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PREFACE.

The death of Hon. HENRY WINTER DAVIS, for many years a distinguished Representative of one of the Baltimore congressional districts, created a deep sensation among those who had been associated with him in national legislation, and they deemed it fitting to pay to his memory unusual honors. They adopted resolutions expressive of their griei, and invited Hon. JOHN A. J. CRESWELL, a Senator of the United States from the State of Maryland, to deliver an oration on his life and character, in the hall of the House of Representatives, on the 22d of February, a day the recurrence of which ever gives increased warmth to patriotic emotions.

The hall of the House was filled by a distinguished audience to listen to the oration. Before eleven o'clock the galleries were crowded in every part. The flags above the Speaker's desk were draped in black, and other insignia of mourning were exhibited. An excellent portrait of the late Hon. HENRY WINTER Davis was visible through the folds of the national banner above the Speaker's chair. As on the occasion of the oration on President LINCOLN by Hon. GEORGE BANCROFT, the Marine band occupied the ante-room of the reporters' gallery, and discoursed appropriate music.

At twelve o'clock the senators entered, and the judges of the Supreme Court, preceded by Chief Justice Chase. Of the Cabinet Secretary Stanton and Secretary McCulloch were present. After prayer by the chaplain, the Declaration of Independence was read by Hon. EDWARD MCPHERSON, Clerk of the House. After the reading of the Declaration, followed by the playing of a dirge by the band, Hon. SCHUYLER COLFAX, Speaker of the House of Representatives, introduced the orator of the day, Hon. J. A. J. CRESWELL.

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