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count of the reasons and manner of adjournment, than the glowing statement of the learned judge.

The general discussion was continued on the 25th, and two or three new speakers took, for the first time, a prominent part in the debate; Colonel Innis, then attorney-general of the state, who seems to have been a very remarkable orator, and whose eloquence is characterized by Mr. Wirt, in his usual florid style, as a “splendid conflagration,” Judge Tyler, and Zachariah Johnson. Randolph, Henry, Madison, Monroe, and Grayson, mingled, as usual, in the discussion. At the close of this day's debate, the question was taken, and on the two following days the proceedings of the Convention were brought, in the manner that has been already mentioned, to a close.

Although the views of Henry were not adopted by the Convention, he seems to have suffered no diminution of his personal influence in consequence of the part which he took on this occasion. At the session of the Assembly, which was held on the following October, he succeeded in preventing the election of Mr. Madison to the Senate of the United States, and in carrying that of Richard Henry Lee and Mr. Grayson, the latter of whom had been in the Convention an active opponent of the constitution. At the

same session, he moved a resolution requesting Congress to call another General Convention, for the purpose of amending the instrument as adopted. A motion was made to amend this resolution by substituting another, inviting Congress to propose to the states, in the constitutional way, the bill of rights and series of amendments proposed by Henry, and adopted at the Richmond Convention. This motion was rejected, and the original proposal of Henry was adopted by a triumphant majority of more than two to one.

Thus terminated the action of Henry upon the great reform effected in the government by the adoption of the federal constitution. While we render the fullest justice to the correctness of his intentions, and to the superiority of talent and eloquence with which he supported his views in the Convention, we may pronounce it, without hesitation, a most fortunate thing for the country that they did not prevail. Still more fortunate will it be, if the dangers which he apprehended shall prove, in the sequel, to have been imaginary, and not to have been adjourned for a time, only to burst upon us with greater fury in proportion to the immense augmentation, which will have taken place in the interval in the extent and population of the country. The enemies of liberal constitutions abroad generally look forward to the early occurrence among us of some such

catastrophe, and are sustained in their gloomy forebodings by the opinions of many of our most judicious and best informed citizens. Yet when we find the superior liberality of our institutions, accompanied, as it thus far has been, by a corresponding superiority in the intelligence, morality, and general well-being of the people, we may venture, perhaps, to regard such apprehensions as groundless, and to consider the establishment of our republican empire as the opening of a new and more auspicious chapter in the history of

man.

CHAPTER VIII.

Retirement of Henry from political and profes

sional Life. Domestic Occupations. Death and Character.

The proceedings detailed in the preceding chapter were the last, of a political character, in which Henry was engaged. It is understood, that, on the retirement of Mr. Jefferson from the office of Secretary of State, Henry was requested to take charge of that department of the government; and it is rumored, that, at a later period, during the administration of John Adams, he was

offered successively the appointments of Minister to France and to Spain. At the close of the year 1796, he was elected by the legislature Governor of the commonwealth, but declined the office.

He seems to have taken no very decided part in the political controversies that grew up after the adoption of the federal constitution, but favored alternately the views of one or the other party, according to his own private opinion of the merits of the particular question upon which they were for the time divided. He disapproved Mr. Jay's treaty with Great Britain ; but, after it had been ratified by the Senate, and become constitutionally the law of the land, he deemed it the duty of every citizen to concur in carrying it into effect in his appropriate sphere of action, whether political or personal, and condemned the course of those members of the House of Representatives of the United States, who endeavored to prevent the appropriation necessary for

He also publicly expressed his approbation of the Alien and Sedition Laws, and his disapprobation of the celebrated Kentucky and Virginia resolutions. So strong was his apprehension of danger to the public tranquillity, from the policy which dictated these resolutions, that it induced him to break the determination, which he had previously formed, to

this purpose.

take no further part in the public affairs; and, in the spring of the year 1799, he presented himself to the electors of Charlotte county, in which he resided, as a candidate for the State Assembly.

Although his avowed object, in seeking an election, was to oppose the views of a party which predominated throughout the State, his personal influence was so great that he was elected by his usual commanding majority. After his election was known, it was deemed by the republican leaders a matter of so much importance, that great exertions were made to bring into the Assembly their most distinguished advocates, for the purpose of neutralizing his influence. Giles, Taylor of Caroline, Nicholas, and a number of younger men, conspicuous for talent and eloquence, were deputed to the Assembly. Madison himself retired from Congress, and accepted a place in the Virginia legislature for the purpose of encountering the great champion on his own ground. Had Henry taken his seat, it would have been a singular spectacle to see these distinguished men leading on, as before, their respective parties, but each, so far as party connections were concerned, occupying a position directly opposite to that which he had held in the State Convention. The republican party had a large majority in the Assembly, and it is altogether probable that Henry would have found

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