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Page 423 of Monument to the memory of Henry Clay / by A.H. Carrier.

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EULOGY OF MR. CRITrENDEN. Speaker descends to the floor of the House, Mr. CLAY distin- guished himself in the debates upon every question of interest that came up, and was the author, during that and following Congresses of more important measures than it has been the fortune of any other member, either then or since, to have his name identified with. It would exceed the proper limits of this discourse to particu- larize all those measures. I can do no more than refer to a very few of them which have become landmarks in the history of our country. First in order of these was his origination of the first proposi- tion for a recognition of the independence of the States of South America, then struggling for liberty. This was on the 24th of March, 1818. It was on that day that he first formally presented the proposition to the House of Representatives. But neither the President nor Congress was then prepared for a measure so bold and decisive; and it was rejected by a large majority of the House, though advocated and urged by him with all the ve- hemence and power of his unsurpassed ability and eloquence. Undaunted by this defeat, he continued to pursue the subject with all the inflexible energy of his character. On the 3d of April, 1820, he renewed his proposition for the recognition of South American Independence, and finally succeeded, against strong opposition, not only in passing it through the House of Representatives, but in inducing that body to adopt the em- phatic and extraordinary course of sending it to the President by a committee, specially appointed for the purpose. Of that committee Mr. CLAY was the chairman, and, at its head, per- formed the duty assigned them. In the year 1822 Mr. CLAY's noble exertions on this great subject were crowned with com- plete success, by the President's formal recognition of South American Independence, with the sanction of Congress. It requires some little exertion, at this day, to turn our minds back, and contemplate the vast importance of the revo- lutions then in progress in South America, as the subject was then presented, with all the uncertainties and perils that sur- rounded it. Those revolutions constituted a great movement in 423

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