Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters

By B. F. Perry | Go to book overview
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EDITORIAL COMMENTS.

One of the biggest and strongest men this country has known died here yesterday.* He was cast in a big mould, morally, intellectually and physically, and Nature in her mysterious operations for the destruction of her work seems to have designed an appropriate ending. There was none of the pitiful weakness of decay. The years brought no childish treble to the big strong voice, no dullness of perception or senile feebleness to the active, vigorous mind. Like an old oak tree struck by the axe he fell while yet strong and towering, and died with the honors, years and compensations of age before the calamities of age had come upon him.

Governor Perry was sometimes spoken of by his admirers as "the old Roman," and surely he deserved the title by virtue of the qualities ascribed to the Romans in the best days of the republic, when Romans were as brothers and all were for the State. Courage, tenacity of purpose, force of character and rigid adherence to principle marked his course through all the years of his manhood. As the youth began the old man ended. The path of his duty and his conscience led straight across the popular way. But the fury of the people, the seductions of friends, the promises of ambition, the overwhelming power of opponents combined against him failed to cause the swerving of a step. He could not see the end or know where the road he trod would lead him; disaster after disaster fell upon him, until the limits of his county seemed to be the impene

____________________
*
December 3, 1886.

-13-

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