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sian king and nation. Some military first rank of European States, and clothed movements of minor importance marked Frederic with iminense personal considerthe residue of 1762. Negotiations for ation. If we compare the geographical peace were of infinitely more conse- position of his states, open on all sides, quence, which finally took place on the their sterility, the moderate amount of 15th of February, 1763, at Hubertsburg; their revenue, and the small number of
Thus have we followed the general his subjects, with the formidable resources thread of history through the eventful of his enemies, we must be seized with war of seven years, in which, as says unbounded astonishment at the aspect of Bissett in his continuance of the History this prodigious genius. In him was of England, “ The King of Prussia, shown the value of one man more in though he had overcome all his enemies, the destinies of an empire.” and dictated the terms of peace, equally Frederic the Great survived the treaty able in every department, had been so of Hubertsburg twenty-three years and provident that, at the end of the war, he seven months; and in some future article had not contracted a shilling of debt.” we may resume his history, and show
“ For the third time,” states Paganel, the monarch in peace, if possible, still “ the free and entire possession of Silesia more than in war, deserving the title of was guarantied to Frederic. Such was the FREDERIC THE UNEQUALED,” given to famous war of seven years, which raised him by his countrymen. TACITUS. and maintained Prussia to a place in the
COLTON'S LIFE AND TIMES OF CLAY.
As but one volume of this publication our own eyes, we will not deny. But has yet been submitted to us, and having the style is eminently clear, direct and but little
space in this number to devote energetic, and leads the reader along to the subject, not much more can now through the eventful career of the selfbe done than to announce it, with a brief elevated statesman without a desire on notice. The work will probably here. his part to stop ; and this is the first great after claim more attention at our hands. excellence, whether in biography or hisWe may speak briefly, however, of the tory. The execution of the chapter on execution of the work, as a production Mr. Clay's wit is the least to our taste. offered to the whole country, and designed Every one knows that Mr. Clay is a witto fill a place among its historical records. ty man—though other more important In regard to mere artistical execution qualities predominate in his composition. what we call style—if it were very But it is a difficult thing for any one to different from what it is, criticism would represent the varied humor of a man of be somewhat disarmed by the author's wit effectively on paper, where there is reinark, that "it asserts no higher claim no room for acting off the anecdotes. in literature than a business document- Like the perfumes of smoking incense, to state and determine matters of fact their delicate odors are constantly escawithin the shortest compass.” On this ping as they burn. We conceive our auplan, with such a subject, the author of thor to have partially failed in this subtil the “ Junius Tracts,” documents distin. task. Many of the anecdotes are goodguished for their conciseness and compre- effectively introduced and narrated. Oth. hensiveness--a multitude of facts crowd ers seem to have lost in the process much ed into small space-could not fail of of their original essence. Some effusions, making an interesting and instructive perhaps, might better not have been inbook. But we judge him to have done iroduced at all, nearly all the grace and much more. The work is certainly not point of which must have depended on classical, as it was not intended to be the manner in which they were said. There is no attempt at great chiseling The following statement of the author and polishing_especially after models in his Introduction, will indicate the limits and little of the glow of eloquence which which he prescribed to himself in the exsome would have sought to impart to it. ecution of his task : “ That the author That this would have been an addition in may not be held responsible for that
which he does not profess to do, he spicuous part of the volume before us would distinctly state, that he does not -namely, THE GREAT CONSPIRACY." undertake to go farther into history than The author starts under this head, as he as it is connected with the life, career, : says, “in anticipation of the evidence; and public services of Mr. Clay, which but that having been well considered, the alone present a wider field than could be propriety of this denomination is assumed, fully and minutely surveyed in a work on the belief that the facts will be a of this size. This is one rule on which justification.” Five chapters are devoted the work is constructed. To depart from to this subject. The investigation is it would leave open an indefinite range based on the re-affirmation of the charge of topics; and, in adhering to it, the diffi- by General Jackson, against Mr. Clay, in culty has not been to find materials to fill a card addressed to the Nashville Union, the volumes, but to select from and May 3, 1844, after nearly twenty years' condensé those which most claimed at repose of the subject, when it was suptention.” Another rule of constructing the posed to be given up. It is claimed by work is stated as follows: “ It will also the author, that, as the charge is of the be found, that the author has adopted a most serious nature, and believed to be course, which will probably be considered unjust, it was impossible to write the novel in biography and history, in disre- history of Mr. Clay's life, after such a garding chronological order, when any renewal of the accusation, and do justice particular attributes of Mr. Clay's char- to the parties, without an examination of acter, or any specitic class of his actions the evidence ; that to have passed over or pursuits, are under consideration. For the subject, would leave Mr. Clay under example, his professional career, from the aspersion, and be the same in effect as beginning to end, stands by itself.” But to let judgment go by default; and that the author says: “ The general arrange- the re-affirmation, at this late day, was ment is chronological, as nearly as could the re-construction of an unavoidable be, without sacrificing the advantages of issue. Whatever, therefore, may be the this method.”
result of the investigation, it is mainThe topics of the first volume may be tained that the responsibility of it cannot comprehensively stated as follows: Mr. rest on those who act on the defensive, Clay's early history; his domestic his The author takes up the whole case, tory ; his moral character and religious and travels through it from beginning to sentiments; his personal qualities and end. Besides some documents incorpoeloquence; his professional career ; his rated with the text, and used as evidence, wit and other brilliant qualities ; his we observe that upwards of forty pages public character, as a politician, statesman are chiefly occupied in smaller type as and diplomatist; his patriotism; his po- notes, in an array of documentary evisition and services in the war of 1812 ; dence, which constitute the basis of the his views on domestic slavery; his advo. argument, from which all the materials cacy of the rights of man on the most of reasoning in the case are drawn. This comprehensive scale; the original cause course, the author alleges, was unavoidof Gen. Jackson's hostility; the Missouri able to establish the negative of a arge, question ; “ the great conspiracy,” as the which was never supported by any proof. author terms it, referring to the charge of Mr. George Kremer, the author of the bargain in the election of Mr. Adams, in letter to the Columbian Observer, in 1825; internal improvements ; the public which the charge or charges first appearland policy; and the political character of ed, is set forth as a simple and credulous Mr. Clay's times. The table of contents man, acting as the tool of others, and not will indicate, at sight, a rich field of history. understanding what he was about. Evi.
It will be obvious to every one, that'dence to this point is adduced, and that it the topics above mentioned, well and was most remote from his intention to properly treated, ought to be attractive injure Mr. Clay. After the subject was and instructive. But we shall, for the submitted to the House of Representapresent, lay all but one of them, aside; tives, by the appeal of the Speaker, (Mr. passing directly to one which will most Clay,) and a committee of investigation naturally arrest attention, to wit, having was appointed, notwithstanding Mr. been so long bandied back and forth Kremer had fathered the letter on the under every possible cover, with every floor of the House, and offered to prove possible degree of assertion and contra-' the charges, he declined by entering a diction, and which now occupies a con- plea of jurisdiction. This put a stop to
the trial, and shut the door against all pointment, to bar inquiry, and hang up the evidence of a judicial character. Nobody charge—to lodge it in the public mind of at Washington, as appears, gave the the country, to work there as it might and slightest credit to the charge ; but it went necessarily must, without a judicial verdict, forth over the length and breadth of the without check, and with the evidence beland, to produce its effect on credulous fore the people, that the facts which the minds. The author undertakes to show, did it predict? That Mr. Clay and his
charge predicted had come to pass. What that this was the artifice of the conspi- friends would vote for Mr. Adams. So racy: to bring a charge, shrink from the they did. That Mr. Clay would be made proof of it, and then propagate it Secretary of State. So he was.
Was not, There is a curious development, appa. then, the charge proved by the EVENTS? rently in this stage, in regard to the It was not enough to do away its force in authorship of Mr. Kremer's long letter the popular mind, to say, that Mr. Clay of decline to the committee of the House, and his friends had a right to vote for Mr. by comparing passages of the letter with Adams; or that the claims of the West, of
Jackson men and all, forced Mr. Clay into passages of a speech of one of the members, which certainly exhibit a very undoubtedly true. They who conceived
the State department—both of which were strong likeness. It will be difficult to
and published the charge, knew that, if it persuade any one that the author is not did not accomplish its purpose in the first exposed. The authorship of Mr. Kremer's instance, by destroying Mr. Clay's freedom leiter to the Columbian Observer, and of and that of his friends, and by forcing them his card in answer to Mr. Clay's card, in to vote for a man to fill the presidential the National Intelligencer, was considered chair to whom they were conscientiously as settled before. But this new revelation opposed, it would answer all their purposes is at least very striking, and, if correct, another time. They foresaw that the very instructive.
charge would be identified with coming The author closes his first chapter on
events, and that, with the mass of unreflect. the subject in the following manner:
ing minds, it would require no other evi
dence of its truth. When suspicion was “The position of the conspirators, and thus roused, the people generally would not of Mr. Clay, at the end of this first stage, think, that the very acts represented as before the election for president had taken criminal, might not only be innocent, but place, may be defined as follows : 'Now let virtuous—a high, conscientious, and sacred Mr. Clay support Mr. Adams if he DARE. duty; that, with honorable men, they Now let him accept the office of Secretary should be presumed innocent; that, in doing of State, if he DARE. If he does either the same things, the accusers claimed to be especially if he does both-WE HAVE HIM.' innocent; and that it would have been If he had done the first, and not the last, equally fair to hurl back the charge on the the charge would still have been maintain.
aggressors." ed, with this difference, that he had only been frightened out of the Secretaryship,
Instances are cited of the use after. by the justness of the accusation.
wards made of these facts, in connection “ No one can fail to be impressed with with the charge by Mr. Buchanan in the atrocious character of this plot. The 1826, by Mr. Benton in 1827, hy the Lefrankness, fearlessness, and lofty dignity of gislature of Tennessee also in 1827, by the accused, stand in striking contrast to
Mr. Lynn Boyd on the floor of the House the diabolical designs of his accusers. Conscious of innocence, he throws himself when it is alleged that they could not but
of Representativesin 1844, and by others, on the weapons of his assailants, and bids them strike. He appeals to the only right know that they were using a non sequitur ful court, and demands judgment. From argument. the presence of that tribunal, constituted
The author then proceeds to notice for the occasion, and ready to proceed, the of the revival of the charge by General accusers flee !"
Jackson himself, in 1827, and begins The second stage of this affair is open- direct from the Hermitage, of March 8th
with the notorious “ Fayetteville levier," ed by the author with the following remarks on the first:
of that year, which made such a stir in
the land. Next comes General Jackson's “It has been seen, in the preceding chap- letter of June 6, 1827, to Carter Beverley, ter, that the charge of BARGAIN between Mr. Adams and Mr. Clay was got up, first, corrected version of the affair.
at Wheeling, Va., furnishing him with a to frighten Mr. Clay into the support of
The General Jackson ; and failing in that, the
manner in which Mr. Beverley attempts investigation was dishonorably declined, to to get Mr. Clay's denial, “in writing," keep the charge pending for future use. It is curious enough. Mr. Clay, however, was only necessary, after the first disap- goes down the Ohio from Wheeling, with
VOL. II.-NO. VI.
a copy of General Jackson's letter in his tiffs are arraigned on their own declarapocket, and publishes it at Lexington, tion, and the parties have changed their the 4th of July, with an address to the relative positions!” public. Mr. Beverley, at the same time, Next comes the proof of a negative, publishes the letter, with his comments, introduced by the following and other in the Telegraph, at Washington city, prefatory remarks by the author : and writes to General Jackson to inform
“It may not be amiss, though no rules him, as he says, “ precisely of the course
of justice can lawfully require it, to show and bearing of the subject.” He says, what can be done in the PROOF OF A NEGs it had not taken the course he exactly ATIVE. Innocent persons have sometimes calculated upon.” It seems he wanted been saved from unjust charges, by proof of Mr. Clay's denial, “ in writing,” without an ALIBI, when they must otherwise hare letting Mr. Clay know, except verbally, fallen. But it is not always that innocence what he was to deny.
escapes by such good fortune.
The same Next comes General Jackson's address is the effect of being able to prove a NEGto the public, of July 18, 1827, complain. ATIVE, though neither law, nor justice, ing of 'Mr. Clay's conduct, reciting the imposes the obligation. It is sometimes, whole matter afresh, and naming Mr. in the case of the conspiracy now ulder
however, the doom of necessity, Happily, Buchanan as his witness, to substantiate consideration, there is now no necessity the charge. In reviewing this address of for it, inasmuch as the conspirators lave so General Jackson to the public, the author far disagreed, and managed their several finds what he calls “a fraud” in the parts with so little skill, that it was im. application of misnomers to facts, which, possible they should not be ultimately exso far as he knows, had never been ex posed, though successful in accomplishing posed. It is certainly very striking, and their main and original design.” not an easy thing to manage, for the There is an array of evidence on this purposes of vindication. It stamps the point strong enough, in the number of character of the document with a very witnesses, and in the weight of their unpleasant feature. If it was never dis names. Not less than fifty public men, covered before, it is very singular. The with James Madison, Chief Justice Masauthor says, with great force: “In this shall, Daniel Webster and Lafayette at attempt of General Jackson--not unsuc the head of the list, are brought into cessful—to fasten upon the public, by court, and their evidence is recorded. misnomers, an argument to the prejudice And what is singular, several Jackson of Mr. Clay, so utterly false and ground- men are among ihem—Mr. Benton for less in all its parts and bearings, a very one--than whom, apparently, none gire grave question arises—whether he knew stronger evidence. The recantation of it?"
Carter Beverley, “ the first apostle" of The author proceeds to say: “It was the second emission of the charge, when impossible for Mr. Buchanan to avoid it started from the Hermitage in 1827, his destiny.” Hence his letter of August closes the list-a very remarkable doc8, 1827, to the editor of the Lancaster ument certainly. Journal, the whole of which, with parts On this evidence the author remarks; of other letters and documents, is presented in a note, to be used as evidence, kind, and to the extent given in this chap
“ Some may say, that evidence of this These documents are thoroughly analyzed
ter, is superfluous. As a portion of history, and compared with each other, and with
it is not so; it is not so, in justice to Mr. General Jackson's address to the public, Clay; it is not so, for the practical uses of to show what they prove. The result political society. One of the greatest and at which the author arrives, as stated by most complicated crimes in the social and himself, is, that there is “ not a particle political history of mankind, involving moor shade of evidence to support their mentous, stupendous consequences, has charge against Mr. Clay;" that “ their been commiiteid. nu notwithstanuing that own management, their own talk, their one generation has passed away, the wrong own acts, their own documents, addressed is still maintained; the moiety of a great against others, convict themselves!" that nation have never yet seen it in its truet " the crime they charge is proved to be light; hundreds of thonsands believe in the
wrong, by authority; one class of persons their own--out of their own mouths;"
are influenced by one set of facts, another That“ before a single witness from the by another; and it therefore becomes ne. other side is called to the stand, not only cessary, for the attainment of the ends of is the defendant justified, but the plaintruth and justice, to exhibit this piece of
history in all its essential parts. Setting scrupulous fidelity to the public, precious aside the great fact established in the pre to himself, and momentously important to ceding chapters, to wit, that the conspi. the community-invokes proof, demands rators have not only failed to exhibit a justice, and is denied both! While the particle of evidence in support of their ACCUSER, thus interested, and thus shieldcharges, but have convicted themselves of ed, marches on, unobstructed and trithe crime they charge on others, it cannot umphant, to his goal, in contempt of all but be very striking to all reflecting minds, established principles of law and equity, that the NEGATIVE of the charge, as it the ACCUSED, driven from the only tribunal respects Mr. Clay, is so fully and com where justice could possibly be done, is pletely proved. Nothing within the range compelled to go in search of evidence for of evidence is left, except to exhibit the the proof of a NEGATIVE, and use it, as best different forms and degrees of the crime of he can, without the sanction, without the the conspirators.”
solemnity, of public justice! The interested In the author's reflections at this stage for the full value and effect of proof, con
FIAT of the accuser, is permitted to pass of the investigation, he says:
viction, sentence, execution! Dodging re“ As time advances, and as the passions sponsibility when confronied by it, flying of those concerned in the origination, and from court when justice calls him to her interested in the defence and support of tribunal, the accuser is no sooner driven this conspiracy, die away, by their own exit from one position than he takes up another, from the stage of human life, the public, from which to iterate his charges !” the world, will become more and more amazed at the anomalous position of the
But the conclusion of the whole matter parties, judically considered, during the is an alleged disclosure, to wit, that an period comprehended in the inception, overture was made to Mr. Clay, by Mr. hatching, ripening, execution, and pro- Buchanan, in the presence of a third tracted sustentation, of this plot. That the person, now living; that when Mr. Clay accusing party, occupying such a high was afterwards assailed with the charge social standing, in a great community; of bargain, he notified Mr. Buchanan, professing to be governed by law and
that it might be his duty, in self-defence, justice, should presume, should dare, to bring such a charge, without a shadow of
to publish this occurrence ; that he was evidence, without any expectation of being
persuaded by Mr. Buchanan's entreaties able, without even a design, to support it
not to do it; and, that another correswith a fixed plan to avoid supporting it ponding overture was made by General will be a subject of increasing amazement, Houston, late President of Texas, then as the events recede in time, and public member of Congress from Tennessee, to judgment becomes tempered with sobriety. the Hon. S. Sloane, then member from That the accused party, also occupying an Ohio, and now living, who certities, that equally elevated standing--not to say more he understood it as an overture from 80—should be forced into such a position,
General Jackson to Mr. Clay. and held there-a position, from which common law, and common justice, would
One of the concluding remarks of the instantly rescue the meanest citizen-will
author, is as follows: forever be a subject of just and increasing “ The most fearsul lesson inculcated, in amazement ! That this position of the the results of this plot, is, that crime, in a parties, and such parties, should not only
republic, may triumph over virtue, and be be tolerated for the instant, but permitted rewarded. It has been proved that the to remain for years, for an age, FOREVER, purest reputation of a patriot and statesman, would in time be pronounced a fable, if who may have gained his eminence by a history should neglect to register the life of constant self-sacrifice to his country, FACTS!
may be blasted in one hour, by the breath 6. What is that position ? One party, of calumny! In history, he may indeed interested even to the highest object of hu rely on his verdict of acquittal. But what man ambition, is PERMITTED, with impu living man covets such an ordeal, for the nity, and without the responsibility of sake of such a justification ? Who ever proof, to bring the gravest charges—charges considered himself better off, for having amounting to crime of the foulest and most been on trial for a criminal offence, though atrocious character-against a supposed he were vindicated at last, and the wrongrival, to keep this rival back, and put him doer punished? All he has to console himself forward! The other party–whose self with, in the end, is that Justice, as fair farne, hardly earned in a long career of between him and his persecutors, has prountarnished private honor, and of most nounced her decision.”
A some have supposed that the Editor of this Review and the Author of this work are the
me person, it is proper to say that they are not even of the sanic family.