Friday, February 13, 2009

Guess the Legislator!

In the the latter half of the 1840s, a United States Congressman (Senator or Representative) took the floor of his chamber and delivered an impassioned speech, during the course of which he expressed the sentiments delivered below. Use the poll below to guess who it was. I won't tell you the subject of the speech, except that it had nothing to do with Texas, Mexico, New Mexico, or slavery.

I deeply regret the course of a portion of my southern political friends upon this question. . . .

Sir, I am no croaker against the South. I have suffered abuse for the defence of her constitutional rights. My home is in the North. I love its green hills and quiet valleys. I would not exchange its rugged soil, that invites to labor, and begets a noble spirit of self-dependence, for the fertile and luxuriant plains of the sunny South. I would not exchange systems of labor, nor those stern and quiet virtues of the North, for all the chivalry and nice honor of the South.

Yet, sir, I am not insensible to the claims of the South upon my affection and respect. She has contributed largely to fill up the measure of our national glory. Her blood and her treasure has been freely poured out in the day of peril and of our country’s greatest need. I hold in profound respect the names of her great statesmen, living and dead. I have drawn largely from their teachings in the building up of my political faith. I cherish and respect them for their able vindication of the great doctrines of the republican school, their fearless defense of the rights of the States, and their watchful jealousy against the encroachments of Federal power. When the North and the East were rushing on towards consolidation, the South stood like a wall of fire in their path. The South, sir, has done much for the cause of republican principles, and of constitutional government.

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