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March 27, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Festival at Buckingham Court House: Part II


In 1840, when Mr. Rives was fêted at Buckingham Courthouse after a long absence, Buckingham County’s Whigs were enthralled.  The letter to the Richmond Whig continued:

william-cabell-rives_UVA_Small Special Collections

William Cabell Rives. Courtesy Small Special Collections, University of Virginia.

Mr. Rives proceeded, after dinner, in the most masterly and splendid effort of his life. He triumphantly vindicated himself from the imputations of treason and apostasy. He arraigned the Administration at the bar of the country, reviewed its policy, and, with a mighty and unsparing hand, unveiled its corruptions. It was the spear of Ithuriel disclosing the naked deformity of a fiend. He then reviewed the military and civic character of General Harrison (Martin Van Buren’s opposition), and hurled back, with indignant eloquence, the foul slanders and false charges which the minions of power had heaped upon his head. He fortified his position from the records of his country’s history – the testimony of Shelby and Perry, of Richard M. Johnson and Thomas Ritchie. It would be idle to attempt to give an outline of this admirable speech, the delivery of which enchained the unfaltering attention of nearly one thousand people for the space of five hours. After Mr. Rives had concluded, amid thunders of applause, Colo. Edmund W. Hubard, (the Democrat candidate for Congress against Mr. Hill,) who was an attentive listener, and stood close by, as if with the design to reply, arose for that purpose. . . .

If a five-hour speech was not enough, the correspondent from Buckingham County went on and on, praising the day’s worthy host, N. H. Thorton. Many toasts were drunk by Col. Thomas M. Bondurant presiding, assisted by Col. Reuben B. Patteson, George H. Matthews, Esq. and Col. Thomas H. Flood, who were the Vice Presidents of the Committee.

After rapturous applause with which one toast was received, Mr. Rives rose and offer the following sentiment:

The People of Buckingham: Republican by nature, Republican by tradition – They will prove their continuing Republicanism by voting, in November next, for the Republican candidate for presidency, William H. Harrison.

For more about Edmund W. Hubard, a frequent subject at Slate River Ramblings click here:

Buckingham Notables: Edmund Wilcox Hubard.

For part one of this letter, click here: Festival at Buckingham Court House: Part I

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