Friday, March 5, 2010

The Rescue of Henry Clay


 Seems like Henry Clay is the man of the hour.  Another book by Robert Remini is due out soon.  The linked article focuses on a painting of the Great Compromiser, which was recently found,

Completed nearly a century and a half ago by Phineas Staunton (1817-67), the painting, Henry Clay in the U.S. Senate, had been all but forgotten and left to molder in a basement in upstate New York. Now, after a 17-month restoration, it has found a home in one of the handsomest settings in the Capitol. "I never thought I'd see this day," says Diane Skvarla, the U.S. Senate curator. "We've not only rediscovered this painting, we've rediscovered its beauty." The portrait was officially unveiled on September 23."Clay deserves this recognition, because he is eternally and deservedly associated with the art of legislative compromise," says Richard Allan Baker, former historian of the U.S. Senate.

2 comments:

  1. Must be the idea of "compromise" that appeals.

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  2. Do I detect a "facetious" tone in your voice?

    I remember having to go through all those Compromises and Acts back in American History class in high school, and going arggghhhh! No sooner did they reach a compromise than they sought another as more and more "states" wanted to enter the Union. It is like the Founding Fathers feared, too many territorial acquisitions would deepen the fault lines in the fledgling country, and sure enough they did. No wonder so many were against the Mexican War, as it led to the biggest land grab since the Lousiana Purchase, and threatened to perpetuate slavery even longer.

    Anyway, I think Clay tried his hardest to be a good American and good Senator by trying to reach compromise solution rather than seeing the nation devolve along slavery lines. The Missouri Compromise probably made sense at the time but the Kansas-Nebraska Act took the nation to the breaking point. It will be interesting to read what Remini thinks.

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