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|Combs &c. - Narrative of the life of|
General Leslie Combs
LIFE OF GENERAL LESLIE COMBS,
EMBRACING INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE NORTH—
The biography of men in the Republic who have raised themselves by their own unaided talents and energies above the level of the general mass of the community in which their lot has been cast, must be both entertaining and instructive to their fellow- countrymen. Doubly instructive and pro- fitable, in a more extended view, are these personal histories, when they relate to the lives and fortunes of those who may be regarded as representative men—types of classes that constitute essential or important elements in our national character, and which, though somewhat heterogeneous in their origin and diverse in their features, have yet become, through the harmonizing wand fostering influences of our republican institutions, consolidated and blended into a congruous whole, known and recognized throughout the world, distinctively as the American character.
Nor are these essential and characteristic elements referable solely to peculiar nation- al origins. On the contrary, local and other circumstances, irrespective of nationalities, have termed some of the most distinctive, and, in a national point of view, impor- tant of these elements. Of this kind were the circumstances attending the early settle- ment of our Western country; circumstan- ces which overbore and nearly obliterated all distinctions of national origin, blending and consolidating all such elements in the comprehensive, distinctive national one, rep- resented by the Western hunter, pioneer and settler, as combined in the same individual.
Nurtured amidst stirring scenes, and ac- customed from early childhood to a life of activity, hardship, exposure, and thrilling
adventure—hence a hardy, enterprising, bold, and fearless race; and leading the free and untrammeled life of the backwoods, and breathing from infancy the atmosphere of unrestrained freedom and independence— hence a frank, generous, hospitable race, endued with an unsophisticated and plain sense of right, with a ready disposition to uphold and protect it, as well as a keen na- tive sense of wrong, and an impulsive in- stinct to repel and redress it; the men of this race have ever been foremost, whether in extending the area of civilization and of the Republic, by felling the forest and sub- duing the rank prairie, or in defending our national rights and avenging our national wrongs on the field of battle.
It was this race, represented by and speaking through a Henry Clay and others of that stamp, which aroused our Govern- ment to a declaration of war, to vindicate our violated national rights on the ocean early in the present century ; and it was this race themselves, who, at the call of their country, rushed with an unexampled unanimity and alacrity to the field, while in some parts of the country, but too many of the more immediate neighbors and kin- dred of those citizens whose rights of per- son or property on the sea had been out- raged, not only refused to respond to this national call, but sought to thwart the pur- poses of the Government, by opposing its measures adopted for the purpose of obtain- ing redress, in some instances, by acts little short of treason. And it is to the descend- ants of this race, already numbering mil- lions of hardy, unflinching republicans, to which our country must look for a patriotic
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