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to American Industry was recommended strongly, and advocated by arguments so simple that a child could understand them; so cogent that no man could refute them-arguments, in fact, precisely similar to those which the Tribune has since made familiar to the country. In the message of 1822, the president repeated his recommendation, and again in that of 1824. Those were the years of the recognition of the South American Republics, of the Greek enthusiasm, of Lafayette's triumphal progress through the Union; of the occupation of Oregon, of the suppression of Piracy in the Gulf of Mexico; of the Clay, Adams and Jackson controversy. It was during the period we are now considering, that Henry Clay made his most brilliant efforts in debate, and secured a place in the affections of Horace Greeley, which he retained to his dying day. It was then, too, that the boy learned to distrust the party who claimed to be pre-eminently and exclusively Democratic.
How attentively he watched the course of political events, how intelligently he judged them, at the age of thirteen, may be inferred from a passage in an article which he wrote twenty years after, the facts of which he stated from his early recollection of them:
"The first political contest," he wrote in the TRIBUNE for August 29th, 1846, "in which we ever took a distinct interest will serve to illustrate this distinction [between real and sham democracy]. It was the Presidential Election of 1824. Five candidates for President were offered, but one of them was withdrawn, leaving four, all of them members in regular standing of the socalled Republican or Democratic party. But a caucus of one-fourth of the members of Congress had selected one of the four (William H. Crawford) as the Republican candidate, and it was attempted to make the support of this one a test of party orthodoxy and fealty. This was resisted, we think most justly and democratically, by three-fourths of the people, including a large majority of those of this State. But among the prime movers of the caucus wires was Martin Van Buren of this State, and here it was gravely proclaimed and insisted that Democracy required a blind support of Crawford in preference to Adams, Jackson, or Clay, all of the Democratic party, who were competitors for the station. A Legislature was chosen as 'Republican' before the people generally had begun to think of the Presidency, and, this Legislature, it was undoubtingly expected, would choose Crawford Electors of President. But the friends of the rival candidates at length began to bestir themselves and demand that the New York Electors should be chosen by a direct vote of the people, and not by a forestalled Legislature This demand was vehemently re
sisted by Martin Van Buren and those who followed his lead, including the leading Democratic' politicians and editors of the State, the Albany Argus,' 'Noah's Enquirer, or National Advocate,' &c. &c. The feeling in favor of an Election by the people became so strong and general that Gov. Yates, though himself a Crawford man, was impelled to call a special session of the Legislature for this express purpose. The Assembly passed a bill giving the choice to the people by an overwhelming majority, in defiance of the exertions of Van Buren, A. C. Flagg, &c. The bill went to the Senate, to which body Silas Wright had recently been elected from the Northern District, and elected by Clintonian votes on an explicit understanding that he would vote for giving the choice of the Electors to the people. He accordingly voted, on one or two abstract propositions, that the choice ought to be given to the people. But when it came to a direct vote, this same Silas Wright, now Governor, voted to deprive the people of that privilege, by postponing the whole subject to the next regular session of the Legislature, when it would be too late for the people to choose Electors for that time. A bare majority (17) of the Senators thus withheld from the people the right they demanded. The cabal failed in their great object, after all, for several members of the Legislature, elected as Democrats, took ground for Mr. Clay, and by uniting with the friends of Mr. Adams defeated most of the Crawford Electors, and Crawford lost the Presidency. We were but thirteen when this took place, but we looked on very earnestly, without prejudice, and tried to look beyond the mere names by which the contending parties were called. Could we doubt that Democracy was on one side and the Democratic party on the other? Will ' Democrat' attempt to gainsay it now?
"Mr. Adams was chosen President-as thorough a Democrat, in the true sense of the word, as ever lived—a plain, unassuming, upright, and most capable statesman. He managed the public affairs so well that nobody could really give a reason for opposing him, and hardly any two gave the same reason. There was no party conflict during his time respecting the Bank, Tariff, Internal Improvements, nor anything else of a substantial character. He kept the expenses of the government very moderate. He never turned a man out of office because of a difference of political sentiment. Yet it was determined at the outset that he should be put down, no matter how well he might administer the government, and a combination of the old Jackson, Crawford, and Calhoun parties, with the personal adherents of De Witt Clinton, aided by a shamefully false and preposterous outcry that he had obtained the Presidency by a bargain with Mr. Clay, succeeded in returning an Opposition Congress in the middle of his term, and at its close to put in General Jackson over him by a large majority.
"The character of this man Jackson we had studied pretty thoroughly and without prejudice. His fatal duel with Dickinson about a horse-race; his pistoling Colonel Benton in the streets of Nashville; his forcing his way through
the Indian country with his drove of negroes in defiance of the express order of the Agent Dinsmore; his imprisonment of Judge Hall at New Orleans, long after the British had left that quarter, and when martial law ought long since to have been set aside; his irruption into Florida and capture of Spanish posts and officers without a shadow of authority to do so; his threats to cut off the ears of Senators who censured this conduct in solemn debate-in short, his whole life convinced us that the ma neve a Democrat, in any proper sense of the term, but a violent and lawless despot, after the pattern of Cæsar, Cromwell, and Napoleon, and unfit to be trusted with power Of course, we went against him, but not against anything really Democratic in him or his party.
"That General Jackson in power justified all our previous expectations of him, need hardly be said. That he did more to destroy the Republican character of our government and render it a centralized despotism, than any other man could do, we certainly believe. But our correspondent and we would probably disagree with regard to the Bank and other questions which convulsed the Union during his rule, and we will only ask his attention to one of them, the earliest, and, in our view, the most significant.
"The Cherokee Indians owned, and had ever occupied, an extensive tract of country lying within the geographical limits of Georgia, Alabama, &c. It was theirs by the best possible title-theirs by our solemn and reiterated Treaty stipulations. We had repeatedly bought from them slices of their lands, solemnly guarantying to them all that we did not buy, and agreeing to defend them therein against all aggressors. We had promised to keep all intruders out of their territory. At least one of these Treaties was signed by Gen. Jackson himself; others by Washington, Jefferson, &c. All the usual pretexts for agression upon Indians failed in this case. The Cherokees had been our friends and allies for many years; they had committed no depredations; they were peaceful, industrious, in good part Christianized, had a newspaper printed in their own tongue, and were fast improving in the knowledge and application of the arts of civilized life. They compared favorably every way with their white neighbors. But the Georgians coveted their fertile lands, and determined to have them; they set them up in a lottery and gambled them off among themselves, and resolved to take possession. A fraudulent Treaty was made between a few Cherokees of no authority or consideration and sundry white agents, including one who stole the livery of Heaven to serve the devil in,' but everybody scoffed at this mockery, as did ninety-nine hundredths of the Cherokees.
"Now Georgia, during Mr. Adams' Administration, attempted to extend her jurisdiction over these poor people. Mr. Adams, finding remonstrance of no avail, stationed a part the army at a proper point, prepared to drive all intruders out of the Cherokee country, as we had by treaty solemnly engaged to do. This answered the purpose. Georgia blustered, but dared not go fur
ther. She went en masse for Jackson, of course. When he came in, she proceeded at once to extend her jurisdiction over the Cherokees in very deed. They remonstrated-pointed to their broken treaties, and urged the President to perform his sworn duty, and protect them, but in vain. Georgia seized a Cherokee accused of killing another Cherokee in their own country, tried him for and convicted him of murder. He sued out a writ of error, carried the case up to the U. S. Supreme Court, and there obtained a decision in his favor, establishing the utter illegality as well as injustice of the acts of Georgia in the premises. The validity of our treaties with the Cherokees, and the consequent duty of the President to see them enforced, any thing in any State-law or edict to the contrary notwithstanding, was explicitely affirmed. But President Jackson decided that Georgia was right and the Supreme Court wrong, and refused to enforce the decision of the latter. So the Court was defied, the Cherokee hung, the Cherokee country given up to the cupidity of the Georgians, and its rightful owners driven across the Mississippi, virtually at the point of the bayonet. That case changed the nature of our Government, making the President Supreme Judge of the Law as well as its Chief Minister-in other words, Dictator. "Amen! Hurrah for Jackson!" said the Pharisaic Democracy of Party and Spoils. We could not say it after them. We considered our nation perjured in the trampling down and exile of these Cherokees; perjury would have lain heavy on our soul had we approved and promoted the deed."
On another occasion, when Silas Wright was nominated for Gov. ernor of the State of New York, the Tribune broke forth: "The ' notorious Seventeen '—what New-Yorker has not heard of them? -yet how small a proportion of our present voting population retain a vivid and distinct recollection of the outrage on Republicanism and Popular Rights which made the 'Seventeen' so unenviably notorious! The Editor of the Tribune is of that proportion, be it small or large. Though a boy in 1824, and living a mile across the Vermont line of the State, he can never forget the indignation awakened by that outrage, which made him for ever an adversary of the Albany Regency and the demagogues who here and elsewhere made use of the terms 'Democracy,' 'Democrats,' 'Democratic party,' to hoodwink and cajole the credulous and unthinking -to divert their attention from things to names-to divest them of independent and manly thought, and lead them blindfold wherever the intriguers' interests shall dictate-to establish a real Aristocracy under the abused name of Democracy. It was 1824 which taught many beside us the nature of this swindle, and fired them with un
conquerable zeal and resolution to defeat the fraud by exposing it to the apprehension of a duped and betrayed people."
These extracts will assist the reader to recall the political excitements of the time. And he may well esteem it extraordinary for a boy of thirteen-an age when a boy is, generally, most a boy-to understand them so well, and to be interested in them so deeply. It should be remembered, however, that in remote country places, where the topics of conversation are few, all the people take a degree of interest in politics, and talk about political questions with a frequency and pertinacity of which the busy inhabitants of cities can form little idea.
Horace's last year in Westhaven (1825) wore slowly away. He had exhausted the schools; he was impatient to be at the types, and he wearied his father with importunities to get him a place in a printing-office. But his father was loth to let him go, for two reasons: the boy was useful at home, and the cautious father feared he would not do well away from home; he was so gentle, so ab sent, so awkward, so little calculated to make his way with strar gers. One day, the boy saw in the "Northern Spectator," a weekly paper, published at East Poultney, eleven miles distant, an advertisement for an apprentice in the office of the "Spectator" itself. He showed it to his father, and wrung from him a reluctant consent to his applying for the place. "I have n't got time to go and see about it, Horace; but if you have a mind to walk over to Poult ney and see what you can do, why you may."
Horace had a mind to.