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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. (search)
e, went on to Washington to claim his seat. He was admitted to the bar of the House to defend and assert his right. He then delivered that speech which took the House and the country by storm; an effort, which, if his fame rested upon it alone, for its manliness of tone, exquisite satire, gorgeous imagery and argumentative power, would have rendered his name imperishable. The House, opposed to him as it was in political sentiment, reversed its former judgment, which declared Gholson and Claiborne entitled to their seats, and divided equally on the question of admitting Prentiss and Word. The Speaker, however, gave the casting vote against the latter, and the election was referred back to the people. Mr. Prentiss addressed a circular to the voters of Mississippi, in which he announced his intention to canvass the State. The applause which greeted him at Washington, and which attended the speeches he was called upon to make in the north, came thundering back to his adopted Stat