Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CHAUMONOT minister. Men of all parties, beginning with Lord North himself, were desirous that he should take the reins of government and pacify America while punishing France. The task of pacifying America without conceding full independence might probably have proved impracticable; but if there was any man then living who could have undertaken such a task with some hope of success, it was Chatham. The king raved and stormed at the idea of calling him to the head of the government; but the popular pressure was so strong that, but for Chatham's sudden death, a few more weeks would undoubtedly have seen him prime minister. On 7 April the Duke of Richmond moved that Great Britain should recognize the independence of the United States. Chatham had got up from his sickbed and come to the House of lords to take part in the discussion. While speaking, he fell in a swoon, and was taken to his home at Hayes, where, after lingering several weeks, he died. Although he never came to this country, Lord Chatham must be regarded as one of the foremost figures in American history. It was he that drove the French from America and won for us the valley of the Mississippi. Besides this, he was the first British statesman whose political ideas were of an American type. He was pre-eminently the man of the people. He was the father of parliamentary reform, and the advocate of every liberal measure. Alike in public and in private life, his purity was spotless. He was a man of intense earnestness, and fond of grand and stirring thoughts. These qualities, joined with his commanding presence, his rich and powerful voice, and his warmth of temperament, gave to his eloquence its peculiar character. As a master of the English language he was inferior to Burke and Webster; as a master of debate he could not be compared with Fox or with his own son: yet for power of moving an audience he must probably be counted the greatest orator since Demosthenes ; while among those men of action who have shaped the destinies of nations he will rank with the foremost.
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