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|Combs &c. - Narrative of the life of|
General Leslie Combs
GENERAL LESLIE COMBS
efforts, than he would have done any off- cial position which could have been offer- ed him. The noble-hearted Whigs of little Delaware presented him with a most sub- stantial evidence of their confidence and gratitude, by the presentation of a magnifi- cent piece of plate, with the following in- scription:
“To General Leslie Combs, of Kentucky, from a number of his Democratic Whig friends of Newcastle county, Delaware, in testimony of their high regard for him as a patriot and sol- dier in the Northwestern campaign of 1812 and ’13, whilst yet a youth, and as the able and elo- quent vindncator uf his old General, the hero of Tippecanoe and the Thames, in the political campaign of 1840.”
Four years afterwards, when the farmer of Ashland received the nomination of the Baltimore Convention, he again tool: the field, although he knew that he would thereby lose a large portion of his remain- ing clients and business, which had become more important to him from pecuniary, embarrassment, induced by large invest- ments in the Texan War Debt. After canvassing a large portion of Kentucky previous to the August election, he direct- ed himself, during the months of Septem- ber, October, and November, to Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.
He made a rapid passage through Vir- ginia, from Abingdon, by way of Lynch- burg, Richmond, and Yorktown, to Nor- folk, arousing the Whigs everywhere, and urging the Democrats to stand by their no lest son, towering as he did in fame and public services as high above his com- petitor as the peaks of the Alleghanies above the mole-hills at their base. But all in vain. They were wedded to their idol, modern progressive Democracy.
What to them were justice, truth, grati- tude, fraternal or maternal love? Henry Clay was to be immolated under the re- morseless car of this modern Juggernaut; and who so proper as his own mother to use the sacrificial knife? It was done.
Mr. Combs appealed to Pennsylvania and New York to stand by and sustain the great father of the American system, the steadfast friend of human labor in all its forms, a ainst the false traitors and pre- tended friends, who would certainly pros- trate our rising manufactures and mechan- ical pursuits; but they would not heed him. They, too, cried out, “Crucify him,
crucify him!” and he was crucified. Oh, what a reckoning they have yet to settle for this outrageous wrong to America’s great statesman!
Of the man scenes of deep excitement through which the subject of cur notice passed during this ever-memorable CMD- paign, we shall refer but to one of promin- ent interest. It occurred at New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. Combs had been invit- ed to be present at a great Whig gather- ing at that renowned city, and accordingly went there at the appointed time. The principal streets were most magnifhcently decorated with flags and banners, bearing mottocs of appropriate significance. The crowd was innumerable, and moved by the highest enthusiasm. Senator Iierren, of Georgia, first addressed them, followed by Mr. White, of New York, from a broad platform, covered by the most venerable and distinguished sons of the pilgrim fathers. “Indeed,” says Mr. Combs, in allusion to this occasion, “when I looked around me, I felt as if I were in the midst of that daring band of holy men who had crossed the broad Atlantic in quest of civil and religious liberty.” Instead of speaking from the stand, a light wagon was placed for him to stand in, near the centre of the crowd, so asto be better heard. He spoke about two hours. At the commencement, he had asserted his beliefin an overruling Providence in all things; that there was ever present “a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will;” that He who was the orphan’s father and the widow’s husband had, in early life, taken an orphan boy in the Slashes of Hanover, and led him on, step by step, from one great deed to another, till now, when his history should be written, and justice done him, he would occupy a pinnacle of glory high as Chimborazo’s loftiest peak, wit Mount Olympus piled upon it. Like an eagle high in air, shot at by the poisoned shafts of calumny on every side, he still flies higher, and with prouder pinion, to- wards his mountain eyrie. “Look at him!” exclaimed the speaker, as he threw his hands upwards, and involuntarily the eyes of the multitude followed his gesture. Such a shout as instantly rent the skies was scarce ever heard before, or such a waving of handkerchiefs seen as was ex- hibited by the thousand ladies who were
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