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The following account of Mr. Webster's visit to Madison, Indiana, is taken from the “Republican Banner," of the 7th of June, 1837.
“DANIEL WEBSTER visited our town on Thursday last. Notice had been given the day previous of the probable time of his arrival. At the hour designated, crowds of citizens from the town and country thronged the quay. A gun from the Ben Franklin, as she swept gracefully round the point, gave notice of his approach, and was answered by a gun from the shore. Gun followed gun in quick succession, from boat and shore, and the last of the old national salute was echoing from hill and glen as the Franklin reached the wharf. Mr. Webster was immediately waited on by the committee appointed to receive him, and, attended by them, a committee of invitation from Cincinnati, and several gentlemen from Louisville, he landed amidst the cheers and acclamations of the assembled multitude. He was seated in an elegant barouche, supported by Governor Hendricks and John King, Esq., and, with the different committees, and a large procession of citizens in barouches, on horseback, and on foot, formed under the direction of Messrs. Wharton and Payne of the committee of arrangements, marshals of the day, proceeded to the place appointed for his reception, an arbor erected at the north end of the market-house, fronting the large area formed by the intersection of Main and Main Cross Streets and the public square, and tastefully decorated with shrubbery, evergreens, and wreaths of flowers. In the background appeared portraits of Washington and Lafayette, the Declaration of Independence, and several other appropriate badges and emblems, while in front a flag floated proudly on the breeze, bearing for its motto the ever-memorable sentiment with which he concluded his immortal speech in defence of the Constitution, · LIBERTY AND UNION, NOW AND FOR EVER, ONE AND INSEPARABLE.' When the procession arrived, Mr. Webster ascended the stand in the arbor, supported by Governor Hendricks and the committee of arrangements, when he was appropriately and eloquently addressed by J. G. Marshall, Esq., on behalf of the citizens, to which he responded in a speech of an hour's length."
The following correspondence preceded Mr. Webster's visit.
“ Louisville, May 30, 1837. “ Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER:
Sir, Your fellow-citizens of the town of Madison, Indiana, deeply impressed with a sense of the obligations which they and all the true lovers of constitutional liberty, and friends to our happy and glorious Union, owe you for the many prominent services rendered by you to their beloved, though now much agitated and injured country, having appointed the undersigned a committee through whom to tender you their calutations and the hospitalities of their town, desire us earnestly to request you to partake of a public dinner, or such other expression of the high estimation in which they hold you as may be most acceptable, at such time as you may designate.
“ Entertaining the hope that you may find it convenient to comply with this request of our constituents and ourselves, we beg leave, with sen. timents of the most profound respect and regard, to subscribe our. selves,
6. Your fellow-citizens,
D. L. McCLURE,
“ Louisville, May 30, 1837. 66 GENTLEMEN,
I feel much honored by the communication which I have received from you, expressing the friendly sentiments of my fellow-citizens of Madison, and desiring that I should pay them a visit.
“ Although so kind an invitation, meeting me at so great a distance, was altogether unlooked for, I had yet determined not to pass so interesting a point on the Ohio without making some short stay at it. I shall leave this place on Thursday morning, and will stop at Madison, and shall be most happy to see any of its citizens who may desire to meet me. I must pray to be excused from a formal public dinner, as well from a regard to the time which it will be in my power to pass with you, as from a general wish, whenever it is practicable, to avoid every thing like ceremony or show in my intercourse with my fellow-citizens.
“ You truly observe, Gentlemen, that the country at the present moment is agitated. I think, too, that you are right in saying it is injured; that is, I think public measures of a very injurious character and tendency have been unfortunately adopted. But our case is not one that leads us to much despondency. The country, the happy and glorious country in which you and I live, is great, free, and full of resources; and, in the main, an intelligent and patriotic spirit pervades the community. These will bring all things right. Whatsoever has been injudiciously or rashly done may be corrected by wiser counsels. Nothing can, for any great length of time, depress the great interests of the people of the United States, if wisdom and honest good-sense shall prevail in their public measures. Our present point of suffering is the currency. In
my opinion, this is an interest with the preservation of which Congress is charged, solemnly and deeply charged. A uniform currency was one of the great objects of the Union. If we fail to maintain it, we so far fail of what was intended by the national Constitution. Let us strive to avert this reproach from that government and that Union, which make us, in so many respects, ONE PEOPLE! Be assured, that to the attainment of this end every power and faculty of my mind shall be directed; and may Providence 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,
" DANIEL WEBSTER. 66 To W. Lyle,
W. J. McClure,
The address of Mr. Marshall, above alluded to, was as follows:
“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 etlectually 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.