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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

And Vice President Fillmore succeeded him

Of all we loved and honor'd naught Save power remains, A fallen angel's pride of thought Still strong in chains.

All else is gone; from those great eyes The soul has fled: When faith is lost, when honor dies. The man is dead.

Then pay the reverence of old days To his dead fame! Walk backward, with averted gaze, And hide the shame!

[Sidenote: Death of Calhoun]

John Caldwell Calhoun, after a final speech on the issues of the country, died on the last day of March. He was the most prominent advocate of State sovereignty. He was noted for his keen logic, his clear statements and demonstrations of facts, and his profound earnestness. Webster said concerning him that he had "the indisputable basis of high character, unspotted integrity, and honor unimpeached. Nothing grovelling, low, or mean, or selfish came near his head, or his heart."

[Sidenote: Death of President Taylor]

[Sidenote: Fillmore's Presidency]

On July 9, President Taylor died, and Vice-President Fillmore succeeded him. He received the resignations of all the Cabinet. His new Cabinet was headed by Webster, Secretary of State (succeeded by Everett in 1852). The new fugitive slave bill was signed by Fillmore. But the law was defied in the North as

unconstitutional. Benton called the measure "the complex, cumbersome, expensive, annoying and ineffective fugitive slave law." In Boston occurred the cases of the fugitives Shadrach, Simms and Anthony Burns. Fillmore and Webster came to be looked upon in the North as traitors to the anti-slavery cause. But for this Fillmore would have had a fair chance of re-election to the Presidency.

[Sidenote: "Uncle Tom's Cabin"]

[Sidenote: "The Scarlet Letter"]

Then appeared in the "National Era" at Washington the opening chapters of Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin." A million copies of the book were sold in America and in Europe. It spread and intensified the feeling against slavery. Emerson published "Representative Men"; Hawthorne "The Scarlet Letter"; and Whittier brought out his "Songs of Labor." Parodi, the Italian singer, made her first appearance in America. She was eclipsed presently by Jenny Lind, whose opening concert at Castle Garden in New York netted $30,000 to her manager, Barnum.

[Sidenote: Russian conscription]

[Sidenote: Schleswig-Holstein abandoned]

[Sidenote: Ibsen]

Under the stress of another Mohammedan rising against the Christians in Syria and the Balkans, Emperor Nicholas of Russia decreed a notable increase of the Russian army. Out of every thousand persons in the population seven men were mustered into the ranks in western Russia, thus adding some 180,000 men to the total strength of the Russian force. In midsummer, the city of Cracow, in Poland, was nearly destroyed by fire. Later in the year occurred the death of the Polish general Bem, in Turkey, who had won such distinction while serving the cause of Hungary. Another attempt to win Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark was made in summer. Unaided by the Germans, the Schleswig-Holsteiners, under the leadership of Willisen, a former Prussian general and distinguished theoretical strategist, engaged a superior Danish army at Idstedt. They were beaten. Their defeat had so discouraging an effect that Prussia abandoned the struggle in their behalf. In Norway, about this time, Henrik Ibsen came into prominence with a publication of his early drama "Catalina."

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