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BALT LAKE CITY-DISUNION CONVENTION.
A mob collected a few days after, and in the melee the CHAP brothers were slain. The spirit aroused against them was 80 violent that the Mormons could find safety alone in 1844. flight, and the following year they sold their possessions, left their beautiful city, which contained ten thousand inhabitants, and under chosen elders emigrated away across the plains and over the Rocky Mountains, and finally found a resting place in the Great Basin. As they were now upon the soil of Mexico, they hoped their troubles were at an end. They significantly calle their new home, Deseret—the land of the Honey Bee. To recruit their numbers they sent missionaries to every quarter of the globe ; that these zealous apostles have met with astonishing success in obtaining proselytes, is a sad reflection.
Meantime they labored with great zeal in founding a city on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. It is on ground four thousand three hundred feet above the level of the ocean, and planned on a large scale ; its streets eight rods wide, and every house surrounded by a garden.
Presently came the war with Mexico, and the ceding of all that region to the United States. The Mormons were the first to organize themselves as a territory under the name of Deseret, but Congress saw proper to change the name to Utah. President Fillmore appointed Brigham Young, one of their elders, the first governor.
After the passage of the Compromise Bill, the agitation by no means ceased in the south. The design of seceding from the Union was openly avowed. A Disunion Convention met at Nashville, Tennessee. It invited the assembling of a “ Southern Congress,” but the legislatures of only two States responded to the call-South Carolina and Mississippi. The former elected their quota of representatives to the Congress. The great mass of the people were moved but little by these appeals, and the country
CHAP. breathed more freely in the confident belief that the vered
question was really at rest.
In no previous discussion of the subject did the great majority of the people of the Union manifest so much interest, not because it had become more important, but a great change had been wrought, since, thirty years before, the country was agitated by the discussions, which led to the enactment of the Missouri Compromise. The number of newspapers had increased at an unprecedented rate, and with them the facilities for publishing general intelligence and reporting the debates in Congress, and now was added the telegraph, which seemed almost to bring the ears of the nation to the Halls of Legislation. Yet in a still greater proportion had the numbers of intelligent readers increased, millions of whom became familiar with the question and the principles involved, and watched with increasing interest every new phase the subject assumed. This may account for the earnestness which characterized this conflict of opinions ; the mass of the people read and judged for themselves. The philanthropist may not dread the response of their hearts ;—they may be slow to act, but they are untrammelled by pledges and uninfluenced by political aspirations.
About the commencement of Taylor's administration, General Lopez, a Spaniard, endeavored to create a revolution in Cuba. He represented that the people of that island were anxious and prepared to throw off the yoke of the mother country; and by this means he persuaded large numbers of adventurous spirits in the United States to engage in the enterprise. The pretext was to aid the Cubans ; but the real object was to secure the annexation of the island to the United States. President Taylor promptly issued a proclamation forbidding citizens of the Union to engage in the expedition. The warning was unheeded, and a company of six hundred men, under the
SIR JOHN FRANKLIN-DR. E. K. KANE.
lead of Lopez, eluded the United States' authorities, and CHAP. landed at Cardenas. But not meeting with sympathy from the people who they professed to have come to 1850.
May liberate, they re-emijurked, and sailed for Key West, Florida, barely escaping capture on the way by a Spanish steam-vessel of war.
The following year the attempt was renewed. of four hundred and eighty men landed on the island, but were almost immediately overpowered and captured. Lopez and a nurber of his deluded followers were put to death by the Spanish authorities at Havana.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin sailed from England in quest of the long sought for north-west passage. No tidings had ever been receired from him, and the several efforts to send him aid had been unsuccessful. The sympathies of the humane were enlisted in behalf of the daring navigator. Mr. Henry Grinnell, a noble-hearted New York merchant, fitted out, at his own expense, an expedition which, under the command of Lieutenant De Haven, of the United States' navy, sailed for the Arctic regions in May, 1850. With De Haven went Dr. E. K. Kane, in the capacity of surgeon and naturalist. The search was unsuccessful, and the vessels returned.
The United States' Government now sent another 1851. expedition on the same errand of mercy in connection with Mr. Grinnell. The control of this was given to Dr. Kane, whose scientific attainments were of a high order, and whose prudence and indomitable energy excited high hopes of the success of the enterprise. The search was fruitless; the results of the discoveries made have been embodied and given to the world. Sir John has no doubt long since perished, while his unknown friend, Dr. Kane, broken down in health because of his labors and privations, bas also closed his life.
Two of our greatest statesmen, with whose names for a third of a century are associated some of the most im
CHAF. portant measures of the government, passed away. Henry
Clay and Daniel Webster : The one at Washington, the 1852. other at his home at Marshfield. June 28.
No two men were more endeared to the American Oct. people. Henry Clay, by his generous frankness, and 24.
nobleness of character won their love. Daniel Webster in his mighty intellect towered above his peers, and commanded their respect; of him they were proud.
Spain became alarmed at the attempts of lawless adventurers striving to wrest Cuba from her hands. France and England sympathized with her, and proposed to the United States to join with them in a “tripartite treaty," in which cach should disclaim any intention of seizing upon that island, but, on the contrary, should guarantee its possession to Spain. A correspondence to this effect had already commenced, and to the proposal Edward Everett, who since the death of Webster was Secretary of State, replied in the negative. “The President," said he, “ does not covet the acquisition of Cuba for the United States." Yet he could not see with indifference that island fall into the possession of any other European Government than Spain.” It was shown that this was a question peculiarly American, from the situation of the island itself ; its proximity to our shores ; its commanding the approach to the Gulf of Mexico, and to the entrance to the Mississippi, which with its tributaries forms the largest system of internal water-communication in the world, and also its ability to interfere with the passage to California by the Isthmus route. It was another statement of the celebrated Monroe doctrine, that the United States did not recognize European interference in questions purely American.
For President the Whigs nominated General Scott, and the Democrats, Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire.
DEATH OF WILLIAM R. KING.
The latter was elected, in connection with William R. CHAP. King, of Alabama, as Vice-President. Mr. King had been United States' Senator from that State with the ex- 1852. ception of four years, when he was American minister at the court of France-since 1819, compelled by declining health he went to Cuba, where he took the oath of office. Then he returned home, not to enter upon the duties of the Vice-Presidency, but to die.
To avoid the inconvenience of too great a number of members in the House of Representatives, as well as to prevent the waste of time in arranging the ratio of its 1850. members to the population, it was enacted that after the May third of March, 1853, “ The House of Representatives will consist of two hundred and thirty-three members, Provided, that after the apportionment of the Representatives, under the next or any subsequent census, a new State or States shall be admitted into the Union, the Representatives assigned to such new State shall be in addition to the number of Representatives herein limited, which excess over two hundred and thirty-three shall continue until the next succeeding census."