xt7x696zww1d https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7x696zww1d/data/mets.xml Morrow, Thomas Z. 1911  books b92-269-32003542 English Lexington Herald, : Lexington, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Politics and government. Recollections of an old time Democratic mass meeting  / by Thomas Z. Morrow. text Recollections of an old time Democratic mass meeting  / by Thomas Z. Morrow. 1911 2002 true xt7x696zww1d section xt7x696zww1d 


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   An old man, it is said, is nothing if not reminiscent; especially is
this true in reference to "The Schoolboy Spot."
        "He ne'er forgets, though there he is forgot."

    In a recent eventide reverie, mentally and soulfully recalling the
olden times (of course the old times are the best, and have been since
old Father Methuselah "flung up" to his great great-grandchildren
how much better the times were when he was a boy), there caine to
me in all its youth, glory and freshness an ante-bellum mass meeting
held by the "unterrified Democracy" on the college grounds (now
Gratz Park) in Lexington, Ky., on the 5th of October, 1855. I had
shortly before graduated at old Center College and was a matriculant
in Transylvania Law School. The venerable and learned and scholar-
ly Judge George Robertson was Dean of the faculty; Frank Hunt and
Black Kinkead (as we boys lovingly, not irreverently, called them)
the professors; no institution could lay claim to any more faithful
or capable; to them the labors were ones of love and sacrifice, not for
profit or gain; honor to their memories, peace to their ashes; if their
pupils have not met the full measure of success, it is the fault of the
soil, not in the seed or the hands of the sowers. As the humblest of
the many who benefitted by their instruction, I gladly place this
wreath on their tombs.
    The contest in the State which immediately preceded this meeting
was indeed a memorable one the race for State officers. In the latter
part of 1854 or early in 1855, the Whig party having vanished with


                    By THOMAS Z. MORROW.


the election of Franklin Pierce over Gen. 'Winfield Scott, a new party
had sprung up. It had an unprecedented success in most of the East-
ern portion of the country, was carrying everything before its fierce
assaults and was working its way into the South. It was the Ameri-
can or Know Nothing party, or, as sometimes called, "Sam."  The
main planks in its platform were hostility to foreigners, dread of the
temporal power of the Pope of Rome, and that the office should seek
the man and not the man the office. It was a secret oath-bound or-
ganization and its proceedings known only to the initiated. Excite-
ment ran high and on many an occasion bloodshed was narrowly
averted; reason seemed to have been thrown to the winds. Epithets
more vile, denunciations more vitriolic never fell from human lips;
missiles were hurled without regard as to who was hit or hurt. The
Know Nothings were the "Dark Lanterns," the Democracy the "Sag-
nitchs." The Louisville Journal, then edited by that prince of jour-
nalists, George D. Prentice, had lurid columns of wit, sarcasm and en-
venomed invective warning against foreign and Catholic supremacy,
going so far in an issue a short time before the election as to declare
that it had proof positive that the Democrats were going to import
an alien people to vote, all of whom carried "Black Carpet Bags"; it
appeared as if the State was to be invaded by "All Gaul." The Black
Carpet Baggers grew as thick and fast as Falstaff's men in buekram.
As may be conceived, this intensified the already belligerent partisans.
This brought from Harney, of the Democrat, counter charges of as-
sassination to be done by the midnight conclave that was afraid and
ashamed to show faces or do deeds in the sunlight, but hid behind
closed doors, bound by oaths as revolting as any taken by Guy Fawkes
and other similar conspirators.
    In accordance with the platform, the nomination for the office of
Governor sought Judge Loving, a mild, inoffensive gentleman, scarce-
ly known beyond his immediate vicinity. Against him the Democrats
presented Beverly L. Clarlke, a man of considerable reputation as a
rought and ready, all around stumper and no tyro in the political am-
phitheater. Clarke took the field with a blare of trumpets and his
crude but strong efforts were winning votes. Loving, on the theory
that the office was seeking him, was quieseent and not before the pub-
lic. In this situation it soon dawned on "Sam" that a mistake had
been made; that the office in point of fact had not sought Judge Lov-


ing, at least it was not in hot pursuit of him. Something had to be
done and that quickly. That something was done and a man of quite
another ilk-Charles S. Morehead-was substituted. On his entrance
his party took new heart, the battle under his leader ship went bravely
on; from a silent army became aggressive, hopeful, and finally reached
the goal a winner. Clarke was plainly overmatched, as was made
manifest in the joint debate at Harrodsburg, to which 1 listened, and
from which I came away a sadder and a wiser boy. I had gone ex-
pecting wool, but had got sheared; Morehead had unmistakably car-
ried off the laurels. Morehead was in many respects a really great
man, an accomplished Belles-Lettres scholar, a polished speaker, con-
versant with politics and generally popular with all who knew him.
He did not have a single porcupine quill about his person. In voice,
speech and manner he was as unctuous as the oil that dripped from
Aaron's beard. Early in life he obtained, and held till its close, the
sobriquet of "Ephraim Smooth."
    The contest was vicious and brutal, but to my personal knowl-
edge it had one gleam of pure light, one, apparently ludicrous but
really beautiful exhibition of the highest of all Christian virtues-
brotherly love. Brother Tompkins, a Know Nothing of Know Noth-
ings, and Brother Gore, a Democrat "of purest ray serene," were
active members of the Methodist church in Danville. During the fierc-
est of the wvar, a distinguished bishop held a revival meeting in which
the wonted interest had not appeared. This the good minister not un-
naturally laid at the doors of the church membership. In remedy
whereof he delivered a sermon of great power and pathos, advising
and demanding that the church itself get straight, that God could not
and would not bless the efforts being made to save souls unless the
congregation was in the dust before him, that the first prerequisite
was for the brethren to be at a oneness with each other and that the
highest evidence of this was to exhibit the love the brothers had for
one another. Brother Tompkins was gifted in experience, in fact
wore and was entitled to wear the blue ribbon as an experiencer and
testifier. He promptly took the floor to make a deliverance. In mov-
ing tones he related what the Lord had done for him, warmed as he
wvent, and finally reached the climax in which he told how he loved
all of God's children, even his own personal and political enemies. In
the heighth of his paroxysm he rushed across the aisle, threw both


arms around Brother Gore and with streaming eyes and tearful voice
said: "Why, Brother Gore, I love you just as well as if you wasn't a
Dimmycrat." Christian love could go no further; the preterea nihil
had been reached.
    As an enthusiastic Democrat of the "Young America," "Mani-
fest Destiny," Stephen A. Douglass, John C. Breckinridge school, I
greedily took in and assimilated as gospel truth the rhetoric, logic, wit
and politics that was handed out without stint at the meeting. Much
of the captivating oratory and many of the indelibly impressed in-
cidents of that day are vividly present with me as I write. To me
they have all the sweetness and beauty of "a rose newly blown in
June," the fragrance of a sandaled-wood box. It was an anniversary
of the brilliant victory of Gen. Harrison on the banks of the Thames
in which Kentucky and Kentuckians won imperishable renown on
"the crest of a foreign foe." The whole panorama, past and present,
spread out before me in hues as gorgeous as the tints of the rainbow.
The combination could but make the blood bound and the heart swell
to its utmost tension. I was listening to the orators, statesmen and
patriots of the present hour; my imagination was fraught with recol-
lections of the deeds of daring of heroes of a truly heroic age. And
who were these heroes They are a few of the "immortal names that
were not born to die."  Conspicuous amongst the bravest and the
best was Col. Richard M. Johnson, mounted on his game little mare of
purest white, as distinguishing a mark for rally of comrade and tar-
get for foe as the plume of Navarre. And there was Shelby, King's
Mountain Shelby, the daring pioneer Whitley, the brave Todd, the
dauntless Desha, Allen, Crittenden, McDowell and a host of others,
sufficient in numbers and achievement, if it had naught else, to estah-
Jish the reputation of the State, nominally the second but in verity
the first born of the Union.
                      "Their swords are rust,
          Their souls are with the saints we trust."
    The meeting was held ostensibly as the forerunner of an antici-
pated triumph of the party in the State at the next general electi'n
(and it did go to victory in 1856 under Buck and Breck), but its real
purpjnse was to advance the candidacy of Douglass for the presiden-
tial nomination. Native Americanism had been hard hit by Henry A.
Wise in Virginia, been wounded to the point of death by Andrew


Johnson in Tennessee, and had succeeded by so meager a majority in
Kentucky, with so able a leader as Morehead, as to render it certain
that "Ilium fuit" would be written over its grave.
    The great lights, "the observed of all observers," were Douglas,
Pugh, Willard and Breckinridge, a quartette of States and statesmen
worthy of all admiration. From the State were Governor Powell,
William Preston, T. C. McCreery, John il. Elliott, Albert Gallatin
Talbott and a score of other scarcely less known political luminaries.
    The grand stand was erected on the east side of the campus,
about midway between Second and Third streets. It was filled to the
extent of its seating capacity with distinguished visitors, and there
was quite a bevy of the beauties of the city and surrounding count es.
The grounds were literally packed and jammed with the best citizen-
ship of the city and the highest type of the farmer-it was indeed a
notable gathering.
    As was to have been exepected, the principal address was deliv-
ered by Senator Douglas, and it was indeed a speech. Its delivery
occupied something like two hours; it was mainly devoted to an ex-
planation and defense of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, of which he was
the father, and the passage of which under his able leadership had
stirred the political sea to its profoundest depths. By many it has been
regarded as the Iliad of the woes that so soon followed in its wake,
ending in civil war. The impression made was profound, and if cheers
and words of cordial assent be an indicia it was absolutely convinc-
ing; these were plentifully sprinkled from the Alpha to the Omega.
The style and manner of Douglas was neither declamatory or rhet-
orical; he seldom used tropes or figurative language; was free from
classical allusions in prose or poetry; he relied on clearness and
accuracy of statement and clean-cut logic, which in his hands was
as terrible  and  invincible  as  Caesar 's Tenth  Legion;  dis-
tinct enunciation, a wvell modulated voice, free from descending to the
almost inaudible whisper, and then rising to the ear-piercing shriek;
was wholly without any of the artifices of the professional elocution-
ist; he employed plain English as spoken and understood by the com-
monality and without reference to derivation from the dead lan-
jpuages. In one instance he drew an illustration from Holy Writ. In
the course of his strong denunciation of the fanaticism and illiberality
of the Know Nothing party and the evils that would follow from an


acceptance of its teachings, he declared them to be as infamous as the
giving of the head of John the Baptist to Herodias, and demanded
whether the head of civil and religious liberty was to be surrendered
on a charger at the request of the dancing harlot of Know Nothingism.
I had not then, I have not since, taking it in its entirety, heard the
equal of that address.
    At night the exercises were continued at the Market Place with
an overflow meeting at the court house. At the former Governor
Powell presided. His every appearance, even for the most trivial pur-
pose, was the occasion for spontaneous, genuine, hearty applause.
Kentucky has had but few public men with greater personal populari-
ty. He was plain in manner, devoid of ostentation, jovial, genial,
kindly, an(l could from nature, not dissimulation, adapt himself to
most classes. He had lost to Crittenden in the race for Governor in
184S, was renominated in 1851, and after a vigorous campaign won
out over Archibald Dixon by the small majority of 850. At the time
there was a current rumor that Powell had been the recipient of val-
uable encouragement and aid from the membership of the Methodist
Church. The story went that a few years before the race the State
Conference was held at Henderson, of which Dixon and Powell were
both residents. The former took but little, if any, interest in the pro-
ceedings. On the contrary, Powell was pretty generally in attendance
at the sessions, formed the acquaintance of most of the delegates, and
kept open house for them. Both preacher and layman were loud in
praise of Brother Powell, and this had not been forgotten on that, for
Powell, auspicious first Monday in August, 1851. This may or may
not be true. To all doubters or agnostics I can only say I heard it
just sixty years ago. The balance of the Whig ticket succeeded by
five thousand.
    As presiding officer it was his duty to introduce the speakers;
this he always did happily. His introduction of Governor Willard,
for brevity, beauty of diction and completeness, has no equal in all the
annals of introductory speeches. He said: "I have the honor and
pleasure of introducing the Hon. Ashbael P. Willard, of the State of
Indiana; at home they call him Hotspur, but I assure you there lives
not the harry of -Monmouth that can vanquish him." At this pande-
monium broke loose in the audience; Douglas, Pugh, Breckinridge,
Preston, in fact all on the platform, clustered around Powell and Wil-


lard in hearty congratulations. It was an impressive scene and fully
bore out the statement of Seargent S. Prentiss that an apt quotation
from Shakespeare, Scott or Byron could always arouse the enthusiasm
of any crowd, however unlearned. In this instance the appreciation
was unanimous. It deserves to be rescued from oblivion. Willard
fully justified the enconium and measured up to the standard.
    Pugh followed in a magnificent effort, more oratorical than
Douglas, less so than Willard. He was one of the few men Mwho, start-
ing on tiptoe, gradually ascended until he reached the zenith. after
the opening sentence he never touched terra firma, but kept upward
and onward, closing with a dramatic peroration. In the art of climax
he much resembled the godlike Webster, who in that respect was the
Supreme Past Grand Master.
    Next on the program was Hon. William Preston. As a candidate
for Congress in the Louisville district at the previous August elec-
tion he had gone down before Humhlprey Marshall, but it took
"Bloody Monday" with all its shame and disgrace to do it. He was
bv birth and conviction a Henry Clay lWhig; when "Sam," as the
narrow-minded party denominated itself, attempted as its platform
enunciated to rise on the ruins and in spite of the opposition of the
Whig and Democratic parties, he without hesitation aligned himself
with the Democracy. In so doing he was in thorough accord with tile
warfare he made on this subject against the Hon. Garret Davis in
the Constitutional Convention of 1850. The prejudice and hatred of
this intolerant and bigoted party could find no lodgment in his heart
or brain. His tall, well-proportioned figure, clear complexion, promii-
nent Roman nose, high, broad forehead, brilliant eyes, intellectual
look, cultured elocution and splendid declamation commanded the
attention and compelled the applause of the audience.
    The most exciting and enthusiastic event of all was at the ad-
journment by Governor Powell. Preparatory thereto lie announced
that during his race for Governor he had promised a flag to the county
giving him the largest majority; that the coveted prize belonged to
the county of Johnson and would be presented at the State Conven-
tion to be held at Frankfort on the ensuing 8th of January. (In ye
olden time all the Democratic conventions were held on the 8th, St.
Jackson's day.) At this pronouncement, to use the expression of a
delegate, "H-1 broke over the levee;" the crowd went fairly wild


with enthusiasm. Scarcely had quiet been obtained when a represen-
tative from another county in stentorian tones yelled, "Don't forget
us Governor, we were only ten behind Johnson and but for a wedding
in one of the precincts that kept some away we would have won";
then came more cheering as county after county asked a complimenta-
ry word for what it had done. It was a good half hour before they
would let the old man off.
    At its conclusion, I strolled over to the Court House, and to my
gratification found the Hon. T. C. MeCreery in the full tide of his in-
comparable oratory. It is useless to say that it was fully up to his
best efforts. He was frequently interrupted by some ill-mannered and
not overly sober Sammite. This was suffered for awhile. Finally Mc-
Creery made a pause, and, pointing his finger at the interrupter, said:
"There lives down in my country a man ninety years old, who, since
he was fifteen, heard every speech delivered within twenty miles of
him; he was never known to interrupt a public speaker and was al-
ways regarded as a gentleman. The proceedings interested the bois-
terous individual no further; he was firmly lifted out of the window
onto the ground; he did not return.
    The dramatis personae of this wonderful gathering have all
passed from the stage of action; their deeds are a part, an honorable
part, of history. (Of the multitude present it may be "that I only am
escaped alone to tell the tale.") Pugh and Willard had reached the
high mark of their greatness and went out with the ebb. Willard
was about heart-broken over the connection of his brother-in-law, the
gifted young Cook, with the fatal and disastrous invasion of Virginia
by John Brown. He did his best to save him, employing Hon. D. W.
Voorhies, then Attorney General of Indiana, to defend. The latter on
the trial established his fame as an advocate; the speech delivered is
by competent critics pronounced as worthy to rank as a classic.
     Pugh lingered too long in the political arena, the younger set
passed him in the race, and as is but too often the case with men who
will not learn to grow old gracefully and learn that they must either
get off the political stool or be shoved off, grew cynical. The nomi-
ness of the Democratic State Convention that nominated R. M. Bishop
for Governor were one and all said to be distasteful to him; he raked
them fore and aft, and of Bishop he said the party had nominated a
man "with a d-d magnificent beard," as his only comment.


    Douglas did not get the nomination in 1856, it going to Buchanan,
not that the latter had any popularity or that anybody particularly
wanted him; he had been a candidate so often and so long that every
aspirant of the old regime had died and it fell to him as a question of
survivorship; he simply lived into it and that was all.
    To adopt the now current phrase, Douglas insurged against the
administration on territorial affairs and became persona non grata
at the White House; he got neither aid nor comfort from that source
in his contest with Lincoln for the senatorship. Of that superb bat-
tle, now of world-wide fame, it is not necessary to say more in this
article than that, as predicted by Lincoln, it lost Douglas the presi-
dency thought he gained the senatorship; Lincoln missed the Senate
and won the higher prize. It is worthy of note that Douglas and our
own Henry Watterson should have vied with each other as to which
should be Lincoln 's hat-holder while delivering his first inaugural,
Douglas afterwards to give an earnest, zealous support to the admin-
istration, the other to unite his fortunes with the Confederacy, to
fight to the end, and return to become the champion eulogist of the
martyred President, the defender of his reputation against all deniers.
Mr. Watterson came back to the restored Union with his face to the
rising, not the setting sun, entered on the work of journalist and is
by all odds the Rupert of that profession. He had and has convic-
tions on all public subjects and the undoubted, unquailing courage of
them. He smote the Kuklux "hip and thigh," and gave his ready
pen, vote and voice for that act of plain justice to black and white
alike, the right of the negro to be introduced as a witness in his own
behalf, and the right of another, regardless of color, to have the bene-
fit of his testimony. With apologies to Governor Powell, "There lives
not the Oliver Cromwell who can vanquish him."
    Douglas died too young; higher prospects were spread out before
him; he had not reached the limits of his acknowledged powers of
leadership. His argument in the House of Representatives in 1842 in.
favor of refunding with interest the fine of one thousand dollars in-
flicted on General Jackson by Judge Hall of New Orleans in 1815 for
disobedience of a writ of habeas corpus and the imprisonment of the
judge himself, by "Old Hickory," was at the time regarded as one
of the most masterly and convincing legal arguments that had been
heard in that body. The bill passed giving to the hero, chietfain,


statesman and patriot about three thousand dollars at a time when
sorely needed. Jackson always expressed a lively sense of gratitude
for what he thought to be but an act of simple justice and a proper
vindication of his course in that connection. Honor, to the judge,
whether he was legally right or wrong in his view of the law, who
could so uphold the majesty of the judiciary against him who had
just beaten the British in one of the most renowned battles of our
country's history and who at the time was surrounded by a wrought-
up soldiery; no less honor to the great chieftain who by at once paying
the fine exhibited the highest characteristic of the law-abiding citizen.
On a visit of Douglas to the Hermitage in 1845 Jackson said, "I al-
ways thought I was within my rights as a military commander, but
you have placed it upon impregnable grounds, and on your argument
I may safely leave the question to posterity." This, with his success-
ful debate with John Quincy Adams as to the location of the true
boundary line between Texas and Mexico, entitles him to a front rank
in the legal profession; second only to Henry Clay, he is easily the
first of American parliamentary leaders.
    Powell by the unanimous vote of his party was elected to a seat
in the United States Senate; was a member during the war and
though not in accord with the majority maintained the good will of
all; in response to a request of the General Assembly to resign, he
answered that if any resigning was to be done for the members them-
selves to do it, and from what he knew of them it would be an act
highly gratifying to their several constituency. He was a man of con-
siderable ability, true to his own thoughts and tolerant towards those
who differed from him. He merited the honors showered upon him.
    Hon. T. C. AMcCreery was also elevated to the National Senate,
and discharged its duties with ability and fidelity. His one patent
defect was carelessness of his fame. He took no pains, to the detri-
ment of posterity, to preserve or care for his literary, political or fo-
rensic offspring, but flung them off like a bird its brood to shift for
themselves as best they could.
    Preston upheld the honor of the Nation and the flag as Minister
to Spain, joined the Confederacy and justly held high rank as a
    Elliott became circuit judge and judge of the Court of Appeals,
and during his incumbency of the latter position was shot to death by


Buford in revenge for an adverse decision that had been rendered
against him. Buford was acquitted on the ground of insanity and
placed in the asylum, from which he escaped to the State of Indiana.
He was not captured, there being no law justifying the extradition of
a fugitive lunatic.
    Talbott was re-elected to Congress, then to the State Senate and
was favorably mentioned as Minister to Austria under Cleveland.
    The gifted Beck had not up to that time taken any active part in
politics, devoting his entire attention to the practice of his profession,
the law. He was a hard student, an indefatigable worker, a success-
ful trial attorney and had marvelous powers of endurance; it is said
he could, where his labors demanded it, sit up six nights in the week
and be fresh in the court room during the day. HIe was an original
Whig and believed in Henry Clay. When that party made its last
stand in 1852 for General Winfield Scott, and the ostracizing cam-
paign against persons of foreign birth was being waged, he unlhesi-
tatingly cast his fortunes with the party of his partner, Breckinridge.
He took no part in the meeting, but did yeoman service in 1856 for the
national Democratic ticket. It was my privilege to have heard the de-
bate at Lancaster between him and the then venerable Judge Robert-
son. It was a battle royal; youthful virility and strong intellect
against matured mind and long experience on the hustings and at the
bar. The discussion was conducted with that courtesy and decorum
of which each were exponents. Appeals were made by them to the
head and not the heel; conviction on the part of the hearer was sought
by reason of the justice of the cause-this was the end and aim of
both. In 1861 Beck entered the race for the State Senate against
James F. Robinson, of Scott. The gravest of constitutional questions
were at issue, and the canny Scot made Robinson play his best trump
cards and watch eagerly for the odd trick; it turned by a slight mar-
gin in favor of Robinson. Had Beck won, the political life of Rob-
inson would have gone out in gloom. As it was, by the resignation of
that true gentleman, Beriah Miagoffin, his picture hangs on the walls
of the State Capitol as one of the governors of the Commonwealth.
    Alagoffin occupied an embarrassing position. The Unionists dis-
trusted him and practically took out of his hands everything that
pertained to the war; he was not in sympathy with what he called a
war on the States. This was irksome to him, and he desired to leave


an unpleasant office. John F. Fiske was acting Lieutenant Governor,
and as he was a native of Vermont, Magoffin was unwilling to resign
and thus make a man not of Kentucky, but of Yankee birth, Governor
at that juncture. He announced that if a change was made in the
presiding officer of the Senate that he would resign. Fiske after con-
siderable hesitancy yielded and resigned. Robinson was elected in his
stead, MNagoffin promptly resigned and Robinson assumed the guber-
natorial chair. Fiske was immediately re-elected to the position he
had previously occupied. Fiske was a bright, able man and had the
confidence of his party; the only objection Magoffin had to him was
his being of northern birth.
    The after career of Beek is known of all men. The warm friend-
ship that existed between him and President Arthur is worthy of all
praise and illustrates one of the peculiarities of American politics,
that however divergent our differences may be, we not unfrequently
find our warmest friendships among our antagonists. I have heard,
read, dreamed or it came to me like "Topsy growed up," that when
Mr. Hendricks made the continental tour he visited Paris and during
his stay sojourned with a Republican friend from Indianapolis high in
the embassy. Of course Mr. Hendricks was taken by the friend to pay
his respects to the French Premier. On the introduction the French
minister said, I don't understand your being so friendly with
Mr. Hendricks; while I am not familiar with American politics, I
know enough to be informed that you are a prominent Republican and
Mr. Hendricks the leading Democrat; it looks strange to a Frenchman
to see you socially friendly. Mr. Hendricks answered: "Nothing at
all strange about it; in America politics do not divide as to friendship;
this gentleman and myself live in the same city, on the same street,
our wives attend the same church and children the same Sunday
school; I have not for years had a note in bank that he was not my
endorser or he one that I was not his endorser, and yet we never
voted for each other for office in our lives." This and some similar
seemingly idiosyncracies caused an old Dutchman who had been in
this country only a few years to exclaim, "Mlein Got, vot a peeples."
So say I-a brave people, a progressive people, a liberty loving people,
good and bad, thanks be to God, whatever any one may say to the
contrary, infinitely more good than bad. The house cleaning in Church
and State which is going on will still increase the number of the good.


    Robert W. Wooley had been the Democratic candidate for Attor-
ney General. He was barely eligible. No more energetic, dashing
canvass has been made in the State; he literally carried his audience
by storm, so fiery and impetuous were his assaults. The issues were
suited to one line of his genius.
    The subject whether this should be the asylum for the oppressed
of all nations and the home of religious liberty strongly appealed to
him. Never was Magna Charta, Runnymede, the liberal sentiments
of the catholic Lord Baltimore, the dramatic signing of the Declara-
tion of Independence by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, more eloquent-
ly portrayed. Trope, figure, illustration, poetic and historical, "the
rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air," fairly sparkled. He
was not inaptly styled the Phillips of Kentucky. Like the bright son
of Erin, later in life his mentalism exhibited a different and antago-
nistine trend. Both from being noted as jury advocates became
strong in chancery. Phillips removed to London and took a front
rank in the equity forum, throwing aside entirely his coruscations.
Wooley took up his residence in Louisville and devoted himself almost
exclusively to municipal and corporation law. In these departments
he was an adept, standing confessedly in the very front rank. Wendell
Phillips in one of his ferocious and remorseless tirades against the
legal profession because it was supposed to stand for the Fugitive
Slave Law and especially against Rufus Choate, declared "that no
burglar in Boston went out to ply his nefarious trade without making
inquiries as to the health of Mr. Choate." So strong was the confi-
dence in the opinion of Wooley on the subject of street and pavement
improvements, in Louisville, that no payment was made on the first
demand, the answer universally being to wait till he heard what Bob
Wooley said about it.
    John C. Breckinridge made no speech, courtesy requiring that
the posts of honor should be given to the distinguished guests. How-
ever, he came in for his full share of the honors, his every appearance
being greeted with loud cheers. He was in the early spring time of
life; the "Rose and expectancy of the State"; the personification of
manly beauty; tall, lithe of person,hair like the raven 's plumage, large
grey eyes, a clean sha