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exclusive legislation. If Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, the three great States, with Kentucky, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama and Louisiana, wish to try an experiment on iron, coal, hemp, cotton bagging, sugar, &c. &c. I am ready, as one citizen of Massachusetts, to meet it, and await in patient submission the result, which I doubt not will be found, within eighteen months, in the realization of all I have predicted. I say again, I would not, if I could, have a tariff made for Massachusetts alone. If, however, there should be a new one, let our interests, with those of every other in the Union, share that protection to which we are all entitled, and of which we claim our full share. I can with confidence assure you, that we shall go upward and onward. We will work. If twelve hours' labour in the twenty four will not sustain us, we can and will work fourteen; and at the same time feel that Congress cannot take the sinews from our arms, or rob us of the intelligence acquired from our system of public schools, established by the foresight and wisdom of our fathers.
THE HONOURABLE THOMAS H. BENTON,
MEMBER OF THE SENATE FOR THE STATE OF MISSOURI.
The name of Mr. Benton is inseparably connected with that of Missouri. To him the West, the fair land of promise, is deeply indebted, for wisely and lovingly he has ever watched over her interests, and devoted his energies to her cause. None is more thoroughly versed in the circumstances, historical, political and actual, of her position, and with effective eloquence he has vindicated her rights; with lofty faith and hope he has anticipated the eventful future, and has traced, in hues of light, the dawn of that day when the American race shall be one name, one language, and one people, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Mr. Benton has been, for a period of twenty
years, a representative in the Federal
Government of the United States. He possesses much weight in the Senate, and is considered a man of excellent judgment, of bold and original views and of statesmanlike practice. He is attached to the Democratic side, and is more of a sectional than of a party politician. The considerations of national power and extension are, perhaps, more highly estimated by Mr. Benton than those of wealth; he is the representative of a peculiar policy, arising naturally from the situation of an infant country, whose instincts, in the first stages of developement, must be those of growth and occupancy. Mr. Benton, nevertheless, has too much experience and too much wisdom to indulge in extremes, and his expectations and demands on the Oregon Question were marked by great moderation.
In his public deportment, and especially when speaking, he has much senatorial dignity—is rarely excited; his action and gesture are expressive ; his speech slow. In personal appearance he has much of the Englishman; is of robust and muscular frame, somewhat inclined to corpulency; his features have also more of the English than of the
American character :* the nose is broader, the nostrils more expanded, the lips more full, and the mouth less wide than is usual in the American contour. The habitual expression of his countenance is calm and elevated. The forehead is very massive; and I have seen in New York, at an artist's house, a bust of Mr. Benton, in which the neck and chest were of very large proportions; he has that gentle self-possession of manner which is so usual in those who are conscious of superior strength.
* If asked to define the general characteristics of the American face and figure, I should say that they are a taller and slighter race than the English; their hands and feet are more delicately formed, the shoulders are more falling, the neck has more length and les thickness, their limbs are longer, and the step is more rapid than that of their forefathers. The mouth appears to me the most distinguishing feature; it is wider, and the lips are thinner, than is observed here; the nose is handsomer, being better defined from the cheek than the English nose. An intelligent eye, the usual result of education, is almost universal in the United States; and as every American is a thinking being, so the forehead bears the impression of the ideas within; the cheek is less exuberant, and the form of the face, from the ear to the chin, is angular rather than rounded. The hair is of luxuriant growth, and generally brown in colour. On the whole, I have thought that there is more pervading national resemblance among the Americans than among the English, which is singular, because they are a more recent, as well as a more varied, amalgamation of many nations than we are, Of the women I shall now say no more than that they are very, very lovely.
Mr. Benton possesses great acquirements: the various studies of language, history, philosophy and the belles lettres he has made doubly his own by acquirement and by use. He speaks on all topics openly and freely, and invariably listens with attention to the remarks of others. A daughter of the Senator from Missouri is married to the able and spirited Captain Fremont, whose “Exploring Expeditions to the Rocky Mountains” are so full of interest,
EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF MR. BENTON,
ON THE OREGON QUESTION.
DELIVERED IN THE SENATE, IN May, 1846.
The value of the country, I mean the Columbia river and its valley, (I must repeat the limitation every time, lest I be carried up to 54° 40') has been questioned on this floor and elsewhere. It has been supposed to be of little value, hardly worth the possession, much less the acquisition, and treated rather as a burden to be got rid of, than as a benefit to be preserved. This is a great error,