In February, 1839, Henry Clay
delivered a speech in the United States Senate, which was intended to smooth away the difficulties which his moderate opposition to the encroachments of slavery had erected in his path to the presidency.
His calumniation of O'Connell
called out the following summary of the career of the great Irish patriot.
It was published originally in the Pennsylvania Freeman
, April 25, 1839.
perhaps the most unlucky portion of the unlucky speech of Henry Clay
on the slavery question is that in which an attempt is made to hold up to scorn and contempt the great Liberator
We say an attempt
, for who will say it has succeeded?
Who feels contempt for O'Connell
Surely not the slaveholder?
From Henry Clay
, surrounded by his slave-gang at Ashland
, to the most miserable and squalid slave-driver and small breeder of human cattle in Virginia
who can spell the name of O'Connell
in his newspaper, these republican brokers in blood fear and hate the eloquent Irishman
But their contempt, forsooth!
Talk of the sheep-stealer's contempt for the officer of justice who nails his ears to the pillory, or sets the branding iron on his forehead!