Description

    John A. Wharton. Speech of the Hon. John A. Wharton, In Defence of the Hon. S. Rhoads Fisher. Delivered Before the Texian Senate, November 25, 1837. Houston: Telegraph Press, 1838. 8vo. 53pp. Pamphlet bound in heavy parchment, the covers of which are puckered. Pages lightly browning along edges; scattered foxing. One sheet, comprising pages 35-38, is detached but present. Overall, a near-very good copy.

    The text of John Wharton's speech delivered on the Senate floor defending Samuel Rhoads Fisher in light of his recent suspension as Secretary of the Navy by President Sam Houston (whom he viciously and personally attacks in this speech). "Wharton in this brilliant defense quotes charges against Fisher in a message of President Houston of November 2, 1837, which can no longer be found, though it is apparently quite fully paraphrased in Fisher's draft in the Lamar Papers. Speech seems to have been unrestrained in those days for Wharton, p. 43, refers to Houston as 'that bloated mass of inebriety and insanity, of hypocrisy, vanity and villainy; when I see him sitting like an incubus, and weighing down the hopes and paralyzing the energies of our infant republic ... my soul sickens and I turn with horror from the scene..'" (Streeter 307) Although the Senate initially voted that Fisher resume his duties as Secretary of the Navy, it was ultimately decided "on the grounds of harmony and expediency [to] advise and consent to the removal ... but in doing so they must do the Secretary the justice to say that the President has not adduced sufficient evidence that proves him guilty of dishonorable conduct." (Streeter)

    Reference: Streeter 307. Raines, p. 217. Sabin 103103. Howes W302.


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