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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

Thoroughly read as a lawyer, deeply versed in political lore, extensively acquainted with the varied topics of the day, and gifted with the power of improvisation as a public speaker, he had' no equal among us in addressing a public gathering, especially a gathering of democrats.
I never listened to a man who was so perfect a master of the art of public speaking. It seemed to be a natural gift. Called out at any time, he came before the people and began his speech, as readily as if his subject had been the study of a lifetime. He appeared never to want a word, or to recall one. They came as naturally as notes to a bird. He said the right tiling to begin with, and every sentence he uttered seemed to come readily into its proper place, as an outgrowth from his subject, until they were all fashioned into that perfect thing of its kind, a full, rounded speech. His diction was easy, clear and sparkling as a New England trout stream. It was enlivened by wit, made keen or severe by ridicule, or widened out into broad sympathy with the masses, when, rising with the occasion, he would, in an eloquent appeal, carry the multitude to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. Let it be known that "Ed Bradley" was to speak in any part of the county, and the people turned out en- masse. If the anecdotes and witty things that abounded in his speeches were gathered together they would fill a volume. We have space only for a few. Who of the old residents will ever forget his story of ''the old democrat in Ontario'" who once voted the whig ticket, and the next day goaded by his sins, bought half a dozen sperm candles, took them home "to light them and sit up and hate himself by them. " In a suit tried before Judge Ransom at Marshall, a young lady sued a bachelor for breach of promise of marriage.

Michigan


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