“I know nothing, by experience, of party discipline. I would rather be a raccoon-dog, and belong to a negro in the forest, than to belong to any party, further than to do justice to all, and to promote the interests of my country. The time will and must come, when honesty will receive its reward, and when the people of this nation will be brought to a sense of their duty, and will pause and reflect how much it cost us to redeem ourselves from the government of one man. It cost the lives and fortunes of thousands of the best patriots that ever lived. Yes, gentlemen, hundreds of them fell in sight of your own city.
“I this day walked over the great battle-ground of Bunker’s Hill, and thought whether it was possible that it was moistened with the sacred blood of our heroes in vain, and that we should forget what they fought for.
“I hope to see our once happy country restored to its former peace and happiness, and once more redeemed from tyranny and despotism, which, I fear, we are on the very brink of. We see the whole country in commotion: and for what? Because, gentlemen, the true friends of liberty see the laws and Constitution blotted out from the heads and hearts of the people’s leaders: and their requests for relief are treated with scorn and contempt. They meet the same fate that they did before King George and his parliament. It has been decided by a majority of Congress, that Andrew Jackson shall be the Government, and that his will shall be the law of the land. He takes the responsibility, and vetoes any bill that does not meet his approbation. He takes the responsibility, and seizes the treasury, and removes it from where the laws had placed it; and now, holding purse and sword, has bid defiance to Congress and to the nation. 1
“Gentlemen, if it is for opposing those high-handed measures that you compliment me, I say I have done so, and will do so, now and forever. I will be no man’s man, and no party’s man, other than to be the people’s faithful representative: and I am delighted to see the noble spirit of liberty retained so boldly here, where the first spark was kindled; and I hope to see it shine and spread over our whole country.
“Gentlemen, I have detained you much longer than I intended: allow me to conclude by thanking you for your attention and kindness to the stranger from the far West.”
The following extract also shows the candor of his mind, his anxiety to learn, and the progress his mind was making in the science of political economy:
“I come to your country to get a knowledge of things, which I could get in no other way but by seeing with my own eyes, and hearing with my awful ears—information I can’t get, and nobody else, from book knowledge. I come, fellow-citizens, to get a knowledge of the manufacturing interest of New England. I was over-persuaded to come by a gentleman who had been to Lowell and seen the manufactories of your State—by General Thomas, of Louisiana. He persuaded me to come and see.