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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Hon. James S. Green.

VIRGINIA has ever been prolific in giving birth to eminent men, and the subject of this memoir was born near Rectortown, Fauquier county, in the year 1817. From a boy he sedulously devoted himself to the cultivation of his intellect, and the few advantages which he possessed he embraced to the utmost. He did not receive the collegiate finish of an education; but his own application to the advancement of his mind supplied every deficiency, and when he grew to manhood, there were few who possessed his fund of information.

James S. Green was of an aspiring disposition, and, at the age of nineteen he determined to leave the precincts of the "Old Dominion," and seek his fortune in a clime where the business current was not so stagnant, and his efforts for future distinction more certain of accomplishment. He went first to Alabama, and after a short sojourn, he ascended the Mississippi, on a visit of observation to Missouri. This was in 1847. The visit was perfectly satisfactory, for that state has ever since been his home. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, and, being qualified in his profession, and possessing that suavity of manner so natural to the Virginian, he soon obtained a lucrative practice.

Feeling conscious of superior abilities, and anxious for distinction, he entered the political arena as champion of the Democratic party, and in 1844, was a Democratic presidential elector for Missouri. It was at this time that his star commenced to rise in the political firmament, and the people of Missouri became convinced, by the talents which he displayed in the campaign, that he would at a future time become one of the guiding lights of the Democratic party. He was appointed in 1845 one of the framers of the present constitution of Missouri, an appointment significant of the highest trust, and which was shared by the most talented citizens of the state.

In 1846, Mr. Green was elected to Congress. His advent in the White House was at a time it was rife with excitement and agitated by a storm of political debate. It was when the troops of the United States were reaping their laurels at Resaca de la Palma, at Buena Vista, and other battle-fields in Mexico. The party opposed to the administration tried to bring it into disfavor, because it took measures to chastise a country that had been insultingly encroaching on our national rights since the Texas annexation. Mr. Green defended the policy of Mr. Polk with that lucidness and strength of argument which are characteristic of his oratory, and from that time he was looked upon as one of the leading spirits of the Democratic party, and was regarded with respect by his opponents.

In 1848, he was elected to serve another term in the national Congress, and, the great boundary question between Missouri and Iowa coming

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up at that time for argument, the governor of Missouri paid the young representative a high compliment by appointing him to defend the rights of the state. His effort before the Supreme Court of the United States was worthy of the subject and the expectation of admiring friends. His constituents were so well satisfied with him during his representative capacity, that they nominated him for a third term, as possessing the greatest weight of political influence that could be brought to bear against the powerful odds that were arrayed against that part of the Democratic party which had remained true to the creed of its political faith; many having apostatized through the influence of Colonel Benton, thereby cutting up and weakening the party. He was defeated in the election of 1850, but, in 1853, was appointed minister to New Grenada. In 1854, he resigned this appointment, and returned to Missouri, and practised his profession till 1856, when he was again elected to Congress, but, prior to taking his seat, the legislature of Missouri, knowing his ability and confident in his honor, elected him to the United States Senate, and he resigned his claim to a seat in the House of Representatives.

Immediately on taking his seat in the august body to which he had been elected, Mr. Green entered warmly into the debate at that time taking place on the Lecompton Constitution. He supported the position of Mr. Buchanan in a speech so effective in argument and perspicuous in its style, that it called forth the commendations of the whole Union, and perplexed the designs of the talented but factious spirits who had arrayed themselves against the acts of the administration.

As a speaker, Mr. Green has not that fault so characteristic of politicians, of speaking for sensation effect. He never rises to his feet on any occasion until he is master of his subject. His eloquence is of the argumentative order, displaying facts in their natural attire, without trying to array them in rhetorical beauties that might make them please the imagination, but weaken their effect. One of the effective attributes of his popularity is the purity of his character. It is this which has given him the esteem of all men and the unbounded confidence of his constituents. He will leave as a heritage to his children, wealth, honor, and position — and all has been his own work.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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