Public Speaking
Irvah Lester Winter

Part 5 out of 7

little Shakespeare is quoted, how much oftener much inferior poets. In
Edmund Burke's orations he quotes Shakespeare very little; and Edmund
Burke's orations are interesting especially for this, that they are not
probably the original addresses which he gave, are literature rather
than oratory, and are now generally supposed to have been written out

Like Burke most of the orators of that period have a certain formal
style. When all is said and done, the clergy got a certain pithiness
from that terrific habit they had of going back every little while and
pinning down their thought with a text. One English clergyman of the
period compared his text to a horse block on which he ascended when he
wished to mount his horse, and then he rode his horse as long as he
wished and might or might not come back to that horse block again.
Therefore we see in the oratory of that time a certain formality.

Moreover, in the absence of the modern reporter, we really do not know
exactly what was said in the greatest speeches of that day. The modern
reporter, whose aim is to report everything that is said, and who
generally succeeds in putting in a great many fine things which haven't
occurred to the orators--the modern reporter was not known, and we have
but very few descriptions even of the great orations.


From the author's lectures on oratory, with his permission


It happened to me, when I was in college, to be once on some business
at an office on State Street in Boston, then as now the central
business street of the place, in a second-story office where there were
a number of young men writing busily at their desks. Presently one of
the youths, passing by accident across the room, stopped suddenly and

"There is Daniel Webster!"

In an instant every desk in that room was vacated, every pane in every
window was filled with a face looking out, and I, hastening up behind
them, found it difficult to get a view of the street so densely had
they crowded round it. And once looking out, I saw all up and down the
street, in every window I could see, just the same mass of eager faces
behind the windows. Those faces were all concentrated on a certain
figure, a farmer-like, sunburned man who stood, roughly clothed, with
his hands behind him, speaking to no one, looking nowhere in
particular; waiting, so far as I could see, for nothing, with broad
shoulders and heavy muscles, and the head of a hero above. Such a brow,
such massive formation, such magnificent black eyes, such straight
black eyebrows I had never seen before.

That man, it appeared, was Daniel Webster! I saw people go along the
street sidling along past him, looking up at him as if he were the
Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World in New York harbor. Nobody
knew what he wanted, it never was explained; he may have been merely
waiting for some companion to go fishing. But there he was, there he
stands in my memory. I don't know what happened afterwards, or how
these young men ever got back to their desks--if they ever did.

For me, however, that figure was revealed by one brief duplicate
impression, which came in a few months afterwards when I happened to be
out in Brookline, a suburb of Boston, where people used to drive then,
as they drive now, on summer afternoons for afternoon tea--only,
afternoon tea not having been invented, they drove out to their
neighbors' houses for fruit or a cup of chocolate.

You have heard Boston perhaps called the "Hub of the universe." A lady,
not a Bostonian, once said that if Boston were the hub of the universe,
Brookline ought to be called the "Sub-hub." In the "sub-hub" I was
sitting in the house of a kinsman who had a beautiful garden; who was
the discoverer, in fact, of the Boston nectarine, which all the world
came to his house to taste. I heard voices in the drawing-room and went
in there. And there I saw again before me the figure of that day on
State street, but it was the figure of a man with a beamingly good-
natured face, seated in a solid chair brought purposely to accommodate
his weight, sitting there with the simple culinary provision of a cup
of chocolate in his hand.

It so happened that the great man, the godlike Daniel, as the people
used to call him, had expressed the very mortal wish for a little more
sugar in his chocolate; and I, if you please, was the fortunate youth
who, passing near him, was selected as the Ganymede to bring to him the
refreshment desired. I have felt ever since that I, at least, was
privileged to put one drop of sweetness into the life of that great
man, a life very varied and sometimes needing refreshment. And I have
since been given by my classmates to understand--I find they recall it
to this day--that upon walking through the college yard for a week or
two after that opportunity, I carried my head so much higher than usual
as to awaken an amount of derision which undoubtedly, if it had been at
West Point, would have led to a boxing match.

That was Daniel Webster, one of the two great lawyers of Boston--I
might almost say, of the American bar at that time.


From the author's lectures on oratory, with his permission


The Englishman, as far as I have observed, as a rule gets up with
reluctance, and begins with difficulty. Just as you are beginning to
feel seriously anxious for him, you gradually discover that he is on
the verge of saying some uncommonly good thing. Before you are fully
prepared for it he says that good thing, and then to your infinite
amazement he sits down!

The American begins with an ease which relieves you of all anxiety. The
anxiety begins when he talks a while without making any special point.
He makes his point at last, as good perhaps as the Englishman's,
possibly better. But then when he has made it, you find that he goes on
feeling for some other good point, and he feels and feels so long, that
perhaps he sits down at last without having made it.

My ideal of a perfect speech in public would be that it should be
conducted by a syndicate or trust, as it were, of the two nations, and
that the guaranty should be that an American should be provided to
begin every speech and an Englishman provided to end it.

Then, when we go a little farther and consider the act of speech
itself, and its relation to the word, we sometimes meet with a doubt
that we see expressed occasionally in the daily papers provided for us
with twenty pages per diem and thirty-two on Sunday, whether we will
need much longer anything but what is called sometimes by clergymen
"the printed word"--whether the whole form of communication through
oral speech will not diminish or fade away.

It seems to me a truly groundless fear--like wondering whether there
will ever be a race with only one arm or one leg, or a race of people
who live only by the eye or by the ear. The difference between the
written word and the spoken word is the difference between solitude and
companionship, between meditation and something so near action that it
is at least halfway to action and creates action. It is perfectly
supposable to imagine a whole race of authors of whom not one should
ever exchange a word with a human being while his greatest work is
being produced.

The greatest work of American literature, artistically speaking,
Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter," was thus produced. His wife records that
during the year that he was writing it, he shut himself up in his study
every day. She asked no questions; he volunteered no information. She
only knew that something was going on by the knot in his forehead which
he carried all that year. At the end of the year he came from his study
and read over to her the whole book; a work of genius was added to the
world. It was the fruit of solitude.

And sometimes solitude, I regret as an author to say, extends to the
perusal of the book, for I have known at least one volume of poems of
which not a copy was ever sold; and I know another of which only one
copy was sold through my betraying the secret of the author and
mentioning the book to a classmate, who bought that one copy.

Therefore, in a general way, we may say that literature speaks in a
manner the voice of solitude. As soon as the spoken word comes in, you
have companionship. There can be no speech without at least one person
present, if it is only the janitor of the church. Dean Swift in reading
the Church of England service to his manservant only, adapted the
service as follows: "Dearly beloved Roger, the Scripture moveth thee
and me in sundry places," etc.; but in that very economy of speech he
realized the presence of an audience. It takes a speaker and an
audience together to make a speech--I can say to you what I could not
first have said to myself. "The sea of upturned faces," as Daniel
Webster said, borrowing the phrase, however, from Scott's "Rob Roy"--
"the sea of upturned faces makes half the speech." And therefore we may
assume that there will always be this form of communication. It has,
both for the speaker and for the audience, this one vast advantage.


From "Girls and Education," by permission of, and by special
arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company, authorized publishers of
this author's works.


I doubt whether any one has told more effectively what a college may do
for a girl's mind than Dr. Thomas Fuller. In his "Church History of
Britain" he gives a short chapter to "The Conveniency of She-Colleges."
(I once quoted this chapter at Smith College, and was accused of making
it up.) "Nunneries also," he observes, "were good She-Schools, wherein
the girls and maids of the neighborhood were taught to read and work;
and sometimes a little Latin was taught them therein. Yea, give me
leave to say, if such feminine foundations had still continued, haply
the weaker sex might be heightened to a higher perfection than hitherto
hath been attained. That sharpness of their wits, and suddenness of
their conceits, which their enemies must allow unto them, might by
education be improved into a judicious solidity."

The feminine mind, with its quick intuitions and unsteady logic, may
keep the intuitions and gain a firmness which makes it more than
transiently stimulating. The emotional mind has its charm, especially
if its emotions are favorable to ourselves.

In some things it may be well that emotion is greater than logic; but
emotion _in logic_ is sad to contend with, sad even to contemplate--and
such is too often the reasoning of the untrained woman. Do not for a
moment suppose that I believe such reasoning peculiar to women; but
from the best men it has been in great measure trained out.

In a right-minded, sound-hearted girl, college training tends toward
control of the nervous system; and control of the nervous system--
making it servant and not master--is almost the supreme need of women.
Without such control they become helpless; with it they know scarcely a
limit to their efficiency. The world does not yet understand that for
the finest and highest work it looks and must look to the naturally
sensitive, whether women or men. I remember expressing to the late
Professor Greenough regret that a certain young teacher was nervous.
His answer has been a comfort to me ever since. "I wouldn't give ten
cents for any one who isn't." The nervous man or woman is bound to
suffer; but the nervous man or woman may rise to heights that the
naturally calm can never reach and can seldom see. To whom do you go
for counsel? To the calm, no doubt; but never to the phlegmatic-never
to the calm who are calm because they know no better (like the man in
Ruskin "to whom the primrose is very accurately the primrose because he
does not love it"). You go to the calm who have fought for their
calmness, who have known what it is to quiver in every nerve, but have
put through whatever they have taken in hand.

There are numberless sweet and patient women who never studied beyond
the curriculum of the district school, women who help every one near
them by their own unselfish loveliness; but the intelligently patient,
the women who can put themselves into the places of all sorts of
people, who can sympathize not merely with great and manifest griefs,
but with every delicate jarring of the human soul--hardest of all, with
the ambitions of the dull--these women, who must command a respect
intellectual as well as moral, reach their highest efficiency through
experience based on college training.

College life, designed as it is to strengthen a girl's intellect and
character, should teach her to understand better, and not worse,
herself as distinguished from other beings of her own sex or the
opposite, should fortify her individuality, her power of resisting, and
her determination to resist, the contagion of the unwomanly.
Exaggerated study may lessen womanly charm; but there is nothing loud
or masculine about it. Nor should we judge mental training or anything
else by scattered cases of its abuse. The only characteristics of women
that the sensible college girl has lost are feminine frivolity, and
that kind of headless inaccuracy in thought and speech which once
withheld from the sex--or from a large part of it--the intellectual
respect of educated men.

At college, if you have lived rightly, you have found enough learning
to make you humble, enough friendship to make your hearts large and
warm, enough culture to teach you the refinement of simplicity, enough
wisdom to keep you sweet in poverty and temperate in wealth. Here you
have learned to see great and small in their true relation, to look at
both sides of a question, to respect the point of view of every honest
man or woman, and to recognize the point of view that differs most
widely from your own. Here you have found the democracy that excludes
neither poor nor rich, and the quick sympathy that listens to all and
helps by the very listening. Here too, it may be at the end of a long
struggle, you have seen--if only in transient glimpses--that after
doubt comes reverence, after anxiety peace, after faintness courage,
and that out of weakness we are made strong. Suffer these glimpses to
become an abiding vision, and you have the supreme joy of life.


From an address to the students of Harvard University, 1885. Published
in "The Drama; Addresses by Henry Irving," William Heinemann, London,
publisher, 1893


What is the art of acting? I speak of it in its highest sense, as the
art to which Roscius, Betterton, and Garrick owed their fame. It is the
art of embodying the poet's creations, of giving them flesh and blood,
of making the figures which appeal to your mind's eye in the printed
drama live before you on the stage. "To fathom the depths of character,
to trace its latent motives, to feel its finest quiverings of emotion,
to comprehend the thoughts that are hidden under words, and thus
possess one's self of the actual mind of the individual man"--such was
Macready's definition of the player's art; and to this we may add the
testimony of Talma. He describes tragic acting as "the union of
grandeur without pomp and nature without triviality." It demands, he
says, the endowment of high sensibility and intelligence.

You will readily understand from this that to the actor the well-worn
maxim that art is long and life is short has a constant significance.
The older we grow the more acutely alive we are to the difficulties of
our craft. I cannot give you a better illustration of this fact than a
story which is told of Macready. A friend of mine, once a dear friend
of his, was with him when he played Hamlet for the last time. The
curtain had fallen, and the great actor was sadly thinking that the
part he loved so much would never be his again. And as he took off his
velvet mantle and laid it aside, he muttered almost unconsciously the
words of Horatio, "Good-night, sweet Prince" then turning to his
friend, "Ah," said he, "I am just beginning to realise the sweetness,
the tenderness, the gentleness of this dear Hamlet!" Believe me, the
true artist never lingers fondly upon what he has done. He is ever
thinking of what remains undone: ever striving toward an ideal it may
never be his fortune to attain.

It is often supposed that great actors trust to the inspiration of the
moment. Nothing can be more erroneous. There will, of course, be such
moments, when an actor at a white heat illumines some passage with a
flash of imagination (and this mental condition, by the way, is
impossible to the student sitting in his armchair); but the great
actor's surprises are generally well weighed, studied, and balanced. We
know that Edmund Kean constantly practiced before a mirror effects
which startled his audience by their apparent spontaneity. It is the
accumulation of such effects which enables an actor, after many years,
to present many great characters with remarkable completeness.

I do not want to overstate the case, or to appeal to anything that is
not within common experience, so I can confidently ask you whether a
scene in a great play has not been at some time vividly impressed on
your minds by the delivery of a single line, or even of one forcible
word. Has not this made the passage far more real and human to you than
all the thought you have devoted to it? An accomplished critic has said
that Shakespeare himself might have been surprised had he heard the
"Fool, fool, fool!" of Edmund Kean. And though all actors are not
Keans, they have in varying degree this power of making a dramatic
character step out of the page, and come nearer to our hearts and our

After all, the best and most convincing exposition of the whole art of
acting is given by Shakespeare himself: "To hold, as 'twere, the mirror
up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and
the very age and body of the time his form and pressure." Thus the poet
recognized the actor's art as a most potent ally in the representation
of human life. He believed that to hold the mirror up to nature was one
of the worthiest functions in the sphere of labor, and actors are
content to point to his definition of their work as the charter of
their privileges.


From "The Harvard Graduates Magazine"


Just in the last few years we have had a striking illustration of
strong reaction against prevailing educational policies. There has come
upon us right here on these grounds and among Harvard's constituents,
and widespread over the country as well, a distrust of freedom for
students, of freedom for citizens, of freedom for backward races of
men. This is one of the striking phenomena of our day, a distrust of

Now, there is no moment in life when there comes a greater sudden
access of freedom than this moment in which you find yourselves. When
young men come to an American college, I care not at all which
college--to any American college from the parents' home or from school,
they experience a tremendous access of freedom. Is it an injury? Is it a
danger? Are you afraid of it? Has society a right to be afraid of it?
What is freedom for? What does it do for us? Does it hurt us or help
us? Do we grow in it, or do we shrink in it? That is quite an important
question in the management of Harvard University. It is the important
question in modern government. It is pretty clear that when young men
or old men are free, they make mistakes, and they go wrong; having
freedom to do right or wrong, they often do right and they often do
wrong. When you came hither, you found yourselves in possession of a
new freedom. You can overeat yourselves, for example; you can
overdrink; you can take no care for sleep; you can take no exercise or
too much; you can do little work or too much; you can indulge in
harmful amusements: in short, you have a great new freedom here. Is it
a good thing for you or a bad thing? Clearly you can go astray, for the
road is not fenced. You can make mistakes; you can fall into sin. Have
you learned to control yourselves? Have you got the will-power in you
to regulate your own conduct? Can you be your own taskmaster? You have
been in the habit of looking to parents, perhaps, or to teachers, or to
the heads of your boarding schools or your day schools for control in
all these matters. Have you got it in yourselves to control yourselves?
That is the prime question which comes up with regard to every one of
you when you come to the University. Have you the sense and the
resolution to regulate your own conduct?

It is pretty clear that in other spheres freedom is dangerous. How is
it with free political institutions? Do they always yield the best
government? Look at the American cities and compare them with the
cities of Europe. Clearly, free institutions do not necessarily produce
the best government. Are then free institutions wrong or inexpedient?
What is freedom for? Why has God made men free, as he has not made the
plants and the animals? Is freedom dangerous? Yes! but it is necessary
to the growth of human character, and that is what we are all in the
world for, and that is what you and your like are in college for. That
is what the world was made for, for the occupation of men who in
freedom through trial win character. It is choice which makes the
dignity of human nature. It is habitual choosing after examination,
consideration, reflection, and advice, which makes the man of power. It
is through the internal motive power of the will that men imagine,
invent, and thrust thoughts out into the obscure beyond, into the
future. The will is the prime motive power; and you can only train your
wills, in freedom. That is what freedom is for, in school and college,
in society, industries, and governments. Fine human character is the
ultimate object, and freedom is the indispensable condition of its

Now, there are some clear objects for choice here in college, for real
choice, for discreet choice. I will mention only two. In the first
place, choose those studies--there is a great range of them here--which
will, through your interest in them, develop your working power. You
know it is only through work that you can achieve anything, either in
college or in the world. Choose those studies on which you can work
intensely with pleasure, with real satisfaction and happiness. That is
the true guide to a wise choice. Choose that intellectual pursuit which
will develop within you the power to do enthusiastic work, an internal
motive power, not an external compulsion. Then choose an ennobling
companionship. You will find out in five minutes that this man stirs
you to good, that man to evil. Shun the latter; cling to the former.
Choose companionship rightly, choose your whole surroundings so that
they shall lift you up and not drag you down. Make these two choices
wisely, and be faithful in labor, and you will succeed in college and
in after life.


From "Alfred Lord Tennyson, A Memoir by His Son," with the permission
of The Macmillan Company, New York and London, publishers.

Before leaving for Aldworth we spent some delightful sunny days in the
Farringford gardens. In the afternoons my father sat in his summerhouse
and talked to us and his friends.

This spring he had enjoyed seeing the unusually splendid blossom of
apple and pear tree, of white lilacs, and of purple aubretia that
bordered the walks.

At intervals he strolled to the bottom of the kitchen garden to look at
the roses, or at the giant fig tree ("like a breaking wave," as he
said) bursting into leaf; or he marked the "branching grace" of the
stately line of elms, between the boles of which, from his summerhouse,
he caught a glimpse of far meadows beyond. He said that he did not
believe in Emerson's pretty lines:--

"Only to children children sing,
Only to youth the Spring is Spring."

"For age does feel the joy of spring, though age can only crawl over
the bridge while youth skips the brook." His talk was grave and gay
together. In the middle of anecdotes he would stop short and say
something of what he felt to be the sadness and mystery of life.

What impressed all his friends was his choice of language, the felicity
of his turns of expression, his imagery, the terseness of his unadorned
English, and his simple directness of manner, which none will ever be
able to reproduce, however many notes they may have taken. His dignity
and repose of manner, his low musical voice, and the power of his
magnetic dark eye kept the attention riveted. His argument was clear
and logical and never wandered from the point except by way of
illustration, and his illustrations were the most various I have ever
heard, and were taken from nature and science, from high and low life,
from the rich and from the poor, and his analysis of character was
always subtle and powerful.

While he talked of the mysteries of the universe, his face, full of the
strong lines of thought, was lighted up; and his words glowed as it
were with inspiration.

When conversing with my brother and myself or our college friends, he
was, I used to think, almost at his best, for he would quote us the
fine passages from ancient or modern literature and show us why they
are fine, or he would tell us about the great facts and discoveries in
astronomy, geology, botany, chemistry, and the great problems in
philosophy, helping us toward a higher conception of the laws which
govern the world and of "the law behind the law." He was so sympathetic
that the enthusiasm of youth seemed to kindle his own. He spoke out of
the fullness of his heart, and explained more eloquently than ever
where his own difficulties lay, and what he, as an old man, thought was
the true mainspring of human life and action; and

"How much of act at human hands
The sense of human will demands
By which we dare to live or die."

The truth is that real genius, unless made shallow by prejudice, is
seldom frozen by age, and that, until absolute physical decay sets in,
the powers of the mind may become stronger and stronger.

On one of these June mornings, Miss L--, who was a stranger to us, but
whose brother we had known for some time, called upon us. My father
took her over the bridge to the summerhouse looking on the Down. After
a little while he said: "Miss L--, my son says I am to read to you,"
and added, "I will read whatever you like." He read some of "Maud,"
"The Spinster's Sweet-Arts," and some "Enoch Arden."

His voice, as Miss L-- noticed, was melodious and full of change, and
quite unimpaired by age. There was a peculiar freshness and passion in
his reading of "Maud," giving the impression that he had just written
the poem, and that the emotion which created it was fresh in him. This
had an extraordinary influence on the listener, who felt that the
reader had been _present_ at the scenes he described, and that he
still felt their bliss or agony.

He thoroughly enjoyed reading his "The Spinster's Sweet-Arts," and when
he was reading "Enoch Arden" he told Miss L-- to listen to the sound of
the sea in the line,

"The league-long roller thundering on the reef,"

and to mark Miriam Lane's chatter in

"He ceased; and Miriam Lane
Made such a voluble answer promising all."


From "Notes on Speech-Making," with the permission of Longmans, Green
and Company, New York and London, publishers.


We are told that the five-minute speeches with which Judge Hoar year
after year delighted the Harvard chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa
contained but one original idea, clearly stated, and but one fresh
story, well told. This is indeed a model to be admired of all men; yet
how few of us will take the trouble of copying it!

The speaker who rambles and ambles along, saying nothing, and his
fellow, the speaker who links jest to jest, saying little more, are
both of them unabashed in the presence of an audience. They are devoid
of all shyness. They are well aware that they have "the gift of the
gab"; they rejoice in its possession; they lie in wait for occasions to
display it. They have helped to give foreigners the impression that
every American is an oratorical revolver, ready with a few remarks
whenever any chairman may choose to pull the trigger. And yet there are
Americans not a few to whom the making of an after-dinner speech is a
most painful ordeal. When the public dinner was given to Charles
Dickens in New York, on his first visit to America, Washington Irving
was obviously the predestined presiding officer. Curtis tells us that
Irving went about muttering: "I shall certainly break down; I know I
shall break down." When the dinner was eaten, and Irving arose to
propose the health of Dickens, he began pleasantly and smoothly in two
or three sentences; then hesitated, stammered, smiled, and stopped;
tried in vain to begin again; then gracefully gave it up, announced the
toast, "Charles Dickens, the guest of the nation," and sank into his
chair amid immense applause, whispering to his neighbor, "There! I told
you I should break down, and I've done it."

When Thackeray came, later, Irving "consented to preside at a dinner,
if speeches were absolutely forbidden; the condition was faithfully
observed" (so Curtis records), "but it was the most extraordinary
instance of American self-command on record." Thackeray himself had no
fondness for after-dinner speaking, nor any great skill in the art. He
used to complain humorously that he never could remember all the good
things he had thought of in the cab; and in "Philip" he went so far as
to express a hope that "a day will soon arrive (but I own, mind you,
that I do not carve well) when we shall have the speeches done by a
skilled waiter at a side table, as we now have the carving."

Hawthorne was as uncomfortable on his feet as were Thackeray and
Irving; but his resolute will steeled him for the trial. When he dined
with the Mayor of Liverpool, he was called upon for the toast of the
United States. "Being at bay, and with no alternative, I got upon my
legs and made a response," he wrote in his notebook, appending this
comment: "Anybody may make an after-dinner speech who will be content
to talk onward without saying anything. My speech was not more than two
or three inches long; ... but, being once started, I felt no
embarassment, and went through it as coolly as if I were going to be

He also notes that his little speech was quite successful, "considering
that I did not know a soul there, except the Mayor himself, and that I
am wholly unpracticed in all sorts of oratory, and that I had nothing
to say." To each of these three considerations of Hawthorne's it would
be instructive to add a comment, for he spoke under a triple
disadvantage. A speech cannot really be successful when the speaker has
nothing to say. It is rarely successful unless he knows the tastes and
the temper of those he is addressing. It can be successful only
casually unless he has had some practice in the simpler sort of


From "Hunting the Grizzly" with the permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons,
New York and London, publishers.


For half a mile I walked quickly and silently over the pine needles,
across a succession of slight ridges separated by narrow, shallow
valleys. The forest here was composed of lodge-pole pines, which on the
ridges grew close together, with tall slender trunks, while in the
valleys the growth was more open. Though the sun was behind the
mountains, there was yet plenty of light by which to shoot, but it
faded rapidly.

At last, as I was thinking of turning toward camp, I stole up to the
crest of one of the ridges, and looked over into the valley some sixty
yards off. Immediately I caught the loom of some large, dark object;
and another glance showed me a big grizzly walking slowly off with his
head down. He was quartering to me, and I fired into his flank, the
bullet, as I afterward found, ranging forward and piercing one lung. At
the shot he uttered a loud, moaning grunt and plunged forward at a
heavy gallop, while I raced obliquely down the hill to cut him off.
After going a few hundred feet, he reached a laurel thicket, some
thirty yards broad, and two or three times as long, which he did not
leave. I ran up to the edge and there halted, not liking to venture
into the mass of twisted, close-growing stems and glossy foliage.
Moreover, as I halted, I heard him utter a peculiar, savage kind of
whine from the heart of the brush. Accordingly, I began to skirt the
edge, standing on tiptoe and gazing earnestly to see if I could not
catch a glimpse of his hide. When I was at the narrowest part of the
thicket, he suddenly left it directly opposite, and then wheeled and
stood broadside to me on the hillside, a little above. He turned his
head stiffly toward me; scarlet strings of froth hung from his lips;
his eyes burned like embers in the gloom.

I held true, aiming at the shoulder, and my bullet shattered the point
or lower end of his heart, taking out a big nick. Instantly the great
bear turned with a harsh roar of fury and challenge, blowing the bloody
foam from his mouth, so that I saw the gleam of his white fangs; and
then he charged straight at me, crashing and bounding through the
laurel bushes, so that it was hard to aim. I waited till he came to a
fallen tree, raking him as he topped it with a ball, which entered his
chest and went through the cavity of his body, but he neither swerved
nor flinched, and at the moment I did not know that I had struck him.
He came steadily on, and in another second was almost upon me. I fired
for his forehead, but my bullet went low, entering his open mouth,
smashing his lower jaw and going into the neck. I leaped to one side
almost as I pulled the trigger; and through the hanging smoke the first
thing I saw was his paw as he made a vicious side blow at me. The rush
of his charge carried him past. As he struck he lurched forward,
leaving a pool of bright blood where his muzzle hit the ground; but he
recovered himself and made two or three jumps onward, while I hurriedly
jammed a couple of cartridges into the magazine, my rifle holding only
four, all of which I had fired. Then he tried to pull up, but as he did
so his muscles seemed suddenly to give way, his head dropped, and he
rolled over and over like a shot rabbit. Each of my first three bullets
had inflicted a mortal wound.

It was already twilight, and I merely opened the carcass, and then
trotted back to camp. Next morning I returned and with much labor took
off the skin. The fur was very fine, the animal being in excellent
trim, and unusually bright colored. Unfortunately, in packing it out I
lost the skull, and had to supply its place with one of plaster. The
beauty of the trophy, and the memory of the circumstances under which I
produced it, make me value it perhaps more highly than any other in my





A famous orator once imagined the nations of the world uniting to erect
a column to Jurisprudence in some stately capital. Each country was to
bring the name of its great jurist to be inscribed on the side of the
column, with a sentence stating what he and his country through him had
done toward establishing the reign of law and justice for the benefit
of mankind.

I have sometimes fancied that we might erect here in the capital of the
country a column to American Liberty which alone might rival in height
the beautiful and simple shaft which we have erected to the fame of the
Father of the Country. I can fancy each generation bringing its
inscription, which should recite its own contribution to the great
structure of which the column should be but the symbol.

The generation of the Puritan and the Pilgrim and the Huguenot claims
the place of honor at the base. "I brought the torch of freedom across
the sea. I cleared the forest. I subdued the savage and the wild beast.
I laid in Christian liberty and law the foundations of empire."

The next generation says: "What my fathers founded I builded. I left
the seashore to penetrate the wilderness. I planted schools and
colleges and churches."

Then comes the generation of the great colonial day: "I stood by the
side of England on many a hard-fought field. I helped humble the power
of France."

Then comes the generation of the revolutionary time: "I encountered the
power of England. I declared and won the independence of my country. I
placed that declaration on the eternal principles of justice and
righteousness which all mankind have read, and on which all mankind
will one day stand. I affirmed the dignity of human nature and the
right of the people to govern themselves."

The next generation says: "I encountered England again. I vindicated
the right of an American ship to sail the seas the wide world over
without molestation. I made the American sailor as safe at the ends of
the earth as my fathers had made the American farmer safe in his home."

Then comes the next generation: "I did the mighty deeds which in your
younger years you saw and which your fathers told. I saved the Union. I
freed the slave. I made of every slave a freeman, and of every freeman
a citizen, and of every citizen a voter."

Then comes another who did the great work in peace, in which so many of
you had an honorable share: "I kept the faith. I paid the debt. I
brought in conciliation and peace instead of war. I built up our vast
domestic commerce. I made my country the richest, freest, strongest,
happiest people on the face of the earth."

And now what have we to say? What have we to say? Are we to have a
place in that honorable company? Must we engrave on that column: "We
repealed the Declaration of Independence. We changed the Munroe
Doctrine from a doctrine of eternal righteousness and justice, resting
on the consent of the governed, to a doctrine of brutal selfishness,
looking only to our own advantage. We crushed the only republic in
Asia. We made war on the only Christian people in the East. We
converted a war of glory into a war of shame. We vulgarized the
American flag. We introduced perfidy into the practice of war. We
inflicted torture on unarmed men to extort confession. We put children
to death. We established reconcentrado camps. We devastated provinces.
We baffled the aspirations of a people for liberty"?

No, Mr. President. Never! Never! Other and better counsels will yet
prevail. The hours are long in the life of a great people. The
irrevocable step is not yet taken.

Let us at least have this to say: "We, too, have kept the faith of the
fathers. We took Cuba by the hand. We delivered her from her age-long
bondage. We welcomed her to the family of nations. We set mankind an
example never beheld before of moderation in victory. We led hesitating
and halting Europe to the deliverance of their beleaguered ambassadors
in China. We marched through a hostile country--a country cruel and
barbarous--without anger or revenge. We returned benefit for injury,
and pity for cruelty. We made the name of America beloved in the East
as in the West. We kept faith with the Philippine people. We kept faith
with our own history. We kept our national honor unsullied. The flag
which we received without a rent we handed down without a stain."


I do not know why in the year 1899 this Republic has unexpectedly had
placed before it mighty problems which it must face and meet. They have
come and are here, and they could not be kept away. We have fought a
war with Spain.

The Philippines, like Cuba and Porto Rico, were intrusted to our hands
by the war, and to that great trust, under the Providence of God and in
the name of human progress and civilization, we are committed. It is a
trust we have not sought; it is a trust from which we will not flinch.
The American people will hold up the hands of their servants at home to
whom they commit its execution, while Dewey and Otis and the brave men
whom they command will have the support of the country in upholding our
flag where it now floats, the symbol and assurance of liberty and

There is universal agreement that the Philippines shall not be turned
back to Spain. No true American consents to that. Even if unwilling to
accept them ourselves, it would have been a weak evasion of manly duty
to require Spain to transfer them to some other power or powers, and
thus shirk our own responsibility. Even if we had had, as we did not
have, the power to compel such a transfer, it could not have been made
without the most serious international complications. Such a course
could not be thought of. And yet had we refused to accept the cession
of them, we should have had no power over them even for their own good.

We could not discharge the responsibilities upon us until these islands
became ours, either by conquest or treaty. There was but one
alternative, and that was either Spain or the United States in the
Philippines. The other suggestions--first, that they should be tossed
into the arena of contention for the strife of nations; or, second, be
left to the anarchy and chaos of no protectorate at all--were too
shameful to be considered.

The treaty gave them to the United States. Could we have required less
and done our duty? Could we, after freeing the Filipinos from the
domination of Spain, have left them without government and without
power to protect life or property or to perform the international
obligations essential to an independent state? Could we have left them
in a state of anarchy and justified ourselves in our own consciences or
before the tribunal of mankind? Could we have done that in the sight of
God or man?

No imperial designs lurk in the American mind. They are alien to
American sentiment, thought, and purpose. Our priceless principles
undergo no change under a tropical sun. They go with the flag. They are
wrought in every one of its sacred folds, and are indistinguishable as
its shining stars.

"Why read ye not the changeless truth,
The free can conquer but to save?"

If we can benefit these remote peoples, who will object? If in the
years of the future they are established in government under law and
liberty, who will regret our perils and sacrifices? Who will not
rejoice in our heroism and humanity? Always perils, and always after
them safety; always darkness and clouds, but always shining through
them the light and the sunshine; always cost and sacrifice, but always
after them the fruition of liberty, education, and civilization.

I have no light or knowledge not common to my countrymen. I do not
prophesy. The present is all-absorbing to me, but I cannot bound my
vision by the blood-stained trenches around Manila, where every red
drop, whether from the veins of an American soldier or a misguided
Filipino, is anguish to my heart; but by the broad range of future
years, when that group of islands, under the impulse of the year just
past, shall have become the gems and glories of those tropical seas; a
land of plenty and of increasing possibilities; a people redeemed from
savage indolence and habits, devoted to the arts of peace, in touch
with the commerce and trade of all nations, enjoying the blessings of
freedom, of civil and religious liberty, of education and of homes, and
whose children and children's children shall for ages hence bless the
American Republic because it emancipated and redeemed their fatherland
and set them in the pathway of the world's best civilization.



Whether the universal sentiment in favor of protection as applied to
every country is sound or not, I do not stop to discuss. Whether it is
best for the United States of America alone concerns me now, and the
first thing I have to say is, that after thirty years of protection,
undisturbed by any menace of free trade, up to the very year now last
past, this country was the greatest and most flourishing nation on the
face of this earth. Moreover, with the shadow of this unjustifiable
bill resting cold upon it, with mills closed, with hundreds of
thousands of men unemployed, industry at a standstill, and prospects
before it more gloomy than ever marked its history--except once--this
country is still the greatest and the richest that the sun shines on,
or ever did shine on.

According to the usual story that is told, England had been engaged
with a long and vain struggle with the demon of protection, and had
been year after year sinking farther into the depths until at a moment
when she was in her distress and saddest plight her manufacturing
system broke down, "protection, having destroyed home trade by
reducing," as Mr. Atkinson says, "the entire population to beggary,
destitution, and want." Mr. Cobden and his friends providentially
appeared, and after a hard struggle established a principle for all
time and for all the world, and straightway England enjoyed the sum of
human happiness. Hence all good nations should do as England has done
and be happy ever after.

Suppose England, instead of being a little island in the sea, had been
the half of a great continent full of raw material, capable of an
internal commerce which would rival the commerce of all the rest of the

Suppose every year new millions were flocking to her shores, and every
one of those new millions in a few years, as soon as they tasted the
delights of a broader life, would become as great a consumer as any one
of her own people.

Suppose that these millions, and the 70,000,000 already gathered under
the folds of her flag, were every year demanding and receiving a higher
wage and therefore broadening her market as fast as her machinery could
furnish production. Suppose she had produced cheap food beyond all her
wants, and that her laborers spent so much money that whether wheat was
sixty cents a bushel or twice that sum hardly entered the thoughts of
one of them, except when some Democratic tariff bill was paralyzing his

Suppose that she was not only but a cannon shot from France, but that
every country in Europe had been brought as near to her as Baltimore is
to Washington--for that is what cheap ocean freights mean between us
and European producers. Suppose all those countries had her machinery,
her skilled workmen, her industrial system, and labor forty per cent
cheaper. Suppose under that state of facts, with all her manufacturers
proclaiming against it, frantic in their disapproval, England had been
called upon by Cobden to make the plunge into free trade, would she
have done it? Not if Cobden had been backed by the angelic host.
History gives England credit for great sense.


I assume that the cause of protection has no more able advocate than
the gentleman from Maine. I assume that the argument for protection can
be put in no more alluring form than that to which we have listened to-
day. So assuming, I shall ask you calmly and dispassionately to examine
with me that argument, to see upon what it is based, and then I shall
invoke the unprejudiced judgment of this House as to whether the cause
attempted to be sustained by the gentleman from Maine has been
sustained, or can be before any tribunal where the voice of reason is
heard or the sense of justice is felt.

The gentleman from Maine, with a facility that is unequaled, when he
encounters an argument which he is unable to answer passes it by with
some bright and witty saying and thereby invites and receives the
applause of those who believe as he does. But the gentleman does not
attempt, the gentleman has not to-day attempted, to reply to the real
arguments that are made in favor of freer trade and greater liberty of

The gentleman points to the progress of the United States, he points to
the rate of wages in the United States, he points to the aggregated
wealth of the United States, and claims all this is due to protection.
But he does not explain how we owe these blessings to protection. He
says, we have protection in the United States, wages are high in the
United States; therefore protection makes high wages.

When we ask the gentleman from Maine to give us a reason why a high
protective tariff increases the rate of wages he points to the glory,
the prosperity, and the honor of our country. We on this side unite
with him in every sentiment, in every purpose, in every effort that has
for its object the advancement of the general welfare of the people of
the United States, but we differ from him as to the method of promoting
their welfare. The gentleman belongs to that school who believe that
scarcity is a blessing, and that abundance should be prohibited by law.
We belong to that school who believe that scarcity is a calamity to be
avoided, and that abundance should be, if possible, encouraged by law.

The gentleman belongs to that class who believe that by a system of
taxation we can make the country rich. He believes that it is possible
by tax laws to advance the prosperity of all the industries and all the
people in the United States.

Either, Mr. Speaker, that statement is an absurdity upon its face, or
it implies that in some way we have the power to make some persons not
resident of the United States pay the taxes that we impose. I insist
that you do not increase the taxable wealth of the United States when
you tax a gentleman in Illinois and give the benefit of that tax to a
gentleman in Maine. Such a course prevents the natural and honest
distribution of wealth, but it does not create or augment it.


Delivered in the United States Senate, January, 1830


The gentleman has made a great flourish about his fidelity to
Massachusetts. I shall make no profession of zeal for the interests and
honor of South Carolina; of that my constituents shall judge. If there
be one State in the Union, Mr. President (and I say it not in a
boastful spirit), that may challenge comparison with any other for a
uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion to the Union, that
State is South Carolina. Sir, from the very commencement of the
Revolution up to this hour there is no sacrifice, however great, she
has not cheerfully made, no service she has ever hesitated to perform.
She has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she
has clung to you with more than filial affection. No matter what was
the condition of her domestic affairs, though deprived of her
resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, the
call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic
discord ceased at the sound; every man became at once reconciled to his
brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding together to
the temple, bringing their gifts to the altar of their common country.

What, sir, was the conduct of the South during the Revolution? Sir, I
honor New England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great
as is the praise which belongs to her, I think at least equal honor is
due to the South. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren with a
generous zeal, which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their
interest in the dispute. Favorites of the mother country, possessed of
neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalship, they might
have found in their situation a guaranty that their trade would be
forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But, trampling on all
considerations either of interest or of safety, they rushed into the
conflict, and, fighting for principle, periled all in the sacred cause
of freedom. Never were there exhibited in the history of the world
higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering, and heroic
endurance than by the Whigs of Carolina during the Revolution. The
whole State, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an
overwhelming force of the enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the
spot where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe. The "plains
of Carolina" drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black
and smoking ruins marked the places where had been the habitations of
her children. Driven from their homes into the gloomy and almost
impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived, and
South Carolina (sustained by the example of her Sumters and her
Marions) proved by her conduct that, though her soil might be overrun,
the spirit of her people was invincible.


The eulogium pronounced by the honorable gentleman on the character of
the State of South Carolina for her Revolutionary and other merits
meets my hearty concurrence. I shall not acknowledge that the honorable
member goes before me in regard for whatever of distinguished talent,
or distinguished character, South Carolina has produced. I claim part
of the honor, I partake in the pride, of her great names. I claim them
for countrymen, one and all,--the Laurenses, the Rutledges, the
Pinckneys, the Sumters, the Marions, Americans all, whose fame is no
more to be hemmed in by State lines than their talents and patriotism
were capable of being circumscribed within the same narrow limits. In
their day and generation they served and honored the country, and the
whole country; and their renown is of the treasures of the whole
country. Him whose honored name the gentleman himself bears,--does he
esteem me less capable of gratitude for his patriotism, or sympathy for
his sufferings, than if his eyes had first opened upon the light of
Massachusetts instead of South Carolina? Sir, does he suppose it in his
power to exhibit a Carolina name so bright as to produce envy in my
bosom? No, sir, increased gratification and delight, rather. I thank
God that, if I am gifted with little of the spirit which is able to
raise mortals to the skies, I have yet none, as I trust, of that other
spirit which would drag angels down. When I shall be found, sir, in my
place here in the Senate or elsewhere, to sneer at public merit because
it happens to spring up beyond the little limits of my own State or
neighborhood; when I refuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the
homage due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, to sincere
devotion to liberty and the country; or, if I see an uncommon endowment
of Heaven, if I see extraordinary capacity and virtue in any son of the
South, and if, moved by local prejudice or gangrened by State jealousy,
I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and
just fame,--may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!

Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections; let me indulge in
refreshing remembrance of the past; let me remind you that, in early
times, no States cherished greater harmony, both of principle and
feeling, than Massachusetts and South Carolina. Would to God that
harmony might again return! Shoulder to shoulder they went through the
Revolution; hand in hand they stood round the administration of
Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support. Unkind
feeling, if it exist, alienation and distrust, are the growth,
unnatural to such soils, of false principles since sown. They are
weeds, the seeds of which that same great arm never scattered.

Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts; she
needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. There
is her history; the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is
secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill;
and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, falling in
the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of
every State from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie
forever. And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and
where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives in the
strength of its manhood and full of its original spirit. If discord and
party strife shall succeed in separating it from that Union by which
alone its existence is made sure,--it will stand in the end by the side
of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked, and it will fall at
last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory
and on the very spot of its origin.



Our platform is before the country. Perhaps it is lacking in novelty.
There is certainly nothing sensational about it. Its principles have
been tested by eight years of splendid success and have received the
approval of the country. It is in line with all our platforms of the
past, except where prophecy and promise in those days have become
history in these. We stand by the ancient ways which have proved good.
We come before the country in a position which cannot be successfully
attacked in front, or flank, or rear. What we have done, what we are
doing, and what we intend to do--on all three we confidently challenge
the verdict of the American people. The record of fifty years will show
whether as a party we are fit to govern; the state of our domestic and
foreign affairs will show whether as a party we have fallen off; and
both together will show whether we can be trusted for a while longer.

I want to say a word to the young men whose political life is
beginning. Any one entering business would be glad of the chance to
become one of an established firm with years of success behind it, with
a wide connection, with unblemished character, with credit founded on a
rock. How infinitely brighter the future when the present is so sure,
the past so glorious! Everything great done by this country in the last
fifty years has been done under the auspices of the Republican Party.
Is not this consciousness a great asset to have in your mind and
memory? As a mere item of personal comfort is it not worth having?
Lincoln and Grant, Hayes and Garfield, Harrison and McKinley--names
secure in the heaven of fame--they all are gone, leaving small estates
in worldly goods, but what vast possessions in principles, memories,
sacred associations! It is a start in life to share that wealth. Who
now boasts that he opposed Lincoln? who brags of his voting against
Grant? though both acts may have been from the best of motives. In our
form of government there must be two parties, and tradition,
circumstances, temperament, will always create a sufficient opposition.
But what young man would not rather belong to the party that does
things, instead of one that opposes them; to the party that looks up,
rather than down; to the party of the dawn, rather than of the sunset?
For fifty years the Republican Party has believed in the country and
labored for it in hope and joy; it has reverenced the flag and followed
it; it has carried it under strange skies and planted it on far-
receding horizons. It has seen the nation grow greater every year and
more respected; by just dealing, by intelligent labor, by a genius for
enterprise, it has seen the country extend its intercourse and its
influence to regions unknown to our fathers. Yet it has never abated
one jot or tittle of the ancient law imposed on us by our God-fearing
ancestors. We have fought a good fight, but also we have kept the
faith. The Constitution of our fathers has been the light to our feet;
our path is, and will ever remain, that of ordered progress, of liberty
under the law. The country has vastly increased, but the great-brained
statesmen who preceded us provided for infinite growth. The discoveries
of science have made miraculous additions to our knowledge. But we are
not daunted by progress; we are not afraid of the light. The fabric our
fathers builded on such sure foundations will stand all shocks of fate
or fortune. There will always be a proud pleasure in looking back on
the history they made; but, guided by their example, the coming
generation has the right to anticipate work not less important, days
equally memorable to mankind. We who are passing off the stage bid you,
as the children of Israel encamping by the sea were bidden, to Go
Forward; we whose hands can no longer hold the flaming torch pass it on
to you that its clear light may show the truth to the ages that are to



In obedience to instructions I should never dare to disregard--
expressing, also, my own firm convictions--I rise to propose a
nomination with which the country and the Republican party can grandly
win. The election before us is to be the Austerlitz of American
politics. It will decide, for many years, whether the country shall be
Republican or Cossack. The supreme need of the hour is not a candidate
who can carry Michigan. All Republican candidates can do that. The need
is not of a candidate who is popular in the Territories, because they
have no vote. The need is of a candidate who can carry doubtful States.
Not the doubtful States of the North alone, but doubtful States of the
South, which we have heard, if I understand it aright, ought to take
little or no part here, because the South has nothing to give, but
everything to receive. No, gentlemen, the need that presses upon the
conscience of this Convention is of a candidate who can carry doubtful
States both North and South. And believing that he, more surely than
any other man, can carry New York against any opponent, and can carry
not only the North, but several States of the South, New York is for
Ulysses S. Grant. Never defeated in peace or in war, his name is the
most illustrious borne by living man.

His services attest his greatness, and the country--nay, the world--
knows them by heart. His fame was earned not alone in things written
and said, but by the arduous greatness of things done. And perils and
emergencies will search in vain in the future, as they have searched in
vain in the past, for any other on whom the nation leans with such
confidence and trust. Never having had a policy to enforce against the
will of the people, he never betrayed a cause or a friend, and the
people will never desert nor betray him. Standing on the highest
eminence of human distinction, modest, firm, simple, and self-poised,
having filled all lands with his renown, he has seen not only the
highborn and the titled, but the poor and the lowly, in the uttermost
ends of the earth, rise and uncover before him. He has studied the
needs and the defects of many systems of government, and he has
returned a better American than ever.

His integrity, his common-sense, his courage, his unequaled experience,
are the qualities offered to his country. The only argument, the only
one that the wit of man or the stress of politics has devised is one
that would have dumbfounded Solomon, because he thought there was
nothing new under the sun. Having tried Grant twice and found him
faithful, we are told that we must not, even after an interval of
years, trust him again. My countrymen! my countrymen! what
stultification does not such a fallacy involve! Is this an
electioneering juggle, or is it hypocrisy's masquerade? There is no
field of human activity, responsibility, or reason, in which rational
beings object to an agent because he has been weighed in the balance
and not found wanting. There is, I say, no department of human reason
in which sane men reject an agent because he has had experience making
him exceptionally competent and fit.

This Convention is master of a supreme opportunity. It can name the
next President. It can make sure of his election. It can make sure not
only of his election, but of his certain and peaceful inauguration.

Gentlemen, we have only to listen above the din and look beyond the
dust of an hour to behold the Republican party advancing with its
ensigns resplendent with illustrious achievements, marching to certain
and lasting victory with its greatest Marshal at its head.


From a speech delivered in New York, 1880. Depew's "Library of
Oratory," E. J. Bowen and Company, New York, publishers.


We are citizens of a republic. We govern ourselves. Here no pomp of
eager array in chambers of royalty awaits the birth of boy or girl to
wield an hereditary scepter. We know no scepter save a majority's
constitutional will. To wield that scepter in equal share is the duty
and the right, nay, the birthright, of every citizen. The supreme, the
final, the only peaceful arbiter here, is the ballot box; and in that
urn should be gathered and from it should be sacredly recorded the
conscience, the judgment, the intelligence of all. The right of free
self-government has been in all ages the bright dream of oppressed
humanity,--the sighed-for privilege to which thrones, dynasties, and
power have so long blocked the way. In the fullness of freedom the
Republic of America is alone in the earth; alone in its grandeur; alone
in its blessings; alone in its promises and possibilities, and
therefore alone in the devotion due from its citizens.

The time has come when law, duty, and interest require the nation to
determine for at least four years its policy in many things. Two
parties exist; parties should always exist in a government of
majorities, and to support and strengthen the party which most nearly
holds his views is among the most laudable, meritorious acts of an
American citizen; and this whether he be in official or in private
station. Two parties contend for the management of national affairs.
The question is, Which of the two is it safer and wiser to trust? It is
not a question of candidates. A candidate, if he be an honest, genuine
man, will not seek and accept a party nomination to the presidency,
vice presidency, or Congress, and after he is elected become a law unto
himself. The higher obligations among men are not set down in writing
and signed or sealed; they reside in honor and good faith. The fidelity
of a nominee belongs to this exalted class, and therefore the candidate
of a party is but the exponent of a party. The object of political
discussion and action is to settle principles, policies, and issues. It
is a paltry incident of an election affecting fifty million people that
it decides for an occasion the aspirations of individual men. The
Democratic party is the Democratic candidate, and I am against the
ticket and all its works.

A triumphant nationality--a regenerated constitution--a free Republic--
an unbroken country--untarnished credit--solvent finances--unparalleled
prosperity--all these are ours despite the policy and the efforts of
the Democratic party. Along with the amazing improvement in national
finances, we have amazing individual thrift on every side. In every
walk of life new activity is felt. Labor, agriculture, manufactures,
commerce, enterprises, and investments, all are flourishing, content
and hopeful. But in the midst of this harmony and encouragement comes a
harsh discord crying, "Give us a change--anything for a change." This
is not a bearing year for "a change." Every other crop is good, but not
the crop of "change"--that crop is good only when the rest are bad. The
country does not need nor wish the change proposed, and to the pressing
invitation of our Democratic friends a good-natured but firm "No, I
thank you," will be the response at the polls.

Upon its record and its candidates the Republican party asks the
country's approval, and stands ready to avow its purposes for the
future. It proposes to rebuild our commercial marine. It proposes to
foster labor, industry, and enterprise. It proposes to stand for
education, humanity, and progress. It proposes to administer the
government honestly, to preserve amity with all the world, observing
our own obligations with others and seeing that others observe theirs
with us, to protect every citizen in his rights and equality before the
law, to uphold the public credit and the sanctity of engagements; and
by doing these things the Republican party proposes to assure to
industry, humanity, and civilization in America the amplest welcome and
the safest home.


From a speech nominating a candidate for President of the United States
at the Republican National Convention, 1880


I have witnessed the extraordinary scenes of this Convention with deep
solicitude. Nothing touches my heart more quickly than a tribute of
honor to a great and noble character; but as I sat in my seat and
witnessed this demonstration, this assemblage seemed to me a human
ocean in tempest. I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into
spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I
remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea,
from which all heights and depths are measured. When the storm has
passed and the hour of calm settles on the ocean, when the sunlight
bathes its peaceful surface, then the astronomer and surveyor take the
level from which they measure all terrestrial heights and depths.

Gentlemen of the Convention, your present temper may not mark the
healthful pulse of our people. Not here, in this brilliant circle,
where fifteen thousand men and women are gathered, is the destiny of
the Republic to be decreed for the next four years. Not here, where I
see the enthusiastic faces of seven hundred and fifty-six delegates,
waiting to cast their lots into the urn and determine the choice of the
Republic, but by four millions of Republican firesides, where the
thoughtful voters, with wives and children about them, with the calm
thoughts inspired by love of home and country, with the history of the
past, the hopes of the future, and reverence for the great men who have
adorned and blessed our nation in days gone by, burning in their
hearts,--there God prepares the verdict which will determine the wisdom
of our work to-night. Not in Chicago, in the heat of June, but at the
ballot boxes of the Republic, in the quiet of November, after the
silence of deliberate judgment, will this question be settled.

Now, gentlemen, I am about to present a name for your consideration,--
the name of one who was the comrade, associate, and friend of nearly
all the noble dead, whose faces look down upon us from these walls to-
night; a man who began his career of public service twenty-five years

You ask for his monument. I point you to twenty-five years of national
statutes. Not one great, beneficent law has been placed on our statute
books without his intelligent and powerful aid. He aided in formulating
the laws to raise the great armies and navies which carried us through
the war. His hand was seen in the workmanship of those statutes that
restored and brought back "the unity and married calm of States." His
hand was in all that great legislation that created the war currency,
and in all the still greater work that redeemed the promises of the
government and made the currency equal to gold.

When at last he passed from the halls of legislation into a high
executive office, he displayed that experience, intelligence, firmness,
and poise of character, which have carried us through a stormy period
of three years, with one half the public press crying "Crucify him!"
and a hostile Congress seeking to prevent success. In all this he
remained unmoved until victory crowned him. The great fiscal affairs of
the nation, and the vast business interests of the country, he guarded
and preserved while executing the law of resumption, and effected its
object without a jar and against the false prophecies of one half of
the press and of all the Democratic party.

He has shown himself able to meet with calmness the great emergencies
of the government. For twenty-five years he has trodden the perilous
heights of public duty, and against all the shafts of malice has borne
his breast unharmed. He has stood in the blaze of "that fierce light
that beats against the throne"; but its fiercest ray has found no flaw
in his armor, no stain upon his shield. I do not present him as a
better Republican or a better man than thousands of others that we
honor; but I present him for your deliberate and favorable
consideration. I nominate JOHN SHERMAN, OF OHIO.


From "The Speeches and Addresses of William E. Russell." Copyrighted
1893, by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, publishers.


As I stand here to-night, a Democrat, speaking to Democrats, and to men
whose conscience party could not bind,--men who carry their sovereignty
each under his own hat,--there comes vividly back to me the stirring
words with which the chairman opened a similar meeting on the eve of
the great battle of 1884, "This is a union meeting;" and, as he spoke,
the minds of his hearers went back to war days, when principle was
placed above party, and patriotism above partisanship.

Our union is not for the triumph of any man, but for the triumph of
ideas; for a living faith, a progressive spirit. It is of that to-night
I speak.

It has often been said that there was little difference between the two
parties. Perhaps that was the criticism of honest men, whose earnest
desire for honest candidates led them to look no farther. To-day every
intelligent man in Massachusetts knows that there is a wide difference
between the parties,--all the difference that there is between standing
still and moving forward. I do not believe that this difference is
accidental. It is the natural evolution of the history and purpose of
the parties. A political prophet of a generation ago, who knew this
history, who had studied the Democratic faith, had seen the birth of
the Republican party and its purpose, could have predicted the position
of the parties to-day. The Democratic party is old enough to have
outlived and defeated all other parties, young enough to represent the
progressive spirit of to-day. It must be founded on vital principles
and have a living faith. Its creed from its first to its thirty-ninth
article is an abiding trust in the people, a belief that men,
irrespective of the accident of birth or fortune, have a right to a
voice in the government that rules them. Its principles are the
equality and freedom of all men in affairs of State and before the
altar of their God,--that there should be allowed the greatest possible
personal liberty, that a government least felt is best, that it should
lightly and never unnecessarily impose its burdens of taxation and
restriction, that in its administration there should be simplicity,
purity, and economy, and in its form it should be closely within the
reach and control of the people.

Progress, merely as progress, is nothing; but progress that sees the
changes of a generation,--a blessed, lasting peace in place of the
horrors and burdens of civil war, a reunited, loyal country; progress
that hears the demand of the people for pure and economic
administration, for relief from restrictions and taxation; progress
that feels the discontent and suffering of great masses of the
people,--this progress, if willing and ready to shape into legislation
the new wishes and the new wants, rises to the height of statesmanship.


From a speech opening the National Democratic Convention, at Baltimore,
Maryland, June, 1912.


It is not the wild and cruel methods of revolution and violence that
are needed to correct the abuses incident to our Government as to all
things human. Neither material nor moral progress lies that way. We
have made our Government and our complicated institutions by appeals to
reason, seeking to educate all our people that, day after day, year
after year, century after century, they may see more clearly, act more
justly, become more and more attached to the fundamental ideas that
underlie our society. If we are to preserve undiminished the heritage
bequeathed us, and add to it those accretions without which society
would perish, we shall need all the powers that the school, the church,
the court, the deliberative assembly, and the quiet thought of our
people can bring to bear.

We are called upon to do battle against the unfaithful guardians of our
Constitution and liberties and the hordes of ignorance which are
pushing forward only to the ruin of our social and governmental fabric.

Too long has the country endured the offenses of the leaders of a party
which once knew greatness. Too long have we been blind to the bacchanal
of corruption. Too long have we listlessly watched the assembling of
the forces that threaten our country and our firesides.

The time has come when the salvation of the country demands the
restoration to place and power of men of high ideals who will wage
unceasing war against corruption in politics, who will enforce the law
against both rich and poor, and who will treat guilt as personal and
punish it accordingly.

What is our duty? To think alike as to men and measures? Impossible!
Even for our great party! There is not a reactionary among us. All
Democrats are Progressives. But it is inevitably human that we shall
not all agree that in a single highway is found the only road to
progress, or each make the same man of all our worthy candidates his
first choice.

It is possible, however, and it is our duty to put aside all
selfishness, to consent cheerfully that the majority shall speak for
each of us, and to march out of this convention shoulder to shoulder,
intoning the praises of our chosen leader--and that will be his due,
whichever of the honorable and able men now claiming our attention
shall be chosen.


At the National Democratic Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, June, 1912.


The New Jersey delegation is commissioned to represent the great cause
of Democracy and to offer you as its militant and triumphant leader a
scholar, not a charlatan; a statesman, not a doctrinaire; a profound
lawyer, not a splitter of legal hairs; a political economist, not an
egotistical theorist; a practical politician, who constructs, modifies,
restrains, without disturbance and destruction; a resistless debater
and consummate master of statement, not a mere sophist; a humanitarian,
not a defamer of characters and lives; a man whose mind is at once
cosmopolitan and composite of America; a gentleman of unpretentious
habits, with the fear of God in his heart and the love of mankind
exhibited in every act of his life; above all a public servant who has
been tried to the uttermost and never found wanting--matchless,
unconquerable, the ultimate Democrat, Woodrow Wilson.

New Jersey has reasons for her course. Let us not be deceived in our
premises. Campaigns of vilification, corruption and false pretence have
lost their usefulness. The evolution of national energy is towards a
more intelligent morality in politics and in all other relations. The
situation admits of no compromise. The temper and purpose of the
American public will tolerate no other view. The indifference of the
American people to politics has disappeared. Any platform and any
candidate not conforming to this vast social and commercial behest will
go down to ignominious defeat at the polls.

Men are known by what they say and do. They are known by those who hate
and oppose them. Many years ago Woodrow Wilson said, "No man is great
who thinks himself so, and no man is good who does not try to secure
the happiness and comfort of others." This is the secret of his life.
The deeds of this moral and intellectual giant are known to all men.
They accord, not with the shams and false pretences of politics, but
make national harmony with the millions of patriots determined to
correct the wrongs of plutocracy and reestablish the maxims of American
liberty in all their regnant beauty and practical effectiveness. New
Jersey loves Woodrow Wilson not for the enemies he has made. New Jersey
loves him for what he is. New Jersey argues that Woodrow Wilson is the
only candidate who can not only make Democratic success a certainty,
but secure the electoral vote of almost every State in the Union.

New Jersey will indorse his nomination by a majority of 100,000 of her
liberated citizens. We are not building for a day, or even a
generation, but for all time. New Jersey believes that there is an
omniscience in national instinct. That instinct centers in Woodrow
Wilson. He has been in political life less than two years. He has had
no organization; only a practical ideal--the reestablishment of equal
opportunity. Not his deeds alone, not his immortal words alone, not his
personality alone, not his matchless powers alone, but all combined
compel national faith and confidence in him. Every crisis evolves its
master. Time and circumstance have evolved Woodrow Wilson. The North,
the South, the East, and the West unite in him. New Jersey appeals to
this convention to give the nation Woodrow Wilson, that he may open the
gates of opportunity to every man, woman, and child under our flag, by
reforming abuses, and thereby teaching them, in his matchless words,
"to release their energies intelligently, that peace, justice and
prosperity may reign." New Jersey rejoices, through her freely chosen
representatives, to name for the presidency of the United States the
Princeton schoolmaster, Woodrow Wilson.


From "The Speeches and Addresses of William E. Russell." Copyrighted,
1894, by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Publishers


For the honor and privilege of addressing this gathering of Young
Democracy I am deeply grateful. With earnestness and enthusiasm, with
devotion to the party and its principles, and with unflinching loyalty
to its glorious leaders, Young Democracy meets to-day for organization
and action. Gladly it volunteers in a campaign where its very faith is
at stake; impatiently it awaits the coming of the battle.

We fight for measures, not men; the principles of government, not men's
characters, are to be discussed; a nation's policy, not personal
ambition, is to be determined.

Thank God, we enter the fight with a living faith, founded upon
principles that are just, enduring, as old as the nation itself, yet
ever young, vigorous, and progressive, because there is ever work for
them to do. Our party was not founded for a single mission, which
accomplished, left it drifting with no fixed star of principle to guide
it. It was born and has lived to uphold great truths of government that
need always to be enforced. The influence of the past speaks to us in
the voice of the present. Jefferson and Jackson still lead us, not
because they are glorious reminiscences, but because the philosophy of
the one, the courage of the other, the Democracy of both, are potent
factors in determining Democracy to-day.

We believe that a government which controls the lives, liberties, and
property of a people in its administration should be honest,
economical, and efficient; and in its form a local self-government kept
near to the power that makes and obeys it. To safeguard the rights and
liberty of the individual, the Democratic party demands home rule.
Democracy stands beside the humblest citizen to protect him from
oppressive government; it is the bulwark of the silent people to resist
having the power and purpose of government warped by the clamorous
demands of selfish interests. Its greatest good, its highest glory, is
that it is, and is to be, the people's party. To it government is a
power to protect and encourage men to make the most of themselves, and
not something for men to make the most out of.

And, lastly, we believe in the success, the glory, and the splendid
destiny of this great Republic. It leaped into life from the hands of
Democrats. More than three-quarters of a century it has been nurtured
and strengthened by Democratic rule. Under Democratic administrations,
in its mighty sweep, it has stretched from ocean to ocean, not as a
North and South and East and West, but now as a glorious Union of
sovereign States, reunited in love and loyalty, a great nation of
millions of loyal subjects.

The faith we profess is distinctly an American faith; the principles we
proclaim are distinctly American principles, and have been from their
first utterance in the Declaration of Independence to their latest in
the platform of the St. Louis Convention; the policy they demand of us
as Democrats is emphatically an American policy.

Our great leader lives in the faith we profess. He speaks in the
principles we assert. He leads because we follow Democracy, its faith,
its principles, and its policy and hail him as the foremost Democrat of
the Nation. Thus comes victory. Thus victory means something. Thus
power and responsibility go together, and the only influence behind him
are the wishes, the rights, and the welfare of the great American
people. In such a cause, with such a leader, there is no room for

"To doubt would be disloyalty,
To falter would be sin."



What can be more monstrous than that we, as we call ourselves, to some
extent, an educated, a moral, and a Christian nation--at a moment when
an accident of this kind occurs, before we have made a representation
to the American government, before we have heard a word from it in
reply--should be all up in arms, every sword leaping from its scabbard,
and every man looking about for his pistols and his blunderbusses? I
think the conduct pursued--and I have no doubt just the same is pursued
by a certain class in America--is much more the conduct of savages than
of Christian and civilized men. No, let us be calm. You recollect how
we were dragged into the Russian war--how we "drifted" into it. You
know that I, at least, have not upon my head any of the guilt of that
fearful war. You know that it cost one hundred millions of money to
this country; that it cost at least the lives of forty thousand
Englishmen; that it disturbed your trade; that it nearly doubled the
armies of Europe; that it placed the relations of Europe on a much less
peaceful footing than before; and that it did not effect a single thing
of all those that it was promised to effect.

Now, then, before I sit down, let me ask you what is this people, about
which so many men in England at this moment are writing, and speaking,
and thinking, with harshness, I think with injustice, if not with great
bitterness? Two centuries ago, multitudes of the people of this country
found a refuge on the North American continent, escaping from the
tyranny of the Stuarts and from the bigotry of Laud. Many noble spirits
from our country made great experiments in favor of human freedom on
that continent. Bancroft, the great historian of his own country, has
said, in his own graphic and emphatic language, "The history of the
colonization of America is the history of the crimes of Europe."

At this very moment, then, there are millions in the United States who
personally, or whose immediate parents have at one time been citizens
of this country. They found a home in the Far West; they subdued the
wilderness; they met with plenty there, which was not afforded them in
their native country; and they have become a great people. There may be
persons in England who are jealous of those States. There may be men
who dislike democracy, and who hate a republic; there may be those
whose sympathies warm only toward an oligarchy or a monarchy. But of
this I am certain, that only misrepresentation the most gross, or
calumny the most wicked, can sever the tie which unites the great mass
of the people of this country with their friends and brethren beyond
the Atlantic.

Now, whether the Union will be restored or not, or the South achieve an
unhonored independence or not, I know not, and I predict not. But this
I think I know--that in a few years, a very few years, the twenty
millions of freemen in the North will be thirty millions, or even fifty
millions--a population equal to or exceeding that of this kingdom. When
that time comes, I pray that it may not be said among them, that in the
darkest hour of their country's trials, England, the land of their
fathers, looked on with icy coldness and saw unmoved the perils and
calamities of her children. As for me, I have but this to say: I am but
one in this audience, and but one in the citizenship of this country;
but if all other tongues are silent, mine shall speak for that policy
which tends, and which always shall tend, to generous thoughts, and
generous words, and generous deeds, between the two great nations who
speak the English language, and from their origin are alike entitled to
the English name.



There has been no great day of hope for Ireland, no day when you might
hope completely and definitely to end the controversy till now--more
than ninety years. The long periodic time has at last run out, and the
star has again mounted into the heavens. What Ireland was doing for
herself in 1795 we at length have done. The Roman Catholics have been
emancipated--emancipated after a woeful disregard of solemn promises
through twenty-nine years, emancipated slowly, sullenly, not from good
will, but from abject terror, with all the fruits and consequences
which will always follow that method of legislation. The second problem
has been also solved, and the representation of Ireland has been
thoroughly reformed; and I am thankful to say that the franchise was
given to Ireland on the readjustment of last year with a free heart,
with an open hand; and the gift of that franchise was the last act
required to make the success of Ireland in her final effort absolutely
sure. We have given Ireland a voice; we must all listen for a moment to
what she says. We must all listen, both sides, both parties--I mean as
they are divided on this question--divided, I am afraid, by an almost
immeasurable gap. We do not undervalue or despise the forces opposed to
us. I have described them as the forces of class and its dependents;
and that as a general description--as a slight and rude outline of a
description--is, I believe, perfectly true. You have power, you have
wealth, you have rank, you have station, you have organization. What
have we? We think that we have the people's heart; we believe and we
know we have the promise of the harvest of the future. As to the
people's heart, you may dispute it, and dispute it with perfect
sincerity. Let that matter make its own proof. As to the harvest of the
future, I doubt if you have so much confidence; and I believe that
there is in the breast of many a man who means to vote against us to-
night a profound misgiving, approaching even to a deep conviction, that
the end will be as we foresee, and not as you do--that the ebbing tide
is with you, and the flowing tide with us. Ireland stands at your bar,
expectant, hopeful, almost suppliant. Her words are the words of truth
and soberness. She asks a blessed oblivion of the past, and in that
oblivion our interest is deeper than even hers. My right honorable
friend, the member for East Edinburgh, asks us tonight to abide by the
traditions of which we are the heirs. What traditions? By the Irish
traditions? Go into the length and breadth of the world, ransack the
literature of all countries, find, if you can, a single voice, a single
book--find, I would almost say, as much as a single newspaper article,
unless the product of the day,--in which the conduct of England towards
Ireland is anywhere treated except with profound and bitter
condemnation. Are these the traditions by which we are exhorted to
stand? No; they are a sad exception to the glory of our country. They
are a broad and black blot upon the pages of its history; and what we
want to do is to stand by the traditions of which we are the heirs in
all matters except our relations with Ireland, and to make our
relations with Ireland to conform to the other traditions of our
country. So we treat our traditions, so we hail the demand of Ireland
for what I call a blessed oblivion of the past. She asks also a boon
for the future; and that boon for the future, unless we are much
mistaken, will be a boon to us in respect of honor, no less than a boon
to her in respect of happiness, prosperity, and peace. Such, sir, is
her prayer. Think, I beseech you, think well, think wisely, think, not
for the moment, but for the years that are to come, before you reject
this Bill.




The case before the court is not of ordinary importance, nor of
everyday occurrence. It affects not this college only, but every
college, and all the literary institutions of the country. They have
flourished hitherto, and have become in a high degree respectable and
useful to the community. They have all a common principle of existence,
the inviolability of their charters. It will be a dangerous, a most
dangerous experiment to hold these institutions subject to the rise and
fall of popular parties, and the fluctuations of political opinions. If
the franchise may be at any time taken away, or impaired, the property
also may be taken away, or its use perverted. Benefactors will have no
certainty of effecting the object of their bounty; and learned men will
be deterred from devoting themselves to the service of such
institutions, from the precarious title of their offices. Colleges and
halls will be deserted by all better spirits, and become a theater for
the contentions of politics. Party and faction will be cherished in the
places consecrated to piety and learning.

When the court in North Carolina declared the law of the State, which
repealed a grant to its university, unconstitutional and void, the
legislature had the candor and the wisdom to repeal the law. This
example, so honorable to the State which exhibited it, is most fit to
be followed on this occasion. And there is good reason to hope that a
State which has hitherto been so much distinguished for temperate
counsels, cautious legislation, and regard to law, will not fail to
adopt a course which will accord with her highest and best interests,
and in no small degree elevate her reputation.

It was for many and obvious reasons most anxiously desired that the
question of the power of the legislature over this charter should have
been finally decided in the State court. An earnest hope was
entertained that the judges of the court might have reviewed the case
in a light favorable to the rights of the trustees. That hope has
failed. It is here that those rights are now to be maintained, or they
are prostrated forever.

This, sir, is my case. It is the case, not merely of that humble
institution, it is the case of every college in the land. It is more.
It is the case of every eleemosynary institution throughout our
country--of all those great charities formed by the piety of our
ancestors, to alleviate human misery, and scatter blessings along the
pathway of life. It is more! It is, in some sense, the case of every
man among us who has property, of which he may be stripped, for the
question is simply this: Shall our State legislatures be allowed to
take that which is not their own; to turn it from its original use, and
to apply it to such ends or purposes as they in their discretion shall
see fit?

Sir, you may destroy this little institution; it is weak; it is in your
hands! I know it is one of the lesser lights in the literary horizon of
our country. You may put it out. But, if you do so, you must carry
through your work! You must extinguish, one after another, all those
greater lights of science, which, for more than a century, have thrown
their radiance over our land!

It is, sir, as I have said, a small college, and yet there are those
who love it.

Sir, I know not how others may feel, but for myself, when I see my Alma
Mater surrounded, like Csar, in the senate house, by those who are
reiterating stab after stab, I would not, for this right hand, have her
turn to me, and say, _et tu quoque, mi fili! And thou too, my son!_



Gentlemen of the Jury,--It is true that the offense charged in the
indictment in this case is not capital; but perhaps this can hardly be
considered as favorable to the defendants. To those who are guilty, and
without hope of escape, no doubt the lightness of the penalty of
transgression gives consolation. But if the defendants are innocent, it
is more natural for them to be thinking upon what they have lost by
that alteration of the law which has left highway robbery no longer
capital, than what the guilty might gain by it. They have lost those
great privileges in their trial, which the law allows, in capital
cases, for the protection of innocence against unfounded accusation.
They have lost the right of being previously furnished with a copy of
the indictment, and a list of the government witnesses. They have lost
the right of peremptory challenge; and, notwithstanding the prejudices
which they know have been excited against them, they must show legal
cause of challenge, in each individual case, or else take the jury as
they find it. They have lost the benefit of assignment of counsel by
the court. They have lost the benefit of the Commonwealth's process to
bring in witnesses in their behalf. When to these circumstances it is
added that they are strangers, almost wholly without friends, and
without the means for preparing their defense, it is evident they must
take their trial under great disadvantages.

But without dwelling on these considerations, I proceed, Gentlemen of
the Jury, to ask your attention to those circumstances which cannot but
cast doubts on the story of the prosecutor.

The jury will naturally look to the appearances exhibited on the field
after the robbery. The portmanteau was there. The witnesses say that
the straps which fastened it to the saddle had been neither cut nor
broken. They were carefully unbuckled. This was very considerate for
robbers. It had been opened, and its contents were scattered about the
field. The pocket book, too, had been opened, and many papers it
contained found on the ground. Nothing valuable was lost but money. The
robbers did not think it well to go off at once with the portmanteau
and the pocket book. The place was so secure, so remote, so
unfrequented; they were so far from the highway, at least one full rod;
there were so few persons passing, probably not more than four or five
then in the road, within hearing of the pistols and the cries of
Goodridge; there being, too, not above five or six dwelling-houses,
full of people, within the hearing of the report of a pistol; these
circumstances were all so favorable to their safety, that the robbers
sat down to look over the prosecutor's papers, carefully examined the
contents of his pocket book and portmanteau, and took only the things
which they needed! There was money belonging to other persons. The
robbers did not take it. They found out it was not the prosecutor's,
and left it. It may be said to be favorable to the prosecutor's story,
that the money which did not belong to him, and the plunder of which
would seem to be the most probable inducement he could have to feign a
robbery, was not taken. But the jury will consider whether this
circumstance does not bear quite as strongly the other way, and whether
they can believe that robbers could have left this money, either from
accident or design.


The witnesses on the part of the prosecution have testified that the
defendants, when arrested, manifested great agitation and alarm;
paleness overspread their faces, and drops of sweat stood on their
temples. This satisfied the witnesses of the defendants' guilt, and
they now state the circumstances as being indubitable proof. This
argument manifests, in those who use it, an equal want of sense and
sensibility. It is precisely fitted to the feeling and the intellect of
a bum-bailiff. In a court of justice it deserves nothing but contempt.
Is there nothing that can agitate the frame or excite the blood but the
consciousness of guilt? If the defendants were innocent, would they not
feel indignation at this unjust accusation? If they saw an attempt to
produce false evidence against them, would they not be angry? And,
seeing the production of such evidence, might they not feel fear and
alarm? And have indignation, and anger, and terror no power to affect
the human countenance or the human frame?

Miserable, miserable, indeed, is the reasoning which would infer any
man's guilt from his agitation when he found himself accused of a
heinous offense; when he saw evidence which he might know to be false
and fraudulent brought against him; when his house was filled, from the
garret to the cellar, by those whom he might esteem as false witnesses;
and when he himself, instead of being at liberty to observe their
conduct and watch their motions, was a prisoner in close custody in his
own house, with the fists of a catchpoll clenched upon his throat.

From the time of the robbery to the arrest, five or six weeks, the
defendants were engaged in their usual occupations. They are not found
to have passed a dollar of money to anybody. They continued their
ordinary habits of labor. No man saw money about them, nor any
circumstance that might lead to a suspicion that they had money.
Nothing occurred tending in any degree to excite suspicion against
them. When arrested, and when all this array of evidence was brought
against them, and when they could hope in nothing but their innocence,
immunity was offered them again if they would confess. They were
pressed, and urged, and allured, by every motive which could be set
before them, to acknowledge their participation in the offense, and to
bring out their accomplices. They steadily protested that they could
confess nothing because they knew nothing. In defiance of all the
discoveries made in their house, they have trusted to their innocence.
On that, and on the candor and discernment of an enlightened jury, they
still rely.

If the jury are satisfied that there is the highest improbability that
these persons could have had any previous knowledge of Goodridge, or
been concerned in any previous concert to rob him; if their conduct
that evening and the next day was marked by no circumstance of
suspicion; if from that moment until their arrest nothing appeared
against them; if they neither passed money, nor are found to have had
money; if the manner of the search of their house, and the
circumstances attending it, excite strong suspicions of unfair and
fraudulent practices; if, in the hour of their utmost peril, no
promises of safety could draw from the defendants any confession
affecting themselves or others, it will be for the jury to say whether
they can pronounce them guilty.


Published in Depew's "Library of Oratory," E. J. Bowen and Company,
New York, publishers.


Who is John E. Cook?

He has the right himself to be heard before you; but I will answer for
him. Sprung from an ancestry of loyal attachment to the American
government, he inherits no blood of tainted impurity. His grandfather,
an officer of the Revolution, by which your liberty, as well as mine,
was achieved, and his gray-haired father, who lived to weep over him, a
soldier of the war of 1812, he brings no dishonored lineage into your
presence. Born of a parent stock occupying the middle walks of life,
and possessed of all those tender and domestic virtues which escape the
contamination of those vices that dwell on the frozen peaks, or in the
dark and deep caverns of society, he would not have been here had
precept and example been remembered in the prodigal wanderings of his
short and checkered life.

Poor deluded boy! wayward, misled child! An evil star presided over thy
natal hour and smote it with gloom.

In an evil hour--and may it be forever accursed!--John E. Cook met John
Brown on the prostituted plains of Kansas. On that field of fanaticism,
three years ago, this fair and gentle youth was thrown into contact
with the pirate and robber of civil warfare.

Now look at John Cook, the follower. He is in evidence before you.
Never did I plead for a face that I was more willing to show. If evil
is there, I have not seen it. If murder is there, I am to learn to mark
the lines of the murderer anew. If the assassin is in that young face,
then commend me to the look of an assassin. No, gentlemen, it is a face
for a mother to love, and a sister to idolize, and in which the natural
goodness of his heart pleads trumpet-tongued against the deep damnation
that estranged him from home and its principles.

John Brown was the despotic leader and John E. Cook was an ill-fated
follower of an enterprise whose horror be now realizes and deplores. I
defy the man, here or elsewhere, who has ever known John E. Cook, who
has ever looked once fully into his face, and learned anything of his
history, to lay his hand on his heart and say that he believes him
guilty of the origin or the results of the outbreak at Harper's Ferry.

Here, then, are the two characters whom you are thinking to punish
alike. Can it be that a jury of Christian men will find no
discrimination should be made between them? Are the tempter and the
tempted the same in your eyes? Is the beguiled youth to die the same as
the old offender who has pondered his crimes for thirty years? Are
there no grades in your estimations of guilt? Is each one, without
respect to age or circumstances, to be beaten with the same number of

Such is not the law, human or divine. We are all to be rewarded
according to our works, whether in punishment for evil, or blessings
for good that we have done. You are here to do justice, and if justice
requires the same fate to befall Cook that befalls Brown, I know
nothing of her rules, and do not care to learn. They are as widely
asunder, in all that constitutes guilt, as the poles of the earth, and
should be dealt with accordingly. It is in your power to do so, and by
the principles by which you yourselves are willing to be judged
hereafter, I implore you to do it!


Published in "Depew's Library of Oratory," E. J. Bowen and Company,
New York, publishers


May it please your honors, and you gentlemen of the jury,--We have at
length gone through the evidence in behalf of the prisoners. The
witnesses have now placed before you that state of facts from which
results our defense.

I stated to you, gentlemen, your duty in opening this cause--do not
forget the discharge of it. You are paying a debt you owe the community
for your own protection and safety: by the same mode of trial are your
own rights to receive a determination; and in your turn a time may come
when you will expect and claim a similar return from some other jury of
your fellow subjects.

How much need was there for my desire that you should suspend your
judgment till the witnesses were all examined? How different is the
complexion of the cause? Will not all this serve to show every honest
man the little truth to be attained in partial hearings? In the present
case, how great was the prepossession against us? And I appeal to you,
gentlemen, what cause there now is to alter our sentiments? Will any
sober, prudent man countenance the proceedings of the people in King
Street,--can any one justify their conduct,--is there any one man or
any body of men who are interested to espouse and support their

Surely, no! But our inquiry must be confined to the legality of their
conduct, and here can be no difficulty. It was certainly illegal,
unless many witnesses are directly perjured: witnesses, who have no
apparent interest to falsify,--witnesses who have given their testimony
with candor and accuracy,--witnesses whose credibility stands
untouched,--whose credibility the counsel for the king do not pretend
to impeach or hint a suggestion to their disadvantage.

I say, gentlemen, by the standard of the law are we to judge the
actions of the people who were the assailants and those who were the
assailed and then on duty. And here, gentlemen, the rule we formerly
laid down takes place. To the facts, gentlemen, apply yourselves.
Consider them as testified; weigh the credibility of the witnesses--
balance their testimony--compare the several parts of it--see the
amount of it; and then, according to your oath, "make true deliverance
according to your evidence." That is, gentlemen, having settled the
facts, bring them truly to the standard of the law; the king's judges,
who are acquainted with it, who are presumed best to know it, will then
inspect this great standard of right and wrong, truth and justice; and
they are to determine the degree of guilt to which the fact rises.


May it please your honors, and you gentlemen of the jury,--After having
thus gone through the evidence and considered it as applicatory to all
and every one of the prisoners, let us take once more a brief and
cursory survey of matters supported by the evidence. And here let me
ask in sober reason, what language more opprobrious, what actions more
exasperating, than those used on this occasion? Words, I am sensible,
are no justification of blows, but they serve as the grand clew to
discover the temper and the designs of the agents; they serve also to
give us light in discerning the apprehensions and thoughts of those who
are the objects of abuse.

"You lobsters!"--"You bloody-back!"--"You coward!"--"You dastard!" are
but some of the expressions proved. What words more galling? What more
cutting and provoking to a soldier? But accouple these words with the
succeeding actions,--"You dastard!"--"You coward!" A soldier and a

This was touching "the point of honor and the pride of virtue." But
while these are as yet fomenting the passions and swelling the bosom,
the attack is made; and probably the latter words were reiterated at
the onset; at least, were yet sounding in the ear. Gentlemen of the
jury, for Heaven's sake, let us put ourselves in the same situation!
Would you not spurn at that spiritless institution of society which
tells you to be a subject at the expense of your manhood?

But does the soldier step out of his ranks to seek his revenge? Not a
witness pretends it. Did not the people repeatedly come within the


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