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 256

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Page 256

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 256
founded on classes, vital and antagonistic interests
make the change a Revolution, such as rarely happens
without bloodshed. A sectional majority remote,
arrogant, and fatally bent on maintaining its suprem-
acy and promoting its peculiar interests, never
listens to warning or to reason ; and the minority, if
it has not the courage or the strength to tender an
issue of force, is soon corrupted, divided, and neces-
sarily enslaved. Mr. Calhoun could not have failed
to perceive all these difficulties, and in abandoning,
under such circumstances, his high position in the
majority, to unite his fortunes irrevocably with the
weaker section, he exhibited an example, almost with-
out parallel, of disinterested patriotism and lion-hearted
courage, and of that " unshaken confidence in the
Providence of God," which, in his latest moments, he
declared to be his consolation and support.
Henceforth he is no longer to be viewed as the fa-
vorite child of genius and of fortune. His path is no
longer strewed with garlands and his footsteps greeted
with applause. Toiling in the deepest anxiety, yet,
happily for himself, with the unfailing hopefulness of
his nature, to accomplish his Herculean task, he en-
counters at every step the deadliest hostility. He is
assailed on all sides and from every section even from
his own. Envy and malice shoot their long poisoned
arrows, and ignorance and corruption shower every
missile on him ; and yet it remains to be decided, and
depends in no small degree upon the issue of the great
struggle now approaching its crisis, whether he shall
go down to posterity portrayed in the colors of the
Gracchi of the Patricians, or the Gracchi of the People.
The Tariff Bill of 1828 passed the Senate by a ma-