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the United States, with all the rights of breaking bulk, taking in and discharging, purchasing and selling of cargoes, as in our own ports.
“ Resolved, further, That we stipulate for a right of constructing a railroad from the United States to the harbor of San Diego, and to any town in New Mexico or California.
“Resolved, That it is expedient to keep possession of the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa as a hostage for the fulfillment of the stipulations above recited.”
On the Oregon Question (see title, S. A. Douglas) he took resolute ground against the extreme claim:
“Oregon," he said, “what is it? Is it the quality of her soil ? Is it the wealth that is contained in her mineral bosom, the capaciousness of her bays, or the clearness and rapidity of her streams, that have invested her with these magic hues? I have listened intently for the reasons, and I do most conscien. tiously declare that the whole of them have been resolved into two simple propositions : first, that the title is unquestioned and unquestionable ; secondly, that the area of freedom must be extended. And upon these two abutments is to be sprung a great arch that is to cover the whole question with all its mighty influence. Unquestionable and unquestioned! Why, · sir, it is not unquestionable, because it has been qwestioned; and it ever will be questioned, because it ever will be questionable. I deny in toto any right, any claim to that territory, or to any part or parcel thereof, that does not appertain with equal force and efficiency to the power of Great Britain ; and if I do not, by as fair reasoning as I can bring, demonstrate this posi. tion, I am willing to give up, now and forever, any claims to logical powers.”
Again, speaking of that joint occupation of the territory against which a resistless current had suddenly and violently set in, he remarked :
“Gentlemen say—and to most of them it is a vision of horror---that the American and the British people would be compelled to live upon the same soil under different laws. Sir, to my unassisted vision, it is one of the most beautiful, animating, and soul-stirring conceptions that the eye of imagination can contemplate. I had hoped that the experiment of a joint occupancy was about to foreshadow an apocalyptic event; that nations would hereafter have dwelt together in unity; that no longer “lands intersected by a narrow. frith would make enemies of nations, which else, like kindred drops, had melted into one;' that from the bosom of that far-off region would have risen the morning star of peace, that would have expanded until its lustrous beauty should have faded in the brighter glory of the millennial day. Sir, that vision is passed—it is gone. • Oregon is ours, and we must have it !" "..
Mr. Holmes is a gentleman of accomplished manners, and a scrupulous sense of honor. His hospitable disposition and fine social qualities are admitted wherever he is known. He is a man of high independence of character-prompt-decidedself-sustained. As a debater, he is eloquent and figurativeoccasionally, perhaps, tending toward the transcendental. He is known to indulge himself sometimes in mystical philosophy. Asserting always the utmost freedom of discussion-illustrating practically in his course the great truth that error is not to be feared “while reason is left free to combat it" -nothing seems more impracticable than to procure a vote from him in favor of the ordinary modes by which debate is suppressed or cut off. His dislike to them appears to be almost as instinctive and as mortal as the aversion of Henry A. Wise to majorities is once said to hạve been. Mr. Adams-himself the inexorable foe of all gags-handsomely acknowledged this peculiar attribute on a certain occasion. The latter had presented a memorial purporting to come from citizens of Georgia, setting forth that they considered it a great grievance that he should have been placed at the head of the Committee on Foreign Relations, because, although they admitted him to possess patriotism, talents, and all the qualifications of a statesman in the most eminent degree, yet they believed that he was afflicted with a species of monomania on all subjects connected with people as dark as a Mexican, and was not, therefore, fit to be intrusted with the business of our relations with Mexico. The memorial was forwarded to Mr. Adams himself for presentation.
Mr. Adams claimed to be heard in his own defense. The right or privilege, whichsoever it might be, was contested, but by none more stoutly maintained than by Mr. Holmes. The record says:
“Mr. Adams here read the letter (transmitting the memorial], which was dated at Clarksville, Georgia, 10th of December, 1811, and commented on it as he proceeded. The writer gave as the reason why the petition was transmitted to Mr. Adams instead of one of the Georgia delegation, that the petitioners were unwilling to be the cause of any unkindness between Mr. Adams and the gentleman who might present it.
“ It was a deliberate thing," Mr. Adams said, “and was signed by the secretary of the meeting.
“Mr. Warren. “Read the name of the secretary.'
“Mr. Adams. It is James Playfair, and his name corresponds entirely with his character. There was fair play in the course he had pursued, and he honored him for it.'
“Mr. IIabersham. There is no such person in the county.'
“Mr. Adams. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Habersham) said yesterday that there were no such persons in the county as the signers of the petition.
“Mr. Habersham. “I said that I know of no such persons in my county; and certainly there is no such person in it as James Playfair.
“Mr. Adams. “The gentleman from South Carolina (Wr. Holmes) said he did not believe the petition to be a hoax, and that I ought to be heard in reply to it.'
“Mr. Holmes wished to explain what he did say. It was, • that, hoax or no hoax, courtesy required that the gentleman should be heard.?
"Mr. Adams. "Well, sir, I thank the gentleman from South Carolina. I perceive that he belongs to the “ Playfair” family.'
“Mr. Adams then proceeded with his comments on the let. ter"
Is a new member. He was born on the 22d of April, 1812, near a small village called Leitersburg, in Washington county, Maryland. His mother still resides in that village. His father, John Lahm, died some years ago. ' ;
He is of German descent, his parents having emigrated from Germany. His father was a mechanic, but during the last ten or twelve years of his life cultivated a small farm adjoining the village, and also kept a public house. When the family removed to the tavern, Samuel was about twelve years of age, and from that time until his eighteenth year he was compelled to discharge the duties of ostler and shoeblack, his father keeping no boy about the house but himself. About this time he was reprimanded-severely and justly, he says-for some bad conduct, and ran away from home. He went to a small village in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, where he made an engagement as clerk in a small dry goods establishment. He remained there three months, after which he returned home, with the understanding that he should be permitted to devote some time to acquiring an education.
An individual of the name of King, previously from Baltimore, at that time taught school about two miles from the village, and, having contracted something of a liquor bill, Mr. Lahm's father concluded that he should take that out in school. ing. He continued, accordingly, at the school about two years, at the end of which time he was tolerably well acquainted with most of the branches of a common English education. He became sensible of the necessity of doing something which would enable him to earn a living, and determined to learn a trade; but his father absolutely refused to let him do so, promising that in a few years he would assist him with some means. In this promise the son did not place much confidence, because his father would not furnish him with means to purchase the necessary school-books, the object in this being to punish him for some of his wicked actions, for he was what was called a very wild lad. He then determined to prosecute his studies, and qualify himself for the profession of the law. To this end, he took a school in the country, which he taught during the winter, and, with the small amount of funds raised in this way, he left in the spring for the seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He remained there during the summer session, and then left for want of means, but with considerable credit to himself, and with the good wishes of the entire faculty. There were among his classmates several gentlemen who are now em
inent in their professions : of the number are the Rev. Theoph· ilus Stork, of Philadelphia, and the Rev. Samuel Spreacher, of Chambersburg.
After leaving Gettysburg, he taught school in his native vil. lage for about two years, devoting all his leisure time to the prosecution of his studies. With the little money thus received, and the good wishes of his neighbors, he left for Washing. ton College, Washington, Pennsylvania. He remained there but one session. He did not attempt to graduate, though qualified to do so in all branches excepting the Greek, to which he had paid no attention. In March, 1835, his father furnished him with some funds, and he left for the residence of Oliver H. Smith, of Indiana, since that time a senator of the United States from that state. Of this gentleman he knew nothing beyond the fact, communicated by letter from a friend in Ohio, that he was a lawyer of some eminence in the state, with whom it would be advisable to read law. On reaching his residence, Mr. Lahm found that Mr. Smith was not only an excellent lawyer, but a kind-hearted man and a perfect gentleman. He immediately tendered to him the privilege of his library, and also a home as a member of the family. The proposition was accepted, and Mr. Lahm commenced the study of the law. Owing to his pecuniary circumstances, and to a fixed resolution to qualify himself for admission before a young man who had already been several months in the office, and toward whom