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At a meeting of the political friends of the Hon. Daniel Webster, held at Euterpian Hall, in the city of New York, on Tuesday evening, the 21st of February, 1837, Chancellor Kent was called to the chair, and Messrs. Hiram Ketchum and Gabriel P. Dissosway were appointed secretaries.
The object of the meeting having been explained, the following resolutions were, on motion, duly seconded and unanimously adopted : —
“Resolved, That this meeting has heard with deep concern of the intention of the Hon. Daniel Webster to resign his seat in the Senate of the United States at the close of the present session of Congress, or early in the next session. “Resolved, That while we regret the resignation of Mr. Webster, it would be most unreasonable to censure the exercise of his right to seek repose, after fourteen years of unremitted, zealous, and highly distinguished labors in the Congress of the United States; but we indulge the hope that the nation will, at no distant day, again profit by his ripe experience as a statesman and his extensive knowledge of public affairs, by his wisdom in council and eloquence in debate. “Resolved, That in the judgment of this meeting there is none among the living or the dead who has given to the country more just or able expositions of the Constitution of the United States; none who has enforced, with more lucid and impassionate eloquence, the necessity and importance of the preservation of the Union, or exhibited more zeal or ability in defending the Constitution from the foes without the government, and foes within it, than Daniel Webster. “Resolved, That there is no part of our widely extended country more deeply interested in the preservation of the Union than the city of New York; her motto should be ‘Union and Liberty, now and for ever, one and inseparable,” and her gratitude should be shown to the statesman who first gave utterance to this sentiment. “Resolved, That David B. Ogden, Peter Stagg, Jonathan Thompson, James Brown, Philip Hone, Samuel Stevens, Robert Smith, Joseph Tucker, Peter Sharpe, Egbert Benson, Hugh Maxwell, Peter A. Jay, Aaron Clark, Ira B. Wheeler, William W. Todd, Seth Grosvenor, Simeon Draper, Jr., Wm. Aspinwall, Nathaniel Weed, Jonathan Goodhue, Caleb Bartow, Hiram Ketchum, Gabriel P. Dissosway, Henry K. Bogert, James Kent, Wm. S. Johnson, and John W. Leavitt, Esqrs., be a committee authorized and empowered to receive the Hon. Daniel Webster on his return from Washington, and make known to him, in the form of an address or otherwise, the sentiments which this meeting, in com. mon with the friends of the Union and the Cônstitution in the city, entertain for the services which he has performed for the country; that the committee correspond with Mr. Webster, and ascertain the time when his arrival may be expected, and give public notice of the same, together with the order of proceedings which may be adopted under these resolutions.
“Resolved, That these resolutions, signed by the Chairman and Sec. retaries, be published when the committee shall notify the public of the expected arrival of Mr. Webster.
“JAMEs KENT, Chairman.
“New York, March 1, 1837.
“SIR: — It having been currently reported that you have signified your intention to resign your seat in the Senate of the United States, a number of the friends of the Union and the Constitution in this city were convened on the evening of the 21st of last month, to devise measures whereby they might signify to you the sentiments which they, in com. mon with all the Whigs in this city, entertain for the eminent services you have rendered to the country. At this meeting, the Hon. James Kent was called to the chair, and resolutions, a copy of which I inclose you, were adopted, not only with entire unanimity, but with a feeling of warm and hearty concurrence. On behalf of the committee appointed under one of these resolutions, I now have the honor to address you. It will be gratifying to the committee to learn from you at what time you expect to arrive in this city on your return to Massachusetts. If informed of the time of your arrival, it will afford the committee pleasure to meet you, and, in behalf of the Whigs of New York, to welcome you, and to offer you, in a more extended form than the resolutions present, their views of your public services. I am instructed by the committee to say, that, whether you shall choose to appear among us as a public man or a private citizen, you will be warmly greeted by every sound friend of that Constitution for which you have been so distin... guished a champion. Should your resolution to resign your seat in the Senate be relinquished, you will, in the opinion of the committee, impose new obligations upon the friends of the Union and the Constitution “I have the honor to be, very truly, your obedient servant, *
- “D. B. OGLEN.
“Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER, Washington.”
“ Washington, March 4th, 1837. “My DEAR SIR : —I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant, communicating the resolutions adopted at a meeting of a number of political friends in New York. “The character of these resolutions, and the kindness of the sentiments expressed in your letter, have filled me with unaffected, gratitude. I feel, at the same time, how little deserving are any political servi
ces of mine of such commendation from such a source. To the discharge of the duties of my public situation, sometimes both anxious and difficult, I have devoted time and labor without reserve; and have made sacrifices of personal and private convenience not always unimportant. These, together with integrity of purpose and fidelity, constitute, I am conscious, my only claim to the public regard; and for all these I find myself richly compensated by proofs of approbation such as your communication affords.
“My desire to relinquish my seat in the Senate for the two years still remaining of the term for which I was chosen, would have been carried into execution at the close of the present session of the Senate, had not circumstances existed which, in the judgment of others, rendered it expedient to defer the fulfilment of that purpose for the present.
“It is my expectation to be in New York early in the week after next; and it will give me pleasure to meet the political friends who have tendered me this kind and respectful attention, in any manner most agreeable to them.
“I pray you to accept for yourself, and the other gentlemen of the committee, my highest regard.
“At a meeting of the committee appointed under the above resolution, Philip Hone, Robert Smith, John W. Leavitt, Egbert Benson, Ira B. Wheeler, Caleb Bartow, Simeon Draper, Jr., and Wm. S. Johnson, Esqrs., were appointed a sub-committee to make arrangements for the reception of Mr. Webster. The committee have corresponded with Mr. Webster, and ascertained that he will leave Philadelphia on the morning of Wednesday next. He will be met by the committee, and, on landing at Whitehall, at about two o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, will thence be conducted by the committee, accompanied by such other citizens as choose to join them, to a place hereafter to be designated. In the evening, at half past six o'clock, he will be addressed by the commit
tee, in a public meeting of citizens, at Niblo's Saloon. “D. B. Ogdex, Chairman.
On the subsequent day, March 15th, the committee appointed for that purpose met Mr. Webster at Amboy, and accompanied him to the city, where he was met, on landing, by a very numerous assemblage of citizens, who thronged to see the distinguished Senator, and give him a warm welcome; after landing, he was attended by the committee and a numerous cavalcade through Broadway, which was crowded with the most respectable citizens, to lodgings provided for him at the American Hotel. Here he made a short address to the assembled citizens, and in the evening was accompanied by the committee to Niblo's Saloon. One of the largest meetings ever held in the city of New York assembled in the Saloon, and at half past six o'clock was called to order by AARON CLARK; DAvid B. OGDEN was called to the chair as President of the meeting :
Robert C. Cornell, Jonathan Goodhue, Joseph Tucker, and Nathaniel Weed were nominated Vice-Presidents; and Joseph Hoxie and George S. Robbins, Secretaries. After the meeting was organized, PHILIP HoNE introduced Mr. Webster with a few appropriate remarks, and he was received with the most enthusiastic greetings. Mr. OGDEN then addressed him as follows:–
“On behalf of a committee, appointed at a meeting of a number of your personal and political friends in this city, I have now the honor of addressing you.
“It has afforded the committee, and, I may add, all your political friends, unmingled pleasure to learn that you have, at least for the present, relinquished the intention which I know you had formed of resigning your seat in the Senate of the United States. While expressing their feelings upon this change in your determination, the committee cannot avoid congratulating the country that your public services are not yet to be lost to it, and that the great champion of the Constitution and of the Union is still to continue in the field upon which he has earned so many laurels, and has so nobly asserted and defended the rights and liberties of the people.
“The effort made by you, and the honorable men with whom you have acted in the Senate, to resist executive encroachments upon the other departments of the government, will ever be remembered with gratitude by the friends of American liberty. That these efforts were not more successful, we shall long have reason to remember and regret. The administration of General Jackson is fortunately at an end. Its effects upon the Constitution and upon the commercial prosperity of the country are not at an end. Without attempting to review the leading measures of his administration, every man engaged in business in New York feels, most sensibly, that his experiment upon the currency has produced the evils which you foretold it would produce. It has brought distress, to an extent never before experienced, upon the men of enterprise and of small capital, and has put all the primary power in the hands of a few great capitalists.
“Upon the Senate our eyes and our hopes are fixed; we know that you and your political friends are in a minority in that body, but we know that in that minority are to be found great talents, great experience, great patriotism, and we look for great and continued exertions to maintain the Constitution, the Union, and the liberties of this people. And we take this opportunity of expressing our entire confidence, that whatever men can do in a minority will be done in the Senate to relieve the country from the evils under which she is now laboring, and to save her from being sacrificed by folly, corruption, or usurpation.
“It gives me, Sir, pleasure to be the organ of the committee to express to you their great respect for your talents, their deep sense of the importance of your public services, and their gratification to learn that you will still continue in the Senate.”
To this address Mr. WEBSTER replied in the following speech.
RECEPTION AT NEW YORK."
MR. CHAIRMAN, AND FELLow-Citizens: — It would be idle in me to affect to be indifferent to the circumstances under which I have now the honor of addressing you.
I find myself in the commercial metropolis of the continent, in the midst of a vast assembly of intelligent men, drawn from all the classes, professions, and pursuits of life.
And you have been pleased, Gentlemen, to meet me, in this imposing manner, and to offer me a warm and cordial welcome to your city. I thank you. I feel the full force and importance of this manifestation of your regard. In the highly-flattering resolutions which invited me here, in the respectability of this vast multitude of my fellow-citizens, and in the approbation and hearty good-will which you have here manifested, I feel cause for profound and grateful acknowledgment.
To every individual of this meeting, therefore, I would now
most respectfully make that acknowledgment; and with every one, as with hands joined in mutual greeting, I reciprocate friendly salutation, respect, and good wishes. But, Gentlemen, although I am well assured of your personal regard, I cannot fail to know, that the times, the political and commercial condition of things which exists among us, and an intelligent spirit, awakened to new activity and a new degree of anxiety, have mainly contributed to fill these avenues and crowd these halls. At a moment of difficulty, and of much alarm, you come here as Whigs of New York, to meet one whom you believe to be bound to you by common principles and common sentiments, and pursuing, with you, a common object. Gentle
* A Speech delivered at Niblo's Saloon, in New York, on the 15th of March, 1837.