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 269

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Page 269

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 269
been, he believed, his most zealous enemy, and to the
party which had excluded him from its ranks with the
most violent anathemas.
He was now gladly welcomed back ; and, in the high
and commanding position in the Republican Party,
which, through the severest trials, he had a second
time won for himself, it is difficult to over-estimate
what he might have achieved, had that party been
able to sustain itself in power at that time. But, the
name of Mr. Van Buren was not associated in the
minds of the people, with any brilliant talents or illus-
trious services.. Magician, as he was said to be among
his partisans, he could cast no spell upon the masses,
excited by the wide-spread financial troubles of the
times, all of which were naturally attributed by the ig-
norant, and not without much justice, to the errors and
corruptions of the party then in power. He was over-
thrown in the election of 1840, and the Whigs came
into the Presidency with a majority in both Houses of
Congress. An extra Session was immediately called
and held in the spring of 1841, but before it met, Gen.
Harrison died, and the Vice-President, Mr. Tyler, who,
fortunately for the country, though a Whig, had been
bred a State Rights Republican, succeeded to the
vacant Chair.
The Whigs, elated with victory, rushed to Wash-
ington, resolved to secure all its fruits without delay.
Banks, Tariffs, Distributions of Revenue, the most
prodigal expenditures for individual and sectional bene-
fit, and Bankrupt Laws to wipe off the embarrassment
of past extravagance and speculation, swam in delight-
ful confusion before their excited vision. Measures
were promptly brought forward, and pressed on the