Universal Brotherhood, Volume XIII, No. 11, February 1899 A Magazine Devoted to the Brotherhood of Humanity, the Theosophical Movement, Philosophy, Science and Art
|Henry Clay||Alexander Wilder, M.D.||585|
|Richard Wagner’s Prose Works||Basil Crump||593|
|Alphonse de Lamartine: IV. Poet, Diplomat, Traveller||Alexander Wilder, M.D.||596|
|Passage to India (Extracts Selected)||Walt Whitman||607|
|The Human Cell||Arthur A. Beale, M.B.||609|
|The Sokratic Club||Solon||614|
|Students’ Column||Conducted by J. H. Fussell||621|
|Young Folks’ Department:|
|The Weston Ten||Margaret S. Lloyd||623|
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UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD is a Magazine devoted to the promulgation ofthe principles of the Brotherhood of Humanity in the widest sense. It isan organ whose aim is to show that the Unity or Brotherhood of Mankindis an actual fact in nature. If this principle were better understood by themultitude or even by certain classes of Society there would be less strife andcompetition and more sympathy and co-operation.
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584A U M
“The Theosophical ideas of charity mean personal exertion for others;personal mercy and kindness; personal interest in the welfare of those whosuffer; personal sympathy, forethought and assistance in their troubles orneeds.”—H. P. Blavatsky, Key to Theosophy.
“To help men and women to realize the nobility of their calling and theirtrue position in life.”—First Object of the International Brotherhood League.
BY ALEXANDER WILDER, M.D.
Henry Clay. Reproduced from an engraving by permission of Wm. Pate & Co., New York.
The illustration of “Henry Clayaddressing Congress” exhibits,with almost the exactness of portraits,the likeness of the prominentmembers of the American Senate at thattime. It is to be regretted that a key isnot given, as several of them, and thesenot the men of less importance, are notat this late period easily recognized. Yetas we look upon their faces here delineated,we feel as if we had known themall.
Naturally our attention is first directedto the figure of the one addressing theSenate. The United States will have topass through another Civil War as destructiveof former memories as this onehas been, before Henry Clay can be forgotten.Making his mark upon the history,legislation and diplomacy of thecountry, that mark cannot be removedexcept the heart of the Nation is tornout with it.
The presiding officer we recognize asMillard Fillmore, once a favorite son ofNew York, and Vice-President in 1849and 1850; then succeeding to the presidencyat the death of General Taylor.Growing up from poverty and his fewopportunities, he became an accomplishedlawyer, a diligent legislator,and a statesman of recognized ability.Comely of person, graceful in manner,585and generous in his impulses, he was atthe time one of the most popular men ofWestern New York, and continued to betill he signed the measure that operatedmore than any other to estrangethe citizens of the Republic from oneanother—the Fugitive Slave Act of 1851.
We also observe near the speaker GeneralLewis Cass, then the foremost manof the Democratic Party, whose nominationfor President in 1852 Mr. Claydesired and hoped for as most likely toavert the crisis which he foresaw. Hethen lay dying, but to the last the welfareof his Country was at his heart.But General Cass was passed over, andthe current moved with renewed force tothe final event. For years as Senatorand Cabinet Minister he put forth hisenergy to arrest its progress, but wascompelled to give way overpowered.
On beyond is John C. Calhoun, withhead bent forward, listening intently.His, likewise, was a career of remarkablesignificance in the Nation. He hadentered Congress almost at the sametime with Mr. Clay, and both in concertwith Langdon Cheves and WilliamLowndes, who seemed to have beenelected for that purpose, put forth theirutmost efforts with success, to procurea declaration of war with Great Britain.The measure was regarded essential to586the continuance of the Republican Partyin power, and Mr. Madison reluctantlyacceded to it, regretting his compliancesoon afterward. The next turn of thewheel made Mr. Calhoun a Cabinet Minister,and an aspirant for the presidency,for which he had the support of DanielWebster. Falling short of that ambition,he became the champion of StateRights and nullification, bringing hisnative commonwealth to the verge ofcivil war, and himself into personalperil. Thenceforth he set about educatinghis people for mortal conflict. Theattempt to add new territory to thiscountry for the extending of the powerof the Southern as against the NorthernStates, had brought nearer the crisiswhich Mr. Clay was striving to avert.It seems almost anachronism to placeMr. Calhoun in this picture, for he diedin 1850.
Daniel Webster, however, is the figuresoonest recognized. The artist has placedhim in a row a little way behind theorator, sitting in a thoughtful mood, butleaving us at a loss to surmise whetherhe is attending to the subject under discussion,or meditating upon some topicwhich he may esteem to be of profounderimportance. He was translated to theCabinet a second time by President Fillmore,but found himself without supportersexcept personal friends and admirers,and estranged from his politicalassociates. He quickly followed Mr.Clay to the grave in 1852.
The other faces in the picture seem familiarand are carefully depicted. Wedo not find, however, the “new men”who had already come as precursors ofthe next epoch in American history.John P. Hale and William H. Sewardare left out, and we fail of findingDaniel S. Dickinson, John Davis orStephen A. Douglas. Those whom wedo see there were undoubtedly regardedas more notable, belonging as they did toan era that seems to have passed almostcompletely into oblivion. For it is truehowever discreditable as it may seem,that the events of that time and the menof that time are almost as little cognizedby Americans of the present generationas though they had been of theperiod of Magna Charta and the Conferenceof Barons at Runnymede.
The war with Mexico resulting fromthe annexation of Texas in 1845, had effectedthe addition of New Mexico andCalifornia to the jurisdiction of the UnitedStates. Legislation was required toprovide for the exigency. An issue hadbeen introduced by the “Wilmot Proviso,”declaring that neither slavery norinvoluntary servitude, except for crime,should exist in the new territory. Thisissue had decided the election of 1848giving the Whigs the National Administration.The organizing of Oregonwith this inhibition had created analarm. There were fifteen states withslavery and fifteen without, so that eachregion had an equal number of Senators.This arrangement was now imperilled.The contest was very sharp. Mr. Clayapprehending danger to the Union, procuredthe appointment of a joint CongressionalCommittee to devise measuresof pacification. This Committee reportedwhat was known as the “OmnibusBill,” providing for the admissionof California as a State, the organizationof territorial governments for Utahand New Mexico, and more effectivemeasures for the rendition of runawayslaves.
It is apparently in support of thismeasure that Mr. Clay is speaking. Theprominent senators, the supporters ofthis legislation, are listening. It maybe well to add that it did not pass in thisform, but that the several propositionsthus massed together, were afterwardenacted in separate bills.
Henry Clay Addressing Congress. Reproduced from an engraving by permission of Wm. Pate & Co., New York.
Mr. Clay was always a conspicuouscharacter in American History. Hismarked personality, his impressive manner,his profound sincerity, his unquestionedpatriotism,