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 273

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Page 273

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 2(3
their own departure from the Constitution, were about
to resume, in full, the reins of power, made wiser not
only by the events of the past, but by the brilliant
light which his clear and profound intellect had shed
and concentrated around the principles of Constitu-
tional Government ; and Mr. Calhoun, with the en-
tire approbation of his friends, seized this apparently
propitious moment to retire and recruit after his long
and arduous labors.
The State of South Carolina in May, 1843, nomina-
ted Mr. Calhoun for the Presidency. But in Decem-
ber following, he withdrew his name, when it became
apparent that the Convention, to be held at Baltimore
to nominate the candidate of the whole Republican
Party, was not to be constituted on principles analo-
gous to the Constitution. He could not, with his views,
accept a nomination, if tendered, by a Convention
formed in any other manner, and he did not wish to
embarrass the Party from mere personal considerations.
He was not permitted, however, to enjoy his repose
for any length of time. In the spring of 1844, he was
nominated as Secretary of State, by Mr. Tyler, without
his previous knowledge ; and the nomination being
instantly and unanimously confirmed, he could not do
otherwise than obey the call. Two critical and emi-
nently important negotiations were then on foot. One
to adjust the Oregon question with England ; the
other to secure the annexation of Texas. In the latter,
his success was complete, and to him, perhaps, more
than to any other, we owe that important and invalu-
able acquisition. The Oregon negotiation was not
closed when Mr. Polk came into office. He did not
tender to Mr. Calhoun the reappointment as Secre-