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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— Kill

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,

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Edward Everett.

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The Works of

Henry Clay

Comprising His Life, Correspondence
and Speeches

Edited by

Calvin Colton, LL.D.

With an Introduction by
Thomas B. Reed

And a History of Tariff Legislation, 1 8 12-1896


William McKinley

Ten Volumes

G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York and London
Hbe "Knickerbocker ipresa


: 337


The Works of Henry Clay

Volume Five

Private Correspondence
Part Two

i833~ l8 5 2


As originally printed, the Private Correspondence was issued
in one thick volume. In this edition it is divided into two
volumes, but the paging is continuous.




Correspondence of 1833, 1834, and 1835 347

Correspondence op 1836, 1837, 1838, and 1839 403

Correspondence of 1840, 1841, 1842, and 1843 443


Correspondence of 1844, 1845, 1846, and 1847 483

Correspondence of 1848 and 1849 553

Correspondence of 1850, 1851, and 1852 598




Washington, January 17, 1833.

My dear Sir, — I received your two last favors, and should
have written to you before and oftener, but that I really have
had nothing interesting to communicate. As to politics, we
have no past, no future. After forty-four years of existence un-
der the present Constitution, what single principle is fixed ? The
Bank? No. Internal Improvements? No. The Tariff? No.
Who is to interpret the Constitution ? We are as much afloat
at sea as the day when the Constitution went into opera-
tion. There is nothing certain but that the will of Andrew
Jackson is to govern ; and that will fluctuates with the change
of every pen which gives expression to it. As to the Tariff,
now pending before the House, whether it will pass or no in
that body depends upon his command.

I have been thinking of some settlement of that question, but
I have not entirely matured any plan ; and if I had, I am not
satisfied that it would be expedient to offer it. Any plan that I
might offer would be instantly opposed, because I offered it.
Sometimes I have thought that, considering how I have been
and still am treated by both parties (the Tariff and the Anti-
Tariff), I would leave them to fight it out as well as they can.
The lingering hopes for my country prevail over these feelings
of a just resentment, and my judgment tells me, that disregard-
ing them, I ought to the last to endeavor to do what I can to
preserve its institutions and re-establish confidence and concord.
I shall act in conformity with this judgment, but I am far from
being sanguine that I have the power to effect any thing.


You will have seen the late Message. It is able and elaborate,
freer from passion than the proclamation, but not more compati-
ble with ilif doctrines which prevail at Richmond.


Washington, January 23, 1833.

My dear Sir, — You mistake very much my feelings in sup-
posing that the doubt which I sometimes entertained of making
any elfort to rescue the country from its present difficult situa-
tion, proceeded from any spirit similar to that which actuated
Coriolanus. That doubt sprang from the facts, that there was
an organized party ready to denounce any proposition that I
would make, because I made it ; and that the other party (the
Anti-Tariff party) contained many individuals, in whose view the
great interests and even the peace of the country, were subordi-
nate to the success of the dominant party to which they belong,
and to the success of the designated successor of the present
chief magistrate. It is mortifying — inexpressibly disgusting —
to find that considerations affecting an election now four years
distant, influence the fate of great questions of immediate inte-
rest more than all the reasons and arguments which intimately
appertain to those questions. If, for example, the Tariff now
before the House should be lost, its defeat will be owing to two
causes — 1st, The apprehension of Mr. Van Buren's friends, that
if it passes, Mr. Calhoun will rise again as the successful vindica-
tor of Southern rights ; and 2d, Its passage might prevent the
President from exercising certain vengeful passions which he
wishes to gratify in South Carolina. And if it passes, its pas-
sage may be attributed to the desire of those same friends of Mr.
Van Buren to secure Southern votes. Whether it will pass or
not, and if it does, what will be its fate in the Senate, remains
altogether uncertain.

You ask me in your last letter if Tyler is not a nullifier ? I
understand him to be opposed both to nullification and the pro-
ceedings of South Carolina. Will he be re-elected ? We feel
here some solicitude on that point, being convinced, that under
all circumstances, he would be far preferable to any person that
could !«• Bent. I hope, if you can say a proper word in his be-
half, you will do so.



Baltimore, February 13, 1833.

My dear Sir, — You will pardon me, I am sure, for trespass-
ing a moment upon your time, in thanking you for the effort
you are making to quiet the unhappy and alarming dissentions
of the country. Like yourself, decidedly friendly to the pro-
tection of domestic industry, I am satisfied, and have been sat-
isfied for some time, that nothing but a liberal spirit of compro-
mise can save the system from almost immediate destruction.
The incalculable mischief which, in a mere pecuniary point of
view, this will bring upon us, is, of itself, alarming enough, but
it is comparatively insignificant, when contrasted with the strong
probability, that it may cause a struggle vital to the Union itself.
The plan which you have proposed, will, I think, if any plan
can accomplish it, save the manufacturers for the time, and in its
consequences (gradually brought about) open the eyes of our
Southern brethren to the manifold benefits of the system which
they have so violently opposed. I can not but believe, that a
few years of quiet and sober reflection will satisfy them that their
present hostility to the prevailing policy, is the merest crea-
tion of prejudice that was ever known, and that their true inter-
ests, like that of their Northern countrymen, is in protecting the
nation and its industry, against foreign restrictions. God grant
that your efforts may prove successful, and that we may again
see our country not only, as it is, prosperous in fact, but happy
and free in the estimation of every citizen of the Government.

I repeat that I am satisfied you will take this communication
in the spirit in which it is sent, and consider me as authorized
to suppose that you will receive it in all kindness.


Senate Chamber, February 14, 1833.
My dear Sir, — I had forborne to communicate to you the
plan of accommodation which I intended to submit, because,
although I had long since settled in my mind the principle of
the plan, I had not finally arranged the details. That work was
only completed a few days ago. You will see in the papers
that I have presented it to the Senate in the shape of a bill. [


was fully aware of all the personal consequences, and personal
risks to which I exposed myself; but "what is a public man
worth that will not sacrifice himself, if necessary, for the good
of his country ?" The measure has been well secured. Still
every contrivance will be resorted to by the Van Buren men,
and by some of the Administration party, to prostrate or defeat
the project. That, you know, I anticipated. What will be the
final issue of the plan, I can not certainly say. I hope for suc-
cess. We had a meeting this morning of the Committee — with
the constitution of which I am satisfied — and things look as
well there as I expected. Webster, and some other of the New
Eugland Senators, will oppose the plan.


Washington, February 20, 1838.

My dear Friend, — Prepare yourself fully for the debate to-
morrow. We shall hear a labored speech from our opponents.

To-morrow will be the most eventful period of your eventful
life. Your friends depend on your efforts, and I as one of them
suggest to you this thought — consider whether it be not your
best course to declare in your speech on the bill that you are no
candidate for the honors of office — that you look only to the
imperishable glory of preventing civil war and again uniting
your distracted countrymen in the bonds of fraternal affection,
while at the same time you insure the continuation, the perpet-
uity of that great system with which your fame is identified. I
advise this course at present. We have a yawning gulf in our
Rome, and it will never close till some patriot rides into it.
This will stop the cry of coalition, save yourself and your
friends from calumny, and your country from ruin.


Senate Chamber, February 28, 1883.

Mr dear Friend, — The compromise of the Tariff proposed

by nui is likely to be adopted with great eclat. It has passed the

House, and will pass the Senate by a large majority. It will be

popular everywhere, even in the East. The Eastern vote in


the House has been given against it, rather from policy than from
any dislike of the measure. Mr. Webster and I came in conflict,
and I have the satisfaction to tell you that he gained nothing.
My friends flatter me with my having completely triumphed.
There is no permanent breach between us. I think he begins
already to repent his course.

As to the publication of my letter, do as you please ; but I
think it hardly merits it.

I shall go to the North, or directly to the West, immediately
after the close of the session. I regret that I can not have the
pleasure of seeing you. Make my best respects to Mrs. Brooke.


Philadelphia, February 28, 1833.
My dear Sir, — I have a great deal to say, or rather to ask,
about the manner in which you have been able to draw out the
lightning from all the clouds which were lowering over the
country ; but I will not trouble you now, and I only hope that
you will come up when the session is over, and talk into con-
viction all the doubters, even my friend Mr. Walsh himself. The
fact is, that for forty-eight hours your friends held in their breath
with anxiety, till they saw you fairly across the chasm, and are
proportionally gratified at seeing you in such a firm and com-
manding position. Of all this hereafter, when you come to see
us. What makes me write now is, that I think you may find an
opportunity on Saturday or Sunday of saying a few words which
may make a strong and favorable impression upon two large
masses of the community whom I wish to see well disposed to
you, especially at the present moment. I mean the friends of
the Bank and the Western States generally.


Washington, March 11, 1833.

My dear Sir, — At the date of your last you could not have
received a letter which I had addressed to you at St. Julien. I
shall leave here in a day or two, via. Baltimore, Frederick, and
Wheeling, for Kentucky. I have been detained by the Court.
I regret that I could not have seen you.


You ask how amity was restored between Mr. Randolph and
mei There was no explanation, no intervention. Observing
him in the Senate one night, feeble, and looking as if he was not
long for ill is world, and being myself engaged in a work of
peace, with corresponding feelings, I shook hands with him.
The salutation was cordial on both sides. I afterward left a card
at his lodgings, where, I understand, he has been confined by

I heard to-day that Livingston is to go to France, Barry to
Spain, and Stevenson to England ; and that M'Lane will be
made Secretary of State, Woodbury of the Treasury, Forsythe
of the Navy, and Colonel William Wilkins Post-master General.
Caring nothing about these arrangements, I vouch for nothing.

You may like to know that there is no breach between Web-
ster and me. We had some friendly passes, and there the mat-
ter ended. Since, we have occasionally met on friendly terms.
I think (of course I do not know) that if he had to go over
again the work of the last few weeks, he would have been for
the compromise, which commands the approbation of a great


New Orleans, March 11, 1833.
Dear Father, — This morning I stood my examination in open
court before the Judge of the Supreme Court, and I intend imme-
diately to commence the practice. My visit to Mobile and my
examination and license there were entirely unnecessary. I was
admitted to an examination on the plea of residentship. I am
full of hope and energy, and loving the civil law as I do, I indulge
a subdued confidence of ultimate success. At all events, I shall
continue the trial for two seasons after the present.


Washington, March 13, 1833.
Dfar Sir, — My nephew, Marshall Jones, purposes to remove
to New Orleans with a view to the practice of the law, and is,
1 believe, now in that place. The circumstances under which


he left Virginia increase my solicitude for his success. A per-
sonal renconter with a young gentleman who had abused him
wantonly and grossly, terminated very unfortunately in the death
of his adversary. This compelled him to fly from Virginia and
from very flattering professional prospects. After visiting Canada
and Texas, he has at length, I am told, determined on trying his
fortune in New Orleans. I am extremely desirous of promoting
his object, but with the exception of Mr. Johnston, am not ac-
quainted with a single individual in that place. May I ask the
favor of you to mention him to some of your friends, not as a
person known to yourself, but as my friend and relation whom I
strongly recommend. I have the most entire confidence in his
honor, integrity, and amiable qualities ; and shall feel myself
greatly obliged by your bestowing on him so much of your coun-
tenance as may favor his introduction into society, and his pro-
fessional exertions. For the rest, he must depend upon himself.
With great respect and esteem I am, dear sir, your obedient


Washington, March 15, 1833.

My dear Sir, — You observe that your letter of the 13th
found me here. I had, prior to its receipt, sent you a copy of my
speech which is to be published by Gales & Seaton in the order
of the debates. They have not published one word of the com-
mendation of the bill, which has been put forth by other editors.
To preserve an attitude of impartiality they, in effect, make
themselves partisans of those who oppose the measure. Do you
think it necessary that I should revise the speech which I made
on the introduction of the bill ? That which was published for
me was done without my seeing it.

I am very sorry that Sergeant and Binney disapprove the meas-
ure, but I can not help it. I communicated it to them confiden-
tially before I brought it forward, and they opposed no remon-
strance. As for Walsh, he has but one god, and Mr. Webster is
his prophet.

I hope you sent on my letter to Lawrence which I inclosed to
you. That part of the subject ought to be well understood
among our friends.


I have been detained here by the most violent cold I ever had ;
but I hope to be off on Sunday at furthest, for the West. I can
not go now to Philadelphia. I gained my cause. Minor against


Boston, March 19, 1833.
Dear Sir, — It affords me the highest gratification to be able
to assure you that public sentiment here has wonderfully changed
in favor of your great measure, since its introduction. It is now
popular, and becoming more and more so as it becomes better
understood, as the real condition of the country and of the views
and opinions of the Administration are more known, and as the
bill itself and your course previous to its being offered in the
Senate are explained. In New York I scarcely found an indi-
vidual who did not approve it. In Providence and in Boston there
is yet some diversity of opinion among the politicians, but so
far as I learn none among the actual business men, engaged in
manufactures. I have seen several of the principal and most in-
telligent ; they are only apprehensive that it will not be perma-
nent, that it will be again put afloat. They say that they do
not think fit to come out publicly in favor of the measure, be-
cause it might create uneasiness in the South, and generate a dis-
position to make further demands, and because it would carry a
censure upon their delegation in Congress. I have seen and
conversed with many of the principal men, and was at first sur-
prised that there was so much of error and misapprehension in
nearly all in relation to the bill. I yesterday spent nearly an
hour in conversation upon this subject with the Governor, most
of the members of his Council being present, and I also have
conversed with the Lieutenant-Governor, the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, several members of the Senate, and
many members of the House, with Crowningshield and Dwight,
formerly members of Congress, with both the Everett's, Presi-
dent Gtuincy, the Lawrences, and many other merchants and
manufacturers, whose names are unknown to you ; and I can
Dot doubt from their representations that the bill is now con-
sidered a good one, and will be extremely popular when fully
understood. Indeed I am entirely mistaken if, in six months, it
be iK t considered in New England as the most wise, patriotic,


beneficent and splendid act of legislation that any individual in
this country has ever achieved. It ought not to be matter of
surprise that some time is required to bring the public here to a
correct understanding of the measure, for every member of their
delegation, in whom they have justly so much confidence, voted
against it, and some, in the early stages, united in a feeling of
hostility to it. The debate has not yet been published, which
is very unfortunate, and the impressions of the nature of the bill
have been received from the objections which are understood to
have been made to it in the Senate. I have found the impres-
sion almost universal that it relinquished the principle of protec-
tion after 1842, and not one have I seen here, as I recollect, who
did not think that after that period the duties were to be equal
on all articles, except such as the bill itself specified should be
free. I have, ever since I arrived in New York, carried the bill
in my pocket in order to convince them of this error, which has
always been the first and prominent objection, and I have not
met with one to whom I have had an opportunity to present the
truth, who has not been satisfied, and wondered how they should
have been so mistaken. I have made it a business, since my
arrival here, to put the matter right, and also to correct another
erroneous impression which has been the source of much preju-
dice from the beginning, and that is that your course was adopt-
ed without consultation with your Tariff friends, and operated
as a surprise upon them all, and particularly upon Mr. W. I
have taken the liberty, every where and upon all occasions, to
state the truth upon this point, which I know. I thought my-
self not only at liberty, but bound, in justice to yourself, to make
your course known, and have been delighted to find how re-
lieved and rejoiced your friends here have invariably been to learn
the truth. I have not hesitated to state the conferences which
were had, formal and informal, the propositions and suggestions
which you submitted, and the remarks of Mr. W. and others.
Rely upon it the intelligent men here are getting to understand
the subject ; it requires but a few persons to explain it, and it will
be highly satisfactory and almost universally popular. I regret
deeply that the debate has not been published, while the public
mind is awake and inquisitive in regard to it, especially as all the
members from this State were opposed to it in their votes, and
of course are stopped from saying much in its favor. I shall re-
main here several days longer, and shall see a great many more


of their intelligent and leading men, and I have no doubt all
will he satisfied except a particular, and I trust very limited class
of politicians, who wished to carry matters to extremities with
South Carolina, and to see her put down, prostrated by force of
arms, and with whom this feeling was paramount to any regard
for the Tariff.

Bxcuse me for writing so much, and so many repetitions, but
the subject is one in which every hour's reflection and observa-
tion increases my interest, and I have the strongest solicitude
that every body should view this splendid and glorious act as I
do, and appreciate and do justice to the mover, which I have no
doubt they will. Your promised visit here is looked forward to
with great eagerness. Your reception will be all that you can
wish. You must not disappoint them, nor us in Maine.

N. B. Since the passage of your bill there has been a ma-
terial rise in the value and market price of almost all manufac-
turing stocks, and of wool, and woolen goods, which is extend-
ing now to cottons, and other articles. An infallible test of the
real opinion of the interested.


Philadelphia, March 25, 1833.
My dear Sir, — I duly received your last favor from Washing-
ton, and did not fail to bear in mind its interesting contents. It
confirmed an opinion previously formed, confirmed by subse-
quent reflection, and since repeatedly declared, that it was of
great importance to the country not to permit the difference of
sentiment on the Tariff to produce any alienation between those
who had hitherto acted in concert on all the other great public
measures ; and that more especially no estrangement should be
allowed to grow up between the two most prominent leaders
who were opposed on that question. During the visit of our
friend, I was in habits of constant and confidential intercourse
with him. In regard to the measure itself, he retains all the
opinions which he publicly expressed ; but they are, I think, un-
accompanied by any thing of an unkind or unfriendly feeling
toward yourself, as you will perceive when the speech made on
that occasion is published. There was a strong disposition


among many of his friends, to give him a public dinner ; but ihis
I discouraged, because I feared that it might oblige him to say-
more on that subject than it is prudent to express at the present
time, and because it would probably furnish an occasion for his
less discreet friends to do and to say things excusable at a mo-
ment of excitement, but which might afterward be regretted.
For such an exhibition, I substituted a large meeting of gentle-
men at my own house, where his friends could have the pleasure
of seeing him, without imposing upon him the necessity of
making any exposition of his views on any subject. I stated to
him without reserve, the share which I had taken in preventing
a public dinner, and my reasons for it, in the propriety of which
he entirely acquiesced. In short, he has left us two days ago,
in a frame of mind entirely satisfactory, and your mutual friends
seem to understand each other perfectly, that there ought not to
be, and that there shall not be, any alienation between you, how-
ever you may have differed on one measure of policy. For my-
self, I entertain for him so sincere an attachment, that I should
have been greatly pained at a different result. These good dis-
positions will, I doubt not, be strengthened during the visit
which we meditate, to your country, in the course of the spring,
since no one can be insensible to the attractions of personal in-

Online LibraryH ClayThe works of Henry Clay.. (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 26)