Imágenes de páginas

soldier, and every officer seems to have emulated the fame of those illustrious captains who have gone before him. Honor, then, to all for deeds of courage, activity and skill, that would have emblazoned the names of a Jackson, a Carroll, or a Coffee, in the palmiest days of their glory.

And now (said Gov. Brown,) in the last few moments of my time, I have a few words to say, in conclusion, to those gallant men who have returned from the wars, and taken their places again in society. Look well to what is now going on in the State, and elsewhere in this Union; look well to the efforts now making to bring this war into disrepute. The moment that is done, away go all the fame and the honors you have won in this arduous service. Let but this war become doubt. ful, as to its justice, its necessity and its constitutionality, and all the proud honors of Monterey, Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo, wither and perish in a moment—the war plume of the soldier trails in the dust, and you who are so justly the pride, boast and ornaments of our country, sink down neglected, if not scorned, for those noble achievements that so justly entitle you to a nation's thanks a nation's gratitude.


Extracts from the Speech of Gov. Aaron V. Brown, one of the

Democratic Electors for the State at large, at Jonesboro', East Tennessee, August, 21, 1848.

I rise, said Gov. Brown, to address you as one of the Democratic Electors of President and Vice President for the State at large. If I had consulted my personal ease, or had fondly lingered over the endearments of home, had I looked only to the many years of my life already devoted to the public service, or to the number of times I have already traversed the State, crossing her rivers and scaling her mountains, I might well have declined a positions, so full of labor and responsibility But, fellow-citizens, (said Gov. B.) I did not feel at liberty to decline it. Identified with you in so many former struggles, your leader and standard bearer in some of them, I did not feel willing to retire whilst the enemy was yet in the field, flushed with a recent victory, which chance and slander, not valor, have achieved for him. Sirs, I ought not to have de- . clined it, because I came freely amongst you in 1844, and I may say, had no small agency in persuading you to bring this administration into power.

I exhorted you to commit your political destinies to its guidance, and assured you that in my opinion it would lead you in the way of prosperity and of honor: Now that it is drawing so nearly to its termination, it was peculiarly proper that I should come back among you, that you might look me in the face and justly upbraid me, for any disasters which it may have brought upon you. You were then confidently told that James K. Polk, the democratic nominee, was incompetent to fill so exalted a station. That in peace or in war, he would be alike unable to sustain the credit, the honor and the glory of the republic. The most insulting and invidious comparisons were instituted between him and his competitor. In ornothology, the one was the stupid moping bird of night, whilst the other was the majestic Eagle, soaring aloft among the clouds. Among quadrupeds, one was the great American Eclipse, whilst the other was the little Shetland poney of the circus. Among mortals, the one was so nearly allied to Divinity, that if he should chance to fall into a mesmeric slumber, you might extract virtue enough from him to make half a dozen such men as James K. Polk!! Well, time, the great expounder of human events, has rolled onward and I stand to-day present before you, to point you to the proudest refutation of all these insulting predictions.

Look first in the order of time, as I know it is first in your affections, to the state and condition of your Federal Union. Instead of finding, as you were told you would do, its broken and shattered fragments everywhere strewed around you, you behold its bright and golden arch with more than adamantine strength, still bespanning the continent. Its western terminus that used to illuminate only the summit of the Rocky Mountains, now pours its rich effulgence on all the rivers, and bays and harbors of the Pacific. Look again on this bright and beautiful picture, less bright and beautiful by far than its glorious realization. In the last four years, four new States have been added to the confederacy. Florida and Texas, two “bright particular stars" shining in the South, whilst Iowa and Wisconsin, twin sisters of the Lakes, in sylvan loveliness lie reposing in the North. A new constellation, for every year of this administration, to shine upon it and to adorn it. That the act of Congress admitting Florida and the resolution of annexation of Texas, did a little antecede the advent of this administration, can make no difference, because they were but the ripening fruits of that democratic policy, which throughout its career, has so much distinguished it.

Look now to his alleged incompetency to manage the civil affairs of the nation. History-impartial history-with its iron pen, has recorded a succession of able messages to Congress, which will compare favorably with those of his most

distinguished predecessors. It has recorded, too, a brilliant series of contested measures, which can find no parallel in any equal period of the republic. So successfully have these measures gone into operation, that they have extorted from the whig party the reluctant admission, that they cannot and dare not run a Presidential candidate, who will publicly avow his opposition to one of them. In the Deloney letter, the question is expressly asked, “Gen. Taylor, are you in favor of a United States Bank ?" No, says the General, I am not prepared to say that I am. In the same letter, “ General Taylor, are you opposed to the democratic revenue tariff of 1846 ?" No, says the General, I am not prepared to say that I am. Again, “Gen. Taylor, are you opposed to the independent or subtreasury, which the democrats have lately established and against which the whigs have warred with such undying opposition ?" No, says Gen. Taylor, I am not prepared to say that I am opposed to that either. These are substantially the questions and answers of that celebrated letter, and as long as they shall live, they will constitute the loftiest eulogium on the civil measures of James K. Polk's administration.

I come now to his alleged incompetency in the event of a foreign war. You will remember how it was more than intimated, that in that event, he would not have the nerve to stand up to such a crisis. Well, the war did come. I speak not yet of why and how it came. But it did come, and what was said then? Why, the counter cry was instantly raised that he had too much nerve! so much that he even provoked the warthat he even run out to meet it, by ordering the march of the army to the Rio Grande. When afterwards in the further

progress of the war, your triumphant Eagles had perched on all the domes of her capitol, what was said then? Why, this democratic President of ours is altogether too bloody minded. He is a very Tamerlane or Ghensikhan and don't want to make a treaty, until he can swallow up the whole national sovereignty of Mexico! And yet this bloody accusation had scarcely fallen from the lips of the Senator who pronounced it, before the President sent in a treaty eminently distinguished for its liberality and its forbearance.

With the ratification of that treaty, the bright and beautiful

goddess of peace again returns to our country. She comes,

“Like a beautiful cloud to its Haven of rest,

On the white wings of peace floating up from the West.” She comes bearing in her hands all that was ever demanded; indemnity for the past and security for the future.” She proclaims too, to the everlasting honor of this administration and of the Christian age in which we live, that in all this war, not a gun has been fired, not a city has been taken, not a province has been invaded, without her having first tendered to our deluded enemy the Olive Branch of Peace.

With her also has returned that gallant army, that has borne your standard so high and so proudly on every battle field of Mexico. They come--having never lost a battle, never sustained a defeat. They come, having covered themselves, their kindred, their country, and this administration, with undying honors. They come, having filled America with joy and the world with admiration. The world! All the civilized nations of it, gazing on the wonderful prowess of our arms and the sublime operations of our republican system under this and preceding democratic administrations, are even now kindling up the beacon fires of liberty, to light their way “to the model republic of America.” France, springing up like a young giant, is already in the path, whilst the other nations of the continent are preparing to follow. England, too, hoary and veteran as she is in the ways of oppression, begins to feel the mighty impulse; whilst Ireland-down-trodden and oppressed Irelandslowly lifts herself up and looks mournfully around her for relief. But alas ! I fear there is no relief for Ireland! I fear that her own immortal poet has too well described her condition:

“ Alas, for his country! her pride has gone by,

And that spirit is broken that never would bend;
O'er her ruin in secret her children must sigh,

For 'tis treason to love her, and death to defend.
Unpriz’d are her


till they have learned to betray, Undistinguished they live, if they shame not their sires ; And the torch that would light them through liberty's way,

Must be caught from the pile where their country expires." I know, gentlemen, that you will excuse this rapid review of

« AnteriorContinuar »