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Extract from the Portland Courier, January, 1830.

Saturday forenoon, the house having adjourned at an early
hour, we repaired to the Senate Chamber with a view of


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standing watch awhile. We arrived just in the height of a
spirited skirmish, or what might almost be called a battle;
but the room was crowded and the doorway so impenetrably
thronged that we could gain no entrance. There was
scarcely room for a man to wedge his nose in, unless it were
a remarkably thin and sharp one. From the subdued and regular
hum within there was evidently a debate going on, but
we being somewhat low in stature, and a solid phalanx of
six-footers standing before us, we were left in the unpleasant
predicament of stretching up on tip-toe without catching a
single glimpse of the scene, and holding our hands behind our
ears without distinguishing a syllable that was uttered.

The debate, however, soon subsided. We learned afterward,
from inquiry, that it related to the subject of forming a
convention with the House for the purpose of filling vacancies,
before the Senate was organized; the eight Huntonites
voting in favor of the proposition, and eight Smithites against
it. A vote was then passed to proceed to ballot for President
again, and luckily for us, the ballot-boxes were out in the
lobby, and out came the messenger, cutting his way like a
hero, (we like to have said hero of New Orleans, but happened
to think some would say we were taking sides.) We
simply say, then, he cut his way through the dense rank of
spectators like a hero, and we crept in through the breach he
had made. The committee collected the votes for President
and retired. In about ten minutes they returned, and declared
the result—seven for Mr. Dunlap, seven for Mr. Kingsbury,
and two scattering.

They collected the votes again, and retired as before, and
returned as before, and declared the same result. Again they


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proceeded in the same round, and came in the third time, and
stood ready to declare. The spectators had become so accustomed
to the report—for they had been listening to the same
tune nearly three weeks—that they were whispering it off in
advance of the committee, like a mischievous and sinful boy
running ahead of some good old country Deacon, who always
uses the same words in prayer. Judge then, ye readers of
the Courier, what unspeakable astonishment prevailed, when
from the lips of the chairman fell the startling words, eight
for Sanford Kingsbury, six for Robert P. Dunlap, and two

The effect was like that of a clap of thunder in the dead of
winter; some faces grew longer, and some grew shorter; in
some eyes there was a look of wildness; in others a leering
complacency, that seemed to say, “you're dished at last;”
while some confounded knowing glances from other quarters
visibly replied, “not as you know on.” And to be sure these
last were in the right; for round they went the fourth time,
collected the ballots, counted them, and came in again. Expectation
was on tiptoe, and speculation was very busy.
Some thought this ballot would settle the question, but others
doubted. The committee declared, and the same old tune
greeted the ears of the audience—seven for Mr. Dunlap, seven
for Mr. Kingsbury, and two scattering.

Another extract from the same.

A New Tune.—We have to pitch our pipe to a new tune
this morning. The second great battle of the session was
fought, or rather terminated yesterday afternoon. After a
regular engagement for eight days in succession, during


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which time the regular armies of Huntonites and Smithites
in the Senate were drawn up face to face, forenoon and afternoon,
exchanging some half a dozen shots every day, and
then retiring by mutual consent, and sleeping upon their
arms, the conflict was ended yesterday afternoon by a ruse de
on the part of the Huntonites, which led them to victory
without bloodshed. The Senate met in the afternoon at
three o'clock, and proceeded to their usual round of duties.
The committee received the votes for President, and retired,
and came in again, and declared in the strains of the old tune,
seven for Mr. Dunlap, seven for Mr. Kingsbury, and two
scattering. They proceeded again, and came in as before.
It was the fiftieth ballot since the commencement of the session;
and had a fifty pounder been unexpectedly discharged
in the room, it would hardly have produced a stronger sensation,
than the declaration of the committee, when they piped
away in the following new tune: whole number of votes, 15;
necessary to a choice, 8; Joshua Hall has 8, Robert Dunlap,
6; James Steele, 1; blank, 1. We shall not attempt to describe
the coloring of faces, the wildness of eyes, or the biting
of lips that ensued; for, not arriving in season we did not
see them. But we have no doubt, from the remarks of those
who were present, that the occasion would have furnished a
scene for painting, fully equal, if not surpassing that in the
House on the choice of Speaker. After the first consternation
had subsided, Mr. Hall was declared duly elected President
of the Senate. Whereupon he rose in his place, and thanked
the gentlemen of the Board for the confidence they had placed
in him. He doubted his abilities to discharge properly the


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duties assigned him; but under present circumstances he
would accept the trust. He accordingly took the chair.[2]




Editorial Note.—In order that the reader may understand the progress
of the war in the Maine Legislature, it should be remarked that the
parties in the Senate were equally divided. There were eight Huntonites,
or National Republicans, and eight Smithites or Democratic Republicans,
and four vacancies. The battles, therefore, in the Senate, were more serious,
obstinate and protracted than they were in the House. They balloted regularly
for President every day for about a fortnight. To illustrate the state
of affairs at that time, a couple of extracts from the Portland Courier in relation
to the balloting in the Senate are subjoined.


Editorial Note.—Mr. Hall, or Elder Hall, as he was usually called, was
a Democratic Republican, but chosen President exclusively by the National
Republican votes, he throwing a blank vote himself. He was a short, fleshy,
good-hearted old gentleman, a minister of the Methodist denomination, and
knew much more about preaching than he did about politics. The Democratic
Republicans after their first consternation at his election had subsided,
fearing that he had actually gone over to the enemy, took measures to have
a private consultation with him immediately after adjournment. This interview
resulted in nailing the old gentleman to his former political faith, and
he stuck to the party like wax during the remainder of the session. So the
Senate was still divided, eight to eight, except when the four new Senators,
elected by the National Republicans to fill the vacancies, attempted to act.