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 275

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Page 275

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 275
Republican Party. The sound common sense of the
people sustained him : and the tide of public opinion
set in so strongly in favor of a compromise with Eng-
land, that negotiations were resumed with fresh, vigor,
and in a few months the whole question was adjusted
to the entire satisfaction of the great body of every
party in the two countries. In his whole public career,
Mr. Calhoun had never rendered a more conspicuous
perhaps never a more substantial service to his
country ; and it was appreciated and acknowledged
throughout the Union. To him, and almost to him
alone, was justly and universally accredited the dis-
tinguished merit of having saved the United States
from a war with the most powerful nation in the
world, about a matter so insignificant as to be almost
frivolous, and in which neither the honor nor the in-
terests of either were seriously involved. Thousands
of such wars disfigure the pages of history, and have
often been the most bloody and disastrous.
But this affair had hardly been placed in a sure
train of settlement before another difficulty arose, in
appearance far less formidable, but in its results likely
to prove much the most important in our annals, since
the Revolution. A sudden, and to the great body of
our' people, most unexpected war broke out with Mexi-
co. Pending negotiations with that Republic concern-
ing the western boundary of Texas, a portion of our
Army had been, contrary to the usual courtesy of na-
tions, marched into the disputed Territory. The Mexi-
cans attacked it. Battles ensued, and a flame was
kindled, which spread instantaneously over both coun-
tries. Congress was called on to declare, or rather to
recognize the existence of war, and to make the most