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(party feelings and party causes), and regarded only the vast interests of this whole people. If I had thought of myself, I should never have brought it (the bill) forward. I know well the perils to which I expose myself. I might have silently gazed on the raging storm, enjoyed its thunders, and left those who are charged with the Vessel of State to conduct it as they could. Pass this bill, tranquillize the country, restore confidence and affection in the Union, and I am willing to go home to Ashland, and renounce public service
I have been accused of ambition. Yes, I have ambition; but it is the ambition of being the humble instrument in the hands of Providence to reconcile a divided people-once more to revive concord and harmony in a distracted land--the pleasing ambition of contemplating the glorious spectacle of a free, united, prosperous, and fraternal people. I say, SAVE THE COUNTRY, SAVE THE UNION, SAVE THE AMERICAN SYSTEM.”
On the Missouri question, which arose when the Territory of Missouri, in 1818, asserted its claim to be incorporated as a State ; and which question threatened the Union with convulsion,
Mr. Clay came forward with the resolutions which harmonized the conflicting parties. The Territory claimed to be received as a State on the same footing with other Slaveholding States; it was objected to this that the compromise of the Federal Constitution, regarding Slavery, respected only its limits at the time; and that it was most remote from the views of the parties to this arrangement, to have the domain of Slavery extended on that basis.
The opposition which the people of Missouri had encountered had roused their anger; they inserted a clause in their Constitution which was
most obnoxious to the rest of the Union.
“ It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as soon as may be, to pass
such laws as may be necessary to prevent free negroes and mulattoes “from coming to or settling in this State, under "any pretext whatsoever.”
On the 10th of February, Mr. Clay reported and submitted the following resolution :
“Resolved,—That the State of Missouri be admitted into the Union on an equal footing
“ with the original States, in all respects whatever,
upon the fundamental condition, that the said “ State shall never pass any law preventing any “ description of persons from coming to and settling “in the said State, who now are, or may hereafter “ become, citizens of any of the States of this “ Union.”
The Compromise was founded on this Resolution, and was mainly effected by the temper, sagacity, and indefatigable zeal of Mr. Clay.
Thus on these two important, as well as on other minor occasions, has Mr. Clay fulfilled the Christian behest of Mediation ; his justice respected the rights of all parties, and his wisdom knew how to satisfy them.
Mr. Clay is tall and of muscular frame; walks firmly, and looks as if he rejoiced in healthful vigorous exercise ; he is nearly seventy years old, but I have seen many men of fifty show more of age than the Statesman farmer of Kentucky. His eye is not large, but bright; his forehead high and broad; his mouth is large and wide, and firmly compressed; the pictures of Mr. Clay are provoking in their dissimilitude; the painter's
usually flattering art has never done him even common justice; his limners have painted only the earthly, not the heavenly, Clay.
Mr. Clay was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States seven times. He was Secretary of State during the Presidency of Mr. Adams, and on the close of that Administration, remained in private life two years. In 1831 he was elected to the United States Senate, where he held his seat till 1842, having spent forty years, save one, in the public service. It may
be desirable to remark that the application of the English term of Whig was first assumed, in the United States, by the Opposition to the principles and Administration of General Jackson. By degrees, in consequence of the ever varying modification of party denominations, this term has now become exclusively appropriated to the system of politics of which Mr. Clay is the acknowledged representative.
The following beautiful extracts are taken from Mr. Clay's Farewell Address to the Senate, in 1842 :
“Full of attraction, however, as a seat in the
Senate is, sufficient as it is to satisfy the aspirations of the most ambitious heart, I have long determined to relinquish it, and to seek that repose which can be enjoyed only in the shades of private life, in the circle of one's own family, and in the tranquil enjoyments included in one enchanting word-HOME.
“I emigrated from Virginia to the State of Kentucky now nearly forty-five years ago ; I went as an orphan boy who had not yet attained the age of majority; who had never recognized a father's smile, nor felt his warm caresses; poor, penniless, without the favour of the great ; with an imperfect and neglected education, hardly sufficient for the ordinary business and common pursuits of life; but scarce had I set my foot upon her generous soil when I was embraced with parental fondness, caressed as though I had been a favourite child, and patronised with liberal and unbounded munificence. From that period the highest honours of the State have been freely bestowed upon me; and when, in the darkest hour of calumny and detraction, I seemed to be assailed by all the rest of the world, she interposed her broad