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ident has seen fit to charge in this utterly unjustifiable and arbitrary manner.?"
In making these various extracts, our object has been that Mr. Winthrop should speak for himself. We are neither his vindicators nor apologists. Nor does he stand in need of any feeble support which we can give him. Dissenting from some of his views, we still believe it would be a bright augury for the future destiny and the true glory of our common country-at the contemplation of whose prospective grandeur the vision almost aches—if our national councils contained a great. er number of statesmen such as he is. He has witnessed and deplored the workings of that spirit of aggrandizement which, but recently, to use an expression of his own, “ was seen leaping over the Sabine in one quarter, and dashing itself upon the Rocky Mountains in another !! Looking to the habitual temper of our people, we can conceive of no higher exhibition of moral resolution in a representative than to raise his voice, amid a seeming clamor for war, in fervent invocations to Peace. We believe that the odium which attached to the opponents of the war of 1812, where principles were at issue that ought to have an abiding-place in the heart of every man worthy to be free, has affrighted from the exercise of their most honest judgments many of the public men of our day. The genius of our people, and especially of that portion which occupies the states composing our vast Western empire, is eminently warlike. Impa. tient of control, desirous of change, hankering after events, fond of excitement and adventure, they constitute material for inilitary purposes not surpassed by any nation upon earth. The mild and beneficent spirit of our institutions, breathing forth from the sacred charter of our liberties, has hitherto kept this aspiring genius in check. But once give it rein-hold up to the admiring gaze of a young and chivalrous generation, as the worthier objects of its ambition, the trophies of conquest and the triumphs of arms, and who shall set bounds to our career of injustice, aggression, and rapacity? The past is full of sol. emn admonition. The magnificent domain on which we live is already felt, like a kingdom to the spirit of Percy, “ too small a bound.” The “manifest destiny" which, during the brief but troubled day of the 51° 40' dream, was impiously leading us no man knew whither, is not dead: it sleepeth only. At that time, nothing short of a country, ocean-bound," would contain us. The flag that "flouts the sky” on the dome of the Capitol was but one of those emblems of overshadowing pow. er whose folds were to be given to the breeze alike on the summit of Cape Horn and at the extremity of Behring's Straits, where our eagles might perch, ready for a bolder and still loftier flight. Let us take warning ere it is too late. If the lessons of history càn ever avail aught in shaping the destinies of nations, let them not be lost upon us. Let us see the future in the past, and “gather precious, political truths amid the ruins of empires.”
This memoir was prepared so far back as the month of August last. Mr. Clay, in the speech delivered by him at Lexington on the 13th of the following November, speculates, with much more ability than we can command, upon the effect produced at this day by the consequences visited upon those who arrayed themselves against the war of 1812. He says:
“ The exceptionable conduct of the Federal party during the last British war has exerted an influence in the prosecution of the present war, and prevented the just discrimination between the two wars. That was a war of national defense, required for the vindication of the national rights and honor, and demanded by the indignant voice of the people. President Madison himself, I know, at first reluctantly, and with great doubt and hesitation, brought himself to the conviction that it ought to be declared. A leading, and, perhaps, the most influential member of his cabinet (Mr. Gallatin), was, up to the time of its declaration, opposed to it. But nothing could withstand the irresistible force of public sentiment. It was a just war, and its great object, as announced at the time, was 'Free
Trade and Sailors' Rights,' against the intolerable and oppressive acts of British power on the ocean. The justice of the war, far from being denied or controverted, was admitted by the Fed. eral party, which only questioned it on considerations of policy. Being deliberately and constitutionally declared, it was, I think, their duty to have given it their hearty co-operation. But the mass of them did not. They continued to oppose and thwart it, to discourage loans and enlistments, to deny the power of the general government to march the militia beyond our limits, and to hold a Hartford Convention, which, whatever were its
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real objects, bore the aspect of seeking a dissolution of the Union itself. They lost, and justly lost, the public confidence. But has not an apprehension of a similar fate, in a state of a case widely different, repressed a fearless expressiou of their real sentiments in some of our public men ?”
During his service in Congress, Mr. Winthrop has been a member of three of the most important standing committees of the House : on Commerce, on Foreign Affairs, and, more lately, of Ways and Means. · ·
As the representative of the commercial city whose interests are more especially in his keeping, he merits all the praise that can be awarded to him. His unceasing efforts to preserve that protective policy with which the business pursuits of his state are so closely linked, are familiar to all.
With respect to the disputed matter of the naturalization laws, it is enough to say that he has favored such a revision of them as he believed necessary to correct existing abuses, and to maintain the purity of the ballot-box.
As the patron of the arts and sciences, of great national en. terprises, and of all works connected with the history of the country, no member has been more conspicuous. The policy of internal improvement by the general government he has at all times sustained, as a cause which ought to rally to its support every real friend of the republic (see title, ROBERT M.CLELLAND). Nor must we fail to notice the constancy with which he has voted to give to those private claimants, who so often appeal in vain to the justice of the nation, the benefit of the time which the rules of the House have set apart for the consideration of their business, and of his countenance and support, where their claims were of legitimate and proper obligation. We have referred to the general subject of the private calendar in another place.
His literary accomplishments have been indicated by numer. ous addresses and orations delivered upon various occasions, all of them of a high degree of excellence. Among them we should notice, as possessing peculiar merit, an address before the Mercantile Library Association of Boston upon the achievements and influence of Commerce, and an oration before the New England Society of the City of New York, at their annual celebration in 1839. The committee of the society, in requesting a
copy of the latter for the press, speak of it as an address " which, in the principles it recommends, and the historic research and statesmanlike views it disclosed, was so entirely worthy of the family name you bear, and one which, in the eloquence and power with which it took possession of the mind of the hearer, gave full proof that the city of Boston, in its public speakers and leading minds, had not fallen away from the town of Boston of earlier days and dearer associations."
He availed himself of the late long recess to visit England, France, and other parts of Europe. Shortly after his departure for England, Edward Everett, writing to a friend in Massachusetts, says of Mr. Winthrop," A better specimen of Amer. ica never crossed the water;" and the tenor of all notices from England gives us the impression that this remark has been fully justified by his reception in that country, as indicating the estimation in which he is held by the leading men of the father-land.
That all he has seen in other countries has but served to confirm and rivet his affection for his own, we feel well assured. On the 4th of July last, writing from the top of the Righi, in Switzerland, to a friend in New England, who permitted us to make an extract from the letter, he says: “It is no infelicitous coincidence that an American should be upon this interesting spot on' this anniversary of his country's independence. Last night I slept on the borders of the Lake of Lucerne. This morning I passed by the chapel of William Tell'and the three fountains of Grütli, where the first confederation in favor of Swiss liberty was concerted, and from thence came up to this pinnacle of mountain liberty; and here we are admiring other coun. tries, but remembering our own, and wishing that the three hundred miles' circumference over which our eyes extend could be stretched to three thousand, so that we could see the land we are sighing after, and the friends who make it so dear. Never have I felt a stronger yearning after my own country than at this moment. God bless her forever! There is no land like her. We may see here and there a richer cultivation
-here and there a more splendid ceremonial here and there a more magnificent mountain or lake; but we can find nowhere else a people, a whole people, so comfortably conditioned, so in. telligent, so educated, so free.”
This surely is not the language of a man in whose bosom beats a heart insensible to the claims of patriotism, or of one who, in conforming to the customs of other countries while sojourning in them, is wanting in loyalty to his own.
It is well known that at the Convention held in Springfield, Massachusetts, in September last, a resolution was introduced by Mr. Palfrey, now a member of the House, declaring "that the Whigs of Massachusetts will support no man for the office of President and Vice President but such as are known by their acts or declared opinions to be opposed to the extension of slavery." Mr. Winthrop opposed this resolution, and prevent. ed its adoption, avowing his determination to support a slave. holder for the Presidency, should he be the candidate of the Whig party.
He is now Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, chosen at a time when the two great parties in that body were nearly equally divided. The accompanying correspondence, which preceded his election, and looked to the im. position of conditions which should secure it, speaks its own commentary:
• Copy of a letter from Hon. John G. Palfrey to Hon. R. C.
“ 56 Coleman's, Washington, December 5, 1847. “Dear Sir,-It would give me pleasure to aid by my vote in placing you in the chair of the House of Representatives; but I have no personal hopes or fears to dictate my course in the matter, and the great consideration for me must be that of the policy which the speaker will impress on the action of the House.
“Not to trouble you with suggestions as to subordinate points, there are some leading questions on which it may be presumed that you have a settled purpose. May I respectfully inquire whether, if elected speaker, it is your intention
“So to constitute the Committee of Foreign Relations and of Ways and Means as to arrest the existing war?
“So to constitute the Committee on the Territories as to obstruct the legal establishment of slavery within any territory ?
“So to constitute the Committee on the Judiciary as to favor the repeal of the law of February 12, 1793, which denios