Legislative Eloquence.

The following report of a speech made before the Tennessee Legislature by Col. J. M. H–––––––, a representative from Knox County, has been furnished us by a gallant officer in the army, who assures us of its [1] genuineness :––

Fellow citizens :––I did’nt come here to make a speech at this time, but only jest to extinguish myself as a candidate. Gentlemen, I am the floating candidate for the superfluous district, and I only want to make a few remarks at this time. A good many of you, gentlemen, has never seen me before, and I merely want to state my views upon the question, to be agitated. Gentlemen, I was born in the county of Sullivan, and foacht up in Knox, without pearantage, and if it had’nt a been for the goodness of God and several other gentlemen, who tuck me when an orphan boy at 21 years of age, and gin me an edecation, I might have been as ignorant as the common people, or you, gentlemen. Gentlemen, my father was a patriarch of the Revolution, and I am a patriarch. Gentlemen, my father stained the walls of America with his blood, and when Gen. Jackson killed the Indians at Orleans, I waded up to my knees in mud. Gentlemen, I am opposed to Nullification. Gentlemen, I would rather be a gallypot slave, than for to be a Nullifier. Gentlemen, I haint got time to give you my views now, and I will call upon you again in a few days, but gentlemen, there is a set of Big Bugs here who are a tryin to put me down, but gentlemen, I defy ‘em. Gentlemen, I have always been for liberty, independence, and glory. Gentlemen, I hope to be delivered out of the hands of my enemies as Moses was delivered out of the hands of the bullrushes. Gentlemen, come over across the Square, and take something, and we’ll get better acquainted.

“ Hurrah for Col. H––––, d–––n my eyes, but he’s the chap after all.” Hurrah for Col. H–––––, whoop, he ! ! !”


Source: New York Spirit of the Times 10.1 (7 March 1840): 1.(University of Virginia Alderman Library).

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

[1] Original text reads “it.”

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