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OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

I was in the democratic convention at Kalamazoo in 1844, that nominated "Black Chip" for Congress. After the nomination he was "called out. " As he stepped upon the rostrum, and looked upon the convention that had so honored him, he caught the inspiration for the occasion. In his speech he denned liberty. As the thought occurred to him his face lighted up, and who that saw him can forget his words, look, gesture, as he exclaimed, "Whence came liberty?" A pause, as he looked upward, and, in language as poetical and grand as Drake's on "The old Flag, " he gave the answer in a magnificent burst of eloquence. Tumultuous applause greeted him as he finished his speech and thanked the convention for the great honor they had conferred upon him. His misfortunes in speech were sometimes more than metaphorical. When he said, in his speech in congress, that "Education was at war with democracy, " the expression was caught up and repeated all ever the land, and soon came echoing back from "across the waters. " Black-wood's Magazine, never at any time liking us, after giving a graphic description of our congress, in a critical paper on "The Model Republic, " and, after enumerating the leading statesmen in our national council, Webster, Clay, Calhoun and John Quincy Adams, the Nestor of this model republic, the article closed with the dramatic performance of a "rude western member, who exclaimed in a grandiloquent speech—'Education is at war with democracy !' " to which the editor added, "Magnifiqiie—-SMper&e—pretty well !" No one who ever saw "Black Chip" in debate, when fully excited by the enemy's fire, can forget his remarkable appearance. At such times he was imperious, overbearing and defiant.

Michigan


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