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DUNCAN, DANIEL

Mantencan

A NEW member. He was born in the town of Shippensburg, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, on the 22d of July, 1806. His great-grandfather, on the father's side, emigrated from Scotland, and was among the early settlers of Pennsylvania. From him and his brothers a large family has descended, some branches of which still remain in that state, while others are found in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky. His grandfather, on the mother's side, was Captain William Rippey, of the Revolutionary army, in the Pennsylvania line.

His father was a merchant. He died in Shippensburg, Cum. berland county, Pennsylvania, when Daniel was about ten years old, leaving his mother with a large family in rather straitened circumstances. His oldest brother, William, received a commission in the army at the age of nineteen, at the breaking out of the war of 1812. At its termination he had been promoted to the post of captain, and was retained on the peace establishment. He died about the year 1817, still holding his commission.

At the death of his father, Daniel left home with an older brother, John R., under the direction of an old friend, to seek their fortunes in that land of promise, the West. His brother entered a store in Columbus, Ohio, while he entered one in Lancaster. His brother continued in the mercantile business until the late requisition for the ten regiments, when he raised a company of cavalry which was mustered into the service of the United States, and took its departure for Mexico. He is unmarried, and left a prosperous business to follow the bent of his own inclination in a more adventurous field. The youngest of two sisters of these gentlemen is the wife of Senator Han. negan, of Indiana.

Daniel pursued the mercantile business with considerable success, and has made himself independent, at least. He is indebted to no one for aid in life, and has depended on his own exertions for a livelihood since he was ten years old. In 1843 he was elected to the State Legislature from Licking county. He was the first Whig ever elected from it; for it had previously given a regular Democratic majority of eight to twelve hundred. While in the Legislature, he took an active part in its business. He was the first to introduce a bill for an ad valorem system of taxation in the State of Ohio. The bill passed the Lower House, of which he was a member, but was lost in the Senate. It was, however, taken up, in all its essential features, by a succeeding Legislature, and is now a law of the state. He also introduced a bill to establish a general banking law, which met the same fate. He also introduced, and succeeded in procuring the passage of, a bill reducing the pay of members of the Legislature from three to two dollars per diem, and retrenching generally and largely the expenses of the state. At the Whig convention which assembled in the city of Columbus in February, 1844, he received a respectable vote for the nomination of governor. In the same year he was the Whig candidate for State Senator, but, under the high political excitement of the presidential contest, he was defeated with his party. In 1846 he was nominated as the candidate of the Whig party to represent the tenth Congressional District of Ohio, and defeated his opponent, reducing the original Democratic majority of Licking county from twelve hundred to one hundred and fifty.

He has always acted with the Whig party except on the question of a United States Bank, which institution he deemed unnecessary. He has been actively employed through life-a man of action rather than of words. He has given much of the leisure of maturer life to Latin and Greek studies, as well as to history and the lighter literature of the day. He married the daughter of Colonel Daniel Convers, of Zanesville, Ohio, one of the pioneers of the West; and has four children living.

In person he is about the medium height, of light complexion, and hair, originally red, sprinkled prematurely with white. ROOT, JOSEPH MOSELE Y.

J. M.

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OUR information in regard to the early career of this gentle. man is very limited. He was born on the 7th of October, 1807, at Brutus, Cayuga county, New York. He read law with Messrs. Hulbert and Smith, of Auburn, and removed to Ohio in 1829. He was admitted to the bar in the following year. In 1835 he was married to Mary S. Buckingham, daughter of John Buckingham, formerly of the Wyoming Valley, but now of Ohio, a retired merchant; and has four daughters living. In 1837 he was chosen prosecuting attorney of Huron county, and in 1840 was sent to the State Senate. In 1844 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the United States from the twenty-first district of Ohio, composed of the counties of Medina, Lorain, Huron, and Erie; and he was re-elected in 1846. He says " he has always been a Whig.”

He is a stout, well-made gentleman, about the medium height, with a very earnest manner, and a peculiar intonation of voice. Gifted with strong natural powers of mind, and a determination of purpose proof apparently against all external influences, few men seem actuated by a sterner sense of right, or a more conscientious devotion to the requirements of public duty. His course as a member of the twenty-ninth Congress was signalized by uniform and unrelenting opposition to the Mexican war. He is one of the number known as “ the immortal fourteen” who voted against the Declaratory Act of the 13th of May. (See title, ROBERT C. WINTHROP.] Speaking of that act, he said,

"I voted against it-against its false and sniveling preamble, its vague and slavish appropriation of money, and its bar. barous spirit: I voted against all. I was willing to appropri

ate any required amount of money to pay for succors that I hope have reached, or may reach, General Taylor's army in time to rescue it from the imminent peril into which it has been brought by the blundering temerity of the executive; but that bill could afford no relief to the army, for it was quite obvious that the fate of the army, for weal or for wo, would be fixed irrevocably before a musket or a dollar appropriated by the bill could reach it. The bill did not contemplate relief to

Taylor's army: its object was war ; and, sir, if by any vote of mine I could have endorsed its falsehoods, or sanctioned the usurpation by the executive of the constitutional power of Congress, as you have done by enacting that bill into a law, I should feel that I deserve all the odium that some of your friends on this floor would have me believe awaits me."

In every subsequent stage of its progress he has opposed and denounced the war. The sincerity of this opposition he has manifested at times and under circumstances when the nerves of ordinary men might have quailed. He has shown himself equal in all respects to the responsibility he has assumed. Denying the existence of just cause of war, he asked,

“Had we good cause for the war against Mexico at the time of its commencement ? Sir, I invoke the scrutiny of the Searcher of hearts when I declare that I believe we had not. It may be that I hold extreme opinions on this point. I confess that I regard war as so dreadful a curse, so unconditionally condemned by the Christian religion, by Christ's own words and example, that nothing short of the sternest necessity can justify it in my opinion." .

He has denounced its objects and purposes, which he believes from the outset to have been conquest and aggrandizement, in terms of bitterness and sarcasm measured only by an everpresent recollection of what was due to parliamentary decorum. Its authors have fared no better at his hands. He has literally “fed them with wormwood, and made them drink the waters of gall.” In its inception and its consequences he regards the contest as altogether fraught with evil to the country, and these convictions he has on all appropriate occasions avowed. We never saw the feelings of the House more wrought upon than when, speaking of the proposition to take Mexican territory by way of indemnity for the expenses of the war, he said,

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“Do you intend to charge Mexico merely with the money and property that you expend and lose, or do you mean to debit her also with the men you lose? Will you take strict account of the dollars paid out, the vessels lost and damaged, the horses killed and foundered, and say nothing of the brave fellows who fall before the cannon and the pestilence ? I do not believe that you mean to make any account of them. If you did, you would keep a better account of them. You would take more pains to ascertain who fall in battle, who die in the hospitals, who are missing. But, sir, if I am in error, if you do intend to charge something for them, how much will it be? How much land ?!! (A voice, “One hundred and sixty acres.”] “ That will not do, sir. The question ought not to be submitted to this House; it is not fit to decide it. Go ask the childless mother, go ask the widowed wife, go ask the orphan children of one of those poor fellows how much Mexican land he was worth. I will abide their decision. Sir, if you charge Mexico with the men we have already lost, you will have a claim large enough to take all her territory, though it were ten times as broad as it is. No, sir, Mexico is not able to pay for them; yet they must be paid for, every man of them, and at their full value, and you must do it—ay, you! the authors and promoters of this war; and though their kindred may not be able to bring you to account, be assured that He, without whose knowl. edge not a sparrow falleth to the ground, will.

“Mexico may not submit readily to your demands, and, if she does not, what will you do? go on conquering her departments and slaughtering her citizens ? Suppose you do, and suppose that you drive the last remnant of her people within the walls of her last city; suppose that, when you offer capitulation,' she should have enough of the old Castilian spirit left to reply, "War to the knife! and her priests should divest themselves of their sacerdotal robes, and hallow the defensive war by their participation as well as by their prayers; and her daughters should cast their golden ornaments into the crucible to come forth bullets, and themselves help to speed them to the hearts of our countrymen, telling them, in derision, to take freely what they so much covet-I repeat, what will you do? Will you exterminate the Mexican race, without regard to age, sex, or condition ? Will you make the land desolate, that you

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