Posts Tagged ‘1844’

Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph: Truly One of the Wonders of the Age

February 6, 2012

Image from the White River Valley MuseumMorse Code History



The following beautiful verses were received by us from Washington by the Magnetic Telegraph; and though the lightning speed with which they were transmitted, adds nothing to their beauty, it was a happy thought to select the wonderful invention, of which they are in praise, as the medium of transmitting them: — [Baltimore Patriot.

Oh! carrier dove, spread not thy wing,
Thou beauteous messenger of air!
To waiting eyes and hearts to bring
The tidings thou were wont to bear.

Urge not the flying courser’s speed,
Give not his neck the loosened rein,
Nor bid his panting sides to bleed,
As swift he thunders o’er the plain.

Touch but the magic wire, and lo!
Thy thought it borne on flaming track,
And swifter far than winds can blow,
Is sped the rapid answer back.

The sage who woo’d the lightning’s blaze,
Till, stooping from the summer cloud,
It played around with harmless rays,
By Fame is trumpeted aloud.

And sure she has a lofty meed
For him whose thought, with seraph reach,
To language gives the lightning’s speed,
And wings electric lends to speech.

Nerved by its power, our spreading land
A mighty giant proudly lies;
Touch but one nerve with skillful hand
Through all the thrill unbroken flies.

The dweller on the Atlantic shore
The word may breathe, and swift as light,
Where far Pacific waters roar,
That word speeds on with magic flight.

Thoughts freshly kindling in the mind,
And words the echoes of the soul,
Borne on its wiry pinious, bind
Hearts sundered far as pole from pole.

As flashes o’er the summer skies
The lightning’s blaze from east to west,
O’er earth the burning fluid flies,
Winged by a mortal’s proud behest.

Through flaming cherubs bar the gate,
Since man by tasting grew too wise,
He seems again to tempt the fate
That drove him first from Paradise!

Daily Sentinel and Gazette (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) May 18, 1846

The Electro-Magnetic Telegraph.

Some remarkable experiments have been made with Morse’s Electro-magnetic Telegraph arrangements, and they have demonstrated surprising facts. Wires extending in length 158 miles were laid down, the Battery, &c., prepared, and matters communicated that distance in almost a second of time! In experiments to ascertain the resistance to the passage of the electric current it was proved that this “resistance increases rapidly with the first few miles, and less rapidly afterwards, until for very great lengths no sensible difference can be observed. This is a most fortunate circumstance in the employment of electro-magnetism for telegraphic purposes, since, contrary to all other modes of communicating intelligence, the difficulty to be overcome decreases in proportion to the distance.”

This is truly one of the wonders of the age.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Oct 26, 1843

Image from Encyclopedia Britannica KidsSamuel F.B. Morse; Telegraph


The miracle of the annihilation of space is at length performed. The Baltimore Patriot of Sunday afternoon contains the action of Congress up to the moment of its going to press — received from Washington by Magnetic Telegraph Despatch.

The Patriot says:

Morse’s Electro Magnetic Telegraph now connects between the Capitol at Washington and the Railroad Depot in Pratt, between Charles and Light streets, Baltimore. The wires were brought in yesterday from the outer depot and attached to the telegraphic apparatus in a third story room in the depot warehouse building.

The batteries were charged this morning, and the telegraph put in full operation, conveying intelligence to and from the Capitol. A large number of gentlemen were present to see the operations of this truly astonishing contrivance. Many admitted to the room had their names sent down, and in less than a second the apparatus in Baltimore was put in operation by the attendant in Washington, and before the lapse of a half minute the same names were returned plainly written. At half past 11 o’clock, A.M. the question being asked here, “what the news was at Washington?” – the answer was almost instantaneously returned — “Van Buren Stock is rising” — meaning of course that his chances were strengthening to receive the nomination on Monday next. The time of day was also enquired for, when the response was given from the Capitol — “forty-nine minutes past eleven.” At this period it was also asked how many persons were spectators to the telegraphic experiments in Washington? — the answer was “sixteen.” After which a variety of names were sent up from Washington, some with their compliments to their friends here, whose names had just been transmitted to them. Several items of private intelligence were also transmitted backward and forward, one of which was an order to the agent here not to pay a certain bill. Here however, the electric fluid proved too slow, for it had been paid a few minutes before.

At half past 12 o’clock, the following wan sent to Washington, “Ask a reporter in Congress to send a despatch to the Baltimore Patriot at 2, P.M.” In about a minute the answer cam back thus: “It will be attended to.”

2 o’clock, P.M. — The despatch has arrived, and is as follows:

One o’clock. — There has just been made a motion in the House to go into committee of the Whole on the Oregon question. Rejected — ayes 79, nays 86.

Half past one. — The House is now engaged on private bills.

Quarter to two. — Mr Atherton is now speaking in the Senate.

Mr. S. will not be in Baltimore to-night.

So that we are thus enabled to give to our readers information from Washington up to 2 o’clock. This is indeed the annihilation of space.

The Clipper of Saturday contains the following information regarding the construction and working of the Telegraph:

The wire, (perfectly secured against the weather by a covering of rope-yarn and tar,) is conducted on the top of posts about 20 feet high, and about 100 years apart.

We understand that the nominations on Monday next will be forwarded to Washington by means of this Telegraph. The following is the Alphabet used:

We have no doubt that government will deem it expedient to continue this Telegraph to Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, when its utility shall have been fully tested. When understood, the mode of operation is plain and simple.

American Freeman (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Jun 15, 1844


A brief notice of the proceedings of the Tyler and Locofoco Conventions, held in the City of Baltimore on Monday the 27th of May and the following days —

….. [excerpt]

The Convention met again at four o’clock; when, after listening to sundry speeches, they proceeded to ballot for a candidate for the Vice Presidency, which resulted in favor of Silas Wright, of New York, who received 258 votes, and Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire, 8. Information of his nomination was immediately communicated through the magnetic telegraph, to Mr. Wright, then at Washington City, who immediately replied, that [he could not accept] — eleven minutes only being taken in forwarding the information, and receiving the answer.

Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Jun 15, 1844


On Thursday, the 23d ult, says the New York Commercial, the experiment of carrying the wires of the electro magnetic telegraph across, or rather under the East river, was made with perfect success. The lead pipe through which this communication is made, weighs over six thousand pounds, and was laid at the bottom of the river from a steamboat employed for the purpose, though not with out great risk and labor. It is one continuous line, more than half a mile in length, without joint. Through this extensive line of heavy pipe are four copper wires, completely insulated, so as to insure the transmissions of the electro magnetic fluid. We understand that the various routs north, east, and west, have been delayed at the intervening streams, for the purpose of learning the result of this experiment. The whole work had bee effected under the superintendence of Mr. Samuel Colt engineer and of the proprietors of the New York and Offing Electro Magnetic Telegraph Line — Repub

Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Nov 8, 1845

Image from The American Leonardo: A Life of Samuel F.B. Morse

The late experiment of carrying the wires of the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph across, or rather under, the East river, New York, which was at first supposed to have been entirely successful, seems to have failed — the pipes through which the communication was made, having been brought up a few days afterwards, by the fluke of an anchor. Whether the attempt will be renewed, with such improvements as shall appear calculated to remove the cause of the failure, we are unable to say.

Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Nov 15, 1845

It is said that the American Magnetic Telegraph proves more efficient than those used in England and France — the former giving sixty signs or characters per minute, and the English and French not over one-fourth of that number. The impressions made by the American invention are likewise better, and more permanent, than those produced by its European rivals.

Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Sep 11, 1846

To the Enigma that appeared in the “Telegraph” of last week.

Maine, one of the United States.
Arctic, the name of an Ocean.
Greece, a country in Europe.
Niagara, a river in North America.
Egina, a gulf in Greece.
Thai, a country in India.
Imerina, a country in Africa.
Chili, a country in South America.
Tigre, a State in Africa.
Erie, a lake in North America.
Lima, a city in South America.
Elmira, a town in New York.
Green, a river in Kentucky.
Runac, a river in South America.
Aar, a river in Switzerland.
Parma, a country in Europe.
Herat, a country in Asia.
My whole is a Magnetic Telegraph, a great modern invention.


Alton Telegraph and Democratic Reivew (Alton, Illinois) Aug 13, 1847

Image from Telegraph History

From the West Jerseyman.

Along the smoothed and slender wires
The sleepless heralds run,
Fast as the clear and living rays
Go streaming from the sun;
No peals or flashes heard or seen,
Their wondrous flight betray,
And yet their words are quickly felt
In cities far away.

Nor summer’s heat, nor winter’s hail,
Can check their rapid course;
They meet unmoved, the fierce wind’s rage —
The rough waves’ sweeping force; —
In the long night of rain and wrath,
As in the blaze of day,
They rush with news of weal and wo,
To thousands far away.

But faster still than tidings borne
On that electric cord,
Rise the pure thoughts of him who loves
The Christian’s life and Lord —
Of him who taught in smiles and tears
With fervent lips to pray,
Maintains his converse here on earth
With bright worlds far away.

Ay! though no outward wish is breath’d,
Nor outward answer given,
The sighing of that humble heart
Is known and felt in Heaven; —
Those long frail wires may bend and break,
Those viewless heralds stray,
But Faith’s least word shall reach the throne
Of God, though far away.

Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Mar 17, 1848

Discontented People.

Philosophers have a good deal to say about the blessings of contentment, and all that sort of thing. Nothing, however, can be more uncalled for. Contentment is the parent of old fogyism, the very essence of mildew and inactivity. A contented man is one who is inclined to take things as they are, and let them remain so. It is not content that benefits the world, but dissatisfaction. It was the man who was dissatisfied with stage-coaches that introduced railroads and locomotives. It was a gentleman “ill at ease” with the operations of mail wagons who invented the magnetic telegraph. Discontent let Columbus to discover America; Washington to resist George III. It taught Jefferson Democracy; Fulton how to build steamboats; and Whitney to invent the cotton gin. Show us a contented man, and we will show you a man who would never have got above sheep skin breeches in a life-time. Show us a discontented mortal, on the contrary, and we will show six feet of goaheaditiveness that will not rest satisfied till he has invented a cast iron horse that will outrun the telegraph.

Alton Daily Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Jul 13, 1853

The First Telegraph.

In 1844 when Professor Morse petitioned Congress to appropriate $30,000 to enable him to establish a telegraph between Washington and Baltimore, Ex-Governor David Wallace, of this State, was a member of the committee on ways and means, to which the petition was referred, and gave the casting vote in its favor. The Whig members of the committee all voted for the measure, and the Democratic members all opposed it. The members who voted with Gov. Wallace were Millard Fillmore, Joseph R. Ingersoll, of Pa., Tom Marshall, of Kentucky, and Sampson Mason, of Ohio. Those who voted against it were Dixon H. Lewis, of Alabama, Frank Pickens, of South Carolina, Charles G. Atherton, of New Hampshire, and John W. Jones, of Virginia.

The Indianapolis News says:

“Gov. Wallace’s vote for the appropriation defeated him the next fall when he ran again for Congress. His opponent was Wm. J. Brown. He was, I’ve been told, a shrewd Democratic politician — the father of Austin H. Brown. The Governor and Mr. Brown stumped the district together, and Mr. Brown, all through the campaign, used as his most effective weapon, against his Whig opponent, the fact that he had voted for this appropriation. Pointing his finger at the Governor, he would say, ‘and the man who now asks you for your votes has squandered $30,000 of the people’s money, giving it away to Professor Morse for his E-lec-tro mag-net-ic Tell-lie-graph,’ with a most ludicrous drawl on the word telegraph. With the rough backwoodsmen, and even the people of the towns, the telegraph in that day was considered some sort of a trick or humbug; and many of Mr. Wallace’s staunchest supporters feared there was something wrong in the old gentleman’s head when they heard from his own lips that he really had voted the subsidy. One honest old Shelby county farmer, Mr. Wallace said, took him by the hand and looked into his face with the tenderest pity. Finally his lip quivered, and the tears fell as he sobbed out, ‘Oh, Davy, Davy, how could you ever vote for that d—-d magnetic telegraph.'”

The bill did not pass the Senate until the last night of the session. The story of its passage by that body has been often told, but will bear repeating. We clip the following from a scrap book’ without knowing the name of the author:

There were only two days before the close of the session; and it was found, on examination of the calendar, that no less than one hundred and forty-three bills had precedence of it. Professor Morse had nearly reached the bottom of his purse; his hard-earned savings were almost spent; and, although he had struggled on with undying hope for many years, it is hardly to be wondered at that he felt disheartened now. On the last night of the session he remained until nine o’clock; and then left without the slightest hope that the bill would be passed. He returned to his hotel, counted his money, an found that after paying his expenses to New York, he would have seventy-five cents left. That night ne went to bed sad, but not without hope for future; for, through all his difficulties and trials, that never forsook him. The next morning, as he was going to breakfast, one of the waiters informed him that a young lady was in the parlor waiting to see him. He went in immediately, and found that the young lady was Miss Ellsworth, daughter of the Commissioner of Patents, who had been his most steadfast friend while in Washington.

“I come,” said she, “to congratulate you.”

“For what?” said Professor Morse.

“On the passage of your bill,” she replied.

“Oh, no; you must be mistaken,” said he. “I remained in the Senate till a late hour last night, and there was no prospect of its being reached.”

“Am I the first then,” she exclaimed joyfully, “to tell you?”

“Yes, if it is really so.”

“Well,” she continued, “father remained till the adjournment, and heard it passed; and I asked him if I might not run over and tell you.”

“Annie,” said the Professor, his emotion almost choking his utterance, “the first message that is sent from Washington to Baltimore, shall be sent from you.”

“Well,” she replied, “I will keep you to your word.”

While the line was in process of completion, Professor Morse was in New York, and upon receiving intelligence that it was in working order, he wrote to those in charge, telling them not to transmit any messages over it till his arrival. He then set out immediately for Washington, and on reaching that city sent a note to Miss Ellsworth, informing her that he was now ready to fulfill his promise, and asking her what message he should send.

To this he received the following reply:


Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Jan 1, 1880

Image of Sam Houston from Son of the South


AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 5. — Samuel F.B. Morse offered the Republic of Texas his invention of the electro magnetic telegraph in 1828, but the offer never was accepted, according to a letter by Mr. Morse found in the state library.

The letter, dated 1860, was addressed to General Sam Houston, then governor of Texas, and withdrew the offer, which had been more than twenty years before General Houston was president of the Texan republic. The communication was written from “Po’Keepsie”, taken by librarians to be Poughkeepsie, New York. It is dated August 9, 1860. Starting with “May it please your excellency” the letter read:

“In the year of 1838 I made an offer of gift of my invention of the electro-magnetic telegraph to Texas, Texas being then an independent republic. Although the offer was made more than twenty years ago, Texas while an independent state, nor since it has become one of the United States, has ever directly or impliedly accepted the offer. I am induced, therefore, to believe in its condition as a gift it was of no value to the state, but on the contrary has been an embarrassment. In connection, however, with my other patent, it has become for the public interest as well as my own, that I should be able to make complete title to the whole invention in the United States.

“I, therefore, now respectfully withdraw my offer then made, in 1838, the better to be in a position to benefit Texas, as well as the other states of the Union.

“I am with respect and sincere personal esteem

“Your Obedient Servant,

“Samuel F.B. Morse.”

Librarians are looking for the letter of 1838 offering the electro-magnetic telegraph to Texas. They are also seeking to find out what “other patent” Mr. Morse spoke of.

Ada Weekly News (Ada, Oklahoma) Aug 10, 1922

This Standard Gasoline advertisement ran in the Abilene Reporter News in 1937

Autumn Mosaics

November 6, 2011

Image from the Graham Owen Gallery website


The Autumn skies are blue above,
The Autumn hills are brown,
On every kingly forest tree
There shines a golden crown,
And flushing through the valley’s haze
The sunlit waters go,
And in the wood the wind is heard
Like plaintive songs of wo!

The ocean shores are bare and black,
White scud is in the skies,
Thro’ ev’ning twilight overhead
The rushing wild duck flies,
From out the chestnut wood you hear
The nutter’s laugh and call;
And sunbeams play in purple round
The hazy waterfall.

The flowers have vanished from the wood,
And by the running streams —
We think of them as schoolmates dead,
Or friends we knew in dreams,
The dry stalks crackle as we walk —
Keen fitful gusts are heard —
Oh! with what melancholy strange
The thoughtful heart is stirred.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 25, 1844


They are falling, slowly falling,
Thick upon the forest side,
Severed from the noble branches,
Where they waved in beauteous pride.
They are falling in the valleys,
Where the early violets spring,
And the birds in sunny spring time
First their dulcest music sing.

They are falling, sadly falling,
Close beside our cottage door;
Pale and faded, like the loved ones,
They have gone forever more.
They are falling, and the sunbeams
Shine in beauty soft around;
Yet the faded leaves are falling,
Falling on the mossy ground.

They are falling on the streamlets,
Where the silvery waters flow,
And upon its placid bosom
Onward with the waters go.
They are falling in the churchyard,
Where our kindred sweetly sleep;
Where the idle winds of summer
Softly o’er the loved ones sweep.

They are falling, ever falling,
When the autumn breezes sigh,
When the stars in beauty glisten
Bright upon the midnight sky.
They are falling, when the tempest
Moans like ocean’s hollow roar,
When the tuneless winds and billows
Sadly sigh for evermore.

They are falling, they are falling,
While our saddened thoughts still go
To the sunny days of childhood,
In the dreamy long ago.
And their faded hues remind us
Of the blighted hopes and dreams
Faded like the falling leaves
Cast upon the icy streams.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 26, 1868



Along the hills the squares of gold
That check the fading green,
A sweeter tale to me have told
Than many a fairer scene.
The winding swathes by reapers made,
Like wrinkles ill-concealed
By time on aged beauty laid,
Adorn the stubble field.


Steady,. downright, noiseless rain,
Emblem of Almighty power,
Soft as the dews that bathe the plain,
Unlike the summer’s lurid shower,
And summer’s torrid rage,
Thou art like the rest of age.

Patient as a Father’s love,
Steady as the Christian’s trust,
Noiseless falling from above
On the unjust and the just,
Storing wealth in field and Spring,
Summer’s coming days shall bring.


It smote the flowers in its wrath,
It smote the weed beside the path,
Blind in its rage it smote the corn,
As well as blossoms that adorn
The crimson wreaths of climbing vine,
That round the forest monarch twine,
The frost and death blind as fate,
And stop not to discriminate.


There’s a humming drone and undertone
Of cricket and locust and bee,
From the drowsy fields at noon,
Like a child who sings to itself alone,
Then nods and sleeps to the melody
Of its own unstudied tune.

Cambridge Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) Sep 10, 1885

Texas Street Talk

October 26, 2011

Image from the U.S. Diplomacy website


Have you seen Clay’s third letter on Texas?

No. Does it differ from his other letters?

Oh, yes. He says he “would be glad to see”  Texas annexed.

Indeed! Is that the truth?


Is it the whole truth?

Oh, he says he “would be glad to see it, without dishonor.

Ah, that’s an importafit qualification! But is that all?

No. He “would be glad to see it, without dishonor AND without war.

Better yet! Is that all?

N – o – t      e – x – a – c – t – l – y. He “would be glad to see it without dishonor, without war AND with the common consent of the Union.

Better and better! As I want to get the whole truth, I’ll make one more effort. Has Mr. Clay any other objections to the project?

Yes, he has. He says also, that it must be done “upon JUST and FAIR terms.

Very well.

And farther, that he “believes that National dishonor, foreign war, and distraction and division at home are too great sacrifices to make for the acquisition of Texas.”

Does Mr. Clay say all this?

He does.

And do you believe that Texas can EVER by annexed “without dishonor, without war, with the common consent of the Union, and upon just and fair terms?”

I do not. The signs of the times forbid such a thought.

Then in no event can Mr. Clay be regarded as the friend of Annexation; and I hope you will not be guilty again of such injustice as to quote two or three words from his letter and on the strength of them charge Mr. Clay with a desertion of the ground taken by him in his first letter. He is the consistent opponent of the Annexation scheme.

Springfield Republic.

Madison Express (Madison, Wisconsin) Sep 26, 1844

Influence of Texas on Election of 1844

October 26, 2011

In 1837, Texas asked to be annexed to the United States.

Texas wanted to enter as a slave state.

The Texas Question became an important presidential campaign issue.

Pro-annexation, James K. Polk beats Henry Clay.


HIGH LIGHTS OF HISTORY — Influence of Texas on Election of 1844

The Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Jun 24, 1927

Why Despise the Name of Polk

October 24, 2011


Ah, why despise the name of Polk! —
A name that rhymes so well with folk,
That crowds may rally round this name,
and trust to Polk their country’s fame.
‘Tis a plant used by dames and swains,
To cure their fierce rheumatic pains;
If Uncle Sam is sore beset
Writhing with anguish, pain and debt,
(Worse than disease of joint or limb,)
Surely ’twill health restore to him.

‘Tis said the juice with care preserved,
To flush the cheek with bloom has served,
Since oft in pleasures idle maze,
Nature’s fresh bloom too soon decays.
Ye fair who wish the cheek’s bright glow,
On POLK your favor then bestow.
Surely such halcyon scenes ’twill raise,
As vieing with those fabled days —
The golden age — which poets sing,
New bloom to every cheek will bring.

A simple viand for the poor,
Is this same POLK, who asks for more?
If beauty, health, and food it give,
Let POLK in fame forever live.
When soaring high our eagle proud
Cleaves with its wing the thunder cloud,
In the same talon, bright and keen,
Where the green olive branch is seen,
The imperial bird the POLK shall bear,
High, through the azure field of air.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 31, 1844


I would, if I possessed the most valuable things in this world, and was about to give them away — I would give

Truth, to whig editors.
Merit, to whig candidates.
Common sense, to whig orators.
Justice, to Henry Clay.
Peace, to John Tyler.
The Presidency, to James K. Polk.
Infamy, to the Judge who sentenced Dorr.
Victory, to Democracy.
The spoils, to the victorious.
Salt River, to the Native Whigs.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 31, 1844

From the Globe.

Proud chieftain of democracy —
Lov’d leader of her faithful band! —
Oh! shall no harp resound for thee,
While through this wide-spread land,
From morn till night, a venal crowd, —
By hope of lucre basely won, —
Are worshipping with paeans loud,
A far less worthy son?

Yes! the proud duty shall be mine
To wake my humble harp, and raise
A tribute to a heart like thine;
For whom can camly gaze
Upon thee as thou truly art —
Thine every word and action scan —
And then not own thee, in his heart,
A good and honest man?

THINE eyes ne’er took the murderer’s aim,
As o’er the pistol’s tube they roll’d; —
THY hands ne’er plied the cunning game
To win thy neighbor’s gold; —
THY lips ne’er spake to ask God’s curse
Upon they fellow’s head to fall,
Nor o’pd with revellers to rehearse
Their tales of midnight brawl.

But pure in soul, and bright in mind,
With fearless front and step upright,
Thous standest forth amidst they kind,
A bright and shining light! —
And while one heart is left to fan
The flame on freedom’s altar rear’d,
Stern warrior for the rights of man,
Thy name will be rever’d!

The Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 18, 1844

The Convert’s Experience

October 21, 2011


The following song was composed and sung by JOSEPH MORGRIDGE, Esp. of Sangerville, at the Mass Convention recently held in this city, to the great delight of all present.

The Convert’s Experience.

To leave the dear Locos, and from them to part,
And risk their displeasure, affected my heart,
But yet I in truth, and all candor could say
‘Twas best to elect Frelinghuysen and Clay.

I followed my party through thick and through thin,
To the vortex of ruin, and almost fell in,
But now they no longer, shall lead me astray,
For I will support Frelinghuysen and Clay.

They promised me office, and offered me gold, —
And many a falsehood, to me, they have told,
To lead me along in their favorite way —
Afraid I would join Frelinghuysen and Clay. —

They told me Mechanics and Farmers would thrive
Free trade be extended, and commerce revive,
If they, awhile longer, in office could stay,
To put down the Whigs — Frelinghuysen and Clay.

They wished me to tarry, and not on them frown,
‘Till Polk was elected — the tariff put down;
But if, after that, I no longer would stay,
O, then I might join Frelinghuysen and Clay.

They promised the nation a currency sure,
To keep both together, the rich and the poor,
Down, down with the Banks, every Loco did say,
But never elect Frelinghuysen and Clay.

They told me their secret, I always must keep,
Or, like Morgan*, yet I, might have cause to weep,
But I heeded no threats, and turned from them away,
Resolved to support Frelinghuysen and Clay.

This promise, with others they gravely did make;
That I, of the spoils, should quite largely partake,
But I feared, they, like Tyler, their trust would betray,
So I left them, to join Frelinghuysen and Clay.

Thus all their exertions, my mind to deceive,
Were fruitless and vain; for I could but believe,
That I should have cause, to be proud of the day,
That I left them, to join Frelinghuysen and Clay.

Free trade, Polk and Dallas, I will not go for,
To pay debts for Texas, and buy our her war,
But I’ll work, and I’ll sing, and proudly I’ll say:
I helped to elect Frelinghuysen and Clay.

Let profligate Rulers, be swept by the board;
Our nation, once more, to good health be restored,
And I never will turn for one moment away
From freedom’s true friends — Frelinghuysen and Clay.

The sound of rejoicing is heard on the gale,
The Whigs are triumphant — the Locos look pale,
Their faces grow long, as the field they survey,
Nobly won by the Whigs, Frelinghuysen and Clay.

*The Anti-Mason.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Aug 27, 1844


The flag born by the Whigs from Bluehill had the following inscription.



Our country and our country’s cause
Our constitution and our laws
Fro these we hope, for these we pray
For these we’ll vote for Henry Clay.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Aug 27, 1844

New Edition of “The House That Jack Built”

October 19, 2011

Image from the Elektratig blog


United States Treasury:
This is the house that Jack built.

Public Deposites:
This is the malt that lay in the house
That Jack built.

Nick Biddle:
This is the rat that eat the malt
That lay in the house
That Jack built.

Gen. Jackson:
This is the cat that caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house
That Jack built.

This is the dog that worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house
That Jack built.

The People:
This is the cow with a crumpled horn
That tossed the dog
That worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Hard Cider and beef hurra in 1840:
This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with a crumpled horn
That tossed the dog
That worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Henry Clay:
This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with a crumpled horn
That tossed the dog
That worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
Unto the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog
That worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Democratic Triumph in 1844:
This is the Cock that crowed in the morn
That awoke the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
Unto the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog
That worried the cat
That caught the rat
That eat the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

The Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 18, 1844

Songs for Henry Clay

October 19, 2011

Image from Elektratig blog

The Workingmen’s Song.

Times won’t be right its plain to see,
Till Tyler runs his race,
But then we’ll have a better man
To put into his place;
For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work, away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
And put in HENRY CLAY,


For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
and put in HENRY CLAY.

The Farmers want good times again
To sell their wheat and pork,
And so to put in HENRY CLAY,
They’re going right to work;
They’ll plough, and sow, and reap, and mow,
And thresh, and thresh away;
They’ll thresh, and thresh, and thresh, and thresh,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll plough and sow, etc., etc.

The Laboring Men they want more work
And higher wages too,
And so they’ll go for HENRY CLAY,
With better times in view;
They’ll saw, and chop, and grub, and dig,
And shovel, and shovel away;
And shovel, and shovel, and shovel, and shovel,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll saw, and chop, etc., etc.

The Weavers too will go to work,
They’ll make us all the Cloth we want,
If they can have fair play;
They’ll reel, and spool, and warp, and wind,
And weave, and weave away;
They’ll weave, and weave, and weave, and weave,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll reel and spool, etc., etc.

We want no Clothing Ready made,
From England or from France;
We’ve Tailors here who know their trade,
They ought to have a chance;
They’ll cut, and baste, and hem, and press,
And stitch, and stitch away;
They’ll stitch, and stitch, and stitch, and stitch,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll cut and baste, etc., etc.

The Coopers know  when Farmers thrive,
Their trade is always best,
And so they’ll go with one accord
For Harry of the West.
They’ll dress, and raise, and truss, and hoop,
And hoop, and hoop away;
They’ll hoop, and hoop, and hoop, and hoop,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll dress, and raise, etc., etc.

The Hatters do not want to see
Their kettles standing dry,
And so they’ll go for HENRY CLAY,
And then the Fur will fly,
They’ll nap, and block, and color, and bind,
And finish, and finish away;
They’ll finish, and finish, and finish, and finish,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll nap and block, etc., etc.

Shoemakers too, with a right good will,
Will join the working throng,
And what they do for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll do both neat and strong;
They’ll cut, and crimp, and last, and stitch,
And peg and ball away —
They’ll ball, and ball, and ball, and ball,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll cut and crimp, etc., etc.

The Blacksmiths too ‘ll roll up their sleeves,
Their sledges they wilt swing,
And at the name of HENRY CLAY,
They’ll make their anvils ring,
They’ll blow, and strike, and forge, and weld,
And hammer, and hammer away;
They’ll hammer, & hammer, & hammer & hammer,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll blow, and strike, etc., etc.

The Tanners too will lend a hand,
When skinning time begins;
They are a hardy noble band,
And live by tanning skins;
They’ll bait the Softs, and break the Hards,
And flesh and curry away;
They’ll curry, and curry, and curry, and curry,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll bait the softs, etc., etc.

The Potters too are all for CLAY,
For ’tis in CLAY they work;
And all they want is ready pay,
To buy their bread and pork;
They’ll glaze their pots and fire their kilns,
And burn, and burn away —
They’ll burn, and burn, and burn, and burn,
To vote for HENRY CLAY.

The Carpenters, a noble band,
Will then have work to do —
New Barns and Houses through the land,
They’ll raise both strong and new —
They’ll line and score, and scribe and bore,
And brace and build away —
And build, and build, and build, and build,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll line and score, etc., etc.

And thus we’ll work, and thus we’ll sing,
Till Tyler’s race is run;
And then we’ll have to fill his place,
Kentucky’s favorite son;
For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
And put in HENRY CLAY,
For now we’ll rouse, etc., etc.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Mar 7, 1844

For the Ohio Repository.

Our Harry Is Coming.
Air — “The Campbels are Coming.

Our Harry is coming, oh Matty beware!
Our Harry is coming, oh Locos take care!
Our Harry is coming, the gallant and free,
He’s coming, he’s coming, oh Matty beware!

Columbia’s shout of ecstacy,
The glorious shouts ring far and free;
Thundering abroad — sublime if rude,
A Nation’s noble gratitude,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

He comes — but in pacific pride;
No battle-band begirts his side,
No hoarse war-drum booms on the wind —
But all is peace and love combined,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

He comes the sacred oath to swear,
Then seated in that awful chair;
Higher than throne, — like Washington —
The laurels on his brow he’s won,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

Our Country’s sav’d — new honors lent,
When CLAY, the People’s President,
Will then to right the helm of state,
And the Republic renovate.
Our Harry is coming, &c.

Canton, March, 1844.   AMELLS.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Mar 14, 1844

The Mill Boy of the Slashes.
Tune — ‘Washing Day,’ or ‘Lucy Long.’

Cheer up, my lads, we’re on the way,
Press onward for the prize;
For at the name of HENRY CLAY,
What glorious hopes arise.

Then hast the day, then clear the way,
As on our hero dashes;
Away! Away! for HARRY CLAY,
“The Mill Boy of the Slashes.”

From East to West — from North to South,
The mails bring cheering news;
The Softs are all down in the mouth;
The Hards have got the blues.

Then haste the day, etc.

Look out, my boys, the Locos know
That truth with  us is found;
and yet with lies they try to show,
That they are gaining ground;

Then hast the day, etc.

Our foes with wonder and with shame,
Now on their forces call;
Then spread abroad our leader’s fame,
Let cliques and cabals fall.

Then haste the day, etc.

The nation’s hope is on him set;
His name’s on every tongue;
Around the land in councils met,
His noble deeds are sung.

Then haste the day, etc.

These stubborn Lokies feel the rod;
Van Buren’s in a fright,
And poor Hard money crawfish To?,
Had rather run than fight.

Then haste the day, etc.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Apr 11, 1844

Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee.
TUNE — Dandy Jim of Caroline

Come listen Whigs and Locos all,
Your kind attention here I call,
And mark the burthen of the glee,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! the People rising say,
He’s not the man to conquer Clay,
This is the substance of their rhyme,
“Clay first, Clay last, Clay all the time.”

Polk’s choice occasioned some surprise,
Good Democrats rolled up their eyes,
Our Candidate, pary, who is he?
Why James *R. Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

But soon their vast excitement o’er,
They see, what ne’er was seen before,
The best selection that could be,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

And then commences nous verrons
To make enthusiasm strong,
Uphold; ye Loco clique, says he,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Fall down before a better man
Than even little Matty Van,
Buchanan too must bow the knee
To Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Now, not content with this display,
They steal John Tyler’s protege,
Annexing Texas, as you see,
To James K. Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Though now a Champion of Free Trade,
Once pon a time a vote you made,
To tax our coffee and our tea,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

When last you took the field with Jones,
You heard the People’s angry tones,
A more indignant note you’ll hear,
Before November’s ides appear —
For hark! the People rising say,
Their highest hope is Harry Clay,
This is the substance of their rhyme,
“Clay first, Clay last, Clay all the time.”


*So was the name blazoned on the Loco Foco banners when first announced.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jun 20, 1844

Something Rich — Truth by Accident.

Locofocoism does not seem to florish well in poetry, as the muses have been so long engaged in the worthy and truthful cause of the patriotic Whigs, that when compelled to do service for Locofocoism will indirectly sift in the truth. —

We were greatly amused last evening in looking over a song in the Democrat, that will be generally circulated this morning. We hope our friends will secure a copy as a poetical and political curiosity. It is decidedly rich, and we think the editor of the Democrat must have had no little grass in his boots to have admitted the truth telling little witch!

Here is the song and the reader will please read the italicised letters first.

For the Democrat.

TUNE. — Old Rosin the Bow.

Come all ye young Hickories rally!
Let’s shoulder to shoulder unite,
Against the coon forces we’ll sally,
Young Hickory” leads in the fight.


Young Hickory leads in the fight, (Repeat.)
Against the coon forces we’ll rally,
“Young Hickory” leads in the fight.

We’ll raise up our Hickory poles, hearties,
In Honor of Tennessee’s son,
Let us show him that firmly each heart is
Leagued together to use up the coon,


Leagued together to use up the coon, (repeat)
Let us show him that each heart is
Leagued together to use up the coon.

The feds of their strength loud and bragging,
Renewing of ’40 the trash,
In November the coons we’ll be flogging,
Until he shall fly from the lash.


Mark his hide with each blow that you deal him
Place the licks on his carcase with skill,
Hurrah! then, e’en “Huysen” can’t heal him,
Amen, with a hearty good will.

Polk and Dallas inscribed on our banners,
Shall to victory marshal our way;
Be up then — let feds shout hozannas,
Defeated they’ll be with their Clay.


Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jun 25, 1844

Image from the National Archives website

From the Whig Standard.


In the times of the Revolution;
While yet the land was young;
Heavy the lot of the hardy few,
But the will was stout and strong,
Of those who fought with Washington;
On their fields of fame they died,
All true men, like you men,
Remember them with pride.

At daybreak at old Trenton,
On Monmouth’s sandy plain,
In the swamp of the Yellow Santeo,
On the waves of old Champlain,
Fought the Whigs of the Resolution,
With hearts unchanging still,
And we men — if free men —
So must we fight — we will!

and some of these remain, boys!
Through all that sturdy storm,
Bent, and worn out, and aged,
But hearts still young and warm;
They should know what are true principles,
These men with locks of gray,
They are few men — but true men —
And they vote with us for Clay.

Honor unto the aged,
The old true-hearted brave!
Theirs be a free and pleasant death,
And a free and quiet grave;
And still we’ll protect the principles
For which they toiled so long,
The Whigs of the Revolution
Who fought when the land was young.

From the Whig Standard.

TUNE — Yankee Doodle.

The Locos met at Baltimore,
To make their nominations,
With tempers sour’d, and feeling sore,
And humbled expectations.
But Locofocos keep it up,
Heed not the Whig’s rejoicing,
Don’t yield the day to HENRY CLAY

They felt that VAN, was not the man,
To lead them on to glory,
And should they pass, to LEWIS CASS,
‘Twould end in the same story.
But Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

JOHNSON they knew, would never do,
BUCHANAN’s chance was small, sir,
They fear’d each vote, would but denote,
They’d make no choice at all, sir.
But Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

Though this they fear’d, they persevered,
Seven times the vote was taken!
On the eighth, for a joke, they started POLK,
Hoping to save their bacon;
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

JOHNSON withdrew, BUCHANAN too,
VAN BUREN flew the track, sir,
All own they’re beat, POLK wins the heat,
Though a fourth rate party hack, sir,
But Locofocos keep it up &c.

The Loco’s now were run aground,
To find another man, as
Weak as POLK, but at last they found
His match in GEORGE M. DALLAS,
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c.

Then for POLK and DALLAS go it strong,
Each Locofoco hearty,
With guns, and drums, and noise, and song,
Let’s cheer our drooping party,
Ye Locofocos keep it up, &c.

We’ve done our best pray be content,
We’ve made a nomination,
And POLK and DALLAS we present
For the people’s acceptation.
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c.

John Jones says TYLER was by law
The “second: nominated,
That POLK, being third, he must ‘withdraw,’
‘Or the party’ll be defeated.’
John Jones and Tyler keep it up, &c.

The people thank you, gentlemen,
But its far from their intentions,
To vote for the third and fourth rate men
You’ve named in your conventions!
For loud and long, like thunder strong,
The people’s voice is rising,
And ’twill be given before High Heaven,

South Port American (South Port, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1844

From the New York Tribune.


He wears no crown upon that brow which gleams in Freedom’s van,
Where every god has set his seal to show the world a man;
Nor bears he in his trusty hand the warrior’s spear and glaive,
Whose harvests are the falling ranks that burden ruin’s grave.

But prouder than the proudest king, whose million vassals bow,
He wears the wreath a Nation’s hand has twined upon his brow;
And peerless o’er his fallen foes with flaming plume and crest,
He shines among a Nation’s stars the brightest and the best.

His name is not a sculptured thing, where old Renown has reared
Her marble in the wilderness, by smoke of battle seared;
But graven on life-leaping hearts where Freedom’s banners wave,
It gleams to bid the tyrant back, and loose the fettered slave.

His deeds are not of blood and wrong, where ruth, with iron hand,
Has yoked the stormy steeds of War, to desolate the land —
But ever in the hour of need, when Danger’s summons came,
He lent the thunder of his word, the halo of his name!

Around the hearths and altars where his country’s gods are shrined,
His heart has yearned for Freedom’s weal, with Freedom’s toil his mind;
And when from other lands oppressed the captive’s wail has rung,
His soul went forth in Freedom’s strength, with Freedom’s fire his tongue.

Above the altar’s of the Greek, and o’er Bolivia’s fane,
His name, “Deliverer,” is stampt upon the broken chain.
And from those old and glorious isles that gem the AEgean sea,
The sons of Spartans hail in song the Champion of the Free.

And now, when age in on his heart, and dimness in his eye,
He wanes not with the fitful lights that darken in the sky,
But prouder still in name and fame, with flaming plume and crest,
He shines among a Nation’s stars the brightest and the best!


Huron Reflector ( Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 4, 1849

Are Bustles Constitutional?

September 7, 2011

Image from the Great Basin Costume Society blog.

From the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer.


The following letter was received by Mr. Clay, at the ‘Ladies’ Post Office,’ during the fair on Tuesday evening last. A friend of Mr. Clay’s asked permission, on reading it, to promote the amusement of the readers of the Enquirer, by its publication:

Dear sir — The undersigned, Committee, appointed by the Unites States anti-BUSTLE Convention, are authorized to solicit your opinion of the great matter now BEFORE the people, (and BEHIND the ladies,] and whether if elected to the office of Chief Magistrate, you would carry out the principles of the ‘Bachelor Anti-Bustle Party.’

Please inform us,

1st. Are bustles constitutional?

2d. Have your views in relation to bustles undergone any modification since 1828?
(We suppose, sir, that you have, since then, taken a more ENLARGED view of them.]

3d. Do you believe in bustles for PROTECTION? and to what extent? [Please give us a statistical answer.]

4th. Have husbands the right to abolish their wives’ bustles in the District of Columbia?

5th. Did you, or not, declare in the U.S. Senate, that

“Bustles are all an empty show,
For man’s illusion given?”

If so, please adduce the evidence.

6th. Did you vote for bustle in 1816?

7th. Do you not think, sir, that a constitutional limitation of the veto, has no reference to bustles?

8th. Would you not sanction a modification of the Tariff, by which the sovereign disapprobation of bustles should amount to a prohibition.

Lastly. Ought Bustles to form any part of the American System?

We are, dear sir, with profound respect,

Your obedient servants


Henry Clay daguerreotype from Wikipedia

Mr. Clay has not yet responded to inquiries, and indeed we hope he will not. The object of the committee is plain, and “sticks out about a feet” — it is intended to array the ladies in the ranks of the opposition, should Mr. Clay’s opinions not coincide with theirs in this fundamental matter. It is a wicked machination of the enemy, of which the Committee, who are, so far as we know, men of standing, are made the tools. It won’t succeed, however — Mr. Clay is too smart to be taken in, in this way — he too well knows the great influence the ladies exert over the lords of creation, to interfere with their rights in this PROMINENT particular. He has, we trust, BACKED OUT from making any reply whatever.

Should he deem these interrogatories of sufficient importance to demand a reply, we hope he may be induced to grant the ladies the LARGEST LIBERTY.

Should he have conscientious scruples, or constitutional objections to this course, we would advise him to adopt Mr. Van Buren’s old plan of non-committal.

South Port American (South Port, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1844

Our Federal Constitution is Good; but…

August 31, 2011


As Liberty men we love to contemplate the principles which we have embraced, the grounds which constituted the necessity for a distinct political organization, and the reasons why we should remain firm and uncompromising in maintaining the position which we have assumed. In this field of intellectual action we feel at home; strong in the consciousness of pure motives and upright aims; and rejoicingly assured that truth and reason and justice and patriotism and philanthropy are, fully and forever, the patrons and duties of our great enterprise.

But in view of the nearness of an election, (especially and particularly important, of course, as every election was and is and will ever be,) we feel an interest in our cause, in some respects, beyond what we are wont to feel. We know that every election is, more or less, a crisis in the political history and course of a numerous class of voters. A time when their political character and principles are severely tried by every thing in the shape of argument and motive which political opponents and selfish partisan demagogues can employ to influence them.

As freemen, feeling a solemn responsibility for a wise and upright and conscientious use of the elective franchise, and being virtually sworn to such a course, it would sadly belie our principles and our professions if we were to suffer any individual preference, or former party attachment, or any little interest of a local or temporary nature, in any instance, to determine our course at the ballot box.

Ours is the party which recognises, and avows, and strives to maintain in political action, the good old principles of the fathers if this Republic, vis: to act and to vote in reference to those interests which are of a far-reaching and an enduring character; to act and to vote with a view to the good of the whole community; the good of the distant future; the good of posterity; the good of the great human family; and not in reference to the little interests of a narrow locality or an evanescent occasion.

Ours are not principles recently avowed for the first time, nor of a mushroom growth, nor of a character which betokens for them a sickly and short-lived existence. They are principles as old as the nature of man. They are principles constitutionally inherent in human nature; and can never cease to be so, unless the social and moral nature of man is brought to undergo a radical change. They are the grand centre principles of our Declaration of Independence. They are the foundation principles of the American Constitution. Principles, s????y identical with the universal equality, and the inherent nature of the rights of all human beings.

Image from

Our Declaration of Independence is good; but for a long course of years, and in a rapidly increasing degree, we have seen its principles disregarded, and virtually annulled, by those at the helm of our political affairs. Our Federal Constitution is good; but long, and shamefully, and sacrilegiously have we seen it perverted, and rendered subservient to purposes which its whole spirit and character do most obviously and heartily abhor. Our representative form of government is good; but, by the provision for slave representation, it has been made permanently, and in an ever increasing degree, an engine for bringing the rights and interests of the many into subjection to the will of the few.  Our Federal Union is good; but, by the constant ascendency and domination of the slave power, the free states have long been becoming, more and more, the abettors and coadjutors in the work of fostering and extending the institution of slavery.

Let us now glance at the past course and present condition of the two great political parties; and notice their bearings and tendency in reference to the prospective or probable success of our favorite enterprise and principles.

We invite your attention, then, to the present position of the (so called) Democratic party. Its history is familiar to those who have been candid enough to read it impartially. All know that it has grown old in a course of subserviency to the slave power. The dictum of that power has been the law of that party; and the extension of that power the great end to which the action of that party has been directed. It was with that party in the ascendency that Louisiana was purchased, with northern money, for the purpose of doubling the slave territory of the Union. It was under the auspices of that party that the infamous Missouri compromise, in favor of slavery, was effected. It was under Democratic rule that the plighted faith of our nation, in more than forty Indian treaties, was wantonly violated for the gratification of slaveholders. The grand national negro hunt in Florida, with the Cuban bloodhounds for our allies, and the crusade against Mexico, will remain through all coming time, way-marks in the history of the past course of that party….

American Freeman (Prairieville, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1844



“All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them.”
[Mat. vil. 12.

Oh! fairest born of  Love, and Light,
Yet bending brow and eye severe
On all which pains the holy sight,
Or wounds the generous ear:

Beautiful yet thy temples rise,
Though there profaning gifts are thrown;
And fires unkindled of the skies
Are glaring on thy altar-stone.

Still sacred — tho’ thy name be breathed
By those whose hearts thy truth deride,
And garlands, pluck’d from thee, are wreathed
Around the haughty brows of Pride.

Oh! ideal of my boyhood’s time!
The faith in which my father stood,
Even when the sons of Lust and Crime
Had stained thy peaceful courts with blood!

Still to those courts my foot-steps turn,
For through the mists which darken there
I see the flame or Freedom burn —
The Kebla of the patriot’s prayer!

The generous feeling, pure and warm,
Which owns the rights of ALL divine —
The pitying heart — the helping arm —
The prompt, self-sacrifice — are thine.

Beneath thy broad, impartial eye,
How fade the lines of caste and birth!
How equal in their suffering lie
The groaning multitudes of earth.

Still to a stricken brother true,
Whatever clime hath nurtured him;
As stooped to heal the wounded Jew
The worshipper on Gerizim.

By misery unrepelled, unawed
By pomp, or power, thou seest a MAN
In prince or peasant — slave or lord —
Pale priest, or swarthy artisan.

Through all disguise, form, place, or name,
Beneath the flaunting robes of sin,
Through poverty and squalid shame,
Thou lookest on the man within;

On man as man, retaining yet,
Howe’er debased, and soiled, and dim,
The crown upon his forehead set —
The immortal gift of God to him.

And there is reverence in thy look;
For that frail form which mortals wear
The Spirit of the Holiest took,
And veiled His perfect brightness there.

Not from the cold and shallow fount
Of vain philosophy thou art;
He who of old on Syria’s mount
Thrilled, warmed by turns the listener’s heart.

In holy words which cannot die,
In thoughts which angels leaned to know,
Proclaimed thy message from on high —
Thy mission to a world of wo.

That voice’s echo hath not died!
From the blue lake of Gallilee,
And Tabor’s lonely mountain side,
It calls a struggling world to thee.

Thy name and watchward o’er this land
I hear in every breeze that stirs,
And round a thousand altars stand
Thy banded party worshippers.

Not to these altars of a day,
At party’s call, my gift I bring;
But on thy olden shrine I lay
A freeman’s dearest offering!

The voiceless utterance of his will —
His pledge to Freedom and to Truth,
That Manhood’s heart remembers still
The homage of his generous youth.

American Freeman (Prairieville, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1844