The Hero of the West

Martyrdom of Joseph and Hiram Smith in Carthage jail, June 27th, 1844


TUNE— All’s Well.

Hark! from the broad and noble West —
From where the hero’s ashes rest —
The loud and stirring peal rings out—
And comes on every breeze the shout
For Harry Clay,
For Harry Clay,
For Harry Clay,
For gallant Harry Clay !

See them rush from the mountain’s side—
They come from plain and prairie wide! —
From every forest, glade and glen,
The shout goes up again,
“Who goes there! Stranger,
Stand, say the word!”
“All’s Well— All’s well!”
The West,
The East,
All— all’s well!

From wild New England’s mountain’s steep.
On through her valleys green they sweep—
And swelling high his glorious name.
His noble deeds aloft proclaim
For Harry Clay,
For Harry Clay,
For Harry Clay.
For fearless Harry Clay!

From ocean’s surge to mountain rills,
Bright burn the watch fires on the hills!
Each arm is nerved, each sword gleams high,
To strike for victory!
“On, on, comrade!
To the front! who leads?”
“All’s well— all’s well”
The West,
The East,
All’s well! All’s well!

And from the palm groves of the south,
The lofty strains are ringing forth,
Hark from her thousand plains they come,
In tones that thrill like battle drum.
For Harry Clay!
For Harry Clay!
For Harry Clay!
For faithful Harry Clay.
And when they hear his honored name.
It kindles Freedom’s holiest flame,
And Million hearts with joy beat high.
Resolved to do or die.
“Ho! what of the night?
Quickly tell, who leads?”
“All’s well! All’s well!”
The East,
The South,
All— All’s well.


This song favors Henry Clay of Kentucky.

Another presidential candidate in 1844 is not mentioned in the Whig songbook:  Joseph Smith, mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois.   On June 27, 1844, Joseph, and his brother Hyrum, were lynched by a mob in Carthage, Illinois.

That wasn’t the only religious violence in 1844.  In May and July of 1844, the Prayer Riots in Philadelphia led to around twenty dead and perhaps a hundred injured.

The Whigs were allied with the Nativists who had attacked the Catholics and burned their churches.

Tomorrow:  John Tyler’s Song.

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