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ral James Tallmadge, who had belonged to, and been a leader in, the Republican ranks, went over to the enemy. He was elected Lieutenant-Governor by a majority of thirty-four thousand.
A large number of the seventeen remained in the Senate during the session of 1825. The “victors" quarrelled, and fell into distraction. In this condition of affairs, these seventeen exercised a controlling power over the acts of the Legislature. A vacancy was about to occur in the Senate of the United States. An indi. vidual who had belonged to the Democratic party, but who had deserted and gone over to the Federalists, was presented to the Senate, a majority of whom declared that they would not vote for this individual, nor would they accept of his nomination. The House refused to designate any one else, and there was, precisely as has been again recently witnessed, no election. At the ensuing general election in 1826, the Republicans-precisely as we trust will again be witnessed-carried the State, and one of their friends was chosen the Senator.
It was at this election that Mr. Wright was nominated to repre. sent the district in which he resided, in the Congress of the United States. He had acquired a high reputation for ability and independence in the discharge of his official duty. This was the first occasion on which any one of the seventeen had come before the people, since the memorable events already detailed had occurred. The contest was bitter beyond all former example, yet Mr. Wright beat his competitor by five hundred votes. In December, 1927, he took his seat. This was the year before the second contest between Jackson and Adams. The Republican party in New York had rallied, and espoused the cause of the former. At the election of 1828, Mr. Wright was again a candidate for Congress, in what was called a double district; and notwithstanding that there was much foul play and treachery practised against him, he was successful. His certificate, however, was refused him, and he was compelled to contend for his seat before the House of Representatives, where a decision was made in his favor.
Early in February, 1829, whilst Mr. Wright was employed in the discharge of his duties at Washington, he received from the Legislature of New York the appointment of Comptroller, whose services, with regard to the financial affairs of that State, corre. spond precisely with those of the Secretary of the Treasury, with regard to the financial concerns of the Union. 'This office is held for three years. Mr. Wright served out his first term to the entire satisfaction of the public, and was re-elected in 1832. In this year, William L. Marcy, who was a Senator in Congress from New York, was chosen Governor, and was sworn into office on the first day of January, 1833. Mr. Wright was elected to succeed him, and forth with took his seat. His first term expired on the third of March, 1837, but on the first Tuesday of the preceding February he was reëlected for the constitutional period of six years.
Opportunity to display his eminent abilities was all that Mr. Wright required to secure his rapid advancement. Within twelve years the "village justice" had become one of the Representatives of the sovereignty, of the “Empire State," containing nearly two millions of people. In October, 1833, occurred the famous removal of the deposites. The Opposition, who held the majority in the Senate, determined to attack this bold measure there, and to pass a direct and disgraceful censure upon the Executive. It is unnecessary here to advert to the extensive preparations that were made to render this premeditated assault fatal to the Administration,—the history of that stormy and eventful period being doubtless still fresh in the memory of most of our readers.
When Congress assembled in December, the galleries of the Senate chamber were enlarged, that a greater number of the crowd might find admission. The leaders in that body declaimed loudly, and were even cheered by the clamorous plaudits of the auditors. One of them proclaimed that the nation was in the midst of a revolution, "bloodless as yet;” and another, who addressed a multitude that had assembled in a neighbouring city to welcome his arrival on the Sabbath day, declared that “in times of revolution there were no Sabbaths."
Committees, comprehending large numbers, were raised in the cities, and deputed to wait on the President and demand the restoration of the public monies to the custody of the Bank. The parent institution, as well as some of its branches, made heavy and rapid curtailments of their discounts. Efforts were used to spread the panic from the towns into the country, and amongst all classes, as if the existence and prosperity of a great people depended upon the will and policy of a single corporation. Those who were asso. ciated in this conspiracy predicted universal ruin, and distributed in every direction inflammatory and abusive publications against the Administration.
Those men, however, who viewed these scenes through the medium of an unclouded reason, thought that if an institution chartered by Congress could, in a time of profound peace, when there was no national debt-no calamity resting upon the country -cause such deep and extensive excitement, it must be clothed with a power which would under different circumstances be dangerous to the liberties of the people, and enable it to become in effect the government. Week after week rolled away, and the orators poured forth their thundering philippics, and essayed innumerable arts to drive the Executive—a man distinguished above any other man of the nation for the fixedness of his purposes and the intensity of his will—from the bold and perilous position which he had assumed.
It was at this point of this remarkable discussion that it became the duty of Mr. Wright, Mr. Forsyth and others, to repel the charges which had been thus preferred against the administration which they supported, and to defend she course which had been pursued towards the Bank. This was the first occasion on which Mr. Wright had enjoyed an opportunity to act a distinguished part in the deliberations of the Senate, since he had become a member of it. It is almost superfluous to say that he even exceeded the expectations of bis friends.
There is in all the movements of Mr. Wright an air of quietness and resolution, of modesty and mildness, which is generally found in a public speaker who feels an unshaken confidence in his intellectual strength and in the justice of his cause.
When he rose, the Opposition became profoundly attentive, because they knew that he possessed the entire confidence of the Executive, and therefore that whatever revelations he might make were to be regarded as authentic and conclusive. It was evident, in a few moments after he had risen, that he had prepared himself fully, and that he would be able to present the truth with simplicity-without hesitation or the least affectation. During the two hours that he occupied the floor, he invoked the aid of no rhetorical figures, nor was there in a single sentence that fell from him the slightest tinge of passion or prejudice, or embittered feeling. Whilst his adversaries had spoken to the throng within and without the Senate, the young Senator spoke to it, and through it to the whole nation. It was curious to observe with what coolness, energy and effect, combined with the most unrulled courtesy, the orator dispelled, one after another, the delusions under which the Opposition had been labore ing; and when he at Jast announced that the Executive was content to appeal from any sentence which they might pronounce, back to the people from whom he and they alike derived their respective powers, the effect was wholly irresistible. It forewarned the Federal members, and truly too, that the tempestuous passions of the Senate chamber would soon be quelled by the solemn judge ments of their constituents. Mr. Wright passed through this memorable contest as became one of his rare gifts. Even his opponents confessed with admiration the skill and ingenuity of the speaker's logic, and placed him at once in the very front rank of the friends of the Administration, side by side with the best aud foremost; while many have been accustomed to assign him the first place, as the Administration “leader” in the Senate, for weight, soundness, discretion and eloquence.
Towards the spring the panic ceased the people in the towns returned to their usual avocations, and those in the country to their ploughs. And now, when we can look calmly on the transactions of that period, we are astonished that the leaders of the Opposition should have committed such gross errors in judgment, and em. barked in a controversy which they ought to have foreseen, from the nature of the principles involved in it, to be so utterly hopeless.
It will be asked if Mr. Wright is an orator. In the common sense of the term, he is not. We have never known him excited beyond his usual level of cool equanimity. He never declaims, he never addresses the passions, nor attempts to charm the imagination with the figures or embellishments of rhetorie. His voice is not melodious, though after listening to it for a short time it becomes not unpleasing. His enunciation is slow, but distinct and fluent. The same accurate logical precision characterizes his language and his thoughts. He is the most perfectly calm, methodical and logical speaker that we have ever listened to. His opinions are habitually marked by moderation-by a constant regard to the results of actual experience, as well as the dictates of an enlarged reason—by a fixed determination to be practical, at the same time that he is giving scope to the broadest general views. In his speeches there is nothing of the never-ceasing labors of Benton : nothing of the abstractions—the rapid and grand generalizationthe intellectual exuberance—the eagerness and fiery breath, of Calhoun; nothing of the silver tones, the splendid amplification, of Clay; nor the rapid thoughts, the wit and pleasantry, of Crittenden. The eloquence of Mr. Wright bears the stamp of deep reflection, of firm counsels; and over every sentence which he utters there breathes a profound knowledge of the principles which he maintains. He states the question to be examined, as well as the posi. tions which he assumes, with a clearness and force which gain the admiration of his adversaries; and when he replies, he makes his approaches like a skilsu) artillerist, who covers himself by a para. pet or a case-mate when he is about to demolish the fortress of the enemy.
Mr. Wright is now, and has been for several of the last sessions of Congress, at the head of the Committee of Finance of the Senate; and never did any man discharge the duties of that elevated position with more indefatigable industry or greater ability.
It may gratify the curious to know the pursuits of Mr Wright, when at his own home and fireside. The writer is able to speak on this subject from the best authority. An officer of the highest command in our army, on being asked by the writer if he had seen Mr. Wright whilst on the northern frontier during the last summer and autumn, replied in the following short narrative :-“I had occasion to visit Canton in October, and as soon as I arrived I enquired for the residence of Mr. Wright. I was directed to a small neat cottage, whither I made my way; and on approaching it I saw a man with his coat off, wheeling a wheelbarrow along one of the walks of a very large garden which was attached to the house. As I came near, I discovered that the laborer was my friend
Wright. He received me with great cordiality ; said that his gar den was cultivated mainly by his own hands, and that he was putting away his winter vegetables, and preparing to depart for Washington towards the last of the coming month. He further said, with the greatest apparent satisfaction, that he had recently purchased a farm, and intended to extend his agricultural operations. He was asked how large the farm was that he had purchased,—to which he said, twenty acres !—that either from natural inclination, or the effect of early habits, he was much devoted to the pure and simple pursuits and pleasures of the country.”
Mr. Wright is hardly as yet in the flower of his age. From the foregoing details, it is more than probable that he has reached in the Senate only another of the resting places of his political march.
The dead and witching hour of night,' is passed,
But slumber hath not her oblivion sweet
I turn me from the place where thronging meet
And with the ready jest and thoughtless smile
Masking with outward show the cold heart's guile,
There's nothing that I see but I could love!
There's nought the world's great architect hath wrought, Which matter binds in sleep, or soul doth move
To life and action, and inform with thought,
A feeling as of kindred, a desire
Whether the smallest flower it inspire,
I've watched the tempest burst o'er Catskill's height,
When from his hand, the hiding of his power, God hurled his storm-bolts with unerring flight,
Scatt'ring the mighty trees that heaven ward tower,