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The South Leads in Acquiring the national domain.

Did not the South do its part in acquiring the imperial domain of the nation? When the Revolution ended the thirteen States that lay on the Atlantic seaboard rested westward in a wilderness, and the Mississippi marked the extreme limits of their claims as the Appalachian range marked the bounds of civilization. The northwestern territory north of the Ohio river, which now embraces Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was conquered by George Rogers Clarke, a soldier of Virginia, under commissions from Patrick Henry as Governor. But for this conquest the Ohio would have been our northern boundary, and by Virginia's gift and Southern votes this mighty land was made the dowry of the Union.

Kentucky, the first-born State that sprung from the Union was a Southern gift to the new confederation. The great territory stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky mountains' gate and to far-off Oregon was acquired by Jefferson, as President, from Napoleon, then First Consul of France, and the greatest area ever won by diplomacy in history added to the Union. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, offered the bill in 1812 which proclaimed the second war of independence. President Madison, of Virginia, led the country through it, and at New Orleans Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, achieved its culminating victory.

It is a Northern scholar (Theodore Roosevelt) who says:

Throughout all the Northwest, where Ohio was the State most threatened, the troops of Kentucky formed the bulk of the American army, and it was a charge of their mounted riflemen which at a blow won the battle of the Thames.

Again, on the famous January morning, when it seemed as if the [144] fair Creole city was already in Packenham's grasp, it was the wild soldiery of Tennessee who, laying behind their mud breastworks, peered out through the lifting fog at the scarlet array of the English veterans as the latter, fresh from their victories over the best troops of Europe, advanced for the first time to meet defeat.

In 1836 Samuel Houston, sprung from the soil of that very county which now holds the ashes of Lee and Jackson, won the battle of San Jacinto, and achieved Texan independence. In 1845, under James K. Polk, of Tennessee, a Southern President, it was admitted into the Union, and a little later the American armies, led by two Southern generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, and composed more than half of Southern soldiers, made good the cause of the Lone Star State, enlarged its boundaries, and acquired New Mexico and California. Thus was stretched the canopy of the wide heavens that now spread over the American republic; and, counting the constellation of forty-two stars that glitter in it forget not, ye who have sentiment of justice, that over thirty of them were sown there by measures and by deeds in which Southern States and Southern soldiers took a leading part, and in which the patriotism and love of Union of the South never faltered.

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