Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman

By Paul Revere Frothingham | Go to book overview

VI
GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS

IT is highly probable that the possibility of becoming Governor had more or less to do with Everett's definite decision to withdraw from Congress. It gave him something at least to which he could reasonably look forward. He had been talked about as a candidate for some time past, and political influence had been exerted in his favor. John Quincy Adams seemed at first to stand in his way. The ex- President was not yet clear about remaining in Washington as a Congressman. He was still considering where he could be of greatest public service. The governorship of Massachusetts was suggested to him, and he had no intention to let younger men push him from the stage. An attempt on Everett's part to hasten his decision roused the old man's ire. He recorded in his 'Diary' under date of November 26, 1833:

After dinner Mr. Edward Everett called, and we had some conversation upon the state of politics in Massachusetts. . . . I saw his object was to prevail upon me to decline in favor of Davis; but I was not disposed to let him know what my intentions are. He and his brother Alexander are both reeds shaken with the wind.1

A year later, in 1834, almost immediately, in fact, after announcing his intention of withdrawing from Congress, Everett was strongly urged to accept a nomination for Governor at the hands of the Anti-Masonic Party. The anti-Masonic agitation was then at its height. It was one of those sudden popular movements that afflict at times all countries, but to which America appears particularly subject. In 1826, William Morgan, of Batavia, New York, was kidnapped and disappeared from view. He had recently advertised a book which purported to expose the secrets of Freemasonry. The crime of putting him out of the way was charged upon the

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1
John Quiccy Adams: Memoirs , IX , 39.

-127-

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Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - Background and Beginning 1
  • II - Pegasus in the Pulpit 19
  • III - Wander Years 36
  • IV - The Greek Professor 61
  • V - Apollo in Politics 93
  • VI - Governor of Massachusetts 127
  • VII - Port After Stormy Seas 157
  • VIII- At the Court of Saint James' 188
  • IX - A Diplomat in London 220
  • X - President of Harvard 265
  • XI - An Interlude 302
  • XII - Secretary of State and Senator 329
  • XIII - The Orator 373
  • XIV - With the God of Battles 414
  • Index 473
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