PUBLIC BANQUET IN PHILADELPHIA--SPEECH ON THE OREGON CONTROVERSY AND THE MEXICAN WAR--INTRODUCTION OF THE "WILMOT PROVISO"--HOW TREATED BY MR. WEBSTER--OPPOSES ALL ACQUISITIONS OF NEW TERRITORY--COURSE OF THE "NORTHERN DEMOCRACY"--VISIT TO THE SOUTH--MEDICAL OPINION ON HIS CATARRH.
IN December, 1846, there occurred another of those popular demonstrations of respect and gratitude which were more frequently tendered to Mr. Webster than to any other public man of his time. The merchants of Philadelphia, in the spring of this year, invited him to a public dinner, as a mark of their friendly regard and their admiration of his services to the country. In their invitation, they said:
"Nearly all who offer this mark of esteem are men of business, removed from the party strifes of the country, though deeply interested and affected in all their relations by the action and agitation of party. With these your name has long been associated as one of those whose advice, whether heeded or not, whose abilities, whether successfully exerted or not, were always directed toward the advancement of their interests and the promotion of their prosperity. They offer to you this token of respect, not only as an evidence of personal esteem, but as a mark of sincere and grateful feeling.
But, in this expression of regard, they will not limit themselves to what may be considered as more peculiarly their own interests. As members of this great Republic, they desire in this way to express their approbation and pride in those efforts that have multiplied and strengthened our ties with the family of nations; that have increased and made more