previous next

‘ [318] own countrymen, but that of the civilized world? How has he, the most unromantic of great men, become the hero of a living romance, the ideal of an inflamed fancy, even before his life has been invested with the mystery of distance?’ From that day to this these inquiries have been propounded in every variety of form, and with an ever-increasing interest.

To answer these questions will be one object of this discourse; and yet the public will not expect me, in so doing, to furnish a new delineation of the life of Jackson, or a rehearsal of the story of his campaigns. Time does not permit this, neither does the occasion demand it. By a brief series of ascending propositions do I seek to furnish the solution. I find an explanation of the regard in which the memory of Jackson is cherished—

1st. In the fact that he was the incarnation of those heroic qualities which fit their possessor to lead and command men, and which, therefore, always attract the admiration, kindle the imagination and arouse the enthusiasm of the people.

There is a natural element in humanity which constrains it to honor that which is strong, and adventurous, and indomitable. Decision, fortitude, inflexibility, intrepidity, determination, when consecrated to noble ends, and especially when associated with a gentleness which throws a softened charm over these sterner attributes, ever win and lead captive the popular heart.

The masses who compose the commonalty, consciously weak and irresolute, instinctively gather around the men of loftier stature in whom they find the great forces wanting in themselves, and spontaneously follow the call of those whom they think competent to redress their wrongs and vindicate their rights.

These are the leaders who are welcomed by the people with open arms, and elevated to the high places of the earth, to become the regents of society—to develop the history of the age in which they live, and to impress upon it the noble image of their own personality.

As discoverers love to trace great rivers to their sources, so in our studies of the characters of those who have filled large spaces in the public eye, it interests us to go backward in search of the rudimentary germs which afterwards developed into the great qualities which commanded the admiration of the world.

Never was the adage, ‘the child is the father of the man,’ more strikingly illustrated than in the early history of the orphan boy whose name subsequently became a tower of strength to the armies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall Jackson (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: