Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 236

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Page 236

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 236
orbit, and promised long to shed the brightest and
most beneficent beams upon the world.
What, we may properly ask, was the secret of this
rapid and wonderful. success ? How was it that this
young man, coming but a few years before from the
wilderness, late in youth, without knowledge of books,
unknown himself, and destitute of powerful friends,
should, in so short a time, not only win his way into
the Great Council of the Confederacy, but be at once
conceded a place among the first, and draw to himself
the admiration and the hopes of a people ?
" What should it be that thus their faith could bind? The power of Thought—the magic of the Mind !"
Mr. Calhoun first took his seat in Congress at the
commencement of the Session of 1811. From that
period may be dated his career as a Statesman. That
career may be properly divided into several epochs,
each of which' is memorable in the history of our
country, and was made memorable in no small degree
by the parts which he performed. The first embraces
his services in the House of Representatives. The
great question of the Session of 1811-'12, was that of
war with England. All Europe was then, and had
been for twenty years, in arms, and that mighty con-
flict which terminated not long after in the overthrow
of Napoleon, and the establishment of the Holy Alli-
ance, was at its height. France and England were
the two leading belligerents, and both of them, in
utter disregard of neutral rights, had perpetrated unex-
ampled outrages upon us. We had in vain resorted to
embargoes and non-importation acts, and at length it
became indispensably necessary to our maintaining any