Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/151
Life, Services and Character of Jefferson Davis. 143
THE LOVE OF THE SOUTH FOR AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS.
Did not the South love American institutions? What school- boy cannot tell? Who wrote the great Declaration? Who threw down the gage, '* Liberty or Death ? ** Who was chief framer of the Con- stitution? Who became its great expounder? Who wrote the Bill of Rights which is copied far and wide by free commonwealths? Who presided over the convention that made the Constitution and became in field and councils its all and all defender ? Jefferson, Henry, Madison, Marshall, Mason, Washington, speak from your graves and give the answer.
THE SOUTH LEADS IN ACQUIRING THE NATIONAL DOMAIN,
Did not the South do its part in acquiring the imperial domain of the nation? When the Revolution ended the thirteen States that lay on the Atlantic seaboard rested westward in a wilderness, and the Mississippi marked the extreme limits of their claims as the Appalachian range marked the bounds of civilization. The north* western territory north of the Ohio river, which now embraces Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was conquered by George Rogers Clarke, a soldier of Virginia, under commissions from Patrick Henry as Governor. But for this conquest the Ohio would have been our northern boundary, and by Virginia's gift and Southern votes this mighty land was made the dowry of the Union.
Kentucky, the first-born State that sprung from the Union, was a Southern gift to the new confederation. The great territory stretch- ing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky mountain.s' gate and to far-off Oregon was acquired by Jefferson, as President, irom Napoleon, then First Consul of France, and the greatest area ever won by diplomacy in history added to the Union. John C. Cal- houn, of South CaroHna, offered the bill in 1812 which proclaimed the second war of independence. President Madison, of Virginia, led the country through it, and at New Orleans Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, achieved its culminating victory.
It is a Northern scholar (Theodore Roosevelt) who .says :
" Throughout all the Northwest, where Ohio was the State most threatened, the troops of Kentucky formed the bulk of the Ameri- can army, and it was a charge of their mounted riflemen which at a blow won the batde of the Thames.
"Again, on the famous January morning, when it seemed as if the