The World's Famous Orations - Vol. 10

The World's Famous Orations - Vol. 10

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The World's Famous Orations - Vol. 10

The World's Famous Orations - Vol. 10

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Born in London in 1811, died in 1861; came to America in 1818;
elected to Congress from Illinois in 1845; Colonel and Brigade Com
mander in the Mexican War, 1847-48; again elected to Congress
from Illinois in 1849; removing to Oregon, elected a United States
Senator in 1860; raised a regiment in New York and Philadelphia in
1861; commanded a brigade at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October
21, 1861; killed at Ball’s Bluff while leading a desperate charge.

The senator from Kentucky stands up here in a manly way in opposition to what he sees is the overwhelming sentiment of the Senate, and utters reproof, malediction, and prediction combined. Well, sir, it is not every prediction that is prophecy. It is the easiest thing in the world to do; there is nothing easier, except to be mistaken when we have predicted. I confess, Mr. President, that I would not have predicted

From a speech in the United States Senate on August 1, 1861, eleven days after the Battle of Bull Run. Breckenridge was then a senator from Kentucky and had been defeated as the candidate of the Southern Democrats for the presidency in the election of November, 1860. On being expelled from the Senate, December 4, 1861, he entered the Confederate army, where he served as a major-general and finally as secretary of war.

Baker’s speech is remembered as one of the most dramatic ever delivered in the United States Senate. Breckenridge, whose speech, strongly Southern in tone, had provoked it, was already on his feet when Baker, a colonel in the army as well as a senator, alternating in his services between his seat in the Senate and his

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