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Chapter 42: summer outing.

Mr. Davis still continued so weak and had so little appetite that our medical man ordered him to a higher latitude for a month or two, after the adjournment of Congress. So we took our two little children, Margaret and Jefferson, and embarked on a steamer from Baltimore for Boston. It was not a pleasant route, but Mr. Davis always improved at sea, and in this case he became much stronger; until, when we arrived at Boston, he was quite cheerful, and able to dispense with the shade over his eyes for some hours toward twilight. We made connection with the packet steamer at Boston, and sailed out again for Portland harbor.

The Fourth of July fell upon one of the days we were on the ship, and there were prayers read and several speeches. Among those who made addresses was Mr. Davis. He spoke very urgently for peace, and of his devotion to the Constitutional Union. Every one present was stirred by his remarks, and [585] showed the pleasure he had given by renewed attentions.

We found in Portland a charming summer climate. The excursions on Casco Bay, in the little boats that plied to and fro, were delightful. It was cheering to meet occasionally a pleasure party of several hundred, singing as they sailed some old-fashioned hymn. Even now, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” comes floating over the past from those many voices, and I can almost see the green little islands rise before me that dot Casco Bay.

The people of Portland were as kind as our own could have been, and we met many old acquaintances and made some agreeable new ones. Mrs. Montgomery Blair's family, many of them, lived there; Mrs. Charles Wingate, a bright, cordial, and stately lady of the old regime; the Dearbons, and Mr. Charles Clapp and his agreeable wife and daughter, entertained profusely in their delightful homes built before the embargo. Mrs. Carroll bore a strong resemblance to her cousin, Mrs. Blair, in person and in temperament, and was a near neighbor; she was kind as she was charming and unaffected.

The Honorable Mr. Bradbury and his gentle, kind wife did much to render our visit pleasant. The families of Mr. Muzzy, Colonel [586] Little, and Mr. and Mrs. Shepley-he was afterward General Shepley during the war — were very kind, and Mr. Davis remembered them always affectionately. Clam-bakes were arranged for his amusement, and evenings at home for me, at different charming houses in the town; but, most pleasant of all, were the basket parties at Cape Elizabeth, where we sat down to exquisite refreshments, cooked under the directions of the ladies of the city, where each dish was the chef-d'oeuvre of some good housekeeper. At one of these parties, when we were all seated at the table, a young man with a salver, white apron, and napkin handed me some very good cake, but as I went to take a piece, he upset the whole plate on my shoulders, and then ejaculated, “Oh, I beg your pardon, I am so very awkward.” As I looked into the blushing face, I answered, “It is of no consequence; you have had no practice.” He retired in confusion, and in a few minutes Colonel Shepley brought in my friend, the awkward servant, metamorphosed into a handsome young gentleman, who was profuse in his apologies, but said he had heard Mr. Davis would make a speech after tea, and had asked to be allowed to attend the table rather than miss hearing it. He was there on a fishing excursion. As the evening progressed he added much to [587] our pleasure by singing, in a beautiful tenor voice, many popular songs. As the dark settled upon us, we drove home, admiring with “awful joy” the splendid comet that flaunted across the sky that summer.

Our little Maggie was a beautiful child, of restless activity, and was the light of her father's eyes. She could not be kept in the old-fashioned garden planted with white, red, and black currants in rows under wide-spreading apple-trees, but whenever it was possible would run off to the neighbors, where her brave little spirited ways always made her welcome. She knew everyone in the neighborhood. One old sea-captain used to tell her wonderful stories upon which she dreamed at night, and the sea-serpent was her familiar demon. Not infrequently I heard people in the street designate me as “little Maggie's mother.”

We met in Portland the Rev. Starr King and the Rev. Mr. Stebbins, two great pulpit orators. Mr. Starr King boarded at the same house with us, and his nature and mind combined seemed to me to be a heavenly lyre that was capable of sounding any note in the gamut of joy or sympathy. His eloquence was wondrous, and his cordial grace commended it to us. Mr. Stebbins was also personally most agreeable to Mr. Davis. They [588] had several long talks upon doctrinal points, and once at a dinner, when the necessity of a formulated creed was urged by my husband, Mr. Stebbins argued against it, and said, “The creed I set before my congregation is one-third democracy and two-thirds pluck.” Mr. Davis used often afterward to cite this speech of a great and good man to show how needful a written code of faith and dogmatic teaching was to Christians. Happy in the society of intellectual men of bright minds and cordial manners, Mr. Davis hourly improved, and found here entire rest and recreation.

We were invited to witness the annual commencement of the Portland Free High School, and there saw the daughter of a dissipated, ignorant washer-woman, pass a wonderful examination. She had forgotten the prescribed method of explaining a problem in differential calculus, and formulated one of her own which answered the purpose, thereby showing her clear understanding of the science rather than of the words of the textbooks.

As we went home we questioned whether this education, given to her by the State, had not rendered her more sensible, not of the degradation of labor, because education should elevate the dignity of self-help, but [589] of the squalor of her surroundings, and the inequality with hers of her mother's cultivation; if this made her more impatient under the daily scenes which mortified and tortured her; and finally, whether an energetic, cheery working woman had not been spoiled and a learned nondescript substituted for a wholesome, admirable, natural object.

Mr. Davis and I felt such sympathy for the poor child that we seriously considered taking her home with us; but when we began to cast about for her proper level in our household we found that, as she had the habits of her class, we could not put her on the social plane of our family, and the learning of a scholar rendered her equally unfit for association with servants. So our project was reluctantly abandoned. We never heard what became of her.

As the summer advanced we were invited by Professor Bache to go into tents with him and his party of triangulation on Mount Humpback. We travelled by rail to Bangor, and then took stages to Mount Humpback, spending a night in an old-fashioned inn on the road, much visited by trout fishers. Here was the first man milliner we had met. He was six feet in height, strong in proportion, and an exquisite seamster, as he proved by making a delicate “shirred” satin bonnet. At supper [590] we had immense dishes of speckled trout caught by the gentlemen anglers who were spending a few weeks there.

At day dawn we heard a voice declaiming, in a most impressive tone, apparently to a crowded meeting. Mr. Davis arose and was seized with such spasmodic attacks of laughter that I joined him and looked into the barnyard. On a small cart, which was standing in the yard, arrayed in a long, figured calico dressing-gown, stood the deft seamster of the night before, with a pan of shelled corn, surrounded by a flock of chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, each applauding vociferously while he addressed them with a certain kind of eloquence upon all the topics of the day. As he threw one handful of corn after another out to them, he pleaded, “Consider, weigh, and accept these arguments, be just to one another, your liberties, your lives depend upon it.” When he saw Mr. Davis's laughing face at the window he made a deep bow, and said: “Fellow-citizens, allow me to present one more able and more eloquent than myself. Hear ye him.” After breakfast we proceeded on our journey, and the oratory of the merry mountebank has ever since remained a cheerful reminiscence often recalled.

We drove nine miles over a most wonderful natural road, called by the country people [591]

“horseback,” elevated over sixty feet and sloping steeply down on each side to the valley which it intersected, like a levee built by Titans. Interspersed throughout the rich valley on either side, in the lush green grass, were the most enormous bowlders of granite, many of which looked like Egyptian tombs.

As there was no stone of the kind underlying the soil, Professor Bache thought they had been left there by some great flood. The apex on which we drove was only about twenty-five feet wide. and nearly uniform throughout its whole length, which stretched to the foot of Mount Humpback. There we found an ox team in waiting hitched to a sled, and we were driven up the side of the mountain, which was so steep that the oxen seemed sometimes to be about to fall back upon us. These were the first oxen I ever saw goaded, and Mr.

Davis remonstrated many times against it with the driver.

On a plateau near the top were white tents pitched, one for each of us, an excellent cook, tenderloin steaks from Bangor, vegetables from the neighboring farms, and to all this comfort was added the newest books, and an exquisite and very large musical box which played “Ah, che la morte,” and many other gems of the then new operas of Verdi. Professor Bache, who could not sing a tune, kept [592] up a pleased murmur of unmusical accompaniment as an expression of his delight. He read aloud at night, and a part of the day we watched him taking observations and enjoyed his clear explanations of his methods. A, the sun went down and shone upon the heliotropes, one fixed star after another gleamed out on the distant hill-tops, and our heliotrope answered back again to the dumb messages sent by scientists on every hill. The most noticeable thing to us, who were used to the insect clamor of our summer nights; was the silence on the mountain, and we saw no evidences of insect life. The fall of a leaf could be plainly heard, and it seemed to afford relief to Mr. Davis's exacerbated nerves, after the noise and bustle of Washington, to stay in this secluded place where he could be a lotus eater for a while.

When not engaged in watching the survey work, we looked for the numerous signs of the glacial period, reasoned and wondered over them, picked up “ghost flowers” and found exquisite mosses, sometimes a foot deep, of velvety green. Mr. Davis took our little girl with us on his shoulder, and did all the things so joyful to towns-people on an outing in the country. So health came back to his wasted form, and his sight improved daily. After three happy weeks we returned [593] to Portland, bade our good friends there farewell, and went down to Boston, intending only to remain a day; but our baby, Jeff, was seized with membranous croup, and became dangerously ill at the Tremont House. Then I saw Boston under its most lovable guise. Every kindness was showered upon us that benevolence and sympathy could suggest. Many ladies called to inquire for him, but as the baby was too ill to be left for a moment, I saw but few of them.

At the darkest hour when we feared the worst, and a foggy night was setting in upon the evening of a raw day, a large, gentle-looking lady knocked at the door in a house dress. She introduced herself as Mrs. Harrison Grey Otis, with whose name we were of course familiar, and said she had come to spend the night and help me to nurse. She kissed the baby and looked over the prescriptions with an experienced eye, offered comforting suggestions, and in fact seemed to diffuse a sense of relief and confidence about her. She said she was having her house painted, and feared the odor would injure the baby, or she would take him home with her. Throughout the long anxious night she sat calm and tender, doing what she could, and this was much. After thirty years this memory is clear and blessed to me, and her name has always been [594] honored in our household. The Honorable William Appleton, Robert C. Winthrop, Caleb Cushing, Edward Everett, Colonel Charles Green, of The Post, Professor Pearce, Sidney Webster, and hundreds of others expressed their sympathy in the kindest manner. The happiest hours I spent in Boston were in Mr. Everett's library, looking over the editions de luxe in which it abounded, and hearing him talk about his travels. These reminiscences of Boston to this day soften all the asperities developed by our bloody war.

Mr. Davis was invited to speak in Faneuil Hall by a committee consisting of the leading men of his party, and was glad of the opportunity to plead with the men of Massachusetts against the encroachments upon the rights and domestic institutions of the South; and indeed, many of the Democrats who urged him to make the address were anxious upon this point, one of whom was Benjamin F. Butler, then an enthusiastic State rights Democrat, but who, I think, was considered a kind of “ward politician.” This speech and Mr. Cushing's address of welcome are here quoted to show the tone Mr. Davis adopted toward them, how frank were his statements, and how exactly like those expressed elsewhere. The Hall was packed and the meeting was enthusiastic. The Honorable Caleb Cushing [595] introduced Mr. Davis to the assembly in the following speech, copied from the Boston Morning Post, October 12, 1858.

The welcome of Mr. Cushing was extremely cordial, cheer upon cheer going up in token of the strong hold that distinguished orator, statesman, jurist, and soldier possesses upon the confidence and affection of the Democrats of this locality.

Address of Honorable Caleb Cushing.

Mr. President, Fellow-Citizens:
I present myself before you at the instance of your chairman, not so much in order to occupy your time with observations of my own, as to prepare you for the higher gratification which you are to receive from the remarks of the eminent man here present to address you in the course of the evening. I will briefly and only suggest to you such reflections (applause) as are appropriate to that duty. We are assembled here, my friends, at the call of the Democratic ward and county committee of Suffolk, for the purpose of ratifying the nominations made at the late Democratic State convention, the nomination of our distinguished and honored fellow-citizen who has already addressed to you the words of wisdom and of patriotism (applause) ; as also [596] the nomination of others of our fellow-citizens, whom the welfare and the honor of our commonwealth demands of us to place in power in the stead of the existing authorities of the commonwealth. (Cheers.) I would to God it were in our power to say with confidence that it shall be done. ( “ It can be done.” ) We do say, that in so far as depends upon us it shall be done (cheers); and whatsoever devoted love of our country and our commonwealth, whatsoever of our noble and holy principles, whatsoever desire to vindicate our commonwealth from the stain that has so long rested upon the name, may prompt us to do, that we will do ( “ Good, good” ), leaving the result to the good providence of God. (Tremendous cheering.) . . . I say it is our belief that the Democratic party is now recognized as the only existing national party in the United States (cheers); the only constitutional party-the only party which by its present principles is competent to govern these United States (applause); whose principles are based upon the Constitution — the only party with a platform co-extensive with this great Union-this is the great Democratic party. I have heard again and again-remonstrances have been addressed to me more than once-because of the condemnation which Democratic speakers [597] so continually utter about the unnationality as well as the unconstitutionality of the Republican party.

Let us reflect a moment; let us recall to mind that the honor of the existing organization of this federal administration was by the votes of the people of those United States sustained when James Buchanan was nominated for the Presidency, and that he is a worthy representative of the Democratic party (cheers). Let us reflect also that John C. Fremont was nominated as the candidate of the Republican party.

I pray you, gentlemen, to reflect upon the different methods by which these nominations were presented to the people of the United States. On the one hand, there assembled at the Democratic convention at Cincinnati, the delegates of every one of the States in the Union. That convention was national in its constitution, national in its character, national in its purpose, and cordially presented to the suffrages of the people of the United States a national candidate — a candidate of the whole United States; and that candidate was elected, not by the votes of one section of the Union alone, or another section of the Union alone, but by the concurrent votes of the South and the North.

How was it on the other side? On the [598] other side there assembled a convention which, by the very tenor of its call, was confined to sixteen of the thirty-one States of the Union-which, by the very tenor of its call, excluded from its councils fifteen of the thirty-one States of the Union a convention in which appeared the representatives of only sixteen of the States of the Union-nay, I mistake as to the remaining fifteen States of the Union. In their name, pretendedly in their name and their behalf, there appeared one man only, and he a self-appointed delegate by pretension from the State of Maryland. That was the convention which presented John C. Fremont to the people of the United States. I say that was a sectional convention, a sectional nomination, a sectional party; and no reasonings, no remonstrances, no protestations can discharge the Republican party from the ineffaceable stigma of that sectional convention, that sectional nomination, and that sectional candidate for the suffrages of the United States. (Three cheers.) That party itself has placed upon its back that shirt of Nessus which clings to and stings it to death. (Laughter and applause.) I repeat, then, and say it in confidence and vindication in so far as regards my own belief, I say it in all good spirit toward multitudes of men in this commonwealth of the Whig and American [599] parties in their heretofore organization-I say it to multitudes of men who have been betrayed by the passions of the hour into joining the sectional combination of the Republican party--I say that in the Democratic party, and in that alone, is the tower of strength for the liberties, the position, and the honor of the United States. (Cheering.)

But why need I indulge in these reflections in proof of my proposition? Gentlemen, we have here this evening the living proof, the visible, tangible, audible, incontestible, immortal proof (great cheering) that the position of the Democratic party in the existing organization of parties is the national, constitutional party of the United States. (Great cheering.) Gentlemen, I ask you to challenge your memories, and look upon the history of the past four years of the United States-and can you point me to a Republican assembly here in the city of Boston or anywhere else-can you point me in the last four years of our history to any occasion on which Faneuil Hall has been crowded to its utmost capacity with a republican assembly in which appeared anyone of those pre-eminent statesmen of the Southern States to honor not merely their States, but these United States? (Great cheering.)

When, sir, did that ever happen? When, sir, was that a possible fact, morally speaking, [600] that any eminent Southern statesman appears in a Republican assembly in any one of the States of this Union? There never was a Republican assembly — an assembly of the Republican party in fifteen of these States, and I again ask where, in the remaining sixteen States was there ever convened an assembly of the Republican party which, by reason of bigotry, proscriptive bigotry, of unnational hatred of the South, and of determined insult of all Southern statesmen, did not render it an impossible fact that any Southern statesman should thus make his appearance as a member in such Republican convention? (Applause.) You know it is so, gentlemen, and yet have we not a common country? Did those thirteen colonies which, commencing with that combat at Concord and following it with that battle at Bunker's Hill, and pursuing it in every battle-field of this continent, did those thirteen colonies form one country, or thirteen countries? Nay, did they form two countries or one country? I would imagine, when I listen to a Republican speech here, in the State of Massachusetts; I would imagine fifteen States of this Union--our fellow-citizens or fellow-sufferers, our fellow-heroes of the revolution; I would imagine not that they are our countrymen, endeared to us by ties of consanguinity, but that they are [601] from some foreign country, that they belong to some French or British or Mexican enemies. (Cheers.) There never was a day in which the forces of war were marshalled against the most flagrant abuses toward the United States--there never was a war in which these United States have been engaged — never even in the death-struggle of the Revolution — never in our war for maritime independence — never in our war with France and Mexico--never was there a time when any party in these United States expressed, avowed, proclaimed — ostentatiously proclaimed — more intense hostility to the British, French, Mexican enemy, than I have heard uttered or proclaimed concerning our fellow-citizens-brothers in the fifteen States of this Union. (Great applause.) It is the glory of the Democratic party that we can assume the burden of our nationality for the Union--that we can make all due sacrifices in order to show our reprobation of sectionalism-that we of the North can sacrifice to the South, from dear attachment to our fellow-citizens of the South, and they in the South, in like manner, meet with us upon that ground in order to show their love for the Federal Union, and at the risk of encountering local prejudices. In the Democratic party alone, as parties are now organized, is this catholic, generous, universal [602] spirit to be found. (Applause.) I say, then, the Democrats have such a character of constitutionality and of nationality. And now, gentlemen, I have allowed myself, unthinkingly, to be carried beyond my original purpose, I return to it to remind you that here among us is a citizen of the Southern States, eloquent among the eloquent in debate, wise among the wisest in council, and brave among the bravest in the battle-field (tremendous cheering); a citizen of a Southern State (‘ good, good’) who knows that he can associate with you, the representatives of the democracy and the nationality of Massachusetts; that he can associate with you on equal footing with the fellow-citizens and common members of these United States.

My friends, there are those here present, and in fact there is no one here present of whom it cannot be said, that in memory and admiration, at least, and if not in the actual fact, yet in proud and bounding memory, they have been able to tread the glorious tracks of the victorious achievements of Jefferson Davis on the fields of Monterey and Buena Vista (great cheering); and all have heard or have read the accents of eloquence addressed by him to the Senate of the United States (cheers); and there is one, at least, who from his own personal observation can bear witness [603] to the fact of the surpassing wisdom of Jefferson Davis in the administration of the government of the United States. (Cheers.) Such a man, fellow-citizens, you are this evening to hear, and to hear as a beautiful illustration of the working of our republican institutions of these United States--of the republican institutions which in our own country, our own republic, as in the old republics of Athens and of Rome, exhibit the same combinations of the highest military and civic qualities in the same person.

It must naturally be so; for, in a republic every citizen is a soldier and every soldier is a citizen. Not in these United States, on the occurrence of foreign war, is that spectacle exhibited which we have so recently seen in our mother country — of the administration of the country going abroad begging and stealing soldiers throughout Europe and America. (Laughter and applause.) No; and while I ask you, my friends, to ponder this fact in relation to that disastrous struggle of giants which so recently occurred in our day-the Crimean war — I ask you whether any English gentleman, any member of the British House of Commons, any member of the British House of Peers, abandoned his easy honors at home, and went into the country among his friends, tenants, and fellow-countrymen, [604] volunteering there to raise troops for the service of England in that hour of her peril? Did any such fact occur? (‘No.’) No, but here in these United States we had examples, and illustrious ones, of the fact that men eminent in their place in Congress abandoned their stations and their honors to go among fellow-citizens of their own States and there to raise troops with which to vindicate the honor and the flag of their country. Of such men was Jefferson Davis. (Cheers.)

There is now living one military man of prominent distinction in the public eye of England and the United States. I mean Sir Colin Campbell, now Lord Clyde, of Clydesdale. He deserves the distinction he enjoys, for he has redeemed the British flag on the ensanguined, burning plains of India. He has restored the glory of the British name in Asia. I honor him; Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland are ours; for their counties as well as their countries; and their poets, orators, and statesmen, and their generals belong to our history as well as to theirs. I will never disavow Henry V. on the plains of Agincourt; never Oliver Cromwell on the fields of Marston Moor and Naseby; never Sarsfield on the banks of the Boyne. The glories and honors of Sir Colin Campbell are the glories of the British race [605] and of the races of Great Britain and Ireland from whom we are descended. But what gained Sir Colin Campbell the opportunity to achieve those glorious results in India? Remember that, and let us see what it was. On one of those bloody battles fought by the British before the Fortress of Sebastopol — in the midst of the perils, the most perilous of all the battle-fields England ever encountered in Europe, in one of the bloody charges of the Russian cavalry there was an officer, a man who felt and possessed sufficient confidence in the troops he commanded and in the authority of his own voice and example, received that charge, not in the ordinary, commonplace, and accustomed manner, by forming his troops into a hollow square, and thus arresting the charge, but by forming into two diverging lines, and thus receiving upon the rifles of his Highland men the charge of the Russian cavalry and repelling it. How all England rang with the glory of that achievement! How the general voice of England placed upon the brows of Sir Colin Campbell the laurels of the future mastership of victory for the arms of England! And well they might do so. But who originated that movement? who set the example of that gallant operation? who, but Colonel Jefferson Davis, of the First Mississippi regiment, on the fields [606] of Buena Vista? (Tremendous applause.) He was justly entitled to the applause of the restorer of victory to the arms of the Union. Gentlemen, in our country, in this day, such a man, such a master of the art of war, so daring in the field; such a man may not only aspire to the highest places in the executive government of the Union, but such a man may acquire what nowhere else since the days of Cimon and Miltiades, of the Cincinnati and the Cornelii, of Athens and of Rome, has been done by the human race — the combination of eminent powers, of intellectual cultivation, and of eloquence, with the practical qualities of a statesman and general. (Tremendous cheering.)

But, gentlemen, I am again betrayed beyond my purpose. Sir (addressing General Davis), we welcome you to the commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Six cheers.) You may not find here the ardent skies of your own sunny South, but you will find as ardent hearts, as warm and generous hands, to welcome you to our commonwealth. (Renewed cheering.) We welcome you to the City of Boston, and you have already experienced how open-hearted, how generous, how free from all possible taint of sectional thought is the hospitality and cordiality of the City of Boston. (Renewed cheering.) We welcome [607] you to Faneuil Hall. Many an eloquent voice has in all times resounded from the walls of Faneuil Hall. It is said that no voice is uttered by man in this air we breathe but enters into that air. It continues there immortal as the portion of the universe into which it has passed. If it be so, how instinct is Faneuil Hall with the voice of the great, good, and glorious of past generations, and of our own, whose voices have echoed through its walls, whose eloquent words have thrilled the hearts of hearers as if a pointed sword were passing them through and through. (Great cheers.) Here, Adams aroused his countrymen in the war of independence, and Webster (cheers) invoked them almost with the dying breath of his body, invoked them with that voice of majesty and power which he alone possessed, invoked them to a Union between the North and South. (Great applause.)

Aye, sir, and who, if he were here present from those blessed abodes on high, from which he looks down upon us, would congratulate us for this scene. First, and above all, because his large heart would have appreciated the spectacle of a statesman, eminent among the most eminent of the Southern States, here addressing an assembly of the people in the City of Boston. (Tremendous cheering.) Because, in the second place, he [608] would have remembered that, though divided from you by party relations, that, in one of the critical hours of his fame and his honor, your voice was not wanting for his vindication in the Congress of the United States. (‘ Good,’ ‘ Good,’ and cheers.) Sir, again I say, we welcome you to Faneuil Hall. And now, my fellow-citizens, I will withdraw myself and present to you the Hon. Jefferson Davis. (Three cheers.)

As Mr. Davis took the stand, a scene of enthusiasm was presented which defies description. Those who held seats in the galleries rose en masse, and joined with those standing on the lower floor in extending a cordial, very cordial greeting to the honored guest from Mississippi.

Address of Jefferson Davis at Faneuil Hall, Boston, October 12, 1858.

Countrymen, Brethren, and Democrats:
Most happy am I to meet you, and to have received here renewed assurance of that which I have so long believed, that the pulsation of the Democratic heart is the same in every parallel of latitude, on every meridian of longitude, throughout the United States. It required not this to confirm me in a belief I have so long and so happily enjoyed. Your [609] own great statesman (the Hon. Caleb Cushing) who has introduced me to this assembly, has been too long associated with me, too nearly connected-we have labored too many hours, until one day ran into another, in the cause of our country — for me to fail to understand that a Massachusetts Democrat has a heart as wide as the Union, and that its pulsations always beat for the liberty and happiness of his country. Neither could I be unaware that such was the sentiment of the Democracy of New England, for it was my fortune lately to serve under a President drawn from the neighboring State of New Hampshire, and I know that he spoke the language of his heart, for I learned it in four years of intimate relations with him, when he said he knew “no North, no South, no East, no West, but sacred maintenance of the common bond and true devotion to the common brotherhood.” Never, sir, in the past history of our country, never, I add, in its future destiny, however bright it may be, did or will a man of higher and purer patriotism, a man more devoted to the common weal of his country, hold the helm of our great ship of state than Franklin Pierce.

I have heard the resolutions read and approved by this meeting; I have heard the address of your candidate for Governor; and [610] these, added to the address of my old and intimate friend, General Cushing, bear to me fresh testimony, which I shall be happy to carry away with me, that the Democracy, in the language of your own glorious Webster, ‘still lives;’ lives, not as his great spirit did when it hung 'twixt life and death, like a star upon the horizon's verge, but lives like the germ that is shooting upward; like the sapling that is growing to a mighty tree, and I trust it may redeem Massachusetts to her glorious place in the Union, when she led the van of the defenders of States rights.

When I see Faneuil Hall thus thronged it reminds me of another meeting when it was found too small to contain the assembly that met here, on the call of the people, to know what should be done in relation to the teatax, and when, Faneuil Hall being too small, they went to the old South Church, which still stands a monument of your early day. I hope the time will soon come when many Democratic meetings in Boston will be too large for Faneuil Hall. I am welcomed to this hall, so venerable for all the associations of our early history; to this hall of which you are so justly proud, and the memories of which are part of the inheritance of every American citizen; and I felt, as I looked upon it, and remembered how many voices [611] of patriotic fervor have filled it; how here the first movement originated from which the Revolution sprang; how here began the system of town meetings, and free discussion --that, though my theme was more humble than theirs, as befitted my humbler powers, I had enough to warn me that I was assuming much to speak in this sacred chamber. But, when I heard your distinguished orator say that words uttered here could never die, that they lived and became a part of the circumambient air, I felt a hesitation which increases upon me with the remembrance of his expressions. But, if those voices which breathed the first impulse into colonies-now the United States--to proclaim independence, and to unite for resistance against the power of the mother-country; if those voices live here still, how must they fare who come here to preach treason to the Constitution and to assail the union of these States? It would seem that their criminal hearts would fear that those voices, so long slumbering, would break silence, that those forms which hang upon these walls behind me might come forth, and that the sabres so long sheathed would leap from their scabbards to drive from this sacred temple those who desecrate it as did the money-changers who sold doves in the temple of the living God. [612]

Here you have, to remind you, and to remind all who enter this hall, the portraits of those men who are dear to every lover of liberty, and part and parcel of the memory of every American citizen; and highest among them all I see you have placed Samuel Adams and John Hancock. You have placed them the highest, and properly; for they were two, the only two, excepted from the proclamation of mercy, when Governor Gage issued his anathema against them and against their fellow-patriots. These men, thus excepted from the saving grace of the crown, now occupy the highest places in Faneuil Hall, and thus seem to be the highest in the reverence of the people of Boston. This is one of the instances in which we find tradition so much more reliable than history; for tradition has borne the name of Samuel Adams to the remotest of the colonies, and the new States formed out of what was territory of the old colonies; and there it is a name as sacred among us as it is among you.

We all remember how early he saw the necessity of Community Independence. How, through the dim mists of the future, and in advance of his day, he looked forward to the proclamation of the independence of Massachusetts; how he steadily strove, through good report and evil report, with a great unwavering [613] heart, whether in the midst of his fellow-citizens, cheered by their voices, or communing with his own heart, when driven from his home, his eyes were still fixed upon his first, last hope, the community independence of Massachusetts. Always a commanding figure, we see him at a later period, the leader in the correspondence which waked the feelings of the other colonies to united fraternal association — the people of Massachusetts with the people of the other colonies; there we see his letters acknowledging the receipt of rice of South Carolina, and the money of New York and Pennsylvania-all these poured in to relieve Boston of the sufferings inflicted upon her when the port was closed by the despotism of the British Crown-we see the beginning of that which insured the co — operation of the colonies throughout the desperate struggle of the Revolution. And we there see that which, if the present generation be true to the memory of their sires, to the memory of the noble men from whom they descended, will perpetuate for them that spirit of fraternity in which the Union began. But it is not here alone, nor in reminiscences connected with the objects which present themselves within this hall, that the people of Boston have much to excite their patriotism and carry them back to the [614] great principles of the Revolutionary struggle. Where will you go and not meet some monument to inspire such sentiments? Go to Lexington and Concord, where sixty brave countrymen came with their fowling-pieces to oppose six hundred veterans — where they forced those veterans back, pursuing them on the road, fighting from every barn, and bush, and stock, and stone, till they drove them retreating to the ships from which they went forth. And there stand those monuments of your early patriotism, Breed's and Bunker's Hills, whose soil drank the martyr-blood of men who lived for their country and died for mankind! Can it be that any of you should tread that soil and forget the great purposes for which these men died? While, on the other side, rise the heights of Dorchester, where once stood the encampment of the Virginian, the man who came here, and did not ask, is this a town of Virginia? but, is this a town of my brethren? The steady courage and cautious wisdom of Washington availed to drive the British troops out from the city which they had so confidently held. Here, too, you find where once the old Liberty Tree, connected with so many of your memories, grew. You ask your legend, and learn that it was cut down for firewood by British soldiers, as some of your meeting-houses [615] were destroyed; they burned the old tree, and it warmed the soldiers long enough to leave town, and, had they burned it a little longer, its light would have shown Washington and his followers where their enemies were.

But they are gone, and never again shall a hostile foot set its imprint upon your soil. Your harbor is being fortified, to prevent an unexpected attack on your city by a hostile fleet. But woe to the enemy whose fleet shall bear him to your shores to set his footprint upon your soil; he goes to a prison or to a grave. American fortifications are not built from any fear of invasion, they are intended to guard points where marine attacks can be made; and, for the rest, the hearts of Americans are our ramparts.

But, my friends, it is not merely in these associations, so connected with the honorable pride of Massachusetts, that one who visits Boston finds much for gratification, hope, and instruction. If I were selecting a place where the advocate of strict construction, the extreme expounder of democratic State-rights doctrine should go for his texts, I would send him into the collections of your historical associations. Instead of going to Boston as a place where only consolidation would be found, he would find written, in letters of living [616] light, that sacred creed of State-rights which has been miscalled the ultra opinions of the South; he could find among your early records that this Faneuil Hall, the property of the town at the time when Massachusetts was under a colonial government, administered by a man appointed by the British crown, guarded by British soldiers, was refused to a British Governor in which to hold a British festival, because he was going to bring with him the agents for collecting, and the naval officers sent here to enforce, an oppressive tax upon your commonwealth. Such was the proud spirit of independence manifested even in your colonial history. Such is the great foundation-stone on which may be erected an eternal monument of State-rights. And so, in an early period of our country, you find Massachusetts leading the movements, prominent of all the States, in the assertion of that doctrine which has been recently so much belied. Having achieved your independence, having passed through the Confederation, you assented to the formation of our present constitutional Union. You did not surrender your sovereignty. Your fathers had sacrificed too much to claim, as a reward of their toil, merely that they should have a change of masters; and a change of masters it would have been had Massachusetts [617] surrendered her State sovereignty to the Central Government, and consented that that Central Government should have the power to coerce a State. But, if this power does not exist, if this sovereignty has not been surrendered, then, who can deny the words of soberness and truth spoken by your candidate this evening, when he has pleaded to you the cause of State independence, and the right of every community to be judge of its own domestic affairs? This is all we have ever asked-we of the South, I mean — for I stand before you as one of those who have always been called the ultra men of the South, and I speak, therefore, for that class; and I tell you that your candidate for Governor has uttered to-night everything which we have claimed as a principle for our protection. And I have found the same condition of things in the neighboring State of Maine. I have found that the Democrats there asserted the same broad constitutional principle for which we have been contending, by which we are willing to live, for which we are willing to die.

In this state of the case, my friends, why is the country agitated? The old controversies have passed away, or they have subsided, and have been covered up by one dark pall of sombre hue, which increases [618] with every passing year. Why is it, then, I say, that you are thus agitated in relation to the domestic affairs of other communities? Why is it that the peace of the country is disturbed in order that one people may judge of what another people may do? Is there any political power to authorize such interference? If so, where is it? You did not surrender your sovereignty. You gave to the Federal Government certain functions. It was your agent, created for specified purposes. It can do nothing save that which you have given it power to perform. Where is the grant? Has it a right to determine what shall be property? Surely not; that belongs to every community to decide for itself; you judge in your case-every other State must judge in its case. The Federal Government has no power to destroy property. Do you pay taxes, then, to an agent, that he may destroy your property? Do you support him for that purpose? It is an absurdity on the face of it. To ask the question is to answer it. The Government is instituted to protect, not to destroy, property. And, in the abundance of caution, your fathers provided that the Federal Government should not take private property for its own use unless by making due compensation therefor. It is prohibited from attempting to destroy property. [619] One of its great purposes was protection to the States. Whenever that power is made a source of danger, we destroy the purpose for which the Government was formed. Why, then, have you agitators? With pharisaical pretension it is sometimes said it is a moral obligation to agitate, and I suppose they are going through a sort of vicarious repentance for other men's sins. With all due allowance for their zeal, we ask, how do they decide that it is a sin? By what standard do they measure it? Not the Constitution: the Constitution recognizes the property in slaves in many forms, and imposes obligations in connection with that recognition. Not the Bible; that justifies it. Not the good of society; for, if they go where it exists, they find that society recognizes it as good. What, then, is their standard? The good of mankind? Is that seen in the diminished resources of the country? Is that seen in the diminished comfort of the world? Or is not the reverse exhibited? Is there, in the cause of Christianity, a motive for the prohibition of the system which is the only agency through which Christianity has reached that inferior race, the only means by which they have been civilized and elevated? Or is their piety manifested in denunciation of their brethren, who are deterred from [620] answering their denunciation only by the contempt which they feel for a mere brawler, who intends to end his brawling only in empty words?

What, my friends, must be the consequences? Good, or evil? They have been evil, and evil they must be only to the end. Not one particle of good has been done to any man, of any color, by this agitation. It has been insidiously working the purpose of sedition, for the destruction of the Union on which our hopes of future greatness depend.

On the one side, then, you see agitation tending slowly and steadily to that separation of States, which, if you have any hope connected with the liberty of mankind; if you have any national pride connected with making your country the greatest upon the face of the earth; if you have any sacred regard for the obligations which the deeds and the blood of your fathers entailed upon you, that hope should prompt you to reject anything that would tend to destroy the result of that experiment which they left it to you to conclude and perpetuate. On the other hand, if each community, in accordance with the principles of our Government, should regard its domestic interests as a part of the common whole, and struggle for the benefit of all, this would steadily lead us to fraternity, to [621] unity, to co-operation, to the increase of our happiness and the extension of the benefits of our useful example over mankind. The flag of the Union, whose stars have already more than doubled their original number, with its ample folds may wave, the recognized flag of every State, or the recognized protector of every State upon the Continent of America.

In connection with the view which I have presented of the early idea of community independence, I will add the very striking fact that one of the colonies, about the time that they had resolved to unite for the purpose of achieving their independence, addressed the Colonial Congress to know in what condition it would be in the interval between the separation from the Government of Great Britain and the establishment of a government on this continent. The answer of the Colonial Congress was exactly what might have been expected; exactly what State-rights Democracy would answer to-day to such an inquiry, that they ‘had nothing to do with it.’ If such sentiment had continued, if it had governed in every State, if representatives had been chosen upon it, then your halls of Federal legislation would not have been disturbed about the question of the domestic institutions of the different States. The peace of the country would not have been hazarded by the [622] arraignment of the family relations of people over whom the Government has no control. If in harmony working together, with co-intelligence for the conservation of the interests of the country; if protection to the States and the other great ends for which the Government was established, had been the aim and united effort of all-what effects would not have been produced? As our Government increases in expansion it would increase in its beneficent effect upon the people; we should, as we grow in power and prosperity, also grow in fraternity, and it would be no longer a wonder to see a man coming from a Southern State to address a Democratic audience in Boston.

But I have referred to the fact that Massachusetts stood pre-eminently forward among those who asserted community independence; and this reminds me of another incident. President Washington visited Boston when John Hancock was Governor, and Hancock refused to call upon the President, because he contended that any man who came within the limits of Massachusetts must yield rank and precedence to the Governor of the State. He eventually only surrendered the point on account of his personal regard and respect for the character of George Washington. I honor him for this, and value it as one of the early [623] testimonies in favor of State-rights. I wish all our Governors had the same regard for the, dignity of the State as had the great and glorious John Hancock.

In the beginning the founders of this Government were true democratic State-rights men. Democracy was State-rights, and State-rights was democracy, and it is so to-day. Your resolutions breathe it. The Declaration of Independence embodied the sentiments which had lived in the hearts of the country for many years before its formal assertion. Our fathers asserted the great principle-the right of the people to choose their own government-and that government rested upon the consent of the governed. In every form of expression it uttered the same idea, community independence and the dependence of the Union upon the communities of which it consisted. It was an American declaration of the unalienable rights of man; it was a general truth, and I wish it were accepted by all men. But I have said that this State sovereignty --this community independence — has never been surrendered, and that there is no power in the Federal Government to coerce a State. Will anyone ask me, then, how a State is to be held to the fulfilment of its obligations? My answer is, by its honor. The obligation is the more sacred to observe every feature [624] of the compact, because there is no power to enforce it. The great error of the Confederation was, that it attempted to act upon.the States. It was found impracticable, and our present form of government was adopted, which acts upon individuals, and is not designed to act upon States. The question of State coercion was raised in the Convention which framed the Constitution, and, after discussion, the proposition to give power to the General Government to enforce against any State obedience to the laws was rejected. It is upon the ground that a State cannot be coerced that observance of the compact is a sacred obligation. It was upon this principle that our fathers depended for the perpetuity of a fraternal Union, and for the security of the rights that the Constitution was designed to preserve. The fugitive slave compact in the Constitution of the United States implied that the States should fulfil it voluntarily. They expected the States to legislate so as to secure the rendition of fugitives; and in 1778 it was a matter of complaint that the Spanish colony of Florida did not restore fugitive negroes from the United States who escaped into that colony, and a committee, composed of Hamilton, of New York, Sedgwick, of Massachusetts, and Mason, of Virginia, reported resolutions in the Congress, instructing [625] the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to address the charge d'affaires at Madrid to apply to his Majesty of Spain to issue orders to his governors to compel them to secure the rendition of fugitive negroes. This was the sentiment of the committee, and they added, also, that the States would return any slaves from Florida who might escape into their limits.

When the constitutional obligation was imposed, who could have doubted that every State, faithful to its obligations, would comply with the requirements of the Constitution, and waive all questions as to whether the institution should or should not exist in another community over which they had no control? Congress was at last forced to legislate on the subject, and they have continued up to a recent period to legislate, and this has been one of the causes by which you have been disturbed. You have been called upon to make war against a law which need never to have been enacted, if each State had done the duty which she was called upon by the Constitution to perform.

Gentlemen, this presents one phase of agitation-negro agitation; there is another and graver question, it is in relation to prohibition by Congress of the introduction of slave property into the Territories. What power does Congress possess in this connection? [626] Has it the right to say what shall be property anywhere? If it has, from what clause of the Constitution does it derive that power? Have other States the power to prescribe the condition upon which a citizen of another State shall enter upon and enjoy territory-common property of all? Clearly not. Shall the inhabitants who first go into territory deprive any citizen of the United States of those rights which belong to him as an equal owner of the soil? Certainly not. Sovereign jurisdiction can only pass to those inhabitants when the States, the owners of the territory, shall recognize their right to become an equal member of the Union. Until then, the Constitution and the laws of the Union must be the rule governing within the limits of a Territory.

The Constitution recognizes all property, and gives equal privileges to every citizen of the States; and it would be a violation of its fundamental principles to attempt any discrimination.

There is nothing of truth or justice with which to sustain this agitation, or ground for it, unless that it be it is a very good bridge over which to pass into office; a little stock of trade in politics built up to aid men who are missionaries staying at home; reformers of things which they do not go to learn; preachers without a congregation; [627] overseers without laborers and without wages; war-horses who snuff the battle afar off and cry: ‘Aha, aha! I am afar off! ’

Thus it is that the peace of the Union is disturbed; thus it is that brother is arrayed against brother; thus it is that the people come to consider, not how they can promote each other's interests, but how they may successfully war upon them. And among the things most odious to my mind is to find a man who enters upon a public office under the sanction of the Constitution, and taking an oath to support the Constitution — the compact between the States binding each for the common defence and general welfare of the other-and retaining to himself a mental reservation that he will war upon the institutions and the property of any of the States of the Union. It is a crime too low to characterize as it deserves before this assembly. It is one which would disgrace a gentleman-one which a man with self-respect would never commit. To swear that he will support the Constitution, to take an office which belongs in many of its relations to all the States, and to use it as a means of injuring a portion of the States of whom he is thus an agent, is treason to everything that is honorable in man. It is the base and cowardly attack of him who gains the confidence of another in order that [628] he may wound him. But I have often heard it argued, and I have seen it published; I have seen a petition that was circulated for signers, announcing that there was an incompatibility between the different sections of the Union; that it had been tried long enough, and that they must get rid of those sections in which the curse of slavery existed. Ah, those sages, so much wiser than our fathers, have found out that there is incompatibility in that which existed when the Union was formed. They have found an incompatibility inconsistent with union in that which existed when South Carolina sent her rice to Boston, and Maryland and Pennsylvania and New York brought in their funds for her relief. The fact is that from that day to this, the difference between the people of the colonies has been steadily diminishing, and the possible advantages of the Union in no small degree augmented. The variety of product of soil and of climate has been multiplied, both by the expansion of our country and by the introduction of new tropical products not cultivated at that time; so that every motive to union which your fathers had, in a diversity which should give prosperity to the country, exists in a higher degree today than when this Union was formed, and this diversity is fundamental to the prosperity [629] of the people of the several sections of the country.

It is however, to-day, in sentiment and interest, less than on the day when the Declaration of Independence was made. Diversity there is-diversity of character-but it is not of that extreme kind which proves incompatibility; for your Massachusetts man, when he comes into Mississippi, adopts our opinions and our institutions, and frequently becomes the most extreme man among us. As our country has extended, as new products have been introduced into it, this Union and the free trade that belongs to it have been of increasing value. And I say, moreover, that it is not an unfortunate circumstance that this diversity of pursuit and character still remains. Originally it sprang in no small degree from natural causes. Massachusetts became a manufacturing and commercial State because of her fine harbors, because of her water-power, making its last leap into the sea, so that the ship of commerce brought the staple to the manufacturing power. This made you a commercial and a manufacturing people. In the Southern States great plains interpose between the last leaps of the streams and the sea. These plains were cultivated in staple crops, and the sea brought their products to your streams to [630] be manufactured. This was the first beginning of the differences.

Then your longer and more severe winters, your soil not so favorable for agriculture, in a degree kept you a manufacturing and a commercial people. Even after the cause had passed away-after railroads had been built-after the steam-engine had become a motive power for a large part of manufacturing machinery, the natural causes from which your people obtained a manufacturing ascendancy and ours became chiefly agriculturists, continued to act in a considerable measure to preserve that relation.

Your interest is to remain a manufacturing, and ours to remain an agricultural, people. Your prosperity, then, is to receive our staple and to manufacture it, and ours to sell it to you and buy the manufactured goods. This is an interweaving of interests which makes us all the richer and happier.

But this accursed agitation, this intermeddling with the affairs of other people, is that alone which will promote a desire in the mind of anyone to separate these great and glorious States. The seeds of dissension may be sown by invidious reflections. Men may be goaded by the constant attempts to infringe upon rights and to disturb tranquillity, and in the resentment which follows it is not [631] possible to tell how far the wave may rush. I therefore plead to you now to arrest fanaticism which has been evil in the beginning, and must be evil in the end. You may not have the numerical power requisite, and those at a distance may not understand how many of you there are desirous to put a stop to the course of this agitation. For me, I have learned since I have been in New England the vast mass of true State-rights Democrats to be found within its limits-though not represented in the halls of Congress. And if it comes to the worst-if, availing themselves of a majority in the two Houses of Congress, they should attempt to trample upon the Constitution; if they should attempt to violate the rights of the States; if they should attempt to infringe upon our equality in the Union--I believe that even in Massachusetts, though it has not had a representative in Congress for many a day, the State-rights Democracy, in whose breasts beats the spirit of the Revolution, can and will whip the black Republicans. I trust we shall never be thus purified, as it were, by fire; but that the peaceful progressive revolution of the ballot-box will answer all the glorious purposes of the Constitution and the Union. And I marked that the distinguished orator and statesman who preceded me, in addressing [632] you, used the words “national” and “constitutional” in such relation to each other as to show that in his mind the one was a synonym of the other. I say so: we became national by the constitutional, the bond for uniting the States, and national and constitutional are convertible terms.

Your candidate for the high office of Governor, whom I have been once or twice on the point of calling Governor, and whom I hope I may be able soon to call so, in his remarks to you has presented the same idea in another form. And well may Massachusetts orators, without even perceiving what they are saying, utter sentiments which lie at the foundation of your colonial as well as your subsequent political history, which existed in Massachusetts before the Revolution, and have existed ever since, whenever the true spirit which comes down from the revolutionary sires has swelled and found utterance within her limits.

It has been not only, my friends, in this increasing and mutual dependence of interest that we have found new ties to you. Those bonds are both material and mental. Every improvement or invention, every construction of a railroad, has formed a new reason for our being one; every new invention, whether it has been in arts or science, in war or in [633] manufactures, has constituted for us a new bond and a new sentiment holding us together.

Why, then, I would ask, do we see these lengthened shadows which follow in the course of our political history? Is it because our sun is declining to the horizon? Are they the shadows of evening, or are they, as I hopefully believe, but the mists which are exhaled by the sun as it rises, but which are to be dispersed by its meridian of glory? Are they but the little evanishing clouds that flit between the people and the great objects for which the Constitution was established? I hopefully look toward the reaction which will establish the fact that our sun is still in the ascendant, that the cloud which has so long covered our political horizon is to be dispersed, that we are not again to be divided on parallels of latitude and about the domestic institutions of States--a sectional attack on the prosperity and tranquillity of a nation-but only by differences in opinion upon measures of expediency, upon questions of relative interest, by discussion as to the powers of the States and the rights of the States, and the powers of the Federal Government; such discussion as is commemorated in this picture of your own great and glorious Webster, when he specially addressed our best, most [634] tried, and greatest man, the pure and incorruptible Calhoun, represented as intently listening to catch the accents of eloquence that fell from his lips. Those giants strove each for his conviction, not against a section, not against each other; they stood to each other in the relation of personal affection and esteem, and never did I see Mr. Webster so agitated, never did I hear his voice falter, as when he delivered the eulogy on John C. Calhoun.

But allusion was made to my own connection with your great and favorite departed statesman. Of that I will only say, on this occasion, that very early in my congressional life Mr. Webster was arraigned for an offence which affected him most deeply. He was no accountant, and all knew that. He was arraigned on a pecuniary charge — the misapplication of what is known as the secret-service fund-and I was one of the committee that had to investigate the charge. I endeavored to do justice. I endeavored to examine the evidence with a view to ascertain the truth. It is true I remembered that he was an eminent American statesman. It is true that, as an American, I hoped he would come out without a stain upon his garments. But I entered upon the investigation to find the truth, and to do justice. The result was he was acquitted [635] of every charge that was made against him, and it was equally my pride and my pleasure to vindicate him in every form which lay within my power. No one who knew Daniel Webster could have believed that he would ever ask whether a charge was made against a Massachusetts man or a Mississippian. No; it belonged to a lower, to a later, and, I trust, a shorter-lived, race of statesmen, who measure all facts by considerations of latitude and longitude.

I honor that sentiment which makes us oftentimes too confident, and to despise too much the danger of that agitation which disturbs the peace of the country. I respect that feeling which regards the Union as too strong to be broken. But, at the same time, in sober judgment, it will not do to treat too lightly the danger which has existed and still exists. I have heard our Constitution and Union compared to the granite shores which face the sea, and, dashing back the foam of the waves, stand unmoved by their fury. Now I accept the simile: and I have stood upon the shore, and I have seen the waves of the sea dash upon the granite of your own shores which frowns over the ocean, have seen the spray thrown back from the cliffs. But, when the tide had ebbed, I saw that the rock was seamed and worn; and when the tide [636] was low, the pieces that had been riven from the granite rock were lying at its base.

And thus the waves of sectional agitation are dashing themselves against the granite patriotism of the land. But even that must show the seams and scars of the conflict. Sectional hostility will follow. The danger lies at your door, and it is time to arrest it. Too long have we allowed this influence to progress. It is time that men should go back to the first foundation of our institutions. They should drink the waters of the fountain at the source of our colonial and early history.

You, men of Boston, go to the street where the massacre occurred in 1770. There you should learn how your fathers strove for community rights. And near the same spot you should learn how proudly the delegation of Democracy came to demand the removal of the troops from Boston, and how the venerable Samuel Adams stood asserting the rights of Democracy, dauntless as Hampden, clear and eloquent as Sidney; and how they drove out the myrmidons who had trampled on the rights of the people.

All over our country, these monuments, instructive to the present generation, of what our fathers did, are to be found. In the library of your association for the collection of [637] your early history, I found a letter descriptive of the reading of the church service to his army by General Washington, during one of those winters when the army was ill-clad and without shoes, when he built a little log-cabin for a meeting-house, and there, reading the service to them, his sight failed him; he put on his glasses, and, with emotion which manifested the reality of his feelings, said, “ I have grown gray in serving my country, and now I am growing blind.”

By the aid of your records you may call before you the day when the delegation of the army of the Democracy of Boston demanded compliance with its requirements for the removal of the troops. A painfully thrilling case will be found in the heroic conduct of your fathers' friends, the patriots in Charleston, S. C. The prisoners were put upon the hulks, where the small-pox existed, and where they were brought on shore to stay the progress of the infection, and were offered, if they would enlist in his Majesty's service, release from all their sufferings present and prospective; while, if they would not, the rations would be taken from their families, and they would be sent back to the hulks and again exposed to the infection. Emaciated as they were, with the prospect of being returned to confinement, and their families turned out into [638] the streets, the spirit of independence, the devotion to liberty, was so supreme in their breasts, that they gave one loud huzza for General Washington, and went to meet death in their loathsome prison. From these glorious recollections, from the emotions which they create, when the sacrifices of those who gave you the heritage of liberty are read in your early history, the eye is directed to our present condition. Mark the prosperity, the growth, the honorable career of your country under the voluntary union of independent States. I do not envy the heart of that American whose pulse does not beat quicker, and who does not feel within him a high exultation and pride, in the past glory and future prospects of his country. With these prospects are associated — if we are only wise, true, and faithful, if we shun sectional dissension-all that man can conceive of the progression of the American people. And the only danger which threatens those high prospects is that miserable spirit which, disregarding the obligations of honor, makes war upon the Constitution; which induces men to assume powers they do not possess, trampling as well upon the great principles which lie at the foundation of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the Union, as upon the honorable obligations which were [639] fixed upon them by their fathers. They with internecine strife would sacrifice themselves and their brethren to a spirit which is a disgrace to our common country. With these views, it will not be surprising, to those who most differ from me, that I feel an ardent desire for the success of this State-rights Democracy; that, convinced as I am of the ill consequences of the described heresies unless they be corrected; of the evils upon which they would precipitate the country unless they are restrained — I say, none need be surprised if, prompted by such aspirations, and impressed by such forebodings as now open themselves before me, I have spoken freely, yielding to motives I would suppress and cannot avoid. I have often, elsewhere than in the State of which I am a citizen, spoken in favor of that party which alone is national, in which alone lies the hope of preserving the Constitution and the perpetuation of the Government and of the blessings which it was ordained and established to secure.

My friends, my brethren, my countrymen, I thank you for the patient attention you have given me. It is the first time it has ever befallen me to address an audience here. It will probably be the last. Residing in a remote section of the country, with private as well as public duties to occupy the whole of my time, [640] it would only be for a very hurried visit, or under some such necessity for a restoration to health as brought me here this season, that I could ever expect to remain long among you, or in any portion of the Union than the State of which I am a citizen.

I have stayed long enough to feel that generous hospitality which evinces itself to-night, which has evinced itself in Boston since I have been here, and showed itself in every town and village in New England where I have gone. I have stayed here, too, long enough to learn that, though not represented in Congress, there is a large mass of as true Democrats as are to be found in any portion of the Union within the limits of New England. Their purposes, their construction of the Constitution, their hopes for the future, their respect for the past, is the same as that which exists among my beloved brethren in Mississippi.

In the hour of apprehension I shall turn back to my observations here, in this consecrated hall, where men so early devoted themselves to liberty and community independence, and I shall endeavor to impress upon others, who know you only as you are represented in the two Houses of Congress, how true and how many are the hearts that beat for constitutional liberty, and faithfully respect [641] every clause and guarantee which the Constitution contains, for any and every portion of the Constitution.

His speech was received with enthusiasm, and Mr. Davis came home pleased with the reception accorded him, but far more happy over the hope of a peaceable adjustment of the sectional dissonance, the acerbity of which existed not in his heart, but in theirs who were the aggressors.

As soon as our boy was better we bade farewell to Boston, and though “The tender grace of a day that is dead, can never come back to me,” we often looked through the mists of the long ago, and heartily rendered thanks to those who were actively kind to us when we were in dire need.

In Boston we were joined by Colonel Samuel Cooper and Professor Pearce, and we all went to New York together. At breakfast Professor Bache came in, flushed with the triumph of the cable-layers. He brought a copy of Queen Victoria's cablegram, “Peace on earth and good — will toward men.” Then began a series of questionings. Professor Pearce believed it had really been sent and received. Professor Bache said he was inclined to think it must be true; a hoax would cause so much indignation that the perpetrator would not be safe. Governor Seymour [642] thought it was not a real despatch. Mr. Davis felt almost sure that the cable could not be insulated so as to transmit the fluid so far. The pressure of the sea would break the cable. In other words, it was an impossibility; but the great feat had been accomplished, though the belief in it percolated very slowly through the minds of the people of that day. Now our conversation with the other side of the world is only limited by the length of our purses, or the extent of our needs. Diseases may be treated from day to day by cable, and consols rise to meet the fluctuations in the Bourse. Both dominate the gold-room in New York on the same day. A note of war sounded in the morning, comes trumpeting over the cable, and cotton, the victim of all earthly disasters, trembles and retreats without parleying.

We returned in safety to Washington, and Mr. Davis, “after the first frost,” which is the period our people believe makes one safe from chills and fevers, returned to Mississippi to straighten out plantation matters and give an account of his stewardship to his constituents.

When their “Colonel” came to them, they had no sharp criticism to pass upon him, asked questions for information, but never for censure. No man ever had more generous, [643] consistent, and admiring constituents. When he left them it was only a “lengthening chain,” and no disruption. If he had not been their first choice, he did not wish to serve them; if they disagreed with him, they wondered if they were not mistaken, and argued the point with the “Colonel” with equal frankness and faith. If at any time he had found out that a considerable body of them disapproved of his course, he would have relieved them of the necessity to censure by resigning their free gift. In this time such relations seem impossible, and the account of such a state of politics appears now arcadian. Perhaps it would always have been as at present, had the population of Mississippi not consisted mainly of the planters, who were a law unto themselves and felt themselves to be the conservators of the public peace and weal. This condition developed the feudal or patriarchal character that was fostered by the segregated, independent households, and they wisely ruled over their laborers, their families, and themselves, and cultivated in peace and plenty the wide tracts of land owned by them.

A vote could not have been bought or sold in that day, and the man who would have offered a bribe would have fared ill at their hands.

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