Moses Spicer’s Oration

William Spicer (1729-1822) > Moses Spicer (1778-1838)

Tarboro Press
The Tarboro Press

… and exterminate him on the Presidential chair …

In the 1824 elections, Moses Spicer ran for a seat in the North Carolina House of Commons (renamed the House of Representatives in 1868). To begin his campaign, he attended a general meeting at the tavern in Tarboro. After swigging 2 or 3 bumpers of apple jack brandy, Moses was inspired and ascended the bench of the tavern to speak. Read for yourself to marvel at his oratory, as recorded in the Tarboro Press:

Fellow citizens did you ever peruse a Almanac? Fellow citizens the first and the most important subject which I shall conversate upon is the election subject. I have got upon this bench Fellow citizens with the disqualified object of contusing into your minds and comblustificating you all into an idea that I am standing up here as a candidate for your suffrages to represent you in the next general assembly in the House of Commons at Raleigh. The question is, will you delect me or will you not. If you will you may all depend upon it there shant be nothing wanting on my talents to capitulate satisfactory all your interest placed in such a circumstance and consequence. Fellow citizens, you all know me excessively well, you aint ignorant of my fluential talents and circumstance, you all know excessively well that I am a very fatigable hard working man, and has seen a heap of the ups and downs of the world and know right smart about human nature and politics too, and to convince you Fellow citizens that I do apprehend something about politics, I will reconnote several numbers that is factoriously supernoxious to the capitulation and attitude of our disgenerating State and citizens.

Fellow citizens the first number which I shall conversate upon is the Bank prosinority; the banking constitution Fellow citizens is a very excessive capitulating evil to the rising luminary of our nocturnal velicity, because the banks has issued a heap of paper money on you all, Fellow citizens and it has appreciated mightily and this appreciation of the bank money Fellow citizens is the physical cause of the scarcity of money and I assure you is the moral cause of the scarcity of money and assure is the moral cause of these ocular hard times, and Fellow citizens should it circumstantiate with your infernal feelings and revolving wishes to delect me to the House of Commons, I assure you will do all that my talents convocates to disnolify the rising dumfrigated prosinority of the bank convolution and render the whole a collatual mass of ruined nonentities and have no other species of money in circulation but the good old specie itself (that is the silver).

In the second number Fellow citizens which I shall conversate upon is the prosinority of infernal improvements and internal navigation which I think would be excessively adducive to the future displosion of our commerce with foreign countries, therefore I think it would be extremely dispedient for the House of Commons next general assembly to opproximate three or four hundred dollars for the circumnavigation of Tar River, Fishing Creek and Toisnot, which I think would greatly viciliate the passage of our flat bottom boats, from Washington, Newbern and other foreign countries and consequently immaterially diminish the extorting prices of merchandising prossinorities, and render farmers more able to purchase the proximating commodities which you are obliged to have under any voxcillating circumstance whatever, such as salt, iron, sugar, coffee, etc.

The third number Fellow citizens which I shall conversate upon is the magistrate prosinority. I think Fellow citizens that the squires of the peace is place in a very excessive and quitical consequence because they have no pay for their services. I think Fellow citizens that the House of Commons ought to approximate 50 cents for every judgement the squires give to the constables which would be a very solicitous circumstance to conduce the squires to be more intentive to the warrantings to give judgements.

The fourth number Fellow citizens which I shall conversate upon is the tariff prosinority. The congress vocality has been dispolitic enough to tax the prosinorities of English commodities so as to exhibit the big ships from circumnavigating the sea in order to keep foreign commerce away from our country and the desult of this dispolitic loquacity of congress will be a civil evolution, that is a civil war among the norrard convocalities and us, which will lead to a very serious circumstance for when we get to war with our own infernal circumlocution the British will be politic enough to take the advantage of our quitical consequence and rush in upon us with all the ferocity of their contaminating force of big ships, cannon muskets and British and make us object slaves, again like they did before the rising proximity of the old revolutionary war, therefore Fellow citizens should it ratify with your external sensibilities to send me to the House of Commons next general assembly I will use all my energetic influence and talents to discompublicate the dessimolition of the tariff prosinority and have it dismolified and repealed in order to prevent the serious circumstance of another evolutionary war.

The fifth number Fellow citizens which I shall conversate upon is the Presidential prosinority. Fellow citizens I think Mr Crawford ought to be the next President because he is a very circumstantiated man in politics and deplomaticable locutions, he has been in public consequences for a great many years and has performed the diametrical task of a statesman with great impotence and circumstantial evidences, therefore I think Mr Crawfore is better disqualified for your next President than any other man in the United States of America or North Carolina either and I think it the duty of all my citizens to vote for him for his delection will disquivocally redound more to the complicated interest of you all than any man of my political acquaintance, therefore should it invalidate with your vocal principles and infernal duplicity to send me to the House of Commons next general assembly, I will do all that my luminous capacity prognosticates to delect Mr Crawford and exterminate him on the presidential chair.

The sixth number Fellow citizens which I shall conversate upon is the canal prosinority. Fellow citizens I am excessively much in favor of, and I think the House of Commons has been discomphatically blind in not seeing the indubitable consequence and benefit that would viciously degenerate from cutting canals all over Conetoe which would collaterally render the cultivation of the unfertilized desert into a delicious inhabitable continent, which circumstance would in a vast degree demolish all the diabolicated invicissitudes attending the complexified inconveniences of the people who disinhabit in and render comple paradise of demoniacal angels who would hardly change the volicious convocality of their velicitous and convulsificated happiness for heaven itself, these things Fellow citizens I see as plain as I now see the nocturnal rays of the sunshine and Fellow citizens should it discomport with your convulsified wishes and superanuated desires to delect me to the House of Commons the next general assembly I will show you in what I can discompublicate the infernal prosinorities of Conetoe and render it a collateral volution of fertilized land.

Having conversated Fellow citizens on all the most impotent numbers and prosinorities I will now conclude by simplifying to you all that I wish your future beattitude to be as luminating as the evolving sun, but I am afraid you will misapply your physical judgements and delect some other person to the House of Commons who will know nothing about the conviniality of politics and lead your rights and privileges astray like a lost sheep. I have no more politics to conversate upon at this time Fellow citizens but will tell you a great deal more on some other circumstance when we meet again.

O! Fellow citizens there is one very important prosinority I like to have forgot that is the Sheriff prosinority. I think Fellow citizens the House of Commons ought to abstract and literavate the Sheriff vocality in such a consequence as to curtailate the venal durability of one Sheriff in office that another may come in under the like circumstance and consequence, this circumlocated measure Fellow citizens would prevent the awful consequence and conveniality of lucrated cruption in the Sheriff prosinority and deparchment, therefore Fellow citizens should the reconoted fluxibilties of your superficial sensualities ruminate so far as to send me to the House of Commons the next general assembly, I will use all the mentalities of my magnamimous talents and influence to disnolify the durability of one Sheriff in office and erect another in his vocality and attitude immediately.

Mr Crawford was William H Crawford, one of the 4 leading candidates for the Presidency in 1824: he had suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1823, but recovered enough to run the next year. Fortunately, he lost, so Moses didn’t have the opportunity to exterminate him on the presidential chair.

CrawfordWH
William Crawford

Crawford and Henry Clay split the Southern state electoral votes, John Quincy Adams won the New England states, Adams and Andrew Jackson split the mid-Atlantic states, and Jackson and Clay split the Western states. No one won a majority of the electoral vote, so for the first and so far only time the election was decided by a vote of the US House of Representatives in accordance with the 12th Amendment. Clay threw his support to Adams, who won on the first vote in the House; Adams then appointed Clay as Secretary of State. This was decried as the “corrupt bargain”, and was a campaign issue in 1828 when Jackson trounced Adams.

Conetoe is a town in North Carolina. In the 1820s, prior to railroads, transportation across parts of the South was impeded by swamps and rivers, and financing the construction of a network of canals was a major election issue.

Moses lost the election, and resumed private life until his death in 1838.

a9942c78-6554-4aa8-a637-26cf6e50f4aa
The Tarboro Press

His oratory was memorable long after he was gone. During an 1876 election, a candidate was acclaimed as his rival in the elocutionary arts.

The_Tarborough_Southerner_Fri__Apr_21__1876_
Tarborough Southerner Apr 21, 1876

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