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Full text of "Nash and Davidson monuments : full text of the debate between congressmen Cannon and Kitchin, showing Mr. Kitchin's faithful work on behalf of the bill and his expressed opinion that Guilford battle ground should have the monuments"

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ash and Davidson 

\ill Text of the Debate Between Congressmen 
Cannon a?id Kitcbin. 

Showing Mr. Kitchirfs Faithful Work on Behalf 

of the Bill and his Expressed Opinion, that 

Guilford Battle Ground Should Have 

the Monuments. 



Congressional Record, Fifty-Seventh Congress, First Session 
Washington, D. C, July i, 1902. 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Mr. Speak- 
er, I ask unanimous consent for the 
present consideration of house joint 
resolution No. 16. to carry into effect 
two resolutions of the Continental 
Congress directing monuments to be 
erected to the memory of Generals 
Francis Nash and William Lee David- 
■:' North Carolina. 

The joint resolution was read, as 

Resolved by the Senate and House 
of Representatives of the United States 
in Congress assembled. That the sum 
of .p. 000 be, and the same is hereby. 
appropriated for the erection of a mon- 
ument in honor of the memory of 
Brigadier General Francis Nash, of 
North Carolina, according to the re- 
solution of congress passed on the 4th 
day of November, 1777. 

Sec. 2. That a like sum of $5,000 be. 
and the same is hereby, appropriated 
for the erection of a monument in hon- 
or of the memory of Brigadier General 
William Lee Davidson, of North Caro- 
lina, in accordance with the resolution 
of congress passed on the 20th day of 
September. 1781 

Sec. 3. That the Secretary of the 
Treasury shall pay the sums appro- 
priated to the order of the governor of 
North Carolina whenever required for 
the purposes aforesaid. 

The following amendment recom- 
mended by the committee was read: 

Strike out section 3 of the bill and 
substitute therefor the following: 

Sec. 3. That the site for the location 
of said monuments, the designs for the 
same, the conduct of the work of erec- 
tion, and the disbursement of the 
money hereinafter appropriated shall 
be under the direction of the secretary 
of war. who shall, however, act joint- 
ly with the Governor of the State of 
North Carolina, as far as may be prac- 
ticable, in the selection of a location 
for said monuments." 

The Speaker. Is there objection? 

.Mr. Cannon. Mr. Speaker. I should 
like to ask the gentleman, has this 
been authorized by law or is this the 

Mr. Kitchin. This is the authoriza- 

Mr. Cannon. Two monuments are to 
be erected somewhere in North Caro- 
lina to the memory of two Revolution- 
ary soldiers'' 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Two brig- 
adier-generals who fell in the forefront 
of a battle in the Revolutionary war. 
These monuments were once authoriz- 
ed by the Continental Congress. 

Mr. Cannon. Why were they not 
put up under that authorization? 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. It may 
have been on account of the disturbed 
condition of the country, or on account 
of the poverty of the Continental treas- 
ury. In any event, the monument? 
were not built, although they were 
authorized by the Continental Con- 

Mr. Cannon. Mr. Speaker, it is un- 
gracious to object. 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. I hope the 
gentleman will not. 

Mi. Cannon. But this thing of mon- 
uments, seems to me. ought to be con- 
fined, except in very rare instances— 
and it seems to me the exceptions are 
not wise — to the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Richardson of Tennessee. They 
are old acquaintances of my friend 
from Illinois. 1 think he was born in 
North Carolina about that time. 
I Laughter.) 

Mr. Cannon. They died just before 
I can recollect; but I know my friend 
from Tennessee had full acquaintance 
with them. (Laughter.) 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Before the 
gentleman from Illinois interposes an 
objection. I would like to say this to 
him: That one of these generals, Gen- 
eral Nash, was the colonel of the First 
North Carolina Regiment. He was af- 
terwards promoted to brigadier-gen- 
eral, and was ordered to join General 
Washington in the North, where he 
served under the eye of the great com- 
mander with distinction, and at the 
battle of Germantown, Pa., now in the 
of Philadelphia, he was was mor- 
tally wounded and died a few days af- 
terwards. He is buried in the Men- 
nonist burial ground in Kulpsville. 
Montgomery County. Pa. 

The Continental Congress thereaf- 
ter, in a resolution mentioning his gal- 
lantry and bravery, authorized the 
ion of a monument to his memory. 
General Davidson was born in Penn- 
sylvania, but moved to North Carolina 
when a child. He was first major and 
finally brigadier-general. He fought 
in the battles of Brandywine, Mon- 
mouth, and at Germantown. where 
General Nash fell. He was severely 
wounded at the battle of Calsons Mill, 
and was killed at the engagement of 
Cowans 'Ford, on the Catawba River, 
in North Carolina, resisting Cornwal- 
1 is' march northward. Both of these 
men fought for their country's liberty, 
and they poured out their life's 
blood in that behalf. I say to 
the gentleman from Illinois that the 
original resolutions in the Continental 
Congress which recognized these two 
brave soldiers directed the Governor 
of North Carolina to build the monu- 
ments, and left their location to the 
discretion of the Governor of North 

We have in North Carolina the 
Guilford Battle Ground Association. It 
has reclaimed this famous battle 
ground at Guilford Court House, which 
Mr. Benton, in his "Thirty Years in 
the United States Senate," says led in- 
evitably to Cornwallis' surrender at 
Yorktown. This battle ground has 
been reclaimed by the patriotic citi- 
zens, who have also erected many 
small monuments there, and on the 
Fourth of July of each year thousands 
of people from various parts of our 
state pay tribute to the principles of 
liberty, independence, and sacrifice 
which actuated our revolutionary an- 
cestors. I certainly hope that the gen- 
tleman from Illinois, with this expla- 
nation, will not object to the present 
consideration of the resolution. I think 
these monuments ought to be erected. 


The location is left with the secretary 
of war and the Governor ol North Car- 
olina, so far as th< >r can aid 
him In It and in my opinion Guilford 
Battle Ground should be the spol fav- 
iiroii with their location. 

Mr. rami. mi Well, thi Be were two 
gallant BOldiers, I have no doubt The 
Continental Congress noted In word, 
but not In deed. So far as those gal- 
lant man are concerned, following the 
of Swedenborg, they know 
nothing of It. 

Mr. Sulzer Are you a Swedenhor- 

Mr. Cannon (continuing). No douM 
there are other heroes in ihe celestial 
heavens, wherein we all hope to attain 
a position. Simply and purely from 'i 
standpoint or public service although 
it may si <':n to be, perhaps, not a 
courteous thing to do — from sympa- 
thy with everybody who performs his 
duty well, having broken the record 
as our friends will claim, and i 
pretty near to it. as we will admit, 
lot us leave something for the liber- 
ality of Congress and the Treasury to 
do at the next session. We will ab- 
solutely have nothing to do to earn our 
salary. I must now. with all due res- 
poet to my friend, purely impersonally 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Mr. Speak- 
er. I regret that the gentleman ob- 
jects, and move to suspend the rules 
and pass the joint resolution No. 16. 
with the amendment that the Commit- 
tee on the Library recommends. 

The Speaker. Does some one object 
to unanimous consent? 

Mr. Cannon. I think I object. Mr. 

The Speaker. The gentleman ob- 
jects. The gentleman from North Car- 
olina moves to suspend the rules and 
pass the joint resolution with the 
amendment recommended by the com- 

Mr. Cannon. On that I demand a 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Mr. Speak- 
er. 1 ask that a second may be con- 
sisdered as ordered. 

The Speaker. Is there objection? 
(After a pause.) The Chair hears 
none. The Chair recognizes the gen- 
tleman from North Carolina on the 
one side and the gentleman from Illi- 
nois on the other. 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. I merely 
wish to say. Mr. Speaker, in addition 
to what I have said, that this bill, or 
a similar resolution, has passed the 
Senate for the last' three Congresses 
and in thef orm in which it was in- 
troduced into this Congress. The Com- 
mittee on the Library offer an amend- 
ment, striking out the third section 
and inserting a new section, pertain- 
ing to the location and design of this 
monument. I will say to the gentle- 
man from Illinois that we have al- 
ready passed some monument bills 
during this session, one carrying an 
appropriation of $25,000 and one $50.- 
000 and one of $100.000 

The Speaker. The gentleman from 
North Carolina will suspend. The 
Committee on Naval Affairs desires to 
present a conference report on the 
naval appropriation bill. 


Mr. William W. Kitchin. Mr. Speal 


The Speaker. The gentleman ironi 
North Carolina has nineteen minutes 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. Mr. Speak- 

ei . it I can have ih.- attention ot the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Cannon), 

b to say thai t he 1 1 been 

liberal with the monument b 

II l.a 

slon. Wo ha\ I :.ill a-ui b 

Ing a monument to Qen. Hugh Met 
also a Revolutionary bero, that ca 
$25,000 ami directs that the n 
shall ho built in the city of Pi i 

burg. Va. That, it is a 

striking i' 1 :i of 

i be ■• monument a in t he State of t< 
Carolina if the Secretary ol W 

it Ide, tor be will ha\ 
of that question, acting with the 
ernor of North Carolina as far 

We have also pa-sod a bill for a hun- 
dred thousand dollars to eommeni' 
the martyrs of the British prison Bh 
We have passed a bill appropriating 
$26,000 to take the preliminary Btl i 
ward a monument to President Lin- 
coln. How can the gentleman from 
Illinois Dnd it in his heart to op, 
this little bill for $10,000? 1 ren 
to say that it is the smallest bill of this 
character and equal merit that this 
House has ever been called upon to 
consider. Substantially the same pro- 
on had the support of the Conti- 
nental Congress. This bill has passed 
the Senate repeatedly, and it has been 
favorably reported by the proper com- 
mittee of this House three times, now. 
to my knowledge, and I do not know 
how many times before. 

The gentleman says that building a 
monument to these men will do them 
no good. Is the gentleman going to 
erect that great monument which he a 
few days ago advocated for President 
Lincoln's benefit? Not a bit of it. Does 
Washington's monument stand down 
there for the benefit of George Wash- 
ington? Not a bit of it. Why. the 
gentleman from Illinois knows that we 
build monuments because of the purest 
sentiments that come from the human 
heart — in order to bless the living, in 
order to encourage those great princi- 
ples that guided the lives of the men 
whom we honor by monuments. We 
build monuments to patriots to -teach 
men patriotism, to teach men that 
when they act patriotically, their des- 
cendants and other generations will 
honor them. If monuments should be 
built to any men. they should be built 
to those who have died in the* cause of 
human liberty, in the cause of national 
independence, who died resisting the 
oppressions of British rule and British 
colonialism. How can you find a man 
more fit to be honored by a monument 
than General Nash, who fell at the bat- 
tle of Germantown. or General David- 
son, who fell resisting the march of 
Cornwallis north through Carolina? 

So I think if you want 
to teach the people of North 
Carolina patriotism, if you want 
to tie them in closer bonds to this gov- 
ernment, you should erect these monu- 
ments there, paid for out of the feder- 
al treasury. Erect them at this great \ 
gathering place (Guilford Battle \ 
Ground) where the patriotism of North 
Carolina comes together on the Fourth J 
of July. If the gentleman from Illi- 
nois will help me in this he will do 3 
great service to the people, because 
when you encourage the spirit of pat- 
riotism in any section of this great 
country you are helping the grand total 
of our people in that respect. (Ap- 

I reserve the remainder of my time 

Mr. Cannon. I ask the attention of 
the House for a minute because in the 
closing hours of the session, when 
everybody is feeling good and hoping 
to get home soon, everything is relax- 
ed here and we do things all along the 
line that we would not have done at 
any other period in the session. I am 
always very glad when the hammer 
falls and final adjournment occurs, be- 
cause on a day like this no one realizes 
exactly the scope of what we do. 

I was born in North Carolina. (Ap- 
plause.) Somebody said once "You 
could not help yourself." (Laughter). 
But I am proud of being born there, in 
a Quaker settlement of small land- 
owners — humble. God-fearing people, 
better than their descendants in that 
respect, perhaps. A way back sixty 
years ago we went over the moutains 
to the wilderness of the West. Now. 
my birthplace, while I have not been 
there since that time, is dear to me. 
My home where I have lived for sixty 
years is dear to me. And I will say 
again that perhaps it may seem un- 
gracious to oppose a bill like this. I 
am proud of the history of North Car- 
olina, and of every State. I am proud 
of the achievements of the Revolution- 
ary fathers. I am proud of the achieve- 
ments of the heroes of 1812, and of the 
Mexican war, and of the civil war. and 
of the late war. But, after all is said 
and done. I sometimes grow a little 
weary when the common patriotism 
and common pride in the progress of 
our race is made an excuse to do this, 
that, and the other, that really no great 
number of people desire to have done. 
I had not much pride in what happened 
yesterday touching two appropriations, 
but that is past and gone. I am not 
here to scold about it. 

I doubt the propriety of making 
appropriations from the National 
Treasury to erect monuments any- 
where outside of the District of 
Columbia. Here we are supreme, the 
capital of the nation. Here we gather 
the revenues and make the expendi- 
tures.. Here is where all the people 
come. So that I have quite generally 
voted for whatever memorials have 
been proposed, if they came in due 
shape with the emplacement thereof 
here. I sometimes could wish that all 
the great battlefields and everything 
that would memorialize great events 
of our history could be marked. Many 
of them are. 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. May I ask 
the gentleman a question? 

Mr. Cannon. Just a moment. I will 
yield to you before I get through. 
Many of them are. There is scarcely a 
county throughout the northland bin 
what you will find monuments to the 
memory of the soldiers who fought for 
the union in the late war. Constructed 
how? By the people. The men and 
the women and the children have tak- 
eE up collections here and there and 
accumulated them until, five, ten, or 
twenty-five thousand dollars have beer, 
collected, and each man, woman, and 
child feel as if there had been sacrifice 
made for the monuments that com- 
memorate the achievements of the il- 
lustrious dead. That which cost some- 
thing we appreciate. 

Sometimes I have felt that an ob- 
jection to our higher school system is 
that it has not cost much. That people 

appreciate the common-school system 
— the three R's are all right from the 
standpoint of national good and nation- 
al education, but we have got in the 
habit of injecting hypodermically, il 
seems to me, education which comesj 
with trifling cost into people that 
not want it. We appreciate, I 
again, that which costs something, aj 
that patriotism that causes people 
the various localities to lay aside a d<| 
lar here and there and gather it 
gether and erect a monument is 
right kind of action and the right kifl 
of sentiment to foster. 

I have sometimes wished, and i 
inclined to think I would possibly vo| 
for the erection of a monument at 
national expense to commemorate 
battle of Kings Mountain, where 
mountaineers, reenforced under 
lead of Gen. John Sevier by Tenne! 
seans. after a long march through 
ley and over mountain, fought 
great battle. (Applause on the Den 
cratic side.) But I would prefer not] 
go beyond that. True, we voted 
erect a monument to the memory 
General Mercer down in Virginia, 
think that was a mistake from tl 
standpoint that I am speaking of, a\ 
I believe now that the best way is 
stop the construction of monumen 
to commemorate the character and sq 
vices of illustrious men from the 
ginning of our history outside of Wa 
ington, so that I have demanded 
second, and I feel as one that it is 
duty to vote "no" upon this propc 
tion. Now I yield to my friend. 

Mr. William W. Kitchin. I ask 
gentleman, after reminding him th 
the patriotic citizens of North Carj 
Una have contributed their money 
built several monuments on Guilfol 
Battle Ground, whether the gentlemj 
— since the Continental Congress, co 
posed of the contemporaries of the3 
brave men. had authorized the gov^ 
ernor to erect monuments to them- 
does not think that would except this 
joint resolution from the ordinary 
monument cases and justify him in 
supporting monuments for these men 
outside of the District of Columbia? 

Mr. Cannon. I will say to my friend 
it seems to me not. I recollect in my 
service in the House that Congress did 
make a small appropriation toward 
the improvement of the battlefield of 
Guilford Court-house, and that has 
been expended with contributions made 
by the patriotic citizens of the locality 
and of North Carolina. But Congress 
took good care after it made this dona- 
tion to divorce itself from the main- 
tenance. Now, this is upon a differ- 
ent ground. That is all I have to say 
about it. 

The Speaker. The question is on sus- 
pending the rules and passing the bill. 

The Speaker proceeded to put the 

Mr. Cannon. I think I will take a 
rising vote. 

The house proceeded to divide. 

Mr. Cannon (during the count). Mr. 
Speaker, it is evidently the sense of the 
House that the bill pass, and I with- 
draw the demand for a division. 

The Speaker. Two-thirds having 
voted in favor thereof, the rules are 
suspended and the joint resolution as 
amended is passed.