Encyclopedia of Civil War Biography - Chi-Cle
CHILD, David Lee, 1794-1874, Boston, Massachusetts, abolitionist, author, journalist. Leader, manager, 1833-1840, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833. Child served as a manager and a member of the Executive Committee of the AASS, 1840-1843, Vice-President, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 1835-1836. Published The Despotism of Freedom—or The Tyranny and Cruelty of American Republican Slaveholders. Co-editor with his wife, Lydia, of The Anti-Slavery Standard.
(Dumond, 1961, p. 269; Mabee, 1970, pp. 193, 327; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 42, 398, 399; Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 603-604; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 65; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 165-166; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 4, p. 804; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, p. 324)
CHILD, David Lee, journalist, born in West Boylston, Massachusetts, 8 July, 1794; died in Wayland, Massachusetts, 18 September, 1874. He was graduated at Harvard in 1817, and was for some time sub-master of the Boston Latin-school. He was secretary of legation in Lisbon about 1820, and subsequently fought in Spain, “defending what he considered the cause of freedom against her French invaders.” Returning to this country in 1824, he began in 1825 to study law with his uncle, Tyler Bigelow, in Watertown, Massachusetts, and was admitted to the bar. He went to Belgium in 1836 to study the beet-sugar industry, and afterward received a silver medal for the first manufacture of the sugar in this country. He edited the “Massachusetts Journal,” about 1830, and while a member of the legislature denounced the annexation of Texas, afterward publishing a pamphlet on the subject, entitled “Naboth's Vineyard.” He was an early member of the anti-slavery society, and in 1832 addressed a series of letters on slavery and the slave-trade to Edward S. Abdy, an English philanthropist. He also published ten articles on the same subject (Philadelphia, 1836). During a visit to Paris in 1837 he addressed an elaborate memoir to the Société Pour L'abolition d'Esclavage, and sent a paper on the same subject to the editor of the “Eclectic Review” in London. John Quincy Adams was much indebted to Mr. Child's facts and arguments in the speeches that he delivered in Congress on the Texan question. With his wife he edited the “Anti-Slavery Standard” in New York in 1843-'44. He was distinguished for the independence of his character, and the boldness with which he denounced social wrongs and abuses. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 603-604.
CHILD, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880, author, reformer, abolitionist, member Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. Wrote for the Liberty Bell. Executive Committee, American Anti-Slavery Society. Prolific writer and ardent abolitionist. In 1840’s, edited National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper. Child published: Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833), Romance of the Republic (1867), Authentic Accounts of American Slavery (1835), The Evils of Slavery, and the Cure of Slavery (1836), Anti-Slavery Catechism (1836), The Right Way, the Safe Way, Proved by Emancipation in the British West Indies and Elsewhere (1860), Freedmen’s Book (1865), and articles “The Patriarchal Institution” and “The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Law,” (1860), and edited Harriet Ann Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861).
(Drake, 1950, pp. 117, 176; Dumond, 1961, pp. 273, 281; Karcher, 1994; Mabee, 1970, pp. 37, 70, 108, 193, 320, 325, 359, 360; Meltzer, 1992; Meltzer & Holland, 1982; Nathan, 1991, p. 131; Pease, 1965, pp. 86-91; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 44, 199, 221-222, 398, 399, 519; Van Broekhoven, 2002, pp. 97-98, 113-114, 185; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 603-604; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 67; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 167-170; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 4, p. 806; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, pp. 324-325)
CHILD, Lydia Maria, author, born in Medford, Massachusetts, 11 February, 1802; died in Wayland, Massachusetts, 20 October, 1880, was descended from Richard Francis, who came from England and settled in Cambridge in 1636. Miss Francis attended the common schools, and studied with her brother, Reverend Convers Francis, D. D., afterward professor in the divinity-school at Cambridge. When seventeen years of age she chanced to read an article in the “North American Review,” discussing the field offered to the novelist by early New England history. Although she had never thought of becoming an author, she immediately wrote the first chapter of a novel entitled “Hobomok,” and, encouraged by her brother's commendation, finished it in six weeks, and published it (Cambridge, 1821). From this time until her death she wrote continually. She had taught for one year in a seminary in Medford, Massachusetts, and kept a private school in Watertown, Massachusetts, from 1824 till 1828, when she was married. She began, in 1826, the publication of the “Juvenile Miscellany,” the first monthly periodical for children issued in the United States, and supervised it for eight years. In 1831 both Mr. and Mrs. Child became deeply interested in the subject of slavery, through the writings and the personal influence of William Lloyd Garrison. Mrs. Child's “Appeal for that Class of Americans called African” (Boston, 1833) was the first anti-slavery work printed in America in book-form, and was followed by several smaller works on the same subject. The “Appeal” attracted much attention, and Dr. Channing, who attributed to it part of his interest in the slavery question, walked from Boston to Roxbury to thank Mrs. Child for the book. She had to endure social ostracism, but from this time was a conspicuous champion of anti-slavery. On the establishment by the American Anti-Slavery Society of the “National Anti-Slavery Standard” in New York City, in 1840, she became its editor, and conducted it till 1843, when her husband took the place of editor-in-chief, and she acted as his assistant till May, 1844. During her stay in New York, Mrs. Child was an inmate of the family of Isaac T. Hopper, the Quaker philanthropist. After leaving New York, Mr. and Mrs. Child settled in Wayland, Massachusetts, where they spent the rest of their life. In 1859 Mrs. Child wrote a letter of sympathy to John Brown, then a prisoner at Harper's Ferry, offering her services as a nurse, and enclosing the letter in one to Governor Wise. Brown replied, declining her offer, but asking her to aid his family, which she did. She also received a letter of courteous rebuke from Governor Wise, and a singular epistle from the wife of Senator Mason, author of the fugitive slave law, threatening her with future damnation. She replied to both in her best vein, and the whole series of letters was published in pamphlet-form (Boston, 1860), and had a circulation of 300,000. Mrs. Child's anti-slavery writings contributed in no slight degree to the formation of public sentiment on the subject. During her later years she contributed freely to aid the national soldiers in the Civil War, and afterward to help the freedmen. Wendell Phillips, in his address at Mrs. Child's funeral, thus delineated her character: “She was the kind of woman one would choose to represent woman's entrance into broader life. Modest, womanly, sincere, solid, real, loyal, to be trusted, equal to affairs, and yet above them; a companion with the password of every science and all literature.” Mrs. Child's numerous books, published during a period of half a century, include, besides the works already mentioned, “The Rebels, or Boston before the Revolution,” a novel containing an imaginary speech of James Otis, and a sermon by Whitefield, both of which were received by many people as genuine (Boston, 1822); “The First Settlers of New England” (1829); “The American Frugal Housewife,” a book of kitchen economy and directions (1829; 33d ed., 1855); “The Mother's Book,” “The Girl's Own Book,” and the “Coronal,” a collection of verses (1831); “The Ladies' Family Library,” a series of biographies (5 vols., 1832-'5); “Philothea,” a romance of Greece in the days of Pericles (1835); “Letters from New York,” written to the Boston “Courier” (2 vols., 1843-'5); “Flowers for Children” (3 vols., 1844-'6); “Fact and Fiction” (1846); “The Power of Kindness” (Philadelphia, 1851); “Isaac T. Hopper, a True Life” (1853); “The Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages,” an ambitious work, showing great diligence, but containing much that is inaccurate (3 vols., New York, 1855); “Autumnal Leaves” (1856); “Looking Toward Sunset” (1864); the “Freedman's Book” (1865); “Miria, a Romance of the Republic” (1867); and “Aspirations of the World” (1878). A volume of Mrs. Child's letters, with an introduction by John G. Whittier and an appendix by Wendell Phillips, was published after her death (Boston, 1882). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 603-604.
CHILDS, Orville Whitmore, engineer, born in Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, 89 December, 1803; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 September, 1870. He was engaged in the survey and construction of the Champlain canal improvement in 1824-'5, and in building the Oswego canal in 1826-'8, and in 1829-'30 made the survey and plans for the improvement of the Oneida River, which were subsequently adopted, the work being finished in 1850. He aided in the construction of the Chenango canal in 1833-'6, and in 1836 began his labors on the enlargement of the Erie Canal, acting as chief engineer of the middle division, which extended from Syracuse to Rochester. He was chief engineer of New York state works in 1840-'7, and in 1848 was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the office of state engineer, then first created. He was chief engineer in the survey and construction of the New York Central Railroad, from Syracuse to Rochester, in 1848-'9, and in the latter year accepted a like position at the instance of the' American Atlantic and Pacific Ship Canal Co., of which Com. Cornelius Vanderbilt and others were the promoters, and which had a grant of land from the government of Nicaragua to build a ship canal across that country. Mr. Childs's reports, maps, surveys, and estimates for this work, made in 1850-2, attracted much attention in this country and in Europe, and have been of much use in subsequent surveys. His route is still regarded by many as the most feasible one for a ship canal across that isthmus. It extended from the harbor of Greytown on the Atlantic, through Lake Nicaragua, to Brito on the Pacific Coast. Mr. Childs was chief engineer of the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad in 1855-'8, and was afterward employed by the state to fix the boundaries of the city and county of New York. At the beginning of the Civil War he was chairman of the board of commissioners for providing proper harbor defences for New York. He moved in I860 from Syracuse, which had been his home up to that time, to Philadelphia, where he was interested in the manufacture of sleeping-cars, and in other railroad enterprises. He was president of the Central transportation company and of the Philadelphia car-works. Mr. Childs contributed much to the literature of his profession, and prepared most of the canal reports during his time. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. p. 605.
CHILDS, William H., New York, abolitionist leader, officer, Liberty Party, June 1848. (Sorin, 1971; Minutes, Convention of the Liberty Party, June 14, 15, 1848, Buffalo, New York)
CHISOLM, William Wallace, born in Morgan county, Georgia, 6 December, 1830; died in De Kalb, Mississippi, 13 May, 1877. In 1847 the family moved to Kemper County, Mississippi. In 1851 the father died, leaving William as the head of the family. In 1856 he married Emily, daughter of John W. Mann, of Florida, through whose aid he made good the deficiencies of his early education. In 1858 Mr. Chisolm was elected justice of the peace, and in 1860 probate judge, an office which he filled by successive re-elections till 1867. Until the secession of the slave states became an accomplished fact, Judge Chisolm, was a pronounced Union man, and only wavered for a short time during the height of the contagious excitement that prevailed in 1861. During the Civil War, although known as a “Whig and a unionist,” he was continued in office from term to term, a sure evidence of popular trust. But he was looked upon with suspicion by the Confederate authorities, to whom his unionist sentiments were well known. The local history of the period immediately following the cessation of hostilities embraces a series of violent crimes. The newly enfranchised Negroes naturally fraternized with the few white unionists, to form the nucleus of a Republican, or, as it was then known, a “radical” party; and by their votes Chisolm was elected sheriff. His duties often brought him into direct conflict with his political opponents, and his life was constantly in danger. In November, 1873, he was re-elected sheriff for two years, and the county, under his leadership, became the stronghold of the Republican Party in Mississippi. After the expiration of his term as sheriff he was nominated for Congress, but was defeated in 1876. In the spring of 1877, John W. Gully, a leading Democrat, was shot and killed not far from Judge Chisolm's house, and warrants were issued for Chisolm's arrest, with several of his Republican associates, as accessory to the crime. At this time the Ku-klux organization was at the height of its power, and all night preceding the expected arrest armed horsemen rode into the town of DeKalb. On the morning of Sunday, 30 April, 1877, the sheriff served the warrants, and Judge Chisolm's family, consisting of his wife, three sons, and a daughter, insisted upon accompanying him to jail. In the meantime Gilmer, one of the other arrested republicans, had been killed by the mob while on the way to the same jail in charge of a sheriff's deputy. A short time afterward a staunch friend of Chisolm's, Angus McLellan, who had resolutely guarded the Chisolm party on their way to jail, was in turn shot down as he left the prison, at the sheriff's request, to go to his own house. By this time the guards had withdrawn, leaving the jail undefended, and the mob, excited by the death of the sturdy Scotsman, began to batter in the doors to gain access to the chief victim. Chisolm armed himself with one of the guns left by his faithless guards. As the door gave way, his little son John, a boy of thirteen, threw himself into his father's arms, where he was killed by a shot from the leader of the assailants. Dropping his son's body, Chisolm instantly shot and killed the assassin, and the mob fell back panic-stricken for the time, and fired only random shots. Outside the cry was raised, " Burn them out!" and, believing that the jail was on fire, the Chisolm party descended the stairs, the mother and an elder son bearing the body of the boy between them, the father following with his daughter Cornelia, a girl of eighteen, who had already been wounded by chance shots. As soon as Chisolm came within sight of the mob he was fired upon, and fell so severely wounded that he was believed to be dead. The daughter received additional wounds at this time, and, with blood streaming from her face and arms, walked through the crowd, beside her father, who was borne to his house, not far distant, and died in about two weeks, from the effect of his wounds. The daughter died two days later, her wounds proving more serious than was at first supposed. At the September term of the county court the leaders of the mob were indicted, having in the meantime been at large, but none of them were ever punished for their part in these murders. No evidence was ever adduced connecting either Chisolm or his associates with the assassination of Gully; but the local newspapers repeatedly justified the mob. The commonly accepted explanation of the affair is, that Chisolm had so organized the recently freed and enfranchised Negroes that he controlled the elections in favor of the Republican Party—a state of things to which the Democrats of the vicinity refused to submit. In December, 1877, Walter Riley, a Negro, confessed the murder of Gully, and was hanged for the crime, but denied that Judge Chisolm and his associates instigated the act. See " The Chisolm Massacre, a Picture of Home Rule in Mississippi," by James M. Wells (Washington, 1878), giving the Republican view of the case, and " Kemper County Vindicated," giving the Democratic side. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 607-608.
CHRISTIANCY, Isaac Peckham, born 1812, Johnstown, New York. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. p. 611.
CHRISTIANCY, Isaac Peckham, senator, born in Johnstown (now Bleecker), New York, 12 March, 1812. He was educated at the academies of Kingsborough and Ovid, New York, and when thirteen years old became the main support of his father's family. After teaching school he studied law with John Maynard till 1836, when he moved to Monroe, Michigan, and, on the completion of his law studies, was admitted to the bar. He was prosecuting attorney for Monroe county from 1841 till 1846, and in 1848 was a delegate to the Buffalo Free-Soil Convention, having left the Democratic Party on the question of slavery. He was a member of the state senate from 1850 till 1852, and in the latter year was the Free-Soil candidate for governor. He was one of the founders of the Democratic Party in Michigan, and was a delegate to its first national convention in Philadelphia in 1856. He purchased the Monroe “Commercial” in 1857, and became its editor, and in the same year was an unsuccessful candidate for U. S. Senator. He was elected a judge of the State supreme court in 1857, re-elected in 1865 and 1873, both times without opposition, and became chief justice in January, 1872. He was elected U. S. Senator in 1875, and, resigning in February, 1879, on account of ill health, was sent as minister to Peru, where he remained for two years. During the Civil War Judge Christiancy was for a time on the staff of General Custer and that of General A. A. Humphreys. His judicial opinions, which are to be found in the “Michigan Reports” from volumes 5 to 31, inclusive, contain the best work of his life. Appletons’ Cylcopædia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. p. 611.
CHRISTY, David, born 1802, abolitionist. (Dictionary of American Biography, 1936, Vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 97)
CHRYSLER, Morgan Henry, soldier, born in Ghent, Columbia County, New York, 30 September, 1826. He received a common-school education in his native town, and has been a farmer nearly all his life. He enlisted as a private soldier in the 30th New York Volunteers on 17 April, 1861, was promoted to captain on 7 May, to major on 11 March, 1862, and to lieutenant-colonel on 30 August, serving in the Army of the Potomac. In 1863, went home, and in fifty-five days raised, by his own efforts, the 2d New York Veteran Cavalry, 1,176 men, three quarters of them being veterans from the old “Iron Brigade.” He was commissioned its colonel on 5 December, 1863, and till 8 November, 1865, served in the Army of the Gulf, commanding all the troops in northern Alabama, with headquarters at Talladega, and opening communication with Selma and Montgomery. He was present at the capture of Mobile, with its surrounding defences, was brevetted brigadier-general, 23 January, 1864, and made brigadier-general of volunteers and brevet major-general on 13 March, 1865. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 612.
CHURCH, Pharcellus, clergyman, born in Seneca, near Geneva, New York, 11 August, 1801; died in Tarrytown, New York, 5 June, 1886. He was graduated at Madison University in 1824, where, in 1847, he received the degree of D. D. After studying theology, he was ordained and held pastorates in independence, Rhode Island, New Orleans, Louisiana, Rochester, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. He edited the “New York Chronicle” from 1854 till 1865, and continued to the end of his life one of the proprietors of the “Examiner,” with which that paper was consolidated. He went to Europe in 1846 as a delegate to the Evangelical alliance, and resided abroad for several years. After his retirement as editor, he engaged in linguistic and other studies. While at Rochester he originated the movement that resulted in the establishment of Rochester University, and otherwise was a conspicuous figure in western New York. In Boston he was an associate editor of the “Watchman and Reflector.” Until his death he was busy with literary work, his efforts being directed more especially to the promotion of Christian union. Dr. Church's published works, besides many sermons and addresses, were “Philosophy of Benevolence” (New York, 1836); a prize essay on “Religious Dissensions: their Cause and Cure” (1838); 'Antioch; or Increase of Moral Power in the Church’” (Boston, 1843); “Life of Theodosia Dean” (1851); “Mapleton; or More Work for the Maine Law” (1852); and “Seed Truths; or Bible Views of Mind, Morals, and Religion” (New York and Edinburgh, 1871).— His son, William Conant, publisher, born in Rochester, New York, 11 August, 1836, moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1848, and completed his education at the Boston Latin-school in 1851. In 1853 he moved to New York and engaged with his father in editing and publishing the “New York Chronicle,” £"merged with the “Examiner,” in which he retained a proprietary interest. He became the publisher of the New York “Sun” in 1860, and served as war correspondent of the New York “Times” during 1861–2, until his appointment, on 4 October, 1862, as captain of U.S. volunteers. He received the brevets of major and lieutenant-colonel on 11 March, 1865. In 1882 he was appointed one of the commissioners to inspect the '' Pacific Railroad. In 1863, with his brother Francis, he established the “Army and Navy Journal,” of which he is at present editor and proprietor, and in 1866 the “Galaxy” magazine. ' £ contributed to the “Century” and other magazines.— Another son, Francis Pharcellus, editor, born in Rochester, New York, 22 February, 1839, was graduated at Columbia in 1859, and, after studying law, became one of the editors and publishers of the “Army and Navy Journal,” and later, with his brother, founded and edited the “Galaxy” magazine. He is also a leading editorial writer for New York daily journals. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 613.
CILLEY, Greenleaf, naval officer, born in Thomaston, Maine, 27 October, 1829, was appointed midshipman in the ''. and attached to the frigate “Cumberland,” of the Mediterranean Squadron, in 1843–’5. In August, 1847, he was promoted to assed midshipman, and spent some time at the U. S. Naval Academy, after which he served on the frigate “Raritan” in 1849-'50, on the Coast Survey in 1851-'2, and on various vessels of the Pacific Squadron in 1852–5. He was commissioned as lieutenant in September, 1855, and connected with the sloop “Saratoga.” in 1856–8, and subsequently served on various other vessels. In July, 1862, he was made lieutenant-commander, and during the Civil War was in command of the “Unadilla,” and later of the monitor “Catskill.” At the close of the war he was retired and commissioned as commander. He now (1886) resides in Buenos Ayres. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 616
CILLEY, Jonathan Prince, soldier, born in Thomaston, Maine, 29 December, 1835, was graduated at Bowdoin in 1858, studied law with A. P. Gould in Thomaston, and, after admission to the bar, settled in his native town. At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted 150 men for a light field-battery; but, that arm of the service not being required, he enlisted in the 1st Maine Cavalry, and was commissioned captain. During the retreat of General Banks from the Shenandoah valley he was wounded and made prisoner at Middletown on 24 May, 1862. Subsequently he was promoted to be major, and assigned to duty as judge-advocate and examining officer at the central guardhouse in Washington, D.C. In 1863 he rejoined his regiment with his wound still unhealed, and during 1864 was made lieutenant-colonel. He was placed in command of the regiment, and continued in this capacity until mustered out in 1865, when he received the brevet of brigadier-general for distinguished services at Five Forks, Farmville, and Appomattox Court-House. In his regiment, which was authorized to bear the names of three more battles upon its standards than any other regiment in the Army of the Potomac, General Cilley was “the first man that enlisted, the first man wounded, and nearly the last mustered out.” After the war he resumed his profession in Rockland, Maine, and since has been a member of the state legislature, deputy collector of customs, adjutant-general of the state, and commissioner of the U. S. Circuit Court. He is a member of the Maine Historical Society, and, besides addresses and memorial orations, has published a genealogy of the “Cilley Family.” Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 616
CINQUE, born circa 1800, Caw-Mendi, Africa. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 617-618.
CINQUE, chief of the Mendi Africans, born in Caw-Mendi, Africa, about 1800. In the spring of 1839 he was captured by slave-traders, with a large company of his countrymen and women, and taken to Havana, Cuba. Fifty-two of them were purchased by Montes and Ruiz, two Cuban planters, and shipped for a port on the southern coast of Cuba, on the schooner “Amistad.” Cinque organized a plan for regaining the freedom of the captives, and, when four days out from Havana, gave the prearranged signal for revolt. The captain of the schooner was killed with one of his crew, and two others were wounded in the fight that followed, while the rest surrendered. The passengers and crew were treated kindly and sent ashore; but Montes and Ruiz; the nominal owners, were retained on board and given to understand that they must navigate the vessel to Africa. The Spaniards managed to steer northward by night and during foggy weather, and after a few days sighted Montauk Point, Long Island, where they anchored, and were presently taken in charge by the U. S. Coast Survey schooner “Washington,” whose commander, Lieutenant Gedney, claimed salvage for vessel and cargo, Montes and Ruiz, through the Spanish minister, claimed the Africans as their property. The whole company was sent to Farmington, Connecticut, where quarters were provided for them pending the decision of the courts. The philanthropists of New England took an active interest in the case, engaged Roger Sherman Baldwin and other eminent lawyers as counsel, and began energetically to educate and convert the heathen thus brought to their doors. It is noteworthy that the residents of the little village where this strange colony was planted soon outgrew their dread of the Africans, and during the months of their stay learned to regard them without apprehension. Cinque exercised a stern rule over them, and would permit no transgression. Many of them, including their chief, learned to read and write a little, and acquired some ideas of civilization. In the meantime the case came up before the U. S. District court for the state of Connecticut, the U. S. District attorney appearing on behalf of Montes and Ruiz as well as of the Spanish minister. Never before had the country been so sharply divided on a question touching slavery. All trials for violation of the law prohibiting the slave-trade had until this time been held before southern courts, and no one had been convicted. The pro-slavery party regarded with natural apprehension the result of such a trial on the soil of a free state. Mr. John Quincy Adams, who was the anti-slavery leader in the House of Representatives at the time, introduced resolutions calling on the president to communicate to Congress the process or authority by which these Africans, charged with no crime, were kept in custody. Further than this, it was held by the advanced anti-slavery leaders that slavery and slave-dealing constitute a perpetual war between the enslaver and the enslaved. They alleged the right of persons held as were the “‘Amistad’ captives,” not only to overpower their guards whenever they could do so, but to hold them as prisoners and the ship and cargo as their lawful prize. They held that the U. S. government had no right to interfere between the Africans and the Cuban planters, and that the former had a valid claim to the ship and her cargo. After a protracted investigation the Connecticut court decided against the libellants, who promptly appealed to the U. S. supreme court. The venerable John Quincy Adams appeared with Mr. Baldwin as counsel. The progress of the trial was watched with intense interest by the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions throughout the country. The court eventually declared in substance that these Africans were born free, that they had never been legally held as slaves, and that they were amenable to no punishment for anything they had done. They were sent back to their native land at the public expense, and a Mendi mission was established and is still maintained for their benefit by the American missionary association not far from Sierra Leone. Appletons’ Cylcopædia of American Biography, 1888.
CIST, Henry Martyn, lawyer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 20 February, 1839, was graduated at Fanner's (now Belmont) College in 1858, and studied law. In April, 1861, he enlisted as a private in the 6th Ohio Infantry. He was promoted to second lieutenant in the 52d Ohio Infantry, and then to adjutant of the 74th Ohio, and was post-adjutant of Camp Chase during the confinement of the prisoners captured at Fort Donelson. In 1862 he was in the field with his. regiment, serving in middle Tennessee, in September promoted to acting assistant adjutant-general of Miller's brigade, during the Tullahoma Campaign appointed acting assistant, adjutant-general of the Department of the Cumberland, and served on the department staff under Gens. Rosecrans and Thomas until his resignation in January, 1866. Meanwhile he had attained the rank of major and assistant adjutant-general with the brevet of brigadier-general, having served in the Chickamauga and the Eastport Campaigns. General Cist remained in the service after the close of hostilities, at General Thomas's request, to give the necessary orders and to arrange the details providing for the mustering out and disbanding of over 100,000 troops. Subsequent to the war he returned to Cincinnati and resumed the practice of law, and in 1869 he was elected corresponding secretary of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, to which office he has been re-elected every year since. General Cist has contributed to periodicals many articles on the Civil War, among which are "Cincinnati with the War Fever " and " The Romance of Shiloh." He edited all but vols. ii. and iii. of " Reports of the Society of the Array of the Cumberland " (Cincinnati, 17 vols., 1868-85), and is the author of "The Army of the Cumberland" (New York, 1882). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 617-618.
CLAFLIN, Horace Brigham, 1811-1885, Milford, Massachusetts, merchant, philanthropist, opponent of slavery. (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 618; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 110)
CLAFLIN, Horace Brigham, merchant, born in Milford, Massachusetts, 18 December, 1811; died in Fordham, New York, 14 November, 1885. He was the son of John Claflin, a general country storekeeper, farmer, and justice of the peace, and received his education at the common school and Milford Academy. His first business experience was as a clerk in his father's employ, and in 1831, with his brother Aaron and his brother-in-law, Samuel Daniels, he succeeded to his father's business. In 1832 they opened a dry-goods store in Worcester, in connection with their establishment in Milford. This venture proved successful, and in 1833 Aaron took the Milford store, leaving the other partners in exclusive possession of the Worcester business. In 1843 Horace moved to New York, and, with William F. Bulkley, organized the house of Bulkley & Claflin and began a wholesale dry-goods business at No. 46 Cedar street. In 1850 the firm built a store at No. 57 Broadway, which they occupied from January, 1851, until 1853. Mr. Bulkley retired from the partnership in July, 1851, when, with William H. Mellen and several of his principal clerks, he continued his business as Claflin, Mellen & County Meanwhile their trade increased very rapidly, and larger accommodation became necessary. Mr. Claflin, with others, then erected the Trinity building, at No. 111 Broadway, whither the business was transferred. In 1861 another change was necessary, and the enormous warehouse on Worth street, extending from Church street to West Broadway, was secured. The beginning of the Civil War, coming suddenly at this time, found the firm's assets largely locked up and rendered almost worthless, and they were compelled to ask from their creditors an extension of time in which to settle their accounts. These liabilities were subsequently paid with interest long before maturity, and the house entered upon a career of unparalleled prosperity. At the beginning of 1864 Mr. Mellen retired from the firm, which then adopted the style of H. B. Claflin & Company The panic of 1873 again caused the firm to ask their creditors for an extension of five months, with interest added in settlement of their open accounts. Notwithstanding the enormous amounts that they were unable to collect at that time, no paper with their name on it went to protest, and their notes were all paid in three months, sixty days before maturity. During a single year the sales of this house have amounted to $72,000,000; and the ability of Mr. Claflin may be judged by the magnitude of the business, which from 1865 to the time of his death far exceeded that of any other commercial house in the world. He was a man of domestic habits and of exemplary life, fond of books and of horses. Almost daily, no matter what the weather might be, he drove from ten to twenty miles. He was prominently associated with Mr. Beecher's Church in Brooklyn, where he resided during the winter. His acts of charity were frequent and unostentatious, and to many of the benevolent institutions of Brooklyn he was a liberal donor. It was a great satisfaction to him to assist young men, and probably no other person in the United States aided so many beginners with money and credit until they were able to sustain themselves. In politics he was a strong Republican until the canvass of 1884, when he supported the Democratic candidate for the presidency. Mr. Claflin was a man of very strong convictions, and in 1850, when it cost something to be known as an opponent of slavery, he was an uncompromising friend of freedom. See “Tribute of the Chamber of Commerce to the Memory of Horace B. Claflin” (New York, 1886). Appletons’ Cylcopædia of American Biography, 1888.
CLAFLIN, Jehiel C., abolitionist, West Brookfield, Vermont, American Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1855-1853. Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Vice President, 1841-1860.
CLAFLIN, William H., Newton, Massachusetts, Church Anti-Slavery Society, Vice-President, 1859-62
CLAIBORNE, John Herbert, physician, born in Brunswick county, Virginia, 16 March, 1828. He was graduated at the University of Virginia in 1849, and at the Jefferson Medical College in 1850, after which for a year he was connected with hospitals in Philadelphia, In 1851 he settled in Petersburg, Virginia, and there practised until 1861. In 1857 he was a member of the Virginia Senate. During the Civil War he was a surgeon in the Confederate Army, and in 1862 organized the general hospital in Petersburg, of which he became chief executive officer. He is member of several medical societies, has held the office of vice-president of the Virginia State Medical Society, and of the Confederate States Army and Navy Medical Association. Of late years he has made a specialty of diseases of women and children, and his published articles in medical journals are principally on these subjects. He has published essays on "Diphtheria" and "Dysmenorrhea," and a volume of "Clinical Reports from Private Practice" (1873). Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 619.
CLARK, Ambrose W., Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Congressional Globe)
CLARK, Daniel, 1809-1891, lawyer, jurist, organizer and founder of the Republican Party, U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, ardent supporter of the Union. Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. I, p. 625; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 125; Congressional Globe)
CLARK, Daniel, senator, born in Stratham, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, 24 October, 1809. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1834 with the highest honors of his class, studied law, and began practice at Epping, New Hampshire, in 1837. He moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1839, and was a member of the legislature for five years. He was elected U. S. Senator in 1857 for the unexpired term of James Bell, deceased, and was re-elected in 1861, serving till he resigned in July, 1866. He was president pro tem. of the Senate for some time in 1864-'5. On 11 July, 1861, Senator Clark offered a resolution, which was adopted, expelling from the Senate the southern senators who had left their seats on the secession of their states. He took an active part in the debates of the Senate, and was a steadfast supporter of the government during the Civil War. On his resignation, he was appointed by President Johnson U. S. Judge for the District of New Hampshire. He was president of the New Hampshire Constitutional Convention of 1876. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 625.
CLARK, John Bullock, lawyer, born in Madison county, Kentucky, 17 April, 1802; died in Fayette, Missouri, 29 October, 1885. He moved to Missouri with his father in 1818, was admitted to the bar in 1824, and began practice at Fayette, Missouri He was clerk of the Howard county courts from 1824 till 1834, commanded a regiment of Missouri volunteer Cavalry in the Black Hawk war of 1832, where he was twice wounded, and in 1848 was commissioned major-general of militia. He was a member of the legislature in 1850 and 1851, and was at the head of the force sent out to expel the Mormons from Missouri. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1857, to fill a vacancy, and served till 1861, when he withdrew and joined the Confederates. He was formally expelled on 13 July, 1861. At the beginning of the war he was appointed brigadier-general by Governor Jackson, and commanded the Missouri troops till disabled at the battle of Springheld in August, 1861. Before his recovery he was elected to the first Confederate Congress, and was afterward senator from Missouri till the close of the war. He then resumed his law practice at Fayette. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 629
CLARK, John Bullock, lawyer, born in Fayette, Missouri, 14 January, 1831, spent two years in Missouri University, and then entered Harvard law school, where he was graduated in 1854. At the beginning of the Civil War he entered the Confederate Army as a lieutenant, and rose through the grades of captain, major, and colonel, to that of brigadier-general. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat, serving from 1 December, 1873, till 1883, and on 4 December, 1883, was chosen clerk of the House of Representatives. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 629
CLARK, John G., anti-slavery activist, S. Kingston, Rhode Island, American Anti-Slavery Society, Manager, 1836-40.
CLARK, Myron Holley, 1806-1892, Governor of New York State. Supported by the anti-slavery wings of the Democratic and Whig Parties. (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 630; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 138)
CLARK, Myron Holley, governor of New York, born in Naples, Ontario County, New York, 23 October, 1806. His grandfather, Colonel William Clark, moved from Berkshire county, Massachusetts, to Ontario county, New York, in 1790. Myron was educated in a District school at Naples, attending from three to four months annually, when between six and seventeen years old. After filling several offices in his native town, and becoming lieutenant-colonel of state militia, he was sheriff of Ontario county for two years, and, having moved to Canandaigua, was president of that village in 1850 and 1851, and state senator from 1852 till 1854. During Mr. Clark's first term as senator in 1852–’3, the law was consolidating the several railroads now forming the New York central, and it was largely by his persistent firmness that the provision limiting passenger fares to two cents a mile was adopted. As chairman of the committee on the subject he was influential in securing the of the prohibitory liquor law that was vetoed by Governor Seymour. In the anti-slavery wings of both the Whig and Democratic parties, the prohibitionists, and several independent organizations separately nominated Mr. Clark for governor, and he was elected by a small majority, his supporters in some of their state organizations taking the name of “Republicans." thus making him the earliest state candidate of that party. During his administration a new prohibitory law was passed, and signed by him. It remained in force about nine months, when it was set aside by the court of appeals. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 639.
CLARK, Peter H., 1829-1925, free African American, Ohio, abolitionist, publisher, editor, writer, orator. Published anti-slavery newspaper, The Herald of Freedom, in Ohio. (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 58)
CLARK, William Smith, educator, born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, 31 July, 1826; died in Amherst, 9 March, 1886. He received his early education at Williston seminary, and was graduated at Amherst in 1848. For two years he taught the natural sciences at Williston seminary, after which he spent two years abroad studying chemistry and botany at Gottingen, where," in 1852, he received the degree of Ph. D. On his return to the United States, in 1852, he was elected to the chair of analytical and applied chemistry, and from 1854 till 1858 was professor of chemistry, botany, and zoology. From 1858 till 1867 he filled the chair of chemistry alone. He was commissioned major in the 21st Massachusetts Infantry in August, 1861, became colonel in May, 1862, and was recommended by General Burnside for a well-deserved promotion as brigadier-general. Colonel Clark participated in the battles of Roanoke Island, Newbern, Camden, North Carolina, the second Bull Run, Chantilly, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. In 1867 he was elected to the presidency of the Massachusetts agricultural College. This office, with the chair of botany and horticulture, he held until 1879, except during 1876-'7. when he was in Japan, where he had been invited to establish and organize the Imperial College of agriculture at Sapporo. During his stay in Japan he examined the flora of that country, and was the means of introducing new species of shade-trees into the United States. He also sent to Massachusetts a large assortment of seeds, many of which proved of special value to his own state, on account of the high latitude from which they were selected. He discovered a new lichen on the side of Mt. Tieni, at an elevation of 3,200 feet, which was named Cetraria Clarkii, in his honor, by Professor Edward Tuckerman. Subsequent to his resignation from the agricultural college he became interested in a scientific floating college, projected by Mr. Woodruff, whose sudden death caused the abandonment of the scheme. After this Professor Clark resided in Amherst until his death, partly occupied with mining operations. From 1859 till 1861 he was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture, and a member ex officio from 1876 till 1879. He was one of the commission of three, appointed by Governor Andrew in 1863, to consider the expediency of establishing a state military academy. He was a presidential elector in 1864, and a representative to the Massachusetts legislature in 1864–75 and 1867. He was a fellow of the American Academy of arts and sciences, and also a member of other scientific societies. His published papers include following papers contributed to the annual reports of the Massachusetts state board of agriculture: “Report on Horses” (1859–60); “Professional Education the Present Want of Agriculture,” “The Work and the Wants of the Agricultural College” (1868); “The Cultivation of the Cereals” (1868): “Nature's Mode of Distributing Plants” (1870); “The Relations of Botany to Agriculture” (1872): “The Circulation of Sap in Plants” (1873): “Observations on the Phenomena of Plant-Life” (1874); and “Agriculture in Japan” (1878). In 1869 he translated, for use in the Agricultural College, Scheerer's “Blow-pipe Manual.” Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 631-632.
CLARKE, Augustine, 1771-1841, Danville, Vermont, attorney, banker, politician, abolitionist. Manager, 1833-1836, and founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833. (Abolitionist, Vol. I, No. XII, December, 1833)
CLARKE, Freeman, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery (Congressional Globe)
CLARKE, Henry Francis, soldier, born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 9 November, 1820. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1843, entered the artillery, served in the military occupation of Texas in 1845-'6, and in the war with Mexico, he distinguished himself at Chapultepec, where he won the brevet of captain, and was present at the assault and capture of the city of Mexico. He was assistant instructor of artillery at the Military Academy in 1848-'9, assistant professor of mathematics in 1850-'l, was engaged with his regiment in the Seminole War of 1851-2, again assistant instructor of artillery at West Point in 1855-'6, made captain, 12 January, 1857, accompanied the Utah Expedition of 1857 as commissary of subsistence, and remained there as chief commissary till 1860, when he was assigned to duty in the office of the commissary-general, he ordered the expedition for the relief of Fort Pickens, 1 April, 1861, was appointed chief commissary of General McDowell's command, 2 July, 1861, served in the Manassas Campaign, was promoted major, 3 August, and served as chief commissary of subsistence of the Army of the Potomac from 20 August, 1861, till 5 January, 1864, being present at the siege of Yorktown, the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel, 29 June, 1864, and had charge of purchase of supplies in New York City till 1867; was brevetted brigadier- general for gallantry at the battle of Gettysburg, and major-general for faithful services in the subsistence department during the Civil War. He served as chief of commissariat of the Division of the Missouri in 1868-'75, and of the Division of the Atlantic from 1879 until he was retired, 9 November, 1884, with the rank of colonel, having been advanced to that grade on 20 May, 1882. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 633.
CLARKE, James Freeman, 1779-1839, jurist, lawyer, opponent of slavery. Governor of Kentucky. U.S. Congressman. (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 628)
CLARKE, Lewis G., 1815-1897, African American, anti-slavery lecturer, author, escaped slave. Dictated his recollections of slavery to abolitionist Joseph C. Lovejoy in 1845. Published as Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke… (Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. African American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vol. 3, p. 100; American National Biography, 2002, Vol. 4, p. 979)
CLARKSON, Thomas, abolitionist (Basker, 2005, pp. 3, 57, 128, 132, 148, 162, 169 170, 241; Bruns, 1977, pp. 79, 145, 314; Goodell, 1852, pp. 56-59, 66, 355-360, 393, 444)
CLARY, Robert Emmet, soldier, born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, 21 March, 1805. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1828, was assigned to the 5th U.S. Infantry, and served on frontier duty till 7 July, 1838, when he was made assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain. He became captain on 3 April, 1839, served in the Florida War of 1840-'l, and at various posts till the Civil War. He was chief quartermaster of the Department of West Virginia from November, 1861, till July, 1862, of the Army of Virginia to October, 1862, and of the Department of the Northwest till 20 March, 1863. He was made colonel on the staff and additional aide-de-camp, 5 July, 1862. and was in charge of the Memphis military "depot from 1864 till 1866. On 13 March. 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general for his services during the war. He was made assistant quartermaster-general on 29 July, 1866, and served as depot quartermaster at Boston, Massachusetts from 1867 till 1869. On 22 February of that year he was retired, being over sixty-two years of age. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 637.
CLAY, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903, Madison County, Kentucky, anti-slavery political leader, emancipationist, large landowner, statesman, lawyer, diplomat, soldier, newspaper publisher. Granted land for Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. Prominent anti-slavery activist with Kentucky State legislature and member of the Republican Party. Published anti-slavery paper, True American, in Lexington, Kentucky.
(Blue, 2005, pp. 151, 171; Clay, 1896; Dumond, 1961, p. 258; Filler, 1960, pp. 213, 221, 248, 256, 272; Mabee, 1970, pp. 4, 237, 258-259, 327, 336, 372; Mitchell, 2007, pp. 5, 63, 64, 71, 107, 147, 156, 199; Rodriguez, 2007, pp. 380, 619; Smiley, 1962; Wilson, 1872, pp. 628-635; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 503, 577, 639-640; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 18; American Reformers: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary, New York, 1985, pp. 171-173; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 4; The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. II. New York: James T. White, 1892, pp. 311-312)
CLAY, Cassius Marcellus, politician, born in Madison county, Kentucky, 19 October, 1810, studied at Transylvania University, but afterward entered the junior class at Yale, and was graduated there in 1832. While in New Haven he heard William Lloyd Garrison, and, although his parents were slave-holders, became an earnest abolitionist. He began to practice law in his native county, and was elected to the legislature in 1835, but was defeated the next year on account of his advocacy of internal improvements. He was again elected in 1837, and in 1839 was a member of the convention that nominated General Harrison for the presidency. He then moved to Lexington, and was again a member of the legislature in 1840, but in 1841 was defeated, after an exciting canvass, on account of his anti-slavery views. The improved jury system and the common-school system of Kentucky are largely due to his efforts while in the legislature. Mr. Clay denounced the proposed annexation of Texas, as intended to extend slavery, and in 1844 actively supported Henry Clay for the presidency, speaking in his behalf in the northern states. On 3 June, 1845, he issued in Lexington the first number of an anti-slavery paper entitled “The True American.” Mob violence had been threatened, and the editor had prepared himself for it. He says in his memoirs: “I selected for my office a brick building, and lined the outside doors with sheet-iron, to prevent it being burned. I purchased two brass four-pounder cannon at Cincinnati, and placed them, loaded with shot and nails, on a table, breast high; had folding-doors secured with a chain, which could open upon the mob and give play to the cannon. I furnished my office with Mexican lances, and a limited number of guns. There were six or eight persons who stood ready to defend me. If defeated, they were to escape by a trap-door in the roof; and I had placed a keg of powder with a match, which I could set off and blow up the office and all my invaders; and this I should most certainly have done in case of the last extremity.” In August, while the editor was sick, his press was seized by the mob and taken to Cincinnati, and he himself was threatened with assassination; but, notwithstanding all opposition, he continued to publish the paper, printing it in Cincinnati and circulating it through Kentucky. This was not his only narrow escape. He was continually involved in quarrels, had several bloody personal encounters, and habitually spoke in political meetings, with a bowie knife concealed about him, and a brace of pistols in the mouth of his grip-sack, which he placed at his feet. When war with Mexico was declared, Mr. Clay entered the army as captain of a volunteer infantry company that had already distinguished itself at Tippecanoe in 1811. He took this course because he thought a military title necessary to political advancement in a “fighting state” like Kentucky. On 23 January, 1847, while in the van, more than 100 miles in advance of the main army, he was taken prisoner, with seventy-one others, at Encarnacion, and marched to the city of Mexico. On one occasion, after the escape of some of the captives, the lives of the remainder were saved by Captain Clay's gallantry and presence of mind. After being exchanged, he returned to Kentucky, and was presented by his fellow-citizens with a sword in honor of his services. He worked for General Taylor's nomination in the Convention of 1848, and carried Kentucky for him. He called a convention of emancipationists at Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1849, and in 1850, separating from the Whig Party, was an anti-slavery candidate for governor, receiving about 5,000 votes. He labored energetically for Frémont's election in 1856, and for Lincoln's in 1860, but took pains to separate himself from the “radical abolitionists,” holding that all interference with slavery should be by legal methods. On 28 March, 1861, he was appointed minister to Russia. He returned to this country in June, 1862, having been commissioned major-general of volunteers, and shortly afterward made a speech in Washington, declaring that he would never draw his sword while slavery was protected in the seceding states. He resigned on 11 March, 1863, and was again sent as minister to Russia, publicly supported the revolutionary movement in Cuba, and became president of the Cuban aid Society. In 1871 he delivered an address by invitation at the St. Louis fair, urging speedy reconciliation with the north, and at the same time attacking President Grant's administration. He was identified with the liberal republican movement in 1872, and supported his old friend Horace Greeley for the presidency. He afterward joined the Democratic Party, and actively supported Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, but advocated Blaine's election in 1884. In 1877 Mr. Clay shot and killed a Negro, Perry White, whom he had discharged from his service and who had threatened his life. Mr. Clay was tried, and the jury gave a verdict of “justifiable homicide.” A volume of his speeches was edited by Horace Greeley (1848), and he has published “The Life, Memoirs, Writings, and Speeches of Cassius M. Clay” (2 vols., Cincinnati, 1886). Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I. pp. 503, 577, 639-640.
Chapter: “Vermont and Massachusetts. --John P. Hale. -- Cassius M. Clay,” by Henry Wilson, in History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1872.
While Mr. Hale was making his gallant and successful fight in New Hampshire, by which he placed himself at once among the foremost advocates of liberty, freedom found another champion, on the very soil of slavery itself, in the person of Cassius M. Clay. Belonging to an eminent family, reared under the influences of slavery, he was identified with it by birth, inheritance, and position. From personal knowledge and his affiliations of family, party, and business, he had spoken during the presidential canvass of 1844 with authority upon the subject of slavery, revealing to thousands the inner life and workings of the system.
Mr. Clay was a native of Kentucky. Educated at Yale; he had soon learned to recognize the difference between the slave and the free States, while the antislavery discussions that were rife during his stay in New England greatly excited his feelings and changed his sentiments; and at an early day he determined to emancipate his slaves. Entering the Kentucky legislature in 1835, he at once introduced and became the champion of a common-school system for his native State. But he soon learned that such a system was incompatible with the presence and power of slavery wherever the latter was established, and was giving tone to the thought and feeling of society.
In 1841 an act was introduced into that legislature for the repeal of a law adopted in 1833 to prevent the importation of slaves into the State. He, of course, arrayed himself against the repeal, and denounced in fitting language this reactionary measure. Such a demonstration from one occupying his position naturally excited surprise, and provoked that kind and style of opposition in which the slave-masters were accustomed to indulge toward any who opposed their policy or condemned their cherished system. But he declared that denunciation could not silence him; that epithets and the cry of abolition had no terrors for him; and that bowie-knives, pistols, and mobs could not force him to desist. He said that his blood was ready for the sacrifice, though he warned gentlemen that he should not be "a tame victim of either force or denunciation." He affirmed that there was a party in the country which was .the advocate of perpetual slavery, and in favor of destroying the Union. He protested against what he termed the treasonable scheme of the disunionists; and he asserted that on the day when this should be seriously attempted or consummated there should be "one Kentuckian shrouded under the stars and stripes; one heart undesecrated with the faith that slavery is the basis of civil liberty; one being who could not exist in a government denying the right of petition, the liberty of speech and of the press; one man who would not be the outlaw of nations or the slave of a slave."
Entertaining such sentiments, and believing that the proposed annexation of Texas was for “the extension of slavery among men," he interposed a most determined opposition. In a speech in December, 1843, in reply to ex-Vice-President Richard M. Johnson, he made an impassioned appeal to the people of Kentucky to enter their solemn protest against this most unholy scheme. He reminded them, if this project was carried out for the purposes for which it was formed, they could no longer cover themselves, when reproached for the existence of slavery, under the plea that it was an entailed evil for which they could not be held responsible. If they supported this scheme, with this the real and avowed object, they would commit themselves anew to the system it was thus proposed to strengthen and extend.
Holding these ideas of annexation, and deeply impressed with the magnitude of the interests at stake and the gravity of the impending peril, he entered with great earnestness into the presidential contest of 1844. He traversed the free States, urging the claims of Henry Clay. He was especially urgent that antislavery men should give him their votes, as the only way by which annexation could be prevented. Affirming that Mr. Clay had virtually pledged himself to oppose the admission of Texas, by making the conditions of his “support such as could not be fulfilled, he contended that they themselves held the power in their hands to prevent it. Among those conditions was the “common consent of the Union." " So long, then," he said, in one of his speeches, "as the vestal flame of liberty shall burn in your bosoms, eternal and inextinguishable, so long is Mr. Clay, three several times, in the most solemn manner, before the nation and all mankind, irrevocably bound to oppose the annexation of Texas to the United States." " Of all men," he continued, " now present I have the greatest cause to take care that I am not deceived in this matter ; but I can go --I say it before God and man -- with a good conscience for him, because I believe it will save my country from ruin if we shall secure his election." His labors in the canvass were arduous, his feelings were deeply enlisted in the issues at stake, and his consequent disappointment in view of defeat was very great.
The defeat of Mr. Clay, however, while it made annexation certain, did not discourage him. His spirit rose with the occasion, and his purpose to war against the cause of all this scheming and plotting seemed to be strengthened. Returning to Kentucky, he issued, in January, 1845, an address to the people of his State, in which he portrayed the baleful effects of slavery, even upon that " young and beautiful Commonwealth," to whose " Italian skies " and· " more than Sicilian verdure" he mournfully referred as being blighted and clouded by this terrible curse. " Her fields," he says, " relapse into primitive sterility; her population wastes away, manufactures recede from her infected border, trade languishes, decay trenches upon her meagre accumulations of taste or utility, gaunt famine stalks into the portals of the homestead, sullen despair begins to display itself in the careworn faces of men, the heavens and the earth cry aloud, the eternal laws of happiness and existence have been trampled underfoot …Agriculture drags along its slow pace with slovenly, ignorant, and reckless labor. Science, literature, and art are strangers here. Poets, historians, artists, and machinists; the lovers of the ideal, the great, the beautiful, the true, and the useful,--flourish where thought and action are untrammeled… A loose and inadequate respect for the rights of property, of necessity, follows in the wake of slavery. Duelling, bloodshed, and lynch-law leave but little security to person. A general demoralization has corrupted the first minds in the nation, its hot contagion has spread among the whole people; licentiousness, crime, and bitter hate infest us at home; repudiation and the forcible propagandism of slavery is arraying against us the world in arms."
He urged upon them to choose delegates to a convention for amending the Constitution, and to repeat the attempt "until victory shall perch on the standard of the free."
While the struggle was in progress in both Congress and the country for the expansion of slavery, he issued proposals for the establishment of a paper to advocate its “overthrow “in Kentucky. Its publication was commenced at Lexington, and on the 3d of June was issued the first number of the “True American." In it he discussed with great vigor the evils and remedies existing and proposed. The general tone and character of its utterances were very offensive to the slaveholders of the State, whose course he condemned, and whose interests, they felt, he was putting in peril. This indignation was specially increased and intensified by articles that appeared 11 the 12th of August, in which the writer referred not only to the general principles of the contest, but to certain contingencies and possibilities, and which very naturally and very greatly excited their ire.
In those articles not only was emancipation advocated, but the securing of the civil and political rights to the colored people was vindicated. The pride and selfishness of the slave-master, too, was referred to; and the charge was made that, in his esteem, national character, conscience of the people, and sense of duty weighed nothing against that pride and selfishness. The warning, too, was given that the Abolitionists were becoming quite as reckless as the slaveholders themselves; and, when provoked by injustice and wrong, they might manifest something of the same spirit. “It is in vain," it was said,” for the master to try to fence his dear slaves in from all intercourse with the great world, to create his little petty and tyrannical kingdom on his own plantation, and keep it for his exclusive reign. He cannot shut out the light of information any more than the light of heaven. It will penetrate all disguises, and shine upon the dark night of slavery. He must recollect that he is surrounded. The North, the East, the West, and the South border on him, --the free West-Indian, the free Mexican, the free Yankee, the more than free Abolitionists of his own country. Everything trenches upon his infected district, and the wolf looks calmly in upon his fold."
The slaveholders were greatly exasperated, too, by these words: "But we are told the enunciation of the soul-stirring principles of Revolutionary patriots is a lie; that slavery the most unmitigated, the lowest, basest that the world has· seen; is to be substituted forever for our better,, more glorious, holier aspirations. The Constitution.is torn and trampled underfoot, justice and good faith in a nation are divided, brute force -is substituted in the place of high moral tone, all the great principles of national liberty which we inherited from our British, ancestry are yielded up, and we are left without God or help in the world. When the great-hearted of our land weep, and the man of reflection maddens in the contemplation of our national apostasy, there are men, pursuing gain and pleasure, who smile with contempt and indifference at their appeals. But remember, you who dwell in marble palaces, that there are strong arms and fiery hearts and iron pikes in the streets, and panes of glass only between them and the silver plate on the board and the smooth-skinned woman on the ottoman. When you have mocked at virtue, deified the agency of God in the affairs of men, and made rapine your honeyed faith, tremble, for the day of retributio1ds at hand, and the masses will be avenged."
The establishment of such a paper by such a man, with views so radical and a purpose so determined, was naturally regarded by the slaveholders as a challenge to them to come to the defence of their cherished and menaced system. It was, therefore, doomed from the start. Probably no journal, however mildly and courteously conducted, that contemplated and advocated emancipation, would have remained unmolested. Certainly one with sentiments so decided and uncompromising might naturally expect resistance. It came in the form of a committee, which waited upon him on the 14th of' August, while confined to a bed of sickness, requiring him to suspend the publication of his paper, "as," they say in their note, "its further continuance, in our judgment, is dangerous to the peace of the community, and to the safety of our homes and families."
His reply was very decided and defiant. Alluding to the phrase in their letter that they had “been appointed as a committee on the part of a number of the respectable citizens of the city of Lexington," he wrote: "I say, in reply to your assertion that you are a committee appointed by a respectable portion of the community, that it cannot be true. Traitors to the laws and Constitution cannot be deemed respectable by any but assassins, pirates, and highway robbers." After reminding them that their meeting was unknown to the laws and Constitution, and that its “proceedings" were secret, and its purposes were “in direct violation of every known principle of honor, religion, or government," he added: "I treat them with the burning contempt of a brave heart and a loyal citizen. I deny their power and defy their action …Your advice with regard to my personal safety is worthy of the source whence it emanated, and meets with the same contempt from me which the purposes of your mission excite. Go, tell your secret conclave of cowardly assassins that Cassius M. Clay knows his rights, and how to defend them."
He then issued an appeal to the people of Kentucky to stand by him in his conflict with the enemies of law in the defence of the civil and political rights of all. On the 18th of August a meeting was called to consider the question of suppressing the “True American." To this meeting he sent a communication, in which he endeavored to remove some false constructions which had been placed upon the articles in question, and in which he made some further statements concerning the purposes and plans of his paper, concluding with the solemn and unequivocal averment that his constitutional rights he should never "abandon."
The meeting, unmoved by his appeal, proceeded to the consummation of the purpose for which it was convened, by choosing a committee of sixty, which proceeded to the office of the offending journal, boxed up its press, and sent it out of the State. It also unanimously adopted an address to the people of Kentucky, reported by Thomas F. Marshall. In this address it was charged that a formidable party had arisen in the North which held that slavery was "opposed to religion, morals, and law," and that the Negro was entitled to his freedom. It asserted, too, that the aim of this party was the abolition of slavery in America. It charged Mr. Clay with being in full sympathy with this party; that he had visited the North, and, having been "received there in full communion by the abolition party, caressed and flattered and feasted, hailed in the stages of his triumphal progress by discharges of cannon, and heralded in the papers devoted to the cause as the boldest, the most intrepid, the most devoted of its champions, he returned to his native State, the organ and agent of an incendiary sect, to force upon her principles fatal to her domestic repose, at the risk of his own life and the peace of the community."
Stigmatizing an abolition paper in a slave State as a " nuisance of the most formidable character," a blazing brand in the hands 1of an incendiary or madman, which might scatter ruin, conflagration, revolution, crime unnamable over everything dear in domestic life, sacred in religion, or respectable in modesty, it denounced the " True American " as an example of the worst type of such papers. Representing Abolitionists as traitors to the Constitution, and abolition principles in a slave State as "fire in a magazine of powder," the address urged these considerations as the justification of its authors for the summary measures they adopted.
Mr. Clay also issued several appeals to the people of Kentucky, calling upon them to vindicate their rights, stricken down in his person. But though overpowered, he exhibited the same defiant spirit and unconquerable purpose, as he, dedicated himself anew to the liberty of his country and of mankind, and called upon Americans to “rise up in the omnipotency of the ballot, and peaceably overthrow the slave despotism of the nation."
He re-established his paper, which, though published in Lexington, was printed in Cincinnati. But when the war with Mexico opened, he, to the great regret of many and the sharp censures of others, entered the army; and, under the plea of standing by the flag of his country in the day of battle, volunteered his services for that most indefensible war. After his return he renewed and continued his warfare on slavery until it ceased to exist.
Source: Wilson, Henry, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol. 1. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1872, 628-635.
CLAY, Clement Claiborne, born in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1819; died there, 3 January, 1882, was graduated at the University of Alabama in 1835. When the elder Clay [Clemet Comer] was elected governor, he made his son his private secretary, in which capacity the boy continued his studies, and also contributed editorials to Alabama papers. When his father went to the Senate, young Clay completed his law studies at the University of Virginia, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He served in the Alabama legislature in 1842, 1844, and 1845, and in 1846 became judge of the Madison county court He resigned in 1848, and in 1853 was elected U. S. Senator. In 1857 he delivered an eloquent eulogy on Senator Butler, of South Carolina, and in 1858 made a speech advocating the admission of Kansas to the Union under the Lecompton constitution. He also advocated a bill repealing the bounty on vessels engaged in the Newfoundland fisheries. As a senator, he regarded himself as the envoy of a sovereign state to the council of the nation, and lost no opportunity of asserting the rights of that state as defined by Mr. Calhoun and other southern statesmen. He was re-elected unanimously in 1859, but withdrew in February, 1861, his state having seceded from the Union. He was formally expelled from the Senate in March, 1861, and was chosen a senator in the Confederate Congress. He went to Canada in 1864 as a secret agent of the Confederate government, took part in planning the raids on the northern frontier, and made some futile attempts at negotiation with President Lincoln. He returned to the Confederacy, but took refuge in Canada at the close of the war. In May, 1865, hearing that a reward had been offered for his arrest, he gave himself up to the U. S. authorities and was for some time a prisoner in Fort Monroe with Jefferson Davis. He was released in April, 1866. and from that time practised his profession at Huntsville. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 638-639.
CLAY, Edward W., caricaturist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1792; died in New York City, 31 December 1857. He was a relative of Henry Clay, had a liberal education, and served as a midshipman in the U. S. Navy. He then turned his attention to the law, and, though very young, was at once appointed prothonotary of Philadelphia. His artistic tastes, however, led him to Europe, and he studied the old masters there for five years. On his return to Philadelphia he sketched "The Rats Leaving the Falling House," on the dissolution of Jackson s cabinet. This brought him into notice, and for more than twenty years he was a noted caricaturist. After the failure of his eyesight he became clerk of the Chancery court, and of the Orphan's Court in Delaware. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 639
CLAY, Henry, 1777-1852, Kentucky, statesman, political leader, U.S. Senator, Congressman, Speaker of the House of Representatives, 12th, 13th, and 18th Congress, Presidential candidate. Founder of the American Colonization Society and its President from 1837-1852, Vice President, 1833-1837.
(Blue, 2005, pp. 11, 24, 27, 29, 47, 50-51, 55, 123-124, 166-167; Burin, 2005, pp. 1, 14, 17, 22, 23, 25, 27, 38; Campbell, 1971, pp. 7, 10, 203; Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 640; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 2, p. 173; Staudenraus, P. J. The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 27-29, 30, 113, 116, 139, 143, 174, 184-187, 207, 245)
Biography from Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography:
CLAY, Henry, statesman, born in Hanover county, Virginia, in a district known as “The Slashes,” 12 April, 1777; died in Washington, D. C., 29 June, 1852. His father, a Baptist clergyman, died when Henry was four years old, leaving no fortune. Henry received some elementary instruction in a log school-house, doing farm and house work when not at school. His mother married again and moved to Kentucky. When fourteen years of age he was placed in a small retail store at Richmond, and in 1792 obtained a place in the office of Peter Tinsley, clerk of the high court of chancery. There he attracted the attention of Chancellor Whyte, who employed him as an amanuensis, and directed his course of reading. In 1796 he began to study law with Robert Brooke, attorney-general of Virginia, and in 1797, having obtained a license to practise law from the judges of the court of appeals, he moved to Lexington, Kentucky. During his residence in Richmond he had made the acquaintance of several distinguished men of Virginia, and became a leading member of a debating club. At Lexington he achieved his first distinction in a similar society. He soon won a lucrative practice as an attorney, being especially successful in criminal cases and in suits growing out of the land laws. His captivating manners and his striking eloquence made him a general favorite. His political career began almost immediately after his arrival at Lexington. A convention was to be elected to revise the constitution of Kentucky, and in the canvass preceding the election Clay strongly advocated a constitutional provision for the gradual emancipation of the slaves in the state; but the movement was not successful. He also participated vigorously in the agitation against the alien and sedition laws, taking position as a member of the Democratic Party. Several of his speeches, delivered in mass meetings, astonished the hearers by their beauty and force. In 1799 he married Lucretia Hart, daughter of a prominent citizen of Kentucky. In 1803 he was elected to a seat in the state legislature, where he excelled as a debater. In 1806 Aaron Burr passed through Kentucky, where he was arrested on a charge of being engaged in an unlawful enterprise dangerous to the peace of the United States. He engaged Clay's professional services, and Clay, deceived by Burr as to the nature of his schemes, obtained his release.
In the winter of 1806 Clay was appointed to a seat in the U. S. Senate to serve out an unexpired term. He was at once placed on various committees, and took an active part in the debates, especially in favor of internal improvements. In the summer of 1807 his county sent him again to the legislature, where he was elected speaker of the assembly. He opposed and defeated a bill prohibiting the use of the decisions of British courts and of British works on jurisprudence as authority in the courts of Kentucky. In December, 1808, he introduced resolutions expressing approval of the embargo laid by the general government, denouncing the British orders in council, pledging the general government the active aid of Kentucky in anything determined upon to resist British exactions, and declaring that President Jefferson was entitled to the thanks of the country. He offered another resolution, recommending that the members of the legislature should wear only clothes that were the product of domestic manufacture. This was his first demonstration in favor of the encouragement of home industry. About this resolution he had a quarrel with Humphrey Marshall, which led to a duel, in which both parties were slightly wounded. In the winter of 1809 Clay was again sent to the U. S. Senate to fill an unexpired term of two years. He made a speech in favor of encouraging home industries, taking the ground that the country should be enabled to produce all it might need in time of war, and that, while agriculture would remain the dominant interest, it should be aided by the development of domestic manufactures. He also made a report on a bill granting a right of pre-emption to purchasers of public lands in certain cases, and introduced a bill to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontier, a subject on which he expressed very wise and humane sentiments. During the session of 1810-’1 he defended the administration of Mr. Madison with regard to the occupation of West Florida by the United States by a strong historical argument, at the same time appealing, in glowing language, to the national pride of the American people. He opposed the renewal of the charter of the U. S. bank, notwithstanding Gallatin's recommendation, on the ground of the unconstitutionally of the bank, and contributed much to its defeat.
On the expiration of his term in the Senate, Clay was sent to the national House of Representatives by the Lexington District in Kentucky, and immediately upon taking his seat, 4 November, 1811, was elected speaker by a large majority. Not confining himself to his duties as presiding officer, he took a leading part in debate on almost all important occasions. The difficulties caused by British interference with neutral trade were then approaching a crisis, and Clay put himself at the head of the War Party in Congress, which was led in the second line by such voting statesmen as John C. Calhoun, William Lowndes, Felix Grundy, and Langdon Cheves, and supported by a strong feeling in the south and west. In a series of fiery speeches Clay advocated the calling out of volunteers to serve on land, and the construction of an efficient navy. He expected that the war with Great Britain would be decided by an easy conquest of Canada, and a peace dictated at Quebec. The Madison administration hesitated, but was finally swept along by the war furor created by the young Americans under Clay's lead, and war under the young Americans under Clay's lead, and war against Britain was declared in June, 1812. Clay spoke at a large number of popular meetings to fill volunteer regiments and to fire the national spirit. In Congress, while the events of the war were unfavorable to the United States in consequence of an utter lack of preparation and incompetent leadership, Clay vigorously sustained the administration and the war policy against the attacks of the federalists. Some of his speeches were of a high order of eloquence, and electrified the country. He was re-elected speaker in 1813. On 19 January, 1814, he resigned the speakership, having been appointed by President Madison a member of a commission, consisting of John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, to negotiate peace with Great Britain. The American commissioners met the commissioners of Great Britain at Ghent. in the Netherlands, and, after five months of negotiation, during which Mr. Clay stoutly opposed the concession to the British of the right of navigating the Mississippi and of meddling with the Indians on territory of the United States, a treaty of peace was signed, 21 December, 1814. From Ghent Clay went to Paris, and thence with Adams and Gallatin to London, to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Great Britain.
After his return to the United States, Mr. Clay declined the mission to Russia, offered by the administration. Having been elected again to the House of Representatives, he took his seat on December 4, 1815, and was again chosen speaker. He favored the enactment of the protective tariff of 1816, and also advocated the establishment of a U. S. bank as the fiscal agent of the government, thus reversing his position with regard to that subject. He now pronounced the bank constitutional because it was necessary in order to carry on the fiscal concerns of the government. During the same session he voted to raise the pay of representatives from $6 a day to $1,500 a year, a measure that proved unpopular, and his vote for it came near costing him his seat. He was, however, re-elected, but then voted to make the pay of representatives per diem of $8, which it remained for a long period. In the session of 1816-’ he, together with Calhoun, actively supported an internal improvement bill, which President Madison vetoed. In December, 1817, Clay was re-elected speaker. In opposition to the doctrine laid down by Monroe in his first message, that Congress did not possess, under the constitution, the right to construct internal improvements, Clay strongly asserted that right in several speeches. With great vigor he advocated the recognition of the independence of the Spanish American colonies, then in a state of revolution, and severely censured what he considered the procrastinating policy of the administration in that respect. In the session of 1818-’9 he criticised, in an elaborate speech, the conduct of General Jackson in the Florida Campaign, especially the execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister by Jackson's orders. This was the first collision between Clay and Jackson, and the ill feelings that it engendered in Jackson's mind were never extinguished. At the first session of the 16th Congress, in December, 1819, Clay was again elected speaker almost without opposition. In the debate on the treaty with Spain, by which Florida was ceded to the United States, he severely censured the administration for having given up Texas, which he held to belong to the United States as a part of the Louisiana purchase. He continued to urge the recognition of the South American colonies as independent republics.
In 1819-’20 he took an important part in the struggle in Congress concerning the admission of Missouri as a slave state, which created the first great political slavery excitement throughout the country. He opposed the “restriction” clause making the admission of Missouri dependent upon the exclusion of slavery from the state, but supported the compromise proposed by Senator Thomas, of Illinois, admitting Missouri with slavery, but excluding slavery from all the territory north of 30° 30', acquired by the Louisiana purchase. This was the first part of the Missouri compromise, which is often erroneously attributed to Clay. When Missouri then presented herself with a state constitution, not only recognizing slavery, but also making it the duty of the legislature to pass such laws as would be necessary to prevent free Negroes or mulattoes from coming into the state, the excitement broke out anew, and a majority in the House of Representatives refused to admit Missouri as a state with such a constitution. On Clay's motion, the subject was referred to a special committee, of which he was chairman. This committee of the house joined with a Senate committee, and the two unitedly reported in both houses a resolution that Missouri be admitted upon the fundamental condition that the state should never make any law to prevent from settling within its boundaries any description of persons who then or thereafter might become citizens of any state of the Union. This resolution was adopted, and the fundamental condition assented to by Missouri. This was Clay's part of the Missouri compromise, and he received general praise as “the great pacificator.”
After the adjournment of Congress, Clay retired to private life, to devote himself to his legal practice, but was elected to the 18th Congress, which met in December, 1823. and was again chosen speaker. He made speeches on internal improvements, advocating a liberal construction of constitutional powers, in favor of sending a commissioner to Greece, and in favor of the tariff law, which became known as the tariff of 1824, giving his policy of protection and internal improvements the name of the “American system.”
He was a candidate for the presidency at the election of 1824. His competitors were John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and William H. Crawford, each of whom received a larger number of electoral votes than Clay. But, as none of them had received a majority of the electoral vote, the election devolved upon the House of Representatives. Clay, standing fourth in the number of electoral votes received, was excluded from the choice, and he used his influence in the house for John Quincy Adams, who was elected. The friends of Jackson and Crawford charged that there was a corrupt understanding between Adams and Clay, and this accusation received color from the fact that Adams promptly offered Clay the portfolio of Secretary of State, and Clay accepted it. This was the origin of the “bargain and corruption ” charge, which, constantly repeated, pursued Clay during the best part of his public life, although it was disproved by the well-established fact that Clay, immediately after the result of the presidential election in 1824 became known, had declared his determination to use his influence in the house for Adams and against Jackson. As Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams, Clay accepted an invitation, presented by the Mexican and Colombian ministers, to send commissioners of the United States to an international congress of American republics, which was to meet on the Isthmus of Panama, to deliberate upon subjects of common interest. The commissioners were appointed, but the Panama Congress adjourned before they could reach the appointed place of meeting. In the course of one of the debates on this subject, John Randolph, of Roanoke, denounced the administration, alluding to Adams and Clay as a “combination of the Puritan and the blackleg.” Clay thereupon challenged Randolph to a duel, which was fought on 8 April, 1826, without bloodshed. He negotiated and concluded treaties with Prussia, the Hanseatic republics, Denmark, Colombia, Central America, and Austria. His negotiations with Great Britain concerning the colonial trade resulted only in keeping in force the conventions of 1815 and 1818. He made another treaty with Great Britain, extending the joint occupation of the Oregon country provided for in the treaty of 1818; another referring the differences concerning the northeastern boundary to some friendly sovereign or state for arbitration; and still another concerning the indemnity to be paid by Great Britain for slaves carried off by British forces in the war of 1812. As to his commercial policy, Clay followed the accepted ideas of the times, to establish between the United States and foreign countries fair reciprocity as to trade and navigation. He was made president of the American Colonization Society, whose object it was to colonize free Negroes in Liberia on the coast of Africa.
In 1828 Andrew Jackson was elected president, and after his inauguration Clay retired to his farm of Ashland, near Lexington, Kentucky. But, although in private life, he was generally recognized as the leader of the party opposing Jackson, who called themselves “National Republicans,” and later “Whigs,” Clay, during the years 1829-’31, visited several places in the south as well as in the state of Ohio, was everywhere received with great honors, and made speeches attacking Jackson's administration, mainly on account of the sweeping removals from office for personal and partisan reasons, and denouncing the nullification movement, which in the meantime had been set on foot in South Carolina. Yielding to the urgent solicitation of his friends throughout the country, he consented in 1831 to be a candidate for the U. S. Senate, and was elected. In December, 1831, he was nominated as the candidate of the National Republicans for the presidency, with John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, for the vice-presidency. As the impending extinguishment of the public debt rendered a reduction of the revenue necessary, Clay introduced in the Senate a tariff bill reducing duties on unprotected articles, but keeping them on protected articles, so as to preserve intact the “American system.” The reduction of the revenue thus effected was inadequate, and the anti-tariff excitement in the south grew more intense. The subject of public lands having, for the purpose of embarrassing him as a presidential candidate, been referred to the committee on manufactures, of which he was the leading spirit, he reported against reducing the price of public lands and in favor of distributing the proceeds of the lands' sales, after certain reductions, among the several states for a limited period. The bill passed the Senate, but failed to pass the house. As President Jackson, in his several messages, had attacked the U. S. bank. Clay induced the bank, whose charter was to expire in 1836, to apply for a renewal of the charter during the session of 1831-’2, so as to force the issue the presidential election. The bill renewing the charter passed both houses, but Jackson vetoed it, denouncing the bank in his message as a dangerous monopoly. In the presidential election Clay was disastrously defeated, Jackson receiving 219 electoral votes, and Clay only 49.
On 19 November, 1832, a state convention in South Carolina passed an ordinance nullifying the tariff laws of 1828 and 1832. On 10 December, President Jackson issued a proclamation against the nullifiers, which the governor of South Carolina answered with a counter-proclamation. On 12 February, 1833, Clay introduced, in behalf of union and peace, a compromise bill providing for a gradual reduction of the tariff until 1842, when it should be reduced to a horizontal rate of 20 per cent. This bill was accepted by the nullifiers, and became a law, known as the compromise of 1833. South Carolina rescinded the nullification ordinance, and Clay was again praised as the “great pacificator.” In the autumn of 1833, President Jackson, through the secretary of the treasury, ordered the removal of the public deposits from the U. S. bank. Clay, in December, 1833, introduced resolutions in the Senate censuring the president for having “assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the constitution and laws.” The resolutions were adopted, and President Jackson sent to the Senate an earnest protest against them, which was severely denounced by Clay. During the session of 1834-’5 Clay successfully opposed Jackson's recommendation that authority be conferred on him for making reprisals upon French property on account of the non-payment by the French government of an indemnity due to the United States. He also advocated the enactment of a law enabling Indians to defend their rights to their lands in the courts of the United States; also the restriction of the president's power to make removals from office, and the repeal of the four-years act. The slavery question having come to the front again, in consequence of the agitation carried on by the abolitionists, Clay, in the session of 1835-”6, pronounced himself favor of the reception by the Senate of anti-slavery petitions, and against the exclusion of anti-slavery literature from the mails. He declared, however, his opposition to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. With regard to the recognition of Texas as an independent state, he maintained a somewhat cold and reserved attitude. In the session of 1836-’7 he reintroduced his land bill without success, and advocated international copyright. His resolutions censuring Jackson for the removal of the deposits, passed in 1834, were, on the motion of Thomas H. Benton, expunged from the records of the Senate, against solemn protest from the Whig minority in that body.
Martin Van Buren was elected president in 1836, and immediately after his inauguration the great financial crisis of 1837 broke out. At an extra session of Congress, in the summer of 1837, he recommended the introduction of the sub-treasury system. This was earnestly opposed by Clay, who denounced it as a scheme to “unite the power of the purse with the power of the sword.” He and his friends insisted upon the restoration of the U. S. bank. After a struggle of three sessions, the sub-treasury bill succeeded, and the long existence of the system has amply proved the groundlessness of the fears expressed by those who opposed it. Clay strongly desired to be the Whig candidate for the presidency in 1840, but failed. The Whig national Convention, in December, 1839, nominated Harrison and Tyler. Clay was very much incensed at his defeat, but supported Harrison with great energy, making many speeches in the famous “log-cabin and hard-cider ” campaign. After the triumphant election of Harrison and Tyler, Clay declined the office of Secretary of State offered to him. Harrison died soon after his inauguration. At the extra session of Congress in the summer of 1841, Clay was the recognized leader of the Whig majority. He moved the repeal of the sub-treasury act, and drove it through both houses. He then brought in a bill providing for the incorporation of a new bank of the United States, which also passed, but was vetoed by President Tyler, 16 August, 1841. Another bank bill, framed to meet what were supposed to be the president's objections, was also vetoed. Clay denounced Tyler instantly for what he called his faithlessness to Whig principles, and the Whig Party rallied under Clay's leadership in opposition to the president. At the same session Clay put through his land bill, containing the distribution clause, which, however, could not go into operation because the revenues of the government fell short of the necessary expenditures. At the next session Clay offered an amendment to the constitution limiting the veto power, which during Jackson's and Tyler's administrations had become very obnoxious to him; and also an amendment to the constitution providing that the secretary of the treasury and the treasurer should be appointed by Congress; and a third forbidding the appointment members of Congress, while in office, to executive positions. None of them passed. On 31 March, 1842, Clay took leave of the Senate and retired to private life, as he said in his farewell speech, never to return to the Senate.
During his retirement he visited different parts the country, and was everywhere received with great enthusiasm, delivering speeches, in some of which he pronounced himself in favor not of a “high tariff,” but of a revenue tariff with incidental protection repeatedly affirming that the protective system had been originally designed only a temporary arrangement to be maintained until the infant industries should have gained sufficient strength to sustain competition with foreign manufactures. It was generally looked upon as certain that he would be the Whig candidate for the presidency in 1844. In the meantime the administration had concluded a treaty of annexation with Texas. In an elaborate letter, dated 17 April, 1844, known as the “Raleigh letter,” Clay declared himself against annexation, mainly because it would bring on a war with Mexico, because it met with serious objection in a large part of the Union, and because it would compromise the national character. Van Buren, who expected to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency, also wrote a letter unfavorable to annexation. On 1 May, 1844, the Whig national Convention nominated Clay by acclamation. The Democratic National Convention animated not Van Buren, but James K. Polk for the presidency, with George M. Dallas for the vice-presidency, and adopted a resolution recommending the annexation of Texas. A convention of anti-slavery men was held at Buffalo, New York, which put forward as a candidate for the presidency James G. Birney. The Senate rejected the annexation treaty, and the Texas question became the main issue in the presidential canvass. As to the tariff and the currency question, the platforms of the Democrats and Whigs differed very little. Polk, who had the reputation of being a free-trader, wrote a letter apparently favoring a protective tariff, to propitiate Pennsylvania, where the cry was raised. “Polk, Dallas, and the tariff of 1842.” Clay, yielding to the entreaties of southern Whigs, who feared that his declaration against the annexation of Texas might injure his prospects in the south, wrote another letter, in which he said that, far from having any personal objection to the annexation of Texas, he would be “glad to see it without dishonor, without war, with the common consent of the Union, and upon fair terms.” This turned against him many anti-slavery men in the north, and greatly strengthened the Birney movement. It is believed that it cost him the vote of the state of New York, and with it the election. It was charged, apparently upon strong grounds, that extensive election frauds were committed by the Democrats in the city of New York and in the state of Louisiana, the latter becoming famous as the Plaquemines frauds; but had Clay kept the anti-slavery element on his side, as it was at the beginning of the canvass, these frauds could not have decided the election. His defeat cast the Whig Party into the deepest gloom, and was lamented by his supporters like a personal misfortune.
Texas was annexed by a joint resolution which passed the two houses of Congress in the session of 1844-’5, and the Mexican War followed. In 1846, Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, moved, as an amendment to a bill appropriating money for purposes connected with the war, a proviso that in all territories to be acquired from Mexico slavery should be forever prohibited, which, however, failed in the Senate. This became known as the “Wilmot proviso.” One of Clay's sons was killed in the battle of Buena Vista. In the autumn of 1847, when the Mexican Army was completely defeated, Clay made a speech at Lexington, Kentucky, warning the American people of the dangers that would follow if they gave themselves up to the ambition of conquest, and declaring that there should be a generous peace, requiring no dismemberment of the Mexican republic, but “only a just and proper fixation of the limits of Texas.” and that any desire to acquire any foreign territory whatever for the purpose of propagating slavery should be “positively and emphatically” disclaimed. In February and March, 1848, Clay was honored with great popular receptions in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, and his name was again brought forward for the presidential nomination. But the Whig national Convention, which met on 7 June, 1848, preferred General Zachary Taylor as a more available man, with Millard Fillmore for the vice-presidency. His defeat in the convention was a bitter disappointment to Clay. He declined to come forward to the support of Taylor, and maintained during the canvass an attitude of neutrality. The principal reason he gave was that Taylor had refused to pledge himself to the support of Whig principles and measures, and that Taylor had announced his purpose to remain in the field as a candidate, whoever might be nominated by the Whig Convention. He declined, on the other hand, to permit his name to be used by the dissatisfied Whigs. Taylor was elected, the Free-Soilers, whose candidate was Martin Van Buren, having assured the defeat of the Democratic candidate, General Cass, in the state of New York. In the spring of 1849 a convention was to be elected in Kentucky to revise the state constitution, and Clay published a letter recommending gradual emancipation of the slaves. By a unanimous vote of the legislature assembled in December, 1848, Clay was again elected a U. S. Senator, and he took his seat in December, 1849.
By the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, New Mexico and California, including Utah, had been acquired by the United States. The discovery of gold had attracted a large immigration to California. Without waiting for an enabling act, the inhabitants of California, in convention, had framed a constitution by which slavery was prohibited, and applied to Congress for admission as a state. The question of the admission of California as a free state, and the other question whether slavery should be admitted into or excluded from New Mexico and Utah, created the intensest excitement in Congress and among the people. Leading southern men threatened a dissolution of the Union unless slavery were admitted into the territories acquired from Mexico. On 29 January, 1850, Clay, who was at heart in favor of the Wilmot proviso, brought forward in the Senate a “comprehensive scheme of compromise,” which included (1) the speedy admission of California as a state; (2) the establishment of territorial governments in New Mexico and Utah without any restriction as to slavery; (3) a settlement of the boundary-line between Texas and New Mexico substantially as it now stands; (4) an indemnity to be paid to Texas for the relinquishment of her claims to a large portion of New Mexico; (5) a declaration that slavery should not be abolished in the District of Columbia; (6) the prohibition of the slave-trade in the district; and (7) a more effective fugitive-slave law. These propositions were, on 18 April, 1850, referred to a special committee, of which Clay was elected chairman. He reported three bills embodying these different subjects, one of which, on account of its comprehensiveness, was called the “omnibus bill.” After a long struggle, the omnibus bill was defeated; but then its different parts wore taken up singly, and passed, covering substantially Clay's original propositions. This was the compromise of 1850. In the debate Clay declared in the strongest terms his allegiance to the Union as superior to his allegiance to his state, and denounced secession as treason. The compromise of 1850 added greatly to his renown; but, although it was followed by a short period of quiet, it satisfied neither the south nor the north. To the north the fugitive-slave law was especially distasteful. In January, 1851, forty-four senators and Representatives, Clay's name leading, published a manifesto declaring that they would not support for any office any man not known to be opposed to any disturbance of the matters settled by the compromise. In February, 1851, a recaptured fugitive slave having been liberated in Boston, Clay pronounced himself in favor of conferring upon the president extraordinary powers for the enforcement of the fugitive-slave law, his main object being to satisfy the south, and thus to disarm the disunion spirit.
After the adjournment of Congress, on 4 March, 1851, his health being much impaired, he went to Cuba for relief, and thence to Ashland. He peremptorily enjoined his friends not to bring forward his name again as that of a candidate for the presidency. To a committee of Whigs in New York he addressed a public letter containing an urgent and eloquent plea for the maintenance of the Union. He went to Washington to take his seat in the Senate in December, 1851, but, owing to failing health, he appeared there only once during the winter. His last public utterance was a short speech addressed to Louis Kossuth, who visited him in his room, deprecating the entanglement of the United States in the complications of European affairs. He favored the nomination of Fillmore for the presidency by the Whig national Convention, which met on 16 June, a few days before his death. Clay was unquestionably one of the greatest orators that America ever produced; a man of incorruptible personal integrity; of very great natural ability, but little study; of free and convivial habits; of singularly winning address and manners; not a cautious and safe political leader, but a splendid party chief, idolized by his followers. He was actuated by a lofty national spirit, proud of his country, and ardently devoted to the Union. It was mainly his anxiety to keep the Union intact that inspired his disposition to compromise contested questions. He had in his last hours the satisfaction of seeing his last great work, the compromise of 1850, accepted as a final settlement of the slavery question by the national conventions of both political parties. But only two years after his death it became evident that the compromise had settled nothing. The struggle about slavery broke out anew, and brought forth a Civil War, the calamity that Clay had been most anxious to prevent, leading to general emancipation, which Clay would have been glad to see peaceably accomplished. He was buried in the cemetery at Lexington, Kentucky, and a monument consisting of a tall column surmounted by a statue was erected over his tomb. The accompanying illustrations show his birthplace and tomb. See “Life of Henry Clay,” by George D. Prentice (Hartford, Connecticut, 1831); “Speeches,” collected by R. Chambers (Cincinnati, 1842); “Life and Speeches of Henry Clay,” by J. B. Swaim (New York, 1843); “Life of Henry Clay,” by Epes Sargent (1844, edited and completed by Horace Greeley, 1852); “Life and Speeches of Henry Clay,” by D. Mallory (1844; new ed., 1857); “Life and Times of Henry Clay,” by Reverend Calvin Colton (6 vols., containing speeches and correspondence, 1846-’57; revised ed., 1864); and “Henry Clay,” by Carl Schurz (2 vols., Boston, 1887). — His brother, Porter, clergyman, born in Virginia in March, 1779; died in 1850. He moved to Kentucky in early life, where he studied law, and was for a while auditor of public accounts. In 1815 he was converted and gave himself to the Baptist ministry, in which he was popular and useful. — Henry's son, Henry, lawyer, born in Ashland, Kentucky, 10 April, 1811; killed in action at Buena Vista, Mexico, 23 February, 1847, was graduated at Transylvania University in 1828, and at the U.S. Military Academy in 1831. He resigned from the army and studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1833, and was a member of the Kentucky legislature in 1835-’7. He went to the Mexican War in June, 1846, as lieutenant-colonel of the 2d Kentucky Volunteers, became extra aide-de-camp to General Taylor, 5 October, 1846, and was killed with a lance while gallantly leading a charge of his regiment. — Another son, James Brown, born in Washington, D. C., 9 November, 1817; died in Montreal, Canada, 26 January, 1864, was educated at Transylvania University, was two years in a counting-house in Boston, 1835-’6, emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, which then contained only 8,000 inhabitants, settled on a farm, then engaged in manufacturing for two years in Kentucky, and afterward studied law in the Lexington law-school, and practised in partnership with his father till 1849, when he was appointed chargé d'affaires at Lisbon by President Taylor. In 1851-’3 he resided in Missouri, but returned to Kentucky upon becoming the proprietor of Ashland, after his father's death. In 1857 he was elected to represent his father's old district in Congress. He was a member of the peace Convention of 1861, but afterward embraced the secessionist cause, and died in exile. [Appleton’s 1900].
Biography from National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans:
“If all this be as is now represented, he has acquired fame enough.”
IN every country, an active politician must occupy a conspicuous place in the public eye. In every country, and in our own, especially, the more conspicuous he is rendered by his talents, energy, decision of character, or peculiar principles, the more will he become the favorite of some, and the object of reproach to others. Where men and principles must be tried at the bar of public opinion, as in our country, or in Great Britain, and we may now add, in France, it is impossible to prevent this result. Nor, is it desirable that it should be otherwise, saving, the bitterness and coarseness of invective, with which political opponents are too often assailed, in the eager strife of parties. To such an extent does this prevail in our land of free presses, that it is to moderate politicians often a subject of deep mortification and regret. To most of those who have been the prominent men of our country these remarks are applicable, and yet, no sooner are they removed from the stage of action, than their country remembers their services with a just regard. Is it right that public men should struggle through a life of anxious toil and unfaltering patriotism, with only the hope of posthumous justice to their integrity and their talents? Certainly not;—we shall therefore make our selections, alike from the distinguished living and the illustrious dead.
Among the names which belong to, and are interwoven with, the history of the United States, that of HENRY CLAY stands in bold relief. Like many others in our country, he has been the builder of his own fortunes; having risen from poverty and obscurity to professional eminence and political dignity, by the energetic and assiduous exercise of his intellectual powers.
HENRY CLAY was born on the 12th of April, 1777, in Hanover county, Virginia. His father, who was a respectable clergyman, died while HENRY was quite young; in consequence of which, he received no other education, than could be acquired at a common school. He was placed at an early age in the office of Mr. Tinsley, clerk of the high court of chancery, at Richmond, where his talents and amiable deportment won for him, the friendship of some of the most respectable and influential gentlemen in the state. At nineteen, he commenced the study of the law, and was admitted to practice when twenty years of age. He soon after moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and continued his studies there about a year longer; during which time he practised public speaking in a debating society. In his first attempt he was much embarrassed, and saluted the president of the society with the technical phrase, gentlemen of the jury; but gaining confidence as he proceeded, he burst the trammels of his youthful diffidence, and clothing his thoughts in appropriate language, gave utterance to an animated and eloquent address. He soon obtained an extensive and lucrative practice; and the reputation which the superiority of his genius acquired, was maintained by his legal knowledge and practical accuracy.
Mr. CLAY’S political and professional career began nearly at the same time; but as we cannot give the details of his varied and busy life within the limits of this sketch, we shall only mark the most prominent points, particularly, where he has taken a stand in support of his favorite principles and measures.
In 1798, when the people of Kentucky were preparing to frame a constitution for the state, a plan was proposed for the gradual emancipation of slaves. Mr. CLAY zealously exerted his talents in favor of it; he wrote for the journals, and declaimed at the public meetings, but his efforts failed of success.
The next great question of a public character in which he took a part, found him arrayed with the popular party, in vindicating the freedom of the press, and in opposition to the sedition law, which was viewed by one political party, as an attempt to control it. His speeches on the subject are said to have exhibited much of that energy of character and power of eloquence, which have since distinguished him on all great public occasions.
In 1803, he was elected a member of the legislature, and soon took rank among the ablest men of the state. In 1806, General Adair resigned his seat in the Senate of the United States, and Mr. CLAY was elected to fill the vacancy for one year. He made his debut, in a speech in favor of the erection of a bridge over the Potomac at Georgetown, which is said to have decided the question in favor of the measure, and is the first of his efforts in support of his favorite principle of internal improvement. On his return to Kentucky, he was reëlected to the state legislature, and at the next session was chosen speaker, by a large majority. He held that station for several years, during which he frequently took a part in the debates. He particularly distinguished himself at the first session after his return from Congress, by a powerful speech in defence of the common law. A resolution had been introduced to forbid the reading of any British decision, or elementary work on law, in the Kentucky courts. The prejudices of the people, and of a majority of the assembly, were believed to be in favor of the motion; Mr. CLAY moved an amendment, the effect of which was, to exclude those British decisions only, which are of a subsequent date to the declaration of independence. The prejudices against which he contended, were removed by his masterly exposition of the subject. The common law, which viewed in the darkness of ignorance, appeared mysterious and inexplicable; locked up, as was supposed, in a thousand musty volumes; was shown to be simple and easy of comprehension, by the application of a few plain principles. On this occasion, by one of the most extraordinary efforts of his genius, and a brilliant exhibition of his legal knowledge and oratorical powers, Mr. CLAY succeeded in carrying his amendment, by an almost unanimous vote.
In 1809, Mr. CLAY was again elected to the United States’ Senate for two years, in the place of Mr. Thurston. At this time, the country had arrived at one of those periods, when the strength of its institutions was to be tried, by the menaces and impositions of foreign powers. The policy of the United States has ever been, a noninterference in the affairs of Europe; but notwithstanding the neutrality of the government, to such a height had the animosity of the belligerent European powers arrived, that each strove to injure the other, even at the expense of justice, and by a violation of our neutral rights. Several expedients had been resorted to, by which it was hoped an appeal to arms might be averted, our commercial rights respected, and our national honor remain untarnished; but at the same time a just apprehension was felt, that after all, our pacific measures might prove abortive, and that it was necessary to prepare for war. To this end, a bill was brought into the Senate, to appropriate a sum of money for the purchase of cordage, sail cloth, and other articles; to which an amendment was offered giving the preference to American productions and manufactures. It was on this occasion Mr. CLAY first publicly appeared as the advocate of domestic manufactures, and of the protective policy which has since been called “the American system.” Mr. CLAY also participated in other important questions before the Senate, and amongst them, that respecting the title of the United States to Florida, which he sustained with his usual ability.
His term of service in the Senate having expired, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and in the winter of 1811 took his seat in that body, of which he was chosen speaker, by a vote that left no doubt of the extent of his influence, or of the degree of respect entertained for his abilities. This station he continued to hold until 1814. Previous to the time when the preparations for war, before alluded to, became a subject of interest, Mr. CLAY had been rather a participator in the discussion of affairs, than a leader, or originator of any great measures, such as have since characterized the national policy; but from that period, he is to be held responsible as a principal, for the impulse which he has given to such of them, as will probably be left to the calm judgment of posterity. As early as 1811, we find him in his place advocating the raising of a respectable military force. War he conceived inevitable,—that in fact, England had begun it already; and the only question was, he said, whether it was to be “a war of vigor, or a war of languor and imbecility.” “He was in favor of the display of an energy correspondent to the feelings and spirit of the country.” Shortly afterward, with equal fervor, he recommended the gradual increase of the navy; a course of national policy, which has fortunately retained its popularity, and still remains unchanged.
In 1814, Mr. CLAY was appointed one of the commissioners, who negotiated the treaty of Ghent. When he resigned the speaker’s chair on the eve of his departure to Europe, he addressed the house in a speech, “which touched every heart in the assembly, and unsealed many a fountain of tears”; to which the house responded by passing a resolution, almost unanimously, thanking him for the impartiality, with which he had administered the arduous duties of his office. In the spring, after the termination of the negotiations at Ghent, he went to London with two of his former colleagues, Messrs. Adams and Gallatin; and there entered upon a highly important negotiation, which resulted in the commercial convention, which has been made the basis of most of our subsequent commercial arrangements with foreign powers. On his return to his own country, he was every where greeted with applause, and was again elected to the House of Representatives in Congress, of which he continued to be a member until 1825, when he accepted the appointment of Secretary of State under President Adams.
One of the great results of our foreign policy, after the war, was the recognition of the independence of the Spanish colonies. On this subject, Mr. CLAY entered with all his heart and soul, and mind and strength,—he saw “the glorious spectacle of eighteen millions of people struggling to burst their chains and to be free”; and he called to mind the language of the venerated father of his country: “Born in a land of liberty, my anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes, are irresistibly excited, whensoever, in my country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom.” We regret that we cannot enter into the details of his efforts in that cause; it must suffice to notice, that at first they were not successful, yet he was not discouraged, but renewed them the following year, when he carried the measure through the House of Representatives. The president immediately thereafter, appointed five ministers plenipotentiary to the principal Spanish American states. While on this subject, we must not permit the occasion to pass without remarking; that much as we admire those British statesmen, who are bending the powers of their noble minds and splendid talents, to the great cause of human liberty and human happiness, we cannot allow them, nor one of them, to appropriate to himself the honor of having “called a new world into existence.” That honor belongs not to George Canning, as a reference to dates will show. If there be glory due to any one mortal man more than to others, for rousing the sympathies of freemen for a people struggling to be free, that glory is due to HENRY CLAY; although he has never had the vanity to say so himself. His exertions won the consent of the American people, to sustain the president in the decisive stand which HE took, when the great European powers contemplated an intervention on behalf of Spain; and it was THAT which decided Great Britain, in the course which she pursued. The Spanish American states have acknowledged their gratitude to Mr. CLAY by public acts; his speeches have been read at the head of their armies; and his name will find as durable a place in the history of the South American republics, as in the records of his native land.
In the domestic policy of the government, there have been two points, to which Mr. CLAY’S attention has been particularly directed, since the late war; both of them, in some degree, resting their claims on the country, from circumstances developed by that war. We are not about to discuss them, but merely to indicate them as his favorite principles, to support which his splendid talents have been directed. These are internal improvements, and the protection of domestic manufactures by means of an adequate tariff. With regard to these measures, the statesmen, and the people of the country, have been much divided,—sometimes, there has been a difference of opinion as to the expediency of them, and sometimes, constitutional objections have been advanced. He has been, however, their steadfast champion, and has been supposed to have connected them, with the settled policy of the country. How far this may prove true, time only can decide.
The right, claimed by South Carolina, to nullify an Act of Congress, the warlike preparations made by that state to resist compulsion, and the excitement throughout the country, occasioned by the conflict of interests and opinions, and the hopes and fears of the community, will never be forgotten by the present generation. A Civil War and the dissolution of the union, or the destruction of the manufacturing interests, which had grown up to an immense value under the protective system; for a time seemed the only alternatives. During the short session of Congress in 1832-3, various propositions were made to remove the threatened evils, by a rëadjustment of the tariff; but the time passed on in high debate, and the country looked on in anxious hope, that some measure would be devised, by which harmony and security might be restored. Two weeks only remained to the end of the session, and nothing had been effected; when Mr. CLAY, “the father of the American system,” himself brought in the olive branch. On the 12th of February, he arose in his place in the Senate, and asked leave to introduce a bill, to modify the various acts, imposing duties on imports; he at the same time addressed the Senate in explanation of his course, and of the bill proposed. “The basis,” Mr. CLAY said, “on which I wish to found this modification, is one of time; and the several parts of the bill to which I am about to call the attention of the Senate, are founded on this basis. I propose to give protection to our manufactured articles, adequate protection, for a length of time, which, compared with the length of human life, is very long, but which is short, in proportion to the legitimate discretion of every wise and parental system of government—securing the stability of legislation, and allowing time for a gradual reduction, on one side; and on the other, proposing to reduce the rate of duties to that revenue standard for which the opponents of the system have so long contended.”
The bill was read, referred to a committee, reported on, and brought to its final passage in the Senate within a few days. In the meantime, it had been made the substitute for a bill under discussion, in the House of Representatives, and was adopted in that body by a large majority and sent to the Senate, where it had its final reading on the 26th, and when approved by the president became a law.
We should not, in this place, have alluded to the course pursued by one of the states, to effect a modification of the tariff, had it not been so inseparably connected with, what we doubt not, will be hereafter considered one of the most important acts of Mr. CLAY’S public life. “He expressly declared that he thought the protective system in extreme danger; and that it would be far better for the manufacturers, for whose interests he felt the greatest solicitude, to secure themselves by the bill, than take the chances of the next session of Congress, when, from the constitution of both houses, it was probable a worse one would be passed.” On the other hand, he urged the proposition “as a measure of mutual concession,—of peace, of harmony. He wanted to see no Civil War; no sacked cities; no embattled armies; no streams of American blood shed by American arms.” We trust, that the crisis is passed, and that we shall continue forever a united, prosperous, and happy people.
The tariff has had its effect so far, that a new era has commenced, and it is very probable, that the revenue of the country will finally be settled down to a standard, only sufficient, to meet the expenses of the government. In connection with this subject, we wish to preserve the following extract from the speech of Mr. Verplanck, in January, 1833, in support of a bill to reduce the tariff, reported by him to Congress:
“The last war left the nation laboring under a weight of public debt. The payment of that war debt was one of the great objects of the arrangement of our revenue system at the peace, and it was never lost sight of in any subsequent arrangement of our tariff system. Since 1815, we have annually derived a revenue from several sources, but by far the largest part from duties on imports, of sometimes twenty, sometimes twenty-five, and recently thirty-two and thirty three millions of dollars a year.
“Of this sum, ten millions always, but of late a much larger proportion, has been devoted to the payment of the interest and principal of the public debt. At last that debt has been extinguished. The manner in which those burthens were distributed under former laws, has been, heretofore, a subject of complaint and remonstrance. I do not propose to inquire into the wisdom or justice of those laws. The debt has been extinguished by them—let us be grateful for the past.”
Many other interesting incidents are presented in the public life of Mr. CLAY, to which we shall only advert; such, as the part he took in the Missouri question; in the election of Mr. Adams; on the subject of sending a commissioner to Greece; on the colonization of the Negroes; and more recently, his labors in favor of rechartering the United States Bank, and for the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands for the purposes of internal improvement, education, &c.
Mr. CLAY received from Mr. Madison the successive offers of a mission to Russia, and a place in the cabinet; and from Mr. Monroe a situation in his cabinet, and the mission to England; all of which he declined.
On the great Cumberland road, there has been erected a large and beautiful monument, surmounted by a figure of Liberty, and inscribed “HENRY CLAY.” These are evidences of the estimation in which Mr. CLAY has been held by his contemporaries; others might be adduced, but they would be superfluous.
Twice he has been nominated for the presidency, but without success. We trust that he is too firm in his republican principles to murmur, and that his friends will in some measure be consoled, by reflections similar to that, which we have adopted as a motto to this article.
Source: National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 1839, Vol. 1.
CLAYTON, John Middleton, jurist, born in Dagsborough, Sussex County, Del., 24 July, 1796; died in Dover, Del., 9 November, 1856. He was the eldest son of James Clayton (a descendant of Joshua of that name, who came to America with William Penn) and Sarah Middleton, of Virginian ancestry. The pecuniary disasters consequent upon the war of 1812 reduced his father from affluence to comparative poverty, and it was only by making the greatest sacrifices that he was able to send his son to college. He was graduated at Yale in 1815, studied law at the Litchfield Law-School, began to practise in 1818, and soon attained eminence in is profession. In 1824 he was sent to the Delaware Legislature, and was Secretary of State. In 1829 he was sent to the U. S. Senate, and in 1831 appointed a member of the convention to revise the constitution of Delaware. In 1835 he was again returned to the Senate as a Whig, but resigned in 1837 to become Chief Justice of Delaware, an office which he held for three years. From 1845 till 1849 he was again U. S. Senator, and at the latter date became Secretary of State under President Taylor. He was elected a senator for the third time, and served in that capacity from March, 1851, until his death. He early distinguished himself in the Senate by a speech the debate on the Foote resolution, which, thou merely relating to the survey of the public lands, introduced into the discussion the whole question of nullification. His argument in favor of paying the claims for French spoliations was also a fine instance of senatorial oratory. One of his most noted speeches delivered in the Senate was that made in 1855 against the message of President Pierce vetoing the act ceding public lands for an insane asylum. While Secretary of State he negotiated in 1850 the treaty with the British government, known as the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, which guaranteed the neutrality and encouragement of lines of interoceanic travel across the American isthmus. In 1851 he zealously defended that treaty in the Senate and vindicated President Taylor's administration. From 1844 Mr. Clayton cultivated a tract of land near Newcastle, which in a few years he made one of the most fruitful estates in that fertile region. Mr. Clayton was always accessible, and was noted for his genial disposition and brilliant conversational powers. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. 646.
CLAYTON, Powell, governor of Arkansas, born in Bethel, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 7 August, 1833. He was educated in the common schools and in an academy at Bristol, Pennsylvania, studied civil engineering at Wilmington, Delaware, and in 1859 was chosen engineer and surveyor of Leavenworth, Kansas. When the Civil War began he entered the National Army is captain in the 1st Kansas Infantry, 29 May, 1861. He was appointed, 27 February, 1862, lieutenant-colonel of the Kansas cavalry, and was made colonel on 30 March, 1862. On 6 May, 1863, he commanded a successful expedition from Helena, Arkansas, to the White River to break up a band of guerillas and destroy Confederate stores, and later an expedition from Pine Bluff in March, 1864, which inflicted severe loss on the enemy. On 1 August, 1864, he was commissioned a brigadier-general. He settled in Arkansas as a planter after the war, was elected governor, and entered upon the office in June, 1868. He was U.S. Senator from 25 March, 1871, till 3 March, 1877. Afterward he resided at Eureka Springs, and became president of the Eureka improvement Company. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 646.
CLEBURNE (clebborn), Patrick Ronayne, soldier, born in county Cork, Ireland, 17 March, 1828; killed in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee,30 November, 1864. He was a descendant of William Cleyborne, the colonial secretary of Virginia in 1626. His mother was a daughter of Pat rick Ronayne of Annebrook, County Cork, descended from that Maurice Ronayne who obtained from King Henry IV, "a grant of the rights of Englishmen." He was intended for the profession of medicine, but becoming discouraged while a student at Trinity College he ran away and enlisted in the 41st Regiment of foot After three years’ service he came to the United States, settled at Helena, Arkansas, where he studied law, and was in successful practice at the beginning of the Civil War. He joined the Confederate Army as a private, planned the capture of the U.S. Arsenal in Arkansas in March, 1861, was made captain, and soon afterward promoted to colonel. In March, 1862, he was made a brigadier-general, and at Shiloh commanded the 2d Brigade of the 3d Corps, and was commended for valor and ability. He was wounded at the battle of Perryville, and was made a major-general in December, 1862. He commanded a division of the right wing at Murfreesboro and at Chickamauga, and distinguished himself in command of the rear-guard at Missionary Ridge, in November, 1863, and received the thanks of the Confederate Congress for his defence of Ringgold Gap. He distinguished himself in numerous engagements. At Jonesboro he covered the retreat of Hood's defeated army, and commanded a Corps at Franklin, where he was killed after two lines of the National works had been carried by the troops under his command. He was a favorite with the Irish Brigade, and was called “the Stonewall of the West.” He instituted the Order of the Southern Cross, and was among the first to advise the use of colored troops in the armies of the Confederacy. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 647-648.
CLEMENS, Jeremiah, statesman, born in Huntsville, Alabama, 28 December, 1814; died there, 21 May, 1865. He was educated at La Grange College and the University of Alabama, where he was graduated in 1833, studied law at Transylvania, and was admitted to the bar in 1834. In 1838 he was appointed U. S. marshal for the northern District of Alabama, and in 1839, 1840, and 1841 was elected to the state legislature. In 1842 he went to Texas as lieutenant-colonel, having raised a company of volunteer riflemen. On his return, he again served in the legislature in 1843–4, and in the latter year as presidential elector. He was appointed major of the 13th U. S. Infantry, 3 March, 1847, made lieutenant-colonel of the 9th U.S. Infantry, 16 July, and discharged 20 July, 1848. He was then appointed chief of the depot of purchases in Mexico. From 1849 till 1853 he represented Alabama in the U. S. Senate, and was again a presidential elector in 1856. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and became editor of the Memphis “Eagle and Enquirer” in 1859. He was a member of the secession Convention in Alabama, but protested against its action; yet he subsequently gave way to the popular tide, and accepted office under the Confederacy. In 1864, however, he had returned to his former allegiance, advocated the re-election of Mr. Lincoln, and defended his policy. Mr. Clemens attained eminence at the bar while still young, and in the Senate took high rank as an able and eloquent debater. He was the author of novels, which passed through several editions, entitled Bernard Lyle (Philadelphia, 1853); “Mustang Gray” (1857): “The Rivals, a Tale of the Times of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton" (1859); and “Tobias Wilson, a Tale of the Great Rebellion” (1865). He was engaged in the preparation of a history of the war, giving an insight into the character, causes, and conduct of the war in northern Alabama, but it was left unfinished at his death. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, p. 648.
CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne, author (better known under his pen-name, Mark Twain), born in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri, 30 November, 1835. He was educated only in the village school at Hannibal, Missouri, was apprenticed to a printer at the age of thirteen, and worked at his trade in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York. In 1851 he became a pilot on Mississippi River steamboats, and in 1861 went to Nevada as private secretary to his brother, who had been appointed secretary of the territory. Afterward he undertook mining in Nevada, and became in 1862 city editor of the Virginia City “Enterprise.” In reporting legislative proceedings from Carson he signed his letters “Mark Twain,” a name suggested by the technical phraseology of Mississippi navigation, where, in sounding a depth of two fathoms, the leadsman calls out to “mark twain!” In 1865 he went to San Francisco, and was for five months a reporter on the “Morning Call,” then tried gold-mining in the placers of Calaveras County, and, having no success, returned to San Francisco and resumed newspaper work. He spent six months in the Hawaiian Islands in 1866. After his return he delivered humorous lectures in California and Nevada, and then returned to the east and published “The Jumping Frog, and other Sketches” (New York, 1867). The same year he went with a party of tourists to the Mediterranean, Egypt, and Palestine, and on his return published an amusing journal of the excursion, entitled “The Innocents Abroad” (Hartford, 1869), of which 125,000 copies were sold in three years. He next edited the Buffalo, New York, “Express.” After his marriage he settled in Hartford, Connecticut He delivered witty lectures in various cities, contributed sketches to the “Galaxy” and other magazines, and in 1872 went to England on a lecturing trip. While he was there, a London publisher issued an unauthorized collection of his writings in four volumes, in which were included papers attributed to him that he never wrote. The same year appeared in Hartford, Connecticut, “Roughing It,” containing sketches of Nevada, Utah, California, and the Sandwich Islands; and in 1873, in conjunction with Charles Dudley Warner, a story entitled “The Gilded Age,” which was dramatized and produced in New York in 1874. This comedy, with John T. Raymond in the leading part, Colonel Mulberry Sellers, had an extraordinary success. Mr. Clemens subsequently published “Sketches, Old and New”; “Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” a story of boy-life in Missouri (1876); “Punch, Brothers, Punch” (1878); “A Tramp Abroad” (Hartford, 1880); “The Stolen White Elephant” (Boston, 1882); “The Prince and the Pauper” (1882); and “Life on the Mississippi” (1883). In 1884 he established in New York the publishing-house of C. L. Webster & Co., which issued in 1885 a new story entitled “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” a sequel to “Tom Sawyer,” and brought out in that and the following year General U. S. Grant's “Memoirs,” the share in the profits accruing to Mrs. Grant from which publication, under a contract signed with General Grant before his death, amounted, in October, 1886, to $350,000, which was paid to her in two checks, of $200,000 and $150,000. Mark Twain's works have been republished in England, and translations of the principal ones in Germany. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1887, Vol. I, p. pp.648-649.
CLEVELAND, Channcey Fitch, lawyer and statesman, born in Hampton, Connecticut, 16 February, 1799. He received a common-school education, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1819. He was elected to the legislature in 1826, and served four terms, again elected in 1832, and was state attorney the same year; again sat in the legislature in 1830-'6, of which body he was twice chosen speaker. He was elected governor of Connecticut in 1842, and re-elected in 1843. He returned to the legislature for the eleventh time in 1847, and in 1849 was elected to Congress as a Democrat, and re-elected in 1851. He was a presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1860, and at two or three other elections, and was a member of the Peace Congress of 1861.—His brother, Mason, died in 1855, was state senator, comptroller, and commissioner of the school fund of Connecticut.—Edward Spicer, son of Mason, was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut in 1886. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 651.
CLEVELAND, Grover, twenty-second and twenty-fourth president of the United States, was born in Caldwell, Essex County, New Jersey, 18 March, 1837. On the paternal side he is of English origin. Moses Cleveland emigrated from Ipswich, county of Suffolk, England, in 1635, and settled at Woburn, Massachusetts, where he died in 1701. His grandson was Aaron, whose son, Aaron, was great-great-grandfather of Grover. The second Aaron's grandson, William, was a silversmith and watchmaker at Norwich, Connecticut His son, Richard Falley Cleveland, was graduated at Yale in 1824, was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1829, and in the same year married Anne Neal, daughter of a Baltimore merchant of Irish birth. These two were the parents of Grover Cleveland. The Presbyterian parsonage at Caldwell, where Mr. Cleveland was born, was first occupied by the Reverend Stephen Grover, in whose honor the boy was named; but the first name was early dropped, and he has been known as Grover Cleveland. When he was four years old his father accepted a call to Fayetteville, near Syracuse, New York, where the son had an academy schooling, and afterward was a clerk in a country store. The removal of the family to Clinton, Oneida County, gave Grover additional educational advantages in the academy there. In his seventeenth year he became a clerk and an assistant teacher in the New York institution for the blind in New York City, in which his elder brother, William, an alumnus of Hamilton College, now a Presbyterian clergyman at Forest Port, New York, was then a teacher. In 1855 Grover left Holland Patent, in Oneida County, where his mother then resided, to go to the west in search of employment. On his way he stopped at Black Rock, now a part of Buffalo, where his uncle, Lewis F. Allen, induced him to remain and aid him in the compilation of a volume of the “American Herd-Book,” receiving for six weeks' service $60. He afterward assisted in the preparation of several other volumes of this work, and the preface to the fifth volume (1861) acknowledges his services. In August, 1855, he secured a place as clerk and copyist for the law firm of Rogers, Bowen & Rogers, in Buffalo, began to read Blackstone, and in the autumn of that year was receiving four dollars a week for his work. He was admitted to the bar in 1859, but for three years longer he remained with the firm that first employed him, acting as managing clerk at a salary of $600, soon advanced to $1,000, a part of which he devoted to the support of his widowed mother, who died in 1882. He was appointed assistant district-attorney of Erie County, 1 January, 1863, and held the office for three years. At this time strenuous efforts were being made to bring the Civil War to a close. Two of Cleveland's brothers were in the army, and his mother and sisters were dependent largely upon him for support. Unable to enlist, he borrowed money to send a substitute, and it was not till long after the war that he was able to repay the loan. In 1865, at the age of twenty-eight, he was the Democratic candidate for district attorney, but was defeated by the Republican candidate, his intimate friend, Lyman K. Bass. He then became a law partner of Isaac V. Vanderpool, and in 1869 became a member of the firm of Lanning, Cleveland & Folsom. He continued a successful practice till 1870, when he was elected sheriff of Erie County At the expiration of his three years' term he formed a law partnership with his personal friend and political antagonist, Lyman K. Bass, the firm being Bass, Cleveland & Bissell, and, after the forced retirement from failing health of Mr. Bass, Cleveland & Bissell. The firm was prosperous, and Cleveland attained high rank as a lawyer, by the simplicity and directness of his logic and expression and thorough mastery of his cases.
In 1881 he was nominated as Democratic candidate for mayor of Buffalo, and was elected by the largest majority ever given to a candidate in that city prior to that time. In the same election the Republican state ticket was carried in Buffalo by an average majority of over 1,600; but Cleveland had a partial Republican, independent, and “reform” movement support. He entered upon the office, 1 January, 1882. He soon became known as the “veto mayor,” using that prerogative fearlessly in checking unwise, illegal, or extravagant expenditure of the public money, and enforcing strict compliance with the requirements of the state constitution and the city charter. By vetoing extravagant appropriations he saved the city nearly $1,000,000 in the first six months of his administration. He opposed giving $500 of the taxpayers' money to the Firemen's Benevolent Society, on the ground that such appropriation was not permissible under the terms of the state constitution and the charter of the city. He vetoed a resolution diverting $500 from the Fourth of July appropriation to the observance of Memorial day for the same reason, and immediately subscribed one tenth of the sum wanted for the purpose. His admirable, impartial, and courageous administration won tributes to his integrity and ability from the press and the people irrespective of party.
On the second day of the Democratic state Convention at Syracuse, 22 September, 1882, on the third ballot, by a vote of 211 out of 382, Grover Cleveland was nominated for governor, in opposition to Charles J. Folger, then secretary of the U. S. treasury, nominated for the same office three days before by the Republican state Convention at Saratoga. In his letter accepting this nomination Mr. Cleveland wrote: “Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made, and within the limits of a constitution which they have established. . . . We may, I think, reduce to quite simple elements the duty which public servants owe, by constantly bearing in mind that they are put in place to protect the rights of the people, to answer their needs as they arise, and to expend for their benefit the money drawn from them by taxation.”
In the canvass that followed, Cleveland had the advantage of a united Democratic Party, and in addition the support of the entire independent press of the state. The election in November was the most remarkable in the political annals of New York. Both gubernatorial candidates were men of character and of unimpeachable public record. Judge Folger had honorably filled high state and federal offices. But there was a wide-spread disaffection in the Republican ranks largely due to the belief that the nomination of Folger (nowise obnoxious in itself) was accomplished by means of improper and fraudulent practices in the nominating convention and by the interference of the federal administration. What were called the “half-breeds” largely stayed away from the polls, and in a total vote of 918,894 Cleveland received a plurality of 192,854 over Folger, and a majority over all, including greenback, prohibition, and scattering, of 151,742. He entered upon his office 1 January, 1883, in the words of his inaugural address, “fully appreciating his relations to the people, and determined to serve them faithfully and well.” With very limited private means, Governor Cleveland lived upon and within his official salary, simply and unostentatiously, keeping no carriage, and daily walking to and from his duties at the capitol.
Among the salient acts of his administration were his approval of a bill to submit to the people a proposition to abolish contract labor in the prisons, which they adopted by an overwhelming majority; his veto of a bill that permitted wide latitude in the investments of savings banks; and the veto of a similar bill allowing like latitude in the investment of securities of fire insurance companies. He vetoed a bill that was a bold effort to establish a monopoly by limiting the right to construct certain street railways to companies heretofore organized, to the exclusion of such as should hereafter obtain the consent of property-owners and local authorities. His much-criticised veto of the “five-cent-fare” bill, which proposed to reduce the rates of fare on the elevated roads in New York City from ten cents to five cents for all hours in the day, was simply and solely because he considered the enactment illegal and a breach of the plighted faith of the state. The general railroad law of 1850 provides for an examination by state officers into the earnings of railroads before the rates of fare can be reduced, and as this imperative condition had not been complied with previous to the passage of the bill, he vetoed it. He vetoed the Buffalo fire department bill because he believed its provisions would prevent the “economical and efficient administration of an important department in a large city,” and subject it to partisan and personal influences. In the second year of his administration he approved the bill enacting important reforms in the appointment and administration of certain local offices in New York City. His state administration was only an expansion of the fundamental principles that controlled his official action while mayor of Buffalo. Its integrity, ability, and success made him a prominent candidate for president.
The Democratic National Convention met at Chicago, 8 July, 1884. Three days were devoted to organization, platform, and speeches in favor of candidates. In the evening of 10 July a vote was taken, in which, out of 820 votes, Grover Cleveland received 392. A two-third vote (557) was necessary to a nomination. On the following morning, in the first ballot, Cleveland received 683 votes, and, on motion of Thomas A. Hendricks (subsequently nominated for the vice-presidency), the vote was made unanimous. He was officially notified of his nomination by the convention committee at Albany, 29 July, and made a modest response, promising soon to signify in a more formal manner his acceptance of the nomination, which he did by letter on 18 August, 1884. In it he said, among other things:
“When an election to office shall be the selection by the voters of one of their number to assume for a time a public trust, instead of his dedication to the profession of politics; when the holders of the ballot, quickened by a sense of duty, shall avenge truth betrayed and pledges broken, and when the suffrage shall be altogether free and uncorrupted, the full realization of a government by the people will be at hand. And of the means to this end, not one would, in my judgment, be more effective than an amendment to the constitution disqualifying the president from re-election. . . .
“A true American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor, and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. Contented labor is an element of national prosperity. Ability to work constitutes the capital and the wage of labor, the income of a vast number of our population, and this interest should be jealously protected. Our working-men are not asking unreasonable indulgence, but, as intelligent and manly citizens, they seek the same consideration which those demand who have other interests at stake. They should receive their full share of the care and attention of those who make and execute the laws, to the end that the wants and needs of the employers and the employed should alike be subserved, and the prosperity of the country, the common heritage of both, be advanced. As related to this subject, while we should not discourage the immigration of those who come to acknowledge allegiance to our government, and add to our citizen population, yet, as a means of protection to our working-men, a different rule should prevail concerning those who, if they come or are brought to our land, do not intend to become Americans, but will injuriously compete with those justly entitled to our field of labor. . . .
“In a free country the curtailment of the absolute rights of the individual should only be such as is essential to the peace and good order of the community. The limit between the proper subjects of governmental control, and those which can be more fittingly left to the moral sense and self-imposed restraint of the citizen, should be carefully kept in view. Thus, laws unnecessarily interfering with the habits and customs of any of our people which are not offensive to the moral sentiments of the civilized world, and which are consistent with good citizenship and the public welfare, are unwise and vexatious. The commerce of a nation to a great extent determines its supremacy. Cheap and easy transportation should therefore be liberally fostered. Within the limits of the constitution, the general government should so improve and protect its natural water-ways as will enable the producers of the country to reach a profitable market. . . . If I should be called to the chief magistracy of the nation by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens, I will assume the duties of that high office with a solemn determination to dedicate every effort to the country's good, and with a humble reliance upon the favor and support of the Supreme Being, who I believe will always bless honest human endeavor in the conscientious discharge of public duty.”
The canvass that followed was more remarkable for the discussion of the personal characters and qualifications of the candidates than for the prominent presentation of political issues. In the election (4 November) four candidates were in the field, viz.: Grover Cleveland, of New York, Democratic; James G. Blaine, of Maine, Republican; Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts, labor and greenback; John P. St. John, of Kansas, prohibition. The total popular vote was 10,067,610, divided as follows: Cleveland, 4,874,986; Blaine, 4,851,981; Butler, 175,370; St. John, 150,369; blank, defective, and scattering, 14,904. Of the 401 electoral votes, Cleveland received 219, and Blaine, 182.
In December the Executive Committee of the national civil service reform league addressed a letter to President-elect Cleveland commending to his care the interest of civil-service reform. In his reply, dated 25 December, he declared that “a practical reform in the civil service was demanded”; that to it he was pledged by his “conception of true democratic faith and public duty,” as well as by his past utterances. He added: “There is a class of government positions which are not within the letter of the civil-service statute, but which are so disconnected with the policy of an administration that the removal therefrom of present incumbents, in my opinion, should not be made during the terms for which they were appointed, solely on partisan grounds, and for the purpose of putting in their places those who are in political accord with the appointing power. But many now holding such positions have forfeited all just claim to retention, because they have used their places for party purposes in disregard of their duty to the people, and because, instead of being decent public servants, they have proved themselves offensive partisans and unscrupulous manipulators of local party management. The lessons of the past should be unlearned, and such officials, as well as their successors, should be taught that efficiency, fitness, and devotion to public duty are the conditions of their continuance in public place, and that the quiet and unobtrusive exercise of individual political rights is the reasonable measure of their party service. . . . Selections for office not embraced within the civil-service rules will be based upon sufficient inquiry as to fitness, instituted by those charged with that duty, rather than upon persistent importunity or self-solicited recommendations on behalf of candidates for appointment.”
When the New York legislature assembled, 6 January, 1885, Mr. Cleveland resigned the governorship of the state. On 27 February was published a letter of the president-elect in answer to one signed by several members of Congress, in which he indicated his opposition to an increased coinage of silver, and suggested a suspension of the purchase and coinage of that metal as a measure of safety, in order to prevent a financial crisis and the ultimate expulsion of gold by silver. His inaugural address was written during the ten days previous to his setting out for Washington. On 4 March he went to the capital in company with President Arthur, and after the usual preliminaries had been completed he delivered his inaugural address from the eastern steps of the capitol. in the presence of a vast concourse. At its conclusion the oath of office was administered by Chief-Justice Waite. He then reviewed from the White House the inaugural parade, a procession numbering more than 100,000 men. In the address he urged the people of all parties to lay aside political animosities in order to sustain the government. He declared his approval of the Monroe doctrine as a guide in foreign relations, of strict economy in the administration of the finances, of the protection of the Indians and their elevation to citizenship, of the security of the freedmen in their rights, and of the laws against Mormon polygamy and the importation of a servile class of foreign laborers. In respect to appointments to office, he said that the people demand the application of business principles to public affairs, and also that the people have a right to protection from the incompetency of public employees, who hold their places solely as a reward for partisan service, and those who worthily seek public employment have a right to insist that merit and competency shall be recognized instead of party subserviency or the surrender of honest political belief. On the following day he sent to the Senate the nominations for his cabinet officers as follows: Secretary of State, Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware; secretary of the treasury, Daniel Manning, of New York; Secretary of War, William C. Endicott, of Massachusetts; secretary of the Navy, William C. Whitney, of New York; postmaster-general, William F. Vilas, of Wisconsin; attorney-general, Augustus H. Garland, of Arkansas; secretary of the interior, Lucius Q. C. Lamar, of Mississippi. The nominations were promptly confirmed. On 12 March, 1885, President Cleveland withdrew from the Senate, which met in extra session to take action on appointments and other business connected with the new administration, the Spanish reciprocity and Nicaragua Canal treaties, in order that they might be considered by the new executive. On 13 March he issued a proclamation announcing the intention of the government to remove from the Oklahoma country, in Indian territory, the white intruders who sought to settle there, which was done shortly afterward by a detachment of soldiers. By his refusal at once to remove certain officials for the purpose of putting in their place members of his own party, he came into conflict with many influential men, who advocated the speedy removal of Republican office-holders and the appointment of Democrats, in order to strengthen the party as a political organization. At the same time the Republicans and some of the civil-service reformers complained of other appointments as not being in accord with the professions of the president. “Offensive partisanship” was declared by the president to be a ground for removal, and numerous Republican functionaries were displaced under that rule, while the term became a common phrase in political nomenclature. When disturbances threatened to break out between the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes in Indian territory, General Sheridan, at the request of the president, visited that country in order to study the cause of the troubles. He reported that the threatened outbreak was the result of the occupation of Indian lands by cattle-owners who leased vast areas from the Indians at a merely nominal rental. The legal officers of the government decided that these leases were contrary to law and invalid. The president thereupon issued a proclamation warning all cattle companies and ranchmen to remove their herds from Indian territory within forty days, and enforced the order, notwithstanding their strenuous objection.
In his message at the opening of the first session of the 49th Congress on 8 December, 1885, President Cleveland recommended increased appropriations for the consular and diplomatic service, the abolition of duties on works of art, the reduction of the tariff on necessaries of life, the suspension of compulsory silver coinage, the improvement of the navy, the appointment of six general Indian commissioners, reform in the laws under which titles to the public lands are required from the government, more stringent laws for the suppression of polygamy in Utah, an act to prohibit the immigration of Mormons, the extension of the principle of civil-service reform, and an increase in the salaries of the commissioners, and the passage of a law to determine the order of presidential succession in the event of a vacancy. The Senate, sitting in secret session for the consideration of the president's appointments, called for the papers on file in the departments relating to the causes for which certain officers had been removed. Upon the refusal of the president to submit the documents to their inspection, a dispute ensued, and threats were uttered by Republican senators that no appointments should be confirmed unless their right to inspect papers on the official files was conceded. On 1 March, 1886, he sent a long message to the Senate, in which he took the ground that under the constitution the right of removal or suspension from office lay entirely within the power and discretion of the president; that sections of the tenure-of-office act requiring him to report to the Senate reasons for suspending officers had been repealed; and that the papers that the Senate demanded to see were not official, but were of a personal and private nature. Eventually most of the appointments of the president were ratified. During the first fiscal year of his administration the proportion of postmasters throughout the country removed or suspended was but little larger than had often followed a change of administration in the same political party.
In his second annual message he called the attention of Congress to the large excess of the revenues of the country beyond the needs of the government, and urged such a reduction as would release to the people the increasing and unnecessary surplus of national income, by such an amendment of the revenue laws as would cheapen the price of the necessaries of life and give freer entrance, to such imported materials as could be manufactured by American labor into marketable commodities. He recommended the erection of coast defences on land, and the construction of modern ships of war for the navy; argued for the civilization of the Indians by the dissolution of tribal relations, the settlement of their reservations in severalty, and the correction of abuses in the disposition of the public lands. He urged the adoption of liberal general pension laws to meet all possible cases, and protested against special legislation for a favored few, as an injustice to the many who were equally deserving.
He approved a bill to regulate the questions arising between the railroads and the people, and appointed an interstate commerce commission under its provisions. A number of bills providing for the erection of public buildings in various parts of the country were vetoed, on the ground that they were not required by the public business; and while he approved 186 private pension bills, he vetoed 42 for various reasons; some being covered by general laws, others were to his mind unworthy and fraudulent, and others were not so favorable to the claimant as the general laws already passed. A dependent pension bill, permitting a pension of $12 per month to all soldiers and sailors who served in the war for the Union, upon the ground of service and present disability alone, whether incurred in the service or since, was vetoed, on the ground that a sufficient time had not elapsed since the war to justify a general service pension; that its terms were too uncertain and yielding to insure its just and impartial execution; that the honest soldiers of the country would prefer not to be regarded as objects of charity, as was proposed; and that its enactment would put a wholly uncalled-for and enormous annual burden upon the country for very many years to come. The veto was sustained by Congress. Vetoing an appropriation for the distribution of seeds to drought-stricken counties of Texas, he said:
“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”
As he had done while governor, so now as president, Mr. Cleveland exercised the veto power with great freedom. This was particularly true during the session of Congress which ended 5 August, 1886, when of 987 bills which passed both houses he vetoed 115.
In October, 1886, accompanied by Mrs. Cleveland and several personal friends, the president made a tour of the west and south in response to invitations from those sections, which involved about 5,000 miles of railroad travel and occupied three weeks. He was enthusiastically received by the people, and made speeches at Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Atlanta, and other cities. In December, 1887, departing from custom, he devoted his annual message to the presentation of a single subject, namely, the reduction of the tariff. He advocated a radical modification of the existing policy by the adoption of a law framed with a view to the ultimate establishment of the principles of free trade. The Republicans immediately took up the issue thus presented, and the question at once became a predominant issue of the canvass. Cleveland was unanimously renominated by the National Democratic Convention in St. Louis on 5 June, 1888. The efforts of both parties were directed chiefly to the doubtful states of Indiana, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Cleveland carried all the southern states, and in the north New Jersey and Connecticut, while of the doubtful states General Harrison received the votes of New York and Indiana. Of the electoral votes Harrison received 233, Cleveland 168. The popular vote for Cleveland numbered 5,540,329, that for Harrison 5,439,8??.
At the close of his administration, on 4 March, 1889, Mr. Cleveland retired to New York City, where he re-entered upon the practice of his profession. As a private citizen he continued to exert a powerful influence upon his party and public sentiment by frequent expression of his opinions on important public questions. These expressions were always based upon an implicit belief that the integrity and justice of the people would not tolerate demagogism, but demanded of any leader the truth fearlessly spoken. Conscious of a strong public demand that he should again be the Democratic candidate for president, and of the personal consequence to him of his every word and act, he constantly stated his views with the courage and candor which had characterized his whole public life. A notable instance of this was his famous letter of 10 February, 1891, addressed to a public meeting in New York City, which had been called to protest against a bill then pending in Congress for the free and unlimited coinage of silver. There was grave danger that the bill would be enacted. Behind it was a strong public sentiment, including probably a majority in Congress of his own party. His opposition insured, it was believed, the failure of the bill, but also of all chance for his renomination. Yet, impelled by a sense of public duty which would not consider personal consequences, he declared his belief “that the greatest peril would be invited by the adoption of the scheme”; and he denounced “the dangerous and reckless experiment of free, unlimited and independent silver coinage.” The bill was defeated. Notwithstanding the opposition and predictions of many leaders of his party, the demand for his renomination steadily increased. The great cause of tariff reform, which as president he had championed and which had carried the country in the elections of 1890, was evidently to be the principal issue in the campaign of 1892, and he was the natural and logical leader. At the National Democratic Convention which met in Chicago, 22 June, 1892, he was nominated on the first ballot, receiving more than two-thirds of the votes of the convention, though bitterly and unanimously opposed by the delegation from his own state. In his speech of acceptance delivered to a great audience in Madison Square Garden, New York, and later in his formal letter of acceptance of 26 September, 1892, he emphasized the need of tariff reform, and made it the leading issue between the parties. In his letter he said:
“Tariff reform is still our purpose. Though we oppose the theory that tariff laws may be passed having for their object the granting of discriminating and unfair governmental aid to private ventures, we wage no exterminating war against any American interests. We believe a readjustment can be accomplished, in accordance with the principles we profess, without disaster or demolition. We believe that the advantages of freer raw material should be accorded to our manufacturers, and we contemplate a fair and careful distribution of necessary tariff burdens, rather than the precipitation of free trade.”
He denounced “the attempt of the opponents of democracy to interfere with and control the suffrage of the states through federal agencies” as “a design, which no explanation can mitigate, to reverse the fundamental and safe relations between the people and their government.” He advocated “sound and honest money,” declaring: “Whatever may be the form of the people's currency, national or state whether gold, silver, or paper it should be so regulated and guarded by governmental action, or by wise and careful laws, that no one can be deluded as to the certainty and stability of its value. Every dollar put into the hands of the people should be of the same intrinsic value or purchasing power. With this condition absolutely guaranteed, both gold and silver can safely be utilized upon equal terms in the adjustment of our currency.” He also urged “an honest adherence to the letter and spirit of civil service reform,” “liberal consideration for our worthy veteran soldiers and for the families of those who have died,” but insisting that “ur pension roll should be a roll of honor, uncontaminated by ill desert and unvitiated by demagogic use.”
After a most vigorous campaign and a thorough discussion of important principles and measures, the Democratic Party won an overwhelming victory, reversing the electoral vote of 1888 and largely increasing its popular plurality, and carrying both the Senate and House of Representatives. The ticket carried twenty-three states, including the doubtful states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana, and for the first time in years in a presidential contest Illinois and Wisconsin. The popular vote was 5,553,142 for Cleveland, 5,186,931 for Harrison, 1,030,128 for Weaver, of the “people's party,” and 268,361 for Bidwell, the prohibitionist. In the Electoral College Mr. Cleveland received 276 votes. General Harrison 145, and Mr. Weaver 23. On 4 March, 1893, Mr. Cleveland was for a second time inaugurated president, being the first instance in this country of a president re-elected after an interim. He immediately nominated, and the Senate promptly confirmed as his cabinet Walter Q. Gresham, of Indiana, Secretary of State; John G. Carlisle, of Kentucky, secretary of the treasury; Daniel S. Lament, of New York, Secretary of War; Richard Olney, of Massachusetts, attorney-general; Wilson S. Bissell, of New York, postmaster-general; Hilary A. Herbert, of Alabama, secretary of the Navy; Hoke Smith, of Georgia, secretary of the interior; and J. Sterling Morton, of Nebraska, secretary of agriculture. Judge Gresham died on 28 May, 1895, having held office but a few months, and was succeeded by the attorney-general, Mr. Olney, whose place was taken by Judson Harmon, of Ohio. A little later postmaster-general Bissell resigned and was succeeded by William L. Wilson, of Virginia. In August, 1896, Secretary Smith resigned and the president appointed in his place David R. Francis, of Missouri.
Grave and difficult questions at once confronted his administration. A treaty for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the territory of the United States had, on 14 February, 1893, been concluded between President Harrison and commissioners representing a provisional government of the islands, and had been transmitted to the Senate on the day following, but had not yet been acted upon. The provisional government had been established on 17 January, 1893, by the overthrow of the constitutional ruler of the islands. Serious doubts existed as to the authority and validity of the provisional government and as to the part taken by our government, through our ministers and troops, in aiding its establishment. President Harrison, in his message to the Senate submitting the treaty, declared that “the overthrow of the monarchy was not in any way promoted by this government.” On the other hand, the queen and her ministers filed with the treaty a protest, asserting that when she yielded to the provisional government she had yielded to the superior force of the United States. In order that this vital question of fact might be impartially investigated and determined, President Cleveland at once withdrew the treaty from the Senate and despatched James H. Blount, of Georgia, as a special commissioner to make full examination and report.
On 18 December, 1893, in a special message to Congress, he transmitted the report of the commissioner with all the evidence and papers connected with the case. In his message, after reviewing all the facts and confirming the finding of the commissioner, he declared that he believed “that a candid and thorough examination of the facts will force the conviction that the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States. . . . The lawful government of Hawaii was overthrown without the drawing of a sword or the firing of a shot, by a process every step of which, it may safely be asserted, is directly traceable to and dependent for its success upon the agency of the United States acting through its diplomatic and naval representatives.”
Referring to the principles which should govern the case, he said: “I suppose that right and justice should determine the path to be followed in treating this subject. If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial extension or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our government and the behaviour which the conscience of our people demands of their public servants. . . .
“ A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond, a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities; and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened of nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States cannot properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it cannot allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States cannot fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation. . . .
“These principles apply to the present case with irresistible force when the special conditions of the queen's surrender of her sovereignty are recalled. She surrendered not to the provisional government, but to the United States. She surrendered not absolutely and permanently, but temporarily and conditionally until such time as the facts can be considered by the United States. . . .
“ By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people require we should endeavor to repair.”
He concluded by informing Congress that he should not again submit the treaty of annexation to the Senate; that he had instructed our minister “to advise the queen and her supporters of his desire to aid in the restoration of the status existing before the lawless landing of the U. S. forces at Honolulu on 16 January last, if such restoration could be effected upon terms providing for clemency as well as justice to all parties concerned”; and he commended the subject “to the extended powers and wide discretion of Congress” for a solution “consistent with American honor, integrity, and morality.”
These proposals of the president met with strong opposition in Congress, and in February, 1894, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations made a report upholding Minister Stevens in his course with relation to the revolution. Previous to this, in December, 1893, Mr. Willis, the U. S. minister, had formally announced the president's policy to President Dole, who had returned a formal refusal to give up the government in accordance with that policy, at the same time denying the right of Mr. Cleveland to interfere. On 7 February, 1894, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 177 to 75 a resolution upholding Mr. Cleveland's course and condemning annexation, but a similar resolution was tabled in the Senate, 36 to 18, on 29 May, and on 31 May a resolution was adopted against interference by the United States. On 4 July, 1894, the constitution of the republic of Hawaii was formally proclaimed by the revolutionary government, and Mr. Dole was declared president until December, 1900. The U. S. Senate passed a resolution favoring the recognition of the new republic, and thus the matter practically passed out of Mr. Cleveland's hands.
This was not the only question of foreign policy that was forced upon the administration. Early in 1895 an insurrection broke out on the island of Cuba. Mr. Cleveland at once took measures against violation of the neutrality laws, and in his message in December he appealed for the observation of strict neutrality as a “plain duty.” Sympathy with the insurgents was wide-spread, however, and it became increasingly difficult to detect filibustering expeditions, and still more so to indict and convict those guilty of violations of neutrality. The administration was blamed in Spain for supposed failure to enforce the law, and in the United States for attempting to enforce it too stringently. Strong efforts were made to induce the administration to recognize the insurgents as belligerents, and in April, 1896, a resolution in favor of such recognition passed both houses of Congress. Mr. Cleveland disregarded these resolutions as being an attempt to invade the prerogative of the executive, and Secretary Olney stated publicly that the administration regarded them merely as “an expression of opinion on the part of a number of eminent gentlemen.” Besides the resolutions just referred to others were introduced at various times providing for intervention, for special investigation, and for recognition of the Cuban republic. On 3 June, 1896, Mr. Cleveland sent Fitzhugh Lee to Havana as consul-general in place of Ramon O. Williams, and it was generally believed that General Lee was expected to act in some sense as a special commissioner of the president, to report to him on the state of affairs in the island. Many expected that the appointment would be only a preliminary to intervention, but the administration, though instructing General Lee to guard the rights of American residents, continued to watch for filibustering expeditions and to intercept them when this was possible; and in July, 1890, the president issued a second proclamation of neutrality, repeating in more explicit terms the one that had been put forth in 1895. Relations with Spain continued to require delicate management during the whole of the administration, the more notable events being the firing on the American steamer “Allianca” by a Spanish gunboat, for which apology was ultimately made by Spain, the condemnation to death of the crew of the alleged filibustering schooner “Competitor,” which was finally suspended upon representation that the prisoners had not received the trial by civil tribunal to which they were entitled by treaty, and the settlement by Spain, on 14 September, 1895, of the long-standing claim of 1,500,000 pesos, as indemnity for the condemnation to death, in 1870, of Antonio Mora, a naturalized American citizen, and the confiscation of his estates. It was charged by the enemies of the administration that this payment was made in pursuance of a secret agreement by which the United States bound itself to vigilant action in the suppression of filibustering.
But the most conspicuous event in the relations of the administration with foreign countries was undoubtedly President Cleveland's Venezuela message, the act most highly praised as well as the most severely condemned of his whole public career. In his message to Congress on 2 December, 1895, Mr. Cleveland called attention to the long-standing boundary dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela, and to the efforts of the U. S. government to induce the disputants to settle it by arbitration. Previously, in July, Secretary Olney, in a despatch to the American ambassador in London, had called attention to the peculiar interest of the United States in the dispute, owing to the relation of that dispute to the Monroe doctrine, and again urging arbitration. On 26 November Lord Salisbury returned an answer in which he denied that the interests of the United States were necessarily concerned in such disputes, and refused to arbitrate except in regard to territory lying to the west of the Schomburgh line a line surveyed by Great Britain in 1841-'4.
These despatches were sent to Congress on 17 December together with a special message in which Mr. Cleveland stated that, as Great Britain had refused to arbitrate the dispute, it now became the duty of the United States to determine the boundary line by diligent inquiry, and asked for a special appropriation to defray the expenses of a commission to be appointed by the executive for that purpose. This commission was to report without delay. “When such report is made and accepted,” the message went on, “it will, in my opinion, be the duty of the United States to resist by every means in its power, as a willful aggression upon its rights and interests, the appropriation by Great Britain of any lands or the exercise of governmental jurisdiction over any territory which, after investigation, we have determined of right to belong to Venezuela.”
This message caused great excitement both in this country and Great Britain, being regarded as equivalent to a threat of war. The president's course, however, was almost unanimously upheld by both parties in Congress, which immediately authorized the appointment of a boundary commission, and this commission was immediately constituted by the appointment of Justice David J. Brewer, of the U. S. supreme court; Chief-Justice Alvey, of the court of appeals of the District of Columbia; Andrew D. White, of New York; Frederick R. Coudert, of New York; and Daniel C. Gilman, president of Johns Hopkins University.
The commission began at once to take testimony and accumulated a vast amount of data, but before it was prepared to make its formal report, the excitement due to the message had subsided on both sides of the Atlantic, and an agreement was reached through diplomatic channels by which Great Britain bound herself to arbitrate her dispute with Venezuela, thus terminating the incident. The conclusion of this controversy was widely regarded as the first formal acquiescence by a European power in the Monroe doctrine, or, at any rate, in the application of that doctrine to warrant the exercise by the United States of virtual protection over the smaller American states. The Venezuelan arbitration treaty was signed at Washington by Sir Julian Pauncefote for England and Minister Andrade for Venezuela, on 2 February According to its provisions, President Cleveland designated as arbitrator, on behalf of the United States, Justice Brewer, of the supreme court, while the Venezuelan government named Chief-Justice Fuller, and Great Britain appointed Lord Herschell and Justice Collins.
Some minor events in the relations of the administration with foreign governments were as follows: In 1896 great sympathy was excited throughout the country by the Armenian massacres, and in Congress many efforts were made to bring about the active interference of the United States in Turkish affairs, either on broad humanitarian grounds or because of specific cases of injuries suffered by American missionaries. It was believed also that the United States should have a war ship at Constantinople, and when Turkey refused to grant to this country the privilege of sending an armed ship through the Dardanelles, there were many rumors of an impending attempt at a forcible passage. The administration, however, continually denied any such intention, and, although the “Bancroft,” a small war vessel, originally intended for a practice-ship, was sent to the Mediterranean, as was believed, that she might be in readiness to act as a guardship should she be required to do so, no occasion arose for her use, the American Squadron in Turkish waters, larger than for many years previous, being such as to compel proper treatment of American citizens.
Owing to the repeated efforts, especially in the Pacific states, to restrict Chinese immigration, laws had been passed by Congress, which were agreed to by China in a special treaty concluded at Washington, 17 March, 1894. By this treaty Chinese laborers were prohibited entering the country, and those already residing in the United States were required to be registered. On 3 May, 1894, the time fixed by Congress for this registration expired. There was great objection to this feature of the law, and large numbers of Chinese had failed to register. The law provided that all such should be deported, but finally the administration decided that as no means had been provided for this purpose no steps should be taken to carry out the deportation clause.
The seal-fishery question, which it had been hoped was settled by the Paris tribunal, continued to come in different forms before the administration. President Cleveland had urged in one of his messages that Congress should sanction the payment of $425,000, agreed upon between Secretary Gresham and the British minister as compensation for Canadian vessels seized unlawfully by the U. S. authorities, but Congress failed to appropriate the amount, and the claims remained unsettled. The customary yearly proclamations against poaching were issued, but, owing to the inadequacy of the provisions for its prevention adopted by the Paris tribunal, the seal herd continued to decrease.
To pass from foreign to domestic affairs, the unsettled financial state of the country during a large part of Mr. Cleveland's second term first demands notice. On 8 August, 1893, the president convened Congress in special session because, as stated in his message of that date, of “the existence of an alarming and extraordinary business situation, involving the welfare and prosperity of all our people,” and to the end that “through a wise and patriotic exercise of the legislative duties . . . present evils may be mitigated and dangers threatening the future may be averted.” The country was in the midst of a financial crisis, largely due, it was believed, to past unsound legislation, under which the gold reserve had been diminishing, silver accumulating, and expenditures exceeding revenue. Confidence had become impaired and credit shaken. Business interests and the conservative sentiment of the country demanded the repeal of the provisions of the Act of14 July, 1890 (popularly known as the Sherman act), which required the monthly purchase of four and one-half million ounces of silver and the issue of treasury notes in payment therefor. Such repeal the president strongly recommended, declaring that “our unfortunate financial plight is not the result of untoward events, nor of conditions related to our natural resources; nor is it traceable to any of the afflictions which frequently check natural growth and prosperity,” but is “principally chargeable to Congressional legislation touching the purchase and coinage of silver by the general government.” Reviewing such legislation, he said: “The knowledge in business circles among our own people that our government cannot make its fiat equivalent to intrinsic value, nor keep inferior money on a parity with superior money by its own independent efforts, has resulted in such a lack of confidence at home in the stability of currency values that capital refuses its aid to new enterprises, while millions are actually withdrawn from the channels of trade and commerce, to become idle and unproductive in the hands of timid owners. Foreign investors, equally alert, not only decline to purchase American securities, but make haste to sacrifice those which they already have.” He insisted that “the people of the United States are entitled to a sound and stable currency, and to money recognized as such on every exchange and in every market of the world. Their government has no right to injure them by financial experiments opposed to the policy and practice of other civilized states, nor is it justified in permitting an exaggerated and unreasonable reliance on our national strength and ability to jeopardize the soundness of the people's money.”
The house promptly, and by a large majority, repealed the obnoxious provisions. In the Senate a strong and determined minority resisted the repeal, and, taking advantage of the unlimited debate there permitted, delayed action for many weeks. In the heat of the contest a compromise was practically agreed upon in the Senate, which was defeated only by the firm opposition of the president. He insisted upon unconditional repeal, which was finally enacted 1 November, 1893.
Soon after, one of the suggested measures of compromise, which provided among other things for the immediate coinage of so much of the silver bullion in the treasury as represented the seigniorage (declared to be $55,156,681), was embodied in a bill which passed both houses of Congress. This bill the president vetoed as “ill-advised and dangerous.” He said: “Sound finance does not commend a further infusion of silver into our currency at this time unaccompanied by further adequate provision for the maintenance in our treasury of a safe gold reserve.”
At the first regular session of the fifty-third Congress, opened 4 December, 1893, the question of tariff revision was at once considered. In his message of that date the president, after reviewing the work and needs of the various departments of government, dwelt with special emphasis on the necessity of immediately undertaking this important reform.
“Manifestly, if we are to aid the people directly through tariff reform, one of its most obvious features should be a reduction in present tariff charges upon the necessaries of life. The benefits of such a reduction would be palpable and substantial, seen and felt by thousands who would be better fed and better clothed and better sheltered. . . .
“Not less closely related to our people's prosperity and well-being is the removal of restrictions upon the importation of the raw materials necessary to our manufactures. The world should be open to our national ingenuity and enterprise. This cannot be while federal legislation, through the imposition of high tariff, forbids to American manufacturers as cheap materials as those used by their competitors.”
A tariff bill, substantially following the lines suggested by the president and providing among other things for free wool, coal, iron ore, and lumber, was framed by the committee on ways and means, and, with the addition of free sugar and an income tax, passed the house on 1 February, 1894. In the Senate the bill was amended in many items, and generally in the direction of higher duties. After five months of prolonged discussion the bill, as amended, passed the Senate by a small majority, all the Democrats voting for it except Senator Hill, of New York. It was then referred to a conference committee of both houses to adjust the differences between them. A long and determined contest was there waged, principally over the duties upon coal, iron ore, and sugar. It was understood that a small group of Democratic senators had, contrary to the express wishes and pledges of their party and by threats of defeating the bill, forced higher duties in important schedules. While the bill was pending before the conference committee the president, in a letter to Mr. Wilson, the chairman of the ways and means committee, which later was read to the house, strongly urged adherence to the position which the house had taken.
The house, however, finally receded from its position in the belief that any other course would defeat or long delay any reduction of the tariff, and that the business interests of the country demanded an end to the conflict. The bill, as amended, passed both houses, and at midnight of 27 August, 1894, became a law without the signature of the president. In a published letter of the same date he gave his reasons for withholding his approval. While he believed the bill was a vast improvement over existing conditions, and would certainly lighten many tariff burdens which rested heavily on the people, he said: “I take my place with the rank and file of the Democratic Party who believe in tariff reform and well know what it is, who refuse to accept the results embodied in this bill as the close of the war, who are not blinded to the fact that the livery of democratic tariff reform has been stolen and worn in the service of republican protection, and who have marked the places where the deadly blight of treason has blasted the councils of the brave in their hour of might. The trusts and combinations the communism of pelf whose machinations have prevented us from reaching the success we deserve, should not be forgotten nor forgiven.”
The close of the year 1894 was marked by financial depression, by a larger deficit than had been expected, and by a decline in the revenue. Although the Sherman act had been repealed, no progress had been made with the scheme presented by Secretary Carlisle for reducing the paper currency and providing for an adequate reserve. The reserve was threatened twice, and the president was obliged to make use of the power given under the resumption acts, by issuing $50,000,000 worth of five-per-cent ten-year bonds for the purchase of gold. In his message to the last session of the 53d Congress he stated that he should employ his borrowing power “whenever and as often as it becomes necessary to maintain a sufficient gold reserve and in abundant time to save the credit of our country and make good the financial declarations of our government.”
In February, 1895, the gold reserve had fallen to $41,000,000, and Mr. Cleveland asked Congress for permission to issue three-per-cent bonds payable in gold. This being denied him, he issued four-per-cent thirty-year bonds redeemable in coin, to the amount of $62,000,000. In June, 1895, the supreme court decided by a majority of one that the income tax that had been imposed by the Wilson bill was unconstitutional, and the treasury thus lost a source of revenue that it had been estimated would yield $30,000,000 yearly. In his message of December, 1895, the president recommended a general reform of the banking and currency laws, including the retirement and cancellation of the greenbacks and treasury coin notes by exchange for low-interest U. S. bonds; but Congress failed to act on this recommendation. Gold exports continued, and in January preparations were made for a new loan. An invitation was issued asking applications for $50 thirty-year four-per-cent bonds to the amount of $100,000,000 before 6 February. European bankers held back, a free-coinage bill having been meanwhile reported favorably in the Senate, but Americans subscribed freely, and the treasury obtained $111,000,000 in this way. This success was contrasted by Mr. Cleveland's opponents with his policy in the loan of 1895, which was made by contract with a syndicate of bankers; but it was pointed out in favor of that policy that it was the only course possible in a sudden emergency, and that such an emergency did not exist in 1896.
On 29 May the president vetoed a river and harbor bill that provided for the immediate expenditure of $17,000,000, and authorized contracts for $62,000,000 more, but it was passed over his veto.
In July, 1894, serious labor troubles arose in Illinois and other states of the west, beginning with a strike of the employees of the Pullman palace car Company, and spreading over many of the railroads centering in Chicago. Travel was interrupted, the mails delayed, and interstate commerce obstructed. So wide-spread became the trouble, involving constant acts of violence and lawlessness, and so grave was the crisis, that military force was necessary, especially in Chicago, to preserve the peace, enforce the laws, and protect property. The president, with commendable firmness and promptness, fully met the emergency. Acting under authority vested in him by law, he ordered a large force of U. S. troops to Chicago to remove obstructions to the mails and interstate commerce, and to enforce the laws of the United States and the process of the federal courts; and on 8 and 9 July issued proclamations commanding the dispersion of all unlawful assemblages within the disturbed states. The governor of Illinois objected to the presence of the troops without his sanction or request. In answer to his protest the president telegraphed: “Federal troops were sent to Chicago in strict accordance with the constitution and laws of the United States upon the demand of the post-office department that obstruction of the mails should be removed, and upon the representations of the judicial officers of the United States that process of the federal courts could not be executed through the ordinary means, and upon abundant proof that conspiracies existed against commerce between the states. To meet these conditions, which are clearly within the province of federal authority, the presence of federal troops in the city of Chicago was deemed not only proper, but necessary, and there has been no intention of thereby interfering with the plain duty of the local authorities to preserve the peace of the city.”
To a farther protest and argument of the governor the president replied: “While I am still persuaded that I have transcended neither my authority nor duty in the emergency that confronts us, it seems to me that in this hour of danger and public distress discussion may well give way to active effort on the part of the authorities to restore obedience to the law and to protect life and property.”
The decisive action of the president restored order, ended the strike, and received the commendation of both houses of Congress and of the people generally. The president then appointed a commission to investigate the causes of the strike. It is interesting to note in this connection that by special message to Congress of 22 April, 1886, President Cleveland had strongly recommended legislation which should provide for the settlement by arbitration of controversies of this character.
Early in May, 1896, Mr. Cleveland issued an order by which 30,000 additional posts in the civil service were placed on the list of those requiring a certificate from the civil-service commissioners, thus raising the number on this list to 86,000. When he first became president there were only 13,000 appointments out of 130,000 for which any test of the kind was required.
In Mr. Cleveland's last annual message, after declaring that the agreement between Great Britain and the United States regarding the Venezuela boundary question had practically removed that question from the field of controversy, he added that “negotiations for a treaty of general arbitration for all differences between Great Britain and the United States are far advanced and promise to reach a successful consummation at an early date.” On 11 January, 1897, a treaty between Great Britain and the United States for the establishment by the two countries of such an international tribunal of general arbitration was signed by Secretary Olney and Sir Julian Pauncefote at Washington, and sent by President Cleveland to the Senate. This treaty was hailed with great satisfaction by all friends of arbitration. The preamble stated that the articles of the treaty were agreed to and concluded because the two countries concerned are “desirous of consolidating the relations of amity which so happily exist, between them and of consecrating by treaty the principle of international arbitration.” No reservation was made regarding the subject-matter of disputes to be arbitrated. Matters involving pecuniary claims amounting to $500,000 or less were to be settled by three arbitrators, consisting of two jurists of repute and an umpire, the latter to be appointed by the king of Sweden in case the arbitrators should not agree upon one. All other claims, except those involving territory, were to go first before such a tribunal, but in case the decision should not be unanimous it was to be reviewed before a similar tribunal of five. Boundary questions were to go to a special court of six members three U. S. judges and three British judges. The treaty was to continue in force for five years, and thereafter until twelve months after either of the contracting parties should give notice to the other of a desire to terminate it.
On 1 February the foreign relations committee of the Senate reported favorably on this treaty with amendments that were regarded by the friends of the treaty as making it practically of no effect. Even in this form the treaty, on 5 May, failed to receive the two-thirds majority necessary for confirmation, the vote being 43 to 26. It was generally believed that personal hostility to Mr. Cleveland had much to do with the rejection. There had been for some time a feeling in the Senate that the president and his Secretary of State had not deferred sufficiently to the rights of that body in matters of foreign policy. Mr. Olney's statement in the Cuban matter, noticed above, had much to do with strengthening this feeling, and although the secretary's position in this matter was generally sustained by constitutional lawyers it doubtless had its effect in still further estranging many senators from the administration. Another difference of opinion of the same kind occurred in the case of certain extradition treaties negotiated by Secretary Olney with the Argentine Republic and the Orange Free State. In these treaties, by the president's desire, as was understood, a clause was incorporated providing for the surrender of American citizens to the authorities of a foreign country provided such citizens have been guilty of crime within the jurisdiction of the country that demands their return. This was intended to prevent this country from becoming an asylum for European criminals, who had been granted naturalization papers here and who should attempt to make their naturalization protect them from the consequences of their past criminal acts. But this plan has never been adopted by any other country, and the attempt to cause the United States to initiate it was not in accordance with public opinion. On 28 January, 1897, the Senate ratified both treaties, but with amendments conferring discretionary power on the surrendering government in the matter of giving up its own citizens.
As the time for the meeting of the National Democratic Convention of 1896 drew nigh it became apparent that the advocates of the free coinage of silver would have a majority of the delegates. On 16 June Mr. Cleveland, in a published letter, condemned the free-silver movement, and called upon its opponents to do all in their power to defeat it. The convention was clearly opposed to Mr. Cleveland. Its platform was in effect a condemnation of his policy in the matters of the currency, the preservation of public order, civil-service reform, and Cuban policy. It declared for the free coinage of silver and nominated a pronounced free-silver advocate. In the canvass that followed Mr. Cleveland was favorable to the gold-standard wing of the party, which under the name of the national Democrats held a separate convention and nominated Senator Palmer for the presidency.
One of the president's last official acts was his appearance at the sesquicentennial celebration of Princeton University, where he delivered an address that was widely praised. Soon afterward it was announced that he had purchased a house in the town of Princeton, and after the inauguration of his successor he moved thither with his family. There his son was born, 28 October, 1897. The picture on page 654 represents Mr. Cleveland's summer home at Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts
Mr. Cleveland is as distinguished for forcible speech as for forcible action. His many addresses, both while in and out of office, are marked by clearness of thought and directness of expression, which, with his courage and ability, have always appealed to the best sentiments of the people, and have formed and led a healthy public opinion. He is notable for being the first public man in the United States to be nominated for the presidency thrice in succession. Equally remarkable is the fact that he has received this recognition although often at variance with his own party. His final withdrawal from public office was marked, as has been already said, by a general estrangement between him and many of those who had been once his followers, and despite this the popular feeling toward him throughout the country continued to be one of respect and esteem. Several campaign lives of Mr. Cleveland appeared during his three presidential contests. See also “President Cleveland,” by J. Lowry Whittle, in the “Public Men of the Day” series (1896).
President Cleveland married, in the White House (see illustration, page 652), on 2 June, 1886, Frances Folsom, daughter of his deceased friend and partner, Oscar Folsom, of the Buffalo bar. Except the wife of Madison, Mrs. Cleveland is the youngest of the many mistresses of the White House, having been born in Buffalo, New York, in 1864. She is also the first wife of a president married in the White House, and the first to give birth to a child there, their second daughter having been born in the executive mansion in 1893. — His youngest sister, Rose Elizabeth, born in Fayetteville, New York, in 1846, moved in 1853 to Holland Patent, New York, where her father was settled as pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and where he died the same year. She was educated at Houghton seminary, became a teacher in that school, and later assumed charge of the collegiate Institute in Lafayette, Indiana She taught for a time in a private school in Pennsylvania, and then prepared a course of historical lectures, which she delivered before the students of Houghton seminary and in other schools. When not employed in this manner, she devoted herself to her aged mother in the homestead at Holland Patent, New York, until her mother's death in 1882. On the inauguration of the president she became the mistress of the White House, and after her brother's marriage she associated herself as part owner and instructor in an established institution in New York City. Miss Cleveland has published a volume of lectures and essays under the title “George Eliot's Poetry, and other Studies” (New York, 1885), and “The Long Run,” a novel (1886). [Appleton’s 1900]