Mississippi Department of Archives and History - Archives and Library Division Catalog

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Stone Collection: Volume 43 - Item 31
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 43

31. [Henry S.] Foote, Speech of Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, on the Admission of California. Delivered in the Senate of the United States, August 1, 1850 ([Washington, DC]: Towers, [1850?]). (16 p.)

Speech in regard to the admission of California as a free state. The speaker provides some of the most entertaining descriptions of persons with secessionist sentiments to be found in the weeks of debate over legislation that eventually would become known as the Compromise of 1850. For example, “It seems that a Colonel [James] Chesnut [from South Carolina] then addressed the meeting [to threaten secession if the North was able to block Texas’s claim to territory in New Mexico]; and a more flatulent, bombastic speech was never delivered, . . . The gentleman is really all bounce, and bravado, and bellowing audacity. He raves like a bedlamite, squeaks like a luckless pig caught between two sturdy fence rails, and pops like a very chestnut when thrown into the fire with a previous splitting of the hull” (emphasis on original).