Reception for Henry Clay

Philadelphia Bulletin, February 26, 1848

Official Reception for Mr. Clay at Independence Hall this morning- A Great Rush- His Speech.

Mr. Clay was officially received and welcomed to the city of Philadelphia, this morning, by the City Councils, in the Hall of Independence. After being formally introduced to each member of these bodies, he in a brief conversational manner and almost inaudible voice, addressed Mr. Meredith, President of Select Council, in substance as follows:

He commenced by returning his acknowledgements to the City Councils, as the representatives of the people of Philadelphia, for the liberal, hospitable and enthusiastic reception that had been extended to him on the occasion of his visit to their city. He expressed the happiness it afforded him to meet them and his fellow citizens of Philadelphia in a manner so unostentatious; and said that this would have been the happiest day of his life, were it not for the loss the country, the age and humanity had sustained in the death of Mr. Adams- the loss of one of the purest patriots and best men that the age had known.

He spoke of the sensation of grief that pervaded the nation, and in which he fully participated. A great light had gone out. He had been closely connected with him, both in public and private life, for a long period of years, and that from the time he had been acquainted with him, had ever found him at all times, and under all circumstances, the pure and elevated patriot- the tried and faithful friend- and the wise and good man.

At the close of the last war- a troubled period, and one of great importance, Mr. Adams had rendered great services. The loss was heavy to all, but to no one so heavy as him. His heart was too full this moment to make a set speech, yet he could not entirely permit the occasion to pass without referring to Mr. Adams.

Passing from the melancholy theme, Mr. Clay spoke of the kindness which, for a period of forty one years, during which time he had, at intervals, visited Philadelphia, he had received from her citizens- that in a long, eventful and checkered career, under every circumstance, however trying, he had always found them his true friends.

Mr. C. concluded by again tendering his gratitude for the cordial reception that had been extended to him- saying that to his latest moment he should ever cherish this as the happiest visit of his life.

Mr. Meredith, on behalf of the Councils, briefly replied. Mr. M. simply said that as the organ of the government of Philadelphia, he gave him welcome. That none more suitable occasion could have been selected for an eulogy upon Mr. Adams, such as he had pronounced, than the spot on which he stood- the Hall of Independence!

Mr. Clay afterwards exchanged salutations with the citizens of Philadelphia for about two hours, during which time his hand was shaken by thousands, not only of his own political friends, but young and old, rich and poor, of all parties.

Mr. Clay’s arrival at Independence Hall was hailed with vociferous cheers, the rush to get even a glimpse of him was tremendous, the enthusiasm was perfectly wild.

Mr. Clay dines this afternoon with Josiah Randall, Esq. He spends this evening with Mr. Bayard, of Walnut Street. To-morrow he will attend divine service at St. Stephen’s Church. On Tuesday evening he will attend the Hebrew Ball, and on Wednesday he receives the ladies of Philadelphia at the Museum.


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