General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States, 7 February 1844

  • Source Note
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gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty like a tornado, and swept through the land, till General [William Henry] Harrison appeared, as a star among the storm clouds, for better weather.
The calm came; and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address, while descanting upon the merits of the constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself. “There were in it, features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative democracy or republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the government would terminate in virtual monarchy. It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men’s opinions, for some years past, has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given, of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency if it really exists, and restore the government to its pristine health and vigor.” This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning , and I am willing the should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth or not: with acting ’s three years of perplexity and pseudo whig democrat reign, to heal the breaches, or show the wounds, secundum artum, (according to art.) Subsequent events, all things considered, ’s downfall, Harrison’s exit, and ’s self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to shew, as a Chaldean might exclaim: Berám etái eláuh beshmayáuh gauháh rauzéen: (Certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets;
No honest man can doubt for a moment, but the glory of American liberty, is on the wane; and, that calamity and confusion will sooner or later, destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling puseudo priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings, and “human rights,” into Congress and into every otner [other] place, where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity. Democracy, Whiggery and Cliquery, will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statutes of men, to save life, and mend the breach in prison glooms.
A still higher grade, of what the “nobility of nations” call “great men,” will dally with all rights in order to smuggle a fortune at “one fell swoop:” mortgage , possess , and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping: and should a humble honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyer’s fingers with finer rings, to have the judgment of his peers, and the honor of his lords, as a pattern of honesty, virtue and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation’s escutcheon: “Every man has his price!
Now, oh! people! people! turn unto the Lord and live; and reform this . Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at least one half. Two Senators from a state and two members to a million of popu [p. 8]
gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty like a tornado, and swept through the land, till General William Henry Harrison appeared, as a star among the storm clouds, for better weather.
The calm came; and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address, while descanting upon the merits of the constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself. “There were in it, features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative democracy or republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the government would terminate in virtual monarchy. It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men’s opinions, for some years past, has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given, of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency if it really exists, and restore the government to its pristine health and vigor.” This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning , and I am willing the should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth or not: with acting ’s three years of perplexity and pseudo whig democrat reign, to heal the breaches, or show the wounds, secundum artum, (according to art.) Subsequent events, all things considered, ’s downfall, Harrison’s exit, and ’s self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to shew, as a Chaldean might exclaim: Berám etái eláuh beshmayáuh gauháh rauzéen: (Certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets;
No honest man can doubt for a moment, but the glory of American liberty, is on the wane; and, that calamity and confusion will sooner or later, destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling puseudo priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings, and “human rights,” into Congress and into every otner [other] place, where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity. Democracy, Whiggery and Cliquery, will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statutes of men, to save life, and mend the breach in prison glooms.
A still higher grade, of what the “nobility of nations” call “great men,” will dally with all rights in order to smuggle a fortune at “one fell swoop:” mortgage , possess , and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping: and should a humble honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyer’s fingers with finer rings, to have the judgment of his peers, and the honor of his lords, as a pattern of honesty, virtue and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation’s escutcheon: “Every man has his price!
Now, oh! people! people! turn unto the Lord and live; and reform this . Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at least one half. Two Senators from a state and two members to a million of popu [p. 8]
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