Press enter after choosing selection

An Interesting Reminiscence

An Interesting Reminiscence image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The contest in the Senate of the Unifced States over the confirmation of Mr. Dana as Minister to Great Britain recallB the very bitter struggle in 1841, when Edwaril " Everett had been nomina ted for the same place. Harrison had been elected President, receiving 234 electoral votes against sixty for Van Buren, and he was inaugurated on the 4th of Maroh. But he died on tke 4th of April iollowlng, imd John Tyier carne President) retainíüg Daniel Webster as Secretary of State, and nominating, when Congress met in extra session, Mr. Everett as Minister to England, as had been agreed upon before the death of Gen. Harrison. Mr. Everett had always been very "conservativo," but he had, when a candidate for the gubernatorial chair of Massachusetts, expressed the opinión, iu answer to a letter, that j Congress had tho power to abolish slavery in this district. This was made the pretext by tho Demócrata to defeat the nomination, and thns retain Andrew Stevenson (father of the present Senator from Kentucky) at the Oourt of St. James. The Whig party had a maj ority , but the Demócrata thought that, if they could brand Mr. Everett as an abolitionist, no Southern Whig wottld dare to vote for hún. The Senate Ocmmittee on Foreign j Relations - a majority of which were ! Whigs -reported in favor of Mr. Everett's confirmation, but Senator William R. King,' who was a member of the comniittee, made a minority report, in which ho took the ground that it would be dangerous to the " peculiar institution " to havo the country represt uted by an j abolitionist, when there was already a strong anti-alaVer feeliug. Tile nominati-n was placed oh the calendar with j the adverse minority report. Thatnight Senator Morehead, of Kentucky, cotjüdentially inforined Thurlow Weed, of the Albany Jovrnal, then here as a correspondent for lus paper, what was going on in executieve session, aod said that even Mr. Oloy, while he advocated the confirmation, would only give a silent vote for it. Mr. Weed declared that this would never do, and at once set about checkroating the opposition to Mr. 1 ett by Communications in the Baltimore j Pairlot, which cnmo back liero in eaaon, and by personal appeals to Mr. Olay. Rufus Ohoate, then Üepator from Massaclmsetts, was also very auti vo among the Whig Senators, and before i the ndmination was reached for action, the Southern Whigs saw tb at it would be suicida! for thein to be made tools of by the Democrats. Archer of Virginia and Preston of South Carolina alone j ! persisted in their opposition. When the nomination. carne up in the j Senate, James Buchanan took the lead ! i in opposing Mr. Evorett, and was ! lowed by Mr. King, -who repeated the j arguinents used in his minority report, and eoneluded his bitter romarks by ! saying that, if a gentleman holding I views so opposite to the interests of the ; : South, and so dostructive to ite ] tions was confiraied, for this important j positioD, tho Union must and would be j dissolved ! Henry Clay, who had walked up and down the space behind the cbair of the presiding officer, listened : attentively to Mr. King's phillippic, ■ sprang to his desk at its conclusión, i and added, pointing his index-finger at ; Mr. King : " And I teil you, Mr. President, that ií a gentleman, so ! nently qualified for the post of Minister, should be rejected by this Senate, and I for the reasons given by the Senator ' from Alabama, that this Union is dissolved already!" A somewhat heated debate ensued, which was closed by Mr. Clay, who, after having reviewed the ■ arguments against Mr. Everett, said, in i his imperial way: "These argumenta, Mr. President, all verge to one center, ; which is that Mr. Everett is opposed to the system of negro slavery on principie. ! So are all the best men of New England. I So are many of the best men at the I South. 8o am I, Mr. President, i though I am an owner of slaves !" When a vote was reached, the nomina tion of Mr. Everett was confirrned by a vote of twenty-three yeas against nine teen nays. Messrs. Clayton of Dela! ware, and Merrick of Maryland, Rives ! of Virginia, Mangum and 'Graham of North Carolina, Berrien of Georgia, and Clay and Moorhead of Kentucky, ail i Southern Whigs, voted aye with the Northern Whigs; Archer of Virginia, and Preston of South Carolina, South- ern Whigs, voted nay, while Bayard of Delaware, Kerr of Maryland, Barrow of Lovüsiana, and Henderson of Missis! sippi, also Southern Whigs, dodged in ! deference to Southern opinión. Not a Democratie vote was cast for Mr. Everett, and there were six Democratie abj sentees, one of them Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire, and another Judgc Nicholson of Tennessee, who died last week. There cannot be over three or i four who were then in the Senate still j alive. Oue of these is ex-Gov. William Allen of Oliio. and another Robert J.


Old News
Michigan Argus