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Swartwout, whose association with colonel Burr is notorious throughout the United States. I put it to the candor of all who are here, to say if such a change can be justified in the port of New York, the revenue collected at which amounts to about ten millions of dollars, or more than one third of the whole revenue of the United States.

I will detain the present assembly no longer, upon subjects connected with the general government. I hope that I shall tind, in the future course of the new administration, less cause for public disapprobation. I most anxiously hope, that when its measures come to be developed, at the next and succeeding sessions of congress, they shall be perceived to be such as are best adapted to promote the prosperity of the country. I will say, with entire sincerity, that I shall be most happy to see it sustaining the American system, including internal improvements, and upholding the established policy of the government at home and abroad. And I shall ever be as ready to render praise where praise is due, as it is now painful to me, under existing circumstances, to participate in the disapprobation which recent occurrences have produced.

No occasion can be more appropriate than the present, when surrounded by my former constituents, to say a few words upon the unimportant subject of myself. Prior to my return home I had stated, in answer to all inquiries whether I should be again presented as a candidate to represent my old district in the house of representatives, that I should come to no absolute decision, until I had taken time for reflection, and to ascertain what might be the feelings and wishes of those who had so often honored me with their suffrages. The present representative of the district has conducted himself towards me with the greatest liberality, and I take pleasure now in making my public acknowledgments, so justly due to him. He had promptly declined being a candidate, if I would offer, and he warmly urged me to offer.

Since my return home, I have mixed freely as I could with my friends and fellow-citizens of the district. They have met me with the greatest cordiality. Many of them have expressed a wish that I would again represent them. Some of the most prominent and respectable of those who voted for the present chief magistrate

, have also expressed a similar wish. I have every reason to believe, that there would be no opposition to me, from any quarter or any party, if I were to offer. Bi

if I am not greatly deceived in the prevailing feeling throughout the district, it is one more delicate and respectful towards me, and I appreciate it much higher, than if it had been manifested in loud calls upon me to return to my old post. It referred the question to my own sober judgment. My former constituents were generally ready to acquiesce in any decision 1 might think proper to make. If I were to offer for

congress, they were prepared to support me with their accustomed zeal and true-heartedness. I thank them all, from the very

bottom of my heart, whether they agreed or differed with me in the late contest, for this generous confidence.

I have deliberated much on the question. My friends in other parts of the union, are divided in opinion about the utility of any services which I could render, at the present period, in the national legislature. This state of things, at home and abroad, left me free to follow the impulse of my own feelings, and the dictates of my own judgment. These prompted me to remain in private life. In coming to this resolution, I did not mean to impair the force of the obligation under which every citizen, in my opinion, stood, to the last Hickering of human life, to dedicate his best exertions to the service of the republic. I am ready to act in conforinity with that obligation, whenever it shall be the pleasure of the people; and such a probability of usefulness shall exist as will justify my acceptance of any service which they may choose to designate.

I have served my country now near thirty years. My constitution, never very vigorous, requires repose. My health, always of late years very delicate, demands care. My private affairs want my attention. . Upon my return home, I found my house out of repair; my farm not in order, the fences down, the stock


the crop not set, and late in April the corn-stalks of the year's growth yet standing in the field — a sure sign of slovenly cultivation.

Under all circumstances, I think that, without being liable to the reproach of dereliction of any public duty to my country or to my friends, I may continue at home for a season, if not during the remainder of my life, among my friends and old constituents, cheering and cheered by them, and interchanging all the kind and friendly offices incident to private life. I wished to see them all; to shake hands cordially with them; to inquire into the deaths, births, marriages, and other interesting events among them; to identify myself in fact, as I am in feeling, with them, and with the generation which has sprung up whilst I have been from home, serving them. I wish to put my private affairs to rights, and if I can, with the blessing of Providence, to reëstablish a shattered constitution and enfeebled health.

It has been proposed to me to offer for a seat in the legislature of the state. I should be proud of the selection, if I believed I could be useful at Frankfort. I see, I think, very clearly, the wants of Kentucky. Its finances are out of order, but they could be easily put straight, by a litle moral courage, on the part of the general assembly, and a small portion of candor and good will among the people. Above all, we want an efficient system of internal improvements adopted by the state. No Kentuckian who travelled in or out of it, could behold the wretched condition of our roads, without the deepest mortification. We are greatly in

the rear of almost all the adjacent states, some of which sprung into existence long after we were an established commonwealth. Whilst they are obeying the spirit of the age, and nobly marching forward in the improvement of their respective territories, we are absolutely standing still, or rather going backwards. It is scarcely credible, but nevertheless true, that it took my family, in the month of April, nearly four days to travel, through mud and mire, a distance of only sixiy-four miles, over one of the most frequented roads in the state.

And yet our wants, on this subject, are perfectly within the compass of our means, judiciously applied. An artificial road from Maysville to the Tennessee line, one branch in the direction of Nashville, and a second to strike the mouth of Cumberland or Tennessee river; an artificial road extending from Louisville to intersect the other, somewhere about Bowling Green; one passing by Shelbyville and Frankfort, to the Cumberland gap; and an artificial road extending from Frankfort to the mouth of Big Sandy; compose all the leading roads which at present need the resources of the state. These might be constructed, partly upon the Mc Adams method, and partly by simply graduating and bridging them, which latter mode can be performed at an expense less than one thousand dollars per mile. Other lateral connecting these main roads, might be left to the public spirit of the local authorities and of private companies.

Congress, without doubt, would aid the state, if we did not call upon Hercules without putting our shoulders to the wheel. But without that aid we could ourselves accomplish all the works which I have described. It would not be practicable to complete them in a period of less than seven or eight years, and of course not necessary to raise the whole sum requisite to the object in one year. Funds drawn from executed parts of the system might be applied to the completion of those that remained. This auxiliary source, combined with the ample means of the state, properly developed, and faithfully appropriated, would enable us to construct all the roads which I have sketched, without burdening the people.

But, solicitous as I feel on this interesting subject, I regret that I have not yet seen sufficient demonstrations of the public will, to assure me that the judgment of the people had carried them to the same or similar conclusions to which my mind has conducted me. We have been, for years past, unhappily greatly distracted and divided. These dissensions have drawn us off from a view of greater to less important concerns. They have excited bitter feel. ings and animosities, and created strong prejudices and jealousies. I fear that from these causes the public is not yet prepared dispassionately to consider and adopt a comprehensive, I think the only practical, system of internal improvements, in this state. A premature effort might retard, instead of accelerating, the object. And I

must add, that I fear extraneous causes would bias and influence the judgment of the legislature.

Upon the whole, I must decline acceding to the wishes of those who desired to see me in the legislature. Retirement, unqualified retirement, from all public employment, is what I unaffectedly desire. I would hereafter, if my life and health are preserved, be ready at all times to act on the principles I have avowed, and whenever, at a more auspicious period, there shall appear to be a probability of my usefulness to the union or 10 the state, I will promptly obey any call which the people may be pleased to make.

And now, my friends and fellow-citizens, I cannot part from you, on possibly this last occasion of my ever publicly addressing you, without reiterating the expression of my thanks from a heart overflowing with gratitude. I came among you, now more than thirty years ago, an orphan boy, pennyless, stranger to you all, without friends, without the favor of the great. You took me up, cherished me, caressed me, protected me, honored me. You have constantly poured upon me a bold and unabated stream of innumerable favors. Time, which wears out every thing, has increased and strengthened your affection for me. When I seem deserted by almost the whole world, and assailed by almost every tongue, and pen, and press, you have fearlessly and manfully stood by me, with unsurpassed zeal and undiminished friendship. When I felt as if I should sink beneath the storm of abuse and detraction, which was violently raging around me, I have found myself upheld and sustained by your encouraging voices, and your approving smiles. I have doubtless committed many faults and indiscretions, over which you have thrown the broad mantle of your charity. But I can say, and in the presence


God and of this assembled multitude, I will say, that I have honestly and faithfully served my country; that I have never wronged it; and that, however unprepared I lament that I am to appear in the Divine presence on other accounts, I invoke the stern justice of his judgment on my public conduct, without the smallest apprehension of his displeasure.

Mr. Clay concluded by proposing the following toast:

THE STATE OF KentucKY. A cordial union of all parties in favor of an efficient system of internal improvements, adapted to the wants of the state.




(On this occasion, Mr. Clay (then in private life) being on his return home from a visit to New Orleans, was invited by the citizens of Natchez to partake of a public dinner, which invitation he accepted. A brief sketch of his remarks in reply to a toast in honor of him, taken from a Natchez paper, is given below, in which he shows that the operation of a protective tariff is beneficial to the cotton-growing regions of the south, as well as to the interests of the north, although the latter are more directly employed in manufactures.]


*The manner in which Mr. Clay has been received in Natehez, reflects great credit upon the citizens; nothing they could do, becoming a patriotic and hospitable people, was neglected, and the attentions were not confined to his political friends; he accepted private entertainments from others, and was visited by all.

On Saturday (thirteenth instant) a public dinner was given to Mr. Clay by the people of the city and county, agreeably to previous engagements; on this occasion numbers came to see him from distant' counties. But on one occasion of the kind, have we seen in this city a larger assemblage of citizens, and that was in honor of La Fayette.'

The honorable Edward Turner, judge of the supreme court of this state, presided, assisted by several vice-presidents.'

• Previcus to giving the toast in honor of Mr. Clay, judge Turner addressed the company, in which he alluded to his (Mr. Clay's) great public services, and concluded by announcing the following sentiment, which was received with the strongest emotion.

Our disTINGUISHED GUEST — the firm and patriotic statesman; the grandeur and usefulness of his political views can only be surpassed by his eloquence and ability in advocating them.'

To which Mr. Clay replied in substance as follows:


I not only rise in gratitude for the favorable opinions you entertain of me, but to avail myself of an opportunity to acknowledge my sense of the honors conferred upon me by my fellow-citizens of Mississippi. I did, indeed, expect to receive from them such kind attentions, as they are celebrated for extending to every stranger having had the satisfaction to visit them; but it is my pride to acknowledge, that those paid to me, have far, very far,

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