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 249

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Page 249

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 249
spring up every day, and strut their hour upon the
stage, no one can be a statesman or a general who has
not analyzed the structure of the human mind, and
learned to touch the remotest springs of human action.
High as Mr. Calhoun's legislative talent had been
rated, he had not been long in the War Department
before his administrative talent was regarded as quite
equal, if not superior ; and he rose so rapidly in the
estimation of his countrymen, that, early in Mr. Mon-
roe's second term, when he was only forty years of
age, and had been but little more than ten years in the
Federal Councils, he was nominated for the Presidency
by the large and influential State of Pennsylvania.
He subsequently consented to have his name with-
drawn in favor of Gen. Jackson. He was then nomi-
nated for the Vice-Presidency—was elected by a large
majority, and took his seat as President of the Senate
in 1825.
In regard to his direct connection with that body
as its presiding officer, it is, perhaps, sufficient to say that
on all occasions he fully sustained his reputation. No
incident of lasting importance occurred to elicit any
extraordinary display of peculiar qualities of mind or
temperament, until near the close of his first term.
But the period of that term constitutes a most im
portant era in the annals of our country, and also in
the life of Mr. Calhoun. And hence may be dated the
third and last epoch in his career.
I have already adverted to the fact, that the Re-
publican party had long strayed from the straight and
narrow path of constitutional construction in which it
first set out. The events of the war had so utterly
prostrated and disgraced the Federal Party, that at