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 237

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 237

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 237
position among nations, that we should declare war
against one or both of these powers. The direct
pecuniary interests of the South had been but slightly
affected by these outrages. She had but little com-
merce to be plundered—few seamen to be impressed.
Her only great interest involved and that she felt in
every fibre was the honor of our common country.
To vindicate that she went for war, and went for it
almost unanimously. South Carolina took the lead.
Her illustrious Representatives Lowndes, Cheves, Wil-
liams and Calhoun, were the leaders of all those im-
portant Committees, whose province it is to propose
war, and marshal the resources for carrying it on.
And nobly and gloriously did they all perform their
duty. Mr. Calhoun, placed second on the Committee
of Foreign Relations, soon became its head by the
retirement of the chairman, and, before the close of
his first Session, he reported and carried through. the
House, a bill declaring war against Great Britain ; and,
throughout the momentous conflict, undaunted in
courage and infinite in resources, he stood forward the
leading champion of every measure for its vigorous
prosecution. Young as he was, he shrunk from no
opponent in that Congress, never before or since
equalled for its assemblage of talent. He surrendered
nothing and shunned no responsibility. In the darkest
and most perilous hour of the war, when Napoleon,
had fallen, and England was free to turn the whole of
her armament on us ; when the Eastern States, not
content with denouncing the war through their presses,
and from their platforms and their pulpits, had assailed
in every form the credit of the Government—had
paralyzed all the financial operations of the country