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MR. CLAY AND THE RESTRICTIVE SYSTEM.*
Mr. Clay is a remarkable man amid Harrison. But, before victors or vanremarkable men. Having early en- quished had recovered from their astongaged in public life, with his native ishment at the election of 1840, he, in ability, his sharp insight into man, his whose name the victory had been subtlety in detecting, and skill in pre- gained, was no more; and the apple of senting the motives by which they are power became ashes on the lips of or may be governed, with his affable ihose who had been 100 unscrupulous manners--throwing others, but never in the means by which they had suchimself, off their guard—with his won- ceeded in grasping it. It was the manderful elocution, wonderful whether ner in which that victory was won, displayed at the bar, or festive board, that made it a defeat. If the Whigs or in the legislative hall, endowed (it had dealt fairly with the public, and is Mr. Webster who says it) with ex. told distinctly for what measures they traordinary powers of tragedy, he went, and made their nomination for the has been enabled to exercise a strong second office accordingly, though the influence, amounting sometimes to the likelihood of success would have been most despotic control, over those with far less, yet, success once gained, the whom and by whom he has acted. subsequent disasters had been avoided.
Attwenty-six, in the Kentucky Legis. Some of the leaders were for a Na. lature; at twenty-nine, chosen to some tional Bank, some for high tariff, and vacancy in the Senate of the United public lands given away, some for States ;-shortly afterwards, a member State rights and no tariff, and no bank; of the Lower House,—then one of the meanwhile, the chief made no declaraCommissioners to Ghent, then member tions. All scrambled on board, each again, then candidate for the Presi- hoping the vessel would steer by his dency, defeated, and made Secretary of particular chart, especially as the State under one of his competitors, - Commander seemed to have none then some years in private life, then of his own. But when the First Senator again; finally, having resigned Lieutenant became so suddenly Capthe virtual dictatorship with which his tain, and felt, withal, so sure that he superiority to his party associates had had as good right as any 1o dictate what invested him, he now re-appears as a course ihe craft should steer, and on candidate once more for the Presiden- what cruise enter --who was surprised cy of the Union.
that a mutiny ensued, such as to render In the electoral college, that former her useless for service of any kind ? canvass gave General Jackson ninety- The result of this mutiny,—whether nine votes, Mr. Adams eighty-four, the Captain is to be thrown overboard, Mr. Crawford forty-one, and Mr. Clay or whether the crew are to subinit, or, thirty-eight. In the eighteen years whether, as is most likely, in the which have since elapsed, one of ihose strife, the ship will get scuttled, and all rival candidates has died; another, de- go down together,--we do not propose feated at a re-election, has been doing to inquire, and indeed, have at present the State some questionable service, no object in seeking to know. after his own peculiar fashion, in the A distinguished French writer House of Representatives; a third, (Say), has said, that, whenever manover and over again by overwhelming kind shall be in a situation to profit by majorities chosen Chief Magistrate, experience, they will no longer require has returned to the Hermitage. Next her lessons; plain, sound sense, will came Mr. Van Buren, and next General then be sufficient. That happy day
* Life and Speeches of Henry Clay. Vol. I. James B. Swain, New York. Published with the approval of the Clay Club of New York.
seems at length to have arrived. For, very impersonation of whatever he immediately Mr. Clay is fairly nomi- would convey most vividly to the connated, forth fly,-admirably printed, ceptions of his auditory. These wonand on beautiful paper, and expressly derful qualities of his, have done their for the public eye, — declarations,” al- magic upon the last and present genready exceeding three hundred goodly erations, till men, hearing him, have octavo pages, and to be continued, we lost their free agency, yielding them. have reason to suppose, beyond three selves they know not to what, and able hundred more. They are made up of to give for their conduct
no sensible reahis speeches, delivered heretofore, as son to others, why. But this magic time, place, and subject may have will soon be doing its wonders upon prompied. And although no man pro- these generations no longer. And the bably ever lived, between whose speeches now before us, and which are speeches as delivered by himself, and soon to follow, will become the inades as read by others, there is so marked quate representatives to a future more a disparity of effect, yet the publisher or less distant, of all that has so has done all that ink and material pro- strangely agitated those who now perly put together, can, to make us move, or lately moved, at his bidding. forget what we have lost. Indeed, That a man is a subtle disputer, since Mr. Clay has now withdrawn gifted with a most charming elocution, from the Legislature, as he had long adroit in the use of all the weapons of before done from the bar, and since, in forensic strife, and possessed of a style the course of human events, he is likely in a reputable degree rhetorical, is certo address but few human audiences tainly a high encomiurn of him for the more, we cannot, highly as we regard bar or legislature. But when he is the rhetorical merits of this collection, named in connection with a station but feel that the time is fast approach where these high endowments would ing, when the wonder will be as great, be of no avail, and, indeed, where they how his speeches could have been so would be singularly out of place, men thrilling, as it now is, how Mr. Burke's not unnaturally look for other qualifi. could have been so dull; for he has three cations. In fact, the White House is, attributes in a degree of perfection, of all places this side of the Asteroids, never more than once or twice sur. most unfit for the vehement gesture, passed in America. The first is, that the sudden exclamation, the swollen mysterious gesticulation by which veins of the brow, the convulsed frame, every attitude of the body, each move in a word, for all the histrionic aris, ment of every limb, the foot hard with which oratory sometimes puzzles, stamping, the pointed finger, expanded and sometimes confounds the plainer palm, or fist light clenched, all full to sort of understandings. Accordingly, it is the utmost of animation, but never un- is on no such grounds, that the friends of graceful, conspire to make visible, as Mr. Clay rest his claims to the Presidenwell as audible, the emotion or passion cy. Bui to correct the error committed which stirs the speaker's breast. The iwo years ago, and to inform the people next is his voice, so varied in its intona- what he has thought, and said, and tions, so melodious in its cadences, at- advised in the course of his public catuned to the harmonious utterance of reer, and what they are to expect he every hidden feeling, which no form of will advise again,-and execute, too, if mere words could utter, and seeming he should get the power,-we suppose as if it were the purified spirit of hu- it is, that the collection before us has man emotion, sent forth to teach and been made, and such means employed kindle, and make like itself, the to give it a wide and rapid diffusion, spirits of those around. The last is his and the solemn approval of the Clay countenance, the most wonderful of all, Club of New York obtained to ensure commonly so passionless, yet, when it a profound and prayerful meditation. love, or cheerfulness, or hope, or irony, This is not unfair. And in the same anger, scoro, hate, majesty, nay, even spirit, though in our more humble PRAYER (we speak of his rhetorical way, and without any such imposing devotions, having, of course, no desire sanctions, we propose to examine, not to intrude on his privale ones), are to the literary, nor the rhetorical, but the be expressed, then warming up and business merits of two, one the best, transforming itself, till it becomes the the other among the best speeches of
the collection. These embody the able" in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kenwhole outline, and all the arguments in tucky, Tennessee, and the sun shone behalf of what has pleasantly been down into several unwonted apertures called the American system. Of this in the forests beyond the Mississippi. system, Mr. Clay was, in 1824, as he Her population bad grown from three still is, the champion. And his great millions to ten. After scolding Great oration, the most elaborate of his life, Britain several years, she quarrelled was delivered in March, he being then outright, and other countries ihat were in nomination for the Presidency; and looking on, said that the way she brag. in the canvass of the ensuing autumn, ged of what she accomplished in that it formed the main pillar of whatever line, was justifiable. Meanwhile, that strength he possessed; for, as we have banner of hers had contrived not only seen, of all the candidates he found to get acquainted, but to be on exceed. least favor with the people.
ing good terms with those of all the The maxim of buying in the cheap- other nations, though a little difficulty est market, and selling in the dearest, was experienced at times, because the commends itself to the common sense number of the stars kept changing so. of all men. He, 100, who purchases She, in fact, thought herself well io do amid the competition of various sellers, in the world. is sure to buy cheapest, and he who It is true that the unsettled state of sells amid the competition of various affairs in Europe, had given a kind of buyers, to sell dearest.
unsate acceleration to her prosperity. On the plain sense of these doctrines, It lured her a little too fast, and too far. our government suffered her people to This evil tendency was fari her increasset out. And hardly was the Union ed by the lavish internal expenditures, fairly together, before American enter and consequent high prices which prise, the whole world lying before it everything bore during the last war to buy and sell in, had hunted out with Great Britain. And when these where to dispose of its products, and causes ceased operating, there was a supply its wants to the best advantage. general pause. The business on the And what we had to dispose of was ocean was not enough for all the shipsold for the most it would anywhere ping; there was not a ready sale for all fetch, and our markets were stored manufactures; nor did the products of with what could cheapest anywhere agriculture find, at home or abroad, any be bought. Men in the enjoyment of sufficient market. Much distress, an such advantages both ways, are usually embarrassment yet more general, and deemed in a state of great prosperity. stagnation everywhere, ensued. There If their productions be numerous and was the languor of over-exertion; and sold high, and their wants few and sup- there was the uneasiness which the inplied cheap, the difference between in- dustrious ever feel, in having, for a lime, come and outgo, is not only marked, nothing to do; and there was, morebut the blind alone can fail to see over, that feeling, most painful of all, which way the current sets. And of anxiety and alarm always felt by the when this state of things exists among money-making and money-loving who, the individuals of a whole nation, it re- after a series of hazardous but most luquires uncommon vigor of assertion to crative adventures, find business runsay that the condition of that people is ning into new channels, and can see no anything but prosperous and happy. chance of any more realizing gains
Like many young persons, America like those they have realized already. began the world, known chiefly for her The revulsion was undoubtedly seindomitable spirit and determination, vere, but it must have been temporary ; but without any far-spread and long true, the day of inordinate profits had established reputation for business of gone, never to return, save along with the ordinary sort, and, withal, sadly in ihe causes which made them ; but the debt. But, somehow, she managed to sober incomes, such as discreet men acget along. By the year 1816, her peo- quire when all is calm, and there are ple had, in large quantities, got over the no calamities of others to profit by, were mountains and were “doing consider- sure soon to be realized. The shock
* Our Protection of Home Industry, April 26th, 1820, p. 139-161. On American Industry, March 30th and 31st, 1824, p. 219-266.
was iofinitely, infinitely less than that tion, only heavier beyond the Atlantic which followed the war of the Revolu. than here, lay on all the commercial tion, in itself a few years recovered from. world. And the measure which was Though it must be admitted that the to put us on our legs again, before the latter war had continued so long, and rest of the earth should think about the calamities of the country had been rising, was this: so great, that the people nearly forgot Inasmuch as the foreign demand for that they ever had been prosperous, our raw material—(new countries ever and therefore quietly set themselves to abound in the unmanufactured, as the work to create for themselves a new old do in the manufactured article)-had prosperity; while, in the other case, diminished; there must be constituted the shock came right on the heel of a HOME MARKET. As without exports high activity. The vessel in a smart there could be no imports, so, whatbreeze struck with all sail at fuil press. ever had theretofore been brought Everything was in panic; all clamored; from abroad was to be produced at some, outright, leaped overboard ; and home. But since, notwithstanding the others, the cunning ones, got the tariff imposts for revenue, foreigners could long-boat out and launched heralongside import their goods, paying freight and close, and levied contributions, of the all duties, and yet sell cheaper than best, too, on all the crew to furnish her we could make the like ourselves, a well. And when the wind lulled, and tax, a tariff, must therefore be imposed the tide turned, and the old craft was on the importations, heavy enough to found safe, hardly a seam loosened, drive those goods away. On their dethey, the cunning ones, the long-boat parture, the home manufacturer took lashed ciose there, jumped in and possession of the market, and being cried out to those left on board, “we free from foreign competition then, he have saved you; don't voyage further; added to the cost of manufacturing your surplus is safe here in the long- what of the tax he could, without runboat; you've a home market new; ning the price high enough to let the what you buy of foreigners you must foreigner in, and this price the consupay gold for; it will make you beg. mer had to pay; and the difference begars; trade among yourselves. Great tween this price, and what, without the thought this, of getting out the long- tax, foreigners would have furnished boat! No other craft on the ocean, but him for, is the exact measure of the has one out the same way; if you had contribution levied on him to provision only let us put it down sooner, you had and protect the tariff long-boat. not struck ; no, sure, only keep us here, From the occasion and aim of this and Protect us well, and you will never wise expedient, it is easy to see, that strike again.” And the old craft righted since exports and imports were, in a and swung loose, and away she sailed, great measure, to be done away with, the tariff boat lashed to her side, our shipping was, to the same extent, making her go slower and steer harder; to be laid up. Without the tariff it and the long-boat, though of power, might have been left to get along as it BEYOND ALL DOUBT, to save the larger could with the adversity which the vessel and all her crew, yet unable to altered condition of the world had save herself, however much she may brought upon it. But since the HOME be protected, but getting water-logged MARKET was to consume whatever our at every rise of the breeze and turn of vessels had heretofore carried away, the tide. But we anticipate.
and since home manufactures were to During nearly forty years, American produce whatever our vessels had citizens had been permitted to go brought back, they had no resource left wherever they could buy cheapest and but to pull up to the wharf and rot. sell dearest, and they fancied among The shipping out of the way, it would themselves, looking only at the net be easier to reconcile the producers of gains, that the liberty was profitable. the raw material to this so-called
But now, in 1816, a different sys- home market, because reconciled or tem was proposed. All Europe lay not reconciled they could get no other; under a paralysis, similar to our own. and though they should grumble they Her stimulus derived from her wars, could not but submit, and submit none and ours derived from our own, had the less how much soever every masubsided together; and a like prostra- nufactured article they bought was VOL. XII.-NO, LVII.
TION AFTER GENERATION PASS DOWN
WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST
enhanced in price. Thus cooped up and it. All other farmers were in the hedged in, what could agriculture do same condition. With grain, too, the with its raw materials, its grain, cotion, storehouses were crammed to the wool, hemp, and other “potions,” but eaves. The cities were glutted. It sell ihem for what they would fetch, was cheap as dust; nobody hungered ; take courage, and be thankful ? And all were gorged full, and lamented that why not?
Manufacturers are an they could eat no more, that the hateactive, shrewd, improving, acute, ever- ful'drug might be got out of sight. advancing race—the noblemen of na. There was no foreign market. ture; while the agriculturalists are dull, Now, what under heaven, could this inapt, delving away, from Adam's time Home Market be? Where was it? to ours, without improvement; so Who were the dealers in it? That stupid that they are hardly fit for any- market which was to carry nothing thing. For God's sake, readers, take abroad, but was to buy up, ai full price, not these sentiments for ours; they all this surplus which nobody wanted are Mr. Clay's. Hear ye him: at any price? The philosopher's stone
had been nothing io a discovery like “ There is a great difference in favor of this. Yet it was all simple enough,manufactures when compared with agri- only protect manufactures! Aye, but culture. It is the rapidity with which the the manufacturers were not starving, whole manufacturing community avail but were gorged full as the resi; only themselves of an improvement. It is just like thie rest, they made no money, instantly communicated and put in opera, but were getting deeper and deeper tion. There is an avidity for improvement into debt. "How then was the protecin the one system-an Aversion from it tion of them 10 consume the grain? in the other. THE HABITS OF CENERA
Spinning-jennies and cotton-gins could
For this, an increase of popuSUCCESSION,
lation would alone suflice. And a law CHANGE IN AGRICULTURE. THE PLOUGH- of Congress may do many things, but
can it create mouths? Can it beget TAILS OF HIS CATTLE, WILL NOT OWN children? If so, then, under the THAT THERE IS ANY OTHER MODE EQUAL general-welfare clause, the National TO His.”—On the Protection of Home Legislature had better assume that Industry, p. 145.
duty at once, and the Liiany say no
more about the perils of child-birth. Those farmers-a brutal set-gene The truth is, Home Market, thus ration after generation, through the used, is a word of delusion. In regard long track of time, in perpetual suc to the great products of food, no cession, tying their ploughs to their home market ever could be, nor ever oxen's tails there--what are they good was produced, which did not exist for, sure enough, but to protect manu before. Yet this excess of grain was factures and save the country, manu one, pay the greatest, of the evils for factures being the country?
which ihis American system was to In the two orations of Mr. Clay,– provide a remedy. Undoubtedly, howfor they have an air of too much ela- ever, it had the effect to stop producboration to be called speeches,-no tion. But why call this stoppage a phrase figures so largely, and hardly home market? Why not give it the any occurs so often as Home Markei. true name? Why cajole men with It is everywhere represented as the sounds meaning nothing? If nothing one thing needful, the pearl of great more was meant than that the farmers price,-a thing really attainable, yet if must wait till their surplus was conlost, the acquisition of the whole world sumed, and then raise no faster than besides would nothing profit. Still, they could readily sell, why not say often as the phrase occurs, and largely so ? But then why was an act of Conas it figures, it is never once defined; gress necessary ? For, ignorant as they the thing itself indicated is never once were, with their ploughs bitched to described, never located. We are, their catile's tails, might they not have therefore, left to wonder, and ask what been left to themselves to find out that could it be? The farmer, to take a they had better produce no faster than single instance, had his barn full of they could sell ? unthreshed grain, and nowhere to sell So far, then, as the surplus already
MAN WHO FASTENS HIS PLOUGH TO THE