal improvement, - the system, as he
understood it, which, in enlarging the resources of
particular States, really added to the glory of all,
and, by facilitating commercial and social intercourse,
would bind more closely together different parts of
the country, and so strengthen  the union.   The
actual work which he advocated, - a bridge across



the Potomac, - was of little consequence; but the
principle has been thought of sufficient magnitude
to divide parties and sections.
  In returning to Kentucky, Mr. Clay returned at
once to the public service of the State. He was
immediately elected to the Legislature, and chosen
Speaker of the House. An opportunity was offered,
during the session, for rendering to the law of his
adopted State a service whose importance cannot be
easily exaggerated. A proposition had been brought
forward to prohibit "the reading of any British
elementary work on law, and reference to any pre-
cedent of a British court."  So barbarous a propo-
sition, a kind of intellectual non-intercourse act,
worthy of China or Japan, strange to say, found
in that assembly many advocates. It mattered no-
thing that the principles of justice are the same
for one hemisphere as for the other; or that we, as
British colonies, had brought hither English laws
and customs, deriving our very principles of liberty
from the British Constitution, and being taught by
the familiar maxims of English law when and why
to resist arbitrary and unjust authority. An intense,
but narrow and ignorant, patriotism was appealed to
as demanding an utter severance from the ancient
sources of legal wisdom, and the utter ignoring and



repudiating of that venerable system of common law
which it had taken ages to mould and consoli-
   Mr. Clay was strenuous in opposition, and his
speech on the occasion is spoken of as one of the
most admirable in argument, illustration, and de-
livery, which had ever been heard. Yet even that
eloquence might have been unavailing, had it not
been for an amendment which he skilfully offered by
way of compromise, the effect of which was to retain
as authoritative all English decisions previous to
July 4, 1776. Thus was secured still to the State
a treasure for which it might have been well to
risk almost a revolution.
  But we must pass from these narrower, to the more
public scenes of Mr. Clay's life. His field was most
evidently to be found in Congress. To the United
States Senate he was again returned in 1809, for the
unexpired portion of the term of Mr. Thurston, and
made himself conspicuous for his remarks in favor
of encouraging domestic manufactures. During the
next session, he became almost equally distinguished
for opposition to the United States Bank. The sub-
ject of a Bank was one of the few prominent political
subjects on which Mr. Clay's opinions underwent a
decided change.



  Leaving the Senate at the close of the two years for
which he was elected, he was at once sent to the
House of Representatives, where he received the sig-
nal honor of being elected Speaker of the House, on
the very day of first taking a seat as a member of the
body. Nor has the House ever contained a greater
amount of talent than during the time that he pre-
sided over it. There were such men as Webster, and
Calhoun, and Cheves, and Randolph, and Pitkin,
and Grundy, and Forsyth, and King, and Pickering,
and Lowndes, and Gaston, and Quincy, - the lead-
ing spirits of the country, most of them young,
ardent, enterprising, and ambitious.  The fame of
his ability as presiding officer, has come down to our
own time; and perhaps no one has ever exceeded the
tact and skill, the firmness and courtesy, with which
he discharged the duties of that difficult post. The
fierceness of party spirit at the period of his first
election (just preceding the war with England), was
such as to require the mind and skill of a master to
preserve the order of the House, and prevent an irre-
mediable confusion of business. His manner is re-
ported to have been somewhat stern, and, it may be,
occasionally arbitrary, but always dignified and cour-
teous; and to his honor it was said, that, during the
many sessions that he presided, -from 1811 to 1825,



two years of absence excepted, - marked though
they were by turbulence and strife, very few, if indeed
any, of his decisions were reversed on appeal from the
  It would be unseemly, on an occasion like the
present, to rake open the ashes of forgotten contro-
versies, and fan the embers which smoulder beneath.
History has not yet pronounced an absolute decision
upon the public measures of those days, or upon the
motives of the actors. Let us hope, that, however
we may doubt the wisdom of the former, all shall
finally agree upon the purity of the latter.
  The terrible wars of Napoleon, embroiling every
European state, began at last to have their legitimate
effect upon us too. Our nation, though true in the
main to the advice of Washington, and keeping aloof
from entangling alliances, yet could not but feel the
effect of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, and the
retaliatory Orders in Council, the effect of which was
to put our commerce at the mercy of both the French
and English cruisers; and, as the English were mas-
ters of the seas, as their national safety depended
upon preserving that mastery, their interference with
our trade was the more constant and the more annoy-
ing. Besides this, there was one principle which
England maintained, which led to still greater bitter-



ness of feeling, - the principle of "perpetual alle-
giance," so called; i. e. that a native-born British
subject was a subject always and everywhere. Hence,
American vessels were searched on the High Seas,
and the sailors impressed wherever there was a
shadow of suspicion of British origin.  The result
of this was not only great occasional injustice to
the individuals seized, (even if every pretension of
England were granted,) but ships were interrupted
in their voyages by being deprived of the necessary
men, seamen were reluctant to enter our vessels,
the merchant-service languished, and irritated and
exasperated feeling grew rife between the countries.
This principle, it may be stated in passing, has never
been formally renounced by England; but it was vir-
tually yielded, nearly ten years since, to the crushing,
the absolutely annihilating logic of Mr. Webster, in
his correspondence with Lord Ashburton.
  Two parties grew out of this state of things,-
the one in favor of war with England; the other
desirous of peace, believing that war might still
be deferred, and, if deferred, perhaps prevented.
The responsibility of the actual decision lies very
much with Mr. Clay.   Mr. Munroe, the Secretary
of State, had recently returned from his embassy to
several European courts, -latest from England,-



deeply offended at the manner in which the Euro-
pean powers were disposed to treat America, and
perhaps somewhat irritated at the want of respect
manifested towards himself as the Representative
of the nation abroad. The administration of Mr.
Madison took its hostile tone, at least in part, from
his representations.  But, even then, it is doubt-
ful whether war would have been declared, had it not
been for the impulsive and vigorous eloquence with
which Mr. Clay, throwing into the matter the whole
strength of his soul, and assisted heartily by Calhoun
and Cheves, urged it upon Congress, and in private
pressed a decision upon the Executive.  Had the
declaration been deferred a month, it probably would
not have been made at all, certainly not at that time,
because the principal ground on which it was based
was removed by England. As it was, the war-party
prevailed, and the contest was waged, with what
success and honor this is -not the place to in-
  In two years, both parties found themselves ready
to negotiate with a view to peace. The commissioners
on our side were Messrs. Adams, Clay, Gallatin,
Bayard, and Russell, who met the English plenipo-
tentiaries at Ghent, in August, 1814; and on the
24th of December, the same year, after much labor,



the treaty was completed. Whatever was gained or
lost, one thing was certain, viz. that the ability of
the American Commissioners, far from their govern-
ment, and obliged to rely in many cases on their own
judgment, while their opponents could daily consult
the ministry at home, and vary their demands accord-
ing to circumstances, - their ability and skill, I say,
drew forth the encomiums of all who watched the
progress of affairs, and were made the subject of
compliment even in the British Parliament.
  In all the laborious discussions before reaching the
desirable result, Mr. Clay took a full share; and there
was one important topic with respect to which his
part was very prominent. The treaty of 1783 con-
tained an article relative to the fisheries on the banks
of Newfoundland, the shores of Nova Scotia and
Labrador, and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The
right then conceded, it was contended by the British
Commissioners, had been lost by the war, and would
not be renewed by England without the grant of
some equivalent privilege by the United States. This
assumption was resisted from the outset, especially by
Mr. Adams; but, the importance of the fisheries being
acknowledged by all, Mr. Gallatin proposed, in order
to secure them, to give England the right of navigat-
ing the Mississippi, - a right which she had claimed



on the ground, (subsequently proved to be unfounded,)
that its head waters lay within her American posses-
sions.  This proposition of Mr. Gallatin, finally
accepted by a majority of the Commissioners, was
strenuously opposed by Mr. Clay, who felt more
keenly perhaps than the others the danger and im-
policy of allowing to any foreign nation free access
into the very heart of the country. His opposition
was so resolute, -carried even to the extent of re-
fusing his signature to a treaty which should contain
such an article, - that both the topics, the fisheries
and the navigation of the river, were withdrawn, and
reserved for future arrangement. On his return from
England, where, after the ratification of the treaty, he
had spent some time, enjoying the civilities of its
distinguished men, he was received, especially by his
adopted State, with hearty congratulations. No time
was lost in sending him again to the House of Repre-
sentatives, where, for the third time, he was elected
to preside over its deliberations, and where again he
assumed a very prominent position in supporting the
administration of Mr. Madison, and defending the
policy of the war and the treaty of peace.
  The state of the country was such as to demand the
careful attention of the government, and the hearty
co-operation of every statesman. The finances were



entirely deranged. We were nearly 120,000,000
in debt; there was small market for our agricultural
produce; of manufactures we had hardly any; our
specie was exported to England, and our banks
suspended payment; the government paper, for the
redemption of which the faith of the nation was
pledged, was depreciated twenty per cent; and distrust
and distress everywhere prevailed. As one remedy,
Mr. Madison recommended a National Bank. There
was comparatively little difference of opinion, as to
the most important measures, between the most
distinguished members of Congress; and the diffe-
rences that did exist were not "in accordance with
party organization, but from individual convictions,
supposed sectional interests, and general public
  We may possibly conclude that the main opposi-
tion of parties in later years is not founded on princi-
ples immutable as the laws of morality, when we
remember that the tariff was supported by South
Carolina, and opposed by New England; and that Mr.
Calhoun, as Chairman of the Committee on National
Currency, recommended, in an elaborate report, the
immediate chartering of a National Bank, to which
also Mr. Clay gave a full and hearty support.
  In the course of the election that followed this



Congress, an incident occurred, which, though I
believe it has been often told, illustrates so well the
skill, and yet simplicity, with which Mir. Clay could
adapt himself to the men he dealt with, that it is
worth recalling. During the preceding session, the
subject of the compensation of the members had come
before Congress; and a bill, granting an annual salary
of 1500, instead of a per diem allowance, passed
both houses. This was obnoxious to many parts of
the country, and to no State more entirely than Ken-
tucky. The unfortunate vote of Mr. Clay was seized
upon to turn the current of feeling against him; and
of this, notwithstanding his popularity, there was
some danger. While canvassing the district, he met
an old hunter, once a friend, but now alienated on
the ground of this vote. " Have you a good rifle, my
friend  " asked Mr. Clay. " Yes."  " Did it ever
flash I"  "Yes; once." ";What did you do with it
throw it away  " " No; I picked the flint, and tried
it again."  "And will you throw me away because
you think I flashed on the Compensation Bill"
"' No, no! " said the old man, his heart quite touched,
and the old love flowing back in full tide; "No, no!
I'll pick the flint, and try you again! "
  Within the next five years happened two important
events, - the one connected with the foreign, the



other with the domestic, policy of our government;
in both of which Mr. Clay's name and influence were
conspicuous. From 1810 to 1820, the Spanish States
of South America were agitated with revolutions;
struggling, with various success, against the oppres-
sive, yet weak and uncertain, government of Spain.
They at last succeeded so far as virtually to establish
their independence, and were looking to the United
States for recognition. Mr. Clay entered warmly into
the matter. His sympathies were entirely with the
South American States.    "I wish them   indepen-
dence," he said. "It is the first step towards im-
proving their condition.  Let them   have a free
government, if they are capable of enjoying it. At
any rate, let them have independence. Yes, from the
inmost recesses of my heart I wish them indepen-
dence." Notwithstanding the interest felt by all in
the liberty of those states, many prominent men
differed from Mr. Clay's specific views; and the mea-
sures which he advocated were not then successful.
He did not, however, lose sight of the object, and
repeatedly, in following years, pressed it in some form
or other upon the notice of Congress, till, in 1822, a
vote of recognition, for which he had so long labored,
passed the House of Representatives with but a sin-
gle dissenting voice. Mr. Clay's name became a



watchword in South America. The Mexican Con-
gress voted him the thanks of the nation, and the
President of Colombia wrote to express to him the
same. Whether the hopes then entertained by sin-
cere and noble-minded men concerning the South
American Republics have been essentially realized,
we need not stop to inquire.
  In 1819 Missouri presented herself for admission
to the Union; and the questions incident to that
event gave rise to the most vehement discussions. A
strong effort was made to secure the extinction of
slavery, by providing that all children of slaves, born
after the admission of the State, should be free at
the age of twenty-five. With this provision, a bill
passed the House, but was lost in the Senate; and the
question was laid over for the next session of Con-
gress. The delay only increased the exasperation of
feeling. The State legislatures took up the subject,
and passed resolutions on one side or the other.
Congress finally passed a resolution, admitting the
State without restriction, with the annexed proviso,
that, in all other territory ceded by France to the
United States under the name of Louisiana, and
lying north of 360 30' north latitude, slavery should
be prohibited. The question was not yet, however,
finally settled. The Constitution of the State was still



to be approved by Congress; and the debate was
accordingly renewed with increased bitterness in the
session of 1820-21. Party hostility rose so high as
almost to put an end to the transaction of ordinary
and necessary business.  Mr. Clay having resigned
the Speakership, private business detaining him at
home, Mr. John W. Taylor, of Newv York, a decided
opponent to the extension of slavery in Missouri,
was elected in his place.
  The excitement was still magnified by the fact
that the electoral votes for President and Vice-Presi-
dent were to be counted. Fortunately it was under-
stood that the vote of Missouri would not affect the
result. At the suggestion of Mr. Clay, who returned
to the House about the middle of January, 1821, and
when the session therefore was drawing to a close, a
committee of thirteen was appointed to consider what
should be done. After the deliberation of four days,
they presented a carefully drawn report, which, having
been discussed with great earnestness, was finally re-
jected by a vote of eighty-three to eighty. All hope of
adjustment seemed at an end, when Mr. Clay, on the
22d of February, again brought the subject forward,
by a motion for a committee of twenty-three, appointed
by the unusual method of the ballot, to consider. whe-
ther it were expedient to admit Missouri on the same



footing as the other states; and, if not, what ought to
be done. The report of that committee, somewhat
modifying the report of the preceding committee, and
in favor of the admission of the State with certain
restrictions, was finally accepted by a vote of eighty-
seven to eighty-one, was passed by the Senate, signed
by President Monroe on March 2, 1821, and Missouri
became one of the United States.
  During the discussions, an incident occurred, which
shows the irrepressible fervor and strong feeling with
which Mr. Clay conducted his side of the argument;
a fervor which was infectious, and often drew tears
from the eyes of those unaccustomed to weep. The
Speaker of the House (Mr. Taylor) was mild, impar-
tial, and conciliatory; but his very moderation in the
midst of universal excitement was sometimes pro-
voking. On one occasion, Mr. Clay, at an evening
session, moved that certain members, absent when
their names were called, be allowed to vote. The
Speaker, bland and courteous, stated that the motion
was out of order. " Then," said Mr. Clay, " I move to
suspend rule forbidding it, so as to allow the motion to
be made." The Speaker, with imperturbable polite-
ness, informed the gentleman that that motion could
only be received by unanimous consent. " Then,"
said Mr. Clay, rising to his full height, and swelling



his voice till the hall rang again, " I move to suspend
all the rules of the House: away with them! Is it to
be endured that we should be trammelled in our action
by mere forms and technicalities at a moment like
this, when the peace, and perhaps the existence, of
this Union is at stake "
  That part of Mr. Madison's administration, which
immediately succeeded the war, was termed the "era
of good feeling." The joy of peace was universal, and
few were careful to inquire whether the professed
objects of the war had been gained or not. Besides,
nearly all felt a satisfaction at the honors unexpectedly
gained by the navy, and felt, too, that the country
stood higher in reputation abroad than ever before.
In the early part of Mr. Monroe's administration, par-
ties were nearly unknown. At his second election,
he received every vote of the electoral college but one;
a degree of unanimity to which, in our history, there
has been no approach, except in the case of Wash-
  At the next election, however, the strifes and divi-
sions became as fierce, as the calmness and union
were before remarkable. No election of President
having been made by the people, three candidates
came before the House of Representatives, - Adams,
              Eulogy by Hon. J. J. Crittenden,



Jackson, and Crawford. Mr. Adams was chosen by
aid of the friends of Mr. Clay, and assumed the office
with Mr. Clay as his Secretary of St