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Title: Ex-President John Quincy Adams in Pittsburgh - Address of Welcome, by Wilson McCandless, and Mr. Adams - Reply; together with a letter from Mr. Adams Relative to - Judge Brackenridge's "Modern Chivalry."
Author: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848, McCandless, Wilson
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ex-President John Quincy Adams in Pittsburgh - Address of Welcome, by Wilson McCandless, and Mr. Adams - Reply; together with a letter from Mr. Adams Relative to - Judge Brackenridge's "Modern Chivalry."" ***

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                     Ex-President John Quincy Adams
                         in Pittsburgh in 1843.

                          ADDRESS OF WELCOME,

                           WILSON McCANDLESS,


                           MR. ADAMS' REPLY;

                             TOGETHER WITH


                         PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.


                          ADDRESS OF WELCOME.


I have been deputed by my fellow-citizens, of _all parties_, to bid you
a hearty welcome to this city. I have been directed, Sir, to tender to
you the hospitalities of the people, and of the corporate authorities of
this, and of our young, but flourishing, sister of Allegheny.

We have not strewed flowers in your path, nor erected triumphal arches
at your approach, but greet you with the homage of grateful hearts, as
evinced in this spontaneous outpouring of the people. Here, Sir, is the
token of that universal regard in which you are held by the free
citizens of this great country. And here, Sir, you have the reward for a
long life of meritorious public service.

What can be more endearing to the heart of the patriot, than this
exhibition of public sentiment; than this manifestation of love for your
person, and admiration for your exalted talents and virtues. Like the
son of Marcus Cato, you have been a foe to tyrants, and your country's
friend, and that country now tenders to you the tribute of her affection
and gratitude.

You seem, Sir, "like the aged oak, standing alone on the plain, which
time has spared a little longer, after all its cotemporaries have been
levelled with the dust," but the people delight to gather round the
venerable trunk, and dwell beneath the shadow of its yet green foliage.

Associated as you have been with the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY, partaking
largely of his confidence, and deeply imbued with the lofty patriotism
of his character, it must be gratifying to you, to visit this, the
theatre of his earliest achievements.

Here, standing on the portals of the Mississippi valley, his prophetic
eye reaching far into futurity, he saw the materials for that great
empire, with its teeming millions, that now revere and venerate his
name. Here it was that Providence thrice spared his invaluable life.
Once, on the Venango path, when the rifle of the warrior flashed in the
pan. Again, when his frail raft gave way, and he was precipitated amid
ice and snow, and the raging of the elements, into the rapid waters of
the Allegheny. And again, on the shores of the Monongahela, when
Braddock, and Halket, and Peyronney fell, by the deadly aim of the
French and Indians. Two horses shot under him, his clothes perforated
with bullets, himself a bright and shining mark, yet the leaden
messengers were turned aside by an invisible Hand, and he was saved to
lead the armies of his country to victory, and to lay deep that precious
corner-stone of civil polity, that has no parallel in the history of the

Here it was that in the wigwams, and partaking of the hospitality of
King Shingiss and Queen Allaquippa, his heart imbibed that warm and
active benevolence for the sons of the forest, that was so conspicuous
in his subsequent administration of the government.

Here it was that the influence of his great NAME suppressed an
insurrection that threatened to sap the foundation of our beautiful
political edifice. And here, Sir, he has a monument in the affection of
his countrymen more durable than brass or marble, and which will remain
steadfast, as long as the rippling current of the Ohio flows on to the
bosom of the Father of waters.

In 1798, the first armed vessel that ever floated on the western waters
was constructed here under the direction of a Revolutionary officer. She
was a row-galley, mounting a solitary gun, and was intended to protect
our infant trade with that splendid domain afterwards acquired to the
Union by the wisdom and foresight of your illustrious friend and
cotemporary, MR. JEFFERSON.

The name of that vessel was the JOHN ADAMS, And, if tradition is to be
credited, after performing duty here, she hoisted sails, entered the
peaceful pursuits of commerce, crossed the Atlantic, passed the straits
of Gibraltar, wended her way up the Mediterranean, threaded the
Archipelago, and penetrated to the Dardanelles on the borders of Asia
Minor; thus carrying on her prow into the very bosom of a despotic
country, the name of one of the honored actors in the great struggle for
Republican liberty.

Look at the contrast now! Instead of the barge, and the row-galley, our
skilful mechanics in 1843 completed, on the very bastions of old Fort
Duquesne, an iron ship of war that is to carry on the Northern Lakes the
stars and stripes of our beloved country--and a frigate is now in
progress of construction, which with her "_iron sides_," is destined to
defend the honor of the American name "in every sea under the whole

When your venerated Sire, with burning zeal, proclaimed independence
_now_, independence _forever_; when, with heroic and inflexible
resolution, he signed his name to the great charter of our liberty, the
place on which you now stand was a barren and unproductive forest. Now,

        "As the swollen column of ascending smoke,"

so swells her grandeur. From a thousand chimneys are emitted the living
evidences of her prosperity. The flaming fire, the busy hammer, the
revolving roller, all give daily, hourly proof of her rapid advancement.
Here the rough misshapen elements of nature are formed and moulded to
suit the purposes of man. Here machines to mitigate the toil of the
laborer, and to facilitate intercourse between the States, are made with
a skill unsurpassed even by the old world. Here the anchor is forged to
give security and protection to the weather-beaten mariner. Here the
shovel and the mattock, the plough and the harrow, go forth to ease the
labors of the husbandman. And here the naked are clothed and the hungry
fed, by the evolution of machinery "and the potent agency of steam."

To what are we indebted for all these blessings? Since the war of the
Revolution, to that wise TARIFF policy by which you were regulated when
at the head of the government, and as chairman of the Committee on
Manufactures in the Congress of the United States. No base subserviency
to Foreign Powers dictated your course, but a manly and determined
support of the true interests of the country, by the protection of its
industry, and by a proper reciprocity of countervailing restrictions.

We thank you, Sir--we thank you with the truest friendship and the
deepest sincerity.

We honor you for the lustre you have shed on all the high places it has
been your good fortune to occupy--we praise you for that sublimest
virtue which shines in all your actions--we see in your brow that
undaunted valor which renders you inexorably firm in the discharge of
all your public duties, and in your eye "that inextinguishable spark,
that fires the souls of patriots."

Great and good Citizen! Venerable and Venerated Man! Panegyric or
Eulogy, now, or hereafter, cannot add one cubit to your stature. Live
on--live on, in honor and in glory--and when "this corruptible _does_
put on incorruption, and this mortal, immortality," I pray God that it
may be in the calm serenity of that summer's evening, when bonfires and
illuminations light up the land, in commemoration of that glorious
INDEPENDENCE, to the achievement of which your illustrious FATHER so
largely, so eminently contributed.

                            MR. ADAMS' REPLY.


Before I attempt to address you, and to respond to the eloquent
discourse pronounced under circumstances so unauspicious to eloquence, I
must apologize for my appearance before you.

I had expected to have had the honor of meeting you on this day and at
this time; and arrangements were made to render it convenient to
yourselves, but it so happened that the bark on which we had taken our
passage, as if anxious to arrive at the end of her voyage, and partaking
of my feelings, arrived before the time, when your preparations to
receive me were not completed. My appearance was, therefore, accidental
and unexpected, and as my apology, I would remind you of the saying of
the great Poet of Nature, Shakespeare, who says:

                "Lovers break not hours,
        Except it be to come before their time."

If the lover is privileged to "break hours" and "come before his time,"
I trust you will accept it as my excuse, and impute it to the ardor of a
lover desiring to see the beloved of his soul.

Fellow citizens! I had motives of the most cogent nature to inspire me
with that feeling, in times past--I trust forever--when my position was
anything but what I find it now--at a time when I was in a position of
difficulty and danger, I had the gratification to receive testimonials
of regard, respect and sympathy from the citizens of Pittsburgh, beyond
what I received from any other portion of the United States, my own
constituents and the city of Rochester alone excepted. I shall always
entertain a feeling of gratitude, belonging to the nature of man,
towards the citizens of Pittsburgh, for their attention and sympathy on
that trying occasion. I had never flattered myself with the expectation
or hope that it should be in my power to personally return them those
thanks which were due; but they were indelibly impressed upon my
heart--and it is owing rather to accidental circumstances that I now
enjoy that satisfaction.

During the last summer, I received an invitation to visit a western
city, to perform an act solely connected with the promotion of science,
and totally separated from politics--I came for the purpose of lending
my aid to an object for the advancement and promotion of the happiness
of man on earth--for the advancement of knowledge, for which I hope all
parties are equally zealous--the laying of the corner-stone for an
Astronomical Observatory at Cincinnati. I accepted it, and scarcely had
it become publicly known, till I saw in the public papers a call from
some of my personal friends in this city, to visit and be received by
them on my way to or from the point of my destination. This reached my
ears as coming from personal friends; by personal friends I mean those
who, during a long life, have approved of my political course and
actions. Of personal friends, strictly speaking, I have but few among
your number--there are few in your city with whom I have had the honor
of a personal acquaintance. For this expression of confidence and this
invitation, I felt that gratitude was due from me.

But scarcely was that invitation consummated till a still more
comprehensive one, from the citizens of all the political parties, was
given to me. This was an honor which has never been extended to me
before, and I am not aware that it has been to any other--it forms an
epoch in our history's history, and if in any thing I can foresee the
voice of posterity, it is in that!

In compliance with these invitations, and particularly the last, I now
appear before you. I had intended to advert to some topics of general
interest, and to the principles which have governed my course of conduct
heretofore, but leaving them to the judgment of all, and avoiding any
thing calculated to offend any;--but time will not allow, and the
circumstances are such that I cannot think of detaining you here. I must
therefore request you simply to receive the effusions of gratitude from
my breast, applied to each and every one of you. I hope you will
consider those remarks which I intended to have made, as indicative of
the desire which I felt to repay you in some manner for your attentions
towards me; and I trust that the blessings of a bounteous Providence may
rest upon you individually, and that the almighty Ruler of the Universe
may render your course, as a community, glorious and happy hereafter, as
it has been honorable heretofore!


                                         PITTSBURGH, March 29, 1847.
                       _Washington City, D. C._,

DEAR SIR: A day or two after I had the honor of addressing you at the
instance of the citizens of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, I met you at the
hospitable table of Col. Robinson. To me, and to all around, the
conversation was most entertaining. All the leading incidents connected
with the history of Western Pennsylvania, from the Whiskey Insurrection
down, seemed to be as familiar to you as to any native to the "manor
born." I recollect well your inquiries relating to the honored widow of
the author of "Modern Chivalry," and how animated you were in speaking
of Captain Farrago and Teague O'Regan. Cervantes would have laughed and
rejoiced at your association of these western heroes with his own, and
the author felt complimented with your favorable criticism of a work
which he never expected to reach a second edition.

Perusing a reprint of the work this evening, it occurred to me that you
might be amused in reading it, and I have therefore taken the liberty of
enclosing it.

Trusting that your health is much improved and that it will continue so,

            I have the honor to be,
        with the most profound regard,
                  your obedient servant,
                WILSON MCCANDLESS.

                                        WASHINGTON, 1st April, 1847.
                     _Pittsburgh_, _Pennsylvania_.

DEAR SIR: I cannot lose a moment before acknowledging the receipt of
your letter of the 29th ult., and of the valuable present which
accompanies it--the two volumes of the new edition of Judge H. H.
Brackenridge's "Modern Chivalry, or the Adventures of Captain Farrago
and Teague O'Regan." My visit to Pittsburgh in 1843, and my intercourse
with yourself, with the citizens of that place and Allegheny, at that
time, afford me some of the most pleasing recollections of my life,
grateful recollections of my obligations to yourself and them.

I had read the first part of Modern Chivalry and formed a pleasant
acquaintance with Captain Farrago and his man Teague, at their first
appearance more than half a century since, and they had then excited
much of my attention as illustrations of life and manners peculiar to
the times and localities, not entirely effaced when I became more
familiarly acquainted with them, by this visit to the latter.

Captain Farrago and Teague O'Regan are legitimate descendants, on one
side from the La Mancha and his squire Sancho, on the other, from Sir
Hudibras and his man Ralph, and if not primitive conceptions themselves,
are at least as lineal in their descent as the pious Æneas from the
impetuous and vindictive son of Pelias.

The reappearance of this work, as a second edition, since the author's
death, more than half a century after its first publication, well
warrants the prediction that it will last beyond the period fixed by the
ancient statutes, for the canonization of poets, a full century. I shall
read it over again, I have no doubt, with a refreshing revival of the
pleasure with which I greeted it on its first appearance; and if this
expression of my opinion can give any satisfaction to the remaining
relatives of Judge Brackenridge, or to yourself, it is entirely at your
disposal, being with a vivid sense and grateful remembrance of your
kindness, and that of my fellow-citizens of Pittsburgh and Allegheny,

                     Your friend and obedient servant,
                                                J. Q. ADAMS.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ex-President John Quincy Adams in Pittsburgh - Address of Welcome, by Wilson McCandless, and Mr. Adams - Reply; together with a letter from Mr. Adams Relative to - Judge Brackenridge's "Modern Chivalry."" ***

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