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so 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,

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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 armies 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 grate

ful 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 had 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 23


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


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deterred by exaggerated calculations of their cost- go on, open your wilderness to the sun turn up the soil and in the widespread and highly-cultivated fields, the smiling villages, and the busy towns that will spring up from the bosom of the desert, you will reap a rich reward for your investment and industry.

Another of the paramount objects of government, to which I rejoice to see that you have turned your attention, is education. I speak not of college education, nor of academy education, though they are of great importance; I speak of free school education common school education.

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Among the planets in the sky of New England-the burning lights, which throw intelligence and happiness on her people—the first and most brilliant is her system of common schools. I congratulate myself that my first speech on entering public life was in their behalf. Education, to accomplish the ends of good government, should be universally diffused. Open the doors of the schoolhouse to all the children in the land. Let no man have the excuse of poverty for not educating his own offspring. Place the means of education within his reach, and if they remain in ignorance, be it his own reproach. If one object of the expenditure of your revenue be protection against crime, you could not devise a better or cheaper means of obtaining it. Other nations spend their money in providing means for its detection and punishment, but it is for the principles of our government to provide for its never occurring. The one acts by coercion, the other by prevention. On the diffusion of education among the people rests the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions. I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe. The prospect of a war with any powerful nation is too remote to be a matter of calculation. Besides, there is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government- from their carelessness and negligence-I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct, that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant — give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.

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The gentleman who has just addressed me in such flattering but unmerited terms, has been pleased to make kind mention of my attention to the Constitution, and my humble efforts in its support. I claim no merit on that account. It results from my sense of its surpassing excellences, which must strike every man who attentively and impartially examines it. I regard it as the work of the

purest patriots and wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benignant Providence-for when we regard it as a system of government growing out of the discordant opinions and conflicting interests of thirteen independent States, it almost appears a divine interposition in our behalf. I have always, with the utmost zeal and moderate abilities I possess, striven to prevent its infraction in the slightest particular. I believed if that bond of union were broken, we would never again be a united people. Where, among all the political tinkers, the constitution-makers and the constitution-menders of the day, could we find a man to make us another? Who would even venture to propose a re-union? Where would be the starting point, and what the plan? I do not expect miracles to follow each other. None could be proposed that would be adopted; the hand that destroys the Constitution rends our Union asunder forever.

My friend has been pleased to remember, in his address, my humble support of the Constitutional right of Congress to improve the navigation of our great internal rivers, and to construct roads through the different States. It is well known that my opinions on this subject are stronger than most men's. Believing that the object of the Union was to secure the general safety and promote the general welfare, and that the Constitution was designed to point out the means of accomplishing these ends, I have always been in favor of such measures as I deemed for the general benefit, under the restrictions and limitations prescribed by the Constitution itself. I supported them with my voice, and my vote, not because they were for the benefit of the West, but because they were for the benefit of the whole country. That they are local in their advantages, as well as in their construction, is an objection that has been and will be urged against every measure of the kind. In a country so widely extended as ours, so diversified in its interests and in the character of its people, it is impossible that the operation of any measure should affect all alike. Each has its own peculiar interest, whose advancement it seeks: we have the sea-coast, and you the noble river that flows at your feet. So it must ever be. Go to the smallest government in the world—the Republic of San Marino, in Italy, possessing a territory of but ten miles square-and you will find its citizens, separated but by a few miles, having some interests which, on account of local situation, are separate and distinct. There is not on the face of the earth a plain, five miles in extent, whose inhabitants are the same in their pursuits and pleasSome will live on a creek, others near a hill, which, when any measure is proposed for the general benefit, will give rise to jarring claims and opposing interests. In such cases, it has always appeared to me that the point to be examined was, whether the principle was general; if the principle were general, although the


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