as a stimulus to communal thought and feeling.
The speeches of Patrick Henry
and Samuel Adams
were as essential to our winning independence as the sessions of statesmen and the armed conflicts in the field.
And in that new West which came so swiftly and dramatically into existence at the close of the Revolution, the orator came to be regarded as the normal type of intellectual leadership.
The stump grew more potent than schoolhouse and church and bench.
The very pattern, and, if one likes, the tragic victim of this glorification of oratory was Henry Clay
, “Harry of the West
,” the glamour of whose name and the wonderful tones of whose voice became for a while a part of the political system of the United States
Union and Liberty were the master-passions of Clay
's life, but the greater of these was Union.
The half-educated young immigrant from Virginia
hazarded his career at the outset by championing Anti-Slavery in the Kentucky
Constitutional Convention; the last notable act of his life was his successful management, at the age of seventy-three, of the futile Compromise of 1850.
All his life long he fought for national issues; for the War
of 1812, for a protective tariff and an “American system,” for the Missouri