The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics - Vol. 1

By William Ernest Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
BLAIR AND CLAY

To live in friendship is to have the same desires and the same aversions.--SALLUST.

PRESIDENT ADAMS proclaimed in his inaugural address that "ten years of peace at home and abroad, have assuaged the animosities of political contention and blended into harmony the most discordant elements of public opinion." There remained one effort of magnanimity, one sacrifice of prejudice and passion, to be made by the individuals throughout the nation who had theretofore followed the standards of political party. It was that of discarding every remnant of rancor against each other. He believed the collisions of party spirit which originate in speculative opinions, or in different views, of administrative policy were transitory.1

The address was not enough evidence of the President's future policy to cause Blair to break friendly political relations with Clay and the administration. George N. Bibb, a close friend of Blair, had, however, turned against Clay before the inaugural address had been written. Amos Kendall still had kind wishes for Clay because he believed that the elevation of Clay meant a gain for the West.2 Thomas Hart Benton wrote a solemn protest to his colleague, Senator Scott of Missouri, denying Senator Scott's moral power to bestow his vote on Adams. And then in the dignified manner of a Roman he asserted: "For nine years we have been closely connected in our political course; at length the connection is dissolved under circumstances which denounce our everlasting separation."3 Ritchie of the Richmond Enquirer ac-

____________________
1
James D. Richardson (ed.), A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents ( Washington, 1897- 1912), II, 860-65.
2
Niles' Register, L, 301.
3
The Globe, June 26, 1844. Benton to Scott, Feb. 8, 1825.

-37-

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