Orator and statesman; born in Dedham, Mass.
, April 9, 1758; was graduated at Harvard College in 1774; taught school until 1781; then began the practice of law: and soon displayed rare oratorical powers.
He wrote political essays for Boston
newspapers, over the signatures of “Brutus
” and “Camillus
In Congress from 1789 until 1797 he was always distinguished for his great business talent, exalted patriotism, and brilliant oratory.
Ardently devoted to Washington
, personally and politically, he was chosen by his colleagues to write the address to the first President on his retiring
from office in 1797.
After leaving Congress he devoted himself to the practice of his profession; but finally, on account of declining health, gave it up to engage exclusively in agricultural pursuits.
In 1804 he was chosen president of Harvard College,
but declined the honor.
He received the degree of Ll.D. from that institution.
His orations, essays, and letters were collected and published in 1 volume, with a biographical sketch by Rev. Dr. Kirkland
, in 1809.
So powerful was his great speech in Congress in favor of Jay
's Treaty, on april 28, 1795, that an opposition member moved to postpone the decision of the question that they might not “vote under the influence of a sensibility which their calm judgment might condemn.”
He died in Dedham
, July 4, 1808.
Speech on Jay's treaty.
The following are extracts from his speech made on April 28, 1796: