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Title: Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution
Author: Judson, L. Carroll
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Note

- The table of contents and chapter headings have been maintained as in
the original text. In the table of contents, all names (which act as
chapter and section headings) are listed in alphabetical order in the
format Lastname Firstname. In Part I of the main body the chapter
headings are in the format Firstname Lastname. The section headings
in Part II are in the format Lastname Firstname.

- The position of some illustrations has been changed to better fit with
the context.

- Illustration captions in {brackets} have been added by the transcriber
for reader convenience.

- In general, geographical references, spelling, hyphenation, and
capitalization have been retained as in the original publication. This
includes a number of inconsistencies across the text. For example, the
Whiskey Rebellion of Pennsylvania is referred to using both the
spellings whiskey and whisky. Also, variations of yoemanry (yeomanry,

- Minor typographical errors--usually periods and commas--have been
corrected without note.

- Significant typographical errors have been corrected. A full list of
these corrections is available in the Transcriber's Corrections section
at the end of the book.

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: {George Washington portrait and signature} ENGRAVED BY


                              SAGES AND HEROES

                                   OF THE

                            AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

                                IN TWO PARTS


                      HEROES ARE PRESENTED IN DUE FORM


                            BY L. CARROLL JUDSON,
                        MORAL PROBE, ET CET. ET CET.


                            STEREOTYPE EDITION.

                               MOSS & BROTHER.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1851,


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of

Transferred to Moss & Brother.

Stereotyped by SLOTE & MOONEY, Philadelphia.



This volume contains the condensed substance of more expensive works
that have been published relative to the men and times of the American
Revolution. The character and acts of the most prominent Sages and
Heroes of that eventful era are delineated. A sufficient amount of
documentary matter is inserted to enable the reader to fully understand
the causes, progress and triumphant termination of that sanguinary
struggle that resulted in FREEDOM to the new world and prepared an
asylum for the oppressed. The French and Indian wars are prominently
noticed. More Revolutionary names are rescued from oblivion in this book
than in any other extant. I have introduced many practical remarks
intended to rouse the reflective powers of the immortal mind and
increase a patriotic love for our expanding Republic and glorious
institutions. These remarks are designed to be living epistles animated
with "thoughts that breathe and words that burn." There are many
festering wounds on our body politic that need probing to the
bottom--cancers that require the best treatment of the boldest operators
in moral, religious and political surgery. The text is concise and not
dressed in the dogmatical garb of _arbitrary_ punctuation. In preparing
the historical part I have consulted numerous documents and the most
approved works in our libraries. Once for all I award a general credit.
The relation of events is usually in my own plain laconic language. I
believe this volume as free from errors as any of its illustrious
predecessors. It has long been a cherished _desideratum_ in my mind to
place this _multum in parvo_ within the reach of every working man in
our land. I have exerted my best efforts to make it interesting and
instructive by blending a perspective chart of human nature with the
thrilling history of the times that tried the souls of the patriots of
'76. It is my ardent desire that it may prove beneficial to readers and

                                     L. CARROLL JUDSON,
                                       _of the Philadelphia Bar_.



  Adams John                  7
  Adams Samuel               24
  Arnold Benedict            32
  Barney Joshua              39
  Bartlett Josiah            49
  Braxton Carter             54
  Butler Zebulon             58
  Carroll Charles            63
  Chase Samuel               68
  Clark Abraham              77
  Clymer George              80
  Dickinson John             87
  Ellery William             90
  Floyd William              96
  Franklin Benjamin         101
  Gates Horatio             110
  Gerry Elbridge            114
  Greene Nathaniel          121
  Gwinnett Button           129
  Hall Lyman                132
  Hancock John              135
  Harrison Benjamin         141
  Hart John                 148
  Henry Patrick             151
  Hewes Joseph              161
  Heyward Thomas            168
  Hopkins Stephen           172
  Hopkinson Francis         179
  Hooper William            182
  Huntington Samuel         186
  Irvine William            189
  Jefferson Thomas          191
  Kalb Baron de             205
  La Fayette G.M. de        208
  Lee Francis Lightfoot     219
  Lee Richard Henry         228
  Lewis Francis             230
  Livingston Philip         233
  Lynch Thomas Jr.          237
  McKean Thomas             240
  Marion Francis            246
  Middleton Arthur          251
  Morris Lewis              255
  Morris Robert             261
  Morton John               267
  Nelson Thomas             270
  Otis James                278
  Paca William              280
  Paine Robert Treat        284
  Penn John                 288
  Quincy Josiah             294
  Read George               296
  Rodney Cæsar              300
  Ross George               306
  Rush Benjamin             311
  Rutledge Edward           316
  Sherman Roger             321
  Smith James               329
  Stark John                336
  Stockton Richard          343
  Stone Thomas              348
  Taylor George             352
  Thornton Matthew          355
  Varnum Joseph B.          359
  Walton George             361
  Warren Joseph             366
  Washington George         368
  Wayne Anthony             379
  Whipple William Jr.       387
  Williams William          391
  Wilson James              394
  Witherspoon John          399
  Wolcott Oliver            404
  Wythe George              406
  Yates Robert              410


  Allen Ethan               415
  Allen Ebenezer            416
  Allen Moses               416
  Alexander William         416
  Armstrong John            416
  Barry John                416
  Beatty William            417
  Biddle Nicholas           417
  Bland Theodoric           418
  Blount Thomas             418
  Boudinot Elias            419
  Bowdoin James             419
  Bradford William          419
  Broad Hezekiah            419
  Brooks Eleazer            419
  Brooks John               420
  Brown Andrew              420
  Brown John                420
  Brown Moses               420
  Brown Robert              420
  Bryan George              421
  Burd Benjamin             421
  Burr Aaron                421
  Butler Richard            422
  Butler Thomas             422
  Cadwalader Thomas         423
  Caswell Richard           423
  Champe John               423
  Chrystie James            424
  Clark George Rogers       424
  Clinton Charles           424
  Clinton George            425
  Clinton James             425
  Comstock Adam             425
  Coward Joseph             426
  Croghan William           426
  Cropper John              426
  Cushing Thomas            427
  Dale Richard              427
  Darke William             427
  Davie Richardson W.       427
  Davidson William          428
  Dickinson Philemon        428
  Drayton Wm. Henry         429
  Dyer Eliphalet            430
  Elsworth Oliver           430
  Forrest Uriah             430
  Gadsden Christopher       430
  Gansevoort Peter          431
  Gibson John               432
  Gibson George             432
  Greene Christopher        433
  Graeff George             433
  Griffin Cyrus             433
  Gurney Francis            434
  Gwinn William             434
  Hale Nathan               434
  Hamilton Alexander        435
  Hamilton Paul             436
  Hathaway Benoni           436
  Hawkins Nathan            437
  Hawley Joseph             437
  Hayne Isaac               437
  Heath William             437
  Heston Edward             438
  Holden Levi               438
  Houston John              438
  Howard John Eager         439
  Humphrey David            439
  Huntington Jedediah       439
  Irvine Andrew             440
  Irwin Jared               440
  Jackson Andrew            440
  Jackson James             441
  James John                441
  Jasper William            442
  Jay John                  443
  Johnson Francis           443
  Johnson Samuel            443
  Johnson William           443
  Jones John Paul           444
  Kennard Nathaniel         445
  King Rufus                445
  Kirkwood Robert           445
  Knowlton Thomas           446
  Knox Henry                446
  Kosciuszco Thaddeus       446
  Lacy John                 447
  Laurens Henry             448
  Laurens John              449
  Ledyard William           449
  Lee Arthur                449
  Lee Charles               450
  Lee Henry                 450
  Lee Ezra                  451
  Lee Thomas Sim            451
  Lincoln Benjamin          451
  Lippitt Christopher       452
  Livingston Robert R.      452
  Livingston William        453
  McClintock Nathaniel      453
  McKinstry John            453
  McPherson William         454
  Madison James             454
  Manly John                454
  Marshall John             455
  Mathews Thomas            455
  Mercer Hugh               455
  Meigs Return Jona'n       456
  Mifflin Thomas            457
  Miller Henry              457
  Monroe James              457
  Montgomery Richard        458
  Morgan Daniel             458
  Morgan John               459
  Morris Governeur          459
  Moultrie William          459
  Muhlenberg Peter          460
  Nicholson James           460
  Ogden Matthias            461
  Olney Jeremiah            461
  Orr John                  461
  Paine Thomas              461
  Parsons Samuel H.         462
  Paulding John             462
  Peters Nathan             462
  Peters Richard            463
  Pettit Charles            463
  Pickering Timothy         463
  Pickens Andrew            464
  Porter Andrew             464
  Preble Edward             465
  Prescott William          466
  Prioleau Samuel           466
  Pulaski Count             466
  Putnam Israel             467
  Putnam Rufus              467
  Ramsay David              468
  Randolph Edmund           468
  Randolph Peyton           468
  Reed Joseph               468
  Revere Paul               469
  Sargent Winthrop          469
  Scammel Alexander         469
  St. Clair Arthur          470
  Schaick Gosen Van         470
  Schuyler Philip           470
  Sedgewick Theodore        471
  Sergeant Jonathan D.      471
  Smallwood William         472
  Steuben Francis Wm.
     Augustus Baron de      472
  Strong Caleb              472
  Sullivan John             472
  Sullivan James            473
  Stevens Edward            473
  Thomas John               473
  Thomas Thomas             474
  Truxton Thomas            474
  Wadsworth Jeremiah        474
  Ward Henry                475
  Washington William        475
  Wheelock John             476
  Williams Otho H.          476
  Winder Levin              476
  Wolcott Erastus           476
  Wooster David             476
  Wyllis Samuel             477







  [Illustration: {John Adams portrait and signature} ENGRAVED BY T.B.

The history of men should interest every reader. It is the mirror of
mind--imparting lessons of thrilling interest, essential improvement,
exquisite pleasure--substantial advantage. It is a matter of deep
concern to the investigating student. Remoteness increases veneration.
Human foibles are buried in the tomb. Faults are often eclipsed by
towering virtues--find no place on the historic page and after
generations gaze upon a picture of rare perfection, which, as time
advances, assumes shades--richer and holier--until it commands the
reverence of every beholder. The names of many of the ancients, whose
crowning glory was virtue, over whose ashes centuries have rolled, are
often referred to with as profound respect as if angel purity had given
the impress of Divinity to their every action. A country--a nation may
be lost in the whirlpool of revolution--the fame of good and great men
is enduring as time. In the persons of the Sages and Heroes of the
American Revolution, ancient and modern wisdom, patriotism and courage
were combined. Let us join the admiring millions who are gazing on their
bright picture and impartially trace the character of those who pledged

Among them, John Adams was conspicuous. He was a native of Quincy, Mass.
born on the 19th of Oct. (O.S.) 1735. He was the fourth in descent from
Henry Adams, who removed from Devonshire Eng. with eight sons and
located near Mount Wollaston.

During his childhood he was under the instruction of Mr. Marsh of
Braintree and made rapid progress in his education. At the age of
sixteen he entered Harvard college at Cambridge and graduated at the age
of twenty-one with high honors.

At Worcester he commenced the study of law under Mr. Putnam, finished
with Mr. Gridley, supporting himself by teaching a grammar class. Wisdom
to discern the path of rigid virtue and uncompromising justice, with
moral courage to _act_, marked his career from the dawn of manhood. He
boldly grasped the past, present and future and made deductions truly
prophetic. On the 12th of Oct. 1755, he wrote the following paragraph in
a letter.

"Soon after the reformation, a few people came over into this new world
for conscience sake. Perhaps this apparently trivial incident may
transfer the great seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me,
if we can remove the turbulent Gallics, our people, according to the
exactest computation, will, in another century, become more numerous
than England herself. Should this be the case, since we have, I may say,
all the naval stores of the nation in our hands, it will be easy to
obtain the mastery of the seas and then the united force of all Europe
will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up
for ourselves, is--_to disunite us_. Keep us in distinct colonies and
then some men in each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, will
destroy each other's influence and keep the country in equilibrio."

Mark two things referred to in this letter. He plainly saw that the navy
is our right arm of defence and yet treated, by our government, with a
parsimony that has long astonished the old world. "TO DISUNITE US"--the
only thing that can _ruin us_ now that we _have_ set up for ourselves.
Lay this to heart ye demagogues who are sowing broadcast the seeds of
disunion and no longer court a monarchy.

At the end of three years study Mr. Adams was admitted to the practice
of law and commenced a successful professional career at Braintree.
Constitutional law had become a subject of investigation. Disputes had
commenced between the people and the officers of the crown who were
employed in the custom-house and claimed the right to search _private_
dwellings for the pretended purpose of discovering dutiable goods. This
preliminary act of usurpation was frequently prompted by personal
animosity without a shadow of evidence to raise even suspicion. The
right of search was vigorously resisted. Writs of assistance were
issued--the seeds of the revolution were sown. Mr. Gridley, the friend
and admirer of Mr. Adams, defended the officers--not on constitutional
ground but from the necessity of the case to protect the revenue, from
which Mr. Adams strongly dissented. The question was argued before the
Superior Court at Boston--Mr. Gridley for and Mr. Otis against the
crown. Mr. Adams listened to both gentlemen with intense interest and
has often been heard to say--"The oration of Mr. Otis against writs of
assistance breathed into this nation the breath of life. American
independence was then and there born."

The court _publicly_ decided against the writs but _secretly_ issued
them. No richer fuel could have been used to increase the volume and
force of the revolutionary fires already kindled. Mr. Adams was roused
by the hypocrisy of the court and the audacity of the crown officers and
at once took a bold stand in favor of justice. The Assembly interfered
in behalf of the people and in 1762, prepared a bill to prevent the
issue of these volcanic writs only upon specific information on
oath--which was vetoed by the governor. The Assembly retaliated by
reducing the salary of the judges.

In 1761 Mr. Adams rose to the rank of Barrister--in 1764 married the
accomplished Abigail Smith, daughter of Rev. William Smith, who nobly
participated with her husband in the thrilling scenes of their lives for
fifty-four years. Judge of her patriotism from the following extract
from one of her numerous and able letters.

"Heaven is our witness that we do not rejoice in the effusion of blood
or the carnage of the human species--but, having been forced to draw the
sword, we are determined never to sheathe it--_slaves to Britain_. Our
cause, Sir, I trust, is the cause of truth and justice and will finally
prevail, though the combined force of earth and hell should rise against

The Stamp Act kindled an enduring flame of indignation in the patriotic
bosom of Mr. Adams. He at once became a champion for chartered rights
and rational freedom. He published an essay on Canon and Feudal Law
which proved him a fearless, able and vigorous writer. It penetrated the
joints and marrow of royal power as _practised_ and parliamentary
legislation as _assumed_. He traced the Canon law to the Roman
clergy--shrewdly planned, acutely managed and rigorously enforced to
advance their own aggrandizement. He delineated the servile dogmas of
the Feudal code, each manor being the miniature kingdom of a petty
tyrant. He exposed the unholy and powerful confederacy of the two,
aiming to spread the mantle of ignorance over mankind, drive virtue from
the earth, producing the memorable era of the dark ages, shrouded in
mental obscurity. He then ushered in the dawn of returning light,
exhibited the gigantic struggles of the reformers--the bloody scenes of
persecution and finally placed his readers upon the granite shores of
New England, where, for a century, LIBERTY had shed its happy influence
upon the sons and daughters of freemen, undisturbed by canons or feuds.
"Tyranny has again commenced its desolating course--it _must be_
arrested or we are _slaves_." This is a mere syllabus of a pamphlet of
over forty pages, strong in language, bold in sentiment, and nervous in

Mr. Adams became associated with other prominent whigs, Samuel Adams,
Quincy, Otis and many kindred spirits, whose influence produced the
repeal of the Stamp Act and the removal of Mr. Grenville from the
ministry. An apparent but delusive calm ensued on the part of the crown
officers. At intervals, a cloven foot would be seen, festering wounds
would be irritated and no balm was found to restore them to perfect

In 1766 Mr. Adams removed to Boston where his talents became so strongly
developed that the king's governor thought him worth purchasing. He was
offered the most lucrative office in the colony--Advocate General in the
court of Admiralty. He spurned the bribe with the disdain that none but
freemen can exhibit.

In 1769 he was on the committee that prepared instructions for the
legislature, which were very obnoxious to the royal governor. He had
outraged the people by quartering a mercenary army in the town--was
unyielding in his purposes and hastened a tragedy that gave a fresh
impetus to the embryo revolution.

On the 5th of March 1770, an affray occurred between the military and
citizens, in which five of the latter were killed and others wounded.
Mr. Adams thus describes the result.

"The people assembled, first at Faneuil Hall and adjourned to the old
South Church, to the number, as was conjectured, of ten or twelve
hundred men, among whom were the most virtuous, substantial,
independent, disinterested and intelligent citizens. They formed
themselves into a regular deliberative body--chose their moderator and
secretary--entered into discussions, deliberations and debates--adopted
resolutions and appointed committees. These public resolutions were
conformable to the views of the great majority of the people--'_that the
soldiers should be banished at all hazards_.' Jonathan Williams, a very
pious, inoffensive and conscientious gentleman, was their moderator. A
remonstrance to the governor, or governor and council, was ordained and
a demand that the regular troops should be removed from the town. A
committee was appointed to present this remonstrance, of which Samuel
Adams was chairman. The soldiers were removed and transient peace

Captain Preston was brought before the court charged with giving the
order to fire upon the citizens. The regulars who committed the fatal
act were also arraigned and tried. Each party charged the other with
commencing the affray. Some inconsiderate citizens had thrown snow-balls
at the King's troops who returned lead in payment. Mr. Adams was
employed to defend the accused. A delicate task he performed, but so
ingeniously did he manage the case that Captain Preston and all the
soldiers but two were acquitted and the two were only convicted of
manslaughter. When the trial closed Mr. Adams stood approved by the
citizens, having performed his professional duty to his clients and at
the same time vindicated the rights of the people.

The same year he was elected to the legislative body and boldly opposed
the arbitrary measures of the British cabinet. He was one of the
committee that prepared an address to the governor, the style of which
induces me to think that it was penned by him. After clearly pointing
out the violation of chartered rights the address concludes, "These and
other grievances and cruelties, too many to be here enumerated and too
melancholy to be _much longer borne_ by this injured people, we have
seen brought upon us by the devices of ministers of state. And we have,
of late, seen and heard of _instructions_ to governors which threaten to
destroy all the remaining privileges of our charter. Should these
struggles of the house prove unfortunate and ineffectual this Province
will submit with pious resignation to the will of _Providence_--but it
would be a kind of suicide, of which we have the utmost abhorrence, to
be instrumental in our own servitude."

A blind obstinacy on the part of the ministers increased the opposition
of the people, inducing a rapid accumulation of combustible materials,
increasing the volcanic fires by their own strong exertions. Being
alarmed at the boldness of the citizens, the governor ordered the
legislature to convene at Cambridge contrary to the law which fixed the
place of meeting--consequently, the members refused to do anything more
than to adjourn to the proper place. A war of words and paper ensued, in
which the patriots were victorious. Mr. Adams was one of the
sharp-shooters and made great havoc among the officers of the crown. Mr.
Brattle, the senior member of the council entered the field in defence
of the ministry but was put _hors de combat_ by our champion. The
governor was compelled to direct the legislature to convene again at
Boston. New causes of complaint were constantly accruing. The governor,
judges and troops were paid by England instead of the colony--thus
aiming to render the executive, judiciary and military, independent of
the people, destroying all confidence in the servants of the crown. The
tax on tea was another source of aggravation, striking more tender
chords. Wo to the ruler who rouses the fair sex. He may more safely defy
the fury of Mars and challenge the speed of Atalanta.

Tea became forbidden fruit--several vessel loads were sacrificed to
Neptune--an oblation for the sins of the British cabinet--a
jollification for the fish of Boston harbour. Royal authority increased
in cruelty--patriots increased in boldness. The message of the governor
to the legislature of 1773 maintained the supremacy of parliament. This
was denied by the members and a reply written by Mr. Adams in answer to
a second message from the governor, more strongly in favor of the crown.
The pen of this functionary was paralyzed--his arguments proved
fallacious--his mouth sealed upon this exciting subject. The reply of
Mr. Adams was an exposition of British wrongs and American rights, so
clearly presented that no sophistry could impugn--no logic confront. So
highly was it appreciated by Dr. Franklin, that he had it republished in
England--a luminary to patriots--confusion to tyrants.

On taking his seat in the legislature Mr. Adams was placed on the list
of committees. So vindictive was governor Hutchinson that he erased his
name--an act that recoiled with such force as to rapidly close his
public career in the colony. He was succeeded by Governor Gage, who was
more fully charged with ministerial fire--more successful in
accelerating the millennium of Liberty. He placed his cross upon the
name of John Adams--removed the legislature to Salem--enforced the
Boston Port Bill and seemed to tax his ingenuity to enrage the people.
On convening, the members of the legislature requested the governor to
fix a day for a general fast which he peremptorily refused. As well
might he have undertaken to extinguish a flaming fire with pitch, as to
refuse this boon to the descendants of the Puritans. The people _en
masse_ venerated religion and would not yield to the violation of
ancient custom.

The legislature then proceeded to project a general congress. Governor
Gage sent his secretary with an order to _prorogue_--the door was
locked against him--patriotic resolutions were passed and five delegates
appointed to meet a national convention, one of whom was John Adams.

At the appointed time he repaired to Philadelphia--took his seat in that
assemblage of sages, whose wisdom has been sung by the most brilliant
poets, applauded by the most eloquent orators--admired by the most
sagacious statesmen of the civilized world. On reading the proceedings
of the first congress in 1774, Chatham remarked, "I have studied and
admired the free states of antiquity, the master spirits of the
world--but, for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity and wisdom of
conclusion, no body of men can stand above this congress."

Some supposed the ardent zeal of Mr. Adams might induce rashness. Not
so--he was calm as a summer morning but firm as the granite shores of
his birth-place. He was discreet, prudent--the last man to violate or
submit to the violation of constitutional law. He kept his helm
hard-up--knew when to luff--when to take the larboard tack--when to
spread and when to take in sail. He was one of the few who believed the
mother country would remain incorrigible--that petitions would be
vain--addresses futile--remonstrances unavailing.

At the close of that congress Mr. Adams had a close conversation with
Patrick Henry in which he expressed a full conviction, that resolves,
declarations of rights, enumeration of wrongs, petitions, remonstrances,
addresses, associations and non-importation agreements--however they
might be accepted in America and however necessary to cement the union
of the colonies, would be waste water in England. Mr. Henry believed
they might make an impression among the _people_ of England, but that
they would be lost upon the government. Mr. Adams had just received a
hasty letter from Major Hawley of Northampton, which concluded with
these prophetic words, "_after all we must fight._" Mr. Henry raised his
hands and vehemently exclaimed, "I am of that man's mind." Richard Henry
Lee held a contrary opinion--Washington was in doubt. The two former
based their conclusions on the past and present from which they drew
deductions for the future. They penetrated the arcanum of human nature,
passed in review the multiform circumstances that inflated power-backed
by superior physical force--deluded by obstinacy and avarice, is callous
to the refined feelings of humanity--deaf to wisdom--blind to justice.
Lee, equally determined to vindicate _right_ and oppose _wrong_, could
not believe the ministry would dethrone reason and court ruin.

Washington, deep in reflection, an impartial and strong
investigator--his soul overflowing with the milk of human kindness, did
not arrive rapidly at conclusions on so momentous a subject. In weighing
the causes of difference between the two countries--reason, justice and
hope, on the one side--power, corruption and avarice on the other--at
that time held his mind in equilibrio. He clearly perceived the right
and fondly but faintly hoped England would see it too and govern herself
accordingly. He was as prompt to act as the others when action became

Mr. Adams returned among his friends and stood approved by his
constituents and his country. His pen was again brought into service, in
answering a series of ingenious essays written by Mr. Sewell in favor of
the supremacy of Parliament. Over the name of "Nonvanglus," Mr. Adams
stripped the gay ornaments and gaudy apparel from the brazen image Mr.
Sewell had presented to the public gaze. A meagre skeleton of visible
deformity was all that remained. Attorney General Sewell trembled us he
received the deep cuts from the falchion quill of this devoted patriot.
So profound was his reasoning--so learned were his expositions--so clear
and conclusive were his demonstrations--that his antagonist exclaimed,
as he retired in a rage from the conflict, "He strives to hide his
inconsistencies under a huge pile of learning."

The pile proved too "huge" for royal power and supplied the people with
an abundance of light.

The supremacy of parliament was an unfortunate issue for ministers. It
placed the patriots in a position to hurl their darts at _them_ without
refusing allegiance to the _king_. The British cabinet worked out its
own destruction with regard to the American colonies--if not with fear
and trembling it was with blindness and disgrace--impolicy and
injustice--obstinacy and infatuation.

In May, 1775, Mr. Adams again took his seat in Congress with renewed
responsibilities resting upon him. Revolution was rolling fearfully upon
his bleeding country--hope of redress was expiring like the last
flickerings of a taper--dark and portentous clouds were
concentrating--the ministerial ermine was steeped in blood--the dying
groans of his fellow-citizens and the lamentations of widows and orphans
had fallen upon his ears and the prophetic conclusion arrived at by him
and Henry but a few months previous, was forced upon the mind of every
patriot, "_after all we must fight._"

As a preliminary measure it was necessary to appoint a leader of the
military forces to be raised. To fix upon the _best_ man was of vital
importance. Some thought the measure premature. Not so with the sons of
New England. When the blood of their friends was wantonly shed upon the
heights of Lexington they hung their siren harps upon the weeping
willows that stood mournfully over the graves of their murdered
brethren. In their view, war was inevitable. A commander-in-chief must
be appointed. Several prominent persons were named in private
conversations. John Adams, alone, had fixed his mind upon George
Washington, in whom he saw the commingled qualities of philanthropist,
philosopher, statesman, hero and Christian. All opposed his appointment
at first but gradually yielded to the reasons urged by John Adams.
Satisfied that the measure would be approved by a majority, he rose in
Congress and proposed that a commander of the American armies should be
appointed. When his resolution passed, he described the requisite
qualities of the man to fill this important station and remarked with
great emphasis--"_such a man is within these walls._" But few knew to
whom he referred, no one believing himself duly and truly prepared or
properly vouched for as a military man. A pause--a painful
suspense--then the name of Col. GEORGE WASHINGTON of Virginia was
announced by Mr. Adams. No one could be more surprised than the nominee.
No intimation of the intended honor had been made to him. The vote was
taken the day following and was unanimous in his favor. So judicious was
this selection that La Fayette remarked--"It was the consequence of
Providential inspiration." Be it so--John Adams was the patriot who
nominated him--thus placing at the head of the American armies just such
a man as the crisis required--prudent, dignified, bold, sagacious,
patient, persevering--universally esteemed by the friends of
FREEDOM--admired by the most fervent friends of the crown.

In 1776 Mr. Adams again took his seat in the National Assembly. The
period had arrived for decisive measures. Massachusetts had been
disfranchised by Parliament. England had hired legions of soldiers from
German princes to subdue rebels in America. The last note of peace had
been sung by echo--every patriot became convinced that _resistance or
slavery_ were the two horns of the dilemma presented. INDEPENDENCE had
been conceived but by a few. It was a startling proposition. At this
juncture Mr. Adams marked out a bold course and had the moral courage to
pursue it. On the 6th of May he offered a resolution, proposing that the
colonies should organize a government independent of England. On the
10th of the same month it was modified and adopted, recommending such
government by the colonies "as might be conducive to the happiness and
safety of their constituents in particular and America in general." All
admitted the justice of this measure but some opposed it on the ground
of the physical imbecility of the colonies--already crowded with a
hireling army and their shores lined with a powerful navy. Mr. Adams
knew no middle course. He had succeeded in obtaining the adoption of the
preface to his broad folio of an independent compact--he then proceeded
to prepare the text. He had commenced the work of political
regeneration. Each day new and genuine converts were made. The
legislature of his own state encouraged him to strike for independence.
North Carolina had openly started the ball--Virginia gave it a now
impetus and on the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee became the organ to
present the proposition to Congress. A most animated discussion ensued.
Then the powers of Mr. Adams were more fully developed. Mr. Jefferson
said of him, in alluding to his debates on the Declaration of
Independence--"John Adams was the pillar of its support on the floor of
Congress--its ablest advocate and defender against the multifarious
assaults it encountered. He was our Colossus on the floor--not graceful,
not elegant, not always fluent in his public addresses--yet he came out
with a power, both of thought and expression, that moved us from our

The noblest powers of his soul were raised to the zenith of their
strength, determined to accomplish the mighty work he had commenced.
Although one of the committee to prepare the instrument of eternal
separation, he confided the labor to his colleagues--spending his whole
force upon the opponents of the measure. Manfully did he
contend--gloriously did he triumph. He bore down upon his adversaries
like a mountain torrent--a rushing avalanche--hurling the arrows of
conviction with such precision and effect that a majority soon became
converted to the measure.

The day for decision arrived. The 4th of July, 1776, dawned auspiciously
upon the patriots. At the appointed hour they assembled. The past, the
present, the impenetrable future, big with coming events--rushed upon
their minds. Moments flew--the pulse quickened--the heart-throb
increased--bosoms expanded--eyes brightened--patriotism rose in majesty
sublime--the question was put--the Gordian knot was
sundered--INDEPENDENCE was declared--the colonies were free--LIBERTY
was proclaimed--a nation was redeemed--regenerated--disenthralled and
born in a day.

  [Illustration: Signatures: Rob't Morris; John Hancock; Benjamin Rush;
    Benj. Franklin; Elbridge Gerry; Oliver Wolcott; Samuel Chase; Carter
    Braxton; John Morton; Joseph Hewes; Casar Rodney; Geo. Read; George
    Wythe; John Penn; Richard Henry Lee; Tho. McKean; Wm. Hooper; Tho.
    Heyward, Jr.; Wm. Paca; Thomas Lynch; Francis Lightfoot Lee; Wm.
    Floyd; Arthur Middleton; Abra. Clark; Button Gwinnett; Philip
    Livingston; Lyman Hall; Wm. Whipple; Fran. Lewis; Geo. Walton; Sam'l
    Adams; Lewis Morris; Edward Rutledge; Geo. Ross; John Adams; Rob't
    Treat Paine; Sam'l Huntington; Wm. Williams; Geo. Clymer; Jas. Smith;
    Josiah Bartlett; Matthew Thornton; Rich'd Stockton; Step. Hopkins;
    Jno. Witherspoon; Fra's Hopkinson; William Ellery; John Hart; Roger
    Sherman; James Wilson; Charles Carroll of Carrollton; Th. Jefferson;
    Tho's Stone; Geo. Taylor; Benj. Harrison; Tho's Nelson, Jr.]

Early in the winter of 1776 Mr. Adams wrote a form of government for the
colonies which was substantially the same as the present constitutions
of the states. It was first submitted to Richard Henry Lee in a letter
with these remarks.

"A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among
the people and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen.
A general emulation takes place which causes good humor, sociability,
good manners and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment,
inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and
enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober,
industrious and frugal. You will find among them some elegance, perhaps,
but more solidity--a little pleasure but a great deal of business--some
politeness but more civility. If you compare such a country with the
regions of domination, whether monarchical or aristocratical, you will
fancy yourself in Arcadia or Elysium."

Here is inscribed upon the tablet of truth the blessings derived from a
government like our own in its principles--faithfully adhered to by
every _true_ patriot but trampled under foot by the demagogues of the
present day and the aristocracy of all time.

Among all the great men of our country, no one has exhibited a more
clear and minute conception of human nature and human government, than
John Adams. He traced causes and effects through all their labyrinthian
meanderings and deduced conclusions that seemed the result of
inspiration. Many of his predictions of the future bear the impress of
prophecy and show how deeply he investigated--how clearly he perceived.

On his return from Congress, Mr. Adams was elected to the legislature of
Massachusetts under the new constitution. He was also appointed Chief
Justice which he declined.

In 1777 he resumed his seat in Congress and performed an amount of
labor, which, if imposed upon any ten _demagogue_ legislators of the
present day might induce suicide. He was an active member of ninety
committees--chairman of twenty-five--chairman of the board of war and
appeals, discharged all his duties promptly and was uniformly in his
seat when any important measure was under discussion.

In December, 1777, he was appointed a commissioner to France. In
February following he embarked on board the frigate Boston. During the
voyage a British armed ship hove in sight--an action commenced--Mr.
Adams seized a musket, gave the enemy a well-directed shot but was
immediately deprived of this recreation by Capt. Tucker, who led him out
of danger, pleasantly remarking--"I am commanded by the Continental
Congress to carry you in safety to Europe and I will do it."

Before his arrival, Dr. Franklin and his colleague had succeeded in
concluding a treaty of alliance with the French nation. After an absence
of a little more than a year he returned and was elected to a convention
of his native state, convened for the purpose of perfecting a
constitution and the full organization of government. The original draft
of the constitution of Massachusetts is from his pen. Before his term
closed in this convention he was appointed by Congress--"A minister
plenipotentiary for negotiating a treaty of peace and a treaty of
commerce with Great Britain." In Oct. 1779, he embarked from Boston. The
passage was boisterous, it being February before he arrived at Paris.
Chagrin and pride prevented the British ministry from at once placing
themselves on an equality with our own. The negotiation, on their part,
commenced with equivocations. Mr. Adams could not be ensnared and was
determined to submit to nothing wrong and left them to farther

On learning that Mr. Laurens, American commissioner to Holland, had been
captured, Mr. Adams repaired to that kingdom. In August he received a
commission from Congress to negotiate a loan--to conclude a treaty of
amity and commerce and to accede to any treaty of neutral rights that
might arise from regulations to be made by a congress of the European
states then in contemplation. In a few months he was overwhelmed with
important duties. Minister to Great Britain--to the States General of
Holland--to all the European states for pledging the United States to
the armed neutrality--with letters of credit to the Russian, Swedish and
Danish envoys in Holland and a commissioner to negotiate a loan of ten
millions of dollars for the support of the Home department and foreign
embassies. All these duties he discharged with skill and approbation, a
lasting monument of the gigantic powers of his mind. At every point he
encountered intrigue which he uniformly discovered and crushed in

In July, 1781, he was directed to repair to Versailles to make a further
attempt at negotiation with England. The terms offered did not fully
recognize the rights of the United States as an independent nation.
Peace was desirable and ardently urged by the Duke de Vergennes, who was
the head and front of the French cabinet. Mr. Adams was anxious for
peace--but only on just, dignified and honorable terms. The Duke, who
had uniformly manifested a disposition to make the United States _feel_
a dependence on France, dictated to Mr. Adams, placing him in the
position of a subordinate agent. This was a _French_ bull. Mr. Adams
recognized no dictator but the Continental Congress and his own keen
perception and penetrating judgment. This independence of the American
minister enraged the Duke. He wrote to the minister of France in the
United States to lay a formal complaint before Congress against the
recusant for insubordination. This the minister did ingeniously but not
successfully. As a matter of respect for their new and important ally,
Congress partially modified the instructions of Mr. Adams but did not
place him under the dictation of the Duke as requested. They knew the
granite man too well to suppose he would ever compromise the dignity of
his country. They had full confidence in his capacity to perceive
right--in his moral courage to enforce it.

From all the evidence in the premises I am fully convinced that the
motives of the French _Court_ in aiding our country during the
revolutionary struggle, were not based on patriotism but had ulterior
objects in view. Not so with the noble La Fayette and others who came to
the rescue.

Again Mr. Adams left ministers to arrive at a second sober thought and
learn their true position. He then returned to Amsterdam.

Owing to sad reverses in the cause of freedom the French minister made
such an impression in favour of the position of the French cabinet as an
umpire between England and the United States, that congress added to the
commission of Mr. Adams--Dr. Franklin, Jefferson, Jay, and Laurens--with
the humiliating directions, "That they should govern themselves by the
advice and opinion of the ministers of the King of France." The Duke de
Vergennes was elated with triumph. He was virtually made sovereign
minister of the United States. This act is the darkest spot upon the
proud escutcheon of the Continental Congress--an act that I would gladly
"expunge from the record." No full apology can be found. The tremendous
revolutionary tornado that was then sweeping over our country, charged
with the dismaying materials of terror, is a _partial_ one and the true
cause of this quailing error.

The exultation of the Duke was transient. Adams and Franklin were there,
masters of ceremony. They dared to disobey instructions believing they
had been improperly extorted by an intriguing and designing court. They
at once took a bold stand and were promptly sustained by their
colleagues and ultimately by congress, to which Adams communicated the
chicanery of the Duke and the duplicity, or rather the _toolicity_ of
the French minister in the United States. The result was glorious. An
honourable peace was obtained--the dignity of our nation preserved. A
provincial treaty was signed at Paris on the 30th of November, 1782 and
a definitive treaty on the 3d day of September, 1783 and all without the
advice or consent of the Duke de Vergennes, whose golden schemes of
finesse proved abortive. He addressed a bitter letter of reproach to the
American commissioners, expressing great astonishment at their
presumption in daring to act independent of him, which was not answered.

Among the golden schemes of the court of France, two are worthy of
particular note. 1. To secure to France and Spain the fisheries of the
United States. 2. To secure the perpetual and uninterrupted navigation
of the Mississippi. Very modest. Other propositions were made, equally
absurd, all of which form an unanswerable excuse for our commissioners
in disobeying instructions.

After the important commission of concluding peace with England was
completed, Mr. Adams returned to Holland where he had negotiated a loan
of eight millions of guilders in September, 1782, which was one of the
means of terminating the war by enabling the United States to prosecute
it with more vigor. It had a direct influence on England, inducing Lord
Shelburne to make proposals of peace soon after this was known.

During the same year he was placed at the head of a commission empowered
to negotiate commercial treaties with all foreign nations. He returned
to Paris where he met Franklin and Jefferson who were associated with
him--forming a trio of combined, versatile and exalted talent--never
surpassed if ever equalled.

In 1785 Mr. Adams was appointed the first minister to Great Britain
after the acknowledgment of the Independence of the United States. He
was received with marked attention and courtesy so far as courtly
etiquette was concerned but found the ministry morose and bitter towards
the new Republic. They seemed disposed to treat the peace as a mere
truce between the two nations. Mr. Adams performed the delicate duties
of his station with great sagacity and wisdom--patiently removing
subsisting difficulties. Nor did he forget the internal interests of his
country at home. To win independence was _one_ thing--to preserve it
_another_ and more important matter. The theories of a Republican form
of government by Thurgot and others, had been freely circulated in the
United States. These he deemed wild and visionary. This was proved by
the transient existence of the first French Republic and has been more
fully demonstrated recently in Europe and South America. More success
might attend these experiments, even with imperfect skeletons of a free
government were the people as well prepared to receive it as were the
colonists at the time of the American Revolution. _Intelligence and
primitive Christianity must pervade the mass._ The European pioneers
came to this country with the bible in their hands and based our
government upon its eternal principles, where it will securely rest
until ignorance darkens intellect and the bible is banished. Let _all_
read its plain truths, teaching, as they do, freedom in religion,
freedom of conscience--pointing us to our high origin and final
destiny--then our Republic cannot be destroyed by kingly influence,
aristocratic corruption, ultra fanaticism, reckless demagogues, or
heartless politicians. Troubles have arisen, now exist, may continue to
occasionally break out--but they ever have been and I trust ever will be
confined to a small portion of the great and accumulating mass--_the
bone and sinew of our beloved country_.

To strip from these delusive theories of a free government their
sophistry, Mr. Adams published a learned and able disquisition on
Republican constitutions which became a polar star to his own country
and operated powerfully in correcting error and allaying prejudices in
England adverse to the United States. His "DEFENCE OF THE CONSTITUTION"
placed him on a lofty literary eminence in view of the _literati_ of

In 1788 he obtained permission to return home and in the autumn of that
year was elected the first Vice President of the United States. He
became the confidential counsellor of Washington on all important
questions. He was re-elected in 1792 and in 1796 was elected President
of that Republic for which he had freely periled life, fortune and

At that time party spirit had commenced its reckless career which
afforded an example set by Adams and Jefferson worthy of all praise and
imitation. No bitterness of party spirit, no abuses from their partisans
and party press, could sever the patriotic and moral ties of friendship
that bound them together up to time death removed them from the theatre
of life. So high did party spirit rage that Mr. Jefferson thus rebuked a
clique of politicians who were hurling slanders against Mr. Adams.

"Gentlemen, you do not know that man. There is not upon earth a more
perfectly honest man than John Adams. Concealment is no part of his
character. Of that he is utterly incapable. It is not in his nature to
meditate anything he would not publish to the world. The measures of the
general government are a fair subject for difference of opinion--but do
not found your opinions on the notion that there is the smallest spice
of dishonesty, moral or political, in the character of John Adams for I
know him well and I repeat--that a man more perfectly honest never
issued from the hands of the Creator." Demagogues--read the above just
encomium upon his opponent by a candidate for an office--then search for
a parallel case of magnanimity among modern politicians--if you find
one, proclaim it to the people of our vast country that they may be
convinced a true patriot is in our midst--a lump of genuine salt in the
body politic.

Mr. Adams proceeded to the conscientious and independent discharge of
his presidential duties, prompted by the best motives for the good and
glory of the infant Republic. He was an open, frank old-school
federalist. During his administration the ranks of the democratic party
increased rapidly, which defeated his re-election. Much has been written
and more said relative to the causes that produced his political
overthrow. To my mind the solution is plain and brief. His cabinet was
not of his own choice--he was too independent to bend to party
intrigue--he opposed the humiliating demands of the then self-styled
democratic France--he advocated the augmentation of the navy of the
United States and recommended the law for the suppression of the
venality of the press. In the two first points he was impolitic as the
head of a party--in the two next he did what all now acknowledge to be
right in principle. On the last, he took the wrong method to correct an
evil that has caused unceasing trouble from that time to the present--an
evil that will ever exist in a government like ours, because, in
annihilating this, we should destroy an essential part of our political
machinery--A FREE PRESS. The three last were the strong points seized
upon by his opponents, which enabled them to achieve an easy victory. He
retired with a good grace on the best of terms with his successful
opponent and his own conscience. He supported the policy of Mr.
Jefferson towards England and approved of the declaration of war in June
1812. He attributed the opposition of the eastern states to the impolicy
of our government in neglecting the navy. He compared them to Achilles,
who, in consequence of his being deprived of Briseis, withdrew from the
Grecian confederacy. The increase of the navy was a long-nursed theory
of his national policy. Had his views been carried out by our country,
our nation would now have been mistress of the seas. As it is, we have
scarcely armed vessels enough to protect the expanding commerce of our
enterprising merchants--a fact that is often tauntingly referred to by
Englishmen and has often crimsoned the cheeks of liberal-minded
Americans. If all the money that has been expended within the last
twenty years in worse than useless legislation and speech-making
throughout these United States had been appropriated in building ships
of war, our navy would now be larger than that of Great Britain. Add
what has gone into the hands of peculators since the formation of our
Republic--it would sustain that navy for thirty years. Some of our
people have been occasionally a little _too_ free.

Soon after his retirement from the presidential chair, Mr. Adams was
solicited to become the governor of his native state, which he declined
on account of his advanced age. In 1817 he was placed at the head of the
list of presidential electors. In 1820 he was elected president of the
convention that revised the constitution that he had written forty years
previous. The compliment was duly appreciated by him but his infirmities
did not permit him to preside. He imparted much counsel and rendered
special aid in the revision. This was the last public act of this great
man. Two years before this, the partner of his bosom had gone to her
final rest--an affliction most keenly felt by him. She was a
Christian--to know was to love her.

Surrounded by friends who delighted to honor him--his country prosperous
and happy--enjoying the full fruition of divine grace which had produced
the green foliage of piety through a long life--political animosities
buried in oblivion--his now frail bark glided smoothly down the stream
of time until the fiftieth anniversary of Independence dawned upon our
beloved country. On the morning of the 4th of July 1826, an unexpected
debility seized him but no one supposed he was standing on the last inch
of his time. He was asked for a sentiment to be given for him at the
celebration on that day. "INDEPENDENCE FOREVER," burst from his dying
lips, which were the last words he ever uttered with a loud and animated
voice. He expired about four in the afternoon without a groan, sigh,
murmur or apparent pain, with a full assurance of a happy reception in
that brighter world where sin and sorrow never interrupt the peaceful
joys of the angelic throng.

On the same day and but a few hours previous, the immortal spirit of the
illustrious Jefferson had left its tenement of clay, thrown off its
mortal coil and returned to Him who gave it. Perhaps these kindred
spirits met in mid air and ascended together to an ecstatic meeting with
the friends they had loved and lost and whom they should gain, love and
never lose.

This unparalleled coincidence in death produced a deep sensation in the
United States and in Europe. The simultaneous departure of two of the
noblest spirits that ever graced the theatre of human life--illuminating
the world with freedom--whose acts had elicited the admiration of all
civilized nations--whose mighty deeds will be a theme of praise through
all time--was an incident that seemed designed by the great Jehovah to
impress their precepts--their examples and their names upon the minds of
the human family with all the force of Divinity.

Mr. Adams was a plain man, low in stature, not graceful in his
movements--at times rather repulsive. In public he was austere but in
the social circle, familiar, pleasing and instructive. He disliked
formal ceremony and abhorred pedantry. He admired and exemplified strong
common sense. He spoke his sentiments freely and could not have been
transformed into a modern _technical_ politician. His open frankness was
proverbial. He called it one of his failings. When looking at Stuart's
fine paintings, he fixed his eyes upon the portrait of Washington with
compressed mouth--then upon his own, with open lips, and facetiously
remarked--"Ah! that fellow never could keep his mouth shut." Such a man
never can be a _popular_ politician as the writer knows from experience.

The highest eulogy that can be pronounced upon John Adams is the history
of his bright and useful career. For more than half a century he served
our country ably and faithfully. He continued to impart salutary counsel
until the curtain of death closed the scene.

In all the relations of private life he was too pure for the palsying
touch of slander. The foulest of all pestiferous atmospheres--party
spirit--could not, _dare_ not approach his private character with its
damning miasma or impute to his public action an iota of political
dishonesty or impurity of motive. If any demagogue dares to contradict
this position, let him hear the voice of Jefferson from the tomb--"AN


Many of the sages and heroes of the American Revolution were consistent
and devoted Christians--some of them eminent ministers of the gospel of
Christ. They all were evidently actuated by motives of purity, prompted
by the demands of imperious duty based upon the inalienable rights of
man. They had no innate love of military glory aiming only at conquest.
Their pilgrim fathers fled front servile oppression--planted the
standard of FREEDOM in the new world--spread civilization over our happy
land and transmitted the rich behest to their children. With the
principles of rational liberty each succeeding generation was made
familiar. When tyranny reared its hydra head, the monster was readily
recognized. The people were prepared to drive the invading foe from
their shores.

Samuel Adams was one of the revolutionary sages who boldly espoused the
cause of equal rights. He was born in Boston, Mass. on the 22d of Sept.
1722. His parents were highly respectable. His father was long a member
of the Assembly of Massachusetts, from whom this son imbibed those
liberal principles which he so fearlessly and successfully vindicated
during his subsequent life. In childhood he exhibited a strong inquiring
mind--talents of a high order. He was prepared for college by Mr.
Lovell. His application to study was close--his progress rapid. His
highest pleasure was found in his books. Being naturally sedate, his
father placed him in Harvard College, believing him destined for the
gospel ministry. In that institution he advanced rapidly in science and
in favor. During his whole course he was reproved but once and that for
sleeping too late. In conjunction with other studies he had thoroughly
investigated theology. The affairs of state had also occupied his mind.
When he graduated, he chose for his subject of discussion the following
question. "_Is it lawful to resist the supreme magistrate if the
commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved?_"

His hearers were astonished at the masterly manner he advocated the
affirmative of this bold proposition. With enrapturing eloquence and
convincing logic, he painted in vivid colors the beauties of that
liberty for which he so nobly contended during the Revolution. From that
time he became a prominent politician--an advocate of equal rights--a
stern opposer of British wrongs.

By rigid economy during his time in college he had saved a sum of money
from that allowed him by his father to defray expenses. This first fruit
of his pecuniary prudence he sacrificed upon the altar of Liberty. With
it he published a pamphlet from his own pen entitled--"The Englishman's
Rights." This was one of the entering wedges of the Revolution. It
awakened a spirit of inquiry--kindled a flame of opposition to the
increasing oppression of the crown. It did great credit to the head and
heart of this devoted patriot then dawning into manhood.

Anxious that his son should embark in some business his father placed
him in the counting-house of Thomas Cushing, an eminent merchant, that
he might be prepared for commercial business. For this sphere nature had
not designed him. Political knowledge, international law and the rights
of man engrossed his mind. To this end he formed a club of kindred
spirits for the purpose of political inquiry and discussion. They
furnished political essays for the Independent Advertiser which were so
severe in their strictures upon the conduct of the creatures of the
crown, that the association obtained the name of "Whipping Post Club."
The hirelings of the King treated these essays with derision--upon the
people they exerted an influence that prepared them for the approaching
crisis. Stamped with plain truth, sound reasoning, uncontroverted
facts--they operated upon British power like the sea-worm upon a
vessel--silently and slowly but with sure destruction. They contributed
largely in perforating each plank of the proud ship of monarchy, then
riding over the American colonies, until she sank to rise no more.

After remaining a suitable time with Mr. Cushing, his father furnished
him with a liberal capital with which he commenced business. Owing to
the pernicious credit system he lost all his stock in trade. By the
death of his father he was left, at the age of twenty-five, to take
charge of the paternal estate and family. In the discharge of that duty
he proved himself competent to manage pecuniary matters. The estate was
involved and under attachment--he relieved it entirely from debt. This
done he again spent the most of his time in disseminating liberal
principles. He was a keen sarcastic writer--analyzed every point at
issue between our own and the mother country--exposed the British
ministry in their corrupt and corrupting policy and roused the
indignation of the populace against their oppressive measures. He was
hailed as one of the boldest leaders of the whig party.

No man had examined more closely or understood better the relative
situation of Great Britain and her American Colonies. He weighed every
circumstance in the scale of reason--based his every action upon the
sure foundation of immutable justice. He was not impetuous--appealed to
the judgment of his hearers and readers--sought to allay--not to excite
the passions of men. He was a friend of order--opposed to sudden bursts
of popular fury--to every thing that could produce riotous and
tumultuous proceedings. Religion, in its pristine purity, was ever his
polar star.

Organized and systematic opposition against the unwarranted
encroachments of the crown, emanating from the great majority of the
sovereign people was his plan. Petitions, remonstrances--every thing
consistent with the dignity of man to be resorted to before an appeal to
arms. If this was rebellion it was in a very modified form.

When the offensive Stamp Act was proclaimed he exposed its odious
features with unsurpassed severity and boldness. When the climax of
oppression was capped by the imposition of taxes upon articles of daily
consumption he believed forbearance no longer a virtue and openly
advocated resistance as an imperious duly. He demonstrated fully that
Great Britain had violated the constitution. Americans had vainly
claimed protection under its banner--its sacred covering was rudely
snatched from over them--they were left exposed to foreign officers who
were drawing them closer and more effectually within the coils of
tyranny. To be _slaves_ or _freemen_ was the question.

Being a member of the assembly and clerk of the house, Mr. Adams
exercised an extensive and salutary influence. With great zeal he united
prudence and discretion. From 1765, to the time he took his seat in
congress he was a member of the state assembly. He had exerted the
noblest powers of his mind to prepare the people for the approaching
storm and had kindled a flame of patriotic fire that increased in volume
as time rolled on. He was the first man who proposed the non-importation
act--the committees of correspondence and the congress that assembled at
Philadelphia in 1774. He corresponded with the eminent patriots of the
middle and southern states and contributed largely in producing unity of
sentiment and concert of action in the glorious cause of liberty
throughout the colonies. Over his own constituents his influence was
complete. At the sound of his voice the fury of a Boston mob would
cease. He could lead it at pleasure with a single hair. The people know
well he would maintain what was clearly right and willingly submit to
nothing clearly wrong.

When the affray occurred on the 5th of March, 1770, between the British
soldiers and citizens, the influence of Samuel Adams prevented the
further effusion of blood _after_ the populace had become roused and
were on the point of avenging the death of their friends who had just
fallen. He obtained the immediate attention of the assembled enraged
multitude--proposed the appointment of a committee to wait on the
governor and request the immediate removal of the troops. His plan was
approved--a committee appointed of which he was chairman. The governor
at first refused to grant the request. The chairman met all his
objections fearlessly--confuted them triumphantly and told him plainly
that an immediate compliance with the wishes of the people would alone
prevent disastrous consequences and that he would be held responsible
for the further waste of human life. The governor finally yielded.

Mr. Adams was one day surprised by a message from Gov. Gage communicated
through Col. Fenton, offering him what modern truckling politicians
would call a great inducement to _change_ and in case he refused, to
inform him he would be arrested and sent beyond the seas there to be
tried for high treason. To the last part of the message he listened with
most attention and asked Col. Fenton if he would truly deliver his
answer. Receiving an affirmative assurance Mr. Adams rose from his
chair, assumed an air of withering contempt and said--"I trust I have
long since made my peace with the KING OF KINGS. No personal
consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my
country. Tell Gov. Gage it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him--_no
longer to exasperate the feelings of an insulted people_." This reply
roused the ire of the royal governor and when he subsequently issued a
proclamation offering a free pardon to those rebels who would return to
what _he_ termed their duty he expected Samuel Adams and John
Hancock--the highest compliment within his power to bestow on the two
patriots. They received this mark of distinction as a special commission
from the throne directing their future course--a royal diploma of
liberty that left them as free as mountain air in their future action.

No bribe could seduce--no threat divert Mr. Adams from the path of duty.
He placed his trust in the Rock of Ages--enjoyed the rich consolations
of an approving conscience--the unlimited confidence of his friends, the
approbation of every patriot. These were more dearly prized by him than
all the dazzling honors of kings and potentates. He became an object of
vengeance and was the immediate cause of the memorable battle at
Lexington on the 19th of April 1775--the troops sent being in pursuit of
him and John Hancock. Apprised of their mission Gen. Joseph Warren sent
an express late in the evening to the two patriots warning them of
approaching danger. In a few minutes after they had left, the British
troops entered the house which they had just emerged from. In a few
ominous hours the crimson curtain rose--the revolutionary tragedy
commenced. The last maternal cord was severed--the great seal of the
original compact was broken--the covenants of the two parties were
cancelled in blood.

Mr. Adams remained in the neighborhood during the night. The next
morning, as the sun rose without an intervening cloud, he remarked to a
friend, "This is a glorious day for America." He viewed the sacrifice
as an earnest of ultimate success and future blessings.

To rouse the people to action now became the sole business of this
devoted friend of his bleeding country. The grand signal for action had
been given--the tocsin of war had been sounded--the requiem of battle
had been sung--its soul-stirring notes had been wafted far and wide on
the wings of wind and were responded to by millions of patriotic hearts.

Mr. Adams mourned deeply the death of his friends, the martyrs of that
tragical but auspicious day. He knew well that martyrs must be
sacrificed and that the funeral knell of those who had just fallen would
shake British colonial power to its very centre. He believed their blood
would cry to Heaven for vengeance and incite the hardy sons of
Columbia's soil to vigorous and triumphant action. The event added new
strength to his propulsive powers and doubly nerved him to meet the
fiery trials in reserve for him. As dangers increased he became more
urgent for the people to maintain their rights. As the wrath of his
enemies waxed hotter he was more highly appreciated by the people and
was uniformly styled--_Samuel Adams the Patriot_. His fame and influence
strengthened under persecution, his friends were animated by his
counsels, his foes were astounded and chagrined at the boldness of his
onward career. In the Assembly he effected the passage of a series of
resolutions deemed treasonable by the royal governor.

In the Congress of 1776 he was among the first to advocate the
Declaration of Independence--contending that it should have followed
immediately after the battle of Lexington. In all his debates he was
earnest and zealous but not rash--ardent and decisive but wise and
judicious. When the Declaration of Rights was adopted he affixed his
name to that important instrument without the least hesitation although
he stood proscribed by the royal power.

During the darkest periods of the Revolution he was calm and cheerful
and did much to reanimate the desponding. In 1777 when Congress was
obliged to fly to Lancaster and a dismal gloom hung over the cause of
the patriots like a mantle of darkness several of the members were in
company with Mr. Adams lamenting the disasters of the American arms,
concluding that the chances for success were desperate. Mr. Adams
promptly replied--"If this be _our_ language, they are so indeed. If
_we_ wear long faces they will become fashionable. Let us banish such
feelings and show a spirit that will keep alive the confidence of the
people. Better tidings will soon arrive. Our cause is just and
righteous. We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we show ourselves
worthy of its aid and protection." At that time there were but
twenty-eight members in Congress. Mr. Adams said--"It was the _smallest_
but _truest_ Congress they ever had."

Soon after that dark period the surrender of Burgoyne was announced
which proved a panacea for long faces and put a new aspect upon the
cause of Liberty. Many recovered from a relapsed state--hearts beat more
freely, courage revived from a typhoid stupor--the anchor of hope held
the ship of state more firmly to her moorings.

The arrival of Lord Howe and Mr. Eden with what _they_ termed the olive
branch of peace from Lord North, added to the excitement. Mr. Adams was
one of the committee to meet these high functionaries. On examining the
terms proposed, the committee found that the proposed _olive branch_ had
been plucked from the Bohun Upas of an overbearing and corrupt ministry
and promptly replied through Mr. Adams--"Congress will attend to no
terms of peace that are inconsistent with the honor of an independent
nation." This reply was as unexpected to the royal messengers as it was
laconic and patriotic. The grand Rubicon had been passed--the galling
chains had been thrown off--the Sodom of British power was doomed and
nothing could induce the sages and heroes of '76 to look back or tarry
on the plain of monarchy. Lord Howe and his colleague had permission to
return--report progress of locomotion and walk again. Mr. Adams
continued one of the strong pillars in the rising temple of liberty
until the superstructure was completed--recognized and approved by the
mother country and all Europe.

In 1787 he was a member of the convention of Massachusetts convened to
act upon the Federal Constitution. He did not fully approve of some of
its provisions but avoided opposition believing it to be the best policy
to adopt it, subject to future amendments. He was most particularly
opposed to the article rendering the states amenable to the national
courts. He submitted sundry amendments that were adopted by the
convention and submitted with the Constitution for the future
consideration of Congress, some of which have since been adopted.

From 1789 to '94, Mr. Adams was lieutenant-governor of his native state
and from that time to '97, was governor. He performed the executive
duties with great ability and contributed largely in raising the
commonwealth to a flourishing and dignified condition. He watched over
all her interests with parental care--viewed her rising greatness with
an honest pride. He had seen her sons writhing under the lash of
oppression and their bones bleaching in the field. He now beheld the
people independent, prosperous, virtuous and happy. He could now be
gathered peacefully to his fathers when his time should arrive to
depart. Age and infirmity compelled him to retire from the great theatre
of public life where he had been so long conspicuous. His health
continued to fail sensibly with each returning autumn. On the 3d of
October 1803, his immortal spirit left its mansion of clay--soared aloft
on the wings of faith to mansions of bliss beyond the skies. He died
rejoicing in the merits of his immaculate Redeemer who had given him the
victory. He had fought the good fight of faith as well as that of
LIBERTY and felt a full assurance of receiving a crown of glory at the
hands of King Immanuel.

Amidst all the turmoils of political and revolutionary strife Mr. Adams
never neglected religious duty. When at home he was faithful to the
family altar and uniformly attended public worship when practicable. He
was a consistent every day Christian--free from bigotry and
fanaticism--not subject to sudden expansions and contractions of
mind--rather puritanical in his views yet charitable in his feelings and
opposed to censuring any one for the sake of opinion. He adorned his
profession by purity of conduct at all times.

Mr. Adams was of middle size, well formed, with a countenance full of
intelligence indicating firmness of purpose and energy of action. As a
public man and private citizen he was highly esteemed and richly earned
a place in the front rank of the American patriots. He placed a low
value upon wealth--died poor but not the less esteemed for his poverty
which was _then_ no crime. He placed a high value upon common school
education and _properly_ estimated the higher branches of science.
General intelligence among the great mass he considered the strongest
bulwark to preserve our independence.

As a writer Mr. Adams had few equals. His answer to Thomas Paine's
writings against Christianity is probably superior to that of any other
author. His few letters on government published in 1800, show a clear
head, a good heart and a gigantic mind.

As an orator he was eloquent, chaste, logical--rising with the magnitude
of his subject. He always spoke to the point--addressing the
understanding--not the passions.

His manners were urbane, unaffected and plain--his mode of living frugal
and temperate--his attachments strong--his whole life a golden chain of
usefulness. Let his examples be imitated by all--then our UNION will be
preserved from the iron grasp of ambitious partisans--the snares of
designing demagogues--the whirlpool of blind fanaticism--the tornado of
party spirit. Let these examples be discarded--our UNION will prove a
mere rope of sand--the temple of our LIBERTY will crumble and moulder in
the dust with SAMUEL ADAMS. O! think of this disorganizers and tremble!


Cause is treated with cold neglect by a large portion of the human
family. All gaze at effect--but few trace it to its producing original.
Especially is this true with men in forming opinions of the conduct of
their fellow-men. Petty errors are construed into crimes--petty crimes
into felonies. Often have I known this to be the case in sectarian
churches where charity was loudly professed but sparingly practised. The
causes that operated upon the erring brother may have been extenuating
but are not examined. _Away_ with him is the simultaneous cry. Kindness
might have reclaimed and saved him. Too rarely are extenuating causes
sought for--too partially are they credited when brought to light. But a
limited number stop to analyze human nature--divest themselves of
prejudice and become competent to pass an intelligent, impartial
judgment upon the conduct of others. They do not inquire how formidable
a force of temptation _they_ could vanquish if attacked by the arch
enemies of ethics and Christianity. They can never fully know their own
strength in morals until they measure arms with the foe. In the balmy
days of prosperity a man may act justly in all things and be the censor
of others. Reverses may drive this same man into great error--perhaps
crime. Keen adversity is a crucible from which but few emerge like gold
seven times tried. Charity is the specific to ameliorate these evils but
too cheap to obtain a wide circulation. Abstruse dogmas cost more labour
and by many are more highly prized.

There are crimes so flagrant that no extenuating circumstances can form
a legal excuse--crimes that blight like the sirocco--crimes so dark that
they hide the noblest deeds--the most brilliant talents--the most
towering genius--consigning the perpetrator to lasting
disgrace--enduring infamy. Treason stands high on the black catalogue.
But one traitor was found among the disciples of Christ--but one was
found among the sages and heroes of the American Revolution. That
traitor was Benedict Arnold, a Major General in the army of the
illustrious Washington.

He was a native of New London, Connecticut. At the commencement of the
struggle for liberty he resided at New Haven and was captain of a
volunteer company. When the hoarse clarion of war was sounded on the
heights of Lexington he was among the first to march his company to the
American headquarters at Cambridge where he arrived in ten days after
that painful event.

The Massachusetts authorities conferred upon him the commission of
Colonel with directions to raise 400 men and make an attempt to capture
Ticonderoga. He repaired to Castleton, Vermont, where he met Col. Allen.
On the 10th of May, 1775, this fortress surrendered at discretion. On
the 6th of September of that year he commenced his march for Canada
through the dense forest with 1000 men from New England consisting of
infantry, one company of artillery and three companies of riflemen. A
portion of his troops were obliged to return for want of provision to
sustain them all, through the wilderness. The balance endured the
severest hardships on the march and arrived at Point Levi opposite
Quebec at the end of six weeks. But from the fact that Arnold had sent a
letter forward to a friend by an Indian who betrayed his trust by giving
information of the approaching troops it is believed Quebec would have
been easily captured. To prevent this all means of crossing the river
had been removed and the fortifications put under rapid improvement. It
was not until the night of the 14th of October that he led his little
band of 700 men up the heights that had been surmounted by Wolfe and
formed them near the memorable plains of Abraham. The city had become so
well fortified that the summons to surrender was treated with contempt.
To attack with so small a force would be a reckless waste of human life.
In a few days he marched to Point aux Trembles twenty miles above Quebec
to await the coming of Gen. Montgomery who arrived on the first day of
December. A siege upon the city was immediately commenced which was
successfully resisted. On the morning of the 31st of that month a
simultaneous assault was made on two sides of the city in which
Montgomery was killed and Arnold severely wounded in the leg. Officers
and men behaved with great gallantry. No other assault was
attempted--the blockade was continued to May 1776. On the 18th of June
Arnold withdrew from Canada. He subsequently commanded the small fleet
on Lake Champlain and exhibited great skill and bravery.

In August, 1777, he relieved Fort Schuyler, then besieged by Col. St.
Leger with, an army of near 1800 men. At the battle near Stillwater on
the 19th September he fought like a tiger for four hours. After the
British had been driven within their lines in the action of the 8th of
October, Arnold pressed forward under a destructive fire and assaulted
their works, forced their entrenchments and entered their lines with a
handful of desperate followers and only retreated upon his horse being
killed and himself severely wounded again in his unfortunate leg. For
desperate bravery on the field of battle he had no superior. He seemed
enchanted with danger and infatuated with military glory. But this was
not his ruling passion. He was licentious, voluptuous, amorous and
epicurean. The want of means to fully pamper these ruinous propensities,
which had destroyed all sense of moral rectitude--solves the problem of
his treason.

Being disqualified by his wounds for field service he was put in command
of the garrison at Philadelphia. He made the house of Gov. Penn his
headquarters which he furnished in princely style and commenced a course
of extravagant living and equipage far beyond his salary. To raise funds
he laid violent hands upon all property belonging to those who did not
enter fully into the cause of the patriots. He oppressed, extorted, used
public money and properly for private purposes and made his public
accounts more than duplicate. He rushed into unsuccessful trading
speculations and made himself amenable to a series of grave charges and
was summoned to appear before the commissioners of accounts who rejected
more than half the amount of his charges against government. He appealed
to Congress whose committee confirmed the report of the commissioners
with the remark that Arnold had been allowed too much. So violent was
his language and conduct towards his superiors that he was arraigned
before a court-martial and sentenced to be reprimanded by Washington.
This sentence was sanctioned by Congress and promptly executed. His
mortification had now reached its zenith. He was bankrupt in means--his
reputation wounded--his pride lacerated. He became surcharged with fell
revenge--treason was the best panacea for that dark passion. He was
quick to see that West Point would command the most money and inflict
the deepest wound upon the cause of liberty. He suddenly professed deep
repentance and applied to the New York delegation in Congress to obtain
for him the command of that important post. Through Gen. Schuyler the
same application was made to Washington who was anxious to have his
services in the field but willing to comply with his wishes. Early in
August, 1779, Arnold repaired to the camp of Washington and made the
application in person without apparent anxiety, stating that his wounds
disqualified him for field service. With full confidence in his fidelity
he received the desired command.

It has been intimated by some writers that the plan of treason was
suggested to Arnold by an English courtesan with whom he was intimate.
It is true that he wrote to Col. Robinson of the British army upon the
subject before he applied for the command. That letter opened to him a
correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton who sanctioned the project and
probably fixed the price of the base deed. On the conclusion of these
preliminaries the traitor solicited the appointment he received. He
repaired to the garrison at West Point and opened an ostensible
mercantile correspondence with Major Andre the British agent to
consummate the nefarious plot. The names assumed were Gustavus and
Anderson. For convenience of escape the British sloop of war Vulture was
moved up the river at a distance not to excite suspicion. An interview
was arranged for the night of September 21, 1780. Andre was landed below
the garrison under a pass for John Anderson. Arnold received him at the
house of a Mr. Smith _within_ the American lines in violation of his
sacred promise not to do so to avoid the penalty of a spy--showing the
reckless daring of the traitor. The sun rose upon them before their
plans of operation were completed. Andre remained with Arnold during the
day. When ready to leave in the evening it was found the Vulture had
been compelled to move too far down the river for him to reach her with
a boat. He exchanged his regimentals for a plain suit--received a pass
from Arnold and proceeded by land for New York. On the 23d he had
proceeded so far that he felt perfectly secure when one of a militia
scout suddenly seized the reins of his bridle and brought him to a
stand. Instead of producing his pass he asked the man where he belonged.
He answered--"below." "So do I" was the response and declared himself an
English officer on urgent business and wished not to be detained. At
that moment two others of the scout came up when the spy discovered his
true position. He offered a purse of gold and his gold watch to let him
pass. To those patriot soldiers the offer was an insult. He then offered
them any amount they would name in money or dry goods, with himself as a
hostage until the amount should be received. Fortunately for the cause
of freedom, British gold could not purchase these honest men in humble
life. They had met the tempter and had moral courage to repel all his
assaults. Their virtue paralyzed the treason of the only traitor in the
American army. Let their names be handed down to posterity with profound
veneration. John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac Vanwert secured
Andre and foiled Arnold. Williams lived respected and died regretted in
my native neighborhood. Often have I heard him relate the minute
circumstances of that important capture. He claimed to be the one who
first arrested the spy. These three men proceeded to examine their
prisoner and found concealed in his boots an exact account of the
garrison at West Point in detail in the handwriting of Arnold. They took
him to Lieut. Col. Jameson who commanded the scouting parties. Anxious
to save the traitor, he persisted in the character assumed and shrewdly
asked that Arnold should be informed that Anderson was taken, who would
explain and make every thing satisfactory. The ruse succeeded--an
express was sent to the garrison which enabled Arnold to escape on board
the Vulture on the 25th of September, a few hours only before Gen.
Washington reached West Point. He proceeded to Sir Henry Clinton at New
York where he received $50,000 and the commission of brigadier general
in the British army--the price of his base treachery. Although the foul
transaction was tolerated by the English government, all honorable men
in England detested the traitor and his treason. This was frequently
manifested after his location in that country at the close of the
Revolution. Lord Lauderdale expressed his disgust on seeing Arnold
seated on the right hand of the king and exclaimed--"His majesty is
supported by a traitor." Lord Surry rose to speak in the House of
Commons and on perceiving the traitor in the gallery sat down and
exclaimed--"I will not speak while that man is in the House." In
addition to the money paid and the disgrace of associating with this
vile man--the British army lost one of its brightest ornaments in the
death of Maj. Andre. Contrary to his sacred pledge Arnold made him a spy
by taking him within the American lines. He was tried, convicted and
hung. Washington would gladly have warded off the dreadful sentence
could he have found any excuse for doing so. The law demanded the
sacrifice--it was made from the necessity of the case.

The news of Arnold's treason created surprise and indignation among the
people of his native country. At Philadelphia his effigy was made large
as life and drawn through the streets at night in a cart with a figure
of the devil at his side holding a lighted lantern to his face and the
inscription in large capitals--TRAITOR ARNOLD. The cart was followed by
a dense crowd with martial music playing the rogue's march. The
principal being absent the representative was hung and then burnt.
Arnold had become so hardened by a long indulgence in improper practices
that he was apparently steeled against all reflection upon the past.
Soon after he commenced his murderous career in the British service,
Washington remarked of him in a private letter-"I am mistaken, if, _at
this time_ Arnold is undergoing a mental hell. He wants feeling. From
some traits of his character which have lately come to my knowledge, he
seems to have been so hackneyed in crime--so lost to all sense of honor
and shame, that while his faculties still enable him to continue his
sordid pursuits there will be no time for remorse." An ingenious, bold
but unsuccessful attempt was made to abduct him from New York before the
execution of the unfortunate Andre. He made a hair-breadth escape.

The baseness of Arnold's treason was increased in blackness by his
subsequent conduct. He had the assurance to write to Washington the day
he escaped on board the Vulture, stating that he was acting for the good
of his country and requesting the commander-in-chief to protect his wife
and pass her and his baggage to him. Mrs. Arnold was immediately
forwarded to New York with her effects and those of her husband. Arnold
professed to his new companions in arms to be radically changed to a
staunch loyalist. The Declaration of Independence he declared a
treasonable paper--its authors a company of ambitious rebels seeking
power to enslave the people. He wrote a threatening letter to Washington
relative to the execution of Andre and assured him of a fearful
retaliation unless a reprieve was granted. He published an address to
the people of America fully justifying his treasonable conduct. He then
issued an artful tirade of insulting sophistry for the purpose of
inducing others to plunge into the same quagmire of disgrace with
himself--calling it a proclamation with the following caption. "To the
officers and soldiers of the Continental army who have the real
interests of their country at heart and who are determined no longer to
be the tools and dupes of Congress or of France."

All his vile paper demonstrations deepened his infamy, increasing the
boiling indignation of the American people without inducing a single one
to desert the cause of his country. To do this was a part of the
consideration of the Arnold purchase. Sir Henry Clinton was deceived by
the traitor and egregiously mistaken in the stern integrity of the
patriots. Finding his Proteus brigadier powerless over the minds of his
former companions, Sir Henry deducted $100,000 from the $150,000 which
was the stipulated price for West Point and the traitor and despatched
him to Virginia to act upon the persons and property of the obstinate
rebels. In January 1781 Arnold entered Chesapeake Bay with a protecting
naval force and landed with about 1700 men. His cruelties, ravages and
plunders along the unprotected coast could not be surpassed by a band of
practised pirates. Revenge seemed to be the motive power of his action.
During one of his predatory excursions he captured an American captain
of whom he inquired what the Americans would do with him if he fell
into their hands, to which the officer replied--"If my countrymen should
catch you I believe they would first cut off that lame leg which was
wounded in the cause of FREEDOM and bury it with the honors of war and
afterwards hang the remainder of your body in gibbets."

After returning from Virginia he was sent on an expedition against New
London where he first breathed the vital air. He landed his troops in
two detachments--one on each side of the harbor. He led one against Fort
Trumbull which could make but a feeble resistance. Fort Griswold made a
spirited defence against the other division commanded by Lieut. Col.
Eyre but was compelled to yield to an overwhelming force. When the
Americans surrendered but seven men had been killed within the
lines--after the surrender a murderous slaughter was commenced by the
British and about 100 killed and wounded. On entering the fort an
English officer inquired who commanded the garrison. Col. Ledyard
presented his sword and answered--"_I_ did--but _you_ do now." His sword
was taken by the officer and immediately plunged through his heart. In
the attack the enemy had 48 killed and 145 wounded. Arnold commenced his
favorite work of plunder--loaded and sent away 15 vessels mostly
freighted with private property--fired the place and reduced 60
dwelling-houses and 84 stores to ashes and in his haste four of his own
ships were burned. He completed this work of destruction and was absent
from New York only eight days. Such expeditions afforded the richest
aliment for the black heart of this traitor. He continued the scavenger
of the British army to the close of the war and then removed to London
where he died in 1801. To the lasting disgrace of the British government
Arnold received a liberal pension to the time of his death which is
continued to his descendants and is frequently complained of by the
British press.

With the blackness of eternal disgrace resting upon his character this
traitor has had apologists among American writers. They attribute his
treason to a want of liberality on the part of our government. I have
said the want of means to give full scope to his sordid passions was the
cause. A want of liberality does not appear upon the record. He was
allowed more than justice demanded--more than other officers under like
circumstances. He was unsound at the core--void of moral rectitude--was
proved dishonest before the commissioners of accounts--the committee of
Congress and the court-martial. His name should _then_ have been erased
from the roll of officers regardless of consequences. That would have
saved him from the treason he perpetrated--the accomplished Andre from
the scaffold and thousands from the ravages subsequently committed by
the reckless traitor. All apologies for Arnold are sophisms. His name is
stamped with a lasting infamy that blots out the noble deeds that
preceded his Lucifer-fall.


The navy of a nation is justly termed the right arm of its strength. The
life of a mariner is full of romance--often spiced with thrilling
events--sometimes fraught with danger. The sons of the main are a hardy,
noble, generous, bold class of men. None but those who have rode upon
the green mountain waves of old ocean when lashed to a foaming fury by
mighty wind, can fully appreciate the perilous service of a seaman.

The importance of increasing our navy is felt but by a few of our
legislators and not urged by them. Americans are the favorite sons of
Neptune. With shamefully limited means they have fought their way to the
temple of fame. With a maritime force far inferior to the resources and
magnitude of our prosperous and expansive country--far inferior to that
of the enemy whom they met and conquered--they have snatched the laurels
of victory from the mistress of the seas and placed them upon their own
manly brows. Had our government been as forward in providing ships of
war as our naval officers and noble tars have been in courting danger,
shedding their blood and sacrificing life in defence of the star
spangled banner--the combined forces of the old world would dread our
power more than they now respect our flag. By an equal force our seamen
cannot be conquered. History points to a long list of heroes--sons of
America--who have carved their names as high on the temple of fame as
Sidney and Nelson.

Among them is that of Joshua Barney--born in Baltimore, Maryland on the
6th day of July 1759. His father was a respectable farmer cultivating
the soil now within the city limits. His son was sent to a common school
until he was ten years of age and was then placed in a retail dry goods
store at Alexandria. In 1771 he revealed to his parents his long nursed
vision of a seaman's life. Reluctantly his father obtained for him a
place on board a pilot boat commanded by an intimate friend. After a few
months service he was apprenticed to Capt. Drisdall whose brig was bound
to Ireland. After a long and rough passage the vessel reached the cove
of Cork. From thence the Captain proceeded to Liverpool where he sold
his cargo and brig. Young Barney returned home by the way of Dublin.
Soon after his arrival his father was killed by the accidental discharge
of a pistol in the hands of a young son but seven years of age. Joshua
subsequently made a voyage to Cadiz and Genoa. In 1775 he sailed to
Italy. On arriving there the mate was discharged, the captain taken sick
which put Barney in command of the ship. He was not then sixteen years
of age.

In July of that year he joined an unsuccessful Spanish expedition
against Algiers. In October 1776 he arrived in Chesapeake Bay where he
was boarded by the officers of the British sloop of war King Fisher and
plundered of all his letters and arms. He there first received
intelligence of the battle of Bunker Hill. He was at length permitted to
proceed to Baltimore where his vessel was laid up. He had been her
captain eight months--had passed through many perils with courage and
skill that would have done credit to a man ripe in years and experience.
He had earned the fame of a skilful navigator and judicious commander.
He was not long in choosing whom he should serve for the future. He was
born a patriot. The fire of liberty illuminated his soul. Freedom
pointed him to the service of his beloved country. He was appointed
master's mate on the sloop of war Hornet under Capt. Stone. Com. Hopkins
presented him with a flag which he mounted on a staff--obtained martial
music--beat up for volunteers and in one day raised a full complement of
men for the sloop. He was the first one who unfurled the star spangled
banner in Maryland.

In November the Hornet and Wasp sailed for the Delaware to join Com.
Hopkins. The British fleet was in Hampton Roads to intercept them but
could not bag the game. On their arrival the fleet of the Commodore
consisted of two small frigates, two brigs and four sloops. With this
infant navy just bursting into life he sailed for the Bahama Island New
Providence--took the fort without opposition--secured the military
stores--treated the people and private property with due respect and
returned safely to the Delaware with his booty. Soon after his return
Barney was stationed on board the Wasp under Capt. Alexander who was
ordered to conduct the ship beyond the capes that conveyed Benjamin
Franklin to France. On its return the Wasp was closely pursued by two
British ships carrying 72 guns and escaped by running into Wilmington
creek. The next morning Com. Hazelwood went down from Philadelphia with
several row gallies and boldly attacked the Englishmen which enabled the
Wasp to come out and take part in the action. This little schooner stung
the British brig Tender so severely that she surrendered in a short
time and was immediately taken to the Jersey shore. On his return to
join the games amidst a dense fog, Capt. Alexander came in close contact
with the fleet of the enemy. He met with a warm reception and returned
the salutation promptly and effectually. After an exchange of the most
impressive compliments he returned to the gallies. A brisk fire was kept
up during the day which convinced the creatures of the crown that the
infant navy was not to be trifled with. During the action young Barney
went on board another vessel that was not fully manned. His bold and
noble daring on that occasion elevated him in the esteem of his
superiors and companions in arms. Robert Morris, then President of the
Marine Committee, presented him with a lieutenant's commission and put
him in command of the sloop of war Sachem. He was then but seventeen
years of age. Shortly after receiving his commission Lieut. Barney
participated with Capt. Robinson in a severe action of two hours which
resulted in the capture of an English brig. A large sea turtle, designed
as a present to Lord North, was one of the delicacies of the prize. It
was presented to Robert Morris. In a few days after his return Lieut.
Barney spread the canvas of his little craft in company with the Andrew
Dorin with fourteen guns and the Lexington--all under the command of
Capt. Barry and sailed for the West Indies. On their return they fell in
with the British sloop of war Race Horse--tender to Admiral Parker's
fleet, which he had sent out from Jamaica on purpose to capture these
American "small craft." After a sanguinary action of two hours the
English nag was cut in pieces, distanced and surrendered at discretion.
Shortly after that brilliant victory the British sloop of war Snow was
captured and Lieut. Barney placed on board as prize-master. He was
overtaken by a gale that threatened to land all hands in Davy Jones'
locker--was badly crippled and captured by the Perseus of twenty guns.
During the passage young Barney was insulted by the purser of the
Perseus and knocked him down the hatchway for which he was commended by
the British captain. On their arrival at Charleston an exchange of
prisoners took place which enabled Lieut. Barney to return to
Philadelphia with fresh laurels on his youthful brow.

In the spring of 1777 he joined the squadron for the defence of the
Delaware composed of the Delaware--32 guns--the Sachem, Andrew Dorin and
several smaller vessels--all under the command of Com. Hazelwood. They
were stationed near Fort Mifflin and bravely maintained their position
until the next autumn when the little fleet and fort were compelled to
yield to a superior force. Lieut. Barney was then ordered on board the
frigate Virginia at Baltimore commanded by Capt. Nicholson. In an
attempt to run her to sea at night the pilot brought up on the opposite
shore where she and her crew fell an easy prey to the enemy. In August
the ensuing year Lieut. Barney was exchanged--proceeded to
Baltimore--took command of a small schooner with two guns and eight men
and was again captured in an attempt to run out of Chesapeake Bay. He
was soon exchanged and joined his old friend Capt. Robinson at
Alexandria on board a vessel with 12 guns, 35 men and but a small supply
of ammunition. On the third evening after leaving port they fell in with
the British privateer Rosebud--fully manned and eager for action. A
running fight was continued during the night. Daylight revealed a rapid
opening and expansion of the Rosebud--she hauled off with 47 of her men
killed and wounded. Capt. Robinson had none killed and but one man
wounded. He then sailed to Bordeaux--mounted eighteen guns--shipped 70
men--took in a cargo of brandy and sailed for home. On his way he
captured a valuable prize--placed it in charge of Lieut. Barney who
arrived with it at Philadelphia in October 1779. He was received with
great enthusiasm and applause. Lavished praises did not inflame his
youthful mind. Vanity had no resting-place in his noble soul. Pomp and
parade had no charms for him. He bore his prosperity with the calm
dignity of a Socrates. He steered clear of the alluring quicksands of
vice--the rocks of sinful pleasure on which many young men founder and
are lost forever. His manly conduct gained the esteem of the great and
good--his fame was based on substantial merit. Familiarity with scenes
of blood and carnage--the rage of battle and the clash of arms did not
enervate the exalted powers of his refined sympathies and softer
passions. These were commingled with those of an accomplished daughter
of Alderman Bedford of Philadelphia and were consolidated in one at the
hymeneal altar before he left the city of brotherly love. After basking
in the rays of the honey-moon for a few days he proceeded to Baltimore.
On the way his money was stolen from the box of his carriage where he
thought it more safe than in his pocket. He returned to
Philadelphia--concealed his loss--went to sea in the Saratoga of 16 guns
under Capt. Young.

Their first prize was a vessel carrying 12 guns. In a short time they
came in contact with an English ship mounting 32 guns with 90 men
accompanied by two brigs. Under the disguise of British colors Capt.
Young ran alongside the ship. In a few brief moments the star spangled
banner was floating in the breeze upon the three English vessels.
Lieutenant Barney was put in charge of one of them. Becoming separated
from the others he was captured by the seventy-four Intrepid commanded
by Capt. Malloy and treated with great cruelty. On arriving at New York
Lieut. Barney and 70 other prisoners were placed on board the ship of
war Yarmouth by Admiral Rodney. They were confined under five decks in a
dark filthy apartment but three feet between floors--twelve feet by
twenty in area and ordered to England. They were 53 days performing the
passage. Eleven of the prisoners died on the way--the survivors were
scarcely able to walk. They were covered with vermin and when landed
could not bear the light for some time. They were sent to Mill prison
where they found nearly three hundred of their fellow-countrymen sharing
the same tender mercies with themselves. Soon after this new accession
of rebels preparations for escape were discovered. Lieut. Barney was
suspected--loaded with heavy irons and thrown into a dungeon for thirty
days. By the assistance of a soldier he made his escape from prison on
the 18th of May 1781--was discovered and remanded. In a second attempt
he succeeded--visited Bristol, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the
Hague. He reached Philadelphia in March 1782 amidst the heart-felt
congratulations of his family and numerous friends. His sufferings had
been aggravated and heart-rending. He had almost tasted death. The
barbarous treatment of the American prisoners on board the English
prison-ships is without a parallel. It has left a stigma on the
Christian escutcheon of the British nation that time or angels' tears
can never expunge--a foul blot, lasting as the pages of history. My
strong language may be excused when I inform the reader that one out of
eight of my patriot uncles was literally suffocated and starved to death
on one of those ships in the port of New York. Were I to draw a full
picture of the demoniac cruelties heaped upon the American prisoners in
the loathsome dungeons of these floating Pandemoniums--a horror too
painful to be borne would oppress the aching heart of the reader.

As a manifestation of the high value placed upon the services of young
Barney, the State of Pennsylvania presented him with a captaincy and
placed him in command of the Hyder Ally of 16 guns with 110 men. In a
few days he proceeded down the Delaware as a convoy. On the 8th of April
1782 he was anchored in Cape May road waiting for a move favorable wind.
At 10 A. M. he discovered four vessels making all sail towards him. On
nearing they proved to be a British frigate, ship, brig and sloop of
war. About noon the frigate made for Cape Henlopen channel--the other
vessels steering for Cape May. Capt. Barney weighed anchor and sailed
up the bay to elude pursuit. At 1 P. M. the ship and brig came into the
bay by Cape May channel--the frigate coming round under Cape Henlopen.
The following account of the action is from a gentleman who was a
volunteer on board the Hyder Ally.

"At one P. M. prepared for action--all hands to quarters. At three
quarters past one the brig passed us after giving us two fires. We
reserved our fire for the ship then fast coming up. We received very
little, damage from the brig which stood after our convoy. She mounted
16 guns and was formerly the Fair American privateer commanded by Capt.
Decatur and equal to us in force. At 2 P. M. the ship ranged upon our
starboard quarter and fired two guns at us. We were then at good pistol
shot. We attempted to run her on board by laying her across the
starboard bow--at the same time poured in our broadside from great guns
and small arms. Our fire was briskly kept up for twenty-six minutes when
she struck her colors. Immediately sent our first lieutenant on board
and stood up the bay--the frigate being in chase under all sail and the
brig ahead in pursuit of our convoy. We again prepared for action and
stood for the brig. On perceiving this she tacked for the frigate and
got aground. We were obliged to pass her as the frigate was gaining upon
us. At 4 P. M. the frigate came to anchor in the bay--as we supposed for
want of a pilot. We then spoke the prize for the first time and learned
that she was his majesty's ship Gen. Monk--Capt. Rodgers--with 20
_nine_-pounders--136 men of whom 30 were killed and 53 wounded,
including 15 out of 16 officers." The Hyder Ally had four killed and
eleven wounded--mounted 12 _six_ and 4 _nine_-pounders--a little more
than half the weight of metal carried by the Gen. Monk--with a crew of
110 men and 5 volunteers who went on board as a matter of recreation.
Capt. Barney proceeded to Philadelphia with his prize--treating his
conquered foe with great kindness, soaring above retaliation for the
recent base treatment he had received when a prisoner.

On his arrival at Philadelphia the welkin rang with plaudits of praise
from the multitude who hailed him as one of the deliverers of their
oppressed country. For his gallantry the legislature of Pennsylvania
voted him a splendid sword which was presented to him by the governor
with appropriate ceremonies. The General Monk was purchased by the U. S.
government--fitted for a cruise and placed in command of Capt. Barney.
He sailed for Paris in November of that year with despatches to Benjamin
Franklin. His naval fame had preceded him in France and prepared the way
for an enthusiastic reception at her proud metropolis. On his return he
brought the loan that had been obtained by Franklin for the United
States. That voyage closed his useful, adventurous, brilliant
revolutionary career.

Subsequent to the revolution Capt. Barney purchased a tract of land in
Kentucky for the purpose of a permanent residence. During 1786-7-8 he
travelled through the West, the Carolinas and Georgia. He was a strong
advocate of the Federal Constitution and freely expressed his views on
all proper occasions. In 1789 he was in poor health and joined with
another gentleman in the purchase of a brig. They sailed to Carthagena,
South America and returned by the way of Havana. In 1792 he was at Cape
Francois when the town was burned. Being on shore he was compelled to
fight his way to his ship and brought off with him about sixty
distressed women and children. On his return he was captured by an
English privateer and all his crew taken from him except his carpenter,
boatswain and cook. Three officers and eleven men were put in charge of
the prize and ordered to New Providence. Capt. Barney was treated with
cruelty because he refused to surrender the keys of his iron chest.
Having secreted several loaded guns he and his three men retook the
vessel, wounding two of the officers and compelling the Englishmen to
work the ship into Baltimore. The little sleep Capt. Barney obtained up
to the time his craft was moored at the monumental city was in his
arm-chair on the quarter-deck. The next year he repeated his visit to
Cape Francois and on his way home was captured by a British
privateer--taken to Jamaica--his ship condemned and he confined in
prison. It was acts like this that hastened the war of 1812. In 1794
Capt. Barney was again restored to his family. In company with James
Monroe he visited the transient Republic of France in 1795 and was the
bearer of the star spangled banner to the French convention. So
delighted were the members with the veteran captain that they proffered
him a command in their navy. The ensuing year he accepted the offer and
arrived at Norfolk with two frigates where he was a long time blockaded
by a British squadron. He offered to measure skill with an equal force
which was prudently refused. In 1800 he surrendered his command without
having had an action with the enemy. In 1805 he declined the offered
command of the Navy Yard at Washington. In 1806-8 he was an unsuccessful
candidate for Congress--the interests of party having become paramount
to the substantial merit and righteous claims of a candidate who was not
_politically available_ although covered with scars and wounds received
in the purchase of our liberty--endowed with sterling talents matured
by cool reflection and long experience--with a pure and honorable
reputation in all respects--deficient in one thing only--_a political
gum-elastic conscience_.

In 1812 he removed to Elkridge with his family. On the declaration of
war against Great Britain in June of that year he was immediately called
into service. He was first commissioned to cruise in a privateer and
succeeded in speedily capturing eighteen British vessels--several of a
superior force to his. In 1813 he was invited to take command of the
armed flotilla in Chesapeake Bay. On his arrival at Washington he was
surprised to find a letter to the Secretary of the Navy from a merchant
in Baltimore derogatory to his character. He at once called the writer
to an account and settled the matter by the inverse rule of _false_
honor by probing his breast with a blue pill which did not prove mortal.
With the rank of Commodore, Barney took command of the flotilla in the
spring of 1814. It consisted of twenty-six barges and nine hundred men.
He first intended attacking the enemy at Tangier Island. On his way he
met the British squadron off Patuxet and was compelled to run in there.
During the summer he annoyed the enemy constantly--captured several of
their smaller vessels and several times boldly attacked their
frigates--materially injuring them--then retreating quickly into shoal
water beyond their reach. On the first of July he was called to
Washington to aid in devising the best plan of defence against the
contemplated attack by the enemy. On the 3d he returned and moved the
flotilla farther up the river. On the 16th of August the British fleet
entered the Patuxet in full force. An express was despatched to the
Secretary of the Navy apprising him of the movement. On the 21st Com.
Barney landed most of his men--marched for Washington and joined Gen.
Winder and Capt. Miller with his marines and five pieces of artillery.
The marines were put under the command of the Commodore. On the 23d the
troops were reviewed by the President and looked fine. On the 24th the
enemy halted within three miles of the American camp. Skirmishing
occurred between small advance parties. Com. Barney proceeded to the
city and took station at the marine barracks determined to defend the
bridge to the last extremity. Being advised of this the British changed
their route by way of Bladensburg. The main body of the American troops
met them there on the 25th about 11 A. M. At a late hour Com. Barney
obtained permission from the President to join them. Within a mile of
that town he found the Americans formed in irregular detached parties
engaged in battle. His troops were nearly out of breath--having
ran--not marched to the scene of action under the burning rays of an
August sun. He had scarcely formed and brought his guns to bear when the
militia broke in confusion and ran for dear life. The whole British army
then advanced upon the Spartan band of Barney. He saw no hope of
rallying the mushroom troops that were flying but determined not to be
shot on the wing himself and fill a coward's grave. He reserved his fire
until the enemy came within a few yards when a discharge of round and
grape shot left the front ranks struggling in death. A second time the
English veterans advanced--a second time their front ranks fell like
grass before a scythe. The British then left the road and approached
from another direction by fording the creek then very low. All the
so-called American troops had left the Commodore and his brave phalanx.
Still he stood his ground against an overwhelming force of the veterans
of Waterloo. Although simultaneously charged on the right and left, he
repulsed them several times with great slaughter. He had received a ball
in his thigh which was bleeding profusely. At the same time his horse
was killed under him. To add to his chagrin the mushroom militia had ran
off with his ammunition wagon. On being nearly surrounded by the enemy
and Capt. Miller severely wounded, he ordered those to retreat who were
able to do so. He was carried a few yards by three of his officers and
fell from loss of blood. Two of them he ordered to conduct the retreat
of his gallant men. Gen. Ross and Admiral Cockburn were conducted to him
and treated him kindly. They ordered him and Capt. Miller to be carried
to a house in Bladensburg where their wounds were dressed and they made
as comfortable as circumstances would permit. The British left 80 of
their killed and wounded on the battle ground--who had fallen through
the bravery of the bold sailors and marines who stood like men and
fought like lions. The Americans had 60 killed and wounded 50 of whom
were those who nobly defended the star spangled banner of the brave
Barney and Miller, showing how early in the action the shrimp militia
entered leg bail and distanced all pursuit--only ten being shot on the
wing as they were courageously flying from the field of glory. Had they
fought as did Barney and Miller with their ocean band they would have
repelled the invading foe and saved the capital of our nation from
desecration. The means for success were as formidable at Bladensburg as
at Baltimore and New Orleans.

After having committed the most wanton waste at the shamefully deserted
city of Washington Gen. Ross retreated on the 26th with a loss of over
1000 men. He could boast of having visited and devastated the capital
of a great nation filled with defenceless females and children left to
his mercy and generosity by most of their _gallant_ husbands and
fathers. The whole transaction as conducted by both armies does not
reflect the _highest_ honor on any concerned but the brave Commodore and
his companions in arms.

The day after the battle Mrs. Barney, a son and the family physician
repaired to Bladensburg to aid and comfort the Commodore. It was
impossible to extract the ball from his thigh which remained through
life. In a few days he was able to ride home in a carriage. On the 7th
of October he was so far recovered as to visit the British fleet for the
purpose of exchanging prisoners. For his gallantry on the battle ground
of Bladensburg the state of Georgia voted him hearty thanks--the city of
Washington presented him with a splendid sword. On the 15th of October
he resumed the command of the flotilla--still suffering severely from
the pressure of the ball. During the ensuing winter he prepared for a
vigorous spring campaign. Peace put an end to further military
operations. He sailed on a mission to Europe on the 25th of May 1815 and
returned on the 19th of the ensuing October. So much did his wound
disable him that he was compelled to send his despatches from Baltimore
to Washington. He was conveyed to his family at Elkridge and
subsequently removed to Baltimore.

In 1816 he visited his lands in Kentucky in company with his lady. They
were received with marked attention on their whole route. So highly
pleased were they with the noble bearing, open frankness and proverbial
hospitality of the Kentuckians, that they resolved on removing there at
the earliest time possible. In 1818 the arrangements were completed and
the journey commenced. He started his men and effects in advance and met
them at Brownsville on the Monongahela. Owing to low water he was
detained for some time before reaching Pittsburgh. At that place he was
detained from the same cause. When the water rose he went on board with
his family in the evening for the purpose of an early start the next
morning. During the night he was taken ill and was removed on shore. His
disease increased--his wounded thigh became highly inflamed--death did
its work. On the 1st day of December 1818 Com. Joshua Barney was
numbered with the silent dead. He breathed his life calmly away and
descended to the tomb in peace. He was buried by the sympathizing
citizens of Pittsburgh with all the honors of sepulture in the graveyard
of the first Presbyterian church where his remains reposed until 1849
when they were removed to the splendid Allegheny Cemetery three miles
from Pittsburgh. After the funeral obsequies were over and the widow
and her family had partially recovered from the shock of their sudden
bereavement they proceeded to their place of destination and located
upon their land in Kentucky. As a small compensation for the valuable
services of her husband, Congress granted Mrs. Barney a pension for

But few men have lived whose web of life has been filled with as many
exciting events and sudden changes as was that of Com. Barney. His was a
life of industry and usefulness without reaching the lofty summit of
fame on which many have perched whose substantial worth was inferior to
his. He discharged every duty that devolved upon him with the strictest
fidelity--with an eye single to the good and glory of his
country--without parade, pomp or vain show. Such men should elicit the
gratitude of our nation as much as those who have filled a higher rank
but have not been more useful.

In all the relations of public and private life Com. Barney stood
approved, admired and beloved. He lived respected and died regretted.


UNION--enchanting word--a harmonious euphony vibrates from its sound. It
is the most mellow word in our language. It was the watchword in Heaven
before this mighty globe was spoke into existence--its melody will be
chanted there through the rolling ages of eternity. This magic word has
rallied millions to deeds of noble daring both for good and evil. No
language thrills through the soul of a patriot like the watchword of
'76--"OUR UNION." Is this still the watchword of the great mass of the
American people?--or is the unholy leaven of _Dissolution_ working its
fearful progress from demagogues and factionists? Shall our UNION be
preserved to millions yet unborn? or will we follow in the awful wake of
nations who once were but now are not? Will the bone and sinew of our
dear America suffer patriotism to be basely strangled by party spirit
and internal dissensions? These are questions big with importance and
should be promptly answered by every friend of the UNION in a voice of
patriotic thunder that shall carry terror into the heart of every
fanatic and disorganizer in our land.

For years too little attention has been given to the mental and moral
qualifications of our legislators. _Available_ to the party has been the
watchword in most cases. Cliques nominate--electioneer and hoodwink the
dear people so that the destinies of our nation are emphatically placed
in the hands of a meagre minority and many of this minority men of just
seven principles--two loaves and five fishes. People of the United
States! awake to a sense of impending danger! Return no man to a
legislative hall whose uniform conduct has not proved him to be a pure
patriot and no one a second time who deals in billingsgate, legislates
by force of arms or favors dissolution. Unless UNION is his watchword he
cannot be trusted.

UNION was the glorious rallying word of the Sages and Heroes of the
American Revolution among whom was Josiah Bartlett born at Amesbury,
Mass. in November 1729. He was the son of Stephen Bartlett a man of
sterling merit and liberal principles. Josiah received a good academic
education which he completed at the early age of sixteen. He then
commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Ordway and pursued it with
great industry for five years. He then entered upon a successful
practice at Kingston, New Hampshire, where he gained the confidence and
esteem of the community. Two years after he commenced practice he was
reduced very low by a fever and given up by his attending physicians.
More consistent than some physicians he experimented upon _himself_ and
saved his life. He commenced taking small and frequent doses of cider--a
free perspiration ensued--the fever left and he soon recovered. From
that time he watched the indications and wants of nature more closely in
his patients and often made judicious and successful deviations from the
old beaten path of practice.

Dr. Bartlett was the first physician who boldly assumed the position
that the _angina maligna tonsillaris_ [canker] was _putrid_ and not
_inflammatory_ and first gave Peruvian bark for this distressing
disease. He also introduced the successful practice of using
antiphlogistic remedies for _cynanche maligna_ [sore throat] at that
time terrific among children--four being sometimes buried in one grave
from the same family. By the skill of this able physician this awful
scourge was checked and stripped of its terrors. These improvements in
his practice resulted from a close study and investigation of the laws
of nature, ever in operation, which may be _aided_ but never
_controlled_ by artificial means. Let doctors remember this fact and
govern themselves accordingly.

Dr. Bartlett held several important offices under Gov. Wentworth both
civil and military. Enjoying the confidence of the people he was elected
to the New Hampshire Assembly where he became a prominent opposer of the
infringements of the crown upon chartered rights. Republican blood only
flowed in his veins. With an Argus eye he watched the movements of the
British ministry and the royalists around him. In granting charters for
towns the royal governors had uniformly reserved for the ostensible use
of the Episcopal Church the cream of the location. This was one of the
bones of contention between the people and the governors. Taxation for
illegitimate purposes was the vertebra of the hated animal. In effecting
their settlements the colonists had conquered the wilderness and the
savage unaided by the mother country. They were unwilling to be robbed
of their hard earnings by those who desired to roll in luxury at their
expense. Resistance was natural--was right. Taxation and representation
are inseparable principles that cannot be divorced. They were
incorporated in the eternal code of Nature and like the Siamese twins
must journey together where intelligence and social order predominate.
Kingly power adopts the unholy aphorism that _might makes right_. Upon
this sandy foundation the British ministers based their policy towards
the American Colonies. _They_ put the Revolutionary ball in motion--its
rebounding force demolished the superstructure of their power over our
hardy ancestors. At the commencement of their oppressions, so prompt was
resistance that the king loosened the screws for a time. But under his
old preceptor, Lord Bute, backed by Lord North, he was bound to court
ruin and affiance it. Most effectually did he perform his plighted vows
which were freely sanctioned by the patriots of America.

Gov. Wentworth thought to secure Dr. Bartlett by making him a member of
the judiciary. But there was no gift within the power of monarchy that
could seduce him from the path of liberty. As the crisis was urged on by
the hirelings of the crown his opposition increased in an equal ratio. A
circumstance occurred that made him at once conspicuous. The favorite
measure of securing a majority in the Assembly at all hazards was
resorted to by the Governor. He obtained the king's writ for three new
members from towns that were then fully represented. This open violation
of the known law of the land roused the indignation of the Doctor who
carried with him others who had not before come out in favor of freedom.
The three new members were expelled--opposition to the governor rose
like a July thunder gust. He was obliged to take refuge from the popular
fury on board the man-of-war Fowey. His Excellency proceeded to annul
the power of all liberals under commission from him. By using this
air-pump too freely he produced a vacuum that caused an irreparable
collapse of his own power. The line of demarcation was drawn--the war
cry was raised.

Dr. Bartlett was elected to the Congress of 1774 but on account of the
recent destruction of his house by fire was unable to attend. In
September 1775, he took his seat and was at once placed upon several
important committees. About the same time he was made colonel of a
regiment of provincial troops. In Congress his duties were arduous. That
body met at nine in the morning and continued in session until four in
the afternoon. After that hour most of the business of the committees
was faithfully attended to. At this day of inglorious ease no one can
fully appreciate and but few bestow a thought upon the immense labor,
treasure and blood that our UNION cost. When we learn from the historic
page the difficulties that surrounded the Continental Congress--a
tremendous storm bursting over their heads--retreating before a
relentless foe from place to place--their country bleeding at every
pore--without resources--their army nearly annihilated--we are led to
wonder and admire and ask why their well formed resolutions were not
shaken when the yawning gulf of destruction seemed open to devour them.
To my mind the solution is plain. A majority of the Sages and Heroes of
that eventful period were truly pious and put their trust in Him who
directs the destinies of nations. Their trust was well founded.

In 1776 Dr. Bartlett was again a member of Congress and took a decided
stand in favor of severing the maternal cords of allegiance to the
mother country and declare the child capable of self government. Many
zealous patriots feared it was yet too weak. Much discussion occurred
and a majority pledged themselves to take the nursling in charge. On the
4th of July 1776 the contract was signed which relieved mother Britain
from further responsibility.

When the final question was taken the name of Josiah Bartlett was first
called. With his eyes raised to Heaven he responded in a loud
voice--_Yea_ and _Amen_! Echo caught the words from his lips and carried
them on wings of wind to the remotest bounds of a nation of freemen.
They ran through the dense crowd of spectators hovering around the Hall
of Independence who made the welkin ring with long and repeated
responses--_Yea_ and _Amen_!!!

Worn down by fatigue the health of the Doctor became impaired and
prevented his further attendance in Congress for two years. During that
time he was able to aid his state in organizing her new government and
in raising troops for the northern army. He served in 1778 and took a
final leave of the National Legislature that he might gather up the
scattered fragments of his ruined fortune and aid his own state in her
effort to advance the glorious cause of national freedom. He was
appointed Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and muster master of the
troops then enlisting. In 1782 he was made a justice of the Superior
Court and in 1788 was appointed Chief Justice. His marked usefulness
did not close with the war. The ushering in of peace made a false
impression upon the great mass. Few understood the herculean task of
rising from the paralysis of a seven years contest with a powerful
foe--the formation of a government entirely different from the one which
had stamped its customs upon the people. In my view the wisdom of the
sages of the revolution was more severely taxed in perfecting our system
of government than in driving the Britons from our shores. It often
requires more wisdom to retain and enjoy, than to obtain an object.

In the new work of preparing the people for the rational enjoyment of
the Independence they had achieved Dr. Bartlett took an active part.
Numerous conflicting interests were to be reconciled--an enormous debt
was to be paid--many abuses and corruptions were to be corrected--a
concert of feeling and action to be produced--the art of self government
to be acquired. Storm after storm arose that threatened to throw our
nation back into primeval darkness. It required the combined sagacity
and wisdom of the boldest sages to preserve the laurels of victory, the
trophies of freedom and the chart of our liberty. Long and arduous were
the labors that effected a confederated consolidation. During the time
this subject was under consideration several of the states were shook to
the very centre by internal commotion. That concert of feeling and
action which had carried the people through the perils of the war was
now lost in the whirlpool of self. UNION was no longer the rallying word
with the mass. Fortunately for our country those who stood at the helm
during the revolutionary storm were still at the post of duty. Reason
slowly resumed her sway--wise counsels prevailed--order was
restored--liberty was saved.

Dr. Bartlett was a member of the Convention of N. H. that adopted the
Federal Constitution and gave it his zealous support. In 1789 he was
elected to the U. S. Senate--the next year President of N. H. and in
1793 was elected the first governor of the state under the new order of
things. He enjoyed the universal esteem of his constituents and
discharged the duties of the numerous offices he filled with so much
dignity, wisdom and prudence that envy and slander could find no crevice
for an entering wedge.

Worn down with toil--old age ploughing deep furrows in his face for the
last seed time--the confines of a brighter world just before him, he
resigned his authority and closed his public career on the 29th of
January 1794, covered with living honors and not a spot to tarnish the
glory of his fair escutcheon. He then retired to private life full of
hope--anticipating the domestic enjoyments always desirable to those who
accept of public office for the sake of their country--not for the sake
of the loaves and fishes. But these long desired enjoyments were of
short duration. Disease fastened its relentless grasp upon him. On the
19th of May 1795, his happy spirit left its tenement of clay--ascended
to Him who gave it--leaving a nation to mourn the loss of one of its
brightest ornaments--one of its noblest patriots.

In his private character he fulfilled the duties of citizen, friend,
husband, father and Christian. No man was more generally esteemed--no
man more richly deserved it. In his whole life we have one of the
fairest pictures drawn upon the easel of history. His public career was
of that solid character that imparts substantial usefulness. Without
dazzling, his course was right onward in the cause of universal
philanthropy. He could look back upon a life well spent--he stood
approved at the stern tribunal of conscience. He nobly fulfilled the
design of his creation--discharged his duty to his country, his fellow
men and his God. He left examples that stand as beacon lights to erring
man to guide him safely through this vale of tears--to statesmen and
patriots to induce them to put forth their noblest powers to preserve
our UNION.


Men who forget right and abuse power often undermine the foundation of
their own citadel. In reaching after more authority and larger
enjoyments improperly, they are often shorn of what they have. Thus it
was with England when she imposed unwarranted taxes and restrictions
upon the American Colonies. Previous to the causes that produced the
Revolution the plan of an independent government was ideal and had
entered the minds of but few. With these it was only a nursling in
theory not practically anticipated. When the impolitic measures of the
British ministry were first reduced to practice the Colonists stood upon
the firm basis, the broad platform of their chartered rights clearly
defined and well understood and believed their grievances must and would
be redressed when respectful petitions should be laid before the king.
These were repeatedly forwarded to him couched in allegiate and eloquent
language to which he turned a deaf ear, thus forging the first link in
the revolutionary chain. Parliament was vainly appealed to.
Remonstrances formed the next link in this chain. These were treated
with contumely. A formal demand to desist from oppression in bold but
still respectful language--every word breathing allegiance to the king
was the third link in this chain but all to no purpose. The ministerial
horse leech cry--_give_--GIVE--GIVE--came rushing across the broad
Atlantic from Albion's shore and pierced more deeply the wounded hearts
of the imploring suppliants. Resolutions of non-importation formed the
fourth link. These were answered by threats and menaces. Preparations to
resist formed the fifth link. These resulted in an open and wanton
attack upon American citizens on the heights of Lexington when the great
seal of allegiance was dissolved in blood. The sixth link was the war
cry which roused millions to resolve on liberty or death. The
Declaration of Rights was the seventh and swivel link to the golden
chain of Liberty forged by the patriots of '76 which formed an
impassable barrier to the power of Great Britain over the colonies. The
broad ring of the Federal Constitution perfected this mighty chain which
has thus far held the ship of state safely to her moorings amidst the
storms that have been raised by foreign foes and internal traitors.

Among those who aided in forging this golden chain of Liberty was Carter
Braxton son of George Braxton a wealthy planter who resided on the north
bank of the Mattapony river, where he owned a large tract of valuable
land situated in the county of King and Queen in Virginia. At this
delightful place Carter was born on the 10th of September 1736. His
connections were numerous, wealthy and of the first respectability.
Several of them were crown officers at various periods. Carter was
raised amidst the splendor of opulence without the tender care of a
mother to correct his childish foibles or the wise counsels of a father
to guard him against the errors of youth. The former died when he was
but seven days old--the latter when he was a small boy. He was liberally
educated at the college of William and Mary. At the age of nineteen he
married the beautiful and amiable Judith Robinson who was very wealthy.
He entered into full possession of his large estate, which, united with
that of his wife, constituted a princely fortune. She survived but a
brief period leaving two daughters, the youngest but a few hours old.

Borne down by grief Mr. Braxton visited England where he remained nearly
three years and added greatly to his previous stock of knowledge. He
became familiar with the feelings and designs of that kingdom towards
his native country. His rank and fortune gave him access to the nobility
from whom he obtained much valuable information relative to the
ministerial conclave then concocting plans to support royalty in Great
Britain by forcing money from the hardy pioneers of America. Although
his relatives and friends were many of them favorites of the King and
everything around him was calculated to foster aristocracy and bind him
to those in power, he became a bold opposer of British usurpations and a
warm advocate of liberal principles and equal rights.

In 1760 he returned from Europe and was elected to the House of
Burgesses and became an active and prominent member. His knowledge of
the intentions of the mother country to impose increasing burdens upon
the Americans enabled him to fully understand every movement of the
monarchical hirelings around him. In 1765 he was in the House of
Burgesses and was a warm supporter of the bold resolutions offered by
Patrick Henry relative to the Stamp Act. He was in the House in 1769
when the proceedings of the members excited the ire of Gov. Bottetourt
so highly that he dissolved them without ceremony. They immediately
repaired to a private room in Williamsburg and entered into a solemn
agreement not to import any articles from the mother country until their
chartered rights were restored. The same members were elected to the
next session. Being aware of the kind of material he had to manage the
shrewd Governor lulled them into a more quiet mood by the siren song of
promises of redress. They had yet to learn that deceit is an important
part of political machinery. Still cherishing hopes that their rights
would be restored they waited in respectful but watchful silence. In the
House there were seven standing committees--on courts of justice, public
claims, elections, privileges, trade, grievances, proposition and on
religion. Of the three last Mr. Braxton was uniformly a member.

In 1771 Governor Bottetourt died and was succeeded by Lord Dunmore.
Being fresh from the fountain of high notions and ministerial corruption
he dissolved the turbulent Assembly then in commission and issued his
king's writ for a new election. Mr. Braxton was then sheriff of the
county and could not serve in the House. Promises of redress were
renewed with apparent sincerity. The people lived on hope until the 27th
of May 1774, when the House of Burgesses again took a bold stand against
oppression and were unceremoniously dissolved by the Governor. By this
act he dissolved the original contract in view of the people--they
became enraged and doffed their allegiance _instanter_. Immediately
after the dissolution, eighty-nine of the members and many other bold
patriots formed themselves into an association of resistance. From these
live sparks the fire of freedom rose in curling flames.

In August of that year a convention met at Williamsburg to devise plans
for future action of which Mr. Braxton was an efficient member. Seven
delegates were elected to meet the Congress at Philadelphia and an
agreement made to act in concert with the people of Boston in the common
cause against the common enemy. Lord Dunmore had a new set of members
elected to the House but being displeased with their proceedings
prorogued them several times. On the night of the 7th of June 1775 the
people in turn prorogued his lordship who took his final exit on board
the armed ship Fowey never again to wield his iron rod of despotism over
the freemen of America. He took up quarters on board this ship and
occasionally issued his mandates which came to the people as talismanic
messengers to invigorate their patriotism. In April following he caused
the powder to be removed from the magazine under a pretence that it
would be needed in another part of the province to repel an expected
insurrection of the blacks. The enraged people assembled in large
numbers with a determination to take this important item into their own
keeping. Through the persuasion of Peyton Randolph they dispersed. Some
being still discontented a Spartan band assembled headed by Patrick
Henry and proceeded to Williamsburg determined to have the powder or its
equivalent. An armed force was sent from the Fowey to sustain the
governor's orders. This was like adding bitumen to a blazing fire. The
fury of the patriots was about to be poured out upon the minions of the
crown--blood was about to flow when Mr. Braxton and others
interfered--the powder was paid for by a crown officer--Mr. Henry gave
his receipt for the money and his young Spartans returned home.

For a time the government of Virginia was managed entirely by the
Committee of Safety of which Mr. Braxton was an active member. On the
15th of December 1775, he was elected to the Continental Congress and
entered upon his duties with great zeal. He advocated, voted for and
signed the Declaration of Rights that formally dissolved the maternal
ties that bound the pilgrim fathers in slavery. On his return from
Congress the next year Mr. Braxton took his seat in the first
legislature of his state convened under the new form of government. A
formal vote of thanks to him and Thomas Jefferson for their faithful
services in Congress was entered upon the records of that body on the
12th of October 1776. From that time to his death he was almost
constantly a member of one or the other branch of the legislature and
but four days previous to his decease had taken his seat in the Council.

He had lost a large portion of his princely fortune by the British and
after the war closed was the child of adversity. For a time his friends
assisted him in the prosecution of several speculative projects, all of
which proved abortive, injuring them without benefiting him. He finally
sunk under a ponderous weight of affliction which produced paralysis, a
second attack of which closed his useful and eventful career at
Richmond, Virginia, on the 10th of October 1797.

Under all these adverse and trying circumstances his reputation did not
suffer. He was known to be an honest man and poverty _then_ was not an
unpardonable sin or even _prima facie_ evidence of dishonesty. He lost
none of his well-earned fame as an able and faithful public servant and
worthy upright man. His private character was pure. He fulfilled all the
relations of life with fidelity. He was one of the most polished
gentlemen of the old school. His name is justly placed high upon the
list of enduring fame. He was a faithful sentinel in the cause of
freedom and contributed largely in consummating the Independence we now
enjoy, the FREEDOM we inherit, the LIBERTY we are bound to cherish,
protect, preserve and perpetuate with our lives, fortunes and sacred
honors and transmit it to our children in all the beauty of pristine


Wyoming Valley is the Paradise of Pennsylvania. Captivating in its
location--rich in its soil--irrigated by the crystal
Susquehanna--bordered with magnificent scenery of romantic
grandeur--enlivened by beautiful farm-houses and productive
fields--crowned with the flourishing town of Wilkesbarre--ornamented by
several small villages of tasteful neatness--refreshed by cooling
springs and mountain streams filled with sportive trout--evergreen
forests adjacent towering to the clouds and full of game--graduated
hills on every side rich with minerals and reaching to the mountains--a
healthful atmosphere rendered pure by the untiring operations of
nature's laboratory--inhabited by intelligent, enterprising, hospitable
people--it is one of the most beautiful and delightful valleys in our
expansive country. Its early history renders it sacred to the
philanthropist and is read with thrilling sensations of painful
sympathy. It has engaged the pens of our best historians--our ablest
poets. It has been painted with the finest touches of our boldest
artists. When strangers pass the narrow confines of the majestic
mountains on the south and are ushered into this grand amphitheatre of
creative wisdom--they gaze with pleasing surprise and wonder at the
weakness of the most vivid descriptions they have read, compared with
the sublime reality of the enrapturing view before them.

In this far-famed valley Zebulon Butler acted a conspicuous, brave and
noble part. He was born at Lyme, Conn. in 1731. He received a good
common school and religious education. The New Testament was then an
approved school-book. He early planted himself on the firm basis of
moral rectitude and primitive religious truth. Without these the
laurels of the hero are less fragrant--the talents of the legislator
less brilliant--the noblest attributes of man less perfect. By these
remarks I do not mean Pharisaical religion, poisonous fanaticism nor
blighting sectarianism. It is the honest, consistent, Golden Rule man I
admire. Such a man was Zebulon Butler. He was one of the first patriots
who opposed British tyranny and dared to be free. He entered early into
the Provincial service and served the mother country through the French
war. He commenced his military career an Ensign and soon rose to the
rank of Captain. He participated in the memorable hardships of the
campaign of 1758 on the frontiers of Canada--at Fort Edward, Lake
George, Ticonderoga and Crown Point. In 1762 he was at the protracted
siege of Havana. On his way he was on board one of the six vessels that
were shipwrecked. All on board narrowly escaped a watery grave. They
were on the beach nine days before they were relieved. On the 9th day of
August the last of the fleet arrived before Havana. The defence was
obstinate--the sufferings of the besiegers great.

Capt. Butler shared largely in the dangers of the attack--the glories of
the victory. He sailed for his long absent home on the 21st of the
ensuing October in the Royal Duke. He encountered many perils during the
voyage. On the 7th of November the ship began to leak so rapidly that it
was with difficulty that her crew were transferred to another vessel
near by before she went to the bottom. He arrived at New York on the
21st of December and once more met the warm embrace of anxious relatives
and friends. He had won enduring laurels--he stood high as a brave and
skilful officer--an esteemed and valued citizen. He then left the army
and enjoyed the peaceful pleasures of private life until the
revolutionary storm began to concentrate its fearful elements. He was
ready to brave its pitiless peltings. He had rendered arduous and
valuable service to the mother country--he was well qualified to repel
her ungrateful conduct and render efficient aid in the defence of his
native soil. The goadings and insolence of British hirelings had deeply
penetrated his patriotic soul and prepared him for bold and noble
action. When the tocsin of war was sounded from the heights of Lexington
he promptly tendered his services--was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in
the Connecticut line and repaired to the post of honor and danger. He
was actively engaged in the campaigns of 1777-8-9. During the last year
he was commissioned colonel of the 2d Connecticut regiment. He was with
Washington in New Jersey and greatly esteemed by him.

A short time previous to the revolution he was one of a company from
his native place that had purchased Wyoming Valley from the Indians for
a fair consideration. Many settlers had located there and cleared up
much of the forest. Although fully remunerated for their lands pursuant
to contract made with the Chiefs in grand council assembled--the red men
were unwilling to leave a place so enchanting and congenial with their
views of happiness. In that salubrious vale, fringed with hills and
mountains on all sides, they fancied the Great Spirit had his
dwelling-place and gave them audible audience as echo reverberated their
stentorian yells from hill to mountain and back to the shores of the
majestic Susquehanna. As the towering forest fell before the axe of the
white man the Indians murmured and designed the extermination of the
pale faces. In this they were encouraged by the British and
black-hearted tories--most of the inhabitants having declared for
liberty. Most of their effective force of near 200 men was in the
American army. Soon after the departure of these troops the savages
assumed a menacing attitude--manifesting a disposition to violate the
terms of peace they had solemnly sanctioned when paid for their lands.
Several stockade forts were erected--a company of rangers organized and
placed under the command of Captain Hewitt. Every precaution was taken
to guard against surprise--the movements of the red men were narrowly
watched, their apparent designs closely observed. It soon became evident
that they were preparing for a bloody sacrifice. An express was
despatched to the board of war representing the approaching danger
requesting the return of the troops who had recently joined the
army--leaving their homes exposed to all the horrors of savage cruelty
rendered more awful by the more bloodthirsty tories. The request was
promptly granted but too late to ward off the fatal slaughter and
carnage that took place when these brave men were within two days' march
of their murdered wives, children and friends who slumbered in death
deeply gashed with the tomahawk.

About the 1st of June 1778, a number of canoes were discovered
descending the river just above the valley filled with Indian warriors.
They attacked a party of the inhabitants who were at work on the bank of
the Susquehanna--killing and making prisoners of ten. They were
evidently concentrating their forces for the purpose of an attack upon
the settlement. At that critical juncture Col. Butler arrived. A large
body of the savages had assembled at the mouth of the Lackawanna at the
head of the valley. The militia under the command of Col. Dennison
assembled in the fort at Wilkesbarre on the 1st of July. They scoured
the borders of the valley--discovered the bodies of those who had been
massacred a few days before--killed two Indians and returned. Not
supposing danger so near each man repaired to his own house for
provisions. On the 3d most of the men able to bear arms assembled at the
fort amounting to about 350. Some remained in the smaller forts with
their families presuming on the delay of an attack. The command of the
troops was given to Col. Butler. They were poorly armed and had but a
small supply of ammunition. But few of them had ever been engaged in
battle and were not familiar with military tactics. In a few moments
after Col. Butler had assumed the command news was brought that the
enemy had entered the upper end of the valley and were advancing
rapidly. Fort Wintermote and another stockade fort was then in flames
and their inmates weltering in blood and struggling in death. A council
of war was held and an unfortunate resolve made to march out and attempt
to arrest the savages in their career of desolation and carnage. The
troops proceeded some distance from the fort and took an advantageous
position on the bank of a creek where they supposed the enemy would pass
on their way to the principal fort. There they remained for half a day
without seeing the foe. Another council of war was held which resulted
in adding to the error of leaving the fort that of attacking the enemy
in their position contrary to the opinion of several officers who were
as brave but more judicious than those who urged the fatal movement. The
order to advance was given. They had not proceeded more than a mile when
the advanced guard fired upon several Indians who were firing a house.
The force of the enemy was concentrated at fort Wintermote amounting to
near 1000 effective men commanded by Brandt, an Indian half-blood and
Col. John Butler--not a relative of Col. Zebulon Butler as some writers
have erroneously stated. Echo returned the demoniac yells of the savages
from the surrounding hills--the forest resounded with the appalling war
whoop. Another serious error was committed by the ill-fated Americans.
Not until they were upon the battle-ground did they learn the superior
force of the revengeful foe. As the little band approached they found
the Indians and tories formed in a line--the right resting on a swamp
commanded by Brandt--the left reaching to fort Wintermote headed by Col.
John Butler. Col. Z. Butler led the right and Col. Dennison the left of
the Americans to the attack. So determined was this Spartan band on
victory that the left of the enemy gave way in a few minutes closely
pursued by Col. Butler. In consequence of part of the Indians passing
the swamp to gain his rear Col. Dennison ordered his men to fall back.
Many supposing he had ordered a retreat the line became confused and
broken. At that unfortunate juncture Brandt rushed upon it with such
fury that it could not be rallied. At that critical moment Col. Butler
rode towards the left and first learned the misfortune of Col. Dennison
and saw his men retreating in disorder. He was then between two fires
and near the advancing enemy. Before the troops on the right were
apprised of the fate of the left they were nearly surrounded by the
savages and compelled to retreat precipitately. The route was
general--the slaughter horrible--the scene terrific. But about 50
survived among whom were Colonels Butler and Dennison who were more
exposed than most of the others. The few who escaped from the dreadful
carnage of that fatal day assembled at Forty Fort. So heart-rending was
this defeat that the surviving inhabitants were willing to submit to any
terms to save their lives. The enemy refused to treat with any officer
of the continental army as unquestionably advised by the hyena tories.
Nor would they give them or regular soldiers any quarter but insisted on
their being delivered up to the Indians at discretion. Col. Butler at
once left and proceeded to Gradenhutten on the Lehigh. On the 4th of
July Col. Dennison entered into a capitulation with Col. John Butler and
Brandt to surrender the Fort on condition the lives of the survivors
should be preserved and not further molested in person or property.
These conditions were solemnly agreed to by tory Butler and Brandt but
most disgracefully violated. As the Indians marched in they commenced an
indiscriminate plunder. Butler was appealed to and replied he could not
control them--walked out and left them to finish their work in their own
way. The man who could urge the savages on to murder could leave them to
rob the helpless, regardless of his sacred pledge of honor.

Finding themselves still at the mercy of the Indians the inhabitants
fled to the nearest settlement towards the Delaware about 50 miles
distant through a dense wilderness and over rugged mountains. So rapidly
did they fly on the wings of terror that numbers became exhausted from
over fatigue and hunger and were carried on the last day by the stronger
ones. After their departure the savage tories and red men laid waste the
town of Wilkesbarre and most of the houses in the valley--plundering or
destroying all the property they could find. They then drove the cattle
and horses to Niagara. They had fully satiated their thirst for
blood--desolation was completed--vengeance was gorged--nature mourned
over the dismal scene.

From Gradenhutten Col. Butler communicated the sad intelligence of the
bloody massacre to the Board of War and then proceeded to Stroudsburg
then in Northampton county, where he met the returning Wyoming troops
and a few of those who had escaped on the day of the unfortunate battle.
In August he was ordered to return with such force as he could collect
and take possession of Wyoming valley. On his arrival he found a few
Indians who were collecting the cattle that the main body had left. They
fled precipitately without their plunder. Col. Butler erected a new fort
at Wilkesbarre and established a well regulated garrison which he
commanded until the winter of 1780--keeping the tories and savages at
bay--not risking a general action but killing them off in detail by
scouting parties of sharp-shooters whenever they approached the
settlement. The expedition of Gen. Sullivan in 1779 paralyzed the Indian
power upon the Susquehanna and restored a good degree of confidence in
the inhabitants.

In December 1780 Col. Butler was ordered to join the continental army
and left Capt. Alexander Mitchell in command of the fort. After serving
his country faithfully to the close of the war of Independence the
Colonel returned to the vale of Wyoming to enjoy the fruits of his
perilous toils and the gratitude of the inhabitants whom he had nobly
aided and protected. He subsequently filled sundry civil offices with
credit and fidelity. He lived to see his loved Wyoming bloom with the
fruits of industry--its inhabitants peaceful, prosperous, happy. He was
amply rewarded for the perils and hardships of the past by the full
fruition of the enjoyments of the present. His happiness was as complete
as it could be made this side of heaven. Dearly beloved by his immediate
friends, esteemed by all who knew him--the waning years of Col. Butler
were crowned with the most refined comforts of social and domestic life.
He glided down the stream of time smoothly and calmly to the 28th of
July 1795, when he threw off his mortal coil--resigned his quiescent
spirit into the hands of its Creator--fell asleep in the arms of his
Lord and Master deeply mourned and sincerely lamented. His career closed
as brightly as it had been glorious and useful. He was an amiable
companion, a virtuous citizen, a consistent Christian--a brave, noble,
worthy, honest man.

A creditable monument has been erected on the battle ground in memory of
those who fell on the memorable 3d of July 1778 in the far famed valley
of Wyoming.


The fond and faithful parents who have guided to manhood a family of
sons whose every action is a source of pleasure and delight--who walk
in wisdom's ways--who prove virtuous, generous, bold, brave and
patriotic--whose lives shed new lustre on the world--whose achievements
on the battle field or in the senate chamber stamp their names with
enduring fame--enjoy a rich consolation, pure as the etherial
sky--refreshing as evening zephyrs. More especially do their souls
become enraptured with love if these sons deliver them from the iron
grasp of a merciless tyrant--disenthrall them from the chains of slavery
and make them free and independent.

All this was done for our country by her valiant sons who graced the
memorable era of '76. Like a blazing meteor bursting from the clouds
amidst the gloom of midnight darkness, they illuminated our nation with
light--the world with glory--raised the star spangled banner and planted
the tree of LIBERTY deep in the soil of FREEDOM. Noble sons of Columbia!
Sages and heroes of the American Revolution! Your names will be held in
grateful remembrance through the rolling ages of time. Millions yet
unborn will chant your brilliant achievements, your triumphant
victories, your unsurpassed wisdom, your god-like actions.

Among the sons of noble daring--champions of their injured country, was
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, born at Annapolis on the 20th of
September 1737. He was the son of Daniel Carroll who came from King's
county Ireland and was named for his grandfather Charles Carroll. The
elder Carrolls were highly charged with liberal principles and planted
them deeply in the minds of their sons. Nor did the precious seed fall
on barren ground. Obeying the precepts and imitating the examples of his
patriotic sire, young Charles Carroll proved worthy of the high source
from which he sprang. He was emphatically one of the same stamp.

At the early age of eight years his embryo talents shone so brightly
that his father determined on giving them an opportunity to bud, blossom
and expand amidst the literary bowers of Europe. He was first sent to a
seminary in France. His untiring application to his studies and manly
deportment at the different seminaries through which he passed, gained
for him a finished education and the esteem of all his acquaintances. At
the age of twenty he commenced the study of law in London, England,
where he ripened into manhood and returned to his native State in 1764
with a rich fund of useful knowledge, prepared to act well his part
through life.

The subject of oppression upon the Americans by the British ministry was
freely discussed in England before he left and had prepared his mind for
the exciting crisis that awaited the colonies. On his return he became
an unflinching and able advocate for freedom. He possessed a clear head
and discriminating mind. In action he was cool, deliberate, firm and
decisive. His writing talent was of a high order. This was admirably
developed in 1772. The governor had issued a proclamation derogatory to
the constitutional rights of the people. In a series of essays published
in the public papers, Mr. Carroll triumphantly vindicated the cause of
his insulted constituents--conclusively answering and confuting the
combined arguments of the governor and his cabinet in favor of the
unwarranted pretensions of their master. So fully did these essays
convince the people that the governor aimed at illegitimate power that
they hung his proclamation upon a gallows and bid defiance to the
minions of despotism. Before the writer was known the people instructed
their representatives to record a vote of thanks to the author. When it
was ascertained that Mr. Carroll was the champion who had bearded the
British lion, they repaired to his house in great numbers and made the
welkin ring with plaudits of thankful praise.

From that time he became a prominent leader of the liberal party--an
espouser of equal rights--a stern opposer of ministerial wrongs. His
benign influence radiated its genial rays upon the hearts and confirmed
the wavering minds of many in the glorious cause of LIBERTY. In bold and
glowing colors he portrayed the aggressions of the king, the corrupt
designs of his ministers and the humiliating consequences of tame
submission to their arbitrary demands. He was among the first to kindle
the flame of resistance and light up the torch of Independence. He was
among the first to sanction the Declaration of Rights--the last of the
noble band of sages who signed it who lived to see 1832.

On the 18th of July 1776 he was a member of the Maryland Convention
convened to elect delegates to the Continental Congress. He was selected
for that important station--took his seat on the 2d of August and signed
the Declaration of Independence. His talents and zeal were highly
appreciated by the members of Congress. He had previously endeared
himself to them by a voluntary mission to Canada in conjunction with
Franklin, Chase and Bishop Carroll. The object of their visit was to
persuade the people of the Canadas to unite with the Colonies in
throwing off the yoke of bondage imposed by the mother country. The
Messrs. Carrolls were Roman Catholics, the prevailing religion of the
Canadians. The other two gentlemen entertained universal charity for all
good men irrespective of manufactured creeds. It was fondly hoped their
mission would be crowned with success. The defeat of the American
troops at Quebec and the death of Gen. Montgomery had thrown so much
darkness over the future prospects of the American cause that they
refused to enter the compact. The consequences of that course have been
fearfully developed for years and the time is not far distant when the
Canadas will be free from England to the mutual benefit of both

On his return he was surprised to find that the Maryland delegates in
Congress had been instructed by a vote of the Assembly to oppose the
Declaration of Independence. His influence caused the rescinding of that
vote and a reversal of the instructions. He felt a strong desire that
his native state should do full service in the cause of freedom. To
effect this he spent more time in her legislative hall than in Congress.
In the formation of her constitution and laws he rendered efficient aid.
From 1788 to 1791 he was a member of the U.S. Senate. From that year to
1801 he served in the senate of his own state. He then retired from the
great theatre of public action in the rich enjoyment of the esteem of a
nation of freemen. For thirty years he was spared to enjoy the cheering
comforts of domestic felicity and survived all the others who had placed
their names upon the Chart of our liberty.

In his retirement he delighted in beholding the onward march of this
favored country, prospering under the care of an all-wise
Providence--populated by a free and independent people--in rank second
to no nation on earth--in enterprise traversing the globe--in genius
eclipsing the old world--in talent equal to the best. Like a majestic
oak that had long braved the raging tempest, he stood alone as a signer
of our Magna Charta calmly awaiting the time when he should be riven and
gathered to his fathers. Gradually the world lost its former charms.
More and more his mind became fixed on anticipated scenes of future and
purer bliss. He seemed to ascend the ladder of faith and reach out his
hand for that crown of unfading glory prepared for him by his Lord and
Master. In this beatific state his soul was summoned from its tottering,
trembling, falling tenement of clay on the 14th of November 1832. Calm
and resigned he entered Jordan's flood--angels escorted his immortal
spirit to Immanuel's peaceful shores whilst his grateful country deeply
mourned and strongly felt the loss of one of her noblest sons--society
one of its brightest ornaments--his relatives one of their dearest

Charles Carroll was a man of consistency in everything. He was a devoted
Christian in communion with the Roman Catholic Church but decidedly
opposed to a want of charity and kind feeling. He deprecated a spirit
of persecution by one sect of Christians towards another. He was one of
the few who reasoned correctly and acted wisely upon this important
subject. It is a fact known to but few at this late day that the Roman
Catholics of Maryland were the first who placed religious toleration on
a statute book in America. [See laws of Maryland 1647.] It is also a
fact that the Protestants first introduced proscription there. After the
restoration of Charles II. in 1761, they obtained an order from him
prohibiting all Roman Catholics from holding any office, which was in
violation of the charter granted to Lord Baltimore by Charles I. upon
which the colony was based. Still more. The Protestants having become
the bride of the state, continued to draw more tightly the cords of
persecution by authority from William III. The Catholics were taxed to
support the churches of their oppressors. By an act passed in 1704, the
celebration of mass or the instruction of youth by a Catholic insured
him transportation to England. In the land of the Puritans, the Baptist
and Quaker sects were treated more rigorous, being persecuted even unto
death and by those too who fled from the very persecution they practised
the moment they obtained the power. So it ever has been--so it ever will
be until mankind become fully and feelingly sensible that _sectarianism
is not religion_--_is not a child of Heaven_--that charity is the
crowning attribute of Deity--the brightest star in the Christian's

During the excitement in Maryland upon the unhallowed connection of
church and state, the Carrolls used their best exertions to effect a
reconciliation between the parties which was never fully done until the
revolution compelled sectarianism to hide its hydra head by uniting all
sects in the common cause against the common enemy and forever banishing
its power from our land by the adoption of our Federal Constitution. Men
are as prone to abuse power as the sparks are to fly upward.

In the life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, we have examples rich with
instruction for youth, manhood and old age--for the lawyer, the
statesman, the patriot and the Christian. His career was guided by
prudence and virtue. His every action was marked with frankness and
honesty. He richly merited and freely received the esteem and veneration
of a nation of FREEMEN. His private and public career were prompted and
directed by a purity of motive that never fails to render a man useful
in life--triumphant in death.


Ostracism was the title of a law once in full and practical force in the
Republic of Athens. It required the banishment of any citizen when six
thousand of the people voted for his expulsion--there being about twenty
thousand voters--thus violating the fundamental principle of a
republican government--_the majority must rule and be obeyed_. Ruin was
the natural result.

Each voter wrote the name of the citizen that was to be banished on a
shell called in Greek--_Ostralcon._ These were deposited as are ballots
at our elections and were counted by persons appointed by law. To the
ruin of Athens, envy, jealousy, and intrigue caused the banishment of
several of her most illustrious sages and heroes who loved their country
more than they did political corruption. Among them was Aristides--a
noble patriot, statesman and general. When the people were voting in his
case he mingled with the crowd and met an illiterate peasant who did not
know him, who asked him to write Aristides upon his shell. _What injury
has Aristides done you?_ The peasant quickly answered--_None at all but
I am tired of hearing him called the just._ Without revealing himself
the patriot wrote his own name upon the fatal shell and handed it back
to the deluded voter. He bowed submissively to his sentence of
banishment for ten years and invoked a blessing on his enemies as he

A species of political persecution practically analogous to the law of
ostracism commenced its career in our country as early as the American
Revolution. Political cliques and venal presses have been the
executioners. No one of the sages or heroes of that eventful period was
so severely persecuted by party ostracism after the formation of our
republic as Samuel Chase who was born in Somerset County, Maryland, on
the 17th day of April, 1741. He was the son of Rev. Thomas Chase who
came from England to that province and became pastor of St. Paul's
Parish in Baltimore, then a new country village and destitute of good
schools. At the age of two years Samuel was deprived of the tender care
of his mother by her premature death. Under the instruction of his
father he became an accomplished classical scholar. At the age of
eighteen he commenced the study of law under the direction of John
Hammond and John Hull of Annapolis. At the age of twenty he was admitted
to the bar of the Mayor's Court and two years after to that of the
County Court and the Court of Chancery. He located at Annapolis and
filled up the rib vacuum by marrying the worthy and intelligent Ann
Baldwin--a very sensible and fair business transaction.

Mr. Chase was not long in acquiring the reputation of a sound lawyer and
able advocate. He was of a sanguine temperament--bold, fearless,
undisguised, independent in mind, language and action but honest,
patriotic, and pure in his motives--immovable in his purposes--qualities
that dignify a man if prudently balanced and prepare him for just such
times as the Revolution--qualities that often rouse the spirit of
ostracism in those who aim to ruin those they cannot rule. These leading
traits, constitutional with Samuel Chase, with the times and
circumstances that influenced his judgment and governed his actions must
be kept constantly in view to enable the reader to form a just estimate
of his character which I will impartially and plainly portray.

On the flood tide of a prosperous business--celebrated for his legal
acumen and forensic fame--in the full enjoyment of domestic felicity and
social intercourse with friends--Mr. Chase glided smoothly along until
his country began to writhe under kingly oppression. The Stamp Act, the
first born of the scrofulous revenue system devised by the putrescent
British ministry, met with a hostile reception at Annapolis. Mr. Chase
and a band of kindred spirits under the cognomen of "Sons of Liberty,"
forcibly seized and destroyed the newly imported stamps and burned in
effigy the stamp distributer. No further violence was then committed.
The king's officers opened a newspaper battery against this "furious
mob" directing their whole artillery against Mr. Chase complimenting him
with the courtly names--"busy restless incendiary--ringleader of
mobs--foul mouthed inflaming son of discord and faction--a common
disturber of the public tranquillity--a promoter of the lawless excesses
of the multitude" and other similar emphatic appellations--conferring
upon the young patriot a diploma of distinction little anticipated by
them. His answers to these vituperations were manly, charged with strong
and conclusive logic--keen and withering sarcasm. The attack brought him
fairly into the political field. So delighted were the people with the
manner he handled the hirelings of the crown that they elected him to
the colonial assembly. There he took a conspicuous part and became the
uncompromising opposer of all measures that were not within the pale of
the constitution or were tinctured with oppression. So strongly was he
in favor of liberal principles that he gave his whole influence and vote
in favor of the repeal of the law that compelled the people to support
the clergy by which the stipend of his father was reduced one-half.
Pursuant to the law of primogeniture then in force this was voting money
out of his own pocket. His bold and independent course made him a
subject of persecution with the creatures of the crown and an object of
pride and admiration with the people. His enemies found him a bramble
full of the keenest thorns and were awfully scarified every time they
approached him. His tongue, pen, logic, sarcasm--all were blighting as a
sirocco wind.

After the repeal of the Stamp Act a calm in the public mind ensued but
it was a calm of delusion such as precedes a tornado. The inquisitorial
rack of the ministry was again put in motion--fresh impositions
commenced--the fire of discontent was again blown to a blaze. The Bill
closing the port of Boston with directions to the King's officers to
seize and send to England for trial those who dared resist the royal
authority--roused the indignation of colonies that had been rather
passive. The Congress of 1774 was then devised of which Mr. Chase was a
member. The deep solemnity, unparalleled wisdom and patient
deliberations that marked the proceedings of that Congress--shed a
lustre upon the cause of liberty then in embryo that forced applause
from its most violent opposers. Had not the cabinet of Great Britain
been blinded by sordid avarice, mad ambition and political delusion--had
not the King been a mere automaton, scarcely a moving, walking, talking
machine--the loyal and logical appeals from that august body of sages
would have been treated with merited respect and quiet restored. The
colonists asked for nothing but what was clearly right and asked in the
most respectful and even suppliant manner. Ministers were left without
excuse for their subsequent course. _Their_ sacrilegious hands broke the
great seal of the social compact--_their_ agents sowed the seeds of
rebellion--_their_ cruelty kindled the flame that devoured them--_their_
visionary policy severed the cords of maternal affection--_their_
treachery spread the mantle of righteousness over the cause of the
Revolution. We justly censure them for their corrupt designs but rejoice
in the glorious result of their plans. Haman erected his own gallows.
Grenville and North destroyed their own power.

In 1775 Mr. Chase was returned to Congress with instructions to pursue a
conciliatory course contrary to his judgment but which he implicitly
obeyed. He was active and persevering on committees and took a deep
interest in every measure proposed in favor of freedom. He was returned
to Congress the next year still trammelled with instructions which he
truly predicted would soon be removed. In the spring of 1776 he was
associated with Messrs. Franklin, Charles and Bishop Carroll on a
mission to Canada to induce the people there to join in the struggle for
liberty. They wanted courage to be free and still wear the yoke of
bondage. On his return he was delighted to find the question of final
separation from mother Britain under consideration and boldly advocated
the measure. It was the very proposition to animate the soul of Samuel
Chase. His instructions became burdensome as the discussion increased.
They were removed just in time for him to record his vote in favor of
that imperishable instrument that has immortalized the names of the
signers and is the pride of every true American. The act of signing the
Declaration of Rights gave him more joy than any public duty he had ever
performed. A short time previous to the glorious 4th of July Mr. Chase
discovered that a Judas was among them in the person of Rev. Dr. Zubly
of Georgia who was clandestinely corresponding with the enemy. So bold
and so suddenly did he expose the traitor on the floor of Congress that
"the gentleman from Georgia" plead guilty and suddenly retired. His
arrest was ordered but when the officer went to his cage the bird had
flown and was never bagged. As an able statesman recently remarked, he
was left in the very worst company--with himself. Mr. Chase was all
industry in every position in which he was placed. In the discussions
upon the Articles of Confederation he took a deep interest and active
part. He considered their adoption indispensable in carrying on the good
work of political regeneration. The basis of representation and the mode
of voting were the two great points at issue that consumed the most time
in argument.

In the fall of 1776 Messrs. Chase, Wilson, Clymer, Stockton and Smith
were made a committee to take charge of the War Department--then the
most important of either. Mr. Chase was upon the committee for
suppressing internal enemies and became a terror to the tories and
certain Quakers in and adjacent to Philadelphia who were circulating
papers adverse to the American cause and were in communication with the
enemy. A report, with documents proving the charge was submitted to
Congress. Several leading members of the Society of Friends were
confined--the seditious papers suppressed and a respectful neutrality
induced on the part of that very respectable Society whose creed
opposing war had led some of its members into an erroneous interference.
The tories took shelter under the wings of the British army. The course
pursued by Congress was then deemed harsh by some and will still appear
so to a casual reader who is not familiar with the rules of war.
Agreeably to the martial code of other nations--then the precedent guide
for Congress--the punishment would have been much more severe. The
mildness of the sentence was an antepast of a more enlarged liberty
under the new form of government. By the religious tenets of the Friends
it can never be sanctioned--by every friend of liberty the necessity of
such a case is always regretted. Each social compact and individual in
every government must be subject to the laws of the land--must submit to
the ruling power that order may be maintained.

In 1778 the British Parliament devised a stratagem by which they hoped
to create a division among the patriots. Printed papers were circulated
among the people containing conciliatory and flattering propositions and
announcing the appointment of commissioners to perfect these inglorious
terms of peace. So ingeniously were these papers worded that it was
deemed necessary to prepare an answer. This important task was imposed
upon Mr. Chase. Most ably did he perform his duty. He unmasked the base
hypocrisy of the scheme--exposed the delusive gull-trap to the consuming
fire of sarcastic logic--poured upon it the burning lava of ridicule and
raised the indignation and scorn of the people against it to ninety
degrees above zero. So well was it received by Congress that a larger
number than usual was ordered printed and a resolution passed
recommending all the clergy to read it to their congregations after
service on Sunday. Like all the other plans the British ministers
devised to enslave the colonies--it recoiled upon their own heads with
all the force of fearful reaction.

This brilliant display of talent closed the congressional labors of this
devoted friend of liberty. He retired crowned with the rich honors of an
able statesman, sage, patriot and honest man. He had stood firm at his
post--a faithful public servant, a bold advocate for freedom, a safe
counsellor in every emergency, a fearless champion when danger pressed,
an ornament to his country, a terror to the enemies of liberty. As a
working man he had no superior--as a debater he had few equals. Without
the mellifluous elocution of a Cicero--free from pleonastic parade--he
spoke forcibly, reasoned closely, demonstrated clearly, deduced
conclusively. He sought to inform the judgment, enlighten the
understanding and convince by sound argument. Until the close of the
struggle for freedom he continued to render efficient service to the
glorious cause and then resumed his profession in the full enjoyment of
the confidence of his constituents and the consolation of an approving

Soon after the close of the Revolution Mr. Chase was employed by the
state of Maryland to prosecute a claim for bank stock in England and
obtained for it six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. His journal
shows that he was a minute observer of men and things. His high legal
attainments, scholastic and legislative reputation, gentlemanly
deportment, thorough business habits--combined to make a favorable
impression upon parliament, the English courts and barristers generally.
He was absent less than a year and accomplished more business than some
would have done in five. On his return he again took his place at the

In 1786 his worthy friend, Col. Howard, conveyed to him a square of ten
lots in the city of Baltimore near the site of the public buildings, on
condition of his locating there. He accepted the proposition and changed
his residence to that city. This square is bounded by Eutaw, Lexington,
Fayette and Paca streets. The mansion-house built by Mr. Chase is still
owned by his descendants. In 1788 he was appointed Chief Justice of the
new criminal court organized for the county of Baltimore. The same year
he was a member of the Maryland Convention that ratified the Federal
Constitution. In 1791 he was appointed Chief Justice of the General
Court of Maryland. In 1796 he was appointed an Associate Judge of the
Supreme Court of the United States by President Washington which
dignified station he filled with great ability to the time of the
illness which terminated his life. He was considered one of the ablest
judges upon the bench. When he presided in the lower courts his
decisions, when carried up to the higher legal tribunals, were seldom
reversed. His expositions of law and charges to juries were plain,
learned, luminous, logical, profound. His manner was forcible,
impressive, commanding. With all this lustre clustering around him,
encircled by the sacred halo of great and acknowledged services in the
cause of Independence, still green and fresh in the memory of
millions--Judge Chase was placed in the crucible of unrelenting
ostracism prompted by political animosity created by the lofty
independence of thought and expression constitutional with him and which
prompted him to act a bold and conspicuous part when the vials of
British wrath were poured out upon our bleeding country. As I shall
attempt carrying him through his persecutions unscathed the critical
attention of the reader is requested. He was a federalist--I am an old
school democrat and go for the compromises and our UNION.

In January 1804, John Randolph obtained the passage of a resolution in
the House of Representatives of the United States instituting an inquiry
into the official conduct of Judge Chase. As a hypocritical salvo the
name of Judge Peters was joined with his. No one was more competent and
no one could be more persevering than was Mr. Randolph in his gigantic
efforts to destroy Judge Chase. The committee to which the resolution
was referred reported on the 6th day of the ensuing March, acquitting
Judge Peters and recommending the impeachment of Judge Chase, the real
object of political revenge. On the 26th of the same month articles of
impeachment were reported based upon the following premises.

In 1800 Judge Chase presided on the bench of the U. S. Circuit Court at
Philadelphia, assisted by Judge Peters of the District Court of
Pennsylvania when and where John Fries was put upon his trial a second
time for high treason against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, owing to
some informality in his previous trial before Judges Iredell and Peters.
Having been fully informed of the points of law at issue and of the
proceedings at the first trial, Judge Chase had prepared an elaborate
exposition of the law upon treason without referring to a single fact in
the case. With the approval of Judge Peters he furnished a copy to the
counsel for defendant, the District Attorney and reserved one for the
jury after the trial should be completed. Messrs. Lewis and Dallas,
counsel for the prisoner, affected to consider this a pre-judgment of
the case and permitted Fries to be tried without the aid of
counsel--unquestionably intending and successfully succeeding in
creating a general sympathy that procured his pardon immediately after
conviction. Fries subsequently called on Judge Chase and thanked him for
his impartial and generous course upon the trial. The whole matter was
then looked at in its true light--a _ruse_ of ingenious counsel. No one
attributed bad motives to the bench. The approval of honest clear-headed
Judge Peters is conclusive proof that Judge Chase was judicially
right--_prima facie_ evidence that his motives were pure. He had written
an opinion upon the _law_--not upon the _facts_ of the case. This he had
frankly furnished to the counsel--not to the jury before the trial. He
was bound to explain the law to the grand jury before they should
proceed to their business--to the traverse jury when he gave them their
charge. This constituted the first charge in the articles of

Shortly after the trial of Fries he presided at Richmond, Virginia, when
and where one Callendar was tried under the Sedition Law for publishing
a libel upon the President. During the trial Judge Chase refused the
admission of certain testimony offered on the part of the prisoner which
exasperated those who were opposed to the law in question. He honestly
believed the law salutary as a check upon the venality of the
press--others thought differently. Right or wrong--his oath of office
bound him to act _under_ the law so long as it remained in force. That
his decision was legally correct must be presumed from the fact that
under the great excitement then existing no writ of error was taken in
the case. This formed the foundation of the second charge.

From Richmond he proceeded to New Castle, Delaware, where he presided,
aided by Judge Bedford. In his charge to the grand jury he gave his
views frankly upon the Sedition Law that they might fully understand
what constituted a breach of its provisions, knowing that one or more
cases of its violation would come before them. As an illustration he
alluded to certain matter published in a high-toned party paper printed
in that district that violated the provisions of this law. This gave
great offence to the opposite party. The allusion to the paper was legal
under any circumstances by way of explanation but may be considered
uncourteous until we understand that it went immediately into the hands
of the grand jury as testimony which made it in all respects a
legitimate document to be alluded to by him. Ingenuity could not _then_
nor with its prolific growth could it _now_ construe the act into a
pre-judgment of the case. The publication was before him--he alluded to
_that_ but to no individual. It was clearly a violation of the meaning
and intent of the law--who published it was left for the jury to
determine if they could. This constituted the ground of the third
article of impeachment.

In delivering his charge to the grand jury in 1803, Judge Chase made
sundry remarks upon the polities of the day reflecting upon certain acts
of the democratic party. This was a surplusage of duty but not cause for
impeachment. It resulted from his sanguine temperament, the great
political excitement of that period--not from any impurity of motive. He
believed laws had been passed for party purposes that were
unconstitutional. If _he_ was in error then, his position has often been
verified since. Freedom of speech is a constitutional privilege--he used
the same liberty practised by his opponents and which was not then
trammelled by the obnoxious Sedition Law. It was not a proper time or
place to read a political lecture but it does not follow that his
designs were corrupt or his conduct criminal. The ermine of a judge is
not beautified by being powdered with the farina of politics--his right
to think and speak upon the subject none will question. If he speaks at
an improper time and place it is an error--not a crime. He animadverted
upon the change of the right of suffrage in the constitution of his own
state to which he had strong objections. With him many of the devoted
patriots of the revolution deemed the elective franchise unsafe with
ignorant men who did not fully comprehend and appreciate their rights.
The reasons for this opinion grow less as intelligence increases. In
some of the states a property qualification is still necessary to
entitle a man to vote and in others he must be a freeholder to entitle
him to hold certain town offices. An anxiety to preserve the government
pure unquestionably pervaded the bosom of Judge Chase.

In concluding his charge he spoke strongly against the changes that had
been made in the judiciary system of the United States. He attributed
them to party politics--deemed them personal in their object and not
conducive to public good in their operations. As these related to his
official duties they were legitimate points for remark. It was a matter
of course that a man like him should comment freely and severely upon
what he conceived a personal and public wrong. He never dined at the
half-way house. In all that has been presented I can find nothing to
impugn the honesty of his intentions or the purity of his motives.

Upon these premises six articles of impeachment were framed at first and
at the next session of Congress two more were added--the natural
increase of a year. On the 2d of January 1805 Judge Chase was arraigned
before the Senate of the United States. A majority of the members were
politically opposed to him but amongst them were men who loved justice
more than party. The herculean powers of John Randolph were brought to
bear upon him in the full plenipotence of their force. The trial
continued until the first of March except a short recess. A portion of
this time the Judge was confined by illness. He was ably and
successfully defended by Messrs. Martin, Hopkinson, Harper and Key. Of
five of the charges he was acquitted by a majority of the Senate. A
constitutional number could not be obtained to convict him on the
others--he stood approved, acquitted, triumphant over his enemies at the
highest tribunal of his country--looking upon his colossal vanquished
political foes, with mingled pity and contempt. He had never doubted the
favorable result and properly regarded the prosecution as a political

From that period to the time of his last illness his peace was
undisturbed. He continued to be an ornament to the judiciary, an honor
to his country, the faithful friend of human rights and equal justice.
On the 19th of June 1811, surrounded by his family and friends, he bade
a last farewell to sublunary things and died peaceful and happy. A large
number of relatives, an extensive circle of friends and a grateful
nation mourned his loss.

In the character of this great and good man we find no corruption to
condemn--many strong and brilliant traits to admire. As a revolutionary
patriot he stood on a lofty eminence--as a statesman he rendered many
and important services--as a lawyer he enjoyed a high reputation--as a
judge he sustained an exalted position. All the charges against him have
been faithfully spread before the reader. The result of their
investigation caused his powerful enemies to weave for him a higher
eulogium than language can express. I find no evidence of guile in his
heart. He felt strongly--expressed his opinions freely and acted
sincerely so far as we can judge from the record.

Against his private character slander and malice never directed an
arrow. He was in all respects above suspicion. He was a kind husband, an
affectionate father, a warm friend--an open, honorable, scarifying
opponent. His sanguine temperament was calculated to gain strong friends
and violent enemies. He handled his political opposers with great
severity which accounts for the mighty effort made to ostracise him from
the Bench. He possessed a noble and benevolent disposition--was a friend
to the poor and needy, to education and to everything that enhanced the
happiness of those around him and the human family. Under his
benefaction the celebrated William Pinkey was educated and made a man.
He often referred gratefully to his benefactor in after life. He was an
active member of St. Paul's church and did much to promote practical
piety, sound morals and social order. His force, vigor, decision of
character and stern integrity were well calculated for the period in
which he lived. If he sometimes offended by soaring above the
non-committal system of technical politics, it resulted from the strong
combination of conflicting circumstances that uniformly attend the
period of a revolution, the formation of a new government and the
asperity of high toned party feeling operating upon the sensitive
feelings of an ardent, patriotic, honest, independent mind.


A large proportion of the most substantial and useful men who have
filled the measure of their country's glory and enrolled their names on
the scroll of fame, were not ushered into public notice under the
streamer of a collegiate diploma fluttering in the fickle wind of
popularity. A clear head, strong common sense, an investigating and
analyzing mind, with a judgment matured in the school of experience, are
the grand requisites to prepare a man for sterling usefulness. Without
these you vainly pour upon him the classic stream. It is like water
poured upon the interminable sand--it invigorates for a moment, then
sinks and leaves the surface dry and unproductive. If there is no
substratum to retain the appliances of irrigation, the soil is not worth
the labor. I do not undervalue high seminaries of learning and highly
appreciate a liberal education. I only wish to correct the opposite
extreme that is gaining rapidly among us, of placing too _high_ a value
upon them, making a classical course the grand requisite of prospective
usefulness. I also wish to encourage those who have talent and only a
good English education, to expand their wings of usefulness and imitate
the examples of Franklin, Sherman, Abraham Clark and others who have
graced the theatre of human action without the aid of a collegiate
education. If they do not soar like eagles they may still be useful for
there is more good to be achieved and more need of labor in low life
than high. An humble bird saved Rome.

Abraham Clark was born at Elizabethtown, Essex county, New Jersey on the
15th of February 1726. He was the only son of Thomas Clark who held the
office of Alderman, at that time a dignified station filled by men of
merit. He was a farmer, a man of strong common sense and instilled into
the mind of his son the enduring principles of moral rectitude that
governed his actions through life. He received a good English education
and was designed for the ennobling pursuit of agriculture. Of a slender
frame and feeble constitution he was unable to endure hard labor but
continued to superintend the improvement of the paternal domain left him
by his father. He was an accomplished mathematician and was extensively
employed in surveying and conveyancing. He was also an elementary lawyer
and a safe gratuitous counsellor. He often saved his friends from the
vexatious labyrinth of litigation by assuaging the angry elements of
passion and leading them to the pure fountain of equal justice. He was
called the poor man's counsellor and did much to allay disputes and
promote harmony among his neighbors. He enjoyed the blessing pronounced
on peace makers. His decisions were based on correct legal principles
and impartial justice. He was often selected an arbitrator in different
counties to settle disputed land titles. His knowledge and legal
acquirements, united by an acute judgment, became so highly appreciated,
that he was appointed by the Assembly to settle the claims to undivided
commons. He filled the office of sheriff--was appointed clerk of the
Legislature--doing credit to himself and dignifying every station he
occupied. As he became known to the public his talents were more highly
appreciated--not because they kindled to a blaze calculated to excite
the huzzas of the multitude one day and possibly receive their
execrations the next--but because they exemplified unwavering rectitude,
strict justice, moral worth and disinterested patriotism.

When the vials of oppression were poured upon his native colony by the
mother country Mr. Clark was among the first to contend for liberal
principles and equal rights. Cool, reflective and deliberate--he had the
confidence of his fellow citizens and exercised a wise and salutary
influence over them. His actions flowed from the pure fountain of a good
heart guided by a clear head and a mature judgment. He weighed
impartially and felt most keenly British injustice towards the colonies.
He was an active and bold leader in primary meetings firmly opposing the
unreasonable claims of the crown. He was a prominent member of the
Committee of Safety and did much to consolidate that phalanx of sages
and heroes which stood firm and unbroken amidst the storms of wrath
poured on them for seven years. He had a peculiar talent to rouse his
fellow citizens to action on all proper occasions, always moving within
the orbit of sound discretion.

In June 1776 he took his seat in the continental Congress where he fully
sustained his previous high reputation for patriotism and good sense. To
such men as him we owe the liberty we now enjoy. Revolution is too often
the offspring of faction. When so, the successful actors, after
annihilating the power assailed often plunge into tenfold corruption.
Demagogues may rouse the angry passions of the multitude to a curling
flame but it requires such men as Franklin, Sherman and Clark to ride
upon the whirlwind, direct the tornado and rule the storm of passion.
They could guide the liquid streams of mental fire and conduct them
harmless in their course.

Although the American Revolution did not originate in fanaticism--the
centrifugal zeal of many of its able advocates carried them beyond the
orbit of prudence. Upon such men Mr. Clark exercised a happy influence.
Although they may not be able to make a flowery speech of three hours or
three days at the expense of thousands to our nation--yet it is to such
men we must look for the perpetuity of our UNION. It is for them to
steer the ship of State clear from the rocks and shoals of error and
avoid the breakers of rashness, intrigue and corruption. They are the
neutralizers of the inflammatory gases that fly from the fiery craniums
of many of our legislators who are more classical than discreet--more in
the forum than in the committee room--more anxious to advance their
_party_ than the good of their country.

Mr. Clark was warmly in favor of the Declaration of Independence. For
this strong and important measure he had long been prepared from a
strong conviction that no reasonable or honorable terms would be
sanctioned by the ambitious and haughty ministry of Great Britain. He
believed that abject slavery awaited the colonists unless the gordian
knot of allegiance was cut at one bold stroke. On the 4th of July 1776,
his affirmative vote and signature upon the chart of Liberty proved his
sincerity and gained for him the approval of his conscience and the
approbation of admiring millions.

He was continued in Congress for seven consecutive years, except
spending one session in the state legislature. Owing to his naturally
strong and highly cultivated mind, great industry and extensive fund of
practical knowledge, he was one of the most useful members of the
national legislature. From 1783 to 1788 he was a member of the
legislature in his own state. So great was his influence that every act
that excited public attention was attributed to him.

Mr. Clark was a strong advocate for the Convention that framed the
Federal Constitution. He was appointed a member but extreme illness
prevented his attendance. In 1788 he was again elected to Congress. At
the next congressional election he was defeated for the first time. This
reminds me of the law of Ostracism in the Republic of Athens under which
many of its citizens were banished by the same demagogue party spirit
that has banished many of our best men from the political arena. Mr.
Clark was then appointed to the important station of commissioner to
settle the state accounts with the general government. At the ensuing
election the people, upon a sober second thought, again elected him to
Congress of which he remained a member up to the time of his death. He
died in June 1794 from the effects of _coup de soleil_ [a stroke of the
sun] in two hours from the time he was taken ill.

Mr. Clark was truly pious, a pure patriot and an honest man. He was a
faithful public sentinel, a kind and affectionate friend, an honorable
and generous opponent. His death was deeply mourned by our nation and
most keenly felt by his numerous personal friends. His fame is worthy of
the highest encomiums--his example should be more closely imitated.


Learning makes the man, is an adage too old to be used as a quotation
but which time or angels can never stamp with truth. Unless the _man_ is
made by the Creator of all good, learning cannot do it. The mental
powers of man are as diversified as the soils of earth and as well
deserve classification. Upon the minds of some we may pour a continued
stream from the fountain of knowledge but like the desert of Sahara they
are barren of fruit or flower. Upon other minds laborious efforts
produce an improvement but never enrich them. Their upper crust is too
light--their substratum too porous to retain the fructifying substances
lavished upon them. Others yield a liberal harvest by good culture and
become valuable by use. Like the alluvial prairies, others are adorned
with fruits and flowers. They only require the introduction of seed to
afford all the rich varieties of products that may be desired. Expose
them to the genial rays of the sun of science--the germs of genius will
immediately spring up--the embryo forms will bud and blossom like the

The mental powers of George Clymer were composed of a deep and prolific
mould capable of producing the richest fruits. Fortunately for our
country it was not appropriated entirely to ornamental flowers and
blooming shrubbery but to the substantial fruits that invigorate and
support life. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1739. His father
removed to that city from Bristol, England and died when George was but
seven years old. William Coleman, his maternal uncle, took him into his
family, treated him as a son and made him heir to most of his property.
Being a literary man he gave his nephew every facility for the
acquirement of a good education. He had an extensive library and
rejoiced to see it explored by young George who manifested an early
taste for reading and investigated critically every subject that came
before him. He traced it through all its meanderings to its primeval
source. This trait in his character rendered him vastly useful in the
momentous concerns of his subsequent life. He dug deep and laid firmly
the foundations of his education--the superstructure was on a firm

From the seminary George went into the counting-house of his uncle and
became thoroughly acquainted with the mercantile business in which he
finally embarked. This calling was too precarious to suit his equipoised
mind. He was opposed to sudden gains or losses--the one elated the mind
too much--the other depressed it too low--destroying the divine
equilibrium calculated to impart the greatest happiness to man and
assimilate him to his Creator. He believed a virtuous equality in life
more conducive to the prosperity of a nation than to have the majority
of wealth wielded by a favored few. The former tended to
republicanism--the latter to aristocracy. He was in favor of equal
rights, a patriot of the Roman school, a philanthropist of the first
water--opposed to all monopolies. His genius was of that original order,
that, like some comets, visit our world only at long intervals. It
traversed the circuit of human nature, metaphysics, philosophy,
physiology, ethics and general science without an apparent
effort--drawing from each conclusions peculiarly its own. He was a
_virtuoso_, an amateur, a deep logician and an acute mathematician. A
love of liberty was innate with him. His mind was richly stored with the
history of other times and nations--he was well versed in the principles
of law and government--he understood the chartered rights of his country
and felt, most keenly, the increasing infringements upon them by the
very power that was bound by the laws of nature, man and God to respect
them. He was among the first to resist the oppressors of his country and
proclaim to his fellow-citizens the principles of freedom. At the _tea
meeting_ held by the people of Philadelphia on the 16th of Oct. 1773,
his powerful reasoning, deep sincerity, ardent zeal and enthusiastic
patriotism--commanded the admiration of all who heard him. Free from
pedantry and naturally retiring--his powers of mind were known only to
his immediate friends. From that time his talents were claimed as public
property. He was compelled to surrender possession without the formality
of a _mandamus, quo warranto certiorari_ or appeal.

When the final crisis arrived--when the shrill war-cry came rushing
through the air from the heights of Lexington, Mr. Clymer took command
of a company under Gen. Cadwalader and repaired to the tented field. He
was a member of the Council of Safety and had served on most of the
committees to prepare petitions, remonstrances and other measures of
redress. On the 29th of July 1775 Congress called him from the camp to
aid Michael Hillegas in managing the public treasury. He subscribed
liberally to the loan raised for the public service and placed all the
specie he could raise into the public chest and took in return ephemeral
paper. His examples and influence caused many to rush to the rescue
regardless of consequences. In July 1776 he was elected to Congress
after the 4th and on taking his seat placed his name upon the
Declaration of Independence. A part of the preceding delegation from
Pennsylvania, finding the Declaration of Rights would be adopted, were
seized with crown fits and nothing but absquatulating powders promised
any relief to the spasmodic attack. As security for the payment of this
medicine they put in leg bail and vanished. The people promptly filled
their places with men who dared to be free.

In September of that year Messrs. Clymer and Stockton were sent by
Congress to visit the northern army and confer with Gen. Washington upon
future arrangements. In December of the same year Congress retired to
Baltimore in consequence of the approach of the enemy, then devastating
New Jersey. Mr. Clymer was one of the committee left to superintend the
public interests and brave the perils that were rushing on like a
tornado. He was re-elected to Congress and in April 1777 was again upon
a visiting committee to the army to confer with Washington upon all
subjects that required prompt attention which were neither few, small or
far between. In the autumn of that year a fresh momentum was given to
the patriotism of Mr. Clymer. He had removed his family and goods to
Chester county. Immediately after the battle of Brandywine the tories
led the British to his house who destroyed a large amount of his
property. His family fled just in time to be saved the worse than savage
tortures inflicted upon every prominent patriot's wife and mother they
could seize. This sacrifice upon the altar of liberty strengthened him
in the cause of freedom imparting fresh vigor to his exertions. Such
conduct on the part of the British operated as a talisman in
consolidating the colonies in one solid phalanx of unyielding
opposition. Its eloquence soared above all words--it was
action--action--action--demoniac action.

In December 1779 Mr. Clymer was one of a committee sent to Fort Pitt to
induce the Indians to desist from hostilities. The mission consumed four
months and was principally executed by him alone, narrowly escaping the
tomahawk during his absence. It was found necessary to carry the war
into the Indian settlements. During the year after his return he devoted
his time in raising supplies for the army then in a very destitute
condition. In 1780 he was again returned to Congress and served until
November when he was associated with John Nixon in the organization of
the Bank of North America which contributed largely in raising the
prostrate credit of the government and yet stands upon a firm basis with
fair prospects of surviving whilst our Republic continues. In May 1782
he was associated with Mr. Rutledge on a mission through the Southern
States to induce them to meet more promptly the requisitions for
supplies. During the entire period of the Revolution he devoted his
whole time to the service of his country and discharged every duty
faithfully. He stood high as an able and efficient co-worker in the
vineyard of Liberty and when the harvest was past and the war ended, he
retired from the field crowned with living honors enduring as the
historic page.

When peace was proclaimed he removed to Princeton, N. J. for the purpose
of resting from his toils and educating his children. The ensuing year
he was persuaded to return to Philadelphia. He was immediately elected
to the legislature and contributed largely in cutting from the old
Constitution and laws of his native state the obnoxious branches of
tyranny that still clustered around them. He stripped the penal code of
its inquisitorial features and originated and successfully advocated the
abolishment of death in all cases except for murder in the first degree.
He was the father of the salutary penitentiary system now in full force
at Cherry Hill near the city of Philadelphia--solitary confinement and
labor. It may not be known to every reader that prisoners were formerly
compelled to labor in chains, often in public places. The superiority of
solitary confinement over all other modes of punishment has been fully
demonstrated and is in a slow course of adoption throughout the confines
of civilized humanity.

The mind of Mr. Clymer was prolific and happy in plans of usefulness and
utility. To benefit his country and better the condition of mankind was
his constant aim. To effect this he saw the necessity of reducing every
department of government to system and order. American Independence was
achieved--to preserve it by reconciling conflicting interests,
green-eyed jealousies, incongruous clamors and imaginary evils, was a
herculean task only in embryo. He hailed with joy the convention to form
the Federal Constitution and had the pleasure of being a member. The
result of the labors of that body was charged with a deeper interest
than the war-struggle for victory over the invading armies of England.
It involved the fate of our infant Republic--then trembling on the verge
of ruin. One more plunge and it would have been lost in the gulf of
primeval chaos. The conflict was between members of the same family who
had fought the enemy in one solid unbroken phalanx--now this band of
brothers were separated by local interests and sectional jealousies. To
bring the issue to a safe termination it required the deepest sagacity,
the acutest wisdom, the most matured judgment, the profoundest legal
learning, the most disinterested patriotism, the most exalted charity
and the purest spirit of conciliation. Happily for our country and the
cause of liberty these noble principles predominated--the glorious work
was accomplished in which Mr. Clymer participated largely.

This noble patriot was elected to the first Congress that convened under
the Federal Constitution. He was a stern republican in every thing. He
was very properly opposed to tacking any titles to the name of any
public man except that of the office which he held. Excellency,
Honorable, &c., he considered to be what they really are--shadows of a
shadow, too vain and imbecile for a freeman. He was wisely opposed to
the right of instruction from his constituents because they must decide
without hearing evidence or argument and were themselves uniformly
directed by a few designing men actuated by motives based on prejudice
or ignorance. He could not be made the passive tool of demagogue power
or the automaton of party spirit. We greatly need many more of the same
sort at the present time. In the organization of the general government
he took a very active part. Every subject presented to Congress he
analyzed with the acumen of a sage, philosopher and statesman. He was
continued a member until 1790, when he made an effort to close his
public career. But this he was not permitted to do. Under the Act of
Congress passed in 1791, imposing a duty on distilled spirits Mr. Clymer
was appointed to enforce its collection in his own state. In
Pennsylvania this law produced the _whiskey rebellion_ which required
military force to restore order. No display of force could prevent Mr.
Clymer from the performance of his duty. He appointed collectors in the
different counties, advising the people to submit to the law whilst in
force and pursue the constitutional remedy for its repeal if they
believed it wrong. During the height of the excitement he mingled freely
with the mobocracy when but few men would have been spared if clothed
with the same office. When order was restored he resigned his situation.
The last public service he consented to render was in conjunction with
Colonels Pickens and Hasskins in negotiating a treaty with the Creek
Indians which was consummated on the 29th of June 1796. He then retired
to enjoy the fruits of his labors without any to disturb or make him
afraid. He had periled his life, fortune and honor for his country--he
had been her fearless advocate amidst the storms of revolution, civil
discord and open rebellion--in his retirement he saw her peaceful,
prosperous and happy with the illustrious Washington directing her
destiny to fame and glory. The measure of his ardent desires was
filled--he asked no more.

Although retired from the more prominent public arena, Mr. Clymer did
not seek for inglorious ease--he remained active through life. He took a
deep interest in every kind of improvement and to many extended his
fostering care. He was a friend to the laboring classes and became
familiar with the principles of agriculture and the mechanic trades.
Among his private papers are many drawings of plans for bridges, canals,
and various kinds of machinery and implements of husbandry with numerous
recipes relative to the fine arts. Like Franklin he extended his
researches to almost every subject within the grasp of man and extracted
the essential oil from each. He always sought for solid substance that
was of substantial use. He was opposed to pedantry, pomp and parade. He
was what would now be called a plain blunt man. His bluntness was not of
an offensive kind to common sense men. It consisted in laconic truth
dressed in republican simplicity--a garb that was much admired _then_
but is quite out of fashion _now_--a change of rather doubtful utility.
Although he originated many important measures in the national and state
legislatures, he seldom spoke in the forum and was often unknown to the
public when the author of wise and salutary propositions. He was
ambitious only to do good and was not anxious that his name should be
wafted on the breeze of popular applause or sounded in the high places
of the earth. To be instrumental in benefiting the human family was the
_ultimatum_ of his soul.

When the importance of a subject induced Mr. Clymer to rise in debate he
was listened to with profound attention. As a speaker his example is
worthy of all imitation. Without any effort at refined eloquence he
expressed in strong language what he strongly felt. He came directly to
the point--adhered closely to it in a strain of keen, cutting,
conclusive and laconic reasoning avoiding recrimination--was always
brief, often casting into the shade in a few moments the labored and
finely dressed speeches of his opponents that had cost them days,
perhaps weeks to prepare and hours to deliver. He aimed his blows at the
syllabus of their finely spun arguments and often demolished their
ornamented superstructure at one bold stroke with the damask blade of
sound logic drawn from the scabbard of plain common sense and wielded by
the vigorous arm of lucid reason.

This useful man closed his earthly career at the residence of his son in
Morrisville, Berks County, Pa., on the 23d of January 1813--most deeply
mourned by those who knew him best. He was of the middle size, well
formed, fair complexion, with a countenance attractive, intelligent,
ingenuous, pleasing and expressive of a strong mind. In the private
walks of life he was a model of human excellence. He was proverbial for
punctuality in all things, if only to take a walk with a friend or
present a promised toy to a child. In conversation he was agreeable and
instructive--illuminating and enlivening the social circle with
apothegms, aphorisms and pungent anecdotes--imparting pleasure and
intelligence to all around him. In all this he was modest, chaste and
discreet--avoiding any appearance of superiority, never making personal
allusions even to his opponents. He spoke ill of no one and rebuked
slander whenever he discovered it. His morals were of the purest
order--his philanthropy of the loftiest kind. As a public servant, a
private citizen, a kind husband, a faithful father, a warm friend, an
honorable opponent and a noble patriot--George Clymer had no superior.
He visited the widow and the fatherless in their distress and relieved
them. He kept himself unspotted from the world and did all the good in
his power. His were the fruits of primitive Christianity as taught by
the Apostles. Let his examples be imitated by all--then our UNION is


Frugality is an old fashioned virtue that is deeply covered with the
alluvion of modern extravagance. With a large proportion of the
community--economy is no longer a governing principle. More generally is
this the case with public bodies and associations. When we look at the
enormous and worse than useless expense of public buildings a large
proportion of them are marked with an extravagance far from republican
simplicity--large expenditures without enlarging comfort or convenience,
Girard College is an example in point. A large portion of the money
expended on that too splendid structure, was diverted from its
legitimate channel--_the support and education of the poor orphan_. It
is a tolerated--not an excusable error. So with many other public
buildings erected with money drawn directly and indirectly from the hard
earnings of the people. As inconsistent as it is--professing Christians
have adopted this error with a vengeance--although the great Author of
Christianity was born in a stable--cradled in a manger and preached his
thrilling soul-cheering sermons in the open air. As churches are now
conducted--how great the change--how alarming the contrast. The
landmarks of primitive Christianity are buried by the alluvion of human
inventions. Millions are expended in building extravagant
edifices--furnishing them with velvet, damask or other cushions--the
congregation involved in debt--the poor necessarily excluded--when half
the amount contracted would have been sufficient and the other half
should have been expended to alleviate the wants of the suffering poor
and in sending the Gospel of Peace to the destitute. Extravagant
professed followers of the lowly Jesus--think of this when you rise from
reposing--perhaps _sleeping_ on your gaudy church cushions. Think of the
birth place of your Lord--of his life of poverty--his friendship to the
poor--his constant efforts to do them good--of the habits and limited
comforts of his disciples--and more--think how destitute you are of the
very foundation of true religion--HUMILITY. How will you answer for
these things at the searching tribunal of the great Jehovah? Even your
funerals are marked with an extravagance that should be reduced to an
amount that would leave a sum sufficient to make your poor neighbors
comfortable for a long time. If you would honor the religion of the
immaculate Redeemer--learn and practice frugality--enlarge your charity
and adorn your conduct with consistency.

With the _true_ patriots of the American Revolution frugality was
proverbial. Independence Hall, built of plain brick and mortar, was
deemed sufficiently splendid for the accommodation of the master
spirits of that eventful era. A plain yard, with native forest trees for
an ornament, was satisfactory. Now nothing but a marble structure,
surrounded by extensive highly ornamented pleasure grounds, at an
expense of MILLIONS, will answer for the legislators of this
anti-republican era. The dear people are no longer consulted relative to
the expenses of our government--to _pay_ is their only privilege.
Imported extravagance--imported customs--apish imitations of European
usages--are fast driving republican simplicity from our once happy land.
If the people tamely submit to these gross innovations they will
ultimately reap the bitter fruits of their culpable neglect of duty.

Among the sages of the American Revolution, John Dickinson figured
conspicuously. He was born in Maryland in 1732. After acquiring a good
education he read law and had a lucrative practice in the city of
Philadelphia. He was elected to the legislature at an early age and
became a prominent member--an eloquent speaker and ready writer. He was
a member of the General Congress in 1765 when he boldly exposed the
unwarranted conduct of crown officers urged on by corrupt ministers. In
1767 he published a series of letters--boldly exposing the
unconstitutional features of sundry acts of parliament. They contributed
largely towards preparing the people for that resistance which resulted

Mr. Dickinson was a member of the important preliminary Congress of 1774
and wrote the lucid petition to the King that emanated from that body.
He was the author of the declaration published by the Congress of 1775
which ably set forth the causes that impelled the down-trodden colonists
to take up arms and resolve on victory or death. The second petition to
the King was from his pen and adopted by Congress. All his writings were
well suited to the occasions that induced them and were eminently
calculated to advance the cause of the patriots. He was slow to believe
England could not be brought to see and relinquish her suicidal course.
He believed the Declaration of Independence premature and did not vote
for it. He had great confidence in his own persuasive powers. His
opposition to the Declaration of Rights caused his constituents to give
him leave of absence. He subsequently sanctioned it and repented of his
error. In 1779 he was again elected to Congress and became a zealous,
active, useful member. The following extract from an address, adopted by
Congress on the 26th of May 1779, is from his pen.

"Infatuated as your enemies have been from the beginning of this contest
do you imagine they can flatter themselves with a hope of conquering
you unless you are false to yourselves? When unprepared, undisciplined
and unsupported--you opposed their fleets and armies in full conjoined
force--then, if at any time, was conquest to be apprehended. Yet, what
progress towards it have their violent and incessant efforts made? Judge
from their own conduct. Having devoted you to bondage and after vainly
wasting their blood and treasure in the dishonorable enterprise--they
deigned at length to offer terms of accommodation with respectful
addresses to that once despised body--the Congress--whose humble
supplications, only for peace and safety, they had contemptuously
rejected under pretence of its being an unconstitutional assembly. Nay
more--desirous of seducing you into a deviation from the paths of
rectitude from which they had so far and rashly wandered, they made most
specious offers to tempt you into a violation of your faith given to
your illustrious ally."

"Foiled again and stung with rage, embittered by envy--they had no
alternative but to renounce the inglorious and ruinous controversy or to
resume their former modes of prosecuting it. They chose the latter.
Again the savages are stimulated to horrid massacres of women and
children and domestics to the murder of their masters. Again our brave
and unhappy brethren are doomed to miserable deaths in jails and
prison-ships. To complete the sanguinary system--all the 'EXTREMITIES of
war' are denounced against you by authority. * * Rouse yourselves,
therefore, that this campaign may finish the great work you have so
nobly carried on for several years past. What nation ever engaged in
such a contest under such a complication of disadvantages so soon
surmounted many of them and in so short a period of time had so certain
a prospect of a speedy and happy conclusion. We will venture to
pronounce that so remarkable an instance exists not in the annals of
mankind. * * * Consider how much you have done and how comparatively
little remains to be done to crown you with success. Persevere and you
insure peace, FREEDOM, safety, glory, sovereignty and felicity to
yourselves, your children and your children's children." * * *

"Fill up your battalions--be prepared in every part to repel the
incursions of your enemies--place your several quotas in the
constitutional treasury--lend money for public uses--sink the emissions
of your several states--provide effectually for expediting the
conveyance of supplies for your armies and fleets and for your
allies--prevent the produce of your country from being
monopolized--effectually superintend the behaviour of public officers
(what a poser if the dear people should do this imperious duty now)
diligently promote piety, virtue, brotherly love, learning, FRUGALITY
and moderation and may you be approved before Almighty God--worthy of
those blessings we devoutly wish you to enjoy."

Here is a bright specimen of the republican principles that governed the
public officers and people of the Revolution. They are too simple for
the present portentous era of imported extravagance and customs--too
pure for the politicians of our time. They will be read with approving
admiration--but few will put them in practice.

Mr. Dickinson filled the office of President of Pennsylvania and
subsequently removed to the state of Delaware and there filled the same
chair. His political writings were collected and published in 1810
making two volumes octavo. His famous "Farmer's Letters to the
Inhabitants of the British Colonies" were so highly prized by the astute
Franklin that he had them republished in London and sent a French
translation to Paris. But few of the sages did as much with their pen as
this patriot. He lived to enjoy the fruits of his labors to a good old
age. He resided at Wilmington, Delaware, for a long time where he closed
his earthly pilgrimage on the 15th of February 1808. He was a member of
the Society of Friends. His private character was without reproach.


Contracts fairly entered into by parties competent to make and
consummate them should be sacredly fulfilled in the minutest
particulars. Individuals and social compacts from the common business
firm up to the most exalted national engagements are bound by the laws
of God, man and honor to keep inviolate their plighted faith. A
deviation from the path of rectitude in this particular is uniformly
attended with evil consequences and often with those most disastrous.
The party that violates its obligations without a justifiable reason and
especially if it attempts to advance its own interests regardless of,
perhaps injurious to those of the other, comes to court with a bad
cause. I have repeatedly remarked that the American Revolution resulted
from a violation of colonial chartered rights by the mother country. To
enter into a full exposition of the relations between the two high
contracting parties would require more space than can be allowed in this
work. Reference to some of the cardinal points in a single charter will
give the reader a clue to them all. Some of a later date are rather
more limited in privileges than that of Rhode Island to which I refer.

This charter secured religious freedom, personal liberty, personal
rights in property--excluding the king from all interference with the
local concerns of the colony and was virtually republican in its
provisions. One of the early Acts of Parliament referring to Rhode
Island contains the following language. "That no person within the said
colony at any time hereafter shall be in any way molested, punished,
disquieted or called in question for any difference of opinion in
matters of religion that does not actually disturb the civil peace of
said colony." The loyalty of the inhabitants up to the time oppressions
commenced was unquestionable. The ancient records give full evidence of
the fact. The addresses to the king begin thus. "The general Assembly
judged it their duty to signify his majesty's gracious pleasure
vouchsafed to us." Extract of a letter written to Sir Henry Vane in
England. "We have long drunk of the cup of as great liberties as any
people we can hear of under the whole heavens. We have not only been
long free, together with all English, from the yokes of wolfish bishops
and their popish ceremonies against whose grievous oppressions God
raised up your noble spirit in parliament but we have sitten down quiet
and dry from the streams of blood spilt by war in our native country. We
have not known what an excise means. We have almost forgotten what
tythes are, yea or taxes either to church or common weal."

In addition to other declaratory acts of Parliament sanctioning and
continuing chartered privileges generally in all the colonies, one was
passed in March 1663, involving the very hinge upon which the question
of the Revolution turned. Extract--"Be it further enacted--_That no
taxes shall be imposed or required of the colonies but by the consent of
the General Assembly_"--meaning the General Assembly of each colony
separably and including the whole. This single sentence of that
declaratory act, based upon a cardinal point in the British constitution
and guarded by the sanctity of charter contracts that could not be
annulled but by the mutual consent of the high contracting parties,
solves the problem of the Revolution. Having lived in the full enjoyment
of chartered privileges which had become matured by the age of more than
a century, the colonists would have been unworthy the name of men had
they tamely submitted to their annihilation. To the unfading honor of
their names--_they did not submit_. A band of sages and heroes rose in
all the majesty of man--met the invaders of their rights and drove them
from Columbia's soil.

Among them was William Ellery, born at Newport Rhode Island on the 2d of
December 1727. His ancestors were from Bristol, England. He was the son
of William Ellery a graduate of Harvard College and an enterprising
merchant. He filled many public stations and became one of the first men
in the colony. Pleased with the docility of his son he became his
instructor and prepared him for college. He entered Harvard and became a
close and successful student. He was delighted with the classics and was
enraptured with the history of the ancient republics. So great was his
veneration for ancient authors that he continued his familiarity with
them to the moment of his death. He was one of the most lucid classic
philologists of that age. He graduated at twenty and commenced the study
of law. In that ever expanding field of labor he was all industry and
was admitted to the bar with brilliant prospects before him. Located in
one of the most delightful towns on the Atlantic, surrounded by a large
circle of friends who desired his success, blessed with superior talents
improved by a refined education, esteemed by all who knew him--his
situation was truly agreeable. He possessed an amiable disposition, a
strong mind, a large share of wit and humor, polished manners and a
vivid animation in conversation that dispelled ennui from every circle
in which he moved. With these accomplishments he spread his sails to the
public breeze.

He commenced a successful practice at the bar of Newport and realized
the fond anticipations of his friends. He was highly honorable in his
course and had the confidence of the citizens, the respect of his
professional brethren and the esteem of the courts. To make more
complete his standing and importance in community he entered into
partnership with a most estimable lady until death should them part. The
firm proved prosperous and happy. Up to the time British oppression
commenced, his days passed peacefully and quietly along with an
accumulating fortune flowing in. When the revolutionary storm loomed up
from the horizon he became roused. A new impetus was given to his mental
and physical powers. His townsmen were the first who had dared to beard
the British lion. On the 17th of June 1769, in consequence of the
oppressive conduct of her captain, the revenue sloop Liberty belonging
to his Britannic majesty was forcibly seized by a number of citizens in
disguise who cut away her masts, scuttled her, carried her boats to the
upper part of the town and committed them to the flames under the
towering branches of a newly planted LIBERTY TREE. This act was followed
by another on the 9th of June 1772 in which blood was shed--that of
seizing and burning the British schooner Gaspee. This was made a pretext
for more severe measures by the hirelings of the crown who recommended
to Parliament the disfranchisement of the colony. The revolutionary ball
was in motion at Newport. In the midst of these turmoils Mr. Ellery was
with the people and for freedom. He went for the preservation of rights
that had become sacred and venerable by age and had the high sanction of
the laws of man, of nature and of God. In 1774 he approved a suggestion
made in a letter from Gen. Greene--_that the colonies should declare
themselves independent_. This spirit took fast hold on the people of
Rhode Island at the very inception of the Revolution.

In 1776 Mr. Ellery was elected to the Continental Congress. His
constituents left him to act free as mountain air. He stood up to the
post of duty boldly and became an active member. He was fully prepared
to advocate and sanction the Declaration of Independence. An agreeable
speaker, master of satire, sarcasm, logic and philosophy--he exercised a
salutary and judicious influence. He was appointed on several important
committees and rendered efficient service. Upon the marine committee he
was the leading man. He was a strong advocate for the navy. Many of his
constituents were bold mariners. He felt a just pride in referring to
his fellow citizen--Commodore Ezek Hopkins, as the first commander of
the little fleet of the infant republic. It was he who took New
Providence by surprise--seized a large amount of war munitions amongst
which were one hundred pieces of cannon--took the royal Governor,
Lieutenant Governor and sundry others of his majesty's officers
prisoners and gave an earnest of the future glory to be achieved by
Yankee seamen.

When the time arrived for the final question upon the momentous
instrument that was to be a warrant of death or the diploma of freedom,
Mr. Ellery was at his post and fearlessly gave it his approving vote and
sanctioning signature. With his usual vivacity he took his stand by the
side of the Secretary, Charles Thomson, for the purpose of observing the
apparent emotions of each member as he came up and signed the important
document. He often referred to this circumstance in after life and said
an undaunted resolution was observed on every countenance. He was
continued a member of Congress until 1785--full evidence of the high
estimation in which he was held by his constituents. In 1777 he was upon
the committee that originated the plan of fitting out seven fire ships
to annoy the British fleet and had the credit of suggesting and
perfecting it.

When the enemy obtained possession of Newport their vengeance against
this noble patriot was manifested by burning all his property within
their reach. This did not move the equanimity of his mind only to make
him more zealous in the glorious cause of liberty. In 1778 he strongly
advocated a resolution making it death for any citizen--_alias_ tory who
should betray or aid in delivering into the hands of the enemy any of
the adherents of the cause of freedom or give any intelligence that
should lead to their capture. He spent nearly his whole time in Congress
and toiled incessantly. In 1779 he was on the committee of foreign
relations which had the settlement of some very unpleasant difficulties
between the United States and the foreign commissioners. He was chairman
of a committee to provide provisions for the inhabitants of Rhode Island
who were destitute of the necessaries of life. From year to year he was
arduously employed on most of the standing and many other important
committees. Marine difficulties occurred between the general government
and some of the states arising from a difference of opinion relative to
the powers conferred by the Articles of Confederation. A committee was
appointed to define those powers of which Mr. Ellery was the leading
member. This committee determined that all disputed claims were subject
to appeal from the Court of Admiralty to Congress where the facts and
law were to be fully settled. On all occasions and in all situations he
was diligent and punctual. When he discovered any long faces or forlorn
countenances in Congress the artillery of his wit and humor was sure to
pour a broadside upon them and often dispelled the lowering clouds that
hung gloomily over the minds of members.

In 1782 he was an efficient member of the committee on public accounts
the duties of which were large and perplexing. Speculation and
peculation had rolled their dark waves over the public business of the
nation--to do justice to all who presented claims was a problematical
matter. In 1784 he was upon the committee to act upon the definitive
treaty with Great Britain. He was upon the committee to define the power
of the Treasury Board--the one upon Foreign Relations and the one upon
the War Office. To crown his brilliant labors in Congress with
resplendent glory, he advocated the resolution of Mr. King to abolish
slavery in the United States. His whole force was brought to bear upon
this subject in a strain of forensic eloquence and powerful logic that
added fresh lustre to the substantial fame he had long enjoyed. _Then_
the subject was legitimate for Congress--_now_ it belongs to each state

In 1785 Mr. Ellery retired from political life and repaired to his now
peaceful home to replenish his ruined fortune and enjoy the blessings of
the Independence he had so much aided in consummating. In the spring of
1786 Congress made him commissioner of the National Loan Office for
Rhode Island. Shortly after he was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court of his native state. On his accession to the Presidential chair,
Washington appointed him Collector of Customs for Newport which station
he ably filled until he took his tranquil departure to a brighter world.
The evening of his life was as calm and mellow as an Italian sunset.
Universally esteemed--he enjoyed a delightful intercourse with a large
circle of friends. Honest, punctual and correct--he had the confidence
of the commercial community in his official station. During the thirty
years he was Collector of Customs, a loss of only two hundred dollars
upon bond accrued to government and upon that bond he had taken five
sureties. He spent much of his time in reading classic authors and in
corresponding with eminent men. But three weeks before his death he
wrote an essay upon Latin prosody and the faults of public speakers. His
bible was a favorite companion from which he drew and drank the living
waters of eternal life. Always cheerful, instructive and amusing--his
company was a rich treat to all who enjoyed it. His writings combined a
sprightliness and solidity rarely found.

His death was as remarkable as it was tranquil and glorious. It was that
of a Christian and philosopher. On the morning of the 15th of February
1820 he rose in usual health and seated himself in the flag-bottom chair
which he had used for fifty years and which was a relic rescued from the
flames when the enemy fired his buildings. He commenced reading Tully's
_Officiis_ in his favorite Latin without the aid of glasses the print
being no larger than that of a pocket bible. During the morning the
family physician called in and seeing him very pale felt his wrist and
found his pulse had ceased. He administered a little wine which gave a
transient impetus to the purple current. The physician spoke
encouragingly to whom Mr. Ellery replied--"It is idle to talk to me in
this way. I am going off the stage of life and it is a great blessing
that I go free from sickness, pain and sorrow." Becoming extremely weak
his daughter helped him on the bed where he sat upright and commenced
reading _Cicero de Officiis_ with the same composure as if in the full
vigor of life. In a few moments his spirit left its tenement of clay
without a motion, groan or sigh--his body still erect with the book
under his chin as if asleep. William Ellery was dead--relations and
friends wept--our nation mourned.

Thus usefully lived and happily died one of the brightest specimens of
human excellence. His whole career presents a rare and rich picture upon
which the imagination may feast, with increasing delight and which
cannot be rendered more beautiful or interesting by the finest touches
of the pencil of fancy dipped in the most brilliant color of romance. He
was of the middle stature, well formed, with a large head; an
intelligent and expressive countenance, moderate in his physical
movements and with all his vivacity generally had a grave aspect. He was
temperate, plain and uniform in his habits and dress and could seldom be
induced to join in chase after the _ignis fatuus_--FASHION. For many
years before his death his wardrobe was of an order belonging to a
by-gone generation. His courtesy and hospitality were always
conspicuous--the whole frame-work of his character was embellished with
all the rich varieties of amiable and good qualities--uniting beauty
with strength which ever gain esteem in life and tranquillity in death.
Reader contemplate this bright picture until its impress is so deeply
fixed upon your mind that nought but death can erase it.


Lexicographers define ambition to be an earnest desire of power, honor,
preferment, pride. Some who study party politics more than philosophy,
physiology or ethics, call all the laudable desires of the heart
AMBITION--aiming to strip the monster of its deformity that they may
sail under false colors and play the pirate whenever an opportunity
offers. The power that is gained by ambition is held by a slender
tenure--often a mere rope of sand. Its hero may receive the homage of
the multitude one day and be the victim of their fury the next. The
summit of vain ambition is often the depth of misery. Based on a
volcanic foundation it is in constant danger of an eruption. Inflated by
a gaseous thirst for power, like a balloon with hydrogen, it is liable
to an explosion from the very material that elevated it. Predicated on
self--it spurns philanthropy, banishes charity, tramples on justice,
despises patriotism, deals largely in the corrosive sublimate of
falsehood, the elixir vitriol of revenge--the assafœtida of duplicity.
Like a kite, it cannot rise in a calm and when up, is subject to fly
from its fastenings and be rent by the cross currents ever in motion.
The fulcrum of ignorance and the lever of party spirit form its magic

Some European writers have charged the patriots of the American
Revolution with selfish ambition. They may be excused for this
supposition from the fact that this is the motive power of _their_
actions and they can understand no other. Very different was the fact.
Private virtue, broad charity, genuine philanthropy, undisguised
patriotism were marked characteristics of those who achieved our
Liberty. They were actuated by pure and honest motives--not by wild
ambition and political frenzy. Noisy partisans and intriguing demagogues
were not the favorites of the people at that trying period. The man of
genuine worth and modest merit was the one they delighted to honor and

In the character of William Floyd these qualities were happily blended.
He was born at Suffolk county, Long Island, State of New York on the
17th of December 1734. He was the son of Mr. Nicoll Floyd and the
grandson of Richard Floyd who came from Wales in 1680 and settled at
Setauket, Long Island. During his childhood William was remarkable for
frankness, truth, docility and pleasing manners. He was an industrious
student and acquired a liberal education. During the prosecution of his
studies he devoted a short period almost daily to his gun in pursuit of
game which gave him healthful exercise and a strong frame. His father
died before William arrived at his majority leaving him an ample
fortune. This he managed with prudence and economy. From his youth he
had been the advocate of liberal principles. At manhood he became a
prominent opposer to the innovations of the British ministers upon the
chartered rights of Americans. As oppression increased his patriotic
feelings were more frequently and freely expressed. He was an active and
zealous member of the Congress of 1774. He had the unlimited confidence
of his constituents--the esteem of all who knew him. His cool
deliberation and calm deportment were well calculated to preserve an
equilibrium among those of a more fiery temperament and rashness in
action. That Congress was remarkable for clear and unanswerable
argument, calm and astute discussion, wise and judicious
plans--reasonable but firm purposes. The course pursued operated
powerfully and favorably upon the minds of reflecting men whose
influence it was important to secure.

Mr. Floyd had command of the militia of the county in which he lived.
When the British attempted to land at Gardner's Bay he promptly
assembled the yeoman troops and repelled the invading foe. In 1775 he
was again at his post in Congress and became one of its very efficient
members. He was a working man and almost constantly engaged on important
committees. During his absence the enemy obtained possession of Long
Island and compelled his family to flee to Connecticut for safety. His
property was materially injured--his house converted into a military
barrack and for seven years he was deprived of all resources from his
farm. In 1776 he was a warm advocate of the Declaration and with great
satisfaction placed his name upon that sacred instrument. In 1777 he was
elected to the first Senate of the Empire State convened under the new
order of things. He was a leading member and rendered important services
in forming a code of republican laws.

In January 1779 he again took his seat in Congress and entered
vigorously upon the work before him. In August of that year he resumed
his seat in the New York Senate. Much important business was before the
legislature, requiring experience, energy and unity of action. To raise
the pecuniary credit of the state was of great importance. Mr. Floyd was
at the head of a joint committee on this subject and reported a plan
that proved him an able financier--a man of deep thought and
investigation. It was based upon gradual, equal and just taxation. In
October of that year he was one of three delegates appointed by his
legislature to meet a convention of the Eastern States for the purpose
of perfecting a system of furnishing supplies for the army without being
compelled to suffer the enormous shaves of avaricious monopolists. On
reading the account of the awful sufferings and privations of the army
at certain periods of the Revolution and in view of the glory of the
cause and the limited means of carrying on the unequal struggle, an
honest man can scarcely believe men then existed who would
speculate--yes more--_peculate_ upon suffering humanity. So was the fact
to an alarming extent--at least three millions a year. Avarice knows no
mercy--seldom any honesty.

On his return from this convention he repaired to Congress. On the 3d of
December he was elected one of the Board of Admiralty and on the 13th a
member of the Treasury Board. By incessant application his health became
impaired and in the ensuing April he obtained leave of absence. In June
he took his seat in the New York Senate and was appointed upon a joint
committee to act upon resolutions of Congress involving the important
relations between the state and general government. He unsuccessfully
opposed making bills of credit a legal tender but lived to see the law
repealed. In September he was one of a committee of the senate to
prepare a reply to the governor's message. To effect a proper
organization of the general government was a desideratum with all the
states. To this important subject the governor had specially referred.
To confer upon Congress all necessary power clearly defined, was
considered the only safe policy to insure future harmony and safety.
This committee reported several resolutions upon this subject which were
adopted and forwarded to Congress for consideration. They recommended
the enactment of laws that should impose an equal responsibility on
each of the states to bear its _pro rata_ proportion of the war expenses
in the way and manner prescribed by the general government.

In 1780 he again took his seat in Congress. An important and delicate
duty devolved upon the New York and New Hampshire members under
legislative acts--the subject of disputed territory comprising the
present state of Vermont. The question was submitted to Congress, the
members of each state advocating the claim for their constituents. In
this matter Mr. Floyd rendered great service. During the same session he
introduced a resolution for the cession of the western territories to
the United States. On the 10th of August he nominated Robert L.
Livingston to be Secretary of Foreign Affairs whose nomination was
immediately confirmed. He was continued a member of Congress up to 1783
when he joined in the general soul-cheering peace and the freedom of his
beloved country. He then retired and took possession of his once
flourishing plantation amidst the sincere congratulations of his
numerous friends, all animated by the resplendent glories of LIBERTY.
That he might repair the ruin of his home he declined the urgent
solicitations of his friends to return to Congress. He continued to
serve in the senate of his native state up to 1788 when he was elected
to the first Congress under the Federal Constitution. Worn out in the
service of his country he retired from the public arena at the end of
the term.

Owning a large tract of valuable wild land upon the banks of the Mohawk
river he commenced gradual improvements upon it and in 1803 removed
there. He was often urged to return to Congress but declined all
legislative labors. With the exception of serving one year in the state
senate and in the convention for the revision of the New York
Constitution in 1801, he kept aloof from the turmoils of political life.
He was four times a member of the Electoral College of his state for the
election of President and Vice President. So ardent were his feelings in
his old age that he travelled two hundred miles in the dreary month of
December 1806 to give his vote for his old companion and friend--Thomas

He continued to improve his new home until he became surrounded by happy
neighbors all basking in the clear sunshine of that freedom he had
largely aided in acquiring. In all things he was systematic and
practical--free from pomp and vanity--strong in his purposes and
persevering in their accomplishment. He was blessed with a clear head,
vigorous mind, good heart, sound judgment, great experience and a close
knowledge of men and things. As a politician he was free from selfish
ambition and went for his country--his whole country and the UNION for
ever. He spoke but seldom in public assemblies and rarely entered into
debate. Brighter would be the prospects of our UNION if we _now_ had
more men like William Floyd who would _talk_ less and _work_ more. Long
and often electioneering speeches hang over our legislatures like an
incubus and prevent the _few_ who are well-disposed from doing the
business of the people promptly.

General Floyd was of middle size, well-formed and commanding in his
appearance. He was dignified in his deportment--affable in his manners.
His physical powers were remarkable when in his prime. In all the
relations of private life he was a model as worthy of imitation as that
of his public career. He was warm in his friendship and rigidly honest.
His morals were pure, his religion practical, his charity broad--his
philanthropy co-extensive with the human family. For the last two years
of his life his health was not good and on the 20th of August 1821 he
was seized with general debility and on the 25th of that month, folded
his arms quietly, closed his eyes peacefully and met the cold embrace of
death with the fortitude of a sage, patriot and Christian.

Although Gen. Floyd did not possess the Ciceronean eloquence of a Lee or
the Demosthenean powers of Adams and Henry, he was one of the most
useful men of his day and generation. He marked out his path of duty
from the reflections of his own mind and pursued it strictly and
fearlessly. For more than fifty years he enjoyed the confidence of his
fellow-citizens as a public man and but one year before his decease was
made a member of the Electoral College. His example and his labors shed
a lustre over his character as rich and enduring as those who were
conspicuous in the forum. He was an important link in the golden chain
of Liberty. He was a working man--working men were _then_ properly
appreciated. The congressional speakers of that day were also more
highly appreciated than nine-tenths of them are now for the very good
reason that they were laconic on all subjects. Long speeches were as
uncommon as they are now frequent and useless. If we desire the
prosperity of our country and the perpetuity of our UNION let us imitate
the examples of the patriots whose actions we delight to rehearse and
preserve in its pristine purity the rich boon of LIBERTY they have
transmitted to us.


A man who is self-made and by his own exertions and untiring industry
becomes a great man, often excels the mere student of the college in
mental vigor as much as the hard fisted mechanic excels him physically.

The former, usually without the means and often without the advantages
of paternal or maternal care, is compelled to become familiar with men
and things, without a knowledge of which, the classics are a mere toy
and the high branches of science only an ornament. With the never ending
every day concerns of life where usefulness holds her dominion they have
little to do. A man of letters who is unacquainted with the routine of
business transactions is incapable of protecting his own interests--of
course he cannot be useful to community until he goes through another
and more important course of study. A great change is necessary in most
of our colleges to make full men of students. Hence the blasted hopes of
many a fond father who is led astray by the popular error--that colleges
mould all their students into MEN. A large majority of the most useful
citizens of our country, from its first settlement to the present time,
never enjoyed a collegiate education. Especially was this the case with
many of the sages and heroes of the Revolution whose memory we delight
to honor and perpetuate.

Such was the case of Benjamin Franklin, born at Boston on 17th of
January 1706--exactly ninety years before the writer. His father was
among the Puritans who fled from persecution and sought repose in the
wilds of Massachusetts. His parents were poor but honest and
respectable. This may seem paradoxical to the aristocracy of the present
day--but is unquestionably true. The time _was_ when poverty was not a
_crime_ nor wealth a mask for corruption. Honesty and industry were
_formerly_ the brightest stars on the escutcheon of fame.

At an early age Benjamin Franklin exhibited a mind of superior cast and
a strong desire for improvement. His pious parents advanced his
education as far as their limited means would enable them being anxious
to see this son prepared for the pulpit. At the age of ten years his
father was compelled to take him from school to aid him in the chandler
business. This did not arrest the onward course of his genius. Original
in every trait of his character, eccentric in his manner, the child of
bold experiment, he commenced the study of natural philosophy in the
midst of candle wicks, tallow and soap. He first ascertained the precise
quantity of sleep and food requisite to sustain nature and the kind of
aliment most conducive to health. At that early age he adopted a system
of temperance, frugality and economy, worthy the imitation of men. He
accustomed himself to meet every disappointment without a murmur. He
continued to improve his mind by reading during every hour he was not at
labor. Nothing passed by him unnoticed. His expanding intellect drew
philosophy from nature, things and men. He reasoned, analyzed, moralized
and improved from everything he saw. Hence the vast and rapid expansion
of his towering genius that ultimately commanded the awe of kings and
the admiration of the world--comprehending the philosophy of mind,
nature, science, art, government--all the relations of creation from the
dust under his feet--the myriads of animalculæ in a drop of water, up to
the bright seraphs in the skies and up to Nature's God.

A mind like his would not long be confined in a chandler shop. Open and
honest at all times and under all circumstances, he apprised his father
of his wish to change his occupation. He was bound to his brother to
learn the art of printing. His industry enabled him to master his
profession rapidly. All his leisure moments were employed in study, thus
preparing himself for a useful and glorious career through future
life--leaving a bright example worthy the imitation of every apprentice
in our country.

So intently bent on the acquisition of knowledge--he often preferred his
book to his meal and studied whole nights--defying the commands of
Morpheus. He was paid a weekly sum for his board and adopting a simple
vegetable diet was enabled to save money for the purchase of books. He
selected them with reference to substantial usefulness. He studied with
enthusiasm the Memorabilia of Xenophon and found a model in Socrates
which he delighted in imitating.

About this time he was seized with the scribbling mania. Committing the
usual error of youthful authors--he offered his first sacrifice to
Calliope the goddess of heroic poetry. The production was applauded but
his father turned his rhyming propensity into ridicule and encouraged
him to write prose. Fearing the shafts of criticism, he had several
articles published in the paper edited by his brother, in so clandestine
a manner that the author was not suspected. Finding that they were
admired, he says his vanity did not long keep the world ignorant of the

Flattery from others caused him to assume an air of importance that soon
resulted in an open rupture between him and his brother. For some time
he endured a course of harsh treatment and at length resolved to free
himself from the chains of bondage. He embraced the first opportunity
for New York. Not being able to obtain business there he proceeded to
Philadelphia on foot and alone. On his arrival he had but one
dollar--was a stranger only seventeen years of age and knew not where to
go. On entering Market street his eccentric appearance excited the gaze
of the multitude as much as his gigantic talents subsequently did the
gaze of the world. He had a roll of bread under each arm and proceeded
to the margin of the Delaware river and partook of his bread and pure
water. His pockets were enormously enlarged with the various articles of
his wardrobe rendering him a fair representation of old Boniface.

There were then but two printing offices in Philadelphia. In one of
these he obtained the situation of compositor. He now reduced his
theories of economy to successful practice maintaining himself at a
trifling expense--pursuing a correct and industrious career which gained
for him the esteem of all his acquaintances. Among others, his talents
attracted the attention of Sir William Keith, then Governor of the
province, who invited him to his house and treated him with great
kindness. The Governor was a man whose liberality in _promises_ went
beyond the dust in his purse. Anxious to see his young friend placed in
more prosperous circumstances by his benefaction he proposed to set him
up in business. He at once gave him letters to London. On his arrival
there, Franklin found that no pecuniary arrangements had been made for
him by his _tongue_ benefactor. He was in a strange land, without money
to pay his return passage. He took a new lesson in the school of
experience in which he delighted to study. Disappointment did not deject
him. He soon obtained employment and gained the confidence and esteem of
his new acquaintances. At the end of eighteen months he embarked for
Philadelphia. On his passage he digested a set of rules for future
action substantially as follows. I resolve to be frugal--to speak truth
at all times--never to raise expectations not to be realized--to be
sincere, industrious, stable--to speak ill of no man--to cover rather
than expose the faults of others and to do all the good I can to my
fellow man.

Upon this foundation, formed of the unadulterated materials of
_primitive_ Christianity, he raised a superstructure, more beautiful and
as enduring as the proudest memorials of Greece and Rome. When the whole
human family shall adopt and fully exemplify these rules, we may hope to
see millennial glory eclipse the meridian sun and cover the earth with
one broad sheet of celestial light.

He arrived at Philadelphia on the 11th of October 1726 and became the
clerk of the merchant who owned the goods brought over by the ship in
which he took his passage. His proverbial industry made him as
successful in the counting house as at the press--showing a rare
versatility of talent. His future prospects in this new sphere of action
brightened as time rolled on but were suddenly blasted by the death of
his employer. He then returned to the types--worked a few months for his
old patron where he found a partner with more money than skill and with
him commenced a lucrative business. His industry and artistic talents
were now put in full requisition. He manned his wheel-barrow in
collecting material for business--put nature on short allowance and by
punctuality and perseverance gained many valuable friends and money
enough to purchase the interest of his partner who had become worthless
and embarrassing to the firm.

Up to this time Franklin had been fortune's foot-ball. His life had been
a complete checker board of changing vicissitudes, blasted hopes and
keen disappointments. Amidst all the stormy trials that had tossed his
youthful bark on the surges of misfortune--surrounded by the foaming
breakers of vice in all its delusive and borrowed forms--he never became
tarnished by corruption or the commission of a bad or mean action. The
moral and religious principles deeply planted in his mind during
childhood by parental instruction--were as lasting as life--a happy
illustration of the faithfulness of parents towards their children.
Fathers and mothers think of this and govern yourselves accordingly.

Having become liberated from his business partner, he felt the necessity
and propriety of choosing one that would fill up the vacuum in his side
and share with him the joys and sorrows flesh is heir to. In 1730, he
entered into partnership for life with a widow lady whose maiden name
was Read, for whom he had contracted an attachment previous to her first
marriage. In him she found a kind husband--in her he found an agreeable
and discreet companion.

Philanthropy predominated in the heart of Franklin. To better the
condition of his fellow men gave him exquisite pleasure. The rules
governing the "Junto" formed by him and now merged in the "Philosophical
Society," exhibit a superior knowledge of human nature--illustrating
clearly the duty of man to the creature and Creator. They breathe
universal charity, kindness, benevolence and good will to all mankind.
Among them is one for the suppression of intemperance--a prophetic
prelude to the exertions of the present day in this noble cause. He had
profited by the experience of the past which enabled him to steer clear
of the rocks and quicksands of error on which many are ruined and lost.
His bark had outrode many a storm--prosperity was his future lot. His
new partner smiled upon him, his friends esteemed him, a life of
usefulness was before him--in the pleasures of the present, past pains
were lost.

In 1732 he commenced the publication of the "Poor Richard's Almanac"
which he continued up to 1737, circulating 10,000 copies annually.
Although under a humble title it was a work of great merit and
usefulness--being replete with maxims and rules calculated for everyday
use in the various relations of life--rules and maxims of the highest
importance to be known and practised but not learned in high seminaries.
So highly was it prized in Europe that it was translated into several
languages. He also commenced the publication of a newspaper which was
conducted with great ability--free from all personal abuse and
scurrility--a messenger of truth and wholesome instruction. Would to God
the same could be said of _all_ the present public prints.

Franklin continued to pursue his studies--mastering the French, Italian,
Spanish and Latin languages. By the "Junto" a small library was
commenced which was the nucleus to the present large collection in the
city of Philadelphia. He wrote and published a highly interesting
pamphlet on the necessity of paper currency. He added to his literary
fame by the production of essays on various subjects written in his
peculiar style. He filled successfully the office of state printer, of
clerk to the Assembly and of post-master in Philadelphia. He used
unwearied exertions to perfect the municipal regulations of the city. He
was the father and patron of the Philosophical Society, the Pennsylvania
University and Hospital. All the enterprises in the city and province,
of that time, were either originated by him or were advanced by his
wisdom and counsel.

In 1741 he commenced the publication of a General Magazine filled with
much useful matter but less acceptable than his former productions to
many--probing, as it did, litigated points in theology. It was too
universal in its charity to suit sectarians. Let these barriers be
removed--then the gospel will have free course-run and be glorified.

The mechanic arts were also improved by him. He brought to their aid
philosophy, chemistry and a combination of science, economy and the laws
of nature. He improved chimneys--constructed a stove and proposed many
useful and economical corrections in domestic concerns from the cellar
to the garret--from the plough to the mill. Science bowed to his master
spirit, the arts hailed him as a patron, the lightning obeyed his magic
rod and nature was proud of her favorite son.

In 1744 he was elected to the Assembly and continued a member for ten
consecutive years. Although not a popular speaker, his clear
conceptions of correct legislation and the duties of a statesman gave to
him an influence over that body before unknown. In all his propositions
he was listened to with profound attention.

During the period he was serving his province in the Assembly he
explored the fields of experimental philosophy--explaining many of the
mysterious phenomena of nature which spread his scientific fame to the
remotest bounds of the civilized world. His discoveries in electricity
were sufficient to have immortalized his name. He is the first man on
record who imparted magnetism to steel--melted metals--killed animals
and fired gunpowder by means of electricity. He was the first who
reduced to practice the method of conducting the electric fluid from the
clouds to the points of steel rods and by them harmless to the ground.
All the elements--fluids, air, sea and land with their millions of
various substances, passed in review before him.

In 1753 he was sent to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to conclude a treaty with
the Indians. In 1754 he was a delegate to the Congress of Commissioners
which met at Albany to devise means of defence against the anticipated
hostilities of the French and savages. He then submitted a plan that was
unanimously approved by the Congress but was too republican for the
creatures of the king.

On the decease of the Deputy Postmaster-General of America, Franklin was
appointed to fill the vacancy and raised the department from
embarrassment to a fruitful source of revenue to the crown.

Difficulties arose between the proprietaries and government of the
province of Pennsylvania, which were referred to the mother country for
adjustment. Dr. Franklin was sent by the province to guard its interests
and embarked for England in June 1757. He executed the duties of his
mission with his usual ability and address--the difficulties were
settled and in 1762 he returned. He was then variously
employed--regulating the Post-Office Department--making treaties with
the Indians and devising means of defence on the frontiers.

New troubles arose between the proprietaries and assembly and in 1764
Dr. Franklin again sailed for England, with instructions to obtain the
entire abolishment of proprietary authority. On his arrival he was
called upon to perform more important and perilous duties. The plan for
taxing the colonies had been long agitated and was now matured by the
British ministry. This project he had boldly opposed at the threshold
and was now arraigned to answer numerous accusations brought against him
by the enemies of liberty.

On the 3d of February 1766, he appeared before the House of Commons to
undergo a public examination. He was found equal to the task--his
enemies were astounded at his boldness, logic, dignity and skill, whilst
his friends were filled with admiration at the able manner he confuted
every accusation and defended the rights and interests of his native
country. Amidst the attacks of artifice and insolence of power he stood
unawed--unmoved--firm as a granite rock. He remained in England eleven
years as the agent of the colonies, opposing the encroachments of the
ministry upon the rights of Americans. During the whole time the
combined efforts of flattery, malice and intrigue could not intimidate
or ensnare him. He well understood the etiquette, corruptions and
devices of diplomacy. He never bowed his knee to Baal or kissed the hand
of a king.

The relations between the two countries had now arrived at a point so
significant that Franklin returned to his long neglected home. His
person was not safe in England--his services were needed in his now
suffering country. He arrived in Philadelphia early in May 1775. He was
received with great enthusiasm and immediately elected to the
Continental Congress. To this august body he added fresh lustre and
dignity. In England he had exhausted every source of prospective
reconciliation between the two nations. He feared the colonies were too
weak to achieve their Independence but his course was right onward with
his colleagues--resolved on LIBERTY OR DEATH.

The talents of Franklin were put in constant requisition. He was always
selected to meet the agents of the crown who were at various times
commissioned to offer terms of inglorious peace. He always proved
himself the uncompromising advocate of Liberty--the shrewd and wary
politician--the bold and zealous defender of the rights of his bleeding
country--the unflinching friend of universal FREEDOM.

The disasters of the American army during the campaign of 1777, induced
Congress to apply to France for aid. All eyes were turned on Franklin to
execute this important mission. In October 1777 he embarked to perform
this delicate embassy and succeeded in concluding a treaty of alliance
with that nation on the 4th of February 1778, to the great joy of
himself and his suffering countrymen. When the news of the alliance
reached England, the ministry was much alarmed and despatched messengers
to Paris to endeavor to induce Franklin to enter into a compromise with
Great Britain. The terms rendered the effort too abortive to make him
the bearer of even a message to Congress. To Mr. Hutton and others who
came to him with the olive branch of peace, wreathed with scorpions, he
replied--"I never think of your ministry and their abettors, but with
the image strongly painted in my view of their hands red and dropping
with the blood of my countrymen, friends and relations. No peace can be
signed with those hands unless you drop all pretensions to govern
us--meet us on equal terms and avoid all occasions of future discord."

He met all their intrigues at the threshold and convinced them that the
hardy yoemanry of America could not be dragooned, flattered or driven
from the bold position they had assumed. During the several interviews
he had with these commissioners, Franklin was cautioned by Mr. Heartley
to beware of his personal safety which had been repeatedly threatened.
He thanked his friend and assured him he felt no alarm--that he had
nearly finished a long life and that the short remainder was of no great
value and ironically remarked--"Perhaps the best use such an old fellow
can be put to is to make a martyr of him."

If it required all the skill and energy of a Franklin to _negotiate_ a
treaty of alliance with France, it required the combined skill of all
Congress to preserve it. The French is the most effervescent nation
known to history. A republican form of government is ever repugnant to
kingly power. That the French officers and soldiers in the American army
would drink freely at the fountain of liberal principles no one could
doubt. That the thrones of Europe would be endangered on their return
was truly predicted. By this very natural course of reasoning the
British ministry exerted a powerful influence against the continuation
of the alliance. Franklin and his colleagues anticipated all their dark
intrigues--penetrated and frustrated them up to the time Great Britain
was compelled to comply with the terms of an honorable peace and
acknowledge the Independence of the United States of America by a
definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris on the 3d of September

Although anxious to be discharged from further public service it was not
until 1785 that Franklin was permitted to return to his beloved country
where he could breathe the pure air of republican FREEDOM--no longer
polluted by kingly power. During his stay he concluded treaties of
commerce between the United States and the Kings of Sweden and Prussia.
On his departure from Europe every mark of respect was paid to him by
Kings, courts, _literati_ and by all classes of society whose adulation
the loftiest ambition could desire. He was beloved by the millions--his
departure was deeply regretted by all. His reputation was the
personification of purity.

At the age of eighty years, borne down by disease, he returned to
Philadelphia. He was hailed with enthusiastic joy, affection, esteem and
veneration by all the friends of liberty--from the humblest citizen up
to the illustrious Washington. He had been a pillar of fire to the
American cause--a pillar of smoke to the enemies of human rights. As
Thurgot truly observed--"He snatched the thunder bolt from Jove and the
sceptre from Kings." He stood--the Colossus of Liberty among the
monarchs of Europe and wrung from them the homage due to a nation that
dared to be FREE.

Notwithstanding his advanced age and his ardent desire for retirement,
he was placed in the gubernatorial chair of Pennsylvania and in 1787
elected a delegate to the Convention that formed the Federal
Constitution. Many of the bright trails of that important instrument
received their finishing touch from his master hand. He was anxious to
see his long nursed theory of a republican government reduced to as
perfect system as its infancy would permit. He well knew, that for its
manhood and old age additional provisions would be required. As
necessary as this now is, so sacred has that instrument become that the
mass would deem it sacrilege to disturb its long repose. It might be
made to meet more fully the wants of an expanding country in some
particulars but if once disturbed might be polluted by the apoplectic
touch of party spirit and never recover from the shock. Caution is the
parent of safety.

Early in 1790, Dr. Franklin was confined to his room by his infirmities
but his mental powers remained in full vigor. Some of the strongest and
most soul-stirring productions from his pen were written during his
confinement. Early in April he began to fail more rapidly. He was fully
sensible that he stood on the confines of eternity and that he should
soon go to his final rest. On the 17th of April 1790, calm and
resigned--cool and collected--peaceful and happy--he commended his
spirit to Him who gave it--quitted this vale of tears with a full
assurance of rising to a glorious immortality at the final resurrection
and slumbered quietly and sweetly in the arms of death with a full
assurance that his Lord and Master would rebind him in a new and more
beautiful edition fully revised.

By his will he prohibited all pomp and parade at his funeral. He was
anxious that the mournful obsequies of his burial should be marked with
republican simplicity. He was laid in his grave on the 21st of April. It
is in the northwest corner of Christ Church yard in the City of
Philadelphia, where a plain marble slab--once even but now below the
surface of the earth, shows where his ashes repose. By the side of his
moulders the dust of his amiable wife.

His death was deeply lamented throughout the civilized world. Congress
ordered mourning to be observed throughout the United States for thirty
days. The event was solemnized in France and many eloquent eulogies
pronounced. The national Assembly decreed that each of its members
should wear a badge of mourning for three days. The sensation produced
there by his death was similar to that evinced by our country on the
death of La Fayette.

In the recapitulation of the life of this great and good man we are
charmed with a versatile richness that has no parallel on the historic
page. He filled every sphere in which he moved to the remotest lines of
its orbit. No matter how bright the galaxy around him he was a luminary
of the first magnitude. He entered upon the stage of notion at a time
when the world needed just such a man and continued upon it just long
enough to complete all he had commenced. He was found equal to every
work he undertook and always stopped at the golden point--when he had
finished. He was emphatically the architect of his own fortune. No
chartered college can claim him as a graduate--no patron rendered him
gratuitous aid. Let the young men of our country imitate his examples
that they may become useful--let our public men who have in charge our
national destiny imitate them that they may be wise--let old men imitate
them that they may be revered--let us _all_ imitate them that we may do
all the good we can to our fellow men in life and be happy in death.


War is a calamity to be deprecated at all times. Its history, from its
sanguinary embryo to the present time, has but a few bright spots on
which the philanthropist can gaze with admiring delight. The back-ground
of most of these is so vividly shaded with crimson that the eye grows
dim and the heart sickens on too close a scrutiny. We have many among us
who preach loudly against war without delineating the innate materials
in human nature that cause it. We have anti-war societies that have
originated from motives pure as heaven but are planted on the abstract
foundation of ills--futile as the baseless vision. Its evils may be
portrayed in colors clear as the sunbeams of living light and enforced
by all the arguments of human logic and Holy Writ without removing the
smallest particle from the _cause_ that produces this fearful calamity.
This and the best remedy are not fully defined by the preamble,
constitution or by-laws of any society within my knowledge and where
partially explained are not always practically carried out by the
members. _They_ sometimes engage in a fierce personal war.

The cause exists in the nature of man influenced by the baser passions.
Retaliation is among the first developments of the child. Self is a
relentless tyrant. Revenge is as natural as our respiration. Anger,
envy, jealousy, malice--all combine to perpetuate a disposition for war
and lead men from the sublime destiny of immortal bliss.

The only remedy exists in the universal sway of that love inculcated by
our immaculate Redeemer. It is under the melting influences of the
religion of the Cross, stripped of all dogmatical illusions, that
sullied human nature must be brightened--its tarnished lustre
renovated--its pugnacious character changed and man prepared for peace
and heaven. Let broad and universal charity pervade the whole human
family--then a blow will be struck against war that will resound through
the wilderness of mind and cause it to bud and blossom as the rose.

The war of the American Revolution stands pre-eminent in point of
justification. Among those who took a conspicuous part in its perils was
Horatio Gates who was born in England in 1728. In early life he rose to
the rank of major and was the aid of the British commander at the
capture, of Martinico in 1747. In 1748 he was stationed at Halifax where
he continued for a considerable time. He was relieved from the monotony
of a garrison in time of peace by the French war which resulted in the
conquest of Canada. Under Braddock he was captain of infantry and fought
by the side of the illustrious Washington and was saved by him in the
judicious retreat of the survivors of that memorable day. He was
severely wounded and for a long time unfit for duty. In 1763 he visited
England with a high military reputation. He returned and located on a
plantation in Virginia. He had the esteem and confidence of Washington
and was warmly recommended by him to Congress as worthy of a conspicuous
station in the Continental army. He was appointed Adjutant General with
the rank of Brigadier in 1775. The ensuing year he was invested with the
command of the troops destined to act against Ticonderoga and Crown
Point. In the spring of 1777 he and Gen. Schuyler were appointed to the
command of the northern army. For a short time he was superceded by Gen.
Schuyler. Burgoyne was then advancing with his victorious army. The
Americans were driven from Ticonderoga, Fort Ann and Skeensborough. From
that point obstacles were thrown in his way by Sinclair, Schuyler, Stark
and their companions in arms. Bridges were demolished, the navigation of
Wood Creek obstructed--the roads filled with fallen trees--the cattle
and other supplies removed which caused the British army a delay of
twenty-five days before reaching Fort Edward on the Hudson. Gen.
Burgoyne then supposed his embarrassments at an end. His reckoning was
wrong. St. Leger failed in capturing Fort Schuyler--many of the Indians
and Canadian militia took their back track--scanty supplies were
obtained with great difficulty--his army was decreasing--the Americans
were rallying--every day made his condition more perilous--his prospects
more gloomy. Everything was prepared to insure his capture.

At this fortunate juncture for him, Gen. Gates superceded the
indefatigable Schuyler and took the command on the 21st of August 1777.
Anticipating aid from Sir Henry Clinton at New York, Burgoyne passed the
Hudson and encamped at Saratoga. Gates advanced to Stillwater determined
to oppose the further progress of the enemy. The British general
resolved to open a passage with the sword and bayonet and on the 17th of
September the armies were only four miles distant from each other. On
the 19th a pretty general engagement occurred, which resulted in a drawn
battle. Seeing no prospect of assistance from New York and the
impossibility of then retreating with his cannon, Burgoyne resolved to
fortify his position and act on the defensive. On the 8th of October the
Americans made a vigorous attack and repulsed the British in every
charge, occupying a part of their lines. Burgoyne hastened to his former
camp at Saratoga in the night and meditated a retreat without artillery
or baggage. He found every avenue securely guarded--the lion was
caged--retreat he could not. Knowing that the British army had but a
short supply of provisions, Gen. Gates well knew an attack upon his well
fortified position or a surrender must speedily take place. He was well
prepared for either. Finding it only a waste of human life to further
engage the Americans in battle, Burgoyne surrendered on the 16th of
October. Over 5000 prisoners, a park of fine artillery, 7000 muskets, a
large amount of clothing, with all the camp equipage and military stores
and the evacuation of all the frontier fortresses--constituted the
spoils of this victory. What was of more vital importance--it imparted
fresh lustre to the American arms and gave a vigorous impetus to the
languishing career of Independence. It destroyed British power in the
north--encouraged France to close the treaty of alliance and greatly
deranged the equanimity of mother Britain. If impartially analyzed, it
will be found the most important victory during the war of Independence
and in closer alliance with that of Trenton than the final triumph over

Although Gen. Gates had escaped the hard service of that campaign, he
was the fortunate commander at its termination and was crowned with the
laurels of a conquering hero in accordance with military usage and
received the plaudits of his grateful country men--the thanks of
Congress and a gold medal. As a further testimony of high esteem, he was
placed at the head of the Board of War--a station next to that of
commander-in-chief. He retired from that to his home in Virginia and for
a time enjoyed domestic life. On the 15th of June 1780 he was put in
command of the Southern army. The conquering troops of Cornwallis were
sweeping over the Carolinas like a tornado--the few American soldiers
were flying before them--towns were burning--everything seemed rapidly
drawn towards the vortex of ruin. When Gen. Gates consented to go to the
field an army of 15000 men, with complete supplies, was represented to
him on paper, concentrating from the Carolinas and Virginia. When he
arrived at head quarters he found about 1500 undisciplined troops,
poorly armed, worse clad, with little food. Elated with his brilliant
victory over the Northern army he was over anxious to meet the enemy and
strike an effective blow. Contrary to the advice of those who better
understood the country and the means of obtaining supplies on the march
by taking a circuitous route--he selected a shorter road through a
dismal district of pine thickets and swamps pregnant with disease and
destitute of almost any kind of food except cattle occasionally found in
the forest. Many of his men perished on the way--others were rendered
unfit for duty by sickness. He ultimately reached Clermont from which
Lord Rawdon had withdrawn and was joined by a few North Carolina militia
and a small company under Capt. Potterfield. Troops continued to arrive
from Virginia and other points until the army of Gen. Gates amounted to
about 4000--mostly undisciplined militia unaccustomed to standing fire
or steel. Rawdon and Cornwallis concentrated their troops at Camden
amounting to less than 2000 men but all of the highest order of
soldiers. Gen. Gates resolved on an attack. On the 16th of August the
two armies met in mortal combat. The militia under Gen. Gates were
quickly thrown into confusion--the regulars overwhelmed and the whole
completely routed. This defeat of the Americans had no parallel during
the war. Among those who did not trace effects to causes the fame of the
Hero of Saratoga sank below zero. His error consisted in risking a
battle with an army of British veterans opposed by the rawest kind of
militia--not in any want of military skill in time of action. He was
superceded on the 5th of the ensuing October--subjected to a court of
inquiry--honorably acquitted and re-instated in 1782. The time had then
passed for him to renovate his military laurels. The battles for
Independence had been fought--the crowning victory won--LIBERTY
achieved--FREEDOM secured.

Gen. Gates retired to his plantation in Virginia where he remained seven
years when he liberated his slaves and removed to the vicinity of the
city of New York where he lived respected until the 10th of April 1806,
when he threw off his mortal coil and slumbered in death.

In person Gen. Gates was well formed--in his manners, polished and
urbane--in disposition, mild and amiable--in his intercourse, just and
honorable. In 1800 he served in the New York Legislature and enjoyed the
confidence and esteem of all around him. He was an ardent patriot, a
good citizen, a perfect gentleman, an honest man.


Gambling has become a fearful scourge in our expanding country. It is
practised upon the humblest watercraft that floats upon our canals--the
frail flatboat that descends our streams--the majestic steamboat that
traces our mighty rivers. It lurks in the lowest groggeries that curse
community--is tolerated in some of the most fashionable hotels. Its
victims are found in all classes from the hod carrier in his bespattered
rags up to the members of Congress in their ruffles. The gambling room
is the enchanted ground of destruction. Once within its serpentine
coils--a centripetal force rushes its votary to the vortex of ruin.
Interested friends may kindly warn--the tender wife may entreat with all
the eloquence of tears--children may cry and sob for bread--if within
the fatal snare the infatuated mortal is seldom extricated in time. He
combines the deafness of the adder with the desperation of a maniac. At
the gambling table men and youth have been prepared to commit deeds
registered on the black catalogue of crime. In blazing capitals RUIN is
marked over the outer door of every gambling den. On the inner door is
MADE HERE. One of the wicket gates that leads thousands into this
labyrinth of misery consists in fashionable circles where games are
played as an _innocent_ amusement. It is there that many young men of
talent, education and wealth, take the entered apprentice degree that
leads them to the knight templars of destruction. Without any knowledge
of a game but few would venture money at a gambling table. The gaming
examples of men in high life have a baneful influence and practically
sanction the high handed robberies of the finely dressed boa-constrictor
black legs. The gambling hells tolerated and patronized in our cities
are a disgrace to any nation bearing a Christian name and would be
banished from a Pagan community with a Vicksburg vengeance. To the honor
of the members of the Continental Congress they placed a veto upon this
heaven provoking, soul destroying, reputation ruining, wealth devouring,
nation demoralizing vice.

Among those who abhorred this practice was Elbridge Gerry, born at
Marblehead, Massachusetts, on the 17th of July 1744. His father was an
enterprising merchant and bestowed upon this son a classical education.
He graduated at Harvard University in 1762 with a high scholastic
reputation. Judging the tree by its fruit, the seed from which it sprang
must have been of the purest kind and its vegetation not retarded by the
absorbing and poisonous weeds of vice. Its incipient pruning must have
been performed by a master hand to produce a specimen of so much
symmetry of proportion, beauty of form and richness of foliage.

After having completed his collegiate studies Mr. Gerry entered the
counting house of his father and ultimately became one of the most
enterprising and wealthy merchants of his native town. In his kind of
business he was amongst the first to feel the weight of the impolitic
and unconstitutional revenue system. From the nature of his composition
he was amongst the first to meet oppression at the threshold. A man of
deep reflection and philosophical investigation--he examined closely the
extent of American rights and British wrongs. He made himself acquainted
with the principle and structure of government, international, civil,
common, statute and municipal law, political economy, home and foreign
policy. No one was better informed upon the natural, legal and practical
relations between the mother country and the colonies. He was prepared
to act advisedly and firmly. His extensive influence, decision of
character, sound discretion and exalted patriotism--made him a master
spirit to guide the public mind. He participated in all the movements in
favor of liberty.

On the 26th of May 1773 he commenced his official career as a member of
the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay then called the General Court. That
body and the royal governor took a strong issue upon rights and wrongs.
The unconstitutional acts of parliament were sanctioned by the latter
and fearlessly censured by the former. A standing committee was
appointed to scan the proceedings of ministers and parliament and to
correspond with the other colonies relative to the important concerns of
the nation. Mr. Gerry had been in that body but two days when he was
made a member of this important committee. He became one of the
principal actors on the tragic stage of the revolution, the drama of
peace and formation of the Federal government. He walked shoulder to
shoulder with Samuel Adams and John Hancock in the bold measures that
roused the lion from his lair--the people to their duty. At the Boston
tea party--in the opposition to the Port Bill--the impeachment of the
crown judges--the controversy with Gov. Hutchinson--non-intercourse with
Great Britain--Mr. Gerry stood firm as the granite shores of the Bay
State. Nor did he waver when Gov. Gage took the helm with a military
force to do his will and pleasure. When it was found that reason,
appeal, remonstrance--all fell upon his adamantine soul like dew upon
the desert of Sahara, the legitimate source of a righteous government
was resorted to--THE PEOPLE--who nobly sustained their leaders in the
hour of peril. Severe measures were adopted by parliament--the charter
of Massachusetts was altered by _ex-parte_ legislation--illegal taxes
were increased--the hirelings of the King became more insolent--the
indignation of the people rose like a tornado--colonial blood
flowed--the war cry was raised--the clash of arms commenced--the fury of
battle raged--the struggle was terrific--the lion was conquered--AMERICA

In all the thrilling scenes that passed in Massachusetts before his
election to Congress, Mr. Gerry took a leading part. He was an efficient
member of the Committee of Safety and Supplies that were for a time
virtually the government. In April 1775 he narrowly escaped the grasp of
his foes. The night previous to the battle of Lexington Messrs. Gerry,
Lee and Orne were at Cambridge through which the British passed on their
way to the opening scene of hostilities. When opposite the house where
these gentlemen were in bed a file of soldiers were suddenly detached
and approached it rapidly. The patriots barely escaped by the back way
in their linen. After the military had left they returned for their over
clothes and immediately roused the people to resistance. The night
previous to the death of his intimate friend, the brave Warren, Mr.
Gerry lodged with him. The anxiety they felt for their country induced
them to concert plans for future action rather than sleep. The lamented
hero of Bunker Hill appears to have had a presentiment of his premature
fate as indicated by the last words he uttered as they parted. "It is
sweet to die for our country."

In July 1775 the government of Massachusetts adopted a new form of
government. A legislature was organized and a judiciary established. Mr.
Gerry was appointed Judge of the Court of Admiralty but declined that he
might do more active service. On the 18th of January 1776 he was elected
to the Continental Congress. Fearless, cautious, prudent--he was the
kind of man to meet the momentous crisis of that eventful era. Standing
on a lofty eminence of public reputation he was hailed as an able
auxiliary in the cause of freedom. He had a place upon the most
important committees and performed his duties strictly. To speculators
and peculators that prowled around the public offices and army he was a
terror during the war. He introduced into Congress many salutary guards
against dishonest men who prey upon government like promethean vultures.
With its age and experience our republic is now occasionally tapped at
the jugular and gets a cut under the fifth rib--producing a laxity of
the sinews of power.

When the Declaration of Independence was proposed in Congress the soul
of Mr. Gerry was enraptured in its favor. He had long been prepared for
the measure and gave it his ardent support. When the thrilling moment
arrived for final action upon this important question he sanctioned it
by his vote and signature and rejoiced in the fulfilment of prophecy--_A
nation shall be born in a day_. He was continued in Congress and
faithfully discharged his duties with unabated zeal. The committee rooms
and the house were alike benefitted by his intelligence and extensive
experience in general business. He rendered efficient aid in reducing to
system every branch of the new government. He took a conspicuous part in
the debates upon the Articles of Confederation and was listened to with
great attention. He spoke well, reasoned closely--demonstrated clearly.
He was truly republican and opposed to everything that did not bear the
impress of sound sense, practical usefulness--equality of operation. For
these reasons he opposed a resolution of thanks to his bosom friend,
John Hancock, for his services as President of Congress. He said his
friend Hancock had done no more than to ably perform his duty--all the
members had done the same. It would be a singular entry upon the journal
to record a vote of thanks to each. Etiquette prevailed over sound
logic--the vote of thanks was passed--introducing a custom in the new
government that has long since lost all efficacy by too frequent use on
occasions of minor importance. Mr. Gerry was on the committee that
devised the plan of operations for the Northern army that resulted in
the capture of Burgoyne. He was upon the one to obtain supplies for army
and visited the camp of Washington in the winter of 1777. These
multiform duties strictly discharged are stronger encomiums upon his
talents, energy and patriotism than a volume of panegyric from the most
accomplished writer.

It has afforded me great pleasure to be able to frequently refer to the
religious and moral character of the members of the Continental
Congress. The fact is illustrated in the history of the men and
corroborated by the records of that body and responded to by the States.
In 1778 a resolution was passed in Congress recommending them to adopt
decisive measures against "theatrical entertainments, horse racing,
gaming and such other diversions as are productive of idleness,
dissipation and a general depravity of principles and manners." Another
resolution strictly enjoined upon the officers of the army--"to see that
the good and wholesome rules provided for the discountenancing of
profaneness and vice and the preservation of morals among the soldiers
are duly and punctually preserved." A third one was passed that would be
a sweeper if revived at the present day. It arose from a disposition on
the part of a few officers to disregard the one first cited and was a
supplement to that. "Resolved--That any person holding an office under
the United States who shall act, promote, encourage or attend such
plays--shall be deemed unworthy to hold such office and shall be
accordingly dismissed."

Mr. Gerry supported and voted for all these resolutions and for those
recommending days of fasting, humiliation and prayer. Sectarianism never
polluted the members of the Continental Congress. Charity was the bright
star in their diadem of fame. He was upon the grand committee of one
from each State to examine foreign affairs and the conduct of foreign
commissioners particularly that of Mr. Deane. This committee used the
probe freely and recommended Congress to use the amputating knife upon
every limb affected by the gangrene of political corruption. O! Jupiter!
what a slaughter such an operation would make at the present time. On
the 14th of October 1779 Mr. Gerry proposed the expedition against the
Indians which was successfully executed by Gen. Sullivan. He proposed a
resolution designed to guard against inducements to corrupt
influence--"No candidates for public office shall vote in or otherwise
influence their own election--that Congress will not appoint any member
thereof during its time of sitting or within six months after he shall
have been in Congress, to any office under the States for which he or
any other for his benefit may receive any salary, fees or emolument." It
was then lost but he revived and carried it in 1785. The principle has
since been partly adopted under the Federal Constitution. As a member of
the Committee of Finance he stood next to Robert Morris. In 1780 he
retired from Congress after an arduous and faithful service of five
years. In all situations and at all times he was energetic, zealous and
active in the cause of liberty. When his duties called him to the army
if there was any fighting on the tapis whilst he was in camp he always
took an active part. In the battle of Chestnut Hill he shouldered a
musket and entered the ranks. When Gen. Kniphausen engaged the American
army at Springfield Mr. Gerry took his station by the side of Washington
who invested him with a volunteer command during his stay.

The second year after his retirement he again took his seat in Congress.
The business of the nation was then more perplexing than in the heat of
the war. An empty treasury, a prostrate credit, an enormous debt
presented a fearful aspect. To aid in bringing order out of chaos he was
of great service. Committee labors were piled upon his shoulders as if
he was an Atlas to carry the world or an Atalanta in the celerity of
business. The local feelings and interests of the states had become
effervescent. The half pay for life guaranteed to all officers who
remained in the army during the war was satisfactory to but a few. This
was settled by compounding the annuity for five years full pay. In 1784
he was on the important Committee of Foreign Relations--on the one to
revise the Treasury Department. The same session he presented a
resolution for the compensation of Baron Steuben who had rendered
immense services by introducing a system of military tactics and
discipline into the American army by which it was governed and which was
strictly adhered to long after the Revolution. It was warmly supported
by Mr. Jefferson and others but was lost, charity would suggest, in
consequence of the embarrassed state of the finances. In 1785 Mr. Gerry
closed his services in Congress and retired to Cambridge near Boston,
with all the honors of a pure patriot crowned with the sincere gratitude
of a nation of freemen.

Time soon developed to the sages of the Revolution that the Articles of
Confederation that bound the colonies together when impending dangers
and one common interest created a natural cement--were not sufficient to
secure the liberty they had achieved. Local interests engendered
jealousies, these produced dissatisfaction and this threatened to
involve the government in anarchy. To remedy these evils Mr. Madison
made a proposition that each state send delegates to a convention which
convened in May 1781 at Philadelphia and framed the Federal Constitution
in which Mr. Gerry took a very active part. He was amongst those who did
not sanction or sign that instrument. For this act, dictated by his
conscience, he was liberally abused by out door cynical partisans--not
by the noble minded statesmen who differed with him in opinion--all
honest in their views and patriotic in their motives. They soared above
the acrimonious scurrility of venal party spirit. After the constitution
was adopted no one adhered to it more strictly than Mr. Gerry--always
holding sacred the great republican principle--_the majority must rule
and be obeyed_. He was a member of the first Congress under it and did
much toward raising the beautiful superstructure now towering sublimely
upon its broad basis. He served four years and again sought retirement.
This was transient.

In 1797 the relations between our country and France had assumed a
portentous aspect. President Adams determined on sending an able embassy
to that government--to make a strong effort to conclude an amicable
arrangement of difficulties before appealing to arms. Gen. Pinckney was
then there. Mr. Gerry and Mr. Marshall, since Chief Justice of the
United States, were appointed to join him, each empowered to act
collectively or separately as a sound discretion should dictate. On
their arrival the French Directory refused to recognize them. To prevent
an immediate rupture--prudence and patriotism were necessary. After many
fruitless attempts to enter upon a negotiation Messrs. Pinckney and
Marshall were peremptorily ordered home and Mr. Gerry recognized as the
official organ of the United States. By his discreet, firm and manly
course he effected a settlement and prevented a war that seemed

In 1805 he was a member of the electoral college. Although his state was
decidedly federal he was elected governor in 1810 by the republican
party by a large majority--conclusive evidence of his great popularity.
He never entered into partisan feelings. In his first message he lucidly
portrayed the danger of high toned party spirit. He felt and acted for
his whole country. For many years he had anxiously desired to be excused
from public duties but no excuse was accepted. In 1813 he was
inaugurated Vice President of the United States. He discharged the
duties of the office with great ability and dignity. His impartiality,
correctness and candor gained for him the esteem of the elevated body
over which he presided to the last day of his eventful and useful
life--teaching by example his favorite precept--"It is the duty of every
citizen though he may have but one day to live to devote that day to the
service of his country." At the city of Washington a beautiful monument
is erected to his memory with an inscription as follows.

                  THE TOMB OF

               ELBRIDGE GERRY,




                NOVEMBER 23D, 1814,

                    AGED 70.

In the review of the life of Elbridge Gerry the pure patriot finds much
to admire--the Christian nothing to condemn. Partisans may censure
because he kept aloof from high toned party spirit--the maelstrom of
nations that once were but now are not. His examples of devotedness to
the good of his country, his untiring industry, his intelligence, his
moral worth--are all worthy of imitation and shed a rich unfading lustre
upon his character. He discharged all the duties of private life with
the strictest fidelity. He was useful in every station where duty
called, no perils retarded his onward course towards the goal of RIGHT.
His purposes were deliberately formed and boldly executed. He was an
honor to our country, the cause of freedom and enlightened,
philanthropic and liberal legislation. He was a noble specimen of
unalloyed patriotism--a patriotism that must be widely diffused among
the increasing masses of our expanding country--then our UNION will be
preserved--our land continue to be what it now is--THE LAND OF THE


The history of the American Revolution will be read with intense
interest through all time whether presented as a ponderous whole or in
sections. Its most attractive form to the impatient and romantic reader
is the delineation of noble and god like individual action. Numerous
bold exploits were performed--hair-breadth escapes made by the private
soldier that had an exciting ephemeral history worthy of record which is
now buried with the meritorious actor and his immediate acquaintances.
Some thrilling stories will have a more protracted existence in the
annals of tradition but will ultimately lose their freshness, wither and
die. Truthful living tradition belongs to the red man--not to us. In all
nations--from the barbarous up to the refined civilized, the glory of
the battle field has been awarded to the leaders who planned--not to the
soldiers who executed. In our republican land of professed equality
partial inroads upon this rule have been made. In our common militia and
volunteer companies the soldier is often equal and sometimes superior to
his commanding officer in point of talent and weight of character. This
can rarely be the case among an oppressed people and still more rarely
would the existing fact be admitted. During the revolution merit was
clothed with its true dignity more than now. Many who stood upon this
first legitimate stepping stone to office ascended from the ranks of the
army to high commands--from the retired walks of life to the
legislative halls and posts of honor in the various departments of
government. The frame-work of the most liberal military system is
adverse to the recognition of individual merit below the officer. The
case must be very extraordinary to be officially announced. Hence large
standing armies bind in the fetters of ignorance a vast amount of
intellect that would be brought into mellow life and usefulness in a
free enlightened republican government like our own.

Among the Heroes of the American Revolution whose merit brought him into
notice was Nathaniel Greene, born at the town of Warwick, Rhode Island,
in 1741. His parents were respectable members of the Society of
Friends--of course opposed to the profession of arms. His father was an
anchor manufacturer and gave his son a limited chance to obtain a common
education. With this the mind of Nathaniel was not content. He pursued
his studies every leisure hour and with his extra earnings purchased
books. He mastered the Latin with but little aid from an instructor. The
history of military chieftains he read with great delight. When he
arrived at manhood he was a good mechanic and a bright scholar. For a
time he followed the business of making anchors for vessels but was soon
called to the more important work of aiding in the construction of the
sheet anchor of FREEDOM. At an early age he was elected a member of the
legislature where he became a conspicuous advocate of equal rights and
boldly opposed the usurpations of mother Britain. His course obtained
for him an expulsion from the Society of Friends and the esteem of every
patriot. I respect the Quakers but not this paradox in their creed. They
profess to love liberty--but few of them are willing to pay its price in
coin--none of them can bear arms without excommunication.

On his return from the Assembly Nathaniel enrolled himself a private in
a military corps that was suggested and formed by himself and chartered
under the title of the _Kentish Guards_. It was placed under the command
of Gen. Varnum. In 1775 the little patriotic state of Rhode Island
raised three regiments--in all sixteen hundred rank and file--officered
by the most distinguished military characters of the colony. No one
could have been more surprised than young Greene on receiving the
commission of Brigadier General. He was put in command of this small
brigade and immediately marched them to head quarters at Cambridge,
Mass. He applied himself closely to the study of military tactics and
soon became an excellent disciplinarian--an able officer. For
correctness of evolution, subordination and good order--his was a model
brigade. His merits were quickly discovered by the acute Washington who
often consulted him with confidence in cases of doubt and difficulty.
This confidence he communicated to Congress. It arose from two strong
points--Greene had superior talents and was a Christian. On the 26th of
August 1776 Greene was commissioned a Major General of the regular army
of the United States and put forth his noblest exertions to promote the
interests of his bleeding country. At the battles of Trenton and
Princeton he exhibited great skill and judicious conduct. At the battle
of Germantown he commanded the left wing of the army and received the
unqualified approbation of Washington for his coolness and bravery. In
March 1778 he accepted the appointment of Quarter Master General
retaining his rank and right to command in time of action according to
the seniority of his commission. At the victorious battle of Monmouth he
commanded the right wing of the army and led his troops to the onset
with the terrific force of an avalanche.

In the siege of the British garrison at Newport, R.I. he served under
Gen. Sullivan. When it was found necessary to retreat in consequence of
the dispersion of the French fleet by a storm which prevented it from
rendering the contemplated aid, the army was greatly indebted to the
judgment and skill of Gen. Greene in extricating it from a perilous

The British power being measurably paralyzed in the north Lord
Cornwallis turned his attention to the south where the defences were
less--the plunder more. On the 26th of December 1779 he commenced his
movement and landed thirty miles from Charleston, S.C. on the 11th of
February ensuing. He then commenced the work of destruction and
brutality with increased rigor. No respect was paid to private property,
religious sanctity or defenceless females. After a spirited defence
Charleston was compelled to surrender. The British carried dismay,
victory and death in their whole course. Plunder, rapine and murder were
the order of the day. _Booty_ and _beauty_ were the watch words of his
most Christian majesty's officers and soldiers.

Under these heart rending circumstances Washington directed Gen. Greene
to take command of the Southern army. In company with the brave Morgan
he arrived at Charlotte on the 2d of December 1780. The so called army
numbered 970 regulars--1013 militia, destitute of military stores,
unpaid, nearly naked, poorly fed and no government supplies nearer than
two hundred miles. Opposed was a powerful army rich in plunder, flushed
with victory, liberally paid, abundantly fed, well clothed and amply
supplied with military stores of every kind. The front view of the
picture was dark and gloomy--on the back ground Greene and Morgan saw
the rays of hope shedding their cheering beams on the spire of Liberty.
Gen. Greene went to work for dear life. By his amiable deportment he
gained the love and confidence of his soldiers--the esteem and respect
of the inhabitants. From the surrounding country he gained short
supplies and raised a few recruits. He despatched Gen. Morgan with a
small force to the western part of the state which gave fresh courage to
the patriots of that section. By a falling into the ranks the force of
Morgan increased so much that Cornwallis ordered Col. Tarleton to
disperse this band of rebels and put all to the sword who did not
surrender at discretion. On the 17th of January 1781, Tarleton came up
to this rough and ready party at the Cowpens. Although his force was
inferior in numbers and two-thirds raw militia, Gen. Morgan determined
to stand fire. Sure of an easy victory the proud Britons rushed on to
action and were as much astonished to meet with an unbroken line
streaming with fire as if they had been brought up all standing against
an unperceived wire fence across the high way. Tarleton roared, foamed,
raved and commanded his men to _charge_. Again the blazing streams of
fire illuminated the lines of Morgan whose troops rushed upon the broken
ranks of the enemy with the fury of a tornado. The struggle was short,
the victory complete, the amazement of Tarleton paralyzing. Besides the
killed, over five hundred of the enemy were taken prisoners and a
convenient amount of the munitions of war fell into the hands of the
victors. Supposing he had crushed the rebel power in the south
Cornwallis was astounded at the result of this hasty recreative
expedition. He immediately marched in pursuit of Morgan determined to
rescue the prisoners and wipe out the disgrace Tarleton had brought upon
the British arms. The hero of the Cowpens was too old a fox to be easily
caught. He could do some things as well as others. He was as skilful in
retreat as he was desperate in battle. He knew when, where and how to
fight. He was courageous, not rash--bold, not imprudent and as watchful
as an Argus. He effected a junction with Gen. Greene on the 7th of
February. The chagrined Cornwallis advanced rapidly determined to
annihilate the little American army at one fell swoop. Greene retreated
into Virginia where he added to his numbers and supplies. So confident
was the British general of overtaking him that he destroyed his heavy
baggage to accelerate his movements. The patriots were not thus
encumbered. Many of them had only their arms and remnants of tattered
garments, being obliged to place tufts of moss on their shoulders to
prevent the friction of the cartouch straps. To the pursuing enemy the
Americans seemed an _ignis fatuus_--often to be seen but never reached.
The chase was abandoned. In turn Greene annoyed Cornwallis by cutting
off his supplies, capturing foraging parties and constantly watching
all his movements. His situation became perilous, his numbers were
constantly growing less by capture, desertion and disease. His supplies
cost blood as well as treasure--the force of Greene was constantly
augmenting--the tables were turned--he retreated to Hillsborough where
he endeavored to raise new recruits by liberal offers of British gold.
The yellow dust had lost its magic charm on Americans--patriotism was
the more current coin.

Unwilling to be long separated from the noble lord, Green paid him a
visit on the 15th of March. The interview took place at Guilford court
house between one and two o'clock P. M. and continued nearly two hours.
Owing to the militia that formed the front line flying at the sight of
the red coats the Americans were obliged to give ground and make it a
drawn battle--but the meeting was a sad one for Cornwallis. His loss was
532 killed, wounded and missing, among whom were several of his most
distinguished officers. So crippled was the British army that a
precipitate retreat to Wilmington was ordered leaving those of the
wounded who were not able to march. The loss of Gen. Greene was about
400 killed and wounded. Cornwallis claimed the victory--one not very
auspicious to his military glory or royal master. Gen. Greene commenced
offensive operations. He determined on attacking Lord Rawdon who was
strongly fortified at Camden S. C. with 900 men. The American forces
amounted to only 700 and encamped within a mile of the British lines
cutting off all supplies from the enemy. Anticipating a reinforcement to
the little army of Gen. Greene and being on short allowance his lordship
made a sally on the 25th of April and boldly attacked the offending
invaders. For some time victory perched upon the brow of Greene--his
cavalry had taken over two hundred prisoners. One of his regiments made
a move which compelled him to retreat with a loss of about 200 killed,
wounded and prisoners. The loss of Lord Rawdon was 258. So flushed was
the British general with this dear victory that he fled from Camden
leaving his sick and wounded to the care of those who he knew would care
for them. The back handed victories of Guilford and Camden so paralyzed
the enemy that they soon abandoned a number of small
fortifications--large quantities of military stores and concentrated a
considerable force at the strong garrison of Ninety Six. On the 22d of
May Greene commenced a siege upon that place but modestly retired to
give place to three regiments of strangers fresh from England. Before
doing this he made an unsuccessful assault at a cost of about 150 men.
But for the reinforcements the garrison would have shortly surrendered.

During the ensuing two months nothing but skirmishing occurred. On the
9th of September the army of Gen. Greene had increased to 2000 men. The
division of the British army under Col. Stewart was posted at Eutaw
Springs. An immediate attack was made by the Americans in the following
order. As he approached the enemy Gen. Greene formed his troops in two
lines--the first composed of Carolina militia under Generals Marion,
Pickens and Col. de Malmedy. The second was composed of regulars under
Gen. Sumpter, Lieut. Col. Campbell and Col. Williams. Lieut. Col. Lee
covered the right flank with his legion--Lieut. Henderson covered the
left with the state troops. The cavalry under Col. Washington and the
Delaware troops under Capt. Kirkwood were held in reserve. Scarcely was
the line of battle completed when the British rapidly advanced. The
Americans met the onset with the bravery of veterans but were compelled
to give way. The battle raged with fearful fury. All depended on a
sudden and desperate movement. Gen. Greene ordered the Virginia and
Maryland regulars to advance with trailed arms--facing a shower of
musket and grape shot. The order was instantly obeyed--they broke the
lines of the British and drove them some distance to a thicket of trees
and brick houses where they rallied and took a stand. The Americans took
over 500 prisoners and remained on the field of battle. Under cover of
night Col. Stewart retreated towards Charleston leaving 70 of his
wounded and 1000 stand of arms. His total loss in men was near
1200--that of Greene 500 in killed and wounded. The English had the
largest force in action. For this display of skill and bravery Congress
presented Gen. Greene with a British standard and gold medal. What was
dearer to him than all else--he received the high approbation of
Washington and his country. From that time the torch of kingly power
rapidly decreased until its last flickering light expired. For a time
Charleston was occupied by the crown troops--offensive operations they
dare not undertake only by small and transient _booty_ and _beauty_

It may seem mysterious to the young readers why soldiers fought so
valiantly who were poorly paid, scantily fed and scarcely clothed.
Hundreds of them were entirely naked at the Eutaw battle. Their loins
were galled severely by their cartouch boxes. It was considered a great
favor to obtain a folded rag to lay on the scarified part. Their food
was often a scanty supply of rice or a few roasted potatoes. The
officers suffered alike with the common soldiers. Gen. Greene was in the
southern field seven consecutive months without taking off his clothes
to retire for a night. _Love of liberty and love of their leading
general and his brave officers_ kept these soldiers together and
rendered them desperate on the field of battle. This removes the
mystery. If all could be made to realize the price of our Liberty,
political asperity and party spirit would hide their polluting forms
under the mantle of shame and retire to the peaceful shades of oblivion.
Reader--never forget the blood, treasure and anguish your Liberty cost.

Finding that the wary Greene could not be conquered by force of arms
British gold was once more put in requisition by the enemy. Several
native foreigners had deserted to the English and were induced to form a
plan to deliver up Gen. Greene and his principal officers. A sergeant
and two domestics attached to the person of the General were bribed and
in correspondence with the British. A time was fixed to deliver him and
every officer of rank to the enemy. As usual a guardian angel was there.
A female heard some unguarded expressions from the sergeant and promptly
informed Gen. Greene. The troops were at once ordered on parade--the
sergeant was arrested--confessed his guilt, was condemned and shot. When
led to execution he warned all not to sully their glory or forego the
advantages they would speedily realize from the successful termination
of the war and if a thought of desertion was in their bosoms to banish
it at once and for ever. He acknowledged the justice of his
sentence--distributed his little all among his comrades--gave the signal
and paid the penalty of his crime. Thus was a base and cowardly plot
detected by angelic woman--the ringleader executed and the southern army
saved from probable destruction. Not a single _native American_ was
concerned in this conspiracy.

Another circumstance occurred shortly after this that marred the
happiness of Gen. Greene for a little time. The appointment of Col.
Laurens to a command in their little army gave great umbrage to the
officers generally who immediately tendered their resignation to the
General. He affectionately recommended them to appeal to Congress for
redress and not desert the noble cause of Liberty prematurely. They
seemed determined in their course--he reluctantly received their
commissions. On being separated from him their attachment was fully
revealed to them. They found it impossible to leave their beloved
General--again took their commissions and followed his advice. No
officer could gain the affections of those under him more fully than did
Gen. Greene. Kindness and even handed justice to all were amongst his
marked characteristics. He shared the hardship and glory of the field
with his soldiers. He did all in his power to supply their wants and
alleviate their distress. By example and precept he taught his men to
meet calamity with heroic fortitude, pointing to the goal of liberty as
a final rest from the toils of war--to realms of bliss beyond the skies
as the eternal rest of the virtuous and good.

Early in October the last lion was caged at Yorktown. There the struggle
closed--there the victorious Cornwallis--the pride of mother Britain,
was humbled, the shouts of victory and the clarion of freedom sounded
and the sons of Columbia crowned with laurels of enduring fame. The
battles of Gen. Greene were finished. He had served his country long and
faithfully. He had surmounted the mighty barriers that opposed him--he
had contributed largely in breaking the chains of slavery--Liberty had
triumphed over despotism--his country was free, and was acknowledged
independent by the power that had long sought to enslave it. Gentle
peace shed fresh lustre on the care-worn countenances of the sages and
heroes and diffused her refulgent rays from the shores of the broad
Atlantic to the silver lakes of the far west.

On his way home Gen. Greene was hailed with grateful enthusiasm in every
town through which he passed. On his arrival at Princeton Congress was
in session there. As a testimony of respect for his valuable services
that body presented him with two pieces of ordnance taken from the
British army. The state of Georgia presented him with a valuable
plantation near Savannah. The State of South Carolina conveyed to him a
large tract of rich land which he sold to enable him to pay debts
contracted to obtain supplies for his soldiers. In the autumn of 1785 he
removed to his plantation in Georgia anticipating all the enjoyment of
domestic felicity. This was of short duration. On the 12th of June 1786
he was attacked with inflammation upon his brain caused by a stroke of
the sun and on the 19th of that month his spirit returned to the bosom
of his God. Thus closed the brilliant career of one of the most
distinguished sons of the Revolution. From his childhood to his grave he
was the pride of his friends, a shining light to his country--a blessing
to our nation. He was a prudent and brave general, an accomplished
gentleman, a good citizen, an honest man, a consistent Christian. His
character was pure as the crystal fountain--his fame enduring as the
records of time. His examples are models for imitation, his history is
full of instruction, his merits worthy of our highest admiration. His
faults were completely eclipsed by the brilliancy of his superior


False honor like false religion is worse than none. They both lead to
destruction and are deprecated by all good men. The one is a relic of
the barbarous ages--the other is older, having first been imposed on
mother Eve amidst the amaranthine bowers of Eden. Inconsistency is an
incubus that assumes numerous forms. In some shape it hangs over every
nation and most individuals. It is human nature to err--but some errors
are so plainly a violation of reason and common sense that it is passing
strange sound men do not avoid them. Yet we often see those of high
attainments rush into the whirlpool of inconsistency with a blind
infatuation that the fine spun rules of the acutest sophistry cannot

One of the fallacious and opprobrious inconsistencies that now disgraces
our nation is duelling. Many in this country boast of our intellectual
light and mourn over the ignorance of the poor untutored red man. In
turn he can point us to a dark spot on our national character that never
tarnished the name of a western or eastern Indian. This bohun upas
thrives only in communities that claim civilization. In no country has
it been tolerated with so much impunity as in our own. By our law it is
murder. In no instance has this law been enforced. Widows may mourn,
orphans languish, hearts bleed, our statesmen perish and the murderer
still run at large and be treated by many with more deference than if
his hands were not stained with blood. This foul stigma upon the
American name should be washed out speedily and effectually. Let the
combined powers of public opinion, legislative, judicial and executive
action be brought to bear upon it with the force of a rushing avalanche.
Flagrant crimes are suppressed only by strong measures.

Among the victims of this barbarous practice was Button Gwinnett, a man
of splendid talents and a patriot of the American Revolution. He was
born in England in 1732. His parents were respectable but not wealthy.
Being a boy of promise they bestowed on him a good education. At his
majority he commenced a successful mercantile career at Bristol in his
native country. Surrounded by a large family he resolved on changing his
location and came to Charleston S. C. in 1770, where he pursued
merchandizing two years. He then sold out his store, purchased a
plantation on St. Catharine Island, Georgia, to which he removed and
became an enterprising agriculturist. He possessed an active mind and
was a close observer of passing events. Having resided in England during
the formation of the visionary and impolitic plan of taxing the
colonies, he understood well the frame-work of the British cabinet. From
the course he promptly pursued it is plain he was a Whig in England. The
subject of raising revenue from the colonies of the new world had been
fully and ably discussed in Great Britain. Many of her profound
statesmen had portrayed, with all the truth of prophecy, the result of
the blind unjust course of ministers towards the Americans. The most
sagacious English statesman then in Parliament, Lord Chatham, exerted
his noblest powers to bring the cabinet to a sense of common
justice--the only path of safety. Mingling with intelligent men at
Bristol, Mr. Gwinnett had become well informed upon the litigated points
in controversy and was well acquainted with the relative feelings and
situation of the two countries. When the question of liberty or slavery
was placed before the people of his adopted land he declared in favor of
freedom. Knowing the superior physical force of Great Britain and the
weakness of the colonies, a successful resistance seemed to him
problematical. His doubts upon the subject were removed by the
enthusiasm of the patriots generally and especially by the lucid
demonstrations of Lyman Hall, a bold and fearless advocate of equal
rights with whom he became intimate. Convinced of the justice and
possible success of the cause he at once became a champion in its favor.
He had counted the cost, he had revolved in his mind the dangers that
would accumulate around him and truly predicted his property would be
destroyed by the devastating enemy--yet he nobly resolved to risk his
life, fortune and honor in defence of chartered rights and
constitutional franchises.

He enrolled his name among the leaders of the patriotic
movements--became a member of several committees and conspicuous at
public meetings. In her colonial capacity Georgia was the last to come
to the rescue. Some of her noblest sons had become shining lights in the
glorious cause. Patriotism was extending--oppression increasing, eyes
opening, ears listening, minds working, hearts beating and those who
were perching on the pivot of uncertainty were fast losing their
balance. At length the cry of blood was heard from Lexington. The work
was done. Georgia started from her lethargy like a lion roused from his
lair and prepared for the conflict. Like green wood--she was slow to
take fire but gave a permanent heat when ignited.

On the 2d of February 1776 Mr. Gwinnett was appointed to the Continental
Congress and took his seat on the 20th of May ensuing. Although his
constituents were determined to maintain their rights at all hazards
most of them looked upon the plan of Independence as a project of
visionary fancy--ideal, not to be hoped for or attempted. It gained
strength by discussion and emerged from its embryo form. At this
juncture a colleague of Mr. Gwinnett, the Rev. Mr. Zubly with a Judas
heart, wrote a letter to the royal governor of Georgia, disclosing the
contemplated measure, a copy of which was in some way obtained and
placed in the hands of Mr. Chase who immediately denounced the traitor
on the floor of Congress. The Iscariot at first attempted a denial by
challenging the proof but finding that the betrayer had been betrayed he
fled precipitately for Georgia in order to place himself under the
protection of the governor who had just escaped from the enraged
patriots on board a British armed vessel in Savannah harbor and had
enough to do to protect himself without rendering aid or comfort to a
traitor. He was followed by Mr. Houston one of his colleagues. Swift was
the pursuit but swifter the flight. On the wings of guilt he flew too
rapidly to be overtaken.

When the proposition came before Congress for a final separation from
the mother country Mr. Gwinnett became a warm advocate for the measure.
When the trying hour arrived, big with consequences, he gave his
approving vote and affixed his name to the important document that
stands acknowledged by the civilized world the most lucid exposition of
human rights upon the records of history--the Declaration of American
Independence. In February 1777 he took a seat in the convention of his
own state convened to form a constitution under the new government. He
at once took a leading part and submitted the draft of a constitution
which was slightly amended and immediately adopted. Shortly after this
he was elevated to the Presidency of the Provincial Council, then the
first office in the state--rising in a single year from private life to
the pinnacle of power in Georgia. At this time an acrimonious jealousy
existed between the civil and military authorities. At the head of the
latter was Gen. McIntosh against whom Mr. Gwinnett had run the previous
year for Brig. General and was unsuccessful. His elevation and influence
annoyed the General. The civil power claimed the right to try military
officers for offences that Gen. McIntosh contended came only under the
jurisdiction of a court martial. Mr. Gwinnett had planned an expedition
against East Florida and contemplated having the command. Gen. McIntosh
conferred it upon a senior lieutenant-colonel. The expedition was a
failure. The General publicly exulted over his hated enemy and gloried
in the misfortune. Under the new constitution a governor was to be
elected on the first Monday of the ensuing May. Mr. Gwinnett became a
candidate. His competitor was a man far inferior to him in point of
talents and acquirements but was elected. Gen. McIntosh again publicly
exulted in the disappointments that were overwhelming his antagonist. A
challenge from Mr. Gwinnett ensued--they met on the blood stained field
of false honor--fought at four paces--both were wounded, Mr. Gwinnett
mortally and died on the 27th of May 1777, the very time he should have
been in Congress. Comment is needless--reflection is necessary.

Aside from this rash error the escutcheon of Mr. Gwinnett was without a
blot. He was a splendid figure, commanding in appearance, six feet in
height, open countenance, graceful in his manners and possessed of fine
feeling. He was a kind husband, an affectionate father, a good citizen
and an honest man.


Decision gives weight to character when tempered with prudence and
discretion. The individual who is uniformly perched on the pivot of
uncertainty and fluttering in the wind of indetermination can never gain
public confidence or exercise an extensive influence. To be truly
beneficial decision must receive its momentum from the pure fountain of
our own matured judgment and not depend upon others to point us to the
path of duty. When the child becomes a man he should think and act as a
man and draw freely from the resources of his own immortal mind. He may
enjoy the reflective light of others but should depend upon the focus of
his own, made more clear by reflectives. The man who pins his faith upon
the sleeve of another and does not keep the lamp of his own
understanding trimmed and burning, is a mere automaton in life and never
fills the vacuum designed by his creation. When he makes his final exit
from the stage of action he leaves no trace behind--no rich memento to
tell that he once lived, moved and had a being upon the earth or bore
the moral image of his God. The Sages and Heroes of the American
Revolution left bright examples of self-moving action and decision of

Among those who were roused to exertion by the reflection of their own
minds was Lyman Hall, born in Connecticut 1731. He graduated in Yale
College at an early age, studied medicine, married a wife before he was
twenty-one, removed to Dorchester, S. C. in 1752 and commenced the
practice of medicine. After residing there a short time he joined a
company of some forty families, mostly New Englanders and removed to
Medway in the parish of St. John, Georgia. He became a successful
practitioner and was esteemed for his prudence, discretion, clearness
of perception, soundness of judgment--united with refinement of feeling,
urbanity of manners, a calm and equable mind and great benevolence. He
had only to be known to be appreciated. As years rolled peacefully along
Dr. Hall became extensively acquainted and greatly beloved. He took
great interest in the happiness of those around him and in the welfare
of the people at large. He was a close observer of men and
things--understood well the philosophy of human rights and the
principles of the tenure by which the mother country held jurisdiction
over the colonies. When the marked bounds of that jurisdiction were
passed he was one of the first to meet the aggressors and point his
countrymen to the innovations. As encroachments increased his patriotism
grew warmer--enthusiastic zeal followed, tempered by the purest
motives--guided by the soundest discretion. The indecision and
temporizing spirit of Georgia, for a time, was painful to her truly
patriotic sons who early espoused the cause of Liberty. It was extremely
annoying to Dr. Hall but only tended to increase his exertions in the
work of political regeneration. Over the people of his own district he
exercised an unlimited--a judicious influence. He attended the patriotic
meetings held at Savannah in 1774-5 and contributed much in promoting
the glorious cause just bursting into life. His immediate constituents
were with him in feeling and action. All the other colonies had united
in defence of their common country determined to resist the common
enemy. St. John being a frontier settlement and more exposed than any
other in the province, he prudently laid the subject before his people
and called upon them to choose whom they would serve. They promptly
decided against domination of royalty and declared for Liberty. They at
once separated from the other parishes--formed a distinct political
community--applied for admission into the confederation of the other
colonies--passed resolutions of non-intercourse with Savannah so long as
it remained under kingly authority except to obtain the absolute
necessaries of life and organized committees to carry these patriotic
and decisive measures into effect. Placed on such an eminence they were
welcomed into the general compact as men worthy of freedom. In March
1775 they elected Lyman Hall to the Continental Congress to represent
the parish of St. John that stood like an isolated island of granite in
the ocean regardless of the waves of fury that were foaming around it.
This example had a powerful influence on the other parishes. From this
lump of liberty-leaven the whole mass became rapidly impregnated--rose
beautifully and was admirably baked in freedom's oven and soon fit for
use. In July following Dr. Hall had the proud satisfaction of seeing
Georgia fully represented by men honest and true--always excepting Judas
Iscariot _alias_ Zubly. To Dr. Hall may be justly attributed the first
impetus given to the revolutionary ball in his district which was formed
into a new county in 1777 and named LIBERTY.

On taking his seat in Congress Dr. Hall was hailed with enthusiasm as
the nucleus of patriotism that would eventually draw to one common
centre the people of his province. He was a valuable acquisition to the
various committees on which he was placed and gained the esteem of all
around him. On the floor he was listened to with profound attention. He
reasoned closely and calmly, confining himself to the question under
consideration without any effort to shine as an orator. His known
patriotism, decision of character, purity of purpose and honesty of
heart--gave him a salutary influence that was sensibly felt, fully
acknowledged and judiciously exercised. In 1776 he again took his seat
in Congress and became decidedly in favor of cutting loose from the
mother country. He had induced his own district to present a miniature
example that stood approved by every patriot. He felt the justice of the
cause of Liberty. He believed Providence would direct a successful
result. He was fully convinced the set time had come to free the
colonies. With such feelings he hailed the birth day of our Independence
as the grand jubilee of LIBERTY. He cheerfully joined in passing the
mighty Rubicon--aided in preparing the sarcophagus of tyranny and signed
the certificate of freedom with a joyful heart.

He was continued in Congress up to 1780 when he took his final leave of
that body where he had rendered faithful and important service. In 1782
he returned to his own State and aided in rendering more perfect the
organization of her government. The enemy had destroyed his property and
wreaked a special vengeance on his district generally. His family had
been compelled to fly to the North and depend on the bounty of others
for support. In 1783 he was elected Governor of Georgia and contributed
largely in perfecting the superstructure of her civil institutions and
in placing her on the high road to peace and prosperity. This
accomplished he retired from public life under the broad banner of an
honest and well earned fame. He then settled in Burke County where he
was again permitted to pursue the even tenor of his ways and enjoy the
highest of all earthly pleasure--the domestic fireside with his own dear
family. Calmly and quietly he glided down the stream of time until 1790
when he closed his eyes upon the transitory scenes of earth--entered the
dark valley of death and disappeared from mortals to enjoy a blissful
immortality. He was deeply mourned by his relatives and numerous
acquaintances and by every patriot in our nation. His name is
perpetuated in Georgia by a county being named after him as a tribute of
respect for his valuable services.

Dr. Hall was among those who do good for the sake of goodness--not to be
seen of men and applauded by the world. In person his appearance was
prepossessing. He was full six feet in height with a graceful deportment
and benignant countenance. His examples are worthy of imitation. Without
the luminous talents that tower to the skies in a blaze of glory that
dazzles every eye--he rendered himself substantially and widely useful.
He was like a gentle stream that passes through a verdant field
producing irrigation in its course without overflowing and tearing up
its banks. Decision of character, prudence in action and discretion in
all things marked his whole career. Not a stain tarnishes the bright
lustre of his public fame or private character. He lived nobly and died
peacefully. With such men our UNION is safe.


The thrilling history of American Independence is ever a subject of deep
interest to the patriot and philanthropist. It has no parallel in the
history of nations. Its causes, progress and successful termination
combine to throw around it a sacred halo that fills the reader with
wonder and admiration. The noble spirits who planned and achieved it
command the profoundest respect over the civilized world. As time
advances that respect is ripening into veneration. The names of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence, like those of the twelve
Apostles, are surrounded with a refulgent glory--unfading and enduring
as the planetary system. Among them was John Hancock, born near Quincy,
Mass., in 1737. His father was a clergyman of eminent piety, highly
esteemed by his parishioners. He died when this son was an infant,
leaving him under the guardian care of an uncle, who bestowed upon him
all the attention and tenderness of a father. He graduated at Harvard
College in 1754, with great credit to himself and satisfaction to his
numerous friends.

His uncle was a wealthy and thorough merchant and placed his nephew in
his counting house that he might add to his collegiate acquirements a
more important acquisition--a knowledge of men and things. In 1760 he
was sent to England--saw the mortal remains of George II. laid in the
tomb and the crown placed upon the head of his successor. He continued
in the employment of his uncle until 1761, who then died, leaving this
nephew his entire estate, supposed to be the largest of any one in the
province at that time.

John Hancock was long one of the Selectmen of Boston. In 1766 he was
elected to the General Assembly. He there exhibited talents of a high
order as a statesman, at once gaining the esteem and admiration of his
colleagues. He also gained the particular attention of a certain clique,
who determined to rule or ruin him. They placed him in the crucible of
slander, from which he came like gold seven times tried--triumphant and

In the Assembly he was uniformly chairman of the most important
committees. He was also elected speaker but the Governor, jealous of his
rising popularity and liberal principles, put his veto upon the

He was a man of deep thought, general intelligence and strong mind. He
had thoroughly investigated the laws of God, of nature and of man. He
well understood that men are endowed by their Creator with certain
inherent privileges--that they are born equal and of right are and
should be free. He drank largely at the refreshing fountain of liberal
principles and was among the first to expose the blind and cruel policy
of the British ministers. He contributed largely in rousing his fellow
sufferers to a sense of impending danger.

Although deeply interested in commercial business and more exposed to
the wrath of kingly power than any individual in the province--he boldly
placed himself at the head of the association prohibiting the
importation of goods from Great Britain. The other provinces caught the
patriotic fire from these examples and became prepared to act their part
in the tragic scenes that resulted in the emancipation of the pilgrim
fathers from monarchical domination.

As a mark of special attention to this uncompromising patriot, the first
seizure that was made by the revenue officers under pretence of some
trivial violation of the laws was one of his vessels. So great was the
excitement produced by this impolitic transaction, that large numbers
were speedily collected to rescue the property. It was placed under the
guns of an armed ship ready to open a broadside upon any who should dare
to reclaim the vessel. The populace rose like a thunder cloud--rushed to
the onset--brought away the vessel--razed to the ground some of the
buildings occupied by the custom house officers and committed to the
flames the boat of the collector. For a time this fire was arrested by
the strong arm of power but it was never extinguished--it was the fire
of LIBERTY. It only required to be fanned by that ministerial oppression
that ultimately blew it into curling flames.

To prevent the recurrence of a popular outbreak several regiments of
British troops, with all their loathsome vices fresh upon them, were
quartered upon the inhabitants. This was like pouring bituminous coal
tar upon a lurid flame. The independent spirits of Boston were not to be
_awed_ into subjection. The consequences were tragical. On the evening
of 5th of March 1770, a party of these soldiers fired upon and killed
five and wounded others of the citizens who had collected to manifest
their indignation against those they _hated_ more than they _feared_.
Had the town been placed in the terrific cradle of an earthquake and its
foundations moved to the centre, the agitation could not have been
greater. Had it been melting before the burning lava of a volcano the
commotion could not have been increased. The tolling of bells--the
groans of the dying and wounded--the shrieks of mothers, widows and
orphans--the flight of soldiers--the rush of the inhabitants--the cry of
revenge--popular fury rising into a tornado of vengeance--all combined
to create a scene of consternation and horror at which imagination
recoils, description quails, sympathy trembles, humanity bleeds. It is a
commentary, eloquently strong, upon the gross impropriety of quartering
soldiers upon citizens--of enforcing civil law by military force--of
invading the sanctity of domestic peace and private enjoyment.

On the following day a meeting was called composed of the concentrated
talent and virtue of Boston. Strong but discreet resolutions were
passed. A committee was appointed to wait upon the governor to request
him to remove the troops from the town, at the head of which were Samuel
Adams and John Hancock. His excellency at first refused but finding that
discretion was the better part of valor, at once ordered the soldiers to
the castle. He also gave a pledge that the offenders should be arraigned
and tried and thus restored transient tranquillity.

The solemn and imposing ceremony of interring those who were killed was
then performed. Their bodies were deposited in the same grave. Tears of
sorrow, sympathy, regret and indignation were mingled with the clods as
they descended upon the butchered bodies of those victims of tyranny.
For many years the sad event was commemorated with deep and mournful
solemnity. A hymn was sung to their memory and the torch of Liberty
re-illumed at their tomb.

At one of these celebrations during the progress of the Revolution John
Hancock delivered the address. A few brief extracts will be read with

"Security to the persons and property of the governed is so evidently
the design of civil government that to attempt a logical demonstration
of it would be like burning a taper at noonday to assist the sun in
enlightening the world. It cannot be either virtuous or honorable to
attempt to support institutions of which this is not the principal
basis. Some boast of being friends to government. I also am a friend to
government--to a righteous government, founded upon the principles of
reason and justice--but I glory in avowing my eternal enmity to

He then portrayed vividly the wrongs inflicted by the mother country and
urged his fellow citizens to vindicate their injured rights. On speaking
of the massacre his language shows the emotions of his heaving
bosom--the feelings of his noble soul.

"I come reluctantly to the transactions of that dismal night, when, in
quick succession we felt the extremes of grief, astonishment and
rage--when Heaven, in anger, suffered hell to take the reins--when
Satan, with his chosen band opened the sluices of New England's blood
and sacrilegiously polluted her land, with the bodies of her guiltless
sons. Let this sad tale be told without a tear--let not the heaving
bosom cease to burn with a manly indignation at the relation of it
through the long tracts of future time--let every parent tell the story
to his listening children till the tears of pity glistens in their eyes
or boiling passion shakes their tender frames."

"Dark and designing knaves--murderous parricides! how dare you tread
upon the earth which has drunk the blood of slaughtered innocence shed
by your hands! How dare you breathe that air which wafted to the ear of
Heaven the groans of those who fell a sacrifice to your accursed
ambition!! But if the laboring earth doth not expand her jaws--if the
air you breathe is not commissioned to be the minister of death--yet
hear it and tremble! the eye of Heaven penetrates the darkest chambers
of the soul and you, though screened from human observation, must be
arraigned--must lift up your hands, red with the blood of those whose
death you have procured, at the tremendous bar of God."

So bold had Mr. Hancock become that the adherents of the crown put every
plan and artifice in operation that could be devised to injure him. His
worst enemy, the governor, nominated him to the Council, knowing that
his acceptance would turn the populace against him. The plan was just as
feasible as to think of baking griddle cakes on the moon. By a prompt
refusal he put his enemies to shame and increased the confidence the
patriots reposed in him. He was at this time Captain of the Governor's
Guard and was immediately removed. His company was composed of the first
citizens of Boston. As a testimony of respect to him the members
promptly dissolved.

The dread crisis finally came. The war car was put in motion on the
heights of Lexington. American blood was again shed by British soldiers.
The people heard the dread clarion of Revolution--multitudes rushed to
the conflict--the hireling troops fled in confusion--messengers of death
met them on the whole route--retribution pressed on them at every
corner--the trees and fences were illuminated with streams of fire from
the rusty muskets of the native yoemanry and many of Briton's proud sons
slumbered in their gore on that eventful day. The watchword was then

On the reception of this news the governor issued his proclamation in
the name of his most _Christian Majesty_, George the III. declaring the
Province in a state of rebellion but _graciously_ offering a pardon to
all returning penitents--_excepting_ John Hancock and Samuel Adams. A
secret attempt was made to arrest them but was foiled by information
sent by Gen. Warren. They were preserved to aid in the glorious cause
they had boldly and nobly espoused and to become shining lights in the
blue canopy of FREEDOM--bright examples of patriotism for future
generations. Their proscription by the royal governor endeared them
still more to the people and their personal friends. They asked no
pardon--desired no royal favor.

In 1774 Mr. Hancock was unanimously elected President of the
Massachusetts Provincial Congress and in 1775 he was called to preside
over the Continental Congress. It was with great diffidence he accepted
this high mark of esteem, many of its members possessing towering
talents and were much his seniors in age. He discharged the duties of
his station with fidelity, great ability and to the satisfaction of the
members and the country. His was the only name affixed to the
Declaration of Independence when first published and stands, in bold
relievo, at the head of the list of that noble band of fearless patriots
who bearded the British Lion in his den and drove him from Columbia's
soil--whose names are enrolled on the historic sunbeams of unfading
light, there to remain in living brightness to the remotest ages of

Impaired in health and worn down by fatigue, Mr. Hancock resigned his
responsible station in Congress in October 1777, having presided over
that body for two and a half years with a credit highly gratifying to
his numerous friends and advantageous to the cause of human rights.

Soon after his return he was elected to the convention of his native
state to form a constitution for its government. His talents and
experience were of great service in aiding to produce a truly republican
instrument. In 1780 he was elected the first governor under the new
constitution and continued to fill the gubernatorial chair five years
when he resigned. At the expiration of two years he was again elected to
that office and continued to fill that important station during the
remainder of his life.

During his administration there were many difficulties to overcome--many
evils to suppress. The devastation of the war had paralyzed every kind
of business--reduced thousands from affluence to poverty--polluted the
morals of society and left a heavy debt to be liquidated. Conflicting
interests were to be reconciled--restless spirits subdued and visionary
theories exploded. A faction of 12,000 men threatened to annihilate the
new government. Riots were of frequent occurrence--the civil authority
was disregarded and it became necessary to call out the military to
enforce order. By the prudence, decision and wise conduct of the
Governor and those acting under him, all difficulties were adjusted--the
clamor of the people hushed--order restored and but few lives sacrificed
at the shrine of treason.

By his firm and determined course the Governor incurred the displeasure
of many prominent men for a time--but when reason resumed her station
and prosperity alleviated the burdens that had been so strongly felt,
their better judgment gained the ascendency, the sour feelings of party
spirit lost their rancor--admiration and esteem for his sterling virtues
and useful talents--the long and arduous services he had rendered his
State and country--disarmed his enemies of their resentment and produced
uniform love and respect. None but those who then lived can fully
appreciate the Alpine barriers the patriots had to surmount to preserve
the Independence they achieved and reduce to practice the long nursed
vision of a Republican government. To recount them would require a
volume. Let them slumber in the shades of oblivion.

Gov. Hancock was strongly in favor of the adoption of the Federal
Constitution and left his sick bed in the last week of the session of
the Assembly and did much by his advice and influence to induce his
State to sanction that important instrument of confederation which has
thus far withstood the assaults of demagogues--the thunder gusts of
party spirit and held us in the bonds of Union, strength and power.
Paralyzed be that arm that would cut the smallest fibre of the--cord of
our UNION. Silenced be that voice that would whisper the word
_dissolution_ even to a zephyr. If we are true to ourselves we are
destined to become the greatest nation known to history. We are
appointed by the sages and heroes of the Revolution executors in
perpetual succession of the richest estate ever bequeathed to a
nation--LIBERTY in its pristine purity. Let us see well to its
preservation that when we meet the testators in the realms of bliss, we
may find our account approved and passed in the high court of heaven.

John Hancock lived to see prosperity shed the benignant rays of
happiness over the broad expanse of the infant republic. He saw her
institutions, laws, trade, manufactures, commerce, agriculture--all
based on the firm pillars of purchased freedom and eternal justice. His
Pierian vision was reduced to a happy reality--he could then die
peaceful and happy.

His ill health continued until the 8th of October 1793 when suddenly and
unexpectedly his soul left earth and returned to Him who gave it to join
the kindred spirits that had gone before and entered upon the untried
realities of the eternal world.

Governor Hancock was a man of elegant person and
accomplishments--amiable and pure in all the private relations of
life--highly honorable in all his actions--a polished gentleman in his
manners--fashionable in his dress and style of living--charitable and
liberal--a friend to the poor--a visitor of the widow and
orphan--diligent in business--open and frank in his disposition--a
faithful companion--a consistent patriot--an HONEST MAN.


Coolness, united with sound discretion, deep penetration, wisdom to plan
and energy to execute, is an important quality. In times of high
excitement it is indispensably necessary in those who wield the destiny
of a community. When the fires of passion, burning in the bosoms of an
enraged multitude, unite in one cyclopean volume, the mental rod of
cooling discretion is necessary to regulate, guide and direct it to a
proper destination. If all were alike charged with boiling desperation
in times when angry commotions disturb the public peace, the holiest
cause would lose its efficacy and be overwhelmed by the murky waters of
fell revenge. The cool deliberations of the first Continental Congress,
writhing under the lash of oppression, shed upon it a lustre that
attracted the admiration of a gazing world, the smiles of angels and the
approval of Heaven. The mother country was left without an excuse or
just reason for the continuation of her suicidal course. To the cool and
discreet conduct of the Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution we
may attribute the LIBERTY we now enjoy.

No one among them demonstrated more fully this quality combined with
firmness of purpose and boldness of action than Benjamin Harrison a
native of Berkley, Virginia, supposed to have been born about 1730, the
precise time not being a matter of record. His family descended from a
near relative of Gen. Harrison, a bold leader in the revolution of the
English Commonwealth who was sacrificed on the scaffold for his liberal
principles. This relative settled in Surrey, Virginia, about 1640. His
descendants sustained the high reputation of their ancestors and filled
many important stations in the colony. It is recorded of Benjamin
Harrison, son of the ancestor that located in Surrey, that "he did
justice, loved mercy and walked humbly with his God," leaving a memento
of character that forms the crowning excellence of human attainments.
Benjamin Harrison, the father of young Benjamin now under review, was
killed by lightning with two of his daughters. At that time this son was
prosecuting his studies at the college of William and Mary where he
finished his education at an early age. Before he arrived at his
majority he had the management of a large estate left him by his father.
As good sense dictated and as in duty bound, he shortly after married
Elizabeth, the accomplished daughter of Col. William Bassett and niece
to Lady Washington. She possessed all the high requisites of a wife.

Before he arrived at the age then required by law, he was elected to the
House of Burgesses and became a leading member. His talents were of the
peculiar kind calculated to lead without an apparent desire to command.
His magic wand was sound discretion coolly and firmly exercised,
enlivened by a good humor and sprightliness that mellowed his otherwise
stern qualities. Wielding a powerful influence, the creatures of the
crown were particularly courteous to him just previous to the revolution
and proposed to confer upon him the highest official dignity in the
colony--except governor--who must be a _native_ of the mother country.
Mr. Harrison was too republican and far seeing to be caught in the
silken web of ministerial intrigue or royal cunning. With all his wealth
and influence he was a plain common sense man opposed to the pomp of
courts and the flourish of high pretensions. He went for his country and
the people. He scorned to be the hireling or slave of a king. As early
as 1764 he was on the committee in the House of Burgesses that prepared
an address to the crown, a memorial to the House of Lords and a
remonstrance to the House of Commons of Great Britain predicated upon
the Virginia Resolutions anticipating the odious Stamp Act. These
documents as reported were then too hard metal in view of a majority in
the House and were transmuted to soft solder by the process of political
alchemy well understood by the creatures of the king. The time rolled on
rapidly when hard metal was made the order of the day. As British
oppression increased Virginia indignation kindled to a flame that
illuminated the old Dominion to its utmost bounds. Mr. Harrison was a
member of the convention that met at Williamsburg on the 1st of August
1774 and passed a series of strong resolutions in favor of equal
rights--sanctioned the measures of opposition adopted by New England and
appointed seven delegates to the general Congress, Mr. Harrison being
one. The benefits resulting from the labors of that Congress may not now
be apparent to many young readers as a deaf ear was turned to the
dignified proceedings by the mother country. They were twofold. 1. The
true position of the two countries was clearly defined and held up to
the world leaving England without an excuse for her subsequent course.
2. A personal acquaintance and free interchange of views served to
establish mutual confidence and produced a concert of action between the

On the 20th of March 1775 Mr. Harrison was a member of the convention
that met at Richmond and passed the bold resolutions offered by Patrick
Henry. Many had the royal film removed from their eyes at that time and
came to the rescue. Anticipating the appointment of delegates to a
second Congress, Lord Dunmore issued his proclamation forbidding the
procedure affecting to treat the convention as a mere bagatelle. Royal
proclamations had lost their original efficacy. The delegates were
elected, among whom was Mr. Harrison. He repaired to his post which was
then more imposing than the year proceeding. A crisis had arrived big
with consequences. Amidst the flashes and roar of the gathering storm
cool deliberation pervaded his bosom. Mr. Randolph, the President of the
first Congress being absent, Mr. Hancock was elected to fill the
vacancy. When his name was announced he seemed overcome with a modest
diffidence and did not move. Mr. Harrison took him in his gigantic arms
and placed him in the chair saying--"We will show mother Britain how
little we care for her--by making a Massachusetts man our President whom
she has excluded from pardon by public proclamation."

Action--noble and god-like action became the order of that eventful
era. Each gale from the north brought tidings of fresh outrages and
increasing aggressions on the part of mother Britain. Congress prepared
for the worst although many of the members turned a willing ear to the
siren song of peace. Mr. Harrison was one of the committee appointed to
devise ways and means for defence and to organize the militia throughout
the colonies that were represented. After laboring arduously for a month
the plan of military operations was reported that carried the American
Colonies through the war. Mr. Harrison was the military man of Congress.
He had the unlimited confidence of Washington. In September of that year
he was one of the committee of three to consult with the
Commander-in-chief and with the authorities of the regenerated colonies
relative to a preparation for vigorous action. On the 29th of November
he was made chairman of the committee of five to take charge of the
foreign correspondence. On the 2d of December he was sent to Maryland to
aid in organizing a naval armament to repel the predatory warfare of
Lord Dunmore along the shores of the Chesapeake. On the 17th of January
1776 he laid before Congress a plan for the recruiting service which was
adopted. On the 21st of the same month he was placed upon the committee
to organize the War Department On the 23d he went to New York with
Messrs. Lynch and Allen to aid Gen. Lee in devising plans and means of
defence and for erecting fortifications upon the two confluent rivers.
On his return he was placed on the committee for organizing the military
departments of the middle and southern Colonies. On the 6th of March he
was placed on the Marine Standing Committee--bestowing on him labor in
proportion to his physical as well as mental powers. He was found equal
to the task imposed.

On the 26th of March 1776 Congress published a full preface to the
Declaration of Independence, setting forth the contempt with which the
petitions, remonstrances and appeals for relief had been
treated--portraying in lively colors the constitutional and chartered
rights of the American people and the manner they were trampled under
foot and steeped in blood by British hirelings. The same document
authorised the colonies to fit out vessels of war to meet the mistress
of the seas on her own element. Mr. Harrison was chairman of a committee
to select and have fortified one or more ports for the protection of
these vessels and such prizes as they might take. In May he was made
chairman of the committee on the Canada expedition. After consulting
Generals Washington, Gates and Mifflin, he laid a plan of operations
before Congress which was adopted. On the 26th of the same month he was
made chairman of a committee of fourteen to confer with the general
officers of the army relative to the plan of operations for the ensuing
campaign. When matured he laid it before Congress and during its
consideration was chairman of the committee of the whole. With slight
amendments the report was adopted. On the 15th of June he was made
chairman of the Board of War and continued in that important station
until he retired from Congress. In his discharge of its duties Judge
Peters remarks of him--"He was chairman when I entered upon the duties
assigned me in the War Department. This gave me an opportunity of
observing his firmness, good sense and usefulness in deliberation and in
critical situations and much use indeed was required of these qualities
when everything around was lowering and terrific."

Mr. Harrison became very popular as chairman of the committee of the
whole. If in the House he uniformly presided when important questions
were under consideration. He was in the chair during the discussion of
the Declaration of Independence. He presented the resolution that
recommended the formal preparation of that sacred document and on the
glorious 4th of July 1776 sealed his heart felt approval with his vote
and signature. At the thrilling moment when the members were signing
what many called their death warrant, as the slender Mr. Gerry finished
his signature Mr. Harrison pleasantly remarked to him "when the hanging
scene commences I shall have all the advantage over you. It will all be
over with me in a minute but you will be kicking in the air half an hour
after I am gone." During the protracted discussions upon the Articles of
Confederation Mr. Harrison was uniformly in the chair. From August to
the 5th of November he was engaged in the service of his own state in
the formation of the new government when he again returned to his place.
He was one of the committee to advise in the movements of the northern
army. When the members of Congress were compelled to fly from Baltimore
to Lancaster, where they remained but one day and from there to York,
Pa. he remained firm at his post. The enemies of Liberty predicted a
final dissolution but proved false prophets. They even reported that Mr.
Harrison was about to desert the American cause. His coolness and
deliberation were often made useful in softening down hasty and harsh
propositions. When the question was agitated relative to punishing the
Quakers he interfered in their behalf. In after life one of them often
remarked of him--"He saved us from persecution. He had talents to
perceive the right and firmness enough to pursue it however violently

At the close of 1777 Mr. Harrison resigned his seat in Congress and
returned to the bosom of his family. No one member had performed more
labor than him--no one was more highly esteemed and honored. He was
emphatically a working man--a colossus in the cause of liberty and human
rights. He returned home to enjoy repose. This was of but short
duration. He was immediately elected to the Virginia Legislature and
made Speaker, which station he ably filled for five consecutive years.
During that period the revolutionary storm spent its fury upon the Old
Dominion. The traitor Arnold and the tyrant Cornwallis were tinging its
streams and saturating its soil with the blood of its noble sons. Fire,
sword, murder, rapine, ruin and destruction marked their savage course.
Her legislature was driven from Richmond to Charlotteville--to
Staunton--to the Warm Springs and found but a transient rest at either
place. During these rapid removes Mr. Harrison remained cool, collected
and firm and was prolific in the best measures to ward off impending
dangers. He did much to rouse the people to action and dispel the
terrors of their minds. He knew no "fugitive fear"--the assertion of
another writer to the contrary notwithstanding and without any
foundation in fact, for the purpose of raising his own hero above his
proper level by climbing upon the shoulders of the towering reputation
of Mr. Harrison. This fictitious capital will not answer even at this
late day. Records speak for the dead in a voice that paralyzes the
slanderer like the hand writing that shook the sturdy frame of

In 1782 Mr. Harrison was elected Governor of Virginia and assumed a
herculean task. The recent devastations of the British army aided by
tories who remained on the soil, had thrown everything into one chaotic
mass. He entered upon the discharge of his duties with an energy that
showed no "fugitive fear" and became one of the most popular chief
magistrates that ever filled the gubernatorial chair of the Old
Dominion. He was re-elected twice and was then inelligible by the
constitution and once more sought retirement. Without his knowledge or
consent he was immediately after nominated for the legislature and for
the first time defeated. This was effected by a cunning device of his
opponent. When Governor he had ordered the militia to level the
embankments at Yorktown which was the first and last unpopular act of
his life. This was the political hobby-horse on which his opponent
gained the race. Mr. Harrison removed into the adjoining county of
Surrey and was returned to the same Legislature with his successful
competitor. To add to the chagrin of his opponents he was elected
Speaker of the House. Before the year expired he was urged to return to
his former residence. Old age and declining health induced him to
permanently retire from public life.

In 1788 he was a member of the Convention of his State to which the
Federal Constitution was submitted and was chairman of the first
committee--that of privileges and elections. He opposed the document in
some of its details as being too indefinite in defining the powers of
the General and State Governments but approved it as a whole with
certain amendments that were returned with it. So strong was the
opposition to its adoption by nearly half of the delegates that this
large minority held a private meeting in the night for the purpose of
adopting plans of opposition that were calculated to produce the most
fatal consequences. Fortunately this cool and deliberate patriarch of
Liberty gained admittance and prevailed upon them to submit to the
majority of nine and pursue the legal remedy for obtaining amendments
after it became the law of the land. This noble and patriotic act formed
the crowning glory of his public career.

In 1790 he was nominated for Governor but declined serving and used his
utmost influence in favor of Mr. Randolph and induced his own son to
vote against him who was a member of the House which elected the Chief
Magistrate. Mr. Randolph was unpopular with some of the members who were
confident of defeating him could they prevail upon Mr. Harrison to
consent to be used as a party man. His Roman integrity and influence
prevailed and Mr. Randolph was made Governor.

During the next year his health declined rapidly. Shortly after his
unanimous election to the Legislature he was prostrated by a severe
attack of the gout which terminated his long and useful life in April
1791, leaving a large family of children to mourn the loss of a kind
father--his country to lament the exit of a favorite son and noble
patriot. He was the father of the late President Harrison who survived
just one month after his inauguration.

Mr. Harrison was a man of great muscular power--above the middle height,
graceful but plain in his manners with an intelligent countenance
indicating strength of mind and decision of character. During the latter
part of his life he became quite corpulent in consequence of a quiet
mind and good dinners. His private character was above reproach. His wit
and humor made him a pleasant companion--his intelligence and good sense
made him an instructive one. His cool head, good heart, sound judgment
and agreeable temperament made him an important public servant just
suited to the times in which he lived. Were all our legislators of the
present day like him--fanaticism and ultraism could not flourish--our
UNION would be safe.


No occupation is so well calculated to rivet upon the heart a love of
country as that of agriculture. No profession is more honorable--but few
are as conducive to health and above all others it insures peace,
tranquillity and happiness. A calling independent in its nature--it is
calculated to produce an innate love of Liberty. The farmer stands upon
a lofty eminence and looks upon the bustle of mechanism, the din of
commerce and the multiform perplexities of the various literary
professions, with feelings of personal freedom unknown to them. He
acknowledges the skill and indispensable necessity of the first--the
enterprise and usefulness of the second--the wide spread benefits of the
last--then turns his mind to the pristine quiet of his agrarian domain
and covets not the fame that clusters around them all. His opportunities
for intellectual improvement are superior to the two first and in many
respects not inferior to the last. Constantly surrounded by the varied
beauties of nature and the never ceasing harmonious operation of her
laws--his mind is led to contemplate the wisdom of the great Architect
of worlds. The philosophy of the universe is constantly presenting new
phases to his enraptured view. Aloof from the commoving arena of public
life but made acquainted with what is passing there through the medium
of the magic PRESS--he is able to form deliberate opinions upon the
various topics that concern the good and glory of his country. In his
retired domicil he is less exposed to that corrupt and corrupting party
spirit that is raised by the whirlwind of selfish ambition and often
rides on the tornado of faction. Before he is roused to a participation
in violent commotions he hears much, reflects deeply, resolves nobly.
When the oppression of rulers becomes so intolerable as to induce the
yeomanry of a country to leave their ploughs and peaceful firesides and
draw the avenging sword--let them beware and know the day of retribution
is at hand.

Thus it was at the commencement of the American Revolution. When the
implements of husbandry were exchanged for those of war and the farmers
joined in the glorious cause of Liberty, the fate of England's power
over the Colonies was hermetically sealed. The concentrated phalanx of
commingling professions was irresistible as an avalanche in the full
plenipotence of force.

Among the patriots of that eventful era who left their ploughs and
rushed to the rescue was John Hart, born at Hopewell, Hunterdon County,
N. J. about the year 1715. The precise time of his birth is not a
matter of record--his acts in the cause of Liberty are. He was the son
of Edward Hart, a brave and efficient officer who aided the mother
country in the conquest of Canada and participated in the epic laurels
that were gained by Wolfe on the heights of Abraham. He raised a
volunteer corps under the cognomen of Jersey Blues--an appellation still
the pride of Jerseymen. He fought valiantly and was recompensed with
praise--not the gold of the mother country. John Hart was an extensive
farmer, a man of strong mind improved by reading and reflection, ever
ambitious to excel in his profession. In Deborah Scudder he found an
amiable and faithful wife. In the affections and good conduct of a
liberal number of sons and daughters he found an enjoyment which
bachelors may affect to disdain but for which they often sigh. Eden's
fair bowers were dreary until Heaven's first best gift to man was there.

Known as a man of sound judgment, clear perception, liberal views and
pure motives, John Hart was called to aid in public business long before
the Revolution. For twenty years he had served in various stations and
was often a member of the legislature. He took a deep interest in the
local improvements necessary in a new country. He was a warm advocate
for education, was liberal in donations to seminaries of learning. He
was a friend to social order and did much to produce an equilibrium in
the scales of justice. In organizing the municipal government of his
county he rendered essential service. He looked on public business as a
duty to be performed when required--not as a political hobby-horse to
ride upon. The public men of that day said but little. They despatched
business promptly with an eye single to the general good. Sinecures were
unknown--office hunters few and far between. Industry, frugality and
economy in public and private matters were marked characteristics of the
pilgrim fathers. Golden days! when will ye return in the majesty of your
innocence and banish from our land the enervating follies, the poisonous
weeds, the impugning evils that augur the destruction of our far famed

Mr. Hart was quick to discern the encroachments of the British ministry
upon the chartered and constitutional rights of the colonies and prompt
to resist them. The passage of the Stamp Act on the 22d of March 1765
was followed by a commotion that indicated a slender tenure of kingly
power in America. This odious Act was repealed on the 18th of March
1776. But the ministerial alchemists were madly bent on new experiments.
The colonists had borne the yoke of artful and increasing restrictions
upon their trade and industry for fifty years. It was presumed their
necks were hardened so as to bear a heavier burden. Deluded
alchemists--they little understood the kind of metal put in their
crucible. Direct taxation without representation was no part of the
English constitution. This violation could not be tamely submitted to.
The second edition of the revenue plan revised and stereotyped in 1767
by Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer, imposing a duty on
glass, paper, pasteboard, tea and painters' colors--kindled a flame in
the Colonies that no earthly power could quench. Public meetings against
the measure--resolutions of the deepest censure, remonstrances of the
strongest character, arguments of the most conclusive logic were hurled
back upon the ministry. Boston harbor was converted into a teapot and
all the tea afloat used at one drawing. Non-importation agreements,
committees of safety, preparations for defence, non-intercourse,
bloodshed, war and Independence followed. In all these movements Mr.
Hart concurred and firmly opposed the encroachments of the crown.

In 1774 he was elected to Congress and entered upon the high duties of
his station with a deep sense of the responsibilities that rested upon
that body at that particular time. Mild, deliberate, cautious, discreet
and firm in his purposes--he became an important member in carrying out
the measures then contemplated--reconciliation and a restoration of
amity. On the 10th of May 1775 he again took his place in Congress. The
cry of blood, shed on the 19th of the preceding April at Lexington, had
infused a spirit among the members widely different from that which
pervaded their minds at the previous meeting. It was then that the cool
deliberation of such men as Mr. Hart was indispensable. The ardor and
impetuosity of youth had passed away--propositions and arguments were
placed in the balance of reason. Causes, effects, objects, ends, plans,
means, consequences--all were put in the scales of justice and honestly
weighed. In this manner every act was performed with clean hands, the
cause of Liberty honored, prospered and crowned with triumphant success.
At this time Mr. Hart was a member and Vice President of the Assembly of
New Jersey and shortly after had the proud satisfaction of aiding in the
funeral obsequies of the old government and joined in the festivities of
forming a new one upon the broad platform of republicanism.

On the 14th of February 1776 he was again elected to the Continental
Congress and when the Chart of Liberty was presented he carefully
examined its bold physiognomy--pronounced its points, features,
landmarks, delineations and entire combinations worthy of freemen gave
it his vote, his signature and his benediction. At the close of the
session he retired from public life and declined a re-election. As he
anticipated, the British drove away his family, destroyed his property
and after he returned hunted him from place to place and several times
had him so nearly cornered that his escape seemed impossible. His
exposure in eluding the pursuit of the relentless foe brought on illness
that terminated his life in 1780. He was a worthy member of the Baptist
church--a devoted Christian--an HONEST MAN.


Genius is one of the indefinable attributes of man. We may think, see,
talk and write upon this noble quality, rehearse its triumphant
achievements, its magic wonders, its untiring efforts--but what _is_
genius? that's the question--one that none but pedants will attempt to
answer. The thing, the moving cause, the _modus operandi_ can no more be
comprehended and reduced to materiality than the spirit that animates
our bodies. The man who can do this can analyze the tornado, put the
thunder cloud in his breeches pocket and quaff lightning for a beverage.
Metaphysicians, physiologists and craniologists may put on their robes
of mystery, arm each eye with a microscope, each finger with the acutest
phrenological sensibility, whet up all their mental powers to the finest
keenness, strain their imagination to its utmost tension, tax
speculation one hundred per cent, and then call to their aid the
brightest specimens of this occult power--the combined force could not
weave a web and label it GENIUS that would not be an insult to common
sense. Genius is the essential oil of mental power. No frost can freeze
it, no fog can mildew it, no heat can paralyze it, no potentate can
crush it. In all countries and climes it springs up spontaneously but
flourishes most luxuriantly and attains a more perfect symmetry and
greater strength when nurtured by intelligence and freedom. So versatile
is this concentrated essence of mental power that we can form no rule to
pre-determine its personal locality, its time of development, its
measure of strength or the extent of its orbit. Like a blazing
meteor--it bursts suddenly upon us as in the darkness of night,
illuminating the world and like the lightning thunder bolt--shivers
every obstacle that stands in its way.

Thus it was with Patrick Henry born at Studley, Hanover County,
Virginia, on the 29th of May 1736. His father was a highly reputable man
of Scotch descent--his mother was the sister of Judge Winston who was
justly celebrated as an eloquent speaker. During his childhood and
youth Patrick was remarkable for indolence and a love of recreation. He
arrived at manhood with a limited education and ignorant of all
occupations. His mind was not cultivated, his native talents were not
developed, his genius was not awakened until after he was a husband and
a father. His friends vainly endeavored to put him on a course of
application to business by setting him up in the mercantile line.
Preferring his fishing rod and gun to measuring tape he soon failed.
Finding himself bankrupt he concluded that the increasing troubles of
his pilgrimage were too numerous to bear alone. He married the daughter
of a respectable planter and became a tiller of the ground. Unacquainted
with this new vocation he soon swamped in the quagmire of adversity. He
then gibed, put his helm hard up and tacked to the mercantile business.
Still he was unfortunate. Poverty claimed him as a favorite son and
bestowed upon him special attention. An increasing family needed
increased means of support. Creditors had the assurance to shower duns
upon him and cruelly reduced him to misery and want. He then conceived
the idea of studying law. For the first time he felt most keenly the
waste of time in his childhood and youth. He saw many of his age who had
ascended high on the ladder of fame whose native powers of mind he knew
to be inferior to his. He bent his whole energies to study and in six
weeks after he commenced was admitted to the Bar, more as a compliment
to his respectable connexions and his destitute situation than from the
knowledge he had obtained of the abstruse science of law during the
brief period he had been engaged in its investigation. Folded in the
coils of extreme want for the three ensuing years he made but slight
advances in his profession. He obtained the necessaries of life by
aiding his father-in-law at a _tavern_ bar instead of being at the Bar
of the court. He was still ardently attached to his gun. He often look
his knapsack of provisions and remained in the woods several days and
nights. On his return he would enter the court in his coarse and blood
stained hunting dress--take up his causes--carry them through with
astonishing adroitness and finally gained a popular reputation as an

In 1764 he was employed in a case of contested election tried at
Richmond, which introduced him among the fashionable and gay whose dress
and manners formed a great contrast with his. He made no preparation to
meet his learned and polished adversaries. As he moved awkwardly among
them, some, who were squinting at him and his coarse apparel, supposed
him _non compos mentis_. When the case was tried the audience and court
were electrified by his torrent of native eloquence and lucid logic.
Judges Tyler and Winston who were upon the bench declared they had never
before witnessed so happy and powerful an effort in point of sublime
rhetoric and conclusive argument. The towering genius of Patrick Henry
then burst from embryo into blooming life. From that time his fame
spread its expansive wings and soared far above those of gayer plumage
but of less strength. A lucrative practice banished want, sunshine
friends returned and flashed around him, he leaped upon the flood tide
of prosperity. From his childhood he had been a close observer of human
nature--the only germ of genius visible in his juvenile character. He
had studiously cultivated this important attribute which was of great
advantage to him through life. So familiar had he become with the
propensities and operations of the mind that he comprehended all its
intricacies, impulses and variations. This gave him a great advantage
over many of his professional brethren who had studied Greek and Latin
more but human nature less than this self-made man. He took a deep and
comprehensive view of the causes that impel men to action and of the
results produced by the multifarious influences that control them. He
grasped the designs of creation, the duty of man to his fellow and his
God, the laws of nature, reason and revelation and became a bold
advocate for liberty of conscience, equal rights and universal freedom.
From the expansive view he had taken of the rights of man, the different
forms of government, the oppression of kings, the policy pursued by the
mother country towards the American colonies, he was fully convinced
that to be great and happy a nation must be free and independent. With
the eye of a statesman he had viewed the increasing oppression of the
crown. They had reached his noble soul and roused that soul to action.
Patrick Henry first charged the revolutionary ball with patriotic fire
in Virginia and gave it an impetus that gathered force as it rolled

In 1765 he was elected to the Assembly and at once took a bold decisive
stand against British oppression. He introduced resolutions against the
Stamp Act that were so pointed and bold as to alarm many of the older
members although they admitted the truth and justice of the sentiments
expressed. They had not his genius to design or his moral courage to
execute. To impart a share of these to them and allay the palpitations
of their trembling hearts was the province of this young champion of
freedom. In this he succeeded--his resolutions were passed. Each was
drawn from the translucent fountain of eternal justice--based upon
equity and law and within the orbit of Magna Charta that had been the
polar star of the English government ever since the 19th of June 1215.
Read them and judge.

"Resolved--That the first adventurers and settlers of this his majesty's
colony and dominion brought with them and transmitted to their posterity
and all other his majesty's subjects since inhabiting in this his
majesty's said colony--all the privileges, franchises and immunities
that have at any time been held, enjoyed and possessed by the people of
Great Britain.

"Resolved--That by two royal charters granted by King James I. the
colonies aforesaid are declared entitled to all the privileges,
liberties and immunities of denizens and natural born subjects to all
intents and purposes as if they had been born and abiding within the
realm of England.

"Resolved--That the taxation of the people by themselves or by persons
chosen by themselves to represent them who can only know what taxes the
people are able to bear and the easiest mode of raising them and are
equally affected by such taxes themselves, is the distinguishing
characteristic of British freedom and without which the ancient
constitution cannot subsist.

"Resolved--That his majesty's liege people of this most ancient colony
have uninterruptedly enjoyed the right of being thus governed by their
own Assembly in the article of their taxes and internal police and that
the same hath never been forfeited or in any other way given up but hath
been constantly recognized by the king's people of Great Britain.

"Resolved therefore--That the General Assembly of this colony has the
sole right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants
of this colony and that any attempt to vest such power in any person or
persons whosoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid has a
manifest tendency to destroy British as well as American freedom."

The cringing sycophants of a corrupt and corrupting ministry could
not--_dare_ not deny the correctness of these resolutions. They were
hailed by every patriot as the firm pillars of American liberty. They
were based upon the well defined principles of the English constitution
and confined within the limits of the ancient landmarks of that sacred
instrument. They were enforced by the overwhelming eloquence and logic
of Mr. Henry and seconded by the cool deep calculating Johnson, who
sustained them by arguments and conclusions that carried conviction and
conversion to the minds of many who were poising on the agonizing pivot
of hesitation a few moments before. Some members opposed them who
subsequently espoused the cause of equal rights with great vigor. This
opposition brought out in fuller, richer foliage the genius of the
mover. He stood among the great in all the sublimity of his towering
intellect the acknowledged champion of that legislative hall which he
had but recently entered. Astonishment and delight held his electrified
audience captive as he painted the increasing infringements of the
hirelings of the crown in bold and glowing colors. He presented in
perspective the torrents of blood and seas of trouble through which the
colonists had waded to plant themselves in the new world. With his
paralyzing finger he pointed to the chains forged by tyranny already
clanking upon every ear with a terrific sound. To be free or slaves was
the momentous question. He was prepared and determined to unfold the
banner of LIBERTY--drive from his native soil the task-masters of mother
Britain or perish in the attempt. His opponents were astounded and found
it impossible to stem the mighty current of popular feeling put in
motion by the gigantic powers of this bold advocate of right. The
resolutions passed amidst cries of _treason_ from the tories--_Liberty
or death_ from the patriots. The seeds of freedom were deeply planted on
that day and Old Virginia proved a congenial soil for their growth. From
that time Patrick Henry was hailed as one of the great advocates of
human rights and rational liberty. He stood on the loftiest pinnacle of
fame, unmoved and unscathed by the fire of persecution calmly surveying
the raging elements of the revolutionary storm in boiling commotion
around him.

In August 1774 a Convention met at Williamsburg and passed a series of
resolutions pledging support to the eastern Colonies in the common cause
against the common enemy. Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George
Washington, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, Edmund Pendleton and
Patrick Henry were appointed delegates to the general Congress. On the
4th of September this august assembly of patriotic sages met in
Carpenter's Hall at the city of Philadelphia. The object for which they
had met was one of imposing and thrilling interest, big with events,
absorbing in character and vast in importance. The eyes of gazing
millions were turned upon them--the burning wrath of the king was
flashing before them--the anathema of the ministers was pronounced
against them. But they still resolved to go on. The hallowed cause of
freedom impelled them to action. After an address to the God of Hosts
imploring his guidance the proceedings opened by appointing Peyton
Randolph of Virginia President. A deep and solemn silence ensued. Each
member seemed to appeal to Heaven for aid and direction. At length
Patrick Henry rose in all the majesty of his greatness. Echo lingered to
catch a sound. Like a colossal statue there he stood and surveyed the
master spirits around him--his countenance solemn as eternity. O, my
God! what a moment of agonizing suspense! His lips opened--his
stentorian voice broke the painful silence--respiration regained its
freedom--the hall was illuminated with patriotic fire. With the
eloquence of Demosthenes, the philosophy of Socrates, the justice of
Aristides and the patriotism of Cincinnatus he took a bold, broad,
impartial and comprehensive view of the past, present and future--held
up to the light the relations between the mother country and the
Colonies--unveiled the dark designs of the corrupt unprincipled
ministry--exposed their unholy claims to wield an iron sceptre over
America--demonstrated clearly that their ulterior object was the slavery
of the people and extortion of money and painted a nation's rights and a
nation's wrongs in flaming colors of lurid brightness. The dignity and
calmness of his manner, the clearness of his logic, the force of his
arguments, the power of his eloquence, the solemnity of his countenance
and voice--combined to inspire an awe and deep toned feeling until then
unknown to the astonished audience. His elevation of thought seemed
supernatural and purified by divinity. He seemed commissioned by the
great Jehovah to rouse his countrymen to a sense of impending danger. He
sat down amidst repeated bursts of applause the acknowledged Demosthenes
of the new world--the most powerful orator of America.

In March 1775 he was a member of the Virginia Convention that convened
at Richmond, where he proposed resolutions to adopt immediate measures
of defence sufficient to repel any invasion by the mother country. In
these he was strongly opposed by several influential members who were
still disposed to cringe to royal power. Reeking with wrongs and
insolence as it was, _he_ held that power in utter contempt. His
dauntless soul soared above the trappings of a crown backed by bayonets
and sought for rest only in the goal of freedom. The following extract
from his speech on that thrilling occasion will best convey the tone of
his emotions--deeply felt and strongly told. His overwhelming eloquence
we can but faintly imagine.

"Mr. President--It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of
hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to
the songs of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the
part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who, having eyes see not
and having ears hear not the things that so nearly concern their
temporal salvation? For my part whatever anguish of spirit it may cost,
I am willing to know the whole truth--to know the worst and provide for
it. I have but one lamp to guide my feet and that is the lamp of
experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. I
wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry
for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen are
pleased to solace themselves and the House? Is it that insidious smile
with which our petition has lately been received? Trust it not sir--it
will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed by
a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of your petition
comports with those warlike preparations that cover our waters and
darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and
reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled
that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive
ourselves sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation--the last
arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this
mortal array if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can
gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any
enemy in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumulation of
navies and armies? No sir--she has none. They are meant for _us_, they
can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us
those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And
what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been
trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon
the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of
which it is capable but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to
entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find that have not
already been exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you sir, deceive ourselves
longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the
storm that is coming on. We have petitioned--we have remonstrated, we
have supplicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the throne and
have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the
ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted, our
remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult, our
supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned with
contempt from the foot of the throne.

"In vain after these things may we indulge the fond hope of peace and
reconciliation. _There is no longer room for hope._ If we wish to be
free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for
which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon
the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged and which we
have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of
our contest shall be obtained--_we must fight_! I repeat it sir--_we
must fight_!! An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all that is left
us. It is vain sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry--_peace_!
_peace_!--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next
gale that comes from the north will bring to our ears the clash of
resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field. What is it
gentlemen wish? What would they have? Why stand we here idle? Is life so
dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and
slavery? _Forbid it Almighty God!_ I know not what course others may
take but as for _me--give me Liberty or Death_!!!" See the resolutions
to which he thus spoke in the life of Nelson.

The effect of this speech was electrical. It insulated nearly every
heart with the liquid fire of patriotism. The cry _to arms--Liberty or
death_ resounded from every quarter, rang through every ear and was
responded by every patriot. The resolutions were seconded by Richard
Henry Lee and adopted without further opposition and a committee
appointed to carry them into effect. From that time the Old Dominion was
renewed, regenerated and free. Her noble sons rushed to the rescue and
cheerfully poured out their blood and treasure in the cause of rational
liberty. Soon after, the convention adjourned to August. About that time
Lord Dunmore removed a quantity of powder from the magazine at
Williamsburg on board the armed ship to which he had retreated. On
learning this fact Mr. Henry collected a military force and demanded the
restoration of the specific article or its equivalent in money. The
needful was paid and no claret drawn. A royal proclamation was issued
against these daring rebels which united the people more strongly in
favor of their orator and soldiers whose conduct they sanctioned in
several public meetings.

In August when the Convention met Mr. Henry was again elected to the
Continental Congress and remained one of the boldest champions of right
and justice. In June 1776 he was elected governor of his native state.
He served faithfully for two years and although unanimously re-elected
declined serving longer. In 1780 he was a member of the legislature of
his state and manifested an unabating zeal in the cause he had nobly
espoused and essentially advanced. In 1788 he was a member of the
Virginia Convention convened to consider the Federal Constitution. To
that instrument he was strongly opposed because he believed it
consolidated the states into one government destroying the sovereignty
of each. His eloquence on that occasion is believed to have reached its
zenith for the first time. His closing speech surpassed all former
efforts and operated so powerfully that only a small majority voted for
the adoption of the Constitution. During his remarks an incident
occurred that enabled him almost to paralyze his audience. After
describing the magnitude of the measure on which hung the happiness or
misery of the present generation and millions yet unborn--with a voice
and countenance solemn as the tomb--his eyes raised upward, he appealed
to the God of Heaven and to angels then hovering over them to witness
the thrilling scene and invoked their aid in the mighty work before him.
At that moment a sudden thunder storm commenced its fury and shook the
very earth. Upon the roar of the tempest his stentorian voice continued
to rise--he figuratively seized the artillery of the elements as by
supernatural power--enveloped his opponents in a blaze of liquid
lightning--hurled the crashing thunderbolts at their heads and seemed
commissioned by the great Jehovah to execute a deed of vengeance. The
scene was fearfully sublime--the effect tremendous. The purple current
rushed back upon the aching heart--every countenance was pale, every eye
was fixed, every muscle electrified, every vein contracted, every mind
agonized--the sensation became insupportable--the members rushed from
their seats in confusion and left the room without a formal adjournment.

Mr. Henry remained in the legislature of his state until 1791 when he
retired from public life. He had toiled long, faithfully and
successfully for his country and his state. He anxiously desired and
sought that felicity and repose found only in the family circle. In 1795
his revered friend, President Washington, tendered him the important
office of Secretary of State. With a deep feeling of gratitude he
declined the proffered honor. In 1794 he was again elected governor of
Virginia but was in too poor health to serve. In 1799 President Adams
appointed him Envoy to France in conjunction with Messrs. Murray and
Ellsworth. His rapidly declining health would not permit him to accept
this last of his appointments. Disease was fast consummating the work of
death and consuming the iron constitution and athletic frame that had
enabled him to perform his duty so nobly during the toils of the
Revolution. He was sensible that the work of dissolution was nearly
completed and looked to his final exit with calm submission and
Christian fortitude. On the 6th of June 1799 he bowed to the only
monarch that could conquer him--the death king. With a full assurance of
a crown of unfading glory in Heaven he threw off the mortal coil and was
numbered with the dead. His loss was deeply mourned by the American
nation and most strongly felt by those who knew him best. The following
affectionate tribute is from one who knew him well.

"Mourn, Virginia, mourn! your Henry is gone. Ye friends to liberty in
every clime drop a tear. No more will his social feelings spread
delight through his house. No more will his edifying example dictate to
his numerous offsprings the sweetness of virtue and the majesty of
patriotism. No more will his sage advice, guided by zeal for the common
happiness, impart light and utility to his caressing neighbors. No more
will he illuminate the public councils with sentiments drawn from the
cabinet of his own mind ever directed to his country's good and clothed
in eloquence sublime, delightful and commanding. Farewell--first rate
patriot--farewell! As long as our rivers flow or mountains stand--so
long will your excellence and worth be the theme of our homage and
endearment and Virginia, bearing in mind her loss, will say to rising
generations--IMITATE MY HENRY!"

In tracing the character of this great and good man his examples in
public and private life are found worthy of imitation. As by magic he
threw off the cumbrous mass that so long confined his mighty genius and
at once became a gigantic and brilliant intellectual man. Nature had so
moulded him that the ordinary concerns of life never roused him. Had not
the momentous subject of freedom engaged the mind of this bold and noble
patriot he might have closed his career with its strongest powers
unspent and left his loftiest talents to expire beneath the surface of
the quarry from which they sublimely rose in peerless majesty. It
required occasions of deep and thrilling interest to bring his latent
energies into action. The exciting causes of the revolution were exactly
calculated to bring him out in all the grandeur of his native greatness.
As an advocate, orator, patriot and statesman--he was the colossus of
his time. As Grattan said of Pitt--there was something in Patrick Henry
that could create, subvert or reform--an understanding, a spirit, an
eloquence to summon mankind to society or break the bonds of slavery
asunder and rule the wilderness of free minds with unbounded
authority--something that could establish or overwhelm empires and
strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe. He
maintained his opinions with great zeal but held himself open to
conviction of error. When under discussion he opposed the Federal
Constitution but subsequently approved its form and substance.

His private character was as pure as his public career was glorious. He
was twice married and the father of fifteen children. As a husband,
father, friend, citizen and neighbor he had no superior. The closing
paragraph of his will is worthy of record, showing a profound veneration
for religion. "I have now disposed of all my property to my family.
There is one thing more I wish I could give them and that is the
Christian religion. If they had this and I had not given them one
shilling they would be rich and if they had not that and I had given
them all the world they would be poor."

Coming from one of the clearest minds that ever investigated the truths
of revelation this short paragraph speaks volumes in favour of that
religion which is despised by some--neglected by millions and is the one
thing needful to prepare us for a blissful immortality beyond the
confines of the whirling planet on which we live, move and have a
transient being. Ponder it well, dear reader and govern yourself


Charity, like the patriotism of '76, is more admired than used--more
preached than practised. It descended from heaven to soften the hearts
of the human family--mellow the asperities of human nature. It is the
substratum of philanthropy, the main pillar of earthly felicity, the
brightest star in the Christian's diadem, the connecting link between
man and his Creator, the golden chain that reaches from earth to
mansions of enduring bliss. It spurns the scrofula of green-eyed
jealousy, the canker of self-tormenting envy, the tortures of
heart-burning malice, the typhoid of boiling revenge, the cholera of
damning ingratitude. It tames the fierce passions of man, prepares him
for that brighter world where this crowning attribute of Deity reigns
triumphant. Could its benign influence reach the hearts of all mankind
the partition walls of sectarianism would be lost in pure philanthropy,
individual and universal happiness would be immeasurably advanced, many
of the dark clouds of human misery would vanish before its heart
cheering soul reviving rays like a morning fog before the rising sun. It
is an impartial mirror set in the frame of love embossed with equity and
justice. Let broad and universal charity pervade the family of man with
its sunbeams of living light--then a blow will be struck for the KING of
kings that will resound through the wilderness of mind and cause it to
bud and blossom as the rose. Then the human race will be rapidly
evangelized and made free in the fraternizing gospel of the WORD--a
gospel untrammelled by the inventions and dogmas of men--a gospel
crowned with all the glory of original simplicity and heavenly love.

These practical remarks are induced from a review of the life of Joseph
Hewes whose father was one of the persecuted Quakers of New England and
was compelled to fly from Connecticut in consequence of his religions
tenets. A marked inconsistency has often been fearfully exemplified by
those who have fled from religious persecution. The moment they obtained
the reigns of power they have become the relentless persecutors of all
who would not succumb to their authority and dogmatical dictation. In
the biography of Charles Carroll the reader has one example. Under the
administration of the Saybrook and Cambridge platforms a sterner policy
was pursued towards the Quakers of New England than against the Roman
Catholics of Maryland. Before these platforms were systematically
dovetailed together the Baptist denomination was banished from the old
settlements. Roger Williams came from Wales to Massachusetts in 1631 and
preached the Baptist doctrine at Salem and Plymouth until 1636 when he
and his flock were banished for their religious opinions. He and his
adherents removed into the wilderness of Rhode Island and commenced the
town of Providence. They formed the first church in New England where
undisturbed freedom of conscience was enjoyed with a republican form of
church government. The frame-work of the Cambridge platform was
commenced by an ecclesiastical convention in 1646 and the superstructure
completed in 1648. On this platform the municipal and legislative
proceedings of Massachusetts were based for sixty years. In 1656 the
legislature passed a law prohibiting any master of a vessel from
bringing a Quaker into the Colony under a penalty of one hundred pounds.
The next year a law was passed inflicting the most barbarous cruelties
upon the members of this peace-loving sect--such as cutting off their
ears, boring their tongues with a hot iron, unless they would desist
from their mode of worship and doff their straight coats and ugly
bonnets. In 1669 a law was passed banishing them on pain of death. Four
of them who refused to go were executed. Some historians have had the
effrontery to excuse this cruelty because the Quakers promulged their
doctrines too boldly and thus provoked the Cambridge authorities. This
sophistical apology is too far fetched. It shrinks from the mellow touch
of charity and the fair scrutiny of justice. The cruelty admits of no
palliation until we can convert the baser passions into virtues. By
recurring to the bigotry and fanaticism of that period we can readily
learn _why_ such a course was pursued. This affords no healing balm for
the mind of a true philanthropist. We can only regret the past and
rejoice that charity and liberty have so far triumphed in our now free
and happy country as to dispel religious darkness and restore man to a
degree of reason that has paralyzed persecution unto blood for
opinion's sake--the brightest luminary in the constellation of a free

To avoid the penalties imposed, Adam Hewes, the father of Joseph, fled
from Connecticut with his wife Providence and located near Kingston, New
Jersey, where they lived peacefully and died happily. When they crossed
the Housatonic river in their flight they were so closely pursued by the
Indians that Providence was severely wounded in the neck by a ball from
one of their guns. Joseph Hewes was born at the new residence of his
parents in 1730. After receiving a good education in the Princeton
school he commenced a commercial apprenticeship in Philadelphia. On
completing this he entered into a successful mercantile business. For
several years he spent his time in New York and Philadelphia and engaged
largely in the shipping business. He was of a cheerful turn, had a
penetrating mind, a sound judgment, a good heart and was persevering in
all his undertakings. He was fond of social intercourse, convivial
parties and sometimes exhibited the light fantastic toe. He entered into
the full fruition of rational enjoyment without abusing it.

In 1760 he located at Edenton, North Carolina. He was soon after elected
to the Assembly of that province and became a substantial and useful
member. He made no pretensions to public speaking, was a faithful
working man, a correct voter and punctually in his place. When the
revolutionary storm commenced he faced its fury without the umbrella of
doubt or the overcoat of fear. He was among those who pledged their
lives, fortunes and sacred honors in the cause of Independence. He was a
member of the Congress of 1774 and one of the committee that reported
the rights of the American Colonies--the manner they had been violated
and the proposed means for obtaining redress. From this circumstance we
may infer that Joseph Hewes was a man of cool deliberation, clearness of
perception and understood well the principles of constitutional law and
chartered rights. The report of this committee is a lucid and elaborate
document. By referring to the Declaration of Independence the reader
will have the features of the first part portraying the rights of the
colonies. By reading the instructions from the primary convention of
Pennsylvania in the biography of James Smith the second part will be
seen pointing out the violations. The third part proposing the
preliminary means for obtaining redress are fully set forth in the
following extract. After relating the injuries of the mother country the
report proceeds--

"Therefore we do, for ourselves and the inhabitants of the several
colonies whom we represent, firmly agree and associate under the sacred
ties of virtue, honor and love of our country as follows--

"_First._ That from and after the first day of December next we will not
import into British America from Great Britain or Ireland, any goods,
wares or merchandize whatsoever or from any other place any such goods,
wares or merchandize as shall have been exported from Great Britain or
Ireland--nor will we, after that day, import any East India tea from any
part of the world nor any molasses, syrups, coffee or pimento from the
British plantations or from Dominico nor wine from Madeira or the West
Indies nor foreign indigo.

"_Second._ We will neither import nor purchase any slaves imported after
the first day of December next, after which time we will wholly
discontinue the slave trade and will neither be concerned in it
ourselves nor will we hire our vessels nor sell our commodities or
manufactures to those who are concerned in it."

"_Third._ As a non-consumption agreement, strictly adhered to, will be
an effectual security for the observation of the non-importation, we as
above solemnly agree and associate, that from this day we will not
purchase or use any tea imported on account of the East India Company or
any on which a duty has been or shall be paid and from the first day of
March next we will not purchase or use any East India tea whatever--nor
will we nor shall any person for or under us purchase or use any of
these goods, wares or merchandize we have agreed not to import which we
shall know or have cause to suspect were imported after the first day of
December, except such as come under the rules and directions of the
tenth article hereafter mentioned.

"_Fourth._ The earnest desire we have not to injure our fellow subjects
in Great Britain, Ireland or the West Indies, induces us to suspend a
non-importation until the 10th day of September 1775 at which time, if
the said Acts and parts of Acts of the British Parliament therein
mentioned [see them in the life of James Smith] are not repealed, we
will not directly or indirectly export any merchandize or commodities
whatsoever to Great Britain, Ireland or the West Indies except rice to

"_Fifth._ Such as are merchants and in the British and Irish trade will
give orders as soon as possible, to their factors, agents and
correspondents in Great Britain and Ireland not to ship any goods to
them on any pretence whatever as they cannot be received in America and
if any merchants residing in Great Britain or Ireland shall directly or
indirectly ship any goods, wares or merchandize for America in order to
break the said non-importation agreement or in any manner contravene
the same, on such unworthy conduct being well tested it ought to be made
public and on the same being so done we will not from henceforth have
any commercial connection with such merchants.

"_Sixth._ That such as are owners of vessels will give positive orders
to their captains or masters not to receive on board their vessels any
goods prohibited by the said non-importation agreement on pain of
immediate dismission from service.

"_Seventh._ We will use our best endeavors to improve the breed of sheep
and increase their number to the greatest extent and to that end we will
kill them as seldom as may be, especially those of the most profitable
kind nor will we export any to the West Indies or elsewhere and those of
us who are or may become overstocked with or can conveniently spare any
sheep will dispose of them to our neighbors, especially to the poorer
sort, on moderate terms.

"_Eighth._ We will in our several stations encourage frugality, economy
and industry and promote agriculture, arts and the manufactures of this
country especially that of wool and will discountenance and discourage
every species of extravagance and dissipation, especially all
horse-racing and all kinds of gaming, cock-fighting, exhibitions of
shows, plays and other expensive diversions and entertainments and on
the death of any relation or friend, none of us or any of our family
will go into any further mourning dress than a black crape or ribbon on
the arm or hat for gentlemen and a black ribbon and necklace for ladies
and that we will discontinue the giving of gloves and scarfs at

"_Ninth._ Such as are venders of goods and merchandize will not take the
advantage of the scarcity of goods that may be occasioned by this
association but will sell the same at the rate we have been respectively
accustomed or merchandize shall sell any such goods on higher terms or
shall in any manner or by any device whatsoever depart from this
agreement, no person ought nor will any of us deal with any such person
or his or her factor or agent at any time hereafter for any commodity

"_Tenth._ In case any merchant, trader or other persons shall import any
goods or merchandize after the first day of December and before the
first day of February next, the same ought forthwith, at the election of
the owners, to be either re-shipped or delivered up to the committee of
the county or town wherein they shall be imported, to be stored at the
risk of the importer until the non-importation agreement shall cease or
be sold under the direction of the committee aforesaid--and in the last
mentioned case the owner or owners of such goods shall be reimbursed
out of the sales the first cost and charges, the profits, if any, to be
applied towards relieving and employing such poor inhabitants of the
town of Boston as are the immediate sufferers by the Boston Port Bill
and a particular account of all goods so returned, stored or sold, to be
inserted in the public paper and if any goods or merchandize shall be
imported after the first day of February the same ought forthwith to be
sent back again without breaking any of the packages thereof.

"_Eleventh._ That a committee be chosen in every county, city and town
by those who are qualified to vote for representatives in the
legislatures whose business it shall be attentively to observe the
conduct of all persons touching the association and when it shall be
made to appear to the satisfaction of a majority of any such committee
that any person within the limits of their appointment has violated this
association, that such majority do forthwith cause the truth of the case
to be published in the Gazette to the end that all such foes to the
rights of British America may be publicly known and universally
condemned as the enemies of American liberty and henceforth we
respectively will break off all dealings with him or her.

"_Twelfth._ That the committee of correspondence in the respective
Colonies do frequently inspect the entries of the custom house and
inform each other from time to time of the true state thereof and of
every other material circumstance that may occur relative to the

"_Thirteenth._ That all manufactures of this country be sold at
reasonable prices so that no undue advantage be taken of a future
scarcity of goods.

"_Fourteenth._ And we do further agree and resolve that we will have no
trade, commerce, dealings or intercourse whatsoever with any colony or
province in North America which shall not accede to or which shall
hereafter violate this association but will hold them unworthy the
rights of freemen and inimical to the rights of their country.

"And we do solemnly bind ourselves and our constituents under the ties
aforesaid to adhere to this association until such parts of the several
Acts of Parliament passed since the close of the [French] war as impose
or continue duties on tea, wine, molasses, syrups, coffee, sugar,
pimento, indigo, foreign paper, glass, painter's colors imported into
America and extend the powers of the Admiralty Courts beyond their
ancient limits, deprive the American subjects of trial by jury,
authorize the judge's certificate to indemnify the prosecutor from
damages that he might otherwise be liable to from a trial by his peers,
require oppressive security from a claimant of ships or goods before he
shall be allowed to defend his property are repealed. And we recommend
it to the Provincial Conventions and to the committee in the respective
Colonies to establish such further regulations as they may think proper
for carrying into execution this association."

Upon this report all the subsequent proceedings of Congress were
predicated. It is a reasonable conclusion that nothing but the most
aggravated violations of their rights could induce such men as composed
the first general Congress to enter into a solemn agreement like the one
here recited. By every true patriot it was adhered to with the most
scrupulous fidelity. The spirit of liberty was infused through the whole
mass of patriots--men, women and children. The oppression had become

After a session of about two months Congress adjourned to the ensuing
May when Joseph Hewes again took his seat with the venerable sages of
the nation. He was an important member of committees. He was continued
at his post the next year and hailed with joy the proposition to cut the
gordian knot that bound the Colonies to mother Britain. When the set
time arrived to strike the final blow for liberty he sanctioned the
procedure with his vote and signature. His industry, accurate knowledge
of business, his systematic mode of performing every duty, gained for
him the admiration and esteem of all the members, one of whom remarked
of his duties upon the secret committee--"Mr. Hewes was remarkable for a
devotedness to the business of this committee as even the most
industrious merchant was to his counting house." He was upon several of
the most important committees. Upon the one for fitting out a naval
armament he stood in the front rank. He was virtually the first
Secretary of the Navy. With scanty funds he speedily fitted out eight
armed vessels. He was very active in raising supplies in his own state
to strengthen the sinews of war and oil the wheels of the general
government. In 1777 when the enemy threatened vengeance on his state he
declined his seat in Congress and gave his services specially to her
until 1779 when he resumed his place in the national legislature. He was
then worn down with labor and in poor health. He attempted active duty
but disease had prostrated his physical powers and sown the seeds of
death. He continued to attend in the House when able until the 29th day
of October when he left the Hall for the last time. On the 10th of
November 1779 his immortal spirit left its earthy tabernacle and
returned to Him who gave it. His premature death was deeply lamented and
sincerely mourned. Congress passed the usual resolutions--the members
and officers wore the badge of mourning for thirty days. His remains
were buried in Christ Church yard, Philadelphia, followed by the
members and officers of Congress, the General Assembly and Supreme
Executive Council of Pennsylvania, the French minister, the military and
a large concourse of other persons all anxious to pay their last
respects to one whom they esteemed in life and whose memory they
delighted to honor after death. The funeral ceremony was performed by
Bishop White, then chaplain of Congress. His dust has ever since reposed
in peace undisturbed by malice or slander. His name is recorded on the
Magna Charta of our Liberty--his fame will live until the last vestige
of American history shall be blotted from the world. Not a blemish rests
upon his private character or public reputation. In all things he was an
honest man.

The person of Joseph Hewes was elegant, his countenance open and
intelligent, his manners pleasing and polished, his whole course
honorable and just. He would have been a good man had there been no
Heaven to gain or misery to shun. He practised virtue for its intrinsic
worth--not to gain the applause of men. It was not a cloak for him--it
emanated from the inmost recesses of his pure heart. With such men to
guide our ship of state our UNION is safe.


Man, to understand and correctly estimate the magnitude and design, of
his creation, must become familiar with the thousand springs of the
undying spirit within him. The labyrinthian mazes of the immortal mind
must be explored and traced from earth to native heaven. The depths of
human nature must be sounded and its channels clearly marked.

Upon the axis of reason revolving thought performs its endless circuit
with mathematical precision guided by the centripetal force of sound
discretion--or it is projected from its legitimate orbit by the
centrifugal power of random folly into the regions of senseless vacuity
or visionary sophistry. Its ceaseless motion is as perpetual as the
purple stream of our arteries--its momentum is inconceivable--its
tenure--ETERNITY. It travels through space with more celerity than
lightning--its earthly career can be arrested only by death.

To reflect, investigate, reason, analyze--is the province of our
intellectual powers. To comprehend the grand and harmonious organic
structure of nature--the wisdom of the great Architect of universal
worlds--the relation man bears to his God and his fellow man--is to
learn that human beings are endowed by their Creator with equal and
inalienable rights and that they are in duty bound to maintain them.
Justice marks out the golden path, reason leads the way--patriotism
impels to action. The man whose mind is cast in the mould of wisdom by
the almighty hand of the great Jehovah--if he brings into proper
exercise the combined powers of intellectual and physical force, can
never be made a pliant slave. As his soul is expanded by the genial rays
of intelligence he duly appreciates his native dignity, becomes
enraptured with the blessings of LIBERTY--resolves to be free. If he is
groaning under the oppressions of tyranny and wears the galling chains
of servility--as light shines upon him he will be roused to a mighty
effort to burst the ignominious thongs that bind him--assert his
inherent rights--assume his proper sphere.

Thus acted the patriots of the American Revolution with whom Thomas
Heyward was associated during that eventful period. He was the eldest
son of Col. Daniel Heyward a wealthy and respectable planter and was
born in the parish of St. Luke, S. C. in 1746. His opportunities for
obtaining a liberal education were freely afforded by the father and
faithfully improved by the son. He became ardently attached to the Greek
and Roman classics and was enraptured with the history of old Republican
Freedom with all its corruptions clustering around it. The principles of
rational Liberty became deeply rooted in his mind at an early age. As
manhood dawned upon him they were thoroughly matured.

On completing his collegiate education he commenced the study of law
under Mr. Parsons. His proficiency in that intricate branch of science
was rapid--substantial. He possessed an analyzing mind and never passed
over a subject superficially. He was a close student--explored the vast
fields of civil and common law with a zeal and rapidity as rare as it is
necessary and commendable. When he became familiar with the principles
laid down by Blackstone and understood fully the rights secured to
persons and property by Magna Charta and the British Constitution and
compared them with the iron rod of restriction held over the Colonies by
the mother country--he was roused to a just indignation--more than
_prima facie_ evidence of a clear head and sound common sense.

After completing his course with Mr. Parsons he went to England and
entered the Middle Temple where he became a finished lawyer--a polished
gentleman. Although amply supplied with money he was not led astray by
the fascinating allurements of pleasures that flatter to seduce--then
ruin and destroy. To enrich his mind with science, legal lore and useful
knowledge, was the _ultimatum_ of his soul. He mingled with what was
termed _refined_ society in London which formed a striking contrast
with the republican simplicity of the same grade in his own country. The
fastidious hauteur of English etiquette was far from being congenial to
his mind and did not accord with his ideas of social life. He there met
claims of superiority over native Americans that he knew were based
alone on vain pride or wilful ignorance. His feelings were often wounded
by indignities cast upon his countrymen. This riveted his affections
more strongly upon his native land. They served as fuel to replenish the
glowing fire of patriotism already burning in his bosom. The pomp of
royalty and the empty splendor of the court had no charms for him. The
awful distance between the haughty monarch and the honest peasant--the
towering throne and the worthy yeomanry, operated on his mind like a
talisman and gave his soul a fresh impetus towards the goal of Liberty.
The more he saw of practical monarchy, the more he became opposed to its
iron sway. The more he saw of the action of ministers the more he was
convinced the king was a mere automaton and did not exercise common
volition. Officially he was a marble Colossus--impervious to all
feeling--only to be gazed at. As a human being he was not to be
consulted or troubled with complaints from his subjects but to act as
directed by those whose tool he was.

After closing his course in the law temple he made the tour of Europe
and returned to the warm embrace of his relatives and friends richly
laden with legal attainments and experimental knowledge. He had become
familiar with the theories of monarchical government and their practical
demonstration. He understood well the policy of the mother country
toward the American Colonies. He had seen her political artificers
engaged at the forge of despotism preparing chains for his beloved
countrymen. He had seen her coffers yawning to receive the ill gotten
treasures wrested from his fellow citizens by the hireling tax
gatherers. His own estate had been laid under contribution to swell the
unholy fund. His neighbors were writhing under the lash of British
oppression. To enlighten their minds, to make them fully understand
their danger, their interests and their duty, became the business of
this zealous patriot. Possessed of a bold and fearless mind directed by
a clear head, an honest heart, a sound judgment and a rich store of
useful intelligence--his exertions were crowned with auspicious success.
His salutary influence was extensively felt--his sterling worth was duly

Mr. Heyward was a member of the first Assembly of South Carolina that
set British power at defiance. He was also a member of the council of
safety. He discharged his duties with firmness, prudence and zeal. No
fugitive fear disturbed his mind--no threatened vengeance moved his
purposes. His eyes were fixed on the temple of freedom, his soul was
insulated by the electric fluid of patriotism, he was resolved on
liberty or death. His life, property and sacred honor were freely
pledged in the glorious cause. He was elected to the Continental
Congress in 1775 but declined serving because so young. A large
delegation of his constituents subsequently waited upon him and
persuaded him to take his seat in the Congress of 1776. He was a warm
advocate for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence--the
revered instrument that shed new lustre on the intellect of man. By his
signature he confirmed the sincerity of his soul in all he had said in
its favor. His conscience, his country and his God approved the act.

Under the new form of government he was appointed a Judge of the civil
and criminal courts. In that capacity he was called to perform a painful
but imperious duty. Several persons were arraigned before the court
charged with treasonable correspondence with the enemy. They were tried,
found guilty and condemned to be hung in sight of the British lines at
Charleston. With feelings of deep sympathy and humanity but with the
firmness of a Roman he performed his duty with great dignity and
delicacy. He knew they had immortal souls and soared above the cold
indifference--the keen invective that sometimes _have_ but _never_
should be resorted to.

Judge Heyward also participated in the perils of the field. He commanded
a company of artillery at the battle of Beaufort and was severely
wounded. At the attack upon Savannah he exhibited the bravery of a
practised veteran. At the siege of Charleston he commanded a battalion
and was one of the unfortunate prisoners who were incarcerated in the
Spanish castle at St. Augustine, Florida. During his absence his
property was destroyed by the enemy. To cap the climax of his severe
afflictions, his amiable and accomplished wife had been laid in the
tomb. She was the daughter of Mr. Matthews and married in 1773. The
tidings of these heart rending occurrences did not reach him until he
was exchanged and arrived at Philadelphia. With the calm and dignified
fortitude of a Christian, philosopher and hero--he met the shafts of
afflictive fate. He mourned deeply but submissively the premature exit
of the wife of his youth, the companion of his bosom. His physical
sufferings and loss of property he freely offered at the altar of
liberty without a murmur.

He again resumed his duties upon the judicial bench and discharged them
ably and faithfully up to 1798. He was an influential member of the
convention that framed the constitution of his native state in 1790. He
married Miss E. Savage for his second wife. After the close of the
trying and bloody scenes through which he had passed he sat down under
his own vine and fig tree and enjoyed the rich fruits of that LIBERTY he
had sacrificed so much to obtain. A peaceful quiet reigned in his bosom
and around him. The British yoke had been thrown off--the Gallic chain
had been broken--the increasing millions of his countrymen could look
through the vista of the future with cheering hope and exquisite
pleasure. In the enjoyments of the present--past pains were merged. He
was happy.

Infirmity and old age admonished him that his mission on earth was fast
drawing to a close. He retired from the public arena covered with epic
and civic honors enduring as the pages of history. In the full fruition
of a nation's gratitude and a nation's freedom his last years passed
smoothly away. He went to his final rest in March 1809, leaving his
tender wife to mourn the loss of a kind husband, his interesting
children to feel deeply the loss of a tender father--his country to
regret the exit of a devoted patriot, an able judge, an honest man. He
was a noble philanthropist--an able judge--a discreet statesman--a pure
citizen--a sterling patriot--a friend to our UNION.


Many gravely contend that there should be at least two political parties
to insure the safety of our Republic that one may watch and detect the
corrupt designs of the other. If this position is sound we are
pre-eminently safe for we have some half dozen distinct organizations
besides remnants of old ones and guerrilla squads that plunder from
each. The argument would have force if the people would fix political
landmarks as distinctive as those of 1800--banish demagogue
leaders--revive the patriotism of '76--be guided entirely by love of
country, prudence, strict justice and the fear of God which is the
beginning of all wisdom. As now constituted, for one to correct the
faults of the other would be like Satan rebuking sin. There are good men
under the banners of each party but they have neither brass or intrigue
enough to become leaders. According to modern political tactics as
_practised_, a successful party leader must unite an oily tongue with a
gum elastic conscience, a grain of truth with a pound of falsehood, a
spark of honesty with any quantity of deception circumstances may
require and be ready to sacrifice honor, integrity and friends to carry
out party plans--ever pressing toward the end with the force of a
locomotive regardless of the means put in requisition. Merit is not
sought for by demagogues. _Available_ is the omnipotent word--the grand
countersign--the magic passport to a nomination and _when_ nominated the
candidate _must_ be voted for although destitute of capacity, moral
virtue and every requisite of a statesman. The sad consequences are more
fearfully demonstrated as time rolls onward. Dignity, decorum, common
courtesy are often banished from our legislative halls. Crimination and
recrimination usurp the place of sound logic--reason is dethroned,
common decency outraged, the business of our country neglected, our
national character disgraced--all because the people do not rise in
their majesty and do their duty. We have an abundance of men in the back
ground as pure as the patriots of '76. Let them be brought forward and
put to work. The few of this kind who are in the public arena cannot
long stem and never roll back the mighty torrent of political corruption
now sweeping over this land of boasted freedom. To render our UNION safe
our political leaders and public functionaries must be men who are
influenced alone by an ardent desire to promote the general good of our
whole country--aiming at holy ends to be accomplished by righteous
means. Such were the sages of the American Revolution.

The patriarch Stephen Hopkins stood among them in all the dignity of an
honest man. He was born at Scituate, Rhode Island, on the 7th of March
1707. He was the son of William Hopkins a thorough farmer whose father,
Thomas Hopkins, was one of the pioneers of that province. The school
advantages of Stephen were limited to the elementary branches of an
English education, then very superficially taught. By the force of his
own exertions he perfected this embryo basis and reared upon it a
magnificent superstructure. He spent all his leisure hours in exploring
the fields of science. At his majority he was a farmer in easy
circumstances and devoted a portion of the day and his quiet evenings to
the acquisition of useful knowledge. No profession not literary affords
so much facility for mental improvement as that of agriculture.
Independent tillers of the soil--if you are not intelligent the fault is
your own. The time was when ignorance was winked at. That dark age has
passed away. Now common sense and reason command all to drink at the
scholastic fountain.

Mr. Hopkins acquired a thorough knowledge of mathematics at an early age
and became an expert surveyor. At the age of nineteen he was placed in
the ranks of men by marrying Sarah Scott whose paternal great
grandfather was the first Quaker who settled in Providence. She died the
mother of seven children. In 1755 he married the widow Anna Smith a
pious member of the Society of Friends. In 1731 he was appointed Town
Clerk and Clerk of the Court and Proprietaries of the county. The next
year he was elected to the General Assembly where he continued for six
consecutive years. In 1735 he was elected to the Town Council and for
six years was President of that body. In 1736 he was appointed a Justice
of the Peace and a Judge of the Common Pleas Court. In 1739 he was
elevated to the seat of Chief Justice of that branch of the judiciary.
During the intervals of these public duties he spent much of his time in
surveying. He regulated the streets of his native town and those of
Providence and made a projected map of each. He was the Proprietary
surveyor for the county of Providence and prepared a laborious index of
returns of all land west of the seven mile line, which still continues
to be a document of useful reference. Beauty and precision marked all
his draughts and calculations.

In 1741 he was again elected to the assembly. The next year he removed
to Providence where he was elected to the same body and became Speaker
of the House. In 1744 he filled the same station and was appointed a
Justice of the Peace for that town. In 1751 he was appointed Chief
Justice of the Superior Court and for the fourteenth time elected to the
assembly. In 1754 he was a delegate to the Colonial Congress held at
Albany, N. Y. for the purpose of effecting a treaty with the Five
Nations of Indians in order to gain their aid or neutrality in the
French war. A system of union was then and there drawn up by the
delegates similar to the Articles of Confederation that governed the
Continental Congress which was vetoed by England.

In 1755 the Earl of Loudoun in command of the English forces made a
requisition for troops upon several colonies and on Rhode Island for
four hundred and fifty men to check the triumphant career of the French
and Indians then devastating the frontier settlements. Mr. Hopkins
rendered efficient aid in this service and had the pleasure of seeing
the complement promptly made up. In 1756 he was elected Chief Magistrate
of the colony and was found fully competent to perform the duties of the
office. In 1757 the loss of Fort William Henry and the sad reverses of
the English army made it necessary that the colonies should raise an
efficient force for self-protection. A company of volunteers was raised
in Providence composed of the first gentlemen of the town and Mr.
Hopkins put in command over it. The timely arrival of troops from
England deprived them of their anticipated epic laurels. The next year
this useful man was again elected Chief Magistrate and served seven of
the eleven following years.

In 1767 party spirit was rolling its mountain waves over Rhode Island
so fearfully that it threatened the prostration of social order and
civil law. Anxious for the welfare of the colony this patriotic Roman
put forth his noblest efforts to check its bold career. In his message
to the Assembly he expressed his deep solicitude for the restoration of
harmony and proposed retiring at once from the public service if it
would contribute in the slightest degree to heal the political breach.
To prove his sincerity he shortly after left the public arena contrary
to the wishes of his friends. His picture of that era so much resembles
the political map of our country at the present time that an extract may
be excused.

"When we draw aside the veil of words and professions--when we attend to
what is _done_ and what is _said_--we shall find that Liberty is a cant
term of faction and freedom of speaking and acting, used only to serve
the private interests of a party. What else can be the cause of our
unhappy disputes? What other reason for the continual struggle for
superiority and office? What other motive for the flood of calumny and
reproach cast upon each other? Behold the leading men meeting in cabals
[caucusses] and from thence dispersing themselves to the several
quarters to delude the people. The people are called together in
tippling houses, their business neglected, their morals corrupted,
themselves deluded--some promised offices for which they are unfit and
those with whom these arts will not prevail are tempted with the wages
of unrighteousness and are offered a bribe to falsify their oath and
betray their country. By these scandalous practices elections are
carried and officers appointed. It makes little difference whether the
officer who obtains his place in this manner is otherwise a good
man--put in by a _party_ he must do what _they_ order without being
permitted to examine the rectitude even of his _own_ actions. The
unhappy malady runs through the whole body politic. Men in authority are
not revered and lose all power to do good. The courts of judicature
catch the infection and the sacred balance of justice does not hang
even. All complain of the present administration and hard times and wish
they might grow better. But complaints are weak, wishes are idle, cries
are vain--even _prayers_ will be ineffectual if we do not universally

This catalogue of evils is followed by a strain of paternal advice that
should come home to the reader like a voice from the tomb.

"My countrymen permit me to remind you of the blood, the suffering, the
hardships and labors of our ancestors in purchasing the Liberty and
privileges we might peaceably enjoy. How can you answer it to fame, to
honor, to honesty, to posterity if you do not possess these inestimable
blessings with grateful hearts, with purity of morals and transmit them
with safety to the next generation. Nothing is desired but that every
man in community act up to the dignity of his own proper character. Let
every freeman carefully consider the particular duty allotted to him as
such by the constitution. Let him give his suffrage with candor for the
person he sincerely thinks _best_ qualified. Let him shun the man who
would persuade him _how_ to vote. Let him despise the man who offers him
an office and spurn the sordid wretch who would give him a bribe. Let
him think it his duty to give his vote according to his conscience and
not depend on others to do his duty for him. * * * * Officers and
magistrates I would humbly entreat to consider that your turn has come
to serve the _commonwealth_ and not yourselves. Your own discreet and
exemplary behaviour is your best authority to do good. It is vain to
command others to practice what we ourselves omit or to abstain from
what they see us do. When moderation and example are insufficient to
suppress vice, power ought to be used even to its utmost severity if
necessary and above all--that in all cases and under all
circumstances--_justice should be equally, impartially and expeditiously

This plain lucid exposition of the duties of freemen merits the highest
consideration of every private citizen and public officer. It is the
inspired effusion of a clear head, a good heart and a noble soul. In
language of sublime simplicity it exhibits laconically the only sure
foundation of a republican government. It strikes at the very root of
alarming evils that are now hanging over our beloved country like an
incubus. It is plain truth plainly told and should be strongly felt and
implicitly obeyed by all who desire the perpetuity of our glorious

In June 1769 Mr. Hopkins was called to aid in taking observations upon
the transit of Venus over the disk of the sun. So highly were his
services prized on that occasion that the pamphlet published on the
subject was dedicated to him. This rare phenomenon occurred in
1739--61--69 and will occur again in 1874 and 1996 if the planetary
system continues its usual revolutions--of which no man knoweth--not
even the angels in Heaven.

Previous to the American Revolution Governor Hopkins had incurred the
displeasure of the British ministry by licensing vessels from his
province to trade with the French and Spanish Colonies. In this he did
not violate the constitution or any law of England. He continued to
grant the privilege regardless of the authority illegally assumed by
Great Britain to direct the local concerns of the Colony. He had long
been convinced that the mother country cared more for the _fleece_ than
the _flock_ she claimed in America which had been often left to contend
alone against a merciless foe. With such convictions on his mind, a
republican to the core and valuing liberty above life--he was prepared
to resist the first scintillations of the unconstitutional claims made
by corrupt and corrupting ministers. When the Stamp Act was passed his
voice and pen were arrayed against it. He showed clearly that this and
other Acts of parliament had no foundation in justice and were in
violation of the British constitution.

In 1772 the mountain waves of local party spirit having subsided in
Rhode Island and its effervescence calmed by the absorbing question of
British oppression Mr. Hopkins again took his seat in the Assembly and
was continued for three years. In 1774 this patriarch statesman was
elected to the Continental Congress and entered with a calm determined
zeal upon the responsible duties of that august Convention. The same
year he proposed and obtained the passage of a bill prohibiting the
slave trade in his Colony which greatly incensed the crown officers. To
show that he strongly felt what he earnestly advocated--he emancipated
all his negroes--the descendants of whom still reside in Providence. He
had incorporated their freedom in his will dated some time previous.

In 1775 he was appointed Chief Justice of his Colony--was a member of
her Assembly and member of Congress. The ensuing year he was one of the
immortalized band of patriots by whose exertions a nation was born in a
day and who signed and delivered the certificate of legitimacy to their
grateful constituency. The same year he was President of the board of
commissioners of the New England States who convened at Providence to
devise plans for the promotion of the glorious cause of freedom. The
next year he presided over a similar board at Springfield, Mass. In 1778
he was a member of Congress for the last time. The next year he closed
his long, useful and arduous public career in the Assembly of his native
state and retired crowned with the rich foliage of unfading honors--the
growth of near half a century. The pure escutcheon of his public fame
and private worth was without a spot to obscure its brilliant lustre. As
a municipal officer, judge on the bench, legislator, Chief Magistrate of
the Colony and member of the Continental Congress--he discharged his
duties faithfully, honestly and ably--with an eye single to the glory of
his country.

As a public speaker Mr. Hopkins made no pretensions to elocution but was
ever listened to with profound attention. His reasoning was
strong--always to the point and his speeches short. His was a vigorous,
clear, inquiring, analyzing mind, that surmounted every barrier with the
same fortitude, energy and determined resolution that carried Bonaparte
over the Alps, Roger Sherman to the pinnacle of fame, Franklin to the
summit of science. He was a laborious and extensive leader and a friend
to education. He was the principal founder of the Providence library in
1750 and when it was destroyed by fire in 1760--contributed largely
towards the purchase of a new supply of books. He was the father of the
free school system still in successful operation in Rhode Island. He was
a friend to unshackled religion--breathing charity for all whose
deportment gave them the impress of divine grace--the only genuine
touchstone of true piety. He admired most the creed of the Society of
Friends who frequently held meetings at his house. All gospel ministers
were made welcome to his hospitable mansion which many called the
ministers tavern. He was plain in everything and deprecated pomp and
vain show in others.

In addition to his multifarious public duties he was extensively engaged
in agriculture, manufactures and commerce. He was a systematic and
thorough business man--scrupulously honest, honorable and liberal. He
never became wealthy but enjoyed a competence through life. He was
repeatedly placed in the crucible of domestic affliction. Of the seven
children by his first wife not one survived him. One son was murdered by
the Indians, another died in Spain--the youngest, who was the fourth sea
captain of the brothers, was presumed to have been lost at sea as his
vessel was never heard from after leaving the port of Providence.

The eventful career of patriarch Hopkins was closed on the 13th of July
1785 after enduring the course of a lingering fever with the same calm
fortitude that had marked his whole life. He had lived respected and
esteemed--he died peaceful and happy. To the last moments of his life he
retained full possession of his mental powers and approached the
confines of eternity with a seraphic smile that augured heaven. He had
long labored under physical infirmities of a nervous nature. For many
years it had been difficult for him to write his name in consequence of
an attack of paralysis. His ashes rest peacefully in the city of
Providence in his native state. His death produced a mournful sensation
over the whole country.

In the relations of husband, father, kinsman, friend, gentleman,
citizen, benefactor, philanthropist, neighbor and Christian--this public
spirited man and pure patriot was a model of human excellence. By the
force of his own exertions be made himself one of the most useful men on
record in our history. Let us all imitate his bright examples that we
may do our duty in life, be triumphant in death and happy through the
rolling ages of eternity.


Wit and wisdom are seldom both prominently developed in the same person.
Wit serves to amuse or exhilarate but rarely produces useful reflection
or an improvement of mind. It is emphatically a plume and exposes the
head it ornaments to many an arrow from the bow of revenge. Wit makes
many conquests but no willing subjects. It produces many _bon mots_ and
but few wise sayings. It is an undefined and undefinable
propensity--more to be admired than coveted--more ornamental than
useful--more volatile than solid--a dangerous sharp edge tool--like a
coquette, pleasing company for the time being but not desirable for a
life companion.

Rare instances have occurred where the sage, statesman, philosopher and
wit have been combined in the same person. Sheridan was such a man and
in our own country Francis Hopkinson was the American Sheridan. He was
the son of Thomas Hopkinson of Philadelphia, born in that city in 1737.
His father was a man of superior attainments--his mother one of the
best, and most intelligent matrons of that age. His father died in 1751
and left the widowed mother with limited means to struggle with all the
accumulating difficulties of raising and educating a large family of

Under her guidance and instruction young Francis improved rapidly in his
education and exhibited a bright and promising intellect. To advance the
interests of her children she confined herself to the absolute
necessaries of life. Being devotedly pious, she took peculiar care in
planting deeply in their tender minds the pure principles of virtue and
cautiously guarding them against all the avenues of vice, the portals of
which are ever open. She taught them the design of their creation--the
duty they owed to God and their fellow men and that to be truly happy
they must be truly good. With this foundation firmly laid, she placed
this son in the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated at an
early age and commenced the study of law under Benjamin Chew. He was a
close student and made rapid advances in legal acquirements. He
possessed a brilliant and flowing fancy, a lively imagination and
captivating manners. Although ardently attached to the solid sciences he
was fond of polite literature, poetry, music and painting. He excelled
in humorous satire, keen as that of Swift and Sheridan. Fortunately
these combined talents were brought into extensive usefulness.

In 1765 he visited London where he continued two years making the
acquaintance of the leading men of that metropolis and learning the
political aspect and designs of the ministers toward his native country.
He added largely to the fund of knowledge before acquired and came home
prepared to work.

Soon after his return he married the accomplished Ann Borden of
Bordentown N. J. thus fulfilling an important part of the design of his
creation. He also appreciated the value of the institution he had
honored and the joys of connubial felicity. In rearing his children he
took the system that had been so successfully adopted by his venerable
mother whose instructions were fresh upon his memory. He could adopt no
better plan or find a more perfect model to imitate. For a time the
cares and pleasures of his family and his professional business
engrossed his attention. A crisis soon arrived that arrested this
translucent stream of happiness. The oppressions of the mother country
had become alarming. Agitation had commenced among the people. The best
services of every patriot were needed. His were promptly and efficiently
rendered. It was for him to do much in opening the eyes of the great
mass to a just sense of their violated rights. This he did by various
publications written in a style so humorous and fascinating as to be
generally read. He painted the injustice of the crown and the insults of
its hireling officers in vivid colors. His Pretty Story--his Letters to
James Rivington--his Epistle to Lord Howe--his two Letters by a
Tory--his translation of a Letter written by a Foreigner--his Political
Catechism and the New Roof--were all productions of taste and merit.
They were of vast importance in rousing the people to a vindication of
their rights--the achievement of their Independence.

During the administration of Gov. Dickinson, political dissensions and
party spirit rolled their mountain waves over Pennsylvania threatening
to destroy the fair fabric of her new government. The pen of Mr.
Hopkinson was instrumental in restoring order. In an essay called--"A
full and true Account of a violent Uproar which lately happened in a
very Eminent Family"--he exposed the factious partisans to such keen and
severe ridicule that they threw down the weapons of rebellion sooner
than if a thousand bayonets had been pointed at their breasts.

He was among the first delegates elected to the Continental Congress and
fearlessly recorded his name on the Declaration of Rights that has
proved a consolation to the sons of FREEDOM--a Boanerges to the enemies
of LIBERTY. Always cheerful and sprightly, he contributed much towards
dispelling the gloom that often pervaded the minds of his colleagues
amidst disaster and defeat. He knew their cause was righteous--he
believed Heaven would crown it with ultimate success and triumphant
victory. His personal sacrifices had been many--still he was ever
cheerful and illuminated all around him with flashes of the most
brilliant wit. At the commencement of the struggle he held a lucrative
situation in the Loan Office under the crown and was a favorite of the
king--but the king was not a favorite of his--he promptly severed the
connection. With all his wit and humor he was firm as a Herculus. With
the fancy of a poet he united the soundness of a sage--with the wit of a
humorist he united the sagacity of a politician.

He succeeded George Ross as Judge of the Admiralty Court and was
subsequently Judge of the U. S. District Court in Philadelphia. He was
highly esteemed for his judicial knowledge, impartial justice and
correct decisions. He filled every station in which he was placed with
credit and dignity. His frequent essays continued to do much towards
correcting the morals of society by ridiculing its evils and abuses.
Guided by a sound discretion, sarcasm and satire are the most powerful
weapons wielded by man. Their smart upon the mind is like cantharides on
the skin but often requires something more than a cabbage leaf and
cerate to heal it. The wit of Mr. Hopkinson was of a noble cast flowing
from a rich and chaste imagination--never violating the rules of
propriety--always confined within the pale of modesty but keen as a
finely finished rapier. He was an admirer of sound common sense and a
zealous advocate of Common School education. He properly appreciated the
bone and sinew of our country and knew well that the perpetuity of our
Liberty depends more upon the general diffusion of _useful_ knowledge
fit for _every_ day use in the ever varying business concerns of life
than upon the high toned literature of colleges and universities. He
admired the industrious mechanic--he esteemed the honest farmer. In the
yoemanry of the soil and inmates of the shops he recognized the
defenders of our country.

The useful career of Judge Hopkinson was closed prematurely by an
apoplectic fit on the 9th of May 1791. He left a widow, two sons and
three daughters to mourn his untimely end and their irreparable loss. He
was amiable and urbane in his manners--open and generous in his
feelings--noble and liberal in his views--charitable and benevolent in
his purposes--an agreeable and pleasant companion--a kind and faithful
husband--an affectionate and tender parent--a stern and inflexible
patriot--a consistent and active citizen--a useful and honest man. He
was like some rare flowers--while their beauty pleases their medicinal
qualities are of great value. In the hands of such men our UNION can be


An astute writer has beautifully observed--"If the sea was ink, the
trees pens and the earth parchment, they would not be sufficient to
write down all the praises due to God for Liberty." How few there are in
our wide spread Republic who realize the truth of this sublime
sentiment. How few among the directors of the destiny of our nation who
make the law of God the beginning of wisdom. This apothegm is based upon
reason, justice and sound philosophy. No sophistry can controvert it--no
casuistry entangle it. To shun all wrong and practise all right is the
great _desideratum_ of earthly bliss. Vice is crowned with thorns and
plumed with thistles. All the evil passions are a laboratory for the
manufacture of the miseries of human life. The futile pleasures of
earth-vanity, vain glory--the whole category may be richly clustered
with blossoms but bear no nutritious fruit. We must look to the great
Author of all good for substantial enjoyment. We must implicitly obey
his laws to be truly wise. The greatest men who have ever graced the
stage of action fully recognized the power and feared to offend the
great Jehovah. The Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution were
constantly under the influence of this salutary principle. This is
inferred from their writings, examples and the proceedings of the
Continental Congress. Days of humiliation and prayer were frequently
fixed and recommended by legislative proclamation by the general
government and by the states.

Among those of the sages who appear to have lived in the fear of God was
William Hooper, born at Boston, Massachusetts, on the 17th of June 1742.
He was the son of the Rev. William Hooper who came from Kelso, south of
Scotland and was for many years pastor of Trinity Church in Boston. He
was a man of high accomplishments, a finished scholar, a learned
theologian, an eloquent preacher, a devoted Christian, a useful and
beloved pastor. Being of a slender constitution William received the
first rudiments of his education from his father. At the age of seven he
entered the school of Mr. Lovell where he remained eight years. He then
became a student of Harvard University. His talents were of a high
order--his industry untiring. He was ever averse to fleeting pleasures
and trifling amusements. During vacation he explored his father's
library instead of indulging in a relaxation from study and mingling in
the convivial circle. He had a great taste for the classics and belles
lettres. He paid close attention to elocution and composition. He aimed
at refinement in everything.

He graduated in 1760 and commenced the study of law under James Otis one
of the most distinguished counsellors of that time. From the piety he
had exhibited from his youth his father had hoped he would incline to
the pulpit but freely yielded to his choice. He was a thorough law
student and was admitted to the Bar richly laden with the elements of
his profession. By several wealthy connections residing in Wilmington,
North Carolina, he was induced to locate at that place where he soon
obtained a lucrative business. To convince the people that he
contemplated a permanent residence and a fulfilment of all the noble
designs of his creation--he married Anna Clark, a lady of unusual
accomplishments, strength of mind and high attainments. His legal fame
rose rapidly upon a substantial basis. In 1768 he was employed to
conduct several important public trials which he managed with so much
skill and address as to place him in the first rank of able advocates.
He was treated with marked attention by Governors Tryon and Martin and
by Chief Justice Howard. His estimable character, superior talents and
extensive influence were worth securing for their royal master. The
ulterior object they had in view it required no Daniel to interpret. Mr.
Hooper was one who had no price. He was not a man of principle according
to his personal interest but a noble patriot of the first water. He had
received his legal education in Boston where the designs of the British
ministers had been probed for years. He had imbibed liberal views, was a
friend to equal rights and had planted himself upon the firm basis of
eternal justice from which flattery could not seduce or dangers drive

Previous to the Revolution he gave a sample of his moral and personal
courage worthy of record. In 1766 a dangerous association was formed in
North Carolina called _Regulators_--composed mostly of poor, ignorant,
desperate men who were led by those of more intelligence but with baser
hearts who promised them large rewards in the end. They had increased so
rapidly that in 1770 they amounted to three thousand. They opposed the
civil authorities--drove the judges from the bench, committed personal
outrages and threatened to destroy all order, defying civil and military
power. Mr. Hooper took a bold stand against them--advised a prompt
attack by the military--his plan was approved--a severe battle
ensued--the insurgents were dispersed and quiet restored. In 1773 he was
elected to the Assembly of his province at the very time the creatures
of the crown attempted to throw a ministerial coil around the people. In
William Hooper they found a troublesome customer--a bold, fearless,
eloquent, uncompromising opponent to their schemes of tyranny. In the
legislative hall he met them with unanswerable arguments. By a series
of essays he spread their designs before the people. He was no longer
flattered by the crown officers but became a favorite with those he
esteemed more highly--the people who returned him again to the Assembly.
A question came before that body that tested the powers of Mr. Hooper.
The statute creating the judiciary had expired. In framing a new one an
attempt was made to model it so as to meet the designs of the British
cabinet. So powerful was the influence of this friend of the people that
he kept his opponents at bay and the province was a year without courts.
He was then fully before his constituents the champion of equal rights.
By the people he stood approved and admired.

On the 25th of August he was elected to the general Congress in which he
rendered efficient services. He was one of the important committee that
prepared a statement of the rights of the colonies, the manner these
rights had been infringed and the most probable means of effecting their
restoration. He was one of the committee that reported the statutes that
affected the trade and manufactures of the colonies. Upon the report of
these two committees the proceedings of that Congress were based which
raises a fair presumption that the very best men were placed upon them.
The next year he was returned to Congress and was chairman of a
committee to prepare an address to the people of Jamaica relative to
British oppression. It was written by him in a bold and vigorous style
and proved conclusively that ministerial insolence was lost in
ministerial barbarity--that resistance or slavery had become the issue.

On the 12th of June 1775 Mr. Hooper offered the following preamble and
resolution which were passed by Congress, corroborating the intimation
in the exordium to this article.

"It is at all times an indispensable duty devoutly to acknowledge the
superintending providence of the great Governor of the world, especially
in times of impending danger and public calamity--to reverence and adore
His immutable justice as well as to implore his merciful interposition
for our deliverance--therefore

Resolved--That it is recommended by Congress that the people of the
American Colonies observe the 20th day of July next as a day of public
humiliation, fasting and prayer."

The zeal and exertions of this ardent patriot in the glorious cause of
freedom were constant and vigorous. He served industriously in committee
rooms and was greatly esteemed as a forcible debater in the House. In
the spring of 1776 he was a member of the conventions that convened at
Hillsborough and Halifax in N. C. and was one of the leading and most
eloquent speakers. He also prepared an address to the people of the
British empire which was written with great nerve and energy. He then
took his seat in Congress and boldly supported the Declaration of
Independence. He had long been convinced of its necessity and rejoiced
to find his views so warmly supported by the ablest men of that eventful
era. When the thrilling moment arrived to take the final question his
vote and signature sanctioned the bold measure.

In February 1777 he obtained leave of absence from Congress and returned
to his family. When the news of the defeat of Washington at Germantown
reached him he was surrounded by a circle of his friends who seemed
dismayed at the intelligence. He rose calmly from his seat and earnestly
remarked--"We have been disappointed but now that we have become the
assailants there can be no doubt of the issue." Before his return from
Congress his property at Wilmington had suffered from royal vengeance.
His personal safety was then in jeopardy--he was compelled to flee to
the interior to avoid the hemp. His family had removed several times. He
and all the signers had made arrangements with the French minister to
remove to one of the French West India islands in the event of the
failure to maintain Independence. He did not return to Wilmington until
it was evacuated by the enemy in 1781. During his absence his family
remained exposed to the proverbial insults of his Christian majesty's
officers and soldiers. He remained in the province for the purpose of
rousing the people to action and was an efficient member of the new
government. In 1782 he removed to Hillsborough for the purpose of
resuscitating his long neglected private affairs and again took his
place at the Bar. In 1786 he was appointed by Congress a member of the
court organized to determine the controversy between New York and
Massachusetts relative to disputed territory which was amicably settled
by the parties.

Mr. Hooper continued to aid in the legislation of his adopted state and
pursue his profession until 1787 when his health became impaired which
compelled him to retire from public life and the bar and seek that
repose in domestic enjoyment that had always been more congenial to his
mind than public stations however lofty. In his retirement he carried
with him the esteem of his fellow citizens and the gratitude of a nation
of freemen. Not a blemish soiled the bright escutcheon of his public
character or private reputation. He had served his country faithfully
and sacrificed his fortune on the altar of liberty. With the strictest
fidelity he had discharged the duties of husband, father, friend,
citizen, lawyer, patriot, statesman. From the high eminence of conscious
integrity he looked down upon a life well spent. With the eyes of faith
he looked forward to a crown of unfading glory. In October 1790 he
closed his eyes in death and returned to the bosom of that God whom to
fear is the beginning of wisdom. Dear relatives, ardent friends and a
grateful nation mourned his premature death. Mr. Hooper was of the
middle height, slender and elegant in form, gentlemanly and engaging in
his manners, with strangers rather reserved, with his friends frank and
familiar, free from affectation, of a serious turn, at all times candid
and sincere. His countenance beamed with intelligence and benignity, his
powers of conversation were pleasing, instructive, chaste and classical.
His habits were in strict accordance with the religion he exemplified.
His disposition was benevolent, hospitable and kind. As a public speaker
he was eloquent, logical, persuasive, sometimes sarcastic. As a whole he
was among the best specimens of man as he comes from the clean hands of
the Creator. Whilst we admire his virtues let us imitate his examples.


Consistency is the crowning glory of meritorious fame. It is a bright
jewel in the escutcheon of a name. It sheds a radiating lustre over the
actions of men. "Be consistent" was a Roman motto and once guided its
sages, heroes and _literati_ in the path of duty--the surest path of
safety. Consistency dignifies the man and prepares him for noble and
god-like deeds. It is based upon wisdom and discretion--the pilot and
helm of the bark of life in navigating the ocean of time. Without it the
breakers of chaos, the sand bars of folly--the rocks of disaster cannot
be avoided. Without it the brightness of other talents and attainments
of a high order are often eclipsed by the clouds of error and obscured
by the breath of ridicule. With it--mediocrity shines and enables the
plough-boy of the field--the mill-boy of the slashes--the apprentice of
the shop to reach the pinnacle of enduring fame and leave the indiscreet
classical scholar to sink into a useless gilded ornament in the world.
Dr. Young has truly said--"With the talents of an angel a man may be a
fool." Consistency is susceptible of cultivation and should be kindly
and earnestly pressed upon youth by parents and teachers. It is of more
importance than the entire contents of the magazine of classic lore
combined with an eloquence that could move the world of mankind.

The sages of the American Revolution were remarkable for consistency.
Many of them rose from the humble walks of life to eminence by the force
of their own exertions guided by this darling attribute and became the
most useful men of that eventful epoch.

Among this class Samuel Huntington held a respectable rank. He was born
on the 2d of July 1732 at Windham, Connecticut. He was the son of
Nathaniel Huntington a plain farmer, who gave this son only a common
English education whilst three of the others graduated at Yale College,
all of whom became ministers of the gospel, one of them attaining a fair
eminence as a theological writer. Their pious mother led them to the
pure fountain of gospel truth and had the pleasure of seeing the four
walking hand in hand towards the goal of unfading joy. Samuel followed
the plough until he was twenty-two years of age. He was remarkable for
industry and sterling honesty. He was an extensive reader and a close
observer of men and things. His native talent was strong, his judgment
clear, his reflections deep. From his childhood to his grave consistency
chastened every action. This was his strong forte and insured his
success through life. It was a passport beyond the power of a college to

Samuel Huntington went from the plough to the study of law in his
father's house, loaning books from Zedekiah Elderkin of the Norwich bar.
With astonishing rapidity he mastered the elementary books--was admitted
and opened an office in his native town. His reputation as an honest and
consistent man was already on a firm basis. His fame as a safe
counsellor and able advocate soon added another story to this
superstructure. He did not aim at Ciceronean power or Demosthenean
eloquence but closely imitated Solon and Socrates. His manner was plain
but marked by a deep sincerity that seldom fails to impress the minds of
a court and jury favorably--often foiling the most brilliant displays of
forensic eloquence. With his other strong qualities he combined the
motive power of business--PUNCTUALITY. Although he had gained a
lucrative practice in his native town he removed to Norwich in 1760
where a wider field opened before him. Carrying out the principle of
consistency, in 1762 he emerged from the lonely regions of celibacy with
Martha, the accomplished daughter of Ebenezer Devotion and entered the
delightful bowers of matrimony--thus giving him and her an importance in
society unknown to single blessedness. Martha proved an amiable
companion--blending the accomplishments of a lady, the industry of a
housewife, the economy that enriches, the dignity of a matron--the piety
of a Christian.

In 1764 Mr. Huntington was elected to the Assembly and made a very
efficient member. In 1765 he was appointed king's attorney and performed
the duties of that office until the pestiferous atmosphere of
monarchical oppression drew him from under the dark mantle of a corrupt
and impolitic ministry. In 1774 he was elevated to the bench of the
Superior Court and the next year was a member of the Council of his
state. When the all important subject of American rights and British
wrongs came under discussion he threw the whole force of his influence
in favor of the cause of equal rights. In October 1775 he took his seat
in the Continental Congress and became a prominent and useful member. In
January following he again took his seat in the Hall of Independence and
fearlessly advocated the necessity of cutting the Gordian knot that held
the Colonies to England. The solemnity of his manner, the strong force
of his reasoning, the lucid demonstrations of his propositions and the
unvarnished sincerity of his patriotism--were calculated to carry
conviction to every heart and impart confidence to the wavering and
timid. He was present at the birth of our nation on the 4th of July 1776
and aided in presenting the admired infant at the sacred font of LIBERTY
and became a subscribing witness to the imposing ceremonies of that
eventful day. He was continued in Congress until 1781 when ill health
compelled him to retire for a season.

He was a man of great industry, honesty of purpose, profound research,
clearness of perception and had acquired a large fund of practical
knowledge. Human nature he had studied closely. He was well versed in
general business, political economy, principles of government and rules
of legislation which gave him a place upon important committees. He
succeeded Mr. Jay as President of Congress and so ably discharged the
duties of that responsible station that when compelled to retire from
ill health a vote of thanks was placed upon the record. Hoping that he
might be able to return the chair was not permanently filled for a long
time. During a part of the _interim_ of his absence from Congress he
presided on the bench and was a short time in Council. In 1783 he
returned to Congress and at the termination of the session declined a
re-election. He had aided in finishing the mighty work of national
freedom--the star spangled banner was floating in the breeze of
Liberty--his country had triumphed over a merciless foe--her political
regeneration had been consummated--America was disenthralled and he
desired retirement from public life. This he was not permitted to
enjoy. In 1784 he was appointed Chief Justice of his state--the ensuing
year Lieutenant Governor and the next year was elected Governor of
Connecticut, which office he held until the 5th of January 1796, when
death took him from earth and its toils. He had lived the life of the
righteous man--his last end was like his. He was a ripe shock full of
corn--uniformly beloved in life--deeply mourned in death.

Mr. Huntington was a man of middle stature, dark complexion, keen eyes,
countenance expressive, with a deportment calculated to make a favorable
impression at first sight. In his life we find much to admire--nothing
to condemn. His superior virtues and uniform consistency eclipsed the
frailties of his nature. In the performance of all the duties of public
and private life he was a model worthy of the closest imitation. From
the plough in the field through his bright career to the presidential
chair in Congress--to the chief magistracy of his own state--his every
action was marked with consistency. His fame is based upon substantial
merit--he rendered his name dear to every freeman. The history of his
examples should exercise a salutary influence over the mind of every
reader capable of appreciating the high importance of being consistent
in all things and of perpetuating our UNION through all time.


Mobocracy is a fearful spirit that is roused to action by a greater
variety of elements than either of the unfortunate propensities of human
nature. Based upon the boiling anger of those who put this ball in
motion--reason is dethroned--reflection paralyzed--justice
unheeded--mercy banished--the laws disregarded--power defied. It is the
volcano of human society--the earthquake of social order--the whirlpool
of brutality--the vortex of destruction. It is fanned by fell
revenge--inflamed with burning fury--propelled by reckless
impulse--delights in human gore--revels in demoniac confusion--rides on
the tornado of faction--snuffs the whirlwind of discord and provokes the
indignation of all peaceful citizens.

Occasions rarely occur to justify these sudden demonstrations of
disorder and more rarely result in good. Deliberate action is usually
the best to remedy evils that exist in fact--most certainly the best to
cure those that are only imaginary. Thus reasoned the Sages and Heroes
of the American Revolution and governed themselves accordingly. After
petitions and entreaties for redress failed to remove the wrongs heaped
upon them--a systematic and dignified mode of resistance was
adopted--not mobocracy. They could then appeal to Heaven for the justice
of their cause and elicited the admiration of gazing nations in the
course they pursued.

Among those who put forth their noblest exertions to advance the
interests of the cause of equal rights was William Irvine who was born
near Enniskillen, Ireland, in 1742. His ancestors removed from the north
of Scotland to the Emerald Isle. His grandfather was an officer in the
corps of grenadiers that fought so desperately at the battle of the
Boyne. The grandfather of General Wayne was a brave officer in the same
service. The noble descendants of both were in the same corps in the
glorious cause of American Independence.

After completing his school education Mr. Irvine became a student of the
celebrated Dr. Cleghorn and proved to be an excellent surgeon and
physician. On the completion of his studios he was appointed a surgeon
on board a British man of war where he served for several years with
great diligence and success. In 1763 he came to America and located at
Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His eminent talents--professional acquirements
and large experience, soon gained for him a liberal practice and proud
reputation. Having no innate love for mother Britain, he was prepared to
meet the fearful crisis of the American Revolution. There were numerous
powerful influences in Pennsylvania adverse to war with England. There
was a large number of the Society of Friends opposed to war under all
circumstances, although quick to seize the benefits resulting from it.
The Proprietary interests were very extensive and in favor of the crown.
To rouse the people to resistance was a herculean task. In this work Mr.
Irvine was active and successful. He was a member of the several
preliminary conventions in the colony and became extensively influential
in preparing the people for action.

In January 1776 he was commissioned to raise and command a regiment
which duty he performed promptly. On the 10th of the following June he
joined Gen. Thompson's brigade with his troops near the village of Trois
Rivieres. A disastrous attack was immediately made upon the vanguard of
the British army stationed at that place. Gen. Thompson, Col. Irvine and
near two hundred subordinate officers and privates were taken prisoners
and sent to Quebec. An exchange was not effected until April 1778. On
his return Gen. Irvine was put in command of the second Pennsylvania
brigade and continued in that position until 1781. He was then
transferred to Pittsburgh and assigned to the important and delicate
duty of guarding the north-western frontier. It was important because
difficult to obtain supplies and was menaced with British and Indians.
It was delicate because there existed strong animosities between the
first inhabitants of that region and those from Western Virginia who
claimed the territory occupied. Under those circumstances the
appointment was a high compliment from the sagacious Washington. The
happy results were a strong eulogy upon the wisdom of both. Gen. Irvine
succeeded in reconciling the two contending factions--brought order out
of confusion and restored harmony and good feeling among those who had
long been at variance. This augmented his strength against the enemy and
increased the confidence of the people in that entire section of
country. He was continued in that command until the war closed and the
star spangled banner waved triumphantly over the United States of

In 1786 Gen. Irvine was elected to Congress and proved an efficient and
valuable member. He was active and useful in the board to settle the
accounts between the states and the general government. He was a member
of the Pennsylvania convention that sanctioned the Federal Constitution.
In 1796 he was one of the commissioners who were despatched to visit the
whiskey boys and endeavor to bring them back to reason, duty and safety.
When it became necessary to order out a military force to quell the
insurrection Gen. Irvine was put in command of the Pennsylvania troops.

A short time after he rendered this last service in the tented field he
removed to Philadelphia. He there received the appointment of Intendant
of military stores which office was subsequently long and ably filled by
his son Callender. He was also President of the Society of Cincinnati.
Peacefully and calmly Gen. Irvine glided down the stream of time until
the summer of 1804 when he closed his active and useful career and took
his departure for "that country from whose bourne no traveller returns."
He had lived highly respected--his death was deeply mourned. His public
and private reputation were untarnished--he performed all the duties of
life nobly and fulfilled the great design of his creation.


  [Illustration: {Thomas Jefferson portrait and signature} ENGRAVED BY

Genuine moral courage is a sterling virtue--the motive power of the true
dignity of man. It invigorates the mind like a refreshing dew falling
gently on the flowers of spring. It is a heavenly spark--animating the
immortal soul with the fire of purity that illuminates the path of
rectitude. It is an attribute that opposes all wrong and propels its
possessor right onward to the performance of all right. Based on virtue
and equity, it spurns vice in all its borrowed and delusive forms. It
courts no servile favors--fears no earthly scrutiny. No flattery can
seduce it--no eclat allure--no bribe purchase--no tyrant awe--no
misfortune bend--no intrigue corrupt--no adversity crush--no tortures
can subdue it. On its breastplate is inscribed in bold relievo--_Fiat
justitia--ruat calum_. [Let justice be done though the heavens fall.]
Without it, fame is ephemeral--renown transient. It is the saline basis
of a good name that gives enduring richness to its memory. It is a
pillar of light to revolving thought--the polar star that points to
duty, secures merit and leads to victory. It is the soul of reason--the
essence of wisdom--the crowning glory of mental power. It was this that
nerved the leaders of the American Revolution to noble and god-like

In the front rank of this band of patriots stood Thomas Jefferson, who
was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, on the 24th of April
1743. His ancestors were among the early pioneers of the Old Dominion
and highly respectable. They were Republicans to the core--in affluent
circumstances and exercised an extensive and happy influence.

Thomas was the son of Peter Jefferson, a man much esteemed in public and
private life. The liberal feelings imbibed from him by this son were
conspicuous at an early age. From his childhood the mind of Thomas
Jefferson assumed a high elevation took a broad and expansive view of
men and things.

He was educated at the college of William and Mary and was always found
at the head of his class. Untiring industry in the exploration of the
fields of science marked his collegiate career. He analyzed every
subject he investigated, passing through the opening avenues of
literature with astonishing celerity. His mind became enraptured with
the history of classic Greece and republican Rome. Improving upon the
suggestions of liberal principles found in the classics, he early
matured his political creed and opposed every kind of government
tinctured with the shadow of monarchy, hierarchy or aristocracy.

After completing his collegiate course he commenced the study of law
under Chancellor Wythe, whose liberal views were calculated to mature
and strengthen those already preponderating in the mind of Jefferson.
With regard to the oppressions of the mother country--the justice and
necessity of resistance by the Colonies, their kindred hearts beat in
unison. By a thorough investigation of the principles of law and
government, Jefferson became rapidly prepared to enter upon the great
theatre of public life--the service of his injured country. Planting
himself upon the broad basis of Magna Charta--encircling himself within
the pale of the British Constitution--he demonstrated most clearly that
the ministry of the crown had long been rapidly advancing beyond the
bounds of their legitimate authority--exercising a tyranny over the
Colonies not delegated to them by the constitution of the monarchy they
represented. So luminous were his expositions of chartered rights on the
one hand and accumulating wrongs on the other, that he became the
nucleus of a band of patriots resolved on LIBERTY OR DEATH.

At the age of twenty-two he was elected to the legislature which enabled
him to disseminate his liberal principles throughout the Colony. He
proclaimed himself the unyielding advocate of equal rights and had
engraved upon his watch seal--"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to
God." By his eloquence and unanswerable arguments he kindled the flame
of opposition in old Virginia which increased as tyranny advanced. In
1769 a resolution was passed by the legislature--_not to import a single
article from Great Britain_. In the advocacy of this proposition by Mr.
Jefferson, the adherents of the crown were astonished at the boldness
and firmness with which he exposed and laid bare the venal corruption of
the British cabinet. It gave a fresh impetus to the cause of Liberty
just bursting into life.

With ample pecuniary means--with talents equal to the work he had
undertaken, his soul illuminated with the fire of patriotism--his
indignation roused against the hirelings of the king--his sympathies
excited by the sufferings of his country--his moral courage raised to
the zenith of its glory--Mr. Jefferson was amply armed for the conflict
and became one of the master spirits of the Revolution--a gigantic
champion of universal freedom--a pillar of fire, flashing terror and
dismay into the ranks of the foe.

He wrote "A Summary View of the Rights of British America"--addressed it
to the king respectfully but very plainly pointed to the true position
of the two countries and the final result of the policy of ministers.
The following is an extract. "Open your breast, sire, to liberal and
expanded thought. It behooves you to think and act for your people. The
great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader. To
perceive them needs not the aid of many counsellors. The whole art of
government consists in the art of being honest." The art of being
_honest_ in matters of government is a knotty problem for some modern
politicians to solve. Were they all _honest_ a political millennium
would illuminate our country--bring us back to primitive _tangible_
landmarks and unmask multitudes of political wolves cunningly dressed in
sheep's clothing.

So exasperated was Lord Dunmore on perusing this article from the pen of
Jefferson that he threatened to arrest him for high treason. Finding
most of the members of the legislature, then in session, quite as
treasonable in their views he at once dissolved that body.

The following year the British ministry, in answer to petitions for
redress of grievances, sent to the legislature of the Old Dominion a
series of propositions that _they_ termed conciliatory but which added
insult to injury. Their fallacy was exposed by Mr. Jefferson in such a
masterly strain of eloquent burning logic and sarcasm, that conviction
was carried to a large majority of his colleagues. They were referred to
a committee which reported an answer written by him and was very similar
to the Declaration of Independence. This reply was immediately adopted.
The ball of resistance was put in motion--the electric fluid of
patriotism commenced its insulating powers in the north and
south--extending from sire to son, from heart to heart, until the two
streams of fire met in the centre--then rising in grandeur, formed the
luminous arch of Freedom--its chord extending from Maine to Georgia--its
versed sine resting on the city Penn.

Under its zenith at Philadelphia, Mr. Jefferson took his seat in the
Continental Congress on the 21st of June 1775. Although one of the
youngest members of that venerated assembly of patriotic sages, he was
hailed as one of its main pillars. Known as a man of superior
intelligence, liberal sentiments, strict integrity, stern republicanism
and unbending patriotism--his influence was strongly felt and
judiciously exercised.

From the beginning he advocated a separation from the mother country and
ably met every objection urged against it. In his view, oppression, not
recognised by Magna Charta, had dissolved all allegiance to the
crown--that the original contract had been cancelled on the heights of
Lexington by American blood. Submission was no longer a virtue--the
measure of wrongs had been overflowing for years--public sentiment
demanded the sundering of the Gordian knot--a voice from Heaven
proclaimed in tones of thunder--"_Let my people go_."

The following year the Declaration of Independence was proposed. Mr.
Jefferson was appointed chairman of the committee to prepare this
momentous document. The work was assigned to him by his colleagues. He
performed the task with a boldness of design and beauty of execution
before unknown and yet unrivalled. The substantial result of his labor
has long been before the world. Admiring nations have united in
bestowing the highest encomiums upon this sacred instrument. As a
masterpiece of composition--a lucid exposition of the rights of man--the
principles of a free government--the sufferings of an oppressed
people--the abuses of a corrupt ministry and the effects of monarchy
upon the destinies of man--it stands unequalled. Pure in its
origin--graphic in its delineations--benign in its influence and
salutary in its results--it has become the chart of patriots over the
civilized world. It is the _ne plus ultra_ [nothing more beyond] of a
gigantic mind raised to its loftiest elevation by the finest touches of
creative Power--displaying its noblest efforts--brightest
conceptions--holiest zeal--purest desires--happiest conclusions. It
combines the attributes of justice--the flowers of eloquence--the force
of logic--the soul of wisdom. It is the grand palladium of equal
rights--the polar star of rational LIBERTY--the Magna Charta of
universal FREEDOM and has crowned its author with laurels of enduring

In the autumn of 1776 Mr. Jefferson was appointed a commissioner to the
court of France in conjunction with Messrs. Franklin and Deane for the
purpose of forming a treaty of alliance. Ill health of himself and
family and an urgent necessity for his services in his native state,
induced him to decline the proffered honor and resign his seat in

He was immediately elected to the first legislature of his state
convened under the new Constitution. On taking his seal in that body his
attention was at once directed to the demolition of the judicial code
which had emanated from the British Parliament. The work of rearing a
new superstructure was mostly performed by him. The first bill he
introduced was aimed at the slave trade and prohibited the farther
importation of negroes into Virginia. This is a triumphant refutation of
the accusation often reiterated against Mr. Jefferson--_that he was an
advocate of slavery_. To its _principles_ he and a large majority of the
South were always opposed and submitted to it _practically_ by ENTAIL.
It is a fact beyond dispute that he struck the first blow in the
Colonies at the unhallowed trade of _importing_ human beings for the
purpose of consigning them to bondage. That this was the first great
step to towards a correction of the most cruel feature of this system,
originated by philanthropic England, is equally true. To transfer those
negroes, born in the United States, from one section of this country to
another, bears no comparison in cruelty to the heart-rending barbarity
of forcing the African from his native home--even should he fall into
the hands of those _emancipators_ who, instead of returning him to his
native shores--_put him an_ "APPRENTICE" _to hard labor on their own
plantations_. Consistency thou art a jewel rather rare. Common humanity
forbids the sudden emancipation of the slaves as proposed by emissary
Thompson and his converts.

Mr. Jefferson next effected the passage of bills destroying
entails--primogeniture--the church as established by England and various
others--assimilating the entire system of jurisprudence in the state to
its republican form of government. He reported one hundred and
twenty-six bills, most of which were passed and constitute the present
much admired statutory code of Virginia.

In 1779 Mr. Jefferson was called to the gubernatorial chair of his
native state, then surrounded by perils. The British troops, led on by
the proud Tarleton and the traitor Arnold, were spreading death and
devastation over the Old Dominion and contemplated the capture of the
governor. Terror seized the more timid patriots--the boldest were
alarmed at the approach of the merciless foe. The energy of the governor
was equal to the emergency. He rallied the bone and sinew of old
Virginia, who "with hearts of oak and nerves of steel," checked the
enemy in their bold career of indiscriminate slaughter. He imparted
confidence and vigor to the desponding and roused them to bold and noble
action. He dispersed the black cloud that hung over his bleeding state
and inspired the friends of liberty with cheering hopes of ultimate
success. So highly were his services appreciated during the eventful
term of his administration that the legislature entered upon their
records a unanimous vote of thanks to him for the able and efficient
manner he had discharged his public duties--highly complimenting his
talents, rectitude, moral courage and stern integrity.

In 1783 he again took his seat in Congress--one of the brightest
luminaries in the galaxy of statesmen. The chaste and moving address to
Washington when he surrendered his commission, was from the
soul-stirring pen of Jefferson. He was chairman of the committee to form
a territorial government for the extensive regions of the then far west.
True to his long cherished desire to ultimately emancipate the negro, he
introduced a clause prohibiting slavery in any of the territories or the
states that should be formed from them after 1800.

In May, 1784, he was a minister plenipotentiary in conjunction with Dr.
Franklin and John Adams, with power to negotiate treaties of commerce
with several European nations. In July he embarked for France and
arrived in Paris on the 6th of August. During his absence he visited
several foreign courts but spent most of his time in France. He
commanded the highest respect and was made a welcome guest in the halls
of literature, legislation and jurisprudence. Kings and courtiers
treated him with profound deference and were convinced intelligence and
talent were not exclusively confined to the old world.

He was in Paris when the French Revolution commenced and was often
consulted by the leading members of the national convention relative to
the best course to be pursued in order to establish their government
upon the Republican basis. So far as was proper he gave his opinions
freely in favor of rational Liberty.

He returned on the 23d of November 1789 and was received with great
enthusiasm and kindness by his fellow citizens. Soon after his arrival
he resigned his ministerial commission and became Secretary of State
under President Washington. The appointment was a compliment to the
matured judgment of the chief magistrate and proved a lasting benefit to
our country. Familiar with every principle of government--comprehending
the requisites necessary to perfect and perpetuate the new
confederation--he proposed amendments to the constitution, which, with
some suggested by John Adams and others, were adopted. He did much
towards reducing the new order of things to harmonious system. Well
versed in diplomacy, international law and the policy of European
courts--he was prepared to plant the permanent land marks of foreign
intercourse which stand as beacon lights to guide our nation safely in
its onward career. A reciprocity of commerce and honorable peace with
other governments--a rigid neutrality with belligerents--a careful
avoidance of entangling alliances were some of his leading principles.
To submit to nothing that was clearly _wrong_--to ask for nothing that
was not clearly _right_--was a doctrine of Jefferson forcibly inculcated
in his able correspondence with the French ministers during the brief
period of their Republic. This motto has been handed down from sire to
son and is firmly nailed to the flag staff of the star spangled banner.

To the domestic concerns of our country he devoted a laudable and
laborious attention. He recommended the adoption of a uniform system of
currency, weights, measures and many other things designed to advance
the best interest of the infant Republic. He urged the importance of
protecting our fisheries and of encouraging enterprise in all the
branches of industry. He demonstrated the advantages of every species of
commerce and the necessity of preventing others from monopolizing the
sources that legitimately belonged to the United States. He exhibited a
masterly exposition of existing facts, showing the increasing policy of
European courts to restrict the intercourse of America that they might
engross trade. He submitted to Congress an elaborate and able report
relative to the privileges and restrictions of the commercial
intercourse of this with other countries, which showed great foresight,
close observation and thorough investigation. It received great
attention and was the foundation of a series of resolutions introduced
by Mr. Madison, embracing the doctrines it contained--forming the great
line of demarkation between the _old_ school federal and democratic
parties. It would require a skilful engineer to trace the original line
_now_ in consequence of the rapid growth of under brush.

Having served his country long and faithfully and contributed largely in
placing her on the great highway of FREEDOM and prosperity, Mr.
Jefferson retired from public life on the 31st of December 1793 enjoying
for a season the more peaceful and substantial comforts of life at
Monticello. He imparted comfort to all around him--treated his slaves in
the kindest manner, reducing to practice the mode of treatment he always
recommended to others. The education of his children--the cultivation
and improvement of his land and the resumption of his scientific
researches, gave to him an exhilarating consolation he had long desired
and could never enjoy in the arena of public business and political
turmoil. His manner of life at the time alluded to is happily described
by the Duke de Liancourt who visited him during his brief time of

"His conversation is of the most agreeable kind. He possesses a stock of
information not inferior to any other man. In Europe he would hold a
distinguished rank among men of letters and as such he has already
appeared there. At present he is employed with activity and perseverance
in the management of his farms and buildings and he orders, directs and
pursues, in the minutest detail, every branch of business relating to
them. I found him in the midst of harvest from which the scorching heat
of the sun does not prevent his attendance. His negroes are nourished,
clothed and treated as well as white servants could be. Every article is
made on his farm--his negroes being cabinet makers, carpenters and
masons. The children he employs in a nail manufactory and the young and
old negresses spin for the clothing of the rest. He animates them all by
rewards and distinctions. In fine, his superior mind directs the
management of his domestic concerns with the same ability, activity and
regularity, which he evinced in the conduct of public affairs and which
he is calculated to display in every situation of life."

During his recess from the toils of public life Mr. Jefferson was
unanimously elected President of the American Philosophical Society with
which he was highly gratified. It afforded him much pleasure to occupy
the chair which had been ably filled by his revered friends--the
illustrious Franklin and philosophic Rittenhouse.

After a repose of three years he was again called to the theatre of
public action. President Washington had announced his determination to
retire to the peaceful shades of Mount Vernon. The people had become
divided in two political parties, each determined to nominate a
candidate for the high and responsible office about to become vacant.
The federalists nominated John Adams--the democrats Thomas Jefferson.
The former was elected President--the latter Vice President of the
United States. As the presiding officer of the Senate Mr. Jefferson
discharged his duty with dignity and impartiality. Familiar with
parliamentary rules, he was prepared to decide questions promptly and
uniformly to the satisfaction of members.

At the next Presidential Election he was again opposed to Mr. Adams. The
mountain waves of party spirit rolled over the United States like a
sweeping torrent. Each party presented a bold front regardless of danger
pressed on by a rear rushing to conflict. The two candidates were bosom
friends. Honest political differences did not interrupt their private
good feelings. Not a word fell from the lips of either disparaging to
his opponent. They regretted the fever heat of their partisans during
the canvass but could not allay it. The Democrats carried the election
and returned an equal number of votes for Mr. Jefferson as President and
Col. Burr as Vice President. This singular circumstance imposed the
election of the Chief Magistrate upon the House of Representatives. To
defeat the election of the great leader of the popular party, several of
his opponents voted for Col. Burr. A very spirited contest ensued.
Thirty-five ineffectual ballotings were made. The ambition of Burr for
promotion induced him to omit doing at once what propriety dictated and
that which would have rendered him popular and perhaps saved him from
the vortex of disgrace into which he subsequently plunged--_the
immediate withdrawal of his name_. This he was finally compelled to do
and on the thirty-sixth ballot Mr. Jefferson was duly elected President
by a majority of eight votes and Col. Burr Vice President.

I have long been convinced that the Federal Constitution should be
amended with reference to the election of these two officers. The votes
for each should be confined to each office independent of the other.
_The election should never go to the House of Representatives_,
especially as political honesty is constantly deteriorating. The history
of all time shows clearly, that as a government grows older corruption
increases until it finally dissolves the state. Let the President be
elected for four years and until another shall be elected in his place
and let this be done directly by the PEOPLE. Reckless party management
would then be stripped of half its horrors. Better pay the expense of
two elections than have one unworthy incumbent in the Presidential
Chair. The following extract from the Inaugural Address of Mr. Jefferson
should be committed by every man and boy in our country--the principles
would then be better understood and perhaps more generally exemplified
in practice.

"Equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or
persuasion--religious or political--peace, commerce and honest
friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none--the support
of the state governments in all their rights as the most competent
administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks
against anti-republican tendencies--the preservation of the general
government in its whole constitutional vigor as the sheet anchor of our
peace at home and safety abroad--a zealous care of the right of election
by the people--a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by
the sword of revolution when peaceable remedies are unprovided--absolute
acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of
Republics from which there is no appeal but to force--the vital
principle and immediate parent of despotism--a well disciplined militia
our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till
regulars may relieve them--the supremacy of the civil over the military
authority--economy in public expenses that labor may be lightly
burthened--the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of
the public faith--encouragement of agriculture and of commerce as its
handmaid--the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at
the bar of public reason--freedom of religion, freedom of the press and
freedom of the person under the protection of the _habeas corpus_ and
trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright
constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an
age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of
our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the
creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touch
stone by which to try the service of those we trust and should we wander
from them in moments of error or alarm, let us hasten to retrace our
steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and

Here is a statesman's chart drawn by one of the ablest, navigators that
ever stood at the helm of government. His soundings were frequent--his
observations were made with mathematical precision--he combined science
and experience and traced his lines with boldness and truth. To follow
its directions is to ensure safety. Its delineations are not designed
for partisan use but for our whole country and the freemen of the world
through all time.

Based upon these principles practically, the administration of Jefferson
became popular, peaceful and prosperous. He understood the reasonable
desires of the people and exerted his noblest powers to gratify them.

He knew that the art of governing harmoniously consisted in HONESTY and
governed himself accordingly. He anticipated the future wants of the
rising and expanding Republic and proposed in his annual and special
messages to Congress wise and politic measures to meet them. So fully
was his course approved that he was re-elected by a majority of one
hundred and forty-eight. His second inaugural address reiterated the
same magnanimous principles of his first, manifesting a deep and growing
interest in the prosperity and welfare of our common country.

As he has been repeatedly charged with infidelity by those who descend
so low as to desecrate the ashes of the illustrious dead and the charge
repeated but a few days ago in a prominent print in the city of New
York, I insert the following extract from his annual message, which
sentiment is found in all his writings where the subject is alluded to.
I have recently read two of his unpublished letters to a gentleman who
is now a member of the New Jersey Senate, in which the same view is

"I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who
led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and
planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries of life--who
has covered our infancy with his Providence and our riper years with his
wisdom and power." Washington and Adams said no more.

If all who profess the religion of the Cross discarded sectarianism and
honored unsophisticated _practical_ religion as much as did Thomas
Jefferson, the prospect of christianizing the world would burst upon us
with refulgent brightness. The partition walls of various creeds,
claimed to be drawn from the same pure fountain, would be dissolved by
heaven-born Charity and the superstructure of the Redeemer's kingdom
would rise in majesty sublime.

Soon after Mr. Jefferson entered upon the duties of his second term, a
portentous storm darkened the horizon of our country, charged with the
lightning of discord. In consequence of being disappointed in riding
into the presidency on the whirlwind of confusion he created at the time
he was made Vice President and at the end of four years--dropped like a
traitor as he was, Aaron Burr mounted upon the tornado of his wild
ambition and attempted the formation of a new Republic in the Spanish
Provinces on the Mississippi, aiming at an ultimate division, if not
dissolution of the Union. He was arrested and tried for high treason but
being a man of great foresight, consummate genius and deep cunning--no
_overt_ act could be proved against him within the technical meaning of
the law and he was acquitted--yet the dark stigma is marked upon the
splendor of his brilliant talents in traces so deep, that time nor
angels' tears can ever remove it. Like a comet propelled by its own
centrifugal force from its constitutional orbit, he fell to rise no
more--our country was saved from his Cataline grasp by the Cicero of our

About the same time France and Great Britain were at war--both of whom
and more especially the latter--had repeatedly insulted the American
flag under various but false pretences. Redress was promptly demanded
and measures pursued to obtain it. Anxious to preserve peace but
determined to vindicate our rights and dignity--Mr. Jefferson
simultaneously prosecuted a negotiation and prepared for war. He well
understood the importance of the importing and exporting trade to
England. Among the means used to bring her to honorable terms, he
recommended to Congress the embargo law which was passed on the 22d Dec.
1807. This measure was violently assailed by those opposed to his
administration. As he anticipated, it had a salutary effect upon the
British government and caused propositions to be made by England for an
honorable adjustment of all differences.

Thus were the foreign relations of the United States situated when the
second term of Mr. Jefferson closed. He then bid a final farewell to
public life and consigned the destinies of his beloved country into
other hands. He had been an efficient and faithful laborer in the
vineyard of American Liberty nearly forty years. He left it richly
covered with green foliage and fruit--in the full vigor of
health--enclosed by the palisades of truth and honesty--adorned with the
crowning glories of philanthropy and patriotism.

From that time he declined all public honors and remained in peaceful
retirement to the day of his death--seldom leaving his sweet home--the
beautiful Monticello. Unlike too many with ample means he did not lead a
life of inglorious ease. The same innate activity that had marked his
bright career from youth--the same nobleness of mind and energy of
character that raised him to the loftiest pinnacle fame could rear,
still promoted him to action. He reduced his time to a harmonious
arrangement--his business to perfect system. He uniformly rose before
the sun and held a supervision over all the concerns of his plantation.
The various productions of his pen during the period of his retirement,
show that he labored arduously in the fields of science and philosophy.
For the promotion of literature and general intelligence, he opened an
extensive correspondence with men of letters in this country and Europe.
He considered the diffusion of knowledge among the great mass of the
human family the greatest safeguard against tyranny and oppression--the
purest source of earthly bliss--the surest passport to freedom and

Acting from this impulse, he submitted the plan of a University to the
legislature of Virginia to be erected at Charlottesville, situated at
the foot of the romantic mountain in front of his mansion. It was to be
built with funds raised by donations from individuals in the state,
himself to be a liberal contributor. The plan of the buildings and
course of instruction were drawn by him and so much admired and approved
by the members of the legislative body that an act was passed to carry
into effect the design and Mr. Jefferson was appointed Rector. For the
completion of this object he spent all necessary time and more money
than strict justice called for. It became the doating object of his old
age. His best efforts were exerted in its accomplishment, which were
crowned with success and the University filled with students to whom he
paid great attention. The course of instruction was designed to prepare
youth for the general routine of business, public and private and was
not strictly classical. The library was selected by him with great care,
being composed entirely of solid useful books, treating on subjects
important to every citizen in preparing him to discharge properly the
duties he owes to his God, his family, his country and himself. A
catalogue, written by Jefferson, is still there in a good state of
preservation. He exercised a parental care over this institution until
his physical powers failed.

Much of his time was devoted to visitors to whom he was hospitable and
kind. Thousands of his own countrymen paid their grateful respects to
him--Europeans of distinction thought their tour in this country
incomplete until they took by the hand the patriot, sage, philosopher
and philanthropist of Monticello. He was ever anxious to please, delight
and instruct. He was familiar with every subject. His mind united the
vigor of youth with the experience of age. The broad expanse of the
universe--the stupendous works of nature--the Pierian fields of
science--the deep recesses of philosophy and labyrinthian avenues of the
intellect of man--seemed spread before him like the map of the world. He
was an encyclopædia of the age he adorned--a lexicon of the times he
enlightened--one of the brightest diadems in the crown of his country's

With a calm and peaceful quietude Mr. Jefferson glided down the stream
of time toward the ocean of eternity until he reached the eighty-fourth
year of his age. Forty-four years had passed away since his amiable
companion had been laid in the tomb. She was the daughter of Mr. Wayles,
an eminent lawyer of Virginia. One of two interesting daughters was also
resting in the grave. The charms of earth were receding from him--he
felt sensibly that he stood on the confines of another and a better
world. The physical powers and mechanical structure of his frame were
fast decaying--the canker worm of disease was doing its final work--the
angel of death hovered over him with a keen blade awaiting Jehovah's
signal to cut the silver cord of life and set the prisoner free.

Early in the spring of 1826 his bodily infirmities increased. From the
26th of June to the time of his death he was confined to his bed. He
then remarked to his attending physician--"My machine is worn out and
can go no longer." His friends who attended him thought he would again
recover but he was convinced that his voyage of life was about to close
and that he would soon cast his anchor in the haven of rest. To those
around him he said--"Do not imagine that I feel the smallest solicitude
as to the result. I do not indeed _wish_ to die but I do not _fear_ to
die." Do infidels die thus calm and resigned? Echo answers--Do infidels
die thus?

On the second day of July his body became extremely weak but his mental
powers remained as clear as a crystal fountain. He called his family and
friends around him and with a cheerful countenance and calm dignity gave
direction for his funeral obsequies. He requested that he might be
interred at Monticello without pomp or show and that the inscription on
his tomb should only refer to him as "The author of the Declaration of
Independence--of the Statutes of Virginia securing religious Freedom and
the Father of the University." He then conversed separately with each of
his family. To his surviving daughter, Mrs. Randolph, he presented a
small morocco case which he requested her not to open until after his
death. It was found to contain a beautiful and affectionate poetic
tribute to her virtues.

The next day, being told it was the 3d of July, he expressed a desire
that he might be permitted to inhale the atmosphere of the fiftieth
anniversary of our national freedom. His prayer was granted--the
glorious 4th of July 1826 dawned upon him--he took an affectionate leave
of those around him and then raising his eyes upward articulated
distinctly, "_I resign myself to God and my child to my country_"--and
expired as calmly as an infant sleeps in its mother's arms. Thus lived
and thus died THOMAS JEFFERSON, universally esteemed in life--deeply
mourned in death by a nation of freemen--sincerely lamented by every
patriot in the civilized world.

In person he was slender and erect--six feet two inches in height--light
and intelligent eyes--noble and open countenance--fair
complexion--yellowish red hair and commanding in his whole appearance.
In all the relations of public and private life he was the model of a
great and good man. His whole career was calm and dignified. Under all
circumstances his coolness, strong moral courage--deliberation and
equanimity of mind, placed him on a lofty eminence and enabled him to
preserve a perfect equilibrium amidst all the changing vicissitudes and
multiform ills flesh is heir to. He kept his passions under complete
control and cultivated richly the finer qualities of his nature. His
charity, the brightest star in the Christian diadem, was as broad as the
human family--his sympathies co-extensive with the afflictions of Adam's
race. He was created for usefulness--nobly did he fulfil the design of
his creation. If his were not the fruits of _practical_ Christianity,
the immaculate Redeemer and the Apostles did not truly describe them.
You who basely charge THOMAS JEFFERSON with infidelity, remember--O!
remember, that his last words were those uttered by many of the


A love for the land of our birth is natural--commendable. A continued
oppression from those in power may drive us from that land--compel us to
seek an asylum under a more congenial government--still the associations
of our native spot are a source of frequent and pleasing thought never
to be entirely eradicated from our minds.

No man should ever adopt a new country and government without a full
determination to become a good and useful citizen and submit implicitly
to the laws as they are until he shall find himself in a majority of the
virtuous who rise in their majesty to change for the better. With this
principle for a polar star--foreigners who seek a peaceful asylum in our
country may become as staunch supporters of our national Constitution
and UNION as native born patriots. If they cannot--they should retrace
their steps quickly and return to the iron blessings of monarchy. We
want none among us who do not love our country and her noble
institutions. An open door--a hearty welcome awaits every foreign
_patriot_ that comes to this land of the brave and home of the free. We
have an overplus of native demagogues, fanatics, ultraists, disunionists
and bigots--without importing any from Europe.

During the American Revolution a number of illustrious and noble
patriots of high standing came from the old world to aid in planting the
tree of LIBERTY in the new. Among them was the brave Baron de Kalb, a
native of Germany. Of his early history we have no record. He was a
brigadier-general in the French army and had earned a high military
reputation. He was a knight of the order of Military Merit and highly
esteemed by his fellow officers. A philanthropist of high order--imbued
with liberal principles--in favor of a Republican form of
government--familiar with the oppressions of England in
America--acquainted with the noble efforts of the oppressed to free
themselves from tyranny--Baron de Kalb at once resolved to be the
companion of the patriotic La Fayette. On his arrival he was
commissioned a major-general in the Continental army and placed in
command of the Maryland division. He readily gained the esteem and
confidence of all who made his acquaintance. He was a man of strong
common sense--great experience--a close observer of men and things--an
admirable disciplinarian--a brave and prudent officer. With a robust
frame and iron constitution--he was able to endure the proverbial
fatigues and privations of the American army. He was remarkably
abstemious--living mostly on bread and water. His industry and zeal in
the glorious cause he had espoused were worthy of all praise. He was up
early and late and spent all his leisure from official duty in writing
in some retired place. Unfortunately his writings were lost and the
subject matter was known to no one but himself.

The brilliant career of this noble patriot soldier was closed at the
battle of Camden, S. C. He there commanded the right wing of the
American army composed of regulars. The left wing was composed of
militia who fled at the sight of the red coats advancing with fixed
bayonets--as terrified as young horses at a locomotive. Not so with the
right wing. Although contending against overwhelming numbers they stood
their ground and fought like tigers. In his last desperate attempt to
seize the laurels of victory--the Baron fell helpless with eleven
wounds. In this prostrate condition a base attempt was made to pierce
him with several bayonets which was prevented by one of his
aids--Chevalier de Buysson--who threw himself over the fallen hero and
received the bayonets in his own body--exclaiming "_Save the Baron de
Kalb!_" The British officers interfered--saved him from instant death
and made him their prisoner. He was kindly treated by his captors and
survived but a short time. To an officer who expressed his sorrow for
his sufferings he replied--"I thank you for your sympathy--I die the
death I always prayed for--the death of a soldier fighting for the
rights of man."

In his last moments he dictated a letter to Gen. Smallwood who succeeded
him in command of his division. He expressed his ardent affection for
his officers and men--lauded their bravery which had forced admiration
from their enemies--urged them to persevere in the glorious cause of
FREEDOM until triumphant victory should perch upon their manly brows. He
then invoked a benediction on his beloved division--reached out his
trembling hand to Col. de Buysson--resigned his soul to God and closed
his eyes in death.

In that battle both armies suffered severely. Several others of the
American officers were killed--among them Col. Potterfield who was a
favorite of the whole army.

Baron de Kalb was a man of amiable disposition--modest and unassuming in
his manners--frank and generous in his intercourse--strictly moral and
temperate in his habits--was highly esteemed by all who knew him and
died deeply lamented. He was buried at Camden. His memory is cherished
by every friend of LIBERTY.

Some years after he had slumbered under the clods of the valley, Gen.
Washington visited his grave. He contemplated it thoughtfully for a few
moments and remarked--"So there lies the brave De Kalb--the generous
stranger who came from a distant land to fight our battles and to water
the tree of our LIBERTY with his blood. Would to God he had lived to
share its fruits."

In 1780 Congress caused a monument to be erected to his memory in
Annapolis, Maryland, with the following inscription,

                Sacred to the memory of the
                       BARON DE KALB,
        Knight of the royal order of Military Merit,
             Brigadier of the armies of France,
                        MAJOR GENERAL
      In the service of the United States of America.
          Having served with honor and reputation
                      For three years,
    He gave a last and glorious proof of his attachment
                to the liberties of mankind
                  And the cause of America,
  In the action near Camden in the State of South Carolina
                On the 16th of August 1780,
            Where, leading on the troops of the
                Maryland and Delaware lines
                  Against superior numbers
             And animating them by his examples
                     To deeds of valor,
              He was pierced with many wounds
          And on the nineteenth following expired
                In the 48th year of his age.
                        THE CONGRESS
              Of the United States of America,
        In gratitude to his zeal, services and merit,
                Have erected this monument.


Patriotism is one of the noblest attributes of man. It is the soul of
freedom--the fulcrum of liberty--the lever of independence. It soars
sublimely above self--is prompted by honest motives--aims at glorious
ends. It is the motive power of philanthropy and would gladly
consolidate the human family in one harmonious universal brotherhood by
the heavenly law of love which can fraternize the world. It is opposed
to all oppression--abhors all tyrants--rejoices in the promulgation of
liberal principles. Its desires to do good are diffusive as the sun
light--it is not confined to country--nation or caste. No sectarianism
can swerve it--no monarch suppress it--no obstacle paralyze it. The
patriot may be crushed in person by illegitimate power--the
principle--_never_. Chains and dungeons will kindle it to a brighter
flame--persecution will increase its volume. The history of all time
proves the truth of these assertions--they form a corollary firm as the
perpetual hills--incontrovertible as the problems of Euclid. The man who
is destitute of this noble attribute is a mere automaton. There is a
vacuum in his soul which nature abhors and all despise--except kings,
aristocrats and demagogues. Patriotism is the dread incubus that hangs
over thrones. The true patriot delights to see all basking in the
refulgent rays of rational liberty and is ever ready to peril life and
fortune in the cause of equal rights whenever the people of any nation
rise in their native dignity to reclaim them from oppressors.

Thus it was with Gilbert Mottier de La Fayette, born on the 6th of
September 1757 at the castle Chavaniac in Auvergne. Soon after the
birth of this son, his father fell at the battle of Minden. As childhood
dawned upon young La Fayette he exhibited talents of unusual strength
and vigor. Under the genial rays of science they rapidly burst from
embryo--budded, blossomed and ripened into fruit of the most perfect
kind. At the age of seven years he was placed in the college of Louis le
Grand at Paris. His rapid progress in the elements of his education
exceeded the fondest anticipations of his numerous friends. By his
modesty, urbanity and innate goodness of heart he gained the esteem of
all who knew him. He graduated at an early age and was made a page to
the queen and soon rose to the rank of a commissioned officer--an honor
then conferred upon none but those presumed to possess superior merit
and talent. At the age of seventeen he married the Countess Anastatie de
Noailles--one of the most beautiful and amiable ladies of France. With
kindred spirits they united splendid fortunes sufficient to support them
in princely style through a long life. They were in the enjoyment of all
the pleasures earth could give--favorites at the gayest court in
Europe--caressed and beloved by those they held most dear--an ornament
to every circle in which they moved. Mutual esteem gave a rich zest to
every enjoyment--their social felicity was complete. All things combined
to rivet La Fayette to his happy--his enchanting home. Nothing but the
loftiest patriotism--the purest philanthropy could have induced him to
burst these infatuating bands and peril his life, fortune and sacred
honor in the cause of human rights in a foreign country.

Amidst the fascinating allurements that surrounded him, this noble youth
paused, reflected and reasoned. Through the bright vista of the future
Columbus saw the cheering vision of a new world. Through the same clear
mirror La Fayette saw the sun of FREEDOM reflecting its refulgent rays
over Columbia's prolific land. A band of patriots had sounded the
clarion of LIBERTY. Echo had wafted it from Bunker's bloody mount to the
ears of this young hero. The thought that there was a remnant left in
the world who dared to assume their native dignity and strike for their
just rights enraptured his soul. Contrary to the wishes of his friends
and the King of the French, he resolved to fly to the aid of the
oppressed Americans and participate in the unfading glory of planting
the standard of FREEDOM in the western hemisphere. Nor did he split on
the rock of resolves and re-resolves where many waste away their lives.
He at once proposed to the American Commissioners, then in Paris, to
enter the army of Washington. They informed him of the recent adverses
of those who were struggling for Liberty. They could present no bright
picture to induce him to hope for laurels or emolument. It was not
necessary. Nobler motives incited him to action. He still resolved to
go. Anxious as were Messrs. Franklin, Dean and Lee to secure his
services, they had not the means to convey him to the scene of action.
Obstacles of various kinds were vainly thrown across his path. Impelled
to an onward course by the noble impulses of patriotism--no difficulties
were too great for him to surmount--no hardships too severe for him to
endure, no sacrifice of wealth too large for him to make. Embarrassments
strengthened the resolution he had formed to enroll his name with the
brave and the free, even should he perish in the attempt.

He immediately fitted out a vessel at his own expense--freighted it with
munitions of war and clothing--received letters of high commendation
from the American commissioners to the Congress of their bleeding
country and embarked secretly for the land of the pilgrim fathers in the
winter of 1777. He then looked forward with anxious solicitude to that
happy day when he should aid in unfurling the banner of freedom--in
planting deep the tree of liberty in a soil congenial to its growth and
take by the hand those bold and daring sages and heroes who had thrown
the stars and stripes to the breeze in defiance of despotism--resolved
on freedom or death. Nothing short of a deep, strong, inherent devotion
to liberal principles could have induced La Fayette to leave his native
country under the existing circumstances and peril everything in behalf
of strangers. In vain we search history for a benevolence so broad and
disinterested. Call it ambition if you please. Would to God the same
laudable ambition reigned triumphant in the breast of every human being.
We should then see tyrants trembling--thrones crumbling--crowns
falling--fetters bursting and the grand jubilee of FREEDOM celebrated
amidst the expiring groans of monarchy--the chaotic ruins of tyranny.
Call it a thirst for glory. Would to God that all who have figured
largely on the grand theatre of public action could have the same glory
emblazoned on the escutcheon of their names. A purer, fairer sheet of
biography would then meet the eyes of the present and generations to

On the 25th of April 1777 Lafayette and his companions landed in South
Carolina near Charleston and were warmly welcomed by Gen. Moultrie,
Major Huger and the little band of veterans around them. The destitute
condition of the American soldiers excited the sympathy of the Marquis.
He distributed clothing to those under Gen. Moultrie and a sword to each
of his officers. From Charleston he hastened to Philadelphia and
delivered his letters and despatches from the American Commissioners to
Congress. He offered himself as a volunteer--desiring to enter the army
with no remuneration except the proud satisfaction of enrolling his name
with the brave heroes whose motto was--LIBERTY OR DEATH. His unassuming
manners, patriotic sentiments, stern resolution, devotedness to the
cause and dignified bearing--combined to inspire confidence in all who
made his acquaintance. In July Congress passed a resolution accepting
his services and commissioned him a Major-General in the Continental
army. He immediately placed himself under the supervision of Washington
and commenced a brilliant career that gained increased lustre during a
long life of usefulness. Shortly after he entered the service he acted a
conspicuous part in the battle of Brandywine where he was wounded and
disabled for six weeks. In the battle of Germantown he proved himself a
cool, brave and skilful officer. He soon gained the full confidence of
Washington and was put in command of a choice corps of daring young men
selected by himself and was entrusted with several expeditions which he
conducted with great prudence and success and to the entire satisfaction
of Washington and Congress. On all occasions he exhibited talents of the
highest order. Discretion--the strong helm of human action, guided him
in all his actions.

At that period the question of maintaining American Independence was
truly problematical. Prospects darkened as time rolled on. The general
gloom was an impetus to this young patriot that impelled him to more
vigorous exertion. In the autumn of 1778 he returned to France and
exerted his influence in favor of a treaty of alliance and greatly aided
in consumating that _desideratum_. This imparted fresh courage to the
American army--then writhing under privations and distress that truly
tried the souls and bodies of men. Nothing short of an Almighty hand
could have sustained the Sages and Heroes of the Revolution and nerved
them to persevere in their noble undertaking until crowned with
triumphant victory. La Fayette returned in the spring of 1780 and was
followed by a French naval force in July which came to the rescue. A new
impetus was thus given to the cause of human rights in America. La
Fayette was put in command of the expedition against Lord Cornwallis in
Virginia. He found his troops in a naked, forlorn condition and Congress
without means to furnish them with the common comforts of an army. Upon
his own credit he borrowed money from merchants in Baltimore--purchased
a portion of the necessary supplies--appealed to the fair daughters of
the monumental city who responded nobly to the call. Their eyes and
needles brightened as they made up garments for the brave soldier
boys--soon the Marquis saw his men comfortably clad, fully
equipped--eager to drive the minions of tyranny from their blood stained

La Fayette took the field with a force far inferior to that of
Cornwallis who was the pride of his king and acknowledged no superior in
the science of military tactics. In the wary and sagacious "boy" as La
Fayette was termed by the veteran British General, Cornwallis found a
leader too formidable to be treated with contempt--too cautious to be
easily ensnared. He was constantly annoyed without being able to bring
his antagonist to a general action. Chagrined and disgusted he retired
to Yorktown and commenced formidable fortifications. As his army was now
the bulwark of England in America, the combined forces of the United
Colonies and France lost no time in concentrating in front of his
entrenchments. A vigorous siege was commenced on the 29th of September
1781. The British General felt that an awful crisis had arrived. By a
surrender--the Colonies were lost. A tremendous responsibility rested
upon him. His resistance corresponded with these high considerations.
His spirited defence was worthy of a better cause.

On the 14th of October it was found necessary to silence two redoubts
that were pouring a destructive fire into the works of the besiegers.
This was to be done with the bayonet. The young Marquis was selected to
lead the assault. The order was no sooner received than obeyed. He led
his men to the charge with the impetuosity of a tornado. Like a mighty
avalanche, rushing from the mountain top with the fury of Mars--they
bore down all opposition. Although the enemy were double in number--so
sudden and irresistible was the onset that they were all killed or taken
prisoners but six. Against such troops fighting for Liberty, Cornwallis
found it useless to contend. The injured Colonists had risen in their
might--a fearful retribution awaited him. The last ray of success was
expiring in the socket of hope--his cruel military career was about to
close in the new world. Keen and blighting anguish seized his tortured
soul in view of outrages committed upon an oppressed people. The cries
of murdered innocents rang through his ears--his courage lost its
equilibrium and was supplanted by despair. On the 18th of October the
proud hero of Britain surrendered his whole army to the illustrious
WASHINGTON and the brave LA FAYETTE--the champions of liberal principles
and human rights.

That signal victory closed the long, bloody, doubtful struggle. Several
nations promptly acknowledged the Independence of the United States. The
ensigns of royalty were banished from our shores--the star spangled
banner waved triumphantly over the land of the brave and free.
Washington and La Fayette mingled tears of gratitude and thankfulness
for their preservation, success and final deliverance. They richly
merited and freely received the plaudits of the American people and of
admiring nations. A gazing world looked upon them with ecstatic delight
as they stood on the loftiest pinnacle of fame in all the sublime
majesty of republican simplicity. They were among the brightest of the
dazzling luminaries of emancipation--the terror of tyrants--the hope of
FREEMEN. The consummation of Liberty was then and there proclaimed to
grateful and happy millions. Seraphs listened to the cheering news with
thrilling joy--carried the glad tidings to the unerring chancery of the
great Eternal where they received the sanction of Jehovah's high
authority and were recorded on the unfading pages of the book of lasting
renown in letters of gold by the Grand Scribe of Heaven. Echo caught the
talismanic sound and wafted it to the remotest bounds of every nation on
wings of mighty wind.

Having accomplished all in his power to establish the Independence of
our country La Fayette prepared to return to the bosom of his anxious
family in France. He had served more than six years and expended _one
hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars_ in the glorious cause he had
nobly, ardently, successfully espoused. He asked no pecuniary emolument
at the commencement of his services--he demanded no pay--presented no
account at their termination. He had a richer reward, more precious than
gold--more valuable than rubies--_the gratitude of the American nation_
deeply felt and strongly expressed. He had the invaluable satisfaction
of having contributed largely towards preparing a nursery for
freemen--an asylum for the oppressed. His conduct stood approved at the
dread tribunal of conscience.

    "The man who stands acquitted at that fearful bar
    Holds the first round prize the world has to give.
    'Tis like Heaven's sunshine--PRICELESS."

At his departure he received the highest tokens of respect from
Congress, the officers of the army and our nation at large. The richest
blessings of a kind Providence were invoked for him. He was received
with great enthusiasm on his arrival at home. He was hailed as a
prominent hero of the new world--the tried friend of Liberty--the
unyielding advocate of universal Freedom--the spotless patriot--the
brave and skilful officer--the hope of the down-trodden and oppressed in
the old world.

The success of the United States in shaking off the yoke of bondage had
its influence on the nations of Europe as a natural consequence. That
the people of France felt it _most_ is not surprising. The French army
had drank freely at the fountain of Liberty that had gushed out in the
United States. The holy flame of freedom was burning in their bosoms and
was soon communicated to their brethren at home. The insulating fire of
patriotism ran through the mass and the too resolved to be free.
Unfortunately for the cause of human rights they seized upon the
abstract principles of Liberty without learning the art of
self-government. They plucked the fruit before it was ripe--it
disorganized their system producing a raging fever and wild delirium. So
rapidly did the excitement rise that it was found necessary to convene
the States General--an assembly that had slumbered 172 years--the
dernier resort of that nation to suppress internal commotion. It
consisted of deputies chosen by the nobility, clergy and common people.
So terrific was the storm of passion that this august body trembled like
a reed shaken by the wind. Anarchy mounted its desolating car--mad
ambition rolled its mountain waves over reason and justice--malicious
jealousy sought its victims in every avenue--Jacobinism reared its hydra
head--the fountain of mercy was dried up--the bloody guillotine did its
fearful work. Civil war raged in all the plenipotence of exterminating
revenge--cruelty ceased only for the want of victims--the streets were
deluged with purple current. Such are the outlines of the first French
Revolution. The picture is filled with darker shades.

Amidst this scene of dreadful carnage--this tornado of angry
passions--La Fayette stood calm and undismayed. He commanded the
military and had their confidence. At one bold stroke he might have cut
off the cold hearted Robespierre--the cruel Mirabeau--the treacherous
Duke of Orleans--the ambitious Paine--the bloody Nero--Murat. Under
Washington and from his own innate goodness he had learned to soar above
revenge and practice humanity. For some time he paralyzed the efforts of
the various factions and succeeded in giving France a constitution
approximating towards republicanism. But the typhoid of faction had
become too firmly fixed on the body politic to be arrested in its
sanguinary career by this panacea. It gathered new strength as it
advanced. The awful whirlpool of boiling passion was fast drawing La
Fayette to its vortex of destruction. The National Assembly yielded and
became subservient to the Jacobins. Plans were suggested by which to rid
themselves of the man they most dreaded. At this alarming crisis he
exhibited moral and physical courage without a parallel. He repaired to
the National Assembly and in language bold and strong portrayed the
conduct of those whose wild ambition had brought upon France threatened
ruin and impending destruction. His dignified manner, unanswerable
logic, powerful eloquence, stern integrity, open frankness, anxious
solicitude and noble boldness filled the delegates and leading Jacobins
with awe and astonishment. They believed he had an armed force within
call to protect him. When he had finished his address he immediately
withdrew and resumed the command of the army then marching against the
Austrian Netherlands. Learning that he had gone, the National Assembly
became so courageous that they proscribed him and set a price upon his
head. Finding the wild disorder of his country beyond his control and
his life in jeopardy, he resolved to fly to the United States. With an
aching heart he left, with seven companions. In their flight they fell
into the hands of the Prussians and were delivered over to the
Austrians. After enduring every indignity and insult La Fayette was
thrown into a loathsome dungeon at Olmutz where a bed of rotten straw, a
broken chair and an old table constituted all the furniture of his
wretched apartment. There he suffered by privations and
disease--neglected and alone until he was so reduced that the hair fell
from his head and death seemed sure of an early victim. At the same time
his estate was confiscated by the Jacobins and his amiable wife thrown
into prison. To advocate him in France was a sure passport to the bloody

England, the United States and several other governments looked upon the
incarceration of La Fayette as a violation of the laws of nations, of
common justice and humanity. Washington and many others made great
exertions to obtain his release. The Emperor of Austria was inexorable.
The staple of his mind was adamant--he delighted in human misery. He had
caged the European Eagle of Liberty determined to immolate him slowly
but surely on the altar of revenge and crush the embryo buds of liberal
principles in the old world. A bold but unsuccessful attempt to rescue
the prisoner was made by Col. Huger and Dr. Bollman of South Carolina.
Its history is full of thrilling interest and does great credit to the
heads and hearts of its persevering and ingenious authors.

The amiableness and dignity of Madame La Fayette forced respect from the
bloodthirsty Jacobins who ultimately released her. Learning the forlorn
condition of her husband her native tenderness rushed upon her noble
soul like a mighty flood. She at once resolved to fly to him and share
in all the vicissitudes that awaited him. With her two daughters she
left France in disguise and arrived safe at Olmutz. Her application to
see her husband could not be granted unless she consented never to leave
the prison after entering it. With this inhuman decree she cheerfully
complied. The most brilliant imagination can but faintly conceive--the
strongest language can never portray to the life the thrilling--the
melting scene that followed. The sunburnt cheeks of the soldiers who
guarded the prison were flooded with the tears of sympathy and
compassion. With the two pledges of their love Madame La Fayette passed
the grating iron doors. The next moment she was clasped in the arms of
the companion of her youth. _My loyal husband_--was all she could utter.
_My dear father_--burst from his angelic daughters as they clung around
his emaciated form. _My dear wife--my lovely daughters_--passed his
trembling lips in broken accents--a flood of tears from each told a tale
of mingling woes and joys in the language of that mute eloquence which
casts words into the shade. That scene can never be presented in full
original force by the finest touches of the painter's pencil--the
boldest stroke of the poet's pen--the loftiest flights of historic
eloquence. At that meeting with his family the situation of La Fayette
in prison was more enviable than that of a king of nations or a
conqueror of worlds. The ministering angel--WOMAN--can convert a dungeon
into a paradise and light up a smile in the deepest aspect of woe.
Without her earth would be desolate--man miserable--a savage.

With Christian fortitude and heroic patience this affectionate family
bore their privations and sufferings. Madame de Stael has well
observed--"Antiquity offers nothing more admirable than the conduct of
Gen. La Fayette, his wife and daughters in the prison of Olmutz."

Fresh exertions were made to obtain the release of these innocent
sufferers. The question was agitated in the United States Congress and
in the House of Commons in England. Nothing could move the obdurate
heart of the tyrant who held them. They seemed doomed to waste away
their lives in that loathsome dungeon. God had otherwise determined. The
time was rolling on rapidly when they should be restored to liberty,
their friends and their home. The conquering Bonaparte humbled the proud
and cruel Emperor and compelled him to release these illustrious
prisoners. In the treaty of Campo Formio in 1797 it was expressly
stipulated that all the French prisoners at Olmutz should be immediately
liberated. The Emperor of Austria attempted to impose restrictions on
the future conduct of the Marquis. Amidst all his sufferings his dignity
and liberal principles remained unimpaired. He spurned all conditions of
a restrictive nature. His unconditional release occurred on the 25th of
August 1797 when he and his family again inhaled the exhilarating
atmosphere of Freedom. He had been in prison five years. His noble wife
and affectionate daughters had shared with him the miseries of a damp
dungeon twenty-two months. The release of these prisoners is one of the
brightest stars in the diadem of Bonaparte.

When the French nation became more tranquil La Fayette and his family
returned to the land of their birth. He located at La Grange and soon
gained a salutary influence over those around him. He did all in his
power to promote the interests of his country and the cause of human
rights. Although he was truly grateful to Bonaparte for his release from
a gloomy dungeon he believed he owed a duty to his nation paramount to
all private considerations. He opposed all his measures that he
considered dangerous to the prosperity and happiness of France. From the
time of his return to that of his last illness, La Fayette took a
conspicuous part in the civil and military departments of his country.
With an Argus eye he watched her destinies through all her convulsing
changes. The smiles of princes and the huzzas of the multitude could not
flatter him--the miseries of a dungeon and frowns of tyrants could not
depress him. Without those brilliant talents that dazzle and captivate
every beholder, like his revered Washington he possessed an uncommon
share of sound common sense, a clear head, a good heart, a
discriminating judgment that gave him a more universal influence than
any man then in Europe. His magic power over the enraged populace of
Paris during the Three Days' Revolution of 1830 has no parallel when we
consider the effervescent nature of the French people. In the short
period of seventy-two hours he restored tranquillity--formed a new
government and commenced a new era in the history of that impulsive
nation. He could then have been crowned King of France. To him crowns
were empty bubbles, expanding only to burst--airy phantoms, formed to
allure for a time--then vanish in abdication, chaos or blood.

When he visited our country in 1824 his reception at every point was an
earnest of the deep feeling of gratitude that pervaded the bosoms of our
people. The presence of no man ever elicited more enthusiastic joy in
any country. During his stay party spirit retired to its lair--all
united in paying the profoundest respect to the benefactor of our
nation--the companion of Washington--the noble philanthropist. In every
crowd La Fayette sought his surviving companions in arms who had fought
and bled by his side in the glorious cause of American Independence.
When he met them the scene was always interesting--sometimes affecting.
In some instances a simultaneous rush to each other at the moment of
recognition and the eloquent tears that rolled down their veteran cheeks
told what was passing in their kindred hearts more strongly than words
can express. It affords me great pleasure to state--that the finances of
our government were such at that time and the liberality of Congress in
such a state of expansion that La Fayette was remunerated for his
services and the large amount of money expended in obtaining our
Independence--reversing the adage--_Republics are always ungrateful_.
When he departed from our shores--bid a last farewell to his American
friends and our country--he left a painful vacuum in the hearts of
millions that was not speedily supplied. He was emphatically a man whom
the people admired, loved, and delighted to honor. He arrived safely in
France and continued to watch over her interests until the 18th of May
1834 when he took a violent cold in following on foot the remains of the
patriot Dulong, to Pere le Chaise, or Garden of the Tombs. So violent
was his illness that it baffled all medical skill and ended his eventful
and useful life on the 21st of May 1834. He died in full faith of a
blissful immortality in a better and brighter world. He expired at his
hotel in Paris.

The pageant of his funeral was of the most imposing character. He was a
member of the Chamber of Deputies at the time of his decease. The marked
attention and mingling tears of the members of that body--the deep
lamentations of the French and American people--the demonstrations of
grief by every civilized nation on receiving intelligence of his
death--combined to show the high estimation in which he was held by the
old and new world.

The grateful memory of La Fayette is held sacred by every friend of
Liberty. His history has no parallel on the Eastern continent. His
career was not tarnished with bold strides of misguided ambition or base
attempts at self-aggrandizement. He was consistent to the last. Compared
with his--all borrowed greatness is an empty show. Unblemished virtue
marked his bright career--philanthropy his whole course--integrity his
entire conduct--justice his every action. A calm resignation to the will
of God under all circumstances and a confiding trust in His wisdom added
a more brilliant lustre to all his noble and amiable qualities. Unborn
millions will read his biography and sing the praises of this great and
good man. He has left examples of human conduct worthy the contemplation
and imitation of all who move in the private or public walks of life.
His influence did not terminate with his existence. Ages to come will be
benefited by the rich fruits of his useful and monitory life. The sweet
incense of FREEDOM will continue to ascend from his hallowed grave in
cerulean perfumes with increasing fragrance until the old world shall be
revolutionized, regenerated and FREE. Coming generations will gaze upon
the bright picture of his history with enrapturing delight--the holy
flame of patriotism and the pale torch of Liberty now glimmering in the
old world will be replenished at the sacred tomb of LA FAYETTE.


The actions of men cannot be well understood without a thorough
knowledge of human nature. We must trace the map of the immortal mind,
learn the avenues of its circuit, follow it through the regions of
revolving thought, become familiar with the passions that influence and
control it--learn its natural desires, innate qualities, springs of
action--its multifarious combinations. We must understand its native
divinity, earthly frailty, malleability, expansions, contractions and
its original propensities. In addition to all this knowledge, to judge
correctly of the actions of an individual we must know the predominants
and exponents of his mind--the impress it has received from education,
the motives that impelled him to action, his propulsive and repulsive
powers, the ultimatum of his designs and his ulterior objects. With all
these guides we may still become involved in error unless we move within
the orbit of impartiality, divest ourselves of all prejudice and have
our judgments warmed by the genial influence of heaven-born charity.
With all these lights we should never pass judgment of censure upon any
person unless the good of community requires it or a court of justice
demands it. Could this rule be strictly adhered to by individuals and
the press--rays of millenial glory would burst upon the wilderness of
mind and cause it to bud and blossom as the rose. A peaceful and
quiescent rest would calm the angry feelings and boiling passions of
men, daily lashed to a foaming fury by the unnecessary and often
erroneous expressed opinions of others. On this point the Sages and
Heroes of the American Revolution were examples worthy of imitation.
Each one held most sacred the reputation of his co-workers. The few
violations of this principle were frowned upon with an indignity that
gave the recusants the Belshazzar trembles.

Among them no one was more tender of character than Francis Lightfoot
Lee. He was the son of Thomas Lee--born in Westmoreland county,
Virginia, on the 14th of October 1734. He was the brother of Richard
Henry Lee whose eloquence rose higher but whose reflections were no
deeper than those of Francis. In childhood he was admired for his
docility and amiable deportment--in youth he was the pride of every
circle in which he moved and when manhood dawned upon him he exhibited a
dignity of mind and maturity of judgment that all delighted to honor.

He was educated by the Rev. Mr. Craig a Scotch clergyman of high
literary attainment and profound erudition. Under his tuition the germs
of knowledge took deep root in the prolific mental soil of young Lee and
produced plants of rapid and luxuriant growth. The Scotch _literati_ are
remarkable for deep investigation, thorough analyzation and lucid
demonstration. I have never met one who was a pedant, a vain pretender
or a superficial scholar. Under such an instructor the intellectual
powers of Francis assumed a vigorous and healthful tone that placed him
upon the substantial basis of useful knowledge and enduring fame. He was
delighted with the solid sciences and spent less time in the bowers of
Belles Lettres than his Ciceronean brother. The history of classic
Greece and Republican Rome enraptured his mind with the love of liberty
and liberal principles. He read closely, thought deeply and investigated
thoroughly. He prosecuted his studies with untiring industry and became
an excellent scholar without the advantages of European seminaries to
which most of the sons of wealthy men were then sent to complete their
education. Imitating the examples of his elder brothers who had received
the highest polish of English gentilesse and French etiquette he became
a polished gentleman in his manners. Raised in the midst of affluence,
actuated by the purest ethics, free from a desire to participate in the
follies of the world, living in the peaceful enjoyment of those refined
pleasures that promote felicity without enervating the body or
corrupting the heart, the favorite of his numerous acquaintances--his
earthly happiness was of the purest kind. His mind richly stored with
scientific theory and with correct moral and religious principles, he
entered the school of experience and became emphatically a practical
man. Possessed of an ample fortune he could devote his time to what he
deemed most useful. Having early imbibed a love for rational liberty and
having fully canvassed the conduct of the British ministry towards the
American Colonies, Mr. Lee resolved to oppose the encroachments of the
king upon the rights clearly guaranteed by the English constitution. He
could not consent that the trappings of the crown, the pomp of the
courts, the extravagance of the ministry and the expenses of the
Parliament of Great Britain should be borne by the yoemanry of America
who were eloigned from the protection and fraternal feeling of that
power, deprived of participating in legislation, subject to the caprice
of every new cabinet created by the King, dragged from their native
homes to be tried by a foreign jury, oppressed by the insolence of
hireling officers, driven from under the mantle of constitutional rights
and treated as mere vassals of the mother country.

In 1765 he was elected to the house of Burgesses to represent Loudoun
county where his estate was situated. He at once took a bold stand in
favor of rational Liberty. Blessed with a strong and investigating mind,
a deep and penetrating judgment, a clear and acute perception, a pure
and patriotic heart, a bold and fearless disposition--he became one of
the most efficient advisers in the legislative body. He continued to
represent Loudoun county until 1772 when he married the estimable
Rebecca--daughter of Col. Taylor of Richmond county where he located
permanently. The same year he was elected from his new district and
continued to do good service in the house of Burgesses until he repaired
to the Continental Congress. Amidst the gathering storm of the
Revolution and the trying scenes that accumulated thick and fast around
him--he stood unmoved and undismayed. He advocated every measure
calculated to promote the independence of his country and was prolific
in plans for the accomplishment of that much desired object. As a member
of committees he had no superior. He was familiar with every form of
government and understood well the rights conferred by Magna Charta and
the British constitution. He was prepared to act advisedly and was
resolved to resist unto blood the illegal advances of the designing and
avaricious ministry. He made no pretensions to oratory, seldom spoke in
public but when so highly excited as to rise he poured upon his
opponents a flood of keen and withering logic that often made them

On the 15th of August 1775 Mr. Lee was elected to the Continental
Congress. A more expansive field was then opened before him. To do or
die--to live in chains or peril everything for Liberty had become the
dilemma. Columbia's soil had been saturated with the blood and serum of
Americans shed by the very men who had been cherished by their bounty
and fed by their labor. The dim flickerings of hope for redress and
conciliation were fast expiring in the socket of forbearance. The great
seal of the compact had been broken by the British ministry--the last
petitions, addresses and remonstrances were prepared--the final course
for the Colonies to pursue was soon to be determined. Inglorious peace
or honorable war were the two propositions. In favor of the last Mr. Lee
put forth the strong energies of his mind. Eternal separation from
England and Independence for America could only satisfy his views. Being
upon numerous committees his influence was strongly felt. Liberty had
become a _desideratum_ with him. When the proposition of final
separation from the mother country was submitted by his brother his soul
was raised to the zenith of patriotic feeling. When the Declaration of
Rights was adopted his mind was in an ecstacy of delight. His influence,
vote and signature told how pure and strong were his desires in its

He rendered essential aid in framing the Articles of Confederation that
governed Congress and the Colonies during the Revolution. This was a
subject of great delicacy and labor. Besides the work of the committee
it passed through thirty-nine discussions in the House. He contended
that the rights of contiguous fisheries and the free navigation of the
Mississippi river should be incorporated in the claims of the United
States in all propositions of peace. The wisdom and sagacity of his
position are now fully demonstrated. It was then opposed by some and not
duly appreciated but by few.

Mr. Lee was continued in Congress up to 1779 when he declined a
re-election and retired from the public arena to scenes more congenial
to him but less beneficial to the deliberations of the august body he
had long graced with his wisdom. His enjoyment of domestic life was
transient. Contrary to his wishes he was elected to the legislature of
his native state and repaired to the post of duty. After aiding in
removing the perplexing difficulties that embarrassed the government of
the Old Dominion he again retired to the peaceful retreat of private
life where he remained until April 1797 when he was summoned to appear
forthwith at the Bar of the God he loved and had honored through life.
Calm and resigned he bowed submissively to the messenger who bore the
mandate--bid his friends an affectionate farewell and took his departure
triumphing in faith with a full assurance of a joyful reception in a
brighter and better world. He died of pleurisy and was followed in a few
days by his wife. They had no children but their graves were moistened
by the tears of numerous relatives and friends.

In public life Mr. Lee was eminently useful--his private worth shone
with equal brilliancy. Always chaste, cheerful, amusing and
instructive--he delighted every circle in which he moved. Wealthy,
benevolent and liberal--he was the widow's solace, the orphan's father
and the poor man's friend. Kind, affectionate and intelligent--he was a
good husband, a faithful companion and safe counsellor. Polished, urbane
and gentlemanly--his manners were calculated to refine all around him.
Moral, discreet and pious--his precepts had a salutary influence upon
the minds of all who heard them and were not callous to good advice. He
spurned the slanderer, kindly reproved the vicious and by counsel and
example disseminated the principles of morality and religion. He was a
bright model of human excellence.

It has been erroneously stated that he was unfriendly to Washington. The
mistake of the writer probably arose from incorrectly associating Gen.
Charles Lee, who came from Wales in 1773, with the Lees of Virginia and
who was suspended from his command one year for disobedience to orders
at the battle of Monmouth. He was a brave officer and only made a small
mistake which he deeply regretted. The approval of the sentence was
voted for in Congress by Francis. After the adoption of the Federal
Constitution he was asked his opinion upon it. His answer shows his
confidence in Washington. "I am old and do not pretend to judge these
things now but one thing satisfies me it is all right--General
Washington is in favor of it and John Warden is opposed to it." Warden
was opposed to our Independence.

Let the shining examples of Mr. Lee be reflected forcibly on our minds
and lead us to do all the good in our power whilst we live and prepare
for a peaceful and happy exit from the abysm of time.


Rhetoric, as defined in the lexicons, as taught in the schools, as
practised in times of peaceful leisure--is not the kind that graced the
forum during the American Revolution. No studied or written speeches
were then crowded upon the audience to kill time or gain popularity.
Judge McKean remarked just before his death--"I do not recollect any
formal speeches, such as are made in Parliament and our late Congresses.
We had no time to hear such speeches--little for deliberation--action
was the order of the day."

School eloquence is very different from native heart-thrilling
soul-stirring rhetoric. The former is like the rose in wax without
odor--the latter like the rose upon its native bush perfuming the
atmosphere with the rich odors distilled from the dew of heaven. The
former is the finely finished statue of a Cicero or Demosthenes, more
perfect in its lineaments than the original--the latter is the living
man animated by intellectual power--rousing the deepest feelings of
every heart--electrifying every soul as with vivid lightning. The former
is a picture of the passions all on fire--the latter is the real
conflagration pouring out a stream of impassioned words that burn like
liquid flames bursting from a volcano. The former brings the fancy of an
audience into playful action--the latter sounds an alarum that vibrates
through the tingling ears to the soul and drives back the rushing blood
upon the aching heart. The former moves the cerebral foliage in waves of
recumbent beauty like a gentle wind passing over a prairie of tall grass
and flowers--the latter strikes a blow that resounds through the
wilderness of mind like rolling thunder through a forest of oaks. The
former fails when strong commotions and angry elements agitate the
public peace--the latter can ride upon the whirlwind of faction, direct
the tornado of party spirit and rule the storm of boiling passion. This
was the only kind of eloquence practised by the Sages and Heroes who
achieved our Independence. At such times school elocution is a
mockery--a vain show that disgusts men when the fate of millions is
suspended by a single hair. At such a crisis the deep fountains of the
soul are broken up and gush out in living streams of natural
overwhelming eloquence.

Among the powerful orators of '76 was Richard Henry Lee, son of Thomas
Lee, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on the 20th of January 1732.
His ancestors were among the early settlers of the Old Dominion and were
prominent in directing the destiny of the Colony. They were men of
liberal principles and at all times promptly resisted every encroachment
upon their rights. The arbitrary power exercised by Charles I. over his
European subjects which hurled him from his throne, was resisted by the
Lees. When Cromwell assumed the crown he was never recognised by
Virginia. The mandate that proclaimed the second Charles
King--originated with Lee and Berkley of the Old Dominion. The plan of
ultimate Independence was cherished by the elder Lees. Through the
bright vista of the future they contemplated the millennium of Freedom
in America. So strongly impressed was the father of Richard Henry with
this idea that he fixed in his mind the location of the seat of
government and purchased lands in the vicinity of Washington. By some
historians this act is called a paradox that philosophy has been
perplexed to explain. To my mind the solution has no perplexity. A man
of deep reflection and large intelligence does not draw his conclusions
alone from present appearances. He compares the past with the present
and makes deductions for the future. The historic map of the world is
covered with the rise, progress and extinction of nations, kingdoms and
empires. From the causes and effects delineated upon the same map, it
was the natural conclusion of a penetrating mind that the expansive
territory of this country, with all the bounties of nature lavished upon
it, must eventually become so densely populated that its physical force
would be too powerful for any European country to hold dominion over it.
The geographical centre was also plain as the settlements were then
progressing. This prophecy, as it has been termed, was the result of
deep thought arriving at conclusions drawn from the unerring laws of
nature, showing that Mr. Lee possessed an analyzing mind that moved in
an extensive orbit.

Richard Henry Lee commenced his education at Wakefield, Yorkshire,
England and remained in that kingdom until he completed it. He returned
a finished scholar, an accomplished gentleman with a reputation
untarnished by vice or folly. From his childhood honesty and morality
were his darling attributes--he delighted in reposing under the ethic
mantle. During his absence his innate republicanism did not become
tinctured with the farina of European courts or the etiquette of
aristocracy. In classic history he found the true dignity of man
portrayed--his inalienable rights delineated. In the philosophy of Locke
he saw the rays of light reflected upon human nature--the avenues of the
immortal mind opened to his enraptured vision. In the Elements of Euclid
the laws of demonstration were presented to his delighted understanding
and gave fresh vigor to his logical powers. Endowed with these
qualifications he was prepared to enter upon the great theatre of public
action and adorn the circle of private life.

His first public act was in raising a company of troops and tendering
his services to Gen. Braddock. That proud Briton considered the
Provincials puerile and declined the proffered aid. His fate is a matter
of history. In 1757 Mr. Lee was appointed a Justice of the Peace and
President of the Court. Shortly after he was elected to the House of
Burgesses and made himself thoroughly acquainted with the laws of
legislation and government--the true policy and various interests of the
colony and with the rules of parliamentary proceedings. Retarded by an
almost unconquerable diffidence, he took very little part in debate at
first. It was not until he became excited by a subject in which he felt
a deep interest that his Ciceronean powers were developed. A bill was
before the House imposing a duty on the importation of slaves into
Virginia--virtually amounting to a prohibition. It was strongly opposed
by several influential members. Mr. Lee became roused and poured upon
his astonished audience such a flood of burning eloquence against the
importation of human beings to be made slaves, that his opponents
trembled as they listened. In vivid colors he painted the cruelties of
Cortes in South America, the Saracens in Spain and passed through the
dark catalogue of monsters who had disgraced humanity with
barbarism--then pointed his colleagues to the darker blot--the more
barbarous practices that branded with infamy the unhallowed slave-trade
then monopolized by mother Britain. He pointed to the bloody scenes of
other times when the physical force of the slaves had enabled them to
rise and crush their masters at one bold stroke. By stopping the
traffic, the evil entailed upon them might be provided for and the
certain and dreadful consequences of a constant influx from Africa be
warded off. His eloquence was applauded but his philanthropic views were
voted down by the friends of the crown. The trade was virtually
originated and long continued by Great Britain, now so loud in
complaints against us for not at once providing for an evil entailed by
her. Had this bill passed, her revenue would have been less and
thousands of Africans left at their peaceful homes. O! shame where is
thy blush!

This powerful effort raised Mr. Lee to the rank of the Cicero of
America. The exposure of the base corruptions practised by Mr. Robinson,
then treasurer of the Colony, was the next important service rendered by
him. As this was an attack upon the aristocracy, it required much skill,
boldness and sagacity to introduce the probe successfully. This he did
in a masterly manner and proved clearly that the treasurer had
repeatedly re-issued reclaimed treasury bills to his favorite friends to
support them in their extravagance by which the Colony was robbed of the
amount by their payment a second time without a _quid pro quo_
[equivalent.] For this bold act Mr. Lee was applauded by every honest
man--hated and dreaded by public knaves.

When Charles Townshend laid before the British Parliament the odious and
more extensive plan of taxing the American colonies which Mr. Grenville
called _the philosopher's stone_, Mr. Lee was among the first to sound
the alarm. Within a month after the passage of the preliminary Act in
Parliament followed by a revolting catalogue of unconstitutional and
oppressive laws, he furnished his London friends with a list of
arguments against it sufficient to convince every reasonable man of the
injustice and impolicy of the measure. When Patrick Henry proposed his
bold resolutions against the Stamp Act in 1765 Mr. Lee gave them the
powerful aid of his eloquent and unanswerable logic. He was very active
in the formation of associations to resist the encroachments of the
crown. He aided in compelling the collector of stamps to relinquish his
office, deliver up his commission and the odious stamp paper. The people
were advised not to touch or handle it. His pen was also ably used and
produced many keen, withering, logical, patriotic, pungent essays that
had a salutary influence upon the public mind. He corresponded with the
patriots of New York and New England. According to the testimony of Col.
Gadsden of S. C. and the public documents of that eventful era, Mr. Lee
was the first man who proposed the Independence of the colonies. He had
unquestionably imbibed the idea from his father whose ancestors had
predicted it for the last hundred years and had probably handed it down
from sire to son. In a letter from Richard Henry Lee to Mr. Dickinson
dated July 25th 1768 he proposes upon all seasonable occasions to
impress upon the minds of the people the necessity of a struggle with
Great Britain "_for the ultimate establishment of independence--that
private correspondence should be conducted by the lovers of liberty in
every province_." His early proposition in Congress to sever the
material ties was considered premature by most of the friends of
Liberty. He had long nursed this favorite project in his own bosom--he
was anxious to transplant its vigorous scions into the congenial bosoms
of his fellow patriots.

Soon after the House of Burgesses convened in 1769, as chairman of the
judiciary committee, Mr. Lee introduced resolutions so highly charged
with liberal principles calculated to demolish the Grenville
superstructure and reduce to dust his talismanic _philosopher's stone_,
that they caused a dissolution of the House and concentrated the wrath
of the British ministry and its servile bipeds against him. The rich
fruits of their persecution were the formation of non-importation
associations, committees of safety and correspondence and the
disaffection of the English merchants towards the mother country in
consequence of the impolitic measures calculated to prostrate their
importing and exporting trade. Lord North now assumed the management of
the grand drama of oppression and laid more deeply the revenue plan. By
causing a repeal of the more offensive Acts he hoped to lull the storm
of opposition that was rapidly rising and prepare for more efficient
action. Had the Boston Port Bill been omitted his dark designing
treachery might have succeeded more triumphantly. This fanned the
burning flame of resentment to a white heat. It spoke in language too
plain to be mistaken--too strong to be endured.

In 1774 Mr. Lee was a delegate to the Congress convened at Philadelphia.
At that memorable meeting he acted a conspicuous part. After Patrick
Henry had broken the seal that rested on the lips of the members as they
sat in deep and solemn silence, he was followed by Mr. Lee in a strain
of _belles-lettres_ eloquence and persuasive reasoning that took the
hearts of his audience captive and restored to a calm the boiling
agitation that shook their manly frames as the mountain torrent of
Demosthenean eloquence was poured upon them by Henry. He was upon the
committee that prepared an address to the king--the people of Great
Britain and to the Colonies. Those documents were written by him and
adopted with but few amendments. He was upon the committee that prepared
the address to the people of Quebec and upon the committee of rights and
grievances and non-intercourse with the mother country. In the warmth of
his ardor he proposed several resolutions that were rejected because
considered premature at that time--not that the purity of his motives
were doubted. Many of the members still hoped that timely redress of
grievances would restore peace. They had clearly and forcibly set forth
their complaints and desires and could not yet be persuaded that
ministers were madly bent on ruin. For solidity of reasoning, force of
sagacity and wisdom of conclusion--the proceedings of that Congress
stand without a parallel upon the historic page. So thought Lord
Chatham, Burke and many of the wisest English statesmen at that time.

In 1775 Mr. Lee was unanimously elected to the Virginia Legislature
where the same zeal for Liberty marked his bold career. He received a
vote of thanks for his noble course in Congress and was made a delegate
for the next session. A more congenial field now opened for this ardent
patriot. Temporizing was no longer the order of the the day. Vigorous
action had become necessary. His zeal and industry had ample scope. With
all his might he entered into the good work. Upon committees--in the
house, everywhere he was all activity. In 1776 he was a member of
Congress. In obedience to the instructions of the Virginia Legislature
and his long nursed desires, on the 7th of June he rose amidst the
assembled patriots of the nation in the Hall of Liberty and offered the
resolution for the adoption of a Declaration of Independence. This
resolution he enforced by one of the most brilliant and powerful
displays of refined and forcible eloquence ever exhibited in our
country. On the 10th of the same month he was called home by the illness
of his family which prevented him from taking his place as chairman of
the committee upon his resolution agreeably to parliamentary rules. Mr.
Jefferson was put in his place. The wrath of British power against him
was now at its zenith. During his short stay at home an armed force
broke into his house at night and by threats and bribes endeavoured to
induce his servants to inform them where he could be found. He was that
night a few miles distant with a friend. They were told he had gone to

In August he returned to Congress and most gladly affixed his name to
that sacred instrument upon which his imagination had feasted for years.
He continued at his post until June 1777 when he returned home to
confute a base slander charging him with unfaithfulness to the American
cause in consequence of having received rents in kind instead of
Continental money. He was honorably acquitted by the Assembly and
received a vote of thanks from that body for his fidelity and industry
in the cause of freedom--rather a cooler to his semi-tory enemies.
During the two ensuing years his bad health compelled him to leave
Congress several times, but his counsel was at the command of his
colleagues at all times. Nothing but death could abate his zeal in the
good cause.

The portals of military glory were now opened to Mr. Lee. He was
appointed to the command of the militia of his native county and proved
as competent to wield the sword and lead his men to action as he was to
command an audience by his powerful eloquence. Defeated in the north the
British made a rush upon the Southern States. Whenever they approached
the neighbourhood under the charge of Mr. Lee they found his
arrangements a little too precise for their convenience and abandoned
their visits entirely. In 1780-1-2 he served in the Virginia
legislature. The proposition of making paper bills a legal tender--of
paying debts due to the mother country and of a general assessment to
support the Christian religion--were then before the House and excited
great interest. Mr. Lee advocated and Mr. Henry opposed them. From the
necessity of the case he was in favor of the first. Upon the sacredness
of contracts he based his arguments in favor of the second and from
ethics he drew conclusions in favor of the last. He said refiners might
weave reason into as fine a web as they pleased but the experience of
all time had shown religion to be the guardian of morals. He contended
that the declaration of rights was aimed at restrictions on the form and
mode of worship and not against the legal compulsory support of it. In
this Mr. Lee erred. He probably had forgotten that Christ declared his
kingdom was not of this world and that the great Head of the Christian
religion had for ever dissolved the bans of church and state by that
declaration. In other respects the position is untenable in a republican
government and can never promote genuine piety in any.

In 1784 he was again elected to Congress and chosen President of that
body. At the close of the session he received a vote of thanks for the
faithful and able performance of his duty and retired to the bosom of
his family to rest from his long and arduous toils. He was a member of
the Convention that framed the Federal Constitution and took a deep
interest in the formation of that saving instrument. He was a U. S.
Senator in the first Congress that convened under it and fully sustained
his previous high reputation. Infirmity at length compelled him to bid a
final farewell to the public arena. His last public services were
rendered in the legislature of his own state. On his retirement a most
flattering resolution of thanks for his numerous valuable services was
passed by that body on the 22d of October 1792. He then retired to the
peaceful shades of Chantilly in his native county crowned with a
chaplet of amaranthine flowers emitting rich odors lasting as time.
There he lived--esteemed, beloved, respected and admired until the 19th
of June 1794 when the angel of death liberated his immortal spirit from
its clay prison--seraphs conducted his soul to realms of bliss there to
enjoy the reward of a life well spent.

Mr. Lee was a rare model of human excellence and refinement. He was a
polished gentleman, scholar, orator and statesman. In exploring the vast
fields of science he gathered the choicest flowers--the most substantial
fruits. The classics, _Belles Lettres_--the elements of civil, common,
national and municipal law--the principles of every kind of government
were all familiar to his mind. He was ardently patriotic, pure and firm
in his purposes, honest and sincere in his motives, liberal in his
principles, frank in his designs, honorable in his actions. As an orator
the modulation of his voice, manner of action and mode of reasoning were
a _fac simile_ of Cicero as described by Rollin. He richly merited the
appellation--CICERO OF AMERICA.

His private character was above reproach. He possessed and exercised all
those amiable qualities calculated to impart substantial happiness to
all around him. To crown with enduring splendor all his rich and varied
talents--he was a consistent Christian--an honest man. As his dust
reposes in peace let his examples deeply impress our heart: and excite
us to fulfill the duties of life to the honor of ourselves, our country
and our God.


The patriotic sages and daring heroes of the American Revolution were
from different countries and of various pursuits. One feeling pervaded
the bosoms and influenced the actions of all--the love of LIBERTY. This
main spring of action was confined to no business or profession. All
classes who loved their country and hated chains flew to the rescue.
Self interest lost its potent powers and thousands pledged their lives
and fortunes to defend their bleeding country against the merciless
oppression and exorbitant demands of an unyielding monarch. No class of
men better understood the injustice of the mother country than those
engaged in commerce. Many bold spirits rushed from the counting house to
the forum and the field, resolved on victory or death.

Among them was Francis Lewis, born at Landaff, in the shire of
Glamorgan, South Wales, March 1713. His father was an Episcopal
clergyman, his mother was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Pettingal of the
same sect who officiated at Cærnarvonshire in North Wales.

Francis was an only child and lost both his parents when only fifteen. A
maternal aunt, named Llawelling, became his guardian. She had him early
instructed in the Cymraeg language which he never lost. He was
subsequently sent to a relative in Scotland where he was taught the
original Celtic language. From there he entered the Westminster school
at London and became a good classical scholar. He then entered a
counting house and became thoroughly acquainted with the entire routine
of commercial transactions which prepared him to enter into business
understandingly and with safety.

When arrived at his majority he inherited a small fortune which he laid
out in merchandize and embarked for New York where he arrived in the
spring of 1735. He found his stock too large for that city--entered into
partnership with Edward Annesley, leaving with him a part of his goods,
proceeding with the balance to Philadelphia. At the end of two years he
settled permanently in New York and married Elizabeth Annesley, sister
of his partner in trade. To these ancestors may be traced the numerous
and respectable families of the same name now residing in and about New

Commercial transactions frequently called Mr. Lewis to the principal
ports of Europe and to the Shetland and Orkney Islands. He was twice
shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland. His great industry, spotless
integrity and skill in business, gave him a high position in commercial
circles, showing clearly the great advantage derived from a thorough
apprenticeship in business before a young man sets up for himself.

At the commencement of the French war he was the agent for supplying the
British army with clothing. At the sanguinary attack and reduction of
Oswego by the French troops under Gen. Dieskau, Mr. Lewis was standing
by the side of Col. Mersey when he was killed. He was taken prisoner and
held a long time by the Indians enduring the severest sufferings. As a
small compensation the British government granted him five hundred acres
of land.

Mr. Lewis was among the early and determined opposers to the unjust
pretensions of the British ministers. He was a distinguished and active
member of the Colonial Congress that assembled in New York in the autumn
of 1765 to devise and mature measures to effectuate a redress of
injuries. A petition was prepared to the King and House of Commons and a
memorial to the House of Lords. The language was respectful but every
line breathed a firm determination no longer to yield to injury and
insult. The chrysalis of the Revolution was then and there formed. The
eruptions of the volcano occasionally subsided but as the lava of
insubordination would again burst out the crater was enlarged and the
volume increased until the whole country became inundated by the
terrific flood of war, red with the blood of thousands.

In 1771 Mr. Lewis visited England and became familiar with the feelings
and designs of the British ministry. From that time he was fully
convinced that the infant Colonies in America could never enjoy their
inalienable rights until they severed the parental ties that bound them
to the mother country. On all proper occasions he communicated his views
to the friends of freedom and did much to awaken his fellow citizens to
a just sense of impending dangers.

When it was determined to convene the Continental Congress Mr. Lewis was
unanimously elected a member by the delegates convened for that purpose
on the 22d day of April 1775. He immediately repaired to the Keystone
city and entered upon the important duties assigned him. The following
year he was continued in Congress and recorded his name upon the chart
of Independence. His great experience in commercial and general business
united with a clear head, a patriotic heart, a matured and reflecting
mind richly stored with intelligence--rendered him a useful and
influential member. As an active and judicious man on business
committees he stood pre-eminent. As a warm and zealous advocate of his
country's rights he had no rival.

He was continued a member of Congress to April 1779 when he obtained
leave of absence. He had suffered much in loss of property which was
wantonly destroyed by the British troops.

Time or angel's tears can never blot out the damning stigma that rests
upon the escutcheon of Great Britain for personal abuse and the wanton
destruction of private property during the Revolutionary War. Talk of
savage barbarity. He is a Pagan and knows none but his own mode of
warfare. England has professed to be the conservatory of Christianity
for centuries. Compared with the brutality of her armies in America,
looking at her in the light of even a _civilized_ nation, savage
barbarity is thrown in the distance so far that it could not be seen
through a microscope of a million power.

Not content with destroying the property of Mr. Lewis, the British
seized his unprotected wife and placed her in close confinement without
a bed--a change of clothes--almost without food and exposed to the
cowardly and gross insults of wretches who were degraded so far below
the wild man of the wilderness, that could an Archimedian lever of
common decency have been applied to them with Heaven for a fulcrum and
Gabriel to man it, they could not have been raised, in a thousand years,
to the grade of common courtesy. No true American can trace the
cruelties of the British troops during the times that verily tried men
and women's souls, without having his blood rush back upon his aching
heart--his indignation roused to a boiling heat.

Mrs. Lewis was retained in prison several months and finally exchanged,
through the exertions of Gen. Washington, for a Mrs. Barrow, the wife of
a British paymaster retained for the express purpose but treated in the
most respectful manner and made perfectly comfortable with a respectable
family. The base imprisonment of Mrs. Lewis caused her premature death.

At the close of the war Mr. Lewis was reduced from affluence to poverty.
He had devoted his talents, his property to the cause of Liberty and
what was infinitely more--the wife of his youth--the mother of his
children had been brutally sacrificed by the hyenas of the crown.
Notwithstanding these heart rending misfortunes the evening of his life
was made comfortable by his enterprising children and on the 30th day of
December 1803, calm and resigned, peaceful and happy, he closed his
eventful and useful life.

He left a well earned fame that will survive, unimpaired, the
revolutions of time. His private character was a fair unsullied sheet as
pure and valued as his public life was useful and illustrious. As a man
of business he stood in the front rank. He was the first merchant who
made a shipment of wheat from America to Europe. He was the pioneer in
the transporting trade. He was a full man in all that he undertook. His
shining examples are worthy of our imitation in all the walks of a good
and useful life.


Men often originate and engage in transactions that produce results in
direct opposition to their desires. Religious persecution scattered the
primitive Christians to various parts of the world and instead of
annihilating the doctrines of the Cross they were thus more widely
spread over the earth. For the enjoyment of the liberty of conscience
the emigrants to New England left their native homes. For the same
reason the Huguenots of France fled before the blighting edict of Nantes
in 1685, many of them settling in the city of New York. To the
persecuted and oppressed--America was represented as a land of rest.
Immigrants poured in upon our shores from France, Holland, Germany,
England, Ireland and Scotland--among whom were many eminent for piety,
intelligence and liberal principles. They were also men of courage and
fortitude, at that time considered necessary requisites in the perilous
undertaking of leaving the old for the new world. Among those who came
to our country were men of all the learned professions, the liberal arts
and sciences, trades and occupations.

Robert Livingston was the son of an eminent Scotch divine who died in
1672. Robert then came to this country and obtained a grant for the
manor along the Hudson River. He had three sons--Philip, father of the
present subject--Robert, grandfather of Chancellor Livingston, and
Gilbert, grandfather of the Rev. Dr. John H. Livingston.

Philip, the subject of this brief sketch, was born at Albany on the 15th
of January 1716. He was one of the few who enjoyed a collegiate
education at that period. After his preparatory studies he entered Yale
College and graduated in 1737. He had strong native talent improved by
the lights of a liberal education. Religion and moral rectitude prepared
him for a career of usefulness. In those days of republican simplicity
and common sense the graduates of an American college did not believe
themselves licensed to ride rough shod over those whose literary
advantages were less--nor did they believe themselves exonerated from
the field, the shop and the counting house and destined only for the
learned professions. They thought it no disparagement to apply
themselves to agricultural, mechanical and commercial pursuits and wear
apparel spun and wove by the hands of their noble mothers and hale
sisters. An enervating change is visible.

Mr. Livingston engaged extensively and successfully in mercantile
business in the city of New York and became noted for punctuality,
honesty and fair dealing. Reposing full confidence in his integrity,
_then_ a necessary passport to public honors, his fellow citizens
elected him an alderman in 1754, which office he filled for nine
consecutive years, doing much to promote the peace and prosperity of the
city. In 1759 he was elected to the colonial assembly which had
important business on hand. Great Britain was at war with France which
brought the northern Colonies in contact with the French and Indians.
Twenty thousand men were to be raised by the colonials to guard the
frontier settlements and carry the war into the Canadas. The province of
New York raised 2680 men and 250,000 pounds to aid in the proposed

Mr. Livingston took an active and judicious part in these deliberations.
He introduced laws for the advancement of commerce, agriculture and
various other improvements--manifesting a sound judgment and liberal
views. He was an active member on the Committee of Foreign Relations
that wisely selected Edmund Burke to represent the interests of the
Colony in the British Parliament. Through the lucid communications of
Mr. Livingston that celebrated statesman and friend to America was made
thoroughly acquainted with the situation, feelings and interests of the

After the dissolution of the Assembly by the death of George II. Mr.
Livingston was elected to the one organized under the new dynasty. In
1761 he wrote an answer to the message of Lieutenant Governor Colden,
pointing out, in bold but respectful language, the oppressions and
infringements of the British ministry upon colonial rights. He at once
became the nucleus around which a band of patriots gathered and formed a
nut too hard to be cracked by the sledgehammer of monarchy. The governor
uniformly dissolved the Assembly at the commencement of its session if
he found a majority of the members were liberals.

In 1768 the Assembly consisted of the brightest luminaries of talent
then in the Colony. Mr. Livingston was unanimously elected Speaker.
Discovering that a majority of the members were not pliant enough for
tools nor submissive slaves, Governor Moore dissolved them and ordered a
new election. He succeeded in obtaining a majority of creeping things
but patriots enough were elected to hold the minions of the crown in
awe. Disgusted at the tyranny of the governor, Mr. Livingston declined a
re-election in the city but was returned to the Assembly by the people
upon his manor. On mature deliberation he took his seat but was objected
to because not a resident of the district for which he was elected. The
Argus eyes of the patriots quickly discovered that by this very plan the
governor had succeeded in obtaining a majority in his favor--most of his
creatures being in the same predicament. To save their own glass houses
from a smash they withdrew their objection to Mr. Livingston. During the
session he offered a resolution setting forth the grievances of his
countrymen and the violation of chartered rights. This gave great
umbrage to the adherents of the crown and they determined to expel him
from his seat on the ground of his non-residence in the district he
represented. This was done by a vote of 17 to 6, a very large majority
of the members being in the same situation. This blind act was on par
with the whole course of the infatuated ministry and their hirelings. It
constituted a thread in the web that England wove to make a straight
jacket for herself.

A wider field now opened for Mr. L. He was elected to the first
Congress at Philadelphia and became a brilliant star in the galaxy of
national patriots. He was one of the committee that prepared the
spirited address to the British nation and roused from their lethargy
those whose attention had not been turned to the all important subjects
then in agitation--involving a nation's rights and a nation's wrongs. He
was continued a member of Congress and when the grand birthday of our
nation arrived--aided in the thrilling duties of the occasion--invoked
the smiles of Heaven upon the new swathed infant and gave the sanction
of his name to the Magna Charta that secured to our nation a towering
majesty--a sublime grandeur before unknown.

In 1777 he was a member of the convention that framed the constitution
of New York. He was elected to the Senate and attended the first
legislature of the empire state. The same year he was elected to
Congress, then in session at York, Penn. having been compelled to flee
before the conquering foe. Deeply afflicted with _hydro-thorax_ [dropsy
of the chest] he felt that his labors must speedily close. It was in the
spring of 1778 when the dark mantle of gloom hung over the bleeding
Colonies. Under these circumstances he was willing to devote his last
hours to the interest of his beloved country. He had freely given her
his best services and a large portion of his pecuniary means. His family
had fled to Kingston on the approach of the enemy. He repaired there to
arrange his private business in the best possible manner. He wrote a
valedictory letter to his friends at Albany--urged them to remain firm
in the cause of Liberty--trust in God for deliverance and bade them an
affectionate--a final farewell. He then clasped his lovely wife and dear
children to his bosom for the last time on earth--commended them to
Heaven's guardian care--gave them a look of tenderness--a fervent kiss
and was gone.

On the 5th of May he took his seat in Congress, exhausted and feeble,
but determined to remain at his post until the lamp of life should burn

Although standing on the confines of eternity, his zeal in the cause of
human rights shone brightly to the last. For himself he could not
anticipate the enjoyment of the fruit of his numerous and protracted
toils but for his family and his countrymen he felt deeply--hoped
ardently. He had full confidence that Independence would be sustained
and that a glorious Republic would rise upon the ruins of monarchy.

In June his health failed rapidly and on the 12th of that month, 1778 he
yielded to the monarch Death to whom he owed a momentary
allegiance--paid the debt--took a release and a passport to mansions in
the skies. He was buried the same day with all the mournful honors due
to his great worth--deeply lamented by all the friends of freedom. His
amiable wife was not with him but he had a friend that sticketh closer
than a brother--one that had been his stay and support in every hour of
trial and smoothed the pillow of death--RELIGION. Angels waited for the
transit of his immortal soul--opened wide the gates of Heaven to let the
patriot in--the King of glory decked him with a robe of white, enrolled
his name in the book of life and crowned him with that peaceful rest
which is the reward of a pure heart and a virtuous life.

The private character of Mr. Livingston was a continued eulogy upon
virtue, philanthropy, benevolence, urbanity, integrity, nobleness,
honesty, patriotism, consistency and all the leading qualities that
render man dignified on earth and fit for Heaven.

His public career was an exemplification of all the noble qualities that
render a patriot complete and endear him to a nation of freemen. With
such men to wield the destiny of our expanding nation--our country is
safe--our UNION secure.


The prudent man soars in peerless majesty above the trifling vanities
and corrupting pleasures of this world and lives in constant readiness
to enter the mansions of bliss beyond this vale of tears. He regards the
past, present and future in the light of Revelation and views mankind in
the bright sunshine of charity--exemplifies the golden rule in his
intercourse with the world. He investigates impartially, reasons
logically--condemns reluctantly. Prudence is not the necessary result of
shining talents, brilliant genius or great learning. A profound scholar
may astonish the world with scientific discoveries--pour upon mankind a
flood of light--enrapture the immortal mind with theological
eloquence--point erring man to the path of rectitude and render himself
powerless by imprudent conduct. One grain of prudence is of more value
than a cranium crowded with unbridled genius or a flowing stream of vain
wit. Dangers gather thick around the frail bark of man without it and
harry him lo destruction. It is the real ballast of human life. So
thought and so acted the Sages of the American Revolution, else their
efforts would have been vain, their exertions powerless.

Among them stood the young patriot Thomas Lynch Jr. born on the
plantation of his father on the bank of the North Santee river in the
parish of Prince George S. C. on the 5th of August 1749. His paternal
ancestors were of Austrian descent and highly respectable. The direct
ancestor of young Thomas removed to Kent in England, from thence to
Ireland, a son of whom, Jonack Lynch, removed from Connaught to South
Carolina in the early time of its settlement. He was the great
grandfather of the subject of this short sketch--a man of liberal views
and pure morals.

In childhood Thomas Lynch Jr. was deprived of his mother by death. At
the proper age he was placed at the Indigo Society School at Georgetown,
S. C. where some of the most eminent sages of the south were educated.
Warmed by the genial rays of science the mind of young Lynch soon burst
from its embryo state and exhibited a pleasing and luxuriant growth. His
progress was rapid and highly gratifying to his anxious father whose
only child he was. At the age of thirteen he entered the far famed
school at Eton, Buckinghamshire, England, founded by Henry VI. At that
school he commenced his classical studios. After completing his course
there he was entered as a gentleman commoner in the University of
Cambridge where he became a finished scholar and polished gentleman,
esteemed and respected by his acquaintances. He then entered the law
temple and became well versed in legal knowledge and general science and
was well prepared to enter upon the great theatre of action.

During his stay he cultivated an extensive acquaintance with the whigs
of England and became familiar with the designs of British ministers
upon the Colonies. He investigated closely the relative situation of the
two countries and came home in 1772 prepared and determined to oppose
the oppressions of the crown and strike for LIBERTY. As the dark clouds
of the Revolution loomed up from the horizon and increased in fearful
blackness the firmness of his purpose increased. These were fostered by
his patriotic father and responded to by the people of the parish. Hand
in hand, shoulder to shoulder did the sire and son march to the rescue
resolved so put forth their noblest efforts to throw off the chains of

The first attempt of this young patriot to speak in public after his
return was at a large town meeting in Charleston. His father had just
addressed the assembled multitude on the subject of British oppression
and sat down amidst the enthusiastic cheers of his fellow citizens. His
youthful son then rose. A profound silence ensued. The eyes of the dense
mass were fixed upon him. For a moment he paused. The blood rushed back
upon his aching heart. It returned to its thousand channels--his bosom
heaved--the struggle was over--an impassioned strain of eloquence burst
from him that carried the insulating fluid of patriotism to the hearts
of his astonished and delighted audience with irresistible force. Tears
of joy ran down the furrowed cheeks of his father--bursts of applause
from the enraptured multitude made the welkin ring. Such men could not
remain slaves.

When the crisis arrived for physical action he was among the first to
offer his services. In July 1775 he received a captaincy and repaired to
Newbern, N. C. where he unfurled the star spangled banner and in a few
weeks enlisted a full complement of men. His father objected to his
acceptance of so low a grade to whom his affectionate son modestly
replied--"My present command is fully equal to my experience"--a reply
worthy the consideration of every young man who desires to build his
fame upon a substantial basis. If a man is suddenly placed upon a
towering eminence to which his is unaccustomed, the nerves of his brain
must be unusually strong if he does not grow dizzy, tremble,
totter--fall. If he ascends gradually--pauses at different points of
altitude as he advances, he may reach the loftiest spire, preserve his
equilibrium and stand in safety. Sudden elevations often prove

On his way to Charleston with his company Capt. Lynch was prostrated by
the bilious fever from which he never entirely recovered and was not
able to join his regiment for several months. Soon after this he
received intelligence of the dangerous illness of his father--then a
member of Congress at Philadelphia. He applied to Col. Gadsden for
permission to leave for that city which was refused on the ground that
his services were paramount to all private considerations. His
unexpected election to Congress to succeed his father, by a unanimous
vote of the Assembly, enabled him to leave at once. With great
diffidence he look his seat in the Congress of 1776 amidst veteran sages
and statesmen whose combined talents and wisdom are without a rival on
the pages of history.

On his arrival at Philadelphia he found his revered father partially
relieved from a paralytic attack and in August started with him for
home. They only reached Annapolis where the venerable sage died in the
arms of his son.

On entering the national legislature Capt. Lynch became a bold and
eloquent advocate for the Declaration of Independence and soon convinced
his senior colleagues that he had a full share of wisdom to conceive,
patriotism to impel and prudence to guide him in the glorious cause of
freedom. He cheerfully and fearlessly affixed his name to the Magna
Charta of our rights and did all in his power and more than his feeble
health would warrant to advance the best interests of his
excoriated--bleeding country. He was finally compelled to yield to
increasing ill health and relinquish his honorable station.

Medical skill proved futile and as advised by his physicians, he and his
accomplished wife embarked for Europe at the close of 1779 with Capt.
Morgan, whose vessel was never heard from after she had been a few days
at sea and then from a Frenchman who left her from some cause
unexplained and went on board another vessel. Soon after he left her a
violent gale came on and beyond all doubt the vessel went down with all
on board. Previous to embarking he made a will bequeathing his large
estate to three sisters in case of the death of himself and wife, having
no children.

The private character of this worthy man was pure and in all respects
amiable. Had his valuable life been spared his eminent talents and great
zeal promised important services to his country and an elevated rank
among the sages and patriots of the eventful era at which he commenced
his brilliant but transient career. Short as was his public tenure he
did enough to immortalize his name. Although his bright morning sun did
not reach its meridian, its splendor contributed largely in illuminating
the horizon of LIBERTY and shed a rich lustre over his name that will
render his memory sacred through all future time.

The brief career of Thomas Lynch Jr. admonishes us that life is held by
a slender cord and that exalted talents and splendid accomplishments,
like some rich flowers, often bloom just long enough to be gazed at and
admired--then close up their petals and hide their beauties for ever
from enraptured sight.


Great designs require the deep consideration of strong, vigorous and
investigating minds. Imposing events open a wide field for fame and
bring to view powers of intellect that would never unfold their beauties
under ordinary circumstances. Hence the brilliancy of talent that
illuminated the glorious era of the American Revolution. Many who became
eminent statesmen and renowned heroes during that memorable struggle
would have remained within the sphere of their particular occupation in
time of peace. The public gaze would never have been fixed upon
them--they would have passed away with a rich mine of undeveloped mental
powers. Hence the erroneous expression I have heard from men who do not
analyze all they read, hear and see--that we have no men among us _now_
with the exalted talents of the sages of '76. Just such an occasion
would explode the error.

That many of the patriots of that eventful period were men of unusual
ability and acquirements--I freely--proudly admit. That the momentous
transactions that engaged their attention served to add an unequalled
lustre to their names is emphatically true. The perils that encompassed
them--the dangers that surrounded them--the mighty work they conceived,
planned and consummated--all combine to shed a sacred halo around their
well earned fame.

Prominent among them was Thomas McKean, a native of Chester County,
Pennsylvania, born on the 19th of March 1731. He was the son of William
McKean who immigrated from Ireland at an early age. He placed this son
under the tuition of Rev. Francis Allison then principal of the most
popular seminary of the province. He was a gentleman of profound
erudition and science.

The intellect of Thomas budded and bloomed like the rose of spring. He
was a close student--his rapid attainments gave an earnest of a bright
future. He left the seminary a thorough linguist, a practical
mathematician, a moral philosopher, a finished scholar, an accomplished
gentleman--esteemed, respected and admired by his numerous friends.

He then commenced the study of Law under David Kinney, of Newcastle,
Delaware. He explored the interminable field of this science with
unusual success and was admitted to the bar under the most favorable
auspices. He commenced his professional career at Newcastle--soon
acquiring a lucrative practice and proud reputation. He extended his
business into his native province and was admitted to the Supreme Court
of Pennsylvania in 1757. His strict attention to business and superior
legal acumen made him extensively and favorably known. He avoided the
modern error of too many young lawyers who suppose an admission to the
bar closes the toils of the student. Fatal mistake my young friends. You
are at the very threshold of your reading. Relaxation is professional
suicide. This is a rock on which many have been shipwrecked in all the
learned professions. The laws of nature demand a constant supply of food
in the intellectual as well as in the physical economy. The _man_
requires more and stronger food then the _child_. The corroding rust of
forgetfulness will mar the most brilliant acquirements of science if
laid upon the shelf of neglect. Much study is required to keep up with
the march of mind and the ever varying changes produced by the soaring
intellect and reaching genius of man. It has been said that the basis
of law is as unchangeable as a rock of adamant. Of elementary law this
is true. It does not follow, _a priori_, that the superstructure is so.
Precocious legislators have made _that_ a labyrinthian maze. _They_ use
a political kaleidoscope in legislating and that not skilfully. It
puzzles _competent_ judges to arrive at a satisfactory construction of
statute laws. The _incompetent_--not few and far between--use the
instrument above named carelessly if not politically. Hence no lawyer
can succeed without an endless round of reading.

In 1762 Mr. McKean was elected to the Delaware Assembly from Newcastle
county and continued in that body for eleven consecutive years. He then
removed to Philadelphia. So much attached were the Delawarians to him
that they continued to elect him to their Assembly for six years after
his removal although he could not serve them in that. Under the old
regimen, he was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania and served
them conjointly in the Continental Congress.

In 1765 he was a member from Delaware to the Congress in New York. He
was upon the committee that drafted the memorable address to the House
of Commons. His patriotism, love of liberty and firmness of purpose were
fully demonstrated in that instrument and by his subsequent acts. He was
republican to the core--despised the chains of political slavery--the
baubles of monarchy and the trappings of kingly courts. He struck high
for Liberty and scorned to be a slave.

On his return from New York he was appointed Judge of the Common Pleas,
Quarter Sessions and Orphans' Court of Newcastle county. The Stamp Act
was then in full _life_ but not in full force in Delaware. Judge McKean
was the first judicial officer who put a veto on stamped
paper--directing the officers of the courts over which he presided not
to use it, as had been ordered by the hirelings of the crown. He set
them at defiance and was sustained by the people of the nation. That
circumstance, trifling as it may _now_ seem to superficial readers, was
big with consequences. It was one of the entering wedges to the
Revolution that made an awful opening in the monarchical mass that was
ultimately split into atoms and annihilated by the wedges and malls of
the hard-fisted sons of America. From that time Judge McKean was hailed
as one of the boldest champions of Freedom--one of the ablest defenders
of his country's Rights.

He was a prominent member of the Congress of 1774. He had talent to
design--energy to execute and at once made himself useful. He was the
only man who served in the Continental Congress during the whole time of
its duration. He was a strong advocate for the Declaration of
Independence and promptly put his name to that revered instrument. When
it came up for final action, so anxious was he that it should pass
_unanimously_--that he sent an express for Mr. Rodney who arrived just
in time to give an affirmative vote.

Notwithstanding the arduous duties that devolved on him as a member of
Congress--of several important committees and Chief Justice of
Pennsylvania--so ardent was his patriotism that he accepted a colonel's
commission--took command of a Philadelphia regiment and marched to the
aid of Gen. Washington, remaining with him until a new supply of
recruits was raised. During his absence his Delaware constituents had
elected him to a convention to form a constitution. On his return he
proceeded to Newcastle, put up at a tavern and without consulting men or
books, hastily penned the constitution that was adopted by the
convention. Understanding the feelings and wants of the people--well
versed in law and republicanism--a ready writer, he performed the labor
in a few hours that has required a large number of men nearly a year to
accomplish in more modern times. How changed are men and things since
the glorious era of '76. How changed the motives that impel many
politicians to action--how different the amount of useful labor
performed in the same time and for the same money. _Then_ all were
anxious to listen--_now_ nearly all are anxious to speak. _Then_
legislators loved their country _more_ and the loaves and fishes _less_
than at the present day. I do not blame the politicians--it is their
trade and living. Office seeking has become a card game in which the
applicants are the pack--demagogues the players and the _dear_ people
and government the table played upon. The bone and sinew of our country
can and should block this ruinous game at once. We have as good men as
lived in '76 and a _few_ of them on duty. There should be no others
selected. They will not _seek_ office but we should be careful to seek
_them_ and cleanse the temple of our Liberty from political peculation
and venality. If our country is ruined it will be the fault of the mass.

On the 10th of July 1781, Judge McKean was elected President of Congress
but declined serving in consequence of his duties as Chief Justice of
Pennsylvania. He was then urged to occupy the chair until the court
should commence the next term. To this he assented and made an able
presiding officer. On the 7th of November he vacated the chair and was
complimented by the following resolution:--"_Resolved_--That the thanks
of Congress be given to the Honorable Thomas McKean, late President of
Congress in testimony of their approbation of his conduct in the chair
and in the execution of public business." His duties upon the Bench of
the Supreme Court commenced in 1777 and were extremely onerous. He did
not recognize the power of the crown and held himself amenable only to
his country and his God. An able jurist--an unbending patriot--at the
hazard of his life he punished all who were brought before him and
convicted of violating the laws of the new government. No threats could
intimidate--no influence reach him when designed to divert him from the
independent discharge of his duty. His profound legal
acquirements--ardent zeal--equal justice--vigorous energy and noble
patriotism--enabled him to outride every storm and calm the raging
billows that often threatened to overwhelm him. He marched on
triumphantly to the goal of Liberty and hailed the star spangled banner
as it waived in grandeur from the lofty spire of the temple of FREEDOM.
He beheld, with the eye of a sage, philosopher and philanthropist, the
rising glory of Columbia's new world. He viewed, with emotions of
pleasing confidence, the American eagle descend from the ethereal
regions beyond the altitude of a tyrant's breath and pounce upon the
British lion. With increasing vigor and redoubled fury the mighty bird
continued the awful conflict until the king of beasts retreated to his
lair and proclaimed, in a roar of thunder--AMERICA IS FREE! Angels
rejoiced--monarchs trembled--patriots shouted a loud--AMEN!!! The torch
of England's power over the Colonies expired in its socket--the birth of
a new nation was celebrated by happy millions basking beneath the genial
rays of the refulgent glories of the sun of Liberty. The harvest was
past--the summer ended--our country saved. The stupendous work of
political regeneration was accomplished--the Independence of the United
States acknowledged--an honorable peace consumated. Judge McKean then
sat down under his own fig tree to enjoy the full fruition of the
comforts resulting from his faithful labors in the cause of equal

He continued to discharge the important duties of Chief Justice up to
1799 illuminating his judicial path with profound learning, sound
discretion and impartial decisions. His Supreme Court opinions, based,
as they generally are--upon equal justice, correct law and strict
equity--delivered when the form of government was changed, the laws
unsettled, the stale constitution just formed, the Federal Government
under its Constitution bursting from embryo--are monuments of legal fame
enduring as social order--revered, respected--canonized.

He was a member of the convention that formed the constitution of
Pennsylvania adopted in 1790 and exercised a salutary influence in that
body. In 1799 he was elected Governor of the Keystone state and
contributed largely in adding new strength and beauty to the arch of
our Union. For nine successive years he directed the destinies of the
land of Penn--commencing at a period when the mountain waves of party
spirit were rolling fearfully over the United States with a fury before
not dreamed of. Amidst the foaming and conflicting elements, Governor
McKean stood at the helm of his commonwealth calm as a summer
morning--firm as a granite rock and guided his noble ship through the
whirling storm--unscathed and unharmed. He proved himself a safe and
skilful pilot.

For elegance and force of language--correct and liberal views of
policy--a luminous exposition of law and the principles of
government--his annual messages to the legislature stand unrivalled. The
clamors of his political enemies he passed by as the idle wind. The
suggestions of his friends he scanned with the most rigid scrutiny.
Neither flattery or censure could drive him from the strong citadel of
his own matured judgment.

The fawning sycophant--the designing demagogue he spurned with contempt.
By honest means only he desired the advancement of the party that had
elevated him to a post of honor. Open and avowed principles--fully
proclaimed and strictly carried out were frankly and without
prevarication or disguise submitted to the people by him. He was a
politician of the old school when each party had plain and distinctive
landmarks, significant names and fixed principles. Political chemists
had not then opened shop and introduced the modern mode of
amalgamation--producing a heterogeneous mass that defies the power of
analysis, analyzation or scientific arrangement. No one of the yclepped
classes is homogeneous.

Governor McKean respected those who honestly differed from him in
politics and had among them many valued friends. He was free from that
narrow minded policy based upon self, which is too prominent at the
present day among those who assume the high responsibility of becoming
the arbiters of the minds of their fellow men. His views were expanding,
liberal--broad--charitable. He aimed at distributing equal justice to
all--the rich and poor, the public officer and private citizen. He
preferred future good to present aggrandizement. To lay the deep
foundations of increasing and lasting prosperity in his own state and
through our nation was the object of this pure patriot, enlightened
statesman and able jurist. The vast resources of our country, her wide
spread territory, majestic rivers, silvery lakes, mineral wealth, rich
valleys, majestic mountains, rolling uplands, beautiful prairies,
extensive sea board, enterprising sons and her virtuous daughters--were
all arrayed before his grasping mind and passed in grand review. He was
firmly convinced that our people have only to be wise and good to be
great and happy. With this end in view he embraced every opportunity in
public and private life to inculcate those great principles of moral
rectitude, inflexibly virtue, purity of motive and nobleness of
action--that alone can preserve a nation. He cast a withering frown upon
vice in all its deluding forms. He exerted his strongest powers to
arrest the career of crime. He was a terror to evil doers and inspired
confidence in those who did well.

In 1808 he retired from public life. He had devoted forty-six years to
the faithful service of his country and had earned an imperishable fame.
He stood approved at the bar of his country--his conscience and his God.
He had acted well his part and contributed largely in raising our
country to a proud elevation among the nations of the earth. He outlived
all the animosities that a faithful discharge of duty too often creates.
On the 24th of June 1817 he resigned his immortal spirit to Him who gave
it and fell asleep in the arms of death as peacefully as a babe
slumbers. He died at Philadelphia.

The private character of Judge McKean was unsullied as the virgin sheet.
His person was tall and erect--his countenance intelligent, bold and
commanding--his manners urbane, gentlemanly and affable--his feelings
noble, generous and humane--his actions open, frank and republican. He
was a refined philanthropist, a sterling patriot, an acute philosopher,
an enlightened statesman, a profound lawyer, an impartial judge, an able
magistrate and a truly good man. Legislators, statesmen, magistrates and
judges--imitate the bright examples of this friend to his country--then
our Republic is secure--our UNION safe.


The patriots of '76 proved the purity of their motives in the pursuit of
emancipation more by _acts_ than _words_. They were a united band of
brothers who aimed at the general good of their _whole_ country--pledged
to make her free or perish in the effort. No local interests--no
sectional jealousies--no fire-brands of discord could _then_ disorganize
the phalanx of sages and heroes who struck for LIBERTY. Under the
guidance of Heaven they were crowned with victory. They purchased
FREEDOM with torrents of blood and millions of treasure. That sacred
boon they transmitted to us in pristine purity. Do we _all_ fully
appreciate this priceless legacy? Far from it. For years it has been the
foot-ball of reckless demagogues--the neglected nursling of our people.
Many _talk_ loud and long of their patriotism--sing the pæans of our
FREEDOM--laud the dear sovereign people to the skies--whose _acts_ too
plainly show that they look upon our UNION as a mere rope of sand and
not as an invaluable treasure to be preserved at all hazards. They look
upon the people as a mass of hood-winked worshippers at the shrine of
party spirit--not as those who can, should and _must_ banish them from
our councils or be plunged into the vortex of fearful destruction.
People of America! open your eyes to our true position! Look at the
mighty struggles, the herculean labors, the gigantic efforts of the few
pure patriots in our national council who have nobly warded off the
lightning thunderbolts of the disorganizers. See the upheaving throes of
the volcano that is rocking us in the consuming cradle of civil discord!
Ponder well the danger of concentrating men in Congress whose boiling
passions cannot be restrained by the safety-valve of reason--men who do
not prize our UNION above all other considerations--whose burning zeal
for local measures--party success and self interest would be their
ruling passion amidst the smoking ruins of the temple of our LIBERTY.
People of America! it is for you to perpetuate this expanding Republic.
You _can_ and _should_ preserve it. Banish all questions that can place
it in jeopardy--permit all agitators to remain at home--let the people
of each state strictly observe the eleventh commandment--then we may
fondly hope that our course may be onward and upward for centuries to

Among those who acted a noble part in the American Revolution and
exemplified patriotism by his acts--was Francis Marion who was born in
1733 near Georgetown in South Carolina. His early inclination led him to
embark on board a vessel bound for the West Indies at the age of
sixteen. During the voyage the vessel was upset in a gale and nothing
saved but the boat in which the crew and a dog took refuge. They had no
provisions but the raw flesh of Carlo and were out a week during which
time several of them died. The sufferings and perils then endured cured
Marion of his partiality for Neptune. As soon as possible he planted
himself on terra firma and devoted his time to agriculture until 1759
when he received the commission of a lieutenant under Capt. Moultrie who
was engaged in the expedition against the Cherokee Indians conducted by
Gov. Lyttleton. Two years subsequent Marion was raised to the post of
captain and served under Col. Grant in a second attempt to chastise the
Cherokees. At the commencement of the Revolution of Independence he was
on hand and ready for action. He was soon raised to the rank of major
and served under Col. Moultrie in his gallant defence of the fort named
in honor of that officer. He was then promoted to the rank of
lieutenant-colonel and commanded a regiment at the siege of Charleston.
In the early part of the siege one of his legs was fractured which saved
him a journey to the Spanish Castle in Florida where all the unwounded
prisoners were sent.

On his recovery he proceeded to North Carolina and was commissioned a
Brigadier General of the militia and became one of the severest scourges
the enemy had to encounter. He was enthusiastic in the cause of freedom
and imparted this enthusiasm to all who rallied under him. He was
remarkably shrewd, bold, energetic and persevering. With a small chosen
band around him he retired to the intricate retreats in the low grounds
of the Pedee and Black rivers, from which he would suddenly emerge and
strike a sanguinary blow into the ranks of the enemy at an unexpected
moment and retreat so quickly that they knew not from what direction he
came or where to follow him. Even his friends were often ignorant of his
location for days. He became a terror to the British army and led
detached parties into many a quagmire where they frequently surrendered
at discretion--knowing him to be as humane and generous as he was brave
and wary. Col. Horry relates the following pleasing incident of Marion.

"About this time we received a flag from the enemy in Georgetown S. C.
the object of which was to make arrangements about the exchange of
prisoners. The flag, after the usual ceremony of blindfolding, was
conducted into Marion's encampment. Having heard great talk about Gen.
Marion, his fancy had naturally enough sketched out for him some stout
figure of a warrior, such as O'Hara or Cornwallis himself, of martial
aspect and flaming regimentals. But what was his surprise when led into
Marion's presence and the bandage taken from his eyes, he beheld in our
hero, a swarthy, smoke-dried little man with scarcely enough of
thread-bare homespun to cover his nakedness and instead of tall ranks of
gay dressed soldiers, a handful of sun burnt, yellow legged
militia-men--some roasting potatoes and some asleep, with their black
firelocks and powder horns lying by them on the logs. Having recovered a
little from his surprise, he presented his letter to Gen. Marion, who
perused it and settled everything to his satisfaction.

"The officer took up his hat to retire. 'Oh no'--said Marion--'it is now
about our time of dining and I hope, sir, you will give us the pleasure
of your company at dinner.'

"At the mention of the word dinner, the British officer looked around
him, but to his great mortification, could see no sign of a pot, pan,
Dutch oven, or any other cooking utensil that could raise the spirits of
a hungry man.

"'Well Tom'--said the General to one of his men--'come give us our
dinner.' The dinner he alluded to was no other than a heap of sweet
potatoes that were snugly roasting under the embers and which Tom, with
his pine stick poker soon liberated from their ashy
confinement--pinching them every now and then with his fingers,
especially the big ones, to see whether they were well done or not.
Then, having cleansed them of the ashes, partly by blowing them with his
breath and partly by brushing them with the sleeve of his old cotton
shirt, he piled some of the best on a large piece of bark and placed
them between the British officer and Marion on the trunk of the fallen
pine on which they sat."

"'I fear sir'--said the General--'our dinner will not prove as palatable
to you as I could wish--but it is the best we have.'

"The officer, who was a well bred man, took up one of the potatoes and
affected to feed, as if he had found a great dainty--but it was very
plain he ate more from good manners than good appetite. Presently he
broke out into a hearty laugh. Marion looked surprised. 'I beg pardon
General'--said he--'but one cannot, you know, always command one's
conceits. I was thinking how drolly some of my brother officers would
look if our government were to give them such a bill of fare as this.'

"'I suppose'--replied Marion--'it is not equal to their style of

"'No, indeed'--quoth the officer--'and this I imagine is one of your
accidental dinners--a sort of _ban yan_. In general, no doubt, you live
a great deal better.'

"'Rather worse'--answered the General--'for often we don't get enough of

"'Heaven!' rejoined the officer--'but probably what you lose in _meal_
you make up in _malt_--though stinted in _provisions_ you draw noble

"'_Not a cent_'--said Marion--'_not a cent_.'

"'Heavens and earth! then you must be in a bad box. I don't see,
General, how you can stand it?'

"'Why, sir'--replied Marion with a smile of self approbation--'these
things depend on feeling.'

"The Englishman said--'he did not believe it would be an easy matter to
reconcile _his feelings_ to a soldier's life on Gen. Marion's
terms--_all fighting, no pay and no provisions but potatoes_.'

"'Why sir'--answered the General--'the _heart_ is all and when that is
much interested a man can do anything. Many a youth would think it hard
to indent himself a slave for fourteen years. But let him be over head
and ears in love and with such a beauteous sweetheart as Rachel and he
will think no more of fourteen years servitude than young Jacob did.
Well now this is exactly my case. I am in love and _my_ sweetheart is
LIBERTY. Be that heavenly nymph my champion and these woods shall have
charms beyond London and Paris in slavery. To have no proud monarch
driving over me with his gilt coaches--nor his host of excisemen and tax
gatherers insulting and robbing--gloriously preserving my national
dignity and pursuing my true happiness--planting my vineyards and eating
their luscious fruit--sowing my fields and reaping the golden grain and
seeing millions of brothers all around me equally free and happy as
myself. This, sir, is what I long for.'

"The officer replied 'that both as man and a Briton he must certainly
subscribe to this as a happy state of things.'

"'_Happy_'--quoth Marion--'yes, happy indeed. I would rather fight for
such blessings for my country and feed on roots, than keep aloof though
wallowing in all the luxuries of Solomon. For now, sir, I walk the soil
that gave me birth and exult in the thought that I am not unworthy of
it. I look upon these venerable trees around me and feel that I do not
dishonor them. I think of my own sacred rights and rejoice that I have
not basely deserted them. And when I look forward to the long-long ages
of posterity, I glory in the thought that I am fighting their battles.
The children of distant generations may never hear my name but still it
gladdens my heart to think that I am now contending for _their_ freedom
with all its countless blessings.'

"I looked at Marion as he uttered these sentiments and fancied I felt as
when I heard the last words of the brave De Kalb. The Englishman hung
his honest head and looked, I thought, as if he had seen the upbraiding
ghosts of his illustrious countrymen--Sidney and Hamden. On his return
to Georgetown he was asked by Col. Watson why he looked so serious?

"'I have cause, sir, to look serious.'

"'What! has Gen. Marion refused to treat?'

"'No, sir.'

"'Well then, has old Washington defeated Sir Henry Clinton and broke up
our army?'

"'No sir, not that neither--but _worse_.'

"'Ah! what can be worse?'

"'Why sir, I have seen an American General and his officers _without
pay_ and almost _without clothes_, living on _roots_ and drinking
_water_--all for LIBERTY! What chance have we against such men?'

It is said Col. Watson was not much obliged to him for his speech. But
the young officer was so struck with Marion's sentiments that he never
rested until he threw up his commission and retired from the service."

It would be well if more of our own countrymen were as deeply impressed
with the sentiments of Marion as was that honest Briton. It would be a
new and glorious era in the later history of our Republic if the
unadulterated patriotism of Marion could be revived in the bosoms of the
increasing millions of our land. Then our national council would not be
disgraced by wrangling, pugnacious, reckless demagogues. They would be
left to blow off their explosive gas in retirement instead of exerting
their thunder for nearly a year at a time at the capitol at an enormous
expense and with less sense and benefit than boys exhibit with fire
crackers in the streets.

Gen. Marion continued in active service until that Liberty was won with
which he was so deeply in love. He then retired to private life, had the
good sense to marry an amiable lady and continued to enjoy the fruits of
his toils in the camp until February 1795 when, an arrow from the quiver
of death pierced the shining mark and consigned his mortal remains to
the peaceful tomb. In life he was beloved by all who knew him--in death
he was deeply mourned. His whole course had been marked by a stern
integrity--an untarnished virtue--a lofty patriotism--that ever command
sincere respect and merited admiration. He was small in stature but
large in soul. Strong common sense guided him in every action. He rarely
said or did what was not absolutely necessary and for the best. Few men
have lived who were as free from all surplusage. Let every reader ponder
well the useful career of the noble Marion and profit by his examples.
Then our UNION will be safe.


A careful examination of the history of England--of her Magna Charta and
Constitution--of the rights by them secured and of the gross violation
of those rights at various periods will show the reader why so many men
of high attainments and liberal minds came to America. Disgusted with
oppression at home they sought Liberty abroad. They fled from religious
and political persecution as from a pestilence. The same cause that
induced them to leave their native land prompted them to vigorous
action when imported tyranny invaded their well earned privileges. The
mind of every man and woman who came to this asylum of the oppressed for
the sake of freedom was as well prepared to meet the crisis of the
Revolution as were our native citizens. The feelings created by
remembered injuries which drove them from the mother country rendered
them as formidable opponents to the unjust pretensions of the crown as
those who had never breathed the atmosphere of Europe. In tracing our
own history back to the early settlements we find frequent struggles
between the people and the officers sent by the king to rule them--the
former claiming their inherent rights--the latter often infringing them.
The time finally arrived when forbearance was no longer a virtue.

Among those who espoused the cause of inalienable rights at an early
period was Edward Middleton the great grandfather of the younger Arthur.
He came from England to S. C. near the close of the 17th century. He
left a son Arthur who imbibed the liberal views of his father. In 1719
he headed an opposition that boldly demanded and obtained the removal of
the insolent crown officers then in power. He left a son Henry, one of
the same sort who was the father of the subject of this sketch and took
an active part at the commencement of the Revolution by rousing his
fellow citizens to action.

His son Arthur was born at Middleton place on the bank of Ashley rivers
S. C. in 1743. His mother was the daughter of Mr. Williams a wealthy
planter and was faithful to her children. She lived until 1814, esteemed
in life--lamented in death. Arthur was the eldest child and received the
best advantages of an early education. At the age of twelve years he was
placed in the celebrated seminary at Hackney near London and two years
after entered the classic school of Westminster. His industry was
unremitting--his conduct unexceptionable. At eighteen he became a
student in the University of Cambridge and at the age of twenty-two
graduated. He was a profound scholar and untarnished in his morals.
Trivial amusements and dissipation had no charms for him. Although
liberally supplied with money economy was a governing principle, wisdom
his constant guide. Students of our country will do well to imitate his
example. After the completion of his education he made the tour of
Europe. Familiar with the Greek and Roman classics he enjoyed great
pleasure in visiting the ancient seats of learning. He was well versed
in all the technicalities of sculpture and architecture and had an
exquisite taste for poetry, music and painting. He took notes of all he
saw--improved by all he learned.

After travelling for two years he returned to his native home and bosom
of his family and friends. His education completed he took the next wise
step of a young man about to enter upon business and married a worthy
daughter of Walter Izard. The next year the happy pair visited their
relatives in England--spent some time in France and Spain--returned in
1773 and took possession of the old paternal mansion which his father
had conveyed to him placing him in affluent circumstances.

Possessed of an observing mind his knowledge of English policy and of
the principles of monarchy was of a superior order. The effects of this
policy and of these principles were painfully visible throughout the
American Colonies. Rocked in the cradle of patriotism by his
father--tracing its fair lines in the history of his genealogy--LIBERTY
was to him an heir-loom. Everything around him prompted his onward
course towards the goal of freedom. He boldly espoused the cause of the
people which is uniformly the cause of RIGHT. The Middletons were the
nucleus of the opposition to tyranny in South Carolina. Their influence
reached over the entire province. Although wealthy, aristocracy found no
resting place with them. They were Republicans of the first water. They
freely and promptly pledged life, fortune and honor in behalf of
rational liberty.

Arthur Middleton was upon the various committees of the people to devise
means of safety. He was one of the committee of five that decided a
recourse to arms and led the people into the royal magazine who removed
the deposits in defiance of the threats and growls of the British lion.
This occurred on the 17th April 1775. On the 14th of June following the
provincial Congress appointed a Committee of Safety composed of thirteen
of which Arthur Middleton was one. This committee was fully authorized
to organize a military force and adopt such measures as might seem most
expedient to arrest the mad career of the royalists.

During the session of the first provincial Congress of South Carolina
Lord William Campbell, the new governor, arrived fresh from the British
office mint. He was to reduce the rebels at one bold stroke. At first he
was all mildness and did not pretend to justify the oppressions of which
the people complained. To prove the insincerity of which Mr. Middleton
believed him guilty, Adam McDonald, a member of Council, was introduced
to him as a Tory from the upper country who seemed anxious to have the
rebels put down. The governor requested him to keep quiet a short time
as troops would soon arrive to put a quietus upon the _new fangled_
authorities. When this report was made known to the Council Mr.
Middleton moved to have the governor arrested although nearly related
to him by marriage. His colleagues were too timid _then_ for such a
measure, but so rapidly did their courage increase that his excellency
soon retired on board a sloop of war to avoid the popular fury. In a few
days Sir Henry Clinton and Sir Peter Parker arrived with an armed fleet
and troops to enforce the authority of Lord Campbell and teach peace to
the rebels. An immediate attack was made on Fort Moultrie which was a
perfect failure. The governor was wounded and Sir Peter had the nether
part of his silk unmentionables badly mutilated by an unpolished rebel
cannon ball.

On the 11th February 1776 Mr. Middleton was one of the committee that
drafted the first constitution of his native State. Soon after he was
elected to the Continental Congress and became a conspicuous member. He
boldly advocated and by his signature sanctioned the adoption of the
Declaration of Independence. He used but few words in debate briefly
presenting the strong points of the subject under discussion. He was
always heard with attention and had great influence. He stood at the
head of the delegation of his State. He exemplified strong common
sense--attending to the business of his constituents and the good of his
country. He was an intimate friend of John Hancock who held him in high

In 1778 he was elected governor of his native State without his
knowledge, advice or consent. The mode of election was by the
legislature and secret ballot. Caucuses, insulated with intrigue and
corruption, were then unknown. Love of Liberty and country, exemplified
by the acts of freemen, were all the "pledges" required. He declined
accepting the office for the reason that a constitution was before the
legislature not as republican as he desired and if adopted required the
assent of the executive. Believing it would be sanctioned and could be
amended at some future time he preferred not placing himself in the way.
Rawlin Lowndes was then elected who approved of the constitution on the
19th March 1778.

Political honesty was a marked trait in the character of Arthur
Middleton. No inducements could turn him from the path of rectitude and
duty. He weighed measures, men and things in the unerring scales of
justice. He went with no man unless he believed him clearly right. He
was sound at the core. His mind was pure and free as mountain air--his
purposes noble, bold and patriotic. In 1779, when the British troops
were devastating S. Carolina, he took the field with Gov. Rutledge and
cheerfully endured the privations of the camp. At the attack upon
Charleston by Gen. Provost, he manifested great coolness and courage.
His family was driven away by the destroying enemy and his property
plundered. Several valuable paintings were mutilated in the most
shameful manner. At the surrender of Charleston in 1780, he was among
the prisoners sent to the Spanish Castle at St. Augustine, Florida and
manfully endured the cowardly indignities there imposed upon the
Americans. In July 1781 a general exchange of prisoners took place when
he returned to Philadelphia. He was again elected to Congress and
resumed the important duties of legislation. Soon after this the last
important act of the revolutionary tragedy was closed at Yorktown, where
the Heroes of the revolutionary stage took a closing benefit at the
expense of British pride and kingly ambition. With the surrender of Lord
Cornwallis the last hope of the crown in America expired in all the
agonies of mortification.

In 1782 Mr. Middleton was again returned to Congress where he continued
until November when he returned to his long neglected home. He declined
remaining in Congress that he might serve his own state. He did much
towards restoring order, harmony and stability in the new government of
South Carolina. He was several times a member of her legislature and
used his best efforts to advance her prosperity. At intervals he
improved his desolated plantation and looked forward to years of
domestic felicity. But alas! how uncertain are all sublunary things. In
the autumn of 1786 he was attacked with the intermittent fever which
terminated in serious disease and caused his death on the first day of
January 1787, leaving a wife, two sons and six daughters to mourn their
irreparable loss. He was deeply lamented by the nation at large. He was
held in great veneration by every friend of freedom in the country. He
had only to be known to be loved and admired. He was a consolation to
his friends, a shining light in the cause of freedom, an ornament to
society, a good and honest man. The examples of such a man are living
epistles, worthy to be known and read by all who desire the happiness of
our beloved country and the perpetuity of our glorious UNION.


A military despotism is a national curse, a blighting sirocco, a foe to
liberty. Laws that require the bayonet to enforce them for an extended
length of time are bad or the people for whom they are made are unworthy
of freedom. Moments of excitement do occur in the best organized
communities arising from a sudden local impulse that require a show of
military power and even its force--but in a little time reason resumes
her sway, the spirit of mobocracy subsides, the soldier again becomes
the peaceful citizen and rests for security upon the strong arm of civil

Quartering the military upon the citizens of a community is full of
danger. After having enjoyed the bounty and hospitality of the
inhabitants let that military be directed to enforce laws that are
obnoxious to the people--an indignation is roused that is increased
tenfold from the circumstance of previous familiarity. The citizen
conceives he has bestowed a special favor upon the soldier. He looks
upon the attempt to force unjust laws upon him as base ingratitude--the
blackest crime out of pandemonium. Favors forgotten and ingratitude
displayed add desperation to revenge. Previous to the American
Revolution the military were quartered upon or drew their support
directly from the people. The Colonies had contributed largely in money
and blood to aid the mother country in conquering her most inveterate
foe in America--the French in Canada. No return was asked but the quiet
enjoyment of chartered privileges guarantied by the constitution. This
was denied them. Petitions were treated contumely--remonstrances were
laughed to scorn. Then it was that a band of Sages and Heroes rose in
all the majesty of man's native dignity and vindicated their inalienable

Among the boldest of the bold was Lewis Morris, born at Morrisania in
the vicinity of the city of New York in 1726. The preserved documents of
this family trace their genealogy back to Rhice Fitzgerald. Rhys or
Rhice Fitzgerald was a Cambrian chieftain who carried his military
operations and conquests into Ireland during the reign of Henry II. By
his valor and success he obtained the name of Maur [great] Rhice and the
penultimate Fitzgerald being dropped gives us the name in plain
English--Morris. In tracing genealogy we find names more changed than
this. Genealogy and the origin of names is an amusing study--if you have
leisure try it.

Lewis was the son of Judge Morris of the same Christian name who
retained possession of the paternal estate formerly purchased by his
grandfather, Richard Morris, who was a leader under Cromwell and came
from Barbadoes in 1663 and purchased a tract of land near Harlaem on
York Island. He left an only son, Lewis, who was Chief Justice of New
York and subsequently governor of New Jersey.

After his preparatory studies Lewis entered Yale College at the age of
sixteen. From the President, Dr. Clap, he imbibed a relish for moral and
religious principles and became a good scholar. In 1746 he
graduated--returned to his estate and became extensively engaged in
agriculture. At that period the Colonies were free, prosperous and
happy. The mother country had not discovered the philosopher's stone of
taxing her distant children to support royalty. They were left to pursue
their own course--enjoy the fruit of their labors and repose in peace.
In this delightful retirement Mr. Morris continued to improve his farm
and mind. By his suavity of manners, moral rectitude and honorable
course he gained the confidence and esteem of all who made his
acquaintance. He was the nucleus to a circle of friends of the highest
attainments and respectability. He became a great favorite among the
people and did all in his power to improve their condition and promote
general good. He was a philanthropist and patriot.

The time rolled on rapidly when colonial repose was to be plucked up
from the roots and perish under the burning heat of British oppression.
The treasury of England had been drained by extravagance and war--her
national debt had become frightfully large. The story of prosperity and
wealth in America had been told to Mr. Grenville by an evil person in an
evil hour. The plan of imperious taxation was devised. The Stamp Act was
passed as a feeler. The descendants of the pilgrim fathers thought its
feeling rather rough and recoiled from the touch with amazement. They
loved their king but they loved their chartered privileges and country
more. Legal remedies were resorted to. A Congress was convened at New
York and several Colonies ably represented. Powerful addresses to the
throne and people of Great Britain were prepared breathing the purest
allegiance conditioned on the restoration of constitutional rights. The
Stamp Act was repealed only to give place to a more voracious and
obnoxious budget of Acts. The ministry bent all their force to
accomplish their impolitic designs. They did more to prepare the people
of America for Independence than the combined energies of the Sages
could have effected without their co-operation. In devising a great evil
they consummated a great good.

Mr. Morris took a deep interest in passing events--at first only as an
adviser. Although Massachusetts took the lead in resisting oppression
New York was not tardy in coming to the rescue. In 1767 an Act was
passed by Parliament compelling the people of that Province to furnish
the British soldiers that were quartered among them with provisions. By
this order the burden fell upon certain portions of the inhabitants
exclusively and not _pro rota_ upon the whole. It was a direct invasion
of personal rights and was most severely felt by the citizens of the
city of New York and its vicinity. This measure brought Mr. Morris out.
He publicly proclaimed it unconstitutional and tyrannical and
contributed largely towards influencing the legislature to place a veto
upon it. Might triumphed over right and enforced the contribution from
the citizens. Spirits like that of Lewis Morris were not to be subdued.
An unquenchable fire was only smothered to gather volcanic force under
the brittle crust that covered it. It was constantly increased by
supplies of fuel from Mr. Grenville and his more subtle successor Lord
North. The statute of Henry VIII. was revived which doomed the
disobedient to be sent to England for trial. Its eldest daughter--the
Boston Port Bill was ushered into life and other screws of the rack
tightened. The last petitions and remonstrances in the magazine of
patience were finally exhausted. It was speedily replenished with
materials more weighty than paper. Mr. Morris had become a prominent
leader, a bold and substantial whig, rather too highly charged for the
conciliatory Congress of 1774. The time came on apace when the people
required just such a man and in April 1775 elected him to the
Continental Congress. Even then most people attributed their sufferings
to the venal ministry and hoped the king would cease to be an automaton
and prove himself a man worthy of the high station he occupied. But
hopes were vain--the olive branch withered beneath the scorching rays of
corrupted power. The virtues of steel, powder and lead were then to be
tried. Already had the purple current of Americans saturated the streets
of Boston and the heights of Lexington. Already had the groans of dying
citizens, slain by the hands of those whom they had fed--pierced the
ears of thousands. Already were widows weeping for husbands weltering in
blood and orphans for fathers covered in gore. If imagination
sickens--if language fails, if history is impotent in conveying but a
faint idea of the consuming anguish, the bitter grief, the palsying
terrors, the boiling revenge, the deep resolves of those dark hours--how
heart breaking--how overwhelming must have been the dreadful reality to
living witnesses.

Soon after he took his seat in Congress Mr. Morris was placed upon a
committee of which the illustrious Washington was chairman to devise
measures to obtain the munitions of war. This was a _desideratum_ rather
problematical. Comparatively a sling and a few smooth stones were all
the patriots had with which to combat the British Goliah. But the battle
of Bunker Hill convinced all parties that rusty guns in hands with
nerves of steel guided by hearts of oak could do good service and that
men resolved on liberty or death were not to be tamely yoked without a
desperate effort to be free. Mr. Morris became an active member and
advocated strong measures. The year previous he was considered rash--the
time had arrived when all saw the necessity of pursuing the course he
had marked out. He became early convinced that an honorable arrangement
could not be had _under_ Great Britain--nothing but a triumph _over_ her
would restore the equilibrium of justice. He was one of a committee to
visit the Indian tribes to persuade them not to enlist under the blood
stained banner of England. But British gold was stronger than the most
eloquent reasoning. To the eternal disgrace of those who were then
wielding the destinies of the mother country, a premium was given for
_scalps_ not for prisoners. So dark, so deep, so damming a blot rests
not upon the escutcheon of any other nation upon earth. Why? Because
that kingdom had been the proclaimed conservator of the peaceful, humane
religion of the Cross for centuries--the crowning glory of which is
love. The foul deed was committed in the full blaze of Gospel light and
boasted civilization. There were noble souls in parliament at that time
and millions of British subjects who looked upon the horrors of that
demoniac policy with as much indignity as an American can. Mr. Morris
also visited the New England States for the purpose of maturing plans to
raise supplies and commence concentrated vigorous action.

In 1776 he again took his seat in Congress and was pleased to find the
general pulse beating in unison with his own--a determination to sever
the Gordian knot and proclaim an eternal separation from a nation that
held power only to abuse it. He was on many important committees--was
all activity in and out of the House. In his native neighborhood he had
a herculean task in rousing the people to a sense of their true
position. Gov. Tryon mingled the poison with the wisdom of the
serpent--affected to be harmless as a dove and exercised a powerful
influence over the people of the city of New York in favor of the crown.
He pointed them to the certain destruction of the commercial interests
by a war--the inequality of the two powers--the impossibility of Whig
success and construed self interest into self preservation. To paralyze
his influence required great exertion. Mr. Morris and his friends put
forth their noblest energies in the mighty work. What they could not
effect, British oppression and the powder and ball of Gen. Howe soon

When the Declaration of Independence was proposed Mr. Morris became one
of its ardent supporters. At that very time his large estate was within
the power of the enemy. He well knew that his signature to the proposed
instrument would be destructive to all his property within the reach of
British hirelings. Most faithfully was the work executed. Even his
extensive woodlands of a thousand acres were subjected to axe and
fire--his family driven from home and every species of devastation
resorted to that malice could invent, hatred design, revenge execute.
But LIBERTY was dearer to this devoted patriot than earth and all its
riches. He boldly sanctioned and fearlessly affixed his name to the
great certificate of our national birth and rejoiced in freedom
illumined by the conflagration of his own Elysian Morrisania. His family
and himself suffered many privations during the remainder of the war.
They endured every hardship with heroic fortitude without regret for the
past and with buoyant hope for the bright future.

In 1777 he resigned his seat in Congress and rendered important services
in the legislature of his native State. He also served in the tented
field and rose to the rank of major-general of militia. He was a good
disciplinarian and reduced the state troops to an excellent
organization. In every situation he ably and zealously discharged all
his duties and did not leave the service of his country until the
American arms were triumphant and the Independence of our nation
acknowledged by Great Britain. Then he retired to his desolated
plantation--converted his sword into a pruning hook--his musket into a
ploughshare and his farm into a delightful retreat where his friends
from the city often visited him to enjoy his agreeable society--talk of
times gone by and rejoice in the consolations of blood-bought Liberty.
Peacefully and calmly he glided down the stream of time until January
1798 when his immortal spirit left its frail bark and launched upon the
ocean of eternity in a more substantial vessel. He died serene and happy
surrounded by an affectionate family and kind friends. His remains were
deposited in the family vault upon his farm under the honors of an epic
and civic procession.

The private virtues and public services of Mr. Morris rendered him dear
to all who knew him. His appearance was in every way commanding. A noble
and graceful figure, a fine and intelligent face, an amiable and
agreeable disposition, a warm and ardent temperament, a benevolent and
generous heart, an independent and patriotic soul--crowned with
intelligence, refinement and goodness--he was in all respects worthy to
be admired and beloved. His examples illustrate the patriotism that
impelled to action during the Revolution. He had everything that could
be destroyed to lose if successful--if not--death was his probable doom.
Previous to the war he was a favorite of the king--his brother Staats
was a member of Parliament and a general officer under the crown. But
few made as great personal sacrifices and no one made them more
cheerfully. Like Marion--he preferred a morsel of bread, a meal of
roasted potatoes with Liberty--to all the trappings of royalty and all
the honors that could be conferred by a king. So long as this kind of
patriotism finds a resting place in the bosoms of a respectable majority
of Columbia's sons--our UNION is safe. Let this be banished by the
majority as it is by a fearful minority--the fair temple of our LIBERTY
will perish in flames kindled by its professed guardians. Freemen of
America! I warn you to preserve, in original purity, the FREEDOM
purchased with the rich blood of our fathers.


Self is the Sahara of the human heart where all the noble powers of the
soul are buried in its scorching sands. We may pour upon it floods of
human woe and streams of melting kindness without producing the least
appearance of sympathy or gratitude. The blighting sirocco of cold
indifference sweeps over this desert mind, increases the powers of
absorption--annihilates all that is cheering and lovely. The keenest
miseries of a fellow man cannot move it--the mournful obsequies of his
death cannot shame it. It is one of the foul blots imprinted on human
nature by Lucifer and should be hurled back to Pandemonium. It dwells
only in little minds and pinches them as dandy boots do the
feet--covering them with excrescences as painful as corns and
chilblains. He who is a slave to self could calmly look on the "wreck of
matter and the crash of worlds" if it would add one item to his sordid

Man was created a social being--benevolent, sympathetic, kind,
affectionate--quick to feel and prompt to alleviate the misfortunes of
his fellow man. But for the soul-killing influence of self these noble
germs of human nature, as originally cast in the mould of creative
wisdom, would bud and blossom as the rose and crown the human family
with millennial glory.

On the pages of history we find many bright spots of self sacrifice and
blooming benevolence. Individuals have lived who banished self and
devoted their lives, fortunes and sacred honors to promote the best
interests of the human race--men whose motives, impelling them to
action, were chastened by purity, who aimed to promote public good and
personal happiness.

In the history of the American Revolution we find a cheering catalogue
of such philanthropists whose memories we delight to honor. No one
among them did more to accomplish the great end in view than Robert
Morris. He was born at Liverpool, Lancashire, England on the 20th of
January 1734. His father was a respectable merchant and settled at
Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland in 1746. He then sent for this
son who arrived at Oxford at the age of thirteen. He received only a
good commercial education. At the age of fifteen he lost his father by
death. He was then in the counting house of Charles Willing one of the
most thorough and enterprising merchants of Philadelphia. After having
served a faithful apprenticeship Mr. Willing set him up in business and
remained his fast friend and adviser. For several years he prospered
_alone_ but finding the cares of life pressing upon him he wisely
resolved to take a partner to accompany him in his pilgrimage through
this vale of tears. That partner was the meritorious Mary, daughter of
Col. White and sister to the pious and learned Bishop White. She
possessed every quality that adorns her sex and renders connubial
felicity complete. What is _now_ more than _then_ considered by too many
heartless bipeds a _sine qua non_--she brought with her--WEALTH. This
_desideratum_ is often a blighting substitute for genuine affection--too
often the corroding mildew of matrimonial happiness. No man or woman
with a good heart, clear head and sound discretion--ever married
_riches_ instead of the _person_. It is the quintessence of self.

Not so with Mr. Morris and his partner. Their richest treasure was
mutual esteem flowing from the pure fountain of their kindred hearts
anxious to promote the reciprocal happiness of each other and the
felicity of all around them. Nothing occurred to mar their refined
enjoyments until the revolutionary storm burst upon the Colonies.

Mr. Morris was a sterling patriot and did not look upon the commoving
political elements with indifference. He had inhaled the atmosphere of
inherent freedom--his soul was roused to god-like action--he resolved to
hold his life and fortune subject to the drafts of LIBERTY. If self had
held her withering sway he would have remained a loyal slave. His
interests were entirely commercial--his wealth was exposed to the
destructive power of the mother country. He amassed it only to do good.
He was not fastidious as to the manner it was distributed so that his
noble aim might be accomplished--the salvation of his country.

He was a member of the Congress of 1774 and took an unflinching stand
against British oppression. Extensively and favorably known--his
influence was of high importance to the friends of justice. Being an
able financier he was hailed as the most efficient manager of the
monetary department. To provide ways and means he was fully authorized.
Most nobly did he discharge his duty. Unfortunately no office of finance
was then created to enable him to control the disbursements. The money
he continued to provide--often from his private funds. When Congress
fled before the conquering foe to Baltimore in 1776 Mr. Morris remained
in Philadelphia some days after his colleagues left, for the purpose of
raising government funds. In so doing he periled his life, as he had
placed his name upon the Declaration of Independence--then sneeringly
called the death warrant of the signers by the Tories and their
coadjutors--the British. During his stay it became necessary for
Congress to raise a specific sum. The treasury was empty. Notice of the
wants of the army was communicated to him. Shortly after he met a member
of the Society of Friends whose confidence he had. "What news friend
Robert?" "The news is--I am in immediate want of----dollars hard money
and you are the man to obtain it for me. Your security is to be my note
of hand and my word of honor." "Robert thou shall have it." The money
was promptly forwarded to Washington which enabled him to meet the enemy
at Trenton with signal success.

Mr. Morris made no parade or vain show in the performance of his duties
and often furnished funds through agents under the injunction of secrecy
who then had the credit of affording relief on their own account. When
Gen. Greene took command of the troops in S. C. they were deplorably
destitute of food, clothing and ammunition. To the agreeable
astonishment of the army and people Mr. Hall of that state advanced the
money to purchase supplies and enabled the General to commence vigorous
operations. After the war had closed the accounts of disbursements
showed that Mr. Hall had acted under Mr. Morris who furnished the
needful from his private purse and saved the army from dissolution. On
being made acquainted with the fact at the finance office, General
Greene was at first displeased with the act but on analyzing it
applauded the wisdom of this secrecy and said--"If I had known that I
might have drawn on Robert Morris I should have demanded larger sums and
effected no more than was accomplished with the means placed in my
hands." His advances to the Southern army nearly produced his pecuniary

As a financier his genius was of the most prolific kind. When he found
every government resource exhausted--the credit of the infant Republic
paralyzed--the army writhing under the keenest privations--had his mind
been of ordinary calibre he would have abandoned the ship of state
amidst the breakers that were dashing over her and reported her to the
underwriters as wrecked. But he had resolved never to desert her so long
as a plank remained upon the hull or a beam retained its fastenings
upon the keel. His own resources were large and his credit upon a firm
basis. These were thrown in the breach and warded off the threatened
destruction. To save himself and his country he proposed the plan of
establishing the Bank of North America. This was sanctioned by Congress
and a charter granted on the 7th of January 1782. This bank has ever
stood firm amidst all the pecuniary panics and revolutions that have
occurred to the present time.

As astounding as the fact may appear the office of Finance was not
created until 1781. Up to that time there was no disbursing agent and
large sums of money were placed in the hands of irresponsible agents and
never reached their legitimate destination. When established it was
placed under the control of Mr. Morris who reduced the expenditures of
military operations three millions in a single year, showing that self
can convert ostensible patriots into knaves no matter how sacred the
cause engaged in or how binding the obligation to do justice. Avaunt!
thou thing infernal! Had the office of Finance been established at the
commencement of hostilities and Mr. Morris made the disbursing agent,
the means of prosecuting the war would have been ample--our army would
have been full and saved from the dreadful privations endured--our
country would have been saved from a large portion of the devastations
committed by the enemy--the struggle would probably have been terminated
in half the time and the government been able to redeem every dollar of
its paper issues. With so much concentrated talent and wisdom as were in
the Continental Congress at all times, the problem of this disastrous
omission cannot be solved by any approved rules of government or
legislation. I have ever looked at it with deep regret and surprise.

Mr. Morris was the Roman Curtius of America, pledging his own fortune to
save his country and deliver her from worse than Egyptian bondage. As a
demonstration I will particularize one other instance of supplies
furnished upon his private credit, which was the means of closing the
unequal contest.

When the expedition against Cornwallis was planned by Washington the
government treasury was empty and her credit shivering in the wind. The
army was in a destitute situation and without the means of prosecuting a
siege. Impressed deeply with the importance of the plan Mr. Morris
undertook the herculean task of providing supplies for the expedition
upon his private credit. Such confidence had Washington in this able
financier that he at once took up the line of march. In the short space
of four weeks he furnished near eighty pieces of battering cannon and
one hundred pieces of field artillery with other necessary supplies not
furnished by the South. Although aided by the patriotic Richard Peters
he gave his own notes to the amount of one million four hundred thousand
dollars which were all paid at maturity. This enabled the Americans to
triumphantly close the long and bloody struggle of the Revolution and
lay firmly the foundations of the prosperity and government we now
enjoy. There was disinterested benevolence crowned with all the majesty
of pure devotion to the interests of country and the human family--as
free from self as angels are.

Under cover of the firm in which he was a partner--Willing, Morris & Co.
many important and advantageous transactions were made for government
although apparently for the firm, the large profits of which were placed
to the credit of the public treasury. This was conclusively shown by an
investigation instituted in Congress on motion of Mr. Laurens at the
instance of Mr. Morris in order to repel base slanders put in
circulation against this pure and honest patriot.

All the accusations that have been brought against Robert Morris before
and since his death, charging him with peculation or speculation in
government funds or of any improper conduct towards his country as a
public agent are without foundation in fact and out of the record. From
the numerous documents I have examined, I am fully convinced that Robert
Morris was one of the most disinterested patriots of the Revolution and
one of the most efficient instruments in consummating that glorious
enterprise. He was so considered by the illustrious Washington--the
Continental Congress and by all who were and are properly posted on the
subject. General Greene was one of his most ardent admirers, whose
biographer--long after the SAGE and the HERO had gone where none but
slanderers dare rake up the sacred ashes of the dead, published a tirade
of abuse against Mr. Morris that has impaired his dignity as an
impartial writer so as to render his envy abortive--his malice
powerless. His extracts from public documents are garbled--his
conclusions are based on false premises--his innuendos are
ungenerous--his attack gratuitous and has justly recoiled upon the proud
escutcheon of his literary fame.

The shafts of slander can never mar the fair reputation of this
benefactor of our country although hurled like lightning thunderbolts
from the whole artillery of malice and revenge. Upon the enduring
records of our nation his acts are written. There they stand in bold
relievo, bright as the moon, clear as the sun and as withering to his
enemies as the burning sand of Sahara.

Congress elected Mr. Morris Superintendent of Finance on the 20th of
February 1781. It was only from a deep sense of duty he could be urged
to accept the office. It was at a dark and fearful period of the
Revolution. His duties were onerous and multiform. He immediately
instituted an examination of the public debts, revenue and
expenditures--reduced to economical system the mode of regulating the
finances and disbursing the public funds--executed the plans of Congress
relative to monetary affairs--superintended the action of all persons
employed in obtaining and distributing supplies for the army--attended
to the collection of all monies due the United States--held a
supervision over all the contractors for military supplies--provided for
the civil list--corresponded with the Executive of each state and with
ministers of our government in Europe and transacted business with all
the public departments. Through the agency of the Bank of North America
and with his own proverbial responsibility he improved the national
credit so far that money was obtained from Europe on loan and a brighter
prospect opened before the desponding patriots. He introduced rigid
economy through all the avenues of public operations. He boldly entered
the Ægean stable and was the Hercules to cleanse it. Corrupt agents and
corrupting speculators fled before his searching scrutiny--hissing like
serpents disturbed in their dens. Perfect system pervaded all his
transactions reducing them all to writing so that he was able to produce
a conclusive voucher for each and every public act during his term of
service. He believed system to be the ballast, main-mast and helm of

At the time of his resignation he placed himself in the crucible of an
examining committee of Congress before whom he exhibited a schedule of
all his public transactions. The report of the committee placed him on a
lofty eminence as an able and skilful financier--a patriotic and honest
man. President Washington tendered him the office of Secretary of the
Treasury, which he respectfully declined. He was a member of the
convention that framed the Federal Constitution and a Senator in the
first Congress that convened under it. He seldom spoke in debate but
when he did he was eloquent, chaste and logical. He was heard with
profound attention and had great influence with his colleagues. He
possessed an inexhaustible store of useful information applicable to all
the relations of public and private life. When the peace of 1783 was
consummated Mr. Morris again entered largely into commercial business.
He favored every kind of improvement and did all in his power to promote
general good and individual happiness. He first introduced ice and
hot-houses in our country. He was a rare specimen of industry, system,
punctuality and honesty.

After spending a long life in skilfully wielding a capital of millions
he at last foundered upon the rock of land speculation and closed his
eventful career in poverty on the 8th of May 1806 at the city of
Philadelphia sincerely mourned by his country and most deeply lamented
by those who knew him best. He met the grim messenger of death with
resignation and calmness--bid a cheerful farewell to friends, the toils
of earth and all sublunary things.

Mr. Morris was a large man with an open countenance, pleasing in his
manners and agreeable in all his associations. His private character was
as pure as his public career was illustrious. Dying poor, no marble
monument is reared to his memory but his name is deeply engraved upon
the tablet of meritorious fame and will be revered by every true
American and patriot until the historic page shall be blotted from the
world--social order submerged by chaos.


Courage and perseverance, unaided by wisdom and sound discretion, often
lead men into unforeseen and unanticipated difficulties. Combined--they
are the fulcrum and lever of action. Guided by a wise discretion, with
talent to conceive and boldness to execute, the weak become strong and
effect wonders at which they look with astonishment after the mighty
work is accomplished. To these combined qualities of the Sages and
Heroes of the American Revolution we owe the blessings of liberty we now
enjoy more than to the physical powers of our nation at that time.
Compared with the fleets and armies of the mother country at the
eventful era when the Declaration of our Independence was adopted, the
available force of the Colonies dwindles to insignificance. The one a
giant in the pride of his glory--the other an infant just bursting into
life. The one a Goliah clad in bristling armor--the other a pioneer boy
with a puerile sling. The one with a veteran army and navy united in
panoply complete, well clothed, fed and paid--the other with scattered
fragments of raw recruits, a few light vessels--the men poorly equipped,
sparingly fed, worse clothed and seldom paid. Without referring the
successful termination of the revolutionary struggle to the wisdom and
perseverance of the patriots, who, under God conceived, planned and
executed the noble work it would be an unsolved enigma.

John Morton was proverbial for his discreet, wise, courageous and
persevering course of life. He was a posthumous child born in Ridley,
Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in 1724. His ancestors came from Sweden
at an early period and settled on the bank of the Delaware river near
Philadelphia. John's father, of the same Christian name, married Mary
Richards when he was very young and died before his majority. The widow
subsequently married with John Sketchly an intelligent Englishman who
proved a good husband and kind step-father. To him John was principally
indebted for his substantial English education, having enjoyed the
advantages of a school but three months. Being a good mathematician and
skilful surveyor, his step-son became perfect master of this important
branch of science, which, more than any other, is calculated to lead a
man into precision of thought and action. Based on invariable truth and
lucid demonstration, never resting on false premises, always arriving at
incontrovertible conclusions, it gives a tone to the mental powers
calculated to produce the most salutary results. Education is incomplete
without mastering mathematics.

Young Morton continued with his faithful guardian until manhood dawned
upon him, aiding in the business of agriculture and surveying,
constantly storing his mind with useful knowledge--testing theory by
practice. In 1764 he was commissioned a justice of the peace and shortly
after was elected to the Assembly of his native state. He soon became
conspicuous and was subsequently speaker of the House during several
sessions. He took a deep interest in the welfare of his country and was
a member of the Congress assembled at New York in 1765 to concert
measures for the repeal of the odious Stamp Act. He concurred in the
strong and bold appeals of that body which virtually kindled the fire of
the Revolution. Although smothered for a time it was never extinguished
until it consumed the last vestige of British power in America and
expired for want of fuel. In 1767 he became the sheriff of his county
which station he ably filled for three years. He was then appointed
president judge of his district and gained the admiration and esteem of
the entire community. About this time he performed a very sensible act
by marrying Anne Justis of the State of Delaware who was worthy to be
the wife of a patriot and contributed largely to his happiness through

When the dread clarion of war was sounded from the heights of Lexington
the indignation of the people in his neighborhood was so roused that
they at once raised a battalion of volunteers and elected Judge Morton
colonel. He was compelled to decline the epic honor having been recently
appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In July 1774 he
was made a member of the Congress that convened in Philadelphia the
following September. The grand object of that Congress was to make a
last and noble effort to effect a reconciliation between the two
countries and heal instead of increasing the unfortunate breach. To this
end men of cool deliberation, deep thought, matured judgment, profound
wisdom and pure patriotism were selected for this important work on
which depended the destiny of themselves and unborn millions. When the
delegates assembled a deep and awful solemnity seemed to pervade every
mind. No noise was heard but the still murmuring of the rushing blood,
the beating of anxious hearts and the quick respiration of those who had
congregated. The proceedings were opened by prayer. Every soul seemed to
commune with the spirits of another world as by vesper orisons. After
the address to the throne of grace the same awful silence reigned. Still
nothing was heard but the rush of the purple stream and the throb of
anxious hearts. Trembling tears and quivering lips told the emotions of
many a bosom--too full to be expressed, too deep to be fathomed, too
strong to be endured. At length the mighty spirit of Patrick Henry burst
forth in all the sublimity of its native majesty and broke the mighty
spell. In bold and glowing colors, shaded with dignified
sincerity--painted upon the canvas of eternal justice with the pencil of
unerring truth--he delineated American rights and British wrongs. When
he closed every patriot responded a hearty--AMEN. Their mouths were
opened, their burdens lightened--they breathed more freely.

In May 1775 Judge Morton took his seat in Congress and was re-elected in
November. In July 1776 he closed his congressional career. Before
leaving, he placed a brilliant star upon the bright escutcheon of his
name by voting for and signing the chart of our Liberty--the manifesto
of freemen against the usurpations of tyranny. During the time he was in
Congress he was highly esteemed as a cool deliberate discreet
man--purely patriotic and anxious to do all in his power to promote the
righteous cause of his bleeding country. He weighed well the
consequences of severing the bonds that bound the Colonies to the mother
country. Unsustained, the Declaration of Independence was probable death
to many--a more severe slavery for the survivors. To all human
appearance the patriots must be crushed by the physical force of their
enemies then pouring into the country by thousands and sweeping
everything before them like a mighty torrent. There were five delegates
from his colony. Two of them were bitterly opposed to the measure and
two in favor, which gave him the casting vote. On him depended the
enhanced misery or happy delivery of his country. When the final moment
arrived he cast his vote in favor of the important instrument that
should prove either the death warrant or the diploma of freedom. Some of
his old friends censured him severely for the bold act and were so
strongly tinctured with toryism that they would not be reconciled to him
when he lay upon the bed of death. Such were the strong party feelings
during the Revolution. His dying message to them was worthy the sage and
Christian. "Tell them that they will live to see the hours when they
shall acknowledge it to have been the most glorious service that I have
ever rendered to my country." The truth of his prophecy has been most
happily verified so far as his services were concerned--if the other
part has not do not go in mourning for its failure.

When the Articles of Confederation were under discussion in Congress
Judge Morton was frequently chairman of the committee of the whole and
presided with great ability and dignity. In April 1777 he was attacked
with a highly inflammatory fever which terminated his life in a few days
in the midst of usefulness with fresh honors awaiting him as time rolled
onward. His premature death was deeply mourned by his bereaved
companion, eight children, a large concourse of bosom friends, the
members of the bar, his associate judges, the State legislature,
Congress and by every patriot of his country.

As a private citizen Judge Morton possessed an unusual share of esteem.
He was endowed with all the amiable qualities that enrich the domestic
circle and social intercourse. As the crowning glory of his fair fame he
professed and adorned the religion of his Lord and Master and died
triumphing in faith. His dust reposes in the cemetery of St. James'
Church in Chester, Pa. His examples are worthy of the closest
imitation--his brief career admonishes us of the uncertainty of human
life--his happy death is an evidence of the truth of unvarnished piety.


Honesty is a virtue that commands universal respect. Like many others
this term has lost much of its original force. When Pope pronounced an
honest man the noblest work of God--he included purpose, word and action
in all things, under all circumstances, at all times. He alluded to a
man whose purity of heart placed him above every temptation to violate
the original laws of integrity that emanated from the high Chancery of
Heaven. He referred to a man whose every action through his whole life
should pass the scrutiny of Omniscience unscathed and stand approved by
the great Jehovah. Such a man is a noble work indeed worthy of the
highest admiration and closest imitation. He would not take an umbrella
or a newspaper from the owner without liberty. He is honest for the sake
of this virtue--not from _policy_, the essential oil of dishonesty in
disguise. Honesty that is based only on self interest is as unsafe as a
keg of powder in the fire room of a steamboat. We have too much _policy_
in morals and religion. It is cunning without wisdom, cowardice with
hypocrisy, fear of man--not God. The devil preaches religion from policy
and the man who is honest only from _policy_ is no better. Anecdote to
the point. The Chinese philosopher Confucius met an insane woman with a
pitcher of water and faggot of fire and asked her how she intended to
use them. She replied--"With the fire I will burn up heaven--with the
water I will put out hell--we shall then know who are good for the sake
of goodness."

The Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution who persevered to the
end were remarkable for integrity and freedom from self interest. None
of them were more so than Thomas Nelson, born at Yorktown, Virginia, on
the 26th of December 1738. He was the son of William Nelson whose father
came from England at an early period and located at Yorktown. The father
of Thomas was a wealthy merchant and planter. He filled many public
stations with great ability. During the interval between the
administration of Lord Bottetourt and Lord Dunmore, he presided over the
Colony _ex officio_, being then President of the Executive Council.

At the age of fourteen Thomas was placed under the tuition of Mr.
Newcomb whose school was near Hackney, England. He graduated at Trinity
College under Dr. Beilby Porteus, the bright literary ornament of that
time and afterwards Bishop of London. Guided by the master genius of
this finished scholar, accomplished gentleman and pious divine, Mr.
Nelson traced the fair lines of science and explored the avenues of
literature. The principles of strict virtue and stern integrity were
deeply impressed upon his mind and governed his actions through life.
After spending eight years at the classic fountain in England he
returned to his native home highly improved in mind and person. He
entered upon the enjoyment of a large real estate and over one hundred
and thirty thousand dollars in money. Not selfish at heart--unwilling to
enjoy so much alone, as in duty bound he led to the hymenial altar
Lucy--daughter of Philip Grimes of Brandon and settled happily and
quietly at his native place. His house became the seat of domestic
felicity and hospitality.

For a long time great intimacy existed between the leading men of
Virginia and England. This arose from consanguinity and the wealth that
enabled the most prominent men of the Old Dominion to educate their sons
in the mother country. For more than a century an interchange of good
feelings and kind offices were kept up. The sons who were educated in
Great Britain imbibed the same ideas of Independence as those which were
the boast of the noblemen of that kingdom and very properly felt
themselves entitled to as much confidence from the King as a native
resident of Albion. For this reason, when the British ministry put the
car of oppression in motion in Virginia, her wealthy and noblest sons
were the most vigorous opposers of regal power. The very fact of former
intimacy charged this opposition with stronger bitterness. The very
chivalry that the proud Britons had taught the sons of the Old Dominion
was brought to bear upon the hirelings of the crown with the force of an

In 1774 Mr. Nelson was elected to the House of Burgesses and took a bold
stand in favor of liberal principles. He was one of the eighty-nine
members who assembled at a tavern the day after Lord Dunmore dissolved
them and formed themselves into an association of non-intercourse with
Great Britain. At the next election he was again returned. He was a
member of the two conventions that appointed Congressional delegates in
1774-5. He supported the bold measures proposed by the daring Henry from
which many of the patriots at first recoiled with terror and amazement.
He had no ear for the siren song of peace when the shores of his country
were darkened by foreign fleets and armies. At the convention in March
1775 the following resolutions were proposed by Patrick Henry and
passed. The first germ of our militia system then burst from embryo.

"Resolved--That a well regulated militia, composed of gentlemen and
yeomen, is the natural strength and only security of a free
government--that such a militia in this colony would forever render it
unnecessary for the mother country to keep among us, for the purpose of
our defence, any standing army of mercenary soldiers, always subversive
of the quiet and dangerous to the liberties of the people and would
obviate the pretext of taxing for their support. That the establishment
of such a militia is at this time peculiarly necessary by the state of
our laws, some of which have already expired and will shortly be so and
that the known remissness of government in calling us together in
legislative capacity renders it too insecure in this time of danger and
distress to rely that opportunity will be given of renewing them in
general Assembly or making any provision to secure our inestimable
rights and liberties from those further violations with which they are

_Resolved_--That this Colony be immediately put in a state of defence
and that ---- be a committee to prepare a plan for embodying, arming and
disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that

These resolutions were warmly supported by Mr. Nelson regardless of the
certain destruction of a large portion of his property in case of an
open rupture with mother Britain. The resolutions were carried and July
fixed for the division of the Colony into military districts. From that
time Virginia presented a bold front against the unwarranted pretensions
and insolent assumptions of power on the part of the crown officers. In
July the Convention again assembled and divided the Colony into sixteen
military districts--the Eastern to immediately raise a regiment of six
hundred and eighty men rank and file, the others to raise a battalion of
five hundred men each--all to be at once armed and held in readiness to
march at any moment. The Convention further directed the raising of two
regiments of regulars of one thousand and twenty privates each--the
first to be commanded by Patrick Henry, the other by Thomas Nelson.
Virginia stands number one in the organization of a military system
independent of mother Britain--a system that now pervades the United

On the 11th of August this Convention met again and elected Mr. Nelson
and others to the Continental Congress in which he look his seat on the
13th of September following. He was an industrious and efficient member
of many important committees but rarely took part in debate. By the
following extract from his letter to Gov. Page dated 22d January 1776 it
appears he was one of those who early agitated the question of
Independence. "I wish I knew the sentiments of our people upon the grand
points of Confederation and Foreign Alliance--or in other words--of
Independence--for we cannot expect to form a connexion with any foreign
power as long we have a womanish hankering after Great Britain and to be
sure there is not in nature a greater absurdity than to suppose we can
have any affection for a people who are carrying on the most savage war
against us." On the 13th of February following he wrote to the same
gentleman in the following strong language--"Independence, Confederation
and foreign alliance are as formidable to some members of Congress--I
fear a majority, as an apparition to a weak enervated woman. Would you
think we have some among us who still expect honorable proposals from
the administration! By heavens! I am an infidel in politics for I do not
believe were you to bid a thousand pounds per scruple for honor at the
court of Great Britain that you would get as many as would make an
ounce. We are now carrying on a war and no war. They seize our property
whenever they find it either by land or sea and we hesitate to retaliate
because we have a few friends in England who have ships. Away with such
squeamishness say I."

By this language we can judge of the ardent feelings that moved this
friend of equal rights to noble and god-like action. It was the pure
fire of patriotism fanned to a brilliant flame by a just indignation
against a tyrannical and insolent foe. It was a fire that reflected a
genial heat upon those around it and increased in volume as time rolled
onward. Like separate particles of metal in a crucible, one member after
another yielded to the power of the patriotic flame until all were
united in one liquid mass and on the 4th of July 1776 the mould of
LIBERTY was filled. When opened to the admiring view of a gazing world a
new and purely original table of law and government was presented
enriched with the embossments of equal rights and equal justice. On this
fair tablet, more beautiful than mosaic work, Mr. Nelson engraved his
name in bold relievo. Here we might leave him with glory enough for one
man. But he had then just entered the vestibule of his useful career.
His whole soul and body were enlisted in the glorious cause. He worked
on, hoped on and hoped ever. He was again returned to Congress but was
compelled to retire in May in consequence of a dangerous attack of brain
fever that for a time threatened to impair his mental powers.
Fortunately for the cause of Independence his health was restored.

During the ensuing August the British fleet entered the capes for the
purpose of chastising the rebels of the Old Dominion. A general rally of
the military was the immediate consequence. Mr. Nelson was made Brig.
General and commander of all the Virginia forces. The appointment was
popular--the incumbent competent. His appearance among the people
inspired confidence. The troops rallied around him like affectionate
children around a fond parent. Learning how the land lay the fleet went
its way for that time and waited for a more convenient season. The
soldiers again became citizens.

In October of that year Gen. Nelson took his seat in the legislature of
his state and took an active part in the deliberations of that body.
During the session a bill was brought before the House sequestering
British property and authorizing those of the Colonists who were in
favor of Liberty and owed subjects of Great Britain, to pay the amount
into the public treasury. If the wives and children of such subjects
remained in the state the Governor was authorized to pay them certain
portions of this money for their support. With all his indignity against
mother Britain, his sense of justice induced him to oppose the bill
because it violated individual contracts. He became roused and made an
able and eloquent speech against the measure and closed with the
following emphatic language--"For these reasons I hope the bill will be
rejected--but whatever be its fate--_so help me God_ I will pay _my_
debts like an honest man."

On the 2d of March 1778 Congress made an appeal to the patriotism of the
wealthy young men of the several states urging them to raise a troop of
light cavalry at their own expense. When this proposition was received
in Virginia Gen. Nelson sent a circular to all the young gentlemen of
fortune in the state recommending them to rush to the rescue in person
and to open their purses to other high-minded young men who were poor in
money but rich in patriotism. A company of seventy was promptly raised
in that state and elected Gen. Nelson to command them. He proceeded with
his charge to Baltimore and reported his youthful band to the brave
Pulaski who received the young volunteers with admiration and delight.
From that place the company proceeded to Philadelphia where the General
and the young gentlemen soldiers received the applause and thanks of
Congress. As their services were not needed at that time they returned
home. Their expenses were principally paid by Gen. Nelson without any
charge to government. For his services during the war he took no pay and
expended a large portion of his fortune in the cause of freedom.

On the 18th of February 1779 he again took his seat in Congress and
labored so intensely in the committee rooms that he brought on another
attack similar to the former and was compelled to return home in April.
Relaxation from business and domestic quiet soon restored his health. In
May the British made a descent upon Virginia and marked their course
with relentless cruelty and destruction. Gen. Nelson at once took the
field and marshalled his troops near Yorktown. The enemy dared not
approach him and filed off. During that short campaign he was a father
to his soldiers and supplied them with food from his own funds. He
distributed his laborers and servants among the poor families of the
militia from his neighborhood to labor during the absence of the men. He
was as benevolent as he was patriotic and brave. For the state he raised
large sums upon his own credit for which he was remunerated but in part.
This was done freely without any noise or boasting. He was good for the
sake of goodness--honest for the sake of honesty--not from policy or to
be seen of men.

In the spring of 1781 Virginia was the scene of murder, rapine and ruin.
Judas Arnold and Lord Cornwallis were sweeping over the state like a
tornado. Gen. Nelson was constantly in the field doing all in his power
to arrest the savage career of the merciless foe. He became the hero of
the Old Dominion. In June of that year he was elected governor of the
state. He at once entered upon the duties of his office and bent his
whole energies on raising troops to resist the enemy. About that time La
Fayette arrived with a body of regulars. Gov. Nelson joined him in the
field and placed himself and his troops under command of the Marquis.
Everything in his power he grasped to aid his bleeding country. He
placed his work horses and negroes in the public service. In the midst
of these struggles a circumstance occurred that was exceedingly trying
to his noble soul. By the constitution the governor could act only in
concert with the Council. Two of that body had been taken prisoners by
Tarleton--two had resigned when most needed. A quorum could not be
raised. The crisis required prompt and decisive action. In this dilemma
he proceeded to act as if a quorum of the Council was present. Long
after he had retired to private life and at a time when he was sinking
under disease, some wretches, who would be only scavengers in
Pandemonium, made this a ground of complaint against him. A just
legislature put the matter forever at rest by passing a special law
sanctioning every act of the governor during his administration under
the circumstances alluded to. Ingratitude is the prime minister of
Satan--revenge its secretary.

By the vigilance of Governor Nelson and La Fayette Lord Cornwallis was
snugly ensconced in Yorktown. A dark cloud hovered over his military
fame. Awful forebodings haunted his blood-stained imagination.
Retributive justice pierced his guilty conscience with a thousand viper
stings. The cries of widows and orphans--the curling flames of
hospitable mansions--the sweeping destruction of villages and towns--the
dying groans of innocent victims--the damning fruits of his savage
career, preyed upon his agonized soul like a promethean vulture. The die
was cast. The siege was commenced. Washington was there. At the head of
the Virginia troops was Governor Nelson--cool, brave, fearless,
vigorous. His native town--his own mansion and properly were now to be
razed to the ground. At first he observed the American batteries
carefully avoid his house. The principal British officers had made it
their head quarters for this reason. Learning it was out of respect for
him he directed the gunners to point their cannon at his mansion. The
first discharge after this order sent several shot through it--killed
two of the officers and frightened the rest from a table well spread
with edibles and wines. They were at dinner and feared no danger. The
result of the siege was glorious and closed the war of the Revolution.

The following extract from the general orders of the illustrious
Washington of the 20th of October 1781 will best inform the reader of
the estimate placed upon the services of Governor Nelson at that
memorable siege.

"The General would be guilty of the highest ingratitude--a crime of
which he hopes he shall never be accused, if he forgot to return his
sincere acknowledgments to his excellency Governor Nelson, for the
succors which he received from him and the militia under his command, to
whose activity emulation and bravery the highest praises are due. The
magnitude of the acquisition will be ample compensation for the
difficulties and dangers they met with so much firmness and patriotism."

The fatigues of this campaign and his arduous gubernatorial duties
proved too much for the physical powers of Governor Nelson. He again
sunk under disease and resigned his office on the 20th November 1781 and
retired from the public arena to private life. He spent the remainder of
his days on a small estate he had gathered up from the wreck of his
princely fortune, situated at Offly in the county of Hanover. His health
continued to decline until the 4th of January 1789 when he was numbered
with the dead. His obituary, written by his bosom friend Col. Innes,
fully portrays the character of this devoted patriot and will best close
this annal.

"The illustrious Nelson is no more! He paid the last debt of nature on
Sunday the fourth day of the present month at his estate in Hanover. He
who undertakes barely to recite the exalted virtues which adorned the
life of this great and good man will unavoidably pronounce a panegyric
upon human nature. As a man, a citizen, a legislator and a patriot, he
exhibited a conduct untarnished and undebased by sordid and selfish
interests and strongly marked with the genuine characteristics of true
religion, sound benevolence and liberal policy. Entertaining the most
ardent love for civil and religious Liberty, he was among the first of
that glorious band of patriots whose exertions dashed and defeated the
machinations of British tyranny and gave to united America freedom and
independent empire. At a most important crisis during the late struggle
for American Liberty, when this State appeared to be designated as the
theatre of action for the contending armies, he was selected by the
unanimous suffrage of the legislature to command the virtuous yeomanry
of his country. In this honourable employment he remained until the end
of the war. As a soldier he was indefatigably active and coolly
intrepid. Resolute and undejected in misfortune, he towered above
distress and struggled with the manifold difficulties to which his
situation exposed him with constancy and courage. In the memorable year
of 1781 when the whole force of the southern British army was directed
to the subjugation of this State, he was called to the helm of
government. This was a juncture which indeed 'tried men's souls.' He did
not avail himself of this opportunity to retire in the rear of danger,
but on the contrary took the field at the head of his countrymen and at
the hazard of his life, his fame and individual fortune. By his decision
and magnanimity he saved not only his country but all America from
disgrace if not from total ruin. Of this truly patriotic and heroic
conduct the renowned commander-in-chief, with all the gallant officers
of the combined armies employed at the siege of York, will bear ample
testimony. This part of his conduct even contemporary jealousy, envy and
malignity were forced to approve and this, more impartial posterity, if
it can believe, will almost adore. If, after contemplating the splendid
and heroic parts of his character we shall inquire for the milder
virtues of humanity and seek for the MAN, we shall find the refined,
beneficent and social qualities of private life, through all its forms
and combinations, so happily modified and united in him, that in the
words of the darling poet of nature, it may be said,

    'His life was gentle, and the elements
     So mixed in him, that nature might stand up
     And say to all the world--THIS IS A MAN.'"


Death is a source of terror to most persons. It should be a source of
anticipated joy to every reasonable being. Death is viewed as the great
enemy of man. He is our best friend. Many Christians tremble at the
thought of being folded in the arms of this friend who performs for us
the last--the greatest kind office that can be awarded this side of
eternity. Why should we treat death as an enemy? Is he an enemy who
delivers us from pain, disappointment, folly, error, misery and all the
ills of our earthly pilgrimage? Is he an enemy who transfers us from the
land of delusive dreams, the region of phantoms and corroding cares--to
an Elysium of substantial joys and enduring bliss? It is a _libel_ on
DEATH to call him a foe--a king of terrors--an enemy.

Frail man comes into this world crying--cries on through life and is
always seeking after some earthly object he intends to christen
happiness when obtained. When he reaches the bubble it often bursts at
the slightest touch--it never imparts unalloyed comfort. He is often
mourning over the misfortunes that lie thickly along the road of life.
He is forced to learn there is nothing pure but Heaven. Within the
restless mortal body there is an immortal soul that requires more than
earth can give to satisfy its lofty aspirations. This soul hails death
as the welcome messenger to deliver it from its ever changing decaying
prison of clay--called MAN--on which time wages an exterminating war
until DEATH breaks the carnal fetters--sets the prisoner free--opening
the door of immortality--returning the redeemed spirit to its original
abode of refulgent glory to go no more out for ever. To be terrified at
the thoughts of death is to endure unnecessary fear and add to the
discomforts of life. We should be in constant readiness to give this
friend a hearty welcome. All who are wise will do so.

It is evident the Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution did not
quail at the thought of sacrificing their lives upon the altar of
LIBERTY. By the British and Tories the Declaration of Independence was
called the death warrant of the signers. Had the first open opposers of
the crown fallen into the hands of the royalists their lives would have
been terminated in a summary manner. Among these was James Otis who was
born at Barnstable, Mass. in 1725. He graduated at Harvard College when
but eighteen years of age. He read law with Mr. Gridley--settled in
Plymouth and became one of the most brilliant lights of the profession.
He was an uncompromising and fearless opposer of British wrongs--an able
and unwavering advocate of American rights. In 1761 he appeared before
the judges of the Supreme Court in defence of the people against the
writs of assistance. His logic, eloquence and boldness astonished all
who heard him. He insulated the people with patriotic fire that all the
powers of mother Britain could never extinguish. Among others he was
listened to by John Adams who often remarked--"Independence was then and
there born." By the patriots of that day he was called the originator of
the Revolution. He was the first man who placed his name to a bold and
vigorous pamphlet which he wrote and published--exposing the innovations
of the British ministry upon the chartered rights of the Colonies. He
was threatened with arrest which only roused him to more vigilant action
in defence of human rights. He was a member of the Congress that
convened in New York in 1765. During that year he wrote his "Rights of
the Colonies Vindicated"--which was a masterly production and published
in London. He was of a warm temperament--impulsive--if hard pressed was
sometimes harsh in his language. He was lashed severely by the
ministerial organs which caused him to publish pungent strictures upon
the conduct of several of the crown officers. Soon after these appeared
he was attacked in a public room by a band of British ruffians led on by
custom house commissioner Robinson, who nearly took his life. This
occurred on the 5th of September 1769. So much was he injured that his
reason soon fled for ever. He may appropriately be called the first
mover and the first martyr of the American Revolution. He obtained a
judgment of $20,000 against Robinson for the base assault and on
receiving a written apology relinquished it.

His towering mental powers broke rapidly until he became a mental wreck.
The repeated blows upon his head had permanently deranged his brain.
Occasional lucid flashes would pass over his mind like brilliant meteors
and pass as quickly away. He had often expressed a wish that he might be
killed by lightning. That desire was granted on the 23d day of May 1783
while leaning on his cane at the door of Mr. Osgood. His body was taken
to Boston and buried with every mark of respect attended by an
unprecedented concourse of sympathizing freemen.

No patriot of the Revolution merits our reverence, admiration and
gratitude more than James Otis. He commenced that opposition against
tyranny which resulted in the emancipation of the new
continent--prepared an asylum for the oppressed and set an example for
patriots worthy of imitation through all future time and over the
civilized world.


Creative wisdom has not designed every man for a Demosthenes or a Cicero
but every man of common sense is designed to be good and useful. If all
were alike gifted with splendid talents the monotony would become
painful. Variety, the spice of life, would lose its original flavor. If
all our legislators were eloquent orators and were affected by the mania
of speech making as most of our public speakers are at the present day,
we should be constantly as we are frequently, overwhelmed with talk and
have but little work commenced and less completed. No one admires true
eloquence more than the writer but not too much of this good thing at
the expense of the dear people. Business is of higher importance. Like
our bodies that end in a narrow cell--the long, elaborate and in some
instances--sensible and eloquent speeches of our legislators receive
their finale in the approving--_Aye_--or the emphatic--_No_. Although
based upon the purest motives--dictated by the most enlightened
understanding--strengthened by the soundest logic--embellished with the
richest flowers of rhetoric--illumined by the most brilliant
intelligence--_Aye_ or _No_ decides the most gigantic efforts of every
speech maker. I indulge no desire to extinguish these intellectual
lights or to snuff them too closely. Their wicks should be cut shorter
and the volume of their flame diminished so as to emit less smoke.
Brevity is the soul of wit--despatch the life of business. In the
committee room every man can be useful. The responsibilities of a vote
bear equally upon all. Let the importance of no man be undervalued by
himself or compeers because he was not born with a trumpet tongue. If
his head is clear and his heart right he can do good and be useful.

Among those who rendered essential service in the cause of the American
Revolution in a retiring and unassuming manner, was William Paca born at
Wye Hall on the eastern shore of Maryland October 31st 1740. His father
was an estimable man. He gave this son a good education and planted
deeply in his mind the principles of virtue and moral rectitude. He
graduated at the college in Philadelphia and in 1758 commenced the study
of law at Annapolis in his native state. He applied himself closely to
the investigation of that branch of science that unfolds the nature and
duty of man in all the relations of life--shows what he is and what he
should be under all circumstances--unveils his passions, his
propensities and his inclinations--carries the mind back through the
abysm of lights, shadows and darkness to pristine happiness and
illuminates the understanding more than any other course of reading. Law
is a compound of all the sciences in theory and practice. An honest
lawyer who is actuated by principles of strict justice, pure ethics,
equal rights and stern integrity--can do more to sustain social order
and promote human happiness than a man pursuing either of the other
professions. A lawyer is not complete until he understands at least the
theory of all the practical sciences, professions, trades and the whole
routine of business and the nature of man. The acquisition of elementary
law is only the vestibule to a full preparation for practice.

Upon the firm basis of an honest lawyer Mr. Paca commenced a successful
business and built an enduring fame. He was esteemed for his clearness
of perception, purity of purpose, decision of character, prudence of
action and substantial usefulness--all exhibiting a clear light but not
a dazzling blaze. Upon a mind like his the oppression of the mother
country made a gradual impression that was deepened by the graver of
continued violations of right until it became so firmly fixed that all
the powers of earth could not efface, deface, erase or expunge it. As
constitutional privileges were more openly infringed his soul became
more strongly resolved on liberty or death. He was on intimate terms
with Mr. Chase who possessed all the powers to command whilst Mr. Paca
was endowed with the indispensable requisites of a sale and skilful
helmsman. With qualities thus differing these two patriots
simultaneously commenced their voyage upon the boisterous ocean of
public life destined for the same port--the haven of LIBERTY.

Soon after he commenced practice at the bar Mr. Paca was elected to the
Maryland legislature and became a very useful member. In 1771 he was one
of the committee of three that prepared a letter of thanks to Charles
Carroll for his able advocacy of the cause of freedom in a written
controversy with the royal governor and his subordinates. In that letter
the committee expressed a determination never to submit to taxation
without representation or to the regulation of taxes by the executive
authority--thus furnishing the crown with an index of the public mind in
advance of the text. Mr. Paca was a member of the Congress of 1774 which
was rendered illustrious by proceedings of propriety and wisdom
emanating from minds like his. Upon such men we can always rely in times
of peril. They view everything in the calm sunshine of reason and
justice being never overwhelmed by sudden emotions or angry passions.
Ever upon the _terra firma_ of prudence ready for action they are
prepared to render assistance to those whose loftier barks often run
into the breakers and need a cable from on shore to haul them in.

Mr. Paca was continued in Congress until 1778 and rendered valuable
service to his country. In 1775 he joined Mr. Chase in furnishing a new
military corps with rifles to the amount of nearly a thousand dollars
from their private funds. He devoted his time, talents and fortune to
the cause of freedom. His examples had a powerful influence upon
reflecting men. All had unlimited confidence in his opinions--always
deliberately formed. When the Declaration of Independence was proposed
his feelings and views were decidedly in its favor but his instructions
were opposed to it. The Maryland members of Assembly considered the
project wild--believing the power of the mother country would crush all
opposition in embryo. Redress they fondly but vainly hoped for. The
British authorities soon furnished arguments steeped in blood that
removed all restrictions and left Mr. Paca and his colleagues to act
freely. The first decided vote in favor of stringent measures was on
the 28th of May 1776 at which time the Chaplain of the Maryland Assembly
was directed not to pray for the King. As trifling as this may now
appear it then had a favorable and potent influence upon the people.
When the glorious day arrived to decide the fate of the Chart of Liberty
Mr. Paca was at his post and enrolled his name with the apostles of
FREEDOM whose fame will continue to rise in peerless majesty until the
last trump of time shall sound its closing notes and assemble the world
of mankind in one grand army for the final inspection of the great

In 1778 Mr. Paca retired from Congress and was appointed Chief Judge of
the Superior Court of Maryland. In 1780 his duties were increased by his
appointment to preside over the Prize and Admiralty Court. He stood
approved as an able statesman--he was an ornament to the judiciary. The
acumen of his mind and legal acquirements made him a _strong_ judge--his
honesty and impartiality made a _popular_ one. In 1782 he was elected
governor and discharged the duties of the office with great usefulness.
He was a devoted friend to religion and education and did much to render
them prosperous. He inculcated principles of economy and morals and held
a parental supervision over every department of state that came within
the pale of his executory or advisory jurisdiction. His wise and
judicious administration rendered malice powerless, paralyzed slander
and left no loop for jealousy to hang upon.

At the end of his term he retired to private life which he enjoyed until
1786 when he was again called to direct the destinies of his native
state. In 1789 President Washington appointed him Judge of the U. S.
District Court of Maryland which office he ably filled up to 1799 when
he was summoned to appear at the Bar of God to render an account of his
stewardship. He cheerfully obeyed the summons, launched his immortal
spirit on the ocean of eternity and disappeared from earth. He had lived
the life of the righteous--his last end was like his.

Mr. Paca was a man of polished manners, plain and dignified in his
deportment with an intelligent and benignant countenance. His course in
life demonstrated clearly that moderation and mildness joined with
discretion and firmness govern more potently than authoritative
dictation. His memory is revered--let his examples be imitated.


Virtue affords the only sure foundation of a peaceful and happy
government. When the wicked rule corruption accumulates. Not that rulers
must be members of some visible church--but they should venerate
religion and be men of pure morals and political honesty. Disease
affects the body politic and produces dissolution with the same fearful
certainty that it destroys the physical powers of man. If the head is
disordered the whole heart is sick. If the political fountain becomes
polluted its dark and murky waters will rapidly impregnate every branch
of the body politic with their contagious miasma. The history of all
time proves the truth of this proposition. The passing events of the
present exciting era are fruitful with demonstrations of the baneful
effects of intrigue, peculation, political fanaticism and disunion.

Without virtue our UNION will become a mere rope of sand--a spoil for
knaves and the sport of kings. Self-government will be an unsolved
enigma, rational liberty a paradox, a republic the scoff of monarchs.
With Argus eyes the crowned heads of Europe are watching our career and
embracing every opportunity to weaken our government. Each year of our
prosperous existence endangers their power. The Elysian story of our
liberty is enrapturing their subjects and preparing them for freedom.
The tenure by which they hold their thrones is becoming weaker as time
rolls onward. If we are true to ourselves, if virtue predominates--if
patriotism, discretion and an enlightened honest policy guide our
rulers--the American Republic will increase in beauty, strength and
grandeur and become the nucleus of Liberty for the world. Freemen! look
to this matter in time and nobly perform your whole duty. Obey the
precepts and imitate the examples of the Sages and Heroes who wisely
conceived and boldly achieved the Independence we now enjoy. They were
virtuous, many of them devotedly pious--all of them politically honest.

Holding a conspicuous place among them was Robert Treat Paine, born at
Boston, Mass. in 1731. He was blessed with truly pious parents. His
father performed the duties of a clergyman until his health compelled
him to leave the sacred desk. He then commenced the mercantile business.
The mother of Robert was the daughter of the Rev. Robert Treat, an
eminent divine of Eastham. From these religious parents he imbibed those
virtuous principles that guided his course through life. Were there no
other blessings flowing from Christianity than its salutary influence
upon social order and harmony of society, mankind would be richly paid
for obeying its precepts. This consideration alone should close the
_mouth_ of every infidel let the conclusions of his _mind_ be what they
may with reference to its origin and reality. No other system has ever
been devised that confers as much happiness upon the greatest number.

At an early age Robert Treat was placed in the classical school of Mr.
Lovell in Boston where his embryo talents expanded into a rich and
luxuriant growth. At the age of fourteen he entered Harvard College.
When he graduated his parents had become so reduced in circumstances as
to need pecuniary aid. To provide ways and means he at once commenced
teaching a public school--an occupation of more importance and dignity
than is generally awarded to it. When Greece and Rome
flourished--teaching took the front rank in professions. For a single
course in rhetoric, one hundred Athenean scholars paid Isocrates
fourteen thousand eight hundred dollars. It is not surprising that the
highest order of talent was employed to advance literature in Greece.
The same liberality would effect wonders in our country.

From the avails of his school Mr. Paine supported his parents and a
maiden sister in poor health and at the same time pursued his
professional studies. He commenced theology but subsequently read and
entered upon a successful practice of law. For a time he continued at
the Boston Bar but ultimately settled at Taunton where he acquired a
substantial reputation as an active, sound and discreet lawyer. He
enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his numerous acquaintances and
became celebrated as an advocate. He was among the first to oppose the
innovations of the crown and promulge liberal principles. He was a
member of the Convention called by the citizens of Boston in 1768 to
devise measures for the preservation of their sacred rights and which
Governor Bernard vainly attempted to disperse before the members had
completed their deliberations. At the instance of Samuel Adams he was
employed to conduct the prosecution against Capt. Preston for ordering
his men to fire upon the people of Boston on the 5th of March 1770. Upon
that trial he exhibited great zeal and ability. During the accumulation
of the revolutionary storm he was uniformly in the conventions and upon
the important committees of the people. Many of the boldest resolutions
that were adopted came from his pen.

In 1773 he was elected to the Assembly of his Province and was one of
the members who conducted the impeachment of Peter Oliver, then Chief
Justice, who was accused of acting under the dictation of the king
instead of the Assembly. In the prosecution of that trial Mr. Paine
manifested strong talent and great professional skill. In 1774 he was
again returned to the Assembly and boldly warned the people against the
dangers to be apprehended from the appointment of Gov. Gage to succeed
Gov. Hutchinson. It was plain to his mind that the nefarious designs of
the British ministry were to be enforced by the bayonet unless the
people tamely submitted to slavery. An awful crisis was approaching. A
larger committee than at any previous time convened at Boston, which
proposed and urged the plan of a General Congress to be convened at
Philadelphia. Gov. Gage sent an order for them to disperse but his
orderly was refused admittance. Five delegates were appointed to meet
the General Congress of whom Mr. Paine was one. This measure was
originated in Massachusetts in 1765 and was strongly urged in a circular
in 1768. The set time to favor Liberty had now come. The galling yoke
had become painful--most of the colonies approved the plan. By the
originators of this proposition a separation from England was not
contemplated--a restoration of chartered rights was all that was asked
and this in the most loyal and respectful language. With this object in
view the Congress convened. When the delegates compared notes they were
astonished at the wide spread system of abuses that was on the flood
tide of advancement throughout the Colonies. Each had supposed his own
constituents most oppressed. Indignation increased but wisdom and
deliberation stamped every transaction with a manly dignity. The
proceedings were calm as a summer morning but firm as the rock of ages.
The delegates appealed to the king, to Parliament, to the British
nation, to the American people--to a gazing world for the justice of
their claims--the equity of their demands. But appeals were vain, cries
useless, remonstrances unheeded. They were answered by legions of
hireling troops in all the panoply of war with the shrill bugle grating
harshly upon the ear. They saw the glittering steel of the foe dazzling
in the sun beams. Open resistance or servile submission were the

Mr. Paine was a member of the Provincial Congress convened in Concord,
Mass. in October 1774. He superintended the preparation of a spirited
address to the people of England which put many in the mother country
right and did much to rouse the Colonists to a just indignation towards
the overbearing ministry. In 1775 he was a member of the Continental
Congress and was placed upon many important committees. He was chairman
of the committee on the manufacture of arms and for furnishing the army.
He was indefatigable in his labors in the glorious cause of Liberty. He
often said--"I fear we shall become slaves because we are not
industrious enough to be free." Mr. Paine was one of the committee to
prepare a constitution for his native state and had the credit of
framing that instrument. In 1776 he was a member of the Continental
Congress. He was on the committee with Messrs. Jefferson and Rutledge
who prepared the rules that governed the action of that body. He was one
of the committee to inquire into the causes of the disasters of the
campaign in Canada. When the glorious 4th of July 1776 dawned upon
Columbia's sons like smiling Heaven and the Eagle of LIBERTY soared in
peerless majesty over their blood-stained soil--Mr. Paine was at his
post. With a buoyant heart and firm hand he wrote his name upon that
matchless instrument which is the consolation of freemen--the
consternation of tyrants.

He did much to rouse his friends to action by his letters written in the
most happy style. In his native state he stood high in the temple of
fame--in Congress he was esteemed by all its members. He was continued
in that body for several years and when he could be spared served in the
legislature of his State. In 1777 he was speaker of the House of
Representatives. The same year he was appointed attorney-general by the
unanimous vote of both branches of the legislature. He was a prominent
member of the committee that formed the Act reducing the price of labor
and goods to a standard of equality. In 1779 he was elected to the
Executive Council. The numerous duties imposed upon him he discharged to
the satisfaction of his constituents. He was continued in the office of
attorney-general until 1790. He then declined in order to pursue some
more lucrative business to provide for the increasing wants of a large
and destitute family. He had expended all his earnings in the cause of
freedom but a scanty support. He was then appointed a judge of the
Superior Court. He continued on the bench until 1804 when ill health
compelled him to resign. He discharged his judicial duties with justice
and ability and did much to advance the interests of religion, social
order and a sound state of society. On his resignation he was appointed
a counsellor of the commonwealth and continued to impart his salutary
advice and shed around him a benign influence until the king of terrors
closed his useful career on the 11th of May 1814. Calm and resigned he
slept in death. He entered Jordan's flood with a full assurance of being
hailed with the joyful sentence--"Well done good and faithful servant,
enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." If the bright examples here
presented fail to benefit the reader his virtue and patriotism are

In the life of Judge Paine we have a picture which the Christian,
patriot, jurist and statesmen may contemplate with delightful pleasure.
Because he administered the laws strictly some called him harsh but no
one dared accuse him of injustice. His integrity was beyond the reach of
slander and the assaults of malice. From his solicitude to direct a
wayward son in the paths of rectitude he was reported unkind to his
family. The tale was as false as the heart was base that originated it.
He was all kindness and affection. His anxiety for the welfare and
usefulness of this very son is proof of the deepest paternal regard. He
was a friend to common school education and the sciences. He was the
founder of the American Academy of Massachusetts in 1780. The degree of
LL.D. was conferred upon him by the Cambridge University.

Mr. Paine was a striking example of the happy results of perseverance
and industry. He became greatly useful and acquired his fame without the
aid of patrons in early life--rising by his own exertions and supplying
the wants of his destitute and aged parents to the day of their death.
His career in public and private life was marked with the purest
integrity, the loftiest patriotism, the strictest morality, the most
refined consistency and the most exemplary piety. His life was a
continued round of usefulness--his labors a blessing to mankind--his
death a loss that was keenly felt by his personal friends and the nation
at large. A review of his bright examples affords the highest eulogy
that can be pronounced upon his character. They will be held in
veneration to the remotest period of truth-telling time by all who
revere virtue and love Liberty.


A federal republican government is an unlimited partnership of the
noblest character. Based upon an equality of original representative
stock, an equality of interest in the welfare of the firm devolves upon
each individual of the compact. Unlike monopolizing corporations that
often make the poor poorer and the rich richer--each stockholder has a
right to speak, vote and act upon all questions in primary meetings
irrespective of the number of shares held. The specie of the firm
consists in equality of representation, natural rights, protection in
person, properly and freedom. These precious coins cannot be diminished
in quantity or reduced in quality by alloy without courting danger. To
aid in preserving them pure is the duty of _all_ and should not be
entrusted to the aspiring _few_. Separately and collectively each and
the whole are solemnly bound to pursue all honourable means to advance
the general good. Each one is bound to bring every talent into use--to
leave none in the dark quarry of ignorance, the quagmire of negligence
or to rust by inertness. The unfaithful steward that had but one talent
was condemned because he did not put it to use. Who can tell what his
talents are until he brings them to the light? Rich ores often lie deep.
Many men have passed their majority without rising to mediocrity in
point of developed intellect and have then suddenly risen, like a
blazing meteor and illuminated the world. By several of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence this was beautifully demonstrated.

Among these was John Penn, born in Caroline county, Virginia, the 17th
of May 1741. He was the only child of Moses Penn who married Catharine,
the daughter of John Taylor. The education of the son was confined to
the commonest of common schools--the only kind then in his
neighbourhood. A little learning has been called a dangerous thing but
the amount taught in some common schools at the present era of light is
too small to be dangerous--too limited to do much good. The most
important branch of the education of that era his parents attended to
themselves. By example and precept they taught him the principles of
religion, social virtue and moral honesty. Upon a farm young Penn
labored with his sire who had but few books and did not desire more.
When John was but eighteen years of age his father died and left him a
small fortune. He had an increasing thirst for knowledge but no library
fountain at which he could drink and drink again until he should have
within himself a living stream of mental light. He communicated his
ardent desire to improve his education to his neighbor and relative,
Edmund Pendleton who was a profound lawyer and an able statesman.
Convinced that young Penn possessed strong native talent he made him
welcome to his valuable library and became deeply interested in his
improvement. After exploring the fields of general science this young
philomath commenced the study of law with his relative and brought out
mental ores from his long neglected intellectual quarry of a rare and
rich variety. Mr. Pendleton was delighted with his pupil and the _pupil_
delighted in pleasing him.

Mr. Penn surmounted the barriers that lay before him with an astonishing
rapidity. Before some of his friends supposed he had mastered the
elementary principles of Blackstone he presented himself at the court
for examination--was admitted to the Bar and at once exhibited the
bright plumage of a successful lawyer. But three years previous his now
soaring talents were buried deep in their native quarry--unknown and
unsuspected--a strong admonition to every reader under similar
circumstances to examine closely the quarry of his own immortal mind.
The professional eminence of Mr. Penn rose as rapidly as his appearance
in the forum was surprising. He gained the confidence of the community,
the respect of the courts and the esteem of his senior brethren. In 1763
he doubled his original stock in the firm of the social compact by
leading to the hymenial altar the amiable and accomplished Susannah
Lyme--thus avoiding the hyemal frost that creeps chillingly over lonely

In 1774 Mr. Penn removed to North Carolina. Carrying with him a high
legal reputation he soon obtained a lucrative practice. He had
participated largely in the patriotic feelings that were spreading over
the Colonies like an autumn fire on a prairie. He had fully imbibed the
principles of his venerable preceptor who was one of the boldest of the
bold Virginians in the vindication of chartered rights and was a member
of the general Congress of 1774. The liberal views and splendid talents
of Mr. Penn were soon appreciated by his new acquaintances. On the 8th
of September 1775 he was appointed to the Continental Congress and
repaired to the post of duty and honor the ensuing month. He became an
active and prominent member of that venerated assembly of sages whose
wisdom, sagacity and intelligence emblazoned the historic page with a
new and more brilliant lustre. He served on numerous committees and
acquitted himself with great credit in the discharge of every duty that
devolved upon him. In the committee room, in the House, among the
people--in every situation in which he moved he made the cause of
liberty his primary business. So highly were his services appreciated by
his constituents that they continued him in Congress until the
accumulating dangers that were threatening his own state induced him to
decline a re-election in 1779. He was an early and warm supporter of the
Declaration of Independence. When the joyful day arrived to take the
final question he most cheerfully and boldly sustained it by his vote
and signature--enrolling his name with the brightest constellation of
illustrious statesmen that ever illuminated a legislative chamber.

South Carolina had been devastated by Lord Cornwallis who was preparing
to carry destruction to North Carolina. Emissaries from the British were
already within its precincts to prepare the way for the triumphant entry
of the cruel foe. Already had the friends of royal power received
instructions to seize the most prominent whigs and the military stores
with an assurance of immediate support. The cruelties that had been
practised in South Carolina carried terror to all but hearts of oak.
The sacrifice of Col. Hayne at Charleston in that state, will give the
reader a faint idea of the spirit of demoniac revenge that characterized
some of the refined and christianized British officers.

When that city fell into his hands, Lord Cornwallis issued a
proclamation promising all who would desist from opposing the authority
of the king the most sacred protection of person and property on
condition that each should sign an instrument of neutrality which
obligated the signers not to take up arms against the mother country and
exonerated them from serving against their own. Being a prisoner and
separated from his wife and six small children then residing in the
country--his lady confined with the small pox--Col. Hayne finally signed
the fatal instrument with great reluctance upon the solemn assurance of
the highly civilized and professedly christianized English officers and
James Simpson--intendant of British police, that he should never be
required to bear arms in support of the crown. Like Bishop Cranmer, Col.
Hayne subscribed to that which his soul detested that he might fly to
the relief of his suffering family. As in the case of Bishop Cranmer his
enemies pursued him with a relentless persecution that nothing but death
could allay--a persecution that would have made the untutored Indian
shudder at broken faith and weep tears of blood over violated vows. It
was a total disregard of law, justice and humanity.

Soon after his return to his dying wife and little ones the British
called at his house and ordered him into the army of the mother country
and threatened him with close confinement if he refused. In vain he
referred them to the conditions upon which he so reluctantly signed the
article of neutrality. In vain he claimed protection under the
provincial militia law that imposed a fine when a citizen chose not to
render personal service. To his relentless oppressors all was a dead
letter. He pointed them to the wife of his bosom--the mother of his
children--sinking under the small pox and rapidly approaching another
world. Their sympathy was sealed--their compassion frozen up. In a few
short hours Mrs. Hayne closed her eyes in death. She rested in peace. A
different fate was in reserve for the afflicted husband. The order to
enter the British army must be obeyed or immediate imprisonment would
follow. By the violation of the pledges made to him on their part he
correctly considered himself absolved from all obligations to the
officers of the crown. He at once entered the American army, preferring
death to the ranks of the invaders. A brilliant but short career in the
service of his country awaited him. He was soon made a prisoner and sent
to Charleston where Lord Rawdon, a general of his most _Christian_
majesty, loaded him with irons--submitted him to a mock trial--_ex
parte_ in its proceedings and conclusions--based on revenge and cruelty,
resolved on the speedy and ignominious death of his victim. Col. Hayne
was sentenced to be hung. Amazement and dismay, indignation and surprise
were strongly manifested by all classes. A large proportion of the
friends of the crown deemed the transaction a species of murder. A
petition--headed by the royal governor and numerously signed by persons
of high standing who still adhered to the mother country was presented
to Lord Rawdon in behalf of the unfortunate prisoner but all in vain.

    "Still revenge sat brooding on his dark and sullen brow
     And the grim fiends of hell urged his soul on to murder."

The ladies of Charleston--wives and daughters of royalists and whigs,
then united in a petition couched in the most moving language--praying
that the life of Col. Hayne might be spared. This met with a cold
reception and peremptory refusal. As a last effort to rescue their
father from the gallows--his infant children, dressed in deep mourning
and bathed in tears, were led before Lord Rawdon. Upon their knees, with
their suffused eyes fixed upon him, they addressed the monster in a
strain of heart-moving eloquence that none but infant innocents can
express--none but fiends resist. "_Our mother is dead--spare! O! spare
our dear father!!!_

    "But still he stood unmoved,
     Hard as the adamantine rock,
     Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun."

So melting was this scene that veteran soldiers wept aloud and all were
astounded at the demoniac course of the blood thirsty and relentless
Rawdon. A request was then made that Col. Hayne might be permitted to
die as a military officer and not hung as a felon. This was also denied.
As a devout Christian the martyr resigned himself to his cruel fate and
prepared his mind for the approaching crisis. His little son was
permitted to visit him in prison. When he saw his father loaded with
irons he burst into tears. The parent remarked to him, "Why will you
break my heart with unavailing sorrow? Have I not often told you that we
came into this world to prepare for a better? For that better life, dear
boy, your father is prepared. Instead of weeping, rejoice with me that
my troubles are so near an end. To-morrow I set out for immortality.
When I am dead bury me by the side of your mother." No imagination can
fully conceive--no fancy can truly paint--no pen clearly portray, no
language can half express the heart rending reality of that last sad
interview between the father and his son. When upon the fatal drop with
the accursed halter around his neck--Col. Hayne shook hands with his
friends--bade them an affectionate farewell--urged them to persevere in
the glorious cause of freedom--recommended his children to the
protection of three gentlemen present and the next moment was struggling
in death. The sight was too much for his son--his brain became
disordered--his reason fled--he died insane. With his expiring breath he
faintly whispered--"_My mother is dead!--Spare! O! spare my dear

Fortunately for North Carolina the efficient and sagacious Greene with
his brave officers and half clad soldiers checked the triumphant and
murderous career of the British army. The operations of this brave
General were greatly accelerated by Mr. Penn. In 1780, when Lord
Cornwallis penetrated the western part of the state to Charlottetown,
the crisis became alarming and this bold patriot was placed at the helm
of public affairs with almost unlimited power. He was authorized to
seize supplies by force and do all things that he deemed necessary to
repel the invading foe. He proved equal to the emergency. He knew his
duty and performed it with such discretion and prudence that no
complaints of injustice were heard. The state was saved from a merciless
enemy--Tarleton was humbled--Ferguson killed and Cornwallis put on his
back track at double quick time.

After discharging the duties imposed by his own state Mr. Penn retired
to private life and the pursuit of his profession. In 1784 he was
appointed Receiver of Taxes for North Carolina--a high encomium upon his
reputation for integrity. Fatigued with public service he resigned this
office in a few months. He then bid a final farewell to the perplexing
duties of political life and took his exit from the public arena decked
with a civic wreath of unfading honor. He again entered into the
soul-cheering enjoyments of domestic felicity which were soon exchanged
for those of another and brighter world. In September 1788 he was
gathered to his fathers and laid in the silent tomb there to await the
resurrection of the great day. He was cut down just as he began to enjoy
the fruits of his labors--in the prime of life and left a vacuum in
society not readily filled. His grave was moistened with tears--a nation
mourned his loss.

In all the relations of private life and public action Mr. Penn was a
model of rare perfection. As a counsellor and advocate he stood on a
commanding eminence. His forensic eloquence was strongly pathetic. The
court and jury were often suffused with tears when listening to his
appeals. As a patriot and statesman he stood approved by his country.
His disposition was mild and benevolent--his purposes pure and firm. He
was a good and honest man. Let the young men who are just stepping on
the stage of action imitate John Penn in his successful efforts to be
useful. Banish the doctrine that power shall be monopolized by a few.
This principle should never gain credence in a republican government
where every individual is equally interested in the cardinal points of
freedom--_personal liberty equally secured--personal rights equally
enjoyed_. So long as these points are fully exemplified our UNION is


The magic power of the press cannot be too highly appreciated nor its
abuses too deeply deprecated. The newspapers of the day have become the
controlling power of public opinion. No course of reading so fully
presents the present aspect of society. Were all our editors governed by
lofty patriotism, sound logic, strict justice, enlarged philanthropy,
universal charity, moral courage, sterling integrity and undeviating
courtesy--a harmonious tone would be given to community that would usher
in the day-spring of transporting harmony. But few of the editorial
corps seem to feel the high responsibility resting upon them. Too many
are the automatons of political parties and issue sheets not calculated
to improve the mind, correct the head or better the heart. The politics
of the present day have become disgusting to genuine patriots who deem
the good of their country paramount to party triumph. Demagogues discard
the old landmarks of '76. Many of our laws are based upon party
principles without reference to the good of our country--a very sandy
foundation. Let editors banish all party control and venality from the
press and send forth rays of living light that will purify our political
and moral atmosphere--then our government will be healthful, vigorous
and strong.

The silken cords of our Union have been strained to their utmost tension
several times. We have an accumulating mass of combustible materials in
our midst. Our bond of Union has been put at issue by the meddlesome and
sensitive--the fanaticism of the one part and the boiling passions of
the other are encouraged by demagogues--the virtue of the people can
alone preserve it. A little more steam upon the locomotive of
disunion--a little more fuel from the north and fire from the south may
burst the boiler and destroy the beautiful engine of our LIBERTY. More
than any other class--editors can insure the perpetuity of our UNION.
Let conductors of the public press soar above all selfish and demagogue
influences and become shining examples of purity in the broadest sense
of the term. Then our tree of LIBERTY will continue to rise in majesty
sublime and as it towers upward will send forth flashes of light upon
the oppressed millions of the old world who will yet rise in all the
might of their native dignity--demolish the thrones of monarchs--sing
the requiem of tyrants and strike for FREEDOM--the crowning glory of

All the patriots of the American Revolution whose opinions we know,
deprecated the venality of the press. Among the pioneer sages was Josiah
Quincy who was born in Boston, Mass. in 1745. In childhood he manifested
unusual talents which were highly cultivated in Harvard College where he
graduated with high honors. He then read law and became an ornament to
the Boston bar. His eloquence was of that commanding kind that at once
rivets the attention of an audience. His logic was forcible, his
demonstrations clear, his arguments convincing, his conclusions happy,
his action captivating. A bright career was apparently before him which
gave promise of extensive usefulness to his country and honor to

He was among the first to espouse the cause of the oppressed Colonies.
He was one of the boldest champions of the people. He had their
confidence, esteem and admiration. Although surrounded and threatened by
the myrmidons of the crown he fearlessly and publicly opposed the
unrighteous pretensions of the British ministry. He lucidly pointed out
the various innovations upon chartered rights that had become sacred by
long enjoyment and repeatedly sanctioned by declaratory Acts of
Parliament. Had the colonists tamely surrendered them they would have
been unworthy of the rights of freemen. Thank God--they did not
surrender them. Anxious to maintain them peaceably, they sent Mr. Quincy
to England in 1774 for the purpose of reconciling, existing
difficulties. Among the people he found many who deprecated the course
of ministers--a respectable minority of the eminent British statesmen
considered the advisers of the king visionary in their
plans--unreasonable in their demands. Finding that mother Britain was
madly bent on ruin Mr. Quincy left for his native land. He reached Cape
Ann Harbor on the 25th of April 1775 and died the same day deeply
mourned by a nation just bursting into life.

His course was brilliant but transient. Like some rich flowers that
bloom at distant periods only for a short time--so bloomed this
distinguished patriot--then disappeared for ever from the human gaze. He
bloomed long enough to richly perfume the atmosphere of patriotism
around him and rouse those to action who inhaled the rich perfumes of
LIBERTY emitted from his noble soul. With such men as Josiah Quincy our
Press would be pure--our UNION safe.


When an individual is presented with both horns of the dilemma--Liberty
or slavery--the one to be obtained with blood--the other a tame
submission to chains--if he is worthy the name of MAN--his mental and
physical powers are at once roused to action. He does not stop to
explore the avenues of obtuse metaphysics, speculative dogmas or
fastidious etiquette. He flies to first principles and strains his
reason and genius to their utmost tension to aid him. He puts forth his
mightiest efforts--boldest exertions--strongest energies to extricate
himself from surrounding difficulties--impending dangers. He performs
astonishing feats rather than become a serf and surmounts the
cloud-capped summit of an Alpine barrier that he would have never
reached under ordinary circumstances.

The same proposition may be extended to a nation. The history of the
American Revolution demonstrates it most clearly. The colonists were
placed upon the piercing horns of an awful dilemma--apparently doomed to
slavery or death. By their unparalleled efforts, crowned with the
blessing of God, they were ultimately delivered from their perilous
situation and survived the gores and bruises received in the unequal
conflict. This was effected by men of strong intellect, clear heads,
good hearts and sound judgments--men of strong moral courage who could
reason, plan, execute. The _flowers_ of literature were not then culled
to form a bouquet for legislative halls. Plain common sense, sterling
worth, useful knowledge, practical theorems, honesty of purpose, energy
of action--all based upon pure patriotism and love of LIBERTY were the
grand requisites to ensure popular favor.

All those were concentrated in George Read who was the son of John Read
a wealthy and respectable planter who came from Dublin, Ireland and
located in Cecil County, Maryland, where George was born in 1734. The
father subsequently removed to Newcastle County, Delaware and placed
this son in a school at Chester, Pennsylvania, where he received his
primary tuition. From there he was transferred to the seminary of Rev.
Dr. Allison who was eminently qualified to mould the mind for usefulness
by imparting correct and liberal principles, practical knowledge and
general intelligence fit for every day use--combining the whole with
refined classics and polite literature. Under this accomplished teacher
Mr. Read completed his education and at the age of seventeen commenced
the study of law under John Moland a distinguished member of the
Philadelphia bar. So astonishing was his proficiency that he was
admitted to the practice of his profession at the age of nineteen with a
better knowledge of the elements of law than some practitioners obtain
through life. He was also well prepared to enter upon the practice of
his profession, having had the entire charge of Mr. Moland's business
for several months. He was one of those rare geniuses that seemed
endowed with intuition.

He commenced a successful practice at Newcastle in 1754 and at once
grappled with old and experienced counsellors. His thorough knowledge of
the primary principles of law, his acuteness in pleading, his urbanity
of manners, his noble and courteous bearing in court, gained for him the
esteem and confidence of the judges, his senior brethren and of the
community. As a natural consequence his practice soon became lucrative.
His forte did not consist in a flowery show but in a deep-toned and
grave forensic eloquence that informs the understanding and carries
conviction to the mind. He rarely appealed to the passions of court or
jury--preferring to stand upon the legitimate basis of the law clearly
expounded--the testimony honestly stated.

On the 13th of April 1763 he was appointed Attorney General for the
three lower counties of Delaware and held the office until called to the
duties of legislation. The same year he led to the hymeneal altar an
amiable, pious and accomplished daughter of the Rev. George Ross of
Newcastle--thus adding largely to the stake he held in the welfare of
his country--enhancing his earthly joys and giving him an influence and
rank in society unknown to lonely bachelors. She fully supplied the
vacuum abhorred by nature and proved a consolation to him amidst the
toils, perils, pains and pleasures of subsequent life.

Mr. Read was a republican to the core. From the commencement to the
close of the Revolution he was a bold and unyielding advocate of equal
rights and liberal principles. When the questions in dispute assumed the
form of serious discussion between the two countries he at once resigned
the office of Attorney General held under the crown. In 1765 he was
elected a member of the Delaware Assembly and was instrumental in laying
deep the foundations of the superstructure of LIBERTY. He was prudent,
calm and discreet in all his actions--but firm, bold and resolute. He
was a member of the committee of the Delaware Assembly that so ably
addressed the king upon the subject of grievances and redress. He was in
favor of exhausting the magazine of petition and remonstrance--if to no
purpose then to replenish with powder and ball. He did not nor did any
of the Signers of the Declaration originally contemplate a dissolution
of the ties that bound the Colonies to the mother country. They could
not believe until "the death" forced the truth upon them--that ministers
would commit political suicide. This done, as Americans are proverbial
for humanity and decency the compound _felo de se_ was interred with a
calm dignified solemnity.

Mr. Read and his coadjutors understood the rights secured by Magna
Charta and the Constitution of England and knew that those rights were
trampled upon by the hirelings of the crown. To vindicate them was his
firm resolve. He knew and weighed well the superior physical powers of
the oppressors but he believed the majesty of eternal justice and the
kind aid of Heaven would be vouchsafed to sustain the patriots in their
struggle to sustain their inalienable rights. He believed the project of
taxation without representation to pamper royal corruption to be so
heinous that the scheme would be crushed by the blighting curse of an
offended Deity. Nor did he err in his reasonable conclusions. That curse
came with the force of a sweeping avalanche--British power was
annihilated in America.

On the 17th of August 1769 he published an appeal to his constituents,
calling upon them to resist the encroachments of tyranny. Its language
was bold and forcible, portraying in colors deep and strong their rights
and wrongs, pointing out the path of duty so plain that a tory need not
have erred therein. This talismanic production sealed the fate of
British power in patriotic Delaware--small in size but a giant in
action. The hirelings of the crown saw the writing upon many walls and
were suddenly attacked with a Belshazzar tremor and found no balance in
America to restore an equilibrium.

Mr. Read sanctioned the various non-importation resolutions passed by
his own and other Colonies. This was the first measure adopted to
negative the designs of ministers by refraining from the use of all
taxable articles whether of luxuries or daily consumption. Had the
colonists not presented so bold a front at the onset the non-importation
resolutions would have probably been paralyzed by an Act of Parliament
compelling them to use the taxable articles in quantities so large that
the accruing revenue would have enabled the cabinet to revel in

He was chairman of the committee of twelve appointed by the people of
Newcastle on the 29th of June 1774 to obtain subscriptions for the
Boston sufferers, then writhing under the lash of the infamous Port Bill
passed by Parliament for the purpose of chastising the refractory
"rebels" of that patriotic city. In February following he had the
exquisite pleasure of remitting nine hundred dollars to them. The
receipt was eloquently acknowledged by Samuel Adams who was one of his
faithful correspondents.

Mr. Read was a member of the Congress of 1774 and continued a member
during the Revolution. He was also President of the Convention that
formed the first Constitution of Delaware in 1776. He was a member of
the Delaware Assembly for twelve years in succession and a portion of
that time Vice President of the state. In the autumn of 1777 President
M'Kinley fell into the hands of the enemy which compelled Mr. Read to
leave Congress for a season and perform the duties of Chief Magistrate
of his state. On his way home with his family he was compelled to pass
through Jersey. In crossing the Delaware from Salem his boat was
discovered by those on board the British fleet then lying just below. An
armed barge was sent in pursuit. Mr. Read's boat stuck in the mud and
was soon overtaken. By effacing the marks upon his baggage before he was
boarded and having with him his wife and children he convinced those
from the fleet he was a country gentleman on his way to his farm and
solicited their assistance to put him and his family on shore. They
cheerfully complied with his request and landed him and his precious
charge safely on the Delaware side of the river. The open frankness and
calmness of himself and lady saved them from the horrors of a
prison-ship and probably him from an exhibition upon the yard-arm of a
man of war.

The duties of Chief Magistrate of his state were very imposing at that
time. Internal discussions were to be reconciled--an intercourse by many
of the inhabitants with the British fleet to be broken up--ways and
means for his own and the general government to be provided and some
plan devised to procure the release of the President. A conquering foe
was flushed with victory in all directions. In the midst of all these
perils he stood firmly at the helm and outrode every storm. He proved
equal to every emergency and added fresh lustre to his growing fame.

When the Declaration of Independence was under discussion he believed
the measure premature but when adopted he cheerfully placed his name on
this monument of fame. In 1779 ill health compelled him to retire from
the public arena for a year when he again resumed his legislative
duties. In 1782 he was appointed a judge of appeals in the Court of
Admiralty. In 1785 he was one of the commissioners to settle the
boundary line between New York and Massachusetts. The next year he was a
delegate to the convention of states convened at Annapolis to regulate
the Commerce of the Union. In 1787 he was one of that talented
convention that framed the Federal Constitution. He was a Senator in the
first Congress convened under that Constitution and served six years. He
was Chief Justice of Delaware from 1793 to the time of his death. Upon
the Bench he had few equals and no superior. In all these responsible
stations he acquitted himself nobly and did honor to his country and the
cause of rational freedom.

The person of Mr. Read was above the middle size, well formed with a
commanding and agreeable deportment. He was scrupulously honest, rigidly
just. When he arrived at his majority he assigned his portion of the
paternal estate to his brothers, deeming the expenses of his education
equivalent to his share. He was systematic even in the smallest concerns
of life. He abhorred vice of every kind. He enjoyed a good health in his
old age up to the autumn of 1798 when, after a sudden and short illness,
he closed his eyes on terrestrial scenes and resigned his spirit into
the hands of the wise Disposer of all events.

As a civilian, statesman, magistrate, patriot, philanthropist,
gentleman, husband, father, citizen and public benefactor--George Read
was a model worthy of all admiration and the exactest imitation. All who
imitate his noble career will go for the UNION forever.


Genealogy was once a kind of titular idol held in great veneration. The
biographer made it his first stepping-stone--one of the main pillars of
his superstructure. In countries where the iron sceptre of monarchy is
still swayed--where titles of honor create lineal dignity without regard
to merit--where blood is analyzed by political chemistry and all the
precipitants are rejected but the carbonate of noble and royal
pedigree--where the crown descends upon a _non compos mentis_ incumbent
with the same certainty that it reaches a man of good
intellect--genealogy is still measurably the criterion by which to
determine the importance and weight of character. As light and
intelligence shed their benignant rays upon mankind the deference paid
to this titular phantom will be diminished. Where rational liberty
reigns triumphant merit alone creates dignity. The man is measured by
his actions--not by the purple fluid in his veins or conduct of his
relations. In our free country genealogy is a matter of curiosity--not
of veneration. The son of a coal cracker or cobbler can rise to the
highest station within the gift of the people by the force of talent and
merit. I am aware that the aristocracy of wealth is a noxious weed that
spreads its deleterious branches through our cities and large towns but
not yet so widely and luxuriant as to prevent merit and genius from
acquiring a rapid and healthful growth. In times of danger and peril its
power will be lessened in the same ratio that these increase. In an
atmosphere purely republican it withers and dies.

But few families in these United States can trace their ancestors so far
back as the Rodneys of Delaware. They came into England with the Norman
queen Maud [Matilda] in 1141 and were among the bravest military
chieftains who led in the Norman conquest. At all subsequent periods
they were prominent in directing the destinies of Britain. To those who
are conversant with the history of the various periods of public
commotion in that kingdom--the name of Sir Walter de Rodney is familiar,
with many others of the same lineage. They were able in council and war.
They were conspicuous in the civil, military and naval departments and
received the highest honors that could be awarded to their rank by kings
and queens. They were marked for magnanimity and liberal views.

Under the auspices of William Penn William Rodney came to Philadelphia
who was a branch of this ancient family. He was the son of William
Rodney of England and settled in Kent, Delaware. His mother, Alice, was
the daughter of Sir Thomas Cæsar a wealthy English merchant. William
Rodney left one son, Cæsar, who was the father of the subject of this
biographette. This son was born at Dover, Kent county, Delaware in 1730.
He received a good education and inherited a large real estate from his
father. He possessed a strong and penetrating mind, firmness of purpose,
decision of character, an abundant share of keen wit and good humor, a
large stock of experimental intelligence and practical knowledge with
discretion to know how, when and where to bring these important
qualities into action. With endowment's like those Mr. Rodney spread his
canvass to the popular breeze and commenced his voyage of public life.
His cabin stores were purely republican and liberal in quantity.

In 1758 he became high sheriff of his native county and discharged his
duties in a manner that gained for him the confidence and esteem of the
citizens generally. At the expiration of his term he was appointed a
Justice of the Peace and a judge of the lower courts. In October 1762 he
took his seat in the Legislature at Newcastle and became an active and
influential member. He was one of the committee that prepared the answer
to the message of the governor and was on other important committees. At
the close of the session he was put in possession of the great seal to
be affixed to the laws that had been passed at that term.

When the rights of the Colonies were infringed by assumptions of
arrogated power on the part of mother Britain, Mr. Rodney was among the
first who took a bold stand in favor of justice. He was a member of the
Congress that convened at New York in 1765 to remonstrate against the
Stamp Act and other threatened innovations upon the privileges of the
Colonies that had been long enjoyed and were guarantied by the social
compact between the king of Great Britain and his "dutiful and most
loyal subjects in America." After the Stamp Act was repealed Messrs.
Rodney, M'Kean and Read were appointed a committee to prepare an address
to the king expressive of the joy produced throughout the Colony by this
event. It is substantially the same as those prepared by the other
Colonies and shows clearly the feelings of loyalty that pervaded the
people at that time. The following is the body of the address.

"We cannot help glorying in being the subjects of a king that has made
the preservation of the civil and religious rights of his people and the
established constitution the foundation and constant rule of government
and the safety, ease and prosperity of his people his chiefest care--of
a king whose mild and equal administration is sensibly fell and enjoyed
in the remotest part of his dominions. The clouds which lately hung over
America are dissipated. Our complaints have been heard and our
grievances redressed--trade and commerce again flourish. Our hearts are
animated with the warmest wishes for the prosperity of the mother
country for which our affection is unbounded and your faithful subjects
here are transported with joy and gratitude. Such are the blessings we
may justly expect will ever attend the measures of your Majesty pursuing
steadily the united and true interests of all your people throughout
your wide extended empire assisted with the advice and support of a
British Parliament and a virtuous and wise ministry. We most humbly
beseech your Majesty graciously to accept the strongest assurances that
having the justest sense of the many favors we have received from your
royal benevolence during the course of your majesty's reign and how much
of our present happiness is owing to your paternal love and care for
your people. We will at all times most cheerfully contribute to your
majesty's service to the utmost of our abilities when your royal
requisitions, as heretofore, shall be made known--that your majesty will
always find such returns of duty and gratitude from us as the best of
kings may expect from the most loyal subjects and that we will
demonstrate to all the world that the support of your majesty's
government and the honor and interests of the British nation are our
chief care and concern, desiring nothing more than the continuance of
your wise and excellent constitution in the same happy, firm and envied
situation in which it was delivered to us from our ancestors and your
majesty's predecessors."

With the feelings expressed in this address the conclusion is
irresistible that nothing but the most cruel oppressions could have
driven the American people to a revolution. A similar expression of
feeling was sent to the king from all the Colonies.

     "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad."

So with the British ministry--they were madly bent on reducing their
American brethren to unconditional subjection and after a short interval
commenced a system of oppression upon a broader, bolder scale. Again the
people appealed to their king--but appealed in vain. Mr. Rodney was upon
the committee that prepared a second address to his majesty just before
the Revolution in the following language:

"The sense of our deplorable condition will, we hope, plead with your
majesty in our behalf for the freedom we take in dutifully remonstrating
against the proceedings of a British Parliament--confessedly the wisest
and greatest assembly upon earth. But if our fellow subjects of Great
Britain, who derive no authority from us, who cannot, in our humble
opinion, represent us and to whom we will not yield in loyalty and
affection to your majesty, can, at their will and pleasure, of right
give and grant away our property--if they can enforce an implicit
obedience to every order or act of theirs for that purpose and deprive
all or any of the Assemblies on this continent of the power of
legislation for differing with them in opinion in matters which
intimately affect their rights and interests and everything that is dear
and valuable to Englishmen--we cannot imagine a case more miserable--we
cannot think we shall have the shadow of Liberty left. We conceive it to
be an inherent right in your majesty's subjects, derived to them from
God and nature--handed down by their ancestors--confirmed by your royal
predecessors and the constitution, in person or by their
representatives, to give and to grant to their sovereign those things
which their own labor and their own cares have acquired and saved and in
such proportions and at such times as the national honor and interest
may require. Your majesty's faithful subjects of this government have
enjoyed this inestimable privilege uninterrupted, from its first
existence till of late. They have at all times cheerfully contributed to
the utmost of their abilities for your majesty's service as often as
your royal requisition was made known and they cannot, but with the
greatest uneasiness and distress of mind, part with the power of
demonstrating their loyalty and affection for their beloved king."

Addresses similar to this were laid before the king from all the
Colonies and from the Congress of 1774. The struggle between loyal
affection and a submission to wrongs was truly agonizing. This affection
and the physical weakness of the Colonies are proof strong as holy writ
that British oppression was raised to the zenith of cruelty. The history
of the American Revolution should be a striking lesson in all future
time to those in power not to draw the cords of authority too tightly.
It affords a cheering example to all persons to resist every
encroachment upon their liberty.

In 1769 Mr. Rodney was chosen speaker of the Assembly of Delaware and
continued to fill the chair for several years with honor and dignity.
Among other things he introduced an amendment to a bill relative to
slaves, prohibiting their importation into the Colony. So ably did he
advocate this humane proposition that it was lost only by two votes. The
same philanthropic feeling was increasing through the states until
England, by her emissary Dr. Thompson, sowed the seeds of abolition
broadcast in our country for the express purpose of dissolving our UNION
and of destroying the only republic Europe fears. Digging around the
roots of a decaying tree often revives it. Honest men may err.

As the specks of war began to concentrate Mr. Rodney became one of the
most active opposers of British tyranny. Excepting a short interval he
was a member of Congress from 1774 to 1776 and took a conspicuous part
in the general business and discussions of that august body. In his own
province he had much to do. The royal attachments were deeply rooted. It
required greater exertions to thwart the intrigues of foes within than
to repel the attacks of enemies without. In addition to his duties of
speaker of the Delaware Assembly and member of Congress those of
brigadier-general of militia devolved on him. His numerous messages to
his legislature and letters to his officers urging them to decisive
action manifested great industry, clearness of perception, firmness of
purpose and patriotic zeal. He was in favor of the Declaration of
Independence from its first inception. The day previous to the final
decision upon this important measure he was in Delaware devising means
to arrest the career of certain Tories in the lower end of the province.
Mr. McKean informed him by express of the approaching crisis. He
immediately mounted his horse and arrived at Philadelphia just in time
to dismount and enter the hall of Congress and give his vote for LIBERTY
and affix his name to that bold instrument that dissolved allegiance to
England's king and created a compact of freemen.

In the autumn of 1776 the Tories defeated his election to Congress. With
increasing zeal he entered the field of military operations. He repaired
to Princeton soon after the brave Haslet and Mercer fell, fighting for
the cause of justice and freedom. He remained with the army two months
and received the approval of Washington expressed in the following
letter written from Morristown, N. J. on the 18th of February 1777.

"The readiness with which you took the field at the period most critical
to our affairs--the industry you used in bringing out the militia of
Delaware State and the alertness observed by you in forwarding troops to
Trenton--reflect the highest honor on your character and place your
attachment to the cause in the most distinguished point of view. They
claim my sincerest thanks and I am happy in this opportunity in giving
them to you."

On his return he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court organized
under the new order of things. He declined serving believing he could be
more useful in some other sphere. About that time an open insurrection
broke out in Sussex County in his State. He immediately repaired to the
scene of insubordination and quelled it with only the appearance of
force. At the time the British were preparing to march from the
Chesapeake to the Brandywine he was stationed south of the American army
for the purpose of throwing his force between the enemy and their
shipping. In the field and in the legislative hall he was alike active.

In December 1777 he was again elected to Congress. The legislature of
his State being in session he concluded to remain until it rose. Before
its adjournment he was elected President of Delaware which prevented him
from serving in the national legislature. His services in his new
station were of great importance. His exertions in raising supplies for
the army were of the most vigorous character--especially during the
winter and spring of 1779 when the troops were often on half allowance
and the magazines so bare that it seemed impossible to sustain the army
a single week. During the four years he directed the destinies of
Delaware he had many refractory spirits to manage--many difficult
questions to decide that brought into useful action his prudence, wisdom
and firmness. Upon his own matured judgment he relied. So well did he
balance the scales of justice that he gained the admiration of his
friends and the approval of his enemies. The affairs of the State were
never in better hands.

Mr. Rodney was remarkably fond of a good joke if inoffensive and chaste.
He often exhibited brilliant displays of wit but was extremely careful
of personal feelings. When in Congress Mr. Harrison had often called
Virginia the Dominion of the Colonies. When threatened with invasion by
the enemy he asked immediate aid to protect her from the approaching
foe. When he sat down Mr. Rodney rose with assumed gravity and apparent
sympathy and assured the gentleman that the _powerful Dominion_ should
be protected--"Let her be of good cheer--she has a friend in
need--_Delaware_ will take her under protection and insure her safety."
The portly Harrison and the skeleton Rodney both enjoyed the hit which
convulsed the other members with laughter.

In view of the great amount of business performed by Mr. Rodney and his
proverbial cheerfulness and playful good humor the reader will be
astonished to learn that he was afflicted with a cancer upon his nose
from his youth which spread over one side of his face and compelled him
to wear a bandage over it for many years before his death. It so reduced
his flesh that he was a walking skeleton. It terminated his active and
useful life in 1783. He met death with calm submission and Christian
fortitude and died rejoicing in the bright prospects that were dawning
upon the country he dearly loved and had faithfully served.

Mr. Rodney was naturally of a slender form with an animated countenance,
easy and polished manners and very agreeable and gentlemanly in his
intercourse. From his writings he appears to have held religion in high
veneration and practised the purest morals--producing the fruits of
righteousness in richer abundance than many who make loud pretensions to
piety but do not prove their faith by their works. He was liberal, kind,
benevolent and so strongly sympathetic that he was obliged to avoid
scenes of physical suffering if possible. He could not endure to be in
the room of a dying friend or relative. The poor, the widow, the orphan,
his relatives and friends, his country--all deeply mourned the loss of


Idleness is the tomb of a living man--the progenitor of want, the
substratum of misery--the fountain of crime. It was scarcely known and
never countenanced by the pilgrim fathers or revolutionary patriots. We
now have many among us who had rather be pinched with hunger and shine
in rags than labor. A more numerous and dangerous class is composed of
gentlemen idlers who pass down the stream of time at the expense of
those who constantly pull at the oar. They live upon the best, dress
finely by borrowing and spunging and when these fail they take to
swindling, stealing, gambling, robbing and often pass on for years
before justice overtakes them. So long as they can keep up fashionable
appearances and elude the kind hearted police whose good will they
generally have, they are received into the company of the upper ten
exquisites with marked complacency. By virtue of a fine coat, lily hand
and graceful bow, which cover more sins than modern Christian charity,
many an idle knave has been received into fashionable circles with eclat
and walked rough-shod over a worthy young clerk, mechanic or farmer who
had too much good sense to act the monkey flirtations of an itinerant
dandy. When the counting-house, the mechanic shop, the plough and the
kitchen fall into disrepute and are submerged by vain show, pomp and
parade--the sun of our country's glory will set to rise no more. When
the republican simplicity of Greece and Rome receded before imported
fashions, luxuries and rules of etiquette--when they ceased to call men
from the shop and the plough to the cabinet and the field--when the
women exchanged the kitchen for the drawing-room and plainness for
extravagance of dress--corruption supplanted virtue--the genius of
LIBERTY veiled her face and fled--dissolution followed--RUIN closed the
dreadful scene.

Industry and plainness were marked characteristics of the Sages and
Heroes of the American Revolution. Among them George Ross stood
conspicuous. He was born at Newcastle, Delaware, in 1730. He was the son
of Rev. George Ross, pastor of the Episcopal church at that ancient
town. Under the instruction of his father the strong native talents of
George unfolded their richness. At the age of eighteen he was a good
classical scholar. He then commenced the study of law in Philadelphia
with an elder brother, John Ross, where he was admitted to the Bar in
1751. To have elbow room he located at Lancaster, Pennsylvania--then on
the confines of civilization bordering on the far west. Noble in his
disposition, plain and agreeable in his manners, learned and diligent in
his profession, candid, honest and just in his course--he gained the
confidence and love of the people and a lucrative practice. To plant
himself more firmly in his new location and give additional proof of his
good sense, he married Ann Lawler a highly esteemed lady who proved an
affectionate and worthy companion.

He built his legal fame on the genuine basis--close application to his
professional business unconnected with public politics. Unfortunately
for themselves many young lawyers enter the political arena for the
purpose of obtaining professional notoriety and business. This error has
prevented many talented young men from rising to legal eminence in
modern times. The Revolution was a different matter. Liberty or death
was then the issue. Now it is a feigned one. If a young attorney becomes
pledged to a political party he has not a _client_ but a _master_ that
exacts the most abject, humiliating services with a contingent promise
to pay in bogus coin. Either his legitimate business or that of the
party must be neglected. Reflecting men know this. Aware that it
requires close application to become learned in the law they keep aloof
from young political lawyers. A few high toned partisans, whose tools
they are, may employ them in small cases but when _they_ have an
important one--the studious industrious counsellor who has not inhaled
the corrupting atmosphere of modern politics is the one employed. A word
to the wise should be sufficient.

It was not until long after his location at Lancaster that Mr. Ross
entered upon his legislative course. The time had arrived when the
people began to feel the smart of British oppression and became more
particular in selecting men of known worth and talents to guard their
interests against the machinations of an avaricious and designing
ministry. He was elected to the Colonial Assembly in 1768. His
reputation stood high as an able lawyer and a man of liberal views,
sound judgment and decision of character. His influence was sensibly
felt--his labors highly appreciated. At that time the legislative body
replied to the message of the governor _in extenso_. At his first
session Mr. Ross was appointed to reply to this document. In respectful
but bold language he objected to every proposition that he considered
impolitic or in opposition to the best interests of the people. He was a
fearless sentinel, a powerful champion in the cause of Liberty. In every
leading measure in favour of freedom he was a leading man. He was
continued in the Assembly until he took his seat in Congress in 1774. He
was upon the committee that reported in favor of sending delegates and
the man who prepared the instructions of the Assembly to the
congressional delegates. As these are substantially the same as those
that were given to all instructed delegates I insert them that the
reader may see that redress of grievances was all that was asked or then

"The trust reposed in you is of such a nature and the modes of executing
it may be so diversified in the course of your deliberations, that it is
scarcely possible to give you particular instructions respecting it. We
shall therefore only in general direct--that you are to meet in Congress
the committees of the several British Colonies at such time and place
as shall be generally agreed on, to consult together on the present
critical and alarming situation and state of the Colonies and that you,
with them, exert your utmost endeavors to form and adopt a plan which
shall afford the best prospect of obtaining redress of American
grievances, ascertaining American rights and establishing that union and
harmony which is most essential to the welfare and happiness of both
countries. And in doing this you are strictly charged to avoid
everything indecent or disrespectful to the mother state."

Under instructions like these the first general Congress convened and
acted. The Colonies used all honorable means to restore harmony--more
than the British Constitution and common justice required. Nothing but
an infatuation that makes men blind, deaf and dumb could have resisted
the appeals and unanswerable arguments in favor of chartered rights,
showing their violations--that were poured upon the king, Parliament and
people of Great Britain from the deep translucent fountain of
intelligence concentrated in the Congress of 1774. The members were
determined to clear their own skirts of blood and not draw the bow of
physical opposition until their arrows were barbed with divine wisdom
and dipped in the refining fire of eternal justice.

Mr. Ross was continued in Congress until 1777 when ill health compelled
him to retire. He had rendered great service on numerous committees and
was listened to with marked attention when he spoke in debate. When he
could be spared from his place he served in the legislature of his State
where his salutary influence was strongly felt. For some time the royal
governor and his friends presented a formidable opposition. Mr. Ross put
his whole weight on the people's end of the political lever with his
popularity for a fulcrum and greatly aided in hoisting the tree of
monarchy from its deep bed of alluvial corruption. He was a member of
the convention of his State that commenced the new government and on the
committee that prepared the declaration of rights. He was chairman of
the committee that organized the government and of the one that prepared
the declaratory ordinance defining high treason and misprision of
treason and the kind and measure of punishment to be inflicted. His high
legal knowledge rendered him an important member upon such committees.

Immediately after he closed his legislative career the citizens of
Lancaster County passed the two following resolutions with great

"Resolved--That the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds out of the
county stock be forthwith transmitted to George Ross ['_Honorable_' was
not then republican] one of the members of the Assembly for this county
and one of the delegates for this Colony in the Continental Congress and
that he be requested to accept the same as a testimony from this county
of their sense of his attendance on public business to his great private
loss and of their approbation of his conduct.

"Resolved--That if it be more agreeable, Mr. Ross purchase with part of
the said money a genteel piece of plate, ornamented as he thinks proper,
to remain with him as a testimony of the esteem this county has for him
by reason of his patriotic conduct in the great struggle for American

Here is old fashioned republican simplicity in language and sentiment
flowing from its native fountain--gratitude strongly felt and plainly
expressed. It forms a rebuking contrast with the fulsome, hypocritical,
heartless flattery of modern times showered upon our statesmen by
fawning sycophants whose gratitude is based alone upon the loaves and
fishes of favor and office. Mr. Ross declined accepting the gift,
assuring the committee that waited upon him that he had performed no
more than his duty and that at such a period all were bound to exert
their noblest energies to secure that Liberty which would afford a
reward more precious than gold--more valuable than diamonds.

On the 19th of July 1779 Mr. Ross was appointed Judge of the Court of
Admiralty for Pennsylvania. He continued to discharge his duties ably
until confined by a sudden and excruciating attack of the gout which
terminated in death the same year he was appointed judge. In the full
career of life and usefulness--rising on the wings of fame--flushed with
hopes of Liberty for his country--pressing right onward toward the goal
of freedom--an arrow from the quiver of death pierced his patriotic
heart and consigned him to the insatiate tomb near the close of 1779.
His dust reposes in peace whilst the lustre of his living examples will
continue to shine and enlighten millions yet unborn.

In private as in public life Judge Ross stood approved, admired and
beloved. No blemish rests upon the fair escutcheon of his name. He
soared above the vanities of this world and dignified his bright career
with purity of motive, firmness of purpose, wisdom in action and
usefulness to his fellow men and beloved country. Could the lofty
patriotism that impelled him to enter the thorny arena of politics be
imparted to _all_ the public men of the present day--the Federal
Constitution would be venerated--our government safe--our UNION


Benevolence is a celestial quality imparting consolation to its
possessor and the recipient of benefits bestowed. It renders its favors
valuable by the delicacy with which they are conveyed. Those who most
merit the aid of the benevolent are usually possessed of fine feeling.
The subjects of real misfortune--they are the keenly sensitive and dread
the approach of those who carry a speaking trumpet or a public scroll to
proclaim to the world the alms they have bestowed.

Pure benevolence falls upon its object like the dew on drooping
flowers--not at the blaze of noon day but in the stillness of night. Its
refreshing effects are felt, seen and admired--not the hand that
distilled It. It flows from a good heart and looks beyond the skies for
an approving smile. It never opens but seeks to heal the wounds of
misfortune. It never ruffles but seeks to calm the troubled mind. Like
their Lord and Master--the truly benevolent go about doing good. No
parade--no trumpet to sound their charities--no press to chronicle their
acts. The gratitude of the donee is a rich recompense to the
donor--purity of motive refines the joys of each. Angels smile on such
benevolence. It is the attribute of Deity--the moving cause of every
blessing we enjoy.

So thought Benjamin Rush, a native of Bristol, Bucks County, Penn. born
on the 24th of Dec. 1745. His ancestors came to this country under the
auspices of William Penn in 1683. His father was a respectable farmer
and died when this son was a child. At the age of nine years Benjamin
was placed under the tuition of his maternal uncle, Rev. Dr. Samuel
Finley. He continued under his instruction five years when he entered
Princeton College, then under the direction of President Davis. Like an
expanding flower courting the increasing warmth of spring the talents of
this young freshman rapidly unfolded their rich and varied hues as they
were brought into mellow life by the genial rays of the sun of science.
At the end of the first year he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
During his brief stay at Princeton he was highly esteemed and was
considered one of the most eloquent speakers among the students. At the
age of sixteen he closed his collegiate studies and commenced reading
medicine with Dr. John Redman, then one of the most eminent
practitioners in the city of Philadelphia. The same industry that had
marked his previous course made him a favorite son of Æsculapius. The
same urbanity and modesty that had made him a welcome guest in every
circle in other places, gained for him good and influential friends in
his new location.

After pursuing his studies with great industry for six years under Dr.
Redman he entered the Medical University at Edinburgh, Scotland, where
he reaped the full benefit of the lectures of the celebrated Munro,
Cullen, Black and Gregory. In 1768 he received the degree of M.D. having
toiled severely for _seven_ years to prepare himself to take in charge
human life. As in the study of law, theology and most of the professions
and trades--how great the change in numerous instances. I have known so
called doctors made in a month--lawyers in six months and preachers in a
single night--sprouts of quackology to be sure--but they pass in these
days of humbuggery and often distance the man of acquirements and real
merit who is too modest to make a bragadocia dash. Self-assurance and
brazen impudence are performing wonders in this enlightened age. As
elementary and practical books increase terms of study decrease. When
Cheselden's Anatomy and Cullen's Materia Medica stood almost alone in
this country, students were longer at their studies. The lectures you
may reply have shortened the term. True--but why so few Rushes, Physics,
&c. among the flood of modern M.D.'s?

On receiving his diploma he went to London and was admitted to practise
in the hospitals of that city where he remained nearly a year and became
eminent as a bold and successful operator--a skilful and judicious
physician. He then visited the hospitals of Paris and returned to
Philadelphia in the spring of 1769, where he met the warm embrace of his
connections and friends and commenced his useful career in that city.

His professional fame had preceded him and his superior acquirements
were immediately had in requisition. In addition to a rapidly increasing
practice he performed the labors of a Professor in the Medical School
that had been recently organized by Drs. Bond, Kuhn, Morgan and Shippen.
He was elected to that important station a few months after his return.
Upon a substantial basis he continued to build an honest and enduring
fame--participating in all the passing events that concerned the good
and glory of his country and his fellow men.

Although a close student of medicine and surgery, it was soon discovered
that he well understood the relative situation of the mother country and
the American Colonies. He had closely examined the unwarranted
pretensions of the former and the aggravated grievances of the latter.
His benevolent soul was touched by the sufferings of oppressed humanity
and warmed by the patriotic fire of FREEDOM. He at once became a bold
and able advocate in the cause of LIBERTY--a firm and fearless opposer
of British tyranny--a strong and energetic supporter of equal rights.
Mingling with all classes through the medium of his profession, his
influence was as extensive and multiform as it was useful and salutary.
The Independence of his country was the _ultimatum_ of his desires. To
see her regenerated and free was the anxious wish of his heart. So
conspicuous was he in the glorious cause, that he was elected a member
of the Congress of 1776 and had the proud pleasure of placing his name
upon the chart of FREEDOM.

The year following he was appointed Surgeon General of the Military
Hospital for the middle department and rendered himself extensively
useful during the entire period of the Revolution. He was ever ready to
go where duty called and exerted his noblest powers in the glorious
cause he had espoused until he saw the star spangled banner wave in
triumph over the land of the brave and free and the incense of LIBERTY
ascending to Heaven in cerulean clouds from the altar of FREEDOM.

The Independence of his country secured--he desired no occupation but
that of his profession. For a time his services were diverted from this
channel in the Convention of his state to take into consideration the
adoption of the Federal Constitution. Having carefully read the
published arguments as they progressed in the National Convention, he
was fully prepared to enter warmly into the advocacy of the adoption of
that instrument. When this was adopted by the states, the measure of his
political ambition was filled and hermetically sealed. He retired from
that arena of turmoil crowned with the evergreen laurels of fame that
will bloom with living freshness until patriotism shall be lost in
anarchy and the last vestige of LIBERTY be swept away by the tornado of
faction. The only station he ever consented to fill under government
subsequently was Cashier of the U. S. Mint.

During the remainder of his life his time and talents were devoted to
his profession, the improvement of medical science and the amelioration
of the ills of afflicted humanity. In 1789 he was elected Professor of
the Theory and Practice of Physic. In 1791 he was appointed Professor of
the Institutes of Medicine and Clinical Practice. In 1806 he was honored
with the united Professorships of the Theory and Practice of Physic and
Clinical Medicine, the duties of which he ably discharged until sickness
and death closed his useful career.

Besides the multiform duties already enumerated he was an efficient
member of various benevolent associations. He was President of the
American Association for the Abolition of Slavery--Vice President of the
Philadelphia Bible Society--President of the Philadelphia Medical
Society--a Vice President of the American Philosophical Society and a
member of several other philanthropic institutions in this country and
in Europe. For many years he was a physician of the Pennsylvania
Hospital and did much to promote its prosperity. He was ever anxious to
be useful in counsel, influence and action. To soothe the troubled bosom
heaving with anguish--to alleviate the suffering patient writhing under
pain--to aid the poor and needy sinking under misfortunes--to visit the
widow and the fatherless in their distress--afforded Dr. Rush a richer
pleasure than to have reached the loftiest pinnacle of political fame--a
holier joy than to have been the triumphant chieftain of a conquered

Although his duties were onerous and various he arranged his time with
such system and order that a harmonious routine was produced. His
professional duties, his books, his pen each had their specific time. He
wrote numerous literary, moral and philosophical essays--several volumes
on medical science among which were his "Medical Inquiries and
Observations" and a "History of the Yellow Fever." He spent much time in
the investigation of that alarming disease--endeavoring to arrive at the
best mode of treatment. In this, as in many other cases of disease--the
lancet was his anchor of hope. His theory and practice of medicine have
virtually turned a somerset within the last half century in the regular
departments of the science--to say nothing of the locust swarms of
mycologists who are making awful havoc on the foliage of human life.

During the prevalence of any disease his exertions to arrest its
progress and alleviate distress were unremitting. He obeyed the calls of
the poor as promptly as those of the rich. He was particularly attentive
to those in adverse circumstances who had employed him when in
affluence. He put a veto on sunshine friends by precept and example. A
pious and consistent Christian--he often cheered the desponding heart
where medicine failed to save the body from the grave. His counsels were
full of wisdom and benevolence and saved many a frail bark from
shipwreck. His enlivening presence and soul-cheering advice drove
despair from many an agonized mind--imparting fresh vigor by
administering the elixir of hope and the tonic of fortitude. This is an
important talent in a physician--often more potent than any chemical.

Blessed with a vigorous constitution--Dr. Rush was active until a short
time previous to the 19th of April 1813, when he rested from his labors
and was numbered with the dead. As the news of his death spread, a
universal sorrow pervaded all classes--funeral sermons were
preached--eulogies pronounced and processions formed throughout the
United States as a just tribute to the memory of the departed sage,
patriot, scholar and philanthropist. His goodness had decked his name
with the rich garniture of profound esteem.

When the sad tidings reached England and France, the same demonstrations
of respect were manifested there. The tears of sympathy suffused many
European eyes. In the halls of science on both sides of the Atlantic,
Dr. Rush was well known and highly appreciated. By our own country his
loss was most keenly felt--by the civilized world deeply lamented. The
graves of but few men have been moistened by as many tears from the rich
and poor--high and low--as that of Dr. Rush. His fame is based upon
substantial merit. His name is engraved in deep and indelible traces on
the hearts of our countrymen. His untarnished reputation is written on
the monument of history in letters of gold by the pan of justice dipped
in the font of gratitude and will endure, unimpaired, until the last
trump shall proclaim to the astonished millions on this whirling

The private character of this great and good man was as unsullied and
pure as his career was brilliant and useful. His heart overflowed with
the milk of human kindness--his benevolence often carried him beyond his
professional income. He was temperate in his habits--neat in his person
and dress--social and gentlemanly in his intercourse--urbane and
courteous in his manners--interesting and instructive in his
conversation--modest and unassuming in his deportment. He was a warm and
affectionate companion--the widows' friend and the orphans' father.

He was a little above the middle height--rather slender but a good
figure. His mouth and chin were well formed--his nose aquiline--his eyes
blue and animated--his forehead high and prominent. The diameter of his
head from back to front was unusually large. His combined features were
commanding and prepossessing, his physiognomy indicating a gigantic

When attacked by the disease which terminated his life he was aware a
rapid dissolution awaited him. He was fully prepared to enter upon the
untried scenes of the other and brighter world. He could look back upon
a life well spent. He had run a noble race--was ready to finish his
course--resign his tabernacle of clay to its mother dust--his immortal
soul to Him who gave it.

In the history of this great and good man we see nothing to censure but
much to admire. To be useful and do all the good in his power was his
constant aim. No blanks appear on the record for the apologist to fill
up. But few men have performed as much--no one performed more in the
same time. If such examples as his, spread out in bold _relievo_ on the
historic page, will not exercise a salutary influence on the reader--if
his devotion to his country--benevolence and unsurpassed virtues do not
mellow your heart--you cannot be a patriot or a philanthropist--you do
not realize the priceless value of our UNION.


The name of every patriot, sage and hero who aided in gaining the
Liberty we now enjoy, is repeated with veneration and respect. But a few
of those noble spirits who breasted the storm of the Revolution are
lingering on earth. All who were prominent leaders have paid the debt of
nature and gone to their permanent and final home. A particular
veneration is felt for those whose names are enrolled on that bold and
soul-stirring production--the Declaration of Independence. Their names,
with many others, will glide down the stream of time on the peaceful
waves of admiration and gratitude until merged in the consummation of
this whirling planet--"the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds."
Among the names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is
that of Edward Rutledge, born in Charleston S. C. in November 1749. He
was the son of Dr. Rutledge, a native of Ireland, who married Sarah
West, a lady of refined accomplishments, piety and good sense.

Edward lost his father at an early age and like those of many great and
good men, his mind was happily moulded by his accomplished mother. After
passing through the usual routine of an education he commenced the study
of law with an elder brother who stood high at the Charleston bar. As a
relaxation from Coke and Bacon he occasionally entered the bowers of
elocution. In 1769 he went to England, became a student at the
temple--made himself familiar with the courts, rules of parliament, the
policy, designs and feelings of the British ministry and cultivated an
acquaintance with the celebrated orators and statesmen--Chatham,
Mansfield and others. He returned in 1773, richly laden with stock for
future use.

He commenced a successful practice--uniting an expressive countenance, a
good voice, a rich imagination, elegance of action, an honorable mind
and a good heart--with strong native talent improved by superior
advantages and great industry. He soon acquired a well earned eminence
as a bold, discreet and able advocate. He was ever ready--the spur of
the moment made him shine most conspicuously. His lamp was always
trimmed and burning. With true Irish zeal he was always ready to enter
the arena where duty called--especially if it was to defend the
weak--aid the oppressed or relieve the distressed.

It was self-evident that with a soul and talents like his, he could not
remain an idle spectator of the elements of revolution that were in
motion. He was the kind of man to rouse the popular fury when
circumstances would justify and required it. Warm-hearted, zealous, bold
and daring--he was a necessary part in the political machine of that
time to put the more sluggish parts in motion. He was an admirable
fireman, a safe engineer, a good pilot and a popular captain. Liberal in
his views, republican in his principles, a stickler for equal rights--he
was among the first to strike for Liberty.

He was elected a member of the first Congress in 1774. None but men of
superior merit, known fortitude and pure patriotism were selected to
represent their country's rights and repel the wrongs of monarchy. Such
a man was Mr. Rutledge. His open frankness and bold exposure of the
corruptions of the British ministry--preying upon the Colonies like
canker worms, rendered him obnoxious to the adherents of the crown--the
very thing to rouse such a man to determined action. Opposition seemed
to kindle in his manly bosom a brighter flame of patriotic fire which he
imparted to the friends of freedom without stint or measure.

With his ardor and zeal he united prudence and discretion--was a friend
to order and cool deliberation. He acted from enlightened
principles--aiming to build every superstructure on the firm basis of
reason and justice. To this nobleness of design--conceived and adhered
to by all the signers of the Declaration, may be attributed that lofty
dignity which pervades that unique document.

Revolution is a tornado rarely chastened by prudence or discretion to
neutralize its baneful effects. Up to the time of the American
Revolution history claims no body of men to compare with those who
constituted the Continental Congress--men who commanded the whirlwind of
passion to stay its fury--who conducted the lightning of revenge by the
silken thread of reason to the goal of deliberation.

Mr. Rutledge was made a member of several important committees. He was
appointed, in conjunction with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to meet
Lord Howe when he came to offer terms of ministerial peace. They were
received with marked attention and respect by the royal messenger. He
only had power to pardon repenting rebels--these were not to be found.
His insulting proposition was repelled with indignation. The committee
disclaimed all allegiance to the crown--it had been sacrificed at the
shrine of an ambitious and oppressive ministry. FREEDOM was their
motto--LIBERTY their watchword--their terms--INDEPENDENCE OR DEATH. They
had nobly resolved "to do or die."

As a sound, judicious and able statesman, Mr. Rutledge was highly
appreciated. He had also earned laurels in the battle field. He had long
commanded a company in the ancient battalion of artillery. When the
British landed at Port Royal in 1779, he led his company to the attack
with the skill and courage of a veteran. At no Revolutionary battle was
more personal bravery displayed than at this--nor was the enemy at any
time more chagrined at a total defeat by raw militia. It was a mystery
to them to find in the same man the statesman and the hero. He was
subsequently elected colonel. During the investment of Charleston on
1780, he was again on military duty--taken prisoner--sent to St.
Augustine and was not exchanged for nearly a year. Before his return the
dark clouds began to recede before the rays of rising hope and the day
star of Liberty.

He returned to his native state and aided in restoring the civil
government to order and systematic arrangement He was a member of the
enraged Assembly at Jacksonborough in 1782. With his recent personal
injuries pressing upon him and those of his friends bleeding fresh
before him, he was induced to sanction the bill of pains and penalties,
which, under other circumstances he would have opposed. During the time
it remained in force he smoothed its roughness as much as possible.

Among those who had been tortured by persecution was his venerable
mother who had been taken from her quiet home in the country and
confined in Charleston then occupied by the British--because she was the
mother of one of the rebels who had signed that burning instrument--the
Declaration of Independence--a high compliment to her talents and
patriotism--placing her on the list of fame with the noble matrons of
Greece and Rome.

During the entire period of the unequal struggle with Great Britain, Mr.
Rutledge rendered all the aid in his power to his injured country. At
the final termination of hostilities--in a free land and with a free
heart he returned to the bosom of his friends and the labors of his
profession. His private worth, urbanity of manners and persevering
industry in business, gained for him the confidence and esteem of

In the organization of the government of the state he took a conspicuous
and useful part. Many difficulties were to be surmounted--clashing local
interests reconciled and laws adopted to restore to order and harmonious
system the confusion consequent upon a change of government. A great
commotion existed between debtors and creditors. Specie was not to be
had--the paper currency was nearly annihilated--many who had periled
life for Liberty and shaken off the foreign yoke felt that they were
again in cruel bondage. Many avaricious creditors were as destitute of
mercy as the pirate is of compassion. Such bipeds still live, move and
have a being--but thanks to the philanthropy and good sense of our
legislatures, they are disarmed in many of the states from the most
barbarous feature of their power--that of thrusting a poor debtor into
prison for the crime of poverty. I am pained to own that there are
instances on record in our country where veterans, who bled for our
boasted freedom, have been incarcerated by the cold inquisitorial
creditor for a sum so trifling that the miser would blush to name it.

As a panacea for this malady a law was passed making land a lawful
tender for debts--a law purely republican but obnoxious to avarice and
aristocracy. Mr. Rutledge did much to effect the adoption of this
measure, imperiously demanded by the then existing circumstances of the
community. He also advocated the instalment law and used his best
exertions to ameliorate the condition of the poor and do justice to the
rich by salutary and humane legislation. He took an active part in the
public business generally. When the Federal Constitution was presented
to his state for consideration he was in favor of its adoption although
it contained some objectionable features in his mind. He was always
opposed to slavery deeming it a national curse entailed by England.

If slavery did not exist in the South and the people knew its evils as
_they_ only can know and feel them, a very large majority would oppose
its introduction. I have recently travelled in most of the southern
states and speak from the record. Two-fifths of the white population of
those states do not own a slave. The institution is one of a domestic
nature to be governed and regulated by themselves. But for the
unfortunate interference of our northern brethren, many, but not _all_
of them prompted by philanthropic motives, gradual emancipation would
have commenced years ago and left no food for demagogues and
disorganizers to gorge themselves upon. Should the South interfere with
any of the domestic concerns of the North, resistance would be
instantaneous. I am no advocate of slavery--but understanding its
origin, progress, present condition and practical operation and the
feelings of the South--I repeat, that the interference of the North is a
misfortune to the slave and the peace of our common country. But for
this, four of the slave states would now be free. This Bohun Upas was
dying a natural death--digging around it has renewed its age fifty
years. The plan was conceived and put in operation by England through
her emissary Dr. Thompson, as a _dernier_ resort to destroy the only
republic hated and feared by the crowned heads of Europe. Let the South
alone to correct their own evils. Let the subject be consigned to the
capulet tombs rather than it should for a moment disturb the harmony of
our glorious UNION. To the slave--sudden emancipation would be an
irreparable injury. The question is one of _fact_ rather than _law_--of
imperious expediency rather than abstract reasoning. The slaves of the
South are better bred, fed and clothed and more intelligent than the
great majority of free negroes in free states.

Although partial to the French, when difficulties arose between that
nation and England, Mr. Rutledge strongly censured the conduct of M.
Genét and the French Directory for the stringent measures adopted. He
was a moderate--not an ultra party man and always acted from a sense of
duty and a pure desire for the good of the whole. His was a stern
unflinching moderation--calculated to awe a mob, paralyze a faction and
preserve pure and undefiled that lofty patriotism which commands esteem
and respect and leads to peace and safety.

In 1798 Mr. Rutledge was elected governor of his native state. Soon
after he entered upon the imposing duties of his office, disease
suddenly seized and handed him over to the King of Terrors in the bright
career of his gubernatorial term. During the legislative session of
1800, his health failed so rapidly that he felt a full assurance that
his dissolution was fast approaching. He was anxious to return to
Charleston that he might yield up his breath where he first inhaled the
atmosphere. The constitution required the presence of the governor
during the session of that body and so scrupulous was he to fulfil its
letter, that he determined to remain unless both branches passed a
resolution sanctioning his absence. The subject was submitted and
becoming a matter of debate he at once withdrew it and remained until
the adjournment. He was barely able to reach home when he laid down upon
the sick bed and yielded to the only power that could conquer
him--Death--on the 23d of January 1800. The same fortitude that had
characterized his whole life was fully exemplified during his illness
and dying hour. His loss was keenly felt and deeply mourned by the
entire community of the state and by the friends of freedom throughout
the nation. South Carolina had lost one of her brightest ornaments--one
of her noblest sons.

Governor Rutledge stood high as an orator. He was familiar with the
machinery of human nature--knew when to address the judgment and when
the passions. In exciting the sympathy of a jury he had no equal at the
Charleston Bar. He knew how, when and where to be logical and what is
all important in public and private life--he knew how, when and where to
speak and what to say and stopped when done. His private worth and
public services were an honor to himself, gratifying to his friends and
beneficial to his country. His usefulness continued to the close of
life--his fame is untarnished with error--his examples are worthy of
imitation--his life had no blank. He married for his first wife,
Harriet, daughter of Edward Middleton his colleague in the Continental
Congress. By her he had a son and daughter--the latter settled in
Charleston--the former, Maj. Henry M. Rutledge, was one of the pioneers
of Tennessee. God grant that his descendants may imitate the virtues of
their ancestor and fill the blank occasioned by the death of the wise,
judicious, benevolent, patriotic and high-minded EDWARD RUTLEDGE.


The man who has been rocked in the cradle of letters from his
childhood--who has become familiar with general science, the classics
and the philosophy of the schools--who has had a wealthy father to aid
and doting mother to caress--who has enjoyed an uninterrupted course in
some far-famed college and the most refined society--such a man is
expected to mount the ladder of fame and become a shining light to those
whose advantages have been limited to a primary school or no school. If,
with all these advantages lavished upon him he sinks into obscurity, the
fond anticipations of his doting parents and anxious friends set in
gloom. Such has often been the case.

When we see a man whose opportunities of acquiring an education during
childhood and youth carried him not far beyond the spelling-book--a man
who had no father to aid him by wealth--warn him against the quicksands
of error or point him to the temple of science--his intellect encased in
the rude quarry of nature at the age of twenty--when we see such a man
bursting the fetters that bind his mental powers-throwing off the dark
mantle of ignorance--by a mighty effort unveiling his dormant talents
and shining in all the beauty of intelligence and greatness, we are
filled with admiration and delight.

Such a man was Roger Sherman, the great grandson of Capt. John Sherman,
who came from England to Watertown, Mass, in 1635. Roger was the son of
William Sherman, born in Newton, Mass. on the 19th of April 1721. His
father was a respectable farmer with means too limited to educate his
son and bound him an apprentice to a shoemaker. At the age of nineteen
he left his master to seek his fortune. His genius had become restless
in embryo and pressed for enlargement. No shop could confine--no
obstacle deter, no impediment prevent its expansion. The course of his
mind was onward and upward like a blazing star, illuminating the horizon
of his intellect as it rose. Nature designed him to be great and
good--he obeyed her kind commands.

He went to New Milford, Conn. where he followed his trade for three
years, devoting every leisure moment to his books, often having one open
before him when using his lap-stone. Every obstacle to the pursuit of
knowledge was removed by his untiring industry--he ascended the hill of
science with a steady pace. He lived within the strictest rules of
economy, appropriating a part of his earnings to the support of a
widowed mother with a family of small children. The education of these
children also received his attention.

In June 1743 he removed his mother and children to New Milford ad
entered into the mercantile business, still improving every leisure hour
in the acquisition of an education. He rapidly stored his mind with a
fund of useful information that ultimately enabled him to commence a
public career of usefulness. He also became a member of the church and
adorned his profession through life. In 1745 he was appointed surveyor
of Litchfield County, having mastered mathematics. Like his cotemporary
and friend Benjamin Franklin, he made the calculation for an almanac for
several years for a publisher in New York.

At the age of twenty-eight he married Elizabeth Hartwell of Staughton,
Mass. who died in 1780 leaving seven children. He subsequently married
Rebecca Prescott who had eight children. His fifteen children were
carefully trained in the paths of wisdom and virtue. He also supported
his mother and a maiden sister until death relieved them from the toils
of life.

In the prosecution of his literary pursuits he turned his attention to
the study of law in which he made astonishing proficiency. In 1754 he
was admitted to the bar, better prepared to enter into this arduous
profession and do justice to his clients than many who are ushered into
notice with great _eclat_ under the high floating banner of a collegiate

The following year he was elected a member of the colonial Assembly and
remained in that body during the remainder of his residence at New
Milford. He had the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens which
enabled him to exercise a salutary influence upon those around him. His
reputation as a lawyer and statesman stood high. For industry, prudence,
discretion and sound logic--he was unrivalled in the Colony. Strong
common sense, the safety valve of human action, marked his whole career.
He was a philanthropist of the highest order--a patriot of the first
water--rendering himself substantially useful to his fellow men and
common country.

In 1759 he was appointed a judge of the county court of Litchfield,
discharging his duties with great faithfulness and
impartiality--correcting vice and promoting virtue.

In 1761 he removed to New Haven where he was appointed justice of the
peace--elected to the Assembly and in 1765 was placed upon the judicial
bench of the county court. He received the degree of Master of Arts from
Yale College, of which he was treasurer for many years, fulfilling the
trust with scrupulous honesty and fidelity.

In 1766 he was elected to the Executive Council which was hailed as an
auspicious event by the friends of liberal principles. The mother
country had manifested a disposition to impose unjust taxation upon the
Colonies. It required discretion, experience, nerve and decision to
comprehend and expose the corrupt plans of an avaricious and reckless
ministry. The Colonies had borne the great burden of the French war in
which they had sacrificed large sums of money and fountains of their
richest blood. After years of incessant toil the foe had been
conquered--an honorable peace obtained for England--the frontier
settlements measurably relieved from danger and the soldier had again
become the citizen. Whilst their rejoicings on that occasion were yet on
the lips of echo, oppression from the crown threatened to blast their
fond anticipations of happiness and repose and bind them in chains more
to be dreaded than the tomahawk and scalping knife.

His Colony had furnished more money and men and lost more of her brave
sons in the French war than any other with the same population. Mr.
Sherman had been an active member of the Assembly during the period of
its prosecution and remembered well the sacrifices that had been made to
oblige the king. He understood well the rights of his own country and
those of the crown. He was eminently prepared to discover approaching
danger and sound a timely alarm. He was fully competent to probe the
intrigues and venality of designing men although the broad Atlantic
rolled between him and them.

Mr. Grenville was the master spirit of the British ministry. He
determined to put in practice his long cherished theory of taxing the
American Colonies. The alarm was soon spread from the north to the
south. Appeals for redress, petitions and remonstrances, numerously
signed, were forwarded to Parliament. These were passed by like the idle
wind. Reason, justice, mercy--all were banished from the bosoms of the
ruling power. The rack of oppression was put in motion--screw after
screw was turned--the sinews of affection for the mother country began
to snap--the purple current rushed from its fountain with increased
velocity--indignation was roused in millions of bosoms. In humble
imitation of the ancient inquisitors, the screws of the infernal machine
were relaxed to give the subjects a confessing respite. The tax upon
glass, paper, &c. was repealed. But the main screw was not turned back.
The tax on tea was still enforced. This exception was death to the
colonial power of England--to America--FREEDOM. The indignation of woman
was roused. Her high toned chords were touched--the reverberation
electrified the mass as with vivid lightning. Tea was banished by every
female patriot and with it all British luxuries and taxed articles.

Mr. Sherman remained undaunted at his post calmly watching the moving
elements. Although elevated to the bench of the Superior Court he
remained in the Executive Council, a firm and consistent advocate of his
country's rights--a bold expounder of Britain's wrongs. He viewed the
gathering clouds as they rolled up from the horizon--he saw the streams
of lurid fire with which they were charged and calmly waited the crash
of thunder that should usher on the terrific storm. The British lion
prowled in anger--the Albion Goliah buckled on his armor--the shining
steel dazzled in the sun--American blood flowed--popular fury was
roused--the sword of vengeance was drawn--allegiance was dissolved--the
Colonies were FREE.

Judge Sherman was a member of the first Continental Congress and
remained firm and unwavering at his post during the heart rending scenes
of the Revolution, the formation of the new government and the adoption
of the Federal Constitution. With a mind of iron strength enlarged and
improved by close study--inured to the toils and intricacies of
legislation--the history of his country and of nations stamped upon his
memory--the ingratitude and insults of a foreign ministry preying upon
his soul--all these combined to press him onward to deeds of noble
daring. His capacity was equal to every emergency. He omitted no duty,
moving, with the mathematical precision of a planet, within the orbit of
sound discretion. He was familiar with all the avenues of men and
things--scanned the deep recesses of human nature--traced causes and
results to their source and probed to the bottom the springs of human
action. The arcana of economies was open before him--solving problems,
demonstrating principles and placing them in the full blaze of
illustration--clear as light, intelligible as Euclid--irresistible as
truth. Youth and young mechanics of our country such was the self-taught
self-made Roger Sherman. Read the history of his life closely. Ponder
it well and firmly resolve to make him your model.

The Congressional session of 1775 was one of great labor, anxiety and
embarrassment. It required veterans in patriotism to sustain the
tremendous shock, the fearful onset. An army was to be raised and
organized, military stores provided, fortifications erected, rules of
government adopted, plans of operation matured, internal foes to be
encountered and legions of hireling soldiers to be repelled. To meet
these pressing emergencies the members of Congress had hearts full of
courage but an empty treasury. A forlorn hope was before them--a
merciless foe on their shores. The torch of hope shed but a dim light.
In the name of high Heaven they resolved on _Liberty or Death_. Nor did
they "split on the rock of resolves and re-resolves, where thousands
live and die the same." They met the fury of the king with a firmness,
wisdom and patriotism before unknown. Their course was onward towards
the goal of FREEDOM. No threats of vengeance dismayed them--the shafts
of terror fell harmless at their feet--the vials of ministerial wrath
were poured out in vain.

In 1776, the Colonies bleeding, reverses rolling frightfully upon them,
a conquering army sweeping over their land like a tornado, the streams
red with the blood of their kinsmen--the cries of widows and orphans
ringing in their ears, the sky illumined with the curling flames of
their towns--this band of patriots conceived the bold and sublime plan
of INDEPENDENCE--a plan that wreathed its projectors with laurels of
unfading freshness.

Early in the summer Messrs. Sherman, John Adams, Franklin, Livingston
and Jefferson were appointed a committee to draft a Declaration of
Rights. It was prepared with much deliberation--reported and on the
memorable 4th of July 1776 received the hearty sanction of the
Continental Congress amidst the transporting joys of FREEMEN who hailed
it as the bright morning star--to them a prelude to future bliss--to
tyrants, a blazing meteor of devouring fire.

Illustrious in all their actions the signers of the Declaration of
Independence were pre-eminently so--when, assuming their native dignity,
they rose in all the majesty of greatness--bursting their servile
chains--cutting asunder the cords of forfeited allegiance--sublimely
passing the grand Rubicon and in the eyes of an approving God and an
admiring world--declared their country FREE AND INDEPENDENT. The era was
one of refulgent glory, sacred to the cause of human rights--enduring as
genuine patriotism--cheering as the oasis of the desert.

No member of the Continental Congress had studied more closely and
understood more clearly political economy and finance than Mr. Sherman.
His mind was moulded in system. He was a practical man and conversant
with every department of government. He was an efficient member of the
board of war, ordnance and the treasury. He served on important
committees during the whole time of the Revolution. His plans for
replenishing the public funds, regulating expenditures and disbursing
moneys, were based on rules of frugality and economy corresponding with
the embarrassments of that trying period. Fraudulent contractors quailed
before his scrutiny--speculations and peculations on government were
often paralyzed by his torpedo touch. He guarded, with an Argus eye and
parental care the interests of the young Republic.

In the estimation of his colleagues and of our nation, Roger Sherman was
second to no one in that bright constellation of sages for sterling
integrity and substantial usefulness. At that time honesty and modesty
were attributes of merit. It required no stump speeches or bar-room
harangues to gain popular favor. Foaming bragadocia--bullying
gasconade--personal crimination and a violation of the sanctity of the
domestic circle were not then current coin. No bogus politicians were
found among the patriots of the Revolution. _Principles_--not _men_ were
the political landmarks--not the seven principles of five loaves and two
fishes but the heaven-born principles of eternal justice, truth,
honesty, equality, freedom, love of country, patriotism, humanity,
universal charity and pure benevolence--all harmoniously growing in rich
clusters upon the tree of LIBERTY.

That was also a time of labor. Inglorious ease was not known to
legislators. Long written speeches were not read to the speaker and the
walls to be printed for party effect among constituents. Turmoil and
billingsgate slang were unknown in the halls of legislation. The
business of the nation was performed promptly, faithfully and
effectually. Posts of honor were then posts of duty--not of profit. No
demagogue bipeds were permitted to fatten at the public crib--no droning
sinecures were lounging under the mantle of government. How changed the
scene--how fearful the contrast at the present writing! Awake! patriots
of my beloved country to a sense of our true interests. Throw off the
incubus of ultra party spirit--think, know and act for yourselves--avoid
the paralyzing touch of reckless demagogues and purge our land from
political corruption.

By his fellow citizens at home Mr. Sherman was held in high esteem. He
was continued in the Council during the Revolution. When the city of
New Haven was chartered in 1784 he was elected the first mayor--filling
the office with great dignity to the close of his life.

When peace was restored Judges Sherman and Law were appointed to revise
the judicial code of Connecticut which duty they performed with great
ability and satisfaction to all concerned. Mr. Sherman was a member of
the convention that framed the Federal Constitution. From a manuscript
found among his papers it appears that this instrument received many of
its bright features from him. To his conceptive mind and practical
wisdom we are much indebted for the towering greatness and unparalleled
prosperity we so eminently enjoy and which will increase and endure so
long as the people protect their own interests and are true to
themselves. Intimately acquainted with all the local conflicting
interests of the Colonies, he was enabled to exercise a salutary
influence among the members in reconciling differences between them,
which, for a time, threatened to hurl back the elements of government
into original chaos and prostrate the fair fabric of Liberty. By
examining the earnest discussions, the variety of opinions, the
multifarious interests, the intense anxiety, the agony of soul and
sacrifice of private views that characterized the formation of the
Federal Constitution--we discover wisdom, discretion, charity and
patriotism of the loftiest kind shining in all the grandeur of self
sacrifice. Based upon the Declaration of Rights--it forms a
superstructure, towering in sublimity above all others--radiating its
heart cheering influence over our increasing millions of
freemen--revered by all patriots at home--respected abroad--unrivalled
in the annals of legislation.

Judge Sherman did much to remove the objections made to this important
document by the people of his own and adjoining States. He demonstrated
to them clearly and convinced them fully--that to effect and perpetuate
the UNION, private feeling and interest must yield to public necessity
to procure public good and that each State should strive to produce an
equilibrium of the general government, forming a grand centre towards
which it should ever tend with harmonious and fraternal
gravitation--immovable as the perpetual hills.

Judge Sherman was elected a member of the first Congress under the new
Constitution and resigned his judicial station which he had so long
adorned with the ermine of impartiality and equal justice. His influence
was beneficially felt in the national legislature. He used his noblest
exertions to promote the wide spread interests of the new-fledged
Republic. Traces of his magnanimous propositions and prophetic policy
are upon the journals and many of them incorporated in the Acts of that
period. When members differed and exhibited the least acrimony, they
were sure to find the peaceful wand of Judge Sherman fanning their
heated feelings into a healthful coolness.

At the expiration of his representative term he was elected to the
United States Senate of which he was a member when he closed his useful
career--bade a long adieu--a final farewell to earth and its toils. He
died on the 23d of July 1793 in the full enjoyment of that religion he
had honored and practised and which had been a consolation and support
amidst the changing scenes of his eventful pilgrimage. He had lived the
life of a good man--he died calm, serene and happy. Through faith he
triumphed over death and the grave and pressed upward to receive the
enduring prize of unfading glory. He could approach the dread tribunal
of the great Jehovah--smiling and smiled upon and enter into all the
realities of heavenly bliss--enduring as the rolling ages of eternity.
Thus lived and thus died Roger Sherman.

He had been a faithful public servant nearly forty years. He had
participated in all the trying scenes of the Revolution--he had seen his
country burst the fetters of tyranny and become a nation of freemen. He
had aided in the consolidation of the general government--she was
prosperous and happy. In all the important measures of the state of his
adoption and of the American nation, he had acted an important part from
the commencement of the French war to the time of his departure to "that
country from whose bourne no traveller returns."

As a Christian he was esteemed by all denominations for his consistent
piety and expansive charity. With him sectarianism was not religion--for
him it had no charms. His philanthropy was broad as the human family--it
reached from earth to heaven. He was familiar with the abstruse branches
of theology and corresponded with several eminent divines. The Bible was
his creed--not the dogmas of men.

In the history of Roger Sherman we have one of nature's sheets of purest
white covered with all the sublime delineations that dignify a man and
assimilate him to his Creator. His life was crowned with unfading
evergreen produced by the rich soil of genuine worth and substantial
merit. No ephemeral roses decked his venerable brow. A chaplet of
amaranthine flowers surmounts his well earned fame. The mementos of his
examples are a rich boon to posterity through all time. Whilst
patriotism, religion and social order survive--the virtues of this great
and good man will shine in all the majesty of light. His private
character was as pure as his public career was illustrious.

Roger Sherman clearly demonstrated that man is the architect of his own
fortune. By industry and perseverance in the use of books--now
accessible to all, apprentices and mechanics may surmount every barrier
and reach the summit of science and take their stations, with superior
advantage, by the side of those who have been enervated within the walls
of a college. No one in our land of intelligence is excusable for
remaining under the dark mantle of ignorance. The sun of science has
risen--all who will can be warmed by its genial rays. The means of
acquiring knowledge are far superior to those enjoyed by Sherman and
Franklin. Let their brilliant examples be imitated by Columbia's
sons--our far famed Republic will then be as enduring as time. Let
ignorance, corruption, ultra party spirit and fanaticism
predominate--then the fair fabric of our FREEDOM, reared by the valor
and cemented by the blood of the Revolutionary patriots--will tremble,
totter and fall. Chaos will mount the car of discord--sound the dread
clarion of the dissolution of our UNION and LIBERTY will expire amidst
the smoking ruins of her own citadel. Forbid it patriotism--forbid it
philanthropy--forbid it Almighty God! O! my country men! remember that
with us is deposited the rich behest of LIBERTY--let us guard it with
god-like care and transmit it to our posterity in all the loveliness of
native purity.


Men sometimes forsake the path designed for them by their Creator in
their manner of speaking, acting and writing. They vainly strive to
imitate some noble personage of a higher order by nature and cultivation
than themselves and become poor specimens of the Ape. Some young men of
respectable talents and acquirements--when they mount the rostrum,
endeavor to imitate some orator of notoriety instead of acting out free
and unvarnished nature. Originality alone gives beauty and force to
eloquence in all its varied forms. Like a piece of marble under the
skill of the statuary--a more systematic form may be produced by art but
the native material cannot be improved in beauty by the finest art--the
brightest paint. Originality must form the base or the richness is lost.
No ingenuity can remould the work of nature and retain the full strength
of the grand original. We should profit by the wisdom and virtues of
great and good men--improve by their precepts and examples--our _manner_
in public speaking, our _language_, our _style_ of writing--all _must_
be original to render them forcible and interesting. Affectation in
anything is disgusting to sensible men. It is a coin that cannot be
palmed upon the discerning for genuine. Of all counterfeits this is the
most readily detected. Away with this worthless trash. If you have not
gold, use silver--if neither, use copper--if you have only _brass_ you
need no urging to use that.

James Smith was a fine specimen of originality and pleasing
eccentricity. He was born in Ireland in 1713. His father came to this
country when James was a boy and settled on the west side of the
Susquehanna river nearly opposite Columbia in Pennsylvania. James
acquired a good classical education under Dr. Allison and retained a
great partiality for authors of antiquity to the end of his life. He
delighted in mathematics and became an expert surveyor. After finishing
his course of study with Dr. Allison he read law in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, probably with an elder brother in that town and with Mr.
Cookson. When admitted to the bar he located in the then far west near
the present site of Shippensburg in Cumberland County of that state. He
blended law and surveying in accordance with the desire and wants of the
frontier settlers. Large tracts of valuable land were held under hasty
and imperfect surveys and others were located by chamber surveys.
Litigation was the natural consequence. No witness could tell more truth
than the compass and protractor of Mr. Smith which were free from
prejudice and partiality. Possessed of a penetrating mind he scanned
future prospects and secured much valuable land. In his compound
profession he had full employment. He was on the flood-tide of
prosperity. Not willing to sail alone he took for his mate Eleanor Armor
of Newcastle who superintended his freight and cabin stores with great
skill and prudence.

Mr. Smith was original in everything. With a strong mind, an open and
honest heart, a benevolent and manly disposition--he united great
conviviality and amusing drollery--yet so discreet and chaste as not to
offend the most modest ear. He delighted in seeing the contortions of
the risible muscles which were uniformly on duty in all proper circles
when James Smith was present. Whenever he came in contact with a pedant
he would propound some ludicrous question to him with the utmost
gravity--such as this--"Don't you remember that terrible bloody battle
which Alexander fought with the Russians near the straits of
Babelmandel? I think you will find the account in Thucydides or
Herodotus." His memory was retentive and stored with numerous anecdotes
which he sometimes related in court and often in company to amuse his
friends. His manner was original beyond imitation. With all his wit and
humor he held religion in great veneration and was a communicant of the
church. No one that knew him dare utter one word against it in his
presence, knowing that his cutting lash of keen ridicule would at once
be applied. Such a mixture of qualities are rarely blended in one man.
His mind ranged with the quickness of lightning from the deep-toned
logic and the profoundest thought to the eccentric ludicrous--all
balanced by the equilibrium of discretion and each used at the
appropriate time and place. His manner, language, style--everything
which he said or did from the most trivial circumstance to the momentous
concerns of the nation was purely original.

Of the affairs of his country James Smith was not an idle spectator. No
man delights in liberty and independence more than an Irishman. Nor have
the Irish people a warm affection for mother Britain. As oppressed as
she is, no nation is more sensitive of her rights than "sweet Ireland."
When British oppression showed its hydra head in the American Colonies
Mr. Smith took a terrible dislike to the _baste_ and declared he would
make fight, unless it withdrew its visible deformity at once. His heart
beat high for his adopted country--he came promptly to the rescue. At
that time he resided at York and was extensively engaged in iron works
and pressed with professional business. He had never consented to fill
public stations. Nothing but the importance of the crisis could have
induced him to enter the public arena. He reasoned as did Josiah Quincy
that--"We must be grossly ignorant of the importance and value of the
prize for which we contend--we must be equally ignorant of the power of
those who have combined against us--we must be blind to that malice,
inveteracy and insatiable revenge which actuate our enemies, public and
private, abroad and in our midst--to hope we shall end this controversy
without the sharpest--sharpest conflicts--to flatter ourselves that
popular resolves, popular harangues, popular acclamations and popular
vapor will vanquish our foes. Let us consider the issue--let us look to
the end."

Mr. Smith was a man who looked at the beginning and ending. He examined
closely causes, effects and results. He understood human nature and knew
well the pulsations of the colonists. He believed the bone and sinew of
the land would never yield to the tyranny of mother Britain without a
"sharp conflict." For that conflict he was prepared. He well knew that
there was but little sinecure mushroom dandy stock on-hand--that the
great mass was bone and sinew of the first water. He was for prompt
action. A convention of delegates from each county in the state was
convened to consider the course proposed by the patriots of New England
when the Revolutionary storm had commenced its precursory droppings. Of
this convention Mr. Smith was a prominent member and one of the
committee that prepared an address to the members of the general
Assembly recommending them to appoint delegates to the proposed general
Congress with the following instructions which specify the grievances
complained of.

"We desire you therefore--that the deputies you appoint may be
instructed by you strenuously to exert themselves at the ensuing
Congress to obtain a renunciation on the part of Great Britain of all
the powers under the statute of 35th Henry VIII. ch 2d--of all the
powers of internal legislation--of imposing duties or taxes internal or
external and of regulating trade except with respect to any new articles
of commerce which the Colonies may hereafter raise--as silk, wine, &c.
reserving a right to carry them from one colony to another--a repeal of
all statutes for quartering troops in the colonies or subjecting them to
any expense on account of such troops--of all statutes imposing duties
to be paid in the colonies that were passed at the accession of his
present majesty or before this time, whichever period shall be judged
most advisable--of the statutes giving the Courts of Admiralty in the
Colonies greater power than the Courts of Admiralty in England--of the
statutes of 5th George II. ch. 22d and of the 23d of George II. ch.
29th--of the statute for shutting up the Port of Boston and of every
other statute particularly affecting the province of Massachusetts Bay
passed in the last session of Parliament. If all the terms
abovementioned cannot be obtained, it is our opinion that the measures
adopted by the Congress for our relief should never be relinquished or
intermitted until those relating to the troops--internal
legislation--imposition of taxes or duties hereafter--the 35th of Henry
VIII. ch. 2d--the extension of Admiralty Courts--the Port of Boston and
the Province of Massachusetts Bay are obtained. Every modification or
qualification of these points in our judgment should be inadmissible."

By these instructions, directly from the people, we can judge of the
feeling that pervaded the great mass of the yeomanry at that time. By
referring to the instructions given to the delegates to Congress by the
general Assembly, it will be seen that royal influence pervaded that
body as they contain scarcely a feature or point similar to those from
the primary convention of the people. See them in the life of Ross. That
the reader may more fully understand the points referred to in the
instructions above copied I will explain the statutes alluded to in
their order.

By the statute of 35th Henry VIII. ch. 2d a citizen of America was
liable to be arrested and taken to England to be tried for high crimes.
By the 5th of George II. ch. 23d the colonists were prohibited from
exporting hats and hatters were limited to a specific number of
apprentices--"that hatting may be better encouraged in Great Britain."
The statute 23d George II. ch. 29th imposed similar but more numerous
restrictions--the whole and the other particulars named in the
instructions being in violation of the constitution of England and of
the charters predicated upon it. Constitutional and charter privileges
had grown sacred by long and acknowledged usage, by learned and legal
construction and by numerous declaratory Acts of the British Parliament
passed when sitting under the mantle of reason, justice and sound
policy. So fully convinced was Mr. Smith of the true issue between the
Colonies and mother Britain that on his return home he raised a company
of volunteers and was elected captain by acclamation. This was the
pioneer company of Pennsylvania raised for the purpose of confronting
the ugly _baste_--tyranny. It was nine months before the bloody affair
at Lexington, showing that Mr. Smith had arrived at a correct conclusion
as to the true issue. He introduced thorough discipline in his new corps
and imparted to every member the same patriotic fire that illuminated
his own noble soul. Around this military nucleus the bone and sinew
continued to rally until a regiment was raised. Mr. Smith accepted the
honorary title of Colonel but imposed the active commanding duties upon
a younger man. He had put the ball in motion and was gratified to see it
rolling onward with increasing momentum towards the goal of LIBERTY.
When the time arrived for action this regiment did honor to all

Mr. Smith was a member of the next people's convention which convened at
Philadelphia in January 1775. He was one of the foremost to oppose force
to force and peril life for freedom. He was called an _ultra_ whig and
accused of treating the government of his most Christian majesty
indecorously. His patriotism had carried him six months in advance of
most of the leading men. No one could outstrip him in zeal in the cause
of equal rights. His course was onward--right onward to action. For this
the time soon arrived. In the spring of 1776 he was on a committee with
Dr. Rush and Col. Bayard to organize a camp of 4500 troops to be raised
in Pennsylvania. No man was better calculated to render efficient
service in this important branch of business. The committee immediately
prepared an appeal to the yeoman military which was approved by Congress
and widely circulated. It was written in bold and forcible language
pointing to the Independence of the Colonies as the great incentive to
action. It had a powerful and salutary effect and met with a response
from the people that, caused the hirelings of the crown to fly from the
province like chaff before the wind. The complement of men was promptly

Almost simultaneous with the promulgation of the Declaration of
Independence by Congress a convention of delegates convened for the
purpose of raising the arch of a republican constitution and government
over the Keystone State. Of this convention Mr. Smith was a prominent
member and one of the committee that prepared the Declaration of Rights.
For this the committee had the guidance of a polar star that had been
brought to light by the illustrious Jefferson and placed in the cerulean
canopy of Liberty by the Sages of Congress a few days previous. The
_ultraism_ of Mr. Smith had become an admired quality and was surnamed
_patriotism_ by the very persons who had misconceived it a few months
previous. His zeal and worth were then properly appreciated. On the 20th
of July he was elected to the Continental Congress without an intimation
to him of the intended honor until he was officially notified of the
fact. Being at the State convention in Philadelphia he immediately took
his seat--enrolled his name with the apostles of Liberty upon the chart
of freedom and then returned to the convention and essentially aided in
completing the new government of the State.

Early in October he fully assumed his congressional duties. The
instructions to the congressional delegates had become reversed in two
short years. The first clause is worthy of special notice and should be
printed in bold _relievo_ and placed over both chairs in Congress--there
to remain through all congressional time. Read and ponder it well ye
public men who think more of your personal concerns than the business of
your constituents.

"The immense and irreparable injury which a free country may sustain
_by_ and the great inconveniences which always arise _from_ a delay of
its councils, induce us in the first place strictly to enjoin and
require you to give not only a _constant_ but a _punctual_ attendance in

At the commencement of our free government the will of the people was
respected and obeyed. Their public servants were not then their
political masters. Committee rooms were not then diverted from their
legitimate use by partisan caucuses. The halls of legislation were not
then the forum of chaos, personal crimination--recrimination and
unparliamentary procedure. The mantle of infantile purity was then
hanging from the shoulders of those in high stations in all the beauty
of tasteful drapery. _Pro bono publico_ was the order of the day--_pro
libertate patriæ_ was the motto of each freeman. Mr. Smith obeyed his
instructions to the letter. He entered with all his might upon the work
set before him. A dark gloom hung over the cause of Liberty at that
time. Many of its warmest friends considered success quite
problematical. At such a time the sprightliness and proverbial drollery
of Mr. Smith were a talismanic antidote against despondency. Always
cheerful and elastic--spicing his conversations in private and his
speeches in the forum with original wit and humor--he imparted convivial
life to those around him. Amidst the waves of misfortune and the
breakers of disappointment--like a buoy upon the ocean, he floated above
them all and pointed the mariners of Liberty to the port of Freedom. The
following extract of a letter written to his wife when Congress was on
the point of retreating before Gen. Howe shows that no hyppish feelings
cramped the elasticity of his mind.

     "If Mr. Wilson comes through York give him a flogging--he should
     have been here a week ago. I expect to come home before
     election--my three months are nearly up. General left this on
     Thursday--I wrote to you by Col. Kennedy.

     "This morning I put on the red jacket under my shirt. Yesterday I
     dined at Mr. Morris's and got wet coming home and my shoulder got
     troublesome, but by running a hot smoothing iron over it three
     times it got better. This is a new and cheap cure. My respects to
     all friends and neighbors--my love to the children.

                           "I am your loving husband whilst

                                                         "JAMES SMITH.

     "Congress Chamber, 11 o'clock."

On the 23d of November 1776 Mr. Smith was placed on the committee to
devise means for reinforcing the American army and for arresting the
destructive career of Gen. Howe. The powers of this committee were very
properly transferred to Washington soon after. He was on the committee
that laid before Congress conclusive testimony of the inhuman treatment
of the American prisoners at New York. The ensuing year he declined a
re-election but his constituents informed him he was public property and
must be used _nolens volens_. He obeyed their will and continued at his
post with unabated zeal and industry. When Congress was compelled to
retreat to York he closed his office against his clients and placed in
it the Board of War. He sacrificed all private interests that would
promote the glorious cause of Liberty. In November 1778 he resigned his
seat in Congress and for a season enjoyed the comforts of domestic life.
Being advanced in years and having full confidence in the ability of the
United States, aided by the French, to maintain Independence--formed his
excuse for leaving the field of his arduous labors. In 1780 he consented
to serve in the State legislature. He then retired finally from the
public arena. He continued to pursue his professional business
successfully and profitably up to 1800 having been a member of the bar
for sixty years. His eccentricity, wit and humor retained all the
freshness of originality to the end of his life. He was a great admirer
of the illustrious Washington. A castigation from his ironical tongue
was the certain consequence to any one who spoke against religion or
Washington in his presence at any time or place. Upon these two points
he was very sensitive. The former he adored--the latter he revered. He
corresponded regularly with Franklin and several others of the patriarch
sages of '76. He had preserved a rich cabinet of letters, all of which
were burnt with his office about a year before his death.

Surrounded by an affectionate family and a large circle of ardent
friends--this happy son of Erin glided smoothly down the stream of time
until the 11th day of July 1806 when his frail bark was anchored in the
bay of death--his immortal spirit in the haven of bliss. In life he was
useful--in death happy. In life he was loved and honored--in death his
loss was deeply mourned. His exit from earth left a blank not readily
filled. His public and private character were unsullied by a spot or
wrinkle. When living he was the life of every circle in which he
moved--no one who knew him could forget him when dead. Ennui could not
live in his presence. He was warm hearted, kind, affectionate and a
friend to the poor. He never entertained malice. He used his opponents
much as a playful kitten does a mouse--teasing without a desire to hurt
them--a propensity that rendered him more formidable than a knight of
the sword and pistols. Such pure originals as James Smith are like the
inimitable paintings of the ancient artists--few in market and hard to
be copied.


Ingratitude is the extract of baseness, the essence of blackness, the
ergot of meanness, a concentrated poison, the spawn of a demon--the fuel
of Pandemonium. Its breath is pestilence, its touch is palsy. Of all the
vile acts of man towards man none throw such a freezing chill over the
whole body and drive back the rushing blood upon the aching heart like
base and damning ingratitude. Indifference continued, coldness
persevered in, favors forgotten, friendship unrequited and sometimes
cruel abuse--from one who has been the willing recipient of our love,
bounty and voluntary aid--brings a palsying horror over the soul that
thickens the purple current in the veins making the head sick and the
heart faint.

A nation may be ungrateful as well as an individual. Thus it was with
England towards the American Colonies. In addition to contributing to
the support of the home government of the mother country, much blood and
treasure were expended by the Americans in conquering Canada for the
special benefit of Great Britain. It was owned by the French who were
long the common enemy of the English. Immediately after that conquest
the most ungrateful and unjust oppression was commenced by the ministry
of England upon her Colonies here. To cap the climax--the very Indians
the Americans had conquered and made allegiant to the mother
country--that cruel mother employed to murder and scalp those who had
aided her. A premium was given for _scalps_--not for _prisoners_.

Among those who essentially aided in the conquest of the Canadas was
John Stark, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on the 25th of August
1728 O. S. When John was but eight years of age his father removed to
what is now called Manchester. Clearing land and an occasional hunting
or fishing excursion with his father was the business of John in early
life. In this manner the tide of time carried him along until the 28th
of April 1752 when he was taken prisoner by the St. Francois Indians. He
left home with two others to visit their beaver traps and at the time of
his capture was separated from them. The savages ordered him to lead
them to his companions which he pretended to do but led them two miles
in the opposite direction. Their position was discovered by the
discharge of their guns to call Stark to them. The Indians proceeded
below where their boat was moored and ordered Stark to hail them when
they approached. He did so and told them to escape to the opposite
shore. They attempted to do so--one of them was immediately shot and
killed--the other Stark saved by snatching the gun from the Indian who
aimed at him for which he was most cruelly treated. His companion was
then taken prisoner. In about six weeks they were ransomed and restored
to their anxious friends. Thus ended his first lesson in the school of

In the winter of 1753 the Court of New Hampshire sent an exploring
expedition into Coos County and employed young Stark as pilot to the
company. He performed his undertaking to the entire satisfaction of all
concerned. In 1754 a party was sent to the upper part of this county to
learn if the French were erecting a fortification--if so, the reason
why. Stark was again employed as conductor and led the expedition upon
the track he travelled when a prisoner. On the commencement of
hostilities with the French and Indians in 1755 he was commissioned a
Lieutenant under Captain Rodgers whose boldness and enterprise were in
unison with those of Stark. They speedily raised a company of brave
hardy men and were ordered to join the regiment at Fort Edward. They
arrived shortly after Sir William Johnson was attacked by the French and
Indians near Bloody Pond. In the fall the troops returned to their
homes. In the winter of 1756 a corps of rangers was raised to protect
the frontier settlements. Rodgers and Stark were put in command and
repaired to Fort Edward in April with their company. Nothing worthy of
note occurred until the winter of 1757 when this company and two others
were ordered to seize the supplies on the way from Crown Point to
Ticonderoga. The Colonial troops had taken a few sleighs and were on
their way to Fort George when they were furiously attacked by the
combined force of the French and Indians. A desperate and bloody battle
was fought--Captain Spickman was killed and Captain Rodgers severely
wounded. The entire command then devolved upon Lieut. Stark. Being
overpowered by numbers he ordered a retreat. With the coolness and skill
of an experienced veteran he drew off his men keeping the enemy at a
respectful distance by a well directed fire when too closely pressed. He
brought away all his wounded men and had them conveyed in sleighs to
Fort George. He was at once elected to fill the place of Captain
Spickman. The next spring he was ordered to New York where he suffered
severely from the small pox and was unfit for duty until the next autumn
when he returned and wintered at Fort Edward.

In 1758 Gen. Abercrombie planned an attack upon Ticonderoga. The rangers
under Major Rodgers were sent forward to reconnoitre the enemy and make
way for the main body of troops. The evening previous to that fatal
attack the Major received orders to carry the bridge between Lake George
and the plains of Tie early the next morning. On the approach of the
rangers the French and Indians were assembled in force to dispute their
passage. A halt was made--Capt. Stark advised the Major to advance
rapidly by which means the bridge was cleared instantly. During the
whole of that sanguinary action no officer manifested more cool and
determined bravery than Capt. Stark. The Colonial troops were defeated
which ended that campaign. It was an unfortunate affair inspiring the
Indians with boldness in their career of predatory warfare.

Early in 1759 Capt. Stark obtained leave of absence and hastened to his
fond parents and friends. Above all he consummated his plighted vows to
Elizabeth Page who he promptly led to the hymeneal altar in the good
old fashioned way. The tables were covered with spare-ribs, baked pork
and beans, pumpkin pies, short cake, gingerbread and dough-nuts. Smiling
faces, hearty kisses and good wishes had free course and were not
cramped into nonentity by modern etiquette. Imported refinement has been
frittering away the richest enjoyments of American life for the last
fifty years.

The ensuing spring he repaired to his post in the army and added to his
military fame in the reduction of Crown Point and Tie. He served to the
end of the French war and saw the English standard wave triumphantly
over the Canadas. His bravery forced unqualified applause from his
superiors who were subsequently compelled to witness a new edition of
his military tactics fresh from the font of liberty.

At the consummation of the conquest of the Canadas he retired to the
bosom of his family where he drank deeply of the untold joys of domestic
felicity until British tyranny roused him to action in a nobler cause.
He had fought in the army of the mother country until her most hated
enemy had been conquered on the heights of Abraham. He had been her
faithful subject but was not willing to become her slave. He boldly
opposed the usurpations of the crown and kindled the fire of patriotism
in all around him who had courage to be free. He was prudent but firm as
the granite rock. He hoped for the best--prepared for the worst. He
delighted in the sunshine of peace but held himself ready to meet the
fury of the impending storm should it burst upon his beloved country. He
pointed his neighbors to the dark clouds as they rose higher and blacker
and urged them to prepare for the approaching crisis. Soon American
blood stained the heights of Lexington--the cry--_to arms! to
arms!_--rent the air and was carried, as on wings of mighty wind, to the
remotest bounds of the down-trodden colonies.

On the reception of this heart-rending news Capt. Stark mounted his
horse and hastened to the scene of action. On his way he imparted
patriotic fire to those he met urging them to rally at Medford where he
would meet them on his return. Large numbers assembled there with their
rusty muskets, powder-horns and slugs. By acclamation he was made their
leader with the rank of Colonel aided by Lieut. Col. Wyman and Maj.
McClary. Ten large companies promptly rallied around him with hearts
beating high for their injured bleeding country. The necessary
discipline was introduced--all were anxious to learn military tactics.
Shortly after the organization of his regiment Col. Stark was ordered by
Gen. Ward to examine Noodle's Island for the purpose of locating a
battery. With two other officers he repaired to the place designated
and returned under a brisk but harmless fire from a British boat in
close pursuit. At the battle of Bunker's Hill his regiment seemed
invincible. Unbroken and undismayed--his brave soldiers repelled the
repeated attacks of the enemy with dreadful slaughter. When ordered to
retreat his men reluctantly obeyed the command.

In the service of enlisting troops and obtaining supplies for the army
Col. Stark had no superior. His influence was broad and commanding. When
Boston was evacuated he marched his regiment to New York to aid in
erecting fortifications. The ensuing May he was ordered to Canada. In
June he met his troops at St. Johns and proceeded to the mouth of the
Sorrel. The unfortunate expedition to Three Rivers was undertaken
contrary to his advice. At Chamblee he and his men rendered essential
service to the troops at that place then suffering under the small-pox.
From there he crossed over to Chimney Point and encamped. When ordered
to Ticonderoga by Gen. Schuyler he drew up a formal remonstrance
assigning his specific objections and correctly pointed out the
disasters that must and did render the expedition abortive. On
presenting his views to the General he obeyed the order. When Gen. Gates
took command of the northern army he placed Col. Stark over a brigade.
Towards the close of that campaign Congress was led into the error of
raising several younger Colonels to Brigadiers--a violation of common
justice--a source of discord in the army. About the same time Col. Stark
marched into Pennsylvania and joined Washington a few days before the
battle of Trenton. So poorly shod and disheartened were the soldiers
that then composed the mere nucleus of the American army, that they
melted the snow with gushing blood from their feet and scalding tears
from their eyes. At the battle of Trenton Col. Stark led the vanguard
and contributed largely towards obtaining the most important victory of
the Revolution. At Princeton he was equally efficient. On retiring to
winter quarters at Morristown Washington despatched him to his native
state to raise recruits and supplies. In April he was surprised to learn
that a new roll of promotions had been made out and his name omitted. He
was too patriotic to complain--too high-minded to submit to such
ingratitude. He surrendered his commission and retired to his
farm--still urging every man to action in the cause of Liberty.

When New Hampshire was called upon to furnish men to oppose the onward
march of Burgoyne Gen. Stark was urged to take command of her troops. He
informed the Council he was willing to lead the troops where duty called
but would not place himself under any power but that of his own state.
His terms were promptly accepted. The brave Stark was immediately under
way with an independent corps of dauntless soldiers who were ready to
follow _him_ through storms of iron hail and British thunder. He
encamped at Bennington, Vermont, where he was waited upon by Maj. Gen.
Lincoln who had orders to conduct the New Hampshire troops to
headquarters. The Maj. Gen. found himself in the wrong box and returned
to Gen. Gates who complained to Congress and Washington that Gen. Stark
was bent on fighting upon his own hook which he was permitted to do with
great effect. Apprised of this apparent discord Burgoyne despatched Col.
Baum to cut off the Americans by detail. Gen. Stark determined to give
the illustrious visitant a warm reception. On the 13th of August 1777
Baum encamped on an eminence near the town and erected a breastwork of
logs--his ardor for a sudden attack having abated. Early the next
morning Gen. Stark formed his troops into two divisions of attack and a
reserve. The two divisions advanced upon the front and rear of the enemy
at the same time and drove them so rapidly upon the reserve that many
were killed and most of the balance taken prisoners. In a short time a
formidable reinforcement approached from the British army ready to
snatch the laurels of victory from the Americans. At that critical
moment Col. Warner advanced with his bold Green Mountain boys and kept a
far superior number at bay until Gen. Stark could bring all his men into
action that could be spared from guarding the prisoners. The red coats
were routed and were so generous as to leave their artillery for the use
of the patriots. A considerable number of prisoners were taken in the
second engagement--the mantle of night saved many more from the same
fate. As Gen. Burgoyne advanced, Gen. Stark retired to the vicinity of
the American army to take part in a general engagement which he saw must
soon occur.

On the 15th September his term of service expired when he returned home
with his troops. He immediately reported himself to the council and
urged the necessity of sending new recruits at once to aid in capturing
the British army. In a few days he joined Gen. Gates with a stronger
force than before. He was in favor of a bold movement and placed his
troops in the rear to cut off all communication with Lake George. The
surrender of Gen. Burgoyne took place soon after when Gen. Stark
returned home with his troops. Shortly after his return Congress
commissioned him to prepare an expedition against Canada making his head
quarters at Albany, New York. He performed the duties assigned him with
promptness and fidelity. The project was abandoned and he permitted to
return to his family. Early in 1778 he was put in command of the
northern department which was in a chaotic condition--with but few
troops to protect an extensive frontier--a combination of tories,
peculators, defaulters and reckless speculators around him--all tending
to render his situation unpleasant and embarrassing. He commenced a
rigid reform and continued in the vigorous discharge of his duty until
October when he joined Gen. Gates in Rhode Island where he continued
until the close of that campaign. During the ensuing winter he was
engaged in raising recruits and supplies for the army. The next spring
he was stationed in Rhode Island to attend to any calls that might be
made by the enemy and received all their visiting parties with such
marked promptitude and attention that they took final leave in November.
About this time he was ordered to join Gen. Washington in New Jersey
with such troops as could be spared from the garrison. The campaign
closed without the anticipated battle and Gen. Stark was put upon his
usual winter service of obtaining recruits and supplies for the army.
Early in the ensuing May he joined Washington at Morristown and was in
the battle of the Short Hills. Gen. Washington found it necessary to
send him back to New England to obtain more recruits and supplies and
concentrate them at West Point. This duty he performed nobly and
successfully. He then repaired to his troops at the Liberty Pole in New
Jersey. In September he joined Gen. St. Clair. Shortly after that he was
ordered to advance near York Island with 2500 men and a large train of
wagons and secure all the grain and forage possible and remain their for
further orders. He was completely successful, returning to West Point
with a large supply of necessaries for the army. On his return he was
reduced very low by sickness which rendered him unfit for duty until the
next spring when he was put in command of the northern department. He
found it in a worse condition than when he took charge of it previously.
Tories, spies, traitors and robbers were acting in concert with the
enemy in Canada. Energetic measures were required and adopted. A
military post was established at Saratoga. A leader of the plunderers
was arrested and his company secured. A British Lieutenant's commission
was found upon his person--he was tried by a court martial--condemned as
a spy and hung the next day. His friends were threatening and noisy--a
copy of the proceedings was sent to Washington--received his unqualified
approbation and placed Gen. Stark in a position to restore the
department to a healthy tone. He continued at that station until after
the surrender of Cornwallis when he returned to his native state for the
winter to raise recruits and supplies. It is believed Gen. Stark did
more in this service than any one individual during the Revolution.
Deservedly popular, a patriot of the first water, an officer of cool
undaunted bravery and great skill--he exerted a large and salutary
influence. He was very successful during the winter and reported himself
to Gen. Washington early in April--receiving the hearty thanks of the
commander-in-chief for his faithful services during the struggle for
freedom. At West Point he closed his long and useful military
career--took an affectionate leave of his companions in arms--urged upon
his troops the propriety of returning to their homes in peaceful and
dignified order and of preserving pure and untarnished the rich laurels
that decked their manly brows. He was greeted with enthusiastic applause
and tears of affection unknown to the present era. He returned to the
warm embrace of his dear family and bid a last farewell to public life.
His advice was often asked and wisely imparted in public affairs.
Quietly and happily he passed down the current of time until the 8th day
of May 1822 when his frail bark of earth was moored in the port of
death--his immortal spirit in the haven of eternal rest.

In all the private relations of life Gen. Stark was pure beyond all
suspicion. He was worthy, virtuous, amiable and honest in the fullest
sense of these terms. In reviewing his life we are carried back to that
eventful era when the pilgrim fathers held their lives by a slender
tenure amidst the red men of the wilderness that they might enjoy that
liberty of conscience which is the inalienable gift of God. If all could
but faintly realize the value of the blood and treasure that our Liberty
cost--the reckless party spirit that is now stripping that Liberty of
its richest foliage, would be banished from the heart of every
reflecting man--patriotism would revive like drooping plants after a
summer shower--demagogues would find their proper level and
disorganizers have permission to stay at home or make an excursion up
salt river. Then we might more fondly hope for the perpetuity of our
glorious UNION--the preservation of that FREEDOM which has been sacredly
transmitted to our care.


Discretion is wisdom put in practice. It is the development of a sound
judgment and good heart. It seeks a happy equilibrium in all
things--aims at pure happiness in time and futurity--seeks to accomplish
noble ends by honorable means--shuns every appearance of evil--meets the
ills flesh is heir to with Christian fortitude and resignation. It
applies the touch stone of plain common sense and Revelation to
everything. The discreet man discerns what is clearly right and has
moral courage and energy to pursue it. He is cool, deliberate, resolute,
strong, efficient. He practices economy without parsimony, benevolence
without ostentation, sincerity without dissimulation, goodness without
affectation, religion without hypocrisy, power without abuse.

Parents should teach this sterling virtue to their children by precept
and example. Teachers should enforce it upon their pupils as the helm of
human action. It should be the bright morning star in the political
arena--legislative halls--cabinet--executive chamber--international
intercourse--courts of justice--seminaries of learning--pulpit--social
meetings--domestic circle--family government--juvenile nursery--in
short--discretion should regulate all our conduct for time and eternity.

So thought and so acted Richard Stockton, born near Princeton, New
Jersey, in October 1730. His great grandfather of the same name came
from England in 1670--purchased some 7000 acres of land near Princeton
and in 1682 effected the first European settlement made in that part of
the Province. On this estate the Stockton family continued to reside
happily until driven off by the army of Lord Howe.

Under the instruction of the celebrated Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley,
Principal of West Nottingham Academy in Maryland, the talents of Richard
were rapidly and strongly developed in early youth. From that seminary
he went to the college at Princeton and graduated at the first annual
commencement of Nassau Hall in 1748. At the age of eighteen he commenced
the study of law under David Ogden then at the head of the New Jersey
bar. He studied closely for six years when he was admitted fully
prepared for the practice of law. How different the course of law
students now. Two years of superficial study is deemed a hardship by
some young men. A mere smattering of the elementary principles is
imprinted on their _memories_ not on their _understandings_. A
collegiate diploma and influential friends are thrown into the dangerous
breach, a slight examination is made--the young _men_ not the young
_lawyers_, are admitted to the bar, fully prepared to create litigation
and lead their clients into the vortex of error and trouble--perhaps
ruin them.

Not so with Mr. Stockton. Years of toil had prepared him to become a
safe and judicious adviser. He could clearly discern the right and wrong
between litigants--then kindly enforce the one and correct the other by
sound reasoning and a lucid exposition of the principles of law and
equity applicable to the case. Such lawyers are peace makers--a blessing
in community. The reverse are cancers upon society--an annoyance to
courts the sepulchres of their clients' money--living nuisances in the
commoving mass.

Mr. Stockton opened an office at his paternal mansion and rose rapidly
to the zenith of professional eminence. His fame expanded so widely that
he was frequently employed to try important suits in other colonies. In
1763 he was honored with the degree of Sergeant at Law. In 1766, he
closed his professional career richly rewarded for his faithful and
arduous labors. He committed the settlement of his business and his
practice to Elias Boudinot who had married his sister and who was well
qualified to follow in the steps of his illustrious predecessor.

Anxious to further enrich his mind, in June of that year he embarked for
Europe and arrived safely at London. His legal fame had been spread in
that country--his visit was anticipated and he was received by the
dignitaries of England with marked attention. He was presented at the
Court of St. James by one of the Cabinet members and delivered to the
King an address from the College of New Jersey, expressive of their joy
at the repeal of the peace disturbing Stamp Act.

During his stay in Europe he rendered lasting service to this college by
inducing Dr. Witherspoon to become its President pursuant to his recent
election to that station--adding another brilliant star to the list of
high minded talented patriots who nobly conceived, boldly prosecuted and
gloriously consummated the emancipation of the colonies. During his
visit he communicated freely with the statesmen of England who were
friendly to the cause of constitutional rights and confirmed them more
strongly in favor of the Americans.

In February following he visited Edinburgh where he received the kindest
attention from those in commission who gave him the freedom of the city
and a magnificent public dinner at which he delivered an eloquent and
thrilling speech--fully sustaining his reported forensic fame--more than
realizing their most sanguine anticipations. His company was courted by
the most scientific of that ancient seat of learning. He was made the
honored and welcome guest of every nobleman on whom he could call.

He also visited Dublin and received the hearty Irish welcome so
characteristic of that warm hearted nation. The oppressed situation of
that down trodden people convinced him more strongly of the fate that
awaited his native country if she yielded to the imperious and
humiliating demands of the British ministry. His noble resolves were
then and there made--he was prepared for future action.

Mr. Stockton was surprised to find so few in England who understood the
situation and character of the Americans--the English were astonished to
find so great a man from the western wilderness. Misapprehension often
produces disastrous consequences to individuals and nations. The
comprehensive mind of this philanthropist readily saw the result of this
ignorance of the people of the mother country relative to the colonists
and embraced every opportunity to dispel this dark mist that hung over
the land of his ancestors like the mantle of night. With many he
succeeded--but when those who wield the destiny of a nation are wading
in corruption--breathing the atmosphere of tyranny--influenced by sordid
avarice--thirsting for a stretch of power--delighting in cruelly and
oppression--they dethrone reason--would dethrone Jehovah if they
could--defy justice--trample on constitutions and laws--stop at nothing
to accomplish their demoniac purposes. Thus acted the British ministers
when they turned a deaf ear to the petitions and remonstrances of the
Americans and the wise counsels and warning voices of the ablest
statesmen in their Parliament. With untiring industry and determined
perseverance they wove the web of our Independence and gave it an
enduring and beautiful texture before unknown.

The mind of Mr. Stockton was enriched and embellished by his varied
intercourse with the great men of the United Kingdom. He had listened to
the forensic eloquence and powerful arguments of Blackstone and the
other celebrated pleaders in Westminster Hall. He had treasured his mind
with the clear and erudite decisions of the learned judges who then
graced the English bench. He had witnessed the enrapturing rhetoric of
Chatham--the logical genius of Burke--the fascinating manners of
Chesterfield and saw Garrick on the flood tide of his glory.

After an absence of a little over a year he embarked for home and
arrived in September 1767. He was received with demonstrations of the
liveliest joy by his fellow citizens and with great kindness and
affection by his relatives.

In consequence of the high opinion of his talents entertained by the
king he appointed him to a seat in the Supreme Judiciary and Executive
Council in 1769. In 1774 he was appointed an associate judge of the
Supreme Court with David Ogden his law preceptor. Two better judges
could not have been selected for the people--but to the king they
ultimately became as obnoxious as a crown of thorns and plume of

The revolutionary storm was gathering. Dark clouds were rolling into a
conglomerated mass. An awful crisis had arrived. The flames of revenge
were spreading like fire on a prairie in autumn. Mr. Stockton was a
favorite of the crown. It became necessary for him to choose whom he
would serve. The immense influence he wielded made his decision of great
importance to the king and Colonies. Now came the test of patriotism.
Sordid self and inflated aristocracy could have had no difficulty in
deciding. Nor had he, but came to a very different conclusion from most
of the crown officers. He knew much of the mother country--he knew and
loved his own better. The pomp of kings and pageantry of courts had no
charms for him. He was a republican, a patriot, a friend of LIBERTY. In
her cause he promptly enlisted--under her banner he took his stand
willing to sacrifice kingly favor, property and life in defence of the
sacred rights of his bleeding injured country. He carried with him his
friend, Rev. Dr. Witherspoon, both of whom were elected to the
Continental Congress in June 1776, just in time to immortalize their
names by recording them on the Magna Charta of our rights. Mr. Stockton
was among its boldest advocates, brandishing the amputating knife
fearlessly in public and private circles. Nor did he stand alone. The
members of that body soon acquired the art of cutting _five_ and _six_.
They forged and finished a blade, pure as Damascus steel and placed it
in the hands of their proscribed President. At one bold stroke the cords
of parental authority were cut asunder. America was redeemed,
regenerated and free. LIBERTY dipped her golden pen in the cerulean font
of JUSTICE and recorded the names of the FIFTY-SEVEN upon the shining
tablet of enduring fame. Heaven smiled its approbation--angels shouted
for joy--nations gazed with admiring wonder--every patriot responded a

The rich store of information, matured experience, soaring talent and
enrapturing eloquence of Mr. Stockton--rendered him one of the most
useful members of that Congress. His acute knowledge of law, political
economy, human nature, chartered rights and of men and things--commanded
the respect and esteem of all his colleagues. He performed every duty
with zeal, industry and integrity. In the autumn of 1776 he was sent
with George Clymer to inspect the northern army, with power to supply
its wants and correct any existing abuses. In the able discharge of this
duty they had the approbation of Congress and the army.

Soon after his return Mr. Stockton was called to remove his family to
save his wife and children from the proverbial brutality of the
approaching enemy. In the effort to do this he was taken prisoner and in
the most inhuman manner taken to New York and consigned to the common
prison. He was deprived of every comfort--kept twenty-four hours without
any provision and then received a coarse and scanty supply--the British
violating the laws of humanity--of nations and all rules of civilized
warfare. This base treatment impaired his health and laid the foundation
of disease that hastened his death. His capture was effected by the
information of a Tory who was subsequently indicted and punished for his

This abuse of one of its members roused the indignation of Congress.
Gen. Washington was directed to send a flag of truce to Gen. Howe and
through great exertions finally obtained the release of Mr. Stockton.
Simultaneous with his capture the demoniac enemy committed to the flames
his extensive library, papers and everything combustible--leaving his
highly ornamented plantation a blackened waste.

Oppressed by want and disease he was unable again to take his seat in
Congress but continued to be a consulted counsellor in public affairs at
his residence near Princeton. His opinions had great weight and proved a
national blessing. Among his complicated diseases he had a painful
cancer upon his neck. He endured his severe affliction with Christian
fortitude up to the 28th of February 1781 when death relieved him from
pain and consigned him to the peaceful kingdom of the dead. At his exit
to the world of spirits many warm hearts were sad--thousands dropped the
sympathetic tear--our nation mourned the loss of a valued son.

Thus prematurely closed the brilliant career of one of the bright
luminaries of that eventful period. His science and knowledge were
unusually extensive. He was the first Chief Justice of his state under
the new constitution. He acquitted himself nobly in all the relations of
life--lawyer, judge, statesman, patriot, gentleman, citizen, friend,
husband, father, Christian and man. He was an ornament to society--an
honor to his country and a blessing to mankind.


The man who has a just sense of the responsibilities of a high public
office is the last to seek it. The more clearly a sensible unassuming
man perceives the magnitude of a public trust the more he mistrusts his
capacity to discharge its duties--yet such a man is the very one to be
trusted. It was with great diffidence that Washington assumed the
command of the American armies. No one can be pointed out who possessed
as fully all the requisites to meet the times that tried the souls and
bodies of men. John Hancock quailed under his appointment to the
Presidential Chair of Congress. No one manifested more firmness in the
cause of freedom--no one could have filled that chair with more dignity.

It is only in times of danger that men of the greatest worth become most
conspicuous. They are then sought for by the virtuous portion of
community. In times of peace and prosperity the same men may be called
to the councils of a nation without exciting great applause whilst the
names of noisy demagogue politicians are carried over the world on the
wings of venal partisan prints and held up as the conservators of the
body politic. It is at such times that our best men shrink from the
public gaze. It is at such times that the canker worm of political
intrigue carries on the work of death. It is at such times that
peculation stalks abroad at noon day with hideous form and unblushing
impudence. It is at such times that the conclave caucusers consume the
midnight oil to concoct plans to dupe the dozing people and secure to
themselves the loaves and fishes. It is only in times of strong
commotion and certain peril that men of sterling merit become most
prominent and are duly appreciated. This fact was fully demonstrated
during the American Revolution. Many were then called to deliberate in
the solemn assemblies who had not been previously known as public men
and who retired when the mighty work of Independence was completed. They
were selected for their discretion, honesty, wisdom, firmness and

Of this class was Thomas Stone, a descendant of William Stone who was
governor of Maryland during the reign of Cromwell. He was born at
Pointon Manor, Charles County, Maryland in 1743. He was well educated
under the instruction of a Scotch clergyman and read law with Thomas
Johnson of Annapolis. He commenced a successful practice at that place
and was held in high estimation by the community in which he lived.
Modest, unassuming, industrious, a close student, a judicious counsellor
and an honest man--he was admired and beloved for his substantial worth
and sterling merit. He possessed a clear head, sound judgment and good
heart. His mind was vigorous, analyzing, investigating and
philosophical. He was a friend to equal rights and delighted in seeing
every one happy. He detested oppression in all its various shades from
the abuse of a worm up to the capstone of the climax of creation--MAN.
He was patriotic, kind, noble, benevolent, generous.

With such feelings he could not carelessly look upon the oppressions of
the Grenville administration. When the Stamp Act was passed he was a
youth in politics but the discussions upon its odiousness deeply
interested him. He was an attentive listener and a thorough
investigator. His opposition to such encroachments became firm. A holy
indignation was awakened in his manly bosom and prepared him for future
action. Still he avoided the public gaze. In private circles he
conversed freely, lucidly and understandingly upon the subject of
American rights and British wrongs. But just previous to his being
called by his country to deliberate in her councils could he be induced
to mount the rostrum in the forum and display his very respectable
forensic powers. When the Boston Port Dill was proclaimed Mr. Stone
surmounted the barriers of diffidence and came out boldly against abused
power. His example had a salutary influence upon those around him. All
knew there must be something radically wrong--that some portentous cloud
hung over the Colonies if Thomas Stone was roused to public action. In
times of peril the influence of such men is of the highest value. The
declaimer who is always on hand at public meetings charged with a
Niagara cataract of words must be a Demosthenes or Cicero to long keep a
strong hold upon the hearts of the people. And if he does so his
influence is only popular--not of that deep-toned kind that moves the
living mass only from a deliberate conviction of imperative duty. The
cool, the reflecting, the calculating, the timid and the wavering are
operated upon magically when they see such a man as Thomas Stone go
boldly forward and advocate a cause that they at first believed

On the 8th of December 1774 he was elected to the Continental Congress
and took his seat on the 15th of the ensuing May. The meeting had been
deeply solemn and imposing the year before but at that time increased
responsibilities rested upon the members. The cry of blood was ringing
in their ears--the fury of the revolutionary storm was increasing--the
clash of arms and mortal combat had commenced--the vials of British
wrath were unsealed--civil government was at an end. To meet such a
crisis required the wisdom of Solon, the patriotism of Cincinnatus, the
acuteness of Locke, the eloquence of Demosthenes and Cicero, the caution
of Tacitus, the learning of Atticus, the energy of Virginius, the
honesty of Socrates, the justice of Aristides, the boldness of Cæsar,
the perseverance of Hannibal, the concentrated and harmonious action of
all the colonies. These qualities were all represented by the members of
the Continental Congress to a degree that has no parallel in history.
Mr. Stone commenced his legislative duties with vigor and prosecuted
them with zeal. He was at first trammelled by instructions from the
Maryland Assembly the members of which hoped for peace without recourse
to arms. Increasing oppressions soon removed this injunction and enabled
him to join in all measures calculated to promote the cause of
Independence. When the millennial sun of LIBERTY rose upon the new world
on the 4th of July 1776 Mr. Stone was at his post and became a
subscribing witness to the dissolution of that unequal partnership where
the labor had been performed by one party and the profits consumed by
the other.

Mr. Stone retired from Congress in 1777. He had been a faithful laborer
in the committee rooms--an influential member in the House. He had
bestowed much time and thought upon the Articles of Confederation and
felt bound to remain until they were perfected and adopted. That
important work completed he left the national Council carrying with him
the esteem of his co-workers in the cause of freedom, the approbation of
a good conscience and the gratitude of his constituents. In 1778 he was
elected to the Maryland legislature and became an important and
influential member. During that session the Articles of Confederation
that he had aided in framing at the preceding Congress were submitted
for consideration. At first they met with strong opposition. Better
understanding them Mr. Stone was able to meet every objection and was
largely instrumental in their adoption. In 1783 he again took his seat
in Congress and fully sustained his high reputation for usefulness.
Devoted to the best interests of his country, free from political
ambition, sincere in his profession of republican principles, frank in
his intercourse, honest in his purposes--he was safely entrusted with
every station he was called to fill. He was present when Washington
resigned his commission and retired from the field of epic glory to the
peaceful shades of Mount Vernon amidst the loud plaudits of admiring
millions and the mingled tears of joy and gratitude that stood like
pearly dew-drops in the eyes of his countrymen and compatriots in arms.

The ensuing year Mr. Stone closed his labors in Congress and retired
from the public arena. During the last session of his services he
frequently presided and was esteemed highly as President _pro tempore_
by all the members for his ability, dignity and impartiality. As a
further mark of esteem he was elected to the convention in 1787 that
framed the Federal Constitution but declined any further public service
and did not attend. On the 5th of October the same year he was suddenly
called from the judicial Bar of Port Tobacco, Maryland, to the Bar of
the Judge of quick and dead to render an account of his stewardship. His
decease was deeply lamented by his numerous friends, a grateful nation
and millions of freemen.

Mr. Stone was cut off in the prime of life, in the midst of a brilliant
career of usefulness with the prospect of future honors opening
brightly before him. He lived long enough to be extensively useful and
earned a rich fame--imperishable as the pages of history--lasting as
human intelligence. From the moment he first took his place in society
to the present--the tongue of slander or the breath of detraction have
never attempted to cast a slur upon his reputation as a public man or
private citizen. He was a rare model of discretion, propriety and
usefulness--a true specimen of the Simon pure salt of the body politic,
rendering efficient services to his country without noise or parade and
without the towering talents of a Henry. Such men are above all price
and can be relied upon in the hour of danger as safe sentinels to guard
the best interests of our nation. We have more of the same sort who are
living in retirement. Let the people break them in and bring them out
that our UNION may be preserved.


A purely republican government is enrapturing in theory. To reduce this
beautiful theory to successful operation the body politic must be sound
and healthful in all its parts. It must be wielded by enlightened rulers
whose hearts are free from guile, whose judgments are strong and
matured, whose characters are without reproach, whose conduct is always
consistent, whose patriotism extinguishes all self, whose virtue lifts
them above all temptation to digress from the most exalted honesty and
rigid morality, whose minds are stored with useful knowledge--large
experience and whose souls are imbued with wisdom from above.

In such a condition and in such hands this kind of government is
calculated to bring out and elevate the intellectual powers of man,
unfold to the mind correct and liberal principles, promote social order
and general happiness by diffusing its radiant light, its refulgent
rays, its benign influence to the remotest bounds of the human family.
In such a condition and in such hands it would become the solar fountain
of mental improvement, the polar star of soaring genius, the brilliant
galaxy of expanding science, the prolific field of religious enterprise,
a shining light to benighted man. Its sunbeams of living light would
warm into mellow life the ignorant, the oppressed, the forlorn. Its
harmonious links would form a golden chain that would encircle earth and
reach to heaven. It would be a messenger of peace inviting the weary
pilgrims of bondage in every clime to a reposing asylum of peaceful,
quiescent rest. This is the kind of government the Sages and Heroes of
the American Revolution aimed to form and have perpetuated by posterity.

Among those who laid the foundation and commenced the superstructure of
our growing Republic was George Taylor, born in Ireland in 1716. His
father was a clergyman and gave him a good education. He then placed him
with a physician under whose direction he commenced the study of
medicine. Not fancying the idea of becoming a son of Æsculapius he flew
the course and without money or the knowledge of his friends entered as
a redemptioner on board a vessel bound for Philadelphia. Soon after his
arrival his passage was paid by Mr. Savage of Durham, Bucks County,
Pennsylvania, for which George bound himself as a common laborer for a
term of years. This gentleman carried on iron works and appointed his
new servant to the office of _filler_--his work being to throw coal into
the furnace when in blast. His hands became cruelly blistered but being
ambitious to gain the approbation of all around him he persevered
without a complaint. Learning his situation his humane master entered
into a conversation with him and was surprised to find him possessed of
a good education and superior talents. He immediately promoted him to a
clerkship in the counting house. He filled his station admirably and
gained the esteem and friendship of all his new acquaintances. He
endeavored to improve by everything he saw, heard and read. His
reflecting and reasoning powers became rapidly developed. He made
himself acquainted with the formula of business, the customs and laws of
his adopted country and reduced to practice the theories he had acquired
at school. To add to his importance in society Mr. Savage was removed by
death and after the usual season of mourning had passed, the widow
Savage became Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Taylor came in possession of a large
property and a valuable and influential wife. By persevering industry
and good management he continued to add to the estate and in a few years
purchased a tract of land on the bank of the Lehigh River in Northampton
County upon which he built a splendid mansion and iron works, making it
his place of residence. Not being prospered there he removed back to
Durham. During his residence in Northampton County he became extensively
and favorably known.

In 1764 he was elected to the provincial Assembly and took a prominent
part in its deliberations. He was endowed with a strong mind, clear
perception and sound judgment. He had not been an idle spectator or
careless observer of passing events or of subjects discussed. He had
examined the principles upon which various governments were predicated
and became enraptured with the republican system. He had closely
observed the increasing advances of British oppression. He had not
imported a large share of love for the mother country. He was too
patriotic to tamely submit to the English yoke. So fully had he gained
the confidence of his fellow citizens that he was placed upon the
important committee of grievances. He took a bold stand against the
corruptions of the proprietary government and strongly advocated an
alteration of the charter that peculation might be diminished and abuses

The ensuing year he was again elected to the Assembly and was one of the
committee that prepared instructions for the delegates to Congress that
convened in New York in 1765 to adopt measures for the restoration and
preservation of colonial rights. This document combined caution and
respect with firmness of purpose and deliberation of action. It
instructed the delegates to move within the orbit of constitutional and
chartered rights and to respectfully but clearly admonish the mother
country and her advisers not to travel out of the same circle. Shortly
after that the Stamp Act was repealed. Mr. Taylor was on the committee
to prepare a congratulatory address to the king on the happy event. So
ably did he discharge his public duties that he was uniformly placed
upon several of the standing committees of great importance, assigning
to him an onerous portion of legislative duties. Upon the committee of
grievances, assessment of taxes, judiciary, loans on bills of credit,
navigation, to choose a printer of public laws, the name of George
Taylor was generally found and often the first. He was a member of the
Assembly for six consecutive years. In 1768 he was upon a committee to
prepare an address to the governor censuring him for a remissness of
duty in not bringing to condign punishment certain offenders who had
openly and barbarously murdered several Indians thereby provoking
retaliation. It was respectful and manly but keen and cutting as a
Damascus blade. It was a lucid exposition of political policy, sound
law, equal justice and public duty. In 1775 Mr. Taylor was one of the
committee of safety for Pennsylvania, then virtually the organ of
government. The awful crisis had arrived when American blood was crying
for vengeance. The revolutionary storm had commenced--the mountain waves
of British wrath were rolling over the Colonies. Firmness, sound
discretion and boldness of action were required. Mr. Taylor possessed
and endeavoured to inspire these requisites in others. He was a faithful
sentinel in the cause of freedom--not a blazing luminary but a reliable
light. Although cautious he was not affected by the temporizing spirit
that paralyzed many who desired Liberty but preferred that others should
fight for it. He continued to exercise a salutary influence in the
Assembly until the summer of 1776 when he became a member of the
Continental Congress and sanctioned the principles of freedom he had
boldly advocated by his vote for and signature upon the Magna Charta of
our Liberty. Although he did not tempt the giddy height of declamation
Mr. Taylor knew where and when to speak, what to say and how to
vote--the highest qualifications of a legislator.

In the spring of 1777 he retired from public life crowned with the
honors of a devoted and ardent patriot, an industrious and useful
legislator, an enlightened and valuable citizen, a worthy and honest
man. On the 23d of February 1781 he closed his eyes upon terrestrial
things, bid a last farewell to earth and its toils and bowed
submissively to the king of terrors. He died at Easton, Pennsylvania,
where he had but recently removed.

From this brief sketch of Mr. Taylor the reader may learn that without
the luminous talents of a Lee, the towering intellect of a Jefferson or
the profound researches of a Franklin, a man can be substantially useful
and render important services to his country and the world. In the grand
machinery of human society there is a place for every individual to
occupy. Let all fulfil the design of their creation and exert their best
energies to preserve our blood-bought LIBERTY and perpetuate our
glorious UNION until TIME shall be merged in ETERNITY.


The study of human nature is one of the highest importance but
criminally neglected. Many who do undertake it begin at the wrong place.
They commence upon their neighbors instead of first exploring the
avenues of their own nature and there learning the thousand springs that
put their own machinery in motion. In no other school can we
successfully acquire this branch of knowledge. Self examination is
deplorably neglected. But few men know themselves and are sadly mistaken
when they suppose they fully understand those around them. To a large
portion of the human family man is a sealed book. But few parents study
or understand the nature and disposition of their children. If asked to
define them they would succeed no better than the unlettered red man
would in expounding geology and botany. Both live in the midst of the
subjects of investigation but only know them by sight. Upon the closest
application we can only arrive at general rules by which to try others.
I deny the hackneyed doctrine that the minutiæ of human nature is the
same in every individual. It cannot be deduced from an examination of
man mentally or physically. It cannot be shown from analogy in the laws
of nature. It cannot be proved by revelation but the reverse. Hence so
few become masters of this intricate study. The error lies in looking at
human nature as a mass. The man who does not understand geology may be
shown every variety of rock selected and placed in layers before him and
he can give you but one name for the whole--_rock_. The same with
reference to the other departments in the kingdom of nature. So in the
great machinery of society. Every observing person knows that what will
impel _one_ man to do certain acts would not move _another_ one inch.
Apply a great principle that operates upon every man--say the law of
self-preservation--its operation is not alike on different persons. On
the field of battle I have noticed a striking difference in the effect
upon different men. This was exemplified at the commencement and during
the American Revolution. The machinery that was put in motion was
composed of wheels from the smallest to the largest and springs of every
elasticity. To rouse the people to a becoming sense of their injured
rights and induce them to rise in the majesty of their might and
vindicate them, was the first business of the illustrious patriots who
boldly achieved our Independence. To effect this all the varied forms of
eloquence were necessary--the rushing torrent of logic that
overwhelms--the keen sarcasm that withers and the mild and winning
persuasion that loads.

The latter talent was the forte of Matthew Thornton born in Ireland in
1714 and came to this country with his father in 1717 who settled at
Wiscasset in Maine. This son received a good academical education and
was greatly admired for industry, correct deportment and blandness of
manners. After completing his course at school he commenced the study of
medicine with Dr. Grant of Leicester, Mass. He made rapid progress in
the acquisition of that important department of science and gave great
promise of future usefulness. When he finished his course he commenced
practice in Londonderry, N. H. which was principally settled by people
from his native country. He soon acquired a lucrative business and the
confidence of his numerous patrons. In the expedition against Cape
Breton, then belonging to the French, he was appointed surgeon to the
New Hampshire division of the army and performed his duty with great
skill and credit.

He was an early and prominent advocate of American rights--a bold and
uniform opposer of British usurpations. He had a great opportunity to
disseminate liberal principles among the people and most effectually
improved it. When the revolutionary storm burst upon the Colonies he had
command of a regiment. He had filled various important offices which had
made him widely and favorably known. His urbanity of manners, sincerity
of purpose and uncommon powers of persuasion gave him great influence in
private intercourse and public assemblies.

He was President of the first convention of New Hampshire after the
expulsion of kingly government. At the commencement of the Revolution
the people of that province did not form into line with the patriots but
Dr. Thornton and other kindred spirits soon brought them into the rank
and file of opposition to the invading foe and banished from them all
fugitive fear. In 1774 they sent delegates to Congress and came nobly up
to the work. In December of that year several members of the committee
of safety in the town of Portsmouth entered the fort and carried off one
hundred barrels of gun powder before the governor could rally crownites
to prevent them. Great Britain had prohibited the exportation of this
article to the Colonies.

Soon after the flight of Gov. Wentworth upon being apprised of the
battle of Lexington, an address was prepared and published by a
provincial committee over the signature of Matthew Thornton President.
To the young reader this may seem not important unless informed that it
was evidence to convict him of high treason and consign him to the
gallows had he fallen into the hands of the British. The address was
written in strong and bold language. Sample--"You must all be sensible
that the affairs of America have come to an affecting crisis. The
horrors and distresses of a civil war which of late we only had in
contemplation, we now find ourselves obliged to realize. Painful, beyond
expression, have been those scenes of blood and devastation which the
barbarous cruelties of British troops have placed before our eyes. Duty
to God, to ourselves, to posterity--enforced by the cries of slaughtered
innocents, have urged us to take up arms in our own defence. Such a day
as this was never before known either to us or our fathers. We would
therefore recommend to the Colony at large to cultivate that Christian
union, harmony and tender affection which constitute the only foundation
upon which our invaluable privileges can rest with any security or our
public measures be pursued with the least prospect of success."

On the 10th of January 1776, Dr. Thornton was appointed a judge of the
Superior Court of New Hampshire. On the 12th of September of the same
year he was elected to the Continental Congress and when he took his
seat, affixed his name to the Declaration of Independence. It may be
supposed by many that those who signed this instrument, so often
referred to, were all present on the memorable 4th of July when it was
adopted. This was not the case. Messrs. Franklin, Rush, Clymer, Wilson,
Ross, Carroll, Taylor and others, as in the case of Dr. Thornton, were
not members on that day. Finding the measure would probably be
sanctioned by a majority, fear seized several members who resigned their
seats and run for dear life. Let their names rest in oblivion. The name
of Thomas McKean is not upon the printed records although he was present
and signed the Declaration at the time of its adoption. Henry Wisner a
member from Orange County, New York, was present and signed the original
manuscript whose name has never been properly recognized. He was a
highly respectable member and a fearless patriot. How these errors
occurred cannot now be told.

Dr. Thornton ably discharged the important duties of his station until
his services were required upon the Bench. On the 24th of December of
the same year he was re-elected to Congress and served until the 23d of
January following, when he took his final leave of the National
Legislature highly esteemed by his colleagues, enjoying the approval of
his constituents and the proud consciousness of having performed his
duty toward his country and his God.

For six years he served on the Bench of the Superior Court and on that
of Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the combined duties rendering his
services arduous. He filled these stations with dignity and
impartiality. In 1779 he removed to Exeter and soon after purchased a
farm upon the bank of the Merrimack river that he might enjoy that
repose his advanced age required. But in this he was disappointed. He
became a member of the General Court and served in the State Senate from
that time up to 1785. On the 25th of January 1784 he was appointed a
justice of the peace and quorum throughout the state, an important
office under the original constitution but abridged in jurisdiction by
amendments in 1792. In 1785 he retired from the political arena but
continued to afford salutary counsel on all important matters involving
the public good. During the controversy between his state and Vermont
relative to disputed territory, he wrote several letters to those in
power urging conciliatory measures and unconditional submission to the
decision of Congress. They were highly creditable to him as a writer and
a discreet man. In public or private matters he was a peace maker.

Dr. Thornton was a large portly man over six feet in height, well
proportioned with an expressive countenance lighted up with keen
piercing black eyes. He was one of the most fascinating man of his time.
He was seldom known to smile but was cheerful, entertaining and
instructive--in many respects similar to Dr. Franklin. His mind was
stored with a rich variety of useful knowledge which rendered him an
interesting companion. He sustained an unblemished private character and
discharged all the social relations of life with faithfulness and
fidelity. He was wisely opposed to sectarianism--belonged to no church
but was devoutly pious, exemplifying primitive Christianity in all the
beauty of practical development and apostolic simplicity. He was a
regular attendant of public worship.

He was a kind husband, an affectionate father and a good neighbor. He
was exact in collecting his dues and as exact in paying his creditors.
The poor he never pressed. If he found they were unable to pay he
cancelled their account. He was kind, charitable and liberal.

He died at Newburyport, Mass. on the 24th of June 1803, whilst on a
visit with his daughter. His remains were conveyed to New Hampshire and
deposited near Thornton's Ferry on the bank of the Merrimack river where
a neat marble slab rests over his dust with the following laconic and
significant epitaph.



The man who despises labor and treats the working man as an inferior
being--except on the eve of an election or time of war--should never be
elevated to an office of honor or profit. Such men seem to forget that
every article used is the result of labor. They do not realize that the
working classes are the original producers of the physical comforts they
enjoy. I refer particularly to those who dig the soil, work our
minerals, shape our timber--manufacture our fabrics and conduct our
commerce--the bone and sinew of our country who have raised it to a
scale of grandeur unparalleled in point of greatness in so short a time.
By the force of labor our lands, wilderness, minerals, rivers,
lakes--all have been made the means of rapidly advancing the prosperity
of our expanding nation. Labor is a dignity conferred on man by his
Creator--a dignity that is highly appreciated by all sensible men.
Aristocracy depreciates it to make serfs and reduce its value.
Monopolists often undervalue it to increase their sordid gains by short
allowance and poor pay. Demagogues look down upon it and aim to impress
the working man with their assumed fictitious superiority that they may
obtain his vote by a little condescending familiarity just before
election. Away with all this trash and much more that might be named.
Let the laborer assume his proper dignity--know and feel that without
him our country would become a barren waste--our improvements moulder in
ruins--our nation rush back to original chaos. All should be employed in
some laudable manner. Idleness is not sanctioned by nature, ethics,
theology--Pagan or Christian philosophy--by experience or common sense.
Man was made for action--noble and god-like action. Working men of
America! on you depends the onward and upward course of these United
States. On you rests the high responsibility of perpetuating our
glorious Union. You have the votes--if you think, judge and act with
intelligence and independence--all will be right. If you are made the
abject tools of dishonest politicians--LIBERTY is lost--FREEDOM is gone.

The Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution were actively laborious.
Most of them were from the classes above enumerated. Washington and
Jefferson thought it a respectable healthful exercise to work on their
plantations. Among those who did not despise labor and highly
appreciated the working man--was Joseph B. Varnum, born in Dracut,
Massachusetts, in 1750. He was raised upon a farm and left his plough to
do battle for his bleeding country. He had acquired a good English
education--had studied men and things thoroughly--understood the rights
of the Colonies and strongly felt the wrongs imposed upon them by mother
Britain. He promptly rendered his best services to advance the cause of
human rights. He became an active military man and filled various
posts--up to Major General of militia. He was long conspicuous in the
political field. He warmly approved of the Declaration of Independence
and every measure calculated to advance the cause of Liberty and drive
from our shores the last vestige of British power. He was also a zealous
advocate for the adoption of the Federal Constitution and a member of
the Massachusetts Convention that sanctioned it. "Federalist" was first
applied to those who were warmly in favor of this sacred
instrument--"Democrat" to the opposite party. Those who understand the
doctrines of the various governments can comprehend the terms.

Gen. Varnum was repeatedly elected to the legislature of Massachusetts.
He was long a member of the House of Representatives and Senate of the
United States and speaker of the lower house at a time when the storm of
party spirit increased to a tornado and threatened to dash the ship of
state upon the rocks of dissolution. Under all circumstances he was
calm, collected, impartial, just and independent. Nothing could induce
him to swerve from the stern path of strict integrity. Party spirit had
no charms or terrors for him. The good of his whole country he aimed to
promote regardless of personal consequences. Beyond or short of that he
had no favors to ask or grant. Would to God that all our public men were
of the same stamp at the present day.

After filling the measure of his country's glory, Gen. Varnum retired
from public life to his paternal mansion in Dracut to enjoy the
refreshing comforts of domestic life. There he glided peacefully down
the stream of time until the 11th of September 1821 when he was taken
suddenly ill and became fully sensible he must enter upon the untried
scenes of eternity in a few hours. He called his family around
him--arranged his earthly concerns--directed that no military display
should be made at his funeral--that it should be conducted without vain
pomp--appointed his pall-bearers and slumbered in death. Not a stain
rests on the fair escutcheon of his public or private character.


In this enlightened age and in our free country, ignorance is a
voluntary misfortune arising from idleness--the parent of want, vice and
shame. Under the benevolent arrangements of the present day every child,
youth, woman and man can have access to books and generally to schools.
At no former age of the world has the mantle of education been so widely
spread. All who will may drink at the pure fountain of intelligence and
walk in the light. They may obtain that knowledge which will lead them
to the green pastures of virtue--the parent of earthly happiness and
heavenly joys. By a proper improvement of time the plough boys of the
field--the mill boys of the slashes and the apprentice boys of the shops
may lay in a stock of useful information that will enable them to take a
respectable stand by the side of those who know more of colleges but
less of men and things. Instances of this kind have occurred and I trust
will be rapidly increased. Youth and young men of America--in your own
hands are the materials of future fame and usefulness. Neglect to
properly improve them, oblivial obscurity or withering infamy will be
your fate. You are the architects of your own fortunes. You will rise in
the scale of respectability and importance just in proportion to the
correct culture of your mental powers. Your immortal minds cannot be
dormant. If you do not sow the seeds of wisdom noxious weeds will grow
spontaneously and leave you to reap the whirlwind of keen regret and
consuming anguish. Youth and young men of America--if you desire the
perpetuity of that Liberty purchased by the blood and treasure of your
ancestors--store your minds with useful knowledge. If you love a
Republic more than monarchy, freedom more than slavery, religious
liberty more than hierarchy--store your minds with useful knowledge.
Imitate the bright examples of those whose history is spread upon the
pages of this book who raised themselves to usefulness, fame and glory
by the force of their own exertions.

In the history of George Walton another striking instance of this kind
is beautifully illustrated. He was born in Frederic County, Virginia, in
1740. Without any school education he was apprenticed to a morose
carpenter at an early age, who was too penurious to allow George a
candle to read by although an unusually active and faithful boy.
Fortunately pine knots were plenty and free. By the light of these he
prosecuted his studies during his boyhood and youth. He fulfilled his
indentures to the letter. When manhood dawned upon him he was free in
person and mind. He had accumulated a rich stock of useful knowledge to
what purpose the sequel will show. This he had acquired alone by
untiring industry during those hours of night when a large proportion of
boys and youth are either reposing in the embrace of Morpheus or
hastening on their ruin by associating with corrupt and vicious
companions--demonstrating most clearly that ignorance is a voluntary
misfortune--that man is the architect of his own character.

At the age of twenty-one Mr. Walton went to Georgia and read law under
Henry Young and became a safe counsellor and able advocate. During his
investigation of the principles laid down by Blackstone and other
elementary writers, he was forcibly impressed with the gross violations
of the charter and constitutional rights of the Colonies. The more
closely he investigated the more his indignation was roused. He freely
expressed his views and feelings and was among the first to oppose the
high-handed policy of the British cabinet. He found a few kindred
spirits--but by a large majority the crown was sustained in Georgia
longer than in any other colony. Many desired freedom but believed its
attainment a visionary idea. They preferred present sufferings rather
than make an abortive attempt to disenthrall themselves lest heavier
burthens should be placed upon them. They felt their own weakness--they
dreaded the power of England. Not so with George Walton and a few others
who had clustered around him. No display of chains or bayonets could
intimidate them. To die in the cause of Liberty was more glorious in
their view than to wear the shackles of a tyrant. They were determined
never to bend a knee to kings or sacrifice at the altar of monarchy.
Freedom or death was their motto.

In order to test the public mind Messrs. Walton, Noble, Bullock and
Houston published a notice over their proper signatures, calling a
public meeting to be held at the Liberty Pole, Tondee's tavern,
Savannah, on the 27th of July 1774 for the purpose of considering the
constitutional rights and privileges of the American Colonies. This was
the first Liberty pole planted in that state--the first meeting that was
held on that subject. A large concourse of citizens assembled--an
intense anxiety was manifest--hearts beat more quickly--the heaving
bosom, the deep sigh, the quivering lip--all told that the meeting was
one big with importance. Soon George Walton rose with a dignity peculiar
to a man who knows he is right. With the profoundness of an able
lawyer--the wisdom of a sage and the eloquence of a Henry--he portrayed
American rights and British wrongs in such glowing colors that a stream
of patriotic fire ran through the hearts of his audience that
concentrated into a broad and unextinguishable flame. A committee was
appointed to rouse the people to a sense of impending danger. Governor
Wright, with his hireling phalanx, used great exertions to obtain a
written pledge from the inhabitants of each parish to sustain the mother
country and submit more implicitly to the yoke of bondage. Promises of
redress were made only to be broken. But the fire of patriotism had
commenced its insulating course. From Mr. Walton and his companions the
burning flame spread from heart to heart, from sire to son, from parish
to parish and rushing to a common centre rose in one broad sheet of
light--illuminating the horizon of Liberty with cheering refulgence.
Many of the more timid patriots of Georgia were long perched on the
pivot of indecision. Self-interest and self-preservation caused many to
remain inactive for a time--but what persuasion could not do the
increasing insults from the crown officers soon effected and roused them
to action. Mr. Walton did much to remove the incipient paralysis and
produce a healthy tone in the body politic. All the other colonies had
united in the glorious cause of freedom--that his state should form a
doubtful rear-guard was irksome to his noble spirit. But he stood firm
at his post. His exertions became equal to the herculean task he had
undertaken. His powers of mind rose with the magnitude of the
occasion--his eloquence and logic bore down every opponent who dared
confront him.

When the cry of blood--of _murder_--was raised on the heights of
Lexington and reverberated from hill to dale, it came upon the Georgians
like a clap of thunder without a cloud. The people started from their
reverie--burst the cords that bound them--rose in the majesty of their
power--buckled on their armor and bid defiance to the British lion. In
May 1775 the Parish of St. Johns sent Lyman Hall to the Continental
Congress and in July four colleagues took their seats with him. The
Council of Safely was reorganized and vigorous measures adopted to
resist the encroachments of imported dictators. In January 1776 the
legislature appointed Mr. Bullock President of the Executive Council. He
was a bold and active patriot and very obnoxious to the crown officers.
Gov. Wright threatened the members with bayonets--the next hour he was
their prisoner and permitted the liberty of his own house only upon his
parol of honor. This he violated--fled on board the armed fleet in the
harbor--commenced an attack upon the town--was badly whipped and glad to
flee from the vengeance of an insulted and enraged people. British
authority was at an end in that Province.

In February 1776 Mr. Walton was elected to the Continental Congress and
entered upon the high duties of legislation. He was a bold and efficient
advocate of every measure calculated to advance the cause of
Independence. He warmly supported the Declaration of Rights and proved
his sincerity by his vote and signature. Excepting 1779 when he was
Governor of Georgia, he was a member of Congress until 1781. He was
raised to work and being placed on many committees showed that he could
still endure a vast amount of labor. When Congress was compelled to
retire to Baltimore on the 13th of December 1776, Messrs. Morris, Clymer
and Walton were left as superintendents to aid the army with $200,000 in
funds. Mr. Walton was also a member of the Treasury Board and Marine
Committee. In every station he ably discharged his duty. In 1777 he
performed a very important act in the drama of life by marrying the
accomplished daughter of Mr. Chamber.

In 1778 he became Col. Walton and behaved with great gallantry in the
battle at Savannah between the American troops and the British. The
regiment under his command made a desperate fight until their Colonel
was severely wounded, fell from his horse and was taken prisoner. After
his wound would permit he was sent to Sunbury and confined with the
other prisoners. He was soon after exchanged and returned to Congress.
In January 1783 he was appointed Chief Justice of Georgia. He also
filled the gubernatorial chair a second time. He was one of the
commissioners that effected a treaty with the Cherokee Indians. He
discharged all the onerous duties imposed upon him with credit to
himself and usefulness to his country. At one time he was involved in an
apparent difficulty which was as singular as it proved harmless and lost
none of its romance in the end. During the war a jealousy existed
between the civil and military authority in Georgia. Judge Walton was
at the head of the former--Gen. McIntosh at the head of the latter. In
1779, when Judge Walton was first Governor of the state, a forged
letter, purporting to be from the legislature, was forwarded to Congress
requesting the removal of the General. The governor was charged with a
knowledge of the transaction--positively denied it--but few if any
believed it. It became a party matter--a vote of censure was passed upon
him by the same legislature that had appointed him Chief Justice the day
previous--the Attorney General was directed to institute proceedings
against him in the Court over which he presided--the only one that had
jurisdiction over the offence charged. That was the finale of the great
bubble. It was more like a modern political demagogue compromise than
any farce found in the history of that eventful period. It inflicted no
injury on the fair fame of Judge Walton.

During his latter years Judge Walton confined his public duties to the
Bench of the Superior Court. Through the intervals between terms he
enjoyed the rich comforts of domestic life with his faithful wife and an
only son. He was not wealthy--was free from avarice and was contented
with the competence afforded by his public emoluments and the produce of
a small plantation. He indulged in good living. Previous to his last
illness he suffered much from the gout and other complicated
derangements of his system. His useful career was closed on the 2d of
February 1803.

Judge Walton was a close student during his whole life. He added to his
large experience a general knowledge of the sciences and became an
ornament to the judiciary of his state. He was a ready writer and very
satirical upon vice and folly. He was of a warm temperament, resenting
every indignity but honorable and just, moving within the orbit of
consistency under all circumstances showing clearly that the wildest
passions may be controlled by wise discretion. He was a stranger to
disguise, ardent in his attachments, firm in his purposes, stern and
reserved in his manners in general intercourse but free and familiar in
the private circle with his friends. He was an open and manly opponent.
He was fond of brevity in all things, systematic in his public and
private arrangements and remarkable for punctuality.

Taken as a whole Judge Walton was one of the most useful men of his day
and generation. His examples are worthy the imitation of the apprentice,
the student, lawyer, judge and statesman. By the force of industry he
rose from the humblest walks of life to the most dignified stations
within the gift of his constituents. Youth and young men of
America--ponder well the history of George Walton. Let it stimulate you
to embrace every opportunity for improvement--drink often and freely at
the crystal fountain of useful knowledge now open to all. Remember, O!
remember that you are the architects of your own fortunes. Soon the
affairs of a mighty nation, the destiny of increasing millions will
devolve upon you. Prepare yourselves to assume the high stations you
must fill--for weal or for wo will depend upon the fitness you acquire.
Enter upon the great theatre of action free from every vice--armed with
every virtue. Then and then only will you be prepared to guard the
dearest interest of our expanding republic and counteract the fearful
evils that are put in motion by wild ambition, sordid selfishness and
base intrigue. Upon you will soon depend the happiness of moving
millions and of millions yet unborn. Nothing but death can relieve you
from this high responsibility--when death calls you, be found at the
post of duty.


The popularity of a measure depends much upon the character of those who
engage in it. Its justice is inferred from its ardent and unwavering
advocacy by men of high moral and religious worth. For righteous cause
and consistency in its prosecution--the American Revolution has no
parallel on the pages of history. It commanded the noblest exertions of
the best and most talented men of that eventful era. Their conduct
elicited the admiration of a gazing world. Pure patriotism pervaded
their bosoms--self was banished to its original Pandora box. Truckling
politicians were despised--demagogues frowned down--disorganizers
silenced--the general good of the whole country was the prime object of
deep solicitude. On that bright picture the patriot and philanthropist
can feast their eyes with increasing delight. The artists have passed
away and left to us the priceless gem of republican FREEDOM. In lines of
living light they traced the path of duty in which we must tread to
insure safety and preserve our priceless UNION. In language solemn as
eternity they said to us--WALK YE THEREIN. People of America! is this
injunction of the venerated dead implicitly obeyed by all? A fearful
negative must be responded by every thinking, observing, intelligent,
honest man. The alluvion of political corruption has submerged this path
of duty and safety. Reckless party spirit has broken down its landmarks.
Disorganizes trample under foot the precious blood that cemented its
pavement--the blood of the covenant of LIBERTY. They treat it as an
unholy thing and put our country and themselves to open shame. People
of America! will you, _can_ you hear the portentous thunders of
disorganization--disunion and stand motionless--speechless--until the
crash of our LIBERTY--the wreck of our FREEDOM shall unveil to you the
wild horrors of chaotic ruin? _You_ are the conservators of our
Republic--nobly perform your duty.

Among the lofty patriots who were sacrificed at the shrine of American
Liberty was Joseph Warren, born in Roxbury, Mass. in 1740. He entered
Harvard college at the age of fifteen with a maturity of mind and a
manly bearing seldom equalled by one of his years. On the completion of
his classical education he studied medicine and acquired a high
reputation and a lucrative practice in the city of Boston. He look an
early and decided stand in favor of emancipation from mother Britain. He
was an able writer and an eloquent public speaker. His pen and voice
were warmly enlisted in the cause of equal rights. He was in favor of
resisting every species of taxation for the support of England. He
believed the people were prepared for self-government and could best
manage their own affairs free from foreign interference. He was one of
the first members of the secret committee in Boston that put the
revolutionary ball in motion. He had a large and happy influence on
those around him. He was bold and energetic, but prudent and discreet.
It was him who sent an express late at night to Lexington to advise
Messrs. Hancock and Adams of their contemplated capture. At the battle
of Lexington he took an active part and had a portion of his ear lock
shot off. In consequence of his high standing and zeal he received the
commission of Major General on the 13th of June 1775. Over the army at
Cambridge he had a salutary influence. He aided greatly in its first
organization--bringing order out of confusion. On the 17th of June he
engaged in the battle at Bunker's Hill as a volunteer where he received
a ball in his head and died in the entrenchment. Thus prematurely fell
one of the brightest ornaments of his day and generation. He was the
first American General whose life was sacrificed in the cause of
Liberty. He was favorably known as an efficient correspondent to the
friends of freedom throughout the colonies and as widely mourned by
every patriot. The nation deeply deplored his fall.

The battle of Bunker's Hill was of vast importance. It convinced the
British that they had widely mistaken Yankee prowess and our own people
that the enemy was not invincible. A defence of only a few hours' labor
was thrown up--the whole force of the Americans was but 1200. This was
furiously attacked by a superior number of veteran troops. So closely
were they permitted to advance that they supposed the idea of
resistance was abandoned. At the dread moment when they were on the
point of entering the works a stream of liquid fire sent into their
ranks a storm of lead and iron hail that caused the survivors to retreat
with terror and confusion. Again and again were they repulsed with
dreadful slaughter until the ammunition of the Americans failed and
compelled them to retreat. The returns of Gen. Gage show 1054 of the
British killed. The patriots had 139 killed. In prisoners, wounded and
missing 314. They also lost five pieces of artillery.

Eulogy cannot add to the lustre of the name of Warren. Nature had
lavished upon him all the noble qualities that adorn a man. In the
spring of 1776 his remains were removed to Boston. Having been Grand
Master of the Masonic institution of the State, he was buried under the
forms of that time-honored order in presence of a large concourse of
mourning friends. His memory is perpetuated by a monument erected by his
fellow citizens.


When God resolved to set his people free from Egyptian bondage he raised
up able and mighty men to effect his glorious purposes. These he endowed
with wisdom to conceive, genius to plan and energy to execute his noble
designs. Their oppressive and heartless task-masters had been increasing
their burdens with a relentless severity for years. To mercy they were
blind, to reason they turned a deaf ear, complaints they treated with
contumely, the judgments from heaven they heeded not.

There is a striking resemblance between the history of the Israelites
bursting the chains of slavery riveted upon them by the short-sighted
Pharaoh and that of the American Colonies throwing off the yoke of
bondage imposed by the British king. Like Moses, Washington led his
countrymen through the dreary wilderness of the Revolution and when the
journey terminated he planted them upon the promised land of Freedom and
Independence. Like Moses he placed his trust in the God of Hosts and
relied upon his special aid and direction under all circumstances. Like
Moses he was nobly sustained by a band of Sages and Heroes unrivalled in
the history of the world.

The pedigree of Gen. Washington, as traced and illustrated by Mr.
Mapleson, carries back his descent to William de Hertburn, Lord of the
Manor of Washington, in the county of Durham, England. From him
descended John Washington of Whitfield in the time of Richard III. and
ninth in descent from the said John was George, first President of the
United States. The mother of the John Washington who emigrated to
Virginia in 1657 and who was great-grandfather to the General, was
Eleanor Hastings, daughter and heiress of John Hastings grandson to
Francis, second Earl of Huntingdon. She was the descendant, through Lady
Huntingdon of George, Duke of Clarence; brother to King Edward IV. and
King Richard III. by Isabel Nevil, daughter and heiress of Richard, Earl
of Warwick, the King-maker. Washington, therefore, as well as all the
descendants of that marriage, are entitled to quarter the arms of
Hastings, Pole, Earl of Salisbury, Plantagenet, Scotland, Mortimer, Earl
of March, Nevil, Montagu, Beauchamp and Devereaux.

Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the 22d of
February 1732. He lost his father at an early age and leaned on the
wisdom of a fond and judicious mother for the exquisite moulding of his
youthful mind. He attributed his success in after life to the early
training and faithful pruning of his revered mother. Mothers of America!
imitate the example of the mother of the illustrious Washington. The
prosperity and perpetuity of our UNION depends much upon the training of
your sons. Teach them wisdom, virtue, patriotism, love of country,
Liberty. Teach them to prize, dearer than life, the sacred boon of
FREEDOM that was nobly won and sacredly transmitted to us by the Sages
and Heroes of '76.

During his childhood and youth Washington exhibited a strong and
inquiring mind. Industry, stability, perseverance, modesty and honesty
were early developed in his character and marked his brilliant career
through life. He was frank, generous and humane from his childhood.
Nothing could induce him to utter a falsehood, practise deceit or
disobey his fond mother. He soared above the trifling amusements that so
often lead boys and youth astray and prepare them for a useless, often
an ignominious existence. He was designed by his great Creator to be a
star of the first magnitude on the great theatre of action--the Moses of
America. He studied his part thoroughly before he entered upon the stage
of public life. When the curtain rose he was prepared for his audience,
acquitted himself nobly and retired amidst the grateful plaudits of
admiring--reverent millions.

At the age of twenty-one Washington was selected by Gov. Dinwiddie to
visit the hostile French and Indians and endeavor to induce them to
withdraw from the frontiers and smoke the pipe of peace. The mission was
one of great peril. His path lay through a dense wilderness for four
hundred miles infested by wild savages and beasts more wild than them.
He arrived at Fort Du Quesne in safety. Whilst the French commandant was
writing an answer to the governor, Washington took the dimensions of the
fortress unobserved by any one. He then returned home unmolested and
unharmed by any accident. Peace was not desired by the red men. It was
necessary to raise a regiment of troops to repel the murderous invaders.
Washington was invested with the commission of Colonel and took the
command. He marched, in April 1754, upon the track he had pursued when
he visited the fort previously. On his way he surprised and captured a
number of the enemy. When he arrived at the Great Meadows he erected a
small stockade fort and appropriately named it Fort Necessity. Here he
was reinforced swelling his little army to four hundred men. He then
contemplated an attack upon Fort Du Quesne, situated at the junction of
the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers forming the Ohio and the present
site of the iron city of Pittsburgh. He now learned that the French and
Indians, to the number of fifteen hundred, were advancing upon him. The
attack was commenced with great fury and continued for several hours
when the French commander offered liberal terms of capitulation and
gladly permitted the young champion and his brave Virginians to march
away unmolested. This brilliant achievement placed Washington high on
the scale of eminence, as a bold, skilful and prudent military officer.
It occurred on the 4th of July--a happy prelude to the glorious 4th of
July 1776.

The ensuing year another expedition was sent against Fort Du Quesne of
about two thousand troops under command of the unfortunate Braddock who
had more courage than prudence--more self-conceit than wisdom. He
spurned the advice of the "beardless boy" and rushed into an ambush
where he and near one-half of his men met the cold embrace of the king
of terrors. The enemy consisted of only five hundred French and Indians
secreted in three ravines forming a triangle. In this triangle of death
Braddock formed his men and remained until he had five horses killed
under him and was mortally wounded. During all this time not one of the
enemy could be seen. One hundred native Virginians with fixed bayonets
and led by Washington would have routed them in ten minutes. I speak
from the record as I have examined every rod of the ground. After the
fall of Braddock Washington saved the survivors under Col. Dunbar by a
judicious retreat. He had warned the British General of his danger who
spurned the "beardless boy." At a subsequent period he negotiated a
peace with the Indians on the frontiers and was voted the thanks of
mother Britain.

Unwilling to again witness such a waste of human life Washington
resigned his military command and retired to his peaceful home. Shortly
after this he was elected to the legislature and was highly esteemed as
a wise, discriminating legislator--exhibiting a mind imbued with
philanthropy and liberal principles guided by a sound discretion and
cultivated intellect adorned with a retiring modesty too rare in men of
talent at the present day. From this field of labor he entered one of
greater magnitude, of vaster importance--one big with events involving
consequences of the most thrilling interest to his country and himself.
He was elected to the Congress of 1774. The solemnity that pervaded the
opening ceremony of that august assembly has been before portrayed.
During the opening prayer, Washington only was upon his knees, imitating
the attitude of his pious mother in her earnest appeals to the throne of
Grace. On all occasions his mind seems to have reached from earth to
Heaven. He seemed to dwell in the bosom of his God. Devoted,
unsophisticated, humble, relying piety marked his whole course of
life--a piety sincere in its motives, consistent in its exhibitions and
illumined by the refulgent sunbeams of living charity. He was returned
to the next Congress and took his seat little anticipating the mighty
work in reserve for him. On the memorable 19th of April 1775, American
blood was again made to leap from its fountain by order of Major
Pitcairn on the heights of Lexington. Justice looked at the purple
current as it flowed and sighed. Mercy carried the tragic news to the
ethereal skies--the eagle of LIBERTY heard the mournful story--descended
in a stream of liquid fire--planted the torch of freedom in the serum of
the murdered patriots and bid eternal defiance to the British lion. The
alarm spread with lightning rapidity. It was sounded from church bells
and signal guns--echo carried it from hills to dales, from sire to son.
Vengeance was roused from its lair--the hardy yoemanry left their
ploughs in the furrow--the merchant rushed from his counting house, the
professional man from his office, the minister from his glebe,
shouldered their rusty muskets and with powder horn and slug hastened to
the scene of action determined to avenge the blood of slaughtered
brethren, maintain their chartered rights or perish in the attempt.

In June following Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the
American armies by the unanimous voice of Congress. He accepted the high
command with great reluctance and diffidence--knowing that it involved
responsibilities, consequences and results too mighty for him hastily to
assume, too vast for him confidently to encounter. He did not view the
camp as the field of glory, ambition, conquest or fame. He did not
thirst for human blood or exult in the profession of arms. Love of
country, liberty, human rights, liberal principles--the duty to resist
the oppressions of tyranny, prompted him to action. For these reasons he
consented to serve his country at the perilous post assigned him.

As soon as practicable he hastened to Cambridge Mass. and entered upon
the duties of his office in July. Before his arrival there, Crown Point
and Ticonderoga had been surrendered to the patriots--the sanguinary
battle of Bunker's Hill had been fought and the British convinced that
men contending for their just rights, their dearest interests--their
bosoms charged with fiery indignation and burning patriotism--could not
be made to yield to the glittering arms of a haughty monarch without a
bold and desperate effort to maintain that Liberty which they inherited
from their Creator and which was guarantied by the British constitution.

The horrors of war were accumulating like electrified clouds preparing a
tornado. The bloody toils of the Revolution had commenced. England
poured in her legions by thousands. To cap the climax of barbarity she
called to her aid the blood thirsty Indian with his tomahawk and
scalping knife and bid a premium for scalps. The welkin rang with the
savage war-whoop. The terrific screams, the expiring groans of mothers
and babes were enough to draw tears from rocks and dress all nature in
deep mourning. The contest was that of an infant with a giant--a lamb
with a wolf. The dark clouds blackened as they rose and were surcharged
with the lightning of revenge and thunder of malice. Washington viewed
their fiery aspect with calm serenity, heard their portentous roar
without a tremor. With his soul reaching to Heaven he met the awful
crisis with firmness and prudence before unknown. His gigantic genius
soared above the loftiest barriers his enemies could rear. His course
was onward--right onward towards the goal of LIBERTY. Beneath his
conquering arm monarchy trembled, tottered, fell. His whole energy was
at once directed to the complete organization and perfect discipline of
the army. By the aid of the king's troops some of the royal governors
still maintained a show of authority in several of the colonies. As
opposition assumed a systematic form and military arrangements
increased, they retired on board the British armed vessels from whence
they issued their proclamations with about the same effect as the
puffing of a porpoise would have upon old Boreas.

Early in March 1776, Washington planted his army before Boston where
Lord Howe had concentrated his forces. On the 17th this caused his
lordship very modestly to evacuate the town. On the 2d of July Gen. Howe
landed nine miles below the city of New York with 24,000 men. He sent
an insulting communication to Washington which he very properly refused
to receive. On the 27th of August that part of the army stationed at
Brooklyn under Gen. Sullivan was attached and defeated with great loss
and Generals Sullivan, Sterling and Woodhull taken prisoners. Two days
after, Gen. Washington effected a retreat and landed his troops safely
in New York without the movement being discovered by the enemy until
completed. Chagrined and mortified at the loss of their prey the British
prepared to attack the city which induced the Americans to evacuate it
and retire to White Plains. Here they were attacked on the 28th of
September--the British were repulsed, a considerable loss was sustained
on both sides and no victory to either. The disasters of the patriots
multiplied--Fort Washington and Lee fell into the hands of the
English--the American army was flying before a relentless foe.
Washington crossed the Hudson and retreated through Jersey into
Pennsylvania with Lord Cornwallis pressing on his rear. His army was now
reduced to 3000 men who were destitute of almost every comfort of life.
They could be tracked by blood from their naked feet upon the frozen
ground. Think of this ye who are now enjoying the rich behest of Liberty
so dearly purchased and but by few properly appreciated. Reverses had
chilled the zeal of many leading men who at first espoused the cause of
freedom but whose hearts were not yet sufficiently harrowed by
oppression to have the good seed take root. A fiery cloud of
indignation, ready to devour them, hung over the bleeding colonies.
Washington was still confident of ultimate success. He believed that in
the archives of eternal justice their FREEDOM was written. Guardian
angels listened to the vesper orisons of those who were true to
themselves, their country and their God who directed their destiny. The
bold career of the roaring lion was arrested. This Spartan band was
crowned with victory. On the night of the 25th of December Washington
crossed the Delaware to Trenton amidst floating ice--surprised and took
one thousand prisoners--pushed on to Princeton, killed sixty and took
three hundred prisoners, spreading consternation in the ranks of the
enemy. This success re-animated many of the cold hearts that could be
warmed only by prosperity--sunshine patriots whose love of freedom was
very similar to self-righteousness. Washington retired to Morristown N.
J. for the winter--the English occupied Brunswick.

In the spring of 1777 the army of Washington amounted to about 7000 men.
No action occurred between the main armies until August when the British
landed in Maryland with the intention of capturing Philadelphia. On the
11th of September the two armies met at Brandywine--a desperate battle
ensued and a partial dearly purchased victory was gained by the English.
On the approach of the enemy the City of Penn was abandoned. On the 4th
of October another severe battle was fought at Germantown which proved
disastrous to the American troops in consequence of their becoming
separated and confused by a thick fog. These keen misfortunes were more
than balanced by the capture of the entire British army in the north
under Burgoyne by Gen. Gates on the 17th of October. On the reception of
this news France recognised the Independence of the United States,
entered into a treaty of alliance and furnished important aid by sending
many of her brave sons to the rescue. The English retreated to New York
in the spring of 1778 from which place they made frequent descents upon
various places, destroying private property, murdering the inhabitants
and spreading desolation wherever they went. They sent an expedition to
Georgia and were crowned with victory. During this year no decisive
battle was fought. The same during 1779. The British seemed to be better
pleased with a predatory warfare than pitched battles which they carried
on in a manner that put savage barbarity in the shade and made the
inquisitor general of Madrid mourn for lost humanity. Alas for the
Christian majesty of mother Britain.

Again the exertions of Washington were almost paralyzed for the want of
men and money. The French Admiral D'Estaing was unfortunate in all his
movements. The British lion was prowling through the land in all the
majesty of cruelty. The anchor of hope could scarcely keep the shattered
bark of Liberty to its moorings--the cable of exertion lost thread after
thread until but a small band of _genuine_ patriots and heroes were left
as a nucleus to breast the fury of the storm that rolled its dashing
surges over them. But they clung to the creaking craft with a death grip
and weathered the terrific gale. The campaign of 1780 terminated more
favorably to the American arms. The south had become the main theatre of
action. The cruelties of the enemy had prepared more hearts to do
service in the cause of Liberty. The people were brought to see their
true interests and rallied under the banner of freedom determined on
victory or death. Gates, the hero of Saratoga, was put in command of the
southern army--fresh aid arrived from France--the conflict was one of
desperation. On the 18th of August a severe battle was fought near
Camden, S. C. The British were the victors. Defeat now only served to
rally the bone and sinew of the land. The hardy sons of Columbia rose
like a phœnix from ashes and hurled the thunderbolts of vengeance among
their savage foes with the fury of Mars. Every battle weakened and
disheartened the enemy when a victory was gained. A few more conquests
like those at Camden and Guilford Court House would seal their doom. The
energetic Greene succeeded Gates. The campaign of 1781 opened.
Washington moved to the south. Wayne, Lee, Greene, La Fayette, Nelson
and other brave officers were there. Count de Grasse was co-operating
with his fleet. In their turn the British lords, admirals and generals
found themselves surrounded with impending dangers. An awful crisis was
pressing upon them. Retribution stared them in the face. Their deeds of
blood haunted their guilty souls--consternation seized their troubled
minds. Lord Cornwallis concentrated his forces at Yorktown which he
fortified in the best possible manner.

On the 6th of October the combined forces of Washington and Rochambeau
commenced a siege upon this place which surrendered on the 19th of the
same month. The grand Rubicon was passed--the work was done--the
Colonies were free. That was the dying struggle of British monarchy in
America. Hope of conquering her indomitable sons expired like the death
flickering of a glow-worm. Heaven had decreed they should be free--that
decree was consummated. Like Jordan's dove, the Eagle of Liberty
descended to cheer the conquering heroes--snatched the laurels from
Britain's brow and placed them triumphantly upon the CHAMPIONS OF
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. To the friends of FREEDOM the scene was joyful,
sublime--to its enemies--painful, humiliating. This victory was hailed
with enthusiastic gratitude. It placed Washington on the loftiest
summit, of immortal fame--secured Liberty to his beloved country,
stopped the effusion of human blood, sealed the foundations of our
Republic--prepared an asylum for the oppressed--planted deep the long

On the 30th of September 1783 a definitive treaty was signed at Paris by
Messrs. Fitzherbert and Oswald on the part of Great Britain and Messrs.
John Adams, Franklin, Jay and Laurens on the part of the United States.
On the 2d of November Washington issued his farewell orders to his army
in terms of affectionate eloquence and parental solicitude. On the 3d
the troops were disbanded by Congress. With mingling tears of joy and
gratitude they parted and repaired finally to their homes to meet the
warm embrace, the fervent grasp of their families and friends--there to
reap the rich fruit of their perilous toils free from the iron scourge
of despotism. On the 23d of December Washington appeared in the hall of
Congress and resigned his commission. This act was one of sublimity and
thrilling interest. The past, present and future--all rushed upon the
mind of this great and good man as he invoked the blessings of Heaven to
descend and guard the Liberty of his beloved emancipated country. Every
eye was fixed upon him--every heart beat quicker--emotion rose to its
zenith--he laid the commission on the table--a burst of applause rent
the air--a flood of tears closed the scene.

No longer under the maternal care of their old mother, the people of the
United States were left to try the yet problematical experiment of self
government. Difficulties arose from local jealousies and conflicting
interests--a debt of forty millions of dollars had been
contracted--government paper became greatly depreciated--the public
credit was shivering in the wind--the Liberty that had been so dearly
purchased seemed doomed to a premature dissolution. To avoid this
threatened disaster delegates convened at Philadelphia from all the
States except Rhode Island for the purpose of devising a plan to
preserve and perfect that freedom which had cost millions of treasure
and fountains of noble blood. Washington was unanimously elected
President of this august body. After long and patient deliberation the
labors of these patriots resulted in the production of the Federal
Constitution, one of the brightest specimens of a republican form of
government on record. It is the grand palladium of our LIBERTY, the
golden chain of our UNION, the broad banner of FREEMEN, a terror to
tyrants, a shining light to patriots, the illustrated chart of our
rights and duties, a safeguard against disorganizing factions and
stamped its illustrious authors with a meritorious fame that succeeding
generations will delight to perpetuate.

On the 17th of September this was reported to Congress and was promptly
approved. It was immediately sent to the several states for
consideration all of which sanctioned it at that time except North
Carolina and Rhode Island. The former acceded to it in 1789, the latter
in 1790. Confidence was then restored and Independence made secure. From
that time to the present our nation has advanced on the flood tide of
successful experiment and been blessed with an increasing prosperity
that has no parallel in the annals of history. The star spangled banner
waves proudly on every sea and is respected by all the nations of the
earth. Our improvements at home have marched in advance of the boldest
conceptions of the most visionary projectors--the fondest anticipations
of their most ardent friends. They have often outstripped the most
adventurous speculators.

By the unanimous voice of a free and grateful people Washington was
elected the first President of the new Republic. With the same
proverbial diffidence and modesty that had marked his whole career he
took the oath of office on the 30th of April 1789. This imposing
ceremony was performed in presence of the first Congress under the
Federal Constitution assembled in the city of New York and in presence
of a crowded audience who deeply felt and strongly expressed their
filial affection for the father of their country. He at once entered
upon the important duties that devolved upon him which were neither few
or small. A cabinet was to be created, a revenue raised, the judiciary
organized, its officers appointed and every department of government to
be established on a firm, impartial, just and humane basis. In all these
arrangements he exhibited great wisdom, exercised a sound discretion and
proved as able a statesman as he had been a general. Deliberation and
prudence guided him at all times. He acted up to but never transcended
the bounds of equal justice and delegated authority. An angel could do
no more.

During his administration of eight years he brought into full force his
noblest energies to advance the best interests of his country--meliorate
the condition of those who were suffering from the effects of a
protracted war--improve the state of society, arts, science,
agriculture, manufactures--commerce--disseminate general
intelligence--allay local difficulties and render the infant Republic as
happy and glorious as it was free and independent. His patriotic
exertions were crowned with success--his fondest anticipations were
realized--he finished the work assigned him with a skill before
unknown--the government foundations were laid deep and strong--the
superstructure was rising in grandeur--Washington wrote his farewell
address and on the 4th of March 1797 retired from public life honored
and loved by a nation of freemen, respected and admired by a gazing
world--crowned with an unsullied fame that will grow brighter and more
brilliant through all time. He then repaired to Mount Vernon to repose
in the bosom of his family and enjoy that domestic peace by his own
fireside that he had long desired. He had served his country long, ably,
impartially, justly. He could look back upon a life well spent in the
cause of human rights, liberal principles and an enlarged philanthropy.

For his arduous services during the revolutionary war Washington took no
compensation. More than this, owing to the depreciation of continental
money he paid three-fourths of his own expenses. He kept a correct book
entry of every business transaction and produced a written voucher for
every disbursement he had made of public funds. During his presidential
terms his expenses exceeded his salary over five thousand dollars a year
which he paid from his private funds and refused a proffered
remuneration. With the exception of his appointment as
commander-in-chief of the American army in 1798 when France threatened
invasion, Washington was relieved from any farther participation in
public affairs. He continued to live at Vernon's sacred Mount until the
14th of December 1799 when his immortal spirit left its noble tenement
of clay--soared aloft on angel wings to realms of enduring bliss there
to receive a crown of unfading glory--the reward of a spotless life
spent in the service of his country and his God. His body was deposited
in the family tomb where it slumbered amidst the peaceful groves of his
loved retreat until 1837, when it was deposited in a splendid marble
sarcophagus designed by Mr. Strickland and manufactured and presented by
John Struthers, marble mason, both of the city of Philadelphia. Upon the
top of this masterpiece of workmanship is most exquisitely and boldly
carved the star spangled banner surmounted by the American Eagle. Under
these the name WASHINGTON is carved in bold relievo. The design and
finely finished work do great credit to Mr. Strickland as an architect
and to Mr. Struthers as an artist. The gift and the delicate manner it
was presented by the latter worthy gentleman do honor to his head and
heart. The body was in a state of preservation as remarkable as the
history of the man in life. The face retained its full form and fleshy
appearance and was but slightly changed in color. The ceremony of
removal was sublimely interesting and witnessed by a large concourse of
tearful spectators. This hallowed spot is visited yearly by large
numbers who approach it with profound veneration and awe. All nations
revere the memory of the father of our country--unborn millions will
chant his praise. Foreigners are proud to say they have visited the tomb
of Washington at Mount Vernon. This estate was left to George Washington
by his brother Lawrence in 1754. This brother served under Admiral
Vernon in his memorable attack upon Carthagena in 1741. Having been
treated with marked attention by the Admiral he named his estate in
commemoration of him.

The name of George Washington is associated with every amiable and noble
quality that can adorn a man. It is encircled by a sacred halo that
renders it dear to every philanthropist--respected by all civilized
nations. His fame is too bright to be burnished by eulogy--too pure to
be tarnished by detraction. His praises have been proclaimed by talents
of the highest order, hearts of the warmest devotion, imaginations of
the happiest conception--eloquence of the loftiest tone. It would
require an angel's pen dipped in ethereal fire and an angel's hand to
guide it to fully delineate the noble frame work and perfect finish of
this great and good man. Like the sun at high meridian, the lustre of
his virtues can be seen and felt but not clearly described. His picture
is one on which we may gaze with increased delight and discover new
beauties to the last. Like that of our nation--his history is without a
parallel. Unblemished rectitude marked his whole career, philanthropy
his entire course, justice his every action. Under the most trying
circumstances and afflictive dispensations a calm holy resignation to
the will of God added a brighter lustre to his exalted qualities. Like a
blazing luminary--his refulgence dims the surrounding stars and
illuminates the horizon of biography with a light ineffable. His
brilliant achievements were not stained with that reckless effusion of
blood that marked the ambitious Cæsar, the conquering Alexander and the
disappointed Bonaparte. He was consistent to the last.

In private life he was graced with all the native dignity of man,
reducing all things around him to a perfect system of harmony, order,
economy, frugality and peace. In every thing he was chastened by
sterling merit, actuated by magnanimity, mellowed by benevolence,
purified by charity. He was a living epistle of all that was great and
good. He was the kind husband, the widow's solace, the orphan's father,
the faithful friend, the bountiful benefactor, the true patriot, the
examples worthy the contemplation and imitation of all who figure on the
stage of public action or in the walks of retired life. His private
worth was crowned with amaranthine flowers, richer and sweeter than the
epic and civic wreaths that decked his brow in the public view of an
admiring world. His virtues were enlivened by the richest colors of
godliness--his mind was finished by the finest touches of creative
power. His sacred memory will live through the rolling ages of
time--will be revered until the wreck of worlds and the dissolution of
nature shall close the drama of human action--Gabriel's dread clarion
rend the vaulted tombs--awake the sleeping dead and proclaim to
astonished millions--TIME SHALL BE NO LONGER.


The history of the Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution cannot be
too often examined by the present and coming generations. To learn their
disinterested patriotism, bold conceptions, daring exploits,
unparalleled sufferings, indomitable perseverance, noble fortitude,
enduring patience and their exalted virtues--is to know something of the
high price our freedom cost. To properly appreciate the liberty we
enjoy is one of the best safe guards of its perpetuity. In the peaceful
enjoyment of inestimable blessings we are too apt to forget their origin
and their value. Could the torrents of blood shed to obtain the high
privileges we now inherit be placed in one mighty reservoir upon which
all our people could look for a single moment, millions would blush at
their own apathy in the preservation of our dearest interests. We have
many reckless demagogues and bold disorganizers in our midst who should
be baptized in this fountain of blood for the remission of their
political sins--some who set the Federal Constitution at naught and
would glory in the dissolution of our blood bought UNION. When our love
of country grows cold and respect for the chart of our Liberty is
lost--the sooner we emigrate the better for all concerned--not up salt
river but to Chinese Tartary or Chimborazo.

Among those who freely contributed to the revolutionary fountain of
blood was Anthony Wayne, born in Waynesborough, Chester County,
Pennsylvania on the 1st of January 1745. His grandfather held a
commission in the army of William III. and fought at the battle of the
Boyne on the 1st of July 1690 and at Aughrine on the 12th of July 1691
at both of which the Irish under James II. were defeated. At the last
battle their struggle for Independence ended and has never been renewed.
His father was a respectable farmer and placed this son at school in
Philadelphia where he received a good English education. He was
delighted with the study of mathematics and became familiar with
surveying and engineering at an early age. His taste for military
tactics was developed during his boyhood. His father and grandfather
were both men of military prowess. As young Anthony listened to the
story of their exploits he contemplated the field of battle, the clash
of arms and the shouts of victory with burning enthusiasm. This grew
with his growth and ripened with his manhood.

In 1773 he succeeded his father in the Colonial Assembly where he became
an active member and took a bold stand in favor of liberal principles
and equal rights. He did much to rouse the people to a just sense of
impending danger. His boldness inspired confidence--his energy prepared
for action. He preferred digging a grave with his sword rather than
tamely submit to foreign dictation based upon tyranny and enforced by
the insolent task masters of the crown. In 1775 he received a Colonel's
commission and speedily raised a fine regiment in his native county. He
was soon called into active service under Gen. Thompson in his
unfortunate expedition against Canada. When that officer was defeated
and taken prisoner with a part of his little army, Col. Wayne
manifested great presence of mind, skill and bravery in effecting a
retreat although writhing under a severe wound. From that time his
military fame rose and expanded until it reached the maximum of his
patriotic ambition--the pinnacle of his fondest desires. In 1776 his
services were very useful on the northern frontier in conducting the
engineer department in addition to the duties of his command. He had the
confidence of his superiors and the friendship of all around him. His
course was onward and upward. As a merited reward for his active
services and in consequence of his superior talents he was commissioned
Brigadier General at the close of that campaign.

At the battle of Brandywine he kept a superior British force from
passing Chad's Ford for a long time. After the partial defeat of the
American army Gen. Wayne was detached with his division to keep the
enemy at bay in view of another attack. The invading army was stationed
at what was then called Tredyffrin. Gen. Wayne encamped three miles in
the rear of the left wing near the Paoli Tavern and gave special orders
to guard against surprise. On the night of the 20th of September his
troops were suddenly attacked by a division under Gen. Gray who rushed
upon the Americans with fixed bayonets killing and wounding about 150
men. Overwhelmed by a superior force Gen. Wayne retreated a short
distance--rallied and formed his men and was no farther molested. At his
own request his conduct on that unfortunate occasion was investigated by
a court martial. Not the slightest fault was found against him. At the
battle of Germantown he led his men on to action with a boldness and
impetuosity that carried terror into the ranks of the imported veterans.
He had two horses shot, one under him and one as he was mounting and was
wounded in the left foot and hand. When a retreat was ordered his
military skill shone conspicuously in protecting his men.

He was uniformly selected by Washington to conduct hazardous and daring
enterprises, reconnoitre the enemy and collect supplies. His energy was
of the most vigorous tone whether on the field or in a council of war.
Previous to the battle of Monmouth he and Gen. Cadwalader were the only
officers who at first united with Washington in favor of attacking the
British army. So bravely did he act on the day of that brilliant victory
that the commander-in-chief made special mention of him in his report to
Congress. In July 1779 Gen. Wayne was selected to attempt a bold and
daring exploit. Stony Point was in possession of the enemy, strongly
fortified and filled with heavy ordnance. One side was washed by the
Hudson River, on the other was a morass passable only in one place. This
fort was on an eminence of considerable height. In front were
formidable breastworks at every accessible point. In advance of these
was a double row of abattis. Col. Johnson was in command of the garrison
with 600 men principally Highlanders, the bravest and most brawny troops
that were imported. A number of vessels of war were moored in the Hudson
in front. All things combined to render a successful attack more than
problematical with a much superior force. It was the very kind of
adventure for Gen. Wayne. To please our young military gentlemen I will
describe the arrangements for attack.

On the evening of the 15th of July, at 8 o'clock, he arrived within a
mile and a half of the fort and immediately communicated his plan of
operation to his officers. The hour of low twelve was fixed for the
desperate assault. Every officer and non-commissioned officer was held
responsible for each man in his platoon. No soldier was permitted to
leave the ranks until the general halt near the fort and then only with
an officer. When the troops arrived in rear of the hill on which the
fort stood Col. Febiger formed his regiment in solid column of a half
platoon in front. Col. Meigs formed in his rear--Maj. Hull in his rear,
the three forming the right column. The left was formed in the same
manner by Col. Butler and Maj. Murphy. Every officer and soldier placed
a piece of white paper in front of his hat or cap that they might
recognise each other if mixed with the enemy. Col. Fleury was put in
command of 150 picked men and stationed about twenty paces in front of
the right column with fixed bayonets and unloaded muskets. A little in
front of these an officer and twenty of the boldest men were placed
whose duty was to secure the sentinels and remove the abattis that the
main column might pass freely. The same with the left column. The main
columns were to follow the advance with shouldered unloaded muskets
relying entirely on the bayonet--according to the tactics of Gen. Gray
at Paoli. Any soldier who departed in the minutest particular from
orders was to be instantly killed by his officer. A reward of $500 was
offered to the first man who entered the
fortification--$400--$300--$200--$100 to each in succession of the other
four who first followed. The whole being formed, "_March_!" thundered
from Wayne who led the right column with Col. Febiger--the left was led
by Col. Butler followed by Maj. Murphy. Never were men more determined
on victory or death--never were orders more strictly obeyed. So
simultaneous was the attack by each division and so equally rapid their
movements that they met in the centre of the fort. The victory was as
complete and triumphant as the assault was bold and overwhelming. All
was accomplished without the discharge of a gun by the Americans who
advanced facing a tremendous shower of musket, grape and canister shot.
On the surrender of the fort Gen. Wayne ordered a salute of iron hail
for the benefit of the armed ships in the river which caused them to
slip their cables and move off with all possible despatch. Fifty-seven
of the enemy were killed and five hundred and forty-three taken
prisoners. As the columns were advancing Gen. Wayne was severely wounded
in the head with a musket ball--as he believed mortally--which felled
him to the ground. He rose on one knee--"_Onward my brave
fellows--onward!_" burst from him in stentorian accents. He requested
his aids to carry him into the fort that he might die amidst the music
shouts of victory. The garrison made a determined resistance at every
point of attack. Of the forlorn hope of the twenty led by Lieut. Gibbons
seventeen were killed. The wounded and killed of the Americans amounted
in all to ninety-eight. After entering the fort had the Americans opened
a fire the slaughter would have been dreadful. Gen. Wayne preferred
setting an example of humane treatment towards his conquered foes,
proving himself as magnanimous as he was brave and victorious. He
scorned retaliation although the dying groans at the Paoli massacre were
still ringing in his ears. Within an hour after the surrender, writhing
under his severe wound, Gen. Wayne addressed the following laconic
letter to Gen. Washington.

                          "Stony Point, July 16, 1779, 2 o'clock A. M.

"DEAR GENERAL--The fort and garrison with Col. Johnson are ours. Our
officers and men behaved like men determined to be free.

                    "Yours most sincerely,
                                                       "ANTHONY WAYNE.
  "Gen. Washington."

Here is a model letter worthy the imitation of the elaborate epistle
manufacturers of the present prolific era of verbosity, ambiguity and
repetition. It should serve as a modest hint to our speech-makers and
induce them to say less and do more. Millions would then be saved to the
States and our nation.

So highly did Congress appreciate the capture of Stony Point that on the
26th of the same month the House passed a series of resolutions highly
complimentary to Gen. Washington for conceiving and to Gen. Wayne and
his brave companions in arms for planning and accomplishing the capture
of that important post. The amount of the military stores was divided
amongst the officers and men and the rewards offered promptly paid. The
letter of Mr. Jay, the President of the Continental Congress to Gen.
Wayne enclosing a copy of these resolutions, shows the concise and
systematic mode of doing business at that time.

                                          "Philadelphia July 27, 1779.

"SIR--Your late glorious achievements have merited and now receive the
approbation and thanks of your country. They are contained in the
enclosed act of Congress which I have the honor to transmit. This
brilliant action adds luster to our arms and will teach the enemy to
respect our power if not to imitate our humanity. You have nobly reaped
laurels in the cause of your country and in the fields of danger and
death. May these prove the earnest of more and may victory ever bear
your standard and Providence be your shield.

                                 "I have the honor to be &c.
                                          "JOHN JAY, President."

Here is another _multum in parvo_ worthy of imitation. Plain common
sense plainly and briefly told--every line gemmed with the purest

Gen. Wayne was blessed with great presence of mind in sudden
emergencies. When in the vicinity of James river, Virginia, he was
incorrectly told that the main body of the British army had passed to
the opposite side. He advanced with only 800 men for the purpose of
capturing the rear guard but found the whole force of Lord Cornwallis
formed in line of battle. He immediately commenced a vigorous attack and
then retreated in good order. Believing this to be an ambuscade
stratagem the British dared not pursue him. In 1781 he was put in
command of the forces in Georgia. After several sanguinary engagements
he expelled the enemy from the state and planted the standard of freedom
upon the ruins of tyranny--upon the firm basis of eternal justice. As a
reward for his services that state presented him with a valuable
plantation reversing the adage--republics are ungrateful. He continued
in active service up to the close of the siege of Yorktown, a bold,
prudent, skilful and reliable patriotic officer. He remained in the army
until the Independence for which he had fought and bled was fully
recognised by mother Britain when he retired to the bosom of his family
crowned with the highest military honors he desired and with the rank of
Major General of the American army. But few of the Heroes of the
Revolution did as much hard service as Gen. Wayne and no one did it up
more brown.

In 1789 he was a member of the Pennsylvania convention to which was
submitted the Federal Constitution. He warmly advocated its adoption. In
1792 he succeeded Gen. St. Clair in command of the army operating
against the predatory Indian tribes in the far west. Gen. Wayne formed
an encampment at Pittsburgh and thoroughly disciplined his troops
preparatory to future action. So determined were the red men to maintain
the rights that God and nature had bestowed upon them that many of the
powerful tribes combined their war forces to resist their common
enemy--the Christian white man. To meet them on their own ground and
adopt their mode of warfare was the only way to insure success. For such
a service it required time to prepare and energy to execute. In the
autumn of 1793 Gen. Wayne had led his army to Greenville six miles from
fort Jefferson where he established his winter quarters. He fortified
his camp and built fort Recovery on the ground where the whites had been
defeated on the 4th of November 1791. He collected the bones of those
who then fell and had them buried under the honors of war. The presence
of the army kept the Indians quiet during the winter. For the want of
supplies the army did not reach the junction of the rivers Au Glaiz and
Miami until the 8th of August where a fort was erected for the
protection of military stores. Thirty miles from that place the English
had erected a fort near which the Indians were in full force. On the
18th the army reached the Miami rapids. There a fortification was
erected for the protection of baggage and the position of the red men
examined. They were found in a dense forest five miles distant
advantageously posted. On the 20th the attack was arranged and the
troops advanced. When reached the fire from behind trees was so
effective that the front, led by Major Price, was compelled to fall
back. At that moment--_trail arms--advance_--ran through the ranks with
electric velocity and effect as it thundered from the strong lungs of
Wayne. In a few brief moments the conquered red men were flying in every
direction closely pursued by the victorious troops for two miles. So
rapid was their retreat that Scott, who was ordered to turn their left
flank, found naught but trees like men standing but not like men running
for dear life. Gen. Wayne had 33 men killed and 100 wounded. From this
defeat the injured red men never recovered. They fled before fire and
sword--their corn fields and villages were destroyed, their power
paralyzed and a chain of forts established which kept them in constant
awe and compelled them to relinquish their rightful domain after having
struggled nobly to maintain their inalienable rights. True they were
savages. Newton, Shakespeare, Washington, Henry--savages born--savages
would have died. The Indians have their fixed customs--we have ours.
They had their rights--the white men took them forcibly away. Justice,
money, time, or angels' tears can never expunge the wrong. This is my
opinion--others have the same right to theirs--if different it will be
easier to _plead_ justification than to _prove_ it.

The result of the vigorous operations of Gen. Wayne was a general and
definitive treaty with many of the different tribes of Aborigines who
were compelled to bury the tomahawk and smoke the pipe of peace. This
treaty was ratified on the 3d of August 1795. Tranquillity then spread
her cheering mantle over our country from the shores of the Atlantic to
the inland seas of the west. General Wayne continued in the field of
operations for the purpose of completing the extended chain of forts
proposed and planned by him. No one was better calculated for that
arduous service. He continued to prosecute the work until December 1796,
when he was cut down by disease in the flood-tide of his eventful
career, deeply mourned and widely lamented. He died far from his family
in a hut on Presque Isle, a peninsula in Erie county, Pa. that extends
into Lake Erie, where he was buried and remained until 1809 when his son
Isaac removed his remains to his native county and deposited them in the
cemetery of St. David's church. The Pennsylvania State Cincinnati
Society has erected a beautiful white marble monument over his grave
with the following inscription on the south front.

     In honor of the distinguished
          Military services of
             Major General
            ANTHONY WAYNE,
    And as an affectionate tribute
        of respect to his memory
     This stone was erected by his
          companions in arms