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DELIVERED AT MADISON, INDIANA, JUNE 1, 1837.
(From the Madison Republican Banner, June 7.) DANIEL WEBSTER visited our town on Thursday last. Notice had been given the day previous of the probable time of his arrival. At the hour designated, crowds of citizens from the town and country thronged the quay. A gun from the Ben Franklin, as she swept gracefully round the point, gave notice of his approach, and was answered by a gun from the shore. Gun followed gun in quick succession, from boat and shore, and the last of the old national, salute was echoing among hill and glen, as the Franklin reached the wharf. Mr. Webster was immediately waited on by the committee appointed to receive him, and, attended by them, a committee of invitation from Cincinnati, and several gentlemen from Louisville, he landed amidst the cheers and acclamations of the assembled multitude. He was seated in an elegant barouche, supported by Governor Hendricks and John King, Esq., and, with the different committees, and a large procession of citizens in barouches, on horseback, and on foot, formed under the direction of Messrs. Wharton and Payne, of the committee of arrangements, marshals of the day, proceeded to the place appointed for his reception, an arbor erected at the north end of the market-house, fronting the large area formed by the intersection of Main and Main Cross Streets and the public square; and tastefully decorated with shrubbery, evergreens, and wreaths of flowers. In the back-ground appeared portraits of Washington and Lafayette, the Declaration of Independence, and several other appropriate badges and emblems, while in front a flag floated proudly on the breeze, bearing for its motto the ever-memorable sentiment with which he concluded his immortal speech in defence of the Constitution, “ LIBERTY AND Union, NOW AND FOREVER, ONE AND INSEPARABLE.” When the procession arrived, Mr. W.ascended the stand in the arbor, supported by Governor Hendricks and the committee of arrangements, when he was appropriately and eloquently addressed by J. G. Marshall, Esq. on behalf of the citizens, to which he responded in a speech of an hour's length.
LOUISVILLE, Mar 30, 1837.
Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER: Sır - Your fellow-citizens of the town of Madison, Indiana, deeply impressed with a sense of the obligations which they and all the true lovers of constitutional liberty, and friends to our
happy and glorious Union, owe you for the many prominent services rendered by you to their beloved, though now much agitated and injured country, having appointed the undersigned a committee, through whom to tender you their salutations and the hospitalities of their town, desire us earnestly to request you to partake of a public dinner, or such other expression of the high estimation in which they hold you, as may be most acceptable, at such time as you may designate.
Entertaining the hope, that you may find it convenient to comply with this request of our constituents and ourselves, we beg leave, with sentiments of the most profound respect and regard, to subscribe ourselves,
GENTLEMEN: I feel much honored by the communication which I have received from you, expressing the friendly sentiments of my fellow-citizens of Madison, and desiring that I should pay them a visit.
Although so kind an invitation, meeting me at so great a distance, was altogether unlooked for, I had yet determined not to pass so interesting a point on the Ohio without making some short stay at it. I shall leave this on Thursday morning, and will stop at Madison, and shall be most happy to see any of its citizens who may desire to meet me. I must pray to be excused from a formal public dinner, as well from a regard to the time which it will be in my power to pass with you, as from a general wish, whenever it is practicable, to avoid every thing like ceremony or show in my intercourse with my fellow-citizens. You truly observe, gentlemen, that the country at the present moment is agitated. I think, too, that you are right in saying it is injured; that is, I think public measures, of a very injurious character and tendency, have been unfortunately adopted. But our case is not one that leads us to much despondency. The country — the happy and glorious country in which you and I live — is great, free, and full of resources; and, in the main, an intelligent and patriotic spirit pervades the community. These will bring all things right. Whatsoever has been injudiciously or rashly done, may be corrected by wiser counsels. Nothing can, for any great length of time, depress the great interests of the people of the United States, if wisdom and honest good sense shall prevail in their public measures. Our present point of suffering is the currency. In my opinion, this is an interest with the preservation of which Congress is charged — solemnly and deeply charged. A uniform currency was one of the great objects of the Union. If we fail to maintain it, we so far fail of what was intended by the national Constitution. Let us strive to avert this reproach from that government and that Union, which make us, in so many respects, ONE PEOPLE! Be assured that, to the attainment of this end, every power and faculty of my mind shall be directed; and may Providence 80 prosper us, that no one shall be able to say, that in any thing, this glorious Union of the States has come short of fulfilling either its own duties or the just expectations of the people.
With sentiments of true regard, gentlemen, I am your much obliged friend and fellow-citizen,
DANIEL WEBSTER. To W. LYLE,
W. J. M'CLURE,
MR. MARSHALL'S ADDRESS.
Sir - The people now assembled around you, through me, the humble organ of their selection, do most sincerely and cordially welcome you to Madison. In extending to you the most liberal hospitality, they do no more, however, than they would be inclined to do towards the humblest citizen of our common country. But this public and formal manifestation of the feeling of regard which they entertain for you, is intended to do more than inform you of the simple fact that here you can find food and shelter, and partake with them of the pleasures of the social circle. If this were all, it might be communicated in a manner more acceptable,by extending to you the hand of friendship, and kindly pointing you to the family board; but by this public parade, this assembling of the people around you, it is intended to give you that consolation, (most grateful and cheering to every true American heart,) the People's approbation of your acts as a public servant. This is done, not with that abject feeling which characterizes the homage of subjects, but with that nobler feeling which prompts freemen to honor and esteem those who have been their country's benefactors. Prompted by such feeling, the patriots of the Revolution delighted to honor the Father of our country. He led his arinies to victory, and thus wrested the liberties of his countrymen from the grasp of a tyrant;- and may we not from like impulses manifest gratitude towards those who, by the power of their intellects, have effectually rebuked erroneous principles which were evidently undermining and endangering the very existence of our beloved Union ? Yes, sir, our country has now nothing to fear from external violence. It is a danger which the whole country can see on its first approach, and every arm will be nerved at once to repel it - it can be met at the point of the bayonet, and millions would now, as in days that are past, be ready to shed their blood in defence of their country. But, sir, in those who artfully excite the passions and prejudices of the people, and by presenting to them the most plausible pretexts (for their own selfish purposes) lead them thoughtlessly to abandon the sacred principles upon which our government is founded, and to reject the measures which can alone promote the prosperity of the country, in such we meet an enemy against whom the most daring bravery of the soldier is totally unavailing.
The injury which is inflicted is not at first felt - time is required to develop it and when developed, the closest investigation may be necessary to trace it to its cause; this the people may not be able to accomplish. "This enemy to the country can only be discerned by the keen eye of the Statesman, and met and conquered by the power of his intellect. And he who is successful in thus defending his country, may well be held in grateful remembrance by his fellow-citizens. It is for such reasons, sir, that we have presented you these testimonials of our approbation. Though personally a stranger to us, your public character, your masterly efforts in defence of the Constitution, the services you have rendered the West, and the principles and measures which you have so ably advocated, are known and approved, and I hope will ever be remembered by us. And although some of your efforts have proved for the time unsuccessful, it is to be hoped they would now have a different effect. When the old and established measures of any government have been abandoned for new ones — simply as an experiment — and when that experiment, if it does not produce, is, to say the least, immediately followed by ruin and distress in every part of the country — may we not hope that men will at least calmly and dispassionately hear and weigh the reasons why a different policy should be adopted ? But if the people's representatives cannot be convinced of the error into which they have been led, it is high time the people themselves should arise from their slumbers - a dark cloud hangs over the land, so thick, so dark, a ray of hope can hardly penetrate it. But shall the people gird on their armor and march to battle? No, sir - it is a battle which they must fight through the ballot-box; and perhaps they do not know against what to direct their effort ; they are almost in a state of despondency, ready to conclude that they are driven to the verge of ruin by a kind of irresistible destiny. The cause of the evil can be discovered only by investigation ; and to their public men they must look for information and for wisdom to direct them. But, sir, it is not our object to relate to you our grievances, or recount the past services which you have rendered your country - we wish to cheer you on to increased efforts in urging the measures you have heretofore so zealously and ably advocated. May your success be equal to your efforts – and may happiness and prosperity attend you through life.
Mr. WEBSTER replied as follows:
If, fellow-citizens, I can make myself heard by this numerous assembly, speaking, as I do, in the open air, I will return to you: my heartfelt thanks for the kindness you have shown me. I come among you a stranger. On the day before yesterday, I placed my foot, for the first time, in the great and growing State of Indiana. Although I have lived on terms of great intimacy and friendship with several Western gentlemen, members of Congress, among whom is your estimable townsman near me, (Governor Hendricks, I have never before bad an opportunity of seeing and forming an acquaintance for myself with my fellow-citizens of this section of the Union. I travel for this purpose. I confess that I regard with astonishment the evidences of intelligence, enterprise, and refinement every where exhibited around me, when I think of the short time that has elapsed since the spot where I stand was a howling wilderness. Since I entered public life, this State was unknown as a political government — all the country west of the Alleghanies, and north-west of the Ohio, constituted but one territory, entitled to a single delegate in the councils of the nation, having the right to speak, but not to vote. Since then, the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and the long strip of country known as the Territory of Wisconsin, have been carved out of it. Indiana, which
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numbers but twenty years since the commencement of her political existence, contains a population of six hundred thousand - equal to the population of Massachusetts, a State of two hundred years duration. In age she is an infant; in strength and resources a giant. Her appearance indicates the full vigor of maturity, while, judging by the measure of her years, she is yet in the cradle.
Although I reside in a part of the country most remote from you - although I have seen you spring into existence and advance with rapid strides in the march of prosperity and power, until your population has equalled that of my own State, which you far surpass in fertility of soil and salubrity of climate ; yet these things have excited in me no feelings of dislike, or jealousy, or envy. On the contrary, I have witnessed them with pride and pleasure, when I saw in them the growth of a member of our common country; and with feelings warmer than pride, when I recollect that there are those among you who are bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh — who inherit my name and share my blood. When they came to me for my advice, before leaving their hearths and homes, I did not oppose their desires or suggest difficulties in their paths. I told them, “Go and join your destinies with those of the hardy pioneers of the West - share their hardships and partake their fortunes — go, and God speed you; only carry with you your own good principles, and whether the sun rises on you, or sets on you, let it warm American hearts in your bosoms."
Though, as I observed, I live in a part of the country most remote from you, fellow-citizens, I have been no inattentive observer of your history and progress. I have heard the reports made in your Legislature, and the acts passed in pursuance thereof. I have traced on the map of your State the routes marked out for extensive turnpikes, rail-roads, and canals. I have read with pleasure the acts providing for their establishment and completion. I do not pretend to offer you my advice - it would perhaps be presumptuous; but you will permit me to say, that as far as I have examined them, they are conceived in wisdom, and evince great political skill and foresight. You have commenced at the right point. To open the means of communication, by which man may, when he wishes, see the face of his friend, should be the first work of every government. We may theorize and speculate about it as we please — we may understand all the metaphysics of politics ; but if men are confined to the narrow spot they inhabit, because they have not the means of travelling when they please, they must go back to a state of barbarism. Social intercourse is the cornerstone of good government. The nation that provides no means for its improvement, has not taken the first step in civilization. Go on, then, as you have begun - prosecute your works with energy and perseverance - be not daunted by imaginary difficulties - be not