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sbom, for the protection of our own coasts and oar own harbors; I was for giving play to its gallant and burning spirit; for allowing it to go forth upon the seas, and encounter, on an open and an equal field, whatever the proudest or the bravest of the enemy could bring against it. I knew the character of its officers, and the spirit of its seamen; and 1 knew that, in their hands, though the flag of the country might go down to the bottom, while they went with it, yet that it could never be dishonored or disgraced.
"Since she was our enemy — and a most powerful enemy — I was for touching her, rf we could, in the very apple of her eye; for reaching the highest feather in her cap; for clutching at the very brightest jewel in her crown. There seemed to me to be a peculiar propriety in all this, as the war was undertaken for the redress of maritime injuries alone. It was a war declared for free trade and sailors' rights. The ocean, therefore, was the proper theatre for deciding this controversy with our enemy, and on that theatre my ardent wish was, that our own power should be concentrated to the utmost.
"So much, sir, for the war, and for my conduct and opinions as connected with it. And, as I do not mean to recur to this subject often, or ever, unless indispensably necessary, I repeat the demand for any charge, any accusation, any allegation whatever, that throws me behind the honorable gentleman, or behind any other man, in honor, in fidelity, in devoted love to that country in which I was born, which has honored me, and which 1 serve. I, who seldom deal in defiance, now, here, in my place, boldly defy the honorable member to pot his insinuation in the form of a charge, and to support that charge by any proof whatever."
Speech in the Senate of the United States, on introducing the Proposition
for the Distribution of the Surplus Revenue, May 31, 1836 78
Remarks in the Senate of the United States, on the Protest against Ex-
Speech delivered in Niblo's Saloon, in New York, on the 15th of March,
Sri Ecu at the Merchants' Meeting in Wall Street, New York, September
28, 1*40 , 508
MADE TO THE CITIZENS OF BANGOR, MAINE, AUGUST 25, 1835.
During a visit to Maine, in the summer of 1835, on business connected with his profession, Mr. Webster was at Bangor, where he partook of a collation with many of the citizens. There were so many more people, however, anxious to see and hear him than could be accommodated in the hall of the Hotel, that, after the cloth was removed, he was compelled to proceed to the balcony, where, after thanking the company for their hospitality, and their manifestation of regard, he addressed the assembly as follows: —
Having occasion to come into the State, on professional business, I have gladly availed myself of the opportunity to visit this city, the growing magnitude and importance of which have recently attracted so much general notice. I am happy to say, that I see around me ample proofs of the correctness of those favorable representations which have gone abroad. Your city, gentlemen, has undoubtedly experienced an extraordinary growth; and it is a growth, I think, which there is reason to hope is not unnatural, or greatly disproportionate to the eminent advantages of the place. It so happened, that, at an early period of my life, I came to this spot, attracted by that favorable position, which the slightest glance on the map must satisfy every one that it occupies. It is near the head of tide water, on a river which brings to it from the sea a volume of water equal to the demands of the largest vessels of war, and whose branches, uniting here, from great distances above, traverse, in their course, extensive tracts, now covered with valuable productions of the forest, and capable, most of them, of profitable agricultural cultivation. But at the period I speak of, the time had not come for the proper development and display of these advantages. Neither the place itself, nor the country, was then ready. A long course of commercial restrictions and embargo, and a foreign war, were yet to be gone through, before the local advantages of such a spot could be exhibited or enjoyed, or the country would be in a condition to create an active demand for its main products.
I believe some twelve or twenty houses were all that Bangor could enumerate, when I was in it before; and I remember to have crossed the stream, which now divides your fair city, on some floating logs,
VOL. III. 3 17 B*
for the purpose of visiting a former friend and neighbor, who had just then settled here, a gentleman always most respectable, and now venerable for his age and his character, whom I have great pleasure in seeing among you to-day, in the enjoyment of health and happiness.
It is quite obvious, Gentlemen, that while the local advantages of a noble river, and of a large surrounding country, may be justly considered as the original spring of the present prosperity of the city, the current of this prosperity has, nevertheless, been put in motion, enlarged and impelled, by the general progress of improvement, and growth of wealth throughout the whole country.
At the period of my former visit, there was, of course, neither Rail-road nor Steam-boat, nor Canal, to favor communication; nor do I recollect that any public or stage coach came within fifty miles of the town.
Internal Improvement has been the great agent of so favorable a change; and so blended are our interests, that the general activity, which exists elsewhere, supported and stimulated by Internal Improvement, pervades and benefits even those portions of the country which are locally remote from the immediate scene of the main operations of this Improvement. Whatever promotes communication— whatsoever extends general business — whatsoever encourages enterprise, or whatsoever advances the general wealth and prosperity of other States, must have a plain, direct, and powerful bearing on your own prosperity. In truth, there is no town in the Union, whose hopes can be more directly staked on the general prosperity of the country, than this rising city. If any thing should interrupt the general operations of business, — if commercial embarrassment, foreign war, pecuniary derangement, domestic dissension, or any other causes, were to arrest the general progress of the public welfare, all must see, with what a blasting and withering effect such a course must operate on Bangor.
Gentlemen, I have often taken occasion to say, what circumstances may render it proper now to repeat, that, at the close of the last war, a new era, in my judgment, had opened in the United States. A new career then lay before us. At peace ourselves with the nations of Europe, and those nations, too, at peace with one another, and the leading civilized States of the world no longer allowing that commerce which had been the rich harvest of our neutrality, in the midst of former wars, but all now coming forward to exercise their own rights, in sharing the commerce and trade of the world, it seemed to me to be very plain, that while our commerce was still to be fostered with the most zealous care, yet quite a new view of things was presented to us, in regard to our internal pursuits and concerns. The works of peace, as it seemed to me, had become our duties. A hostile exterior, a front of brass, and an arm of iron,