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Limited to 1000 signed and numbered sets.

The Collector's Edition of the Writings of Henry
Clay is limited to six hundred signed and numbered
sets, of which this is

Number. -iJ-iiS

We guarantee that no limited, numbered edition,
other than the Federal, shall be printed from these

The written number must correspond with the
perforated number at the top of this page.




^j?rt Maiximt^

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The Works of

Henry Clay

Comprising His Life, Correspondence

and Speeches

Edited bv

I Calvin Colton, LL.D.

With an Introduction by
Thomas B. Reed

And a History of Tariff Legislation, i 8 12-1896

William McKinley

Ten Volumes

G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York and London

Cbe Ikiitckeibocher ipress


1. 'A

The Works of Henry Clay

Volume Seven


Part Two


As originally printed, the Speeches were issued in two thick
volumes. In this edition the material has been divided into
four volumes. The paging is continuous through the first
and second, and through the third and fourth.



On Bargain and Corruption 341

Danger of the Military Spirit in a Republic . . . .356

On J. Q. Adams's Administration 359

On Retiring from Office 365

On the Beginning of Jackson's Administration .... 369
Omthe Effect of the Protective System on the Staples of

THE South 388

On Nullification 393

On Reduction of Import Duties 416

On Mr. Van Buren's Nomination as Minister to England . . 429

On the American System 437

On the Public Lands 487

On the Northeastern Boundary 516

On General Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill . . . .523

On the Compromise Tariff 536

On the CoMPRonsE Tariff (continued) 551

On the Compromise Tariff (concluded) 568

On General Jackson's Veto of the Land Bill , . . . . 570

On the Removal of the Deposits 575

On the Results of REMO\aNG the Deposits 621

On the State of the Country 624

On our Relations with France 632

On our Relations with the Cherokee Indians .... 637




[The following is one of the most spirited speeches which Mr.
Clay ever made, and he was justly provoked to it. If any one
would understand the wickedness of General Jackson, in his
attempts to injure Mr. Clay, and his determination to make his
way to the presidency at the expense of truth and fairness, he
must read this document ; and if he can find any satisfaction
in seeing such iniquity exposed in the most fer\id style of
eloquence, and by t'he closest reasoning, he will find it here. In
this great and complicated conspiracy, there was always the most
studied avoidance of a fair hearing. The great object was to
keep it before the public in such forms as to injure Mr. Clay,
and help General Jackson to the presidency. When the charge
was first brought by Kremer, a member of the House of Repre-
sentatives from Pennsylvania, Mr. Clay instantly demanded an
investigation by a special committee of that body. But inves-
tigation and the truth were not the things wanted, and it was
therefore evaded by artifice. Agitation, by false statements cir-
culated among the people, was the grand device ; and after
keeping these false statements afloat for two years, General
Jackson comes out, over his own name, with a hypothetical
charge, indeed, and yet such as would seem to be direct and ex-
phcit, and which would be received as such. It was left to Mr.
Clay, in the following speech, to expose its atrocious character.
But the charge, like every lie, would travel over the Continent,
while Truth was putting its boots on. General Jackson's letter
would be universally read, and regarded by most people as
plausible, while Mr. Clay's exposure of its falsehood would have
a comparatively limited circulation. The exceedingly wicked
character and purpose of the letter can only be appreciated by a
perusal of the following discourse. It was called forth by a
toast, at a dinner given to Mr. Clay at Lexington, as follows ;


" Our distinguished guest, Henry Clat : the furnace of persecution may be
heated seven times hotter, and seventy times more he will come out unscathed
by the fire of malignity, brighter to all and dearer to his fiiends ; while his ene-
mies shall sink with the dross of their own vile materials."]

Mr. President, Friends, and Fellow-citizens — I beg permission to
oflfer my hearty thanks, and to make my respectful acknowledgments, for
the affectionate reception which has been given me during my present visit
to my old congressional district, and for this hospitable and honorable testi-
mony of your esteem and confidence. And I thank you especially for the
friendly sentiments and feelings expressed in the toast which you have just
done me the honor to drink. I always had the happiness of knowing that
I enjoyed, in a high degree, the attachment of that portion of my fellow-
citizens whom I formerly represented ; but I should never have been sens-
ible of the strength and ardor of their affection, except for the extraordi-
nary character of the times. For nearly two years and a half I have been
assailed with a rancor and bitterness which have few examples. I have
found myself the particular object of concerted and concentrated abuse »
and others, thrusting themselves between you and me, have dared to ar-
raign me for treachery to your interests. But my former constituents, un-
affected by the calumnies which have been so perseveringly circulated to my
prejudice, have stood by me with a generous confidence and a noble mag-
nanimity. The measure of their regard and confidence has risen with
and even surpassed, that of the malevolence, great as it is, of my personal
and political foes. I thank you, gentlemen, who are a large portion of my
late constituents. I thank you, and every one of them, with all my heart,
for the manly support which I have uniformly received. It has cheered,
and consoled me, amid all my severe trials ; and may I not add, that it is
honorable to the generous hearts and enlightened heads who have resolved
to protect the character of an old fiiend and faithful servant ?

The numerous manifestations of your confidence and attachment will
be among the latest and most treasured recollections of my life. They
impose upon me obligations which can never be weakened or canceled.
One of these obligations is, that I should embrace every fair opportunity
to vindicate that character which you have so generously sustained, and to
evince to you and to the world, that you have not yielded to the impulses
of a blind and enthusiastic sentiment. I feel that I am, on all fit occasions,
especially bound to vindicate myself to my former constituents. It was as
their representative, it was in fulfillment of a high trust which they «on-
fided to me, that I have been accused of violating the most sacred of du-
ties — of treating their wishes with contempt, and their interests with
treachery. Nor is this obligation, in my conception of its import, at all
weakened by the dissolution of the relations which heretofore existed be-
tween us. I woura. instantly resign the place I hold in the councils of the
nation, and directly appeal to the suff"rages of my late constituents, as a


jandidate for re-election, if I did not know that my foes are of that class
whom one rising from the dead can not convince, whom nothing can
silence, and who wage a war of extermination. On the issue of such an
appeal they would redouble their abuse of you and of me, for their hatred
is common to us both.

They have compelled me so often to be the theme of my addresses to
the people, that I should have willingly abstained, on this festive occasion,
from any allusion to this subject, but for a new and imposing form which
the calumny against me has recently assumed. I am again put on my de-
fense, not of any new charge, nor by any new adversary ; but of the old
charges, clad in a new dress, and exhibited by an open and undisguised
enemy. The fictitious names have been stricken from the foot of the in-
dictment, and that of a known and substantial prosecutor has been volun-
tarily ofiered. Undaunted by the formidable name of that prosecutor, I
will avail myself, with your indulgence, of this fit opportunity of free and
unreserved intercourse with you, as a large number of my late constituents,
to make some observations on the past and present state of the question.
When evidence shall be produced, as I have now a clear right to demand,
in support of the accusation, it will be the proper time for me to take such
notice of it as its nature shall require.

In February, 1825, it was my duty, as the representative of this district,
to vote for some one of the three candidates for the presidency, who were
returned to the House of Representatives. It has been established, and
can be ftirther proved, that, before I left this State the preceding fall, I com-
municated to several gentlemen of the highest respectability my fixed de-
termination not to vote for General Jackson. The friends of Mr. Crawford
asserted to the last that the condition of his health was such as to enable
him to administer the duties of the oflBce. I thought otherwise, after I
reached Washington city, and visited him to satisfy myself; and thought
that physical impediment, if there were no other objections, ought to pre-
vent his election. Although the delegations from four States voted for
him, and his pretensions were zealously pressed to the very last moment, it
has been of late asserted, and I believe by some of the very persons who
then warmly espoused his cause, that his incompetency was so palpable as
clearly to limit the choice to two of the three returned candidates. In my
view of my duty, there was no alternative but that which I embraced.
That I had some objections to Mr, Adams, I am ready freely to admit ; but
these did not weigh a feather in comparison with the greater and insur-
mountable objections, long and deliberately entertained against his com-
petitor. I take this occasion, with great satisfaction, to state, that my
objections to Mr. Adams arose chiefly from apprehensions which have not
been realized. I have found him at the head of the government able, en-
lightened, patient of investigation, and ever ready to receive with Fespoct,
and, when approved by his judgment, to act upon, the counsels of his oflScial
advisers. I add, with unmixed pleasure, that, from the commencement of


the government, with the exception of Mr, Jefferson's administration, no
chief mamstrate has found the members of his cabinet so united on all
public measures, and so cordial and friendly in all their intercourse, private
and official, as these are of the present president.

Had I voted for General Jackson, in opposition to the well-known opin-
ions which I entertained of him, one tenth part of the ingenuity and zeal
which have been employed to excite prejudices against me, would have
held me up to universal contempt ; and what would have been worse, I
should have felt that I really deserved it.

Before the election, an attempt was made by an abusive letter, published
in the Columbian Observer, at Philadelphia, a paper which, as has since
transpired, was sustained by Mr. Senator Eaton, the colleague, the friend,
and the biographer of General Jackson, to assail my motives, and to deter
me in the exercise of my duty. This letter being avowed by Mr. George
Kremer, I instantly demanded from the House of Representatives an invest-
igation. A committee was accordingly, on the 5th day of Februaiy, 1825,
appointed in the rare mode of balloting by the House, instead of by se-
lection of the Speaker. It was composed of some of the leading members
of that body, not one of whom was my political friend in the preceding
presidential canvass. Although Mr. Kremer, in addressing the House, had
declared his willingness to bring forward his proofs, and his readiness to
abide the issue of the inquiry, his fears, or other counsels than his own,
prevailed upon him to take refuge in a miserable subterfuge. Of all possi-
ble periods, that was the most fitting to substantiate the charge, if it were
true. Every circumstance was then fi-esh ; the witnesses all living and
present ; the election not yet complete ; and therefore the imputed corrupt
bargain not fulfilled. All these powerful considerations had no weight
with the conspirators and their accessories, and they meanly shrunk from
even an attempt to prove their charge, for the best of all possible reasons —
because, being false and fabricated, they could adduce no proof which was
not false and fabricated.

During two years and a half, which have now intervened, a portion of
the press devoted to the cause of General Jackson has been teeming with
the vilest calumnies against me, and the charge, under every chameleon
form, has been a thousand times repeated. Up to this time I have in vain
invited investigation, and demanded evidence. None, not a particle, has
been adduced.

The extraordinary gi'ound has been taken, that the accusers were not
bound to establish by proof the guilt of their designated victim. In a
civilized. Christian, and free community, the monstrous principle has been
assumed, that accusation and conviction are synonymous ; and that the
persons who deliberately bring forward an atrocious charge are exempted
from all obligations to substantiate it ! And the pretext is, that the crime,
being of a political nature, is shrouded in darkness, and incapable of being
Bubstantiated But is there any real difference, in this respect, between


political and other ofienses ? Do not all tlie perpetrators of crime en-
deavor to conceal their guilt and to elude detection ? If the accuser of a
poUtical offense is absolved from the duty of supporting his accusation,
every other accuser of offense stands equally absolved. Such a principle,
practically carried into society, would subvert all harmony, peace, and
tranquillity. None — no age, nor sex, nor profession, nor calling — would
be safe against its baleful and overwhelming influence. It would amount
to a universal license to universal calumny.

No one has ever contended that the proof should be exclusively that of
eye-witnesses, testifying from their senses positively and directly to the
fact. Political, like other offenses, may be established by circumstantial
as well as positive evidence. But I do contend, that some evidence, be it
what it may, ought to be exhibited. If there be none, how do the accus-
ers know that an offense has been perpetrated ? If they do know it, let
us have the fact on which their conviction is based. I will not even assert,
that, in public affairs, a citizen has not a right freely to express his opinions
of public men, and to speculate upon the motives of their conduct. But
if he chooses to promulgate opinions, let them be given as opinions. The
public will correctly judge of their value and their grounds. No one has
a right to put forth a positive assertion, that a political offense has been
committed, unless he stands prepared to sustain, by satisfactory proof of
some kind, its actual existence.

If he who exhibits a charge of political crime is, from its very nature,
disabled to establish it, how much more difficult is the condition of the
accused ? How can he exhibit negative proof of his innocence, if no af-
firmative proof of his guilt is or can be adduced ?

It must have been a conviction that the justice of the public required
a definite charge, by a responsible accuser, that has at last extorted from
General Jackson his letter of the 6th of June, lately published. I approach
that letter with great reluctance, not on my own account, for on that I do
most heartily and sincerely rejoice that it has made its appearance. But
it is reluctance, excited by the feelings of respect which I would anxiously
have cultivated toward its author. He has, however, by that letter, created
such relations between us, that, in any language which I may employ, in
examining its contents, I feel myself bound by no other obligations than
those which belong to truth, to public decorum, and to myself.

The first consideration which must, on the perusal of the letter, force
itself upon every reflecting mind, is that which arises out of the dehcate
posture in which General Jackson stands before the American public. He
is a candidate for the presidency, avowed and proclaimed. He has no
competitor at present, and there is no probability of his having any but
one. The charges which he has allowed himself to be the organ of com-
municating to the veiy public who is to decide the question of the pres-
idency, though directly aimed at me, necessarily implicate his only com-
petitor. Mr. Adams and myself are both guilty, or we are both innocent,


of the imputed arrangement between us. His innocence is absolutely ir-
reconcilable with my guilt. If General Jackson, therefore, can establish
my guilt, and, by inference, or by insinuation, that of his sole rival, he will
have removed a great obstacle to the consummation of the object of his
ambition. And if he can, at the same time, make out his own purity of
conduct, and impress the American people with the belief, that his purity
and integi-ity alone prevented his success before the House of Representa-
tives, his claims will become absolutely irresistible. Were there ever
more powerful motives to propagate, was there ever greater interest, at all
hazards, to prove the truth of eharges ?

I state the case, I hope, fairly ; I mean to state it fairly and fearlessly. If
the position be one which exposes General Jackson to unfavorable suspicions,
it must be borne in mind that he has voluntarily taken it, and he must
abide the consequences. I am acting on the defensive, and it is he who
assails me, and who has called forth, by the eternal laws of self-protection,
the right to use all legitimate means of self-defense.

General Jackson has shown in his letter, that he is not exempt from the
influence of that bias toward one's own interest, which is unfortunately the
too common lot of human nature. It is his interest to make out that he
is a person of spotless innocence, and of unsullied integrity ; and to estab-
lish, by direct charge, or by necessary inference, the want of those quali-
ties in his rival. Accordingly, we find, throughout the letter, a labored
attempt to set forth his own immaculate purity in striking contrast with
the corruption which is attributed to others. We would imagine from his
letter, that he very seldom touches a newspaper. The Telegraph is mailed
regularly for him at Washington, but it arrives at the Hermitage very ir-
regularly. He would have the public to infer, that the postmaster at Nash-
ville, whose appointment happened not to be upon his recommendation,
obstructed his reception of it. In consequence of his not receiving the
Telegraph, he had not on the 6th of June, 1827, seen Carter Beverley's
famous Fayette ville letter, dated the 8 th of the preceding March, pub-
lished in numerous gazettes, and published, I have very little doubt, although
I have not the means of ascertaining the fact, in the gazettes of Nashville.
I will not say, contrary to General Jackson's assertion, that he had never
read that letter, when he wrote that of the 6th of June, but I must think
that it is very strange that he should not have seen it ; and I doubt wheth-
er there is another man of any political eminence in the United States who
has not read it. There is a remarkable coincidence between General Jack-
son and certain editors who espouse his interest, in relation to Mr. Bever-
ley's letter. They very early took the ground, in respect to it, that I ought,
under my own signature, to come out and deny the statements. And Gen-
eral Jackson now says, in his letter of the 6th of June, that he " always
intended, should Mr. Clay come out over his own signature, and den^ hav-
ing any knowledge of the communication made by his friends to my friends


and to me, that I would give him the name of the gentleman through
whom that communication came."

The distinguished member of Congress who bore the alleged overture,
according to General Jackson, presented himself with diplomatic circum-
epection, lest he should wound the very great sensibility of the general.
He avers that the communication was intended with the most friendly mo-
tives ; " that he came as a friend," and that he hoped, however it might be
received, there would be no alteration in the friendly feelings between them.
The general graciously condescends to receive the communication, and, in
consideration of the high standing of the distinguished member, and of
his having always been a professed friend, he is promised impunity, and
assured that there shall be no change of amicable ties. After all these
necessary preliminaries are arranged between the high negotiating powers,
the envoy proceeds : " He had been informed by the friends of Mr. Clay,
that the friends of Mr. Adams had made overtures to them, saying if Mr.
Clay and his friends would unite in aid of the election of Mr. Adams, Mr.
Clay should be Secretary of State ; that the friends of Mr. Adams were
urging, as a reason to induce the friends of Mr. Clay to accede to their
proposition, that if I was elected president, Mr. Adams would be continued
Secretary of State, (innuendo, there would be no room for Kentucky)." [Is
this General Jackson's innuendo, or that of the distinguished member of
Congress ?] " That the friends of Mr. Clay stated the West does not want
to separate from the West and if I would say, or pennit any of my confi-
dential friends to say that, in case I was elected president, Mr. Adams
should not be continued Secretary of State, by a complete union of Mr.
Clay and his friends, they would put an end to the presidential contest in
one hour ; and he was of opinion it was right to fight such intriguers with
their own weapons." To which the general states himself to have rephed
in substance, " that in politics, as in every thing else, my guide was prin-
ciple, and contrary to the expressed and unbiased will of the people or their
constituted agents, I never would step into the presidential chair ; and re-
quested him to say to Mr. Clay and his friends (for I did suppose he had
come from Mr. Clay, although he used the terms Mr. Clay's friends), that
before I would reach the presidential chair by such means of bargain and
corruption, I would see the earth open and swallow both Mr. Clay and his
friends and myself with them." Now all these professions are very fine,
and display admirable purity. But its sublimity would be somewhat more
impressive, if some person other than General Jackson had proclaimed it.
He would go into the presidential chair, but never, no ! never, contrary to
" the expressed and unbiased will of the people, or their constituted agents :"
two modes of arriving at it the more reasonable, as there happens to be
no other constituted way. He would see " the earth open and swallow
botlr Mr. Clay and his friends and myself," before he would reach the pres-
idential chair by " such means of bargain and corruption." I hope Gen-
eral Jackson did not intend that the whole human race should be also


swallowed up, on the contingency he has stated, or that they were to
gnaranty that he has an absolute repugnance to the employment of any ex-
ceptionable means to secure his elevation to the presidency. If he had
rendered the distinguished member of Congress a little more distinguished,
by instantly ordering him from his presence, and by forthwith denouncing
him and the infamous propositions which he bore to the American public,
we should be a little better prepared to admit the claims to untarnished
integrity, which the general so modestly puts forward. But, according to
his own account, a corrupt and scandalous proposal is made to him ; the
person who conveyed it, advises him to accept it, and yet that person still
retains the friendship of General Jackson, who is so tender of his character
that his name is carefully concealed and reserved to be hereafter brought
forward as a witness ! A man, who, if he be a member of the House of
Representatives, is doubly infamous — infamous for the advice which he

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