« PreviousContinue »
“ It's Calhoun's-not well enough to be out yet.”—“ Who is that sitting by Cass?” says one.—“That is Buchanan,come all the way from home to hear Clay.”—“ What thinvisaged man is that standing over yonder and constantly moving?”
“ That is Ritchie of the Union."“Who is that walking down the aisle with that uncouth coat and all that hair about his chin? Did you ever see such a swaggerer? He can't be a Senator.”_" That is Sam Houston.”—“But where is Webster? I don't see him.” “He is in the Supreme Court, where he has a case to argue to-day."--See Corwin, and Badger, and Berrien, and Dawson, all near Clay; all of them quiet while Clay pursues his writing. On the opposite side, Butler, and Foote, and Clemens, and Douglas.
After the carriage of the motion of Mr. Mangun to proceed to the consideration of the order of the day, Mr. Clay folds his papers and puts them in his desk, and after the business is announced, rises gracefully and majestically. Instantaneously there is general applause, which Mr. Clay seems not to notice. The noise within is heard without, and the great crowd raised such a shout that Mr. Clay had to pause until the officers went out and cleared all the entrances, and then he began. He spoke on that day two hours and fifteen minutes. The speech was reported in the Globe word for word as he uttered it. I never saw such a report before. His voice was good, his enunciation clear and distinct, his action firm, his strength far surpassing my expectation. He had the riveted gaze of the multitude the whole time. When he concluded, an immense throng of friends, both men and women came up to congratulate and to kiss him.
March 31st.—The Angel of Death has just passed by, and his shadow is seen lingering upon the startled countenances of all.
A great man has just fallen,—Calhoun! His
race is ended. His restless and fiery spirit sleeps in that deep and long repose which awaits all the living. He died this morning about seven o'clock. Peace to his ashes! His name will long be remembered in the history of this country. He has closed his career at a most eventful period of that history, and perhaps it is most fortunate for his fame that he died just at this time.
(From a Speech, 1855.) I am afraid of nothing on earth, or above the earth, or under the earth, but to do wrong. The path of duty I shall endeavor to travel, fearing no evil, and dreading no consequences. I would rather be defeated in a good cause than to triumph in a bad one. I would not give a fig for a man who would shrink from the discharge of duty for fear of defeat.
ALEXANDER BEAUFORT MEEK.
ALEXANDER BEAUFORT MEEK was born at Columbia, South Carolina, was educated at the University of Alabama, and began life as a lawyer and editor in Tuscaloosa, then capital of Alabama. He was a lieutenant in the Seminole War. He was a judge, a member of the State Legislature and Speaker of the House, and father of the public school system of the state. His later years were devoted to literary pursuits and he stands high as an orator, poet, and historian.
Red Eagle, [a poem).
Songs and Poems of the South. Romantic Passages in South-Western Pilgrims of Mt. Vernon, (unfinished History.
poem). History of Alabama, (unfinished).
The story of the Indian Chief, Red Eagle, or Weatherford, is one of the most interesting traditions of our country. Judge Meek's writings teem with the romantic and marvellous incidents of the early history of Alabama, such as De Soto's march to the Mississippi, the Battle of Mauville and defeat of the great Indian King, Tuscaloosa, or Black Warrior, the Canoe-Fight of Dale, or Sam Thlucco, as the Indians called him (“Big Sam”), and the attack on Fort Mims.
RED EAGLE, OR WEATHERFORD.
(From Romantic Passages in South-Western History.) The battle of Tohopeka put an end to the hopes of Weatherford. This village was situated on a peninsula, within the “horse-shoe bend” of the Tallapoosa. Here twelve hundred warriors
had fortified themselves for a desperate struggle, assured by their prophets that the Master of Breath would now interpose in their favor. Across the neck of land, three hundred and fifty yards wide, that leads into the peninsula, they had constructed powerful breastworks of hewn logs, eight or ten feet high, and pierced with double rows of port-holes, from which they could fire with perfect security. The selection of this spot and the character of its defence did great credit to the military genius of Weatherford, -and his eloquence, more than usually persuasive and inspiriting, filled his devoted followers with a courage strangely compounded of fanaticism and despair.
At an early hour in the morning, General Coffee's command having crossed the river and encircled the bend so as