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State in hundreds if not in thousands. I would make it a great fountain of knowledge in all departments; I would throw wide open the doors, and invite all to enter without money and without price. I would place it far above the polluting influence of party strife and contention, and equally so above that of the contests of religious sects. It should be sacred to the best secular knowledge, to a sound Christian morality, and thus to the true interests of civilization. This, sir, is my ideal of what the State University of Missouri ought to be, and what you have it in your power to make it. Let this Bill become a law, and the stability and prosperity of the university will, in my judgment, be assured.


This appropriation is asked essentially for the benefit of the working-men of the State. It is for their education and their elevation that we are now asked for the first time to do something. Sir, who pay the taxes? Who build the cities and the railroads ? Who convert the wilderness into fruitful and smiling fields ? Who fight the battles of the nation; who are its bulwark, its hope, and its stay? Who, but the farmers and the mechanics, the miners and the laboring men ? It has been justly said of one of these classes of citizens by one of the ripest scholars and ablest financiers this or any other land has produced, that “It may not be foretold to what dangers the country is destined when its swelling population, its expanding territory, its daily complicating interests shall awaken the latent passions of man and reveal the vulnerable points of our institutions. But whenever these perils come,

its most steadfast security, its unfailing reliance, will be on that column of landed proprietors, the men of the soil and of the country, standing aloof from the passions which agitate denser communities; well educated, brave, and independent; the friends of the Government without soliciting its favors, the advocates of the people without descending to flatter their passions. These men, rooted like their own forests, may yet interpose between the factions of the country, to heal, to defend, and to save.”

How important, then, that they should have all the advantages of education, and of liberal culture, that this measure is intended to give.


Mr. President, no one should conclude from what I have said that I do not feel an equally warm interest in the success of all other higher institutions of learning in the State, whether they be independent or denominational. But it is not our province as legislators to deal with them; we have only to provide for that system which the State itself has established and pledged itself to maintain. However, sir, as they all constitute different parts of those

, great moral and educational agencies set on foot to enlighten and elevate the people, I am for upholding and sustaining all of them. They are needed in our country, and must be multiplied to meet the increasing wants of our rapidly advancing civilization. One of these institutions, William Jewell College, which is located in Clay County, and bears the honored name of a former distinguished and patriotic citizen of my County of Boone, Dr. William Jewell, now gone to his rest, and was founded by his liberality, and which has been largely increased by the contributions of other noble men of my own and other counties of the State, is in its highest prosperity, and I cannot feel other than the deepest solicitude for its success. And, planted in the town where I reside, there are two institutions for the education of women, one of them, Stephens College, called after another of our most public-spirited citizens, James L. Stephens, of Columbia, upon whose large endowment the institution principally rests; and the other, Christian Female College, built up by the means of its distinguished president, Elder Joseph K. Rogers, with the aid of others, and by long years of his patient care and labor until it has become one of the first female educational institutions of the West. In these and all similar establishments I shall continue to feel the deepest interest, and shall exert my poor influence to advance them wherever they may be located or by whomsoever endowed and sustained.

Mr. President, I have thus, in a poor way, presented to the Senate my views on this measure. And I confess, sir, that besides these public considerations which I have mentioned, and which alone ought to govern our action, there are personal considerations why I feel some anxiety about the passage of this Bill. Thirty-four years ago, before the building of this capitol, I came here a youth, barely eligible to a seat in the General Assembly of the State, as a member of the House of Representatives from the County of Boone. The first Bill I ever wrote was one providing for the location of the University of the State. The first speech I ever made in a legislative body was in advocacy of the passage of this Bill. Under it the institution was located in the County of Boone, the people there having given the largest sum to secure it. I have been its steady friend and advocate ever since. I have been the author of other measures to strengthen and make it permanent, useful, and respectable. It has passed through the usual vicissitudes of literary and scientific institutions placed under the guidance and direction of political bodies, but it is now nearly safe from danger from this source. Resting secure on the larger intelligence of the people, and in the affections and confidence of the well-educated young men and women who have hitherto gone, and will continue to go, out from the walls of their alma mater as faithful sons and daughters — it will be shielded against the assaults of those who would attempt either to wound or to destroy it. In time it will have an

five years,

ample endowment, with its departments greatly extended. Presided over by an experienced and enlightened President, with a full corps of learned and faithful professors, if at this session of the General Assembly a Bill introduced by myself shall become law, making it substantially free to all the youth of the State, male and female, between the ages of sixteen and twenty

its progress must be rapid, both upward and onward. Let the State continue to do its duty (and there can be no complaint that the Legislature has failed to make the amplest provision for both elementary and secondary education), and there is no reason to doubt that in a few years Missouri will boast of an institution of learning equal to any in the West; and in the course of time, when ours shall be the great central State of the American Union, unequaled in wealth and population and political influence, the people who shall succeed us may boast of an institution rivaling and even surpassing those grand ones planted in the olden times, whose fame has come down to us through revolutions, and changes, and the gloomy mists of the centuries — those of Cordova, of Padua, of Salamanca, of Paris, of Oxford, and of Cambridge, not to mention those of more modern growth, Yale and Harvard, in our own country.

Since I first entered this General Assembly, Mr. President, many changes have taken place, the course of empire has taken its way Westward. This country was then a wilderness - even almost immediately around us. I look about me in this Senate Chamber, and through the hall of the House of Representatives, and I find that nearly all my contemporaries have left these halls, and their sons (pointing to Senator Birch) are taking their places, or else directing their energies to other pursuits of life. A still larger number of them, having finished their labors on earth, have gone to


The undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveler returns.

Standing amongst you I feel, sir, almost alone. I am next to the oldest Senator on this floor; my legislative career is nearly closed. I have seen much public service, and, whilst I may have committed many errors, I feel that I can say my aims have been unselfish, and I have endeavored to promote the public good; and borrowing an illustration from my great model in political life I say: If the General Assembly will pass this Bill, I will retire from these halls; I will go to my home at Lagrange, on the hospitable banks of the Hingston, and there, with a people who have honored me beyond my deserts, amidst my flocks and herds, beneath the shades of my trees, in the bosom of an affectionate family, enjoy an attachment and fidelity that we seldom meet with in the walks of public life.


Before the Congressional Convention Assembled in St. Louis, May 13,

14, 15, 1873.


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Congressional Convention : A task has been imposed upon me, urged upon me, that I was afraid to undertake, and which, more than ever as I rise before you, I feel the difficulty of fulfilling. I have been requested to make a speech before the first speechmaking body in the world, a body that hears more good speeches, and perhaps more bad ones, than any other assemblage of mortal men. I am appointed to “carry coals to Newcastle," a most unprofitable venture, but I will promise that in such a commerce my cargo shall be a very small one.

This is the first time that the Congress of the United States of America (not exactly, it is true, in its organized capacity) has met west of the great “ Father of Waters,” and yet not far enough west to be in the centre of our expanded country. But we promise ourselves that it will not be the last time that they will meet us here, either in their organized form or at any rate as individuals, to study the interests of our mighty republic; and in this great central city of the nation — it may be “ The Future Great City of the World” to behold for themselves the channels of commerce extending away to the north and to the west, by thousands upon thousands of miles; then again stretching to the south and to the east, by other thousands, and concentrating here where you stand all the advantages of business, creating such an emporium for receiving and distributing all the productions of industry, and all the good things bestowed by the bountiful hand of nature for the benefit of man, as I undertake to say does not exist elsewhere in our country, and is not surpassed upon the face of the globe.

But whether meeting you here in the one form or the other, we greet you with warm Western hearts; we meet you as our common countrymen, bound to you by all the ties of patriotism ; we meet you with the respect and deference due your exalted position as members of the grandest legislative council the most potent for good or for evil — that ever sat anywhere or in any age, from the beginning of time; we come to you with our hearts in our hands; and our speech, though it may be plain and blunt, shall be hearty and sincere.

And let it be understood, once for all, that this is in no sense a sectional or party assemblage, any more than would be a convention to consider the question of improving the harbors on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in order to protect the commerce of the oceans, or to improve the navigation of the lakes on the north, or of the Gulf of Mexico on the south; or a meeting to stimulate and develop, to encourage and foster any one or more of the great industries of the country, in order thereby to increase the general wealth and happiness of the entire people. Far, far from it! The day for the meeting of mere sectional conventions, with a view to obtain some supposed local advantage, or to awaken the political animosity and strife of one section against another section, has I trust passed — forever passed. The only subject upon which sectional parties have been formed hitherto in our country has been blotted out — removed forever from our political discussions, and buried in deep oblivion, from whence even its ghost may never again emerge to disturb the public peace and tranquillity.

We wish to confer with you in regard to wants and interests that concern not merely ourselves but the whole nation, and, indeed, the world itself, for the old doctrine of rival and adverse interests is almost expunged from a true economic, as well as a Christian, philosophy. Still more should it be utterly banished from the sections of the same common country.

We come before you, then, rather as citizens of one country than of a particular section of it; and when we point you to special and sectional advantages or resources, we say to you, Behold! all these belong to our great and glorious country; they are a common property; they belong to you, as well as to ourselves. Protect, foster, support, develop them all — not for a section, but for the whole country; nay, more, for the whole civilized and commercial world.

We Americans- and especially, we of the West-are sometimes charged with magnifying ourselves - magnifying our country, our prospects, our resources, our energies ; in short, that our every-day language is full of figures, hyperboles, and all manner of extravagances. But what language, I ask, can come up to the reality, to what we ourselves have seen and experienced ? The soberest statement of facts, and made even in the driest statistical and arithmetical forms, seems like the very dreams of oriental magnificence. Facts so wonderful that the bare recital of them seems to others wild and extravagant have become to us quite common. Why, but a few decades since, the very spot where you stand was foreign soil and beyond the limits of the United States; now, you are not even midway, and must travel yet hundreds of miles to the west before you reach the territorial centre. You are hardly even in the centre of the great valley of the Mississippi, which drains a thirty-sixth part of the land surface of the globe itself, and which, rising near the great lakes of the North (so near as to

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