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(-"-S fTil.. i-3 

3 • t,* oJ 

Eatend ucording lo Act of CngTEB in ths riar 187J, b; 

in lb* Office of ihc Libmiu of GntreH. u WuhiDgM°- 


Mr. Schlozer, the Gterman Mmister, was instructed by 

His Majestt, William, Emfebob of Germany, 

to deliver to the President of the United States, upon the 4th of 
July, an autograph letter of congratulation upon the occasion 
of the Centennial Anniversary. A translation of the letter is as 
follows : 

" William, by the Grace of God, Emperor of Germany, King of 
Prussia, &o. 

lb the President of the United States: 

Great and Good Friend : It has been vouchsafed to you to 
celebrate the Centennial festival of the day upon which the 
great Bepublic over which you preside entered the rank of inde- 
pendent nationa The purposes of its founders have, by a wise 
application of the teachings of the history of the foundation of 
nations, and with insight into the distant future, been realized 
by a development without a parallel To congratulate you and 
the American people upon the occasion affords me so much the 
greater pleasure, because, since the treaty of friendship, which 
my ancestor of glorious memory. King Frederic II, who now 
rests with God, concluded with the United States, undisturbed 
friendship has continually existed between Germany and Amer- 
ica, and has been developed and strengthened by the ever- 
increasing importance of their mutual relations, and by an 
intercourse, becoming more and more fruitful, in every domain 
of commerce and science. That the welfare of the United 
States, and the friendship of the two countries, may continue 
to increase, is my sincere desire and confident hope. Accept 
the renewed assurance of my unqualified esteem. 

[Countersigned] Yon Bismarck. 

Berlin, June 9th 1876." 


July 4, 1876. 

The opeciiig exercises of the One Hiindredtli AnniTersary of 
our NationiU Independence, in Philadelphia, conaiBtied of an 
overture, " The Great Republic," baaed on the national air 
" Hail Columbia," by Gilmore's orchestra, arranged for the 
occasion by the composer Geoi|^ F. Bristow, of New York, and 
wasbllowed by 




Fellow-Citizeks asd Ftjends or all Natioks : — One hundred 
years ago the Bepablic wos proclaimed on this spot. We have 


This work, which groups together the choicest of 
the eloquent and patriotic Orations, Addresses and 
Poems/ delivered in the several States of the Union, 
on our Centennial Anniversary, being issued under 
the auspices of the authors themselves — the docu- 
ments having been submitted to their critical super- 
vision, — forms an authorized and enduring monument 
of that memorable epoch in our national annals. 
Among these clustered flowers of rhetoric will be 
found many of singular beauty and grace ; forming 
as they do, a many-hued garland of rare excellence, 
worthy of the occasion which celebrates the festival 
and fruitage of our first century. A glance at the 
table of contents will reveal a brilliant array of dis- 
tinguished names as contributors to the volume ; 
among their number are the following : — Hon. W. 
M. Evarts, Hon. R. C. Winthrop, Rev. Dr. Storrs, 
Ex-Gov. Seymour, Rev. Dr. L. Bacon, Rev. Henry 
Ward Beecher, Dr. Henry Barnard, Gov. Cheney, 
Col. R. G. IngersoU, Gov. Cullom, Rev. Dr. C. H. 
Fowler, Chancellor Parker, Gen. J. A. Dix, J. G. 
Whittier, W. C. Bryant, Bayard Taylor, &c., &c. 

The work is cosmopolitan in the strictest sense of 
the term. It most strikingly illustrates the freedom 
of speech and opinion, characteristic of our country. 
Here are represented the varieties of social distinc- 

tion among men, — white and black, Jew and Chris- 
tian, Protestant and Catholic, and even the aborig- 
inal Red Man of the forest. As a commemorative 
record of the most brilliant bursts of oratory, inspired 
by the enthusiasm of the occasion, and as a perma- 
nent treasury of historic data and valuable statistical 
information, the work will at once commend itself to 
all persons of culture and judgment. With such 
combined attractions, it makes its appeal, alikfe to the 
statesman, the student and the general reader. 

Although primarily prepared for the American 
public it is no less adapted to the rest of the world, 
since it presents an epitome of our progress, and 
social, civil and political status among the nations. 


Less than half a centnry ago, memorable words were ut- 
tered, OD a certain occasion, by one of England's greatest 
thinkers, which may be said to have received from our na- 
tional history, if not their accomplishment, at least their 
successful illustration. "Tlie free parliament of a free peo- 
ple is the native soil of eloquence, and in that soil will it 
ever flourish and abound — there it will produce those in- 
tellectual effects, which drive before them whole tribes and 
nations of the human race, and settle the destinies of 


Our Republic, founded by our Pilgrim fathers upon the 
Bible, with civil and religious liberty for its charter — when 
contrasted with the several States of Europe, may be said 
to be unique ; since, to quote the words of Oarlyle ; " They 
arc ever in baleful oscillation, afloat as amid raging eddies 
and conflicting sea-currents, not steadfast as on fixed foun- 
dations," — whilst a century of progressive strength attests 
the enduring stability of our country. Castelar has also de- 
clared that " Saxon America, with its immense virgin ter- 
ritories, with its republic, with its equilibrium between 
stability and progress, is the continent of the future; 
stretched as it is by God, between the Atlantic and the Pa- 
cific — where mankind may plant, essay, and resolve all so- 
cial problems." 

Youni/est in the great family of nations, America is thus 
found in the foremost rank of our Christian civilization. 
Although as a nation, she may not boast of the ** antique 
glories of the classic arts," yet has she shared liberally with 
others of maturer growth, in the triunii)hs of modem jjenius 
and inventive skill, while she may pre-eminently claim the 
honor of having given to the world the well-attested illus- 
tration of the feasibility of popular self-government. 

• ' This is thy praise America ! Thy power ! 
Thou best of clitnes by IScieucu visited, — 
By Freedom blest ! " 


History haa its representative eras, as well as its repre- 
sentative men; and oar American Republic has in this, 
its first centnry, been eminently eigniilized by both. No 
century of the world's iiistory has been bo replete with 
grand events, or ennobled by so many illaatrious names as 
otirs. No epoch has been characterized by such mag- 
nificent achievements in eeience, art, literature, sesthetiu 
culture and popular education. It was one of President 
Lincoln's quaint but expressive remarks made in reference 
to onr recent struggle, tnat "this nation, under God, shall 
have a new birth of Freedom, that governments of the 
people, by the People and for the people, shall not perish 
irom the earth.'' We have, like other nations, had our revo- 
lutionary or heroic age, as well as onr age of progressive cul- 
ture, physical and moral. The former lias transformed vast 
wildernesses into fertile iields, decked with happy homes and 
cities. The other, as by the enchanter's wand, has " called 
into being a broad empire of selt-governed, indnstrioas and 
prosperous millions." Justly proud of our signal prosperity, 
we hail with triumph the glorious present, with our national 
escutcheon thus honored before tlie world. It has been 
aptly remarked that the " Declaration of Independence" 
by its recognition of the "Rights of Man," gave a new 
impetus to political morality, and marked a new era of 
intellectual revolt against old established institutions and 
modes of thought. It was natural and fitting, therefore, 
that America should be the theatre where the great problem 
of popular liberty and self-^oveniment should bo solved. 
Nor was that the only gi'and result achieved — tlie captive 
has been made free, the barriers that, for so long a time, 
had separated the races, liave been removed ; Civil and Re- 
ligious liberty, our boasted national inheritance should 
thus become to us a benison inexpressibly precious, in- 


\The orations foUoving Pennsylvania are given in the order of the ad- 
mission of the States into the Union. The oration from the District of 
Colambia follows the original thirteen States.] 

WiL GxTLLEir Bbtaut ; Centennial Ode, [fac-^imUe of original 
mannscript] R'oiUUpiece, 


Preface 3 

iKTRODUCnON. «*.' ^ 

John O. WmTnEB; National Hymn 13 

His Majesty, William, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia -, 
Gongratalatoory Letter 15 



Gen'l Joseph B. Hawlet; Introductory Address 16 

Hon. Thoiias W. Febrt, Vice-President of the United States ; 
Address 17 

BioHT Bev. Wm. Bacon Stevens, D. D., L, L. D.; Prayer 19 

Oliveb Wendell Holmes; Hymn-~Welcome to All Nations 21 

Bayard Taylor; Centennial Ode 22 

Dexter Smite; March— Oar National Banner 32 

Hon. Wm, M. Evarts; What the Age Owes to America 33 


Hon. Felix B. Brunot; The Genius Of America 62 

Hon. John M. Kirkpatriok; Echoes from Lezinffton and Bun- 
ker Hill :. 65 


Hon. Henry Chapman; The Magnificent Present 74 

Hon. George Lear; The Beacon Fires of Liberty 76 



Hon. John O'Bybne; The Matchless Story 88 


Hon. CoBTLAHDrr Parker; TheOpenBible 92. 




Col. Albebt B. I/amab; Adilress , 119 



Hon. Hekily Barnard, L. L. D.; Centennial Orowch in Na- 

tioDftlity, Indaetiien and Edar'atioQ 120 

Kev. Joseph H. Xwitoheli.; The Grand Miaiion of Ajneiioa.. 128 


Gen'i. Joseph K Hawley ; Address 16 

PBOr. LsONABD Bacon, B. D-; New Huven One Unndred yciira 
Ago 131 



Hon. Rodebt C. Wchthrop; A Century of Selt-GoTeRiinant 146 

Olives Wendell Holmk; Hymn— Welcome to AllHationa.. 21 


Hon. Charles FfiANcisADAitSi The ProgTeas of Liberty 197 


Hun. Bbooss Adaub; Tbe Oost of Popnlor Liberty 221 


Hon, Besj. Fkanklis 1'houas; The New Century 216 



Dk. J. J. M. Sellman ; The Free Inntitationa of America 229 

-Oen'l F. C Latrobe; Cor National Emblem 235 



De. Peed. A. Palmer; Poem-A Centennial Retrospect 237 





Ex-Gov.JoHN A.Dix; Address 270 

Rev. R. S. Storbb, D. D., L. L. D. ; The lUse of Constitutional 
Liberty 271 

Hon. Wm. M. Evarts; What the Age Owes to America .33 

Wm. CuiXEN Bryant ; Centennial Ode 366 

Bayard Taylor ; Song of 1876 320 

Hon. Fernando Wood ; Democracy the Hope of the Nation ... 321 

Hon, Richard O'Gorman; The Grandeur of Our Republic 328 

Judge H. A. Gildersleeye ; American Citizenship 34l 

Rev. Morgan Dix, D. D.; The Hand of God in History 343 

Rev. Thomas Armitagb, D. D.; Our National Influence 361 

Rev. H. H. B1RKIN8 ; Our Flag 3i8 


Rev. Henry Ward Beeoher ; The Advance of a Century 367 


Hon. Geo. Wm. Curtis ; Our Noble Heritage 376 


Ex. Gk)V, Horatio Seymour ; The Future of the Human Bace. . .381 


Rev. J. P. Gulliver, D. D.; Our Success— Our Future 410 


Hon. Thomas G. Alvord ; The Nation's Jubilee 398 


Rev. Authur E. Chester, D. D. ; The Experiment of a Free 

Government "^7 

Hon. Geo. W. Clinton ; The Spirit of 1876 426 

J. W. Barker ; Centennial Hymn 444 


Alfred B. Street ; A Centennial Hymn— Our Land 445 


Hon. Theodore Bacon ; The Triumphs of the Republic 446 



Judge Edw'd Cantwell ; Union and Reconciliation 459 



Rev. Jeremiah Taylor, D. D. ; Our Republic 468 

Hon. Sam'l G. Arnold ; Providence, Past, Present and Future. .477 





Hon, L. a. OoBWaHT; a B«nmie of Amerioan Hiatot? 487 

Pbof. J. M. XjA^fOSTON, L. L. D. ; The National Vtteranoea and 
Achieveme&ts of oni Fint Centni; 257 


Hon. Daniel BOBBRTS ; Centennia) AddreeB 498 

Hon. Lucius K CanrrENDEx ; TbeOb«MteTOttbe&ftrl;BettIen 
bf Texmout and its Inflneiioe upon tbsii Poateii^ 499 


Hon. Wu. E. AuTHUB ; The Amerioan Age Oontiwted £23 

Hon. J. O. M. Bahsky, M. D.; The Diad of Fatriotum. 643 


Hon. W. T. Avxbi; Hiatorioai Addraaa 565 



Hon, B. K Elliott ; The Oloiioos Epoch 561 

Ret.'Wm.A.Babtlbtt,D. D.; TheFeniianenoyortheSepQblio.710 



Hon. Oeobge W. C. Johnson; Addreas 573 

Oen'l Dubbin Wabd; The Centui? BsTiered 676 


Hon. S. O. Gei3wold; The Changes of a Centin; 593 

Hon. Habvei Rice; Address G17 


Hon. Geo. L. Convkbse ; 




Hon. Thxodobb Bometn ; National Perils and Safegnards 638 

Mayor A. Lewis ; Introdaetoiy Address 653 

Bev. Wm. Airman, D.D.; An Address 650 



Gov. Shelby M. Cullom ; The Distincti\re Features of the Repnblic.6o4 
Hon. Andrew Shuman ; Warnings for the Future 722 



Bev. Wm. A. Bartlett, D.D.; The Pennanency of the Bepnblic . 710 

cmsTwannAiA EXHiBmoN. 

Bev. C. H. Fowler, L. L. D.; Illinois, Besonroes and Record. 662 
Bev. Bob't Collyer, D. D.; ATalktotheGitizensofXaCro8se.765 


Col. Bob't G. Inoersoll ; The Meaning of the Declaration — 6d4 



Bev. T. I. Beason,D.D.; America and Judaism 729 

Miss Sarah Dougherty ; Centennial Address 733 



Gov. J. W. Watts ; The Fundamental Principles of 1876 736 



Hon. Geo. P. Tat30T ; Tho Nation's Birthday 745 



Judge I. C. Parker ; Centennial Oration 756 



Bev. Bob't Collteb, D. D. ; a Talk to the Citizens of La Crosse .765 


Prof. S. H Carpenter, L. L. D.; Elements of Our Prosperity. 776 

Prof. A L. ChaHN, D. D; The Relation of Education to the State.785 
Prof. S. S. Boceford ; The Influence of Popular Education upon 
the Nation 788 




Hon. John F. Dillon ; Oni Ent; and BeaponBibilit; 793 



Hon. Columbcb Drew ; MemoTiMofthePast 809 



Col. Geobgb Flodbjibi ; The First Century Day of tlieHatioa.. BIS 


Rev. Horatio Stkbbins, D, D. ; Human Progrees 824 

T. J. Speab, Esq.; CentenniBl Hymn 836 


•T. PAt'Ii. 

Ex-Oov. C. K. Davis; Tbe Permaueno; of Oar luMitationa 837 



Sam'lL. Sihpmn, Esq.; Poem— The Bonoded Age 819 



Gen'l Nelboh a. Milbs ; Weloome to the Coming Century 867 

GoL. J. H. Oilpatbicr; The Incompmible Bepoblic 869 

L. M. OoDDABD, Esq. ; The Glor;, Growth and OreatnesB of America. MS2 



Gov. Jobs I. Jacobs ; The Temple of National Libertr 8M 

B C. S. Chase ; 177B Commatta iKth 1B76 . 




Sung by One Thousand Voices of the Centennial Choral Society, 
at the Opening of the Centennial Exposition^ May 10, 1876. 

Our fathers' God ! from out whose hand 
The centuries fall like grains of sand, 
We meet to-day, united, free, 
And loyal to our land and Thee, 
To thank Thee for the era done, 
And trust Thee for the opening one. 

Here, where of old, by Thy design. 
The fathers spake that word of Thine, 
Whose echo is the glad refrain 
Of rended bolt and falling chain, 
To grace our festal time, from all 
The zones of earth our guests we call. 

Be with us while the new world greets 

The old world thronging all its streets 
Unvailing all the triumphs won 

By art or toil beneath the sun ; 

And unto common good ordain 

This rivalship of hand and brain. 

Thou, who hast here in concord furled 
The war flags of a gathered world, 
Beneath our Western skies fulfill 
The Orient's mission of good will. 
And, freighted with love's Golden Fleece, 
Send back the Argonauts of peace. 






Citizens op our Centennial : — The regretful absence of the 
President of the United States casts on me the honor of pre- 
siding on this OTentfol occasion. Much as I value the official 
distinction, I prize much more the fact that severally we hold, 
and successfully we maintain, the right to the prouder title of 
American citizen. It ranks all others. It makes office, un- 
makes officers and creates States. One hundred years ago, iu 
yonder historic structure, heroic statesmen sat, and gravely 
chose between royal rule and popular sovereignty. Inspired 
with the spirit which animated the Roman sage on Mars' Hill, 
who declared that of one blood were made all nations of men, 
Continental sages echoed in Independence Hall their immortal 
declaration that all men are created free and equal. Appealing 
to the God of justice and of battle for the rectitude and firmness 
of their purpose, they pledged their hves, their fortunes, and 
their sacred honor to the abstract principle of the freedom and 
equaUty of the human race. 

To-day, in this rounding hour of a century, appealing to the 
same God of justice and of peace, we praise Him for, and pledge 
our hves, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to maintain the 
spirit of that Declaration now made universal by the fundamen- 
tal law of the land. We, the people of the United States, in this 
Centennial memorial, pay double tribute to the Most High — one 
of grateful acknowledgment of the fulfilled pledge of our fathers 
to overthrow royaUsm, — the other of joyful assurance of the ful- 
filling pledge of their sons to uphold repubhcanism. The great 
powers of the earth honor the spirit of American fidelity to the 


canse of buman freedom by the exhibition of their arts and by 
the pre.'^eiice of their titled peers to grace and dignify the world's 
homage paid to the ceDtennial genius of American liberty. 

Three millions of people grown to forty-three millions ; and 
thirteen Colonies enlarged to a nation of thirty-seven States, 
with the thirty-eighth — the Centennial State — forsaking eight 
Territories, and on the threshold of the Union; abiding execu- 
tive admission ; these attest the forecast and majesty of the 
Declaration of 1776. It was nothing short of the utterance of 
the sovereignty of manhood and the worth of American citizen- 
ship. Its force is fast snpplantuig the assumption of the divine 
right of kings, by virtue of the supreme law of the nation that 
the people alone hold the sole power to I'ule. Nations suoceed 
each other in following the example of this republic, and Uie 
force of American institutions bids fair to bring abont a general 
teveiraal of the source of pohtical power. Whenever that 
period shall come, Oreat Britain, so magnanimona in presence 
on this auspicious era, will then, if not before, praise the events 
when American Independence was won under Washington, and 
when Freedom and equality of races were achieved under Lin- 
coln and Orant. 





JULY 4, 1876. 

Almighty and Eternal God, we come before Thee to praise 
Thy glorious name, and to give Thee most humble and hearty 
thanks, for the inestimable blessings which as a Nation we thid 
day enjoy. 

We devoutly recognize Thy Fatherly hand in the planting and 
nurturing of these colonies, in carrying them through the perils 
and trials of war ; in establishing them in peace ; and ^^I'niit- 
ting us to celebrate this hundredth birthday of our Independ- 
ence. We thank Thee, God, that Thou didst inspiie the 
hearts of lliy servants to lay here the foundations of peace and 
liberty ; to proclaim here those principles which have wrought 
out for us such civil and religious blessings ; and to set up here 
a Government which Thou hast crowned by Thy blessing, and 
guarded by Thy hand to this day. 

The whole praise and glory of these great mercies we ascribe, 
O God, to Thee I " Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but imto 
Thy name be all the glory," for by ITiee only, have we been led 
to take our present position among the nations of the earth. As 
Thou wast our Father's God, in times past^ we beseech Thee to 
be our God, in all time to come. Thou hast safely brought us 
to the beginning of another century of national life, defend and 
bless us in the same, O God, with Thy mighty power. Give 
peace and prosperity in all our borders, unity and charity among 
all classes, and a true and hearty love of country to all our peo- 
ple. Keep far from us all things hurtful to the welfare of the 
nation, and give to us all things necessary for our true growth 
and progress. 


Bless Thoa IDghty Ruler of tbo Universe Thy eervaots to 
whom are committed the Executive, the Legislativn and Judicial 
dfovemmeiit of this land ; that Thou wouldst be pleased to direct 
and prosper all their consultations to the adva&cement of Thy 
glory, the good of Thy Church, the safety, honor and welfare of 
T'liy people ; that all things may be so ordered and settled by 
tlieii' endeavors, upon the best and surest foundations, that peace 
and happiness, truth and justice, religion and true liberty may be 
established among us for all generations. Make us to know, 
thorefore, that on this day of our Nutiou'a festivity, and to con- 
Kider it in our hearts, that Thou art God in heaven above, and 
upon the eai-th beneath, and that there ia no Ood else beside 

Enable us to keep Thy statutes and Thy judgments which Thou 
hast commanded, that it may go well with us and with our 
chOdreu ; that we and they may fear Tliy ramo and obey 
Tiiy law, and that I'hou mayeet prolong the days of this nation 
through all coming time. 

EstabUsh Thy kingdom in the midst of this land. Make it 
" Emmanuel's land," a " mountain of holiness and a dwelling 
place of righteousness." 

Inspire Thy Church with the spiritof truth, unity and concord, 
mid grant that every member of the same in bis Toeation and 
ininistrj' may servo Thee faithfully. Bless the rulers of this city 
and commonwealth, and grant that they may f ruly and impai-ti- 
nlly a Jminister justice to the punishment of wickednessand vice, 
and to the maintenance of Thy true religion and virtue. 

Pour out Thy Fatherly blessing upon our whole country, up- 
on all our Uwful pursuits and industries, upon all our house- 
liolils ami institutions of Icaminc; nud benevolence, that n 




8UNO AT PniLADELPniA, JULY 4, 1876. 


Bright on the banners of lily and rose 
Lo, the last sun of our century sets ! 

Wreath the black cannon that scowled on our foes, 
All but her friendships the Nation forgets! 
All but her friends and their welcome forgets ! 

These are around her : But where are her foes ? 
Lo, while the sun of her century sets 
Peace with her garlands of lily and rose ! 


Welcome ! a shout like the war trumpet's swell 

Wakes the wild echoes that slumber around ! 
Welcome ! it quivers from Liberty's bell ; 

Welcome ! the walls of her temple resound ! 

Hark I the gray walls of her temple resound I 
Fade the far voices o'er hill-side and dell ; 

Welcome ! still whisper the echoes around ; 

Welcome ! still trembles on Liberty's bell! 


Thrones of the Continents I Isles of the Sea ! 

Yours are the garlands of peace we entwine ; 
Welcome, once more, to the land of the free, 

Shadowed alike by the palm and the pine ; 

Softly they murmur, the palm and the pine ; 
" Hushed is our strife, in the land of the free ; " 

Over your children their branches entwine, 

Thrones of the Continents! Isles of the Sea! 





Sun of the stately Day. 
Let Asia into the shadow drift, 
Let Eui-0|ie bask in thy ripened ray, 
And over the severing ocean lift 
A brow of broader splendor! 
Give light to the eager eyes 
Of the Land that waits to behold thee riEC : 
The gladness of morning lend her, 
"With the trinmph of noon attend her, 
And the peace of the vesper skies! 
For io ! she cometh now 
With hope on the Up and pride on the brow, 
Stronger, and dearer, and fairer. 
To smile on the love we bear her, — 
To live, as we dreamed her and sought her, 

Liberty's latest danghter 1 
In the clefts of the rocks, in the secret places, 
"We found her traces ; 


With a righteous voice, 
Far-heard through the ages, if not she ? 
For the menace is dumb that defied her, 
The doubt is dead that denied her, 
And she stands acknowledged, and strong and free I 

II.— 1. 

Ah, hark ! the solemn undertone 
On every wind of human story blown. 

A large, divinely-moulded Fate 
Questions the right and purpose of a State, 
And in its plan sublime 

Our eras are the dust of Time. 

The far-off Yesterday of power 
Creeps back with stealthy feet, 

Invades the lordship of the hour. 
And at our banquet takes the unbidden seat. 
From all unchronicled and silent ages 
Before the Future first begot the Past, 

Till History dared, at last. 
To write eternal words on granite pages ; 
From Egypt's tawny drift, and Assur's mound. 

And where, uplifted, white and far, 

Earth highest yearns to meet a star. 
And Man his manhood by the Ganges found, — 
Imperial heads, of old millennial sway, 

And still by some pale splendor crowned, 
Chill as a corpse-light in our full-orbed day, 

In ghostly grandeur rise 
And say, through stony lips and vacant eyes : 
" Thou that assertest freedom, power and fame, 
Declare to us thy claim ! " 

I.— 2. 

On the shores of a Continent cast. 
She won the inviolate soil 


By loBB of heirdom of all tbe Past, 
And faitli in the royal right of Toil I 
She planted homes on the Earage Bod : 
Into the wildernesB lone 
She walked with fearless feet 
In her hand the divining-rod, 
Till the veins of the mountains bent 
With fire of metal and force of stone ! 
She Bet the speed of the river-head 

To turn the mills of her bread ; 
She drove her plowshare deep 
Through the prairie's thousand-centnried sleep 
To the South, and West, and North, 
She called Pathfinder forth, 
Her faithful and eole companion, 
Where the flushed Sierra, snowy-starred. 

Her way to the sunset barred. 
And the nameless livers in thunder and foam 
Channeled the ten-ible canyon ! 
Nor paused, till her uttermost home 
Was built, in the smile of a softer sky 

And the glory of beauty still to be. 
Where the haunted waves of Asia die 
On the strand of the world-wide seat 

If.— 2. 
The race, in conquering. 
Some fierce Titanic joy of conquest knowB 


Blending all forms in one benignant glow, — 

Crowned conscience, tender care. 
Justice, that answers every bondman's prayer, 
Freedom where Faith may lead or Thought may dare. 

The power of minds that know, 

Passion of hearts that feel, 

Purchased by blood and woe. 

Guarded by fire and steel. — . 
Hath she secured ? What blazon on her shield, 

In the clear Century's light 

Shines to the world revealed, 
Declaring nobler triumph, bom of Right? 

I.— 3. 

Foreseen in the vision of sages. 
Foretold when martyrs bled. 
She was born of the longing ages, 
By the truth of the noble dead 
And the fate of the living fed ! 
ISo blood in her lightest veins 
Frets at remembered chains. 
Nor shame of bondage has bowed her head. 
In her form and features still 
The unblenching Puritan will, 
Cavalier honor, Huguenot grace. 
The Quaker truth and sweetness. 
And the strength of the danger-girdled race 
Of Holland, blend in a proud completeness. 
From the homes of all, where her being began, 
She took what she gave to Man : 
Justice, that knew no station. 

Belief, as soul decreed. 
Free air for aspiration. 
Free force for independent deed 1 
She takes, but to give again. 
As the sea returns the rivers in rain ; 


And gallicrs die cliosea of her seed 
From tlie liimted of everj crown and creed, 
Her Germany dwells by a gentler Khine ; 
Her Ireland sees the old annborste Bhine ; 
Her France pursnee some dream divine ; 
Her Norway keeps his nionntain pine ; 
Iler Italy waits by the wesem brine ; 

And broad-based nnder all, 
Is planted England's oaken-hearted mood, 

As rich in fortitude 
As e'er went worldward from the island-wall 1 

Fased in her candid light, 
To one strong race all races here unite : 
Tongues melt in hers, hereditary foemen 
Forget their sword and slogan, kith and clan ; 

'Twas glory, once, to be a Koman ; 
She makes it glory, now, to be a Man I 

n.— 3. 

Bow down ! 
Doff thine seonion crown I 

One honr forget 
The glory, and recall the debt 

Make expiation. 

Of humbler mood, 
For the pride of thine exultation 
O'er peril conqnereil and strife subdued ! 
But half'tlic riHit is wrested 


And virtue schooled in long denial, 
The tests that wait for thee 
In larger perils of prosperity. 

Here, at the Century's awful shrine, 
Bow to thy father's God — and thine ! 

Behold! she bendeth now, 
Humbling the ehaplet of her hundredycars : 
There is a solemn sweetness on her brow, 
And in her eyes are sacred tears. 
Can she forget. 
In present joy, the burden of her debt, 
When for a captive race 
She grandly staked and won 
The total promise of her power begun, 

And bared her bosom's grace 
To the sharp wound tliat inly tortures yet ? 

Can slie foi-get 
The million graves her young devotion set, 

The hands that clasp above 

From either side, in sad, returning love? 

Can she forget ? 

Here, where the Ruler of to-day, 

The Citizen of to-morrow, 

And equal thousands to rejoice and pray 

Beside these holy walls are met, 
Her birth-cry, mixed of keenest bliss and sorrow? 
Where, on July's immortal morn 
Held forth, the People saw her head 
And shouted to the world : "The King is dead, 

But lo ! the Heir is born !" 
When lire of Youth, and sober trust of Age, 
In Farmer, Soldier, Priest and Sage, 
Arose and cast upon her 
Baptismal g»irmonts, — never robes so fair 


Clad prince in Oid-World air, — 
Tlieii" lives, their tbrtiineB, and their sacred lienor. 
II.— 4. 
Arise 1 Re-crown tliy head, 
Badiant with blessing of the Dead ! 

Bear from this liallowcd place 
Tlie prayer that purifies thy lips, 
The light of courage that defies eclipse. 
The roBC of Man's new morning on thy face ? 

Let no iconoclast 
Invade thy rising Pantheon of tlio Pitst, 

To make a blank where Adams stood. 
To touch the Father's sheathed and sacred Llade, 
Spoil crowns on Jefferson and Franklin laid, 
Or wash from Freedom's feet tiie stain of Lincoln's blood ! 
Hearken, as from that haonted liall 
Their voices call : 
" We lived and died for thee : 
We greatly dared that thou mightst be : 
So, from ihy children still 
We claim denials which at last fulfil,' 
And freedom yielded to preserve thee free 1 
Beside clear-heai-ted Right 
That smiles at Power's uplifted rod, 
Plant Duties that requite. 
And Order that sustains, upon thy sod, 
And stand in stainless might 


Of something nobler that our sons may see ! 

Though poignant memories bum 
Of days that were, and may again return, 
When thy fleet foot, O Huntress of the Woods, 
Thy slippery brinks of danger knew, 

And dim the eyesight grew 
That was so sure in thine old solitudes,— 

Yet stays some richer sense 
Won from the mixture of thine elements. 

To guide the vagrant scheme. 
And winnow truth from each conflicting dream I 

Yet in thy blood shall live 
Some force unspent, some essence primitive. 
To seize the highest use of things ; 
For Fate, to mold thee to her plan. 

Denied thee food of kings. 
Withheld the udder and the orchard-fruits, 

Fed thee with savage roots. 
And forced thy harsher milk from barren breasts of man I 

HI.— 2. 

O sacred Woman-Form, 
Of the first People's need and passion wrought, — 

No thin, pale ghost of Thought, 
But fair as Morning and as heart's-blood warm, — 
Wearing thy priestly tiar on Judah's hills ; 
Clear-eyed beneath Athene's helm of gold ; 

Or from Rome's central seat 
Hearing the pulses of the Continents beat 
In thunder where her legions rolled ; 
Compact of high heroic hearts and wills, 

Whose being circles all 
The selfless aims of men, and all fulfills ; 
Thyself not free, so long as one is thrall ; 
Goddess, that as a Nation lives, 

And as a Nation dies, 

30 OUB NATIONAL jimtuai 

That for hei' cliildren as :i mac defius, 
And to lier cliildren hb a mother givoe, — 

Take our freeb fealty now ! 
Xo more a CliieftainesB, with wtinipiinizono 

And I'eatlicr-cirictured brow, — 
No more a new Bntaitiu:i, grown 
To spread an ctiual banner to llie breeze, 
And lift thy trident o'er the double seas; 

Bnt with unborrowed crest, 
111 thine own native beauty dressed, — 
Tlie front of pure command, the nnflinching eye, thine own I 

111.— 3. 

Look np, look forth, and on 1 

There's light in the dawning sky : 
Tlie clouds arc parting, the night is gone : 

Prepare for the work of the day ! 

Fallow thy pastures lie 

And far thy shepherds stray, 
And the tields of thy vast domain 

Are waiting for purer seed 

Of knowledge, desire, and deed. 
For keener simshine and mellower rain t 

But keep thy garments pure : 
Pluck them back, with the old disdain, 

From touch of the hands that stain I 

So shall thy strength endure. 
TrsDsmutc into good the gold of Gain, 


And the day shall never come, 
That finds us weak or dumb 
To join and smite and cry 
In the great task, for thee to die, 
And the greater task, for thee to live 1 




O'er the higli and o'er the lowly 
Floats that bauner bright and hoty 

In tho rays of freedom's sun ; 
In the nation's heart imbedded, 
O'er our Union nowly wedded, 

One in all, and all in one. 

Let the banner wave forever. 

May its histrons stars I'ado never, 

Till the stars shall palo on high ; 
While there's right the wroug defeating, 
While there's hope in true heart beating, 
Truth luid freedom shall not die. 





I. • 

The event which to-day we commemorate supplies its own re- 
flections and enthusiasms and brings its own plaudits. They do 
not at all hang on the voice of the speaker, nor do they greatly 
depend upon the contacts and associations of the place. The 
Declaration of American Independence was, when it occurred, a 
capital transaction inhuman afiEairs; as such it has kept its 
place in history ; as such it will maintain itself while human 
interest in human institutions shall endure. The scene and the 
actors, for their profound impression upon the world, at the 
time and ever since, have owed nothing to dramatic effects, no- 
thing to epical exaggerations. To the eye there was nothing 
wonderful, or vast^ or splendid, or pathetic in the movement or 
the display. Imagination or art can give no sensible grace or 
decoration to the persons, the place, or the performance, which 
made up the business of that day. The worth and force that 
belong to the agents and the action rest wholly on the wisdom, 
the courage, and the faith that formed and executed the great 
design, and the potency and permanence of its operation upon 
the affjEkirs of the world which, as foreseen and legitimate conse- 
quences, followed. The dignity of the act is the deliberate, cir- 
cumspect, open, and serene performance by these men in the 
dear light of day, and by a concurrent purpose of a civic duty, 
which embraced the greatest hazards to themselves and to all 
the people from whom they held this deputed discretion, but 
which, to their sober judgments, promised benefits to that people 
and their posterity, from generation to generation, exceeding 
these hazards and commensurate with its own fitness. The 
question of their conduct is to be measured by the actual weight 
and pressure of the manifold considerations which surrounded 
the subject before them, and by the abundant evidence that they 
comprehended their vastness and variety. By a voluntary and 
responsible dioice they willed to do what was done and what, 


■^thout their will, would Dot have been done. Thna estimated, 
the illostrioaa act covers all who participated in it with its own 
renown, and maJtea them forever conspicuous among men, as 
it is forever &moaa among events. And thna the signers of the 
t>eclaration of our Independence " wrote their names where all 
nations should behold tkem, and all time should not efface 
them." It was, " in the course of human events," intrusted to 
them to determine whether the fulnera of time had come when a 
nation should be bom in a day. They declared the independence 
of a new nation in the sense in which men declare emancipa- 
f i(tii or declare war ; the declaration created what was declared. 
r Famous always, among men, are the founders of States, and 
Uortunate above all others in such fame are these, our fathers, 
whose combined wisdom and courage began the great structure 
of our national existence, and laid sure the foundations of 
liberty and justice on which it rests. Fortunate, first, in the 
clearness of their title uud in the world's acceptance of their 
rightful claim. Fortunate, next, in the enduring magnitude of 
the State they founded and the benifioence of its protection of 
the vast interests of human life and happiness which have here 
had their home. Fortunate, again, in the admiring imitation of 
their work, which the institutiona of the most powerful and most 
advanced nations more and more exhibit ; and last of all, fortu- 
nate in the full demonstration of our later time that their worlc 
is adequate to withstand the most disastrous storms of human 
fortunes, and survive unwrecked, unshaken and unharmed. 

This day has now been celebrated by a great people, at each 
recurrence of its anniversary, for a hundred years, with every 
form of ostentatious joy, with every demonstration of respect 
yriititu'k' for the ancestral virtue which ernve it its i 



Philosopliy has divined the secrets of all this power, and elo- 
Grandenr of the quence emblazoned the magnificence of all its re- 
work of 1T7C suits. The heroic war which fooght out the acqui- 
escence of the Old World in the independence of the New; the 
manifold and masterly forms of noble character and of patient 
and serene wisdom which the great influences of the times begat; 
the large and splendid scale on which these elevated purposes 
were wrought out, and the majestic proportions to which they 
have been filled up ; the unended line of eventful progress, cast- 
ing ever backward a flood of light upon the sources of the origi- 
nal energy, and ever forward a promise and a prophecy of unex- 
hausted power — all these have been made famihar to our people 
by the genius and the devotion of historians and orators. The 
greatest statesmen of the Old World for this same period of 100 
years have traced the initial step in these events, looked into 
the nature of the institutions thus founded, weighed by the Old 
World wisdom, and measured by recorded experience, the prob- 
able fortunes of this new adventure on an unknown sea. This 
circumspect and searching survey of our wide field of poHtical 
and social experiment, no doubt, has brought them a diversity 
of judgment as to the past and of expectation as to the future. 
But of the magnitude and the novelty and the power of the for- 
ces set at work by the event we commemorate, no competent 
authorities have ever greatly differed. The cote^nporary judg- 
ment of Burke is scarcely an overstatement of the European 
opinion of the immense import of American indepeudence. He 
declared : " A great revolution has happened — a revolution 
made, not by chopping and changing of power in any of the ex- 
isting States, but by the appearance of a new State, of a new 
species, in a new part of the globe. It has made as great a change 
in all the relations and balances and gravitations of power as the 
appearance of a new planet would in the system of the solai 

It is easy to understand that the rupture between the Colo- 
nies and the mother country might have worked a result of po- 
litical independence that would have involved no such mighty 
consequences as are here so strongly announced by the most 


philosophic statesman of hiB age. The resistance of the Colo- 
' nies, which came to a head Id the revolt, was led Id the name 
and for the maintenanoe of the liberties of Englishmen, against 
Forliameutar; nanrpation and a subversion of the British Con- 
stitntion. A trinmph of those hberties might have ended in an 
emancipation from the rule of the English Parliament^ and a 
continned submission to the scheme aod system of the British 
moncirchy, with an American Parliament adjusted thereto, npon 
the true principles of the English Constitution. Whether this 
new political establishment should have maintained loyalty to 
the British sovereign, or should have been organized under a 
crown and throne of its own, the transaction would, then, have 
had no other importance than such as belongs to a dismember- 
ment of existing empire, but with preservatioQ of existing insti- 
tutioDS. There would have been, to be sure, a " new state," but 
not " of a new species," and that it was " in a r^ew part of the 
globe " would have gone for to make the dismemberment but a 
temporary and drcumetantial disturbance in the old order of 

Indeed, the solidity and perpetuity of that order might have 
been greatly confirmed by this propagation of the model of tiie 
European monarchies on the boundless regions of this continent 
It is precisely here that the Declaration of Independence has its 
immense importanca As a civil act, and by the people's de- 
cree — and not by the achievement of the army, or through 
military motives— at the first stage of the conflict it assigned a 
new nationahty, with ite own institutions, as the civilly preor- 
dained end to be fought for and secured. It did not leave it to be 
an after-ftnit of triumphant war, shaped and measured by mil- 


oos; and the second, that the new nation would always be the 
mistress of its own institutions. This might not have been its 
&te had a triumphant army won the prize of independence, not 
as a task set for it by the people, and done in its service, but by 
its own might, and held by its own title, and so to be shaped 
and dealt with by its own wilL 


There is the best reason to think that the Congress which de- 
objeeii of the clared our independence gave its chief solicitude, not 
Kevoiatioo to the hazards of mihtary failure, not to the chance 
of miscarriage in the project of separation from England, but to 
the grave responsibiHty of the military success — of which they 
made no doubt — and as to what should replace, as government 
to the new nation, the monarchy of England, which they con- 
sidered as gone to them forever from the date of the Declaration. 

Nor did this Congress feel any uncertainty, either in disposition 
or expectation, that the natural and necessary result would pre- 
clude the formation of the new Govei-nment out of any other 
materials than such as were to be found in society as established 
on this side of the Atlantic These materials they foresaw were 
capable of, and would tolerate, only such poUtical establishment 
as would maintain and perpetuate the equality and liberty al- 
ways enjoyed in the several colonial communities. But all these 
limitations upon what was possible still left a large range of 
anxiety as to what was probable, and might become actual. One 
thing was too essential to be left uncertain, and the founders of 
this nation determined that there never should be a moment 
when the several communities of the different colonies should lose 
the character of component parts of one nation. By their plan- 
tation and growth up to the day of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence they were subjects of one sovereignty, bound together in 
one political connection, parts of one country, under one consti- 
tution, with one destiny. Accordingly the Declaration, by its 
very terms, made the act of separation a dissolving by " one peo- 
ple" of ''the political bands that have connected them with 
another," and the proclamation of the right and of the fact of 
independent nationality was, *' that these United Colonies are, 
and of right ought to be, free and independent States." 


It was thus that, at one breath, " independence and nnioQ " 
were declared and establiBhed. The confirmation of the first 
bj wnr, and of the second by civil wisdom was bat the execa- 
tioD of the single design which it is the glory of this great in- 
etnunentof our National existence to have framed and an- 
nounced. The recognition of our independence, first by Franco 
and then by Great Britain, the closer union by the Articles of 
Confederation, and the final unity by the Federal Constitution 
were all but muniments of title of that " hberty and union, one 
and inseparable," which were proclaimed at this place and on 
this day 100 years ago, which have been our possession from 
that moment hitherto, and which we surely avow shall be our 
possession forever. 

Seven years of revolutionary war, and twelve years of con- 
summate civil prudence brought us, in turn, to the conclusive 
peace of 1783, and to the perfected Constitution of 1787. Few 
chapters of the world's history covering such brief periods, are 
crowded with so many illustrious names, or made up of events 
of so deep and permanent interest to mankind. I cannot stay 
to recall to your attention these characters, or these incidents, 
OF to renew the gratitude and applause with which we nevei 
cease to contemplate them. It is only their relation to the De- 
claration of Independence itself, that I need to insist upon, and 
to the new State which it brought into existence. In this view 
thi'30 progressive processes were but the articulation of the 
members of the State, and the adjustment of its circulation to 
thu new centres of its vital power. These processes were all 
implied and Included in this political creation, and were as ne- 
cessary and as certain, if it were not to languish and to die, as 


and tested, as in a fiery furnace, and proved to be dependent 
upon no shifting vicissitudes of acquiescence, no partial dissents 
or discontents, but, so far as is predicable of human fortunes, 
irrevocable, indestructible, perpetual. Casibua hose nullis, nullo 
dddyUis cevo. 


We may be quite sure that the high resolve to stake the fu- 
OarNevPoUticai ture of a great people upon a system of society 
System. an(j of polity that should dispense with the dog- 
mas, the experience, the traditions, the habits, and the senti- 
ments upon which the firm and durable fabric of the British 
Constitution had been built up, was not taken without a solici- 
tous and competent survey of the history, the condition, the 
temper, and the moral and intellectual traits of the people for 
whom the decisive step was taken. 

It may, indeed, be suggested that the main body of the ele- 
ments, and a large share of the arrangements, of the new 
government were expected to be upon the model of the. British 
system, and that the substantials of civil and rehgious liberty 
and the institutions for their maintenance and defense were 
already the possession of the people of England and the birth- 
right of the colonists. But this consideration does not much 
disparage the responsibility assumed in discarding the correla- 
tive parts of the Biitisli Constitution. I mean the Established 
Church and Throne ; the permanent power of a hereditary 
peerage ; the confinement of popular represeutation to the 
wealthy and educated classes ; and the ideas of all participation 
by the people in their own government coming by gracious con- 
cession from the royal prerogative and not by inherent right in 
themselves. Indeed, the counter consideration, so far as the 
question was to be solved by experience, would be a ready one. 
The foundation, and the walls, and the roof of this firm and 
noble edifice, it would be said, are all fitly framed together in the 
substantial institutions you propose to omit from your plan and 
modeL The convenience, and safety, and freedom, the pride and 
happiness which the inmates of tbis temple and fortress enjoy, as 
the rights and liberties of Englishmen, are only kept in place and 


[da; because of the firm structure of these aacient strongholds of 
religion and law, which you now desei-t and itiase to build anew. 

Our fathers had formed their opiniona upon wiser and deeper 
Tiewe of man and Providence than these, and the; bad the cou- 
rage of their opinio ub. 

Tracing tbe progress of mankind in the ascending path of civ- 
ilization, enlightenment, and moral and intellectual culture, 
they found that the Divine ordinance of government, in every 
stage of the ascent, was adjustable on principles of common rea- 
HOn to the actual condition of a people, and always had for its 
objects, in the benevolent councils of the Divine wisdom, the 
happiness, tlie expansion, the security, the elevation of society, 
and the redemption of man. They sought in vain for any title of 
authority of man over man, except of superior capadty and high- 
er morality. They found the origin of castes and ranks, and 
piindpalities and powers, temporal or spiritual, in this concep- 
tion. They recognized the people as the structure, the temple, 
the fortress, which the great Artificer aU the while cared for and 
built up. As through the long march of time this work ad- 
vanced, the forms and fashions of government seemed to them 
to be but the scaffolding and apparatus by which the develop- 
ment of a people's greatness was shaped and sustained. Satis- 
fied that the people whose institutions were now to be projecteil 
had reached all that measure of streogtb and fitness of prepara- 
tion for self-government which old inatitutions could give, they 
fearlessly seized the happy opportunity to clothe the people with 
the majestic attribates of their own sovereignty, and consecrate 
them to the administration of their own priesthood. 

The repudiation by England of the spiritual power of Borne at 
the time of the Reformation was by every estimate a stupendous 


peror as the imperaonatioii and depositary in him and his line 
forever of the people's sovereignty. The founders of our C!ommon- 
wealth conceived that the people of these colonies needed no 
interception of the supreme control of their own aflGeurs, no con- 
ciliations of mere names and images of power from which the 
pith and vigor of authority had departed. They, therefore, did 
not hesitate to throw down the partitions of power and right and 
break up the distributive shares in authority of ranks and orders 
of men which indeed had ruled and advanced the development 
of society in civil and religious Hberty, but might well be neglected 
when the protected growth was assured and all tutelary super- 
vision for this reason henceforth could only be obstructive and 

A glance at the fate of the Enghsh essay at a commonwealth, 
En^ishandFraich which preceded, and to the French experiment 
itopabUcs. at a repubHc, which followed our own institution 
" of a new State of a new species," will show the marvelous wis- 
dom of our ancestors, which struck the line between too Httle and 
too much ; which walked by faith, indeed, for things invisible, but 
yet by sight for things visible ; which dared to appropiiate 
everything to the people which had belonged to Ceesar, but to 
assume for mortals nothing that belonged to God. 

No doubt it was a deliberation of prodigious difficulty, and a 
decision of infinite moment, which should settle the new institu- 
tions of England after the execution of the King, and determine 
whether they should be popular or monarchial. The problem 
was too vast for Cromwell and the great men who stood 
about him, and, halting between the only possible opinions they 
simply robbed the throne of stability, without giving to the peo- 
ple the choice of their rulers. Had Cromwell assumed the state 
and style of Eang, and assigned the Constitutional limits of pre- 
rogative, the statesmen of England would have anticipated the 
establishment of 1688, and saved the disgraces of the intervening 
record. If, on the other hand, the ever-recarring consent of the 
people in vesting the Chief Magistracy had been accepted for the 
Constitution of the State, the revolution would have been intelli- 


gible, and might have proved penaaneDt. But wlint a " Lord 
Protector " was nobody knew, aud wliat he might grow to be 
everj'body wondered and feared. The aristocracy could endure 
no dignity above them less thau a king'a The people knew the 
measure and the title of the chartei'ed liberties which bad beou 
wrested or yielded from tlie King's pi-erogative ; but what the 
division between them and a Lord Protector would be no one 
could forecast. A brief fluttering between tbo firmnment above 
and the firm earth beneath, with no poiae with either, and the 
discordant scheme was rolled away as a scrolL A hundred years 
tifter ward Montesquieu derided "this impotent effort of the Eng- 
lish toestablish a democracy,'' and divined the true cause of it£ fail- 
ure. The supreme place, no longer sacred by the divinity that 
doth hedge about a king, irritated the aml^itious to which it was 
inaccessible, except by faction and violence. "The Government 
was incessantly changed, end the astoniKbed people sought for 
democracy and found It nowhere. After much violence and 
many shocks and blows, they were fain to fall back upon the 
same goveriiinent they had overthrown." 

The EngU^h experiment to make a commonwealth without 
sinking its foundations into the firm bed of popular sovereignty, 
necessarily failed. Its example and its lesson, unquestionably, 
were of the greatest service in sobering the spirit of Enghsh 
reform in government, to the solid establishment of constitu- 
tional monarchy, on the expulsion of the Stnarts, and in giving 
courage to the statesmen of the American Revolution to push on 
to the solid establishment of republican government, vdth the 
consent of the people as its every-day working force. 

But if the English experiment stumbled in its logic by not 
going far enough, the French philosophers came to greater dis- 


of Shinar, which should overtop the battlements of heaven, and 
to frame a constitution of human afEiedrs that should displace the 
providence of God. A confusion of tongues put an end to this 
ambition. And now out of all its evil have come the salutary 
checks and discipline in freedom, which have brought passionate 
and fervid France to the scheme and frame of a sober and firm 
republic like our own, and, we may hope, as durable. 


How much, then, hung upon the decision of the great day we 

Oar Debt to the Celebrate, and upon the wisdom and the will of 

Men of 1776. ^q u^^h ^Jjq fixed the immediate, and if so, the 

present fortunes of this people. If the body, the spirit, the tex- 
ture of our political life had not been collectively declared on 
this day, who can be bold enough to say when and how inde- 
pendence, liberty, union would have been combined, confirmed 
assured to this people ? Behold, now, the greatness of our debt 
to this ancestry, and the fountain, as from a rock smitten in the 
wildemess, from which the stream of this nation's growth and 
power takes its source. For it is not alone in the memory of 
their wisdom and virtues that the founders of a State transmit 
and perpetuate their influences in its lasting fortunes, and shape 
the character and purposes of its future rulers. " In the birth 
of societies," says Montesquieu, " it is the chiefs of- a State that 
make its institutions ; and afterward it is these institutions that 
form the chiefs of the State." 

And what was this people and what their traits and training 
that could justify this congress of their great men in promul- 
gating the profound views of government and human nature 
which the Declaration embodies and expecting their accept- 
ance as " self-evident ? " How had their lives been disciplined 
and how their spirits prepared that the new-launched ship, 
freighted with all their fortunes, could be trusted to their guid- 
ance with no other chart or compass than these abstract truths ? 
What warrant was there for the confidence that upon these plain 
precepts of equahty of right, community of interest, reciprocity 
of duty, a polity could be framed which might safely discard 
Egyptian mystery, and Hebrew reverence, and Grecian subtlety. 


and Roman strength — dispense, even, with English traditions oi 

To these questions the niiBwor was ready and Rufficteni The 
delegates to this immortal assembly, lipcukiug for the whole 
eonntry and for the respective colonies, their constituents, might 
well say ; 

" What we are, such are this people. We are not here as vol- 
unteers, but as their repreaentativea We have been designated 
by no pre^ious official statioo, taken from no one employment or 
condition of life, cliosen from the people ut large because they 
cannot assemble in person, and selected because they know our 
sentiments, and we theirs, on the momentous question which our 
dehberations are to decide. They know that the result of all 
hangs on the intelligence, the courage, the constancy, the spirit 
of the people themselves. If these have risen to a height, and 
grown to a strength and unanimity that our judgment measui'es 
as adequate to the struggle for independence and the whole sum 
of their hberties, they will accept that issue and follow that lead. 
They have taken up arms to maintaiu their rights, and will not 
lay them down till those rights are assured. What the uatm-e 
and sanctions of this security are to be they understand must be 
determined by uuiteil counsels audconcert^d action. These they 
have deputed ua to settle and proclaim, and this we have done 
to-day. What we have declared the people will avow and confirm. 
Henceforth it is to this people a wur for the defense of their 
united independence against it« overthrow by foreign aims. Of 
ihat war there can be but one issue. And for the rest, as to the 
Constitution of the new State, its species is disclosed by its ez- 


for the people. So it must remain, unless foreign conquest or 
domestic usurpation shall change it Whether it shall be a Just, 
wise, or prosperous goyemment, it must be a popular govern- 
ment, and correspond with the wisdom, justice, and fortunes of 
the peopla" 


And so this people, of various roots and kindred of the Old 
Attnctions of World — settled and transfused in their cisatlantic 
Scif-govemment. home into harmonious fellowship in the sentimentsi 
the interests, the habits, the affections which develop and sustain 
a love of country — were committed to the common fortunes 
which should attend an absolute trust in the primary relations 
between man and his fellows and between man and his Maker. 
This Northern Continent of America had been opened and pre- 
pared for the traubplantation of the fall-grown manhood of the 
highest civilization of the Old World to a place where it could 
be free from mixture or collision with competing or hostile ele- 
ments, and separated from the weakness and the burdens which 
it would leave behind. The impulses and attractions which 
moved the emigration and directed it hither, various in form, 
yet had so much a common character as to merit the description 
of being pubhc, elevated, moral, or religious. They included 
the desire of new and better opportunities for institutions con- 
sonant with the dignity of human nature and with the immortal 
and infinite relations of the race. In the language of the times 
the search for civil and rehgious liberty animated the Pilgrims, 
the Puritans, and the Churchmen; the Presbyterians, the Catho- 
hes, and the Quakers; the Huguenots, the Dutch, and the 
Walloons; the Waldenses, the Germans, and the Swedes, in 
their several migrations which made ap the colonial population. 
Their experience and fortunes here had done nothing to reduce, 
everything to confirm, the views and traits which brought them 
hither. To sever all political relations, then, with Europe, 
seemed to these people but the realization of the purposes which 
had led them across the ocean — ^but the one thing needful to 
complete this continent for their home, and to give the absolute 
assurance of that higher life which they wished to lead. The 


preparutioii of tbo past imd tbe eDthnninsms of the fatiire 
conspired to fiivor the project of Belf-goveriiment and inveet it 
with a moral grandenr which fiimisbej the hest omens and the 
best guarantees for ita prcisperity. Instead of a capricious and 
giddy exaltation of spirit, as at new-gained liberty, a sober and 
solemn sense of tho hirgei- trust and duty took possession of 
their souls ; as if tho Great Miuster had found them faithful over 
ii few things, ami had now made them rulers over many. 

, These feelings, common to the whole population, were not <i 
/ sudden origin and were not I'omantic, nor had tlifv any tendency 

I, to evaporate in noisy boasts or to run wild in air-drawn projects. 
The difference between equahty and privilege, betweeen civil 
rights nnd capricious favors, between freedom of consctenceand 
persecution for conscience' sake, were not matters of moot 
debate or abstract conviction with our countrymen. The story 
of these battles of our race was the warm and living memory of 
their forefathers' share in them, for which, " to avoid insufferable 
grievances at home, they had been enforced by heaps to leave 
their native connfriea," They proposed to settle forever the 
question whether such grievances should possibly befall them or 
their posterity. They knew no plan so sunple, so comprehenaive, 
or BO sure to thia end as to solve all tho luinor difficulties in the 
government of society by a radical basis for its source, a common 
field for its operation, and an authentic and dehberato method 
for consulting and enforcing the will of the people as the sole 
authority of the State. 

By this wisdom they at least would shift, within the sphere cf 
government, the continuous warfare of human nature, on the 
field of good and evil, light and wrong. 


stances they would themselves have been capable of self-gov« 
emment ; or, that other people then were, or ever would be so 
capable. Their knowledge of mankind showed them that there 
would be faults and crimes as long as there were men. Their 
faith taught them that this corruptible would put on incorrup- 
tion only when this mortal should put on immortality. Never- 
theless they believed in man and trusted in God, and on 
these imperishable supports they thought they might rest 
civil government for a people who had these living conceptions 
wrought into their own characters and lives. 

The past and the present are the only means by which man 
foresees or shapes the future. Upon the evidence of the past, 
the contemplation of the present of this people, our statesmen 
were vdlling to commence a system which n^ust contiaually 
draw for its sustenance and growth upon the .virtue and vigor 
of the people. From this virtue and this vigor it can alone be 
nourished ; it must decline in their decline and rot in their 
decay. They traced this vigor and virtue to inexhaustible 
springs. And, as the unspent heat of a lava soil, quickened by 
the returning summers through the vintage of a thousand 
years, will still glow in the grape and sparkle in the wine, so 
will the exuberant forces of a race supply an unstinted vigor to 
mark the virtues of immense populations and to the remotest 

To the frivolous philosophy of human life which makes all 
the world a puppet show, and history a book of anecdotes, the 
moral warfare which fills up the life of man and the record of 
his race seems as unreal and as aimless as the conflicts of the 
glittering hosts upon an airy field, whose display lights up the 
fleeting splendors of a northern night. But free government 
for a great people never comes from or gets aid from such philo- 
sophers. To a true spiritual discernment there are few things 
more real, few things more substantial, few things more likely 
to endure in this world than human thoughts, human passions, 
human interests, thus molten into the frame and model of our 
State. " morem prcedaram^ disciplinamque, quam a majoribus 
accepimus, si quidem teneremus ! " 

I have made no account, as unsuitable to the occasion, of the 


dishibution of the national power between the General and the 

State goTCTDinenta, or of the special airangemente of executive 
atithorit;, of legislatores, cotirte, and magistraciee, whether of the 
tieneral or of the State establishments. GollectiYely the; form 
the body and the frame of a complete government for a great, 
opulent, and powerful people, occupying vast regions, and em- 
bracing in their possessions a wide range of diversity of climate, 
of Roll, and of all the circamstantial influences of external nature. 
I have pointed your attention to the principle and the spirit of 
the government for which all this frame and body exists, to 
which they are subservient, and to whose mastery they must con- 
form. The life of the natural body is the blood, and the drcnla- 
tion of the moral aud intellectual forces and impulses of the body 
politic, shapes and moulds the national life. I have touched, 
therefore, upon the traits that determined this national life, as 
to be of, from, and for the people, and not of, from, or for any 
rank, grade, part, or section of them. lu these traits are found 
the " ordinances, constitutions, and customs " by a wise choice of 
which the founders of States may. Lord Bacon says, " bow great- 
ness to their posterity and succession." 

And now, after a century of growth, of trial, of experience, of 
observation, and of demonstration, we are met, on the spot and 
on the date of the great Declaration to compare onr age with 
that of our fathers, our structure with flieir foundation, our in- 
tervening histoiy and present condition with tlieir faith and 
prophecy. That "respect to the opinion of mankind," in atten- 
tion to which our statesmen framed the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, we, too, acknowledge as a sentiment most &i to influence 
us in our commemorative gratolations to-day. 


or have the mother conntries received back to the shelter of 
firmer institutions the repentant tide of emigration? or have the 
woes of mistable society distressed and reduced the shrunken 
population ? Has the free suffrage, as a quicksand, loosened the 
foundations of power and undermined the pillars of the State? 
Has the free press, with illimitable sweep, blown down the props 
and buttresses of order and authority in Government, driven be- 
fore its wind the barriers which fence in society, and unroofed 
the homes which once were castles against the intrusion of a 
King ? Has freedom in rehgion ended in freedom from rehgion, 
and independence by law run into independence of law ? Have 
free schools, by too much learning, made the people mad? Have 
manners decHued, letters languished, art faded, wealth decayed, 
pubHc spirit withered ? Have other nations shunned the evil exam- 
ple, and held aloof from its infection ? Or have reflection and hard 
fortune dispelled the illusions under which this people " burned 
incense to vanity, and stumbled in their ways from the ancient 
paths ?" Have they, fleeing from the double destruction which 
attends folly and arrogance, restored the throne, rebuilt the al- 
tar, relaid the foundations of society, and again taken shelter in 

the old protections against the perils, shocks, and changes in 
human affau*s, which 

*' IMvert and crack, rend and deracinate 
The nnity and married calm of States 
Qoite from their flxtnre 1" 

Who can recount in an hour what has been done in a century, 
on so wide a field, and in all its multitudinous aspects ? Yet I 
may not avoid insisting upon some decisive lineaments of the 
material, social, and political development of our country which 
the record of the hundred years displays, and thus present to 
the *' opinion of mankind," for its generous judgment, our nation 
as it is to-day — our land, our people, and our laws. And, first, 
we notice the wide territory to which we have steadily pushed 
on our limits. Lines of chmate mark our boundaries north and 
south, and two oceans east and west The space between, speak- 
ing by and large, covers the whole temperate zone of the contin- 
ent, and in area measures near tenfold the possessions of the thir- 
teen colonies ; the natural features, the climate, the productions,: 



the influences of the outward world, are all implied in the im- 
mensity of this domain, for they embrace all tltat the goodness 
and the power of God have planned for so !ai^ a Bliaro of the 
habitable globe. The steps of the successive acquisitions, the im- 
pulses which assisted, and the motives which retarded the ex- 
pansion of our territory ; the play of the competing elements in 
our civilization aud their incessant struggle each to outrun the 
other ; the irrepressible conflict thus nursed in the bosom of the 
State, the leasou in humility and patience, " in charity for all and 
malice toward none." which the study of the manifest designs of 
Providence so plainly teach us — these may well detain us for a 
moment's illustration. 


And this calls attention to that ingredient in the popnlaticm 
EnuBcirnUon. of this Country which came, not from the culmin- 
ated pride of Europe, but from the abject despondency of Airi- 
ca. A race discriminated from all the convei^ing streams of 
immigration which I have named by inefbceable distinctions of 
nature ; which was brought hither by a forced migration and 
into slavery, while all others came by choice and for greater 
liberty ; a race unrepresented in the CougTEB? which issued the 
Declaration of Independence, but now, in the persons of 4,000,- 
000 of our countrymen raised, by the power of the great truths 
then declared as it were from the dead, and rejoicing in one 
coantiy and the same constituted liberties with ourselves. 

In August, 1620, a Dutch slave-sbip landed her freight in 
Vii^^ia, completing her voyage soon after that of the May- 
flower commenced. Both ships were on the ocean at the same 
time, both sought our shores, and planted their seeds of liberty 


from the Old World, and from them later, as from uew points 
of departure, were diffused over the continent. The material 
interests of slavery had not become very strong, and in it€ 
moral aspects no sharp division of sentiment had yet shown it- 
sell But when unity and independence of government were 
accepted by the colonies, we shall look in vain for any adequate 
barrier against the natural attrsiCtion of the softer climate and 
rich productions of the South, which could keep the Northern 
population in their harder climate and on their less grateful 
soil, except the repugnancy of the two systems of free and 
slave labor to commixture. Out of this grew the inpatient, 
and apparently premature, invasion of the Western wilds, push- 
ing constantly onward, in parallel lines, the outposts of the two 
rival interests. What greater enterprise did for the Northern 
people in stimulating this movement was more than supplied to 
the Southern by the pressing necessity for new lands, which the 
requirements of the system of slave cultivaton imposed. Un- 
der the operation of these causes ihe political divisions of the 
country built up a wall of partition running east and west, with 
the novel consequence of the " Border States " of the country 
being ranged, not on our foreign boundaries, but on this mid- 
dle line, drawn between the free and slave States. The succes- 
sive acquisitions of territory, by the Louisiana purchase, by the 
annexation of Texas, and by the Treaty with Mexico, were all 
in the interest of the Southern policy, and, as such, aU suspect- 
ed or resisted by the rival interest in the North. On the other 
hand, all schemes or tendencies toward ihe enlargement of our 
territory on the north, were discouraged and defeated by the 
South. At length, with the immense influx of foieign immigra- 
tion, re-enforcing the flow of population, the streams of free 
labor shot across the continent. The end was reached. The 
bounds of our habitation were secured. The Pacific posses- 
sions became oars, and the discovered gold rapidly peopled 
them from the hives of free labor. The rival energies and am- 
bitions which had fed the thirst for territory had served their 
purpose, in completing and assuring the domain of the nation. 
The partition wall of slavery was thrown down ; the line of Bor- 
der States obliterated ; those who had battled for territory, as 


an eztenmon and perpstnatioii of alavery, and those who fought 
ftg&inBt its enlargemeiit, as a diBparagement and a danger to 
liberty, were alike oonfonnded. 

Those who feared andiie and precipitate expansion of onr 
possessions, as loosening the ties of union, and those Who desired 
it, as a step toward dissolution, have sufiered a common djscom- 
fitare. The immense social and political forces which the 
existence of slayery in this coantry, and the invincible repug- 
nance to it of the vital principles of our state together generated 
have had their play upon the poBaions and the interests of thic 
people, have formed the basis of parties, divided sects, agitated 
and invigorated the popular mind, inspired the eloquence, 
inflamed the zeal, informed the understandings, and fired the 
hearts of three generations. At lost the dread debate escaped 
all bounds of reason, and the nation in arms solved, by the 
appeal of war, what was too hard for civil wisdom. 'Witi our 
territory unmatilated, onr Constitution uncormpted, a united 
people, in the last years of the century, crowns with new glory 
the immortal troths of the Declaration of Independence by the 
emancipation of a race. 


I find, then, in the method and the results of the century's 
rromiie of Natioui progress of the nation in this amplification of 
Longevity. its domaiD, sure promise of the duration of 

the body pohtic, whose growth to these vast proportions has, 
as yet, but laid oat the ground plan of the stmctnre. For I 
find the vital forces of the free society and Uie people's govern* 
ment, here founded, have by their own vigor made this a natu- 
ral growth. Strength and symmetry have knit together the 


bas steadily advanced, till ii counts 40,000,000 instead of 
3,000,000, bears witness, not to be disparaged or gainsaid, to 
the general congmity of oar social and civil institutions with 
the happiness and prosperity of man. But if we consider far- 
ther the variety and magnitude of foreign elements to which 
we have been hospitable, and their ready fasion with the earlier 
stocks, we have new evidence of strength and vivi(} force in our 
population, which we may not refuse to admire. The dispo- 
sition and capacity thus shown give warrant of a powerful 
society. " All nations," says Lord Bcicon, " that are liberal oi 
naturalization are fit for empire." 

Wealth in its mass, and still more in its tenure and diffusion, 
is a measure of the condition of a people which touches both 
its energy and morality. Wealth has no source but labor. 
*^ Life has given nothing valuable to man without great labor." 
This is as true now as when Horace wrote it. The prodigious 
growth of wealth in this country Is not only, therefore, a signal 
mark of prosperity, but proves industry, persistency, thrift as 
the habits of the people. Accumulation of wealth, too, requires 
and imports security, as well as unfettered activity ; and thus it 
is a fair criteiion of sobriety and justice in a people, certainly, 
when the laws and their execution rest wholly in their hands- 
A careless observation of the crimes and frauds which attack 
prosperity, in the actual condition of our society, and the imper- 
fection of our means for their prevention and redress^ leads 
sometimes to an unfavorabJe comparison between the present 
and the past, in this country, as respects the j)robity of the peo- 
ple. No doubt covetousness has not ceased in the world, and 
thieves still break through and steal. But the better test upon 
this point is the vast profusion of our wealth and the infinite 
trust shown by the manner in which it is invested. It is not 
too mucli to say that in our times, and conspicuously in our 
country, a large share of every man's property is in other men's 
keeping and management, unwatched and bej ond personal con- 
trol. This confidence of man in man is ever increasing, meas- 
ured by our practical conduct, and refutes these disparagements 
of the general morality. 

Ejiowledge, intellectual activity, the mastery of nature, the 


discipline of life — all that m^ea up the education of a people — 
arc developed tind diffuaed through the maBBCB of our popola- 
tion, in so ample and generous a distribution as to make tbifi 
the conepicuoos trait in our national character, as the faitbfu'- 
proviaion and extension of the means aod opportnnitiea of thia 
education, are the cherished institutiona of the country. Learn- 
ing, literature, science, art, ore cultivated, in their widest range 
and highest reach, by a larsrer and larger numher of our peo- 
ple, not, to their praise bo it said, aa a personal distinction or a 
selfish possession, but, mainly, a^ a generous leaven, to quicken 
and expand the healthful fermentation of the general mind, and 
lift the level of popular iustruction. So f:ir from breeding a 
distempered spirit in the people, this becomes the main prop of 
authority, the great instinct of obedience. " It is by education," 
says Aristotle, " I have learned to do by choice what other men 
do by constraint of fear." 


The " breed and disposition " of a people, in regard of courage, 
Spiritofour public Spirit, and patriotism, are, however, the test 

People. (,f tiio -working of their institution, which the world 
most values, and upon which the public safety most depends. 
It has been Euade a reproach of democratic arrangements of so- 
ciety and government that the sentiment of honor, and of pride 
in pubhc duty, decayed in them, it has been professed that the 
iluetuating currents and the trivial [)erturbations of their pubhc 
life discouraged strenuous endeavor and lasting devotion in the 
public service. It has been charged that, as a consequence, 
tlie distinct service of the State sufiered, office and magistracy 
were behttled, social Hympathies cooled, love of country drooped. 


abject) unfamished with the means of exercising it in their own 
right and for their own benefit. In a democracy wielded by the 
arts, and to the ends of a patrician class, the less worthy members 
of that class, no doubt, throve by the disdain which noble char- 
acters must always feel for methods of deception and insincerity, 
and crowded them fron^ the authentic service of the state. But, 
through the period whose years we count to-day, the greatest 
lesson of all is the preponderance of pubHc over private, of so- 
cial over selfish, tendencies and purposes in the whole body of 
the people, and the persistent fidehty to the genius and spirit of 
popular institutions, of the educated classes, the hberal profess- 
ions, and the great men of the country. These quahties trans- 
fuse and blend the hues and virtues of the manifold rays of advanc- 
ed civilization into a sunUght of pubUc spirit and fervid patriotism 
which warms and irradiates the life of the nation. Excess of 
pubhdty as the animating spirit and stimulus of society more 
probably than its lack will excite our soUcitudes in the future. 
Even the public discontents take on this color, and the mind 
and heart of the whole people ache with anxieties and throb with 
griefs which have no meaner scope than the honor and the 
safety of the nation. 

Our estimate of the condition of this people at the close of a 
century — as bearing on the value and efficiency of the principles 
on which the Government was founded, in maintaining and 
securing the permanent well-being of a nation — would, in- 
deed be incomplete if we failed to measure the power and purity 
of the religigus elements which pervade and elevate our society. 
One might as well expect our land to keep its climate, its fertil- 
ity, its salubrity, and its beauty were the globe loosened from the 
law which holds it in an orbit, where wo feel the tempered ra- 
diance of the sun, as to count upon the preservation of the dehghts 
and glories of hberty for a people cast loose from religion, 
whereby man is bound in harmony with the moral government 
of the world. 

It is quite certain that the present day shows no such solemn 
absorption in the exalted themes of contemplative piety, as 
marked the prevalent thought of the people a hundred years 
ago ; nor so hopeful an enthusiasm for the speedy renovation 


of the world, as burst upon us in the miurveloas and vide eyu- 
tern of vsbement religious zeal, and practical good works, in 
the eaxlj part of the ninet-^enth century. But these fires are 
lees splendid, onlj because they are more potent, and di£fose 
their heat in well-formed habits and manifold agencies of bene- 
ficent activity. They traverse and permeate society in every 
direction. They travel with the outposts of civilization and 
outran the caucus, the convention, and the suffiu^e. 

The Church, throoghout this land, upheld by no political es- 
tablishment, rests all the firmer on the rock on which its found- 
er built it The great mass of our countrymen to-day find 
in the Bible— the Bible in their worship, the Bible in their 
schools, the Bible in their households — the suffident lessons of 
the fear of God and the love of man, which make them obe- 
dient servants to the free constitution of their country, in all 
civil duticM, and ready with their hves to sustain it on the fields 
of war. And now at the end of a hundred years the Christian 
faith collects its worahipiwre throughout our land, as at the be- 
ginning. 'What half a century ago was Lopefolly prophesied 
for our far future, goes on to its fulfillment: "As the sun 
rises on a Sabbath morning and travels westward from New- 
foundland to the Oregon, he will behold the countless milhoos 
assembling, as if by a common impulse, in the temples with 
which every valiey, mountain, and plain will be adorned. The 
morning psalm and the evening anthem will commence with 
the multitudes on the Atlantic Coast, be sustained by the loud 
choinis of ten thousand times ten thousand in the Valley of the 
Mississippi, and be prolonged by the thousands of thonsauds 
on the shores of the Pacific." 


ment of political authority, or the critical treatment of great 
junctures in our policy and history. The hour and the occasion 
concur to preclude so intimate an inquiry. The chief concern 
in this regard, to us and to the rest of the world, is, whether 
the proud trust, the profound radicalism, the wide benevolence 
which spoke in the ** Declaration " and were infused into 
the " Constitution " at the first, have been in good faith 
adhered to by the people, and whether now these principles 
supply the Hving forces which sustain and direct Government 
and society. 

He who doubts needs but to look around to find all things full 
of the original spirit, and testifying to its wisdom and strength. 
We have taken no steps backward, nor have we needed to seek 
other paths in our progress than those in which our feet were 
planted at the beginning. Weighty and manifold have been 
our obligations to the great nations of the earth, to their schol- 
ars, their philosophers, their men of genius and of science, to 
their skill, their taste, their invention, to their wealth, their 
arts, their industry. But in the institutions and methods of gov- 
ernment; in civil prudence, courage, or policy; in statesman- 
ship, in the art of " making of a small town a great city ;" in the 
adjustment of authority to liberty ; in the concurrence of reason 
and strength in peace, of force and obedience in war : we have 
found nothing to recall us from the course of our fathers, noth- 
ing to add to our safety or to aid our progress in it. So far 
from this, all modifications of European politics accept the po25u- 
lar principles of our system, and tend to our model The move- 
ments towards equahty of representation, enlargement of the 
suffrage, and public education in England ; the restoration of 
imity in Italy ; the confederation of Germany under the lead of 
Prussia ; the actual Republic in France ; the unsteady throne 
of Spain ; the new hberties of Hungary ; the constant gain to 
the people's share in government throughout Europe; all tend 
one way, the way pointed out in the Declaration of our Inde, 

The care and zeal with which our people cherish and invigo- 
rate the primary suppcirts and defenses of their own sovereign- 
ty, have all the unswerving force and confidence of iustincts. 


Tbe community and publicity of edacation, at the charge and 
as an institation of the State, is firmlj imbedded in tbe wai:tB 
and the desires of the people. Common schools are rapidly 
extending throngb the only part of the country which had been 
shut against them, and follow close upon the footsteps of its 
new liberty to enbghten the enfranchised race. Freedom of 
conscience ersUy stamps ont the first sparkles of persecution, 
Eiud snaps as green nithcs the first bonds ( f spiritual domina- 
tiou. Tbe sacred oracles of their religion the people wisely 
hold in their own keeping as the keys of religions liberty, and 
refuse to be beguiled by the voice of the wisest charmer into 
loosing their grasp. 

Freedom &om military power and the maintenance of that 
arm of the Government in the people ; a trust in their own ade- 
quacy as soldiers, when their dnty as citizens should need to take 
on that form of .•service to the State ; these have gained new 
force by the experience of foi-eign and civil war, and a standing 
army is a remoter possibUifcy for this nation, in its present or 
prospective greatness, than in the days of its small beginnings. 

But in the freedom of the press, and the universaUty of the 
sufirage, as maintained and exercised to-day throughout the 
length and breath of tlie land, we iind tlie most conspicuous and 
decisive evidence of the mispeiit force of the institutions of 
liberty and the jealous guard of its principal defenses. These 
indeed are the great agencies and engines of the people's sover- 
eignty. They hold the same relations to the vast democracy of 
modem society that the persuasions of the orators and the per- 
sonal voices of the assembly did m the narrow confines of tbe 
Grecian States. The laws, the customs, the impulses, and senti- 
ments of the people have given wider and wider range and 


could long exist in true vigor in our system without the other. 
Without the watchful, omnipresent and indomitable energy of 
the press, the suf&age would languish, would be subjugated by 
the corporate power of the legions of placemen which the adminis- 
tration of the affairs of a great nation imposes upon it, and fall a 
prey to that " vast patronage which," we are told, " distracted, 
corrupted, and finally subverted the Eoman Republic." On the 
other hand, if the impressions of the press upon the opinions and 
passions of the people found no settled and ready mode 
of their working out, through the frequent and peaceful suffrage, 
the people would be driven, to satisfy their displeasure at govern- 
ment or then* love of change, to the coarse methods of barricades 
and batteries. 


We cannot then hesitate to declare that the original princi- 
Obt Country ples of equal society and popular government still 

To-day. inspire the laws, Uve in the habits of the people, 
and animate their purposes and their hopes. These principles 
have not lost their spring or elasticity. They have sufficed for 
all the methods of government in the past ; we feel no fear for 
their adequacy in the future. Eeleased now from the tasks and 
burdens of the formative period, these principles and methods 
can be directed with undivided force to the everyday conduct 
of government, to the staple and steady virtues of adminis- 
tration. The feebleness of crowding the statute-books with 
unexecuted laws ; the danger of power outgrowing or evading 
responsibiUty ; the rashness and fickleness of temporary expe- 
dients ; the constant tendency by which parties decline into 
fictions and end in conspiracies ; all these mischiefs beset all 
governments and are part of the life of each generation. To 
deal with these evils — the tasks and burdens of the immediate 
future — the nation needs no other resources than the principles 
and the examples which our past history supply. These princi- 
ples, these examples of our fathers, are the strength and the safety 
of our State to-day: " Morihus antiquis, stat res Romana, virisque.'* 
Unity, hberty, power, prosperity — these are our possessions 
to-day. Our territorj- is safe against foreign dangers; its com- ^ 


pleteneS3 dissuades fro:n farirhet- a^biHoa to extend it, and its 
roauded symmelry discjurkges all uttempta to dismember jL 
No division into greatly unequal pirts would b© tolerable to 
either. No imagiuable nnioa of interests or passions, larg3 
enough to inclnde one-hn,]f tho coua'ry, but must embrace 
much more. The mii-lncga of partition into numerous and fee- 
ble fragments could proceed only from the hopeless degradation 
of the people, and would form bat an incident in general rain. 

The spirit of the nation is at the highest — its triumph over 
the inborn, inbred perils of the Constitution has chased awav 
all feam, justi&cd all hopes, and with universal joy wo greet this 
day. We have not proved unworthy of a great ancestry ; we 
have had th; virtue to uphold what they so wisely, so firmly 
established. With these proud poasessions of tho past, with 
powers matured, with principles settled, with habits formed, 
the nation posses as it were from preparatory growth to respon- 
sible development of character, and the steady performance of 
dnty. "\ATiat labors await it, what tiials shall attend it, what 
triumphs for human nature, what glory for itself, are prepared 
for this people in tho coming century, we may not assume to 
foretell. " One generation passcth away, and another genera- 
tion Cometh, but the earth abideth forever," and wo reverently 
hope that these our constituted liberties shall be maintained to 
the unending line of our posterity, and so long as the earth 
itself shall endure. 

In the great procession of nations, in the great march of 
humanity, wo hold our place. Peace is our duty, peace is our 
policy. In its arts, its labors, and its victories, then, we find 
scope for all our energies, rewards for all our ambitions, renown 
enough for all our love and fame. In the august presence of so 


to appeal to the opinion of mankind whether, as we point to 
oor land, onr people, and our laws, the contemplation should 
not inspire us with a lover'b enthusiasm for our country. 

Time makes no pauses in his march. Even while I speak the 
last hour of the receding is replaced by the first hour of the 
coming century, and reverence for the past gives way to the 
joys and hopes, the activities and the responsibihties of the fu- 
ture. A hundred years hence the piety of that generation will 
recall the ancestral glory which we celebrate to-day, and crown 
it with the plaudits of a vast population which no man can 
number. By the mere circumstance of this periodicity our gen- 
eration will be in the minds, in the he£u:ts, on the hps of our 
countrymen at the next Centennial commemoration in com- 
parison with their own character and condition, and with the 
gieat founders of the nation. AVhat shall they say of us ? How 
shall they estimate the part we bear in the unbroken line of the 
nation's progress ? And so on, in the long reach of time, for- 
ever and forever, our place in the secular roll of the ages must 
always bring us into observation and criticism. Under this 
double trust, then, from the past and for the future, let us take 
heed to our ways, and while it is called to-day, resolve that the 
great heritage we have received shall be handed down through 
the long line of the advancing generations, the home of liberty, 
the abode of justice, the stronghold of faith among men, 
" which holds the moral elements of the world together," and 
of faiQi in Godj which binds that world to His throne. 



DKUTEBED AT pirTfiBrRSH, PA., jrLT 4th, 1876. 

Fellow Citizens and Fhieniis : Testerdiij I stood in the Hall 
nf Independence, on the banks of ihe Deliiware, and looked 
upon the immortal Declarution which an hundred ytars ago 
proclaimed the birth of the nation. To-day I join with you, on 
the banks of the Ohio, to celebrate nith appropriate ceremonies 
the Centennial of the Nation's birth. Space and time in the 
progrei;s of those hundred years seem well nigh obliterated 
between the ends of our good old Commonwealth ; so let 
space and time stand aside whilst we mingle the august 
memories of the past with the glories of the present, and cement 
the foundations of a still mc^e imp^rishnhle and noble future. 
Were I a sculptor chai^d with the study of embodying in 
marble the idea of this occasion, I would represent the Genius 
of America — glancing backwards at monuments upon whose 
foundations would be inscribed the principles of our forefathers, 
upon which Uie national institutions have been builded, and out 
of which the prosperity of the nation has grown — and with finh, 
advancing step, and right arm raised she should point onward 
and upward to a pyramid grander than those I^ypt inscribed on 
every stone from foundation to apex with the same principles. 
An individual cannot abandon principles of ftuth, justice, and 


solemnly and mutoally, in the presence of God and one another, 
combine ourselves into a body politic for our better ordering 
and jurisdiction ; and furthermore, in pursuance of the ends 
aforesaid, and by virtue hereof, to enact and found such just 
and equal laws, * * * unto which we promise all due sub- 
mission and obedience/' 

Ask the colonies, and old Roger Williams replies, ''that 
every man is permitted to worship God according to his own 
conscience/' Ask the fathers of the Republic, and the im- 
mortal words of their declaration ring out the self-evident 
truths that by " Nature's Qod " and the endorsement of " their 
Creator " all men have certain inahenable rights, among which 
are " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness/' The rehgious 
conscience in the New World was bom free — civil hberty was 
bought with revolutionary blood. Out of the sturdy birth- 
freedom of religious liberty grew the consciousness of the right 
to civil hberty, and they are inseparable as sun and sunlight. 
Take away the sun and tlie beauties of earth are lost in dark- 
ness — destroy religious liberty and civil liberty diea As civil 
liberty established by the founders of the Republic did not mean 
freedom from law, so neither did religious liberty mean freedom 
from religion. the Continental and Federal Congress 

opened daily vdth prayer to Almighty God, maintained the 
sanctity of the Christian Sabbath and appointed days of national 
feasts or thanksgiving. The first official act of the first Pres- 
ident was the public acknowledgement of the religious obliga- 
tion of the nation in thanks to Almighty God, and the first 
thing Congress did after the inauguration was to attend in a 
body religious service in St. Paul's Church for the same 

"While just Government," wrote Washington in 1789, " pro- 
tects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to gov- 
ernment its surest support," and said that incomparable states- 
man in his farewell address : 

" Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined edu- 
cation on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience 
both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in 
exclusion of religious principles." 

John Adams, his successor in the Presidency, was still more 


emphatic in cxpreaaing tbese fotmdation facts in the nation's 
hfe, and the records of the times arc prohfic in proof that the 
statesman expressed tho universal sentiment of the people. 

When the Congress of 1787 — the same Congress which or- 
dered tho convention which formed our Federal Constitntion — 
made a law for tho government of tho territory north and west 
of tho Ohio, and tho States to bo created out of it, that law de- 
fined tho connection between relifjion and the State in words of 
priceless Talne : " Beligion, momiity and knowledge being ne- 
cessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, 
schools and education shall forever be encouraged." 

There wero no modem legislators who had forgotten or never 
learned the grand truths of the Declaration which will be read 
in our hearing to-day. Some of them were the signeia of that 
immortal title deed of liberty to mankind, and every noble heart 
of them throbbed with the very blood which had been periled 
in its defence. They knew what the Prussians have long since 
discovered and reduced to a State Maxim : " Whatever you 
would have appear in the life of a nation, you must put into 
your schools." [Applause.] 

They had imbided the principles of civil and religious liberty 
from Bible Christianity ; they believed religion to bo necessar\* 
to good government and the happiness of mankind, it was 
taught in the schools of their childhood and they handed it 
down to their children's children. Under this teaching the 
thirteen original States have been well nigh multiplied by three 
and the three million of people of a hundred years ago multi- 
plied by thirteen 1 What want wo with new doctrines and de- 
vices of government in this our Centennial year? As in the 
further proceedings of the day wc recall prineinles and patri- 




My Fellow Countrymen : All hail this day ! All hail these 
gladsome stunmer sun-lit hours, God blessed and flower crowned, 
in which we hold our nation's jubilee I All hail the past, the 
future and the present, hail! which brings to us a centuiy of 
life completed with this day ! This is our high Centennial feast, 
and to it all the world is bidden and hath come ; and high o'er 
all, our beauteous starry banner waves! 

The great clock of time whose mighty pendulum, swinging 
in measured are amidst the lapsing years, \'ibrates so ceaseless- 
ly and silently between the ages of the past and the eternities of 
the future, has even now just struck our centenary hour and 
marked upon its dial this consummate and full rounded period 
in our nation's life ! 

One hundred years ago this day a new nation was bom into 
the world. One hundred years ago this day our forefathers 
dead and gone, with an instinct begotten of freedom, and an in- 
spiration only from on high, amidst the turbulence and throes of 
revolution, the fire and flame and smoke of battle, and the noise 
and shock of contending hosts, gave to the world their immor- 
tal declaration. One may not 

** Gild refined gold 
Or point the lilly," 

and 80 in their own grand thoughts and words let me re-tell you 
what they said this day one hundred years ago. 

They declared these truths to be self-evident. That all men 
were created equal ; that they were endowed by their Creator 
with certain inalienable rights ; that among these were life, hb- 
erty and the piumiit of happiness ; that to secure these lights 
governments were instituted among men, deriving their just 
power from the consent of the governed ; that whenever any 


form of f^ovemmfint became destructive of theae ends, it was the 
right of the people to alter or aboliKh it, and to institute a new 
govemmeut, having ifa foundation on such principles, and or- 
ganizing its powers in hucIi form aa to them should seem most 
likely to effect their safety and happiness. This is the very lan- 
guage of their declaration ; and to establish it, and in vindica- 
tion of themaelvea, and as a history of the long train of abuses 
and usurpations and repeated injiuies to which they had been 
for a long time subjected, they submitted facts toa candid world. 
And then as the crowning act of their great declaration, aa rep- 
resentatives of the United States of America in general Congress 
assembled, and appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for 
the rectiude of their intentions, they did, in the name and by the 
authority of the good people of the then Colonies, solemnly pub- 
lish and declare : 

"Tliat these United Colonies are, and of right ought to bo free 
and independent States ; that they are absolved from all alle- 
giance to the British Croivn, and that all pohtical connection 
between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be 
totally dissolved : and that as fi'ee and independent States, they 
have full power to levy war, condude peace, contract alliances, 
establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which in- 
dependent States may of right do. And for the support of this 
declaration, with a firm rehance on the protection of Divine Pro- 
vidence, we mutually pledge to each other onr lives, our for- 
tunes and our sacred honor." 

"From the fullnesaof his .own mind," says Mr. Bancroft, 
" without consulting one single book, Jefferson drafted the reo- 

Can any words of mine or of any orator to-day add dignity 


come sounding down to us through the oentury^kindling anew the 
love of country in everj heart, and lighting again as in their own 
time the sacred fires of liberty in every valley and upon every 
mountain top throughout the length and breadth of this great 

" They never fail who die 

In » great cause ; the hlock may soak their fnve; 

Their heads may sodden in the sun ; their limbs 

Be stmug to the city gates and castlo walls. 

Bnt still their spirit walks abroad. Thongh years 

Elapse, and others share as dark a doom, 

They bnt augment the deep and sweeping thooghts 

Which overiMwer all others ana oondnct 

The world at last to freedom." 

Thus, then, my countrymen, did these men of a heroic age 
speak, and so did they '* proclaim liberty throughout all the 
land and to alf the inhabitants thereof." Thus, upon these only 
sure foundations did they build that magnificent temple of lib- 
erty and of law, the American republic, whose aisles and porch- 
es we crowd and throng this day, and so up to the sunlight and 
the sky did they carry it — ^a creation perfect, complete in every 
part, as from a master hand, the admiration of the civilized 
world and ** the joy of the whole earth." 

In order rightly and fully to appreciate the great magnitude 
of this undertaking, let us pause for a moment, my countrymen, 
to consider the circumstances and recognize the conditions by 
which these men were surrounded when this the grandest act 
of their lives and time, or of any people or of any time, was by 
them begun. 

I need not say to you that upon their part it was no holiday \ 
task, no unmeaning act, and no vain and idle ceremony. Not 
at all ; not at all. It was a task replete with toil and trouble, 
and sacrifice and sorrow. It was an act suggestive only of 
doubt, darkness, danger, death. It was a ceremony grand, im- • 
pressive and imposing beyond all thought and beyond all de- 
scription, in which the highest and the holiest rights of the hu- 
man race were involved — ^the whole continent the stage — na- 
tions the actors — and the spectators the people of the civilized/ 
world ! 

Among the countless thousands who live on the pages of his- 


tory — the myriads who have crowded the decades and the oeo- - 
tunes ol the past — I know of no men greater than these ; and 
of all the scenes which have ever been enacted on the world's 
stage, I can recall none which in grandeur and satdunity, and 
fai'-reaching effect npos the bumai^ race, surpassed the Ameri- 
can Revolution of one hundred jears ago. 

I know this wiU seem to man; the langnage of exa^;eration, 
but let us for a moment consider the facts. Of the grounds of 
thL' Revolution I need not speak. The Declaration just read 
puts them in such obvious phrases that no words of mine conld 
add to their force, or give fresh significonce to their meaning and 
expression. It is enough to say that they were clear and well 
taken, and fully jostified, any consequences which might follow 
from their submission " to the judgment of a candid world." Let 
us, however, look for a moment at the combatents as they enter 
the arena, prepared and ready b> begin this great straggle for 
human rights and the mastery of a continenL 

We were, as you know, but thirteen detached and feeble 
colonies, containing in all scarcely three millions of people, who 
then and thus threw down our gauge of battle to one of the most 
powerful nations on the face of the earth — a great nation whose 
keels vcsed every sea, whose jxtssessions were so vast that upon 
them the sun in his going never set, and whose " morning drum 
beat," and whose'evening gun were then as now, heard round and 
round the world. 

Strong only in the int^rity of their great cause ; knowing 
well as we, that ■' thriite is he armed, who hath his quarrel iusf 

Putting their trust in the Lord of hosts, with a conrage which 
was subUme, and a faith as firm and endoring as " the everlast^ 


Actoated by the loftiest impulse of duty, and inspired only by 
a love of country, and the rights which knew no limit, I need 
scarcely tell yon that they were all of one heart and of one mind. 
To the leaders at least, the headsman's axe, and the hangman's 
rope, were both the awful possibilities of an unsuccessful future ; 
for remember this was a hundred years ago, when force dominate 
ed the world, and Qeorge the Third was King. They had, there- 
fore, a full knowledge of all the consequences of their great act, 
and a most sincere and solemn appreciation of the position in 
which they then stood. 

" We must be unanimous ; there must be no puUing different 
ways ; we must hang together," said the polished and dignified 
Hancock, as the various members of the Cougress came forward 
to sign the declaration. ** We must haug together.'* *' Yes," 
said Franklin, *' yes, for if we do not we shall certainly all hang 
separately." What a terrible grim joke it was to be lure ! And 
at such an hour I But what a reality death proved itself to 
many in the subsequent battle-fields of the war in which the 
young nation covered herself vrith glory as with a garment, and 
stood fast even onto death in the shining valor of her sons ! 

But these meu, my countrymen, had well counted the costs, 
and had reckoned the gain. They knew the high import of the 
work of that great day. The echoes from Lexington Green and 
Concord bridge still trembled and lingered on the summer air, 
and the new-made graves of the proto-martyrs of liberty 
were, almost we might say, even yet unkissed and unloved 
by the daisy, unguarded by the soft green sward of mother 
earth. The great uprising of the year before of course had not 
been forgotten, and the thunders of the guns from Bunker Hill 
were even then ringing in their ears, telling the story how brave 
Warren fell, and bidding them acquit themselves hke men in 
all the duties of that eventful day. It mattered not, however, 
for as I have already said, these iron men of an iron age bad 
counted well the cost, and already and fully comprehended the 
deep significance of it aU. They knew of course it meant a 
separation final and complete from mother land and mother 
love ; with long years of devious and of doubtful wur, from 
Long Island to Yorktown where the banners of the people 

70 ona katiomal ivbilex. 

floated at lost in triamph und in victory over the royal enaigD ■ 
of King Qeoige, and the freedom of the colonies of North 
America became an aeaurcd and a most glorious fact. It meant 
the bloody stories of Trenton and Princeton, and Bennington 
and Brandynine, and Saratoga and Germantown, and Mod- 
mouth and Stony Foiat, and Savannah and Charleston, and 
Camden and King's Mountain, and the Cowpens and £ata<!T, 
and wherever else npon the land, or upon the sea the snblime 
emergencies of the hour called love and loyalty to victory or to 
death. It meant famine and fire and sword. It meant the 
wicked treason of Arnold and the wild unholy ambition of Lee. 
It meant want and woe, the shivering, ill-clad forms and shoe- 
less feet, and bloodstained snow at VaUej Forge. It meant 
doubt and despair, sorrow and death. All this it meant and 
more, but all of this they knew. 

But God be praised, and glory be to His great name, it meant 
other and better far. It meant that, in the 

-All Hall btrsaltn," 
out of this present gloom should come gladnees, out of this 
present sorrow a great joy. It meant that, as without death 
there can be no resurrection, and without the grave there can 
be naught of immortality beyond, so, with death, there should 
came, and there would, a certain resurrecfcion and a new life, 
and out of this almost seeming grave of hope there should spring, 
and there woold, a great tree — a verj- " tree of life " — the Tree 
of Liberty whose far reaching branches should fill the world, 
whose blossoms, like the blessing of God, would fall upon all 
lauds, and updu all peoples, oud whose leaves should in very 
deed be for the healing of all the nations upon the face of the 
It meant tliiit out of the loiiia of this young nation — 


day— a land without a slave I It meant a refage for the down- 
trodden of avery clime without regard to creed or color or con- 
dition. It meant the perfection of all govemment — complete 
equality before the law, and so a people always and wholly free, 
calling no one master, save Him above, the Lord and Master of 
us all! 

" Great God, we thank thee for thia home. 

Thia boanteona birthlaad of the free ; 
Where wanderers from afar may come 

And breathe the air of liberty. 
Still may her flowsm xxntrammeUed apiing, 

Her harveata « aye, her cities rise ; 
And yet till time ahall fold her wmg, 

Bemain earth's lovlleat paradise." 

Standing as we are this day, my countrymen, amidst all these 
grand results, and gathering to our bosoms as we are, during its 
peaceful summer hours, all over this broad land the golden 
sheaves of a harvest which these men planted in tears and 
watered with their blood, what wonder is it that I have called 
them great, and ranked them as peers of any time ? " By their 
fruits shall ye shall know them ; '' so judged and thus consid- 
ered, where in all the pages of history, and amongst all of those 
world calls great, where, I ask, will yoii find any greater than 

If, however, another Past hath greater dead than ours, and if 
there be graves which hold sweeter and holier dust than oiu*s, 
then had I power I should bid these graves to open, and call 
upon their dead to come forth, that the manhood of the young 
repubhc might look upon their mighty forms, rightly read the 
lesson of their perfect lives, and so themselves become very 
prophets and priests and kings among men. 

And now, my countrymen, in a concluding word, what is the 
moral of the hour, and what the lesson of this passing pageant, 
this waning day ? 

"We have spoken to you of these great men, and their greater 
deeds of one hundred years ago. As best we could we told you 
the wondrous story of the wondrous past. With your own eyes 
you see, and yourselves everywhere read, the open wide spread 
page of the still more wondrous present. It only now and yet 
remains for me to ask of you, and to ask of myself, what of the 


future of this great laud ? Shall the joung repubhc live ? Shall 
it continue to grow ? Shall it wax greater and stronger in the 
years, and the centuries, and the ages yet to come, as it has 
lived and grown and become great in the years and the centui^' 
whose requiem dirge we have just sung ? Or shall it, like many 
of the republics, and kingdoms, and empires, and dj'nosties of 
Uie paat, perish utterly from off the face of the earth, leaving not a 
name, not a vestige, not even a ^v^eGk behind it on the shores of 
time ? By you and by me, and by all who are vrith us, and of 
UB to-day, this question — this great question so full freighted 
with the welfare of the race and tlie future of the world^must 
be answered, must be met Ood grant that we answer it wisely 
and meet it welL Let us B3e to it that wrong be righted every- 
where. Let us see to it that injustice and iniquity, and fraud 
and corruption in high places as in low, wherever found, and in 
whatever form — and of which " 'tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 
'tia true," the very air seems full to-day — be smitten down by 
the most righteous wrath, and driven out into the wilderness of 
punishment by the juat indignation of on incensed and outraged 
people. Let us see to it that no shiboleth of party take prece- 
dence of truth and honor, and that no false Gods of greed or 
gain have place and power over honesty and manhood, integrity 
and the right So, my countrymen, the BepubUc- shall hve. Ho 
it shall continue to flourish and grow and ita " bow abide in 
strength ; " and so it shall become greater and stronger and 
cover the earth with its beauty, and all people with its blessings 
until the latest syllable of recorded time, and so we, each for 
himself conscious of highest duty best performed, can say to 
the shining, white-robed hosts, which to-day, even at this hour, 


With all the hopes of fatnre yean, 
Is hangliig breathless on thy Ate I 
We know what Master hdd thy keel, 
What Workman wrought thy ribs of steel. 
Who made each mast, and sttU, and xope^ 
What aAvila rang, what hammers beat 
In what a forge and what a ^eat 
Were ahaped the anchors of thy hope I 
Pear not each sadden sound and shook. 
Tis of the ware and not the roek» 
'Tie but the flapping of the sail. 
And not a rent made b^ the gale ! 
In spite of rock and tempest's roar. 
In spite of fidae lights on the shoie^ 
Sail oh, nor fear to breast the seal 
Oar hearta, our hopes are all with thee ; 
Oor hearts, oar hopes, oar prayers, oar tears, 
Oor fkith triumphant o'er oor fean. 
Are all with thee— are all with thee! ** 




Fbiends and Fellow-Oitizbks ; I ought not to occupy this chair 
without returning lay thanks for the honor conferred upon me; 
for the occaaioQ will ba memorable in the anntils of the future, 
and harmonizes with the impulses of the sincerest patriotism. 
This day, above and beyond all other days, challenges a retro- 
spect of the past, extending back to that period when Uiis now 
mighty nation in its infancy bade defiance to the sceptre of a 
foreign power, and invites a review of the unprecedented strides 
since then made from year to year in the advancement of the 
arts and sciences, manufactures, education and population. 
And after such a review, we reach the present hour — the mag- 
nificent present — when the happy milHons of this broad land, 
which stretches from ocean to ocean, are assembling without dis- 
tinction of race, of country, of profession or occupation, of creed 
or of party, to seal, with the impress of gratitude, the immortal 
work of the sages and heroes who have long slumbered in their 
graves. We cannot, if we would, close our eyes to the contrast 
which is presented between the scene that lowered over the in- 
fant struggles of this countiy and that which is now unfolded 
to our view. He who visits the great Interaational Kxliibition, 
near at hand, will have displayed to bis vision the various pro- 
ductions which the rivalry of nations has brought together from 


diilge in some contemplations and aspirations as to the future. 
Such have been the astonishing developments in all material pro- 
gress during the century, and in so short a period, compared^ 
with the ages that have rolled through the archway of time 
that our astonishment is excited and we are prone to wonder 
how it was that the human intellect, during those ages, lay dor- 
mant, and failed to exert itself in the multifarious paths which 
have since been so successfully and triumphantly trodden. But 
our wonder subsides when we remember that a man is only an 
agent of a higher power, which governs him as it does times and 
seasons, and selects them. We are almost inclined to be per- 
suaded that the genius of invention has reached its highest ac- 
complishment in contributing its aid to the various pursuits of 
mankind; but one may recollect that long, long ago it was thought 
by the wisest men its greatest achievements had been attained. 
This fallacy has been exploded, and therefore we may not say 
we have arrived at the summit of human progresa But while 
we may advance and transcend the limits of what has been de- 
monstrated to be practicable, we must remember that we have 
something else to do. We are boimd to cherish what we have^ 
and the citizens of this great republic must remember that they 
are charged by every obligation of patriotism to maintain and 
perpetuate the Hberties and rights of all. The universal assem- 
blage this day throughout the land is an encouraging omen; 
and happy be the man and grateful be the man who has lived to 
see this day. Such a day comes but once in a hundred years ! 
May the next be crowned by virtue, union, peace, liberty, pros- 
perity and happiness — ^if it be not, it will be alone man's fault. 
For the same glorious sun will shine by day, the same moon and 
stars will shed their beams by night, the same responsive earth 
will revolve in its appropriate sphere, the same refreshing waters 
will flow and ebb, the same seasons will come and pass, and the 
same aU-veise, just and merciful God will be over alL 




Mr. Pbgsident, Ladies and Oentleieen : When the merchant 
turns faia attention to foreign commerce, he designs a craft for 
ocean navigation, and addresses himHelf to the task of procuring 
sound materials and the most approved plans of naval architec- 
ture. Ttie skeleton of a ship is erected on the stocks, and its 
ribs covered with oak or iron, well secured with holts, having 
neither flaw nor blemish. The hull is tiuished with all the qual- 
ities of strength and sj-mmetry, and, upon an appointed day, in 
the presence of invited gueste, with a virgin stationed on the 
bow with a bottle containing something similai- " to the uectur 
L which Jupiter sips," the hawsers are cast loose, the blocks and 
wedges are removed, and as the ponderous craft glides down 
the inclined plane, the bottle is broken as the name is pro- 
nounced in baptismal solemnity, and, with a nisli and a plunge, 
ahe enters the water, and floats high upon its surface, uncon- 
trolled and uncontrollable except by extrinsic agencies. 

But being in its proper element, the next care is to £t it for 
navigation by the addition of masts and spars, booms and yards, 
ropes and sails, until the unmanageable hulk becomes a full 
rigged ship, with her sails bent and her pennons flying, and 
" she walks the water like a thing of life." Friends are again 
invited, viands iav- prepared, and the trial fxcureioD takes p 


One Lundred years ago a band of patriots Imown by the 
name of the Continental Congress, unskilled and inexperienced 
in State craft, with fearless and almost reckless disregard of con- 
sequences, launched their bark upon the unknown and turbu- 
lent sea of revolution. Not lured like Jason by the hope of the 
recovery of the Golden Fleece, or like the merchant by the pros- 
pect of wealth — not investing their private fortunes only in the 
prospect of private gain or personal ambition — but in the cause 
of human freedom and the rights of man they *' mutually 
pledged to each other their hves, their fortunes, and their sacred 
honor.'' It was not the mere question of the sacrifice of a for- 
tune, or, in the event of success, imtold wealth. It ^as the 
launch of the ship of State upon an unknown sea, with fortunes, 
lives-and honor aboard, the venture being the establishment of 
a nation based on the principle of himian equality ; or, in the 
event of a failure, the loss of fortune, life and honor. Without 
any prospect of personal gain imder any circumstances, the 
stake was a nation to freedom or halters to the projectors. 

After years of untold sacrifices and privations, a nation was 
organized, and human freedom as the basis of a government 
was established. But the mere mihtaiy success of the Revo- 
lution was not the end. Martial courage, heroic endurance and 
unselfish patriotism could trample kingly crowns in the dust, and 
tear the purple robes from the shoulders of royalty, but the 
destinies of a nation of people, covering almost a continent, 
were left in their hands, with no one bom to govern, and with 
no experience in any one in the art of government 

The ship of State had made a successful trial trip, and had 
weathered the gale of military contention and strife; but her 
crew was composed of men accustomed to obey and not to rule. 
The nations of the earth pronounced her staunch and sea- 
worthy, and recognized her as a co-ordinate existence. But the 
question constantly recurred, can she sustain herself in mid- 
ocean in the long voyage of national existence, with an untrained 
and undedplined crew, in the calms of financial depression, and 
among the rocks and shoals of mutiny and internal dissen- 
sion? We are here to-day, as a portion of the passengers who 
sailed on that good craft, to answer that question. We have 


withstood the shodi of battle, the ocean's storm, the tiopic's 
calm, " the broadaide'e reehng rack," the crew's rebellion, and 
tlie hiddea dangers pf the deep, and with all hands on deck and 
the flag Syingat the fore, we dance over the waves and ride into 
the harbor at the end of a voyage of a hundred years, with the 
ease and grace of excuimonists on a summer sea. 

With all our opening disadvantages, with fortunes broken and 
general financial prostration, the nation entered upon a career 
of self-government, thin a doubtful experiment, and this is the 
only rt public in the history of the world which has lived to cel- 
ebrate the centenary of its birth. Tlic problem of government 
by the people was looked upon as the fond dream of visionaries 
and thnorists designed to captivate the ear of the multitude by 
the i-OBOunding periods of the rhetorician, and shed a glamour 
over the resonant numbers of the poet's songs of Lberty; but 
practically an impossible hope not to be realized in human 

When tho united colonies struck tlieir blow for independence 
and in the cuuse of human freedom, the population of the whole 
country was not equal to that of Pennsylvania to-day. And in 
useful productions and the multifarious industries which render 
a people self-sustaining, they were fEir behind the present re- 
sources of this great State. They were not only dependent 
politically upon the mother country, and governed by laws 
in the enactment of ^diich they had no voice, but they were 
commercially dependent They depended on other couittriea 
for many of the necessaries of life. They had a vast territory 
and a soil of great natural fertility, but its products had to be 
shipped to other countries to be put into the forms and fabrics 
for ilic uso of the people'. L'nder such circumstances, the de- 


human transactions, and it often happens that what seems an ^ 
element of weakness is a bulwark of strength. The comparatiye 
poverty and helpless dependence of the colonies was a bond of 
union and strength when the connection with Great Britain was 
once severed. Having to rely upon themselves, they became 
more firmly knitted together, and this self-dependence increased 
their trust and confidence in each other. While their priva- 
tions were greater, their patriotism burned the brighter, and 
they vied with each other in acts of unselfish heroism, and in 
the darkest hours of the protracted struggle, the gloom was 
illuminated by deeds of fortitude, endurance and valor which 
filled the land with their glory, and challenged the admiration 
of the world. 

But this is not a time nor a place for a history of that war, 
or a recapitulation of its conspicuous events. The pledge of 
the colonists to each other and to mankind was faithfully re- 
deemed. The scattered colonies became the nucleus of a great 
nation. But war leaves its scars as well upon the body politic 
as upon the warrior. The new government was bankrupt 
The currency of the country was worthlesa The new system 
of government was to be organized by men who were without 
experience in the art of government, with large debts and an 
empty treasury. Here again, more conspicuously than in the 
war, the poverty of the colonists was an element of strenf^h, 
and the nursury of patriotism. With no money in the treasury 
and few resources to raise revenue to pay their debts and cany 
on the pubhc business, they had their compensation in the fact 
that there was nothing to steal, and consequently the new gov- 
ernment did not beget a race of thieves. Men who were con- 
spicuous for the purity of their lives, their sterling integrity and 
patriotism and their exalted abihties were sought for and placed 
in the highest positions of poHtical trust In those days, it was 
the behef of the people that the true way to get money was to 
earn it; that the acquisition of wealth was a slow and toilsome 
process; and tliat the evidence of it was the possession and own- 
ership of substantial property, or the ghttering cash, and not a 
man's abihty to place on the market and keep afioat the largest 
amount of commercial paper. 


With these liomcly but Boimd notionB of political and per- 
sonal economy, the people addressed themaelves to the taak of 
repairing their fortunes and building up the industries of the 
country on a firm and substantial bases. Economy in the 
household and in the government was tlie rule, and no luxuries 
were indulged in until the money was earned to pay for them. 
The habits of the people under a government of and by the peo- 
ple stamped their impress upon the administration of public af- 
fairs. Honesty, economy, and pubhc and private virtue were 
essential elements of respectabihty, and the general rule of 
action in pubhc and private life ; and proffligacy the excep- 
tion. Cultivating such priaeiples, with a boundless territoiy, 
of teeming soil and a iree government, we could not foil to be a 
prosperous and a happy people. 

Having started our ship of State under these auspices, we 
have tided over the first century of cur national existence. 
On this glml day of our hundredth anniversary, while celebra- 
ting the most important event in the history of human govern- 
ments which has ever ehcd its influence on surrounding nations, 
and hghted up the dark places of the world, let us lite true 
sailors take our reckoning, and improve the occasion of our re- 
joicing in this year of jubilee, by ascertaining whether our good 
ship is on her true course, and to so trim her sails, repair her 
hull, lay her fairly before the wind, and replenish her stores, 
that she may hve through the calms of iinanciol and business 
depressions, weather tlie gales of internal strife, avoid the rocks 
and shoals of foreign and domestic wars, and repel the attacks of 
pu-nticid crafts at liiimc and abroad, diirintr the futm-e c 


helmsman's wheel like a thing of inteUigenee ? Do the " waves 
bound beneath her like a steed that knows his rider ? " Is she 
followed by hungry sharks ready to devour her crew, or cheered 
by the presence of the graceful sea gull, with his wa\y motion 
and virgin plumage? 

These questions are asked more to excite reflection tlian for 
answers; but it may not be amiss to answer so far as can be 
done by general conclusions. The stabihty of the present and 
the hope of the future are found in the underlying principles of 
our government — the universal equality and inahenablo rights 
of all men. Himian rights are the rights of aU men, and of each 
man, and they cannot be taken away except so far as he surrenders 
them. Governments are organized for the protection of human 
society, but they derive all " their just powers from the con- 
sent of the governed.*' To this extent a man may surrender 
his natural rights. The government is from an internal, and 
not an external source. Man rules himself under our system, 
and for convenience may do it by a delegated power, to be con- 
ferred and resumed at stated intervala His laws, therefore, are 
of his own making, and while it is his duty as a member of soci- 
ety to obey them, he has the power of revocation whenever he 
finds them unjust or oppressive. 

Under such a form of government, the right of armed revo- 
lution does not exist That is only justifiable against a power 
which he did not create, and which seeks to control or disegard 
his rights without his consent. The theory of government 
based upon an hereditary succession of rulers is not only sub- 
versive of the rights of man, but is an irreverent usurpation of 
divine power. The nurture of a sovereign in the cradle, des- 
tined while a puling infant to be the ruler of a nation, whether 
an idiot, a tyrant, a statesman, or a fool, is as ,impious as it is 
absurd. In organized society man is the source of poHtical 
power for self-government, although we all acknowledge "a 
higher law ; " and however much the term may be abused by 
speculative theorists, and however much the expression may be 
distorted by or in the interests of political mountebanks, all 
jurists and law makers recognize a law above human laws, the 
leges legem, to which all human laws must conform and be made 

82 o;in n^tiokai. jubilee. 

eabservient. Bat that law does not take away any hnman rights. 
It fosters and protects them ; and, therefore, it cannot confer 
the right to rule on hereditary Bovereigns, And this principle 
of equality in rights is aniyeraal, and applies to all men, with- 
out regard to nationality, creed or. color. Whether Caucasian, 
Teuton, Celt, African, or MongoH'n, this question is equally 
apphcablc, and it cannot bo abrogated by any power beneath 
that which thundered the laws from Mount Sinai. Man may 
forfeit his right to Jifo and hberty by his crimes, but this can be 
done only by the laws in which he has a voice in making. The 
stability of the present and the hopes of the future are based 
upon the maintenance of this principle in its iutegrity ; but it 
is so firmly ssated and so interwoven with every fibre of our 
existence, that the faith and the hope seem to be well founded. 

\\Tiile it is true that there does not seem to be that rigid econ- 
omy, and unBclfsh patriotism which characterized the founders 
of the goverament, I do not bejong to the croakers who believe 
that all pubhc and private virtue, wisdom and patriotism died 
with the past It is tin imfortiinate disposition, and leads to 
much unhappiness, to be constantly dlBtruetiug every one in 
public and in private life. I would prefer to Ije occasionally 
cheated rather than deal with every man as if I beheved him to 
be a rogue. Under our system, the government will be as good 
as the people, and the evils which creep into the administration 
of public affairs begin at the root. 

People and rulers have departed to some extent from that 
simplicity which should be the characteristic of a republic ; and 
lij extravagiiuce and luxury — if not riotous living — indulge in 
expeuditures and incur heavy liabilities, to meet which they in- 
speculation, and essay to make luoucy of each other, 


er, not enough. They depend too much upon the government 
to mend their broken fortunes. They give too little attention 
to the kind of men they select, and de^^end too much upon 
creeds and platforms. 

The evil will go on until it will cure itself in the end. I can 
lay down a rule which, if rigidly followed, would cure many of 
the evils which are now charged upon the government. Let 
every man attend diligently to his own business. Earn the 
money upon which he lives, and earn it before he expends it. 
Eisk no money in a speculation which he cannot afford to lose, 
and place none in a doubtful venture but his own. If this 
course be strictly followed by every man, we will scarcely know 
we have a government, it will sit so lightly upon our shoulders, 
and we will soon discover that our business and our fortunes 
do not depend so much upon the government as upon our- 
selves. There are more people than is generally supposed who 
pursue this course ; but they are very much hindered in their 
slow but certain progress by the large class who pursue a dif- 
ferent course. Men who spend money they never earned, or 
owned, must spend that which belongs to others. For many 
live on what others have toiled to earn. This is one of the great 
causes of the crippled condition of the industries of our State. 

But while these things retard our prosperity periodically, 
they do not shake the foundation principles of our government, 
or endanger its permanency. The wrecks which float upon the 
surface are but the broken fragments of the argosies which 
have been drawn into the insatiate whirlpool of mad specula- 
tion, dashed in pieces on the rocks beneath, and cast up by the 
restless waters, a warning to reckless adventurers. 

The system of fast living and the appropriation of trust funds 
for private use, which ultimately leads to the theft of public 
money, are the crying evils of the times. While bolts, and bars, 
and locks can protect us against common thieves and burglars, 
we have no security against official thieves except care in the 
selection of men for official positions of trust and confidence, 
and the rigid and inexorable enforcement of the law against its 
infractors, with a merciless punishment of criminals who betray 
their trusts. And the country is waking up to the importance 

84 otm KAnoNAL jubilee. 

of tliia subject and a better era ia dawning. " It is always the 
darkest the hour before day." 

But this particular mEinifestatioti of crime ib not peculiar to 
our times, and does not touch the fundamental principles of our 

The Great Master was betrayed for a bribe, but Christianity 
still Uves ; there was treason in the army of the Revolution, and 
yet the colonists triumphed ; and there have been defaulters 
among public officials and corruptioQ in high places in all ages 
of the world. In our country the remedy against it is in the 
Lands of the people. In nearly all others they have little, if 
any, control over the public servants. There is, therefore, no 
reason to despair of our institutions in view of certain mani- 
festations of corruption among those in positions of trust and 
confidence. "When the crime becomes intolerable the peo[>le 
will rii^e to the necessity of the occasion, and apply the remedy 
which they hold in their liands. 

But the question arises, are we in n, worse condition in this 
respect than we were in what we regarded as the J>almyday8 of 
the Republic? Wo have more facilities for obtaining news 
than formerly. With onr telegraphs and railroads, news travels 
with great rapidity, and especially bod news ; and our innumer- 
able newspapers gather that which is the moBt sensational and 
exciting. The quiet deeds of charity and benevolence, the eelf- 
sacrificing act of heroism, and the thoosandsof events in private 
life which ennoble human actions ore unknown to the public 
The turbulent elements of society come to the surface. The 
agents of crime get into the conrte, and their deeds are 
heralded everywhere, and newspapers containing the revolting 
detiiila arc constantly thrust before oui' ovua. '• The evU that 


have more than kept pace with the population. That certain 
offenses against law have assumed a grave magnitude is a thing 
to be deplored, but in the presence of the good which emanates 
from our beneficent government they are but as the spots on the 
disk of the sim, which mellow the light by breaking the fierce 
rays of its overpowering effulgence. 

But there is no reason to beheve that the world is retrograd- 
ing in morals or honesty. Such a concession would be an ad- 
mission that civilization, intelligence and Christianity impede 
the progress of the world and are disadvantageous to mankind ; 
for there are more schools and seminaries, more books to read; 
more people to read and imderstand them, more acts of benev- 
olence and charity, more culture and refinement, and more peo- 
ple who worship Gk)d to-day than at any other period since the 
" morning stars sang together " at man's creation. That there 
are base, gross and wicked people is no new phenomenon. 
They have infested society and cursed the world since the 
day when our original progenitor partook of " that forbidden 
fruit whose mortal tasto brought death into the world and aU 
our woe, with loss of Eden." 

But the beacon fires of Hberty biuii as brightly to-day as they 
did on the morning of the Fourth of July, 1776, and the people 
of the country cherish the principles upon which the brave old 
patriots of that day estabhshed us as a free and independent 
nation. This mormng has been ushered in over this broad land 
ivith the booming of cannon, the chimes of beUs, the blare of 
the bugle, and the joyful greetings and proud huzzas of the peo- 
ple. These demonstrations are hearty, earnest and profound. 
They are the spontaneous outbursts of patriotism — ^the grand 
anthems bursting from the full hearts of a free, loyal and intel- 
ligent people. 

Why should we not look forward to the future with well- 
founded hopes, inspired by the success of the past? The staunch 
ship of State cannot encounter more difficult navigation in the 
coming century than in the past. She has encountered foes 
from without and enemies within. She has lain within the 
trough of the sea, and withstood the earth-shaking broadside ; 
and while she trembled in every timber and groaned throughout 


her haU at the " diapasoa of the camtonLidG,'' after the blae 
smoke of buttle Lad drifted away in curling clonds on the breeze, 
we looked aloft, and jojfully escliiiiiied that " our flag is still 
there !" "When the waves of rebellion, with fearful fury crashed 
upon her in mid-ocenn, they were brokeu and scattered ui foam 
oa her bull, und died away in eternal silence at her keeL Ju 
oftlm and stonu, iu peitco and war, our goodly craft has braved 
a hundred yeara " the battle and the breeze." 

To-day all bands are [lifted on deck to receive instriictious and 
inspiriting eucoufagement for a contiimanco of the voyage for an- 
other ceutiiry. The winds and tides are fair, the skies are 
bright, and the sails are set. Gently swaying to the bUlows' 
motion, we ruuud the headland, and boldly enter ujwn the broad 
expanse of waters. The world of old dynasties, wliich jeered 
when we essayed our first voyage, became astonished at our pro- 
gress, and their astonishment turned into amazement as we pur- 
sued our successful course. That amazement, as we boldly liead 
out for the open sea on the second century, assumes tlie Eispect 
of ftwo. Such a craft, manned by such a crew, carrying a flag 
which is known and recognized as the emblem of freedom every- 
where, is a daugerous emissary among the subjects of kings, em- 
perors, and despots of every form. Wherever that flag floats, 
whether waving languidly in the gentle zephyr of the tropics, or 
fluttering amid the ice crags of arctic desolation, it is hailed as 
the emblem of freedom and the symbol of the rights of man. 

To show our influence on the people iu the remote comers of 
the earth, a citizen of the United States, during the trying times 
of the rebellion, was traveling on the northern coast of Norway ; 
and, landii^ from a small steamer at a trading town in the early 


Upon being answered in the affirmative, he exclaimed : " Tell 
me, tell me, does liberty still live ?" He expressed great satis- 
faction upon being assured that it did. 

If on the coasts of the northern frozen seas, in a land of al- 
most perpetual night, an illiterate fisherman feels such an eager 
interest in the question of the continued vitality of hberty, what 
a dangerous messenger will be that ensign of the Ship of State 
flashing "its meteor glories" among the thrones, crowns, and 
sceptres of the world. The subjects and victims of oppression will 
catch " inspiration from its glance," and learning that liberty 
still lives, will pass the inspiring watchword from man to man. 
And the cry that " Liberty still Hves " will be the world's battle 
shout of fseedom, and the rallying watchword of deHverance. 

** And the dwellers in the rocks and in the vales, 
ShaU shout it to each other, and the mountain tops 
From distant mountains catch the flying Joy, 
'Till nation after nation taught the strain, 
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round." 

And in the land of hberty 's birth the fires of patriotism will 
be kept aflame by the iteration and reiteration of the answer to 
the fisherman's question, that " Liberty still Hves.*' And from 
the hearts of the crowded cities, from the fireside of the farmer, 
and from the workshop of the mechanic, in the busy hamlets of 
labor, and in the homes of luxury and ease, the hearts of free- 
men will be cheered as our noble craft sails on, with the inspirit- 
ing assurance that " Liberty still hves." The burden of that cry 
will float upon the air wherever our banner waves, and its re- 
sonant notes will fill the land with a new inspiration as the joy- 
ful assurance is heard. 

** Coming up from each Talley, flung down ttcm. eaoh height^ 
Our Country and Liberty, God for the right.'* 




Mb. &Iator, Counciluen, Citizcns and Ladies : One ban- 
dred yeara have come and g^one — and in Bome land the 
waves of time have left no impress. Not so with aa. A 
ceotuT; ago what were we? To-day what are we? We were 
theu 3,000,000 of people, we are now over 40,000,000. What 
does this mean, what wondrous national tale is this? Is it not 
a mistake. In till the annaled post the story is matchleiis. Go 
back to the frontier line of fact and fitble, begin at the misty 
border which marks the boondaiy of eiact knowledge, and cull 
out the most extraordinary stories of national progress ; par- 
allel them with our tale of a centnry ; and bow dry and insipid 
are they, how deficient in dramatic force, bow slow and limping 
in gait, how denuded of the element of human happiness, when 
compared with the marvellous and beneficent growth of oor 
Republic ? 

The glamor of history is tbrown around a Cyms, a Leoni- 
das, a Miltiades, an Alexander, a Chatlamagnc, or Napoleon, 
and the glowing mind of the student, drinks in the glory of 
their career as they rise up in demigod proportions to the 
imagination. Their glories are written in the blood sweat and 
woe of the conquered. The wail of the captive is heard as the 
oiidenced anB'tviT to the shout of triumph. Herein our bi^jlory 


Saxon, and Celt, men whose conscience were their only moni- 
tors, whose ingrained sense of equality was crystalized in the 
answer of the New England leader, that "he knew no Lord, but 
the Lord Jehovah." In this fringe of our continent there were 
no castelated towers, no ivy-crowned turrets, no baronal keeps* 
no gothic churches, whose foundations were laid in the gloaming 
of tlie Myen age ; all was new. The compacts of the Puritan 
Mayflower, and the Catholic Dove, resting upon the great char- 
ter of John, weie palladium of American rights. Mighty was 
the power of these compacts and charters, as they gave to the 
world a republic, which has already overshadowed in freedom, 
might, glory and prosperity all the political creations of man, 
and compared with the sheen of which aU others are opaque. 

This is seemingly exaggerated, but it is not so. England is 
held to be the foremost in the race of progressive national de- 
velopment. A century ago, the fishermen, farmers and planters, 
of this land met her, beat her, trailed her flag in the mire of 
Saratoga and Yorktown. She was then triple our population 
— ^with the gates of Lidia, the Spice Islands, and the pearly 
Orient open, through which untold wealth was poured into her 
exchequer, with the German and Sclave tributaries to her in- 
dustries. She is now 30,000,000— we are now 40,000,000. 

Of the great drama of the Revolution I will not speak, it is 
the sunniest and brightest spot in history, its triumphs are 
jewels, flfc companions for those contests which saved our 
Japethic civilization from Semetic barbarism, a civilization 
thrice endangered by the Persian, the Carthagenian, and the 
Saracen. Oiu: municipal life was early freighted with a precious 
cargo; onward, through the passes of the Alleghanies, the pre- 
cious burden is carried. The riven pathways are avenues 
through which the founders of more than Imperial States have 
passed. The Ohio valley swarm with frontier men, the resonant 
axe., the muffled rumble of the wagon, the curling smoke of the 
settlement, the tapping of the woodpecker, warn the huntsman 
and trapper that settlers with customs codified into law have 
occupied their haunts, — and their tents and wigwams must be 
carried onward to the Mississippi, across its rich valleys, over 
sage desert and rugged peak, up and beyond the back-bone of 


the continent, throngti tbo ice passeH of the Sierra Nevada, to 
be met ^nth vojagera who defied alike the rage of tbe Atlantic 
and the wrath of tbe Pacific, to find a home in the £ldorado of 
our western shores. We have tamed the continent — atleast onr 
allotted part is eubBervieot to mail's interest — and therein the 
laborer who gamers the yellow harvest is recompensed with its 
profits. Not immiied prosperity and peace have been ours — 
the rose bad thoras and sorely they pricked ns. A war for 
political existence was waged in the infancy of tbe Bepabllc. 
Jackson and New Orleans are the magic words which briefly 
tell the story of its ending. Tbe aits of peace, with the spo- 
r^dic exceptions of Indian wai-fare, dominated and directed the 
destinies of the Repubhc for a whole generation after the vic- 
tory of Jannary, 1816. The brief, briUiant and profitable epis- 
ode of the Mexican war enlarged our teiritorial domain, and 
enshrined the jewels of the Pacific in the quarterings of our 
flag. A few little years, and the heavens grew dork — tbe mighti- 
est civil war of recorded history was fought. Blood rained 
upon battle fields, but did not for long. The geographical unity 
of the country was preserved by tbe surrender at Appotomax. 
Tbe old Bomon forbade the preservation of any refic or flag 
which told of a war between Bomaa and Roman ; no lecord of 
civil strife was permitted, and it was wise. Let us imitate the 
wisdom of the ancients, and pledge ourselves here, upon this 
joyous, glorious day, in the face of God and our countiy, to 
buiy the dead past, to preserve no recollection of the works of 
those dark days, but hand in hand, heart to heart, soul to soul, 
march forward with unity of purpose, to enlarge the prosperity, 
gamer the glory, increaiie the inteUigence, deepen the patriot- 
LuJ render more enduriiig th;iu nn EL'^-nt uvramid. c 

ORAnox — JOHN o'byrne. 91 

TTithin the old State House sat the Continental Congress — ^its 
story is too well known to need repetition. To-day in the same 
city, the greatest Congress of the Nations ever before assembled, 
holds high council. It is not a congress of a race, or a nation ; 
it is gathering together of aU the tribes and peoples, whom 
Grod scattered u2)on the plains of Shinaar, for impious defiance 
of his power 

Although diverse in speech, with Babel's confusion upon every 
tongue, yet the threshold of unification has been reached, and an 
acknowledgment by all mankind, from the Malay, Mongolian, 
Hindostan, Persian, Turk and Arab, as well aa from our cog- 
nate races, that all are brothers, the children of a common 
father, friendly rivals in the race for human perfection has been 
bad amid the hossanahs of song, and the roar of cannon. God 
save the KepubHc I 

The Sonrce and Secarlly of Anerfcan Freedoa and FroKress, 



This is our year of Jubilee. A hundred ;ears have rolled 
awaj since the Dccloratioii of our Independeuce as States, and 
the formation of the coofederacy which ripened into nationahty: 
but httle more than two hundred years ginoe the earliest wan- 
derers " not knowing whither they went," ignorant whether to 
hope or to despair, left the shallops upon which they had bi-aved 
the ocean, and sought upon this contimmt a new home. 

One hundred years ! The life-time of some few men. Some 
child bom this moment may see the recuri-ence of a century. 
But how brief a portion is it of the hfe of most nations 1 lu the 
days of PericleB, Athens had existed over one thousand years, 
Almost seven hundred intervened between the birth of Augus- 
tus Cicsar and the building of Eome. The census of the great 
city thirty years before the Christian Era, made its population 
4,000,000 Bouls. Sixteen hundred years comprise the lifu-time of 
Egypt fi'om its foundation until Cambjses became its conqueror, 
while from the union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain under 
the name of England, until the birth of Shakespeai-e, was over 
seven hundred years ; from thence till now, more than three 
hundred more. The greatness of America attained iu oue hon- 


France ; the wars succeeding, which devastated Europe, and 
iUnstrated the career of the greatest captain of the world; the sin- 
gular, romantic and varying hfe of his distinguished nephew, 
passing from a prison to a throne, and thence to inglorious flight 
and death in luxurious exile ; the rise of the great Russian Empire 
from almost barbarism to the second station among civilized 
nations ; the creation of AustraHa ; the almost new creation of 
Italy ; the subjugation, complete, though sudden, of France to 
Germany ; as sudden and more complete than when the brave 
and adventurous Henry the Fifth brought to his knees the French 
monarch of his day at the bloody field of Agincourt ; the roman- 
tic conquest of Mexico by our own arms ; the strange revelation 
and settlement of California ; and springing from or at least con- 
nected with it the stupendous Civil War through which we oui- 
selves have passed, vnth its momentous .consequences to us, to 
the race so long enslaved among us, to all mankind, in that it 
has demonstrated the inherant toughness of Democracy, and re- 
vealed that we are a Nation which, if it may crumble, can never 
be overcome or fall ; all these and many more historical events 
have distinguished this great century and made it most remark- 
able of all which the world has ever seen. The man whose life 
spans it, has beheld more stupendous changes than were ever 
crowded before within so short a time. 

It cannot be fairly alleged that the century past excells its pre- 
decessors in individual, intellectual or moral development. Know- 
ledge has been widely diffused, and in certain directions greatly 
increased. But it is not the era of great men, of deepest and 
most powerful thinkers. It seems as if diffusion was almost in- 
consistent with depth. The distinction of the age is in discovery, 
more than in thought. But in this region, namely, that of ma- 
terial discovery, the deeds of the century have been even more 
remarkable than its pohtical history. Who can enumerate them ? 
Invention has been most prolific and successful, revolutionizing 
the methods and laws of hfe and action everywhere. In war, 
the clumsy firelock and insignificant though awe-inspiring ord- 
nance of 1776 have given place to the breach-loader, the revolver, 
the chassepot and needle-gun, the mitrailleuse, the rifle cannon, 
the huge columbiad and other mighty weapons, whose roar 



makes that wbich appalled our forefathers seem nothing in com- 
pariscm, while fortificatioua once impregnable are now regarded 
as utterly and absnrdly nnuvailiug. The " wooden wnlls of Eng- 
land " have come to be despiseil. A Ynnkee contriver produce<i a 
contemptible naval " cheese-box " whose marvelous Bnccesa, both 
for offense and defense, has thrown doubt on theutility of ordin- 
ary ships, and art is now seeking in submarine navigation and 
the oso of torpedo boats the means of naval attack and defense. 
It is through war that nations attain Peace, and to-day the art 
of war is not simply revolutionized ; it is positively mystified ; 
taught to distrust everything it knows, groping for some dis- 
covery or invention by which to contend sncceBsfolly with the in- 
ventions which have made okl si;hemes and weapons ridiculous. 

In i^jricnltnre, metho<la and means are entirely changed. 
True, the old plans remain. Virgil's Georgios may etill instruct 
the farmer. The plow, the harrow, the spade, the hoe, the scythe, 
the flail and the sickle still remain. But with these ancient im- 
pliments, the reaper, the mower, the planter, the thresher, and a 
host of other labor-savers have largely done away with personal 
toil, whilst chemistry and science have made the earth teem with 
strange fertility, and the art of gardening has furnished its vo- 
taries with the power of almost creation. 

In medicine and surgery the progress of the century is per- 
haps most remarkable. Vaccination has all but quelled the 
direst of all pestilences. Chemistry has supphed specifics remedy- 
ing in skillful hands almost every chronic disease, while anes- 
thetics have robbed suigety of its terrors and made operations 
possible and common which before men never dared. The vic- 
tories of medical and s\irgical skill over disease and death dur- 
ifb have lately Bi/ourgvd Europe and Amtirica 


have not been produced by its discovery and application. The 
stationary steam engine disembowels the earth or foils fable in 
the multiphcation of mechanical production. Applied as a mo- 
tive power it has changed the habits and character of the world. 
The steamboat upon our rivers ; the magnificent steamship defy- 
ing nature and making the ocean its slave ; the locomotive, an- 
nihilating space and time, binding together distant realms and 
opposite oceans, so that no region on earth seems any longer 
foreign ; could imagination picture what would happen were the 
use of steam suddenly lost ? Yet before this century it was not 

Even more wonderful in its effects upon mankind has been the 
discovery of magnetism and the telegi*aph. Europe lies just 
across the road. Its inhabitants are our companions with whom 
we hold daily converse. 

Catalogue a few of the mechanical inventions of this wonder- 
ful century. The steam engine, the telegraph, the photograph, 
the hydraulic press, the repeater, the steamboat, the steamship, 
the locomotive, the diving bell, the rolling mill, the sewing ma- 
chine. In each word what revolutions in Science and Art and 
in the habits of hfe and society start up before the mind. 

A noticeable fact in regard to most, if not aJl, these revolution- 
izing inventions is that they were the work either of Enghshmen 
or Americans. The progress of the century is mainly due to this 
one branch of the human family, and the same thing is true most 
extensively of minor inventions and discoveries. This may 
be called the Anglo-American century. Other peoples have 
adopted what Enghshmen or American have suggested or begun. 
But these have led in the march of society. 

Whence this striking fact ? Whence the prominence, and I 
hesitate not to stay, without stopping more carefully to prove it, 
the superiority of this race of mankind during the century just 
concluded ? It was not always so. Up to the reign of Eliza- 
beth and even to its termination in 1603, Spain was a greater 
power than England; Spaniards more enterprising as saOors 
and discoverers; more distinguished in the history of the world. 
A hundred years before, three hundred Spaniards had conquered 
Cuba. Some ninety years previous, Cortez had taken Mexico. 


About tlie same time, Magellan sailed through the Btr^ts which 
bear his name and thus entered the Faci£c Ocean. A few years 
later, in 1533, Pizarro completed his wicked conquest of Peru. 
France at that time was likewise greater than England, and even 
colonized in America with greater energy and earlier. The Em- 
pire of the Western "World waa long the prize of doubtful strug- 
gle among these three great nations. Even North America was 
parcelled among them. Florida, named by its Spaniiih Gover- 
nor in 1512 and only ceded to the United States in 1821, and 
Canada, whose dominion by the French began in 1535 and 
ended in 1750, show by their very names bow easily the destiny 
of this land of ours might have been altered. 

Again do wc recur to the question, why the prominence dur- 
ing the last century of England and America ? "Why their won- 
derful progress, while other nations, greater once than England, 
and far greater than infant America, even when progresaive, 
halt and fall behind ? 

I speak of the progress of England during this eventful cen- 
tury, taking it into consideration at the same time with our own. 
It is right imd profitable that we do bo — it will tend to restrain 
our pride, and if rightly studied, perhaps to give us lessons for 
our futui-e. Let us pause in our consideration of the great 
question proposed, and glance, though but a moment, at the 
mighty structure, the British Empire. 

The area of the British Isles is some 123,000 square miles; 
less than California, or Dokotah, or Montana; not half as large 
as Texas; somewhat over twice as large aa the State of New 
York. But the area of all other British pcssessions is 3,034,827 
square miles, situate eveiywhere, so that it is true, without a fig- 
ure, that Britain's morning drum heralds the sun in its progress 


The population of the United States, in 1790 was 3,929,214; 
1870, 38,558,371. The area of the original States was only 
820,680. That of the Union now 3,614,784. 

It were enough for America to be the daughter of such a 
mother. The grandest proof of our progress is the fact that the 
population of the Union to-day exceeds that of the islands of 
Great Britain by some 7,000,000, while one hundred years ago, 
oiur numbers were scarcely one-fifth of theirs; nearly 12,000,000 

It were profitless to go further; to state the material wealth 
oi these two great Empires or to show their increase in the cen- 
tury. It is enough to realize the number subject to their do- 
minion — the extent of the world's area over which each rules. 
We come back to the question most interesting, why the prom- 
inence of these two great commonwealths; why their admitted 
eminence in progress during this eminently progressive century ? 

Each owes much to isolation and abundant opportunity; much 
to the blood which flows in the veins of its people; much to the 
civil institutions which have moulded their character, and through 
which, doubtless, both the similaiities and difierences of Eng- 
lishmen and Americans have been worked out. But we cannot 
fiail to observe one striking fact. The impetus of English great- 
ness was given by the generation that settled America It was 
pushed onwards by the immediately succeeding generations, 
following for the most part the same course of thought and 
practice, and from which, from time to time, successive colonies 
came. The England of to-day is the England first fairly devel- 
oped in the reign of Elizabeth and James, and whicli has since 
only been modified, never fully changed. The America of to- 
day, departing, I fear, too carelessly from the principles of its 
originators, is yet great and worthy just in proportion as it ad- 
heres to them. To state the view I wish to maintain in short 
compass, it is this: the character and greatness of England and 
America, of Enghshmen and Americans, are the result of the 
principles of tolerant Christianity, that is to say, of the open 
Bible and the inculcation of its precepts and doctrines. The free- 
dom of which we rightly boast is better than any other freedom 
because it is that which springs from the open Bible, and is re- 


verential and dutiful at the same time that it asserts the rights of 
man. The progress orer which we celebrate this year of jubilee, is 
due, would we but see it, to the action of those elements of charac- 
ter, which the open Bible, rerered and followed as the fathers re- 
vered and followed it originates and strengthens — and if we would 
maintain that progress; if we would have the Nation live more 
centuries; yea! ifwewouldhave the nest find us a strong, united 
and happy people, we must retain the open Bible as a legal in- 
Rtitution, insiBting upon its use in all education regulated by 
law, and furthering it by all means consistent with law. This 
is the grand subject which I venture this day to suggest. A 
subject, which in fact, one can do htde more than suggest, but 
which is super-eminently worthy of the careful thought of the 
distinguished society, a branch of which I have the honor to ad- 
dress in this Centennial year of its establishment. 

The historical allegation that the reigns of Elizabetli and her 
mccessoF date the development or first impetus of "F"e'iwTt 
greatness, of what peculiarly marks the English character, will 
be, I think, generally accepted. It was indeed a most re- 
markable period. The wars of the Boses had toughened the 
hearts and sinews of the commonalty. The sentiment and habit 
of duty which were the strength and recommendation of the 
Feudal system had increased the native manliness which seems 
inherent in the race. The habit of using martial weapons which 
the law required ; the enforcement of industry ; the ptmishment 
and contempt of sturdy vagrancy and tramps ; the simplicity 
of diet ancl of dress ; the strict requisition of honest weights, 
measures and prices, all enforced by statute ; the fierceness in 
^ht which won Cressy and Agincourt, the simple-hearted po- 
triotism which m.tdc every man think first of England than 


printed Bible. First, Tyndale's in 1526 to 1636, the mere pos- 
session of a copy of which was its owner's passport to the 
flames; then Myles Coverdale's in 1535, patronized by Lord 
Cromwell ; then Cranmer's, the first Bible published in Eng- 
land, a copy of which in 1540 was required to be placed in 
every Parish Church; then Wbittingham's, Parker's or the 
Bishop*s Bible dated 1560 and 1568, and finally the Dooay or 
Catholic version in 1609. 

Simultaneously or shortly before these pulplications which 
mainly effected the English people, properly so called, came the 
outburst of EDgUsh letters and talent. The lower world was on 
fire ; the upper a series of constellations. In Church and State, 
in Poetry and Drama, in Philosophy and Statebmanship, in 
voyages and travels, in arts and in arms, the Elizabethan age 
stands grandly eminent, unapproached by aught else in the 
history of mankind. Think of a period, and that when popula- 
tion was so small, that could produce a Bacon, a Shakespeare, 
a Spencer and a Sydney, a Cecil, a Marlowe, a Johnson, a More> 
a Drake, and a Baleigh, besides a crowd of others whom it were 
a pleasure, could we stop to remember. 

But the great feature of the period, especially that ranging 
between the middle of the reign of Elizabeth and the meeting 
of the Long Parliament, was the supremacy attained by the 
Bible. Says an eloquent and graphic writer of modem date, 
" England^became the people of a book and that book was the 
Bible." It was as yet the one English book which was familiar 
to every Engliflhinan : it was read at churches, and read at 
home, and everywhere its words as they fell on ears which cus- 
tom had not deadened to their force and beauty, kindled a 
startling enthusiasm. When Bishop Bonner set up the first six 
Bibles in St. Paul's " many well disposed persons used much to 
r^ort to the hearing thereof, especially when they could get any 
that had an audible voice to read to them." Says an old wri- 
ter, " it was wonderful to see with what joy the book of God 
was received, not only among the learned sort, but generally all 
England over, among all the vulgar and common people : and 
with what greediness God's word was read, and what resort to 
places where the reading of it was ; everybody that could 


booght the book, or bnsily read it, or got otbera to read it to 
them if they could not themBelves." 

Quoting again from Mr. Grt^n's hiatoiy of the English peo- 
ple, "the popolLirity of the Bible was owing to other caosee 
besides thatof religion. The ^hole prose literature of England, 
save the forgotten tracts of Wyclif, has grown np since the trans- 
lation of the Scriptures by l^dale and Corerdole. No history 
or romance, no poetry, save the little known verse of Chancer, 
oxidted for any*practical purpose in the Enghfih tongue, when 
the Bible waB ordered to be set np in ehnrches. Sunday after 
Sunday, Jay after day, the crowds that gathered around Bon- 
ner's Bible in the nave of St. Paul's ; or the family group that 
hung on the words o>f the deneva Bible in the devotional exer- 
cises at home, T7ere leavened with a new literature. Legends 
and annals, war song and psalm, state rolls and biographies, the 
mighty voices of prophets, the parables of Evangelists, stories 
of mission journeys, of perils by the sea and among the heathen, 
philosophic arguments, apocalyptic visions, all were flung broad- 
east upon minds unoccupied for the moat part by any rival 
learning. * * * • As a mere literary monnment, 
the English version of the Bible remains the noblest example 
of the English tongae. Its perpetual use mode it &om the 
instant of its appearance the standard of our language. Bat 
for the moment its literary effect was less than its social. The 
power of the book over the mass of Englishmen showed itself in 
a thousand superficial ways, and in none more conspicnoudy, 
than in the infinonce it exerted on ordinary speech. It formed, 
we must repeat, the whole literature which was practically 
acceptable to ordinary Englishmen, and when we recall the 


mercy, and truth which epoke from the book which she had 
again opened for her people. The whole moral effect which is 
produced now-a-days by the religious newspaper, the tract, the 
essay, the lecture, the missionary report, the sermon, was then 
produced by the Bible alone. And its effect in this way, how- 
ever dispassionately we examine it, was simply amazing. The 
whole temper of the nation was changed. A new conception 
of life and of man superseded the old. A new moral and reh- 
gious impulse spread through every class. Literature reflected 
the general tendency of the tima * * ♦ « Theology 
rules there," said Grotius, of England, only ten years after the 
Queen's death. * * * " The whole nation became in fact 
a church." 

Out of all this, and imder the action of many wonderful 
changes and providences, upon which we can look now and 
plainly see that the Hand of the Almighty directed, with bluff 
King Harry fighting with the Pope and appealing to the Word 
against him, his self-will and sensuality thus giving aid to the 
triumph of the open Bible — with lovely Edward piously giving 
himself up to the completion of the Eeformation — with Man' 
and Philip fanatically inaugurating persecution and lighting the 
fires of Smithfield and Oxford — with Elizabeth in her turn con- 
tending with Spain, and with the aid of Providence dispersing 
and destroying the great hostile Armada — out of all tliis, I say, 
was evolved the Puritan — not the grim precisian, morose, 
ascetic, penurious, canting and hyprocritical which that word 
ordinarily calls up and describes, and which, in later years too 
often claimed the title ; but the true and original Puritan, who 
was not necessarily or at first even a separatist, but adliered to 
the Church and its ministers, and sought honestly to reform, not 
to destroy. It was, said Fuller, " a name used to stigmatize 
all those who endeavored in their devotions to accompany the 
minister with a pure heart, and who were remarkably holy in 
their conversation. A Puritan was a man of severe morals, a 
Calvinist in doctrine, and (at last) a non-conformist to all the 
ceremonies and discipline of the Church, though he did not 
wholly separate from it." 

What manner of men and women these were, or might be, 


con^steDtly with Uiis title, tho same author from whom I qnotd 
graphically describua. Of one of them he chroniclsB the per- 
BODol beauty which ilistiuguiBhed his youth, taking note from a 
wife'b dcBcriptioQ of him, " of his teeth, even and white as the 
pureat ivory, Lis huir of brown, very thick-set in his youth, 
softer than the finest silk, curling with loose, great rings at the 
end." Serious &n was bis temper in graver matters, he was 
fond of hawking and piqued himself on his akill in dntiffjag 
and fence. His artistic taste showed itself in a critical love of 
"gravlngs, sculpture and all liberal arts," as well as in the 
pleasure he tuok iu his gardens, in the improvement of his 
grounds, in plantinggroves, and walks, and fruit trees I If ho 
w:is diligent in Lis ezanjiuation of the Sciiptnres " he had a 
great love for music, and often diverted himself with a viol, on 
which he played masterly." The temper of the Puritan gentle- 
mun was just, noble and self-coatrolled. The laiger geniality 
of the age that had passed away shrauk into an intense tender- 
ness within the narrow circle of the home. "He was as kind 
a father," goes on the description already begun, " as dear a 
brother, as good a moslcr, as faithful a friend as the world had. 
Passion was replaced by manly purity. Neither iu youth nor 
ripe years could the fair or enticing woman draw him so much 
as into unnecessary famlharity or dalliance. Wise and virtuous 
women ho loved, and dehghted in all pure and holy and un- 
blemished conversation with them, but so as never to excite 
scandal or temptation. Scurrilous discourse even among m«j 
he abhorred, and though he sometimes took pleasure in wit 
or mirth, yet that which was mixed with impurity be never 
coiild endorse. The play and willfulness of life, the Puritan 


rose early ; he never was at any time idle, and hated to see any 
one else so. The new sobriety and self-restraint marked itself 
even in his change of dress. Gorgeous colors and jewels dis- 
appeared. This no doubt reflected a certain loss of color and 
variety in life itself ; but it was a loss compensated by sohd 
gain. Greatest among them was the new conception of social 
eqiiahty. Their common call, their brotherhood in Christ, anni- 
hilated in the mind of the Puritans that overpowering sense of 
social distinctions which characterized a preceding age. The 
meanest peasant felt himself ennobled as a child of God. The 
proudest noble recognized a spiritual equality in the poorest 
saint Of one of the representative men it is written '^ he had 
a loving and sweet courtesy to the poorest ; he never disdained 
the meanest nor flattered the greatest. 

Such was puritanism among the highest. Akin to it was Pu- 
ritanism among the lower classes. Milton, John Bunyan, Pyni, 
Hampden — ^these names suggest classes from which they sprung 
and show us who they were who laid the foimdations of EngHsli 
and American greatness. It were dehght to dwell upon per- 
sonal descriptions and hve awhile among such men and women. 
But it is impossible. We must endeavor to hasten on with the 
subject involved. 

Nor can we stop to show how this sort of people changed; 
how their characteristics exaggerated, intensified, and became 
unnatural; how, in later days, piety became sanctimony; sobrie- 
ty, moroseness; sense of right, t^Tannous, self-will; frugality, 
covetousness; virtue, too often hypocrisy; toleration and charity, 
the very incarnation of their original merit, bitter intolerance 
and iron compression of opinion. All this, too true of latest puri- 
tanism, did not belong to the earHer. It evidently was a natural 
growth under the conditions of contest, legal repression and gen- 
eral conflict to which puritanism was exposed. But it was not 
a necessary one — ^^f'dth judicious treatment, it would have been 

The gardener, seeking successfully to propagate a noble plant, 
chooses the best stock at its healthiest prime, and then selecting 
the most promising bud, fullest of sap and vitahty, he severs it, 
and carefully conveying and nursing it, in due time grafts it on 


BomG hardy stodi, assured that it will permoate and renew it 
And so tbe Divine Gnrdcner and Creator selected the exact mo- 
ment when the open Bible had dime its nobleBt work, developed 
and bvJlt up the pnreBt, hulieut character, and then pennittiiig 
wrongs and conditioiiB litely to effect that object, Ho directed 
an emigration, a convcyiu;; of the best part of England to the 
distant wildemeas, tiiere to gi'uw into a nation, like the other, 
yet even more progresBivc ; of a freedom similar though perhaps 
more self-asserting, likely to produce a type of men with more 
active energy than that of those who remained ; a nation which, 
daughter of England not only, but a child of England's special 
freedom, the freedom of the open Bible, would take its place be- 
side her as a bulwark of tolerant Christianity, a dispenser through 
uJl ages of the blessings to mankind which naturally spring 

No thoughtful man can fail to note the difference between the 
motives which generally brought the tirst settlers to America 
and those which have actuated other emigration. It was lust of 
gold which led the Hpaniai'd to Mexico and Peru and Cuba and 
elsewhci-e, minfjled with the stem missionary martjT spirit which 
distinguished Jesuit seU-sacritice. It wus lust of gold which in 
our day settled California and Austrailio. It was lust of wealtli 
and power wliich made Great Britain mistress of the Indies. 
But with those who from 1610 on to 1700, when large emigra- 
tion well iiigU ceosetl, defied the storms and sought homes in 
America, whence soever they came and with scarce an exception, 
whether from Holland, Sweden, Denmark or England, the mo- 
tive of expatriation was the full enjoyment of the open Bible — 
of the hglit, that is, to l>eheve, and to act upon their behef, of 
whut it tt'in-heH; to enjoy the frtedi.m nf which it tells, naid which 


mcallj so capable of eleyation that it is bis duty ever to seek it* 
In a word, the freedom here established, and preserved, and 
existing in the mother country by English law, illustrates at 
least in comparison with other nations civilized or barbarous 
which have it not, what is declared by the Divine Founder of 
Christianity: "if the truth therefore shall make you free, ye 
shall be free indeed." 

I call it " tlie freedom of the open Bible'* — into which X)hra8e 
enter two great doctrines: first, that it is not, as with many, 
merely a book, however to be admired and comparatively re- 
garded, but the Bible — authoritative, true, supreme — next, that 
it is to be open — open to all, not to be kept for sacerdotal or 
other exposition merely — not to be followed in the way of some 
rather than of others, but for each human being to follow in 
his own way, according to private judgment, with such wis- 
dom as he can acquire and on his own responsibihty. Worship- 
ful reverence for the Book, combined with toleration towards 
all who conscientiously follow it, whatever their differences, and 
with pitiful regard to such as conscientiously and respectfully 
impugn it, this is the foimdation of the freedom which has done 
fiuch great things for England and for America, and through 
them for the world. 

How in each Nation this fundamental law of the open Bible, 
whose natural product is tolerant Christianity, has been estab- 
lished and preserved, through all tlie changes and chances of the 
life of nations, is a subject full of interest In the British Isles^ 
Puritanism, the first fruits as I have insisted of the open Bible, 
foimd an established Chui'ch, part of the law of the land; a pil- 
lar of the State, and of the Crown: in Scotland following one 
form of sectarian theology, in England another. StruggUiig for 
influence within the Church, it found obstacles, and then occiu'- 
red contention which affected the character of both contestants. 
Antagonism shaped both, and neither party was the better in 
the end. But, for all that, with both the two great blessings re- 
mained: the Bible, in the Church as out of it was the Book, and 
religious behef of every sort was tolerated. True, exceptions to 
this toleration, or at least restrictions, on the manifestations of 
contrary behef, occurred both abroad and here. But this has 


always been temporaiy and at laat rejected, and while we in 
America Lave always scouted an established Church with a rem- 
nant to-day of the rancor of the fathers against it, we yet may 
doubt whether, without the eBtabhahment of Churches in Eng- 
land, Scotland, Holland and otiier commonwealths, our form of 
ChriBtianity could have been so strong, or civilization and pro- 
grees so advanced and secure. 

For the forces opposed to the open Bible were, and are even 
still, so organized and so supported by civil power, that like or- 
ganization and support were perhaps necessary. Ilie ends of 
Providence, one may almost think he sees, required that England, 
the chosen chief champion of Pi-oteatant Christianity and illus- 
tration of its effects, a European power with others to contend 
with OF to influence, should be for nil these centuries more of a 
monarchy than a republic, while America, afar off, to whom all 
must come over the seas, but with an illimitable future in its im- 
mense area, could with safety at once esemphfy that republic- 
anism to which the open Bible leads. And so in the Providence 
of the Most High, there came about fur Bi-itain the established 
Churches of the two Kingdoms, combined with their noble "Uni- 
versities and schools, while in America the hearts of men were 
led to the establishment of the system of Public Schools, in itself 
and by itaelf insufBcient, except that in them, as everywhere eke, 
there was permitted the open Bible, and except Colleges and 
Universities, developing a higher culture than is possible in 
Public Schools, were consecrated to positive instruction in relig- 

It is these great agencies at home and abroad that have done 
the great work of this marvdlous century ; the Church, the Col- 
lege and the School, all fostered by the Civil Law and shaped 


everywhere else, and exerts a conservative force whose value can 
hardly be overestimated; especially because it supplies reward 
for merit and exertion, and thus constantly keeps up the exis- 
tence of intellectual abihty and strong character. The great- 
ness of Britain is largely due to this. The number of men of 
force and culture there, as well as the extent of culture when it 
exists, is very great. 

And yet it is not difficult to see that this is in a great degree 
the fruit of the Puritanism I have described, the true Puritan- 
ism, earhest offspring of the open Bible. It was this earnest re- 
ligion that created most, if not all, of those numerous endowed 
schools everywhere to be foimd ; in all of which rehgious teach- 
ing is a prominent feature, and which are the nurseries of 
Scholarship. From the lowest, meritorious pupils pass as a re- 
ward to some higher, one and from that to some still higher, 
until at last the pecuHar few reach Oxford or Cambridge, where 
industry and success reap exalted reward in fellowships, in the 
Church, or even Parliamentary membership. And then pro- 
fessional success and merit are rewarded by office, honor and 
heriditary nobihty, so that the aristocracy is constantly renewed 
with a new and vigorous growth — and the race of Englishman 
proper is perpetuated. 

The system established here under the inspiration of the 
earliest settlers, and wrought into the frame work of our civil 
poHty, was calculated to attain like results without repression of 
popular power. It is easy to see how it has shaped American 
characteristics and promoted American individuahties. It had, 
like the other, several distinct means. First, the PubHc School, 
and in it always and everywhere and originally as a means of in- 
struction, the open Bible. Second, Endowed Schools, Colleges 
and Seminaries, all for the most part imder denominational in- 
fluence, and all thus teaching rehgious truth. Third, Volun- 
tary Churches with their educational adjuncts, the great source 
after all of popular and universal education, and upon which, to- 
day, the hberty and progress of America depend more directly 
than upon any other foundation. Through these we have as 
yet prospered ; very much because of that feature of our Con- 
stitution, out-grov<rth itself of evident Providence, by which we 



are divided into eoptiratc stateB or commimitiee, &nd enabled 
tiiUB more thoroughly to attend to tliese important fundament^ 
forces. It is under thcu- stimulus thut .Vmericoii charact«r is so 
independent, so Helf-osaei'tiug, hu intelligent, so progressive, so 
univerBully, perhaps, audacious in evtiy titld of thought and 
action. The differences between Ajuerican and English charac- 
ter are plainly traceable to tlie uuivei-siil diffusion of education 
iimong us — to its comparatively superficial character — to the 
exclusively materiohstic nature of the rewards to be gained by 
exertion. And alas, witli all, there is clear experience of one 
great inherent defect : mo great that unless it is met speedily, 
the end of all may couie, that- that Bible which created and 
shaped our freedom, and veneration and love for which, origin- 
ated our schools, is, practically, no longer open there ; is in fact, 
in many places, the only book legally and by name forbidden 
and excluded. Such a possibility, it is plain, never occurred to 
the fathers, whether of the seveutecnth or the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Had they dreamed of it, they would have framed our 
Constitution so as always to avoid it. A horror of religious 
tyranny, an enthusiasm for religious freedom and for the formu- 
laries of religious toleration, led them to forget the dangers which 
might spring from the toleration of ^stematic irreligion and 
from the acts of those who, too highly valuing their own creed, 
first undemiine pubhc education by obtaining the exclusion of 
religion from Schools, and then prepare to attack the system as 
therefore positively and absolutely usurious. 

My Fellow Citizens : If I have seemed thus far desultory and 
not practical, I trust it has beeu only in appearance. I meet 
you on the threshold of a new centurj', a century called by the 
world the second century of the Eepubhc, but really the third. 


individtialities of that freedom, its intrinsic characteristics and 
worth : how it has been nurtured and maintained abroad — ^how 
here among ourselves ; these are the great topics at which I have 
glanced, suggesting them merely to your future reflection, and 
all along with a practical purpose, to wit, to sound the alarm for 
the future of the Pubhc School, and of the country, whose in- 
stitutions confessedly depend upon it, and to appeal to all to up- 
hold and extend collegiate education under denominational in- 
fluences as a means beyond the reach of poHtical majorities, 
whereby the open Bible may stiU be a positive institution, its 
precepts positively inculcated, and the freedom and progress 
which depend upon it thus perpetuated. For, if we will only 
observe and think, we must plainly see that, so far, no freedom 
has lasted, anywhere, where there was not the open Bible — that 
is to say, the Christian religion, with perfect toleration. 

It is just here that I am met with the ordinary and plausible 
objection that the American Constitution acknowledges no re- 
ligion, and does not even mention a God, and that its only 
reference to it is the amendment " that Congress shall make no 
law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the 
free exercise thereof," the argument beipg that nothing which 
teaches religion can be done under the provisions of law. To 
-which there is easy reply : first, that the subject is one not 
intended to belong to Congress, nor to the national Legislature ; 
that it concerns internal police, a topic entirely reserved to the 
States ; that if this is not fully correct still the very amendment, 
construed by the established rule " Expressio unius est exclmno, 
aUerius," legalizes all legislation by Congress on the subject of 
religion not implying its establishment nor the prohibition of 
its free exercise — and that it is to the Christian religion beyond 
all doubt that this amendment relates. And this view is 
strengthened by a later amendment which makes a difference 
in guilt between those in arms agjinst it who have taken an 
oath (appealing thereby to God) to support the government, 
and those who have not. I add that Congress has, from the 
beginning, legislated and acted so as to acknowledge religion^ 
OS by requiring an oath of office and oaths from witnesses and 
by punishing perjury, by establishing by rule the opening of 


their sessions vith prayer, end by con stitii ting dmplaiis, botli 
for titemselTes and for troops, and manifold other Bcknowl- 
c^ments of the Supieme Bein^ and the Christian religion 
which He has urdAined. 

And going back to docaments still operatiTe, except so far u 
expressly and by necessary implication repealed, ve find th« 
articles of confederation recite that "it has pleased the Great 
Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the Legislatnres 
of the Torioas States to ratify this perpetual union ; " we find 
the Declaration of Independence asstrting the being of God, 
His Creation and the equality He established among men, 
appealing to Him as the Supreme Judge of the world for the 
rectitude of the iuleutions of its signers, aud e^ressing that 
they rely on "Divine Providence for proteciion" in the struggle 
they initiated ; we find Cougress after the Bevolutiou passing 
the celebrated ordinance of 1787, for the government of the 
territory Northwest of the River Ohio, and declaring certain 
articles of compact between the original States and the people 
and States in the territory, forever unalterable save by common 
consent, in order to " extending the fandamental principles of 
civil aud rehgious liberty which form the bases whereon these 
republics, their laws and conetitutionB ore erected, and to fix 
and establish those principles as the basis of all law and consti- 
tutions, and governments which forever shall be formed in the 
said territory ; " and among these articles is the foUowing : 
'' Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind. Schools and the 
means of education shall forever be encouraged." I! these 
citations, witli the practice of the Continental Congress and 
that which succeeded it, the euccesaive Presidents and t he varions 


religion ; that religion which was held by all the people then 
within the newly-established confederation. That ordinance 
remained in force, notwithstanding the subsequent Constitu- 
tion, and by it the government positively declared that it had a 
religion ; that that religion was Christian, and that it was for- 
ever to remain and be promoted by schools. 

But this argument for the Bible in the schools does not stop 
with the consideration of the national Constitution. As already 
said, the subject does not ex imtura belong to Congress nor to 
national matters ; it concerns internal police, a topic entirely 
reserved to the States, and when we consider the question in 
this light, all doubt dissipates. For those who will study the 
history of the various Colonies, will find in each that the main- 
tenance and propagation of the Christian religion was one of 
their chief motives. If this was conspicuously true in New 
England, it was also true elsewhere, and especially in this our 
State of New Jersey. The Dutch who peopled Bergen and 
Somerset, the Quakeis who found their home at Salem and 
Burlington, as well as the English Puritans who settled at Eliza- 
beth, Newark and Woodbridge, and the Scotch who came 
later direct to Raritan Bay, all brought with them a deep 
sense of religion and sought its perpetuation. The laws of the 
early colonists stamped their form of Christianity on the com- 
monwealth, and they have never been repealed. Our latest 
constitution formally adopts the Common law of which it is 
part, and in an illustration of it there yet appears upon our 
statute book a law in the words following : " all impostors in 
religion such as personate our Saviour Jesus Christ, or suffer 
their followers to worship or pay divme honors, or terrify, de- 
lude or abuse the people by false denunciation of judgments, 
shall, on conviction, suffer fine and imprisonment." And 
another : " if any person shall wilfully blaspheme the holy 
name of God, by denying, cursing or contumaciously reproach- 
ing His being or providence, or by cursing or by contuma- 
ciously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or the 
Christian religion or the holy word of God (that is, the canon- 
ical Scriptures contained in the books of the Old and New Tes- 
tament) or by profane scof&ng at or exposing them or any of 

112 OUE KATlOHil. 

them to contempt and ridicule, any person bo offending eltall, 
on conviction, be punished by fine," or in State's Fiison. The 
first constitution of the State, whose date is July 2, 1776, a De- 
claration of Independence prior to that in Philadelphia, made by 
n convention convened a month before and in session a century 
ago this day, declares in Article xix. that "there shall be no es- 
tablishment of any one religious sect in this Colony, in prefer- 
ence to another, and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Col- 
ony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil rights merely on 
account of liis religious principles, but that all persons profess- 
ing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect * * * * 
shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity en- 
joyed by others, their fellow subjects." 

The present Constitution, confirmed June 29, 1844, begins 
with the fitting preamble, " We, the people of the State of New 
Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for tlio civil and religious lib- 
erty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking 
to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and trans- 
mit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain 
and estabhsh this Constitution." Succeeding sections secare 
and perpetuate the fund for free schools for the equal benefit of 
all the people of the State. Can a reasonable man contend that 
in endeavoring to secure and transmit civil and religious liberty, 
A people greatful to Almighty God for it, and looking to Him for 
a blessing, can begin by driving His word from the schools, the 
chosen means of securing this security? 

It is objected that this fund is for the eqaal benefit of all, and 
that if the Bible be in the school, those who deny it, or oppose 
its inculcition, pay tax without a benefit I answer, that the 
coute^ct dej^cribes the public school as for the equal benefit of all. 


without in some degree teaching the opinions, held hy the teach- 
er, and that therefore the rights of sects are involved. The an- 
swer is that the risk is nothing to the harm which must occur if 
anything like morals or rehgion is excluded from the schools. 
Beside, the argument would interdict all legal proceedings. Why 
should it be that the Bible should be acknowledged by oaths 
taken upon it, its Author daily appealed to as the final Judge of 
the World ; belief in a future state of rewards and punishments 
made the test of the capacity to speak truth ; and yet the Book 
and the name of the Almighty be excluded from the schools. 
What is this but to teach irrehgion ? And what is that but to 
make education a curse, instead of a blessing ? Says wise and 
good Sir Thomas More in his Utopia : " If you allow your 
people to be badly taught, their morals to be corrupted from their 
childhood, and then when they are men punish them for the very 
crimes to which they have been trained in childhood — what is 
this, but first to make them thieves, and then to punish them ?" 
Some say : divide the cost of pubHc education among the sects, 
on condition of their maintaining the schools. Such a course 
would be resigning to others a duty which belongs to the State. 
Its result would be the abandonment of the fundamental princi- 
ple of the Republic, expressed by Burke in the oft-rejfeated say-* 
ing that "education is the cheap defence of nations ;'' more di-. 
rectly, that public safety requires the State to see to it that her 
citizens are fit to rule. In tnith, the State ought to compel every 
child to attend some school. She cannot confide to others a du- 
ty so vital. 

I should be ashamed, fellow citizens, to apologize for the se- 
riousness of my subject Its importance and propriety cannot 
be over estimated. No Fourth of Jvdy should be disgraced by 
bombast and self-adulation by exhilarants or ansBsthetics. It 
is the National Sabbath, and hke a sabbath, should be dedica- 
ted, not simply to rest and joy, but also to self-improvement. 
But this Centennial anniversary is a day of pecuhar solemnity. 
Its arrival is a test of our national stabihty. We have invited 
the world to meet and rejoice with us. Only through God's 
mercy does it come to us. We have been snatched as the brands 
from the very fire. It might have been a day of silence, of 


ahame and despair. The occasion culls for giaTity, Bdf-exami- 
iiation, trutli, resolution of amendment, as well as for thflnkfiil- 
nesa and hope. Honest self-scrutinj forbids unmised ronfi- 
dcnce. True, the nation has passed through many dangers. 
Foreign war has only strengthened it. Out of the terrific civil 
conflict from which we have just emerged, whose embers still 
smoke and every now and then almost blaze, it has come, poli- 
tically, stronger than ever. But while the edifice stands erct-t, 
wlien the people of the earth, doubtful through the amazing 
Btniggle, are astonished and in view of the great things enacted 
before their eyea, the great moantaia, whose top stone has been 
brought forth with shoutings, cry, " grace unto it," while we hail 
the day as a minister of fraternity — a day of hand-shaking that 
is no longer a bloody chasm— a day of the fatted calf without a 
jealons brother, there are suddenly revealed signs of evil, occa- 
sions of grave anxiety. What timber in onr edifioe is sound ? 
What stone beyond risk of crambling? What spikes free from 
rust? What fastenings wholly secure? Hovr dreadfully are 
we not illustrating the wisdom of Pluto the Divine, when he said 
" as long as beggars hangeruig and thirsting for office, rush in- 
to the administration of public aifairs, political life will be but 
a fierce contest for sliodows, a strife for civil pre-eminence, as 
though this were in reoHty the highest good: laws will be but 
the remedies of quack physicians, giving f«mporai7 relief, yet 
nltiniately aggravating what they cannot cure, whilst the rotten- 
ness of the foundation will finally bring down the superstmc- 
tiu'e, whatever may bo the external form to whit;h its security 
may be fondly confided." The pasijage I quote seems well nigh 
inspired. Corruption, moral rottenness is the great danger of 


as some of us have known — fit to be called statesmien. I do not 
say we have none. Thank God ! we have, but, comparatively, 
how few. Most are but aspu*anis for personal success — the suc- 
cess of soimd, of gutter, of shoddy style. It is the favdt of our 
educational habits that their scope is so contracted. We hurry 
into action. The sooner at work, every man thinks, the better. 
So men are in action unequipped. And even the best rush by 
the shortest road towards their meditated goal How many 
wait and seek the formation of character, make that theii* motive, 
and then seek or accept hfe's tasks as dutiea And so, <?oneral 
rottenness goes on, till even the horrid expositions on which the 
press batters to-day would be almost welcomed as necessary to 
the hope of better things, if it were not for the fear that famih- 
arity with scandal and filth may breed contempt for evil accu- 

It is in view of this underlying want of moral tone, cropping 
out in every quarter that I have chosen and press my subject 
to-day. I have endeavored to speak as they would speak who 
laid the foimdations of our freedom and progress, the men of 
1664 who once walked these streets, who laid its broad avenues 
and parks, who estabhshed here rehgion and law, whose char- 
acteristics still live recognizable in many a descendant, whose 
lives and plans still contribute to the happiness we enjoy. I 
have endeavored to speak as they would speak who rejoiced one 
hundred years ago over the news of the Declaration we cele- 
brate — a Declaration to which they came slowly, unwillingly, 
only from conscientious belief in its necessity, in calm religious 

I have endeavored to speak as he would speak, chief promo- 
ter of the subsequent constitution, and so most of all, the Father 
of his CJounfcry. 

Hear this Proclamation, made immediately on the completion 
of the Ck)n8titution, as an illustration of his views on the ques^ 
tion whether the nation has a religion, and how intimately that 
religion should be cpnnected with education. 




Whehe-as, it iB the duty of all Nations to acknowledge tha Provi* 
denee of Almighty God, to obey Hia Will, to be grateful f<» 
His Benefits, and to humbly implore His Protection 'and Fa- 
vor ; and whereas, both Houses of Congress have, by their 
joiDt Committee, requested me " To recommend to the peo- 
" pie of the United States a day of public Thanksgiving and 
"Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging vrith grateful 
" Hearts the many and signal Favors of Almighty Q-od, espe- 
" cially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to estab- 
" lish a Form of Government for their Safety and Happiness ;" 
Now, TiJEREFOitE, I do recommend aad assign Thnrsday, the 
twenty-sisth day of November next, to bo devoted by the people 
of those States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, 
v;h" is the l>cneficect Author of all the good that was, that is, or 
thiit will tic ; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him 
our -rincere and humble Theinks for His kind Care and Protec- 
tion of tlie People of this Country previous to their becoming 
a Nation ; for the signal and manifold Mercies, and the favor- 
able Intel-positions of His Providence in the Cause and Condu- 
eioH of the late War ; for the great Degree of Tranquility, 
Union and Plenty which we liavo since enjoyed ; for the peace- 
able and ration rtbl JManner in which we have been enabled to 
establish Constitutions of Government for our Safety and Hap- 
piness, and particularly the National one now lately instituted; 
for (he t'ivil and religious Liberty with which we are blessed, 
and the Means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful Knowl- 


just and constitutional Laws, discreetly and faithfully executed 
and obeyed ; to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations, 
(especially such as have shewn kiudness unto us ;) and to bless 
them with good Government, Peace and Concord ; to promote 
the Knowledge and Practice of true Religion and Virtue, and 
the Encrease of Science among them and us ; and generally, to 
grant unto all Mankiod such a Degree of temporal Prosperity 
as He alone knows to be best. 

Given under my Hand, at the City of New-York, the third 
day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven 
hundred and eighty-nine. 


I would speak the sentiments of these fathers on this solemn 
day. The price of Hberty is eternal vigilance. It is ever in 
danger. Now from foreign enmity — now from intestine strife — 
at other times, as now, from the growth of corruption — irrever- 
ence for right as right, materialism, defiling everything, destroy- 
ing true manhood, disgusting the good and competent with public 
affairs, and leaving the State to be managed and directed by cun- 
ning incompetency, seeking and using place for profit, scoffing at 
duty, — ^in a word, from moral rottenness. And the escape and, 
blessed be God there will be esca^^e — I speak with no fear, for 
God is with us — ^from ruin to come, the ruin that has befallen 
other republics, the ruin that has so far been avoided, because 
our freedom is that which comes of the open Bible, is restoration 
and increase of its dominance and influence. Stand by it. fel- 
low citizens, as the true Palladium of your liberties. Maintain 
the schools — and maintain it in the schools. Let it be an insti- 
tution there, recognized and revered. Thus much can we do as 
citizens, nor Httle as it seems can we over estimate its extent. But 
this must not be all. In every way must we seek to saturate the 
community with Christian morality. The Church, the Sunday 
School, Colleges and Academies where rehgion is directly 
taught, the support of these is not only our duty as Christians. 
It is our duty also as patriots. The very infidel, if he loves his 
country, will aid in the promulgation of tolerant Christianity 
and the morahty it inculcates. For, let no man doubt that just^ 


Id proportion to tlic extent that that morality prevaik, juat in 
proportion as wo rem.un tho land of tho open Bible— iu that 
proportion, and thut only, may wo be assured that our freedom 
aud prugruss will laist, and thut another century will find the 
Nutiou one great, happy, republican aud free. 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

Fellow Citizens : Impelled by causes not necessary to be 
mentioned here, for many years the people of this country have 
failed to gather in the spirit of patriotic devotion around a com- 
mon altar. But to-day, from one end of the land to the other, 
the people will renew their vows to the great principles which 
gave birth to the American republic in 1776. Standing in the 
shadow of a dead century and facing the dawn of a coming one, 
the people of Savannah have determined to light again the torch 
of Hberty, and with confident hopes to transmit it to their chil- 
dren and their children's children. In order to give suitable 
mark to this Centennial day they have selected a gentleman to 
read to you the Declaration of Independence, a document whose 
vehement eloquence not only moved the arms and hearts of 
American patriots, but set Europe ablaze in revolution a him- 
• dred years ago. I have the honor to introduce to you Capt. 
Robt. Falligant, a gentleman who in the last struggle for consti- 
tutional Hberty nobly distinguished himself, and illustrated 
Georgia, his native State. 






FELLOw-CmzENS, Countrymen, one and all, for on this day, al- 
though we meet hero furmiilly as one of the cities and towns of 
this Commonwealth at the call of our chief muaicipal officer, 
aad oo the proclamation of the Goyemor of the State, ve are 
members of a still lai^r community, goTemed by one Consti- 
tatJoii, having a common history, and shariug in the weal or the 
woe of a common destiny — we are an integral part of a great 
whole, a Nation whose marvelous expansion in territory by 
peaceful acquisition, whose vast increase of numbers by annual 
accessionij of people flying to us as to a city of refuge from 
every country on the globe, wliose rapid development of diversi- 
fied occupations, of comfortable homes, aad public iostitations 
of learning, science, and religion, we have come together from 
the promptings of our owu hearts, as have ten thousand other , 
local communities all over the land, to commemorate, as the di- 
rect and legitimate fruits of that Declaration, which has just 
been so well read, and of the acta which followed. la that Decla- 
ration, iind in those residta, my countrymen, you ami I, all of us, 
speakers and hearers, find to-day not only the themes of our 
luetlikitioiiH but "ur iiispiralign. and tlie Bpriaga of that esult;Lnt. 


Constitational Eepablic, national in all the essential attributes 
of sovereignty, leaving to each State all administration which 
touched the immediate interests of famiHes and itidividuals. 

L Let us, then, in the spirit of that Proclamation issued by 
President Washington on the 3d of October, 1789, in less than 
six months after his inauguration as President of the United 
States, in pursuance of a joint resolution of both Houses of Con- 
gress, and ** of the bounden duty of all nations," — thank God, 
humbly and mncerely, " for His kind care and protection of the 
people of this country previous to their becoming a nation ;" 
** for His providential interposition in the course and conclusion 
of the late war ;*' and " for the peaceable and rational manner in 
which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of gov- 
ernment for our safety and happiness, and esj[)ecially for the 
national one now lately instituted ; for the civil and rehgious 
liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of 
acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge ;" and beseech Him 
" to enable us to render our nationed government a blessing to 
all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just, 
and constitutional laws, faithfully executed and obeyed." 

Under the operations of this national government the temtory 
of the republic has been augmented seven-fold, until it exceeds the 
area of all the States of Europe ; the population has increased 
from 3,000,000 to 40,000,000 ; the thirteen States have multi- 
plied to thirty-eight; each charged with only that local admin- 
istration relating to land, business, travel, traffic, schools, 
churches, charities, and police, which touches nearly eveiy 
family and individual, while the larger interests of emigration, 
commerce, currency, international and interstate communica- 
tion, the general welfare and the protection of all from aggression 
or belligerent legislation, foreign or domestic, are left national. 

To this increase of territory and population, and to the co- 
ordinate administration of all these local and national interests, 
there appeap) no limit fixed in natural laws,. or the capacities of 
the people, if properly trained to sobriety of judgment and life. 
Sui'ely, no other government in the same age of the world has 
conferred so many benefits on its own people, or interfered less 
with the happiness of others. 


n. The growth of the country in all its diversified indtufxies 
is most conapicaouslj showD in the Centennial Expodlion now 
01)611 in Philadelphia!. Although I have made two visits, I feel 
myself utterly onprcpared to describe the wealth, splendor, and 
variety of indastrial productions of our own and other coun- 
tries gathered within the grounds of that Exposition. For our 
present purpose it will suffice to siy that wo should be deeply 
thankful that the necessities of our early settlers, and of the 
great mass of all who come to this couutry now to abide with 
us, as well as the development of our nationcd resources, make 
labor — labor of hand and head — the normal condition of all oar 
people. Under this stem necessity, invention has been quick- 
ened and applied to ull agricultural, commercial, and manufac- 
turing operations, in such various and useful ways, as can only 
be appreciated wlieu brought together and actually seen. 

ILL The earliest schools on this contineut were instituted by 
the Dominicans and other rel^ouB orders of the Catholic Church 
in Mexico, Central America, and the French settlements in 
Canada, before 1600. The earliest Free School, so-called, in the 
English colonies, was established at Charles City, Virginia, 
through the eflforts of Rev. Piitriok Copeland, in 1621. These 
efforts had been preceded by the Virginia Company in a grant 
of 10,000 acres of land ia Henrico county to a college at James- 
towu, 'for the training up of the children of the infidels in true 
religion, moral virtue, civility, and other godliness,' for which 
purpose the King hod granted in 1618 a special hcense for a 
general contribution over his realm of England, which was 
taken up in 1619, and amounted to £2,013. The Company in 
the same year (1619) instructed the Governor to see " that each 


the children of the Yirginians might be brought up in the 
Christian religion and good manners." * * * 

In all the New England Sfcates, following the example of 
England in the old educational foundations, Free Schools were 
first established in all the older and larger towns, which were 
inTariably not what are now known as free schools — schools of 
gratuitous instruction, clemently common schools, supported 
by tax, and without any charge for tuition or fees, but gram- 
mar schools, and free originally in the sense of being exempt 
from any ecclesiastical supervision, *or sometimes as hberal in 
the character of their instruction, and never actually free or 
gratoitous even to children of certain locahties, or specified 
kinship to the founders. They were always endowed — support- 
ed practically by the rents of land, granted by the colonial or 
municipal authorities, or the income of bequests from beneficent 
individuals, but always exacting some payment in wood or 
money for the support of the teacher and incidental expenses. 

It is difficult for the present generation of teachers, pupils, 
and school officers, with our numerous and costly school edifi- 
ces, and their equipment for warmth, ventilation, and physical 
comfort, with our well-graded system of classes, books and 
teachers, with our normal schools, institutes, and associations 
for the training and improvement of teachers, with our well- 
endowed academies, high schools, colleges, and professional 
seminaries of every kind, to understand the limited educational 
resources with which the first century of our national existence 
opened and which continued to within the last forty years. 

From these references [to the school and college text books, 
and autographic remisincences by pupils and teachers, of 
'* schools as they were " in all of the old thirteen states before 
1800], it is evident that the school and the college were very 
difierent institutions then, and now, Their buildings, books, 
and teachei's seem altogether insufficient to train the men and 
women who made the homes, faims, and workshops of the 
ante-Revolutionary period, achieved our independence, and 
framed the constitutions and laws under which our national 
and state governments were organized. And we must find in 


other agencies — in the daily struggle for exiBtenoe, in tbe obe- 
dience, industry, and sobriety of the family, in the teaching of 
the Sabbath aud the study of the Bible, in the reBponBibilitJes 
of local mogistrncy aiid tihc iliscuseioiis incident to town and 
colonial administration — in sucb agencies as these, combined 
with very narrow but thorough formal instruction, we mnst find 
the mental vigor, political wisdom, and general intelligence 
which enabled our ancestors to do their great work. The 
school in its best conditions, except as it trains the faculties, 
and gives the key to books, ie subordinate to actual business, be 
it of head or hand, thoughtfully done. * * * • 

In this, aa well as in other portions of the great field of pablic 
administration, Wa»liiugton, and the fathers of the republic, dis- 
played their far-reaching sagacity and patriotism. In bis Fare- 
well Address to the People of the United States, he struck the 
key-note of all exhortation on this subject : " Promote, iis one 
object of primary importance, institutions for the general dif- 
fusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a gor- 
emment gives force to public opinion, it is essential that pnb- 
lic opinion should be enlight^ued." lu laying out the Federal 
City which now bears his name, under authoiity of Congress, 
among the squares reservetl for public uses was one for a Na- 
tional University. In his first formal recommendations of f-pe- 
dal measures to the consideration of both Houses of Congress 
was " the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge iu 
every country is the surest basis of public happiness." In a 
subsequent s^Kech he distinctly recommends a National Univer- 
sity, aa well as a Military Academy, " A primary object of such 
an institution, gathering its students fium every poi-tion of the 
country, should be instruction in the science of government." 

^Miat changes in the civil and diplomatic semce, and in the 
national feeling of the country, would have followed the estab- 
lishmenh of a. NiilioiiiLl Umvi-i-aitT at Ihi: CiLDitol. foimdi^d <. 


and finally, when fostered and inflamed by artful and ambitious 
demagogues, into violent antagonism, would have been avoided 1 
how strong but subtle, numerous yet almost trnseen, would 
have been the ties which, knit in their academic walks, and 
strengthened in the generous competition of scholarship, and 
in the interchanged visits of each other's homes, and by corres- 
pondence, would have been interwoven into the domestic life 
and the public action of those graduates in the course of a cen- 
tury ! How much the sentiment of nationality, the grateftd 
fueling of being the recipients of the culture provided by a com- 
mon country, would have been fostered 1 and how the pubhc 
service, supplied, as it would have l^en, at least by all the ear- 
lier Presidents and heads of departments, from these grxduates, 
trained in languages and sciences such as the public interests 
required, for its curriculiun must have been moulded by 

{>ublic opinion, would have been elevated and rescued from the 
ow personal and partisan purposes to which it has been de- 
graded I Looked at from an educational point of view, and in 
connection with the immense scientific material which have 
been gradually gathered in the necessary operations of the 
government, such a University, with its own and the libraries, 
museums, and galleries, to which its professors and graduates 
could have had access for original research, and the endowments 
which, like those of Washington and Smithson, it would have 
received, would have been worthy of the name of "Washington, 
and ranked now second to no other in this or any country. 

Benjamin Franklin, with all his other claims to the affection- 
ate remembrances of his countrymen, should be honored for 
his great services to popular education in the foundation of one 
of the earliest public hbraries in the country, and in his plan of 
an Academy and an English School, wliich is now the Universi- 
ty of Pennsylvania. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 
were the avowed advocates of education in its elementaiy as 
well as its higher forms, and devoted their time and estates to 
the foundation of schools and iiigher seminaries of learning. 
Mr. Adams was the author of the section in the first Constitution 
of Massachusetts (1780) relating to the encouragement of liter- 
ature and schools, which has since been incorporated substan- 
tially into the organic law of every State. Twenty of the last 
years of Mr. Jefferson's life were spent in labors to estab- 
lish a great institution of liberal culture ; and he will be remem- 
bered, with the Declaration of Independence, as the founder of 
the University of Virginia. 

I wish I could give with precision the name of that great 
benefactor of American education who inserted in the first draft 
of the Ordinance of 1784 for disposing of lands in the Western 


Territory, the paragraph which Tends as finally passed- 
" There shall bo feserred tlia lot Xo. 16 of every township for 
the miuntenaiice of public schools." Tlii'i provision of 1785 was 
confiimed by the Ordinniico of 1787, " for the government of 
tho territory northward of the river Ohio," wliich also declared 
that " religion, mornlity, and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and tlie happiness of mankind, schools and other 
means of education fliialt be forever enciinraged." Thns was 
incorjiorated into the lanrl policy of the National Government 
an educational endowment, which, if it had been jiroperly 
guarded and arlministered, would hiive increased with the ez- 
pinding waiit'a of each communitv, where these lands thus re- 
served were situated. Although sometimes neglected, and even 
misapplied, this magnificent eodowment of over 70,000,000 
acres of public lands, has started gorma of eduoational institu- 
tions in more than one himdrcd thousand districts, and kept 
alive by its place in the constitution and laws of each of the 
States where the lands were situated, the obligation of legisla- 
tors to oonsider fhe educational interests of the people. To this 
generous provision for elementary schools by Congress ehoidd 
be added the endowment of highoc^ seminaries — a College or 
University in each of the States in which public lands were 
situated, to the extent of nearly 2,000,000 acres. * * 

Various attempts have been ma<Ie from time to time to 
nationalize the educational feature of the Land Policy of tho 
National Government, so as to embrace all the Slates; but it 
was not until 1B&'2, after the persistent efforts of Hon. .Inslin 
M. MoiTilI, of Vermont, that public lands were donated to the 
several States and TeiTitories, to provide Colleges for the bene- 
fit of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts,' by which over 9,000,(100 
acres have already been set ap^rt, and over forty institutions 
established or enlarged to realize tlie objects of tho grai.t. 

Id tbis direction reconstruction and reendowment could liave 
been carried on promptly, liberally, and with universal accept- 
, if iluo regard bad been hnd to the existing c "" 


social systems have been not only broken up, but left the 
ground perfectly covered and obstructed with their ruins 
But not only are funds wanted, but agents and teachers, with 
local sympathies and knowledge, must be searched for, and 
trained in the spirit and methods of Oberlin. A hundred nor- 
mal seminaries, Hke tbose of Hampton Institute, should as early 
as practicable be established and aided by Congress, and a sys- 
tem of industrial schools, for whites and blacks, be at once organ- 
ized all over the country. Here is a field in which the largest 
public spirit can find scope for the fullest exercise. Let all 
unite to do even tardy justice to this long neglected interest, 
and let Southern men and women ba employed in the work of 
educating their own children, under such systems, and even 
without regard to systems as developed in other parts of the 
country, as shall be found practicable in their hands. What 
we want, what these States and the whole country want, are 
schools, numerous and good enough to meet the pressing want 
of over one milHon of children and youth. Let us have as soon 
as possible a generation of adults educated in the ideas and 
ways of the new dispensation. ♦ * * 

The old Bell, which has become historic from its association 
with the Hall in which the title deed of our Hberties was signed, 
and that more august instrument, the Constitution of the United 
States, was framed, has long since done its work. It rang out 
the old, and rang in the new dispensation. But its proclama- 
tion of " Liberty Uiroughout the land " which had come echoing 
down the c^turies from the old Hebrew Commonwealth, took 
a prophetic significance in 1864 ; and now, on this centennial 
anniversaiy, ten thousand bells have quickened its still linger- 
ing vibrations and carried their inspinng tones into the 
hearts of millions which they never reiiched before ; and on 
each recurring anniversary let them all — 

Ring ont tho old, ring in the now — 
Ring oat tLe falae, ring in the true. 

Ring ont a slowly dying caaee. 

And ancient formt of party strife ; 

Ring in the nobler modes of life, 
With sweeter manners, purer laws. 

Ring out false pride in place' and blood 

Tho civic slander and the spite: 

Ring in the law of truth and light. 
Ring in the common lore of good. 

Ring ont the darkness of the land — 

Ring uat tho narrnwiDg last of gold ; 

Ring ont the thonsand wars of old, 
Ring in the thoaaand years of peaoe. 



This republic waa ordained of God who has provided the 
ConditioDS of tho organization of the race into nationB by the 
configuration of land and the interspaces of tho sea. By theee 
national organizations the culture and development of the race 
ore aecnrcd. We believe that oar nation is a creature of God — 
that he ordained it for an object, and we bshere that we have 
Fome comprthension of what that object is. He gave us the 
best results of tho travail of ages past for on outfit, separating 
OS &OIU the circumstances that in the existing nations encum- 
bered these rcBultfl, and sent us forth to do his will. We bnilt 
on foundations already prepared a new building. Other men 
had labored and we entered' upon their labors. God endowed 
and set us for a sigu to testify the worth of men and the hope 
there is for man. And we are rejoicing to-day that in our first 
hundred years we seem to have measurably — measurably — ^ful- 
fiUed our Divine calling. It is not our national prosperity, 
great as it is, that is the appropriate theme of our most joyful 
congratulations, but it is our success in demonstrating that men 
are equal as God's children, which affords a prophecy of better 
things for tho race. That is what oui- history as a lesson 


to-day — ^filling our eyes with it— we can neither see far back 
nor far on. We are caught in the contemplation of evils that 
exist and that occupy us with a sense of what has not been done 
and of unpleasing aspects. True there are evils, but fhinV what 
has been wrought in advancing the work of the grand mission 
of America. Do we doubt that the work is to goon? No! 
There are to be strifes and contending forces. But as out of 
strife has come progress, so will it be hereafter. Some things 
that we have not wanted, as well as some things that we have 
wanted have been done, yet on the whole the result is progress. 
It is God's way to bring better things by strife. (The speaker 
here alluded to the battle of Gettysburg, where he officiated as 
chaplain in the burial of the dead — the blue and the gray often 
in the same grave — and said that the only prayer that he could 
offer was "Hiy will be done, thy Kingdom come on earth as it 
is in heaven." 

The republic is to continue on in the same general career it 
has hitherto followed. The same great truths its history has 
developed and realized in social and dvH life are to still further 
emerge. The proposition that all men are created equal is to 
be still further demonstrated. Human rights are to be vin< 
dicated and set free from all that would deny them — ^Is any law 
that asserts the dignity of human nature to be abrogated ? 
Never. The Republic is to become a still brighter and brighter 
sign to the nations to show them the way to liberty. We have 
opened our doors to the oppressed. Are those doors to be 
closed ? No ; a thousand times no. We have given out an in- 
vitation to those who are held in the chains of wrong. Is that 
invitation to be recalled ? No, never. The invitation has been 
accepted; and here the speaker alluded to the fact — which 
shows how homogenous we finally become as a nation, though 
heterogenous through immigration — that the Declaration of 
Independence is read here to-day by a man whose father was 
bom in Ireland ; the national songs are sung by a man who was 
himself bom in Ireland ; and the company of singers here, 
nearly all, were bom in Germany. Then he passed to the sub- 
ject of Chinese education in this country and spoke of Yung 
Wing and his life-work, alluding to him as the representa- 
tive of the better thought and hope of China, and then paid 

130 I 

his t«spects to tbat p&rt of the Gincmnati platform whicli 
oUndeB to this race. So long as he had voted he had giveii his 
Bnpport to this political party whose coDTeiitioa was held at 
Cincinnati, but that platform wherein it seems on this point to 
vei^ toward un-American doctrine, he repudiated ; " I dis- 
own it ; I Bay woo to its policy ; I bestow my malediction 
upon it." Now, if there is any one here who will pay like 
respect to the platform of the other party the whole duty 
will bo done. We aie urged to-day in view of our calling, and 
of the fulfillment of the post to set our faces and hearts toward 
the future in liarmony and empathy with the hope we are to 
realize. Let CTOrymanmoko it a personal duty and look within 
himself. Ood save the Eepnblic ! May it stand in righteous- 
ness and morcy ; so only can it stand. If we forsake our calling, 
God will take away the crown He has given us. The kingdom 
of God will be taken from us and given to another nation which 
shall bring forth the fruits thereof. 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

In the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and 
seven tv-six, the fourth of July fell on Thursday. On that 
day, the Contmental congress at Philadelphia gave notice to all 
nations that the political communities which it represented had 
ceased to be colonies, were absolved from their allegiance to the 
British Crown, and had become Independent States. The news 
that such a Declaration had been made was not flashed along 
electric wires ; it was not conveyed by steam car or steam boat ; 
nor can I learn that it was sent in all directions by an extraor- 
dinary ex])ress. But we may assume that as early as Tuesday 
morning, July 9th, the people of New Haven heard the news, 
and that such news reported by neighbor to neighbor, was 
talked about everywhere, with every variety of opinion as to 
whether the Independence that had been declared could be 
maintained ; some rejoicing in the Declaration and sure that it 
would stand ; others doubting ; here and there one indignant, 
but not daring to express his indignation. All knew that the 
decisive step had been taken, and that the country was com- 
mitted to a life and death struggle, not for the recovery of 
chartered and inherited rights as provinces included in the 
British empire, but for an independent nationality and a place 
among acknowledged sovereignties. 

It is difficult for us to form in our minds any just conception 
of what New Haven was a hundred years ago. But let us make 
the attempt At that time, the town of New Haven included 
£ast Haven, North Haven, Hamden, "West Haven, and almost 
the entire territory of what are now the three towjis of Wood- 
bridge, Beacon Falls and Bethany. What is now the ciiy of 
New Haven was then "the town plat" — the nine original squares 


— viih tbe snrroondiDg Gelds and scftttered dtrelliogs, from the 
West river to the Quiimipiack, and between the harbor and fJie 
two sentinel cli& which goord the beaat; of the plain. Here 
was New Haven proper — the territorial paiifih of the First 
Ecclesiastical Society, Etll the outlying portions of the township 
having been set off into distinct parishes for church and school 
purposes. In other words, the town of New Haven, et that 
time was bounded on the east by Branford, on the north by 
"Wallingford (which included Cheshire), on the west by Derby 
and Milford ; and all the " freemen" within those bounds were 
accustomed to assemble here in town meeting. 

A hondrtid years ago, there was a very pleasant viUsge here 
at the " town-plat," though very little had been done to make it 
beautifuL This public square had been reserved, with a wise 
forethought for cetioin pubhc uses ; but in the hundred and 
thirty-eight years that had passed since it was laid out by the 
proprietors who purchased these lands from the Indians, it bad 
ueverbeen enclosed, nor planted with trees, nor graded; for the 
people had always been too poor to do much for mere beauty. 
Here, at the centre of their public square, the planters of New 
Haven built a plain, rude house for pubUc worship, and be- 
hind it they made their graves — thus giving to the spot a 
consecration that ought never to be forgotten. At the time 
which we are now endeavoring to recaU, that central spot 
(almost identical with the site of what is now called Cen- 
tre cliurch) had been reoceupied about eighteen years, by the 
brick meeting-house of tlie First church ; and the burying-ground, 
enclosed with a rude fence, but otlicrwise neglected, was still the 
only burial-place within the parochial hmits of the First Ecclesi- 


tnose who worshipped there would have resented the suggestion 
of its being a meeting-house. It was, in fact, a missionary sta- 
tion or outpost of the Church of England, and as such was served 
by a missionary of the EngHsh " Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts." Tlie building, though of respect- 
able dimensions (58x38), was smaller than the others, yet it had 
one distinction, — its steeple — a few feet south of Cutler comer, 
and in full view from the Green, though somewhat less aspiring 
than the other three — was surmoimted by the figure of a crown, 
signifying that, whatever might be the doctrine or the sentiment 
elsewhere, there the king's ecclesiastical supremacy was acknow- 
ledged, and loyalty to his sacred peraon was a conspicious virtue^ 
Only a few householders worshipped there, for the Church of 
England was an exotic in the climate of New England. Not till 
the Episcopal church had become (in consequence of the event 
which this day commemorates) an organization dependent on no 
king but Christ, an American church, and therefore no longer 
English, did it begin to strike its roots deep into the soil and to 
flourish as if it were indigenous. Two other pubhc buildings 
adorned this "market-place ;" one a Httle school-house just be- 
hind the Fair Haven meeting-house and not unlike the old-time 
wayside school-houses in the countiy ; the other a county jail, 
which was a wooden structure fronting on College street about 
half way from Elm to ChapeL 

Beside aU these public buildings, representative of religion* 
of govemiftent and justice, and of provision by the common- 
wealth against popular ignorance, there was the college, then as 
now, the pride of New Haven, but very different then from what 
we now see. The college buildings at that time were only three. 
First there was the original college edifice, to which, at its com- 
pletion, in 1718, the name of Yale had been given in honor of a 
distinguished benefactor, and from which that name had been 
gradually, and at last authoritatively, transfered to the institution 
which has made it famous. That original Yale College was close 
on the comer of College and Chapel streets, a wooden building, 
long and narrow, three stories high, with three entries, and cu- 
pola and clock. 

Next in age was the brick chapel with its tower and spire, the 


bnilding now called the Atheiuemn aud ktaly troneformed inlo 
recitation rooms. More glorious yet was the new brick college 
(tben not ten years old), which had been named Connecticut 
Hall, and which remains (though not unchanged) the "Old 
South Middle." 

Such was New Haven, a hundred years ago, in its public 
buildings and institutions. Its population, within the present 
town limits was, at the largest estimate, not more than 1800 
(including about 150 students) where there are now more than 
thirty times that number. If you ask, what were the people 
who lived here then, I may say that I remember some of them. 
Certainly they were, at least in outward manifestation, a 
religious people. Differences of religious judgment and sym- 
pathy had divided them, within less than forty years, intfi 
three worshipping assemblies beside the little company that 
had gone over to tho Church of Engl!ind. Their religions zeal 
supported three ministers ; and I will venture to say that the 
houses were compamtivcly few in which there was not some 
form of household religion. Compared with other commnnities 
in that age (on either side of the ocean) they were an inteUigent 
people. With few exceptions, they could read and write ; and 
though they had no daily newspapers, nor any knowledge of the 
modem sciences, nor any illumination from popular lectoreB, 
nor that sort of intelligence and refinement which comes from 
the theater, they knew some things as well as we do. They 
knew something about the chief end of man and man's respon- 
sibility to Ciod ; something about their rights as freeborn sub- 
jects of their king ; something about their chartered freedom ; 
and the tradition had never died out among them. There were 
J the old burial RTOLuid whifh would not let them forget 


was pretty sure to be estimated by bis neighbors at bis real 
worth, and nothing more. Some men were considered wealthy, 
others were depressed by poverty, but the distinction between 
rich and poor was not just what it is to-day. There were no 
great capitaHsts, nor was there anything like a class of mere 
laborers with no dependence but their daily wagea The 
aggr^ate wealth of the community was very moderate, with no 
overgrown fortunes and hardly anything like abject want. 
Almost every family was in that condition — " neither poverty 
nor riches " — which a wise man of old desired and prayed for 
as most helpful to right living. Such a community was not 
likely to break out into any turbulent or noisy demonstrations. 
Doubtless the Declaration of Independence was appreciated 
as a great fact by the people of New Haven when they heard of 
it Perhaps the church bells were rung (that would cost noth- 
ing) ; perhaps there was some shouting by men and boys 
(that would also cost nothing) : perhaps there was a bonfire on 
the Green or at the " Head of the Wharf " (that would not cost 
much) ; but we may be sure that the great fact was not greeted 
with the thunder of artillery nor celebrated with fireworks ; for 
gunpowder was just then too precious to be consumed in that 
way. The httie newspaper, then published in this town every 
"Wednesday, gives no indication of any popular excitement on 
that occasion. On " Wednesday, July 10th, 1776," the Connedi- 
cut Journal had news, much of it very important, and almost 
every word of it relating to the conflict between the colonies and 
the mother country ; news from London to the date of April 9 ; 
from Halifax to June 4 ; from Boston to July 4 ; from New York 
to July 8, and from Philadelphia to July 6. Under the Phila- 
delphia date the first item was " Yesterday the Congress unaui- 
mously resolved to declare the United Colonies Free and Indepen- 
dent States." That was all, save that, in another column, the 
printer said, " To-morrow will be ready for sale * TJie Resolves of 
the Congre^ declaring the United Colonies Free and Independknt 
States.* '' What the printer, in that advertisement, called " The 
Resolves of Congress," was a handbill, 8 inches by 9, in two 
columns, with a rudely ornamented border, and was reproduced 
in the Journal for July VI, It was the immortal state paper 


with which we are so familiar, and we may be sure that every- 
bo<]j in New Haven, old enough to knpw the meaning of it had 
read it, or beard it read, before another seven days had been 

The Declaration of Independence was not nt all an unexpected 
event. It surprised nobody. Slowly but irresistibly the convic- 
tion had come that the only alternative before the United Colonies 
was absolute subjection to a British Parliament or absolute inde- 
pendence of the British crown. Such was the general convic- 
tion, but whether independence was possible, whether the time 
had come to stnko for it, whether something might not yet be 
gained by remonstrance and negotiation, were questions on 
which there were different opinions even among men whose pa- 
triotism could not be reasonably doubted. 

[Here followed some of the facts intended to give a better 
understanding of "what were the thoughts, and what the hopes 
and fears of good men in New Haven a hundred years ago."] 

Having at last undertaken to wage war in defense of Ameri- 
can liboi-ty, the Continental Congress proceeded, very naturally, 
to a formal decliiration of war, setting forth the causes which 
impelled them to take up arms. 

That declaration preceded by a year the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence ; for at that time only a few sagacious minds had 
seen clearly the impossibility of reconciliation. Declaring to 
the world that they had taken up arms in self-defense and 
would never lay them down till hostiUties should cease on the 
part of the aggressors, they nevertheless disavowed again the 
idea of separation from the British empire. " Necessity," said 
they, " has not yet driven us to tliat desperate measure ;" 


English blood and name ; and as young birds ding to the nest 
when the mother trusts them out half-fledged, so they clung to 
their conmection with Great Britain notwithstanding the un- 
motherly harshness of the mother country. They were English 
as their fathers were ; and it was their English blood that 
roused them to resist the invasion of their English liberty. The 
meteor flag of England 

" Had brayed a thoosand years 
The battle and the breeze," 

and it was theirs ; its memories of Blenheim and BamiUies, of 
Crecy and Agincourt, were theirs ; and they themselves had 
helped to plant that &mous banner on the ramparts of Louis- 
burg and Quebec. Because they were English they could 

** That Chatham's language was their mother-tongaa, 
And Wolfe's great name comjiatriot with their own.'* 

Because they were English, Milton was theirs, and Shakespeare, 
and the English Bibla They still desired to be included* in the 
great empire whose navy commanded the ocean, and whose 
commerce encircled the globe. They desired to be under its 
protection, to share in its growth and glory, and enjoying their 
chartered freedom under the imperial crown, to maintain the 
closest relations of amity and mutual helpfulness with the mo- 
ther country and with every portion of the empire. 

All this was true in July, 1 775. When Washington consented 
to command the Continental armies " raised or to be raised," 
he thought that armed resistance might achieve some adequate 
security for the liberty of the colonies without achieviDg their 
independence. When, in his journey from Philadelphia to 
New York, hearing the news from Bunker Hill and bow the 
New England volunteers had faced the British regulars in bat- 
tle, he said, " Thank God ! our cause is safe ;" he was not think- 
ing of independence, but only of chartered liberty. When, 
on his journey from New York to New Haven, he said to 
Dr. Bipley, of Green's Farms, who dined with him at Fair- 
field, "If we can maintain the war for a year we shall suc- 
ceed," his hopes was that by one year of unsuccessful war the 
British ministry and parliament would be brought to some 
reasonable terms of reconciliation. "When (in the words of our 


historian Pnlfrey), " the roll of the New England drume at Cam- 
bridge announced the presence there of the Tirginian, George 
WoHhington," he knew not, nor did Putnam know, hoc FreBCott, 
OOF Stark, nor the farmers who hud hieteaed to the siege of 
Boston, that the war in which he then assumed the chief com- 
mand was, what we now call it, the war of independence. With 
all sincfrity th'.< Contp-css, four dnje later, while Bolenmly de- 
cliiring " before God and the world,'' " The arms we have been 
compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of 
every hnzard, with unbating firmness and perfievernnce, empioy 
for the preservation of our liberties, being with one mind re- 
solved to die freeman rather than to Uve slaves " — could also say, 
at the same time, to their " friends and fellow subjects in eveiy 
part of the empire," " \Ve assure them that wo mean not to dis- 
solve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted be- 
tween UB, and which we sincerely wish to be restored." The 
declaration ou the 6th of July, 1771), was a declaration of war, 
but not of independence. 

Yet, from the beginning of the war, there was in reality only 
one issue^though a nhoie year must pass before that issue 
could bo clearly apprehended by the nation and procl limed to 
the world. From the first clash of arms the only possible result 
was either subjoetion or separatioji ; either the loss of hberty or 
the achievement of independence. ITie first shot from Major 
Pitcaim's pistol on the village green at Lexington, at the gray 
dawn of April 19th, 1775, was fatal to the connection betn'cen 
these colonies and their moiher country. That was " the shot 
that echoed round the world," and is echoing still along " the 
corridors of time." That first sliot, with the slaughter that fol- 
lowed and the resistance and repulse of the Brilish soldiery that 


collapse of the regal gOYemments followed by the setting up of 
popular governments under the advice of the Continental Con- 
gress — ^what did such things mean but that the colonies must 
be thenceforward an independent nation or provinces conquered 
and enslaved ? 

It came, therefore, as a matter of course, that from the be- 
ginning of 1876, the people in all the colonies began to be dis- 
tinctly aware that the war in progress was and could be nothing 
less than a war for independence. The fiction fundamental to 
the British Constitution, that the king can do no wrong, and 
that whatever wrong is done in his name is only the wrong- 
doing of his ministers, gave way before the harsh fact that they 
were at war, not with Parliament nor with Lord North, but 
with king George m. So palpable was the absurdity of profes- 
sing allegiance to a king who was waging war against them, that 
as early as April in that year, the Chief Justice of South Caro- 
lina under the new government just organized there, declared 
from his official seat in a charge to the grand jury, '^ The 
Almighty created America to be independent of Great Britain, 
let us beware of the impiety of being backward to act as in- 
struments in the Almighty hand now extended to accompUsh 
His purpose." 

"When the public opinion of the colonies, north and south, 
was thus declaring itself, the time had come for action on the 
part of the Continental Congress. Accordingly ou the 7th of 
June, Richard Henry Lee, in behalf of the delegation from 
Virginia, proposed a resolution " that the imited colonies are 
and ought to be free and independent states ; that they are 
absolved from all allegiance to the British crown ; and that all 
political connection between them and the state of Great 
Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved." It was agreed 
that the resolution should be considered the next day, and 
every member was enjoined to bo present for that purpose. 
The next day's debate was earnest, for the Congress was by no 
means unanimous. Nobody denied or doubted that liberty 
and independence must stand or fall together, but some who 
had been leaders up to that point could not see that the time 
had come for such a declaration. Some were embarrassed by 


iDstmctioDS given the year before and not jret reecinded. The 
debate having been continaed through the day (whidi was 
Saturday) was adjourned to Mouday, Jane 10. On that day 
tJie resolution was adopted in committee of the whole by a vote 
of seven colonies against five, and so was reported to the bonee. 
Hoping that unanimity might be gained by a little delay, the 
boose postponed its final action for three weeks, bnt appointed 
a committee to prepare a formal declaration of independence. 
Meanwhile, though the seaaions of the congress were always 
with closed doors, these proceedings were no secret, and public 
opinion was finding diBtinct and authentic espreseion. I need 
not tell what was done elsewhere ; but I may say what was 
done, JQst at that juncture, in our old commonwealth. 

On the 14th of Jirae there came together at Hartford, in obe- 
dience to a call from Jonathan Tmmball, governor, "a General 
Assembly of the (Governor and Company of the English colony 
of Connecticut, in New England, in America " — the last that was 
to meet under that name. It put upon its record a clear though 
brief recital of the causes which had made on entire separation 
from Great Britain ihe only possible alternative of elavery, and 
then — what ? Let me give the words of the record : "Ap- 
pealing to that Ood who knows the secrets of all hearts lor the 
aincerity of former declarations of our desire to preserve our 
ancient and constitutional relation to that nation, and protesting 
solemnly against their oppression and injustice which have driven 
OS from them, and compelled us to use such means as Ood in His 
providence hath pat in our power for our necessary defence and 

BestAved, unanimously, by this Assembly, that the delegates of 
this colony in GJeneral Congress be and they are hereby instruct- 


it» BO briBging it back for a final decision. The vote in the house 
-was postponed till the next day, and then, July 2, the resolution 
was adopted and entered on the journal. In anticipation of this 
result, the formal Declaration of Independence had been report- 
ed by the special committee on the preceding Friday (June 28), 
and it was next taken up for consideration. After prolonged 
discussion in committee of the whole and various amendments 
(some of which were certainly changes for the better), it came 
before the house .for final decision, and was then adopted, in 
the form in which we have heard it read to-day, the most illus- 
trious state paper in the history of nations. 

We may be sure, therefore, that whatever diversity of opinion 
there may have been in New Haven on the 4th of July, 1716, 
about the expediency of declaring independence at that time, 
news that such a declaration had been made by the Congress 
caused no great astonishment or excitement here. The General 
Assembly of Connecticut, had already made its declaration, and 
instructed its delegates in the Congress. One of those delegates 
was Roger Sheiman (or as his neighbors called him, *' Squire 
Sherman*') ; and nobody in this town, certainly, could be sur- 
prised to hear that the Continental Congress had done what 
Roger Sherman thought right and expedient to be done. The 
fact that Roger Sherman had been appointed on a committee to 
prepare the Declaration may have been unknown here, even in 
his own house ; but what he thought about the expediency of 
the measure was no secret. We, to-day, I will venture to afiii-m 
are more excited about the Declaration of Independence than 
they were to whom the news of it came, a hundred years ago. 

[Here followed a large number of records, or extracts from 
records, principally from the town clerk's office in New Haven, 
to show that our fathers on all proper public occasions were 
firmly, perhaps unconsciously, pursuing those steps which when 
taken by a brave and high-spirited people inevitably lead to 
their complete independence.] 

I have exhausted your patience, and must refrain from tracing 
even an outline of the war, as New Haven was concerned in it, 
after that memorable day a himdred years ago. Especially 
must I refrain from a description of the day when this town 


was invfuled and plundered, and was saved from oonflagr&tioa 
only by tbe gallant reBistance of its citizens keeping the enemy 
at bay till it was too late for him to do al) he designed. The 
commemoration of that day avIII be more appropriate to its 
hundredth anniversary, July 4tb, 1879. From the day of that 
invusion to this time, do footstep qf an enemy in arms has 
pressed our soil — no roll of hostile drams or blare of hostile 
trumpet has woimded the air of beautiful New HaTen. So may 
it be through all the centuries to come ! 

But before I sit down, I miiy jet say one word, suggested by 
what I Imve just been reading to you from the records of 1775. 
At the time of that conflict with Great Britain — ^firet for muni- 
cipal freedum, and then for n:itiouaI independence as the only 
security of freedom, tbe people of these colon lee, and eminently 
the people of New England, were, p^baps, in proportion to 
their numbers, the most warlike people in Christendom. From 
the day when Miles Standish, in the Pilgrim settlement at Ply- 
mouth, was chosen " Captain" and invested with "authority of 
commnnd" in militaiy affairs, every settlement had its military 
organization. The civil order, the ecclesiastical, and the mili- 
tary, were equally indisponsable. In every town, the captain 
and the trained militia were as necesaary as the pastor and the 
church, or tbe magistrate and the town meeting. When the 
founders of our fair city come to Quinnipiack, 238 years ago, 
they came not only with the leaders of their unformed civil 
state, Eaton and Goodjear — not only with their learned minis- 
ter of God's word, Davenport, to be the pastor of the church 
they were to organize— but also with their ca])tain. Turner, who 
had been trained like Standish in the wars of the Dutch Be- 
public, and who in the Pequot war of the preceding year bad 


(with few exceptions) was required to bear arms and to be 
trained in the use of them ? What need that I should tell how 
a vigorous military organization and the constant exhibition of 
readiness for self-defense, not less than justice and kindness in 
dealing with the Indians, were continually the indispensable 
condition of safety ? What need of my telling the story of King 
Philip's war, just two hundred years ago? Let it suffice to re- 
mind you of the long series of inter-colonial wars, contempora- 
neous with every war between England and her hereditary en- 
emies, France and Spain — beginning in 1689 and continued 
with now and then a few years' interruption till the final con- 
quest and surrender of the French dominion on this continent 
in 1762. It was in the last war of that long series that the 
military heroes of our war for independence had their training, 
and it was in the same war that the New England farmers and 
Virginia hunters, fighting under the same flag and under the 
same generals with British red-coats, learned how to face them 
without fear. That war which swept from our continent the 
Bourbon lillies and the Bourbon legions made us independent 
and enabled us, a few years later, to stand up as independent, 
and, in the ringing proclamation of July 4th, 1776, to inform 
the world that where the English colonies had been struggling 
for existence, a nation had been bom. 

Fellow citizens I We have a goodly heritage — how came it to 
be ours ? God has given it to us. How ? By the hardships, 
the struggles, the self-denial, the manifold suffering of our fa- 
thers and predecessors on this soil ; by their labor and their 
valor, their conflicts with rude nature and with savage men ; 
by their blood shed freely in so many battles ; by their monly 
sagacity and the Divine instinct guiding them to build better 
than they knew. For us (in the Eternal Providence) were theii 
hardships, their struggles, their sufierings, their heroic self- 
denials. For us were the cares that wearied them and their 
conflicts in behalf of liberty. For us were the hopes that 
cheered in labor and strengthened them in battle. For us — no 
not for us alone, but for our children too, and for the unborn 
generations. They who were here a hundred years ago, saw not 
what we see to-day (oh I that they could have seen it), but they 


labored to win it for iis, aad for tliose who shall come after ae. 
In this sense they entered into God's i)lan and became the min- 
isters of hia beneficence to ns. Wo bless their memory to-day 
and give glory to their God. He bronght a vine oat of Egypt 
when bo brought hither the heroic fathers of New Eogluid. 
He planted it and has guarded it age after age. We are now 
dwelling for a little while under its shadow and partaking'of 
its fruit. Others will soon be in onr places, and the ixdieritance 
will be theirs. As the fathers lived not for themselves bat for 
us, so we ore living for those who will come aft«r ns. Be it 
oars so to live that they shall bless God for what we have 
wTonght as the servants of his love ; and that age after age, tiU 
time shall end, may repeat onr others' words of troat and of 
worship, Qn tbaxstulit auamiEi. 



AT BOSTON, MASS., JULY 4, 1876. 


Again and again, Mr. Mayor and Fellow Citizens, in years 
gone by, considerations or circumstances of some sort, public 
or private — I know not what — have prevented my acceptance 
of most kind and flattering invitations to deliver the Oration in 
this my native city on the Fourth of Tuly. On one of those 
occasions, long, long ago, I am said to have playfully repUed to 
the Mayor of that period, that, if I lived to witness this Cen- 
tennial Anniversary, I would not refuse any service which might 
be required of me. That pledge has been recalled by others, if 
not remembered by myself, and by the grace of God I am here 
to-day to fulfill it. I have come at last, in obedience to your 
call, to add my name to the distinguished roll of those who 
have discharged this service in unbroken succession since the 
year 1783, when the date of a glorious act of patriots was sub- 
stituted for that of a dastardly deed of hirelings — ^the 4th of 
July for the 5th of March — as a day of annual celebration by 
the people of Boston. 

In rising to redeem the promise thus inconsiderately given, 
I may be pardoned for not forgetting, at the outset, who pre- 
sided over the Executive Council of Massachusetts when the 
Declaration, which has just been read, was first formally and 
solemnly proclaimed to the people, from the balcony of yonder 
Old State House, on the 18th of July, 1776 ; and whose privi- 
lege it was amid the shoutings of the assembled multitude, the 
riuging of the bells, tlie salutes of the surrounding forts, and 
the firing of 13 volleys from 13 successive divisions of the Con- 
tinental regiments, drawn up ''in correspondence with the 
number of American States United," to invoke " Stability and 


Perpetuity to AmericBQ Independence I God ORve oar Ameri- 
ctin St-ates I" 

That invocation wns not in vain. That wish, that prayer, haa 
been graciously granted. We are here this day to thank God 
for it. We do thank God for it with all oar hearts, and ascribe 
to Him all the glory. And it would be unnatural if I did not 
feel a more than common satisfaction, that the privilege of giv- 
ing expression to your emotions of joy and gratitude at this 
hour should hi>.ve been assigned to the oldest living descendant 
of him by whom that invocation was tittered and that prayer 
breathed up to Heaven. 

And if, indeed, in addition to this — as you, Mr. Mayor, bo 
kindly ui^ed in originally inviting me — the name I bear may 
serve in any sort as a link between the earliest settlement of 
New England, two centuries and a half ago, and the grand onl- 
minatiou of that settlement in this Centennial Epoch in Amer- 
ican Independence, all the less may I be at liberty to express 
anything of the compunction or regret, which I cannot but sin- 
cerely feel, that bo responsible and difQcult a task had not been 
imposed upon some more sufGcient or certainly up<m some 
younger man. 

Yet what can I say ? What can any one say, here or elsewhere, 
to-day, which shall either satisfy the expectations of others, or 
meet his own sense of the demands of such an ocoEtsion? For 
myself, cei-tainly, the longer I have contemplated it — the more 
deeply I have reflected on it — so much the more hopeless I have 
become of finding myself able to give any adequate e^^ression 
to its full significance, its real sublimity and grandeur. A hund- 
red-fold more than when John Adams wrote to his wife it would 


the drowsiDess of " poppy or mandragora," in presence of the 
simplest statement of the grand con^mmation we are here to 
celebrate — ^a century of self-government completed ! A hundred 
years of free republican institutions realized and rounded out I 
An era of popular liberty, continued and prolonged from gener- 
ation to generation, until to-day it assumes its full proportions, 
and asserts its rightfal place, among the ages ! It is a theme 
from which an Everett, a Choate, or even a Webster might have 
shrunk. But those voices alas ! were long ago hushed. It is a 
theme on which any one, living or dead, might have been glad 
to follow the precedent of those few incomparable sentences at 
Gettysburg, on the 19th of November, 1863, and forebear from 
all attempt at extended discourse. It is not for me, however, to 
copy that unique original — nor yet to shelter myself under an 
example, which I should in vain aspire to equal. 

Andfindeed, fellow-citizens, some formal words must be spok- 
en here to-day — trite, familiar, commonplace words though they 
may be — some words of commemoration ; some words of con- 
gratulation ; some words of glory to God, and acknowledgment 
to man ; some grateful lookings back ; some hopeful, trustful 
lockings forward — ^these, I am sensible, cannot be spared from 
our great assembly on this Centennial Day. You would not par- 
don me for omitting them. But where shall I begin ? To what 
specific subject shall I turn for refuge from the thousand thoughts 
which come crowding to one's mind and rushing to one's lips, all 
jealous of postjM^nement, all clamoring for utterance before our 
Festival shall close, and before this Centennial sun shall set ? 
The single, simple act which has made the Fourth of July memo- 
rable forever — ^the mere scene of the Declaration— would of it- 
self and alone supply an ample subject for far more than the 
little hour which I may dare to occupy ; and though it has been 
described a hundred times before, in histories and addresses* 
and in countless magazines and journals, it imperatively de- 
mands something more than a cursory allusion here to-day, and 
challenges our attention as it never did before, and hardly ever 

can challenge it again. 


Go back with me, then, for a few moments at least, to that 


Jeffewm. great yeiur of our Lord, and that great day of American 
Liberty. Transport yourselves with me, in imagination, to Phil- 
adelpldo. It will require but little effort for any of us to do so, 
for in oar hearts are there abeady. Yes, we are all there^ 
from the Atlantic to the Fiicific, from the Lakes to the Gnir,— 
we are all there, at this high noon of our Nation's birthday, and 
that beautiful City of Brotherly Love, rejoicing in all her bril- 
Uaut displays, aud partaking of the full eujoyment of all her pa- 
geantry and pride. Certainly, the birthplace and the burial- 
place of Frankhu are in cordial sympathy at this hour ; and 
a common sentiment of oongratnlation and joy, leaping and vi- 
brating from heart to heart, outstrips even the magic swiftness 
of magnetic wires. There are no chords of such clastic reach 
and such electric power as the heai-tstringa of a mighty nation, 
touched and tuned, as all our hearbstiings are to-duy, to the 
sense of a common glorj' — throbbing and thriUing with ^ com- 
mon exultation. 

Go with me, then, I say, to Philadelphia :— not to Philadel- 
phia, indeed, as she is at this moment, with all her bravery on, 
with all her beautiful garments tu-ouud her, with all the graceful 
and generous contiibutious wiiich so many other cities and other 
States and other Xntious havo sent fur adornment — not foi^t- 
ting those most graceful, most welcome, most touching contribu- 
tions, in view of the precise character of the occasion, from Old 
Euglaud herself ; — but go with ine to Piiiladelphia as she was 
just a hundred years ago. Enter with me her noble Indepen- 
dence Hall, so happily restored and consecrated afresh as the 
Runnyraedo of our Notion ; and, as we enter it, let us not forget 
to be grateful that no demands of public convenience or espedi- 



presence and a stature not easily overlooked or mistaken, the 
yonng, ardent, accomplished Jefferson. He is only just 33 years 
of age. Charming in conversation, ready and full in counsel, he 
m " slow of tongue," like the great Lawgiver of the Israelites, for 
any pubHc discussion or formal discourse. But he has brought 
with him the reputation of wielding what John Adams well call- 
ed "a masterly pen.*' And grandly has he justified the reputa- 
tion. Grandly has he employed that pen already in dra fting a 
paper which is at this moment lyiug on the table, and awaiting 
its final signature and sanction. 

Three weeks before, indeed — on the previous 7th of June, his 
own noble colleague, Eichard Henry Lee, had moved the reso- 
lution, whose adoption on the 2d of July had virtually settled 
the whole question. Nothing, certainly, more ezpHcit or em- 
phatic could have been wanted for that Congress than that 
resolution, setting forth, as it did, in language of striking sim- 
plicity and brevity and dignity, '' That these United Colonies 
are, and, of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States ; 
that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, 
and that all connection between them and the State of Great 
Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved." 

The resolution was, indeed, not only comprehensive and con- 
clusive enough for the Congress which adopted it, but, I need 
not say, it is comprehensive and conclusive enough for us ; and 
I heartily wish that, in the century to come, its reading might 
be substituted for that of the longer Declaration, which has put 
the patience of our audiences to so severe a test for bo many 
years past, if not to-day. 

But the form in which that resolution was to be announced 
and proclaimed to the people of the colonies, and the reasons 
by which it was to be justified before the world, were at that 
time of intense interest and of momentous importance. No 
graver responsibihty was ever devolved upon a young man of 
33, if, indeed, upon any man of any age, than that of prepariug 
such a paper. As often as I have examined the original draft 
of that paper, still extant in the archives of the State Depart- 
ment at WashingtoD, and have observed how very few changes 
were made, or even suggested, by the illustrious men associated 


with its anthor on the committee for its praparstioa, it has 
eeemed to me to be &b marvelous a compoaitioD, uf its kind end 
for its pnrpoee, as the annala of maiildi]d can show. The 
earliest honors of this day certainly may well be paid, here and 
throughout the conntry, to the yoong Tirginitm of " the masterly 

And here, by the favor of a highly valued friend and fellow- 
dtizen, to whom it was given by Jefferson himself a few months 
only before his death, I am privileged to hold in my bands and 
to lift ap to the eager gaze of you all, a most compact and 
convenient little mahogany case, which bears this autograph 
inscription on its face, dated " Monticello, November 1825 : " 

"Thomas Jefferson gives this Writing Desk to Joseph Cool- 
idge, Junr., as a memorial of his affection. It was made from 
a drawing of his own, by Ben Bandall, Cabinet-maker, of Phila- 
delphia, with whom he first lodged on his arrival in that City 
in May, 1776, and is the identical one on which he wrote the 
Declaration of Independence." 

" Politics, as well a? Religion," the inacription proceeds to 
say, " has ita superstitions. These, gaining strength with time, 
may, one day, give imaginary value to this relio, for its associa- 
tion with the birth of the Great Charter of our Independence." 

Superstitions ! Imaginary value 1 Not for an instant can we 
admit such ideas. The modesty of the writer has betrayed even 
" the masterly pen." There ia no imaginary value to this relio, 
and no superstition is required to render it as precious and as 
priceless a piece of wood, as the secular cabinets of the wtn'ld 
have ever possessed, or ever claimed to ^lossess. No cabinet- 
maker on earth will have a more enduring name than this in- 


equal, ia interest and value, this little mahogany desk. Long 
may it find its appropriate and appreciating ownership in the 
sncceasive generations of a family in which tho blood of Virginia 
and Massachosetts are so auspiciously commingled I 

Bat the young Jefferson is not alone from Yirginia, on the 
day we are celebrating, in the Hall which we have entered as 
imaginary spectators of the scene. His venerated friend and 
old legal preceptor — George Wythe — is, indeed, temporarily 
absent from his side ; and even Bichard Henry Lee, the original 
mover of the measure, and upon whom it might have devolved to 
draw up the Declaration, has been called home by dangerous ill- 
ness in his family, and is not there to help him. But " the gay, 
good-humored " Francis Lightfoot Lee, a younger brother, is 
there. Benjamin Harrison, the father of our late President 
Harrison, is there, and has just reported the Declaration from 
the Committee of the Whole, of which he was Chairman. The 
'^ mild and philanthropic '' Carter Braxton is there, in the place 
of the lamented Peyton Randolph, the first President of the 
Continental Congress, who had died, to the sorrow of the whole 
country, six or seven months before. And the noble-hearted 
Thomas Nelson is there — ^the largest subscriber to the generous 
rehef sent from Virginia to Boston during the sore distress oc- 
casioned by the shdtting up of our port, and who was the mover 
of those Instructions in the Convention of Virgiuiaj passed on 
the 15th of May, under which Richard Henry Lee oflfered the 
original Ros >lution of Independence, on the 7th of June. 

I am particular, fellow citizens, in giving to the Old Domin- 
ion the foremost place in this rapid survey of the Fourth of 
July, 1776, and in naming every one of her delegates who par- 
ticipated in that day's doings ; for it is hardly too much to say 
that the destinies of our country, at that period, hung and 
hinged upon her action, and upon the action of her great and 
glorious sons. Without Virginia, as we must all acknowledge 
— without her Patrick Henry among the people, her Lees and 
Je£ferson in the forum, and her Washington in the field — I 
will not say that the cause of American Liberty and American 
Lidependence must have been ultimately defeated — no, no ; 
there was no ultimate defeat for that cause in the decrees of the 


Most High ! — ^bnt it must baye been deiayeA, postponed, per- 
plexed, and to inany eyee and many hearta rendered seemingly 
hopeless. It was Union which assured onr independence, and 
there oonld have been no Union without the influence and co- 
operation of that great leading Southern Colony. To-day, 
then, OS we look back over the wide gulf of a century, we are 
ready and glad to forget ererything of alienation, everything 
of contention and estrangement which has intervened, and to 
hail her once more, as onr Fathers in Fanenil Hall hailed her in 
1775, as *' onr noble, patriotic sister Colony, Tirginia." 

I may not attempt, on this occasion, to speak with equal par- 
ticularity of all tbe other delegates whom we see assembled in 
that immortal Congress. Their names ore oU inscribed where 
they can never be obliterat«d, never be forgotten. Yet some 
others of them bo challenge our attention and rivet our gaze, as 
we look in upon that old, time-honored Hat), that I cannot pass 
to other topics without a brief allusion to them. 


Who can overlook or mistake the sturdy front of Rc^er Sher- 
S""™™ "d man, whom we are proud to recall as a native of Aias- 
sac'husetta, though now a delegate from Connecticut — that 
"0!dPuritan,"iiaJolm Adams wellsnid, "ns toiieat as an angel, 
and as fiim in tbe cau^e of American Independence as Mount 
Atlas,"— rt-jire sen ted most worthily to-day by the distinguished 
orator of the Centenoinl at Philadelphia, as well as by more 
than one distinguished grandson in our own State? 

Who can overlook or mistake the stalwart figure of Samuel 
Chase of Maryland, " of nrdent passions, of strong mind, of 
Q[)&r. of u lm'buJ(-nt and hoisti;ro 


2d of Auga^t, and outlive J all his compeers on the roll of glory, 
he is missing from the illostrious band as we look in upon them 
this morning. 

I cuinot but remember that it was my privilege to see and 
know ihat venerable person in my early manhood. Entering his 
drawing-room nearly five-and-f orty years ago I found him repos- 
ing on a S0& and covered with a shawl, and was not even aware 
of his presence, so shrank and shrivelled by the lapse of yeai*s 
was his originally feeble frame. Quot tibras in duce summo ! 
But the little heap on the sofa was soon seen stirring, and, rous- 
ing himself from bis midday nap, he rose and greeted me with a 
courtesy and grace which I can never forget. In the 95th year 
of his age, as he was, and within a few months of his deith, it is 
not surprising that there should be little for me to recall of that 
interview, save his eagar inquiries about James Madison, whom 
I bad just visited at Montpelier, and his afifectionate allusions to 
John Adams, who had gone before him ; and save, too, the ex-« 
ceeding satisfaction for myself of having seen and pressed the 
hand of the last surviving signer of the Declaration. 

But CsBsar Bodney, who has gone home on the s;ime patriotic 
errand which had called Carroll to Maryland, had happily 
returned in season, and had come in, two days before, " in his 
boots and spars," to give the casting vote for Delaware in favor 
of Independence. 

And there is Arthur Middleton of South Carolina, the bosom* 
friend of our own Hancock, and who is associated with him 
under the same roof in those elegant hospitalities which hel^^ed 
to make men known and understand and trust each other. And 
with him you may see and almost hear the eloquent Edward 
Rutledge, who not long before had united with John Adams and 
Richard Henry Lee in urging on the several colonies the great 
measure of establishing permanent governments at once for them- 
selves — a decisive step which we may not forget that South Caro- 
lina was among the very earliest in taking. She took it how- 
ever, with a reservation, and her delegates were not quite ready 
to vote for Independence when it was first proposed. 

But Richard Stockton of New Jersey must not be unmarked 
or unmentioned in our rapid survey, more especially as it is a 


matter of record that bis origiual doubts about the me&aiie, 
wliich he is now bravely supporting, hod been dissipated aod 
dispelled " by the irresistible aud conclusive argumeute of John 

And who requires to be reminded that our " Great Bostonian," 
Bcnjomiu Fraukhn, is at his ix)Bt to-day, representing bis adopt- 
ed colony with less su])port than he could wish — for Pennsylva- 
uia, as well as New York, was sadly divided, and at times almost 
paralyzed by her divisions — but with patriotism and firmness 
and prudence and s^acity and philosophy and wit and common 
sense and courage enough to constitute a whole delegation and 
to represent a whole colony by himself I He is the last man of 
that whole glorious group of fifty — or it may have been one or 
two more or one or two less than fifty — who requires to be point- 
ed oat in order to bo the observed of nil observers. 

But I must not stop hero. It is fit, above all other things, 
that, while we do jnstice to the great actors in this scene firom 
other colonies, we should not overlook the delegates from our 
own colony. It ia fit, above all things, that wo sbonld recall 
something more than the names of the men who represented 
Massachusetts in that great Assembly, and who boldly affixed 
their signatures in her behalf to that immortal instrument, 

Was there ever a more signal distinction vouchsafed to mor^ 
tal man than that which was won and worn by John Hancock 
'a hundred years ago to-day ? Not altogether a great man ; not 
without some grave defecta of character — we remember nothings 
at this hour save his Presidency of the Congress of the Declara- 
tion and his bold aud noble signature to our Magna Charta. 
Behold him in tho chair which is still standing in Ite old place 
—the very same chair in which Washington was to sit eleven 


acterized him, and which nothing seemed able to relax or raffle. 
He had chanced to come on to the Congress daring the previoas 
year jost as Peyton Randolph had been CDmpelled to relinqaish 
bis seat and go home, retarning only to die ; and, having been 
unexpectedly elected as his snccessor, he hesitated aboat taking 
the seat Bat grand old Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, we are 
told, was standing beside him, and with the ready good hamor 
that loved a joke even in the Senate House, he seized the modest 
candidate in his athletic arms and placed him in the Presidential 
chair ; then, taming to some of the members around, he ex- 
claimed : " 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 a public proclamation." 

Behold him ! He has risen for a moment. He has put the 
question. The Declaration is adopted. It is already late in 
the evening, and all formal promulgation of the day's doings 
must be postponed. After a grace of three days, the air will be 
Tibrating with the joyous tones of the old bell in the cupola over 
bis head, proclaiming liberty to air mankind, and with the re- 
fifponding acclamations of assembled multitudes. Meantime, for 
him, however, a simple but solemn duty remains to be dis- 
charged. The paper is before him. You may see the very table 
on which it was laid, and the very inkstand which awedts his 
use. No hesitation now. He dips his pen, and with an un- 
trembling hand proceeds to execute a signature, which would 
seem to have been studied in the schools, and practiced in 
the counting-room, and shaped and modeled day by day in the 
correspondence of mercantile and political manhood, until it 
should be meet for the authentication of some immortal act ; and 
which, as Webster grandly said, has made his name as imper- 
ishable " as if it were written between Orion and the Pleiades.'* 

Under that eignature, with only the attestation of a secretary, 
the Declaration goes forth to the American people, to be printed 
in their journals, to be proclaimed in their streets, to be pub- 
lished from their pulpits, to be read at the head of their armies, 
to be incorporated forever in their history. The British forces, 
driven away from Boston, are now landing on Staten Island, 
and the reverses of Long Island are just awaiting us. They 


were met by the promulgation of this act of ofEence and de- 
fiance to all royal aathority. But there was no individual 
responsibility for th^t act, save in ths signature of John Han- 
cock, PrsBident, and Charles Thomson, Secretary. Not until the 
2d of August WEB our young Boston merchant relieved from the 
perilous, the appalling gmnd'iur of standing sole sponsor for the 
revolt of thirteen colonies and three millions of people. Sixteen 
or seventeen years before, as a very young man, he bad 
made a visit to London, and was present at the burial of 
(Jeorge IT., and at tlie coronation of Qeoige lU. He 
is now not only the witness but the instrument, and in 
some sort the impersonation, of afar more substantial change of 
dynasty on bis own soil — the burial of royalty under any and 
every title, and the coronation of a sovereign whose scepter has 
already endured for a century, and whose sway has already 
embraced three times thirteen States and more than thirteen 
times three milUons of people I 

Ah, if his quaint, picturesque, charming old mansion-honse, 
so long the gem of Beacon street, could have stood till thin 
day, our Centennial decorations and illuminations might baplr 
have so marked, and sanctified, and glorified it, that the rage 
of reconstruction would have passed over it still longer, and 
spared it for the reverent gaze of other generations. Bat his 
own namo and fame are secure ; and, whatever may have been 
the foibles or faults of his later years, to-day we will remember 
that momentous and matchless signature, and bim who made it, 
with nothing but respect, admiration, and gratitude. 

But Hiincock, as 1 need not remind 3 


traming np his fellow-coontryinen in the narture and admoni- 
tion of the Lord and of Liberty ; he who had replied to Gage's 
recommendation to him to make his peace with the King, " I 
tmst I have long since made my peiiice with the King of Kings, 
and no personal considerations shall induce me to abandon the 
righteous cause of my country ; " he who had drawn up the 
Boston Instructions to her Bepresentatives in the General Court, 
adopted at Faneml Hall, on the 24th of May, 1764, the earliest 
protest against the Stamp act, and one of the grandest papers 
of our whole Bevolutionary period ; he who had instituted and 
organized those Committees of CorrespoDdence, without which 
we could have had no united counsels, no concerted action, no 
union, no success ; he who, after the massacre of March 5, 1770, 
had demanded so heroically the removal from Boston of the 
British regiments, ever afterwards known as " Sam Adams's 
regiments," teUing the Governor to his face, with an emphasis 
and eloquence which were hardly ever exceeded since Demos- 
thenes stood on the Bema, or Paul on Mars Hill. '' If the 
Lieutenant-Governor or Col. Dalrymple, or both together, have 
authority to remove one regiment they have authority to remove 
two ; and nothing short of the total evacuation of the town by 
all the regular troops will satisfy the public mind or preserve 
the peace of the province ; " he, " the Palinurus of the Ameri- 
can Revolution," as Jefferson once called him, but, thank 
Heaven I a Palinurus who was never put to sleep at the helm, 
never thrown into the sea, but who is still watchisg the compass 
and the stars, and steering the shij^ as she enters at last the 
haven he has so long yearned for — the veteran Samuel Adams, 
the disinterested, inflexible, incorruptible statesman — is second 
to no one in that whole Congress, hardly second to any one in 
the whole thirteen colonies, in his claim to the honors and 
grateful acknowledgments of this hour. We have just gladly 
hailed his statue on its way to the Capitol. 

Nor must the name of Eobert Treat Paine be forgotten among 
the five delegates of Massachusetts in that Hall of Independence, 
a hundred years ago to-day — an able lawyer, a learned Judge, a 
just man ; connected by marriage, if I mistake not, Mr. Mayor, 
with your ovm gallant grandfather, Gen. Cobb, and who himself 


inherited the blood and illustrated the virtnes of the hero and 
Btatesman vhoae name he bore — Robert Treat, a most diatin- 
goished officer in King Phillip's War, and afterward a worthy 
(Jovemor of Connecticut 

And with him, too, is Elbridgc Geny , the very youngest mem- 
ber of the whole Continental Congress, just tliirty-two yttara of 
age — who had been one of the chosen friends of the proto-mar- 
tyr. Gen. Joseph Warren, who was with Warren at W^atortown 
the very last night before he fell at Bunter Hill, and into whose 
ear that heroic volunteer had wliispered those memorable words 
of presentiment, " Duloe ct decorum est pro patrii mori ; " who 
lived himself to serve his Conunonwealfch and the Nation ardent- 
ly and efficiently at home and abroad, ever in accordance with 
his own patriotic injunction, " It Is the duty of every citizen, 
though ho may have but one day to live, to devote that day to 
the service of his couiitry," and died on bis way to bis post as 
Vice-President of the United States. 

One more name is still to be pronounced. One more star 
of that httle Massachusetts cluster is still to be observed and no- 
ted. And it is one which, on the preuse occasion we commem- 
orate — one which, during those great days of June and July, 
1 776, on which the question of independence was immediately 
discussed and decided, — had hardly " a fellow in the firmament," 
and which was certainly "the bright, particular star" of our own 
constellation. You will alt have anticipated me in meaning 
JoUn Adams. Beyond all doubt he is the Massachusetts name 
most prominently aasociated with the immediate day we celebrate. 

Others may have been earlier and more active than he in 

preparing the way. Others may have labored longer and more 

mha- miiid c 


nenial Congress took the qaestion of Independence fairly in hand 
as a question to be decided and acted on, until they had brought 
it to its final issue in the Declaration, his was the voice, above 
and before all other voices, which commanded the ears, con- 
vinced the minds, and inspired the hearts of his colleagues, and 
triumphantly secured the result 

I need not speak of him in other relations or in after years. 
His long life of varied and noble service to his country, in al- 
most every sphere of public duty, domestic and foreign, belongs 
to history ; and history has long ago taken it in charge. But 
the testimony which was borne to his grand efforts and utter- 
ances, by the author of the Declaration himself, can never be 
gainsaid, never be weakened, never be forgotten. That testi- 
mony, old as it is, famihar as it is, belongs to this day. John 
Adams will be remembered and honored forever, in every true 
American heart, as the acknowledged Champion of Independ- 
ence in the Continental Congress — " coming out with a power 
which moved us from our seats " — " our Colossus on the floor." 

And when we recall the circumstances of his death — the year, 
the day, the hour — ; nd the last words upon his dying lips, 
** Independence forever " — ^who can help feeling that there was 
some mysterious tie holding back his heroic spirit from the 
skies, until it should be set free amid the exulting shouts of his 
oountry's first National Jubilee 1 

But not his heroic spirit alone 1 

In this rapid survey of the men assembled at Philadelphia a 
hundred years ago to-day, I began with Thomas Jefferson of ' 
Virginia, and I end with John Adams of Massachusetts, and no 
one can hesitate to admit that, imder God, they were the very 
Alpha and Omega of that day's doings — ^the pen and the tongue 
— the masterly author, and the no less masterly advocate of the 


And now, my friends, what legend of Ancient Home or Greece 
The statemen. or Egypt, what myth of prehistoric mythology, 
what story of Herodotus, or fable of JSsop, or metamorphosis 


of Ovid, would have Beemed more fabulous uid mytliioa]— did 
it rest on any remote or doabtfol tradition, of had not bo many of 
11B lived to bo startlod andtbriUecl andawed byit — than thefoct, 
that these two men, under bo many different oircomstances and 
BurronndiDga, of ago and constitution and climate, widely dis- 
tant from each other, living alike in qniet neighborhoods, re- 
mote from the smoke and stir of cities, and .long before rail- 
roads and telegraphs had made any advances toward the annihila- 
tion or abridgement of space, should have been released to their 
rest and summoned to the skies, not only on the same day, bat 
that day the Fourth of July, and that Fourth of July the Fifti- 
eth Anniversary of that great Dsolaration which they had 
contended for and carried through so triamphantly aide by 

What an added emphasis Jefferson would have given to the 
in;dCription on this little desk — "Politics, as well as Religion, 
has its superstitions," could he have foreseen the close even of 
his own lifu, much mora the simoltsjieous close of these two 
lives, on that Day of dayst Oh, 1st me not admit the idea of 
superstition ! Let me rather reverently say, as "Webster said 
at the time, in that magnificent eulogy which left so little for 
any one e^se to say as to the lives or deaths of Adams and Jef- 
ferson: "As their lives themselves were the gifts of Providence, 
who is not willing to recognize in their happy termination, as 
well as in their long continuance, proo& that our country and 
its benefuctors aro objects of His care?" 

And now another fifty years have passed away, and we are 
holding our high Centennial Festival ; and still the most strik- 
ing, most impressive, most memorable coincidence in all Amer- 
canhistory,or evenin the authentic recordsof mankind, is with- 


or execation, can be fotuid on the continent of Europe. And 
what oonld be a worthier or a juster commemoration of the mar- 
velous coincidence of which I have just spoken and of the men 
who are the subjects of it, and of the declaration with which, 
alike In their lives and in their deaths, that they are so pecu- 
liarly and so signally associated, than just such a monument, 
with the statutes of Adams and Jefferson, side by side and hand 
in hand, upon the same base, pressing upon each other, in 
mutual acknowledgment and deference, the victor palm of 
triumph for which they must ever be held in common and equal 
honor 1 It would be a new tie between Massachusetts and Vir- 
ginia. It would be a new bond of that Union which is the 
safety and glory of both. It would be a new pledge of that 
restored good will between the North and Soutii, which is the 
herald and harbinger of a second century of National Independ- 
ence. It would be a fit recognition of the greet hand of God 
in our history 1 

At all events, it is one of the crying omissions and neglects 
which reproach us all this day, that *' glorious old John Adams " 
is without any proportionate public monument in the State of 
which he was one of the grandest citizens and sons, and in 
whose behalf he rendered such inestimable services to his coun- 
try. It is almost ludicrous to look around and see who has 
1>een commemorated, and he neglected I He might be seen 
standing alone, as he knew so well how to stand alone in life. 
He might be seen grouped with his illustrious son, only second 
to himself in his claims on the omitted posthumous honors of 
his native State. Or, if the claim of noble women to such 
commemorations were ever to be recognized on our soil, he 
might be lovingly grouped with that incomparable wife, from 
whom he was so often separated by public duties and personal 
dangers, and whose familiar CDrrespondence with him, and his 
with her, furnishes a picture of fidelity and affection, aad of 
patriotic zeal aud courage and S3lf sacrifice, almost without a 
parallel in our Revolutionary Annals. 

But before all other statues, let u? have those of Adams and 
Je^rson on a single block, as they stood together just a hun- 
dred years ago to-day — as they were translated together just fifty 


years ago to-day — foremost for Independence In their Uvea, and 
in their deaths not divided I Next, certainly, to the oompletios 
of the National Monoment to Woeliingtoii, at the Capita), this 
doable Btatne of thie "double star" of the Declaration calls for 
the contributions of a patriotic people. Itivould have aomething 
of special appropriateness as the first gift to that Boston Park, 
which is to date from the Centennial Period. 

I have felt, Mr, Mayor and fellow citizens, as I am sure yon 
all most feel, that the men who were gathered at Philadelphia a 
hundred years ago to-day, familiar as their names and their story 
may be to ourselves and to all the world, had an imperatire 
claim to the first and highest honors of this Centennial anniver- 
sary. But, having paid these passing tribute to their memory, 
I hasten to turn to considerations less purely personaL 

The I>eclaration has been adopted, and has been sent forth in 
a hundred journals and on a thousand broadsides to every camp 
and council chamber, to every town and village and hamlet and 
fireside throughout the colonies \fha,t was it 7 What did it • 
declare? What was ite rightful interpretation and intention! 
Under what circnmstances was it adopted ? What did it ac- 
complish for ourselves and for mankind? 

A recent and powerful writer on " The Growth of the English 
Constitution," whom I hod the pleasure of meeting at the Com- 
mencement of Old Cambridge University two years ago, says 
most strikingly and most jusOy : " There are certain great po- 
hticol documents, each of which forms a landmark in our politi- 
cal history. There is the Great Charter, the Petition of Itights 
the Bill of Righte." " But no one of them," he adds, " gave itself 
out as the enactment of anything new. All claimed to set forth, 
with new strength it might be, and with new cleamees, those 


So sabstantaally — so almost precisely — it may be said of the 
great American charter, which was drawn up by Thomas Jeffer- 
son on the precious little desk which lies before me. It made no 
pretentions to novelty. The men of 1776 were not in any sense, 
certainly not in any seditious sense, greedy of novelties — " avldi 
novarum rerumJ* They have claimed nothing new. They de- 
sired nothing new. Their old original rights as Englishmen were 
all that ihey sought to enjoy, and those they resolved to vindi- 
cata It was the invasion and denial of those old rights of 
Englishmen which they resisted and revolted from. 

As our excellent fellow-citizen, Mr. Dana, so well said publicly 
at Lexington last year, — and as we should all have been glad to 
have him in the way of repeating quietly in London this year, — 

* We were not the revolutionists. The King and Parliament 
were the revolutionists. They were the radical innovators. We 
were the conservators of existing institutions.' 

No one has forgotten, or can ever forget, how early and how 
emphatically all this was admitted by some of the grandest states- 
men and orators of England herself. It was the attempt to sub- 
vert our rights as Englishmen which roused Chatham to some of 
lus most majestic effort& It was the attempt to subvert our 
rights as.Engli8hmen which kindled Burke to not a few of his 
most brilliant utterance. It was the attempt to subvert our rights 
as Englishmen which inspired Barre and Conway and Camden 
with appeals and arguments and phrases which will keep their 
memories fresh when all else associated with them is forgotten. 
The names of all three of them, as you well know, have long been 
the cherished designations of Ainerican towns. 

They all perceived and understood that we were contending 
for English rights, and against the violation of the great princi- 
ples of English liberty. Nay, not a few of them perceived and 
understood that we were fighting their battles as well as our 
own, and that the liberties of EngUshmon upon their own soil 
were virtually involved in our cause and in our contest. 

There is a most notable letter of Josiah Quincy, Jr.'s, written 
from London at the end of 1774 — a few months only before that 
young patriot returned to die so sadly within sight of his native 
shores — in which he teUs his wife^ to whom he was not likely to 


nrite for any mere sensational effect, that " some of the fint 
cLnracters for understanding, integrity, and spirit," whom he 
had met in London, had nsed language of this sort : " This na- 
tion is lost. Cormption and the inffuence of the crown hare led 
as into bondage, and a standing army has riveted onr obuDS. 
To America only can we loot for salvation. "Tis America only 
can save England. Unite and persevere. Ton must prevail— 
you must triumph," Qoincy was careful not to betray names, 
in ft letter which might be intercepted before it reached its des- 
tination. But we know the men with whom he had been brought 
iuto association by FrankUn and other friends — men like Shel- 
bume, and Hartley, and Pownall, and Priestley, and Brand Hol- 
lis, and Sir Gleorge SaviUe, to say nothing of Burke and Chatliam. 
The language was not lost upon us. We did unite and persevere. 
We did prevail and triumph. And it is hardly too much to say 
that we did " savo England." We saved her from herself ; saved 
her from being the successful instrument of overthrovring the 
rights of Eughshmen ; saved her " from the poisoned chalice 
which would have been commended to her d*n lipa : '' saved her 
from " the bloody instructions which would have returned to 
plague the inventor." Not only was it true.asLordMaoaulaysaid 
in one of his brilliant essays, that " England was never; so lioh 
so great, so formidable to foreign princes, so absolutely mistress 
of the seas, as since the alienation of her American colonies," but 
it is not less true that England came out of that contest with 
new and larger views of liberty ; with a broader and deeper sense 
of what was duo to human rights, and with an experience of in- 
calculable value to her in the management of the vast colonial 
system which remained, or was in store for her. 


ihe event which stripped Great Britain of thirteen colonies and 
three millions of subjecte — now grown into thirty-eight States 
and more than forty milUons of people — she is welcoming the 
return of her amiable and genial Pnnce from a royal progress 
through the widespread regions of *' Ormus and of Ind," brin<T- 
ing back, to lay at the foot of the British throne, the homage of 
nine principal provinces and a hundred and forty-eight feu- 
datory states, and of not less than two hundred and forty mil- 
lions of people, from Ceylon to the Himlayas, and affording 
ample justtfication for the Queen's new title of Empress of India. 
Among all the parallelisms of modern history there are few 
more striking and impressive than this. 

The American colonies never quarreled or caviled about the 
titles of their sovereign. If, as has been said, *' they went to 
war about a preamble," it was not about the preamble of the 
royal name. It was the imperial power, the more than imperial 
pretensions and usurpations which drove them to rebellion. 
The Declaration was, in its own terms, a personal and most 
stzringent arrangement of the King. It could have been nothing 
else. George UL was to us the sole responsible instrument of 
oppression. Parliament had, indeed, sustained him ; but the 
Ckdonies had never admitted the authority of a Parliament in 
which they had no representation. There is no passage in Mr. 
Jefferson's paper more carefully or more felidtiously worded 
than that in which he says of the sovereign, that, ** he has com- 
bined vrUh others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our 
constitutions and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent 
to their acts of pretended legialalion" A slip of " the masterly 
pen " on this point might have cost us our consistency ; but that 
pen was on its guard, and this is the only allusion to Lords or 
Commons. We could recognize no one but the monarch. We 
could contend with nothing less tnan royalty. We could sep- 
arate ourselves only from the crown. English precedence had 
abundantly taught us that kings were not beneath the reach of 
arraignment and indictment ; and arraignment and indictment 
were then our only means of justifying our cause to ourselves 
and to the world. Yes ; harsh, severe, stinging, scalding — ^I 
had almost said, — as that long series of allegations and accusa- 


tions may sound, and cartainlj doea sound, as we read it or iistan 
to it, in cold blood, a centniy after the iAaes are all happily 
settled, it was a temperate and dignified utterance under tli« 
circnmBtatiGes of the case, and breathed quite enough of mod- 
eration to be relished or accepted by those who were bearing 
the brunt of so terrible a stanggle for life and liberty and all that 
■was dear to them, as that which those issues involTed. Nor in 
all that bitter indictment is there a single count which doea not 
refer to, and rest upon, someriolation of the right* of English- 
men, or Botne violation ot the rights of humanity. We stand 
by the Declaration to-day, and always, and disavow nothing of 
its reasoning and rhetoric 

And after all, Jefferson was not a whit more severe on the 
King thuQ Chatham had been on the King's ministers aix months 
before, when he told them to their faces : " The whole of yonr 
political conduct has been one continued series of weaikness, 
temerity, despotism, ignorance, futility, negligence, blundering, 
and the most notorious servility, incapacity, and corruption." 
If or was William Pitt, the younger much more measured in his 
language, at a later period of the struggle, when he declared : 
" These ministers will destroy the empire they were called upon 
to save before the iodignation of a great and suffering people 
can fall upon their heads in the punishment which they deserve. 
I affirm the war to have been a most accursed, wicked, bar- 
barous, cruel, unnatural, unjust, and diabolical war." 

I need not say, fellow-citizens, that we are here to indulge in 
no reproaches upon Old England to-day, as we look back from 
the lofty hight of a centiury of independence on the course of 
events which severed ns from her dominions. We are by no 
nations of Ghent n 


brightest jewels of his crown. Who wonders that he shrank 
from the responsibility of snch a dismemberment of his empire, 
and that his brain reeled at the very thooght of it ? It would 
have been a poor compliment to as had he not considered us 
worth holding at any and every cost. We should hardly have 
forgiven him had he not desired to retain us. Nor can we al- 
together wonder that, with the views of kingly prerogative which 
belonged to that period, and in which he was educated, he 
should have preferred the poKcy of coercion to that of conciha- 
tion, and should have insisted on sending over troops to subdue 

Our old mother country has had indeed, a peculiar destiny 
and in many respects a glorious one. Not alone with her drum- 
beat, as Webster so grandly said, has she encircled the earth. 
Not alone with her martial airs has she kept company with the 
hours. She has carried civilization and Christianity wherever 
she has carried her flag. She has carried her noble tongue, 
with all its incomparable treasures of Hterature and science and 
religion, around the globe ; and, with our aid — for she vrill con- 
fess that we are doing our full part in this line of extension — it 
is fast becoming the most prevailing speech of civilized man. 
We thank God at this hour, and at every hour, that '* Chatham's 
language is our mother tongue," and that we have an inherited 
and indisputable share in the glory of so many of the great 
names by which that language has been illustrated and adorn- 

But she has done more than all this. She has planted the 
great institutions and principles of civil freedom in every lati- 
tude where she could find a foothold. From her our Revolu- 
tionary fathers learned to understand and value them, and from 
her they inherited the spirit to defend them. Not in vain had 
her brave barons extorted Magna Charta from King John. Not 
in vain had her Simon de Montfort summoned the knights and 
burgesses, and laid the foundations of a Parhament and a House 
of Commons. Not in vain had her noble Sir John EDjot died, 
as a martyr of free speech, in the Tower. Not in vain had her 
heroic Hampden resisted ship-money and died on the battle- 
field. Not in vain for us, certainly, the great examples and the 


'3 of Ci'omwell aad tbe Commonwealth, or thoee 
sadder ones of Sidney aud RoBsell, or that later and more glori- 
oaa one still of William of Omnge. 

The grand lessons of her own bistoiy, forgotten, otctIooI^, 
or rettolntely disregarded, it may be, on her own side of the At- 
lantic, in the days we are commemorating, were the very inspira' 
tion of her colonies on this side ; and nnder that inspiration 
they contended and conquered. And though ohe may some- 
times be almost tempted to take sadly upon her Ups the words 
of the old prophet : '' I have nourished and brought up children 
and they have rebelled against me," she has loDg ago learned 
that such a rebellion as ours was really in her own interest and 
for her own ultimate welfare— begun, continued, and ended as it 
was, in vindication of the liberties of Englishmen. 

I cannot forget how justly and eloquently my Mend, Dr. 
Ellis, a few months ago, in this same hkll, gave ezpression to 
the respect which is so widely entertained on this side of the 
Atlantic for the sovereign lady who has now graced the British 
throne for nearly forty years- No passage of luB admirable 
oration elicited a wanner response from the maltitades who 
listened to him. Howmuchofthegroirthandgrandeurof Great 
Britain is associated with the names of illnstrions women! 
Even those of ns who have no fancy for female sufirage might 
often be well-nigh tempted to take refoge from the incompeten- 
cies and intrigues and corruptions of men under the presiden<7 
of the pui-er and gentler ses. What would English History be 
without the names of Elizabeth and Anne? "What would it be 
without the uame of Victoria — of whom it has recently been 
written "that by along course of loyal acquiescence in the de- 


been to take the irreTOcable step. As late as September^ 1774 
Washington had publicly declared his belief that independence 
*' was wished by no thinking man." As late as the 6th of 
March, 1775, in his memorable oration in the Old South, with 
all the associations of "the Boston Massacre" fresh in his 
heart, Warren had declared that '^ independence was not our 
aun." As late as July, 1775, the letter of the Continental Con- 
gress to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London had said : 
^ North America, my lord, wishes most ardently for a lasting 
connection with Groat Britain, on terms of just and equal lib- 
erty," and a simultaneous humble petition to the King, signed 
by every member of the Congress, reiterated the same assu- 
rance. And as late as the 25th of August, 17'S5, Jefferson him- 
self, in a letter to the John Randolph of that day, speaking of 
those who " still wish for reunion with their parent country,*' 
says most emphatically, '' 1 am one of these ; and would rather 
be in dependence on Great Britain, properly limited, than on 
any nation on earth, or than on no nation." Not all the blood 
of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill, crying from the 
ground long before thfese words were written, had extinguished 
the wish for reconciliation and reunion even in the heart of the 
very author of the Declaration. 

Tell me not, tell me not, that there was anything of equivo- 
cation, anything of hypocrisy in these and a hundred other sim- 
ilar expressions which might be cited, llie truest human 
hearts are full of such inconsistency and hypocrisy as that. 
The dearest friends, the tenderest relatives are never more 
overflowing and outpouring, nor ever more sincere, in feelings 
and expressions of devotion and love, than when called to con- 
template some terrible impending necessity of final separation 
and divorce. The ties between us and Old England could not 
be sundered without sadness, and sadness on both sides of the 
ocean. Franklin, albeit his eyes were " unused to the melting 
mood," i3 recorded to have wept as he left England, in view of 
the inevitable result of which he was coming home to be a wit- 
ness and an instrument ; and I have heard from the poet Eog- 
er's own lips, what many of you may have read in his Table- 
Talk, how deeply he was impressed, as a boy, by his father's 

170 ouB ttATiona. 

putting on a mourning suit when be beard of the first shedding 
of American blood. 

Nor could it, in the nature of things, have been only their 
warm undoubted attachment to I^gland which made bo man; 
of the men of 1776 reluctant to the Uat to cross the Bubicon. 
They saw clearly before them, they could not help seeing, the full 
proportions, the tremeudoua odds, of the contest into which the 
colonies must be plunged by such a step. Thiulc you, tliat no 
apprehensLons and anxieties weighed heavily on the minds and 
hearts of those far-seeing men ? Think you, that as their names 
were colled on the day we commemorate, begining with Jodah 
Bartlett of New Hampshire, — or, as one by one they approached 
the secretary's desk, on the following 2d of August, to write their 
names on that now hallowed parchment, — they did not realize the 
full responsibihty, and the full risk to their coontiy aud to them- 
selves, which such a vote and such a signature involved? Th^ 
sat, indeed, with closed doors ; and it is only from traditions or 
eaves-droppinga, or from the casual espressiona of diaries or let- 
ters, that we catch glimpses of what was done, or gleanings of 
vhat was said. But bow full of import are some of those ^imp- 
ses and gleanings. 

"Will you sign?" said Hancock to Charles Carroll, who, as we 
have seen, bad not been present on tiie 4th of July. "Most wil- 
lingly," was the reply. "There goes two millions with a dash of 
the pen," says one of those standing by ; while another remarks, 
" Oh, Carroll, yon wiD get , off, there are so many Charles Car- 
roUs." And then we may see him stepping back to the desk, and 
putting that addition — " of Carrollton " — to his name, which will 
demguate him forever, and be a prouder title of nobility than 
those iu the peerage of Great Britain, wlucli were afterward 


riment that, when that hanging scene arrives, he shall have the 
advantage : "It will be all over with me in a moment, but you 
will be kicking in the air half an hour after I am gone I " Th^se 
are among the "asides" of the drama, but, I need not say, they 
more than make up in significance for all they may seem to lack 
in dignity. 

The excellent William Ellery of Ehode Island, whose name was 
afterward borne by his grandson, our revered Channing, often 
spoke, we are told, of the scene of the signing, and spoke of it as 
an event which many regarded with awe, perhaps with uncer- 
tainly, but none with fear. "I was determined," he used to say^ 
"to see how all looked as they signed what might be their death 
warrant. I placed myself beside the secretaiy, Charles Thomp- 
son, and eyed each closely as he affixed his name to the docu- 
ment Undaunted resolution was displayed in every counte- 

" You inquire," wrote John Adams to WiUiam Plmner, " wheth- 
er every member of Congress did, on the 4th of July, 1776, in 
fact, cordially approve of the Declaration of Independence. They 
who were then members all signed it, and, as I could not see 
their hearts, it would be hard for me to say that they did not ap- 
prove it , but, as far as I could penetrate the intricate internal 
foldings of their souls, I thenbeheved, and have not since altered 
my ppinion, that there were several who signed with regret, and 
several others with manv doubts and much lukewarmness. The 
measure had been on the carpet for months, and obstinately op- 
posed from day to day. Majorities were constantly against it. 
For many days the majority depended upon Mr. Hewes of North 
Carolina. While a member one day was speaking and reading 
documents from all the colonies to prove that the pubhc opinion, 
the general sense of all, was in favor of the measm^e, when he 
came to North Carolina, and produced letters and pubhc pro- 
ceedings which demonstrated thut the majority of that colony 
were in favor of it, ^Ir. Hewes, who had hitheiix> constantly vo- 
ted against it, started suddenly upright, and, lifting up both his 
hands to Heaven, as if he had been in a trance, cried out, *It is 
done, and I will abide by it.' I would give more for a perfect 
painting of the terror and hon'or upon the faces of the old ma. 


jority, at that critical moment, than for the beet peoe of Baphad." 
Thare is quite enough, in thew triditionB and heanajs, in 
these glimpsea and gleanings, to show ua that the Bupporten 
and signsra of the DeclAiatlon were nst blind to the respoDBi> 
bilities and hazards in which the; were invobing themselves 
and the country. There ia quite enough, oeitainlj, in these and 
other indications, to give color and credit to what I bo well re- 
member hearing the late Mr. Justice Story say, half a centuzy 
ago, that, as the result of all his conversationB with the great 
men of the revolntionary period — and especially with his illus- 
trious and venerated chief on the bench of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, John Marshall — he was convinced that a 
majority of the Continental Congress was opposed to the Dec- 
laration, and that it was carried through by the patient, 
persistent, and overwhelming efibits and argoments of the 

Two of those arguments, as Mr. Jefferson has left them on 
record, were enough for that occasion, or certainly are enough 
for this. 

One of the two was, " That the people wait for ns to lead the 
way ; that Ihey are in favor of the mensore, though the instruc- 
tions given by some of their representatives are not" And 
iuost true indeed it was, my friends, at that day, as it often has 
been since that day, that the people were ahead of their so- 
nalled leaders. The minds of the masses were made up. They 
had no doubts or misgivings. They demanded that independ- 
ence should be recognized and proclaimed. John Adams knew 
how to keep up with them. Sam Adams had kept his finger on 
their pulse from the beginning, and had "marked time "for 
of their advimcing ateps. Patrick Hem'v and Uich- 


as we fondly call it, though with something, it must be con- 
fessed, of poetic or patriotic Ucense, was no temporizing con- 
cession, wrung by menaces from reluctant monarchs, but was 
the spontaneous and imperative dictate of a nation resolved to 
be free. 

The other of those two arguments was even more conclusive 
and more clinching. It was, " that the question was not whether 
by a declaration of independence we should make ourselves 
what we are not, but whether we should declare a fa^ct which 
already exists." 

" A fact which already exists !" Mr. Mayor and fellow-citizens, 
there is no more interesting historical truth to us of Boston than 
this. Otir hearts are all at Philadelphia to-day, as I have already 
said, rejoicing in all that is there said and done in honor of the men 
who made this day immortal, and hailing it, with our fellow coun- 
trymen, from ocean to ocean, and from the lakes to the gulf, as 
our national birthday. And nobly has Philadelphia met the re- 
quisitions, and more than fulfilled the expectations of the occa- 
casion ; furnishing a fete and a pageant of which the whole 
nation is proud. Yet we are not called on to forget — we could 
not be pardoned, indeed, for not remembering — that while the 
Declaration was boldly and grandly made in that hallowed Penn- 
sylvania haU, independence had already been won— and won 
here in Massachusetts. It was said by some one of the old patriots 
— John Adams, I believe — that " the Kevolution was efftcted be- 
fore the war commenced ; and Jefferson is now our authority for 
the assertion that "independence existed before it was declared." 
They both well knew what they were talking about. Congresses 
in Carpentei-s' Hall, and Congresses in the old Pennsylvania 
State House,did grand things, and were comijosed of grand men, 
and we render to their memories all the homage and all the gloiy 
which they so richly earned. But here in Boston, the capital of 
Massachusetts, and the principal town of British North America 
at that day, the question had already been bi*ought to an issue, 
and already been irrevocably decided. Here the manifest des- 
tiny of the Colonies had been recognized and accepted. It was 
upon us, as all the world knows, that the blows of British oppres- 
sion fell first and fell heaviest — felllike a storm of hail.stones and 


coals of fire; and where tlicj fell, and as soon as Uie; teSl, Huy 
vere resiated, and siiccesafiilly reaiBted. 

^Vhy, away back m 17G1, wlieu George the Third had been but 
a year on hia throae, and when the printer's ink on the pages of 
our Harvard "Fietos et Gratulutio " ^aa hardly dry ; when th« 
seren years' war was still unfinished, in which New England had 
done her full share of the fighting, and reaped her full share of 
the glory, and when the British fiag, by the help of her men and 
money, was just floating in triumph over the whole American 
continent — a mad resolution had been adopted to reconstruct — 
O word of ill omen ! — the whole colonial system, and to bring 
America into closer conformity and subjection to the laws of the 
mother country. A revenue is to be collected here. A stand- 
ing army is to be established here. The navigation act and acts 
of trade are to be enforced and executed here. And all without 
any representation on our part The first practical step in this 
direction is taken. A custom-house ofBcer, named Ck>ckle, ap- 
phes to the Superior Court at Salom for a writ of assistance. That 
cockle-shell exploded like dynamite! The Court postpones the 
case, and orders its argument in Boston. And then and there, 
in 1761, in our old town house, afterward known as the Old State 
House — alas, alas, that it is thought necessary to talk abont re- 
moving or even reconstructing it! — James Otis, as John Adams 
himself tells us, "breathed into this nation the breath of life." 
Then and there," he adds, and he spoke of what he witnessed 
and heard, " then and there the child Independence was bom. 
In fifteen years, t e., in 1776, he grew up to manhood, and de- 
clared himself free." 

The next year finds the same great scholar and orator expos- 


right, by act of Parliament, and by the laws of God and nature, 
entitled to all the essential privileges of Britons." 

And now G-eorge Grenville has devised and proposed the 
Stamp Act And, before it is even known that the bill had 
passed, Samuel Adams is heard reading, in that same Faneuil 
Hall, at the May meeting of 1764, those memorable instructions 
from Boston to her representatives : "There is no room for de- 
lay. If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our ha] 
a legal representation where they are laid, are we not 
from the character of free subjects to the miserable state 
utary slaves? * * * "We claim British rights, not by! 
only ; we are bom to them. Use your endeavors that the w( 
of the North American colonies may be added to that of this 
province, that by imite^ appHcation all may happily obtain re- 
dress." Bedress and Union — and union as the means, and the 
only means, of redress — ^had thus early become the doctrine of 
our Boston leaders ; and James Otis follows out that doctrine 
without a moment's delay, in another brilliant plea for the rights 
of the coloniea 

The next year finds t]ie pen of John Adams in motion, in a 
powerful communication to the pubHc journals, setting forth dis- 
tinctly that "there seems to be a direct and formal design on 
foot in Great Britain to enslave all America," and adding most 
ominously those emphatic words : " Be it remembered, hberty 
must be defended at all hazards ! " 

And, I need not say, it was remembered, and hberty was de- 
fended at all hazards, hero upon our own soil 

Ten long years, however, are still to elapse before the wager 
of battle is to be fully joined. The stirring events which crowded 
those years, and which have been so vividly depicted by Sparks 
and Bancroft and Frothingham — to name no others — ^are too fa- 
miliar for repetition or reference. Virginia, through the clarion 
voice of Patrick Henry, nobly sustained by her house of bur- 
gesses, leads off in the grand remonstrance. Massachusetts, 
through the trumpet tones of James Otis, rouses the whole con- 
tinent by a demand for a General Congress. South Carolina, 
through the influence of Christopher Gadsden, responds first to 
the demand. " Deep caUeth imto deep." In October, 1765, dele- 


gates, regularly or irr^ularly chosen, from nine colonies, are in 

conaultation at New York ; from South Carolina comes the watch- 
word at aaaured success r " There ought to be no New-England 
man, no New Yorker, known on the continent ; bat all of os 

Meantime the people are eveiywhere inflamed and maddened 
at the attempt to enforce the Stamp Act. Ereiywhero Uiat at- 
tempt is renstcd. Everywhere it is resolved that it shall never 
fa|^Keciited. It is at length repealed, and a momentary lull anc- 
JB^^L But the repeal is accompanied by more declaratory res- 
ol4py of the power of Parliament to tax the colonies "in aQ 
ca^ 'whataoever ; " and then foUows that train of abuses and 
usurpations which Jefferson's immortal paper charges upon the 
King, and which the King himself unquestionably ordered. "It 
was to no piu-pose," said Lord North in 1774, "making objec- 
tions, for the King would have it so," "The King," said he, 
"meant to trj' the question with America." And it is well ad- 
ded by the narrator of the anecdote, '.' Boeton seems to have been 
the place fixed upon to tiy the question." 

Yes, at Boston the bolts of royal indignation are to be aimed 
and winged. She has been foremost in destroying the stamps, 
in defying the soldierB, in drowning the tea. Letters, too^ have 
reached the Government, like those which Rehum the Chancellor 
and Shimshai the Scribe wrote to King Artaxerzes about Jeru- 
salem, colUog this " a rebellious citf, and hurtful unto kings and 
provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of 
old time, and would not pay toll, tribute and custom ;" and war- 
ning His Majesty that, unless subdued and crushed, "he would 
have no portion on this side the river." In vain did our eloquent 
r f<ii-tli ilia burning wonk of remonstrimcc. 


coast of the Massachnsetts Bay. The odds against it were fear- 
ful ; but it showed a life intxtingoishable, and had been chosen 
to keep guard over the liberties of mankind ! " 

Generously and nobly did the other colonies come to our aid, 
and the cause of Boston was everywhere acknowledged to be 
** the canso of all." But we may not forget how peculiarly it was 
" the cause of Boston/' and that here, on onr own Masr aohusetts 
soil, the practical question of independence was first tried and 
virtually settled. The brave Col. Pickering at Salem Bridge, the 
heroic minute men at Lexington and Concord Bridge, the gal- 
lant CoL Prescott at Bunker Hill, did their part in hastening iliat 
settlement and bringing it to a crisis ; and when the continental 
army was at length brought to our rescue, and the glorious Wash- 
ington, after holding the British forces at bay for nine months, 
had fairly driven them from the town — ^though more than 
three months were still to intervene before the Declaration was 
to be made — it could truly and justly be said that it was only 
" the declaration of a fact which already exists." 

Indeed, Massachusetts had practically administered "a govern- 
ment independent of the King" from the 19th of July, 1775 ; 
while on the very first day of May, 1776, her General Court had 
passed a solemn act to erase forthwith the name of the King, and 
the year of his reign, from aU civil commissions, writs, and pre- 
cepts, and to substitute therefor "the year of the Christian era 
and the name of the government and people of the Massachusetts 
Bay in New England." Other colonies may have empowered or 
instructed their delegates in Congress earlier than this colony to 
act on the subject. But this was action itself — ^positive, decisive, 
conclusive action. The Declaration was made in Philadelphia ; 
but the independence which was declared can date back nowhere, 
for its first existence as a fact, earlier than to Massachusetts. 
Upon her the lot fell " to try the question ;" and, with the aid of 
Washington and the Continental army, it was tried, and tried 
triumphantly, upon her soil Certainly, if Faneuil Hall was the 
cradle of Hberty, our Old State House was the cradle of indepen- 
dence, and our Old South the nursery of hberty and independ- 
ence both ; and if these sacred edifices, all or any of them, are 
indeed destined to disappear, let us see to it that some comer of 


their sites at least be consecrated to monumenta which shall teD 
their story, in legible lettering, to our children and our children's- 
diildreu forever ! 

Thanks be to God, that, in his good providence, the trial of 
this great qnestion fell primarily upon a colony and a people 
peculiarly fitted to meet it ; whose whole condition and training 
had prepared them for it, and whose whole history had pointed 

Why, quaint old John Evelyn, in his delicious diary, tells na, 
under date of May, 1671, that the great anxiety of the Council 
for plaatatione, of which he hod jost been made a member, was 
" to know the conditioD of New "Rn gli a id," which appeared " to 
be very independent ob to their regard to Old England or His 
Majesty," and " almost upoD the very brink of renouncing any 
dependence on the crown." 

" I have olwaye laughed," said John Adams, in a letter to 
Benjamin Bu&h in 1807, at the affectation of representing Ameri- 
can ludepcudence as a novel idea, as a modern discovery, aa a 
late invention. Tho idea of it as a possible thing, as a probable 
event, as a necessary and unavoidable measure, in case Great 
Britain should assume on unconstitutional authority over ns, 
has been familiar to Americans from the first settlement of the 
country, and woe well understood by Gov. Winthrop in 1675, as 
by Gov. Samuel Adams, when be told you that independence 
had been the first wish of his heart for seven years." "The 
principles and feelings which produced the Berolation, said he 
again, in his second letter to Tudor in 1818, " ought to be traced 
hack for two hundred years, and sought in the history of the 
country from the first plantations in America." The first emi- 
gr;ints, ho mitintnins, were the true authors of our independence. 


find himself conducted to the conclusion that when Winthrop 
and his associates (in 1629) prepared to convey across the water 
a charter from the TCing which, they hoped, would in their be. 
ginnings afford them some protection both from himself, and 
through him, from the Powers of Continental Europe, they had 
conceived a project no less important than that of laying on this 
side of the Atlantic the foundations of a nation of Puritan 
Englishmen — foundations to be built upon as future circum- 
stances should decide or allow." 

Indeed, that transfer of their charter and of their '' whole gov. 
emment " to New-England, on their own responsibility, was an 
act closely approaching to a declaration of independence, and 
clearly foreshadowing it. And when, only a few years afterward, 
we find the magistrates and deputies resisting a demand for the 
surrender of the charter, studiously and systematically " avoid- 
ing and protracting" all questions on the subject, and "hasten- 
ing their fortifications " meantime ; and when we hear even the 
ministers of the colony openly declaring that, "if a General 
Governor were sent over here, we ought not to accept him, but 
to defend our lawful possessions, if we were able," — we recognize 
a spirit and a purpose which cannot be mistaken. That spirit 
and that purpose were manifested and illustrated in a manner 
even more marked and unequivocal — as the late venerable Josiah 
Quincy reminded the people of Boston, just half a century ago 
to-day — when under the lead of one who had come over in the 
ship with the charter, and had lived to be the Nestor of New-* 
England — Simon Bradstreet — "a glorious revolution was 
effected here in Massachusetts 30 days before it was known that 
King William had just effected a similar glorious revolution on 
the other side of the Atlantic." New England, it seems, with 
characteristic and commendable dispatch, had fairly got rid of 
Sir Edmund Andros a month before she knew that Old England 
had got rid of his master I 

But I do not forget that we must look further back than even 
the earhest settlement of American colonies for the primal fiat 
of independence. I do not forget that when Edmund Burke, 
in 1 775, in alluding to the possibility of an American represen- 
tation in Parliament, exclaimed so emphatically and eloquently. 


" Oppomit luUura — I cannot renjove the eternal barriers of the 
creation," he had reall; exhausted the whole ai;gumeDt. No 
eSective representation was possible. If it had been posaiblej 
England herself would have been aghast at it. The -very idea 
of James Otis and Patrick Henry and the Adamses arguing tiie 
great questions of hmnon rights and popular liberty on the fioor 
of the House of Commons, and in the hearing of the common 
people of Great Britain, would haTe thrown the King and Lord 
North into convulsions of terror, and we should soon have heard 
them cTying ont, " These men that have turned the world upside 
down are come hither also." One of their own Board of Trade 
(Soame Jenyns) well said, i\ith as much truth as humor or 
sarcasm, " I have lately seen so many specimens of the great 
powers of speech of which these American gentlemen are pos- 
sessed, that I should be a&oid the sudden importation of so 
much eloquence at once would endanger the safety of England. 
It will be much cheaper for us to pay their army than their ora- 
tors," But no effectiyc representation was possible; and with- 
out it taxation was tyranny, in spite of the great dictionary 
dogmatist and his insolent pamphlet. 

Why, even in these days of ocean steamers, reducing the 
passage across the Atlantic from forty or fifty or dzty days to 
ten, representation in Westminster Hall is not proposed for the 
colonies Avhich England still holds on our continent ; and it 
would be little better than a farce if it were proposed and 
attempted. The Dominion of Canada, as we all know, remains 
as she is, seeking neither independence nor annexation, only be- 
cause her people prefer to be, and are proud of being, a part of 
th(i British Empire ; and because that Empire has abandoned 


eral, whose name and blood were not without close affinities to 
those of that marvellous statesman and orator while he liyed. 

It did not require the warning of our example to bring about 
such resulta It is written in the eternal constitution of things 
that no large colonies, educated to a sense of then* rights, and 
capable of defending them — no English or Anglo-Saxon colony, 
certainly — can be governed by a power three thousand miles 
across an ocean, unless they are governed to their own satis- 
faction, and held as colonies with their own consent and free 
wilL An imperial military sway may be as elastic and &r-reach- 
ing as the magnetic wires, it matters not whether three thousand 
or fifteen thousand miles — over an uncivilized region or an un- 
enlightened race. But who is wild enough to conceive, as Burke 
said a hundred years ago, '' that the natives of Hindostan and 
those of Virginia, could be ordered in the same manner; or 
that the Cutchery Court and the Grand Jury at Salem could be 
regulated on a similar plan ? " "I am convinced,'' said Fox, in 
1791, ia the fresh light of the experience America had afforded 
him, ** that the only method of retaining distant colonies with 
advantage is to enable them to govern themselves." 

Yes, from the hour when Columbus and his compeers discov- 
ered our continent its ultimate poHtical destiny was fixed. At 
-the very gateway of the Pantheon of American Hberty and Amer- 
ican independence might well bo soen a triple monument, like 
that to the old inventors of printing at Frankfort, including Co- 
lumbus and Americus Vespucius and Caboi They were the pi- 
oneers in the march to independence. They were the precursors 
in the only progress of freedom which was to have no backwai'd 
stepa Liberty had struggled long and bravely in other ages 
and in other lands. It had made glorious manifestations of its 
power and promise in Athens and in Home ; in the mediaeval re- 
pubHcs of Italy ; on the plains of Germany ; along the dykes of 
Holland ; among the icy fastnesses of Switzwerland ; and, more 
securely and hopefully stiU, in the sea-girt isle of Old England. 
But it was the glory of tiiose heroic old navigators to reveal a 
standing-place for it at last, where its lever could find a seciu'o 
fulcrum, and rest safely until it had moved the world ! The ful- 
ness of time had now come. Under an impidse of religious con- 


nction, tho poor persecuted pilgrimB laimched out upon the 
stormy deep in a single, leaking, olmoat foimdenng bark ; and 
in the very cabin of the Mayflower the first written compact of 
sslf-goTemment in the history of mankind is prepared and 
signed. Ten years afterward the MasBSchusetts Company come 
over with their charter, and administer it on the avowed prin- 
ciple that the whole government, civil and rehgious, is trans- 
ferred. All the rest which is to follow until the 4th of July, 
1776, is only matter of time and opportunity. Certainly, my 
friends, aB we look back to-day through the long vista of the 
past, we perceive tliat it was no mere declaration of men which 
primarily brought about the independence wo celebrate. We 
cannot but reverently recognize the hand of that Almighty 
Maker of the World who " founded it upon the seas and estab- 
lished it upon the floods." We cannot but feel the full force 
and felicity of thoao opening words in which the Declaration 
speaks of our assuming among the powers of the earth " that 
separiito and equal Btation to which the laws of Nature and of 
Nature's God entitled us." 

I spoke, Mr. Mayor, at the outset of this oration, of " A Geu- 
tuiy of Self-Go vemment Completed." And so, in some sort, it 
is. The Declurationof Philadelphia was, initself, both an asser- 
tion and an act of eelf-govemmeDt, and it had been preceded 
or was immediately followed by provisions for local self-^vem- 
ment in all the separate colonies — Massachusettos, New Hamp- 
shire and South Carolina, conditionally at least, haviug led the 
way. But we may not forget tUat six or seven years of hard 
fighting ore still to intervene before our independence is to be 
ackuowledgedhyGTeatBritaiD,aad six or seven years mca« before 


time may have come for a full review of our National career and 
character, and for a complete computation or a just estimate of 
what a century of self-government has accomplished for our- 
selves and for mankind. 

I dared not attempt such a review to-day. This anniversary 
has seemed to me to belong peculiarly — ^I had almost said 
sacredly — ^to the men and the events which rendered the Fourth 
of July so memorable forever ; and I have willingly left myself 
little time for anything else. God grant that when the 30th 
of April, 1889 shall dawn upon those of us who may live to see 
it, the thick clouds which now darken our pohtical sky may have 
passed away; that wholesome and healing coimsels may have pre- 
vailed throughout our land ; that integrity and purity may be once 
more conspicuous in our high places ; that an honest currency 
may have been re-established, and prosperity restored to all 
branches of oiu: domestic industry and oiu: foreign commerce, 
and that some of those social problems which are perplexing and 
tormenting so many of our Southern States may have been 
safely and satisfactorily solved ! 

For indeed, fellow-citizens, we cannot shut out eyes to the fact 
that this great year of our Lord and of American Hberty has 
been ushered in by not a few discouraging and depressing cir- 
enmstances. Appalling catastrophes, appalling crimes, have 
marked its course. Ftoaneial, political, moral delinquencies 
and wrongs have swept over our land like an Arctic or an An- 
tarctic wave, or both conjoined, until we have been almost ready 
to cry out in anguish to Heaven, " Thou hast multiphed the 
nation but not increased the joy I " It will be an added stigma, 
in aH time to come, on the corruption of the hour, and on all 
concerned in it, that it has cast so deep a shade over our Cen- 
tennial festival 

All this, however, we are persuaded, is temporary and excep- 
tional — the result, not of our institutions, but of distiu'bing 
causes, and as distinctly traceable to those causes as the scorifle 
of a volcano or the debris of a deluge. Had there been no long 
and demoralizing civil war to account for such developments, we 
might indeed be alarmed for our future. As it is, our confidence 
in the RepubUc ia unshaken. We are ready even to accept all 


that lias occurred to oversliadow our jubilee, as a seasonable 
waming against vainglorious boastings ; as a timely admonition 
that our iiistitutioiis are not proof against licentiou^neBS and 
profligacy, but that eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty." 

Already the reaction has commenced. Already the people are 
everywhere roused to the importance of something higher than 
mere partisan activity and zeal, and to a sense that something 
beside "big wars " may be required to " make ambition virtne." 
Everywhere the idea is scouted that there are any immunitiea or 
impunities for bribery and cormptiou ; and tbe scorn of the 
whole people is deservedly cast on any one detected in plncldng 
our eagle's vrings to feather his own nest. Everywhere there is 
a demand for integrity, for principle, for character, as the only 
safe qnaMcatious for x>ubtic employments as well a.e for private 
truBta. Oh, let that demand be enforced and inslated on — as I 
hope and beheve it will be— and we shall have nothing to fear 
for our freedom, and but httle to regret ia the temporary depres- 
sion and mortification which have recalled us to s deeper sense 
of our dangers and our duties. 

JUeantime we iuaj be more than content that no shortcomings 
or failures of our owu day can diminish the glories of the past 
or dim the brilliancy of Buccesses achieved by our fathers. 

We cnn look back upon our history bo far and find in it enough 
to moke us grateful, enough to moke ua hopeful, enough to 
make us proud of our institutions and of our country, enough 
to make ua reaolvo never to despair of the Eepubhc, enough to 
assure us that, could our fathers look down on all which has 
been accomplished, they would feel that their toils and sacrifices 
had not been in vain; enough to convince other nations and the 

arlil at l;i,ri;e that, iu uuitin^' so {;& with um to decorate 


th«ir progress, and especially near their end, in almost every 
coontry of the Old World. Nor wotdd I presume to daim too 
confidently for the closing century that when the records of man. 
kind are made up in some far distant future it will be remem- 
bered and designated, peculiarly and preeminently, as the Ameri- 
can aga Yet it may well be doubted whether the dispassionate 
historian of after years will find that the influences of any other 
nation have been of farther reach and wider range or of more 
efficiency for the wel&re of the world than those of our great 
Repubhc^ since it had a name and a place on the earth. 

Other ages have had their designations, local or personal or 
mithical — historic or prehistoric — ^ages of stone or iron, of silver 
or gold ; ages of kings or queens, of reformers or of conquerors. 
That marvelous compound of almost everything wise or foohsh 
noble or base, witty or ridiculous, subhme or profane, Voltaire 
maintained that, in his day, no man of reflection or of taste could 
count more than four authenthic ages in the history of the world: 
1. That of PhiUip and Alexander, with Pericles and Demosthe- 
nes, Aristotle and Plato, Apelles, Phidias, and Praxiteles 2. 
That of Csesar and Augustus, with Lucretius and Cicero and 
livy, Virgil and Horace, Varro and Vitruvius ; 3. That of the 
Medici, with Michael Angelo and Baphael, Galileo and Dante ; 
4. That which ho was at the moment engaged in depicting — the 
age of Louis XIV., which,in his judgment, surpassed all the others | 
Our American age could bear no comparison with ages like 
these — ^measured only by the brilliancy of historians and philo- 
sophers, of poets or painters. We need not, indeed, be ashamed 
of what has been done for hterature and science and art during 
these hundred years, nor hesitate to point with i^ride to oui* own 
authors and artists, hving and dead. But the day has gone by 
when Hterature and the fine arts, or even science and the useful 
arts, can characterize an age. There are other and higher mea- 
sures of comparison. And the very nation which counts Voltaire 
among its greatest celebrities — the nation which aided us so gen- 
erously in our Revolutionary struggle, and which is now rejoic- 
ing in its own successful establishment of repubhcan institutions 
— ^the land of the great and good Lafayette, has taken the lead 
in pointing out the true grounds on which our American age may 


cholleDge and clnim a, special recognition. An association of 
Frenchmen, under the lead of some of their most distingtliehed 
Btatesmen and scholars, has proposed to erect, tuid is engaged 
in erecting, as their contribntion to our Centennial, a gigantic 
statue at the very throat of the harbor of our supreme commer- 
cial emporium, which shall symbolize the legend inscribed on its 
pedestal, " Liberty enlightening the World !" 

That glorious legend presents the standard by whiob onr i^e 
is to bo judged, and by which we may well be willing and prond 
to have it judged. All olao in oar own career, certainly, is se- 
condary. The growth and grandeur of our territorial dimen- 
fdons, the multiplication of our States, the nnmber and size and 
wealth our cities, the marvelous increase of our population, the 
measureless extent of our railway's and internal navigation, onr 
overflowing grontiries, our inexhaustible mines, our countless in- 
ventions and multitudinous industries — all these may be remits 
ted to the censos and left for the stndent-s of staUstics. The 
claim which our coimtry presenta, for giving no second or sub- 
ordinate character to the age which has just closed, rests only 
on what has been accomplished, at borne andabroad, for elevating 
the condition of mankiQd,for advancing political and human free- 
dom, for promoting the greatest good of the greatest number ; for 
prontjgtho capacity of man for self government ; and for "en- 
lightening the world" by the example of a rational, regulated, en- 
dming constitutional liberty. And who will dispute or ques- 
tion that claim ? In what region of the earth ever so remote 
from us, in what comer of creation ever so far out of the range 
of our commuuicstion, does not some burden lightened, some 
bond loosened, some yoke lifted, some labor better remunerated, 
e for deapairiiii; heitrls, t 


freedom I Wbo belieyes or imagines that free schools, a free 
press, the elective franchise, the rights of representation, the 
principles of constitutional government, would have made the 
notable progress they have made, had our example been want- 
ing I Who believes or imagines that even the rotten boroughs 
of old England would have disappeared so rapidly had there 
been no American representative republic! And has there 
been a more effective influence on human welfare and 
human freedom since the woxld began than that which has re- 
sulted from the existence of a great land of hberty in this 
Western Hemisphere, of unbounded resources, with acres 
enough for so many myriads of homes, and with a welcome for 
all who may fly to it from oppression from every region be- 
neath the sun ? 

lict not our example be perverted or dishonored, by others 
or by oxurselves. It was no wild breaking away from all author- 
ity, which we celebrate to-day. It was no mad revolt against 
everything like government. No incendiary torch can be rightly 
kindled at our flame. Doubtless there had been excesses and 
violences in many quarters of our land — ^irrepressible outbreaks 
under unbearable provocations — " irregular things, done in the 
confusion of mighty troubles." Doubtless our Boston mobs 
did not always move '' to the Dorian mood of flutes and soft 
recorders." But in all our deliberative assembUes, in all our 
town meetings, in all our Provincial and Continental Congresses, 
there was a respect for the great principles of law and order ; 
and the definition of true civil liberty, which had been so re- 
markably laid down by one of the founders of our Common- 
wealth, more than a century before, was, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, recognized — " a Liberty for that only which is good, 
just and honest." The Declarationwe commemorate expressly 
admitted and asserted that ''governments long established should 
not be changed for light and transient causes." 

It dictated no special forms of government for other people, 
and hardly for ourselves. It had no denunciations, or even dis- 
paragements, for monarchies or for empires, but eagerly contem- 
plated, as wo do at this hour, allianiies and friendly relations 
with both. We have welcomed to our Jubilee, with pecuHar in- 


tereet and gratafication, the FepresentaliTes of the nations of Ea- 
rope — all them monarchial — to whom we were so deeply indebt- 
ed for sympathy (ind for asfostance in our struggle for indej^end- 
ence. We have welcomed, too, the i>ersonal presence of au 
Emperor, tvom another quarter of our own hemisphere, of whose 
eager and enhghtened interest in education and hteratuie and 
science we had learned so much from our lamented Agasaia and 
have now witnessed so much for ourselves. 

Our fathers were no propagandists of republican institutionB 
in the abstract Their own odoption of a republican form was, 
at the moment, almost as mnch n matter of chance as of choice, 
of necesait; as of preference. The Thirteen Colonies had, hap- 
pily, been too long accustomed to manage their own affairs, and 
were too wisely jealous of each other, also, to admit for an in- 
stant any idea of centralization ; and withont centralization a 
monarchy, or any other form of arbitrary government, was out of 
the question. Union was then, as it is now, the only safety for 
liberty ; but it could only be n Constitutional Union, a limited 
and restricted Union, founded on compromises and mutual con- 
cessions; a Union recognizing n large measure of State rights— 
resting not only on the division of powers among legislative and 
executive departments, but resting also on the distribution of 
powers between the States and the nation, both deriving their 
original authori^ from the peoi)le, and exercising that authority 
for the people. This was the system contemplated by the De- 
claration of 1776. This was the system approximated to by the 
Confederation of 1778-81. This was the system finally consum- 
mated by the Constitution of 1789. Aud under this system our 
great example of self-government Las been held up before the 
uatioi IK. fulfilling, BO far as it has Mlillod it, tlittt loflv 


times taught the world what to avoid, as well as what to imitate; 
and that the cause of freedom and reform has sometimes been 
disoonraged and pnt back by oar short-comings, or by oar excess- 
es? Oar light has been at best but a revolving light, warning by 
its darker intervals or its sombre shades, as well as cheering 
by its flashes of brilhancy, or by the clear lustre of its steadier 
shining. Yet, in spite of all its imperfection and irregularities, 
to no other earthly light have so many eyes been turned ; from 
no other earthly illumination have so many hearts drawn hope 
and courage. It has breasted the tides of sectional and of party 
strife. It has stood the shock of foreign and of civil war. It 
will still hold on, erect and unextinguished, "defying the return- 
ing wave " of demoralization and corruption. Millions of young 
hearts, in all quarters of our land, are awakening at this moment 
to the responsibility which rests peculiarly upon them, for ren- 
dering its radiance purer and brighter and more constant ; mil- 
lions of young hearts are resolving at this hour that it shall not 
be their fault if it do not stand for a century to come, as it has 
stood for a century past, a beacon of liberty to mankind I Their 
little flags of hope and promise are floating to-day from every 
cottage window along the roadside. With those young hearts 
it is safe. 

Meantime, we may all rejoice and take courage, as we remem- 
ber of how great a drawback and obstruction our example has 
been disembarrassed and relieved within a few years pjist. Cer- 
tainly, we cannot forget, this Jay, in looking back over the cen- 
tury which is gone, how long that example was overshadowed, in 
the eyes all men, by the existence of African Slavery in so consi- 
erable a portion of our country . Never, never, however — it may 
be safely said — was there a more tremendous, a more dreadful, 
problem submitted to a nation for solution, than that which this 
institution involved for the United States of America. Nor were 
we alone responsible for its existence. I do not speak of it in the 
way of apology for ourselves. Still less would I refer to it in the 
way of crimination or reproach toward others, abroad or at 
home. But the well-known paragraph on this subject, in the 
original draft of the Declaration, is quite too notable a remi- 
niscence of the little desk before me, to be forgotten on such an 
occasion as this. That omitted clause, which, as Mr. Jefiferson 


tells MB, " was etrtick out in complaisance to South Carolina and 

Georgia," not without " tendemesB," too, as lie adds, to some 
" Northern brethen who, though they had very few slaves them- 
selyea, had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others," 
— contained the direct allegation that the King had " jirostituted 
his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit 
or restrain this esccmble commerce." That memorable clanse, 
omitted for prudential reasons only, has passed into histoiy, and 
its truth can never be disputed. It recalls to as and recalls to 
the world, the historical fact — which we certainly have a special 
right to remember this daj- — that not only had Africm slavery 
fonnd its portentous and pernicious way into our colonies in 
their veiy earliest settlement, but that it had been fixed and 
fastened npon some of them by royal vetoes, prohibiting the 
wassage of laws to restrain its further introduction. It had 
'thus not only entwined and entangled itself about the very 
roots of our choicest harvests — until slavery and cotton at last 
seemed as inseparable as the tares and wheat of the sacred par- 
able — but it had engrafted itself upon the very fabric of our 
Oovemment. ^e all know, the world knows, that out Indepen- 
dence could not have been achieved, our Union could not have 
been maintained, our Constitution could not have bcien estab- 
lished, without the adoption of those compromises which recog- 
nized its continued existence, and left it to the responsibility of 
the States of which it was the giicvous inheritence. And from 
that day forward, the method of dealing with it, of disposing of 
it, and of extinguishing it, became more and more a problem 
full of terrible perplexity, and seemingly incapable of human 


The immedicable wound must be cut away by the sword I 
Again and again as that terrible war went on, we might almost 
hear voices crying out in the words of the old prophet : " O 
thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet ? 
Put up thyself into thy scabbard ; rest and be still ! " But the 
answering voice seemed not less audible : " How can it be quiet, 
seeing the Lord hath given it a charge?" 

And the war went on — bravely fought on both sides, as we all 
know — until, as one of its necessities. Slavery was abolished. It 
fell at last under that right of war to abolish it which the late 
John Quincy Adams had been the first to announce in the way 
of warning, more than twenty years before, in my own hearing, 
on the floor of Congress, while I was your representative. I re- 
member well the burst of indignation and derision with which 
that warning was received. No prediction of Casandra was 
ever more scorned than his, and he did not live to witness its 
verification. But whoever else may have been more immedi- 
ately and personally instrumental in the final result — ^the brave 
eokliers who fought the battles or the gallant generals who led 
them — the devoted philanthropists or the ardent statesmen 
who, in season and out of season, labored for it — the martyr 
President who proclaimed it — ^the true story of emancipation 
can never be fairly and fully told without **the old man elo- 
quent,' who died beneath the roof of the Capitol nearly 30 years 
ago being recognized as one of the leading figures of the narrative. 

But, thanks be to God, who overrules everything for good, 
that great event, the greatest of our American age— great 
enough, alone and by itself, to give a name and a character to 
any age — has been accomplished ; and, by His blessing, we pre- 
sent our country to the world this day without a slave, white or 
black, upon its soil 1 Thanks be to God not only that our 
beloved Union has been saved, but that it has been made both 
easier to save and better worth saving hereafter by the final 
solution of a problem before which all human wisdom had 
stood aghast and confounded for so many generations ! Thanks 
be to God, and to Him be all the praise and the glory, we can 
read the great words of the Declaration on this Centennial 
anniversay, without reservation or evasion ; " We hold these 



tmtbB to \>Q self-evident, tliat all men are created eqoal, and that 
the; are endowed by their Creator with certain onalienable 
rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and the parsnit of 
happiness." The legend on that new coloaaal FharoH at Long 
Island may now indeed be, " Liberty enlightening the World." 


Wc come, then, to-day, fellow-citizens, with hearts fall of 
iMtiH of the gratitude to God and man, to pass dowa our conntiy 

Fatore. and its institations — not wholly without soars and 
blemishes npon their front — not without shadows on the past or 
clouds on the future — ^bnt freed forever from at least one great 
stain, and firmly rooted in the love and loyalty of a united people 
— to the generations which ore to succeed us. 

And what shall wc say to these succeeding generations as we 
commit the sacred trust to their keeping and guardianship? If 
I conld liopo without presumption that any humble counsels of 
mine on this hallowod anniversary could be remembered beyond 
tlie hoiu: of their utterance, and reach the ears of my countrymen 
in future day s ; if I could borrow " the masterly pen " of Jefferson 
and produce words which should partake of the immortality 
of those which he wrote on this little desk ; if I could com- 
mand the matchless tongue of John Adorns, when he poured 
out appeals and arguments which moved men from their seatSi 
and settled the destinies of a nation ; if I could catch hut a mngle 
spark of those electric fires which Franklin wrested from the 
skies, and flash down a phrase, a word, a thought, along the 
magic chords which stretch across the ocean of the future — 
what could I, what would I say? 

I coiikl not omit, curtitiplv, to reiterate the solemn c 


sovereigns, they must exercise their sovereignty over themselves 
individually, as weU as over themselves in the aggregate — regulat- 
ing their own lives, resisting their own temptations, subduing 
their own passions, and voluntarily imposing upon themselves 
some measure of that restraint and discipHne, which, under other 
systems, is supphed from the armories of arbitrary power — the 
discipline of virtue, in the place of the discipline of slavery. 

I could not omit to caution them against the corrupting in- 
fluence of intemperance, extravagance and luxury. I could not 
omit to warn them against 'pohtical intrigue, as well as against 
personal licentiousness ; and to implore them to regard prin- 
ciple and character, rather than mere party allegiance, in the 
choice of men to rule over them. 

I could not omit to call upon them to foster and further the 
cause of universal Education ; to give a Hberal support to our 
schools and colleges ; to promote the advancement of science 
and art, in all their multipHed divisions and relations ; and to 
encourage and sustain all those noble institutions of charity, which, 
in our own land above all others, have given the crowning grace 
and glory to modem civihzation. 

I could not refrain from pressing upon them a just and genier- 
ons consideration for the interests and the rights of their fellow- 
men everywhere, and an earnest effort to promote peace and 
good will among the nations of the earth. 

I could not refrain from reminding them of the shame, the un- 
speakable shame and ignominy, which would attach to those who 
should show themselves unable to uphold the glorious fabric of 
self-government which had been founded for them at such a cost 
by their Fathers : " Videte, mdete, ne, ut iUis pulcherrimum fuit 
tantam vobis imperii gloriam rdiiiqvere^ sic vobis turpissimum sit, 
illud quod accepistis, Cueri et conservare non posse !'* 

And surely, most surely, I could not fail to invoke them to 
imitate and emulate the examples of virtue and purity and 
patriotism, which the great founders of our Colonies and of our 
nation had so abundantly left them. 

But could I stop there ? Could I hold out to them, as the re- 


■Whit ire grert sultfl of a loDg life of obeeiration and experience, no- 
'°™' Uiing but the prmciples and examples of great 

"Who and what aro great men ? " Woe to the conntrj," said 
Mettemicb to our own Ticknor, forty years ago, " whose condi- 
tion and institutiona no longer produce great men to manage its 
afToirs." The wily Anstriiiu applied his remark to England at 
that day ; but liis woe — if it be a woe — would have a wider 
range iu our time, and leave liorilly any land unreached. Cer- 
tainly wo boar it nowadays, at cTcry turn, that never before has 
there been so striking a disproportion between snpply and de- 
mand as at this moment, the world over, in the commodity of 
great men. 

But who, and what, are great men? "And now stand forth,'' 
says an eminent Swiss historian, who had completed a survey 
of the whole history of mankind, at the very moment when, as 
he says, " a blaze of freedom is just bursting forth beyond the 
ocean,"-" And now stand forth, ye gigantic forms, uhades of the 
first Chieftains, and Sons of Gods, who ghmmer among the 
rocky halls and mountain fortresses of the ancient world ; and 
you, Conquerors of the world from Babylon and from Mace- 
donia ; ye Dynasties of CEBsars, of Huns, Arabs, Moguls, and 
Tartars ; ye Commanders of the faithful on the Tigris, and 
Commanders of the Faithful on the Tiber ; you hoary Counse- 
lors of Kings, and Peers of Sovereigns ; Warriors on the oar 
of triumph, covered with scars, and crowned with laords ; ye 
long rows of Consids and Dictators, famed for your lofty minds, 
your unshaken constancy, youz ungovernable spirit, stand forth, 
and let us survey for awhile your assembly, like a council of the 


Uniyersel This is indeed all which the greatest of men ever 
have been, or ever can be. No flatteries of courtiers ; no adula- 
tions of the multitude ; no audacity of self-reliance ; no in- 
toxications of success ; no evolutions or developments of science 
—can make more or other of them. This is " the sea-mark of 
their utmost sail " — ^the goal of their furthest run — the very 
round and top of their highest soaring. 

Oh, if there could be, to-day, a deeper and more pervading 
impression of this great truth throughout our land, and a more 
prevailing conformity of our thoughts and words and acts to 
the lessons which it involves ; if we could Hft ourselves to a 
loftier sense of our relations to the Invisible ; if, in surveying 
our past history, we could catch larger and more exalted views 
of our destinies and our responsibilities; if we could realize 
that the want of good men maybe a heavier woe to a land than 
any want of what the world calls great men, our Centennial 
Year would not only be signalized by splendid ceremonials and 
magnificent commemorations and gorgeous expositions, but it 
would go far toward fulfilling something of the grandeur of 
that '' Acceptable Year" which was announced by higher than 
human lips, and would be the auspicious promise and pledge 
of a glorious second century of Independence and Freedom for 
our country I 

For, if that second century of self-government is to go on 
safely to its close, or is to go on safely and prosperously at all, 
there must be some renewal of that old spirit of subordination 
and obedience to divine as well as human laws, which has 
been our security in the past. There must be faith in something 
higher and better than ourselvea There must be a reverent 
acknowledgment of an Unseen, but All-seeing, All-controlling 
Buler of the Universe. His Word, His Day, His House, His 
Worship, must be sacred to our children, as they have been to 
their fathers ; and His blessing must never fail to be invoked 
upon our land and upon our liberties. The patriot voice, which 
cried from the balcony of yonder old State House, when the 
Declaration had been originally proclaimed, *' Stability and per- 
petuity to American Independence," did not fail to add, " God 
save our American States." I would prolong that ancestral 


prayer. And the lost plimse to pass my lips at this hour, and 
to tahe its chance of remembrance or obhvion in years to come, 
fts tho coDclnsion of this Centennial oration, and the som and 
eumming up of all I can say to the present or the fatnie, ahoU 
be : There ia, there con bo no independence of God ; in Him, 
as a nation, no less tbon in Him, as individaals, " we live, and 
move, and have otu: being!" God save oar American States! 




4th, 1876. 

I SALUTE you, my fellow-cotintxymen, with a cheer of welcome 
on this joyons day, when forty millions of human voices rise up 
with one accord to heaven, in grateful benisons for the mercies 
showered on three successive generations of the race, by the 
Great Disposer of events, during the hundred years that have 
passed away. Yet far be it from us to glory in this anniversary 
festival with any spirit of ostentation, as if assuming to be the 
very elect of Gbd's creatures. Let us rather join in humble but 
earnest supplication for the continuance of that support from 
aloft by reason of which a small and weak and scattered band 
have been permitted so to grow into strength as now to com- 
mand a recognized position among the leading powers of the 

Less than three centuries since, the European explorer first set 
his foot on these northern shores, with a view to occupation. 
He found a primitive race aspiring scarcely higher than to the 
common enjoyment of animal existence, and slow to respond to 
any nobler call. How long they had continued in the same con- 
dition there was little evidence to dctermiue. But enough has 
been since gathered to justify the belief that advance never could 
have been one of their attributes. Without forecast, and in- 
sensible to ambition, after long experience and earnest effort to 
elevate them, the experiment of civilization must be admitted to 
have failed. The North American Tudian never could have im- 
proved the state he was in when first found here. He must be 
regarded merely as the symbol of continuous negation, of the 
everlasting rotation of the present, npt profiting by the experi- 
ence of the past, and feebly sensible of the possibilities of the 


The Enropoaa bad at Isst come in npoQ him, nnd the Boene 
begfiQ at once to change. The magnificence of natore prraented 
to his view, to which the native hod been blind, at once stimn- 
lated bis passion to develop its advantages by cnltnre, and ere 
long the wilderness began to blossom as the rose. The ham of 
industry was heard to echo in every vaHey, and it ascended 
every mountain. A new people had appeared, animated by a 
spirit which enlisted labor witboat stint and directed it in chan- 
nels of beauty and of ose. With eyes steadily fixed upon the 
future, and their sturdy ainewR braced to the immediate task, 
there is no cause for wonder that the sparse but earnest adven- 
turers who first set foot on the soil of the new continent, should 
in the steady progress of time, have made good the aspirationB 
with which they began, of founding a future happy home for 
ever increasing millions of their race. Between two anob forces, 
the American Indian, who dwells only in the present, and the 
European pioneer, who fixes his gaze so steadily ou the future, 
the issue of a struggle could end only in one way. Whilst the 
one goes on dwindling even to the pixjspect of ultimate extinc- 
tion, the other spreads peace and happiness among numbers in- 
creasing over the continent with a rapidity never before equalled 
in the records of civilization. 

But here it seems as if I catch a sound of rebuke from afar in 
another quarter of the globe. " Come now," says the boaiy 
denizen of ancient Africa, " this assurance on the part of a new 
people like you is altogether intolerable. Tou, of a race start- 
ing only as if yesterday, with your infant civilization, what non- 
sense to pride yourself on your petty labors, when you have not 
an idea of the magnitude of the works and the magnificence of 


complete them. Consider further that even that holy book, 
which yon yonrselyes eeteem as embodying the highest concep- 
tion of the Deity, and lessons of morals continually taught 
among you to this day, had its origin substantially from here. 
Remember that all this happened before the development of 
the boasted Greek and Eoman cultivation, and be modest with 
pretensions for your land of yesterday, of any peculiar merit for 
your aspirations to advance mankind. 

To all of which interjections of my African prompter I make 
but a short reply. By his own showing he appeals only to what 
was ages ago, and not to what now is. What are the imperish- 
able monuments constructed so long since, but memorials of an 
obsolete antiquity, to be gazed upon by the wandering traveler 
as examples never to be copied ? If once devoted to special 
forms of Divine worship, the faith that animated the structures 
has not simply lost its vitality, but has been buried in obHvion. 
What are the catacombs but futile efforts to perpetuate mere 
matter after the living principle has vanished away ? Why not 
have applied what they cost to advance the condition of the ris- 
ing generations ? How about the sacred book to which you 
refer ? Does it not record an account of an emigration of an 
industrious and conscientious people compelled to fly by reason 
of the recklessness of an ignoi^nt ruler ? And how has it been 
ever since ? Although conceded by nature one of the most 
favored regions of the earth, the general tendency has been far 
from indicating a corresponding degree of prosperity. Even 
the splendid memorials of long past ages testify by the solitude 
around them only to the foUy of indulging in vain aspirations. 
The conclusion then to be drawn from such a spectacle is not a 
vision of life but of death, not of hope but of despair. 

liO ! I have presented to you in this picture the three types- 
of humanity as exemplified in the social systems of the world. 

Whilst the African represents the past, and the Indian clings 
only to the present, it is left to the European and his congener 
in America persistently to follow in the future the great object 
of the advancement of mankind. 

1. The retrogade. 2. The stationary. 3. The advanca 
Which is it to be with us? 


We can only judge of the future by it liaa been in the 
past Is there or in there not a peculiar element, not found in 
wther of the other races, which haa shown ao much vigor in the 
American during the past century us to give hmi a fair right to 
count upon large improvement in time to come? 

I confidently answer for Vn'm that there is. That element is 
liis devotion to the principle of liberty. 

Do you ask me where to find it in words! Turn we then at 
once to the immoital scroll ever fastened into the solemnities of 
tliifl our great anniversary. Tiierelies imbedded in a brief sen- 
tence, more of living and pervading force than could have ever 
been a^jplied to secure permanence to all the vast monuments of 
Egj-pt or the world. 

Wo nil know it well, but still I repeat it: 

" We know these truths to be self-evident: 1. That all men 
are created equal. 2. Tliat tliey are endowed by their Creator 
with inalienable rights, 3. Tliat among them are life, liberty, 
itnd the jiursuit of liappiness." 

I have considered these significant words as vested with a 
\'irtuQS(i subtile as certain ultimately to penetrate the abodes of 
mankind all over the world. But I separate them altogether 
from tlie solemn charges against King George, which immedi- 
ately follow in the Declaration. These may have been just or 
they may not In the long inten'al of time which has passed, 
ample opportunity has been given to examine the allegations 
with more calmness than when they were just made. 

May I venture to express a modest doubt whether the Sov- 
ereign was in reality such a eru^l tyrant us he is painted, and 
whether the ministers were so malignantly deaf to the appeals 
nf colonial ci.niKinsuinity an ro:LdLT9 of thia d.ty may be led. 


comparatiYely recent date. A very little show of sympathy, a 
ready ear to listen to alleged grievances, perhaps graceful con- 
cessions made in season, a disposition to look at colonists rather 
as brethren than as servants to squeeze something out of ; in 
short, fellowship and not haughtiness might have kept onr 
affections as Englishmen perhaps down to this day. The true 
grievance was the treatment of the colonies as a burden instead 
of a blessing ; an object out of which to get as much and to 
which to give as little as possible. Least of all was there any 
conception of cultivating common affections and a common in- 
terest The consequence of the mistake thus made was not only 
the gradual and steady alienation of the people, but to teach 
them habits of self-reliance. Then came at last the appeal to 
brute force — and all was over. Such seems to be the true cause 
of the breach, and not so much willful tvranny. And it appears 
in my opinion at least, quite as justifiable a cause for the sepa- 
ration, as any or all of the more vehement accusations so elabo- 
rately accumulated in the great Declaration of 1776. 

Passing from this digression, let me resmne the consideration 
of the effect of the adoption of the great seminal principle which 
I have already pointed out as the pillar of fire illuminating the 
whole of our later path as an independent people. That this 
light has been no mere flashy, flickering, or uncertain guide, but 
steadily directing us toward the attainments of new and great 
results, beneficial not more immediately to ourselves than 
incidentally to the progress of the other nations of the world, 
it will be the object of this address to explain. 

Let us review the century. The motto shall be Excelsior. 

And first of all appesirs as a powerful influence of the new 
doctrine of freedom, though indirectly applied, the cooperation^ 
with us in the struggle of the Sovereign Louis the Sixteenth, 
and the sympathy of the people of France. This topic would of 
itself suffice for an address, but I have so much more to say 
relative to ourselves as a directing power, that I, must content 
myself with simply recalling to your minds what France loas in 
1778, when governed by an absolute monarch cooperating with 
US in establishing our principle, but solely for the motive of de- 
pressing Great Britain, and what she i^ in this our centennial 


year, an isdependent republic ; after long and severe tribnla- 
tioD, at last deliberately ranging beraelf S8 a disciple of onr 
school, frankly recogniziiig the force of our sovereigii law. 

Our struggle for freedom had been some time over, when the 
arduoos task of restoriog order by the co6peration of the whole 
sense of the people in organizing an effective form of govern- 
ment, the first experiment of the kind in history, was crowned 
by the simultaneous selection by that people of n tme hero who, 
having proved himself an eminent leader and tmsty goide, 
through the perils of a seven years' conflict, was called to labor 
with even greater glory as a successful guide of lib^y toward 
the arts of peace. 

Looking from this point of time in the year 1798, when an 
original experiment, the latest and most deliberate ever at- 
tempted, was on the verge of trial, it now becomes my duty to 
pass in review the chief results which have l>een secured by it 
to the human race during the past century. Has it sncoeeded 
or has it failed ? Above all, what has it done directly and in- 
directly in expanding the influence of its great doctiine of lib- 
erty, not merely at home, but over the wide snrface of sea and 
land — nay, the groat globe itself. 

Washington was President, but he had not had time to col- 
lect together bis cabinet and distribute his work when events 
occurred which demanded instant attention. Without waiting 
for the advent of Jefferson, whom be had chosen as his aid in 
the Department of Foreign Affairs, he drew with his own hand 
certain i)apers of instructiona which he committed to the charge 
of Mr. GouYemeur Morris, then about to soil for Great Britain, 
with directions promptly to confer with the British Minister 
Mr. Morrin went out and accordingly communicated 


vessels to serve as seamen, whether they would or no. 
Here was the beginning of a question of personal freedom, 
started out of the earth at once which no American agent could 
Tenture to trifle with. Although without special instructions, 
Mr. Morris did not hesitate a moment to submit the grievance 
to the consideration of the Minister. That dignitary contented 
himself with an evasive answer, and the plea of the difficulty of 
distinguishing between citizens speaking the same language; 
and such became the standing pretext for the seizure of Amer- 
icans for many years. The act itself, looked at in our present 
light, seems to have been brutal enough even when applied to 
subjects. How much more intolerable when invading the lib- 
erty of men having throvm off all allegiance to the crovni. I 
doubt whether many of you will believe me when I tell you how 
many Americans underwent this kind of slavery. It appears 
from the official papers that in 1798, 651 persons were recorded 
as in this condition. Eight years later the return is increased 
to 2,273, and the year after it amounted to 4,229. The 
most flagrant act of all was the later seizure of several men on 
board of the Chesapeake, an American vessel of war, by a for- 
mal order of an Admiral of a British frigate on the coast The 
ultimate consequence of the equivocating course of Great Bri- 
tain was that this grievance proved the chief cause of the war 
of 1812. 

If ever there was a question of Hberty under the definition of 
1776, it seems to have been this, and the successive Presidents 
who were in office during the period, though themselves natives 
and citizens of a region little Hable to suffer from the appre- 
hended evil, were not the less energetic and determined on that 
accoimt in maintaining the right 

On the other hand, this case is not vrithout its lesson of the 
danger of infatuation in poHtics when we find that the resent- 
ment for these attacks upon Hberty burned with far the most 
qualified ardor in the region where the population most fre- 
quented the seas. The singular spectacle then presented itself 
of the perseverance of those eminent statesmen in upholding, 
even at the cost of war, the rights of that portion of their breth- 
ren farthest removed from their ovm homesteads which were 


free from (longer; \vbilo many inhabitanto of the coast were 
absolutely cxbnustmg nil the viaJs of their wrath upon the same 
distinguiBhod statesmen for laboring oven at the cost of war to 
secure the safety on hmd and water, of persons actually their 
nearest neighbors and friends. 

The result you all know, was the war, waged under the cry of 
" free trade and sailors rights." A severe trial, but abundantly 
rewarded, by the security gained for Uberty. From the date 
of the peace with Great Britain down to the present hour no 
cause of complaint hits occurred for the impressment of a single 
American citizen. No difficulty in distinguishing citizenship has 
been experienced even though httlc change has been made in 
the use of the Lmgnage common to both nations. In short, no 
more men have been taken whether on land or on the ocean, by 
force, on any pretense whatever. 

Singularly enough, however, fifty years later, a question of 
parallel import suddenly sprang op which for the moment 
threatened to present the same nations in a position precisely 
reversed, A naval commander of a United States war vessel 
fisscmed the right to board a British passenger steamer crossing 
the sea on her way home, and to seize and cany off two Ameri- 
can citizens, just as British officers had done to us in former 
times. This proceeding was immediately resented, and the con- 
sequence was a new step in favor of liberty on tho ocean, for 
the security of the civilized world. The great waters are now 
open to all nations, and the flag of any nation covers all who 
sail under it in times of peace, And Great Britain hersdf, too 
often in days long gone by, meriting the odious title of tyrant 
of the ocean, by assuming that principle in the instance spoken 
of. iiud likewise by resorting to other and better moanB than 


early OTents of the centnry, it seems almost impossible to be- 
lieve that human rights should have been then held in so much 
contempt on the high seas, and that by nations as despicable 
in character as weak in absolute force. 

As early as the year 1785, two American vessels following 
their course peaceably over the ocean were boarded by ships 
fitted out by the Algerines, then occupying an independent 
pofidtion on the Mediterranean coast. The vessels were plun- 
dered and the crew, numbering twenty-one American freemen, 
taken to Algiers and sold for slaves. 

Instead of protestation and remonstrance, and fitting out 
vessels of war to retort upon this insolent pirate, what did the 
govemment first do ? What but to pray the assistance and 
intervention of such a feeble power as Sweden to help us out of 
our distress, and money was to be offered, not merely to ran. 
som the slaves, but to bribe the barbarian not to do so any 
more. Of course, he went to work more vigorously than ever, 
and his demands became more imperious and exacting. The 
patience of the great Powers of Europe, whom he treated with 
little more deference, only furnished one more example of the 
case with which more audacity may for a time secure advan- 
tages which will never be gained by fair dealing and good will. 
To an American of to-day, it is inexpressibly mortifying to re- 
view the legislation of the country on this matter at that time. 
It appears that so early as the year 1791. President Washing- 
ton, in the third year of his service, in his speech to Congress, 
first called the attention of that body to the subject. On the 
16th day of December the Senate referred the matter to a com- 
mittee, which in dne course of time reported a resolution to 
this effect : 

Besolved, That the Senate advise and consent that the Presi- 
dent take such measures as he may think necessary for the re- 
demption of the citizens of the United States now in caj^tivity 
at Algiers, provided — (mind you) — ^provided the expense shall 
not exceed $40,000. 

Congress did not think of looking at the Declaration of In- 
dependence, but they passed the resolution. And what was 
the natural consequence ? The consular officer established by 


the United States in Algiers on leomisg the retnilt ap|nt>yed it, 
bat added this mgnificant eeotence : 

I take the liberty to observe that there is no doing B117 bosi- 
neee of importance in this conntry without palming iiie min- 

The logic of all this wns, thut the best way to keep our people 
tree was to make it worth the while of this ministiy to make 
them slaves. 

The natural consequence was that the cost of these operations 
ultimately exceeded ^1,000,000, and the example had set the 
kindred Borbory powers in au agony for a shore of the plunder. 
In February, 1802, the gross amount of expenditure to pacify 
these pirates and man-atealBrs had risen to $2,600,000, a sum 
large enough, if properly expended on a naval force, to have 
cleared them out at a stroke. 

No wonder, then, that President Jefferson should presautly 
begin to recur to his draft of the Declaration of Independence. 
Though never very friendly to the navy, ho saw tiiat freedom 
woe at Btoke, hence in his annual message of 1803 he suggested 
fitting out a email force for the Mediterranean, in order to re- 
strain the Tripoliue criuBers, and added that the uncertain 
tenure of peace with Beveral other of the Barbaiy powers might 
eventually require even a re-enforcemeni 

So said Jeflfereon to Oongress — but his words were not re- 
sponded to with promptness, and the evil went on increasiDg. 
The insolence of all the petty Borbary States only fattened by 
what it fed on, until the freedom of American seamen in the 
Mediterranean was measured only by the sums that could be 
paid for their ransom. There is no more ignominious part of 
r history than thia. 


President had a noble opportunity of reporting to the same 
bodies a triumphant jostification of his measore. The gallant 
Decatur had established the law of freedom in this quarter for- 

Mr. Madison tells the story in these words : 

I have the satisfaction to communicate to you the snecessfci 
termination of the war. The squadron in advance on that ser- 
vice under Commodore Decatur lost not a moment after its 
arrival in the Mediterranean in seeking the naval force of the 
enemy then cruising in that sea, and succeeded in capturing two 
of his ships. The high character of the American commander 
was brilliantly sustained on the occasion, who brought his own 
ship into close action with that of his adversary. Having pre- 
pared the way by this demonstration of American skill and 
prowess, he hastened to the port of Algiers, where peace was 
promptly yielded to his victorious force. In the terms stipula- 
ted, the right and honor of the United States were particularly 
consulted by a perpetual reUnquishment by the Dey of all pre- 
tence of tribute from them. 

The Dey subsequently betrayed his inclination to break the 
treaty, and ventured to demand a renewal of the annual tribute 
which had been so weakly yielded ; but the hour had passed for 
listening to feeble counsels. The final answer was a declaration 
that the United States preferred war to tribute, and freedom to 
slavery. They therefore insisted upon the observation of the 
treaty, which abolished forever the right to tribute or to the 
enslaving of American citizens. 

There never has been since a question about the navigation 
of the Mediterranean, free from all danger of the loss of per- 
sonal freedom. It is due to the Government of Great Britain 
to add that, following up this example. Lord Exmouth with his 
fleet at last put a final stop to all further pretenses of these beir- 
barians to annoy the navigation of that sea. France has since 
occupied the kingdom of Algiers, and the abolition of slavery 
there was one of its early decrees. Thus has happened the 
liberation of that superb region of the world, the nursery of 
more of its civilization than any other, from all further danger 
of relapsing into barbaiism. And America may fairly claim the 


credit of having initiiited in modem times the law ot perBunal 
freedom over the surface of that clnssical Bea. 

I have now done with the second example of the progress of 
the great principle cnuDciated in the celebrated scroll set forth 
a hundred jears ago. America has contribated gi-eatl; to this 
result, but a moment was rapidly approaching when her agency 
was to be invoked in a region much nearer home. The younger 
generations now coming into life will doubtless be astonished to 
learn that not much more than a half a century ago there still 
survived a class of men harbored in the West Indies, sacceESors 
of the bold buccaneers who, in the seventeenth centory, became 
the terror to the navigation of those seas. They will wonder 
still more when I tell them that both ships and men wero not 
only harbored in some ports of the United States, but were 
actually fitted out with a view to the plunder that might be 
levied npon the legitimate trade pursued by their own country- 
men its well as people of all other nations, in and around the 
islands of the Caribbean Sea. That I am not exagerating in this 
statement, I shall show by merely reading to you a short extract 
from a report made by a committee of the House ot Representa- 
tivea of the United States in the year 1821: 

" The extent," it says, " to which the system of plunder is car- 
ried in the West India seas and Gulf of Mexico is truly alarming, 
and calls imperiously for the prompt and efGcient interposition 
of the General Government. Some fresh instance of the atroci^ 
with which the pirates infesting these seas carry on their depre- 

DtTENCELESs AND TTSOFFENDrao, is brought by almost every mail — 
BO that the intercourse between the northern and southern eec- 


have been suspected of being privy to such raids. I shall touch 
this matter no further than to say that not long afterward ade- 
quate preparations were made to remove this pestilent annoy- 
ance, and to re-establish perfect freedom all over these waters. 
This work was so effectively performed in 1824, that^from that 
time to this^personal liberty has been as secure there as in any 
other best protected part of the globe. 

Such is my third example of the practical advance of human 
freedom under the trumpet call made one hundred years ago. 

I come now to a fourth and more stupendous measure fol- 
lowing that call. The world-wide famous author of it had not 
been slow to grasp the conception that the abohtion of all trade 
in slaves must absolutely follow as a corollary from his general 
principle. The strongest proof of it is found in the original draft 
of his paper, wherein he directly charged it as one of the great- 
est grievances inflicted upon liberty by the king, that he had 
countenanced the trade. The passage is one of the finest in the 
paper, and deserves to be repeated to- day. It is in these words: 
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating 
its most sacred rights of life and Uberty in the person of a dis- 
tant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying 
them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable 
death on their transportation thither. This piraticd warfare, 
the opprobriiun of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian 
King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market 
where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his 
negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to proiiibit or 
to restrain the execrable commerce. 

There is no passage so fine as this in the Declaration. "Un- 
fortunately it hit too hard on some interests close at home which 
proved strong enough to have it dropped from the final draft. 
But though lost there, its essence almost coeval with the first 
pubhcation of Granville Sharp in England on the same subject, 
undoubtedly perv^aded the agitation which never ceased in either 
country until legislation secured a final triiunph. The labors of 
Sharp andWilberforce,of Clarkson and Buxton, and their com- 
panions, have placed them upon an eminence of honor through- 
out the world. 


But their struggle Trliich begao in 1187, unts not terminated 
for a period of twenty years. On the other hand, it appears in 
the statute book in 1794, that it was enacted by the Congress of 
the TJnite<l States: " That no vessel shall be fitted for the pur- 
pose of caixj-ing on any traffic in slaves to any foreign country, 
or for procuring from any foreign country the inhabitants 
thereof to be disposed of as slaves." Thia act was followed 
in due course by others, which, harmonizing with the ac- 
tion of foreign nations, is believed to have put an effective 
and permanent stop to one of the vilest abominations, m con- 
dneted on the ocean, that was ever tolerated in the records of 

But all this laborious effort had been directed only against 
the cruelties practiced in the transportation of negro slaves over 
the seas. It did not touch the question of his eziating condi- 
tion or of his right to bo free. 

Tliis brings me to the fifth and greatest of all fruits of the 
charter of Independence, the proclamation of liberty to the cap- 
tive through a great part of the globe. 

The seed that had been sown broadcast over the world fell 
much as described in the ^riptnre, some of it Eproating too 
early, as in France, and yielding none but bitter fmit, but more, 
after hving in the ground many years, producing reenlts most 
pYopitioas to the advancement of mankind. It would be tedious 
for me to go into details describing the progress of a movement 
that has changed the hice of civilization. The principle enun- 
ciated in our precious scroll has done its work in Great Britain 
and in France, and most of all in the immense expanse of the 
territories of the Autocrat of all the Biissias, who of his own 
mere motion proclaimed that noble decree which hberated from 


iDspired with the lofty magnanimity essential to the completion 
of 80 great a work. 

I come next and last to the remembrance of the fearful con- 
flict for the complete establishment of the grand principle to 
which we had pledged ourselves at the very outset of our na- 
tional career, and out of which we have, by the blessing of the 
Almighty, come safe and sound. The history is so fresh in our 
minds that there is no need of recalling its details, neither 
would I do so if there were, on a day hke this consecrated 
wholly to the harmony of the nation. Never was the first as- 
pect of any contention surrounded by darker clouds; yet view- 
ing as we must its actual issue, at no time has there ever been 
more reason to rejoice in the present and look forward vnth 
confidence to a still more brilliant future. Now that the agony 
is over, who is there that will not admit that he is not reheved 
by the removal of the ponderous burden which weighed down 
our spirits in earlier days ? The great law proclaimed at the 
beginning has been at last fully carried out. No more apologies 
for inconsistency to caviling and evil-minded objectora No 
more unwelcome comparisons vnth the superior hberahiy of 
absolute monarchs in distant regions of the earth. Thank God, 
now there is not a man who treads the soil of this broad land, 
void of offense, who in the eye of the law does not stand on the 
same level with every other man. K the memorable words of 
Thomas Jefferson, that true Apostle of Liberty, had done only 
this it would alone serve to carry him aloft, high up among the 
benefactors of mankind. Not America alone, but Europe and 
Asia, and above all Africa, nay the great globe itself, move in an 
orbit never so resplendent as on this very day. 

Let me then sum up in brief the results arrived at by the 
enunciation of the great law of liberty in 1776 : 

1. It opened the way to the present condition of France. 

2. It brought about perfect security for liberty on the broad 
and narrow seas. 

3. It set the example of abolishing the slave trade, which 
in its turn, prompted the abolition of slavery itself by Great 
Britain, France, Russia, and last of all, by our own country 


Standing now on this vantage groond, gained from the severe 
straggle of the past, the inquiry naturally presents itself. What 
have we loft for us to do? To which I will franlcly answer 
innch. It is no part of my disposifcioD, even on the brightest of 
our festival days, to deal in indiscriminate laudation, or even to 
east a flimsy veil over the less favorable aspects of oor national 
position, I will not deny that many of the events that have 
h:ippencd since our escape from the last great peril, indicate 
more forcibly than I care to admit, some decline from that high 
standard of moral and political purity for which we have ever 
l)i>fore been distinguished. The adoration of Mammon, de- 
sc'ribcd by the poet as the 

"]«ut erecled Bpliltlhatft)]! 
From IJi'Dven ; fut c'ea in HcsieD hi< loolii and (htraghU 
Vfm klTnya downward beot." 

has done something to impair the glory earned by all our pre- 
ceding saci'ifces. For myself, while sincerely mooming the 
uire possibihty of stain touching our garments, I feel not the 
less certainly that the heart of the people remains as pure as 

One of the strongest muniments to eavu us &om all harm it 
gives me pride to remind you of, especially on this day — I mean 
the memory of the example of 'Washington. 

Whatever misfortunes may betide us, of one thing we may bs 
sure that the study of that model by the rising youth of our 
l;md can never fnil to create a sanative force jwtent enough to 
counteract every poisonous element iu the political atmosphere. 

Permit mo for a few momenta to dwell upon this topic, for 
I regard it as closely intertwined with much of the s 


others in his long career, rather than by study. As an actor he 
scarcely distinguished himself by more than one brilliant stroke ; 
as a writer, the greater part of his correspondence discloses 
nothing more than average natural good sense ; on the field of 
battle his powers pale before the splendid strategy of Napoleon 

Yet, notwithstanding all these deductions, the thread of his 
life from youth to age displays a maturity of judgment, a con- 
sistency of principle, a firmness of purpose, a steadiness of 
action, a discriminating wisdom and a purity of intention hardly 
found united to the same extent in any other instance I can 
recall in history. Of his entire disinterestedness in all his pe- 
cuniary relations with the public it is needless for me to speak. 
Who ever suspected him of a stain ? More than all and above 
all, he was throughout master of himself. If there be one qual- 
ity more than another in his character which may exercise a 
useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total 
disregard of self, when in the most exalted positions for influence 
and example. 

In order to more fully illustrate my position, let me for one 
moment contrast his course with that of the great military 
chief I have already named. The star of Napoleon was juist 
rising to its zenith as that of Washington passed away. In 
point of mihtary genius Napoleon probably equalled if he did 
not exceed any person known in history. In regard to the 
direction of the interests of a nation he may be admitted to 
have held a very high place. He inspired an energy and a 
vigor in the veins of the French people which they sadly need- 
ed after the demoralizing sway of generations of Bourbon kings 
With even a small modicum of the wisdom so prominent in 
Washington, he too might have left a people to honor his 
memory down to the latest times. But it was not to be. Do 
you ask the reason ? It is this. His motives of action always 
centered in self. His example gives a warning but not a guide. 
For when selfishness animates a ruler there is no cause of 
wonder if he sacrifice, without scruple, an entire generation of 
men as a holocaust to the great principle of evil, merely to 
maintain or extend his sway. Had Napoleon copied the exam- 


pie of WosluDgtoD be might have been jostlj the idol of aU 
later generations in France. For Wasbington to have copied 
tlie example of Napoleon wonld have been simply impossibl& 

Let us then, discarding all inferior strife, hold ap to oar 
children the example of Washington as the symbol not merely 
of nisdoni, but of purity ami truth. 

Let us labor contiDually to keep the advance in civilization 
03 it becomes ns to do tifter the struggles of the past, so that 
the rights to life and Jiberty and the pursuit of happiness, which 
we have honorably securGd, may be firmly entailed apon the 
ever enlarging generationB of manldnd. 

And what is it, I pray you tell me, that has brooght us to the 
celebration of this most memorable da,v ? Is it not the steady 
cry of £xceleior up to the most elevated regions of political 
purity, secured to us by tlit; memory of those who have passed 
before ns and consecrated the very ground occupied by their 
ashes? Glorious indeo<l may it be said of it in the words ot 
the poet : 

What'i hillov'd giDond t 'Tli wbM glvM Urlli 
To Bicred thcnghla In aoob of -worth— 
Pomcv I ludppcndolut I Trntli ! go iiortb 

Earth'i oompan roond. 
And jonrhlehprieetliaod shiJI makseuth 

Au. Hauowzo Oboukd. 




CESTER, MASS., JULY 4th, 1876. 

With what emotions, with what convictions, did we hail the 
dawning hght of the new century! "Were the wings of the 
morning those of the angel of death or of life, of despair or of 
hope ? I answer for myself, of life and of hope ; nay, more, of 
faith and of trust. We have causes for anxiety and watchful- 
ness, none for despair. The evils of the times are not incurable, 
and the remedies, simple and efficient are in our hands. 

Is there not, I am asked, wide-spread and growing corrup- 
tion in the pubhc service of States and nation ? There is cor- 
ruption, but not, I think, increasing — indeed we have reason to 
hope it is already checked in its progress ; nor are the causes of 
the evil permanent in their nature, save that we always hold our 
" treasures in earthen vessels." 

We have passed through a period of expenditure almost with- 
out limit, and, therefore, of infinite temptations. Wars, it 
would seem, especially civil wars, loosen the moral ties of so- 
ciety. " The state of man suffers, then, the natui'e of an insur- 
rection." Civil convulsions always brings more or less bad men 
to the surface, and some are still afloat — men whose patriotism, 
not exhausted in contracts for effete muskets, spavined horses 
and rotten ships, are ready and waiting for like service. In the 
feverish delirious haste to get rich which a currency of indefin- 
it expansion always excites, we find another cause ; though 
this has disastrous results, more dii-ect and j)alpable, in unset- 
tling values and the foimdations of pubUc and private faith, 
trust and confidence. 

The evils are curable, but not by noise of words, not by 
sonorous resolutions without meaning, or only the meaning the 
simple reader injects into them. 


We may put an end to corruption by leading ourselves hoaeet 

lives, by refusing to put auy man into a public tmst, no matter 
what his qunlifications or past services, who is corrupt, or suf- 
fei-s himself to wiUk on the brink, or Vimka at those who are 
wading in ; by usiui:; the old-fashioued prescriptions for rulers : 
" Men of truth, hating covetousness." " Thou shalt take no 
gift." " Te shall not be afraid of the face of iz-an." 

The evila of a Tile currency can bo remedied only by return 
to the path of the Constitution and of commereial integrity. 
The principles aie siiuplo and elcmcDtaiy. The " lawful money " 
of tho L'uited States is tlio coin of the United States, or for- 
eign coin whose value has been regulated by Congress : that is 
tho constitutional doctrine. Money is a thing of intrinsic value, 
and the standoi'd and measure of value ; that is the economical 

A promise to pay a dollar is not a doUar : that is the doctrine 
of morahty and common sense. The difficulty with the legal 
tender law was and is that it sought to vitalize a falsehood, to 
make the shadow tho aubatance, to sign the thing signified, the 
promise to pay, itself payment. Great as is the power of Con- 
gress, it cannot change the nature of things. 

So long aa the power ia left, or assumed to be left, to make n 
promise to pay payment, there will bo no permanent security. 

One other euro of corruption is open to us, — the atasnping out 
of tho doctrine that public trusts are the spoils of partisan vic- 
tory. Tho higher councils may perhaps be chaiigud. An 
administration cannot he woU conducted with a cabinet, or other 
officers in confidential relations, opposed to its jiolicy ; but no 
such reason for change applies to ninety-nine hundredths of 


gOTemments, known and felt only in its blessings, they waged, 
it seemed to as, causeless war, for their claim to extend slavery 
into the new States and Territories never had solid ground of 
law or poUcy or humanity to rest upon ; they struck at the flag 
in which were enfolded our most precious hopes for ourselves 
and for mankind. They could not expect a great nation to be 
so false to duty as not to defend, at every cost, its integrity and 

But while, as matter of good sense and logic, the question 
seemed to us so plain a one, that the Union meant nothing if a 
State might at its election withdraw from it ; that imdcr the 
Articles of Confederation the Union had been made perpetual ; 
that the Constitution was adapted to form a more " perfect 
union than that of the Confederation, more comprehensive, 
direct, and efficient in power, and not less durable in time ; 
that there was no word in it looking to separation ; that it had 
careful provisions for its amendment, none for its abrogation ; 
capacity for expansion, none for contraction ; a door for new 
States to come in, none for old or new to go out ; we should 
find that, after all, upon the question of legal construction, 
learned and philosophical statesmen had reached a different 
conclusion ; we should find, also, what as students of human 
nature we should be surj^rised not to find, that the opinions of 
men on this question had, at different times and in different sec- 
tions of the country, been more or less moulded, biased and 
warped by the effects, or supjx)sed effects, which the policy of 
the central power had on the material interests and institu- 
tions of the States. Each examination, not impairing the 
strength of our convictions, might chasten our pride. 

But aside from the logic, men must be assumed to be honest, 
however misguided, who are ready to die for the faith that is in 

But not dweUing upon causes, but comparing tlie conduct of 
the war with* that of the Revolution, I do not hesitate to say 
that in the loyalty and devotion of the i)eople to country ; in the 
readiness to sacrifice property, health and life for her safety ; in 
the temper and spirit in which the war was earned on ; in the 
supply of resomrces to the army, men as well as money ; in the 


blessed mimstrations of women to the sick, woimded or dying 
soldier ; in the courage and plnck evinced on both sides ; in the 
magnanimitj aiid forbearance of the victors, the history of the . 
lat« war ehows no touch of degeneracy, shows, indeed, a centnry 
of progress. 

If its peculations and comiptjons were more coDSpicuonfl, it 
was because of the vaster amounts expended, and the Tastly 
greater opportunities and temptations to avarice and fraud. The 
recently published letters of Col. Pickering furnish additional 
evidence of the frauds and peculations in the supplies to the 
armies of the Revolution, and of the neglect of the states to pro- 
vide food and clothing for the soldiers, when many of the peo- 
ple, for whose liberties they were struggling, were hving in com- 
parative ease aud lusuary. The world moves. 

There is one critjjrion of which I cannot forbear to speak, the 
conduct of the soldiers of the lata war upon the return of 
l)cace. How quietly and contentedly they came back from the 
excitements of the battle-field and camp to the quiet of home 
life, and to all the duties of citizenship ; with a cottt, x>erhaps, 
wlfere ouc sleeve was useless, with a leg that had a crutch for a 
comrade, but vvith the heart always in the right place ! 

'I'he bm-dens of the war are yet with us ; the vast debt created 
these heavy taxes, consuming the very seed of future harvests ; 
the vacant seats at the fireside. Fifteen years and half a gene- 
ration of men have passed away since the confiict of opinion 
ripened into the conflict of arms. They have been years of 
terrible anxiety and of the sickness of hope deferred ; yet if 
their record could be blotted from the book of life, if the grave 
could give up its noble dead, and all the waste spots, moral and 
i-erdure o! the Buriiitr-time, no o 


zenship and all the higher duties of life, at whatever cost, is de- 
manded alike by humanity, our sense of justice, and our sense 
of safety^ 

We have no right, and no cause, to despair of the republic. 

The elements of material prosperity are all with us ; this 
magnificent country, resonant^with the murmurs of two oceans, 
with every variety of soil climate, and pit)duction to satisfy the 
the tastes or wants of man ; vnth its millions of acres of new 
lands beckoning for the plough and spade ; with its mountains 
of coal and iron and coppet, and its veins of silver and gold 
waiting hke Encaladus to be delivered ; its lakes, inland seas, 
its rivers the highways of nations. We have bound its most 
distant parts together with bands of iron and steel ; we send 
the lightnings over it " that they may go, and say unto us, Here 
we are." 

We have all the tools of the industries, and arts which the 
conning brain of man has invented and his supple fingers 
learned to use, and abundant capital, the reserved fruits of 
labor, seekiiig a chance for planting and increase. 

The means of intellectual growth are with us. We have in 
most of the States systems of education opening to every child 
the paths to knowledge and to goodness ; destined, we hope, 
to be universal. He who in our day has learned to read in his 
mother-tongue may be said to have all knowledge for his 

And our laws, though by no means perfect, were never so wise, 
equal, and just as now, never so infused with the principles 
of natural justice and equity, nor their administration more 
intelligent, upright, less a respector of persons, than to-day. 
Indeed, in no department of human thought and activity has 
there been in the last century more intelligent progress than in 
our jurisprudence. 

Whatever may be said of creeds and formulas of faith, there 
never was so much practical Christianity as now ; as to wealth, 
so large a sense of stewardship ; as to labor, so high a recog- 
nition of its rights and dignity ; into the wounds of suflering 
humanity never the pouring of so much oil and wine ; never 
was man as man, or woman as woman, of such worth as to-day. 


In Bpite of criticism we have jet the example and inepiratioD 
of that life in which thu hatuaD and the dirine were blended 
into one. 

In Bpite of philosophy, God yet sita serenely on his throne. 
His watchful providence ovtr ub. Ills tilmigbty mm beneath as 
and apholding us. 

For an hundred years this nation, having in trust the laif^est 
hopes of freedom and humanity, has endured. There have 
been whirlwind and tempest, it hag ridden through them, bend- 
ing only, us Landor says, the oak bends before the passing 
wind, to riso again in it^ miijesty and in its strength. It has 
come oot of the fiory famace of civil war, its seemingly mortal 
plague-spot canterized and burnt out, leaving for us to-day a 
Republic capable of almost infinite expansion, in which central 
power may bo reconciled with local independence, and the 
largest liberty with the firmest arder. 

Staunch, with every sail set, her flag with no star erased, 
this goodly Ship of State floats on the bosom of the nevrcen- 1 

In her we " have garnered up our hearts where we must 
either live or bear no life." 

And now, God of oui- fathers, what wait we for but thy bless- 
ing? Let thy breath fill her sails, thy presence be her son- 
shine. If darkness and the tempest come, give her, as of old, 
pilots that can weather the storm. 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

Fellow-citizens : On this solemn anniversary we do not come 
together — ^if I imderstand our feelings rightly — to indulge in 
Tainglorious self-praise of our fathers or ourselves. Nor do we 
come here to lash ourselves once more into anger over the well- 
known story of the wrongs our fathers suffered at the hands of 
the English people. We come here neither in pride nor bit- 
temesa We bear mahce towards none. We are at peace with 
all the world. What we do come for is to celebrate what we 
beUeve to have been a great era in the world's history, to call to 
mind the principles which were declared one hundred years ago 
to-day, to rejoice over the blessings which this people have in- 
herited through the patriotism and the wisdom of our fore- 
fathers, and above all to ask ourselves on this Centennial 
day whether we have been acting up to the standard they 
laid down for us, and whether we are doing our duty by our 
country and our age. That three milhons of people should have 
been able to contend with the whole power of Great Britain, 
and to wring from her an acknowledgment of their independ- 
ence, is indeed surprising, but that alone would throw but a 
comparatively feeble hght upon the early patriota Other colo- 
nies have also gained their independence, whose people have 
httle reason to celebrate their nation's birthday. AMiat makes 
this day remarkable is not so much that on it our independence 
was declared as that on its buih was given to popular govern- 
ment, and the glory of our ancestors Hes not so much in having 
waged a successful war as in having been the first to teach the 
lesson to mankind that institutions resting safely on the popular 
will can endure. Yet the men of that day were neither dream- 
ers nor enthusiasta They did not want independence for its 


own sake. They would Lave been perfectly content to have re- 
mained English subjects had they been allowed to manage their 
little gOTemments as they had been accustomed, and to enjoy 
the rights they had always enjoyed. But they were not a race 
of men to endure oppression patiently. They loved liberty as 
they understood it, and as we understand it, more than any- 
thing on earth, and to preserve it they were willing to brave the 
greatest power of the world. 

We all know the history of the war, how it begun at Lex- 
XheBegmninBof ington and Concord and dr^ged through seven 
GaTemment. bloody, vreory years, and until it closed on the 
day when Gen. Lincoln, of Hingham, received the sword of Lord 
Comwallis on the suiTender of Torktown. During those years 
this State and tliis town did their part, as they have always 
done in the time of trial, and as they probably always will do so 
long as the old Puritan stock remains. Meanwhile the colonies, 
having thrown off their old Government, went on to organize a 
new one. Peace found the country ravaged, war-worn, ruined, 
and under Confederation. The Declaration of Independence 
had boldly declared not only the right but the capacity of the 
people for self-government. The task yet remained before them 
of reconstructing their Government and thus redeeming the boost 
that had been made. For the firsttimein the world'shistory pop- 
ular institutions were really upon trial, and it seemed as though 
they were doomed to meet with disastrous failure. How can I 
describe that wretched interval, the gloomiest years in American 
history. The confederation hardly deserved the name of Gov- 
emment. There were enemies abroad, there was disaenaion at 


spair. It was then that the intelligence and power of the Ameri- 
can people showed itself, it was then that they justified the 
boast of the Declaration of Independene, it was then that they 
established Government 

No achievement of any people is more wonderful than this. 
Without force or bloodshed, but by means of fair agreement 
alone difficulties were solved which had seemed to admit of no 
solution. At this distance oi time we can look back calmly, and 
we can appreciate the wisdom and self-control of men who 
could endure such trials and pass through action without an ap- 
peal to arms. And they had their awards. Nothing has ever 
equaled the splendor of their success. From the year 1789 to . 
the year 1860, no nation has ever known a more imbounded / 
prosperity, a fuller space of happiness. In the short space of 
70 years, within the turn of a single life, the nation, poor, weak 
and dispised, raised itself to the pinnacle of power and of glory. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution 3,000,000 of people, a far 
smaller number than the population of New York now, were 
scattered along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Georgia. 
There were no interior settlements. Where the great cities of 
Buffido and Rochester now are there were then only Indians and 
deer. Boston had but 14,000 inhabitants, there were no manu- 
factures, everything was imported from abroad. Within those 
70 or 80 years all changed as if by magic. Population increas- 
ed ten-fold, cities sprang up in the ^vilderness, manufactories 
were established, wealth grew beyond all computation. And 
better than mere material prosperity, our history was stainad by 
no violence. We had no State executions, no reigning terror, 
no guillotine, no massacre. We tolerated all religious beliefs. 
There was perfect liberty and security for all men. Nor is this 
the highest praise to which our people are justly due. No purer 
men or greater statesmen ever lived than those whose hves 
adorn the early history of the Republic. Men who had never 
seen a great city, men whose hole experience had not extended 
further than the local assembly of their colony or the provincial 
corn-fields, wrote the Declaration of Independence, and framed 
the Constitution of our States. We read their writings now, 
we wonder at them, but we do not dream equahug them our- 


selves. There seemed no end to them. Orators, statesmen, 
judges, Washington and Jefferson, Franklin and Marshall, men 
who ^ill be remembered and honored so long as our langoage 
shall endure. 


But with all the blessings we inherited from our ancestors we 
BUvaty. iiihoritetl a curse also — tiie curse of negro slavery. It 
is easy now to see how the bittcruess of the South as we shoold 
wish to be received were we Southenici^ Let us rather re- 
member that tbey fought by oui- fiithcrs' side through seven 
long years in the war of the Revolution, and that a year ago 
Southern soldiers marched through the streets of Boston nnder 
the old flag to celebrate with us the victory of Hunker HilL And 
now on this our nation's birthilay, in the midst of peace, witli 
our country more wealthy and more populous than ever before, 
are wo content? Can we look over the United States and 
honestly tell ourselves that all things are well within us? "We 
cannot conceal from ourselves that all things are not welL For 
the last ten years a shameless corruption has gone on about us. 
We see it on every side. Vi'e read of it daily in the newspapers 
until we sicken with disgust. It lias not been confined to any 
section or state, or city, to either pohtieal pai-ty, or to any de- 
partment of Government. It has been all-pervading. 


One hundred years ago to-day birth was given to this nation 

Political in its struggle for the rights of men. On this day 

p«tj-. if on no other wo can rise above our party ties, we 

can feel that we are all citizens of a common country striving for 


of that stroggley the joy at the news of victory, the gloom after 
defeat. Even now when we recall those days we feel the old 
rage arise within as, the old bitterness return. Not far from 
these doors stands the statue of Massachusetts' greatest 
Governor — ^Mr. Andrews. Truly his life should teach us that 
as men are good and brave, so are they kind and forgiving. 
Sorely he would not have cherished resentment toward a con- 
quered foe. Surely he would have been the last to preach the 
doctrine of internal hate. Surely Mr. Lincoln was full of kind- 
ness toward the South. If ever we are again to have a united 
people, we must learn to feel as he felt We must remember 
men will never be good citizens who are treated vnth suspicion 
and distrust. We must, above all things, teach ourselves to be 
just. We must remember that the foundation of this govern- 
ment is equal laws for all, and that there cannot be one law for 
Massachusetts and another for Virginia. 

The issues of the war are dead ; Slavery is abolished, never 
to be revived ; it is forbidden by the Constitution, and we have 
the means to enforce obedience should any disobey. No State 
will ever again support the cause which has been trampeled in 
the dust by national armies. Let us then remember this Cen- 
tennial year by forgetting sectional differences. Let us receive 
them as brothers. There are certain duties which the citizen 
owes this country that cannot be thrown aside, and the first of 
these duties is to see that the Government is pure. The strug- 
gles of the Democrats and Federalists of three-quarters of a 
century ago no longer excites us. Yet we see two parties, each 
believing in themselves in the right, and each fighting fiercely 
for what they believe. We know what the Democrats were. 
We know that under their will the country was prosperous and 
happy, and we are justified in believing that had victory been 
reversed, the country would have prospered still. What mattera 
it to us to which political party Washington, Jefferson, Madison, 
or Jay belonged ? We know that they were great and wise, 
and we honor them and love them as American citizens. "VMiat 
does it matter to us if the people and the men they chose to 
govern them were intelligent and honest, and made the 
American name feared and respected throughout the world. 


There may not be among as men eqoal to the eariy patriots, 
men whose names will still be remembereJ when this n&tioa 
has passed away, bat we have men whose honor is as stainleas, 
whose lives are as pure, and who, if they cannot bring genin% 
can at lea^st bring integrity and devotion to the pnblio aeirvioe. 
We have no etandiug army, no aristocracy. The whole fatnie 
of oar society rests on the respect the people fet^l for taw. 
Laws can only be respected when the laws themselves, the men 
who make them, and the men who administer them command 
our respect If the time Bhall ever come when American 
jadges ahall habitually sell justice, when American legislators 
shall sell their votes, and the public servants the nation's 
honor, all respect for our institntiona will die in the minds of 
our people, and the Government bom one bondred years ago 
to-day will be about to pass away. 

The question even now forces itself upon us, what do the 
Official Cor- things that are about as portend ? Is all that we 
rnptioE. have secu and heard only the sign of a passing evil, 
which we may hope to cure, or does it show that we are already 
the victims of that terrible disease which has so oftea been the 
min of republics? Is the veiy gloiy and splendor of the nation 
to prevent its ruin, and do its wealth and prosperity bear out, 
then, the seeds of decay ? Our fathers were small and scat- 
tered people — sober, frugal and industrious. There was no 
great wealth, nor was their extreme poverty. Most men were 
farmers, and had that best and most practical of all education 
— the management of their own property, the process of gov- 


evil has slowly gained sirength ; a class of men are beginning 
to hold office, with the approbation of the people, whose object 
is plunder ; a class who look upon the pubUc revennes as a 
fond from which to steal — ^nay, more, who seek public offices 
for motives of private gain by using their influence to make 
money for themselves. 


There we already see the beginning of the end. No popular 
Necessity of government can endure which does not do justice, 
• Change, much less One which is systematically perverted. 
No government can endure which allows the property of its 
citizens to be taken from them under the guise of taxes, not 
for profitable purposes, but to satisfy private greed. These 
abuses came with ring rule, and there is hardly a rich city or a 
great State in the Union which does not know the meaning of 
government by rings. Corrupt courts, enormous taxes, ruinous 
debts, impure politics, are the consequences, and the conse* 
quences we have seen. If we have now arrived at the point 
where we feel ring government gradually closing in upon us ; 
if the majority of the people has not the power or the intelli- 
gence, or the will, not only to protect themselves against fresh 
assaults, but to purify society from taint, this is for us indeed a 
gloomy anniversary, and our hope can be but small. In such a 
struggle to stand still is to be conquered. Nothing in the 
world is stationary, and if government does not diminish it 
wiQ assuredly increase. 

I do not beheve there is excuse for gloom. We know the 
people with whom we have always lived, and we know that tliey 
are neither dishonest nor ignorant, and I do not believe that 
the people of the other States in the Union are behind the peo- 
ple of Massachusetts. But there are also other better reasons 
for confidence. This the generation which carried through the 
war ; no sterner test could be applied to any people. There 
was no constraint upon them ; peace was always within their 
reach ; it could have been attained at any time had the majority 
desired it. 

After brief allusions to the prominent causes for hope, the 
speaker concluded as follows : 


Fellow-ddzens, believing as I do that oar insiataiaona are 
vise and good, believing as I do that, properly Etdmimfitered, 
they yield to us the fullest measure of happiness, beheving that 
oar people are essentially the same as the people of one hnn- 
dred years ago — equally honest, equally intelligent, equally 
aelf-sacrificing — I see no cause for despondency in the future, I 
see reason for brightest hope. Provided we remember that our 
respODBibilities are as great now as they ever have been during 
our history — provided we keep in mind the warning of Wash- 
ington, that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance — provided 
we are awake to the knowledge that abuses which are tolerated 
may in time overpower UB — ^there lies before this Bepublic the 
happiest future which any nation has ever been permitted to 
enjoy ; a future as happy and as glorious as its past. Let us 
then, in this centennial year, putting aside all personal ambi- 
tion and all sel&sh aims, firmly resolve that we will strive hon- 
estly, patiently, humbly, in the position in which Clod has placed 
us, to regain that noble purity in which our nation was bom, 
pre-eminent to the end thai our children, at another centennial, 
may say of us that they too had their ink well in the world's 
history, and through them this Government of the people for 
the people by the people still enduretb. 





JULY 4th, 1876 

My fellow citizens, cotQd there be anything more expressiye 
and so eminently fitting than to see the people gathering to- 
gether in their respectiye neighborhoods at the early dawn of 
ihe Centennial anniversary of our national independence? 
Does it not evince a prolonnd reverence and love for the great 
fundamental prindpies that underlie the foundation of this free 
repubUc ? Esteeming our inheritance as the richest that was 
ever bequeathed to mankind, we cannot but most tenderly and 
lovingly remember what heroism and extreme suffering those 
noble men and women of the revolutionary period were required 
to have and endure in nurturing that spirit of independence 
for which we as a nation are so characteristic and pre-eminently 

We might recall names, depict in stirring words the patriotic 
deeds, and portray in glowing pictures the spirit that animated 
them in making such a sacrifice upon their part, in behalf of 
that freedom, that was the precursor of such transcendant 
glory and renown to the remotest generations. But my friends, 
I am prescribed by the want of time from pursuing this most 
interesting course under present circumstances. Fully appre- 
ciating the noble work and unparelleled sacrifices of our illus- 
trious sires of revolutionary £mie, it will be no disparagement 
to say that others in later generations have also helped to mould 
our institutions and shape the poKcy of the government, and 
that we too have our part in this beneficient work commenced 
by the noble men of 1776. 

It is well, my friends, to continue our accustomed Fourth of 


July celebration, and endeavor to increase, if possible, tiie pub- 
lic interest in that most sacred day. To feel otherwise than joy- 
ons upon snch an occasion would not be in consonance with 
the inherent sentiment of the genins of the American people, 
who are so well-gronnded and setUed in the &ith and spirit so 
eloquently set forth in the incomparable declaration of princi- 
ples enunciated and proclaimed a century ago. The spirit of - 
oui' devotion to the sacred principles of Constitiitional Free 
(lOvernmentdoeB not grow cold and indifferent or leas Tivacions 
by the lapse of time, though it be a century, but is ever increas- 
ing by the development of the tronBcendant beauty, beuefi- 
cient deaiguB of the patriotic architects of our great inbdV 

We all know how our hearts glow with patriotic ardor at tlie 
bare mention of the day which marks our Nation's birth — fathers 
and mothers teach tbeiz little ones to lisp and revere the day 
eacred to the American Independence, and the palid cheek of 
age flashes with enthusiasm, and the dim eye kindles with 
patriotic fire, when memory brings the scenes of other days 
around them, and pass in review the hallowed names of our 
illustrious sire^, who dedicated their hves and fortunes to secure, 
preserve and maintain the immortal principles of representative 
self-government, which had been enunciated by the protest of a 
gallant people determined to be free. My friends, the fourth 
day of July is and should always be a festal day which we as a 
nation might joyfully commemorate. 

The cuBtom of reading the Declaration of Independence 
ought to have real practical value, but it has become somewhat 
common-placed, and is regarded only as a primary lesson of 

ADDRESS — ^DB. J. J. H. 8FLLMAN. 231 

rudiments of republican education, and that a return to those 
elementary principles of coast itutional government would have 
a very salutary effect upon the political tone of the republic. 
Political safety and happiness, my friends, depends largely upon 
a strict adhesion to the immortal principles of a free and 
independent government 

So resplendant and promising are our possessions and pros- 
pects, we must not permit human ambition and treacherous 
baseness to despoil our precious and dear-bought inheritance. 

I am confident it is in keeping with this sound sentiment 
that we come here to welcome in this Centennial birthday of our 
nation, and to give some public expression to the ardor of our 
hearts and minds in relation to this interesting epoch in onr 
national history. 

It was this holy sentiment that developed into action the 
mighty energies of the men who secured the liberties we now 
so richly enjoy, and from which, by wise and ardent devotion, 
the glorious edifice upon which rest the pillars of the rights 
of self-government and the inestimable prerogative of freedom 
of conscience. Those noble men who came out of the Revolu- 
tionary struggle for Independence, with a holy love for freedom 
erected and dedicated this beautiful temple to Hberty and free 
conscience, whose foundation is a mighty continent, the bound- 
aries of which shall reach and extend from ocean to ocean. 

American free institutions is this beautiful temple, and stands 
this day in all its majestic beauty, the pride of history, the joy 
and glory of mankind ; tenderer and more devoted, higher and 
holier than aught on earth save a mother's love, is the almost 
divine sentiment which makes us love and cherish the land of 
our birth. And now at this auspicious time, at the very begin- 
ning of this, the second century of our pohtical experience, let 
us, if we would have the same patriotic and fraternal feeling that 
distinguished the period of the event which we this day com- 
memorate, draw nearer and nearer to a higher appreciation of 
the true principles of constitutional government If the spirit of 
the nation be entirely directed towards wise ends and purposes, 
what an endless source of happiness would be felt throughout 
the wide extent of this great republic. The noble superstruction 

erected b; the agoniziDg strnggles of the Revolntionar; orw, 
and baptieed with their patriotic blood, can only be preserved 
and kept secure by pristine authority and respect for those immor- 
tal principles whereby every human being in the land, of every 
race and condition, may enjoy equal protection and privilege. In 
lieu of discord and distrust, we should have more fraternal feel- 
ing between all Bectious of the country, every element of dis- 
turbance Ehould l>e removed, that all may share in an undimmed 
glory of American institutions. Ours should be a govemmrait 
that all can love and rever, from the pure motive of reverence 
and love. 

We want a patriotism, my friends, that will knit together all 
the people in one loving brotherhood, that shall have no limit 
other than the wide domain over which the nation's flag so 
proudly floats. It is the sentiment thus acting upon free institu- 
tions, and again ro-acting through them upon the jjeople that 
constitute their pubUc spirit and pohtical genius. My fellow- 
citizens, ore wo not confronted at this very moment with a criisia 
freighted with great responsibility, and what shall be the result, 
if we fail to improve the opportunity and rise to the full mea- 
sure of these responsibilities ? The public mind and morals of 
the nation has become sordid and reckless, the innocent and 
confiding people, nauseated and disgusted, until at last the mo- 
ral goodness of the masses have become alarmed in the interest 
of republican institutions and of a pure government. 

This land of religious, civil and political freedom can only be 
preserved by a strict adherance to the sacred prindplee enunciat- 
ed in the Declaration of Independence. To me the most hope- 
ful sign of the times is the evident deure in the pubhc mind to 


iegrity. In no other way may you expect to see disseminated 
throughout the land those broad, deep, and lofty sentiments, 
whereby the moral sense of the Republic may be restored. We 
must ignore to a great extent this party fealty, that is the bar- 
rier to a full and faithful expression of the better judgment If 
we would strictly adhere to the inflexible rule laid down by the 
early Fathers, in the choosing of our public servants, we should 
soon reahze a change for the better. Is he honest? is he com- 
petent ? was their test* 

AU the vague and unmeaning promises and political plat- 
forms avail nothing for good, but only serve the purposes for 
which they are intended — namely, to mystify and delude the 
honest public sentiment It is in the strength and moral good- 
ness of the people that we can look with confidence for the re- 
generating and revivifying power whereby the national Constitu- 
tion may be restored to pristine soundness. My hope for the pros- 
perity and perpetuity of this nation is anchored upon this strong 
tower of strength. The platform of an intelligent mind, and an 
honest heart that can rise above all political chicanery, is of in- 
finite more value than aught else beside. 

I speak plainly, my friends, because of the magnitude of our 
responsibihtiea Each generation has its part to perform in the 
extension and promotion of the free institutions of this great 
republic. It is true the foimdation laid by the skillful hands of 
the early Fathers is broad, deep and strong, and cemented with 
patriotic blood. But it is for each generation in its turn to con- 
tribute its best material, that they may add beauty to beauty 
and strength to strength, imtil its magnetic proportions and 
resplendant glory shall reach out and over all the countless ages 
to come. 

With all the grevious mistakes of the past century (and there 
have been many), it is a source of pride and satisfaction to every 
lover of his country to witness the imparalleled progress made 
in science, Uterature and mechanic arts; and when coupled 
with the wonderful agricultural and mining products of the 
repubUc, we can have some faint idea and appreciate the im- 
measurable stores of wealth that is yet to flow into our already 
well filled cup. O, my friends, America's free institutions and 


her ricli agriculturnl soil and mineral wealth is without a coun- 
terpart It is only in yonder Exposition building where the 
products of the soil and the skillful industry of all nations are 
brought into comparison, that any delicate idea can be found of 
the mighty power that is felt, and what a transcendant hale of 
glory encircles the very DAme of jVmerican institutions. The ef- 
fulgent rays of freedom 'u light are penetrating far and wide into 
the heretofore dark and niiaty minds of other nations, yet un- 
blessed with free institutions and pohtical privileges as we are. 
I pray we may now, at the beginning of this the second centu- 
ly, take a long step forward in tlic true patli of progress, which 
must uecesBorily connect us with all advanced ideas that t«ud 
to the further developement of knowledge, that leads to the dis- 
covery of all truth. 

I extend my hearty centennial congratulations, and iuvite you 
to join me in one more thought that ia suggestive of my own 
feelings upon this int«reating occasion which I have embodied 
in the following words: 

DnCold tbo Datlon'B flag, flloglti fold* to the broetc, 

Letlt a«tt o'er (heeehilla.uwellu the MM; 

Loi tbo old ud Che joiuig unitedlf atand 

To defend *nd protect the Sag of the land. 

liftitDp. vsTe Itbigb. 'lieu bright u of old. 

Not a stain on Its purity, not a blot on IM fold i 

Liflltoji. 'tla tho old banner of red, while and blue, 

'Til the snnbaret resplendent, far fluhlng Ite hue. 

Look aloft look aloft, lo I the ■unbrame somlDE down 

Are llJi r>lde not erablazoDed with deeda of renovn, 

Tbrongh tHninph and viotoiy for one hundred long jemzti 

BeaDtlfol banner, baptised wiih blond and with U«r<. 

Behold, behold, the donds pauing b;, 

Are wenotreniLDdedhow' time haatodle; 

Let wetbon, iThne we oan, render honugeand lore 






Oentlebien : — On behalf of the Commissionerg of Harlem 
Park, I accept the beantifal flag which yoa have this day pre- 
sented. Our coontiy's flag, the most fitting gift to be made on 
her one hnndreth birthday. What recollections crowd npon 
us on this Fourth of July, 1876 ! One hundred years ago on 
this mo«t blessed day, there assembled in Independence HaU, 
in the City of Philadelphia, a band of patriots, who bravely, 
fearlessly proclaimed to the world that immortal declaration, 
written by Jefferson, which created a new nation among the 
powers of the earth. A century has elapsed, and from those 
original thirteen States has grown this mighty confederation 
known as the United States of America. The flag thrown ' to 
the breeze in 1776 has withstood the battle and the storm ; and 
now triumphantly waves over thirty eight great States, and fifty 
millions of free and independent citizens. Based upon free 
institutions, free speech, free thought, and free schools, our 
Union resta upon an imperishable rock foundation, that only 
hardens with the test of a century. What a triumph for 
RepubUcan institutions. 

The birth of our country was not peaceful. One could sup- 
pose on reading the words of the declaration that the expression 
of such sentiments, such " self-evident truths," would have 
brought forth shouts of gladness and congratulations from the 
enlightened nations of the world ; but the greeting received was 
from mouths of shotted cannon, the rattling of steel ramrods, 
the sharpening of swords, and the whitening of the ocean with 
the sails of transports, bearing armed men across the sea to 
stamp out the bursting bud of liberty before it should bloom 
into the flower of eternal life. 

236 ouB NATIONAL nmn.EE. 

Dnriug eeven \caig jgatb of tri&I and Bofferiog the American 
patriots under the leadership of tiie immortal Wasfain^toD, 
stmggled for a &ee exifitence. At times the fortones of the 
coloBiea were at so low an ebb, that the great leader himself 
almost desi^aired of final triumph, and contemplating a pos- 
dbih^ of failnre had determined to rally aroond Iiitti those who 
preferred death to submission, retreat to the fastnessee of tlie 
laountains in the interior, and there maintain a desperate strug- 
gle for hberty until the end. But the God of battles had willed 
it otherwise, the darkneBS of the storm was followed bjtlie 
bursting light of the day of freedom, ajid the nation nnraed in 
n cradle of blood and war for seven years after its birth, sprang 
into manhood in the trittmph of victory in 1773. 

And now one hundred years have passed. We had onr trialB 
and troubles, wars, foreign and domestic, but the Provid^oe 
that so tenderly watched over us in oar infancy has not negled«d 
us in our prime. To-day the BepubUc is at peace with all the 
world, our flag respected at home and abroad, our people proa- 
perons and happy, and our example abready HbenUizing those 
very governments which looked with horror and dread at the 
growth of free institutions. And when another century rolls 
aronnd, may fatore generations be as devoted to these great 
principles of freedom, and as determined to maintain them as 
the generations that have pasaed. And in 1976, aa now, may 
the star spangled banner in triumph still wave, " o'er the land 
of the free and the home of the brave." 

I accept in the name of the Commissioners of Harlem Park 
this beantifol flag, and assure you upon their part that it shall 
be dierished as it deserves. And when hereafter it floats from 
pointing their 




4th, 1876. 

A noble band of patriots with faces all aglow 
Stood in the Halls of Congress one hundred years ago ; 
Stood side by side, as they had stood upon the battle-field, 
"When they compelled the troops of England's King to yield. 

The enemies of Liberty sat silent, pale and still 
While these brave men prayed God to know and do his will ; 
It was an hour when Justice was trembling in the scales, 
When God from man the future in tender mercy veils. 

These brave men knew that they must act for children yet un- 

lliey sealed the Nation's destiny upon that glorious morn, 

When each man pledged his all for Bight, for Liberty and 

Forever sacred to our hearts shall be such men as these. 

Tis true they left a stain upon our banner fold. 

But we have wiped it out with blood and paid for it in gold ; 

These patriots fought for Liberty, and pledged themselves to 

For Freedom, Right, and Justice, a firm imbroken band. 

But while they threw their own chains off, they bound in bonds 

more strong 
The bands that held the colored man in misery and wrong ; 
But soon or late all wrong comes right, for such is God's 

And in His own good time He set the black man free. 

It was not some one favored State, North, South, East or West, 


That gave tbe true brave dgaers of that Declaration blefit : 
No ; each State gave her patriote who bore their noble share. 
And when the Nation's work was done, each State bad prond 
names there. 

Let us clasp bands, to work as one, for all the Nation's good 
And stand together as one man, as once ourfathetB stood ; 
Behold, how short the time has been, bnt one brief hundred 

To plant the tree of Liberty and water it with tears. 

Brave men have fallen on the field, to guard that sacred tzee. 
To save it from all vandal hands our aim shall ever be ; , 

Altbo'we still have many faults, our Nation jet is young ; 
And we will caiiy out the wurk which these brave men beguu. 

We live in freedom ; let us clasp each other by the hand ; 
la love and unity abide, a firm, unbroken band ; 
We cannot live divided ; the Union is secure ; 
God grant that while men live and love this Nati<m may 





Fellow-citizens, LADIES and gentlemen — ^We meet here to-day 
to recall the memories of thepast, to hallow the acts and deeds 
of our fathers, to pay our tribute of love and grateful remem- 
brance to the heroic dead, who, one hundred years ago, bravely 
met the duties of the hour and in convention declared that 
tibese united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and 
independent States, and in support of which solemnly pledged 
to each other ilieir lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. 
We meet here too to note the rapid progress in art and science, 
the triumphant and onward march of civil and religious liberty : 
but what is most important of all, my fellow-citizens, we are 
here to consider how great is the responsibility which rests upon 
us, the children of this blessed inheritence, to which has been 
committed the truths that were purchased and paid for in the 
sacrifice of lives and fortunes of men whose inspirations were 

from on high and whose actions were crowned with more than 
human success. The experience of this generation has led us 
of the people to comprehend how great and how serious is the 
charge with which we are entrusted. Yes; bitter experience 
has taught us if wo would preserve these blessings unimpaired, 
we must keep our hearts filled with love towards one anoth- 
er, and we can move forward with maUce towards none and 
charity for all. But I don't propose to occupy your time; I 
take pleasure in introducing to you a man whose name is a 
guarantee that it will be a pleasure to listen to. 

Mr. B. F. Dame will now read the Declaration of Indepen- 



An inspired writer hath said, "To everytliing there ia a Bea- 
BOD, and B time to every purpose under the heaven." It is veil 
to remember, as the years wear away, the anniversSTy of one's 
birth to union, as that advancing age is bringing oa nearer to 
" that bourne from vhcnca no traveler retoms." It is well to 
keep in memory the valor, the socrificeB and the patriotism of 
those who fought and fell ut Lexington and Bunker Hill in the 
great struggle for liberty, by a proper observance of the annual 
return of the Idth of April and tho 17tb of June. If it is well 
to observe the anniversary of these events, how much more 
appropriate to observe this day — the birth-day of a nation — and 
that nation onia ; the anniversary of the birth of that govern- 
ment which not only declares that all are bom free and equal, 
but affords to all eqnal rights, and affords to all equal protec- 
tion in the enjoyment of those right*, without regard to age, 
sex, color or condition in life. 

We are assembled here to celebrate by appropriate exercises 
the one hundredth anniversary of American independence, and 
it is good that we should he here. Auspicioaa day 1 evermemo 
rable in the history of the world and in the annals of civiliza- 


siDOW of mid winter at Valley Forge, when, with frozen feet, 
starving stomachs, and scantily clad bodies, under the leader- 
ship of Washington and his noble compeers, all sufferings were 
endured, obstacles overcome, and finally, at the cost of blood, 
privation and life, the right for us to assemble here to-day in 
peace was secured* Blessed be the memory of those who, at 
so great a sacrifice, purchased these blessings for us I Fortu- 
nate will it be for our children's children if we have the virtue 
and wisdom to transmit to them unimpaired the glorious heri- 
tage bequeathed to us by our fathers. 

A century I It extends beyond the period of the life of man, 
and yet it comprises but the infancy of a nation. What changes 
have been wrought, and what a multitude of marvellous events 
have been crowded into that period of time I Not one of all 
this vast assemblage saw the sunlight of heaven on the 4th of 
July, 1776 ; and not one of us here to-day will participate in 
the exercises of the next centennial. 

One hundred years ago to-day at Philadelphia, in Independ- 
ence Hall, or rather on the steps of the Hall, at two o'clock in 
the afternoon was pubhshed to the world the Declaration of our 
national Independence, framed by Thomas Jefferson. And when, 
after the terrible struggle of the Revolution had secured the ac- 
knowledgment of that independence among the nations of the 
earth, a constitution was framed and submitted to the peojDlo of 
all the States for adoption, it was the vote of New Hampshire, 
given in convention, June 21, 1788, which secui'ed the requisite 
number of States (a two- thirds) as required by the Constitution, 
and it became the Constitution of the United States of America 
which formed the Union of the States which exists to-day, and 
which we trust will continue to exist through all the ages to 

In the contest for freedom New Hampshire was among the 
foremost, and we may well to-day have a just pride in the names 
of Stark, Poor, Goffe, and SuUivan, and all those who stood 
shoulder to shoulder during those trying years of the infant re- 
public. We revere their memories. The hero of Bennington 
sleeps on the banks of our beautiful river, llis body may turn 
to dust again, " old time with his chisel small " may consume the 


tmassnming granit shaft that marks Lis last resting place, bat 
the oamo of Stark will be remembered as long ua the waters of 
the Merrimack flow b; his grave to the sea. 

It is proper, after the lapse of a century, upon looking over the 
events of the post, to inquire what progress has been made. As 
a nation we have, from a comparatively small population, in- 
creased to forty-four miUiouB of people ; schools and churches 
all over the land ; a great advitncemeut has been made in art and 
in science ; wo have the telegraph, the railroad, the steamboat, 
vast improvement in machinery of all kinds, wonderful inven- 
tions for the saving of human labor which were unknown one 
hundred years ago. Then, where our city now staads, was but 
a sparce population — a few scattored farm-houses, and the vast 
waterpower of the Merrimack was undeveloped ; to-day wo have 
a beautiful city, with a population of thirty thousand people, 
wJtli superior educational and religiuus advantages, and the hum 
of machinery and the sound of busy labor are continnaJly to bo 

But after all these seeming evidences of prosperity and im- 
provement, has there been any real advancement in our civiliza- 
tion of a higher type? Are the people more- intelligent and 
virtuous? Is there more honestj'iu public men, in the adminis- 
tration of the various departments of the government, and pub- 
lic justice in the execution of the laws ? And are the people 
more obedient to them than they were one hundred years ago? 
If not, where is the progress and improvement ? 

But yet, let ns hope that we have made some advance ; and 
that the world is better for the existance of the American nation 
during the century just closed. 


mtinitj or individnal has a right, under the constitntion, to 
trespass upon or abridge the rights of any other. Can this 
Union long exist when the people of one State shall attempt to 
interfere with and control the people of another State, in viola- 
tion of the constitution? Can it long exist when the majority 
shall attempt to disregard entirely all the rights of the minor- 
ity ? Does it tend to the maintenance of the constitution and 
the preservation of the Union, that honest and capable public 
officers shall be set aside for a conscientious discharge of a pub- 
lic duty, to give place to others who will, perhaps, be the pliant 
tools of a particular faction or a particular party ? or that one 
man shall be allowed to control the right of suffrage of another ? 
or that the right of suffrage shall be sold like merchandise in 
tibe market? These evils if they exist, are contrary to the in- 
stitutions founded by the fathers, and let every citizen in the 
State and nation aim to secure the purity of the ballot, and a 
Mthful and impartial administration of the government, the 
constitution and the laws. Then the stars shall not fade from 
our glorious flag as the words of the declaration of independ- 
ence have fa<fed upon the parchment, nor shall its folds trail in 
the dust, but it shall continue to float as the emblem of our na- 
tional sovereignty, protecting every American citizen over whom 
it floats, in every land, and on every sea. 

Let us hope and believe that this shall be the destiny of the 
RepubHc, and with nobler aims and a more exalted patriotism, 
endeavor to discHarge our duties as citizens, then we can say 
in the beautiful words of Longfellow — 

** Thon, too, saU on, O ship of State. 
Sail on, O Union, strong and great. 
Humanity, with all its fears, 
With all its hopes of fntnre years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fiate. 
We know what master laid thy keel. 
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel ; 
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, 
What anvils rang, what hammers beat. 
In what a forge and what a heat 
Wer)B shaped the anchors of thy hope. 
Fear not each sudden sound and shock, 
'Tis of the wave and not the rook ; 
'Tis but the flapping of a sail. 
And not a rent made by the gale. 


In iplte of Tock tnd l«mpMt'« nxr. 
In apiu of blM llsbti on the (hotv— 

Osr heart*, oni bopra are all with the^ 
Onr hnarta, obt bopoa, our piajera, our t» 
Oni laitli triamptuiBt o'er onr fetn— 
An aU with thee, M« all wltb thM 1 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

My Fellow Countrymen : Our republic has reached a halting 
place in the grand march of nations, where the wheels of time 
seem for a moment to stop ere they commence again to turn in 
the perpetual circuit of the centuries. We pause this day in 
our journey as a nation to look back upon the past and gird 
ourselves anew for stiU further upward progresa 

Shall we glance at the heroic age of New England, the event- 
ful story of the Puritans? They were indeed burning and 
shining lights amid persecution, sealing with their lives their 
faith in an over-ruling God. At Delfthaven they knelt on the 
seashore, commending themselves writh fervent prayer to the 
protection of heaven : friends, home, native land, they left behind 
them forever, and encoimtered the dangers of unknown seas 
in search of a place where they might worship the living God 
according to the dictates of conscience. 

We admire the firm faith in which they met the horrors of 
Indian warfare, the privations of cold, disease and death, 
" lamenting that they did not hve to see the glories of the faith- 
ful" The story of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock, of 
heros more noble than Greek or Roman, of conflicts more sub- 
lime and victories more important than any recorded in history 
— ^is it not written in our hearts ? And do we not contemplate 
this day with affectionate remembrance the debt of gratitude 
we owe to the men and women who laid so broad and deep the 
foundations of civic and rehgious liberiy ? 

This day, the joyful shout "America is free!" spreads from 
state to state, from city to city, from house to house, till the 
whole land rings with the glad voice, and echo upon echo comes 
back from every mountain and hill-side, " America is free !" On 


OOF mountains and on the gi-eat plainB of the West, forty mil- 
lions of voices unit« in sending from the gbores of the Atlantic 
to those of the Pacific the songs of freedom. Shady groves 
resound nith the meny voices of innocent children. Bn^ 
streets are filled Trith throngs of &eenieii. Eloquence portrays 
with glowing tongue and burning lips those struggles and 
triumphs in which the nation was bom, and to-day stands forth 
a mighty one in the great family of goTemments. The early 
dawn was ushered in with ringing of bells and every demon- 
stration of joy. It is celebrated by every class, society and 
organization, by civic processions, fioral gatherings, orations, 
military reviews, each and all with the joy and enthusiasm 
which Americans only can feeL The going down of the sun 
will bo the signal for the gathering of thousands upon thou- 
sands to dose the festivities of the day amid tlie blazing of 
rockets and the glittering of fireworks, rivaling the stars in 
splendor and Ijeauty. 

We to-day look back through a period of one hundred years 
upon the men in congress assembled who proclaimed thirteen 
infant colonies a free and independent nation. Lexington, and 
Concord, and Bunker Hill had demonstrated that men could 
fight, and men could die in defence of liberty. The iUnstrioua 
men who composed that memorable congress, in support of the 
Declaration of Independence ; " pledged their lives, their for- 
tunes, their sacred honors"— //i»r- all. Lives and fortunes were 
sacrificed in its defence but not honor. 

Scarcely three miihons of people were sonttered along the 
Atlantic coast from New Hampshire to Qeorgia — a narrow 
fringe of settlements hardly extending beyond the Alleghanies ; 
whilt! beyond the vast expanse of this mighty continent was an 


become a nation of forty-four millions. Westward the star of 
empire has taken its way, till cities mighty and icfluential have 
risen, flourishing on either seaboard and on the vast plains 
through which the " Fathers of Waters " cuts his way from 
the Great Lakes of the North to the Gulf that washes our 
Southern borders. " The busy town, the rural cottage, the 
lowing herd, the cheerful hearth, the village school, the rising 
spire, the soletnn bell, the voice of prayer, and the hynm of 
praise, brighten and adorn American life and privileges." 

What mighty changes have these one hundred years wit- 
nessed! The seed of liberty sown by our fathers has ger- 
minated and flourished even in the monarchies of Europe. 
Napoleon made all tremble with his hostile legions. Forty 
centuries looked down on his conquering armies from the 
pyramids of Egypt. France, the scene of so many revolutions, 
has become enrolled in the Hst of republics. Other nations, 
catching the shouts of freemen, have compelled the loosening 
of the reins of power. Thrones that have stood firmly for ages 
have been made to tremble upon their foundations. Austria, 
the laod of tyranny and oppression, has compelled her emperor 
to abdicate. The Pope, whose election was hailed by the 
whole civilized world as the harbinger of a better administra- 
tion, was hsirdly seated upon his throne before he fled in dis- 
guise from his pontifical halls, and St. Peter's and the Vatican 
resounded with the triumphal shouts of an awakened nation. 
Himgary struggled for independence as a nation, and practi- 
cally achieved it, so that to-day it lives under laws enacted by 
its own parhament, and accepts the emperor of Austria as king. 
Kussia has emancipated her serfs and taken vast strides in her 
progress as a nation. China is no longer a walled nation, shut 
up from the rest of the world. With Japan she has opened 
her gates to the commerce of the world, and civilization has 
began to loosen the scales from the eyes of hundreds of mil- 
lions of people in these two nations, whose origin as well as 
their knowledge is the arts and sciences, is lo^^t in the dim ages 
of antiquity. 

On the Western Continent we have in the war of 1812-15 as- 
serted our right against England to travel the highways of the 


seas unmolestci:!. The Saxons have conquered and dismember- 
ed Mcsica The most gigantic rebellion the worid ever saw has 
been snppressod, and with it fell the institution of slavery. 
That foul blot upon the otherwise fair face of our constitntiou, 
less than a score of years ago seemed firmly and irreversibly. 
fastened upon the body politic. So steadily was it entrenched 
behind const! toti on al ^aranties that there seemed no way by 
which it could be cured ; and heuco it was endored. But God 
in his mysterious providence permitted those whose rights were 
thus protected by constitutional guaranties, to moke war upon 
the government which protected them, and in the fratricidal 
struggle the shackles fell from the hmbs of every slave. To-day 
the sun does not shine in all this mighty republic upon a single 
bondman. The same constitution and the same laws alike de- 
clare the equality of all men before the law without reference to 
previous condition of servitude, race or color. 

In the physical world, the j»:ogress in the arts and sciences 
has surpassed any conception which we were able to form. Cali- 
fornia outshines the wealth of India. We traverse the ocean in 
ships propelled by steam, llic vast expanse of oar land is 
covered by a network of iron roils reaching ont in every direc- 
tion. The hourly rate of speed has increased from five miles to 
thirty, and even to sixty. The world has been girdled with the 
electric wire. It reposes in safety on the bed of the great deep. 
On the wings of the lightning it conveys from land to land and 
shore to shore every moment the intclhgeoce of man's thoughts 
and man's actions. Each new year has opened up some new 
improvement or discovery in the world of inventions, which 
time fails me oven to enumerate. And who shall say that a 
century licuco tho Listoriiin of thiit day will not be called ii 


as the forest was cleared the school was established. With the 
estabUshment of the common school system have come self re- 
liance, intelligence, enterprise, till our sails whiten every sea, 
our commerce extends to the most distant ports, our fabrics 
complete successful with those of more favored lands ; our 
glorious Union itself has withstood the assaults of foes witbont, 
and traitors within, and stands immovably founded upon the 
intelligence and wisdom of the people. Csesar was the hero of 
three hundred battles, the couqueror of three millions of people, 
one million of whom he slew in battle. But long after the in- 
finence of his deeds shall have ceased to be felt, will the wisdom 
of our fathers, through the schools and colleges of our land, 
move the tmnumbered masses that shall come after us. 

The foundation of prosperity is in an enhghtened community. 
An ignorant people, though inheriting the most favored land on 
earth, soon sinks into insignificence. Our extended seacoast 
invites commerce with every clime. Our fertile valleys and pra- 
ries bring forth the fruits of* the earth in rich abimdance. Her 
numerous waterfalls and rivers have been harnessed to wheels 
that turn thousands and tens of thousands of spindles. Cities 
have sprung up like exhalations imder the magic touch of the 
mi^cian's wand, and the hum of machinery rises out of the 
midst of a thrifty, industrious and happy people. The majestic 
plains and rivers of the West have collected adventurers from 
every part of the world. The coimtry to-day exhibits to other 
nations the unexampled rise and prosperity of a free, self- 
governed and educated people. To the wisdom of our fathers 
we are indebted for this rich legacy. With what care should 
we cherish our institutions of learning, that those who come 
after us may have reason to bless their fathers as we bless ours. 

Happily our fathers did not attempt the union of the church 
and state. It was no mercenary motive that led them to leave 
old England's shores. Theirs was a strong and enduring love 
of God, a perfect faith in his promis£?s ; accordingly they hesi- 
tated not to sever the ties of kindred and nation, to find in the 
unbroken wilderness of New England a place to worship God 
" according to the dictates of their own consciences." It does 
not excite our wonder, but our admiration — that every infant 


Bettleiuent had its nnnctuarv — the ten thousand church spires 
reaching upward towai'd heaven point, with unerring accuracy 
to the source of our proaperitj' as a nation. Centuries to come 
will approve and applaud our fathers who worshipped in square 
pews, and the ministers who preached with subduing power 
from high pulpits. 

Such was the first century of the Eepublic. It has boen one 
of struggle, but one of prosperity. Upon us and our children 
devolves the privilege sjid duty of carrying the nation forward 
to still greater prosperity. Shall we bo behind our fathers 
in declaring for intelligence as against ignorance ; for honesty 
and ability iu our rulers ; and for religion against irreligion ? 
Our backward look should be but an inspiration to future pro- 
gress. As we stand to-day, iu the presence of Uie fathers of 
tlie republic, may we receive, na men receive Hfe from God, the 
iuspiratiou which animated them to do and to die. 

" Tbuika be to God ilone 
That (ml vtaole lind la odf. 

As at bei birth I 
Haho (lie grand refnin. 
From rooky peak to main. 
That lent li erec? chain. 




Mb. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : — ^I will say to you 
that I shall keep you but a very brief space of time. It is 
natural for any people, on so great a day as the celebration 
of the one hundredth anniversary of the nation's existence, to 
dweU largely upon reminiscences of the past, and glorify those 
whose fortune it was to shape the government that came into 
being through their agency. Especially is this true where 
national existence has proved to be in a particular sense a 
national blessing. Under such circumstances it would not be 
wise to check the outburst of patriotic hearts, or restrain in 
narrow compass the national joy that finds expression in any 
national form of jubilation. Hence this day, which rounds the 
full period of one hundred years in the history of the Republic, 
millions of happy people celebrate the deeds of honored fathers, 
and enjoy the blessings of a government to which history fur- 
nishes the world no parallel. Truly it is a day of which we may 
well be proud, and poets and orators may exhaust the English 
language in speaking words of praise on this memorable event. 
But while we rejoice that the events of the century have cul- 
minated in this grand work of human progress and freedom ; 
and while we congratulate ourselves on our escape from the 
numerous perils along the pathway of the Eepublic, we are ad- 
monished that the past alone is no guarantee for the future. 
True it is that history cannot be recalled. It stands immutable 
as the rocks of the granite State. No fiiat of power, no scheme 
of human ingenuity, can recall it Gall as we will, or lament as 
we may, there it is, written or unwritten, and it helps to con- 
tribute to the record of generations passed forever from the 
face of the earth. It is for us who live to treasure in our hearts 


the letters written for our iiiBtnictioD, and prefie forward to the 
fature with earnest eodeavore to increase the sam of human 
happiness in every proper way. In Tiew of these sentiments 
ve might well ask if we are aBsnred that it is a &ct that coming 
years will find the peofJe of America stdll in possession of tlie 
enlightened government and the social and moral comforts that 
are now the glory of her people. 

Do our hearts all exnlt in firm faith that the ship of state 
shall sail on over the unseen sea that heaves with calm and steady 
flow, or do they deem the shadows that here and there obscore 
the horizon proclaim that rocks and whirlpools and stonns may 
sooner or later send her down to nntold depths with all the 
precious freight of human souls on board? 

On such a day as this I nonld not check the festivities of the 
hour, or cause a shadow to rest like a pall upon a single heart, 
but wisdom admonishes us that those only are 'wise who discern 
the evil in the distance and adopt measures to resist her &tal 
advances. Our Government was founded in patriotism and in 
a spirit of religions trust It was not a venture depending upon 
chance for success or failure, but on the deep and eamest con- 
viction of men. 

"With firm reliance upon a divine providence for successfol 
preservation in the hazardous enterprise iu which they were 
about to engage, no step did they.take or measure did they in- 
augarato without assuring themselves that the God of jwlitioal 
freedom would crown their efforts with the divine approbation. 
And in this connection it might be proper to say that notwith- 
standing the perils of the past, there are some things upon which 
the continued peace and prosperity of our government must 
depend. Many of tliesn I wooM discasa if I had time. I n 


our country. The skies are bright ; prosperity is cheering ; 
and I believe that, while occasionally we have doubt and fear, 
occasionally look upon the dark side of life ; yet I firmly boheve 
that the perpetuity of this government is fixed and established 
so that it cannot be overturned, and so that, if we are true to 
the application of the principles on which our fathers founded 
these United States, we shall continue to be the bulwark of free- 



JULY 4th, 1876. 
Let as turn o'er this golden day, 
Whon even sober fancies play, 
And weary hearts forget what grieves. 
Oui' Country's book — its hundred leaves. 
A hundred leaves ! a hundred years 1 
How strange the oijeuiug page appears! 
A mighty uatioit then had birth, 
^Vbose name was heard in all the earth, 
Pre-eminent among the fi^ee, 
ITic sacred homo of Liberty. 
God's blessing brought her wealth and fame, 
M'hilc honors clustered romad her name. 

To-day that nation greeting sends, 
To oU who are the nation's friends ; — 
Triumphant song her bosom stirs, 
Olad tidings of great joy are hers ; 
A queen sbo sits in glory dressed,— 
Bejoice with her, for she is blest. 
grateful children far and n 


By many ti hard and timely blow; 
But after wounds came heaUng balm, 
And after winds and waves a calm. 
The record of some noble deed. 
Illumines every page we read. 
Sometimes we start in glad surprise, 
Sometimes are mute with wondering eyes ; 
How manifold her blessings grown ! 
No other land is like our own. 

Turn quick the pages darkly red 
With brother's blood, so madly shed ; 
I'o-day we pass them softly by, 
Without a tear ; without a sigh ; 
Not all in vain the lesson sent, 
And blood and treasure freely spent, — 
The foulest stain our banner bore. 
Thank God, will never shame us more, 
While North and South more vdse appear, 
For these few leaves which cost so dear : 
We put them by like troubled dreams, — 
The present page with glory beams. 

We hear the wide Atlantic's roar, 
Or walk the far Pacific shore, 
Stand awed amid the northern snows. 
Or Liiiguid where the orange blows, 
Alaska's icy valley's tliread. 
The arid plains of Utah tread, 
Or seek the western wilds so still, 
And drink of nature's cup our fill ; 
Kind, fi-iendly hands our own will grasp. 
Our country holds us in her clasp, 
Extending far, from zone to zone, 
From sea to sea is all our own. 

Here, mid our grand New England hills ; 
WTiere beauty like the dew distills, 
From every doud that floats between 


Her moimtain tops, from everj' green 
Encircled lake, whose smiling face 
Wears year by year an added grace ; 
Where every Btream is clear and bright. 
And wood and wave both charm the sight ; 
Our country's record grows more dear. 
With every swift, succeeding year. 
Her welfiu^ nearer to the heart, 
Her honor of our life a part 

How cool the Merrimack flows on I 
It seems to take a softened tone 
Beside the green and honored grave 
Of Stork, the patriot, true and brave. 
His fame is ours — Ms deeds shall tell 
How long our heroes fought, how weU 
Kew Hampshire's sons, with noble grace, 
In histoiy hold an honored place. 
Her soldiers were a faithful band. 
Her statesmen with the foremost stand ; 
And are at least, had fame world-wide — 
We point to Websters ; name with prida 
Our future who but God can know. 
Yet all our skies vrith promise glow. 
" Our bulwarks are the hearts of men," 
And strong and true they beat as when, 
A hundred years ago, their mres 
Built up tbs sacred altar firea 
May wis<lom be their future guide. 
With truth and love on either side, — 




Mb. Pbesidentof the Bannekeb Lyceum and Fellow-Citizens : 
I congratulate you upon the name which your association bears. 
In giving title to your association you honor one who largely 
unaided, by his own efforts distinguished himself as a scholar, 
while he made himself in no insignificant sense conspicuous as 
a philanthropist ; certainly so far as a free and bold advocacy of 
freedom for his own race discovered his love for mankind. 

Benjamin Banneker cultivated in his studies those matters of 
science which pertain to astronomical calculations ; and so 
thorough and exact were his calculations, as they respected the 
different aspects of the planets, the motions of the sun and 
moon, their risings and settings, and the courses of the bodies 
of planetary systems, as to excite and command the commenda- 
tion of Pitt, Fox, Wilberforce, and other eminent men of his 

In 1791 Banneker sent to Thomas Jefferson, then President 
of the United States, a manuscript copy of his first almanac, en- 
closing it in a letter, in the closing portions of which he uses 
the following words : " Suffer me to recall to your mind that 
time, in which the arms of the British crown were exerted, with 
every' powerful effort, in order to reduce you to a state of servi- 
tude ; look back, I entreat you, on the variety of dangers to 
which you were exposed ; reflect on that period in which every 
human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and 
fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you 
cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your mira- 
culous and providential preservation ; you cannot but acknow- 
ledge that the present freedom and tranquillity which you enjoy 

you haTe mercifully received, and that it is the peculiar bless- 
ing of heaTeo. This, sir, was a time vheit you clearly saw into 
the injustice of a state of slaveiy, and in which you had just ap- 
pieheoBions of the horrors of its condition. It was then that 
your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publidy help 
forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is woi-thy to be 
recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages : ' Vfe hold 
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ; 
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 
rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of 

" Here was a time in which your tender feelings for your- 
selvea had engaged you thus to declare ; you were then im- 
pressed with proper ideas of the great violation of liberty, and 
the free possession of those blessings, to which you were entitled 
by nature ; but, sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although 
you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of 
mankind, and of His equal aud impEirtial distribution of these 
lights and privileges which Ho hath conferred upon them, that 
you should at the same time counteract His mercies, in det^- 
ing by fraud and violence, so numerous a party of my brethren 
under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should 
at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, 
which you professedly detested in others, with respect to your- 

In a very few days after receiving this letter the President 
made the following reply : " Sir, I thank you sincerely for yonr 
letter, and the almanac it contained. Nobody wishes more than 
I do, to see such proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to 
onr black brt^thi-cn talonts etiunl to those of the other t 


retary of the Acrdemy of Science at Paris, and member of the 
Philanthropic Society, because I considered it as a document to 
which your whole color had a right for their justification, against 
the doubts which have been entertained of them/ 

I make no apology for making this allusion, in this connec- 
tion, to the man whose memory you honor in the phraseology 
" Banneker Lyceum ;" nor for referring to his eminencJe as a 
scholar, and his bold advocacy in addressing even the author 
of the Declaration of American Independence, then President of 
the United States, in such words as to provoke the earnest and 
manly reply just presented. Let the colored American con- 
template with pride this brief but interesting chapter which 
brings the name of the scholarly negro Banneker, in such juxta- 
position to that of the eminent American statesman, Thomas 

I also congratulate you upon this vast assembly, brought to- 
gether under those instincts and promptings of patriotism, ad- 
miration and gratitude, with which from one end to the other 
of our country, from sea to sea, our fellow-countrymen meet this 
day, in hall, in church, like ourselves beneath the green foliage 
of God's own temple, to call to mind and note the magnificent 
utterances, the splendid achievements and marvelous progress 
of our nation made within the first hundred years of its exis- 

On this occasion, I may not tarry to dwell upon the utter- 
ances of individuals, however eminent and distinguished. It is 
only of those great national utterances, those judgments of the 
nation itself, so expressed in that majestic and thrilling voice of 
a great people, that its echoes never die, that I may speak on this 
interesting and memorable day ; and of these in the briefest 

On the 4th day of July 1776, one hundred years ago, thirteen 
colonies with an insignificant population boldly made declaration 
of their independence of the British crown and their sovereign- 
ty as a free and independent nation, and to the maintenance of 
this declaration and their independence, with a firm rehance on 
the protection of Divine Providence, mutually pledged their lives, 
their fortunes, and their sacred honor. The annals of one hun- 


dred years radiant with proofs of the sinoeiity of this pledge of 
our Fathers, attest how well, how manfnllj, how sncoeasfall;, 
and tritunphantl;, oar cooDtr; has maintained herself among 
the great nations of the earth. 

Perhaps the history of the world fumiahes no docnment in 
which individoal eqnaUty, the first powers of gOTemment ; the 
conditions npon which a people may alter or abolish one govem- 
ment and inatitnte another, lajdng its fonndations and raganiz- 
ing its powers in such form and npon snch prinoiples as to them 
shall seem most likelv to effect their safety and happiness, with 
siicb clearness and force, as oar own declaration, the master|aece 
of American State papers. Upon its Teiy words, coold we ae* 
perate them &om the sentiments and doctrines which they em- 
body we would dwell with a sort of anperstitions pride and 
pleasure. But upon the doctrines, the principles, the senti- 
ments they contain, we dwell justly with veneration and grate- 
ful approval How the school boy, the clergyman, the states- 
man, all classes with equal pride and emotion repeat the words 
" when in the course of Lnman events, it becomes necessary for 
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected 
them vrith another, and to assume among the powers of the 
earth, the seperate and equal statdon to which the laws ot natnre 
and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opia- 
ious of mankind, requires that they shonld declare the oauses 
which impel them to the seperation. 

We hold these truths self-evident : that all men are created 
equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain in- 
alienable rights ; that among these are life, hberty, and the pur- 
suit of happiness : that to secure these rights, govenmients are iu- 
stituted among men denying their just powers from tho con- 


can's very being, inhaled with the moral atmosphere of every 
house, no one of ns can teU. Nor is it material It is enough 
for OS to know that as they shape in their influence every act of 
our nation so they influence and determine largely the conscien- 
tiooB conviction and judgment of every elector of our country 
through whose vote our institutions are supported and main- 

On the 10th day of June, 1776, Congress appointed a commit- 
tee to prepare a declaration, that these colonies are of right and 
ought to be, free and independent states." 

This committee consisted of Thomas Jefiferson, John Adams, 
Benjamin Franklin, Boger Sherman, and Boberfc B. Livingston. 
As the declaration was presented by this committee in its original 
form, it contained among other charges against the King of 
Great Britain the following — '' He has waged war against 
nations itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty 
in the persons of a distant people, who never offended him, 
captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemis- 
phere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation 
thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infldel 
X>owers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain, 
determined to keep open a mi^rket, where men should be 
bought and sold. He has prostituted his negative for suppress- 
ing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restr^^in this 
execrable commerce, and that this assemblage of honors might 
want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very 
people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty 
of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on 
whom he also obtruded them : thus paying off former crimes 
committed against the Uberties of one people, with crimes 
which he urges them to commit against the lives of another." 

This clause, formidable indeed in the charge presented, but far- 
reaching and significant in favor of the aboUtion of slavery was 
stricken from the declaration, on the suggestion of the state of 
G^rgia. The declaration, however, as a whole is none the less 
emphatic in &kvor of the inalienability of man's right to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and Garrison, Phillips, 
Smith, Sunmer, and their associates, the great apostles of the 


American abolitioo movemeat did well to plead the cause of 
the slave, aod to claim the equality of the ri^ts of the negro 
betore American law in the name of its principles and teachings. 

With regard to ihe coorage and heroism, which distinguished 
the American soldier of our revolutionary period, and the 
triumphs which attended our armies, I need not speak, ah are 
acquainted with these and to-day as we go back in memory to 
our-struggle at Lexington, at Bunker Hill, and to the sorrender 
of Borgoyne, our souls Eire filled with gratitude that the God of 
battles brought victory to those arms wielded in a straggle for 
freedom, independence and free instdtutionB. 

Eight years of conflict, brought us a victtny which settled 
forever our independence and sovereignty, no longer a dream, 
but a solemn, abiding reality. 

I wish to bring to your attention and emphasize two things 
with regard to the articles of confederation, approved the 9th 
day of July, 1778, in the 3d year of the Independence of 
America. 1st These articles are entitled articles of confedera- 
tion and perpetual union between the Statesof New Hampshire, 
MaasachuBotta Bay, &c., and in the conclading article thereof, 
the 2d ciaaee contains these words, "and whereas it has 
])leased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearte 
of the Legislatures, we respectively represent in Congress, to 
approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of 
confederation and perpetual union : know ye, that we the un- 
dersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to 
use given for that purpose, do, by these presente, in the name 
und in behalf of our respective constituents, folly and entirely 
ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of om- 
federation and perpetual union, and ail and singular the mat- 


eignty, freedom and iudependeoce, and every power, jurisdiction 
and right not expressly delegated to the United States in Con- 
gress assembled thus forming as the articles of confederation 
import, simply a confederacy under the style of the * United 
States of America/ the union, formed thus was to be perpetual, 
losing forever y as is abundantly shown from the words of this 
document already quoted. 

The union of these articles, a compact of sovereign States, was 
to be perpetudL It was not long, however, before the sovereignty 
of the States was merged, under the Constitution of the United 
States, in the higher and grander sovereignty of the nation. 
And thus our Union was mode more perfect and perpetual 
Liet it stand forever ! 

Concerning the 4th Article of these Articles there is a matter 
of history which must prove especially interesting to all of us, 
when, now, our constitutional law has been so amended as to 
tolerate no discrimination with regard to citizenship predicated 
upon complexion. 

When this Article was under consideration a proposition was 
made to qualify the phrase *' free inhabitants," occurring therein, 
by the insertion of the word " white," so as to make it read 
** free while inhabitants," etc. Upon due consideration, eleven 
States voting upon the proposition, it was lost — eight States 
voting against it, two States in favor of it, while the vote of one 
State was divided. Early thus in the history of our nation the 
fathers decided to allow no discrimination among our country, 
men as to dttzenship based upon complexional differences, and 
nowhere either in the Declaration of Independence, or in the 
Articles of Confederation is the word white used except in the 
latter, it is found in the following connection, in Article 9th, 
" The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority 
among other things, to agree upon the number of land forces, 
and to make requisitions from eaeh State for its quota, in pro- 
portion to the number of white inhabitants in such State." 

Why the word white is used in this connection, I am at a loss 
to know. It was not certainly because of the color of citizens of 
African descent It was certainly not because they were not 
patriotic, brave, and enduring soldiers. In the revolutionary 


strn^les Uiey early demonstrated Uicir fidelity and courage. 
Odo of the four first Americana falling, in the Boston maasaore 
of 1770, being a mulatto, Crispns Attacks, whose name is one 
famous in the annals of that struggle. This word while waa 
certainly not used to discriminate against citizens of African 
descent prejadidally as to the matter of citizenship. For gen- 
erally at' this time, when emancipated, they became citizens and 
voters without qualification or condition in the States when 
they resided. The distinction made here then must have been 
in the interest of slavery, an institution which from the very 
first proved itself utterly at war with every interest of the 

OiMinpying, as we do *■>»'« day, a high moral plain fromwhicb 
we may retrospect our past, we can appreciate the ordinance 
of 1 787, which, establishing a form of government for our West- 
ern territories, concludes with six Articles of compact between 
the original States and the people of the territories, the same to 
be unalterable, except by common consent. 

The first secures entire religions freedom, the second, trial by 
jury, the writ of habeas corpus, together with o&er funda- 
mental rights usually inserted in Bills of Rights ; the third pro- 
vides for the encouragement and support of schools, and en- 
joins good faith towards the Indians ; the fourth places the 
newStates to be foimedoatof the territory npin an equal foot- 
ing with the old ones ; the fifth authorizes the future division 
of the territory into not less than three nor more than five 
States, each to be admitted into the Union when it should coa- 
tain 60,000 free inhabitants ; and the sixth contains the cele- 
brated anti-slavery proviso introduced by Jefferson, " That 
there shall ba neither elaverv nor involiintarT servitude J 


glad refraia of thanksgiving and joj, that no slave now breathes 
the air of onr ooantry. 

Chief among the moral triumphs of our age and ooantry stands 
that act of oar nation which emancipates foar million of bonds- 
men ; and indacting them into the body-politic, throws over 
them the investiture of an equal and impartial citizenship. 

All honor is dae him whose name is written first among the 
company of noble men, the chief work of whom, the glory of 
their endeavors, culminates in the emancipation of the American 
slave. All honor is due the great captain of onr forces, who 
established through the sword, as the fixed law of our nation, 
the emancipation proclamation of the first day of January, 1863. 
Henceforth the names of Lincoln and Grant, are justly em- 
blazoned in our history as the emancipator and defender of our 
enslaved race. 

The Constitution of the United States, a document of rare, in 
many respects matchless, excellence, prior to its modification by 
the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, is now certainly without 
parallel in the history of mankind, as an enunciation of organic 
law ; and every American, whatever his political bias or party 
afBliations, must experience special pleasure in knowing that 
no other nation of ancient or modem times has been given, 
the genius or the heart to produce buch a document, and to 
establish in accordance therewith a government which in its 
forms and results realizes so nearly our idea of that perfect 
government, the subjects of which, while they enjoy the amplest 
XX)68ible freedom, pursue their several occupations, assured of 
the largest protection to liie, liberty and property. 

As we read and study the great State papers of our nation — 
The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, 
the Ordinance of 1787, and the Constitution of the United 
States — and consider the workings of the Government organ- 
ized in accordance therewith, in none of its departments, dis- 
criminating against any of our citizens, native or naturalized, 
with regard to birthplace, nationahty, complexion, or former 
condition of life, but inviting all to partake alike of the benefits 
and blessings of free institutions, our hearts swell with gratitude 
fco that beneficient Dispenser of human afEairs, who gave our 


EatboTB wisdom, ootuage, and eaocesB, and who haa abaodanU; 
blessed their bods in national unity, prosperity and happiness. 

Of ttiu material greatness of our coontr; — its development of 
the great indostries which distingoish its progress and civil- 
ization, I can do Uttle more than make a passing allusion. Did 
I tany to name simpl; our achievements in steam navigation, 
shipbuilding, tiie building of railroads, the manufacture of rail- 
road can, improvementa in all kinds of macbineiy, telegraphy, 
and printing, I would detun you beyond your patience and 
endurance. I content myself and trust I satisfy yon by saying, 
the first century of our existence as a nation has witnessed sncb 
triumphs in art, science, and industry in our land as h&s not been 
vouchsafed in the histoiy of mankind to any other people within 
such period. 

In all departments of business — in banldiig', commerce, agri- 
culture — wo witness improvement of method, implement, and 
the use of power and skill 

In pohtics, legislation and general reform, our national tri- 
umphH have been splendid; not less so, however, in the various 
departments of industiy. 

Of our improvement in all those things that pertain to a well 
organized system of free common schools, supported by pubUo 
tax, levied and collected by the general and cordial assent of 
property holders, I speak with pride. Generally our common 
school system is eo valued, its good results so appreciated, that 
no considerations pecuniary or other would induce the people 
to consent to any reduction of taxes, or the doing of anything 
the tendency of which would be to curtail and destroy the in- 
fluence of such system. We all value the free common school 
as at present organized as indispensible to the education and 


knowledge, general and various, together with sound moral 
training may be secured. 

Of improvements in methods of instruction, buildings, furni- 
ture, apparatus, text-books, treatment of pupils, character of 
teachers, and modes of preparing teachers for their work, I can 
not speak in detail Improvements in all these respects are 
abundant, transcending our most sanguine expectations, of the 
largest advantage and most satisfactory kind. 

Contrasting the system and condition of public instruction in 
France, Holland, Prussia, Germany, Great Britain and other 
countries with those of the United States of America, J. W. 
Hoyt, Esq., one of the Commissioners of the Paris Universal 
Exposition of 1867, in his report on education, under the title 
United States of America, says: 

''From the earhest settlement of this coimtry by those brave 
men and women who landed on the rocks of Massachusetts 
Bay, no less imbued with the spirit of freedom and popular 
education than the love of God and Hberty of conscience, the 
cause of education has been one of primary interest both to 
Colonial and Federal govemmenta A history of the sacrifices 
and toils by which were established and maintained the school- 
houses of the ante-revolutionary times of the Colonial period, 
and a summing up of the truly munificent contributions of the 
Federal and State authorities since the adoption of the ConstL 
tutional Government, to the great end of creating a citizenship 
worthy of our free institutions are sufficient to awaken the am- 
bition and enthusiasm of the dullest souL" 

Continuing, he says, " All in all, the original provisions of 
the government for the education of the people are more Hberal 
than those of any other ; and in connection with the additions 
arising from regular taxation, and from appropriations made 
by the States themselves, present the most magnificent financial 
school basis of the world. The pride with which the American 
citizen regards this support of common-school instruction is 
amplified by contemplating the scarcely less abundant endow- 
ment by which individual wealth has built up the higher grades 
noticed under the head of Secondary Education." 

Upon the higher grades of education, the academies, colleges. 


nniTersitieB and profesdoDsI Bobools, I may not dwelL The 
special character, claimo »nd achievemeDts of sach schools we 
all appreciate. Their growth within the post fif^ years has 
been marked, and throDgh their inBtramentalify edocation has 
received decided impulse and Doteworthy ednoational advan- 
ta^a have been gained. 

Fellow-citizens of Yii^inia, and by this appellation in tliiB re- 
generated hoar of American freedom I designate all clnioo 
and complexions, the class formerly masters, and Uiat formerly 
slaves, I coQgratolate yon apon the change in an edncatiomtl 
point of view which has taken place in your own State daring 
the past ten years. Instead of leaving yoar sons and daaghters 
in ignorance, to a heritage of dime and de^radatioa, yon are 
establishing a common school ^stem whose advantages and 
benefits will compensate in popnlar knowledge, wisdom, and 
virtue an hundred fold all labor, outlay and sacrifice connected 
therewith. To-day your schools, a doable system, white and 
black, I tmst the day is not distant when they will be one— a 
common school, stand open, and provision, if not yet am|de and 
entirely satigfactory, has been made measurably for the accom- 
modation of the children of your State. Tour people are show- 
ing already a wise appreciation of the advantages sho<ni their 
children in your schoolB. And I but voice the feeling of your 
fellow-dtizens thronghont the country when I bid yon a hearty 
Qod-speed in your noble work in this behaU. 

You may rest assured that in so far forth as any schools built 
and conducted in your State, upon northern Uberalily, shall 
hereafter need pecuniary assistance to support and maintain 
them in their special work, that assistance will not be wanting, 
when proppr appeal in made for it. The people of the north. 


tore, science, arts, and arms, she compares favorably wifli the 
foremost of these great nations. 

If her achievements and progress have been so great in the 
past, we may contemplate with confidence and pride her ad- 
vancement in the fatore. Remaining tme to the lessons of 
freedom, eqaal rights, justice, humanity and religion taught us 
by the fathers, the wise men of our country, and the experience 
of the past^ so fraught with warning and admonition, relying 
upon the Qod who has so signally blest her, our nation may 
hope to reach even a larger growtti, to show a more splendid 
progress ; to attain a future more beautiful and magnificent 
than anything which distinguishes the century which this day 
doees the first hundred years of our national life* 




UDsio, N. T., JULT 4tu, 18T6. 

Fellow-gitizens : — One httnclred yeoxa ago to-<3ay, in oar 
sister city of Philadelphia, a band of conrageons and devoted 
men, at the peril of their livca aod everything they held dear, set 
at defiance one of the most powerful nationa of Earopeand pro- 
claimed to the world that the American Colonies, which they 
represented, were free and independent States, aEsuroiog for 
them " among the powers of the earth," to nse their own lan- 
^na^e, " the separate and equal station to which the laws of na- 
ture and of nature's God entitle them." The three millions in 
whose behalf the Declaration of Independence was made are 
now more than forty millions, and wherever patriotic hearts are 
to be foand — whether in the crowded thoraughfdTes of cities and 
towns or in the qoietnde of mral habitations — they are overflow- 
ing with gratitude for oar prosperity, oar good name among the 
nations, oar free institntions, oar widespread domain, never 
again to be pressed by a servile foot, and for onr deliverance 
from the dangers through which we have passed ; above all, the 
late fearful peril of disunion. You will hear from eloquent 

i the Btorv of our trials nnd our triumphs, and of the fulfill- 




Mb. President — Fellow- Citizens : The long-expected day has 
come, and passing peacefully the impalpable hne which separates 
ages, the Republic completes its hundreth year. The predictions 
in which afifectionate hope gave inspiration to political prudence 
are fulfilled. The fears of the timid, and the hopes of those to 
whom our national existence is a menace, are alike disappointed. 
The fable of the physical world becomes the fact of the political ; 
and after alternate sunshine and storm, after heavings of the 
earth which only deepened its roots, and ineffectual blasts of 
lightning whose lurid threat died in the air, under a sky now 
raining on it benignant influence, the century-plant of American 
Independence and popular govemmemt bursts into this magnifi- 
cent blossom of a joyful cdlebration illuminating the land ! 

With what desiring though doubtful e3cpectation those whose 
action we commemorate looked for the possible coming of this 
day, we know from the records which they have left. With what 
anxious soHcitude the statesmen and the soldiers of the following 
generation anticipated the changes which might take place be- 
fore this Centennial year should be reached, we have heard our- 
selves, in their great and fervent admonitory worda How dim 
and drear the prospect seemed to our own hearts fifteen years 
mnoe, when, on the fourth of July 1861, the XXXVUth Congress 
met at Washington with no representative in either Hogse from 
any State south of Tennessee and Western Virginia, and when 
a determined and numerous army, under skillful commanders, 
approached and menaced the capital and the government — this 
we surely have not forgotten ; nor how, in the terrible years 
which followed, the blood and fire, and vapor of smoke, seemed 
oftentimes to swim as a sea, or to rise as a wall, between our 
eyes and this anniversary. 

"It cannot outlast the second generation from those who 
founded it,'' was the exulting conviction of the many who loved 

272 onB satiosjll jubtlsol 

the traditions and state of monarchy, and vho felt them insecure 
before the widening fame in the world of our prosperons Re- 
public. "It may not reach its hondredth year," was the deep 
and sometimes the sharp apprehension of those who felt, as all 
of ufl felt, that their own hberty, welfare, hope, with the bright- 
est political promise of the world, were bound ap with the unity 
and the life of our nation. Never was solicitude more intense 
never was prayer to Almighty Qod more fervent and oonstant — 
not in the earliest b^;inning8 of our history, when Lidian teirod- 
ty threatened that history with a swift termination, not in the 
days of snpremest trial amid the E«volution — than in those 
years when the nation seemed suddenly spht asunder, and 
forces which had been combined for its creation were clenched 
and rocking back and forth in bloody grapple on the question 
of its maintenance. 

The prayer was heard. The effort and the sacrifice have 
come to their fruitage; and to-day the nation — etiU one, as at 
the start, though now expanded over such immense spaces, ab- 
sorbing such incessant and diverse elements from othra lands, 
developing within it opinions so conflicting, interests so various, 
and forms of occupation so novel and manifold — ^to-day the na- 
tion, emerging from the toil and the turbulent strife, with the 
earlier and the later clouds alike swept out of its resplendent 
stellar arch, pauses from its work to remember and rejoice; with 
exhilarated spirit to anticipate its future; with reverent heart to 
offer to Qod its great Te Deum. 

Not here alone, in this great city, whose lines have gone out 
into all the earUi, and whose superb progress in wealth, in cul- 
ture, and in civic renown, is itself the most illustrious token of 
the powsT and beneficence of that frame of government under 

OBATION — REV. DE. R. 8. 8TORR8. 273 

the new and popular organization, one of whose citizens wrote 
his name, as if cutting it with a plough-share, at the head of all 
on our great charter, another of whoso citizens was its intrepid 
and powerful champion, aiding its passage through the Con- 
gress; not there alone, nor yet in other great cities of the land, 
but in smaller towns, ia villages and hamlets, this day will be 
kept, a secular Sabbath, sacred alike to memory and to 

Not only, indeed, where men are assembled, as we are here, 
will it be honored. The lonely and remote will have their part 
in this commemoration. Where the boatman follows the wind- 
ing stream, or the woodman explores the forest shades; where 
the min^ lays down his eager driU beside rocks which guard 
the precious veins; or where the herdsman, along the sierras, 
looks forth on the seas which now reflect the rising day, which 
at our midnight shall be gleaming like gold in the setting sun 
— ^there also will the day be regarded, as a day of memorial. 
The sailor on the sea will note it, and dress his ship in its 
brightest array of flags and bunting. Americans dwelling in 
foreign lands wiU note and keep it. 

London itself will to-day be more festive because of the event 
which a century ago shadowed its streets, incensed its Parha- 
ment, and tore from the crown of its obstinate Eiugthe chiefest 
jewel On the boulevards of Paris, in the streets of BerHn, and 
along the leveled bastions of Vienna, at Marseilles and at Flor- 
ence, upon the silent Uquid ways of stately Venice, in the passes 
of the Alps, uuder the shadow of church and obehsk, palace 
and ruin, which still prolong the majesty of Rome ; yea, fur- 
ther East, on the Bosphorus, and in Syria ; in Egypt, which 
writes on the front of its compartment in the great Exhibition, 
*' The oldest people of the world sends its morning-greeting to 
the youngest nation ;" along the heights behind Bombay, in the 
foreign hongs of Canton, in the " Islands of the Morning," 
which found the dawn of their new age in the startling sight of 
an American squadron entering their bays — everywhere will be 
those who have thought of this day, and who join with us to 
greet ii» coming. 

No other "such anniversary, probably has attracted hitherto 


Bach general notice. Yoa hsve seen Borne, perhaps, on <uie 
of those Bhinging AprU days when the traditional anoiveraaiy 
of the founding of the city fills its streets with ciyio prooeasions; 
with military display, and the most elaborate fire-works in 
Europe ; yoa may have seen Holland, in 1782, when the whole 
cotmixy bloomed with orange on the three-himdredth aniuTet^ 
BOxy of the capture by the searbe^ars of tiie city of Briel, and 
of thb revolt against Spanish domination which tberenpon 
flashed on different aides into sadden ezplomon. Bat theae 
celebrations, and others like them, have been chiefly locfJ. 
The world oatside has token no wide impression from them. 
This of oora is the first of which many lands, in different 
tongues, will have had report Partly becanse the -world is 
narrowed in oar time, and its distant peoples are made neigh- 
bors, by the fleeter machineries now in ase ; partly beoatiae we 
have drawn so many to oar popnlation from foreign lands, 
while the restless and acquisitive spirit of our people has made 
them at home on every shore ; but partly, also, and essentially, 
because of the nature and the relations (^ that event which ve 
commemorate, and of the influence exerted by it on subsequent 
history, the attention of men is more or less challenged, in 
every centre of commerce and of thought, by this anniversary, 
ludeed it is not nnnataral to feel — certainly it is not irrev- 
erent to feol — that they who by wisdom, by valor, and by 
sacriflce, have contributed to perfect and maintain the instita- 
tions which we possess, and have added by death as well aa by 
life to the lustre of our history, must also have an interest in 
this day ; that in their timeless habitations they remember as 
beneath the lower circle of the heavens, are glad in our joy 
n<l share and lead our grateful iirjiin^i. To a apirit aJiTc with 

ORATION-^BEY. DB. B. & 8T0BBS. 275 

souls in triumphant effusion for the Hberty which they loved in 
forum or pulpit^ they who gave their young and glorious life as 
an offering on the field, that government for the people, and by 
the people, might not perish from the earth — it cannot be but 
that they too have part and place in this Jubilee of our history ! 
God make our doings not unworthy of such spectators ! and 
make our spirit sympathetic with theirs from whom all selfish 
passion and pride have now forever passed away ! 

The interest which is felt so distinctly and widely in this an- 
niversary reflects a light on the greatness of the action which it 
commemorates. It shows that we do not unduly exaggerate the 
significance or the importance of that; that it had really large, 
even world-wide relations,and contributed an effective and a valu- 
able force to the furtherance of the cause of freedom, education, 
hmnane institutions, and popular advancement, wherever its in- 
fluence has been felt 

Yet when we consider the action itself, it may easily seem but 
slight in its nature, as it was certainly commonplace in its cir- 
cumstances. There was nothing even picturesque in its sur- 
roundings, to enlist for it the pencil of the painter, or help 
to fix any luminous image of that which was done on the popu- 
lar memory. 

In this respect it is singularly contrasted with other great and 
kindred events in general history; with those heroic and fruit- 
ful actions in English history which had especially prepared the 
way for it, and with which the thoughtful student of the past 
will always set it in intimate relations. Its utter simpHcity, as 
compared with their splendor, becomes impressive. 

When, five centuries and a half before, on the fifteenth of 
June, and the following days, in the year of our Lord 1215, the 
Tlnglish barons met King John in the long meadow of Rimne- 
mede, and forced from him the Magna Charta — ^the strong foim- 
dationand steadfast bulwark of English hberty, concerning 
which Mr. Hallam has said in our time that " all which has been 
since obtained is httle more than as confirmation or commen- 
tary," — ^no circumstance was wanting, of outward pageantry, to 
give dignity, brilliance, impressiveness, to the scene. On the 
one side was the King, with the Bishops and nobles who at- 


tended him, vitb the Master of the Templars, and the Papal 
legate before whom he had lately rendered his homage.* On 
the other side was the great and determined majority of the 
barons of England, with multitudes of knights, armed Tassals, 
and retainera.f With them in purpose, and in resolute zeal, 
were inost of those who attended the King. Stephen Langton, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the bead of the English clergy, was 
with them; the Bishops of London, Winchester, Lincoln, Ro- 
chester, and of other great aeea. The Ear] of Pembroke, daimt- 
less and wise, of vast and iDcreaslog power in the realm, and 
not long after to be its Protector, was really at their head. 
Bobert Fitz-Walter, whose fair daughter Matilda the profligate 
king had forcibly abducted, was Marshal of the army — the 
" Army of God, and the Holy Church." William Longsword, 
Earl of Salisbury, half-brother of the King, was on the field; 
the Earls of Albenarle, Arundel, Gloucester, Hereford, Norfolk. 
Oxford, the great Earl Warenne, who claimed the same right of 
the sword in his barony which William the Conqueror had had 
in the kingdom, the Constable of Scotland, Hubert de Borgb, 
scnepchal of Poictou, and many other powerful nobles — de- 
scendants of the daring soldiers whose martial valor had mas- 
tered Englanil, Crusaders who had followed Richard at Ascalon 
and at Jafia, whose own liberties had since been in mortal periL 
Some burgesses of London were present, as well; troubadours, 
minstrels, and heralds were not wanting; and doubtless there 
mingled with the thronf^ those skillful clerks whose pens had 
drawn the great instrument of freedom, and whose training in 
language had given a remarkable precision to its exact c 
and cogent terms. 


gleamed, above the host The Jane sunshine flashed reflected 
from inland shield and masded armor. The terrible quivers of 
English yeomen hung on their shoulders. The voice of trum- 
pets, and clamoring bugles, was in the air. The whole scene 
was vast as a battle, though bright as a tournament ; splendid, 
bat threatening, like burnished clouds, in which lightnings 
sleep. The king, one of the handsomest men of the time, 
though cruelty, perfidy, and every foul passion must have left 
their traces on his face., was especially fond of magnificence in 
dress ; wearing we are told, on one Christmas occasion, a rich 
mantle of red satin, embroidered with sapphires and pearls, a 
tunic of white damask, a girdle lustrous with precious stones, 
and a baldric from his shoulder, crossing his breast, set with 
diamonds and emeralds, while even his gloves, as indeed is still 
indicated on his fine effigy in Worcester cathedral, bore similar 
ornaments, the one a ruby, the other a sapphire. 

Whatever was superb, therefore, in that consummate age of 
royal and baronial state, whatever was splendid in the gUtter- 
ing and grand apparatus of chivalry, whatever was impressive 
in the almost more than princely pomp of prelates of the 
Church, — 

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pover, 
And all that beaaty, all that wealth can give,— 

all this was marshalled on that historic plain in Surrey, where 
John and the barons faced each other, where Saxon king and 
Saxon earl had met in council before the Norman had footing 
in England ; and all combined to give a fit magnificence of 
Betting to the great charter there granted and sealed. 

The tower of Windsor — not of the present castle and palace, 
but of the earlier detached fortress which already crowned the 
ciiS, and from which John had come to the field — looked down 
on the scene. On the one side, low hills enclosed the meadow ; 
on the other, the Thames flowed brightly by, seeking tlie 
capital and the sea. Every feature of the scene was English 
save one ; but over all loomed, in a portentous and haughty 
stillness, in the ominous presence of the envoy from Rome, that 
ubiquitous power surpassing all others, which already had once 
laid the kingdom imder interdict, and had exiled John from 


ohorcb and throne, bat to wHch Uter he had been T€c<mciled, 
auil on which he secret]; relied to annul the diarter wMob he 
was f^antin^. 

The brilliant panorama illnminatea the page which bears its 
atoTv. It liseg still as a TiBion before one, as be looks on the 
venerable parchment originals, preserved to our day in the 
Bridsb ^Museum. If it be true, as Hallam has said, that from 
that era a new soul was infuEed into the people ol England, it 
must be confessed that the place, the day, and all the cironm- 
stnnces of that new birth were fitting to the great and the vital 

That age passed away, and its pecoUar splendor of aspect 
was not thereafter to be repeated. Yet when, four hmidred 
years later, on the seventh of June,' 1628, the Petition of 
Right, the second great charter of the liberties of England, was 
presented by Furliament to Charles the First, the scene and its 
accessories were hardly less impressive. 

Into that lav? — called a Petition, as if to mask the deadly 
energy of its blow upon tyranny — had been collected by the 
skill of its framers all the heads of the despotic perogative 
which Charles hod exercised, that they might all be smitten 
together, with one tremendous destroying stroke. The king, 
enthroned in his chair of state, looked forth on those who 
waited for bis word, as still be looks, witJi his forc-oasting and 
melancholy face, from the canvas of Van Dyck. Before him 
were assembled the nobles of England, in peaceful array, and 

* Calttndarof HUU PapeiB, Domestic Seriss, Charles L, IG3S-&. 

Bushworth'B Hist. Coll. CbBTleal.. GiS. 

IC is rather remarkable that neitbei Hume, CliiNndoo, F'^'i'Tn, De 
■r littcaulaj. im^uliuus thin diitu. 

ORATION — UEY. DB. B. 8. 8TOER8. 279 

not in armor, but with a civil power in their hands which the 
older ganntlets conld not have held, and with the memories of 
a long renown almost as visible to themselves and to the king 
as were the tapestries suspended on the walls. 

Crowding the bar, behind these descendants of the earlier 
barons, were the members of the House of Commons, with 
whom the law now presented to the king had had its origin, 
and whose boldness and tenacity had constrained the peers, 
after vain endeavor to modify its provisions, to accept them as 
they stood. They were the most powerful body of represent- 
atives of the kingdom that had yet been convened ; possessing 
a private wealth it was estimated, surpassing three-fold that of 
the Peers, and representing not less than they the best life, and 
the oldest lineage, of the kingdom which they loved. 

Their dexterous, dauntless, and far-sighted sagacity is yet 
more evident as we look back than their wealth or their breed- 
ing ; and among them were men whose names will be familiar 
while England continues. Wentworth was there, soon to be 
the most dangerous of traitors of the cause of which he was 
then the champion, but who then appeared as resolute as ever 
to vindicate the ancient, lawful, and vital Hberties of the king- 
dom ; and Pym was there, the unsurpassed statesman, who, 
not long afterward was to warn the dark and haughty apos- 
tate that he never again would leave pursuit of him so long as 
his head stood on his shoulders.'" Hampden was there, con- 
siderate and serene, but inflexible as an oak ; once imprisoned 
already for his resistance to an unjust taxation, and ready 
again to suffer and to conquer in the same supreme cause. Sir 
John Eliot was there, eloquent and devoted, who had tasted 
also the bitterness of imprisonment, and who after years 
of its subsequent experience, was to die a martyr in the 
Tower. Coke was there, seventy-seven years of age, but full of 
fire as fall of fame, whose vehement and unswerving hand had 
had chief part in framing the Petition. Selden was there, the 
repute of whose learning was already continental. Sir Francis 
Seymour, Sir Robert Phillips, Strode, Hobart, Denzil Holies, 
and Valentine — such were the commoners ; and there, at the 

* Welwood's Mamorials, quoted in Forster's Life of Pyin, p. 62. 


oatset of a career not imagined bj either, faced the kin^ a 
silent joong member who liacl coTne nov to liia first Parlia- 
ment at the age of twenty-nine, from the borongh of Hunting- 
don, Oliver Cromwell. 

In a plain cloth suit be probably atood among his colleagues. 
But they were often splendid, and even sumptuous, in dress; 
with slashed doubkts, and clo^iks of velvet, with flowing collars 
of rich lace, the swords by their sides, in embroidered belts, 
with flashing hilts, their ver}' huts jeweled end plumed, the 
abundant dressed and perfumed liair falling in curls upon their 
shoulders. Here and there may have been those who gtiU more 
distinctly symbolized their spirit, with steel corslets, overlidd 
with lace and rich embroidery. 

•So Htood they in the presence, representing to the full the 
weoltli, and genius, and stately civic pomp of England, until the 
king bad pronounced his assent, in thu express customary form, 
to the law which confirmed the popular hberties; and when, on 
hearing his imequivocol final assent, they burst into loud, even 
passionate acclamations of victorious joy, there had been from 
the first no scene more impressive in that venerable Hall, whose 
historj- went back to Edward the Confessor, 

In what sharp contraat with the rich ceremonial and the 
splendid accessories of these preceding kindred events, appears 
that modest scene at Philadelphia, from which we gratefully 
date to-day a himdred years of constant and prosperous na- 
tional life I 

In a plfun room, of an unpretending and recent building — ^the 
lower east room of what then was a State-house, what since has 
been known as the "Independence Hall" — in the midst of a 

ORiLTION — BEY. DB. B. 8. 8T0BBS. 281 

as then existed on this continent, while a few had enjoyed the 
rare advantage of training abroad, and foreign travel; but a 
considerable number, and among them some of the most influ- 
ential, had had no other education than that which they 
had gained by diligent reading while at their trades or on their 

The figure to which our thoughts turn first is that of the au- 
thor of the careful paper on the details of which the discussion 
turned. It has no special majesty or charm, the slight tall 
frame, the sun-burned face, the gray eyes spotted with hazel, 
the red hair which crowns the head; but already, at the age of 
thirty-three, the man has impressed himself on his associates as 
a master of principles, and of the language in which those prin- 
ciples find expression, so that his colleagues have left to him, 
ahnost wholly, the work of preparing the important Declaration. 
He wants readiness in debate, and so is now silent; but he lis- 
tens eagerly to the vigorous argument and the forcible appeals 
of one of his fellows on the committee, Mr. John Adams, and 
now and then speaks with another of the committee, much older 
than himself — a stout man, with a friendly face, in a plain dress, 
whom the world had already heard something of as Benjamin 
Franklin. These three are perhaps most prominently before us 
as we recall the vanished scene, though others were there of fine 
presence and cultivated manners, and though all impress us as 
substantial and respectable representative men, however harsh 
the features of some, however brawnv their hands with labor. 
But certainly nothing could be more unpretending, more desti- 
tute of pictorial charm than that small assembly of persons for 
the most part quite unknown to previous fame, and half of whose 
names it is not probable that half of us in this assembly could 
now repeat. 

After a discussion somewhat prolonged, as it seemed at the 
time, espedafly as it had been continued from previous days, 
and after some minor amendments of the paper, toward evening 
it was adopted, and ordered to be sent to the several States, 
signed by the president and the secretary; and the simple tran- 
saction was complete. Whatever there may have been of pro- 
clamation and bell-ringing appears to have come on subsequent 

daj-e. It was almost a full mooth before tlie paper was en- 
grossed, and signed t^ the members. It must have been nearly 
or quite the same time before the news of its adoption had 
readied the remoter ports of the land. 

If pomp of circmuBtnnces were necessary to make an event 
like this great and memorable, there would have been othen in 
our own history more worthy fur of onr commemoration. Aa 
matched against multitudes in general history, it would »nk 
into instant and complete insignificance. Yet here, to-day, a 
hundred years from the adoption of that paper, in a dty which 
counts its languages by scores, and beats with the thread of a 
miUinn feet, in a country whose enterprise flies abroad over sea 
and land on the rush of engines net then imagined, in a time BO 
full of exciting hopes that it hardly has leisure to contemplate 
the past, we pause from all our toil and trafBc, our eager plans 
and impetuous debate, to commemorate the event. The whole 
land pauses, as I have said; and some distinct impression of it 
will follow the sun, wherever he climbs the steep of Heaven, until 
in all countries it has more or less touched the thot^hta of men. 

' 'U'hyis this? is a question, the answer to which should inter- 
pret aud vindicate our aBsembloge. 

It is not simply because a century happens to have passed 
since the event thus remembered occurred. A handred years 
are always closing from some event, and have been since 
Adam was in his prime. Tbcie was, of conrse, some special im- 
portance in the action then accom]>lished — in the nature of that 
action, since not in its circumstances — to justify such long re- 
cord of it ; and that importance it is ouvs to define. In the 
perspective of distance the small tilings disappear, while the 
ntl eiuitu'iit lieup tlirif place. As Curlyle has said : " A 


Of course, as the prime element of its power, it was the action 
of a People, and not merely of persons ; and such action of a 
P^ple, has always a momentum, a pubhc force, a historic sig- 
nificance, which can pertain to no individual arguments and 
appeals. There are times, indeed, when it has the energy and 
authority in it of a secular inspiration ; when the supreme soul 
which rules the world comes through it to utterance, and a 
thought surpassing man's wisest plan, a will transcending his 
strongest purpose, is heard in its commanding voice. 

It does not seem extravagant to say that the time to which 
our thoughts are turned was one of these. 

For a centuiy and a half the emigrants from Europe had 
brought hither, not the letters alone, the arts and industries, or 
the rehgious convictions, but the hardy moral and pohtical life, 
which had there been developed in ages of strenous struggle and 
work. France and Germany, Uolland and Sweden, as well as 
England, Scotland, and Ireland, had contributed to this. The 
Austrian Tyrol, the Bavarian highlands, the Bohemian plain, 
Denmark, even Portugal, had their- part in this colonization. 
The ample domain which here received the earnest immigrants 
had imparted to them of its own oneness ; and diversities of 
language race, and custom, had fast disappeared in the govern- 
ing unity of a common aspiration, and a common purpose to 
work out through freedom a nobler well-being. 

The general moral life of this people, so various in origin, so 
accordant in spirit, had only risen to grander force through 
the toil and strife, the austere training, the long patience of en- 
durance, to which it here had been subjected. The exposures 
to heat, and cold, and famine, to unaccustomed labors, to 
alternations of climate unknown in the old wo;rld, to ma- 
larial forces brooding above the mellow and drainless recent 
lands — ^these had fatally stricken many; but those who sur- 
vived were tough and robust the more so, perhaps, because of 
the perils which they had surmounted Education was not easy, 
books were not many, and the daily newspaper was unknovni; 
but pcUtical discussion had been always going on, and men's 
minds had gathered unconscious force as they strove with each 
other, in eager debate, ou questions concerning the common 

284 Don SK-novAL ihbilee. 

in saboidinate legis- 
iig to their care; hadao- 

ic business, and had otb&j 

welfare. They had Iiad much ezperie 
lation, on the local matters be'ongin 
quired dexterity in performing public 
had to resist or amend the BUggestions or dictates of Royal gov- 
ernors. For a recent people, dwelling apart from older and 
conflicting States, they had had a large experience in war, the 
crack of the rifle being never unfamiliar along the near frontier, 
where disciplined skill was often combined with savage foxy 
to sweep with sword or scar with fire their scattered settle- 

By every species, therefore, of common work, of discussion 
endurance, and martial struggle, the descendants of the colon> 
iats scattered along the American coast bad been aUied to each 
other. Thej were more closely allied than they knew. It 
needed only some sigual occasion, some smnmons to a sudden 
heroic decitdon, to bring them into instant general combina- 
tion ; and Huguenot and Hollander, Swede, German, and 
Protestant Portuguese, as well as Englishman, Scotchman, 
Irishman, would then forget that their ancestors had been dif- 
ferent, in the Bupreme consciousness that now they luul a com- 
mon country, and before all else were aU of them Americans. 

That tiiue had come. That consciousness had for fifteen 
years been quickening in the people, since the " Writs of Assis- 
tance " had been applid for and granted, iu 1761, when Otis, 
resigning his honorable position under the crown, had flung 
himself ogainst the alarming innovation with an eloquence as 
blasting as the stroke of the lightning which iu the end destroyed 
his life. With every fresh invasion by England of their popolar 
hberties, with every act which threatened such invasion by 
jro^'idingoiBrortnnitv and tlie inatrmueota for 

OKJLTIOIX — BET. DR. B. 8. 8T0RBS. 285 

meeting, and forcing the carbon into a crystal. The ultimate 
spirit of the American colonists was formed in hke manner ; 
the weight of a rocky continent beneath, the weight of an 
oppression only intolerable because undefined pressing on it 
from above. But now that spirit, of inestimable price, reflect- 
ing light from every angle, and harder to be broken than any- 
thing material, was suddenly shown in acts and declarations of 
conventions and assemblies from the Penobscot to the St. 

Any commanding pubhc temper, once established in a people 
grows bolder, of course, more inquisitive and incentive, more 
sensible of its rights, more determined on its future, as it comes 
more frequently into exercise. This in the colonies lately had had 
been the most significant of all its expressions, up to that point, 
in the resolves of a popular assemblies that the time had come 
for a final separation from the kingdom of Great Britain. The 
eminent Congress of two years before had given it powerful 
reinforcement. Now, at last, it entered the representative 
American assembly, and claimed from that the ultimate word. 
It found what it sought. The Declaration was only the voice 
of that supreme, impersonal force, that will of communities, 
that universal soul of the State. 

The vote of the colony then Ihinly covering a part of the 
spaces not yet wholly occupied by this great State, was not, 
indeed, at once formally given for such an instrument. It was 
wisely delayed, under the judicious counsel of Jay, till a pro- 
vincial Ck)ngress could assemble, specially called, and formally 
authorized, to pronounce the deliberate resolve of the colony ; 
and so it happened that only twelve colonies voted at first for 
the great Declaration, and that New York was not joined to 
the number till ^Ye days later. But Jay knew, and all knew, 
that numerous, wealthy, eminent in character, high in position 
as were those here and elsewhere in the countiy — in Massa- 
chusetts, in Virginia, and in the Carolinas — who were by no 
means yet prepared to sever their connection with Gh*eat 
Britain, the general and governing mind of the people was fixed 
upon this, with a decision which nothing could change, with a 
tenacity which nothing could break. The forces tending to 


that resnlt hod wrought to their development with a » 
and strength which the stubbomest reBietance bad hardly de- 
layed. The spirit which now shook light and impulse over Qte 
luid was lecent in its precise demand, but aa old in ifs birth as 
the first Christian settlements ; and it was that spirit — ^not of 
one, nor of fifty, not of all the individuals in all the convan- 
tdoDB, bat the vaster spirit which lay behind — which pat itself 
on sudden reoord throagh the prompt aod accorate pen of 

He was himself in full sympathy with it, and only by reason 
of that sympathy could give it such consummate ezpreBsion 
Not oat of boolis, l^al researches, historical inquiry, the careful 
and variooa studies of language, came that document ; but oat 
of repeated public debate, out of manifold personal and private 
discusoOD, oat of his clear sympathetic observation of the 
changing feeling and thought of men, oat of that exquisite 
personal sensibility to vagne and impalpable popular impulses 
which waa in him innately combined with artistic taste, an idea 
nature, and rare power of philosophical thought The voice of 
the cottage as well as the college, of the church as well as the 
legislative assembly, was in the paper. It echoed the talk of the 
former in home-span, as well as the classic eloquence of Lee, or 
the terrible tones of Patrick Henry. It gashed at last from the 
pen of its writer, like the fountain from the roots of Iiebanon, 
a brimming river when it issaes from the rock ; but it was be- 
cause its sources had been supplied, its fullness filled, by unseen 
springs ; by the rivulets winding far np among the cedars, and 
percolating through hidden crevices in the stone ; by melting 
snows, whose white sparkle seemed still on the stream ; by 

OBATION — BJS7, DB. B. S. 8T0SB8. 287 

pnblic life, at onoe diffosed and intense — behind all persons, 
before all plans, beneath which individual wills are exalted, at 
whose tonch the personal mind is inspired, and under whose 
transcendent impulse the smallest instrument becomes of a terrific 
force. That made the Declaration ; and that makes it now, in 
its modest brcTity, take its place with Magna Charta and the 
Petition of Bight, as full as they of vital force, and destined to a 
parallel permanence. 

Because this intense common life of a determined and mani- 
fold People was not behind them, other documents, in form 
similar to this, and in polish and cadence of balanced phrase 
perhaps its superiors, have had no hold like that which it keeps 
on the memory of men. What papers have challenged the at- 
tention of mankind within the century, in the stately Spanish 
tongue, in Mexico, New Granada, Venezuela, Bolivia, or the 
Argentine Bepublic, which the world at large has now quite 
forgotten I How the resonant proclamations of German or 
of Frencl^ Bepublicans, of Hungarian or Spanish revolutionists 
and patriots, have vanished as sound absorbed in the air I 
Eloq[uent, persuasive, just, as they were, with a vigor of thought, 
a fervor of passion, a fine completeness and symmetry of 
expression, in which they could hardly be surpassed, they have 
now only a literary value. They never became great general 
forces. They were weak, because they were personal ; and 
history is too crowded, civilization is too vast, to take much im- 
pression from occasional doctmients. Only then is a paper of 
secular force, or long remembered, when behind it is the ubi- 
quitous energy of the popular will, rolling through its words in 
vast diapason, and charging its clauses with tones of thunder. 

Because such an energy was behind it, our Declaration had 
its majestic place and meaning; and they who adopted it saw 
nowhere else 

So rich adrantase of a promised glory. 

As smiled upon the forehead of their action. 

Because of that, we read it still, and look to have it as audible 
as now, among the dissonant voices of the world, when other 
generations, in long succession, have come and gone I 

But further, too, it must be observed that this paper, adopted 


ahondred yean BiDce, wns not merely tbe declaration of a Peo- 
ple, ofl distingniBhed from eminent and cnltared indiTidaalB— -a 
confession before the world of tbe pablic State-faith, rather than 
a political tlieais — ^bat it vca also the declaration of a People 
which claimed for its own a great inheritance of equitable laws, 
and of practical liberty, and which now was intent to enlai^e 
and enrich that. It had roots in the past, and a long 
genealogy; and ao it had a vitality inherent, and an immense 

They who framed it went back, iadeecl, to fixst principles. 
There was something philosophic and ideal in their scheme, as 
always there is when the general mind is deeply stirred. It was 
not snperficial. Yet they were not nndertaking to establish 
new theories, or to bnild their state upon artificial plans and 
abstract specnlationB. They were simply evolving oat of the 
past what therein had been latent; were liberating into free 
exhibition and nnceasing activity, a vital force older than the 
history of their colonization, and wide aa the lands horn which 
they came. They had the sweep of vaat impnlses behind them. 
The slow tendencies of centuries came to sudden oonsummataoQ 
in their Declaration; and the force of its impact upon the af- 
£urs and tbe mind of tbe world was not to be measured by its 
contents alone, bat by the relation in which tbeee atood to all 
the vehement discosBion and straggle of which it was tbe latest 

This ought to be, always, distinctly observed. 

The tendency is strong, and has been general, among those 
who have introduced great changes in the government of states, 
to follow some plan of poUtical, perhaps of social innovation, 
which enlists their judgment, excites their fancy, and to n 

ORATION — REy, DB. R. a STORRS. 289 


cy, though each included important elements, till the armed 
consulate of 1799 swept them all into the air, and put in place 
of them one masterful genius and ambitious will. You remem- 
ber how in ^pain, in 1812, the new Constitution proclaimed by 
the Ck)rtes was thought to inaugurate with beueficent provisions 
a wholly new era of development and progress; yet how the 
history of the splendid peninsula, from that day to this, has 
been but the record of a stiiiggle to the death between the Old 
and the New, the contest as desperate, it would seem, in our 
time as it was at the first. 

It must be so, always, when a preceding state of society and 
government, which has got itself established through many 
generations, is suddenly superseded by a different fabric, how- 
ever more evidently conformed to right reason. The principle 
is not BO strong as the prejudice. Habit masters invention. 
The new and theoretic shivers its force on the obstinate coher- 
ence of the old and the established. The modem structure fails 
and is replaced, while the grim feudal keep, though scarred and 
weather-worn, the very cement seeming gone fi-om its walls, 
still scowls defiance at the red right-hand of the lightning it- 

It was no such rash speculative change which here was at- 
tempted. The People whose deputies framed our Declaration 
were largely themselves descendants of Englishmen ; and those 
who were not, had Uved long enough under English institutions 
to b3 impressed with their tendency and spirit. It was there- 
fore only natural that even when adopting that ultimate mea- 
sure which severed them from the British crown, they should 
retain all that had been gained in the mother-land through cen- 
turies of endurance and strife. They left nothing that was 
good ; they abolished the bad, added the needful, and develop- 
ed into a rule for the continent the splendid precedents of great 
former oooasions. They shared still the boast of Englishmen 
that their constitution " has no single date from which its dura- 
tion is to be reckoned," and that '' the origin of the Enghsh law 
is as nndiscoverable as that of the Nile." They went back 
themselves, for the origin of their liberties, to the most ancient 
moniments of Enghsh freedom. Jefferson had affirmed, in 


1174, that aprimitiTe cliarter of American Independencd I&7 in 
Uio fact that as the Saxons had left their native wilds in tlie 
North of Eorope, and had occupied Britain^the cgontiy which 
thej left asserting orer tbem no farther 0<mtru1, nor any de- 
pendence of them upon it — BO the Englishmen coming hither 
bad formed, by that act, another state, over which Farliiunent 
had no rights, in which its laws were void till accepted.* 

Bat while seeking for their liberties so archaic a basis, neither 
he nor his colleagnes were in the least careless of what snbae- 
qoent times had done to complete tbem. There was not one 
element of popnlar right, which bad been wrested from crown 
and noble in any age, which they did not keep ; not an equitable 
rule, for the triinsler or the division of property, for the pro- 
tection of personal rights, or for the detection and pmuahment 
of crime, which was not precious in their eyes. Even Ghanceiy 
juiisdiction they widely retained, nith the distinct tribunals, 
derived from the ecclesiastical courts, for probate d wills ; and 
English technicalities were maintcuned in their courts, almost 
as if they were sacred things. Especially that equality 
of civil rights among all commoners, which Hallam declares 
the most prominent characteristic of the English Constitution — 
the source of ite permanence, its improvement, and its vigor — 
they perfectly presen-ed ; they only more sharply afErmatively 
declared it Indeed, in renounciug their allegiance to the king, 
and putting the United Colonics in bis place, they felt them- 
selves acting in intimate harmony with the spirit and drift of 
the ancient constitution. The Executive here was to be elective^ 
not hereditary, to be limited and not permanent in the term at 
his fuDctions ; and no esteblished peerage should exisi Bat 

ORATION — BEY. DB. B. 8. 8T0BBS. 291 

without a bridle, that is the law, they ought to put a bridle upon 
him."* They might have replied in the words of Fox, speak- 
ing in ParUament, in daring defiance of the temper of the House, 
but with many supporting him, when he said that in declaring 
Independence, they " had doile no more than the English had 
done against James the Second."t 

They had done no more ; though they had not elected 
another king in place of him whom they renounced. They had 
taken no step so far in advance of the then existing English 
Constitution as those which the Parliament of 1640 took in 
advance of the previous Parliaments which Charles had dis- 
Bolyed. If there was a right more rooted than another in that 
Constitution, it was the right of the people which was taxed to 
have its vote in the taxing legislature. If there was anything 
more accordant than another with its historic temper and tenor, 
it was that the authority of the king was determined when his 
rule became tyrannous. Jefiferson had but perfectly expressed 
the doctrine of the lovers of freedom in England for many gen- 
erations, when he said in his Summary view of the Eights of 
of America, in 1774, -that *' the monarch is no more than 

* Ipse antein rex, non debet esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et snb Lege, 
quia Lex &cit regem. Attribnat igitor rex Legi quod Lex attribuit ei, 
Tidelioet dominationem et potcstatem, non est enim rex ubi domiuatur 
▼olantas et non Lex. De Leg. et Cons. Angliae ; Lib. L, cap 8, P. 5. 

Bex antem habet saperiorem, Denm. Item, Legem, per quam factus 
eet rex. Item, curiam suam, videlicet comites, Barones, quia, comites 
dicnntnr quasi socii regis, et qui habet sociam habet magistrum ; et idco 
ri rex faerit sine fraeno, i. c sine Lege, debent ei fraenum ponere ; etc. 
lib. n.. cap. 16, P. 3. 

The following is still more explicit : ''As the head of a body natural 
cannot change its nerves and sinews, cannot deny to the several parts 
their proper energy, their due proportion and ailment of blood ; neither 
can a King, who is the head of a body politic, change the lawd thereof nor 
take from the people what is theirs by right, against their consent. * 
For he is appointed to protect his subjects in their lives, properties, and 
laws ; for this very end and purpose he has the delegation of power from 
the people, and he has no just claim to any other power but this." Sir 
John Foriesoue's Treatise, De Laudibus Legum Angliae, o. 9, (about A. 
D. 1470,) quoted byHallam, Mid. Ages, chap. VIII., part III. 

t Speech of October 31, 1776 : '*The House divided en the Amend- 
ment Teas, 87 ; nays, 242." 


the chief officer of the people, af^tointed by the laws, and or- 
cnmscribed with definite powers, to asaiat in workiiig the great 
machine of government, erected for their nae, and conseqnentlj 
subject to their superinteudenoe ;" that " kings are the ser- 
vants, not the proprietors of the people ;" and that a nation 
claims its rights, " as derived from the laws of nature not as 
the gift of their chief magistrate." * 

That had been the spirit, if not as yet tbe formulated doc- 
trine, of Baleigh, Hampden, Bossell, Sydney — of all the great 
leaders of hberty in I^gland. Milton had declared it, in a 
prose as majestic as any passage of the Paradise Lost. The 
Commonwealth had be^i built on it ; and the whole Beroln- 
tion of 1C88. And they who now framed it into their permao- 
ect organic law, and mode it supreme in the coontry they were 
shaping, were in harmony with the noblest inspirations of the 
past. lliey were not innovating with a rash reckleBBness. 
They were simply accepting and re-affirming what they had 
Icnmed from laminons events and illnstrons men. So their 
work had a dignity, a strength, and a permanence which 
c^Lit never belong to mere fresh specolation. It interlocked 
with that of mnltitades going before. It derived a virtue bona 
every field of atmgglo in England ; from every Bcaffi>ld, bal- 
loned by free and consecrated blood ; from every honr of great 
debate. It was only the complete development into law, for a 
separated people, of that august ancestral hberty, tbe germs of 
which had preceded the Ileptarcby, the gradual definition and 
establishment of wbicli hod been the glory of English history. 
A thousand years brooded over the room where they asserted 
hereditary rights. Its walls showed neither portraits nor 


Xmtriotio and presdent statesman, standing for liberty in the 
splendid centories of its English growth, who did not tonch 
them with unseen accolade, and bid them be faithful. The 
paper which they adopted, fresh from the pen of its young 
author, and written on his hired pine table, was already in es- 
sential life, of a venerable age ; and it took immense impulse, 
it derived an instant and vast authority, from its relation to 
that undying past in which they too had grand inheritance, and 
from which their public life bad come. 

Englishmen themselves now recognize this, and often are 
proud of it. The distinguished representative of Great Britain 
at Washington may think his government, as no doubt he does, 
superior to ours ; but his clear eye cannot fail to see that Eng- 
lish liberty was the parent of ours, and that the new and broader 
continent here opened before it, suggested that expansion of it 
which we celebrate to-day. His ancestors, like ours, helped to 
build the BepubHc ; and its faithfulness to the past, amid all 
reformations, was one great secret of its earliest triumph, has 
been one source, from that day to this, of its enduring and 
prosperous strength. 

The Congress, and the People behind it, asserted for them- 
selves hereditary liberties, and hazarded everything in the 
purpose to complete them. But they also affirmed, with em. 
phasis and effect, another right, more general than this, which 
made their action significant and important to other peoples, 
which made it, indeed, a signal to the nations of the right of 
each to assert for itself the just prerogative of forming its gov- 
ernment, electing its rulers, ordaining its laws, as might to it 
seem most expedient. Hear again the immortal words : " Wo 
hold these truths to be self-evident ; * * that to secure these 
[unalienable] rights, governments are instituted among men, 
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ; 
that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of 
these ends, it is the right of the people to altar or to abolish it, 
and to institute a new government, laying its foundations in 
such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to 
them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.'' 

This is what the party of Bentham called ''the assumption of 


oators] righta, claimed without the Blighteet eridenoe of tlieir 
ozlBtence, and sapported b; vsgne and deolamattRy generalitaee." 
This is what we receive as the decisive and noble declaration, 
spoken with the fdmplicit; of a perfect conviction, of a natoral 
right as patent as the continent ^ a deolaratioD which challenged 
at once the attention of mankind, and which is now praatacally 
aasnmed as a premise in international relations and pnblic 

Of course it was not a Dew discovery. It was old as the 
earliest of political philosophers ; as old, indeed, as the earliest 
communities, which, becoming established in particular loca- 
tions, had there developed their own institntions, and repelled 
with vehemence the a&sanlta that wonld change them. Bnt in 
the growth of political societies, and the vast expansion of im- 
perial states, by the conquest of those adjacent and weaker, this 
right, so easily recognized at the outset, so germane to the 
instincts, so level with the reason, of every community, Itad 
widely passed out of men's thoughts ; and the power of a con- 
quering state to change the iustitntions and laws of a people, 
or impose on it new oues, — the power of a parent state to shape 
tlio forms and prebcribe the rules of the ctdonies which went 
from it, — bad been so long and abnndanUy exercised, that tba 
very right of the {leople, thus conquered or colonial, to consult 
its own interests in the frame of its government, had been 
almost forgotten. 

It might be a high speculation of scholars, or a charming 
dream of political enthusiasts. But it was not a maxim for the 
practical statesman ; and whatever its correctness as an ideal 
principle, it was vain to expect to see it established in a world full 
nieJ, each for himself, an authority from God, 

OBATION — BK7. DR. B. S. 8T0BBS. 295 

Uonal, through the fierce wickedness which had crowded it into 
being, as was Switzerland itself, on the Alpine heights. For an 
ordinary state to claim self-regulatiou, and found its govern. 
ment on a Plebiscit, was to contradict precedent, and to set at 
defiance European tradition. 

Our fathers, however, in a somewhat vague way, had held 
from the start that they had right to an autonomy ; and that 
acts of Parliament, if not appointments of the crown, took pro- 
per effect upon these shores only by reason of their assent 
Their characters were held to confirm this doctrine. The con- 
viction, at first practical and instinctive, rather than theoretic, 
had grown with their growth, and had been intensified into posi- 
tive affirmation and public exhibition as the British rule im- 
pinged more sharply on their interests and their hopes. It had 
finally become the general and decisive conviction of the colo- 
nies. It had spoken already in armed resistance to the troops 
of the King. It had been articulated, with gathehng emphasis, 
in many resolves of assembHes and conventions. It was now, 
finally, most energetically, set forth to the world in the great 
Declaration ;'and in that utterance, made general, not particu- 
lar, and founding the rights of the people in this countiy on 
principles as wide as humanity itself, there lay an appeal to 
every nation : — an appeal whose words took unparalleled force, 
were illuminated and made rubrical, in the fire and blood of the 
following war. 

When the Emperor Ferdinand visited Innsbruck, that beauti- 
ful town of the Austrian Tyrol, in 1838, it is said that the in- 
habitants wrote his name in immense bonfires, along the sides 
of the precipitous hills which shelter the town. Over a space 
of four or five miles extended that colossal illumination, till the 
heavens seemed on fire in the far-reflected upstreaming glow. 
The right of a people, separated from others, to its own institu- 
tions-— our fathers wrote this in lines so vivid and so large that 
the whole world could see them ; and they followed that writing 
with the consenting thunders of so many cannon that even the 
lands across the Alantic were shaken and filled with the loug 

The doctrine had, of course, in every nation, its two-fold in- 

296 OUB KAnoNAL JtraiLBe. 

temal nppUcatioD, as well ae its front againat external powers. 
On the one hand it swept with deatruying force against tiie 
nation, bo long maintained, of the right of certain ^milies in 
the world, called Hapaburg, Bourbon, Stmart, or whatever, to 
govern the rest; and wherever it was received it made the 
imagined divine right of kings an obsolete and contemptible 
fiction. On the other hand, it smotewith eqaal energy against 
the pretendons of any minority within the state — whether 
banded together by the ties of descent, or of neighborhood in 
location, or of common opinion, or supposed common interest 
— to govern the rest; or even to impair the established and para- 
moont government of the rest by separating themselves organ- 
ically from it 

It was never the doctrine of the fathers that the people of 
Kent, Cornwall, or Lincoln, might sever themselves from the 
rest of England, and, while they had their voice and vote in the 
public councils, might assert the right to govern the whole, un- 
der threat of withdrawal if their minor vote were not suffered 
to control. They were not seeking to initiate anarchy, and to 
make it thenceforth respectable in the world by support of their 
suffices. They recognized the fact that the state exists to 
meet permanent needs, is the ordinance of God as well as the 
family; and that He has determined the bounds of men's habi- 
tation, by rivers, seas, and mountain chains, shaping countries 
as well as continents into physical coherence, while giving one 
man his birth on the north of the Pyrenees, another on the 
south, one on the terraced banks of the Rhine, another in Eng- 
lish meadow or upland. They saw that a common and fixed 
habitation, in a country thus physically deEned, especially when 
combined with community of d^'scuut, of pennauent public 

OBATION — REV. DB. B. S. 8T0BB& 297 

or grouped together in some one section, and having a special 
interest to encourage. The decision of the general public mind, 
as deliberately reached, and authentically declared, that must 
be the end of debate ; and the right of resistance, or the right 
of division, after that, if such right exist, it is not to be vin- 
dicated from their Declaration. Any one who thought such 
government by the whole intolerable to him was always at lib- 
erty to expatriate himself, and find elsewhere such other institu- 
tions as he might prefer. But he could not tarry, and still not 
submit He was not a monarch, without the crown, before 
whose contrary judgment and will the public councils must be 
dumb. While dwelling in the land, and having the same op- 
portunity with others to seek the amendment of what he dis- 
approved, the will of the whole was binding upon him and 
that obligation he could not vacate by refusing to accept it. If 
one could not, neither could ten, nor a hundred, nor a million, 
who still remained a minority of the whole. 

To allow such a right would have been to make government 
transparently impossible. Not separate sections only, but coun- 
ties, townships, school districts, neighborhoods, must have the 
same right ; and each individual, with his own will for his final 
law, must be the complete ultimate State. 

It was no such disastrous folly which the fathers of our Re- 
public affirmed. They ruled out kings, princes, peers, from any 
control over the People ; and they did not give to a transient 
minority, wherever it might appear, on whatever question, a 
greater privilege, because less defined, than that which they 
jealously withheld from these classes. Such a tyranny of in-e- 
sponaible occasional minorities would have seemed to them only 
more intolerable than that of classes, organized, permanent, 
and limited by law. And when it was affirmed by some, and 
silently feared by many others, that in our late immense civil 
war the multitudes who adhered to the old Constitution had 
forgotten or discarded the principles of the earlier Declaration, 
those assertions and fears were alike without reason. The Peo- 
ple which adopted that Declaration, when distributed into col- 
onies, was the People which afterward, when compacted into 
states, established the Confederation of 1781 — imperfect enough, 


but whose abiding renown it is that under it the war wasendod 
It wag the same People which subsequently framed the Bupreme 
Constitution. " We, the people of the United States," do ordain 
and establish the following Constitution, — ho runs the majeetio 
and vital instrament. It contains provisions for its own 
emendation. When the people will, they may set it aside, and 
put in place of it one wholly different ; and no other nation can 
intervene. But while it continues, it, and the laws made nor- 
mally under it, are not subject to resistauoe by a portion of the 
pec^le, conspiring to direct or limit the rest And whensoever 
any pretension like this shall appear, if ever agun it does appear, 
it vrill undoubtedly as instantly appear that, even as in the past 
so in the future, the people whose our government is, and whose 
complete and magnificent domain Ood has marked out for it, 
will subdue resistance, compel submission, forbid secession, 
though it cost again, as it cost before, four years of war, with 
treasuxe uncounted and inestimable life. 

The right of a People upou its own territory, as eqoaDy 
against any classes withinit or any external powerB,thiB is thedoc- 
trine of our Declaration. We know how it here has been appUed, 
and how settled it is up9a these shores for the time to come 
We know, too, something of what impression it instantly made 
upon the minds of other peoples, and how they sprang to greei 
and accept it. In the fine image of Bancroft, " the astonished 
nations, as they read that nil men are created equal, started out 
of their lethargy, Uko those who have been exiles from child- 
hood, when they suddenly hear the dimly-remembered accents 
of their mother-tongue."* 

The theory uf schulurs had now become the maxim of a State. 
The difiused intellectual nebulous light had got itself cono^i- 

ORATION — REV. DB. B. 8. 8T0BBS. 299 

despotic. No operation of natural law was any more certaiu 
than the failure of that too daring experiment. But the very 
failure involved progress from it ; inyolved, undoubtedly, that 
ultimate saccees which it was vain to try to extemporize. Cer- 
tainly the other European powers will not again intervene, as 
they did, to restore a despotism which France has abjured, and 
with foreign bayonets to uphold institutions which it does not 
desire. ItaJy, Spain, Germany, England— they are not Repub- 
lican in the foim of their government, nor as yet democratic in 
the distribution of power. But each of them is as full of this 
organific, self-demonstrating doctrine, as is our own land ; and 
England would send no troops to Canada to compel its submis- 
sion if it should decide to set up for itself. Neither Italy nor 
Spain would maintain a monarchy a moment longer than the 
general mind of the countiy preferred it. Germany would be 
fused in the fire of one passion if any foreign nation whatever 
should assume to dictate the smallest change in one of its laws. 
The doctrine of the proper prerogative of kings, derived from 
Otodf which in the last century was more common in Europe 
tlian the doctrine of the centrality of the sun in our planetary 
system, is now as obsolete among the intelligent as are the epi- 
cycles of Ptolemy. Every government expects to stand hence- 
forth by assent of the governed, and by no other claim of right. 
It is strong by beneficence, not by tradition; and at the height 
of its miUtary successes it circulates appeals, and canvasses for 
ballots. Revolution is carefully sought to be averted, by timely 
and tender amelioration of the laws. The most progressive and 
liberal states are most evidently secure; while those which 
stand, like old olive-trees at Tivoli, with feeble arms supported 
on pillars, and hollow trunks filled up with stone, are palpably 
only tempting the blast. An alliance of sovereigns, like that 
called the Holy, for reconstructing the map of Europe, and par- 
celling out t^e passive peoples among separate governments, 
would to-day be no more impossible than would Charlemagne's 
plan for reconstructing the empire of the West. Even Murad, 
Sultan of Turkey, now takes the place of Abdul the deposed, 
" by the grace of God, and the will of the people;" and that ac- 
complished and illustrious Prince, whose empire under the 


SoBtbern CroBS rivala oar owu in ite extent, and most nearly 
approaches it on tliis hemisphere in stability of ingtitntionB and 
in practical freedoni, has his surest title to the throne which he 
honors, in hie wise liberality, and hia faithful endeavor for the 
good of his people. As long aa in this he continaes, as now, a 
recognized leader among the monarchs— ready to take and seek 
enggestions from even a democratic Bepublic^his throne will 
be stead&st a^ the water-sheds of Brazil; and while his sncoes- 
sors maintain his spirit, no domestic iusurrectioQ will test tiie 
qnestiOQ whether they retain that celerity io movement with 
which Dom Pedro has astonished Americans. 

It is no more possible to reverse this tendency toward popu- 
lar sovereignty, and to enbstitute for it the right of faTniliM 
classes, mtuorities, or of intervening foreign states, than it is to 
arrest the motion of the earth, and make it swing the otiier way 
in its annual orbit. In this, at least, oar others' Dedaration 
has made its impression on the history of mankind. 

It was the act of a People, anduotof persons, except as these 
represented and led that. It was Uie itct of a People, not start- 
ing oat on new theories of government, so mnch as developing 
into forms of law and practical force a great and gradual inher- 
itance of freedom. It was the act of a People, declaring for 
others, as for itself, the right of each to its own form of govern- 
ment without interference from other nations, withoat restraint 
by privileged classes. 

It only remains, then, to ask the question how far it has con- 
tribated to the peace, the advancement, and the permanent, 
welfare, of the People by which it was set forth ; of other 
nations which it has affected. And to ask this question is 
almost to answer it. The answer is as evident as the san in 

ORATION — REV. DR. B. S. 8T0BBS. 301 

splendor reflected from Him who is ascended ; and no prophecy 
tells ns how long before the advancing race shall reach and 
cross its glowing marge, or what long effort, or what tumults of 
batUe are still to precede. 

In this country, too, there have been immense special im- 
pediments to hinder wide popular progress in things which are 
highest. Our people have had a continent to subdue. They 
have been, from the start, in constant migration. Westward, 
from the counties of the Hudson aud the Mohawk, around the 
lakes, over the prairies, across the great river — westward still, 
oyer alkali plains, across terrible cafions, up gorges of the 
mountains where hardly the wild goat could find footing — 
westward always, till the Golden Gate opened out on the sea 
which has been made ten thousand miles wide, as if nothing 
less could stop the march — ^tbis has been the popular move- 
ment, from almost the day of the great Declaration. To-mor- 
row's tents have been pitched in new fields ; and last year's 
houses await new possessors. 

With such constant change, such wide dislocation of the 
mass of the people from early and settled home-associations, 
and with the incessant occupation of the thoughts by the great 
physical problems presented — not so much by any struggle for 
existence, as by harvests for which the prairies waited, by mills 
for which the rivers clamored, by the coal and the gold which 
offered themselves to the grasp of the miner — it would not have 
been strange if a great and dangerous decadence had occurred 
in that domestic and private virtue of which Home is the nur- 
sery, in that generous and reverent public spirit which is but 
the effluence of its combined rays. It would have been wholly 
too much to expect that under such influences the highest pro- 
gress should have been realized, in speculative thought, in ar- 
tistic culture, or in the researches of pure science 

Accordingly, we And that in these departments not enough 
has been accomplished to make our progress signal in them, 
though here and there the eminent souls " that are like stars and 
dwell apart " have illumined themes highest with their high in- 
terpretation. But History has been cultivated among us, with 
an enthusiasm, to an extent, hardly, I think, to have been an- 

802 OTB HATtOMAI. niBIl.EE. 

tici|)at«d amoi^ a people so recent and expectant ; and Freecott, 
Motley, Irring, Ticknor, with tn'm apon whose Bplendid page all 
American history has been amply iHnstrated, are known as fa- 
miliarly and honored as highly in Enrope as here. We hare 
had aa well distingniBhed poets, and have them now ; to whom 
the nation has been responsive ; who have not only song them- 
selvee, but throngh whom the noblest poems of the Old World 
have come into the English tongue, rendered in fit and perfect 
mnfiiG, and some of whose minds, blossoming long ago In the 
solemn or beautiful fancies of youth, with perennial cnergyatill 
ripen to new fruit as they near or cross their four-score years. 
In Medicine, and Law, as well as in Theology, in Fiction, Bi- 
ography, and the vivid Narrative of exploration and discorery, 
the people whoso birth-day we commemorate has added some- 
thing to the possession of men. Its sculptors and painters have 
won high places in the brilliant realm of modem art. Publidsts 
like Wheatou, jurists like Kent, have gained a celebrity reflect- 
ing honor on the land ; and if no orator, so vast in knowledge, 
so profound and discursive in philosophical thought, so afBorait 
in imagery, and so glorious in diction, ns Edmnnd Bnrke, has 
yet appeared, we must remember that centuries were needed to 
produce him elsewhere, and that any of the great Parliamentaty 
debaters, aside from him, have been matched or snrpoased m 
the hearing of those who have hung with rapt sympathetic at- 
tention on the Iij» of Clay, or of Bufus Choate, or have felt 
themselves listening to the mightiest mind which ever touched 
theirs when they stood beneath the imperial voice in which 
Webster spoke. 
In applied science there has been much done in the country. 


England touches India to-day,, and France Algeria, while we 
are in contact with all the continents, upou those scarcely per- 
ceptible nerves. The great strategist, hke Yon Moltke, with 
these in his hands, from the silence of his office directs cam- 
paigns, dictates marches, wins victories ; the statesman in the 
oftlnnet inspires and r^tilates the distant diplomacies ; while 
the traveler in any port or mart is by the same marvel of me- 
chanism in instant communication with all centres of commerce. 
It is certainly not too much to say that no other invention of 
the world in this century has so richly deserved the medals, 
crosses, and diamond decorations, the applause of senates, the 
gifts of kings, which were showered upon its author, as did this 
invention, which finally taught and utilized the lightnings whose 
nature a signer of the great Declaration had made apparent. 

But after all it is not so much in special inventions, or in emi- 
nent attainments made by individuals, that we are to find the 
answer to the question, " What did that day a hundred years 
since accomplish for us ?'* Still less is it found in the progress 
we have made in outward wealth and material success. This 
might have been made, approximately at least, if the British 
supremacy had here continued. The prairies would have been 
as productive as now, the mines of copper and silver and gold 
as rich and extensive, the coal-beds as vast, and the cotton-fields 
as fertile, if we had been bom the subjects of the Georges, or of 
Yictoria. Steam would have kept its propulsive force, and sea 
and land have been theatres of its triumph. The river would 
have been as smooth a highway for the commerce which seeks 
it ; and the leap of every mountain stream would have given as 
swift and constant a push to the wheels that set spindles and 
saws in motion. Electricity itself would have lost no property, 
and might have become as completely as now the fire-wmged 
messenger of the thought of mankind. 

But what wd have now, and should not have had except for 
that paper which the Congress adopted, is the general and in- 
creasing popular advancement in knowledge, vigor, as I believe 
in moral culture, of which our country has been the arena, and 
in which hee its hope for the future. The independence of the 
nation has reacted, with sympathetic force, on the personal life 


which the nation includes. It has made men more re8(dat6, 
aspiring, confident, and more susceptible to whatever exalt& 
The doctrine that all by creation are equal, — not in recpect of 
physical force or of mental endowment, of meane for culture or 
inherited privilege, but in respect of immortal faculty, of daty to 
each other, of right to protection and to personal developmeot, 
— this has given manliness to the poor, enterprise to the veak, 
a kindling hope to the most obscure. It has made the individa- 
als of whom the nation is composed more alive to the forces 
which educate and exalt. 

There has been incessant motive, too, for the wide and oon 
stant employment of these forces. It has been felt that, as th6 
People is sovereign here, that People must be trained in 
mind and spirit for its august and sovereign function. The es 
tablisbment of common-schools, for a needfol primary seonlar 
training, has been au instinct of Society, only recognized and 
repeated in provisions of statutes. The establisliment of higher 
schools, classical and general, of colleges, scientific and pn^es- 
sional seminaries, has been as well the Impulse of the natioD, 
ond the furtherance of theiTi a care of governments. The 
immense expausion of the press in this country has been 
based fundamentally upon the snme impulse, and has wrought 
with bene&oent general force in the same direction. Religions 
instruction has gone as widely as this disfaribntion of secolar 

It used to be thought that a Church dissevered &om the 
State must be feeble. Wanting wealth of endowments and 
dignity of titles — its clergy entitled to no place among the peeiSi 
its revenues assured by no legal enactments — it must remain ob- 
flcure and poor; while the abaence of any external limitations, of 

ORATION — BEY. DB. B. 8. 8T0BB& 305 

80 great and momentous; and has been so constant, that match- 
ing itself against that work, the Churcli, imder whatever name, 
has realized a strength, and developed an activity, wholly fresh 
in the world in modem times. It has not been antagonized by 
that instinct of liberty which always awakens against its work 
where religion is required by law. It has seized the opportu- 
nity. Its ministers and members have had their own standards, 
leaders, laws, and sometimes have quarreled, fiercely enough, 
as to which were the better. But in the work which was set 
them to do, to give to the sovereign American people the knowl- 
edge of Obd in the Gospel of His Son, their only strife has been 
one of emulation — to go the furthest, to give the most, and to 
bless most largely the land and its future. 

The spiritual incentive has of course been supreme; but pa- 
triotism has added its impulse to the work. It has been felt 
that Christianity is the basis of EepubHcan empire, its bond of 
cohesion, its life-giving law; that the manuscript copies of the 
Grospels, sent by Gregory to Augustine at Canterbury, and still 
preserved on sixth century parchments at Oxford and Cam- 
bridge — ^more than Magna Charta itself these are the roots of 
English Hberty; that Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, 
vnih our completing Declaration, were possible only because 
these had been before them. And so on in the work of keep- 
ing Christianity prevalent in the land, aU earnest churches have 
eagerly striven. Their preachers have been heard where the 
pioneer's fire scarcely was kindled. Their schools have been 
gathered in the temporary camp, not less than in the hamlet or 
town. They have sent their books with lavish distribution, they 
have scattered their Bibles like leaves of autumn, where settle- 
ments hardly were more than prophesied. In aU languages of 
the land they have told the old story of the Law and the Cross, 
a present Bedemption, aud a coming Tribunal The highest 
truths, most solemn and inspiring, have been the truths most 
constantly in hand. It has been felt that, in the highest sense, 
a muscular Christianity was indispensable where men lifted up* 
axes u}>on the thick trees. The delicate speculations of the 
closet and the schools were too dainty for the work; and the old 
confessions of Councils and Beformers, whose undecaying and 


sorereign energy no use exhausts, have been those alvays most 
familiar, where the trapper oq hif< stream, or the-miner in his 
gnlch has found priest or minister on his track. 

Of course not all the work has been frnitfol. Not all Ood'B 
aooms come to oaks, but here and there one. Not all the seeds - 
of flowers germinate, but enough to make some radiant gar- 
dens. And out of all this work and gift, haa otn&e a mental 
and moral training, to the nation at lai^, snoh as it certainly 
would not bare bad except for this effort, the effort for whitA 
would not have been made, on a scale so immense, except for 
this incessant aim to flt the nation tor its great experiment of 
self-regulation. The Declaration of Independence has been 
the great charter of Public Education ; has giroi impulse and 
scope to this prodigious Missionary work. 

The result of the whole ie evident enough. I am not here 
as the eulogist of our People, beyond what facts josiatj. I 
admit, with regret, that American manners sometimes are 
coQTBe, and Aiuei-ican culture often very imperfect ; that the 
noblest examples of consummate training imply a leisure which 
we have not had, and are perhaps most easily produced wbere 
social advantages are more permanent than here, and the law 
heredity has a wider recognition. We all know, too well, bow 
much of even vice and shame there has been, and is, in our 
national life ; how sluggish the public conscience has been be- 
fore sharpest appeals ; how corruption has entered high places 
in the government, and the bUster of its touch has been npon 
laws, as well as on the acts of prominent officiata. And we 
know the reckless greed and ambition, the flerce party spirit, 
the personal wrangles and jealous animosities, with which onr 


Tonality, rapaciotis and insatiable, which was then the most 
alarming enemy of America. He declared himself ashamed of 
the age which he lived in ! In Jefferson's day, all Federalists 
e:^ectdi the universal dominion of French infidelity. In 
Jackson's day, all Whigs thought the country gone to ruin 
already, as if Mr. Biddle had had the entire public hope locked 
up in the vaults of his terminated bank. In Polk's day, the 
excitements of the Mexican War gave life and germination to 
many seeds of rascality. There has never been a time — not 
here alone, in any country — when the fierce light of incessant 
inquiry blazing on men in public life, would not have revealed 
forces of evil like those we have seen, or when the condemna- 
tion which followed the discovery would have been sharper. 
And it is among my deepest convictions that, with all which 
has happened to debase and debauch it, the nation at large 
was never before more mentally vigorous or morally sound. 
Gentlemen : The demonstration is around us 1 
This city, if anyplace on the continent, should have been the 
one where a recUess wickedness should have had sure preva- 
lence, and reforming virtue the least chance of success. Start- 
ii^ in 1790 with a white population of less than thirty thousand 
— growing steadily for forty years, till that i>opulation had 
multiplied six-fold— -taking into itself, from that time on, such 
multitudes of emigrants from all parts of the earth that the dic- 
tionaries of the languages spoken in its streets would make a 
library — ^all forms of luxury coming with wealth, and all means 
and facilities for every vice — the primary elections being the 
Beed-bed out of which springs its choice of rulers, with the in- 
fluence which it sends to the public councils — its citizens so ab- 
sorbed in their pursuits that oftentimes, for years together, large 
numbers of them have left its affairs in hands the most of all 
unsuited to so supreme and delicate a trust — ^it might well have 
been expected that while its docks were echoing with a com- 
merce which encompassed the globe, while its streets were 
thronged witii the eminent and the gay from all parts of the 
land, while its homes had in them uncounted thousands of 
noble men and cultured women, while its stately squares swept 
out year by year across new spaces, while it founded great in- 


etitatioiia of beneficence, and shot new spires ttpward toward 
heaven, and tamed the rocky waste to a pleasore-groimd fiunoos 
in the earth, its government would decay, and its rebUessnesB 
of moral ideas, if not as well of political prindpleB wocld beoome 

Uen have prophesied this, from the ont»et till now. The fear 
of it began with the first great advance of the wealth, population, 
and fame of the city ; and there have not been wanting taotB in 
its history which served to renew, if not to jnatify the fear. 

Bnt when the war of 1861 broke on the land, and shadowed 
every home within it, this city, — whioh had voted by inunenae 
majorities t^oinst the existing administration, and which was 
linked by unnumbered ties with the vast communities then 
irushing to assail it, — fiong oat its banners from window and 
spire, from City Hall and newspaper ofiSce, and poured its 
wealth and hfo into the service of sustaining the Ckivemment, 
with a swiftness and vehement energy that were never soi^ 
passed. 'When, afterward, greedy ond treacherous men, capable 
and shrewd, deceiving the unwary, hiring the skillful, and 
moulding the very law to their uses, bad concentrated in their 
bands the government of the city, and had bound it in seem- 
ingly invincible chains, while they plundered its treasnry, — ^it 
rose upon them, when advised of the facts, as Samson rose i^K>n 
the Philistines ; and the two new cords that were npon his 
hands no more suddenly became as fiax that was bomt thtm 
did those manacles imposed upon the city by the craft of the 

Its leaders of opinion to-day are the men — like bim who pre- 
sides in our assembly — whom virtue exalts, and oharaoter 

OBATION — BEV. DR. R. 8. 8T0RRS. 3C9 

What is trae of the city is true, in effect, of all the land. Two 
things, at least, have been established by our national history, 
the impression of which the world will not lose. The one is, 
that institutions like ours, when sustained by a prevalent moral 
life throughout the nation, are naturally permanent. The other 
is, that they tend to peaceful relations with other states. They 
do this in fulfillment of an organic tendency, and not through 
any accident of location. The same tendency will inhere in 
them, wheresoever established. 

In this age of the world, and in all the states which Christi- 
anity quickens, the allowance of free movement to the popular 
mind is essential to the stability of public institutions. There 
may be restraint enough to guide, and keep such movement 
from premature exhibition. But there cannot be force cmough 
used to resist it, and to reverse its gathering current. If there 
is, the government is swiftly overthrown, as in France so often, 
or is left on one side, as Austria has been by the advancing 
Gterman people ; like the Castle of Heidelberg, at once palace 
and fortress, high-placed and superb, but only the stateliest ruin 
in Europe, while the rail-train thunders through the tunnel be- 
neath it, and the Neckar sings along its near channel as if tower 
and tournament never had been. Kevolution, transformation, 
organic change, have thus all the time for this hundred years been 
proceeding in Europe ; sometimes silent, but oftener amid 
thunders of stricken fields ; sometimes pacific, but oftener with 
garments rolled in blood. • 

In England the progress has been peaceful, the popular de- 
mands being ratified as law whenever the need became apparent. 
It has been vast, as well as peaceful ; in the extension of suf- 
frage, in the ever-increasing power of the Commons, in popular 
education. Chatham himself would hardly know his own Eng- 
land if he should return to it The Throne continues, illustrated 
by the virtues of her who fills it ; and the ancient forms still 
obtain in Parhament. But it could not have occurred to him, 
or to Burke, that a century after the ministry of Grenville the 
embarkation of the Pilgrims would be one of the prominent 
historical pictures on the panels of the lobby of the House of 
Lords, or that the name of Oliver Cromwell, and of Bradshaw, 


Fresidentof the High Goort of JoBtice, would bo cot in the stone 
in WeetmiiiBterAbbej'.oTei the places in which they werebttiied, 
and whence their decayibg bodies were dragged to the gibbet 
and the ditch. England is now, as has been well eaid, " an 
aristocratic Bepablic, with a permanent £zeoutive." Its only 
perils lie in the fuct of that aristocracy, which, however, ia flex- 
ible enough to endure, of that permanence in the Executive, 
which wonld hardly outhve one vicions Frince. 

AVhat changes have taken place in France, I need not remind 
yon, nor how oncertain is still its future. Yoa know how the 
swift untiring wheels, of advance or reaction, have rolled this 
way and that, in Italy, and in Spain ; how Germany hoe had to 
be reconstructed ; how Hougary has had to fight and snfier for 
tiiatjnst place in the Austrian councils which only imperial 
defeat surrendered. Yon know how pi-ecarions the eqnihbrium 
now is, in many stutcs, between popular rights and princely 
prerogative ; what armies ore maintained, to fortify govern- 
ments ; what fear of sudden and \iolent change, like an 
avalanche tumbling at the touch of a foot, perplexes nations. 
The records of change miike the history of Europe. 'Vhe ex- 
pectation of change is almost as wide as the continent itself 

Meanwhile, how permanent has been this Bepnblic, which 
seemed at the outset to foreign spectators a mere sudden iu- 
Burrection, a mere organized riotl Its organic law, adopted 
after exciting debate, but arousing no battle and enforced by no 
army, has been iuterpret^d, and peacefnlly administered, with 
one great exception, from the beginning. It has once been 
assailed, with passion and skill, with spk-ndid daring and un- 
bounded self-sacrifice, by those who sought a sectional ad- 
vautaiTO through ita destruction. No monardiy of the world 

OBA.TION — MEV. DB. B. 8. 8T0BBS. 311 

amended its provisionB in the contrary direction from that 
which had been so fiercely sought, gave it guaranties of en- 
durance while the continent lasts, and made its ensigns more 
eminent than ever in the regions from which they had been 
expelled. The very portions of the people which then sought 
its overthrow are now again its applauding adherents — the 
great and constant reconciling force, the tranquillizing Irenarch, 
being the freedom which it leaves in their hands. 

It has kept its place, this Eepublic of ours, in spite of the 
rapid expansion of the nation over territory so wide that the 
scaniy strip of the original states is only as a fringe on its im- 
mense mantle. It has kept its place, while vehement debates, 
involving the profoundest ethical principles, have stirred to its 
depths the whole public mind. It has kept its place, while the 
tribes of mankind have been pouring upon it, seeking the shel- 
ter and freedom which it gave. It saw an illustrious President 
murdered, by the bullet of an assassin. It saw his place occu- 
pied as quietly by another as if nothing unforseen or alarming 
had occurred. It saw prodigious armies assembled, for its 
defence. It saw those armies, at the end of the war, marching 
in swift and long procession up the streets of the Capital, and 
then dispersing into their former peaceful citizenship, as if they 
had had no arms in their hands. The General before whose 
sikill and will those armies had been shot upon the forces which 
opposed them, and whose word had been their military law, 
remained for three years an appointed officer of that govern- 
ment he had saved. Elected then to be the head of that govern- 
ment, and again re-elected by the ballots of his countrymen, in 
a few months more he wiU have retired, to be thenceforth a 
citizen like the rest, eligible to office, and entitled to vote, but 
with no thought of any prerogative descending to him, or to his 
children, from his great service and military fame. The Ee- 
pubUc, whose triumphing armies he led, will remember his 
name, and be grateful for his work ; but neither to him, nor to 
any one else, will it ever give sovereignty over itself. 

From the Lakes to the Gulf its will is the law, its dominion 
complete. Its centripetal and centrifugal forces are balanced, 
almost as in the astronomy of the heavens. Decentralizing 


anthority, it pats his own pert of it into the band ot every 
citizen. Oiving free acope to priTate enterprise, allowing not 
only, bat accepting and enconnigiDg', each movemcmt of the 
public reason which is ite only terrestrial rule, there is no threat, 
in all its aky, of division or downfall. It cannot be sacceesfoUy 
aaaailed from within. It never will be assailed from without, 
with a blow at its life, while other nations continne sane. 

It has been Bometimes compared to a pyramid, broad'hased 
and secare, not liable to overthrow as is obelisk or colnmn, by 
storm or age. The comparison is just, but it is not safQoient. 
It should rathf^r be compared to one of the permanent features 
of nature, and not to any artificial coustmction : — to the river, 
which flows, like our own Hudson, along the courses that nature 
opens, forever iu motion, but forever the same ; to the lake, 
which lies on common days level and bright in placid stillness, 
while it gathers its fulln<iBS from many lands, and lifts its waves 
in stormy strength when winds assail it ; iothe mountain, which 
is shaped by no formula of art, and which only rarely, in some 
supreme sun-burst, flushes with color, but whose roots the very 
earthquake cannot shake, and on whose brow the stonna fall 
hnrtless, while under its shelter the cottage nestles, and up its 
sides the gardens climb. 

So stands Uie Republic : 

Our government has been permanent, as established Upon the 
old Declaration, and steadily sustained by the undeoaying and 
moulding life in the soul of the nation. It has been peaceful, 
also, for the most part, in scheme and in spirit ; and has shown 

at no lime such an appttite for war as hua been famihar, within 

OBATION — BE7. DB. B. S. ST0BB8. 313 

This people was trained to military effort, from its beginning. 
It had in it the blood of Saxon and Norman, neither of whom 
was afraid of war ; the very same blood which a few years affcer 
was poured out like water at Marston Moor, and Naseby, and 
Donbar. Ardor and fortitude were added to its spirit by 
those whose fathers had followed Coligni, by the children of those 
whomAlva and Parma could not conquer, or whom Gustavus 
had inspired with his intense paramount wilL With savages in 
the woods, and the gray wolf prowling around its cabins, the 
hand of this people was from ^e first as familiar with the gun- 
ritock as with mattock or plough ; and it spent more time, in 
proportion to its leisure, it spent more life, in proportion to its 
numbers, from 1607 to 1776, in protecting itself against violent 
Itssatdt than was spent by France, the most martial of kingdoms, 
on all the bloody fields of Europe. 

Then came the Eevolution, with its years of war, and its 
crowning success, to intensify, and almost to consecrate this 
spirit, and to give it distribution ; while, from that time, the 
nation has been taken into its substance abounding elements 
from all the fighting peoples of the earth. The Irishman, who 
18 never so entirely himself as when the battle-storm hurtles 
around him ; the Frenchman, who says *' After you Gentle- 
men," before the infernal fire of Fontenoy ; the German, whose 
irresistible tread the world lately heard at Sadowa and Sedan 
— these have been entering represenatives of two of them en- 
tering by millions, into the Eepublic. If any nation, therefore, 
should have a fierce and martial temper, this is the one. If any 
people should keep its peaceful neighbors in fear, lest its 
aggression should smite their homes, it is a people bom, and 
trained, and replenished like this, admitting no rule but its 
own will, and conscious of a strength whose annual increase 
makes arithmetic pant. 

What has been the fact ? Lay out of sight that late civil 
war which could not be averted, when once it had been threat- 
ened, except by the sacrifice of the government itself and a 
wholly unparalleled public suicide, and how much of war with 
foreign powers has the century seen ? There has been a fre- 
quent crackle of musketry along the frontiers, as Indian tribes. 


which refused to be civilizeil, have elowl; and fiercely retreated . 
toward the West There was one war declared agaicBt 
Tripoli, in 1801, when the Bepablic took b; the throat the 
African pirates to whom Europe paid tribute, and when the 
gallantry of the Preble and Decatur gave eaily dietinotaon to 
our navy. There was a war declared against England, in 1812, 
when our Beamen had been taken bom under our dag, from 
the decks of our national shipa, and our comm^oe had been 
practically swept from the seas. There was a war affirmed 
already to exist in Mexico, in 1846, entered into by surpriae, 
never formally declared, against which the moral sentiment ctf 
the nation rose widely in revolt, but which in its result added 
largely to our territory, opened to us California treasures, and 
wrote the names of Bueiia Vista and Monterey on our short 

That has been our military history ; and if a People, as 
powerful and as proud, has anywhere been mcare peaceable 
also, in the last hundred years, the strictest research fails to 
find it. Smarting with the injury done us by England daring 
the crisis of our uatioual peril, in spite of tlie remonstrances 
presented through that distinguished citizen who should have 
been your orator to-day — while hostile taunts had incensed our 
people, while burning tihips had exasperated commerce, and while 
what looked like artful evasions had made statesmen indignant 
— vritli a half-million men who had hardly yet laid down their 
arms, with a navy never before so vast, or so fitted for service — 
when a war vrith England would have had, the force of passion 
behind it, and would at any rate have shown to the world that 
the nation respects its starry flag, and means to have it secure 
on the seas — we referred all differences to arbitration, appointed 

ORATION — ^BET. DB. B. 8. 8T0BB8. 315 

army; for historic renown. An intelligent Bepablic hates 
war, and shuns it. It counts standing armies a curse only 
second to an annual pestilence. It wants no glory but from 
growth* It delights itself in arte of peace, seeks social enjoy- 
ment and increase of possessions, and feels instinctively that^ 
like Israel of old, " its strength is to sit stilL" It cannot bear 
to miss the husbandman from the fields, the citizen from the 
town, the house-father from the home, the worshipper from 
the church. To change or shape other people's institutions is 
no part of its business. To force them to accept its scheme of 
gOYemment would simply contradict aud nullify its charter. 
Except^ then, when it is startled into passion by the cry of a 
suffering under oppression which stirs its pulses into tumult^ or 
when it is assailed in its own rights, citizens, property, it will 
not go to war ; nor even then, if diplomacy can find a remedy 
for the wrong. " MilHons for defence," said Cotesworth Finck- 
ney to the French Directory, when Talleyrand in their name 
had threatened him with war, '' but not a cent for tribute." He 
might have added, '' and not a dollar for aggressive strife." 

It will never be safe to insult such a nation, or to outrage its 
citizens ; for the reddest blood is in its veins, and some Gap- 
tain lugraham may always appear, to lay his httle sloop of war 
along-side the offending frigate, with shotted guns, and a 
peremptory summons. There is a way to make powder inex- 
plosive ; but, treat it chemically how you will, the dynamite 
vnll not stand many blows of the hammer. The detonating 
tendency is too permanent in it. But if left to itself, such a 
People will be peaceful, as ours has been. It will foster peace 
among the nations. It will tend to dissolve great permanent 
armaments, as the light conquers ice, and summer sunshine 
breaks the glacier which a hundred trip-hammers could only 
scar. The longer it continues, the more widely and effectively 
its influence spreads, the more will its benign example hasten 
the day, so long foretold, so surely coming, when 

The war-dram throbs no longer, and the battle-flags are furled. 
In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World. 


Mr. IVesident: FeUow-Citizena: — To an extent too great for 
yoor patience, but ivitli a mpid incompletenese that is only too 
evident as we matcb it with the theme, I have outlined be- 
fore you some of the reasons why we have right to commemo- 
rate the day whose hundredth anniversai^- has brought ns to- 
gether, and why the pn,p>-T then adopted has interest and 
importance not only for us, but for all tho advancing sons of 
men. Thank Qod that he who framed the Declaration, and he 
who was its foremost champion, both lived to see the natioa 
they had shaped growing to greatness, and to die together, in 
tliat marvelous coincidence, on its semi-centennial ! The 6tty 
years which have passed since then have only still further hon- 
ored their work. Mr. Adams was mistaken in the day which he 
named as tho one to be most fondly remembered. It was not 
that on which Independence of the empire of Qreat Britain was 
formally resolved It was that on which the reasons were given 
which justified the act, and the principles were announced 
which made it of secular significance to mankind. But he would 
have been absolutely right in saying of the fourth dny what he 
did say of the second : it " will be the most remarkable epoch in 
the history of America; to be celebrated by succeeding geoerft- 
tions as the great anniversary festival, commemorated as the 
day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty Ood, 
from one end of the continent to the other." 

It will not be forgotten, in the land or in the earth, until the 
stars have fallen from their poise; or until our vivid morning- 
star of BepuUican liberty, not louing its lustre, has seen its 
special brightness fade in the ampler effulgence of a freedom 

But while we rejoice in that which is past, and gladly 

ORATION — ^BEV. DR. B. 8. 8T0BRS. 317 

be fulfilled, to the work which shall consummate the great work 
of the Fathers ! 

From scanty soils come richest grapes, and on severe and 
rocky slopes the trees are often of toughest fibra The wines of 
RMesheim and Johannisberg cannot be grown in the fatness of 
gardens, and the cedars of Lebanon disdain the levels of marsh 
and meadow. So a heroism is sometimes native to penury which 
luxury enervates, and the great resolution which sprang up in 
the blast, and blossomed under inclement skies, may lose its 
shapely and steadfast strength when the air is all of summer 
softness. In exuberant resources is to be the coming American 
peril;' in a swiftly increasing luxury of life. The old humility, 
hardihood, patience, are too likely too be lost when material 
success again opens, as it will, all avenues to wealth, and 
when its brilliant prizes solicit, as again they will, the national 

Be it ours to endeavor that that temper of the Fathers which 
was nobler than their work shall live in the children, and exalt 
to its tone their coming career; that political intelligence, pa- 
triotic devotion, a reverent spirit toward Him who is above, an 
exulting expectation of the future of the World, and a sense of 
our relation to it, shall be, as of old, essential forces in our pub- 
lic life; that education and religion keep step all the time with 
the Nation's advance, and the School and the Church be always 
at home wherever its flag shakes out its folds. In a spirit 
worthy the memories of the Past let us set ourselves to accom- 
phsh the tasks which, in the sphere of national politics, still 
await completion. We bum the sunshine of other years, when 
we ignite the wood or coal upon our hearths. We enter a priv- 
ilege which ages have secured, in our daily enjoyment of politi- 
cal freedom. WhUe the kindling glow irradiates our homes, 
let it shed its lustre on our spirit, and quicken it for its fur- 
ther work. 

Let us fight against the tendency of educated men to reserve 
themselves from politics, remembering that no other form of 
human activity is so grand or effective as that which affects, first 
the character, and then the revelation of character in the gov- 
ernment, of a great and free People. Let us make religious dis- 


sension h^re, as a force in politics, OB Bbsord oa witchcraft* 
Let party nam3s bo nothing to us, in comparison with that 
costly and prond inheritance of hberty and of law, which parties 
exist to conserve and enlarge, which aaj party will have here to 
maintain if it woold not be buried, at the next cross-roads, vith 
a a'ake through its breast. Let us seek the unity of all sec- 
tions of the Republic, through the prevalence in all of mutual 
r&spect, through the assurance in all of local freedom, 
through the mastery in all of that supreme spirit which flashed 
from the hpa of Patrick Henry, when he said, in the first 
Continental Congress, " I am not a Virginian, but an Ameri- 
can." Let us take care that labor maintains its ancient place 
of privilege and honor, and that industry has no fetters im- 
posed, of legal restraint or of social discredit, to hinder ito 
work or to lessen its wage. Let as turn, and overturn, in pnb- 
lic discnaaion, in political chsinge, till we secure a Civil Service, 
honorable, intelligent, and worthy of the land, in which capable 
integrity, not partinan zeal, shall be the condition of each pnb- 
lic trust ; and let us resolve that whatever it may cost, of labor 
and of patience, of sharper economy and of general sacrifloe, it 
shall come to pass that wherever American labor toils, wher- 
ever American enterprise plans, wherever American commerce 
reaches, thither again shall go as of old the country's coin — the 
American Sagle, with the encircling stars and golden plumes ' 
£n a word, Fellow-Citizens, the moral life of the nation being 
ever renewed, all advancement and timely reform will come as 
comes the boni^^ning of the tree from the secret force which 
fills its veins. Let ns each of us live, then, in the blessing and 
the duty of our great citizenship, as those who are consdons of 


the grand and solemn lineage of whose freedom runs back 
beyond Bunker Hill or the Mayflower, runs back beyond muni-, 
ments and memories of men, and has the majesty of far centu- 
ries on it I Let us live as those for whom God hid a continent 
from the world, till He could open all its scope to the freedom 
and faith of gathered peoples, from many lands, to be a nation 
to His honor and praise ! Let us Hve as those to whom He 
commits the magnificent trust of blessing peoples many and 
far, by the truths which He has made our life, and by the his- 
tory which He helps us to accomplish. 

Such relation to a Past ennobles this transient and vanishing 
life. Such a power of influence on the distant and the Future, 
is the supremest terrestial privilege. It is ours if we vrill, in 
the mysteiy of that spirit, which has an immortal and a ubiqui- 
tous life. With the swifter instruments now in our hands, vnth 
the land compacted into one immense embracing home, with the 
world opened to the interchange of thought, and thrilling with 
the hopes that now animate its life, each American citizen has 
superb opportunity to make his influence felt 'afar, and felt for 

Let us not be unmindful of this ultimate and inspiring lesson 
of the hour ! By all the memories of the Past, by all the im- 
pulse of the Present, by the noblest instincts of our own souls, 
by the touch of His sovereign spirit upon us, God make us 
&ithful to the work, and to Him ! that so not only this city may 
abide, in long and bright tranquility of peace, when our eyes 
have shut forever on street, and spire, and populous square ; 
that so the land, in all its future, may reflect an influence from 
this anniversary ; and that, when another century has passed, 
the sun which then ascends the heavens may look on a world 
advanced and illumined beyond our thought, and here may be- 
hold the same great Nation, bom of struggle, baptized into 
liberty, and in its second terrific tral purchased by blood, then 
expanded and multiplied till all the land blooms at its touch, 
and still one in its life, because still pacific. Christian, free I 

SONG OF 1876. 



Waken, voice of the Land's Devotion I 

Spirit of freedom, awaken all 1 
King, ye Bhores, to the Song of Ocean, 
Aivers, answer, and mountains, call I 
The golden day Ime come ; 
Let every tongne be dnmb 
That sounded its malice or munnered its fears; 
She hath won her story ; 
She wears her glory ; 
We crown her the Laud of a Hundred Years I 
Out of darkness and toil and danger 

Into the light of Victory's day — 
Help to the weak and Home to the stranger. 
Freedom to all, she hath held her way 1 
Now Europe's orphans rest 
Upon lier mother's breast ; 
The voices of nations are heard in the cheers 
That shall cast upon her 
New love and honor, 
And crown her the Qneen of a Hundred Years 1 
North and South, we are met as brothers; 
East and West, we are wedded as one 1 




As one of the sons of revolationary ancestors, whose blood 
was shed ux)on the battle fields of their conntiy, I am proud to 
be here to-day. 

This day is hallowed by sacred memoriea It marks an epoch 
in the period of time which proved more productive to human 
development than any other but one since the creation of man. 
It was second in importance only to the appearance on earth of 
the Divine Master. After a century's duration, tried by fire 
and sword, by pestilence and famine, by internal convulsion, 
and by the ever changing vicissitudes of party and sectional 
conflict, we emerge to-day from all the dangers and trials of the 
past^ brighter, stronger and greater than any other people on 
earth of one individuaHty. Who is not proud to be an Ameri- 
can? lives there to-day, anywhere, a man of any station in 
life, of any order of intelligence, of any sojourn in any other 
climes, of any creed or faith, of any political opinions, of any 
section, who does not stand more erect and bear himself more 
lofty, when able to say that he is an American citizen, one of 
the people of this blessed land. Nor is this claim founded upon 
mere self-laudation. The government and people of other 
nationahties concede and recognize ii It is universally ac- 
cepted, and to be an American is of itself so high an honor that 
it affords a passport to distinction everywhere. The United 
States of to-day is the one and only great repubHc. It is the 
one and only land of perfect freedom. It is the one and only 
nationality with power sufficiently consolidated to prove effec- 
tive in maintaining its integrity, and also with free opinion so 
diffused as to afford all men equality imder the laws in the en- 
joyment of life, Uberty and happiness. Our territory, stretched 
irom ocean to ocean, commands both seas, which nearly encir. 



cle a vast continent; our ntunbers are equal to fortj-fiTS mQ- 
lions; mtemal tranquility is established, and our external rela~ 
tiona to other governments of commanding Btrength and Benai- 
tave honor such a^ none would deem it prudent to offend. 
Within our jurisdiction, living peacefully and happy, may bo 
found men of opposite creeds, of all nativitiee, of every lan- 
guage and divermfied Interests, vrith no dispo&ifion to encroach 
upon each other's rights, and no fear of Gh)vemm6Dt interfer- 
ence. Thus we form a sohd political community, united in all 
the essential reqnifdtes of national power, with one gOTemment^ 
and yet with many govemmenta. As a people we recc^nize and 
protect each other, contribute in common towards the general 
welfare, and support in common the general burdens. Where 
exists our superior — or rather where exista our peer? Though 
young in years we are among the oldest in form of government 
of the Christian nations of the world. Few in Europe that 
have not changed either their dynasty or the character of their 
rule within the century. Within the period of our nationality, 
France has been a monarchy, an empire and a republic. Ger- 
many has been a combination of discordant, petty monarchies, 
and now on empire. Italy has been a coUection of disintegra- 
ted states and dukedoms, and now a kingdom. F<dand, Sar- 
dinia, Kaples and other monarchies have ceased and become 

A century ago the government of England was exercised by 
the sovereign ; it is now practically vested in the popular branch 
of Parliament. The crown remains, but the Honse of Com- 
mons governs in its power to compel a change of ministry, 
which is the actnal executive authority. 

Spain has alternated between anarchy, repubhcism and mon- 


dence of all other nations, and at all times commanding respect 
abroad and her autonmony at home. Thus was she originally 
established, and thus has she maintained herself— a republic 
for the whole period of her existence, one hundred years to- 
day. Now, my friends, in contemplating this fact can we fail 
to remember those illustrious men who laid the foundation so 
broad and deep upon which has been erected this splendid 
structure? Is it within the compass of human thought to 
dwell upon our present greatness, and forget those to whom 
we are indebted for it? Go with me back to the American 
Bevolution — yet further back to those momentous events 
which preceded that terrible struggle. Eemember those poor 
colonists, who had mostly sought a refuge from either political 
or religious oppression at home on this cold and inhospitable 
shore ; see the reception the savage gave them, the struggle 
with the elements, the impoverished settlements, the depriva- 
tion and neglect which followed, the final lodgments of detached 
and far separated populations, the struggling communities, the 
destitution and horrible events incident to border life, far re- 
moved from any of the facilities of either defensive protection 
or means of continued existence, and the final formation of but 
a pro forma government, with the name but without its essen- 
tial requirements. Thus we bring them down to the middle 
of the eighteenth century. They had persevered, and had 
conquered the savage on the seaboard, had increased in popu- 
lation, procured some trade and commerce, and attracted the 
notice of their European masters. But this notice was not in 
the interest of their advantage and progress. It was rather 
that notice by which avarice sees and covets the accumulations 
of a poor or dependent neighbor. It was the same spirit of 
protection that the wolf gives to lambs when he covers and 
devours them. 

Exactions were imposed, representation in the Home Gov- 
ernment was denied, bumble petitions were treated with con- 
tempt, remonstrances were held to be treasonable, more troops 
were ordered across the ocean to overa\^e and to command obe- 
dience, and the hand of despotism laid its mailed glove upon 
the spirits and almost crushed pride of the colonists, who found 


in tbe!r mother country a more terrible foe than t^ey had origin- 
nllv encouotered in the native barbaritrr of the American Indian. 
The people became gloomy, and looked on with forebodiiige, a 
few whispered of oppression, some went so far as to apeak ont 
in condemnation of the new bnrdens imposed, bnt it was only 
when the Home Ooremment proceeded to cany ont its edicts 
and to prepare for their compnlsory enforcement, that the rebel- 
lion became immioent. A long, deep mnrmnr ran along the 
Atlantic shore from the fur east to the sonthem extremity. Here 
and there a popnJar gathering gare rent to the too long pent np 
indignation. Here and there a prominent man spoke out, M did 
Patrick Henry in the provincial council of Virginia, when ho ex- 
claimed, that as for him, " give him liberty or give him death.'' 

A general colonial congress was called to assemble at Phila- 
delphia. Every colony sent its representative to sit in conncil 
and to determine the great questions which the crisis appeared 
to call for — and what a, council, and what a gathering. Here 
was Jefferson, the great founder of the pure Democracy, whose 
precepts fnmished the anderlying strata npon which rests the 
genius of our institutions, and which established the gnide to onr 
political faith and the only reliable beacon-light to our national 
liberty and glory. 

And now let me pause a moment to refer more especially to 
this iUnstrions personage. In him were blended all the attributes 
which go to make up the truly great man. He possessed a pe- 
cnhar combination of rare qualities. We often find a strong in- 
tellectual development connected with a defective temperament ; 
personal courage ia frequently clouded by want of moral oonsoi- 
s3, but it is not often that the moral, mental and physical 


Jefferson, all the military successes of Washington might have 
prodooed but barq^ results. It was he who had thought out 
the work to be done, how to do it, and what should follow after 
it was done. It was not war and war alone that produced a 
sucoessful revolution. It was not war at all that constructed 
our Gbvemmeni 

Before a Continental army existed, and before Washington 
was brought from his country home, on the banks of the 
Potomac, to lead the troops, this Kepublic was bom in the con- 
ception of the genius, the patriotism and the courage of Thomas 
Jefferson. He was not a military man, nor a military hero, but 
the chosen instrument of the Almighty, in whose brain and 
heart bad been infused the peaceful spirit of God itself, 
who had brought order out of chaos in the great universe, so 
Jefferson formed and massed the heterogenous elements of 
disunited colonies into one grand national Republic. Nor was 
this the only work of Jefferson. It became his duty, not only 
to create the State, but to provide also the means of its con- 
tinuance. As he had designed and executed the first steps 
towards its formation, in the Declaration of Independence, and 
had followed this with a form of Federal union, he saw that 
something more than these were required. He knew that states, 
however free, may become despotic ; that governments, though 
bom in revolution, imbued with a spirit of liberty, may die in 
anarchy. It was not enough for him that he had aided in the 
creation of a free people ; he saw that it was necessary to main- 
tain that freedom. With this holy thought, that the freed 
colonies, whose political characters had been changed from 
vassalage to that of independence, he formed and established a 
political organization, which through its popular action should 
operate as a safeguard against attempts to reeuslave the people, 
through monarchical tendencies or partisan deceptions. Hence 
was formed the Democratic party. In his brain was conceived 
this blessed combination. He was the author and sole arbiter 
of its fortunes during his life, and his spirit has watched over 
and protected it ever since. Its mission was to secure to pos- 
terity the full enjoyment of the blessings obtained in the Amer- 
ican Bevolution. 


As popular opinion was to govern through the pe<^e'B re- 
presentatives, it vas uecesaar; to educate, Ip instruct, to con- 
solidate and to make effective at the polls a just sentiment, a 
correct estimate of public questions, and a strict adherence to 
the tme theory of government, upon which our institutions were 
orlginallj foonded. For this reason and to this end and pur- 
pose did Jefferson establish the Democratic party in 1802. 
He saw the old monarcMal despotism striving through the 
efforts of demagogues to regain ascendency by the oi^ou- 
ization of a Federal party, headed by the selfish intrigues of 
ambitions aspirants to popular favor. To combat this, and to 
perpetuate our hberties, he sent out a note of warning and 
issued a second declaration, another proolamatiou of det«nnined 
resistance, and a reminder of the glorious work which had been 
performed in 1776. This was the origin and the object of our 

How glorious was the thought — bat how more glorions has 
been its lifetime and histoty. I have said that it was a proud 
title — that of American citizeiiship, to be one of this body of 
American citizens, and I now add it is yet a higher hon(» to be 
able to say in addition, I am a member of the National Demo- 
cratic party, have always upheld its principles and supported 
its candidates. All that go to make this nation's greatness has 
been the work of that pai-ty, and to it and it alone may be 
traced the wonderful progress, the staady patriotism and the 
only adherence to the original intentions of the fathers of the 
Constitution, whicli has served to maintain the Union and se- 
cure itfi benefits. Such has been ite history in the psst, and as 
such it stands to-day. Amid unexampled trials and struggles 
it still lives. Its mission is bat ijnrtJallv nccomulished. ~ 


It is now the imperatiYe duty of all good men to combine in 
one common effort to secure the ascendency of the Democratic 
party to power in the national Government. 

Let us give to the canvass our best energies. Let us allay 
all intestine differences ; let us throw ourselves into the contest 
vvith all the courage, tenacity, and resolution which so great a 
cause has the right to command from every lover of his 




lORK, jnLT 4th, 1876. 

I BSTEEu myaelf much honored, dtizens, in being allowed to 
participate in your festival to-day. I know that there ia no 
need of my Bpeaking to you. I know well that what I am able 
to Bay can add little or nothing to the grace and splendor of 
this occasion. 

It seems to me, citizens, as if to-day were not like other days. 
Men's voices have in them a more genial, a more hearty rin^; 
men's looks are more cheerful and friendly. A. thousand ban- 
ners float upon the breeze. From a thousand church steeples 
the chimes ring out their melody on the throbbing air. In a 
thousand stately houses of prayer anthems peal and hymns of 
praise ascend to heaveiL These are the voices of the great cHy, 
the signs and symbols by which it strives to give utterance to 
the sentiments of pride, praise, and exultation with which its 
milhon hearts are jubilant to-day. 

And in all ft"'" tumult, this tempest of Bnthiisiafim, tfaero is 
neither affectation nor exaggeration, nor ezoess. For the event 
wo celebrate is a great event — great a hundred years ago, great 
to-day, and to be great and memorable in the time to come, 
when you and I shall all have passed away and the memory 


tritunphantly celebrated by the conqueror, were to the conquer- 
ed only memories of defeat and agony and humiliation. What 
was a holiday to one people was a day of woe and mourning 
to another. 

In the day we celebrate, there is, thank God, no sorrow — over 
its dear sky comes no cloud. Its memories are imdimmed by a 
single tear. There is no man of any race or creed or nation 
or color under the sun who, looking back on the deed done here 
in America a hundred years ago, can truly say that it wrought 
wrong or £Q to him or his — ^no man who can deny that it was 
well done, and a deed wise and beneficial to all mankind. 

You have all read the Declaration of Independence ; you 
have it by heart ; you have heard it read to-day. A hundred 
years ago it was a new revelation, startling with new terror 
kings on their thrones, and bidding serfs in their poor huts arise 
and take heart, and look up, with new hope of deliverance. It 
asserted that all men, kings and peasants, master and servant, 
rich and poor, were bom equal with equal rights, inheritors of 
equal claim to protection from the law ; that governments de- 
rived their just powers, not from conquest or force, but from 
the consent of the governed, and existed only for their protec- 
tion and to make them happy. These were the truths eternal, 
but long unspoken ; truths that few dared to utter, which Pro- 
vidence ordained, should be revealed here in America, to be the 
political creed of the peoples all over the earth. Like a trumpet 
blast blown in the night, it pealed through the dark abodes of 
miseiy and aroused men to thought and hope and action. 

France caught the sound and awoke and tore off the tattered 
trappings from feudalinm, and trampled the decrepit thing under 
her feet Greece, dreaming of Marathon and Thermopylae, 
shook off her long lethargy, caught up again sword and shield, 
beat back, as of old, Asia and barbarism, and consecrated anew 
to freedom the Home of Athene, the fair land of the oUve and 
the vine. To Poland, Htmgary, Belgium, Italy, the summons 
was carried on the western winds. Even England herself found 
in the protest of her rebel colonies the forgotten lesson of her 
own Hberties, and in the success of rebel arms the dearest rights 
of her own people were saved. 

330 ons HATioHU. nsajx. 

And that trumpet blast Btill Is pealiog aod will peal, still BOm- 
moDB whatfiTer of manhood remains in mankind to ausert it8el£ 
Still, at that sound the kneea of tyrants will bo loosened with 
fear, and the hopes of freemen nill rise and their hearts beat 
&at^ and higher as long as this round earth hangs poised ill 
air, and men live upon it whose souls are olive with memories of 
the past. 

The Declaration of American Independence was a declaration 
of war with Great Britain, of -war to the knife, and the knife to 
the hilt. There were fearful odds against the Colonies when 
they threw down the gage of battle. On one side was Englaud 
— strong in consuiousness of wealth and power, strong in t^ 
prestige of sovereignt;, fully armed and equipped for war, in- 
solent, haughty, scorning even to entertain the idea of possible 
check or defeat On the other side, the Thirteen Colonies, 
stretchiog, for the most port, along the . eeaboord, Tolnerable 
at a hundred points, and open to attack by sea and land, with- 
out army, without navy, without money or ammunition or ma- 
terial of war, having for troops only crowds of undisciplined 
citizens who had left for a while, plough and anvil, and hurried 
to the front with whiit arms they could lay hands on to fight 
the veterans of King George, skilled in their terrible trade t^ 
long service in European wara 

On the second of July, 1776, the Continental Congress was 
in session in Philadelphia. There were about forty-nine dele- 
gates present. That day was a day of gloom, llie air vtM 
dark and heavy with ill news ; ill news from the North — Mont- 
gomery had fallen at Quebec, and the expedition against 
Canada, hod miserably failed. The lakes were all open* to 
Bntish ships, and a dusky cloud of savages, armed and enlisted 


retaming shot for shot And now the night was come, and 
from steeple and house-top the citizens of Charleston 
watched flash after flash and prayed for dawn to give them 
light to see if the defiant flag of freedom was still there. 

Ill news from New York — Lord Howe's ships were riding in 
the Lower Bay, and a British army of thirty thousand men 
menaced the city with attack. In New York city, counsels 
were waveriog and rncertain. Persons of raok, and wealth, 
and cnltore, were for the most part on the side of the crown, 
and longed to see the "Union Jack" again floating above them. 
The Continental forces in New York (^d not exceed 7,500 men. 
Even among them there was disaffection. Treachery was at 
work. A plot had been discovered to take the life of tiie. com- 
mander-in-chief, and some of his body guard had been hanged 
for it. From all sides came ill tidings. Everywhere doubt 
and suspicion and despondency. It was a dark and gloomy 
time, when even the boldest might well be foigiven for losing 

Such was the hour when Congress entered upon the consid- 
eration of the great* question, on which hung the &te of a con- 
tinent. There were some who clung still to British connectiou. 
The King might relent — conciliation was not impossible — a 
monarchial form of government was dear to thenu The past of 
England was their past, and they loth to lose it. 

Then war was a terrible alternative. They saw the precipice 
and they shuddered and started back appalled. But on the 
other side, were the men of the hour — the men of the people, 
who listened to the voice of the people, and felt the throbbing of 
the people's great heart They, too, saw the precipice. Their 
eyes fathomed all the depth of the black abyss, but they saw be- 
yond the glorious vision of the coming years. They saw coimt- 
less happy homes stretching far and wide across a continent, 
wherein should dwell for ages, generation after generation of 
men niutured in strength and virtue, and prosperity by the light 
and warmth of freedom. Remember, that between the thirteen 
colonies there were then but few tiea 

They differed in many things ; in race, religion, climate, pro- 
ductions, and habits of thought, as much then as they do now. 


One grand purpose alone knit their anils together. North to 
Sontb, Adams of MaBsacbasotts to Jefferson of Virginia. The 
holy pnrpose of building up here, for them and their ahildren, 
a free nation, to be the example, the model, the citadel of free- 
dom, or, failing in that, to die and be foi^otton, or remembered 
only with the stain of rebellion on their names. The coonBel 
of Uiese brave and generous men prevailed. Some light from 
the better world illumined their sools and strengthened their 
hearts. Behind them su^ed and beat the great tide of popn- 
lar enthusiasm. The people, ever olive to heroic purpose ; the 
people, whose honest iostincte are often the wiseet statesman- 
ship ; the people waited bat for the word ; ready to fight, 
ready to die if need be for independence. And so Ood's will 
was done upon the earth. 

The word was spoken, the "Declaration" was uttered that 
gave life and name to the "United States of America," and a 
new nation breathed and looked into the future, daring all the 
brat or the worst that future might bring. If that declaration 
became a signal of rescue and rehef to countries tsu away, what 
word can describe the miracles it has wrought for thia people 
here at home. It was a spell, a talisman, an armor of proo^ 
and a sword of victory. The undisciplined throng of citizen 
soldiers, taught in the stem school of hardship and revoae, 
soon grew to be a great army, before which the vetemns of 
Britain recoiled. 

Europe, surprised into sympathy with rebellion, sent her best 
and bravest here to fight the battle of freedom, and Lafayette 
of France, De Ealb of Germany, Eosdusko of Poland, and 
their compeers, drew their bright ewords in the ranks of the 
young republic. Best support of all, was that calm, fearless. 


Thus, from the baptiQm of blood, the young nation oame 
forth purified, triumphant, free. Then the mystic influence, the 
magic of her accomplished freedom, began to work, and the 
thoughts of men, and the powers of earth and air and sea be- 
gan to do her bidding, and cast their treasures at her feet. 

From the thirteen parent Colonies, thirty-eight great States 
and Territories have been bom. A.t first a broad land of forest 
and prairie stretched far and wide, needing only the labor of 
man to render it fmitfal. Men came — across the Atlantic, 
breasting its storms, sped mighty fleets, carrying hither bri- 
gades and divisions of the grand army of labor. On they 
came, in columns, mightier than ever a king led to battle — ^in 
columns, millions strong, to conquer a continent, not to havoc 
and desolation, but to fertility and wealth, and order, and hap- 

They came from field and forest in the noble German land — 
from where amid cornfield and vineyard, and fiowers, the lordly 
Bhine flows proudly toward the sea. Prom Ireland — ^from 
heath-covered hill and grassy valley — ^from where the giant 
cli£G9 stand as sentinels for Europe, meet the first shock of the 
Atlantic and hurl back its surges broken and shattered in foam. 
From France and Switzerland, from Italy and Sweden, from all 
the winds of heaven, they came ; and as their battle line ad- 
vanced, the desert fell back subdued, and in its stead sprang 
up com and fruit, the olive and the vine, and gardens that blos- 
somed like the rose. 

Of triumphs like these, who can estimate the value. The 
population of three millions a hundred years ago has risen to 
forty-five millions to-day. "We have great cities, great manu- 
factures, great commerce, great wealth, great luxury and splen- 
dor. Seventy-four thousand miles of railway conquer distance, 
and make all our citizens neighbors to one another. All these 
things are great and good, and can be turned to good. But 
they are not all. Whatever fate may befall this Republic, 
whatever vicissitudes or disasters may be before her, this praise, 
at leasts can never be denied to her, this glory she has won 
forever, that for one hundred years she has been hospitable and 
generous ; that she gave to the stranger a welcome — opened 

334 OUR NATio: 

to him all the treasures of her libertjr, gave him freo scope for 
all hia ability, a free career and fair pla;. 

And Uiis, it is, that most eodears this republic to other ua- 
tioDS, and has made fast friends for her in the homes of the peo- 
ples all over the earth. Not her riches nor her nuggets of gold, 
nor her mouotains of Bilver, nor her prodigies of mechanical 
skill, great and rnluable though these things be. It is this, 
that most of oil makes her name beloved and honored; that she 
has always been brood and liberal in her sympathies; that she 
has given homes to the homeless, land to the landless; that 
she has Eccurcd for the greatest number of those who have 
dwelt on her wiclo domain, a larger measure of liberty and 
peace and happinesB, and for a greater length of time than has 
ever been enjoyed by any other people on this earth. For this, 
the peoples all over the earth, and through all time, will call 
this republic blesseil. 

Viciasitudes the United States haahad and will have. Neither 
man nor nation ia exempt from error and passion and an, nor 
from the sorrowe that ein and passion are sure to entail It is 
not given to man nor to nation to escape the drinking of that 
bitter cup. But look to otlier countriea Look to the history 
of Europe for the last hundred years, and say if Europe has not 
undergone disosteia more severe tlian ours. Think of all her 
wars, insurrections and revolutions. The streets of her fair 
cities bristling with barricades and slippery with blood. Her 
society divided into hostile camps, labor in wretchedness and 
rags, eyeing \vith jealousy and aversion idleness in wealth, lux- 
ury and splendor. 

There, frauds in liigh places are covered up and concealed. 
Here, there is no man so high that tho arm of the law can not 


has befallen us. This republic has not perished. Its life, its 
liberty have survived. Still a written Constitution, assented to 
by the people, is the supreme law, the great charter of the land. 
The right of free discussion is preserved. "We have a free press, 
under whose fearless and ceaseless scrutiny no crime can re- 
main long tmdiscovered, no conspiracy long imdetected, no se- 
cret undevulged, no public offender go long tmwhipped of justice. 

The storm is past. The great deluge has subsided. The 
means still remain to us by which we can restore what should be 
restored, redress, reconstruct, and reform. And do not doubt, 
citizens, but that in the revolution which is past, spite of all its 
losses, and they have been grievous, great good has been achive- 
ed« No convulsion so great has ever tortured and torn society 
without leaving some gain behind. 

Let us frankly and thankfully accept that good. Let us va- 
lue it all the more for the great price we have paid for it and 
must still pay. The Union is saved, not only saved, but firmer, 
stronger than ever. For a century to come no man will be in- 
sane enough to dream of the possibility of its dissolution. That 
danger is past The blow which threatened to dissolve and shat- 
ter it, has but welded it together into harder and more compact 
stolidity. It remains to us, citizens, to make that union not only a 
firm, but a happy union — ^happy for South as for North, for 
West as for East ; not a union of force and fear and distrust, 
but a union of friendship and mutual confidence ; not a fetter 
of iron to bind the hands, but a wreath of flowers to chain the 
affections and delight the heart. Slavery exists no more in the 
United States I The civil wai* has swept it away forever. That 
ancient cause of quarrel can disturb us no more. The debate is 
dosed. The question is gone into judgment, from which there 
is no appeal It is written forever in the Constitution, and in all 
things the Constitution must be respected and obeyed. 

These gains the civil war has brought with it. Of the losses 
it has entailed I do not care to say much to-day. The occasion 
is not fitting — on this day no word of sadness should be uttered, 
no word of anger, no word that tastes of the bitterness of mere 
faction. To-day we are all Americans — proud of our great re- 
public, proud of its past, hopeful of its fatore. 


Let other men on other days tell j^^n d the nation's errors 
andher faults. That there have been faults, drawbacks, (xmtrB- 
dictioDB, prejndices, and follies to be deplored no one can deny. 
He that searches for these things will find them in the doings of 
every people. Stand on the bank of any great river and trace 
its course and you will see its babbUng shaUows, its rough cata- 
racts, its dark, deep, and treacheroos poolR Ton will see eddka, 
where the stream seems to flow back upon itself — ^yon will see it 
as it comes from among cities— from the marts of commcone, 
turbid, diefigured, and soiled. Butgo to adistance, ascend some 
eminence where a broader view can be obtained. Look at the 
river then. It flowB like a ribbon of silver under the son, follow- 
ing always its destined course to the sea, broad, deep, resisUeBB, 
bearing on its breast, health and wealth and happiness to man. 

So it is with this republic. There is in it no wrong that may 
not be righted, no stain that may not be removed, no loss that 
may not be repaired, no sorrow that, in time^ may not be for- 
given and forgotten. I have faith in time. Complete reconcilia- 
tion between friends, once estranged, may be slow in coming, 
but it will come at last. The waves vrill heave and toss for a 
while, though the great storm be over and the winds be stall, 
bat calm will come, the sky will cle^ and Ood's blessed son 
shine out at lost. "With us here, the time, too, will come, when 
men will take shame to be called "Northern men," or "South- 
em " or " Eastern " or Western men." We are all Americans. 
He robs himself of honor who chooses a narrower title. 

And now the first 100 yearsof the nation's life are over. The 
first stage in the journey is accomplished. Behind ns lies tiie 
past. Look back at it, it is a glorious past ; foil of good, full 
of honor, full of benificence to all mankind. Look back at it 


There are dangers before the Republic and around it. All 
life is full of danger. I have striven to tell you how, in the great 
days of old, the fathers of the Republic, spite of great dangers, 
laid its foundations broad and deep. They had selfishness to 
counteract, ambitions to -watch, treachery to defeat. They had 
plots and conspiracies to guard against, the unwisdom of those 
who were honest, and the intrigues of those that were not hcnest. 
There were men among them, as there are among us, timid and 
faint of heart, who despaired of the Republic In spite of all 
these, and a thousand other obstacles, the American people,\a 
hundred years ago, achieved American Independence. You are 
inheritors of all their honors ; you enjoy the benefits of their 
success. It cannot be that you can fail in the easier task of 
preserving the nation they made. A great issue is soon to be 
tried before you. Even now two great parties are at your feet, 
each soliciting your favor, claiming your confidence and asking 
you to confide to its hands rule over the Republic, and the con- 
trol of all its patronage and power. All this, citizens, is yours 
to give. On you rests now all the responsibility. Think well 
how you decide, for on your judgment may depend the future 
of your RepubHc. 

I do not address you to-day as a partisan. In an hour like 
this we stand above the level of party. Parties are the people's 
servants, bound to carry out the people's will. Sometimes parties 
come into existence only to fulfill some special mission, and that 
mission accompUshed, they die of their own success, or lag su- 
perfluous on the stage, and stop the way of progress. Some 
parties seem fitted to conduct war — others to guide the nation in 
the ways of peace. But the sure and xmfailing test by which the 
capacity of any party for future usefulness can be ascertained, 
is found in careful study of its conduct in the past Party plat- 
forms are of Kttle value ; party promises are easily made and easi- 
ly broken. Words may deceive, deeds teU the truth. By then* 
fruits you shall know them. 

Apply the test to our own case. For fifteen years one great 
party has had possession of the Government of this nation — of 
this period four years were spent in war, which was, it is claim- 
ed, vigorously prosecuted and brought to a successful end — all 


the credit that may bo due to this part^ for tbia d 
deserves, mid it has hod it ; it hna received besides in honors 
and emoluments on ample and geiierouB recompense. For aU 
this, it has had its reward. But in the eleven yeara o( peace 
tliat have passed siuco that war ceased, what account can it give 
of its stewardship ? During all that period it has been absolute 
master of the Republic and of all its resources. It has levied 
taxes OS it pleased, and spent them as it pleased. No party o|>' 
position has been strong enough to check its action. It hui 
been omnipotent and supreme. 

Now, citizens, look at the result. Is any man satisfied with 
it? Is it not time to ask this party, in whose hoods you have 
placed the (Jtovernmeut for the last eleven years of peace, why 
accumulating misfortunes oppress the land ? This is not a quea- 
tioo of party. It is a question for the nation. It affects your 
homes, your dearest interests, the interests of yonr wives and 
children. Bo not allow yourselves to be diverted from it. 

Eloquent orators will address you. lliey will appeal to yonr 
prejudices and strive to arouse your passions. Beware of them. 
Prejudice and passion are unsafe guides — (nlse lights that luro 
men into ruin. Trust rather to your own reason, to your own 
strong common sense, and to the clear light which heaven has 
set in your own hearts. 

What policy does tho people of the United States desire In 
the Governmeut of the future ? As to this, I think good people 
of all parties are nearly agreed. The people wish that henceforth 
the Ckivemmeut, throughont all the land, shall be a Government, 
not offeree, but of law — law lawfully executed and honestly ad- 
ministered — that elections throughout all the land shall be free, 


We want that our Goverment shall keep the nation's faith in- 
yiolate, fulfill all its just obligations, respecting and protecting 
all rights, all interests, not only of the public creditors, but of the 
debtor people. We want that the individual rights and dignity 
of our citizens be better respected by public servants ; we want 
no insolence in office, no assumption by any class or clique of 
the right to rule. We want that all men, poor and rich, artisan 
and millionaire, shall be equal in the eye of the law, so that the 
Dedaratiiin of Independence shall not be a mere sounding phi*ase, 
but a wholesome fact. We want union, real, active, substantial, 
all through the republic, so that all men may think and work 
t(^ether for the commonweal 

These objects, I am sure, all the people desire to attain. It is 
for you to consider which of the two parties claiming your con- 
fidence is most able and most willing to carry out these objects. 
But think of these things for yourselves. Remember it is your 
own fate and the fate of all you hold most dear which is at 

Let all the people rise to the level of their great duty. Let 
the sovereign ascend the throne and take the sceptre in his 
hand. That sovereign never dies. Forms of government 
change ; dynasties perish ; empires faU ; riches take wings and 
flee ; war devastates ; great cities decay ; the people alone re- 
main—conquest cannot kill it Tyranny strives in vain to ex- 
haust its xK)wer of endurance. Sometimes it sleeps and men 
forget it ; sometimes it forgets itself ; but, like letters written in 
invjjpible iok, which only become legible when held to the fire, 
so in the flame of great emergency — ^in the stress and storm of 
great crisis, the spirit of the people start into life. 

Citizens of the great Republic, your hour is come. It is you 
now who are on trial. Only through your fault or folly can the 
Republic falL Be true to your great record. Be equal to your 
great past Across the chasm of a hundred years, your pre- 
decessors — ^the fathers and founders of this nation — speak to 
you to-day : 

"We watched over the cradle of the Republic," say they. 
** We protected its infancy from harm, and history, with pen of 
light, has written our names on her scroll of honor. Our work 

340 ^'^ ntnosAL jUBn-BR. 

lasted for one trandred years. SlulL it be your wretched &te 
to watch the Bepablic in it« decline and to follow it to its 

Have we no answer to give? Have the thoasand voices of 
this great city no meaning? Is there no response in all this 
magnificent festival, which reigns over all our land to>day f Ay, 
there is. The chimes from the high steeples ring the answer 
oat ; antham and hymn appeal to Heaven bo witness its troth. 
This Repnbhc shall live and not die. For a hnndved yeai-s 
to come, it shall be prosperoas, honored, free. This is oar 
declaration. This promise we make to the past and to the 
future, and as oar predecesaors a hundred years ago, so say we. 
In sapport of this declaration, with a firm reliance on Divine 
Frovidencfi, we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

Fellow-Citizens : — We are gathered here to-day from every 
quarter of this great metropolis, imbued with a common pur- 
pose and actuated by a common motive, which every individual 
present understands full well. Our ears are straining to hear 
and our minds are eager to receive the words of gratitude, 
patriotism and liberty — ^the themes to-day of 40,000,000 of free- 
men. Our hearts are swelling to greet these sentiments, and 
with shouts of applause to waft them on until they echo amid 
the white hills of the East and the mountains of the far West, 
or die away on the placid gulf of the South. 

One hundred years of liberty and union ! Not every year of 
peace and quiet, but if maintained sometimes by battle and 
blood so much the richer and dearer. Shall we not be 
pardoned on this day for manifestations of pride at the success 
of the Eepublic ? The history of the world shows the people of 
every nation possess, instinctively, pride and love of country, 
and are we not justly proud of our coimtry, which can point to 
more progress and more great achievement in a single century 
than have been vouchsafed to any other nation in a decade of 
centuries ? 

The love of conntry I Time cannot efEaoe it, 
Nor distance dim its heaven descended light ; 

Nor adverse fsxne nor fortune e'er deface it. 
It dreads no tempest and it knows no night. 

Who would not be an American citizen and claim a home in 
these United States ? It has a home, bread and raiment for 
the family of every honest industrious man, no matter under 
what skies his eyes first saw the Kght of day, nor by what lan- 
guage he could be heard. Our lands are broad and free to alL 
The latch-string that opens to Uncle Sam's domain hangs ever 


on the outeide, and honest emigrants are alwajs 'welcome witbin 
our borders. We try to-day to show our gratitude to the noble 
men who secured our independence and laid the foundation of 
our prosperity. What a pleasant task ; but oh, how difficult ! 
We hare no memory rich with thankfulness that is not theirs. 
We have no praise rich with reverence that is not theirs. The 
world never saw more unseMsh or truer patriota No legislative 
hftll ever held wiser statesmen. Our liberty is the fruit of their 
labor and sacrifice. At the mention of the name of the humblest 
of their numbers we now bow in humble adoration and thanks- 
giving. May this warm Section never cool in the hearts of the 
American people ; may we never tire in studying the eaily his- 
tory of our BepubUc and the characters and lives of the great 
men who forged for us so strong and well the pillars of liberfy 
and equality. They are the boasted strength of our government 
and the envy of the other nations of the world. The past is a 
sure and safe guard by which to build hereafter. Our history 
assures us of the bright and lasting future if we but cling to 
the sheet anclior of our safety, the Constitution of the United 
States, and in harmonious accord remain loyal to our country's 
flag — emblem of liberty, "flag of the free heart's hope and 
home." And when thrones shall have crumbled into dust, when 
scepters and diadems shall have long been forgotten, the flag of 
our Republic shall still wave on, and its staj^ its stripes, Its 
eagle shall still float in pnde and strength and gloiy over the 
whole land ; not a stripe erased or poUuted, or a single star 




Globt be to God ! and here, throughout the land, far and 
near, through all our homes, be peace, good will and love. As 
one family, as one people, as one nation, we keep the birthday 
of our rights, our Hberty, our power and strength. Let us do 
this with eyes and hearts raised to the Fountain of all life, the 
Banning of all glory and might ; with words of praise and 
thanks to God who rules on high ; for He is the Hving God and 
steadfast power, and His kingdom that which shall not be des- 
troyed, and Ilis dominion shall be even unto the end. Where- 
fore as He is our strength and hope, let all begin and all go on, 
first and ever, with glory to God Most High. There are great 
things to think about to-day ; the growth of the jieople, unpara- 
lelled in history ; the vastness of their empke, a w^onder of the 
latter days ; the bands by which the mighty frame is held to- 
gether — so shght to the eye, so hard to break ; the many races 
welded into one ; the marvellous land, with its oceans on all 
^ddes, its lakes themselves Hke lesser oceans, its icebergs and gla- 
ciers, its torrid deserts, its mountain ranges and rich, fat valley 
land, its climates of all kinds, its livers, which would have seem- 
ed of all but fabulous length, its wealth in all that rock, and 
earth, and water can supply ; and then the people — active, able, 
full of enterprise and force, acting with the power of a myriad of 
giants, speaking one language, Hving under one flag, bound by 
common interests, and, as to-day, kindled by one common feel- 
ing of devotion, pride, joy, hope, sure there is enough to think 
about io-day, enough to fill the soul and almost make the head 
giddy. But let these things be spoken of elsewhere ; let others 
dwell upon them. We have a definite share in the national cel- 
ebration : let us not forget our part, which is to lift to God a 


great voice wliich He shall hear amid all the other voices ot the 
hour. Why do we gather hero? Is it to recount the praises of 
men and their mighty achievements ? Is it to make display of 
our national greatness, to tell over our victories and conquests 
in divers scenes of conflict, to celebrate the names and acts of 
chieftains, statesmen, and rulers of the laud, of brave and pa- 
tient people who gave fortune, hfe, and aocre^ honor to the State, 
of any of those who deserve remembrance to-day ? Let this be 
done elsewhere, as is right and fitting ; let men stand up when 
it is convenient, and set oration and address do honor to the 
dead and the hving, point the moral of our histoij', hold np the 
ideals of patriotism, virtne, and unselfish love of home and native 

But we must be about our Father's business ; we have other 
words to speak, deeper, further -reaching ; our work here is to 
offer praise and glory to God ; to bless Him in His relations to 
the nation as its Lord and King, as Buler and Oovemor, as 
Providence, law-giver, and Judge. Without God nothing of 
what we properly value to-day could have been. Without God 
there could have been no nation, nor nation's birthday. It is 
He that hath mode us and kept us one. The of&ceof the Church 
is to bless and sanctify the nation's feast day. She cannot be 
indifferent noi unmoved. We axe citizens of the earthly house 
as well as of the heavenly. We act in that double capacity in 
praising God Almighty, while nith our brethren we keep the 
feast. A.nd oh ! what ground for thankfulness to-day. Think 
of the mighty hand that hath led us and upheld us through 
these hundred years — what it has done for us— what that right 
hand of the Most High hath wrought ! Look back to the hum- 
ble beginninga — to the poor littie Colonists with tbeir scant 


eyes, and well aware of the toil, and blood, and grief that it must 
cost to maintain their manly attitude before the world. Think 
with what dread and sinking of hearfc, with what tears and part- 
ings, with what conflicts of spirit, and what doubts as to the 
duty of the hour, the foundations were laid ; and let us have a 
tender heart toward the old fathers of the State, the men who 
took their lives in their hands, and so brought the new nation 
to the birth, and then amid what untold trials and sufferings 
they carried on their war ! Think of the great hearts. ready to 
break, of the starved and ragged armies with that mighty spirit 
under their hunger-worn ribs, more frequently retreating than 
advancing, wasted by sickly summer heat, and often in winter 
standing barefoot in snow ; that squalid, sorrowful, anxious force 
working their sure way through cloud, and storm, and darkness 
to the victory, perfect and finished, at the end. It is touching 
to read the memorials of those days, and to think of all that has 
come since then ; how we are entered into their labors, and are 
at peace because they went through all that ; they sowed in 
tears and we reap in joy. So then let there be thanks to God 
for the past, out of which He has evoked the present grandeur 
of our State, and let us remember what we owe to those who 
went before, for a part of that debt is obvious ; to imitate the 
virtues and return to the simple mind, the pure intention, the 
unselfish d votion to the public weal which marked the founders 
of the Kepublic. It is a far cry to those days, but there still 
shine the stars which guided them on their way, the light of 
heaven illuminating the earth, the bright beacons of honesty, 
truth, simplicity, sincerity, self-sacrifice, under which, as under 
an astrological sign, the little one was bom. Pray heaven those 
holy lights of morahty and public virtue may not, for us, already 
have utterly faded away. Surely it is a marvellous thing to see 
how nations rise and grow ; how they gather strength ; how 
they climb to the meridian of their noonday light and glory ; 
how they blaze awhile, invested with their fullest splendors at 
that point, and thence how. they decline and rush downward 
into the evening, and the night, and the darkness of a long, dead 
sleep, whence none can awake any more. This history is not 
made without God. His hand is in it alL His decrees on 


natioD and State are just, in perfect jiietice, as on each one of 
OS men. And most it all be told over again in onr case? Is 
there no averting the common doom? Must each people but 
repeat the monotouous histoiy of those who went before ? Ood 
only knows how long the course will be till all shall be ac- 
complished. But certainly we, the citizens, may do something ; 
we may live pore, honest, sober Eves, for the love of conntiy 
also, as well as for the love of Christ We may, by taking good 
heed to ourselves, help to purify the whole nation, and so obtain 
a lengthening of onr tranquihty. We wont mach mora of this 
temper ; we need to feel that each man helps, in his own way, 
to save or to destroy his coantry. Every good man is a reason 
in God's eyes why He should spare the nation and prolong its 
life ; every bad man, in his vicious, selfish, evil life, is a reason 
why Qod should break up the whole system to which that 
worthless, miserable being belongs. 

If we love our country with a true, real love we shall show it 
by contributing in ouraelves to the sum of collective righteous- 
ness what it may be in onr power, aided by Clod's grace, to 
give. They are not true men who have no thanks to bring to 
the Lord this day. They are not true men who simply shont 
and cry, and make noisy demonstration, and speak great swell- 
ing words, without reason, or reflection, or any earnest thooght 
to duty, to God, and the State. From neither class can any 
good come ; not from the senselessly nproarous, not from the 
Uvid and gloomy children of discontent They were thought- 
ful, patriotic, self-sacrificing men who built this great temple 
of dvil and religious liberty. By such men only can it be kept 
in repair and made to stand for ages and ages. No kingdom of 
this world can lost forever, yet many endure to a great age. 


detain yon from the duty of the hoar. We meet to praise not 
man, but God ; to praise Him with a reasonable and devout 
purpose ; to bless him for our first century, for this day which 
He permits us to see, for our homes, our liberties, our peace 
our place among the powers of the earth. It is all from him, 
whatever good we have, and to him let us ascribe the honor and 
the glory. And let us say, with them of old time. 

"Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our fathers ; and to be 
praised and exalted above all forever. 

And Blessed is Thy glorious and holy name ; and to be praised 
and exalted above all forever. 

IBjJeesed art Thou in the temple of Thine holy glory ; and to 
be praised and glorified above all forever. 

Blessed art Thou that beholdcst the depths and sittest upon 
the cherubims; and to be praised and exalted above all for- 

Blessed art Thou in the glorious throne of thy kingdom ; to 
be praised and glorified above all forever. 

Blessed art Thou in the firmament of heaven ; and above all 
to be praised and glorified forever. 

Tea, let us bless the Most High, and fjfaise and honor Him 
that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, 
and His kingdom is from generation to generation. And all 
the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing ; and He 
doeih according to His will in the army of heaven and among 
the inhabitants of the earth." 

The exercises closed with the benediction by Right Rev. 
Horatio Potter, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese. 




SEW TOBK cmr, jult 4, 1876. 

Mr. Chairman : — One of the moat conspicnoos ojid pleas- 
ing objects in onr broad land to-day, is the stairy emblem 
of freedom — our dear old flag. We nee it, a centennial 
spectacle, floating ereiywhere, as we never saw it hetoxe, 
and as we never shall Bee it again. It is mifarled along 
onr highways, it adoins <rar pnbhc and private dwellings, 
it floats over our temjJes of worship, our halls of learning and 
courts of jusHce, and waves as grandly and gracefully over the 
lowest cottage in the land, as over the proud dome of the 
capital itself. It is our flag, with sweet centeonial memoties 
clinging to every fold, our flag along whose atripea we may trace 
the trinmphant march of one hundred years, and from whose 
stars we see the light of hope and liberty still fluahing npon the 

The origin of our flag is, to some extent, involved in myeteiy 
and controversy. It has been claimed by some that its stars 
and stripes were first taken ^m the shield of the Washington 
family, which was distinguished by colored lines and stars ; and 
if this be so. it is not at all improbable, though by no means 
certain, that Washington himself may have suggested the pe- 


thirteen stars were used to represent the union of those States. 
And oar flag still retains its stars occasionally adding one to the 
number, and, as traitors know to their sorrow, it also still re- 
tains its stripes, well laid on. We have never found it necessary 
to ask true American citizens to respect and honor our flag. 
When Gen. Dix, on the 29th of Januaiy, 1861, penned those 
terse memorable words : " If any one attempts to haul do\\n the 
American flag shoot him on the spot ; " the loyal people of the 
nation said, '' Ameu. So let it be." 

We do not wonder that our people, and especially our soldiers 
love the flag. It is to them both a history and a prophecy. 
No wonder that brave soldier as he fell on the fleld of battle said, 
" Boys, don't wait for me ; just open the folds of the old flag 
and let me see it once more before I die." 

No wonder that Massachusetts soldier boy, dying in the gory 
streets of Baltimore, lifted up his glazing eyes to the flag and 
shouted, ''All hail, the stars and the stripes ! ! ! " Our flag is a 
power everywhere. One has justly said, " It is known, respected 
and feared round the entire globe. Wherever it goes, it is the re- 
cognized symbol of intelligence, equality, freedom and Christian 
civilization. WTierever it goes the immense power of this great 
BepubUc goes with it, and the hand that touches the honor of 
the flag, touches the honor of the KepubUc itself. On Spanish 
soil, a man entitled to the protection of our government was 
arrested and condemned to die. The American consul uitor- 
ceded for Ins life, but was told that the man must sufter deatli. 
The hour appointed for tlie execution came, and Spanish guns, 
gleaming in the sunlight, were ready for the work of death. At 
that critical moment the American consul took our flag, and 
folded its stars and stripes around the person of the doomed 
man, and then turning to the soldiers, said : " Men, remember 
thata siogle shot through that flag will be avenged by the entire 
power of the American Repubhc." That shot was never fired. 
And that man, around whom the shadows of death were gather- 
ing, was saved by the stars and the stripes. Dear old flag ! 
Thou art a power at home and abroad. Our fathers loved thee 
in thine infancy, one hundred years ago ; our heroic dead loved 
thee, and we loved thee, and fondly clasp thee to our hearts to- 


day. All thy stars gleam like gems of beauty on thy brow, and 
all thy stripes beam upon the eye like bows of promise to the 

■Wave on, thou peerless, matchless bauner of the free ! Wave 
on, over the army and the navy, over the land and the sea, over 
the cottage and the palace, over the school and the church, over 
the living and the dead ; wave ever more, " O'er the land of the 
free and the home of the breve." 




YOBK ciry, JULY 4th, 1876. 

We stand to-day, nationally, very much like a school of boys 
passing up into a higher grade of education. Hitherto, we 
have been bat in the primary department. The reyolution of 
1T76, was based not merely upon legislative measures, but the 
straggle was begun and completed, upon the great underlying 
principles of human nature itself. Anchored to these princi- 
ples success was certain and perfect. Freedom, and the love 
of freedom, have been the glory of our history as a nation. 
Just where we have been free we have been strong, and just 
where we have not been free, we have been week. Yet, in a 
century, through which inexperience has been feeling its way, 
our nation has wrought out, and put into practical operation, 
the freest constitution in the world, — or I would rather say, 
the only free popular constitution in history. This instrument 
is the production of growth, having attained its present per- 
fection by a series of progressive steps, or amendments, without 
taking one step backwards. Now, the solitary grandeur of this 
bond consists in the fact, that it does not cover one of those old 
crimes against the citizen which has always been perpetrated 
against him under the highest civilization in Europe. We 
boast to-day, that the foot of a slave does not press Ameri- 
can soil. But is this all ? Ought not every just mind, to re- 
member with gratitude, that America has never originated any 
system of bondage. That dark system of slavery, which cost 
xis so dearly, was bequeathed to us by the Dutch, the French, 
the Spainish and the English. The old American Colonies 
'were almost unanimously arrayed against it, from Massachusetts 
to Georgia. Georgia, declared that it was " against the gospel 
and the EngHsh law," and was a " horrid crime." Virginia, 


earnestly petitioned tlie Ci-owu to allow her tat«l exemption 
from it, alleging, that it would " endanger her very existence ;" 
and South Carolina reeistoJ the imposition of slavery upon her 
as an outrage. 

Bat British cupidity insisted that the system, including the 
slave trade, was necessary in the colonies, to the building ap of 
British commerce : therefore, the mother country turned a 
deaf ear to the wishes of the colonies, and forced slavery npoD 
them against their consciences — against their rights — and 
againa' their remonstrances. More than that, she actnallj made 
a treaty with Spain, by which she was to enjoy the monopoly of 
the slave trade, and pledged herself to import 144,000 slaves 
into the "West Indies within thirty years ; and Queen Anne and 
Philip, took half the stock between them. Hesce, when the 
Republic came into being, slavery was found in every colony. 
As well as they could, the fathers of our country began to re- 
move it at once. The world had been balancing the question 
of freedom and bondage for thousands of years. Asia hud in- 
vestigated it, as best she could under the light of her civililizs- 
tion. Africa had attempted to solve tlie difficulty — and Europe 
had legislated upon it in every form. But it was left for tihe 
American colonies to say to the world, for the £rst time, on the 
4th of July, 1776, that "All men are bom, free and equal." 

This avowal astonished the world, as if it were a formidable 
heresy; but when American democracy sealed it in patriotic 
blood, the world was thunderatmck, for no nation had ever 
thought of stamping the seal of its blood on that doctrine be- 
fore. And, fi-om that day to this, in one hundred years, the 
American Republic has done more for liberty and against 
iple had ilone Ix-fore. Britain i> 


chained her slaves ; with a superb generosity, she paid down 
twenty millions, and washed from her hands the stain of blood. 
The nations of the earth looked on in admiration ; fi'om the 
fonr comers of the world came shouts of applause. It seemed 
indubitable that it had been an act of justice and humanity to 
the negro. But the plaudits were premature. If a^^pearances 
could be trusted, it was not the negro but herself Britain had 
spared." She did not move a step in her West India policy, till 
she was well persuaded that it w£is for her fiscal interests to do 
so, and then, the measures which she adopted to free herself 
of slavery, were those which half a dozen of the American States 
had already adopted ; always excepting, that they freed their 
slaves VTithout remuneration, while she claimed and paid to her- 
self their fuU monied value. Meanwhile, without being the 
author of the slave system, our nation has quietiy gone forwards 
working out the problem of the Declaration of Independence, 
and in a century, on the principle that slavery jeoparded the 
liberties of the nation, has made this the home of free men only, 
and forever. 

Then, again, we ought to give thanks, no less, because, the 
influence of our nation has been extremely wholesome upon othe 
nations; chiefly, through the influence of this RepubUc the 
late French empire failed to bring Mexico back to monarchical 
institutions, under Maxamilian. And, certainly, no weU informed 
man can doubt that the moral weight of example on the part of 
the United States has been very great upon the modern political 
history of France herself. The present constitutional Bepublic 
of France, built up over the grave of Napoleon in., and con- 
formed so largely to the model of our own, sufficiently attests 
this. Then again, the power of the American States has been 
immensely felt upon the destinies of Spain. Unfit fi*om want of 
proper educational culture, for the Hberties of a firm repubhc, 
she has made the attempt to found one, with anamount of success 
that has astonished those who are bast acquainted with her intel- 
lectual and moral status. The form thereof has passed away for the 
present, but the seeds of civil and religious hberty have been sown 
in her constitution and institutions, so freely and efficiently, thdt 
they can never be uprooted hereafter. And most of all, the 


reflex infl^ience of tliis country apon Great Britain hecselfi haa 
been, and ia still felt. la man; respects the Inflaeiice acting 
back and forth between the two nations, the one apon the other, 
baa been reciprocal, ns would be natural, arising from a com- 
mon origin of longnage, blood, common law and religion, to say 
nothing of tlie matnal interests of commerce. Bntin all politi- 
cal aspects, oar political life has had a leavening inflaence apon 
them tenfold greater than theirs has been apon oa. WiUiiu 
my own memory Roman Catholics could not sit in the English 
Parliameot, and a jew could not be a British dtizen. Now, all 
this ia done away with, and as in our own country, no religioaa 
test is np])licd in her parliamentary representation so that the 
Catholic commoner and peer eit side by side with their Proteet- 
out fellow-citizens, and a native Jew ia Premier of the empire. 

With the overthrow of religioaa caste in her parliament, Eng- 
land bos abandoned her Stamp Act upon newspapers, leaving 
the press free in more senses than one — has extended her suf- 
frage, till it is all but universal — has granted the right of the 
ballot — abolished rehgions tests in her nniversitiea — disestab- 
lished the Irish Chorch—and made merit and not purchase the 
price of promotion in her army. All these are American meas- 
ures, and for all these, and many other things, we should give 
thanka to God ; these blessings ore from Him. 

And as to the future, let us resolve to conserve all our liber- 
ties more jealously than ever. It ia with pain that wa t^iink of 
any bigot amongst us breathing the thought that tbd proscrip- 
tion of Roman Cathohcs in the United States is witbin the pos- 
sibility of toleration. I feel ashamed when I bear men say 
that tbe Catholic and his religion have no right here, for the 


the Mongolian ia just aR odions to true American principles on 
the sabject of human rights, as the bondage of negroes, and 
the persecution of Jews or Catholica If all men are born free 
and equal" and this utterance means anything but an empty 
avowal, then, Mongolians have as much right here as Africans, 
or Europeans, or anybody else, and are entitled to the same 

I apprehend that the men of a hundred years to come will 
blush to think that black men or white — Jew or heathen — 
skeptic or Chiistian — can be questioned as to their right to a 
home in this land, and to protection under its banner, as com- 
ing of their rightful inhcrittmco in common with others, to all 
the immunities of men, and that simply on the ground that 
they are ** men,'' 




Tlirongh Btorm and calm the years liave lead 

Our nation on from stage to stage 
A century's space until we tread 
Tiie tliresliold of another age. 

W(! seetlicre, o'er our pathway swept, 
A torrent stream of blood aod fire ; 

And thank the ruling power who kept 
Our sacred league of States entire. 

Oh ! checkered train of years, farewell, 

Willi all tliy strifes and hopes aud fears ; 

But with us let thy memories dwell, 

Ti> warn and lead the coming years. 

And thoti, the new beginning age, 

Warned by the past and not in vaiil, 

Write on a fairer, whiter page 

The record of thy happier reign. 




Of all the places on this Contiiient, where, from political con- 
siderations, vast assemblies should gather to^daj, there is no 
place that can eqnal Philadelphia, where that orator and states- 
man and civilian, Evarts, is holding in rapt attention the great 
crowds. Yet if it be not a question of political but of military 
interest, I know of no other point throughout the land where 
the people may more fitly assemble for retrospect and for pride 
than in this goodly place of PeekskilL For we stand in the 
very centre of the military operations that were during the 
Bevolution conducted in the northern part of the country. 
The great ferry — ^the King's Ferry, by which chief communica- 
tion was had between all New England and New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania, within whose bounds there was the greatest part 
of the population of the county — ^lies right opposite to us. 
This is the centre of the scene of that vast drama. Around 
this region was that great drama played — the treachery of 
Arnold and the sad recompense upon Andre. In these streets 
our armies have trod. In this town, indeed, Washington dated 
the commission which was the last received by Arnold at the 
hands of his countrymen. Off upon this bay hovered the 
British fleet. 

A hundred years have passed siace this region was the 
theatre of such stirring scenes and vicissitudea A hundred 
years is a loug period in the life of a man — a short period in 
the life of a nation. A hundred years I It is eighteen hun- 
dred since the Advent. A thousand years scarcely take us 
back beyond the beginning of iSuropean nations in their mod- 
em form. A hundred years is scarcely the *' teens " to which 
nations come. And it seldom happens that any nation has for 
its thousand such a hundred years as that which has been 

358 ouB NfrioRAi. roenjEt. 

Toachsafed to as. From a population of scant tiiree milliana, 
inclading the slave population, we have swelled to more than 
forty millions. Then a small strip of settled territory lined Ui6 
Atlantic. Almost no foot except the pioneer's had trod the 
monntaiii path, or had pressed the soil of the country beyond. 
Now the Atlantic and the Pacific are joined by the wire and by 
the iron road, and that has come to pass in reality which in the 
Scripture is spoken of in poetry — " Deep answers unto deep ;" 
and the ocean breaks upon one shore to be answered by the 
other ; and all the way across the thickly-settled communities — 
towns and cities innnmerable. 

And yet this is but small as compared wich the augmentation 
of material interesta The wealth that scarcely now is com- 
pntable, the industries that thrive, the inventions, the discov- 
eries, the organizations of labor and of capital, the vast spread 
of the industries through the valleys and over the hiUs — who 
can estimate that of the early day which was but as a seed com- 
pared with that of our day which waves like Lebanon? And 
yet what are machines, ships and rails — what are granaries and 
ix>adB and canals — what are herds upon a thonsaud hills — 
what are all these in comparison with man ? All labor and the 
products of labor are valuable only as they promote the virtue 
and the comfort of man — only as they promote the manhood 
which is in man. Though we had a quadrupled wealth, yet if 
the people were decayed or enfeebled, what would our {nros- 
perity be worth? Not worth the assembling htre to look back 
upon, or to look forward to. The value of our material growth 
is to be estimated by its effect upon the people. 

What, then, has been the history of a hundred years in re- 


broad spaces and through yast multitudes? What is the his- 
tory of the people? What are we to-day ? What our fathera 
were we know. Their life was spent ; their history was regis- 
tered ; we read what they were, and form an estimate of them 
with gratitude to God ; but what are we, their sons ; Have 
we shrunk ? Are we unworthy of their names and places and 
functions, which have been transmitted from their hands to 
ours ? What are the laws, what are the institutions, what is 
the Government, what are the policies of this great nation, re- 
deemed from foreign thrall to home independence ? Aie they 
committed to puny hands, or is manhood broadened and 
strengthened and ennobled ? 

Look then at our population. See what it is, spread abroad 
through all the land. It might almost be said that America 
represents every nation on the globe better than the nation re- 
presents itself. We have the best things they have got in 
Ireland, for we have stripped her almost bare. We have the 
canny Scotchman in great numbers among us, though not 
enough for our own good, and too many for Scotland's good. 
We have the Englishman among us, and are suspected our- 
selves of having English blood in our veins ! We have also 
those from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia even, Germany, 
Austria and Hungary, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland. We 
can cull from all these nations out of our population men in 
large numbers of whom they are not ashamed, and for whom 
we are grateful. We have our fields tilled by foreign hands, 
and our roads built by them. 

This is a matter of political economy ; but the question which 
I propose to you is, What are they as component elements of a 
new American stock ? Do you believe in stock — do you believe 
in blood ? I do. Do you believe in "^* crossing " judiciously ? 
Do you believe that the best blood of all nations will ultimate 
by and by in a better race than the primitive and the incomplex 
races ? Mixed now in kindly alliance we have fortified and en- 
riched our blood ; we have called the world to be our father 
and the &ther of our posterity ; and there never was a time in 
the history of this nation when the race stock had in it so much 
that was worth the study of the physiologist and philanthrc* 

S60 ocB HATiOKU. tvsnxK. 

piat aa to-day. We are enriched beyond tbe power of grat- 
itude. I for one regard all the inconveniences of foreign 
mixtures, the difference of language, the differenoe of costoniB, 
the difference of religion, the difference in domestic arrange- 
ments — I regard all these inconveniences as a trifle ; bnt the 
augmentation of power, of breadth, of manhood, the promise 
of the future, is past all compntation ; and there nerer waa, 
there uever b^an to be in the early day, sncli promise of 
physical vigor and of beauty and energy and life as there is to- 
day upon this continent 

And now consider not only that this race-stock for these 
reasons is mode a better one than that which existed a hundred 
years ago, but that the conditions of existence among the whole 
population are better than they were a hundred years ago. We 
not only wear better heads, but we have better bellies, vith 
better food in them. We have also better clothes now. In 
other words, the art of living healthily has advanced immensely ; 
and though cities have enlarged, and though the causes of 
danger to sanitary conditions are multiphed, science has kept 
pace ; and there never was a time, I will not say in our own 
history, but in the historj- of any nation on the globe, when the 
conditions of life were so wholesome, the conditions of hap- 
piness BO universally diffoscd, as they are to-day in this great 
land. We grumble — we inherit that from our cncesfors ; we 
often mope and ves ourselves with melancholy pn^fnosticationB 
ooncemiug this and that danger. Some men are bom to see 
the devil of melancholy ; they would see him ratting in the very 
door of heaven, methinks ! Not I ; for thou^ there be mis- 
chiefs and troubles, yet when we look at the great conditions of 
human life in society, they have beeu augmented favorably, and 


The earth itself is but just outside our door-yard. We can now 
call to Asia and the distant part of the earth easier than they 
could to Boston or Philadelphia a hundred years ago : and all 
the fleets of the world bring hi(;her the tribute of the globe, and 
that not for the rich man and the sumptous liver, but for the 
common folks o£ the land to which we all belong. The houses 
in which we live are better ; better warmed in winter — and our 
summers are well warmed too. The implements by which the 
common man works are mliltiplied ; the processes which he can 
control, and which are so organized in society that he gets the 
reflex benefit of them, are incalculable. And all that the soil 
has, all that the sea has, aU that the mountain locks up, and all 
that is invisible in the atmosphere, are so many servitors work- 
ing in this great democratic land for the multitude, for the great 
mass of the common people. We are in that regard advano'^d 
far beyond the days of our fathers ; for then they had not es- 
caped from the hereditary influences of aristocratic thoughts, 
aristocratic classes, or aristocratic tendencies even in govern- 
ment. But the progress of democracy — which is not merely 
pohtical, but which is in rehgion, in hteratiure, in art, and even 
in mechanics — the great wave of democratic influence has been 
for a hundred years washing in further and further toward the 
feet of the common people. And to-day there is not on the face 
of the globe another forty millions that have such amphtude of 
sphere, such strength of purpose, such instruments to their 
hand, such capital, such opportunity, such happiness. And that 
leads me to speak — going aside from the common people indi- 
vidaally or as in classes-of their institutioiiB, and let me begin 
where you began, in the household. 

What is the family and the household to-day as compared 
with the family and the household a hundred years ago ? Time 
is a great magnifying medium. We look back a himdred years 
and think that things in the household and society must have 
been better and finer than they are to-day. No, no. If there 
lias been one thing that has grown silently, without measure- 
ment, without estimation and without appreciation, it has been 
the scope, the richness, the happiness, the purity, the intelH- 
gence, of the American household. For, although there were 


here and tbere notable mausioDB; liere and tliereiiotablehotue- 
holds of truth, intelligence and virtue in the oldeii time yet we 
are concerned vrith the averages ; and the aveinge AmeEioan. 
bouaebold is wiser to-day than it was a hundred years ^o. 

There is more mat«rial fur thought, for comfort and for home 
loving to-day, in the ordinary workman's house, than tltere was 
a hundred years ago in one of a hundred rich men's moiudong. 
For no man among us is so poor — unless he drinks whiskey too 
much ; no man that was well bom among us (and to be well 
born is, first, to be born at all, and secondly, to be born oat oS 
Tirtuons parents, who set the child good examples) — no man 
that has been well boru in this land is so poor as to stand at 
the bottom of the ladder for twenty years. No man in this 
country needs to do that, unless there has been some radical de- 
fect in his birth or his training. The laborer ought to be 
ashamed of himself who in twenty years does not own the 
ground his house stands on, and the hoose unmortgaged ; who 
has not in that house provided carpets for the rooms, who has 
china in his cupboai'ds, who has not his chromos, who haa not 
some pidure or portrait hanging upon the walls, who has not 
some books nestling on the shelf, who has not a household tJiat 
calls home the sweetest plat^ on earth, lliis is not at all a 
picture of the future ; it is a picture of the homes of the work- 
ingmen of AuLerico. The average workingmen live better to- 
day in the household and in the family than they did a hundred 
years ago. We have come to It stealthily, without record or ob- 
servation ; yet it is none the less true that the average condi- 
tion of the honsehold for domestic comfort has gone up mote 
than one per cent, for ever}' year of the last hundred years. 
But that is not all. The members of the household also hare 



children are what the mother makes them. She is the legislator 
of the household ; she is the judge that sits upon the throne of 
love. All severity comes from love in a mother's hand ; she is 
the educator ; she also is the atonement when sins and trans- 
gressions have brought children to shama The altar of peni- 
tence is at the mother's knee, and not the heart of God knows 
better how to forgive than she. Now if womanhood has gone 
down, woe be to us; for the richer we are and the stronger we 
are the worse we are; but if womanhood has gone up in intelli- 
gence, in influence, in virtue and religion, then the country is 
safe, though its fleets were sunk and its cities were burned, 
though its crops were mildewen and blasted. For easy is re- 
covery where the head forces are sound; but where there is 
corruption at the initial point of power all outward adjuvants 
and helps are in vain. 

And I declare that in the last hundred years woman, who 
before had brooded and blossomed in aristocratic circles, has 
in America come to blossom through democratic circles, and is 
in America to-day undisputed and uncontradicted what before 
ahe has been allowed to be only when she had a coronet upon 
her brow, or some scepter of power in her hand. Not only is 
she unvailed, not only is she permitted to show her face where 
men do congregate, not only is she a power in the silence of the 
house, but she has become in the church a teacher ; and Paul 
from a thousand years ago may in vain now say, " Let not your 
women teach in the church." They cannot go there without 
being teachers and silent lettera They are the books and epis- 
tles that are known and read of all men. They have come to 
sach a d^ree of knowledge, they have come to suph a use of 
intellectual treasure, they have so learned how to dispose of 
that primal and highest gift, moral intuition, which God gave 
to them in excess over man, as that never before in any land, 
certainly never in our own, was womanhood at such a point of 
power and influence as the present day. Nor has she done 
growings That power which was latent and indirectly applied 
is seeking for itself channels that shall be direct and influential. 
Tou may die too soon to see, as many have died before they saw 
the beatific vision, but you that live long enough vrill see woman 


Tot«, and when jon eeo woman voting jou will see less lying, 
less selfiehDesB, less brutality, and moro public spirit and hero- 
ism and romance in publio affairs. I do not propose to discuss 
the qnesdon at any length with yon, bat I cannot fall to recog- 
nize, with thanksgiving, that steady EKlvance which is snze to 
make woman a voter in this generation. 

In the beginning of onr history no man conld vote who was 
not a mtmber of the church; ant!, by the vvay, ihe deacons, to 
relieve the chiircb members from the trouble of calling at the 
ballot-boics, took their hats and went arouud and collected the 
votes from bouse to hooae; but dencous In those days were 
trustworthy. A fter a little a man was allowed to vot«, though be 
did not belong to the church, if he was a white man and owned 
property to a certain amount, and that was the first step in 
nngmeutntioii of suffrage and the widening of its distribatian. 

After a time it became necessary to knock down even that ex- 
ception. Franklin labored with might and main to this end, 
nnd em]>loyed that Eigutficant argamcnt : " If a man may not 
vote unless be is a property-holder to the amount of one hun- 
dred dollars, and he owns as ass (hat is worth just a hundred 
dollars, and to-day the ass is well and he votes, but to-morrow 
the ass dies, and ho cannot vote — which votes, the ass or the 
man ?" The prupert? qualification disappeared before the demo- 
cratic wave, which washed it nil away. 

Then came the question of foreipners' voting. They wra« 
not allowed to vote except upon long probation. Like many of 
your fences, one rail after another fell down, until the fence that 
at iirfit was so high that it could not be jumped, became so low 
that anything coiJd jump it that wanted to ; and in New York 
now they jump it qmte easily. But the day is coming, and I 
hope very soon, when tliis pretense of limitation will itsdf be 
taken away, and every man that means in good faith to settle 
here shall have it proclaimed to liim, the moment he sttmds 
) not to partake of the protection of our laws 
jierB onal respouBibility for the exe- 
1 vote the mo- 


ihe franchise. This was the boldest thing that ever was 
one. It is said that it was a war measure. It was necessanlj 
connected with the war as to come tinder that general desig- 
^^laiaon ; and I aver that no land ever, even in war, did so brave 
snd bold a thing as to take from the plantation a million black 
men who could not read the Constitution or the spelling-book, 
and who conld hardly tell one hand from the other, and permit 
them to vote; in the sublime faith that liberty, which makes a 
man competent to vote, would render him £t to discharge the 
duties of the voter. And I beg to say, as I am bound to say, 
that when this one million imwashed black men came to vote, 
though much disturbancie occurred — as much disturbance al- 
ways occurs upon great changes — they proved themselves 
worthy of the trust that had been confided to them. Before 
emancipation the black man was the most docile laborer that 
the world ever saw. During the war, when he knew that his 
liberty was the gage, when he knew the battie was to decide 
whether he should or should not be free, although the country 
for himdreds of miles W£^ stripped bare of able-bodied white 
men, and though property and the hves of the women and chil- 
dren were at the mercy of the slave, there never was an instance 
of arson, or assassination, or rapine, or conspiracy, and there 
never was an uprising. They stood still, conscious of their 
power, and said, " We will see what God will do for us." Such 
a history has no paraUeL ^And since they began to vote, I beg 
leave to say, in closing this subject, that they have voted just as 
wisely and patriotically as their late masters did before the 

And now there is but one step more. We permit the lame, 
the halt, and the blind to go to the ballot-box ; we permit the 
foreigner and the black man, the slave and the freeman, to par- 
take of su&age ; there is but one thing left out ; and that is 
the mother that taught us, and the wife that is thought worthy 
to walk side by side with us. It is woman that is put lower 
than the slave — Slower than the ignorant foreigner. She is put 
among the paupers and the insane whom the law will not allow 
to vote. But the days are numbered in which the exclusion 
can take place. 


So in a hundred years sufiroge has extended its botrnds imtil 
it inclades the whole pojiulatiun, and there is nothing left that 
will not vote in less than another hundred years, anlees it be 
the power-loom, the locomotive. Hud the wiitch ; and I some- 
times think, looking at these machines and their performances, 
and seeing what they do, that they too ought to vote. 

More than that, during this time what has been the progresii 
of the country iu inteUigence and the means of intelligence? 
A hundred years ago, I had alm(»t said, school-housee coold 
be counted, certainly o{ion the hairs of your head, if not npon 
the fingers of your hand, in New England and tbronghoat the 
country. As I remember them, they were miserable, nnpainted 
buildings, that roasted you in winter and stank in sommer, with 
alaba for seats, with old Webster for the spelling-book, with 
Daboll for the arithmetic, with three months of scbodl in the 
winter, and with one, two or three in summer. Compare them 
with the high schools, the graded schools, and the primary 
schools, that are now the pride of every populous nei^bor- 
hood. Has there been no augmentation in the instraments of 

Then tbei-e were perhaps twenty newspapers in the United 
States. Alas ! bow they have increased dnoe then ! These are 
said to be the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations ; 
and often in this regard that conies to pass which comes to pass 
in sickness — that meu who take the leaves are made dcker than 
they were before. But every man reads the newspaper to-day. 
The drayman, at his noi>ning, divides the time between his littie 
tin kettle and his newspaper. A man, though he goes home tired, 
yet must know what is the news. The vast majority of labor- 


lions lands, through lectures, through all manner of instru- 
ments of enlightenment Consider how our pohtical organiza^ 
tions are turning themselves into great educating conventions, 
in which the best men discourses on their theories of govern- 

I hold that no German university ever had it in its halls such 
legists or judical men as were turned out by wholesale in this 
country during the late war, and for years preceding that war, 
for the discussion of questions relating to the rights of the indi- 
vidual, the nature of the State, the duty of the citizen, and the? 
functions and prerogatives of the Legislature and the Govern- 
ment. Never were a people so educated as this people were dur- 
ing the twenty-five years which preceded the present For, let 
me tell you, in 1776 there were twenty-nine public libraries in 
the United States ; or, there were about one and two-thirds vol- 
umes for each hundred of the people in the country. In 1876 
there are 3,682 pubUc hbraries in the United States, not includ- 
ing the Hbraries of the common schools, of the Church, or the 
Sunday schools, numbering in the aggregate 12,276,000 volumes, 
or about thirty volumes to one hundred persons. Between 1775 
and 1800 — a period of twenty-five yeai's — there were Iwenty 
public Hbraries foimed. Duiing another period of twenty-five 
years — ^between 1800 and 18-5 — there were 179 pubHc Hbraries 
formed. During the next period of twenty-five years — ^between 
1825 and 1850 — there were 551 pubHc Hbraries formed. Dui- 
ing the twenty-five years intervening between 1850 and 1875, 
there were 2,240 public Hbraiies formed. And in aU the history 
of America there has not been a period when the brain of the 
population has teemed with such fertiHty as nit did during the 
twenty-five years last past, in which the great and agitating dis- 
cussions of slavery took place. During the war, when there was 
such a subsoiHng of this country, there was displayed such an 
energy and activity of its people as they had never before dis- 
played. Never before were there twenty-five years in which 
there were such tremendous agents employed for instruction ; 
never before were there such instruments of enlightenment 
brought to bear upon us. 

And that which is indicated in the increase of books is carried 


out in the inGreaoe of newspapers and nis^azuiea, not only, but 
in the increase of macliiiiery, and ogricnlture, and art, and the 
mecbonical buaiQess of life. The impulse toward power stid 
f mitf ulness was never so emiseut as it was during those twen^- 
five years in which the rights of men were the f iindamental qne»- 
tiona that were discussed, and in which we proved the sincerity 
of the North and the weakness of the South. 

Thus far we have spoken of the condition of the common peo- 
ple and their various institutions. Let ma say, in passing, one 
word on that subject which from my very profession it might 
be thoufjht that I would mention first, and which on that very 
account I only glance at, lest I should seem to give uudne promi- 
uence to that professiou. The state of religious feeling in this 
country is more advanced to-day, by many and many degrees, 
than it has beun in any period anterior to this. 

When the Ohio Biver, the mountain snow melting, swells up 
to the measure of its banks, and begins to overflow and over- 
flow, the big Miama bottoms are one sheeted fleld of water ; 
and where I once lived — ^in Lawrenceburg) Indiana— I conld 
take a boat and go twenty-five miles straight across the coun- 
try, so vast was the volume. Now, suppose a man had taken 
a skiff and guoe out over the fields and plumbed the depth and 
found only five feet of water, and had said, "Ah 1 only five feet 
of water, and the Ohio had forty feet." Well the Ohio has not 
shrunk onu inch. There aie fui-ty feet there and there are five 
feet everywhere else. Beligiou used to be mainly in the church, 
and men used to have to measure the church in order to know 
how deep the religion was ; but there has been rain on the 
mountains and the moral feehng that exists in the commonity 
and in the wurlJ hits overflowed the buuiid of tJio cliurch. and 


to the extent to which it exists now. I am one who, although 
I am a servant of the church, a minister within her bounds, 
whenever I look out of her windows and see hundreds of good 
men outside, am not sorry. I thank God when I see a better 
man in a denomination that is not my own than I see in my 
own denomination. I thank Gk>d when I see virtue and true 
piety existing outside of the church, as well as when I see it 
existing inside of the church. I recognize the hand of Grod as 
being as bountiful, and I recognize his administration as being 
as broad as the rains or the sunshine. God does not send to 
Peekskill just as much sunshine as you waM for your com and 
rye and wheat It shines on stones and sticks and worms and 
bng& It pours its light and heat down upon the mountains 
and rocks and everywhere. God rains not by the pint nor by 
the quart, but by the continent. Whether things need it or 
not, he needs to pour out his bounty, that he may relieve him- 
self of his infinite fullness. 

And so it is in the community. Never before was there 
so much conscience on so many subjects as there is to-day. 
I know there is not always enough conscience to go around. 
I know tnere are men whose consciences are infirm on cer- 
tain sides. I know that in the various professions there are 
many places where there are gaps, or where the walls are too 
low. But the cultivation of the conscience is an art. 

Conscience is a thing that is learned. No man has much 
more conscience than he is trained to. So the minister has his 
conscience ; it is according to the training that he has had ; and 
it is thought to be fair for him to hunt a brother minister for 
heresy, though it would not be fair for him to hunt him for 
anything else. A lawyer has his conscience. It is sometimoB 
verj high, and sometimes very low. As an average, it is very 
good. The doctor has his conscience, and his patients have 
tiieirs. Everybody has his conscience, and everybody's consci- 
ence acts according to certain lines to which he has been drilled 
and trained. Right and wrong are to the great mass of men 
as letters and words. We learn how to spell ; and if a man 
spells wrong, and was taught in that way, nevertheless it is his 
way of spelling. And so it is with men's consciences. 


Now, I aver that mere lagielative consdeiice is genins. Nat 
one man in a million has a Bense of what is right end wrong ex- 
cept aa the retmlt ol education and experience, No man in com- 
plex circnmetances has a conception of jnstice and reotitade by 
a legiBlative conscience. The great maas of men — t«acherB and 
taught — are obliged to depend apon the rerelationa of experi- 
ence to enable them to determine what ia right and wrong. 
They hare to Bet their consciences by the mle of .the experiences 
which they ba^e gone through. 

I aver, not that the conscience of this people is a perfect con- 
science, and not thift it does not need a great deal of edncattOD, 
but that, Bucb as it is, it is better and higher and more nniversal 
than it was at any other period of the hundred years that have 
just gone by. I would rather trust the moral sentiment of the 
community now on any qnestion of domestic policy, or on any 
question of legislative policy, than at any earher period in the 
history of America. Z would rather tmst the moral judgment 
and common sense of the milbons of the common people, wiUun 
the bounds of their knovrledge, than the special knowledge of 
any hundred of the best trained geniuses that there ate in the 

This is not true in respect to those departments of knowledge 
which the common people have never reached. There ia no 
common sense in astronomy, because there is no common knowl- 
edge in astronomy ; the same is also true of engineering ; but 
in that whole vast realm of qucstioas which do come down to 
men's board and bosoms, the motol sentiment of the great mass 
of the common people is more reliable than the judgment of the 
few. In all those questions there is a common conscience and a 
common moral scnso ; nntl I say that the average moral Bense 


nation was going to be raised up merely to be the manure of 
some after nation, being plowed under. It seemed to me as 
though all the avenues of power were in the hands of despotism : 
as though a great part of humanity was trodden under foot; as 
though every element that could secure to despotism a continu- 
ance of its power had been seized and sealed; and I did not see 
any way out — God forgive me; but those very steps which made 
the power and despotism of Slavery dangerous were in the end 
its remedy and its destruction. 

This great North had long, partly from necessity and partly 
from a misguided and romantic patriotism, encouraged and pro- 
moted that which was the caries of free institutions, the bane of 
liberty, and the danger which threatened the continent in all 
after times. But when at last the nation was aroused, it smote 
not once, nor twice, but, according to the old prophet, seven 
times; and then dehverance was wrought. The power of a na- 
tion is to be judged by its resistance to disease. All nations 
are liable to attack; but the real power of a nation is shown in 
its abihty to throw off disease — in its resiliency. The power 
of recovery is better than all soundness of national constitution. 
It is better than anything else can be. America has arisen 
from a fifth-rate power; but she looks calmly and modestly over 
the ocean, and is a first-rate power among the nations to-day. 
She was a democracy; the people made their own laws; they 
leivied and collected their own taxes; and it was said, " Of course 
they will not allow themselves to be taxed more than they want 
to be." "We were not a mihtary people; Europe told us so. 
Ghreat Britain told us so. They told me so to my face; and I 
said on many a platform, with an audience like this: ^^ You do 
not understand what democratic liberty means. Wait till this 
game is played out, and see what the issue i&" And what is 
the issue of the game ? To a certain extent, the pohtical econ- 
omy of the South gave her aid in the beginning; and the po- 
litical economy of the North gave her inexhaustible resourcea 
The genius of the northern people is slow to get on fire, and 
hard to put out; so that we had to learn the trade of war. We 
had learned every trade of peace already, and when once we had 
learned the trade of war, the power of the North was manifest, 


to the honor and glory of oar r«ligion, of our political fiutbs, 
and of the whole trainiDg of our past hiatoiy. 

But there was something more dctngeroDS than vax. An 
insidioue serpent is more dangerooa than r roaring lion — it the 
lion does not jump before he roars. Repadiation threatened 
more damnation to the mor&la of this nation than ever war did 
with all its mischiefs; and I want to record, to the honor of oar 
foreign population, of whom it is often said, " When yaa oome 
to a great stress, when questions are to be settled on principles 
of rectitude and tmth, they will be fotmd wonting " — ^I want to 
record to the honor of the popnlatioa that we have borrowed 
from Europe, the fact that when the qaestion came, " Shall *'hia 
nation pajev^ry dollar which it promised, and by which it pnt 
the boys in blue into the field?" it was through the West and 
the Northwest, the foreign Tote together with the vote of oor 
own people, that carried the day for honesty and for public 

Now, for a democratic nation that owns eTcrything — the gor- 
eraraent, the law, the policy, the magistrate, the rnler ; that can 
change ; that can make aod unmake ; that has in its hands al- 
most the power of the Highest to exalt one and to pnt doim an- 
other — for such a nation to stand before the world and show 
tliat this great people, swarming through our valleys and over 
our mountains and f»r away to either shore, and without the 
continuity necessaiy to the creation of a common public senti- 
ment, were willing to bear the brunt of a five years' war and to 
be severely taxed, down to this day, and yet refuse to lighten its 
burdens in a way that would be wrong and disbosorable — ^that 
will weigh more in Europe than any test that any nation is able 

put forth, fnr it-s liunor, its iutosrity, its strength, and it 



than at any other time. Our burdens are flea-bites. We have 
some trouble about money. I never saw a time v^hen the most 
of the population did not. We have our trouble because there 
is too much in some places and too Httle in others. The trouble 
mth us is like the trouble in winter, when the snow has fallen 
and drifted, and leaves one-half of the road bare, while it is piled 
np in the other half, so that you cannot get along for the much 
nor for the little. But a distribution will speedily bring all 
things right — and I think we are not far from the time when 
that will take place. So soon as we touch the ground of univer- 
sal confidence, so soon as we stand on a basis of silver and gold — 
then, and not an hour before then, will this nation begin to 
moTe on in the old prosperity of business. 

I determined not to say anything that could be construed as 
an allusion to party poHtics, and what I have said cannot be so 
construed ; for both sides around here say that they are for re- 
smnption. The only difference is, that one party say that they 
are for resumption, and the others say, that they are for re- 
sumption, 08 soon as we can have it Well, I do not see how 
anybody can say anything more. You cannot resume before 

Fellow-citizens, in looking back upon the past, it is not right 
that we should leave the sphere and field of our remarks with- 
out one glance at the future. In another hundred years not 
one of us will be here. Some other speaker, doubtless, will 
stand in my place. Other hearers will throng — though not 
with more courtesy, nor with more kindly patience than you 
haTe— to listen to his speech. Then on every eminence from 
New York to Albany there will be mansions and cottages, and 
garden will touch garden along the whole Eden of the Hudson 
Biver Valley. But it does not matter so much to us, who come 
and go, what takes place in the future, except so far as our in- 
fluence is concerned. When a hundred years hence the untelling 
sun, that saw Arnold, and Andre, and Washington, but will not 
tell us one word of history, shall shine on these enchanted hills 
and on this unchanging river — then it is for us to have set in 
motion, or to have given renewed impulse to those great causes, 
intellectual, moral, social, and political, which have rolled our 
prosperity to such a hight 


To every yoong man here that is beginning life let me say ; 
Liateo not to those infiidioafi teachers who tell you that pst- 
riotism is a sham, and that all public men are cormpt or cor- 
rupters. Men in public or private life are corrupt here and 
there, bat let me say to yon, no corruption in government 
would bo half so bad as to have the seeds of nnbeUet in public 
administration sown in the minds of the young. If you teach 
the young that their Chief Magistrates, their Cabinets and their 
representatives are of coarse corrupt, what will that be but to 
teach them to be themselves cormpt ? I stand here to bear 
witness and say that publicity may consist with virtue, and 
does. There are men that serve the pablic for the public, though 
they themselves thrive by it also. I would sow in your minds 
a romance of patriotism and love of country that shall be next 
to the love which you have for your own households ; and I 
would say to every mother that teaches her child to pray, Next 
to the petition, " Our Father which art in heaven," let it ieam 
this aspiration : Our Fatherland ; and so let our children grow 
up to love God, to love man, and to love their country, and to 
be glad to serve their country as well as their Ood and their 
fellow men, though it may be necessary that they should lay 
(Jown their lives tu serve it. 

I honor the unknown ones that used to walk in Peekskill and 
who fell in battle. I honor, too, every armlees man, every 
limping soldier, that through patriotism went to the battle-field 
and came back lame and crippled ; and bears manfully and 
heroically his deprivation. What though he find no occupation? 
What though he be forgotten ? He has in him the imperisha- 
ble sweetness of his thought : " I did it for my country's Bake." 




ISLAND, N. Y., JULY 4tH, 1875. 

Mb. President, Fellow-citizens, Neighbors, and Friends : — 
On the 19th of April, 1775, when Samuel Adams well called 
the father of the Revolution, heard the first shots of the British 
upon Lexington Green, he knew that war had at last begun, 
and ftiU of enthusiasm, of hope, of trust in America, he exclaim- 
ed with rapture, " Oh? what a glorious morning.'' And there is 
no fellow-citizen of ours, wherever he may be to-day — whether 
sailing the remotest seas or wandering among the highest Alps, 
however far removed, however long seperated from his home, 
who, as his eyes open upon this glorious morning, does not re- 
peat with the same fervor the words of Samuel Adams, and 
thank God with all his heart, that he too is an American. In 
imagination he sees infinitely multiplied the very scene that we be- 
hold. From every roof and gable, from every door and window 
of all the myriads of happy American homes from the seaboard 
to the mountains, and from the mountains still onward to the 
sea, the splendor of this summer heaven is reflected in the starry 
beauty of the American flag. From every steeple and tower in 
crowded cities and towns, from the village belfry, and the 
school-house and meeting-house on solitary country roads, ring 
out the joyous peals. From countless thousands of reverend 
lips ascends the voice of prayer. Everywhere the inspiring 
words of the great Declaration that we have heard, the charter 
of our Independence, the scripture of our hbeity, is read aloud 
in eager, in grateful ears. And above all, and under all, pulsing 
through all the praise and prayer, from the frozen sea to the 
tropic gnl^ from tiie Atlantic to the Pacific, the great heart of a 


great people beata in fallneas of joy, beats with piooB exaItatioii> 
that here at last, upon our boU — here, hj the wiadom of oor 
fathers and the bravor; of our brothers, is foonded a Bepublic, 
yast, fraternal, peaceful, upon the divine comer- stone of liberty. 
Justice and equal rights. 

There have indeed been other republics, bat they were toan- 
ded upon other principles. There are republics in Switzerland 
to-day a thousand years old. But Uri, Schwyzand Unterwal- 
den are pure democracies not larger than the county in whi^ 
we live, and wholly unlike our vast, national and representative 
republic. Athens was a republic, but Marathon and Salamis, 
battles whose namea are malodious in the history of liberty, were 
won by slaves. Borne was a republic, but slavery d^^^aded it 
to an empire. Venice, Crenoa, Florence, were republican oitiea, 
but they were tyrants over subject neighbors, and slaves of ari»- 
tocrats at home. There were republics in Holland, honorable 
forever, because from them we received our common schools, 
the bulwark of American liberty, but they too were republics of 
dasseB, not of the people. It was reserved for our fathers to build 
a republic upon a declaration of the equal rights of men ; to make 
the Government as broad as humanity ; to found political insti- 
tutions upon faith in human nature. "The sacred rights of 
mankind," fervently exkimed Alexander Hamilton, " are not to 
be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records; they 
are written as with a sunbeam in the whole volume of human 
nature, by the hand of Divinity itself." That was the sublime 
foith ill which this century began. The world stared and sneered 
— the difficulties and dangers were coloasaL For more than 
eighty years that Declaration remained only a Declaration of 
faith. Bu.t. fellow-citizL'UB. fortiuiiite bevonJ. all n 


vance of republican empire from the Alleghanies throngli a coun- 
try of golden plenty, passing the sno^y Sierras and descending 
to the western sea of peace, as they saw the little spark of politi- 
cal Kberty which they painfully struck, blown by the eager 
breath of a century into a flame which aspires to heaven and 
illuminates the earth, they would bow their reverend heads at 
this moment, as Adams and Jefferson bowed theirs fifty years 
ago to-day; and the happy burden of their hearts would trem- 
ble from their expiring lips, **Now, oh Lord, let thy servants de- 
part in peace, for their eyes have seen thy salvation." 

But we have learned, by sharp experience, that prosperity is 
girt with peril. In this hour of exultation we will not scorn the 
wise voices of warning and censure, the friendly and patriotic 
voices of the time. We will not forget that the vital condition 
of national greatness and prosperity is the moral character of 
the people. It is not vast territory, a temperate climate, ex- 
haustless mines, enormous wealth, amazing inventions, imperial 
enterprises, magnificent public works, a population miraculous- 
ly multiplied ; it is not busy shops and humming mills, and 
flaming forges, and commerce that girdles the globe with the 
gloiy of a flag, that makes a nation truly great These are but 
opportunities. They are like the health and strength and talents 
of a man, which are not his character and manhood, but only 
the means of their development The test of our national great- 
ness is the use we make of our opportunities. If they breed ex- 
travagance, wild not and license — if they make fraud plausible 
and corruption easy — if they confuse private moraUty, and de- 
bauch the public conscience, beware, beware I for all our pros- 
perity is then but a Belshazzar's feast of splendor, and while we 
sit drunken with wine and crowned with flowers, the walls of 
our stately palace are flaming and crackling with the terrible 
words of our doom. ^^ 

But with all faults confessed, and concessions ^SSie, with all 
dangers acknowledged and difficulties measured, I think we may 
truly say that, upon the whole, we have used our opportunities 
well The commanding poHtical fact of the century that ends 
to-day, is the transcendent force and the recuperative power of 
republican institutions. Neither the siren of prosperity, nor the 

378 oim sATioNAL jubilee. 

red fur; of dvil war, has been able to deetro; ottr GoTemment 
or to weaken our faith in the principleB upon which it is fonod- 
ed. We have been proud, and reckless, and defiant ; we have 
dmied, and have justly Bofiered, but I say, in your hearing, as, 
had I the voice, I would say in the hearing of the world to-6&j, 
that out ot the fiery fomace of our afflictions, America emerges 
at this moment greater, better, truer, nobler, than ever in its 
history before. 

I do not forget how much is due to the political genina of 
the race from which we are so largely sprung. Nine-tentba of 
the revolntionaiy population of the country was of TVgliiiti 
stock. The Declaration of Independence was a fruit of Magna 
Charta, and Magna Charta grew from seed planted before his- 
tory in the German forest. Our friend, the historian of Qia 
island, in the interesting sketch of this town that he read us, 
tells us that Northfield was the most patriotic town in the county 
during the Bevolntion, and that the original settlers wore, in 
great part, of German stock. The two facts naturally go to- 
gether. The instinct of individual liberty and independence 
is the genn of the poUticol development of that race from which 
also our fathers sprung. They came from England to plant, 
as they beheved, a purer England. Their new England was to 
be a true England. At lost they took arms reluctantly to de- 
fend England ag^nst herself, to maintain the principles and 
traditions of English liberty. The farmers of Banker Hill were 
the Barons of Bunnymede in a later day, and the victory at 
Yorktown was not the seal of a revolution so much as the 
pledge of continuing English progress. This day dawns upon 
a common perception of that truth on both sides of the ocean. 
In no generous heart on either shore lingers any trace of jeal- 


cent inveDtions — ^yes, in the edaoation of the public conscience, 
and the growth of political morality, of which this Tery day sees 
the happy signs, I claim that the act of this day a hundred 
years ago is justified, and that we have done not less, as an In- 
dependent State, than our Tenerable mother England. 

Think what th^ country was that hundred years ago. To- 
day the State of which we are citizens contains a larger popu- 
lation than that of all the States of the Union when Washing- 
ton was President Yet, New York is now but one of thirty- 
eight States, for to-day our youngest sister, Colorado, steps in- 
to the national family of the Union. The country of a century 
ago was our father's small estate. That of to-day is our noble 
heritage. Fidelity to the spirit and principles of our fathers 
will enable us to deliver it enlarged, beautified, ennobled, to 
our children of the new century. Unwavering faith in the ab- 
solute supremacy of the moral law ; the clear perception that 
well-considered, thoroughly-proved, and jealously-guarded in- 
stitutions, are the chief security of liberty ; and an unswerving 
loyalty to ideas, made the men of the Revolution, and secured 
American index)endence. The same faith and the same loyalty 
will preserve that independence and secure progressive liberty 
forever. And here and now, upon this sacred centennial altar, 
let us, at least, swear that we will try public and private men by 
precisely the same moral standard, and that no man who di- 
rectly or indirectly connives at corruption or coercion to acquire 
office or to retain it, or who prostitutes any opportunity or po- 
sition of pubHc service to his own or another's advantage, shall 
have our countenance or our vote. 

The one thing that no man in this country is so poor that he 
cannot own is his vote ; and not only is he bound to use it hon- 
estly, but intelligently. Good government does not come of 
itself ; it is the result of the skHlful co-operation of good and 
shrewd men. If they will not combine, bad men will ; and if 
they sleep, the devil will sow tarea And as we pledge our- 
selves to our father's fidelity, we may well believe that in this 
hushed hour of noon, their gracious spirits bend over us in 
benediction. In this sweet summer air, in the strong breath 
of the ocean that beats upon our southern shore ; in the cool 


iriiids tiiat blow over the leland from the northern hills ; in 
these young faces and the songn of liberty ttiat mtmnnr from 
their lips ; in tiie electric sympathy that binds all our heiirte 
with each other, and with those of our brothers and sistera 
throaghoat the land, lifting our beloved country as a sacrifice 
to Ood, I see, I feel the presence of our fathers : the blithe he- 
roism of Warren, and the un rallied youth of Quincy : the fiery 
impulse of Otis and Patrick Henry : the sereDe wisdom of John 
Jay and the comprehensive grasp of Hamilton : the sturdy 
and invigorating force of John and of Samuel Adams— and at 
last, embracing them all, as our eyes at this moment behold 
cloud and hill, and roof and tree, and field and river, blent in 
one perfect picture, so combining and subordinating all the 
great powers of his great associates, I feel the glory of the pre- 
sence, I bend my head to the blessing of the ever-living, the 
immortal Washington. 


Ma; the blessing of our father's Ood now rest upon ns. As 
in time past, so in time to come, may He guard and defend 
our land. May He crown the coming years with peace and 
prosperity. May He ever clothe our rulers with righteoosnesa, 
aad give us a future characterized by purity of life and in- 
tegrity of purpose. May He everywhere shed forth tto bemjirn 




I DO not come before you merely to take part in a holiday af- 
fair, nor to excite a passing interest about the occasion which 
calls us together. While my theme is the History of the Valley 
of the Mohawk, in speaking of it the end I have in view is as 
practical as if I came to talk to you about agriculture, mechan- 
ics, commerce or any other business topic. 

There is in history a power to hft a people up and make them 
great and prosperous. The story of a nation's achievements 
excites that patriotic pride which is a great element in vigor, 
boldness and heroism. He who studies with care the jurispru- 
dence of the Old Testament, vdll see that this feeling of rever- 
ence for forefathers and devotion to country is made the sub- 
ject of positive law in the command that men should honor 
their fathers and their mothers. But sacred poetxy is filled 
with appeals to these sentiments, and the narratives of the Bible 
abound with proofs of the great truth, that the days of those 
who fear them shall be long in the land which God has given 
them. All history, ancient and modem, proves that national 
greatness springs in no small degree from pride in their Ms- 
tories, and from the patriotism cherished by their traditions 
and animated by their examples. This truth shines out in the 
annals of Greece and Rome. It gives vitaUty to the power of 
Britain, France, Germany and other European nations. The 
instincts of self-preservation led the American people in this 
centennial year to dwell upon the deeds of their fathers and by 
their example to excite our people to a purer patriotism, to 
an imselfish devotion to the public welfare. 

The power of history is not confined to civilized races. The 
traditions of savage tribes have excited them to acts of self- 

sacrifice and beroiem, and of bold viartare, which have extorted 
the admiratiou of the world. The Valley of the Mohawk gives 
striking proofs of this. The Iroquois, who lived upon the 
dopes of the hills which stretch from the Hudson to the shores 
of Lake Erie, called themselves by a name which asserted that 
they and their fathers were men excelling all other men. Ani- 
mated by this faith which grew out of their legends, they be- 
came the masters of the vast region stretching from the coast 
of the Atlantic to the banks of the Mississippi, from north of 
the great Lakes to the land of the Cherokees. 

Unaided by arts, without horses or chariots, or implements 
of war, save the rudest form of the spear and the arrow, they 
traversed the solidary forest pathways, and carried their con- 
quests over regions, which in extent have rarely been equaled 
by civilized nations with all the aids of fleets, or the terrible en- 
gines of destruction which science has given to disciplined ar- 
mies. History gives no other example of such great conquest 
over so many enemies or difKcullies, as were won by the Iro- 
quois, when we take into account their limited numbers. Does 
any man think that all this would have been true if they had 
not been stirred up to a sav^e but noble heroism by the tradi- 
tions of their tribes ? 

The power of history over our minds and purposes is intensi- 
fied when we stand amid the scenes of great events. Men cross 
the ocean and encounter the ta.tigaes, dangers of a journey to 
the other aide of the earth, that they may walk through the 
streets of Jerusalem, or look out from the bill of Zion, or wan- 
der amid sacred places. These scenes bring to their minds the 
story of the past in a way that thrills their nerves. Or, if we 
visit the ficlJB of groat battles, the movements of armies, the 


have acting upon ub, in its most intense form, the power of the 
past. Patriotism, and love of the land in which we live ; a 
pions reverence for our fathers, all unite to lift us up upon the 
highest plane of public and of private virtue. 

The men and the women of the valley of the Mohawk meet 
here to-day not only to celebrate the great events of our coun- 
try, but to speak more particularly about deeds their ancestors 
have done on these plains and hillsides, and then to ask them- 
selves if they have been true to their country, to their fathers 
and themselves by preserving and making known to the dwel- 
lers in this valley and to the world at large its grand and varied 
history. Have they been made household words? Have they 
shaped the ambitions and virtues of those growing up in the 
fireside circle ? Have they been used to animate all classes in 
the conduct of public and private aflElEtirs ? 

Just so far as the dwellers in the valley of the Mohawk have 
failed in these respects, they have cheated and wronged them- 
selves. They have failed to use the most potent influence to 
elevate their morals, intelligence and virtue. They have not 
brought themselves within the scope of that promise which re- 
ligion, reason and experience show, is held out to those who 
honor their fathers, and incite themselves to acts of patriotism 
and lives of public and private devotion, by keeping in their 
minds the conduct of the good and great who have gone before 

Let the events in this valley during the past three centuries 
now pass in review before us. Its Indian wars, the mission- 
aries' eflforts, animated by religious zeal, which sought to carry 
i-eligion into its unbroken forests and wild recesses ; the march 
of the armies of France and England, with their savage allies, 
which for a hundred years made this valley the scenes of war- 
fare and bloodshed ; the struggle of the revolution, which 
brought with it not only all the horrors ever attendant upon 
war, added to them the barbarities of the savage ferocity that 
knows no distinction of age, sex or condition, but with horrible 
impartiality inflicted upon all alike the tortures of the torch 
and tomahawk. TVhen these clouds had rolled away through 
the pathways of this valley, began the march of the peaceful 


armies of cirilization whicli have filled the interior of oar 
coimtiy with population, wealth and power. The world has 
never elsewhere seen a procession of events more varied, more 
dramatic, more grand in their influences. 

The groands upon which we stand have been wet with the 
blood of men who perished in civilized and savage war. Its 
plains and forests have rang with the war cry of the Iroquois, 
and have echoed back the thunder of artillery. Its air hits been 
filled with the smoke of burning homes, and lighted up by tiie 
flames of the products of indnstiy, kindled by the torch of ene- 
mies. Let this scene impress your minds while I try to tell ihe 
story of the past With regard to the savages who lived in tlUB 
valley, I will repeat the statements which I made on a recent 
occasion, and the evidence which I then produced in regard to 
their character. 

We are inclined to-day to think meanly of the Indian race, 
and to charge that the dignity and heroism imputed to them 
was the work of the novelist rather than the proof of authentic 
history. A jnst conception of their character is necessaty to 
enable ns to understand the causes which shaped onr civiliza- 
tion. Bat for the influence exerted by the early citizens of this 
place upon the Iroquois, it is donbtfal if the English conld 
have held their ground against the French west of the Alle- 
ghanies. In speaking of them the colonial historian Smitli 

" These of all those inDumerablc tribes of aavogee which in- 
habit the northern part of Ameiica, arc of more importance to 
us and the French, both on account of their vicinity and war- 
like disposition." 

In the correspondence of the French colonial offidals with 


The Five Nations think themselyes by nature snpendr to the 
rest of mankind, and call themselyes *^ Ongaekonwe/' that is, 
men surpassing all others. 

This opinion, which they take care to cultivate in their chil- 
dren, gives them that courage which has been so terrible to all 
nations of North America, and they have taken such care to im- 
press the same opinion of their people on all their neighbors, 
that they on all occasions yield the most submissive obedience to 
them. He adds ; I have been told by old men of New Eng- 
land, who remembered the time when the Mohawks made war on 
their Indians, that as soon as a single Mohawk was discovered 
in tlie country, these Indians raised a cry from hill to hill, A 
Mohawk ! a Mohawk I upon which they all fled like sheep before 
wolves, without attempting to make the least resistance, what- 
ever odds were on their side. All the nations round them have 
for many years entirely submitted to them, and pay a yearly 
tribute to them in wampum. 

We have many proofs of their skill in oratory and of 
the deamess and logic of their addresses. Even now, 
when their power is gone, and their pride broken down, they 
have many orators among them. I have heard in my ofiS- 
dal life speeches made by them, and I have also listened to 
many of the distinguished men of our own lineage. While the 
untutored man could not arm himself with all the facts and re- 
sources at the command of the educated, yet I can say that I 
have heard from the chiefs of the Five Nations as dear, strong 
and dignifled addresses as any I have listened to in legislative 
halls or at the bar of our judidal tribtmals. Oratory is too sub- 
tle in its nature to be described, or I could give to you some of 
the finest expressions in Indian addresses. 

They did not excel merely in arms and oratory, they were a 
political people. Monsieur D. La Protiere, a Frenchman and an 
enemy, says in his history of North America : 

" When we speak of the Five Nations in France, they are 
thought, by a common mistake, to be mere barbarians, always 
thirsting for blood, but their characters are very different. They 
are indeed the fiercest and most formidable people in North 
America, and at the same time are as politic and judidous as 

well can be conceived, and this appears from their managemeDt 
of all afiairs which they have not oolj with the French and 
English bat likewise with almost all the Indiana of this vast 

Aato their civil fx^ty. Golden says in 1747; 

" Each of these nations is an absolute republic by itael^ and 
every castle in each nation is governed in all public a^iiB by 
its own sachems or old men. The authority of these ruleta ia 
gained by and consists wholly in the opinion the reet of the 
nation have of their integrity and wisdom. Their great men, 
both sachems and captains, are generally poorer than the com- 
mon people, and they affect to give away and distribute all the 
presents or plunder they get in their treaties or in waiB, BO as 
to leave nothing to themselves. There is not a man in ttie 
members of the Five Nations who has gained his office otho- 
wise than by merit. There is not the least salary or any sort 
of profit annexed to any office to tempt the covetous or sordid, 
but on the contrary every unworthy action is unavoidably 
attended with the forfeiture of their commissions, for their 
authority is only the esteem of the people, and ceases the 
moment that esteem is lost." 

In the history of the world there ia no other instance where 
such vast conquests were achieved with such limited numberii 
without superiority of arms. More than two hundred years 
ago, when the New England colonies were engaged in King 
Phillip's war, commissioners were sent to Albany to secure the 
friendship of the Mohawks. Again, in 1684, Lord Howard, 
Governor of Virginia, met the sachems of the Onondagas and 
Cayngas in the Town Hall of Albany. These councils by the 
u'ovcniors and ajfenta of the colonies became olmoat 8 


The Hollanders were the first Europeans who were brought 
in contact with this peopla 

Before the Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth Eock, they had 
made a settlement on the Hudson, where the capital of our State 
now standa At that time, the most commercial people of the 
world, their ships yisited every sea, and they were accustomed 
to deal with all forms of civilized and savage life. In pursuit of 
the fur trade they pushed their way up the stream of the Mo- 
hawk, and by their wisdom and prudence made relationship 
with the Indiand along its banks, which was of the utmost im- 
portance in the future history of our country. 

The influence which the Hollanders gained while they held 
the territories embraced in New York and New Jersey was ex- 
erted in behalf of the British Government, when the New Nether- 
lands, as they were then called, were transferred to that power. 
In the long contest^ running through a century, known as the 
Pxench war, the Dutch settlers rendered important service to 
the British crown. The avenues and rivers which they had dis- 
covered penetrating the deep forest which overspread the coun- 
try now became the routes by which the armies of Prance and 
England sought to seize and hold the strongholds of our land. 
The power which could hold Fort Stanwix, the present site of 
Rome, the carrying place between the Mohawk and the waters 
which flowed through Lake Ontario and the SL Lawrence, would 
control the great interior plains of this continent. If France 
could have gained a foothold in this valley, the whole region 
drained by the St, Lawrence and the Mississippi reaching from 
the Alleganies to the Rocky Mountains, would have been her's. 
Our history, usages, government and laws would have been 

He who will study European events for a hundred years be- 
fore our revolution will be struck as to the uncertainties, as to 
the result. For a century the destinies of this continent vibrat- 
ed with the uncertainties of the battle-fields of Europe. The 
crids of our fate was during the reign of Louis the Great, when 
that ambitious and powerful monarch sought to extend his do- 
minion over two continents. When Marlborough won victories 
at Blenheim, Ramilies and Malblaquet, or when Piince Eugene 

388 OCB HinoMAL ^bilzi. 

awept the French from Italy and crippled the power of Frcmoe, 
they did more than they dreamed o£ The; fought for the pur- 
pose of adjasting the balance of the nations of Bmope ; tbcy 
shaped the customs, laws and conditions of a contioeat. Bui 
t^e war was not confined to the Old World. 

Standing upon the spot where we now meet we oould bare 
seen a long saccesBien <rf military expeditions made np of punted 
warriors, of disciphned soldiers, led by brave, adventiiroaa men, 
poshing their way through deep forest paths or f<^owing, with 
their light Teasels and frail oanoes, the current of the Mohawk. 
But arms were not the only power relied upon to gain control 

The missionaries of France, with a raligiooa zeal which oat- 
stripped the traders' greed for gold, or the soldiers' lore fta: 
glory, traversed this continent far in advance of war or com- 
merce. Seeking rather than shunning martyrdom ; they were 
bold, untiring in their efforts to bring over the savage tribes to 
the rehgioQ to which they were devoted, and to the government 
to which they were attached. Many suffered tortures and 
martyrdom, in the interior of our State, and on the bonks of the 
Mohawk. There are not in the world's history pages of more 
dramatic interest than those which tell of the effortaof diplomacry, 
the zeal of religion, or the heroism in arms of this great contest, 
waged so many years in the wild<f of this oonntty. H I coold 
picture all the events that have happened here, they would invest 
th'iB valley with unfading interest. Its hillsides, its plains, its 
streams are instinct with interest to the mind of him who knows 
the story of the past. It should be familiar in every hoosebold. 
But the grand procesaioQ of armies did not stop with the ex- 
tinction of Indian tribes, or of French claims. 

ri the ri'voiutimmry '.'ontesfc began, the very structure of 


homes of their fathers had been destroyed in Europe by the 
armies of France. The Germans brought here by the British 
Ck>vemment dnring the reign of Queen Anne were placed between 
the English settlements and the savage tribes, because, among 
other reasons, it was said that their trials and sufferings had 
fitted them to cope with all the dangers of border hfe. 

When we have thus had passed in review before us the bands 
of painted savages, the missionary armed only with religious 
zeal, and shielded alone with the insignia of his sacred calling; 
the gallant armies of France and Britain ; the hasty array of our 
Revolutionary fathers as they ralUed in defence of their Hberties, 
we have then only seen the forerunners of the greatest move- 
ment of the human race. 

With our independence and the possession and the mastery 
of this great continent began a struggle unparalleled in the his- 
tory of the world. Peaceful in its form, it has dwarfed in 
comparison the mightiest movements of war. Its influence up- 
on the civilization of the people of the earth, has thrown into 
insignificance all that modem victories and invasions have done. 
•During the past hundred years there has been a conflict between 
the nations of Europe on the one hand, and our broad land and 
poUtical freedom on the other It has been a contest for men 
and women— for those who could give us labor skill and strength. 
We count our captives by millions. Not prisoners of war, but 
prisoners of peace. Not torn by force, but won by the blessings 
which the QoA of nature has enabled us to hold out to them in 
our fertile hills and valleys and plains. What were the hordes 
of the Persians? What were the array of the crusaders ? What 
the armies of earth's greatest conquerors, in comparison with 
the march of the multitudes of immigrants from the Atlantic, 
States or from Europe who have moved through the valleys of 
the Hudson and the Mohawk, the very gateways of our country 
seeking homes in tne interior of our continent ? Ours is a double 
victory, unlike war, which kills or enchains. It dravirs our op- 
ponents to our side, and makes them co-workers in building up 
our greatness and glory. As the men of every civilized race ore 
pouring through our valley, we see before us the mightiest ele^ 
ments which are shaping the future of the human race. 



What are nil the problems of EnrDpean diplomao; oompwed 
^th these moTementspassiiigbefore OB? All their recent -wars, 
in the changes they have made are iDsignificast in oomparison 
with the power we have gained hj immigratioii slona That 
procession of events, beginning with Indian warlare, and strettdi- 
ing through three centories of battles for the po oocoa ion, and 
the wars for the independence of onr conntiy, grows in import- 
ance and magnitude ; and we see no end to its coltmm as we 
look down into the dim futnre. The conrses of the Mohawk 
and Hndson will ever be its greatest avennes. For here oom- 
merce poors its richest streams, and immigration leads its 
greatest armies. We are bewildered when we try to trace oat 
the growHk of the future. Each rolling year adds more than a 
million ; each passing day more than three thonsand ; eaah 
Meeting hour more than one hundred to onr nnmbers. The 
tide will swell still higher in the fntnre. 

I was once asked by a distinguished Englishmaa if we did 
not make a mistake when wo sevLred onr relationship from the 
British people? I told him that we were eoinetiniea sorry that 
we let them go ; that onr mere increase in twenty-five yoars 
would exceed in nnmbers the population of Great Britain ; that 
the British Isles would make glorious States of oar Union ; and 
that we needed them as ontposts on the European sht^es. I 
was able to sny this under the circumstances without violation 
of courtesy, and it was pleasantly received l^ a man whose 
mind wn^ large enough not to take offense at the remsLik, 
which served to place the progress of our counb^ in a strong 

I have thus hastily sketched the interest which attaches to 
the whole course of the Mohnwk ValleY. with the view of thro-' 


the man is constantly lifted np ; it matters not what bis con- 
dition may be in otber respecta 

If tbese are debasing, he will constantly sink in the scale of 
morals and intellect ; it matters not what wealth or learning 
he may have. What men think not only in the hours study, 
but at all times and places, in the field, in the workshop, in the 
counting-room, makes their characters, their intelligence and 
their virtue. Men's thoughts form and shape them. And 
those which relate to the past are most ennobling. For they 
are unstained by prejudice, and unweakened by sentiments 
which incline to detract from merits of hving actors. We in- 
stinctively think and speak well of the dead. This of itself 
makes us better men. We can so learn the histories of this 
valley, that its scenes shall recall them as clearly and as vividly 
as the pictures upon our walls. We can so stamp them upon 
our minds that its hills and plains and streams will be 
instinct with the actions of those who have gone before us 
that man has done himself a wrong who can look down upon 
the Mohawk ; and not see the drifting along its current the 
savage, the missionary, or the soldier of the past. He who 
dwells upon its traditions ; who can point out where men died 
in the struggles of war, where men suJSfered martyrdom for 
their &ith — ^the spot where some bold stand was taken for the 
the rights of man and the liberties of coimtry ; he who feels 
the full import of the great movements of commerce and of 
men passing through this valley, certainly has an education 
that will always lift him up mentally and morally. You can 
not imagine a people living here with all these events stamped 
upon their minds, ever present to give food for thought and 
reflection, who will not be animated by a zeal for the public 
welfare, pj generous impulses, by a self-sacrificing devotion for 
honor, for rehgion, for country. There is no teaching so pow- 
erful as that which comes invested with the forms of nature. 
It is that which reaches and tells upon the young and the old, 
the learned and the unlearned alike. Imagine two men living in 
this valley, both familiar with all its features, one well informed 
and the other ignorant of its events ; then tell me if you believe 
that they can be alike in their moral natures or their value as 


oitizeiiB. Id view of what I have thoa aaid we c&n see vhy his- 
tory ifi BO potent. We can now bee the wisdom, and Qm mere; 
too, of that command which tells ns to honor oar fathen and 
OUT mothers, though for many jeara and throngh many gen- 
erationa they hare dept in their graces. 

There are some reasons why the history of Xew York is not b8 
well-known to the American people as that of other States. It 
has not excited the interest which justly attaches toit The first 
settlers were Hollanders. When the Dntch made their settle- 
ment on this contineat they were sn[}erior to other Enropean 
nations, in learning, in arts, in commerce, and in jnst Tiews of 
d'il and religious liberty. Our country is indebted to them for 
many of the best principles of onr goverment. Bnt their lan- 
guage is no longer spoken here. In-comers from other States 
and nations exceed their descendants in numbers, and many of 
the traditions and events of its colonial period have been lost. 
This is true also of the Qerman settlers in the valley of the Mo- 
hawk. The settlers who came into onr State after the revolu- 
tion, brought with them the ideas and sentiments of the places 
from which they came, and which, for a long time, have been 
cherished with more zeal than has been shown for the history 
of the State, where they have made their homes. These things 
createdan indifference to the honor of New "York. So far from 
preserving what relate to its past, in many instances old monu- 
ments have been destroyed, and names obliterated, which, if 
they had been preserved, would have recalled to men's minds 
the most important incidents in the progress of onr connby. 
Nothing could have been more unfortunate than the acts which 
changed the name of Fort Stanwix to that of Rome, and that of 
Tort Schuyler to TJticn. The okl niimes would have auggested 


themselves and to their country to bring forward their records, 
to incite a just measure of State pride, and to elevate our 
standard of public and private virtue by the influence of our 
grand history. 

This should be taught in our schools, discussed, in our journals 
and made the subject of pubHo lectures and addresses. Monu- 
ments should be put up to mark the spots where battles were 
fought and victories won, which have shaped the destinies of 
our country.. When this is done, our own citizens, and the mul- 
titudes who traverse our valley, will see that within its hmits all 
forms of warfare — ^that of Indian barbarism, disciplined armies, 
and of naval power have occurred within its boundaries. These 
prove the truth of the remaik of Greneral Scott, '' that the con- 
fluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson has ever been the stra- 
tegic point in all the wars in which our country has been en- 
gsged with foreign powers." 

This work of making the details of our history known and 
felt by our people should begin in the heart of bur State, in the 
valley of the Mohawk. Associations should be formed to pre- 
serve records and traditions that will otherwise be lost Its old 
churches, which date back to the existence of our government, 
should be held sacred. The minor incidents of personal adven- 
ture, of individual heroism, should be preserved, for these show 
the character of the men and times in which they occur. 

In no other quarter were the rights of the people asserted 
against the crown more clearly, or at an earher day. It is not 
certain if the blood shed in the Revolution commenced at the 
battle of Lexington, or when the sturdy Germans were beaten 
down and wounded while defending their Uberty pole against 
Sir John Johnson and his party. 

I have refrained from want of time from presenting many facts 
and incidents which would give more interest to my address than 
the general statements I have mada Mr. Simms, to whom we 
are deeply indebted for long-continued and zealous researches 
into the history of this valley, has frequently given to the public 
sketches and narratives of great value. I trust the time has 
come when he and others who have labored in the same direc- 
tion, will receive the sympathy and applause to which they are 

394 otn; HA-noitu. jubileb. 

Shall this centennial year be made tlie occasion for organiz- 
ing societies is this valley, with a view, among other things, to 
the erection of monuments at different points along the Mo- 
hawk ? I do not urge this as a mere matter of sentiment, but 
because I believe they will promote material welbre as well as 
mental activity and moral elevation. For these are ever found 
in close relationship. This whole region is marked for its ferti- 
Uty. It abounds with the material for varied indnstiy, and is 
filled with streams with abundant power to drive^all forms of 
macbineiy. It is in the heart of a great State, close by the 
leading markets of our country, and with cheap transportation 
to those of the world. Many milhons in search of homes and 
for places to pm^ue their varied industry have passed by all 
these. I beUcve if we had shown the same pride in our State 
that has been exhibited elsewhere; if the minds of our people 
had been quickened, and their patriotism kept bright and burn- 
ing by the examples of our fathers, that the Mohawk vaUey to- 
day would show a larger measure of power and prosperity than 
now blesses it These things make a system of education, in 
some respects more active and pervading than that of books and 
schools. Subtle in their iafluences, they are not easily described, 
but they ore felt and seen in all the aspects of society. Many 
years ago Congress made a grant to put up a monument over 
the grave of Herkimer. Attempts have been made to have the 
Legislature of our own State to mark in some suitable way the bat- 
tle field of Oriskany. At the last session of the Legislature, the 
senator &om Otsego and other members of that body made ef- 
forts to have something done in these directions. For one, I 
am grateful to them for their patriotism and the interest they 
have shown in these subjects. They did tlieir duty when we 


from the very efforts to honor the characters of those who have 
gone before ua 

We want that which will not only remmd us of the glorious acts 
of the past, but which will incite them in the future. Will the 
descendants of the Hollanders in the county of Schenectady be 
indifferent to this subject ? Are the men of German descent, 
living in Montgomery and Herkimer, willing to have the services 
and sacrifices of their fathers pass into obhvion? Does no hon- 
orable pride move them to let our countrymen know that their 
homes suffered beyond all others, through the Indian wars and 
revolutionary struggles? Will they not try to keep ahve in tlie 
minds of their countrymen the fact that the battle of Oriskany, 
which was the first check given to the British power in the cam- 
]>aign of Burgoyne, was fought by their ancestors and that its 
shouts and war-cries were uttered in the German language? 
Have they less public spirit tlian the Germans who have lately 
come to our country, and who have put up a monument to 
Baron Steuben ? By doing so they honored one whose relation- 
ships to them were comparatively remote. Is it not true that 
men bom in the valley of the Mohawk neglect the graves of 
their fathers, and forget the battle fields which have been made 
wet with the blood of those of their own lineage ? The county 
of Oneida bears the name of one of the conquering tribes of the 
Iroquoi& Upon the banks of the upper Mohawk, which flows 
through its territory, stood Fort Stanwix and Fort Schuyler. 
The former was for a himdred years during the wars between 
France and England, and at the time of our national independ- 
ence, one of the most important mihtary positions in our country. 
Near by was fought the battle of Oriskany, which was a part 
of the contest at Saratoga which won our national independence. 

It was my purpose to give more value to this address, and to 
fortify its positions by presenting many incidents of a nature to 
interest and convince. But my health has not allowed me to 
refer to the proper books and documents for this purpose. I 
have therefore been compelled to speak more in general terms 
than I intended. What I have said is also weakened by the 
fact that I have not been able to take up and follow out my 
subject continuously and with clearness. 


In porticolar, I mshed to speak at some leogth (rf Foit Stan- 
viz. Fort Dayton and Fort Herkimer, bnt I am imable (o do sa 
Mnch alao could be siid about tbe old cburch at German Flat& 
Boilt before tbe revolation, for tiie Gt«rmanB of the Falatmatea, 
it baa assodationB with tbe great pobtical and religions stmg- 
glea of Europe and America. Standing npon tbe Bite of a fcnt 
still more ancient, for it was boilt at an earlj period of tbe Fremch 
war, it was for a long time the outpost of tbe Britiab power on 
tbis continent. It has been the scene of Indian war&re ; of 
sadden and secret attack by stealthy savages ; of sadden forays 
which swept away tbe crops and cattle ot feeble settlements ; of 
assatUia by the French ; of personal conflicts whtcb mark ccm- 
teats on tbe ontskirts of civilization. It was tbe stronghold of 
our fathers daring the revolution. Tbe missionary and tbe for 
trader more than three hundred years ago floated by its posi- 
tion in bark canoes, and in these later days millionB of men and 
women from our own country and from fordgn lands, on canals 
or railroads, have passed by on their way to build up great cities 
and States in the lieurfc of our continent. There is no spot where 
the hietorian can place himaelf with more advantage when he 
wishes to review in his mind the progress of onr ooontry to 
greatness, than the Old Cbnrcb at German Flats. Looking 
from tbis point his perspectives will be just ; all fat^ will take 
their due proportions ; local prejudices will not discolor bis 
views, and be will be less liable here than elsewhere in foiling 
into the common error of giving undue prominence to some 
events, wbUe overlooking the full signifioance of others more 
important I hope the subjects of local histories will be taken 
up by our fellow citizens of this region, and the facts relating to 


anceetors, and that there la a great practical tnith which con. 
oems the welfare, the prosperity, and the power of all com- 
munities in the words, '' Honor thy father and thy mother that 
thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God 
givetb thee." 



People or the Cnr of Sibacuse and Cousty of Okon'd&oa. — 
We in common with every portion of oar wide extended Union, 
bave come together to recognize with snitable obeervanoe and 
commemoration the solemn act which one hnndred years ago, 
gave form, shape and solidity to oar govemment by declaring 
vm a nation independent, self-reliant and free. 

In the performBJice of this duty we might relate the political 
history of the unwise legislation, tbe oppressive execation of 
tyrannical laws, the coercive power of irresponsible goverDment 
which compelled oar fathers first to passive, next to armed 
resistance, and finally culminated in a severance of oar political 
dependence on the mother country, and gave to us that Declar- 
ation of Independence whose one bundretb anniversaiy we have 
mot to honor. We might rehearse the names and virtuefl of 
the patriots of the revolution in the fornm and in the field, the 
courage, endurance and trials of those who participated in th&t 
protracted and bloody controversy which ended in makiiig oar 
Declaration of Independence a perfect deed, indefeamble, guar- 
anteeing forever to those worthy to enjoy it, the rich ioheri- 
tance of a free Rovemmept We might iiorlriiy the battle fields 


habitants of earth to another world, and this habitation of ours 
shall pass away forever. We might content oorselves with a 
plain and simple historical relation of all the events which clus- 
tered around, mingled with and made up the panorama of our 
rerolutionary struggle, the intelligence of our people alive to all 
the minutiaB of event, individuality and result of that memorable 
period, would lend a glow, kiadle an ardor and inspire a joy 
palpable and demonstrative, making bare recital radiant, with 
all the fire of enthusiasm celebrating with mental and phy- 
sical rejoicings, the dry record alone. 

One of the marked features of this year is to be a f uU historical 
record of each town, city and county of the Union, embracing 
the geographical, municipal and personal history of each ; of 
course more prominently relating of its earlier history, its mark- 
ed and distinguished men and women — its pre-eminence or pro- 
minence in any direction of art, science, intellectual advantages 
or natural specialty ; all these locally preserved in appropriate 
depositories, are to be dupUcated and gathered in one mass at 
the seat of the general government to bo an illuminated column 
upon which will be inscribed, " the one hundredth mile of our na- 
tion's progress in the race of peoples toward the ultimate goal of 

The duty of performing our poii;ion of that work has also been 
imposed upon me, but with the consent and approbation of 
jour Ck)mmittee, I have deemed best to postpone to another 
period the historical recital contemplated, and you must be con- 
tent with my wearying you with an oration rather than history 
on the present occasion. 

I am impressed with the behef that it would be better to treat 
the subject before us very briefly, but also in a manner different 
from the common acceptation of the necessities of a Fourth day 
of July celebration. I would not have us to lack in all or any of 
the essential demonstrations of a joyful acknowledgment of its 
great significance, and a ringing acceptation of its glorious re- 
sults, but let us endeavor by a calm and conscientious considera- 
tion of our government and ourselves to learn more and bet- 
ter what there is for us to do, to preserve and keep alive all the 
benefits and advantages we have derived from the past, trans- 


mitting those great blesaiDg undiminiBbed to our immediate sac- 
cesBora, aye, uot alone to them but also how beat we may by pre- 
cept and example, pave the way to an indefinite proloog&tion 
and increased enjoyment, to the latest time of the legitimate re- 
solts of the solved problem of our national dedaratioiL 

We are one hundred years old to-day ; trae that the mental 
Btrife of contention against and antagonism to aggresBioii com- 
menced earlier, true that organized and bloody opposition, ante- 
dated this day — April 19, 177S, and Lexington physically declar- 
ed as July 4th, 1776, politically decreed the independence and 
freedom of America. 

I repeat, we aa a distinct people and nation are one hundred 
years old to-day, we have only to recollect for a moment to find 
however that while we are jubilant and rejoicing, that onr ^ea 
behold this day, yet in the light of the history of the natiosa of 
the world, our nation is an infant brought up in a achool of 
oar own, and setting forth to find our way among ihe nafdong 
of the earth in a new and untried pathway ; the peculiar and 
particular form of government which we enjoy, is in every essen- 
tial particular now on trial for the firat time ; it is tme, that 
theoretical republicanism, attempts at freedom have existed, bat 
never in all human history has there been any other govern- 
ment so completely the government of the whole people such 
aa ours. 

Kingdoms, principalities and powers enduring for oentoriea 
have risen, flourished and fallen into decay ; govemmenta to^aj 
powerful and great in territorial extent, in wealth and pbymoal 
power, have their record of birth in the " Dark Ages " — ^but we 
with a breadth of country surpassed by none — with a population 
in numbei's exceeded by fuw, with an intellectual wealth as 


lays of minstrels or the sayings of the wise men, to rescue from 
the shadowy and dim past, oar country's history — ^it is bat of a 
day, and the scenes in cabinet, council and camp, are as familiar 
to all as household words. 

Should we not then pause hare and ask ourselves the signifi- 
cant question, why our fathers were successful in the establish- 
ment, and we so far fortunate in the present stability of the 
government of the people by the people, while a long hst of 
futile attempts and terrible failures mark every spot wherever 
else the experiment has been tried ; we have to-day among the 
kingdoms of the earth so-called repubUcs, but we know they are 
80 only ia name — they lack the essential engredient of equahty 
to all men before the law — ^their masses want an intelligent ap- 
preciation of their rights and duties — subject to popular frenzy 
or ambitious personal design, the republics of the past and (I 
am afraid) most of the present have no elements of either 
light, justice, or endurance. 

No ignorant, no indolent, no in^eligious people can ever be 
'permanently a free people, and I hold that the foundations of 
our nation were laid wide and deep, by intellig^ce, industry 
and religion, and upon the adherence to and practice of those 
great cardinal virtues by our people depend wholly the stability 
and perpetuity of our government. 

I do not wish to be understood when speaking of the intelU- 
gence, as meaning the mere learning of the school, nor that 
so far as such education is concerned, all should have the high- 
est attainable — ^what I mean is, a practical and thorough knowl- 
edge of all necessary to make man and women useful — ^not use- 
less — good citizens, imderstanding and practicing all the duties 
incumbent upon them for their own good and as parts of fami- 
lies, commimities and States — above all else I would have every 
American citizen well grounded in a comprehensive knowledge 
of the theory, principles and by an honest, virtuous and contin- 
uous exercise of his knowledge and his duty as one of the gov- 
ernment as well as one of the governed, so help to form, 
mould and cast pubhc opinion — ^for upon public opinion alone 
the stabihty and efficacy of our people, stohdity, strength and en- 
durance to our nation may be enjoyed and perpetuated. % 


Indolence engendem vice, disease, poverty, death — ^labor pro- 
motes virtue, health, wealth and long life — wliat is trae of the 
individual holds good applied to the nation — ahoir me a la^, 
indolent, shiftless race, and I will show a nataon of alaves; if not 
BO practically, yet mentally slaves to vice and etrangers to virtoe. 

Our fathers by hardy toil, by unwearied thought, calculation 
and invention, wrung from the wilderness the bright land you 
gaze on to-day — its great, almost miraculous advancement haa 
bDen owing to the combined action of intelligenoe and physical 
labor, but that labor, whether of the body or the mind haa 
been persistent and unceasing. 

The extent of our territory is greater by far than the whole 
continent of Europe, but our widely scattered population 
scarcely measures a tithe of its teeming mnltitudesi nature 
while pihng up our chains of mountains towards the sky, scoop- 
ing out the habitations of our inland oceans, and scouring wide 
and deep throughout our land, our magnificent net-work of 
water highways, has planted everywhere for the use and enjoy" 
ment of educated as well as directed industry in no scanty store, 
the natural mineral riches of every clime and people, every 
known vegetable production is either indegenous, or owing to 
the variety of climate and soil under our control, can be trans- 
planted and made to grow in sufficient abundance to feed the 
necessities and supply the luxuries of the world. 

In this land of ours, with such a present inheritance and 
future prospect we are not only blessed aboie all other people, 
but we have evidently been chosen by an overruling Providence 
to do the great and final work for man's elevation to and per- 
manent enjoyment of the highest civilizatioD to which human 
nitiire can attain, and it bebonvoB us to shape our action and 


people, until at least the oommon right of a common humanity 
to equality of privilege and position, is universally acknowl- 
edged and accorded. 

Would we keep our inheritance untarnished ? Would we add 
to its worth the wealth of experience and invention ? In this 
land of ours, where labor ennobles, does not degrade, where 
the changes of worldly position depend upon individual action 
and are as variable as the waves of the restless sea — ^where the 
legitimate tendency of labor is to elevate and enlighten, and 
not to depress and keep down, let us and our children continue 
to labor to the end, that the blessings following its wise ap- 
plication will endure to the good of ourselves and our country. 

Glance for a moment at one of the results of our comparative 
poverty coupled with our intelligence and willingness to labor 
— in all countries but ours labor ignorant is impoverished and 
helpless with us labor educated is well paid and commanding. 
Other countries through the ignorance of labor are compara- 
tively non-inventive — we by the intelligpence and independence 
of labor are incited to invention, and our record in the field of 
useful inventions is a prouder one than the annals of all other 
nations combined can show — ^it is the outgrowth of our inde- 
pendence of both political and physical need — cherish and fos- 
ter labor, for it is a precious jewel in. the diadem of our people's 

The body perishes — ^the soul is immortaL In discussing my 
third proposition — ^the need of religion in a community for 
the maintenance of perpetuation of republican institutions, I 
must be understood as firmly and conscientiously believing 
that a moraUty founded upon the belief in a future and higher 
life of the soul, to be more or less moulded by and dependent 
upon virtuous action in the body, is a necessary ingredient in 
the fitness for and possibility of man's enjoyment of a free gov- 

I can not conceive what motive, beyond the sensuous enjoy- 
ment of the passing hour, with no thought for that higher and 
better Ufe on earth, ennobling the individual and benefiting his 
kind, can ever inspire to virtuous deeds or heroic action the 
man or woman who believes death is an eternal sleep— the 


beautjr and simplicity of our Coastitution, which with proper re- 
gulatious aa to the rights of ail, leaves to the congoieDoe and 
jadgment of each the mrittur of religioa? belief and obserranoe, 
is one of the gracdest and most noble precepts of its text and 
character — bnt with no proscription in its requirements, with no 
sectarian bias in its action, public opinion has so far demanded 
and had in oar legislatiTO hoUs, in our State and National 
gatberingB upon all great, public occasions, the recognition of 
the need of the cotmtenance and support of an overrnUng Pro- 
vidence — sod for us, for our childi-eu, for oar beloved countiy, 
will that day be when that " altar to an unknown God," erected 
ill pagan Athens, ^all be overthrown in Christian America. 

More than two hundred years ago on the banks of oar bean- 
tiful lake Onondaga, the first banner of civilization was unfurled 
to the breeze — it was the banner of the Cross, and I pray that 
so long aa the stars and stripes of our country shall wave orer 
US as a nation, the hearts of our people may cling to the emblems 
of an immortal life. 

I would not mar the pleasure or dampen the joy of this happy 
hour by any unkind allusion to the more immediate past, but it 
would seem proper while we are celebrating the birth, we should 
rtgoice also over the preservation of our Union. Our recent in- 
ternecine strife tfas a legitimate result of a want of the practi- 
cal application of the written theory of our Declaration of Inde- 
pendence — in that instrument human rights were made as broad 
as humanity itself, and no clime, race, color or condition of men 
were excluded from tho broad and sweeping declaration " AU 
men are created equal" It was the practical departure from the 
annunciation of a political axiom which required our return to 
tlif allegiaiice due our creed, tlirou^ii the earnage and waste of 


love and loynl subosiission to the rights of humanity individualized 
as well as compacted,and that long before another hundred or even 
any years shall have passed in oblivion, shall be buried all recollec- 
tion of the struggle to maintain and preserve our Union, save the 
sweet and xmdying memory of brave deeds and heroic endurance, 
and the proud recollection, dear ahke to sunny South and the 
warm-hearted North — our country is xmdivided and indivi- 

But we are suffering the wounds always inflicted by ruthless 
war — a lower scale of both public and private morality — an 
irksome feeling at lawful constraint — a distaste for honest labor 
— a reckless extravagance in hving — a want of recognition of 
moral responsibility, not alone in the administration of pubHc 
afijBiirSy but in the trp.nsactions of ordinary business life, and in 
social relations of neighbors and families. 

I warn you, my countrymen, that we must return to the 
primitive virtues of our fathers — education, labor, religion, 
must again take the places of greed, speculation, corruption, 
indolence and vice ? We may talk of the corruption of our 
chosen rulers — ^we may stand at the street comers, and publicly 
proclaim the venality and crime in high places ; this availeth 
not, what we must first do is — " Physician heal thyself," " Re- 
move the beam from thine own eye ere you cast out 'the mote 
from your brother." " Purify the fountain that the stream may 
be pure." Under the theory and practice our system of gov- 
ernment, when administered with the spirit and intent of its 
founders, our rulers are the people's servants, and if the people 
are indifferent and corrupt, so likewise vrill be their rulers — ^if 
the constituency is active and honest, the government will 
reflect it. 

A desire by the voter to profit pecuniarly and socially by the 
prostitution of political principles to personal ends ; the indis- 
criminate trade by all classes in the enactments of municipality, 
State and nation, engendered by base cupidity either pecuniary 
or personal — above and beyond all the utter neglect by the 
enlightened, educated and wealthy of their sacred miner as well 
as higher political duties — all combine not only to make our 
politics disreputable — ^but to demoralize and will finally destroy 


our gOTemmeBt nniesB we speedily retomAiore nesrly to the 
simple habita, rigid mnrali^, and consoieiitions respect to all 
political duty which characterized our fatbera 

I have thus very briefly discnsaed our position and onr doty 
oa this our hundredth anniversary — I have not oonsidfired it 
wise or profitable to rehearse the fiuniliar story of oar stunggle 
for and success in the achievement of a national exiBteuc& I 
have not in studied words painted the rapid strides in onr 
progress as a people. Yon know it all, and memory would not 
be quickened nor patriotism intensified by any recital of 

Bat Z deem it appropriate, before I shall have concluded the 
discharge of the duty imposed upon me, to address mwe par- 
ticularly the people of my city and my native county. 

On the 4th of July, 1776, our county was the abode of the 
hostile savages, an unbroken wilderness, within whose borders 
no white man Lad found a home — it remained so until four 
years after our revolutisuary struggle, when the first white set- 
tler, Epliraim Webster, sojourned with the Indian, and follow- 
ing in his path others slowly settled within our present bor- 
ders — while true that no hostile army has ever invaded onr 
soil — no hearths desolated — no roof- tree obliterated — no 
historic battle-field marked or distinguished our territorial lim- 
its, yet still it is sacred ground. 

As early as 1792, a grateful State, reserving a small portion 
cd the land adjoining and surrounding onr celebrated salt 
springs, dedicated and allotted the remainder to the surviving 
soldiers of its contingent iu the armies of the Revolution ; 
many of those war-worn veterans with their surviving honse- 
boMs found in loTitr, weiirianmu and dangerous ioumev their 


gedness of our unbroken soil — the lonely cabin of logs their 
dwelling — ^the biased bat tangled wood path their highway, 
they battled with forest-crowned hill and wooden glen, until 
peacefal pasture and yielding grain-field displaced ilie lair of 
the wild beasfc and the hunting grounds of the wilder savage. 

We cannot now linger to detail the progress of each passing 
year, to name the conspicuous actor in each scene, but we can 
for a moment contrast the extremes of 1776 and 1876, look at 
the pictures before us — 1776 the wigwam of the savage and his 
trackless path in the unbroken forest — 1876, six score thousand 
human souls basking in the simshine of a free civilization en- 
joying all the social, intellectual and political advantages ever 
yet allotted to humanity. 

(Compared with the huts of our fathers — our habitations are 
palaces — ^they dot every hill top, they nestle in every valley — 
they stand in the seried ranks in our beautiful and growing city, 
and cluster together around the school and the church, in all 
our smiling and thriving villages — our thrifty husbandmen look 
upon countless herds of lowing cattle — on seas of waving grain 
— on graneries bursting with the rich and bounteous yield of 
their fertile acres; our merchants in their stately marts of com- 
merce gather from the ends of the earth, the produce of every 
soil — ^the handiwork of savage and civilized — all creations of 
nature and art to satisfy the wants or gratify the tastes of our 
people — ^the unceasing hum of the manufacturers' wheel, the 
continuous blow of the sturdy artisan and stalwart laborer 
chase solitude from aU our borders — our water highways link us 
with the ocean lakes of our own West, and give us peaceful en- 
trance to that great sea which rolls between us and the land of our 
father's fathers — ^highways of iron rib our cOimtry North, West, 
South, and East — Abroad avenues run by the door of the himi- 
blest, and commerce with its white wings of peace, has blotted out 
forever the warpath of the savage and the tree-marked way of the 
hardy pioneer. Beligion dwells in more than an hundred tem- 
ples of beauty dedicated to the service of the living God. Edu- 
cation from the lordly towers of the princely university to the 
more humble school-house at the cross roads, boasts its many 
habitations. We are the central county of the Empire State, 


which t&dIib first in wealth, firet in popoktion, first in represen- 
tation among her sister States of our Union. Of sixty, oar 
county IB sovGuth in popuhition and wealth, and in thefifth rank 
in State representation 

The pioneers of our country and their sons have been dis- 
tinguished on every stsgo of life in all the years of our histoiy 
— side by side with them, many who have here sought a new 
home, a new countiy, have over and again reflected honor and 
glory on the home of their adoptiou. Distinction in the pulpit 
at the bar, in the forum, on battle field, in the broad field of 
human endeavor — wherever honor, distinction, wealth and place 
were to bo gained — high rank, deserved places of merit and 
worth have been won by many whoso earliest training for uae- 
fulncss and busy life, was by the fireside of their homes among 
the beautiful hills and Bmiling valleys of our beloved Onondaga. 

I cannot speak to-day of battle scenes or individuals, but we 
know that on many a well stricken field, in many a still and si- 
lent city of the dead, lie to-day the mortal remains of hundreds 
of Onondaga's bravest eons, who battling for the right, from 
Bull Run to Appomattox, left their record of bravery and patriot- 
ism in all the conflicts of the late struggle for national existence. 
We rejoice in the life and presence to-day of the brave survivors 
of that terrible conflict. From the Generals with title won cm 
the field, to the private soldier whose unflinching valor and 
great endurance fought and won the contest for our second in- 
dependence — all have reflected honor upon and won imdying 
glory for the country of their nativity and adoption. 

Children of the soil — adopted sons and daughters of old On- 
ondaga — is this noble heritage of our fathers, this free and 


statesman who stood on the battlements of freedom's citadel 
and conquered for ns the banded hordes of tyranny and op- 
pression, h£hs gone to join the hosts of heaven's freemen in 
another and a better world. Can we not take their finished 
work — ^keep and preserve it untarDished, unbroken, beautiful 
enlarged, and more glorious and endearing, for our children's 
children ? Though dead in the body yet Uving in the spirit, 
we may then hear, minghng with the rejoicings of 1976, and 
blessings and praise to our names as well as to the deeds 
of our fathers, in that we have made of the talent committed to 
our charge other talents of honor, glory and prosperity for our 

Let us to this end from this day practice economy, industry 
— cultivate intelligence, make virtue the rule and guide of our 
private and pubHc life. 

Trimnphant armies inscribe their banners with the names of 
their victorious fields of battle. May we give as our legacy to 
the next great anniversary of our country's !)irth, the stars of 
our nation's banner undimmed — its stripes untarnished, right- 
folly inscribing thereon as our faith kept pure and unsullied — 
our motto, won by our acts — Religion, Education, Free Labor, 
the only sure foundation on which to build, ior perpetuity, 
Bepublican Institutions. 




We celebrate to-day one himdred years of Democratic Oov- 
ermneDt. We flatter ooTBelvea, not withoat some efaow of 
reason, that oor experiment has beea, on the whole, a ancoeoBlQl 

It is true that in other days " the name of commonweolfh has 
past and gone," over many " fractions of this groaning globe." 
It IB true that onr Bepnblic has only attained the alight vener- 
ableneas of a single century. It is true that other democradee, 
far more ancient have at last " deigned to own a sceptre and 
endure a porple robe." Still we live, and we console oorselvea 
with the thought that our one century has been eqoal in actual 
development to many centuries of Venice or Borne. 

It is true we have had our enemies, foreign and domOBtio, and 
we may have them again. But in two wars, one of them of vast 
proportions, we have not only gained victory, bat increased 
strength, while in the war of 1812, we certainly lost nothing. 
We have now convinced the world, what our best fi-iends in 
Europe have seriously doubted, that a democracy is capable of 
being converted, in a day, into a military despotism, as effective 
for aU warlike purposes, as the citizen-soldiery of Qermany or 
the soldier- tenantry of BuBsia. A government, however looee 
a to the Gjo of a monarchist, ^vhicb out of a nation 


of soch a military metamorphosiBy is at least not to be despised 
as an unwieldy and tingOTemable mob. 

It is true that our own body politic has not been at any time 
in a state oi perfect health. As a democracy, it has had its dis- 
eases, some hereditary and chronic and some the resnlt of tem- 
porary indiscretions and excesses. We began our republican 
organization with a large infusion of the ideas of dass-aristo- 
cracy from the Northern Colonies, with all the institutions and 
social usages of a race- aristocracy at the South, and with the 
crude, wild doctrines of French Bed Bepublicanism straDgely 
mingled with both. Our history during the century has been 
almost exclusively the record of the throes of the Bepublic un- 
der the antagonism of these morbid agents. The extraordinary 
foroe of vitality which our democracy has developed in elimi- 
nating these internal tendencies to disease and dissolution, is 
not the least among the occasions of our solemn exultation to- 
day. Our remedies have, some of them, been constitutional 
and gentle ; others of them, heroic and painful. But they cer- 
tainly have been efficacious. We have diseases stilL But just 
at tins moment they are of the prurient, disgusting sort^ morti- 
:fying and annoying enough, but only skin deep. 

Sorely a nation that found means to eradicate the slow con- 
eomption of social aristocracy, to quell the fiery fever of a 
^brigand communism, and to cut out the cancer of slavery, will 
<xmtrive some method of exterminating the insect parasites that 
are now burrowing over our whole civil service. If the heart of 
^6 Bepublic is sound, we need not greatly fear for its cuticle. 
Only, feUow-citizens, let us be prompt in our treatment, for the 
disease is contagious, and it is very irritating I 

Besides the ills we have or have had, there may be latent tend- 
encies to disease and decay, that we know not of. But we will 
borrow no trouble to-day. We will hope that the same con- 
stitutional vigor, and the same skill of treatment which have 
served us so well in the past, will, by God's blessing, prove suf- 
ficient for our future needs. Ouly let us draw largely upon the 
sources of national nourishment— let us keep in vigorous exer- 
cise all our organic functions ; let us become a manly nation, 
in&tinct in every part with the highest attributes of national 


life ; then we mixy detj tho inroads of disease ; Oxen the whde 
body, fitly joined together and compitcted by that nbich eveiy 
joint anpplieth, ahoJl gi'ow into a perfect Btate— a state which 
Qod sball honor and man shall fear. We rejoice in the healOi 
of the Notion on ita htindrcth birtliday ! 

It ia fUao true, to change our fijjuro, that there has bten not 
a Uttle occasion for ansiDty concerning the frnme-tixirk of onr 
Ship of State. The model of a ship and the adjustment of its 
various parts to each other, the balance between ita breadth of 
beam and its Icn^h of spars, ths ratio to be observed between 
steadiness and crankneas, the precise point where the " clump " 
may blend into the " clipper,'' is a great nautical problem. The 
blending of all our lotJal sovereignties, from tlie scliool district 
and the town meeting, through the coontles and the states, into 
one national sovereignty, while yet each retains its distinct and 
characterostic autonomy, I have often compared, in my own 
mind, to .that admirable and exquisitely beautiful adjustment, 
which, before the prosaic age of steam, gave us the many-wing- 
ed birds of the ocean — tho swift eagles of commerce — skimming 
every sea, and nestling in every harbor. You have seen them, 
with their i^jTauiid of sails, rising with geometrical exactness 
from main to royal, swelling in rounding lines from the fore- 
most jib to the outmost point of the studding-sail boom, and re- 
treating again, pear-shaped, to tho stem, each holding to its full 
capacity tho forceful breeze, all drawing in harmony, and yet 
each hanging by its own spar, and each imder the instant con- 
trol of the master on the deck. Behold, I have said, the Ship 
of a Republican State ! What absolute independence of parts ! 
What perfect harmony of all ! What defined distinction of 

mction! What eomnh'te uuilv 


from the fear that the National Government would forbid a pro- 
tective tariff denied the supremacy of the National over the 
State Oovemment, except during the consent of the latter. 

In the later days of Calhoun, by one of the strangest trans- 
mutations ever known in poHtics, the same doctrine was main- 
tainedyby the same States,for the purpose of resisting a protective 
isunK Throttled by the strong hand of Andrew Jackson, at that 
time, the monster drew back into his den, only to appear under 
the feeble administration of Buchanan as the champion of slavery. 
The doctrine that the National Government may be left at any 
moment, a floating hulk without canvas, rigging or rudder, the 
statesmanship which would launch a nation into the great ocean 
of human affairs, under the command of some two score of in- 
dependent local governments, may now be laid away in our 
cabinets of moral monstrosities, as a fossil of the past. De 
TocqueviUe, the philosopher of Democracy, prophesied forty 
^ears ago, in this wise : " It appears to me unquestionable, that 
if any portion of the Union seriously desired to separate itself 
from the other States, they would not be able, nor indeed would 
they attempt to prevent it, and that the present Union will last 
only as long as the States which compose it choose to remain 
2nembers of the confederation." That this sagacious and most 
friendly writer on American institutions has in this case proved 
to be a false prophet, is not the least among our many causes 
for congratulation to-day. 

A century of rapid movement and of revolution ; a century 
which has changed the poUtical condition of nearly every nation 
on the face of the earth ; a century during which w j have twice 
met the whole power of the British Empire in arms, and once 
sustained the shock of assault from the combined power of 
slavery at home and in Europe ; a century during which we 
have .eliminated from the body politic the most insiduous and 
dangerous diseases ; a century during which we have deter- 
mined questions concerning the relations and functions of our 
concentric cluster of independent democracies of the most rad- 
ical and vital nature ; a century during which our population 
has grown from three millions to fifty miUions, our erea of ter- 
ritory extended from one million to four millions of square miles. 


OUT mannbctnres advanced from twenty millionB to forl^-two 
hundred millions, oar agrionltnre, mining and commerce m- 
oreaeed in a ratio wbich sete all figures at defianod ; a century 
which has raised as from insignificance, to a position as tlie fifth 
of the great empires of the world ; a centniy which in educa- 
tional and religions progress has more than kept pace with onr 
material advancement, giving ns a propcntion of chnrch mem- 
bers to the whole popnlation four times greater than it was at 
the close of the Revolution, and a much larger increase in the 
ratio of liberally educated and weU cdacat«d persons ; each a 
centurj' we celebrate to-day. Who shall say that we do not veS 
to leijoice. Who can fail to exclaim with devont and ferrest 
gratification, Whal hath Ood icrought f 

Bat we shoald make an unworthy nae of th^ great oocaaon 
wiut Doea Tha should we coofine ouraelvefi to a mere duldish 
Futdie I'pomiie } exultation over accomplished facts. A giest 
fature is extending out before us. What does this experiment 
prove, and how much does it promise ? It is a time for study 
and thought. This centennial year, with its accomplished past 
just rolling out of view, with its present exciting and abscnrbiDg 
duty in the election of a chief magistrate, with an immediate 
future promising an unexampled reaction of prosperity, shonld 
be a year in which men should make great progress in the science 
of society and government. 

We must not foil therefore to note and to admit freely, that 
our experiment has been in some respects an indecisive ona It 
does not prove that a I>emocratic form of government is neoea- 
sarily and everywhere the best form. We are isolated from all 
the leading powers of the world by the intervention of great 


flolidated military despotism ; we an extended Democratic Be- 
pnblia Yet a philosophical statemanship has often declared 
that we are approaching the same goal of empire and power. 
The comparison is fall of interest and challenges oar closest 
seratiny. Russia, primarily the soldier, never out of oniform, 
her villages bat military camps, her cities vast garrisons, her 
railroads and chaussds only lines of army commanication, is 
yet an inyenting, manafacturing, agricaltaral and emphatically 
a commercial nation. America, primarily a land of peace and 
thrift, has b^en transformed in a day, into one vast battle field, 
and its rustic as well as its civic population have left the shop 
and farrow at night to appear in the morning assembled in 
armies of Titanic size, armed with the weapons of the Titans, 
while the thunder of their encounter has shaken the astonished 
world. Russia has exaulted autocracy and punished democracy 
as a crime against God and man. America has proclaimed 
universal liberty and held the despot to be the enemy of the 
human race. Yet within the shell of imperial absolution, Russia 
holds to-day, as its inheritance from the depths of a Slavic an- 
tiquity, a communal organization which is almost a fac simile 
of a New England township ; while America, beneath its out- 
ward freedom of thought, speech and act, covers a force of pub- 
lic opinion, both national and local, which few men have the 
courage to defy, and still fewer the strength to resist. 

Under these curiously opposite conditions is the problem of 
the State being wrought out, for the Golden Age which is to 
coma From these diametrically opposite stand points, are the 
two most youthful nations of mankind advancing to the pos- 
session of the Earth. 

Such a comparison between two opposite civilizations serves to 
The Demooratioideft show US that democracy, as a form of govem- 

BDd the DemooTA- mont may or may not contain the elements of 
tio idML freedom and the assurance of stability. In other 

words, the democratic idea, as men have conceived it and em- 
bodied it in governments, may or may not accord with the de- 
mocratic ideal as it is enunciated in the royal law of Christ, and 
as it will one day be seen, embodied in the governments of men. 
Democracies may hide within themselves the seeds of despotism. 


Autocracies may nourisli the genua of liberty. A democracy, 
which is admin istoictl in the Interosts of individaak, or (^ a par- 
ty, or one in which the majority deprive the minoritv of freedom 
of speech and act, through the action of law or the terrorism of 
public opinion, is essentially despotic There is despotism emnigh 
exercised within the Bepublic to-day, which if it hail occorrod in 
a monarchy would liare oost a king his throne, and perhaps hia 
life. On the other hand absolutionism may be so administered 
that the highest good of every subject shall be songht, and all 
his rights secured, according to the law. " Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thine heart and thy neighlmr as thy- 

There is then a political democracy, and there is a moral de- 
mocracy. The kIuw and reluctant translation of tlie abstract 
ideal into the actual idea, and its expression in govenuaeotal 
institutiouB, is of snrpassing interest and importance. 

It is this history which concerns us on this centennial anni- 

Tbo Qaeailmi of versary. The inquiries which ure being discussed 

Uie Dv- to-day from ten tbouaand i-ostrums, and which are 

pressing upon the tbooghts of millions of men are theee and 

such as these. 

What is democracy, as distinct alike hxim the mob and the 
despot ? 

What is hberty, as limited by law, and contrasted with li- 

What progress had been made up to the fourth of July, ITlG, 
in ti-anslating this ideal democracy into the thoughts and insti- 
tutions of men? 

What did the assembly over which John Hancock presided, 
1 that memorable morning, achieve for this great thought of 


*' In the image of Gk>d made He man, male and female cre- 
ated He them/' was the first announcement of this seed princi- 
ple of political and social happiness. While the rights and 
needs of the sexes vary, as do those of all individual men and 
cf all classes of men, the image qf Ood gives agrandeur of dig- 
nity and consequence to every human being, be his descent, or 
rank, or abilities what they may. While the king inscribes 
upon the seal of his authority, " By the grace of God, a mon- 
arch over men," while the magistrate, the parent, the master, 
the wife, the husband, and child, may each claim a special 
divine statute as the basis of his rights ; the man, as a man, 
wesrs the very signet of Jehovah. Like the incarnate Son, he 
ham ^ on his vesture and on his thigh " a name written: A King 
among kings is he, a Lord among lords. 

The inference is direct and clear. A man despised, is Ood 
bla8{diemed. A man enslaved, is the glory of Qod changed 
into a thing of wood, or stone, or into a beast, or creeping 
thing. A man wronged, is God insultod. To hold a man in 
ignorance, is the crime of not retaining Gt>d in the knowledge. 
''Liasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of 'these, my 
brethren, ye did it not to me," is the malediction, written by an 
invisible hand upon all the banners of war, and over the blood- 
rei skies of every battle-field of history. This is the answer 
to the question, " Whence comes wars and fightings among 
yon?" The Nemesis of the nations has been no other than 
the loving Father of aD, avenging his outraged children who 
have cried day and night unto him. ** I tell you that he will 
avenge them speedily" is the interpretation given by the Son of 
Gk>d himself to the dispensations of war, and agonies, and, 
blood, which has been to wondering philanthropists only a mys- 
tery of iniquity, from the first murder to the last battle. To 
the ideal humaniiy, to the man stamped with the divine image, 
God declares, " The nation and the kingdom that will not serve 
Thee shall perish; yea it shall be utterly wasted;" and in that 
word is the whole philosophy of the civil state. The state that 
God perpetuates and blesses is not the state that merely wor- 
ships GtoA, but it is the state that also honors the image of God 
in man. Devotion without humanity may be found in every 


idol temple and Mohammedan mosqae on earth. Bat derotioD 
vithont hamanity never exalted a nation or saved a mngle 
homan being. The hell of perished nations, Uke the hell of 
lost soqIb, ia crowded with the peoples who have cried " Lord, 
Lord," who hare even prophesied in his name, and reared 
their temples lite the trees of the forest, and sent np their ori- 
sons like the sons of the forest birds ; bat because a man was 
ahuDgered and the; gave bim no land, because a man thirsted 
and they gave him no springs of water, because man was a 
stranger and they mode him a slave, bccanse a man was naked 
and they kept back his wages by frand, beoaose a man was 
sick and they left him, as the North American savage leaves 
his worn ont fotber, to perish by the roadside, because a man 
was in prison and they vimted him only to add scorn to his 
sorrow, for these things, and snch as these, the sentence has 
gone oot i^ainst the nations — among them, some of the grandest 
and greatest, " Depi^ bom me, ye cnrsed I" 

What thenia a true Democracy? It is the Oovemment 
ATnieDvmn- which honors man aa man. It is the Grovem- 
o'"!- mcnt which protects oil his God-given rights — the 
right to do right, as God may teach him, the right to do good, as 
God may give him opportunity, the right to be good, as God may 
give him grace, and the right to be happy, as God may bestow 
the means of happiness. 

It is a Government which aveages all hia wrongs — the wrong 
oft attempted of forcing liim into sin ; the wrong of forbidding 
him to do good in the name of Christ ; the wrong of leading 
him, in self-defence, into all bitterness, and wrath, and ang^, 
and clamor ; the wrong of robbing l"'"! of his Heavenly Father's 


It is the Government which writes on all its banners, which en- 
graves on its seal of State, which re-enacts in the legislative hall 
and administers in the court of Justice, the great law of human 
weal. " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
thy neighbor as thyself." 

And "Liberty" what is that? It is fall encouragement^ both 
by negative permission and positive aid, to do that which is 
God-like, and it is equally the utmost possible restraint upon 
whatever is degrading and evil. Any other liberty is the 
liberty given to a child to bum itself in the fire. It is ilie Hcense 
which is the worst form of cruelty and slavery. 

This is the work of God in history. Toward such a 
God's plan In democracy has all the discipline of the race been 
w«*<wy- tending. 

De Tocqueville says, " The development of equality of condi- 
tions, is a providential fact, and it possesses all the characteris- 
tics of a Divine decree. My book (Democracy in America) he 
adds, has been written under the impression of a kind of religi- 
ous dread, in contemplation of so irresistible a revolution. To 
attempt to check democracy would be to resist the will of God.*' 

Steadily, though often slowly, has the race been led on to this 
grand consummation. This is the meeting of war, and con- 
quest and revolution. The progress of democracy has in it the 
might of omnipotence. The gravitation of matter which directs 
rivers in their courses, is a feeble agent, compared with the grav- 
itation of lovie, which directs all the streams of human societv 
toward the great ocean of universal order and purity and joy. 

The history of the gradual introduction of this conception of 
government into men's minds and of its consolidation into ac- 
tual institutions must be followed by the careful student in the 
quiet of private investigation. * 

SufSce it here to say that the first governments of which we 
have any knowledge, were constructed for protection and re- 
straint They took a defensive attitude against evil rather than 
a positive position in the promotion of good. This defensive 
and aggressive idea has foUowed government in the family and 
in the State, and very largely in the church down to our day. 
Its gradual elimination and the substitution of the Christian 

420 c 

thought, that evil ahould be prevented -rather than punished, 
that men need to be encouraged to be good, rather than be re- 
strained &om becoming bad, has proved to be one of the moat 
difficult lessons which the race has had to learn. 
We know little of society before the flood. It was probably, 
PriBittTe however, a grand experiment of the power of mere 
Qoniniaienu. law and authority in conflict with evil The chief 
impression which survived the deli^e seems to have been ihat 
the wickedness of man was great on earth. The history of lib- 
erty through these decades of centuries which followed seems to 
be the record of a series of struggles to relax the nnjust and 
cruel rigor with which this system of resistance to evil was pws 
sued In these struggles the subject was in a state of diroaic 
rebellion against the sovereign, the plebeian against the patri- 
cian. Each dynasty and each class, as it gained power, used it 
for itself. Little by little humanity asserted its rights. The in- 
troduction of the Mosaic code was an immense advance which 
we ROW fail fully to appreciate. Its democratic features were in 
fact the chief study of the founders of this Bepubhc in political 

Tbe institutions under which we are now living were slowly 
Ths Americiu elaborated, in the devout study of the vrord of 
RFpobUo. God, long before the separation from the mother 
country occurred. The Church of Christ, as founded by the 
Apostles, was strongly democratic, and the whole spirit of its 
administratioa tended powerfully to a revolution in civil gov- 
ernment. Its doctrines all went to exalt the reeponsibili^ and 
dignity of the iadividool soul. Theii religion gradually under- 
mined, in the case of our futfaers, their preconceived ideas of 


the leaders, considering the demand, saw that it was just. "Set 
the spirit of the in&nt colonies was strongly aristocratic. In 
manners this was seen much more plainly than in laws. The 
story of the pmictiloos etiqaette which was observed in the 
court (as it was called) of Washington, the seating of the New 
England congregations according to social rank, and numerous 
quaint and ahnost ludicrous customs of tiie same sort show 
sufficiently the spirit of the age. 

But all this was a matter chiefly of taste and decorum. Deep 
in their hearts these men loved their fellowmen. For humanity 
and for God, they were ready at any moment to lay down their 
lives. Their churches were the real mom of the State. %These 
were formed upon the strictest model of ilie pattern given in 
the New Testament. They were local democracies of which 
the motto was ** One is your master, and all ye are brethren." 
Even churches formed upon the pattern of European usage, 
caught the same spirit, and became fountains of a real, if not of 
a nominal democracy. 

It was this tendency to a sort of aristocracy, which was the 
conservative element in the formation of the government This 
made us a constitutional Republic instead of a Qreek or Polish 
Democracy. This was the Federalism of the early days, in 
iduch the Puritan of New England found himself in hearty 
sympathy with the Episcopalian of Virginia, and the Presby- 
terian of New York. This whole party was violently assuulted 
by the men, whose conceptloa of democracy was that of a gov- 
ernment in which every man should have equal authority, in- 
stead of one in which every man should be equally protected 
and cared for. The Republican party (as the ultra Democrats 
of that day termed themselves,) were bent simply on power for 
ihe masses. The Federalists were enlisted, with all their heart 
and soul, in the effort to secure order, justice, virtue and hap- 
piness for the masses. 
The contest was intense and bitter beyond any party strife 
BApobiicui and of which we have any recent experience. The 
Vtian^iaU- Republicans saw in the Federalists a reproduction 
of their oppressors in Europe. The Federalists saw in ilieii 
opponents, the devils incarnate, who had just then closed the 

422 ouB xATioNAi:. 

reign of terror in France. Both were wrong, so wrong thai 
only this tremendous antagonism could have reatrained either 
from making a wreck, of the new ship of state. The result 
was, that a substantial trinmph was with the Federalists, who 
really created the Constitution, while the seeming victory was 
with the Republicans, who after the administrations of Wash- 
ington and Adams gained undisputed poaseaBion of the Gov- 
ernment. Thenceforward it became an offense akin to treason 
to question the perfection of the Constitution, while it was 
httle short of a personal insult for a poUtician to charge hia 
opponent with hftviug been a Federalist. 

It W0S the fashion fifty years ago to speak of this Constitu- 
tion as almost a miracle of human wisdom. Of late there seems 
to be a disposition to regard it a vory common place affiur- 
The estimate of fifty years ago is much more nearly correct. It 
was a miracle not only of human wisdom, bat of Divine teach- 
ing. It was the fruit of uunturies of the teaching and training 
of mankind. It was the product of no one mind or class of 
minds. It was the result of Frovidential drcumstancea qnito 
as much as of human thought. It was the work of many oen- 
turies and of many meu. It was the work of Ood as well as of 
men. It was the practical embodiment of ihe great law of love, 
in the civil state. It was by far the beet translation the world 
had ever seen, or has seen as yet, the great ideal of democracy 
— the Utopia of Christianity — into actual institutions and prac- 
ticable government. 

The nest great advance of democracy in this country is seen 
in the overthrow of the instilution of elaoery. If I pass by tibia 
whole history with a mere mention here, you will understand that 
it is because of the familiarity of the subject to the men of our 


this anniversaiy of jEreedom, as John Adams predicted we should 
do, '' with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires and illomi- 

But we should be unworthy sons of heroic sires, if we did not 
ThePzMent look about US, in the surroundings of the present, and 
Daty. inquire if there is not something to be done, as well 
as something to be enjoyed. 

Men and brethem, I do but follow the example of the men of 
a hundred years ago, when I bid you pause in the midst of your 
rejoicings to-day ; when I ask you to consider whether an in- 
stant and a deadly peril be not concealed, like a worm in the 
rose, beneath the fair blossoming of this hour; when I ask you 
if it is not certain that, unless there be radical, sweeping, uncom- 
promising reform in the administration of our Oovemment, if it 
is not certain that we are celebrating the first and the last cen- 
tennial of the American democracy. Such, fellow-citizens, is 
my profound conviction, and out of the abundance of my heart 
I speak to you to-day. 

The time was,, in the days of Washington and the elder Adams, 
and the same continued to be substantially true to the dose of 
the administration of the younger Adams, that an officer of the 
Government, employed in its administration, who should actively 
engage in its construction, through the elections, would have 
been regarded as guilty of an impropriety — a misdemeanor, a 
dishonorable unworthy act, similar to that judge in our day 
^ho should appear as an advocate or a client in a cburt over 
^bich he presides. Even at so late a date as the impeachment 
and trial of Andrew Johnson, it was charged as a crime that he 
liad given civil appointments for the purpose of strengthening 
liis ovm political position. 

We look back to the otherwise creditable administration of 
Andrew Jackson, and find the first open and acknowledged de- 
parture from this principle. Adams had refused a re-election 
on terms which he regarded subsersive of the government 
Jackson seems to have yielded with reluctance to a demand 
which the rapacity of many of his supporters forced upon him 
with a fury which marked a complete revolution in pubUc feel- 
ing. To the horror of all right minded men of all parties, Mr. 



Marcy, of Kew York, on the occasioii of the Domiuation of Hartan 
Von Biiren as miniBter to England, declared in Ub place in Hia 
Senate, the revolutionary doctrine, " We practice as we preach. 
To the victors belong the epoile" The horror of the oppomng 
party and of all good citizens, gradually changed to' acquies- 
cence, and on all sidee the principle vaa aooepted as a practical 

The heroic straggle with slavery, which lifted the nation to a 
moral elevation, of the grandest sublimity for the moment, 
checked this dovmfall in the lowest slums of knavery and pec- 
Illation. But with the close of the war ccune a tanptatdon and 
an oppori^mity such as never had been dreuned at, and witb 
them an entire absence both of moral principle and of legal re- 
straint to meet the eviL 

How we Btand to-day, how humiliated before our own con- 
Bciences and before mankind, I need not pain you by deecrilnng. 
You know it all, and you feel it deeply. 

'Nov/ what is to be done ? What have I to do, and what have 
you to do ? 

The two great parties have so far recognized the evil and Uia 
danger, that they have both nominated men who are representa- 
tives of honesty and reform. 

But neither of them has laid down any principles of reform. 
It is not their place to do it Parties can represent and give 
voice to the principles of the people. But they cannot create 
them. It is for the pulpit, the press, the school, the private 
citizen, to solve the problem, and to hand over its execution to 
the pohticians. 

What, then, is the solution of this perplexing problem? I 
hesitate not for an gnawer. Go back to the ancient traditioi 


officer to remove a subordinate, except for cause. Let a man's 
politics have nothing to do with the giving or retaining of of- 
fice. Make it a State's prison offense for a legislator to engage 
in any legislation in which his own interests are directly or in- 
directly concerned. 

The time is propitious for such a reform. The people are 
zipe for it. All the indications are that within ten years they 
will have it. For this let us all labor, Bepublicans and Demo- 
crats alike. We are just entering on a Presidential canvass, 
under candidates against whom not a word of reproach can be 
breathed. Let us thcmk God for so much to-day. It is likely 
to be a respectable canvass, in which foul-mouthed abuse will 
be little used. 

Let this Centennial year be distinguished for a victory over 
the most dangerous, but most contemptible foe that ever men- 
aced the Bepublic. Let the watchword of the next three 
months be — Honesty! Truth! Patriotism! Down with party 
machines and machinists ! Up with the reign of purity, honor 
and integrity! 

Thus shall the victory of this one hundredth year be worthy 
of the companionship of the victories, of the birthday of the 

Thus shall the men of this generation stand proudly by the 
side of the men of 1776 and the men of 1865. 

Thus shall the Bepublic, established by the wisdom and sac- 
rifices of the one, and saved by the heroism and blood of the 
other, be handed down to our children, to be incorporated with 
the great empire of liberty and love, which is at last to fill the 
whole earth. 




JULY 4th, 1816. 
FELLOw-CmzEsa : — This holj day itself is full of Eonl-starriug 
memorica and replete with joy. It carries ua back to the second 
day of July,1716, when the Congress of the thirteen colonies de- 
bated and adopted the Declaration of Independence, and to the 
Fonrth day of July, when, in firm reliance upon its tmth and 
justice, and tipon the favor of Almighty God, they signed and 
gave it to the world. The debate has not come down to us, 
but we know that it was vehement, and that some good, brave 
men, shrank from what seemed to them sore self-destruction. 
We do not wonder that they shrank, bat we reverently thank 
God that their timid counsels were overborne by the eloquence 
and firmness of the illustrious signers of that immortal Declara- 
tion—an eloquence and firmness that were not all their own, 
but were heightened, if nqt imparted, by the indignation of a peo- 
ple who loved hberty more than lands or life, and detested the 
sovereign of Great Britain as the author of all their wrongs. I 
have no time for eulogy. The heroes and the statesman of 
the Bevolntion have no need of it. The world yet rings with 
their praises ; their names and deeds are embalmed in history, 
and imperishable fame is theirs. Indeed, if I had time for eulo- 
gy I would rather expend all my poor powers in jost praise of 


the people — ihat then, as now, the people, instead of being led» 
wefe the leaders and inaugurated the glorious revolution. 
Theirs was the chiefest heroism. The orator, inspired by pop- 
ular sentiment, exclaims, *' Give me liberty or give me death/ 
and he receives the laurel due to heroism, but the people go 
forth silently and act it in suffering, in battle and in death. My 
hearty I must confess, is rather with the imiiecorded th%n the 
.recorded worth and virtue. No warrior ever won fame in bat- 
tle imless supported or urged on by heroic masses. In our 
land there are, I doubt not, thousands, yea, tens of thousands 
of homble or forgotten graves which if mortal ashes be fit sub- 
jects of honor, are as worthy of distinction as are those which 
we have covered with marble and with granite. It was, in my 
poor understanding, the wisdom and heroism of the people, ra- 
ther than those whom we caU the fathers of our country that 
made the great war of the Eevolution successful and sub- 

That war was on principle. A people jealous of their hberties 
felt that taxation without representation was tyranny. They 
looked upon their children, and they thought : " If we submit, 
they will be governed by our dastardly example and bow under 
a heavier yoke ; the colonies will become dependencies and our 
children vassals of the British crown," and so they took their 
arms at Lexington and plunged into what seemed a hopeless 
conflict with great Britain. They bad no ally — ^no assurance of 
foreign aid. But far more was involved in the issue of that con- 
flict than they supposed. They did not, they could not realize 
that they were warring and suffering for the whole human 
family. What wisdom could, in 1776, pierce the utter darkness 
of the coming century and see our coimtry as it is ? Only God 
could do it, and He, in His gracious providence gave our fathers 
the victory, and guarded and guided the nation to which victory 
gave birth. Give Him the glory ! 

In celebrating this happy day, it would be shameful to forget 
that ultimate success was won, with the aid of many gallant 
friends of freedom from Europe, where Liberty was dead, but 
not the love of her. The name of many of these worthies are 
irrecoverably lost. Holland gave us Steuben, who was so ser- 


ricabla in the training of oar troops. Alsace conbibated the 
good De KaJb, who fell, a martyr to liberty, at Camden. P<dand 
gftTe OB Eoscisflko and Puluki. 

" Warsaw's last champion " woa our cbantpion too. H« it 
vas who plaaned the camp on Bemis's Heights, and made onr 
lines impenetnible, and so contribnted, fox more than the skill 
of Gates and the mad bravery of Arnold, to the victoFj of 
Saratoga and the surrender of Burgoyne. Pulaski did good 
service, raised an independent corps and laid down his life for 
the good cause in the aaaaolt upon Savannah. Scotland gave 
oa Fatil Jones, the hero of onr flag and terror and the Bomxge 
ot England on the sea. Thomas Paine, an Englishman, gave 
OB wondrous uid and comfort with his pea, and the valne of Ids 
servicefl was publicly acknovrledged by Congress and by all 
our foremost statesmen, and afcar the vindication of oar Inde- 
pendence, New Jersey and New York hastened to tratify their 
sense of them by gifts of land and money. It seems surprising 
that a man of his ability and worth was not a Christisji. He, 
in common with many of our most venerated statesmen, wa« 
tinged with the falsely so-called philosophy then so widely 
prevalent. His " Age of Reason " is almost foigotten. His 
assaults upon Christianity were weak and ineffective. Here 
justice to BO efScient a defender of the rights of man requires 
us to remember that his creed, though too contracted, was 
noble-T-it might have been the creed of Socrates or Plato : " I 
believe in one God and no more, and I hope for happiness be- 
yond this life. I believe in the equahty of man ; and I believe 
that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy and 
endeaToring to make oar fellow creatures happy." France 
among a host of gallant men, gave ub Lafayette. Words can- 


foioed sarrender of Comwallis at Yorktown. Bat it is well to 
remember that, as the stars in their conrse fought against 
Sisera, so a ProTidential storm prevented Comwallis*s escape 
and made our victory certain and complete. Great Britain ac- 
knowledged our independence, and our narrow country was 
left at peace with all the world. The first Constitution of New 
York was adopted afc Kingston in 1777, on the 20th day of April, 
and it seems to me that a proper State pride requires that day 
to be set apart by the good people of the State as a holiday for- 

The Articles of Confederation were submitted to the States in 
1777, and, being ratified by the Legislatures were signed by 
their representatives in Congress in 1778. These articles were 
a mere rope of sand, and did not create a nation It was a 
blessed day for us and for tha world when they were replaced 
by the Constitution. That went into effect on the 4th day of 
March, 1789, when Washington duly entered upon the office of 
President It was the most perf ecc Constitution that man ever 
devised. But alas, it presented one dark blot upon its other- 
wise fair face — ^it did not fulfill the promise of the Declaration 
of Indepandence and recognize the equality of man. The 
framers of it were compelled to compromise with slavery. But 
that Constitution was a great advance in the direction of lib- 
erty, and gave strength and majesty to this before formless and 
disjointed country, which was bom into the world on the fourth 
day of July, 1776. 

From the happy hour of its adoption, through many tiials, 
the United States of America has marched gradually onward in 
the paths of glory. Her acquisitions of territory have been 
immense. In 1 803, our Government purchased of France, for 
$15,000,000, Louisiana and all her claims to the country west 
of the Mississippi. Thus we acquired not only perfect property 
in the whole length of that great river, but the very heort of the 
continent, and even passed the Bocky Mountains and planted 
our banner upon the coast of the Pacific Ocean. In 1819, 
Spain ceded Florida to us, thus rounding our possessions on 
the Gull After a long interval, Texas was annexed, war witb 
Mexico followed, and New Mexico and Califomis were added 
to our country. 


I am proud of the laurels won hj my countt? in her wan ; 
bat, thank Hcavon she has far worthier claims upon oar admira- 
tion and respect I care not to inquire whether her independ- 
ence was confirmed and her dignity vindicated by the war of 
1812. It is enough to say, that, despite some disaster her 
triumphs upon both land and sea were worthy of our intrepid 
people, and of all those victories I can recaU none that was 
more glorious and complete than that which Perry won upon 
the loTclj lake that laves the feet at BuETalo. 

Would, my friends ! that I could, with justice to this occasioA, 
permit the recent past to be buried in obhvion, and omit all 
reference to the Rebellion — that awful war, the memory of 
which renews my anguish and recalls my iear of something 
worse than death — the ruin of my country. My voice was one 
of the first that demanded war in preference to disunion, though 
I wdl knew what tremendous evils must come from war how- 
ever thoroughly successful. War came, and there was great 
bitterness in being compelled by sacred duty to counsd battle 
to the death for the Union and for hberty, while I was debarred 
from sharing the dangers and privations of our soldiers. The 
South, under the influence of slavery, was a mere aristocracy — 
a noble aristocracy, if you please ; but base is the noblest The 
North and West, with an ineradicable hatred of slavery, had 
been induced to accede to the demands of the South and extend 
its area. One is ashamed to note the ease vrith which pubHc 
men were swayed by promises and threats Of sophistry. This 
cancer, hated as it was by all, or nearly al^ the framers of the 
constitution was placed under the protection of the conafitntion 
and permitted to spread. The slave holding States 1 


these traths to be self-eyident — that all men' are created equal ; 
that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable 
lights : that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of 
happiness ; that to secure these rights governments are insti- 
tuted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent 
of the governed." Athens, Sparta, all the so-called free States 
of Greece, and the Roman Republic itself were all debased, cor- 
rupted and ruined by slavery. To make liberty stand firm, 
erect and fair upon the bleeding back of slavery is not possible. 
And yet these men, in imitation of the miserable Spartans, pro- 
posed to have their Helots and worship freedom. In their 
madness they would have compassed our ruin and their own, 
and blighted every germ of liberty in Europe. We resisted for 
our lives : we fought for them and for their children as well as 
for ourselves and for our children. Thank God I we beat them 
down, and kept them from self-murder. 

We retrieved our national honor. We purified the constitu- 
tion and made it the guaranty of freedom and equality through- 
out our glorious country. Our warfare was in a holy cause, and 
so far as our deep wrongs would permit, was waged without 
enmity. When peace returned, I was among the first to say, to 
a portion of the public, that our duty and the common interest 
demanded that we should take ample security for the future and 
grant full amnesty to all who had participated in the rebellion. 
I spoke in a comer. I was not heard. I hardly expected to 
"be heard or heeded, but I satisfied my conscience. We suffer at 
the south as well as here and everywhere the evil consequences 
of the war of the rebellion. We have an immense debt and a 
depredated currency ; but our chiefest suffering has flowed from 
the demoralization which always dogs the heels of war. Truly, 
"we have paid a tremendous price for victory, but the victory 
iifas worth it a million times. 

In the history of the last century, is it not very dear that God 
lias been most gracious to us ? He gave us honorable success 
in all our wars. He made the passions and the wants of trans- 
atlantic powers conduce to the extension of our country. He 
gives us nearly the whole of North America to hold in trust for 
Freedom and for Virtue and as an asylum for the oppressed of 
the world. 


When the expaosion of our territory threatened to ^ 
the tiea of our nationolitj, new modes and means of interconrae 
by sea and land — ateamboats, canals, railroads, ocean steamo^ 
and the magnetic telegraph — aroBe in good time to connter- 
poise the disadvantages of distance and avert the danger. In 
point of time New York is mnch nearer now to San Fr&nciflcoi 
than it was to New Orleans less than half a century ago. Free 
institutiona — the same in Bubstanoe — prevail throaghont onr 
land. Free commerce throaghont the immeuse expanse cementa 
our union, and &ee intercourse and an equal love of liberty 
mould US into one peonliar people. There is not and never haa, 
been in all the world a prouder title than " citizen of tlie UnUAd 

If there be any portion of onr comitry for whose fatnre I fear 
it is the South. It is said, I hope untmly, that there disorder 
to some extent prevails, and that politicians still talk of " the lost 
cause," and seek to rise upon the dying passions of the past. 
But I wiU not fear. The most loyal men of the South are the 
brave confederates who fought bo gallantly against us. The re- 
constructed States muBt take oare of themselves and their own 
interests and honoit If they will destroy themselves, so it moat 
be. But surely tlieir wise, good men will counsel their people, 
as ours do us, to submit to the inevitable, and to seek prosperity, 
and happiness, and honor, where alone they are to be found- 
in the firm maintenance of impartial law and tlie pursuits of 

What wonderful changes in the condition of the world tlie 
past century has witnessed ! How petty are the evils we com- 
plain of when compared with those under which the whole 
earth groaned a ceuiury ago ! Wlien the Declaration of Indo- 


cruel, fierce and bloody. Bnlers and ruled were alike 
selfish and inhuman. England, from whose law and his- 
tory our ancestors drew their love of freedom, while boasting of 
Liberty, oppressed Ireland and filled her colonies with slaves. 
There was not in the whole world a country so pure, enlightened, 
tolerant and happy as was each and every one of the thirteen 
colonies who jeoparded eyerjthing for perfect freedom and the 
rights of man, and gave birth to our country. What glories 
cluster around the country's history I How firm and strong she 
is — how pure and lovely — the example of the world, its gloiy 
and its hope I Surely our God looks dovni upon it with appro- 
bation and will bless it. We may well beheve that by it He will 
encourage humanity and make the round earth happy, tolerant 
and free. 

Everywhere there has been progress in the arts, in science, in 
government, in everything that elevates the intellect, improves 
the heart and favors freedom. In our land intolerance has no 
existence, and in almost every other country she seems languish- 
ing or dead. Good men of all Christian sects have learned to 
love each other, and to forget their differences in the unity of 
their good works and worship. Childhood is more and more 
dear, women is more elevated and influential, and her refining 
influence is more widely felt. The rights of inferior beings are 
more justly estimated, and the brutes, whether they labor for us 
or not) and the birds that help and cheer us are under the pro- 
tection of the law. The elective franchise now rests upon mere 
manhood, and not upon the accidents of property. The weapons 
and the implements of war are now so destructive and so costly) 
that invasion seems impossible, and wars, when they come, must 
certainly be brief. 

This Centennial year has been marked by many happy eventa 
Let me refer to a few of them. The people everywhere have 
evinced a hatred of private and political corruption. It has 
witnessed the detection — may it witness the condign punish- 
ment — of men who have made the public a prey, and the temple 
of liberty a den of thieves. Everywhere in our land great en- 
terprises have been commenced or brought to a successful end. 
In our own dear Buffalo, we may point with just pride to our 


noble City and County Hall, and to the ntuneroiia new bnildiogs 
which add beauty to our city, and prove its prosperity and pow- 
er. This year, too, ia made famous, by the wonderful Interna' 
tional exhibition at Philadelphia. There, all the nations ezhitnt 
and cotqpare their natural, industrial, artistic and scientific pro- 
ducts, and learn to know and respect each other, and to appre- 
ciate the inestimable blessings of peace and untrammeled inter- 

How, my friends, shall we confirm our blessings and manifest 
our gratitude to Heaven ? To Heaven, what can be more grate- 
ful than works of piety and love ? Our liberties ore veiy Btix>ng- 
ly rooted, but " eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." " How 
tmeit is that " Power is contmually stealing from the man; to 
the few !" "Would that every citizen would rouse himself to a 
deep sense of the dignity and respousibihty of citizenship I Ig- 
norance is the ready tool of meau ambition. She longs for license 
and cannot consort in peace with loving Liberty, She may be 
the parent of dangerous riot or bloody revolution, but she can- 
not found a State nor maiDtain her lawless freedonL Her tri- 
umphs are brief, and she always falls, by craft or force, nnder 
the foot of defipotiam. I say, with Jefferson, the author of the 
Declaration of Indopendenoe, " above all things educate the 
people." We have obeyed, and will forever obey the precept- 
And for our obedience have we not ii precious reward in these 
one thousand children who sing so charmingly the hymns of 
liberty ; Do they not give us Ihe strongest possible assurance 
that onr country and its iuHtitutions are secure ? God bless 
you, my good children 1 You ani the richest jewels of Buffalo — 
the future dufenders of punty, hberty and union. 

May our people grow in magnanimity as in every other tot- 


oeptmg public work in liea of public charity. I am no level- 
ler — ^no agrarian. It is not the duty of any goyemment to 
provide work for all who deEtire to work ; but it is the duty of 
every government to encourage industry and promote happi- 
ness, directly or indirectly, whenever it can do so. 

The general and state governments require a vast variety 
and amount of manual and mechanical labor. In times of 
monetary depression, dearth and panic, it is the duty of govern- 
ment to set an example to capitalists maintaining and even in- 
creasing its average expenditures for labor. Shame on the 
miserable demagogue, who preaches as economy a meanness 
which strikes down and disheartens honest laborers. 

I pray you, when economy is preached, see to it that it is just 
and worthy of a great-hearted people ! 

My friends, I cannot tell you how much pleasure you have 
given me to-day, not only by your kindness to myself, but by 
the sight of your own happy, animated faces, and by your mag- 
nificent procession. The demonstrations of the day are indeed 
sublime. Here is patriotism as pure as the sky above us, and 
irresistible as the surging ocean. The sounds of innumerable 
feet upon the march, the martial music, the intermitting mur- 
murs of great multitudes, with its attempt at silence, are like 
the multitudinous voices of the sea, but grander, far grander. 
The sluggish sea has no soul nor life in its motion and its ut- 
terances ; but the movements and the voices of this vast as- 
sembly are replete with intelligence and soul. 

With so grand a spectacle in view how can we doubt the sta- 
bility of our country and our liberties? Talk of " the spirit of 
1776," and of " the times that tried men's souls I" The spirit of 
1876 animates you, and your souls would, I doubt not, issue 
gloriously from trials as bitter and severe as those through 
which the heroes of the Revolution passed triumphantly. 
Then, too, our procession, as did the army of the Revolution, 
embraces men of every race and country — native-bom Ameri- 
cans, Germans, Irish, English, Scotch, Poles, Frenchmen. Bufc 
who cares where they were bom ? They are all Americans, lov- 
ers of the Constitution and the Union, of liberty and law. It 
is hardly fanciful to say that here, in our country, sacred to 



liberty, the reunion of these races may result in the restoration 
of the primeval type of manhood. 

My conntrymen, I ought to stop here, but I cannot cease 
without alluding to the highest enjoyment, the most gradbaB 
and honorable duty of the day. The Ladies Union Monument 
Association, in conjunction with the Grand Army of the Bepnb- 
Uc, have, we trust, made this day forever memorable by break- 
ing ground for our Soldier's Monument. It is well that ihey 
who suffered and died for the perpetuation of the Constitution 
and the Union should be honored equally with the soldiers of 
the Bevolution. 

The monument should be a triumphal arch, an ornament of 
this proud city, a praise to the noble women who have labored 
so faithfully for and now insist upon its erection, a fit memorial 
of soldierly and patriotic virtue, an everlasting instance of the 
subhme union of public gratitude and heroic valor ; and we are 
confident that, in due time, the patriotic people of BufiEcdo will 
provide for the completion of the holy work this day €x>m- 





The nation itself, on this glorious day, the hondreth anniyeiv 
sary of its Declaration of Independence— the nation established, 
matured, honored — ^is the most fitting monument to the memory 
of the men who have founded, developed and defended ii We 
say to them all, amid this tumult of joy, as we point to our free 
and happy country, ''Behold your work ;'* and we declare that 
they shall be remembered with gratitude in all the years and 
centuries of the coming time. 

Ye pioneers of liberty, the eloquent speakers and writers pre- 
ceding the revolution, who, vnth a daring amounting to audaci- 
ty, stirred up the people till they cried out, " We will be free T' — 
ye heroes of the bloody struggle for liberty, attained Iby victories 
on the battle-field, when England's strength and pride, repre- 
sented by the best trained troops of the world, were conquered 
by a yeoman soldiery ;— ye brave men who resisted to the death 
when, three score years ago, our land was invaded, and the very 
spot on which we stand was the scene of conflagration and blood- 
shed ; — ^ye patriots of the later time, who, to save your country 
from dismemberment and destruction, left your various pursuits 
of peace for the battle's front, and there gave your lives, or re- 
turned wounded and maimed, or if unhurt, the stronger to re- 
sist other dangers to which your land may be exposed ; ye noble 
men and women, of the first years and of the last years of the 
century, who have counseled and labored and fought and suffer- 
ed and sacrificed and died for the Republic ; ye living and dead 
patriots and soldiers, behold your work I 

This nation, free and independent, enjoying for itself the rich- 
est blessings of liberty, and exerting its benign influence upon 
all the nations of the earth, this American nation, these United 


States, this confederation of forty millions of rejoicing citizens, as 
the light of this memorable day dawns upon us, this is your 
monument ! You shall not be forgotten as long as the lakes and 
the gulf and the two oceans enclose the favored inhabitants 
of this free and prosperous Eepubhc. 

The world admireB the force and beauty of the iuBcription to 
tho memoiy of the architect of Si Paul's Cathedral, who is bu- 
ried in its crypt — " Si monumentum requiris, circumi^ice." We 
use this language to-d ay, of the three generations, most of whom 
are buried in thi'^ toil ; who with infinite labor have laid t^c 
foundations of this great commonwealth ; who have carried up 
the structure at such cost of hfe and treasure ; who have set the 
top etone to-day amid the shouts of a grateful people ; who have 
built not a cathedriil to vie ^th the world's proudest etmctores, 
but have rtused up a nation, the peer of all the nations of tho 
earth, though these may have been a thousand years in build- 
ing, and this but a hundred ; we say of all these to-day, and 
with what added emphasis, " It you ask for their monument, 
look around you!" 

This monument is now completed. It has often been asked, 
especially at gatherings on the Fourth of July, whether this gov- 
emmoDt would stand. It has been regarded as an experiment. 
The dangers to which it is exposed have been magnified, and 
fears expressed that it might prove a failure. Jjet us hear no 
more of this. The question is settled ; the Republic is a suc- 
cess. This day, that with its morning beams marks the b^in- 
Bing of its himdreth year of life and growth and prosperity, this 
day makes it of age, and is the full assurance that It shall con- 
tinue in the coming years, by the favor of the God of nations, 
r.ilvancc in ovcJTlhiDi; lliat cau add to uatiopal glory and 


church-yard, covered only by a plain slab large enough to shade 
his coffin, yet have we a completed, a noble monument to these 
and aU the heroes of the past, in the. very existence and in the 
character of this American nation. Let us hear no language to- 
day but that of praise. We need not use exaggerated terms of 
boastful pride, but we may proclaim facts. Shame to us, if we 
do not to-day, rejoice in everything that distinguishes us as a 
nation, and gives us prominence among the nations of the earth. 
What then is the government of these United States in which 
with glad hearts we rejoice ? It is essentially a democracy^ 
as has been well said, a government of the people, and for the 
people, but such a government would be the worst in the world 
— ^less stable and more dangerous than any form of despotism, 
unless the great mass of the inhabitants were under the control 
of intelligence, virtue and religion. 

There must be general knowledge — a development and ex- 
pansion of that part of man's nature by which he is lifted out 
of the domain of the animal and into the reasonable ; then there 
must be a prevalence of the principles of common justice, and 
a proper regard for the rights of others ; and there must be, in 
some form, a recognition of a sovereign God and His claims as 
related to the issues of eternity, or, the people can only make 
up a lawless, ignorant mob, unable to take care of themselves 
and sure to bring ruin upon all around them. 

We daim, that as a people we always have been and still are 
under the controlling influence of these great principles. We 
foster universal education that we may remain intelligent. We 
famish at pubHc cost that culture for the masses which is need- 
ful that each succeeding generation may be wise in the knowl- 
edge of important truth, the influence of which is felt in the 
general welfare. We inculcate and enforce a respect for whole- 
some laws, so that it is the aim of all to secure for themselves 
and to administer to others that justice which ensures equal 
rights, and in this respect makes a beggar equal to a President. 
We adopt some form of faith, some mode of worship, that ex- 
presses a behef in our higher nature and in a Supreme Being, 
to whom we are responsibla Upon this triple foundation, gen- 
eral intelligence, reverence for low and faith in God, the Be- 


public ba8 been established ; apoc these it has been bnilfc up ; 
by these it most be perpetuated. And these have been, are, 
and most be, the characteristics of tiiis people. These mark os 
as distinct among the nations. 

In the pOBseaaion of these, or at least in their hsrmonionB 
combination and general diffdsion, we take rank with tJie most 
bvored and exalted people. We acknowledge none to be so- 
jxnoT — we take precedence of moat. We may point to-day 
with becoming pride to oar educational Institations, adapted to 
all classes of oar citizens, furnishing the highest coltore to 
those who demre it, and giving to all, the poorest an J the hum- 
blest, the means of attaining t ^ intelligeut citizenship. We have 
free schools, a free press, and freedom of opinion and of speech, 
in snch a degree as to make us the admiration and the en- 
vy of the people of the civilized world. 

We have such laws and statntes all over the land, Staie and 
municipal, and such organized courts of Torioos grades as to 
secure the surest and most rapid adminisfcration of jtutice, tJiat 
which is BO essential in a community, the basis ot which is eqnal 

And we have absolute freedom ot reUgions faitlt and -woc' 
ship — a freedom which has not led to infidelity and atihmsm. 
All over the land, in city and hamlet, we see the ^nres of ChriCh 
tiau churches pointing heavenward, and we hear the solemn 
call of the church bells as the people are summoned every Sab- 
bath to worship in the sanctuary. We hare it written in ouz 
national song. " In God is our trust ;" and when in our last 
great struggle this sentiment stamped itself upon the anxious 
heart of the nation, we put it upon our large ooins, and there 


With most commendable and characteristic zeal, the ladies 
of Bnffido and Tidniiy have determined to give outward form 
and expression to the reverence and gratitnde we all feel to- 
ward the '* founders and defenders of the Union." They have 
chosen a plan of a lofty massive arch, to stand in the most public 
square of our city, spanning or^ most beautiful avenue. They 
have laid, with great industry, the foundation of a fond to pay the 
cost of the structure, and have invited the citizens of Boffalo to 
join them to-day in banning the work. What can be more 
appropriate than that on this day, when the gratitude of the 
people has been swelling for a hundred years, it should find an 
outlet, if only so far as to mark the spot, by breaking the 
round where shall belaid at once the deep and wide foundar 
tion of the graceful and imposing pile to be erected upon it. It 
ahall always be one of the most interesting features of the 
edifice, as it tells its story of its patriotism and bravery of the 
lieroes whose names it bears, and gives its testimony in the 
coming years to the gratitude of the entire people, that it was 
l>Ogon on the Fourth of July, 1876. 

And what can be more appropriate than that .the women of 

tiie land should engage in this enterprise. They gave their 

JEathers and husbands and sons and brothers and lovers with a 

lieroism equal to that of the soldiers who were thus given 

^lB martyrs for liberty, While war was raging they were most 

industrious in preparing clothing for the soldiers, in scraping 

lint for the wounded, in supplying delicacies for sick. They 

"were found on the field and in the hospitals, overcoming the 

shrinkage sensitiveness of their nature, accustoming themselves 

'te the sight of gaping wounds and learning to bear without 

dismay the groans of the suffering, in their purpose to be min- 

listexing angels to the wounded and the dying. What more 

appropriate now that the clamor of war has ceased and the 

«weet voice of peace is heard in all our border, than that these 

gentle, generous spirits. Anxious to show their patriotism in 

some womanly way at this centennial, should enter upon a 

"work like this? May not the fair honor the brave? And 

"will not every man who has a spark of patriotism — ^who 

lias any sense of what liberty is worth — who can make any 

estimate of what the nation's life has cost for a hundred years. 


be ready to respond most; cheerfully aod geQcrooslj when 
these zealona women aak for aid? Let ua cry oat in eameet 
encootagement : Go on, wivee, mothers, msteis ! It is a noble 
work you have undertaken. Here is ojv offering, before yon 
ask it. What if the times arc liard, there vould have been no 
times at all but for the labor, tho sacrifice, the heroism of those 
whose deeds ycu commemorate. 

Lay tiie foundations, build up the arch, crown the completed 
work. You shall not want for means. Every American Bfanll 
farmah at least one stone for the beautiful structore, and onr 
adopted citizens nill take plea:sure in expressing in the same 
way to the heroic men who have prepared such a home for them 
upon the western shores. Shame on the citizen — he iB not 
worthy of tlio name, native or foreign — who, in this year so 
frought with sacred memories, so full of burning appeals to 
patriotism, and at the coll of hi^; fair countrywomen, can refuse 
to make a contribution to such a causo as this ; when, if each 
man and boy in our city alone would give but a dollar, tiie 
atrocture would rise rapidly and withont interntption, and we 
should soon be gazing upon its majestic beauty. 

A few months ago I stood npon the top of the most magnificent 
arch in the world — the Arch of Trimnpb in Paris. It is S8 bigh 
as our medium church steeples, and commands a splendid view 
of that most beautiful of all cities. But, it was erected to cel- 
ebrate the victories of the Emperor, who made war for its onm 
sake, who sought to build up France at the expense or ntter 
min of other nationaUties, who allowed amlHtion to goad him 
on to a bitter exile and the death of a prisoner. It looks ont 
upon a land whose history dates bock more than a thoosond 


of a generous and grateful people to keep in memory the brave 
deeds and wise counsels of the founders and defenders of the 
UnioD, and it overlooks a free republic, tells of victories won 
over foreign enemies and over intestine foes, not for the injury of 
others, but only for the existence and safety of the country it- 
sell It tells of progress and growth in mechanism, in art, until 
we could invite the world to our shores and force them to confess 
that we had outdone all the nations in our Centennial Exposi- 
It teUs of a contest, carried on peacefully in the presence of 


these foreign visitors, when it is settled in a peaceful convention 
of each great political party that one of two men, out of forty 
millions, shall be the next President, and both men so able, so 
learned, so good, that, party considerations aside, we do not 
care which shall be successful at the election. 

It tells of freedom for all the inhabitants of the land. We 
oonld not have come to our Centennial with such joy unleas 
that dark cloud of slavery had been dispelled, though at such a 

The arch looks North and South, to tell our near neigbors of 
another nationality, and through them all the nations, that this 
is the home of the free, and to tell our brethern in the opposite 
direction that we are and must be one people. It is an open 
arch, not a closed barrier. It invites all to come and dwell 
among us, and enjoy in full measure the immunities and privi- 
leges of American citizenship. 

There it shall stand till another century shall come to an end, 
and then, the dear old flag waving over it, its stars doubled, 
nineteen hundred and seventy-six, showing seventy-six shining 
points on its azure field — then our children's children shall teU 
what a noble work of patriotism and loyalty we commenced and 
finished a hundred years before. 

In this faith we now break the surface for the foundation of 
the structure, believing that there is power enough in patiiotic 
impulses and in women's pleadings to secure what is necessary 
to complete it, so that by another national anniversary we may 
be summoned to rejoice together in its beauty and grandeur, as 
it declares in plainer language than by an inscription on its walls, 
that at last it has been shown that this republic is not ungrateful. 




All hail Has day immistal 

Upon Uie ecroU of Time ! 
We crowd the shining portal 

Of Freedom's hallowed ahrine, 
We come, a ransomed nation, 

With songs of lofty cheer. 
To greet with adoration 

Our Jirst Centennial year. 

Through trial and Hao' conflict, 

From danger's darkest night, 
We tread the glowing summit 

Of Freedom's towering height ; 
While in the sky of azure 

The stars of peace appear. 
To crown with rising glory 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

On oar CenteBnial Height 
Warm love and proud delight 

Fill every breast I 
Blessings, all round, we meet ; 
Praise I with thy anthems, greet! 
North to the South repeat I 

East to the West ! 

Wliere spreads the Peopled earth. 
Foreboding Freedom's birth. 

Our bright flag glow& 
Bed, for our Battle-sign ; 
White, for our Peace benign ; 
Stars, for our States in Twine ; 

Stripes, for our foes. 

Broad smiles our lofty Land, 
Each side an ocean grand ; 

Snows linked to flower& 
As our flag blends its dyes, 
So, sons of differing skies 
Find a fixed home to prize, 

In our free bowera 

To HTM, all bend the knee ! 
Shall not the future see 

Greater our dime ? 
Vaster our living tide, 
Harvests and homes allied. 
Knowledge spread far and wide, 

Till latest time. 




JULY 4th, 1816. 

The occasioD which we conuuemorate to-day, ftHailiftr as it is 
to us by its auiitial recotrence — fixed as it is in our Dational 
life — b in its very conception distiaotlTe and American. It is 
not tiie birth-day of a reigning prince, howcTer beloved ; it is not 
the holiday of a patron saint, however revered ; it is simply tiie 
the festival of our national existence. TJniinaginBtive as we are, 
we have impersonated an idea — the idea of nationality ; and 
the festival of that idea, instead of a man or a demi-god, we 
celebrate to-day. 

And we do right to celebrate it. The fact of this national exist- 
ence is a great faci The act which first declared the nation's 
right to exist was a great act — a brave act If it was not in- 
deed, us we have been ready enough to assert, a pivotal epoch 
in the world's history, ic was beyond question a decisive event 
in our own history. If it was not the birth-day of the nation — 
for the nation was born long before — ^it was the day the still- 
growing yonth became conscious of its young maturity, aaeenrt«d 
its personality, and entered on equal terms into the commtmity 
of nations. And whatever errors there may have been in onr 
methods — whatever follies of mere deafening or nerve-distract- 
whotever mad rccklesanesa with deadly explosi 


than two-score millions of people, throttgliont the vast expanse 
of our imperial domains, we may give utterance to the joyful 
and thankful thought, "The Lord hatti done great things for 
OS, whereof we are glad." 

It is well iiien, to celebrate and rejoice. The many reasons 
we have for joy and pride are familiar enough to you. If there 
were any danger of your forgetting them, they are recalled 
annually Ito your remembrance by addresses such as you have 
honored me by calling on me to deliver here to-day. And in 
considering how I could best respond to your request, in the 
few moments which you can spare from your better occupation 
of the day, I have thought it superfluous to repeat to you those 
glories of which your minds are already so full, deeming it a 
better service to you, and worthier of the day, I suggest certain 
imitations upon national self-laudation. 

Let me recount to you summarily, the familiar and ordinary 
grounds of our boasting on such days as this. Then go over 
them with me, one by one ; consider them soberly ; and see 
whether we are in any danger of exalting ourselves unduly by 
reason of them. 

1. We conquered our independence. 

2. We govern ourselves. 

3. We have enormously multiplied our numbers, and ex- 
tended our boundaries. 

4. We have enormously increased our material wealth, and 
subdued the forces of nature. 

6. Education and intelligence are in an unequaled degree 
diffused throughout our pojDulation. 

6. To crown all, we have but just now subdued a gigantic 
rebellion, and in doing so have incidentally suppressed the 
great national shame of human slavery. 

Consider them : 

1. We conquered our independence. 

Beyond doubt, this was a grand thing to do, even in view 
of all thiB advantages that aided our fathers, and of all the 
difficulties that burdened their enemies. It was not, indeed, 
except in a certain limited and qualified sense, what it is com- 
monly misnamed, a revolution. It was rather a movement of 


conBervatism — of resistance to an innoTatiiig degpotiBiii, seek- 
ing to impose tbe bonds of distant authority on those who 
were free-born, and who had always goTeroed UiemselTee. 
This resistance to ministerial Dovelties wau in the interest of bH 
Englishmen, and, until this very day one hundred years ago, 
was in the name of King Geoige himself, whom we still recog- 
nized as our rightfnl monarch, after more than a year of flagrant 
war against his troops. It was (do not foiget) war of defence, 
against an invader from the ptLralyzing distance of 3,000 miles ; 
yet that invader was the most powerful nation in Europe. It 
enlisted (remember) the active alliance of France^ and stirned 
up Spain and Holland to separate wars against our enemy ; yet 
even with these great helps, the persistency of the stj-uggle, the 
hardships and discouragements through which it was maintain- 
ed to its final Buccess, were enough to justify the honor in which 
we hold the assertors of our national independence. 

2. Wo have iuherited, it is true, by a descent through many 
generations, certain principles of government which i-ecognize 
the people as the source of authority over the people. Yet not 
even the founders of this federal republic — far leas ourselves, 
their century remote descendants, cuuld claim the gloiy either 
of inventing these eternal principles or of first applying them 
in practice. Before Jefferson were Plato, and Milton, and 
Locke, and Bousseau. Before Fhtladelphia were Athens, and 
pre-Auguston Bome ; Florence and Geneva ; Ghent and Ijey- 
dou ; the Swiss Bepublics and the Commonwealth of England. 
Before the United States of America were the Achseui League, 
the Hauseatic League, and— closest pattern and exemplar — the 
United Provinces of the Xx)w Countnes. Beyond doubt, how- 
ever, it is something to be glad of that our ancestors b^an the 


ample, that adv^tage has enabled us to maintain to this day 
the pre-eminence over other nations which it gave us a hundred 
years ago ; whether, as they have advanced, we have only held 
our own, or gone backward ; whether our ten talents, the mag- 
nificent capital with which we were entrusted, have been hid in 
a napkin and buried, while the one poor talent of another has 
been multipHed a hundred fold by diligence and skill It is a 
great thing, no doubt, for a nation to govern itself, whether well 
or ill ; but it Is a thing to be proud of only when its self-gov- 
ernment is capable and jusi Let us look for a moment at the 
relative positions in this respect of our own and other nations a 
himdred years ago, and now. 

A century since, the idea of parliamentary or representative 
government, primitive as that idea had been in the earliest 
Teutonic communities, and embalmed as it might still be in the 
reveries of philosophers, had no Hving form outside of these 
colonies, and of that fatherland from which their institutions 
were derived, and with which they were at war. In Great 
Britain itself, a sodden conservatism, refusing to adapt insti- 
tutions to changing circumstances, had suffered them to become 
distorted with inequahties ; so that the House of Commons, 
while it still stood for the English People, and was already 
beginning to feel the strength which has now made it the 
supreme power in the nation, was so befouled with rotten bor- 
oughs and pocket boroughs, that miuisters easily managed it 
with places, and pensions, and money. The whole continent 
of Western Europe was subjected to great or Httle autocrats, 
claiming to rule by divine right, uttering by decrees their 
sovereign wills for laws, despising even the pretense of asking 
the concurrence of the governed. In France, an absolute des- 
pot, a brilliant court, a gorgeous and vicious civilization of the 
few, were superposed upon a wretched; naked, imderfed peas- 
antry ; tithe-oppressed, tax-ridden ; crushed with feudal bur- 
dens upon the soil, or dragged from it to be slaughtered in 
foreign wars for matters they never heard of. Germany was 
either parcelled out, like Italy, among countless princelings, 
maintaining every one his disproportionate army, and court, and 
harem, and squeezing out taxes and blood from his people ut- 


terl; wiUiout responsibiljty ; or was crushed beneath the iron 
deHpotism of the Great Frederick in the North, or of the less ca- 
pable Empire in the South. To the East, the great plains of 
Bus.'da were an unknowa darkneBs, where a shameless f uiy main- 
tained an Asiatic reign of force and terror. Here and there a 
philosnpltical recluse was evolving from hia books and his in- 
vention, systems of government which denied and antagonized 
the claims of divine right on which every dynasty in Enrope 
was founded ; yet so remote from any practical apphcation did 
these speculations seem that the most absolute monarcba 
took pride in sharing them and fostering them. There 
were, indeed, things called " repubhcs ;" there were the des- 
potic aristocracies of Venice and Ueuoa ; there were their High 
Mightinesses, the estates of the United Proyinces ; tiiere were 
the confederated cantons of Switzerland, fenced in their moun- 
tain strongholds, but without influence upon European thoughts 
or institutions. 

Over against that Europe of 1776, set the Europe of to-day. 
Nation after nation — call off their names : observe their systems 
of government, and say, when you have completed the tale, how 
many sovereigns there are who rest their title to supremacy 
upon divine right by inheritance ; how many governments there 
are whose daily continuance — how many whose very birth and 
origin, are derived avowedly from no other source than " the 
consent of tlie governed." There are indeed crowned heads 
to-day ; heads wearing crowns which have descended by but 
two or three degrees from the most confident aesertors of " the 
right divine of kings to govern wrong ;" — right royal men and 
women — nay more, right manly men and right womanly women : 


House of Commons, removable in an instant by a mere expres- 
sion of the will of the House ; and all under the nominal presi- 
dency of a quiet matron, to whom even the external cere- 
monies of her position are irksome ; with a system of local and 
municipal administration, which, however its defects, may v*'ell 
invite our admiration and study ; the sturdiest procluinaer of 
the doctrines of our "Declaration" could hardly have figured 
to himself a future America which should more fully embody 
those doctrines than the realm of George the Third has come 
to embody them under hie granddaughter. If we look across the 
channel, we find all Western Europe, from the Polar Sea to the 
Mediterranean, the undisputed domain of constitutional repre- 
sentative, elective government. If the name and state of King 
or Emperor are maintained, it is in effect but as a conveni^-nt 
instrument for the performance of necessary functions in the 
great public organism, and with a tacit, or even an express 
acknowledgement on the part of the crown that " the consent of 
the governed " is the true source of its own authority. Over 
the feudal France which I have but just now pictured to you, 
has swept a flood which not only destroyed institutions, but 
extirpated their immemorial foundations ; which not only 
leveled the hideous inequalities of madisBvalism, but leveled 
upward the Galhc mind itself; so that hardly less than the 
American citizen — far more than the British subject — is the 
Frenchman of to-day penetrated by the consciousness of the 
equal rights of all men before the law. His form of sui)reme 
administration may vary from time totime, in name, or even 
in substance ; but for fifty years it has stood upon the basis of 
the pubhc consent, or, when ifrhas failed so to stand, has fallen. 
The France of Richelieu — the France of that Louis XIV who 
dared to say of the State, " It is /,*' is the France whose latest 
king called himself no longer King of France^ but King of the 
French ; whose latest Emperor claimed no right to rule but 
from a popular election by universal suffrage — boasted of being 
" The Elect of seven millions" — and styled himself in the most 
solemn instruments, " By the Grace of God and the Will of the 
People, Emperor of the French ;** and which now, dispensing 
with even the fiction of a Sovereign, administers its affairs with 



a pmdence, wisdom and economy 'wbich have drawn Qie ad- 
miratioQ of neighboriog nations. In United Italy — ^in the two 
great empires wMoh sharo between them Germany and Hun- 
gary — in the ScandinaTian Kingdoms — and at last even in 
. Spain, so long the distracted prey of hierarchy and absolutism, 
the autocracy of an hereditary monarch has given way to par- 
liamentary gOTemment and ministerial responsibility. The 
successor of Catharine the Second, by conferring spontaneoQSly 
upon the half-civilized subjects of his vast empire not only 
personal freedom, but such local autonomy as they ore capable 
of, is educating them toward a higher participation in affairs. 
And now, most marvelous testimony to the prevalence of those 
opinions upon which oiir own institutions are based, the world 
has seen within a month, a new Sultan, a new chief of Islam, 
announced to Eorope as succeeding to the chair and the sword 
of Mahomet, " by the unanimoaa will of the Turkish people 1" 

Let us be quite sure, my fellow-citizens, before we boost 
ourselves immeasurably above other nations by reason of the 
excellence of our political institutions, not only that they are 
better than all others in the world, buttbat we have done 
something in these hundred years towards making them better ; 
or at least that we have not suffered ours to become debased 
and corrapt, while those of other nations have been growing 
better and purer. Is our law-making and oar conduct of afiidrs 
— national, state, and local— abler and honester now than then ? 
Is the ballotrbox cleaner, and a surer reflection of the public 
mind upon pubhc men and measures? Or are we still in some 
small degree hampered by the tricks of poUticions, so that we 
find ourselves voting into offices men whom we despise — giving 


priyate business it most be, for the sole end of doing that 
business efficiently and cheaply ? Or has it become a vast 
system for^the reward of party services by public moneys — a 
vast mechanism for the perpetuation of party power by sup- 
pressing the popular will — with the secondary purpose of doing 
the public work as well as may be consiistent with the main 
design? Have we, through dullness or feebleness, suffered 
methods to become customary in our public service, which if, 
• attempted in the British post-office or cusfcomhouse, woul^ 
overthrow a ministry in a fortnight — if in the French, might 
bring on a revolution? My fellow-citizens, I offer you no 
answers to these questions. I only ask them; and leave 
unasked many others which these might suggest But when 
we have found answers to our satisfaction, we shall know better 
how far to exalt ourselves above the other nations of the earth. 

3. A more indisputable support for national pride may be 
found, perhaps in our unquestioned and enormous multiplica- 
tion of numbers and expansion of territory. 

These have certainly been marvelous : perhaps unparalleled. 
It is a great thing that four millions of human beings, occupy- 
ing in 1776 a certain expanse of territory, should be succeeded 
in 1876 by forty millions, occupying ten times that expanse. 
Bui let us be quite sure how much the increase of numbers is a 
necessary result of natural laws of propagation, working unre- 
strained in a land of amazing productiveness, unscoiirged by 
famine or pestilence, and burdened by but one great war 
during three generations of men ; how much to the prodigious 
importation of involuntary immigrants from Africa during the 
last century, and of voluntary colonists, induced by high rewards 
for labor and enterprise, during this ; and how much to any 
special virtue in our ancestors or ourselves. Let us be sure 
what degree and quality of glory it may be which a nation lays 
claim to for the extension* of boundaries by mere mercantile 
bargain, and purchase, or by strong armed conquest from its 
weaker neighbors. Let us remember, withal, that great as has 
been our growth in population and extent over this vacant con- 
tinent which offered such unlimited scope for enlargement, other 
nations have not stood still. A century ago there was a little 


sab-alpine monorcliy of two or three tniUioQ subjects, vbich 
within tlieso twenty ye^irs has so expanded itself b; honorable 
warfare and the vuliintary accession of neighborii^ proTiuces, 
that it now comprcheiKls all the twenty-five millions of the 
Italian people. A century ago there was a little Prussian mon- 
archy of three or fonr millioa Bubjecte, which, sparing to us 
meanwhile millions of its increasing numbers, has grown until 
it has become the vast and powerful German Empire of forty 
millions. And, while we take a just pride in the marreloos 
growth of New York nnd Philadelphia, and the meteoric rise of 
Chicago and St. Louis, it is well not to foi^t that within the 
same century London has added three millions to its numbers ; 
Manchester, Birmingham, ShefBeld, Glasgow, have sprang 6rom 
midgnificance into the second rank of cities ; and that dull 
Prussian town, which, as the Great Frederick's capital, boasted 
but 100,000 inhabitants, has become a vast metropolis of 
nearly a million people, doubling its nombei^ in the last 
quarter of that period If our own increase of population baa 
indeed surpassed these marvelous examples — if our territorial 
expansion has in fact been larger and swifter than that of the 
Russian Empire in Europe and Asia, or of the British Empire 
in India, America and Austnilia, then the more are we justified 
in that manner of pride which is natural to the youth grown to 
a healthy maturity of strength and stature. 

4. Thus also, if we have not greatly surpassed the rest of 
the world in our growth in material wealth, and in our sub- 
jugation of natural forces to human nse, we may teSrlj claim 
at least to have kept in the van of process. Yet here, too, 
while we have great and just cause for pride, let us not err 


wheat-field an astonishnient even to a Western New York 
fanner. It is indeed a singular fortune which ours has been 
that every decade of years has revealed beneath our feet some 
new surprise of mineral wealth ; the iron everywhere ,• the an- 
thracite of Pennsylvania ; the copper of Lake Superior ; the 
gold of California ; the bituminous coal of the western coal 
fields ; the petroleum which now illuminates the world ; and 
finally, the silver which has deluged and deranged the trade of 
the Orient. Let us not be slow to remember that such natural 
advantages impose obligatious, rather than justify pride in com* 
parison with those old countries where nature has spoken long 
ago her last word of discovery, and where labor and science 
can but glean in the fields already harvested. And when we 
look with wonder upon the vast public works, not disproportion- 
ate to the vastness of our territory, which the last half-century 
especially has seen constructed, let us not forget that the in- 
dustry and frugality which gathered the capital that built our 
railroad system — not all of which certainly, was American 
capital — the trained intellect of the engineers who designed and 
constructed its countless parts — are a greater honor to any 
people than 70,000 nules of track : that the patient ingenuity 
of Fitch and Fulton are more to be boasted of than the owner- 
ship of the steam navies of the world : the scientific culture 
and genius of Morse, than 200,000 miles of telegraphic wire. 

5. If I have thought it needless to enlarge upon other sub- 
jects, famihar upon such occasions, for public congratulation, 
especially will it be superfluous to remind such an audience as 
this how broad and general is the diflusion of inteUigence and 
education through large portions of our country. But let us 
not be so dazzled by the sunlight which irradiates us here in 
New York, as to forget the darkness of ilHteracy which over- 
whelms vast regions of our common country; that if New 
York, and Massachusetts, and Ohio, offer to all their children 
opportunities of learning, there exists in many states a numerous 
peasantry, both white and black, of besotted ignorance, and 
struggling but feebly, almost without aid or opportunity, toward 
some small enlightenment Let us not overlook the fact, in our 
^ complacency, that while we, in these favored communities, 


content ourselvefl vith offering education to those whom we 
leave free to become sovereign citizens in abject ignorance, other 
nations have gone beyond us in enforcing univerBal edacation ; 
in not only throwing open the feast of reason, but in going into 
the highways and hedges, and campdling them to come in. 
^ 6. Coining to the Inst of tho familiar sources of national 
pride which I have suggested, wq may f^ly say that tlie emo- 
tions with which a patriot looks back upon the conclusions of 
the period beginning in 18C0 must be of a most varied and con- 
flicting sort The glory of successful war must be tempered by 
shame that red-handed rebellion should ever have raised its 
. head in a constitational nation. If it was not permitted to a 
Roman general, so it is not becoming to us, to triamph over 
conqaered fellow-citizens. If we rejoice, as the whole world does 
rejoice, that the conflict which for four years distracted us, end- 
ed in the restoration of four millioii slaves to the rights of free 
manhood, the remembrance that neither our national oonBcience 
nor onr statesmunuhip had fonnd a better way out of the bond- 
age of Egypt than through a lied Sea of blood, may well qoalify 
our reasonable pride ; the question, how these millions and 
their mustctrs are yet to be lifted up into fitness for their new 
sovereignty over themselves and over us, may well sober onr 

If I have departed from the common usage of this occasion, 
in assuming that you know, quite as well as I do, the infinite 
causes that exist for pride, and joy, and common congratuladon 
in being American citizens, I beg leave before I close to suggest 
one further reason for the emotions which are natural to all our 
hearts to-day. It has been common to us and to other nations. 


tho80 bnndred years, and by the experience of every such nation^ 
republican democracy, means permanency, not revolution ; wise 
conservatism, not destruction ; and that all other institutions 
are as imstable as water in comparison. 

I believe that to-day this American " experiment" is the most 
ancient system in Christendom. Not a constitution in Europe 
but exists by grace of a revolution of far later date than the fram- 
ing of our constitution, which stands now, immortal monument 
to the wisdom of its founders, almost imchanged from its pris- 
tine shape and substance. If the stable British monarchy seems 
to you an exception, reflect upon the silent revolution which in 
that time has annulled the power of tlie crown, and almost sub- 
verted its influence ; remember the suppression of the Irish Par- 
liament, the removal of the Cathohc disabilities which for a cen- 
tury and a half had been a foundation stone of the constitution ; 
remember the Reform Bill which prostrated the power of the 
aristocracy; the repeal of the Com Laws, which reversed the 
economic poHcy of a thousand years ; look at the audacious 
legislation which within two years has destroyed even the names 
of that judicial system which is identified with Enghsh monar- 
chy— -at that which within a few weeks has dared to add a flim- 
sy ghtter to the immemorial title of the sovereign herself — and 
you may well be proud of the sohdity and permanence of our 
institutions compared with the swift-dissolving forms of Euro- 
pean systems. 

We know, however, that institutions, even the best of them, 
cannot long exist without change. As in physical hfe, there 
must be either growth or decay ; when growth has ceased, de- 
cay cannot long be postponed. How shall it be with those in- 
stitutions which a noble ancestry has bequeathed to us, and in 
which we rejoice to-day ? Let us not forget that the day is the 
beginning of a new century, as well, as the close of an old one. 
Not one of us is to see the close of the coming age, as none of 
us saw the opening of the last. And while it is given to none 
to discern the future, we know well that institutions, whether 
civil or social, cannot long continue better than the people who 
enjoy them. Be it ours, therefore, so far as lies in us, to per- 
petuate for our remote offspring the benefits which have come 



dowD from our ancestors. Let us cultivate in oureelves — ^let as 
teach to our children—those virtaes wlucli alone make our free 
iliBtitutioDB possible or desirable. TLus, and onl^r thus, bhall 
we make this day uot merely the commomorutioQ of departed 
glories, but the portal to tbot Golden Ago which has been the 
dream of poets and the promise of prophets, and toward which, 
as we dare to hope, the event which we now celebrate has so 
mightily impelled mankind. Our eyes shall not behold it ; but 
woe to us if we cease to hope for it and to labor towards it It 
may be hard — it is hard — for ub, surrounded by the green graves 
and the desolated homes which within a dozen years a ghastly 
civil war has mode in this religious and enlightened nation, — 
for us here, in the very presence of the tattered yet venerated 
symbols of that strife,* to beUeve that the day can ever shine 
upon the earth 

When Iha «ar-drun throlia no lougBT, aoil the lattle-flagt ue fnrled 
In th« parllBiDfiit nf DiU), Iho f»lcrMlDii of the worM; 
When the conitnon lecif otioMt ehiJl hald n ficifol kbIid Iskwe, 
And the kludlf earth Ihill ■Inmber, lipt in ualvcrul Uw. 

The reign of " Poaoe on Earth— Good Will towards Men" — 
the dominion of Reason aud Justice over Foi-ce and Fraud — it 
may be far off, but it shall surely come. 

DoiTD the duk fatate, thnuKh 1o 

ADdlikoB bell, Inaoleun, gweet TibrsttoDi, 
Ihur bDcemore thaTokoorChriituj."Peac«r 
feue I and no limgci fioiu Ita 'braieu pOtlolB, 
The hlait ufwar'a ernat nrgjD ahabea the aklaa : 
Bat, beaolital na aoogg of tbo Immonola, 
The holj melwllea of Lovn aclae. 




As once, Simeon the Prophet, in the Temple at Jerusalem, 
with outstretched hands and streaming eyes beheld a Saviour's 
advent, and a light which should lighten the Gentiles and be 
the glory of his own people, so, standing here on the Fourth 
day of July, at the foot of this North CaroHna monument, I 
see the gate of another Temple open; I behold another light 
streaming by in the thick darkness; and as the gladsome rays 
penetrate the gloom, the very sands beneath my feet, appear 
to awaken and reverberate with celestial harmonies, which fill 
the air and float on every breeze. This is the centennial year 
of the American Republic. We are to-day celebrating the first 
centennial in the centennial year of the national existence. No 
prouder glow of patriotic exaltation inspired the last Prophet 
of Judea than now swells the breast of every North Carolinian. 

Jutting far out to sea, the eastern coasts of North Carolina 
are the first to greet the sun in his daily course of glory and of 
empire. Here, on the fourth day of July, 1584, Philip Amidas, 
and Arthur Barlowe arrived and established the first English 
colony in America, bequeathing to posterity the priceless legacy 
of Anglo-Saxon liberty, and therefore, appropriately here in 
North Carolina, begin the celebrations of the centennial anni- 
versary. Here, where the grand and unfulfilled vow of a co- 
lossal continental America for a country ; the refuge of Hberty 
and the asylum of the oppressed, was first conceived and re- 
corded. Here, where the peal of its signal gun first broke the 
stillness of the morning air ; at Moore's Creek, where its first 
victory was won ; where the first North Carolina blood was 
shed, and upon the spot where the bones of John Grady of 
Duplin, her first martyred offering to liberty, he buried. 

Far from you and me, my friends, this day, be any sentiihent 


which shall loake as, cold or indifferent, or stand here serene, 
and unmoved. Thia glorious spot is oar own soil. These aa- 
sociationa belong to na and to it and to the boor. We aie 
Americans, but we are also OaroUniana We are the oonntry- 
mea of Adams, and of Hamilton, and Oreene, and we are also 
the coontiymen of Waabiugton, of Caswell, of Harnett, and 
Jefferson, and we are prond of all these namea. We glorj in 
their achieTements. We emulate their virtoes ; we ihberit 
and control that whole America they loved and that same great 
Bepablic they founded, and we propose to-day with the btesB- 
ing Mid by the favor of Almighty Qod, to transmit thia vast teiv 
ritoty, these boundless liberties; the birthright and inheiitanoe 
of the whole American people; unshorn, ondiminished and un- 
impaired to our remotest poaterity. 

Fellow -citizens, one hundred years ago on the brow of 
thia aame hill there was an entrenchment occupied on the 
night of the twenty-sixth of February, A. D, 1176, by CoL 
Alexander LiUington, of the sixth regiment New HanovRr mili- 
tia, with a battaUon of minute men of that command. I>uring 
the night Colonel Richard Caswell of Dobba county arrived with 
one thousand militiamen from the counties of Craven, Duplin, 
Johnston and Wake, Thia constituted the American or patriot 
force. The tories, estimated at throe thousand men, under 
Gcnerala McDonald and McLeod, were encamped on the other 
side of the bridge. 

They came tbis way going to old Brunswick to join Lord 
Campbell, the Boyal Governor of South Carolina, and the third 
brother of the Duke Argyle, who, with Sir Henry Clinton and a 
British army and the Royal Governor of North Carolina, Mar- 
B ooming up the Cape Fear river from Smithville, then 


had l>een removed and the heavy timbers greased. As they ap- 
proached the American rifles opened a deadly fire, and their 
ranks were decimated by volleys of broken skillets and crockery, 
discharged into them from a small field-piece stationed about 
where I stand. General McLeod fell mortally womided, Camp- 
bell and a number of others were killed outright, and thus the 
advance was thrown into confosion. In the meanwhile Captain 
Ezekiel Slocumb of Wayne, the husband of Mary, " bloody as a 
batcher and muddy as a ditcher " forded the creek and the 
swamp, and fell on their rear. The route was complete. Colo- 
nel Moore came up after the fight. Mrs. Slocumb, disturbed by 
a dream, and riding all night to see her husband, guided by the 
sound of the guns, got here soon after the fighting began. She 
remained on the field attending the wounded. That night she 
returned to her baby, spreading everywhere she went the glori- 
ous news. That day, in these western wilds history and liberty 
found a new Thermopylae. Another name was added to those 
that will never die. The American rebellion organized and con- 
certed at Hilton near Wilmington, North Carolina, on the 17th 
March (Patrick's Day), 1773 between Josiah Quincy, Cor- 
nelius Harnett, and Robert Howe of Brunswick, thence forward 
became a Revolution. 

We are here then face to face as it were, with one of those 
great events which make up what is called history. We stand 
at the shrine of a martvr. These sands at our feet were once 
soaked with gore. Here Grady fell and his was the only life 
lost on the patriot side. From his expiring heart liberty drew 
ILs last libation. He perished let us remember in a great 
national cauve and in no private quarrel ; for an idea and not 
for lucre or in the way of business; for the continent which gave 
him birth, as well as for North Carohna and " the cause of Bos- 
ton ;'' for human rights and humanity's sake as swell as in obe- 
dience to his country's laws. He was more than a Spartan, for 
he died for the world — for eternity and not for time. — Young 
men of Duplin and Pender, this monument on which you gaze, 
whereon his name is inscribed rises from the death-bed of a 
plain North Carolina boy. It aspires to the skies near one of 
your own obscurest creeks. There were millions of such timbers 

aBthose in yon bridge unhemi in tbe forest then, and there are 
millions of them nnbewn now. There are a tfaoasaod such 
creelcB. But those plunks on which Grady looked a hnndrod 
jears ago, ore still iu one Renite undccayed by time, still arch the 
stream from bunk to bank. — The solid materials may perish ; 
the deep sli^gish stream may shrink beneath its bed ; nay, tbe 
eartb itself shall, melt and pa^ away, or roll itself np like a 
scroll, but the name of a hero like this, is immortot. Another 
hundred years may elapse and the purpose of hia sacriGce re- 
main unfulfilled, but that purpose will survive this monmneDt, 
yes, the Republic itself. That " continental" army whose tri- 
nmphs here began shall yet, by your aid, master the continent. 
It has marched under your fathers over mountain and valley. 
It buckles with books of steel the Atlontio and Pacific slopes; 
and it will continue to march oa and on after we are dead, until 
the dream of the fathers siiall be your reality, every Ameiioon a 
continental, and the American continent with all its coasts and 
seas, and lands and islands, the snow-covered peaks of Alaska, 
in the region of perpetual winter, and the purple blooms of the 
Antilles, and the sweet scented gales of the Oarribean equator, 
all, all shall become what God and nature formed them to be, 
the entile, absolute and escUisive property of a United and 
American people, 

I might ignore allusion to the civil conflict between and among 
the American people and Staties, which for the last ten and fif- 
teen years has so plaiuly checked the national prosperity. But 
the subject is one which cannot be ignored to-Jay, "We 
must learn to speak of it as any other historical event You are 
thinking about it now, and it is mere affectation to pi-etend we 


es away by force or consent with the growth of commerce and 
the extension of civilization. Wlierever this system of labor is 
sufFered, certain political and social organizations attend it which 
are transient and indefensible. In its absence they disappear 
like the scenes in a theatre when the curtain drops between the 
performers and the audience. I have insisted, and I do now in- 
sist that the right of secession was recognized in the Constitu- 
tion. "We have, however, voted it away. It exists elsewhere, 
and I will now say that its exercise in any state or government 
worthy of the name is utterly improbable and impossible. 
There are not a thousand men in North Carolina who would 
take back their slaves or vote for slavery again ; and there never 
were three hundred secessionists per se. 

How amusing do the propositions of the South CaroHna 
Commissioners now appear ! You remember we offered them 
free trade and the undisturbed navigation of the Mississippi. To 
our astonishment they claimed to be the owners of the river. 
They never comprehended our theories and that we had left the 
Union. They demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter and the 
raising of the flag over its blackened and moldering ruina 
We advanced our regiments and displayed our colors in sight 
of the Federal mansion ; we occupied the . district and blocka- 
ded the Potomac. We offered to pay for the public buildings. 
We proposed to aasume our share of the pubHc debt. Do you 
remember the response? Like the Boman Senate when their 
beards were pulled by Alaric, the American Congress continued 
its session; * * * * 

The great departments at Washington transacted business 
as usual, but a million of men, abandoning home, farm and 
workshop rushed to the defence of the beleaguered capital Their 
blood enriched the soil of every southern State. Their man- 
gled corpses ridged the fields and crimsoned the streams from 
the Potomac to the Rio Grande. So generous and wealthy a 
response to the demands of the occasion ; such ardor, pervading 
all ranks of the northern population was never before seen, ex- 
cept when under Peter the Hermit, Europe precipitated herself 
upon the East and with fiery zeal, wrested the holy places from 
•the grasp of the InfideL In vain, and again in vain, the south- 


em legionB, marshalled ^th matchless skOl; inflamed with ell 
the ardor of their climate ; the examples of valor ; hereditary 
bravery ; the love of fame, the smiles of beauty and the sym- 
patMes of half the world, aroused by the spectacle of such Buf- 
ferings and such dauntless fortitude; dashed themselves with 
frantic valor against those solid walls ; those long, impenebwble 
lines of cold and glittering steel 

And day by day the Federal grip became tighter, and tlie 
Federal lines nearer, and neverwent baolc Through the silant 
watches of long and starleaa nighta, the bitter oold of the 
prisons in Lake Erie, and long, cmel marches, day and ni^t, 
along the Potomac, step by step, and hour by honr, as these 
grim veterans tnidged the sloppy roads and scaled the diffi- 
cult mountains, they b^an to see stalldug at their bead, in- 
stead of Stonewall Jackson, and Folk, and Johnston, aod A. 
F. Hill, who had fallen on the battle field, a spectre, a skeleton 
in armor, to which men afterwards gave shape and called the 
great collapse. The gordiao knot was out \ a problem waa 
solved which had baffled statesmanship. The Union waa saved 
by the very instrumentality which had imperilled its existence. 

Foiled in every effort, weak with exertion, bleeding at every 
pore, we laid down our arms and withdrew from the contest 
when our lines were no longer of sufficient strength to enclose 
the captures we made ; onr means did not snffice to keep ns 
and our prisoners from starvation. A more sudden and com- 
plete disintegration of a terribly effective military power was 
never before, and only once since, seen in history. 

We were like poor, betrayed and bleeding France at Sedan, 
with her cartridges filled with sawdust and her gnn-oairiagea 
honeycombed by treachery ; bnt there was this difference. 


chains to death and liberty. At the close of this war a few of 
the baser sort took the ''iron clad" oath; but no traitor's 
liand smutched the banners of the great rebellion ; no treason 
liatched discord in the Union camp. Had the United States 
"been destroyed, they would have gone down like the frigate 
Oumberland at Hampton Eoads, in fifty feet water, but in open 
£ght ; the ocean pouiiog in over her bows and flooding the 
deadly breach, but not one single drop coming up from any 
leak ; her crew standing undismayed, beside their shotted 
^ons; their flag at the mizzen; no puling murmur mingling 
with the murmurs of the green sea weed and the pitiless waves; 
no human groans breaking the defiant thunders of her last 

The great silent chieftain of our confederacy made but one 
speech after Appomattox. '' Soldiers," said he, *' we have done 
our duty ; now let us go home and be good citizens. Let the 
dead past bury its dead." There is a beautiful story in Tenny- 
son, how when Elaine felt the cold hand of death approaching, 
she called for writing materials and composed a letter to her 
Lancelot. And she made them promise her that when she 
died, they would place her on a barge and crown her with 
flowers, and they would put the same letter in her own hand, 
and the old dumb servitor of the castle should steer her dead 
body to the feet of her lover. The Confederate States Eepublic 
is dead, and best guided and guarded by the councils of Lee, 
is floating to her resting place upon the Appomattox. The 
dead steered by the dumb, crowned with flowers, and dressed 
in a gemmed and regal robe. Like Elaine, let her cling with 
undying grasp to the emblems of her purity. Like Elaine, 
let her carry herself, her sealed and spotless record ; let her 
wear her crown, put on her by the hands of her soldi ei*s. 

I cannot proceed in this strain. I feel that I tread where 
the ashes are yet hot, and fire cools still glow; but them I do 
not fear. There are belligerents more terrible to me than the 
missiles of death, or an army with banners. Tongues of ser- 
pents and faces of brass, more hostile and more venemous 
than the combined Union and Confederate hosts. Veterans of 
the qmll and umbrella brigade^ who were not remarkable for 


their prowess till the war was over, and witti whom the fight- 
ing is not yet done. Confederates who were " not whipped." 
Union men whose valor was conspicnooB at a distance from the 
seat of war, heroically soffering in the loss of their snbstitatee- 
Spectators in the amphitheater through which heroes wen 
driTen; particles of dust glittering with borrowed lustre abon 
the chariot wheels of fiery strife, lingering in the air, reluctant 
to descend and mix again with common mold. The pa>4siona 
and prejudicea of this moment will, however, one day sobside. 
This dnst wilt sm'ely sometime be laid. Tears of grateful 
sympathy for heroic deeds shall yet deck yonr cheeks. When 
at last all the survivors of those terrible combats shall be cov- 
ered by the clods for whose possession they stra^led, if not 
before, there will aomo a day, and it may come aronnd this 
monument, when tho recollections of the past shall be invoked 
only to prevent its racurreoce, and the victories on either side 
will be celebrated by the vanquished. 

Fellow -citizens, nations are subject to the same accidents and 
diseases us individuals. They traverse and complete the same 
circle. Some scarcely survive the casualties of infancy, and some 
die of old age. Never was there one which in an hundred years had 
collected bo many elementa of vitality as this and then suddenly 
go down. I verily believe this nation has a destiny and a his- 
tory yet to be. I think it probable it is a favored nation and a 
chosen people. As the Egyptians were once a chosen people, 
and the Hebrews after them a favored nation. I think we are 
bound to attain the m^iximum of our i>ower. No human hand 
has led us hither, and no human hand can curb that destiny or 
arrest its progress. In the morning of youth the American 
Hercules hits strangled the serpents which assailed his cradle : 


wonderful progress by an omnipotent hand which has been 
more than onoe visibly interposed, the vast political system of 
which America is at once the centre and a nucleus, rises grandly 
np to the utmost of our hopes, moves forward with resistless 
sweep, as if it were, indeed, a part of the Celestial Economies. 
Like the Colossus at Bhodes, between whose feet once floated 
the commerce of the- world, it holds a beacon in one hand and an 
arrow in the other, towers to the zenith with unflinching gaze. 
Heaven's lightnings crest her head. The live thunders sleep 
among her pnrple hights and sun crowned crags. Beaming 
down with a starry, mild and planetary light, the well-known 
forms of her Northern States and seas, no longer cast across 
this Southern hemisphere, dark and doubtful shadows. They 
climb up with us together and between the older constellations, 
walking among them and by them, with majestic port and pride ; 
as though the other planets only marked our footprints on the 
skies, and the tmiverse was our throne. 




Mb. FitEBiDEin', Ladies, Qestlekks, Youth ahd Crildbbn : A 
German schoolmaster once said, " "WbeneTer I enter my echool- 
room, I remove my hat and bow with reverence, for there I 
meet the future dignitaries of my countiy." Standing ss ve do 
this hour upon the high places of national prosperity and join- 
ing wilh the forty miUions of people, the inhabitants of our 
proud and grateful country in tTi'P centennial celebration, the 
future outlook is awe-inspiring. To ub as to him of old, who 
beheld the bush burning, yet not consumed, there comes the 
admonition, that we are standing in the presence of the high 
and the holy. In the order of the exercises which the commit- 
tee have arranged for this day's work among ns, I am impresaed 
that each department illustrates well some grand historic tact, 
or enunciates some uuderheing principle which lias built and 
which must conserve this Bepubhc. 

Tou vrill have observed that the celebration began by a mili- 
tary and civic proceesion which, after winding through some of 
the principal streets of the city, brought up at the venerable 
" meeting house," which is older than the nation, and has stood 
all these years blessing the people, and there combined with tlie 
services of religion ond the reading of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and the address of eIoc)ueDce. 

What better picture of the state of things one hundred years 
ago, when stirred with eloquence as the lire of patriotism bnzned 
bright and all consuming, men rushed to their altars for divine 
guidance, and then to their implements of war, to conquer or 
die. " A civic and mOitary procession 1" just that was the anny 
of the Revolution springing up from field and workshop and all 
trades and professions wherever a hero might be foimd and the 


sacred cause moved him. Next in order to-day came the grand 
Trades Procession ; symboliidng the prosperity of the country 
during a century of life and industry, and what nation under 
the whole heaven, can exhibit such a growth in a century as we 
do to-day, in all these things which constitute the strength and 
glory of a free people ? 

The third act in the scene of this pageantry is the one passing 
here, in which the children and the youth are so largely repre- 
sented ; from whose ranks are to arise the men and the women 
of the future. Yes, here we stand in the presence of the nation 
that is to be. There is a meaning, too, in the regatta appointed 
for the silent hours of incoming evening upon the quiet waters 
of the Seekonk- That old stream that has played so important 
a part in ages gone as well as now ; that yielded her bosom 
just as readily when furrowed by the canoe of the red man be- 
fore civilized life began, as now it endures aU the wantoness and 
sport of the trained sons of Brown. For shall we not see in the 
stmggles of the boat race the intensified energy and stimulated 
ptirpose exemplified which must constitute the warp and woof 
in the great business life of the future ? 

That nation only has a future among the centuries that shall 
be worthy of record, which employs all her skill and well-directed 
enterprise to keep fully abreast of all the questions that bear 
upon human weal, and, when rightly solved, bless mankind to 
the last degree. We want the bone, the muscle, the sinew ca- 
pable of hardly endurance, not less than the well-trained thought 
and sterling virtue for future use. The old Republic, weakened 
by effeminacy, perished. May God save us from such an un- 
honored grave ! 

It will be seen then from this run along the line of the pro- 
cesaion that the morning service had a more special reference 
to the past ; was largely puritanic while this of the afternoon 
and evening contemplate the future, and are mainly prophetic. 
Let us catch the inspiration that ought to move us even here 
and now. I have said this service is future in its bearings. 
But lest the muse of history should turn away in sdixow, stop 
a moment before we proceed with that idea. Let us not forget 
this place is hallowed ground. Go up into the old house which 

^^° reread ^^^^S^^o-^^^tU tl'^^U^^*;:^ 



tute. It lias been sai<3 many a time, that the English debt 
makes the English goTernment strong — becanBe so many of the 
people are creditors. Otir own government in the late warmade 
the people largely its creditors for a like reason. But the bond 
of our union is deeper, broader than this, more binding, more 
sure. It is this, that not only the money is ours, but the honor 
and prosperity, and the very being of the nation belongs to the 
people. And allow me to say that our system of popolar edu- 
cation is one of the best agencies that can be employed to incul- 
cate, foster and strengthen this idea. Every school in our l&nd 
mode up of a distinct nationality, on a fundamental principle of 
religion or politics, is fostering a spirit anti-Repnblican, and 
fraught with evil to our free institutions. 

If any [>eopIe are so purblind as not to see that vre offer to 
them through our public institutions better educational oppor- 
tunities than they can transplant here from the Old World, then 
we beg they will abide under their own vine and fig tree and 
leave to ns and ours what we so highly prize, and propose to per- 
petuate. We shall not submit to any foreign domination, whe- 
ther it be political or ecclesiastical. 

'I'here will naturally be connected with this American idea of 
government, as a second educational element, patriotic fervor. 
One of the weakest things in the old Ottoman power so shaken 
just now that indicates its near ruin is a lack of patriotism. 
Such an emotion as love of country is not found thera The 
Turk may fight because he is forced to, not because his home, 
family and native land are dearer to him than life. 

It was this patriotic fervor that brought our nation into being, 
and this must be an important instrumentality in its continu- 
ance. Read the closing sentence in that immortal document 


ere anJ fromers of this £epublio,-we find they were diatingnisli- 
ed for Bterling integrity, and bo we must see to it that the young, 
rising up around us, are possessed of the same element of 
character, if our institutions are to be perpetuated. What we 
want to-day in our countiy is men who con be trusted. They 
are here, no doubt, and will ap]>ear and take their place when 
called for. Gold is good, and wc want that, bat men more. 
We huTG had a dectide of sordid sentiment and baae practice 

Such a state of things is not unusual after a season of war. 
Competition was widespread after the Bevolution. 

The vile mercenary spirit has invaded all departments of life 
and influences. Tlie greed of gain, inflamed by a desire for 
personal gratification, has been too strong for the ordinary bar- 
riers of virtue and fair dealing, and what wrecks of character, 
fortune and life even liave apijeared as a consequence apon the 
surface of society. Men who have become insane through lust 
and gain scruple not at the use of any means which may ac- 
complish their purpose. And so we distrust one another, and 
wonder if we shall find at the Centennial Exhibition even that 
noblest work of God, " an honest man." It is thoi^ht by raany 
that the evil is self-corrective, that the appalling depflis of in- 
iquity which have been revealed will frighten and compel a 
hasty retreat on the part of those who have ventured on the per- 
ilous extreme. That is not the ordinary law of reform. Reek- 
ing corruption does not of itself become a scene of sweetness 
and beauty. Let us trust in no such vain hope. Bather let 
the education of the young be the source of cheerful expectation. 
Train up the chOdren in the ways of integrity. Let it be en- 
graven upon their hearts in the deep-bedded lines of inefface- 
able conviction, that righteousness exalteth a nation, but bIq is 


Harriet Martineau, who has just died at her home in Eng- 
land, after travehng through this country and observing the 
working of our free institutions, recorded as her dehberate opin- 
ion that no calamity coidd befall an American youth more se- 
rious in residts than to inherit a large patrimony. 

The idea has been so wide spread, that if a man has riches 
be has attained already the chief end of his being, that an over- 
indulgedy useless life, is almost a sure concomitant of inherited 
wealth ; more dihgence, less extravagance, should be the watch- 
words with which to start on the new century. "With the very 
fair Bhow which the benevolent department of the country may 
make as to-day she unrolls her record of church work at home 
and abroad, her educational work, with endowed colleges and 
public libraries, her charities to the poor and the unfortunate, 
it must yet be apparent that as a people we have not learned 
how to use wealth aright. 

The great industries of the land are depressed. The hands 
of the laborer are seeking in vain for something to do, and the 
rich are becoming poor, as a consequence of the recklessness of 
habits in the modes of earning and spending in the past. The 
same is true of a Hberal education, as of wealth. The youth 
who, blessed with opportunities for a higher education, must 
be made to feel that they are carried through the schools, not 
to be drones in society, fancy men, but that they may contribute 
to the wisdom, integrity and every virtue in the high places of 
state and nation. 

It is sometimes said that higher education unfits some for 
business. Send a boy to college and he is good for nothing 
except in the learned professions. " If this be so, then our 
educational system needs reorganizing." The old maxim that 
knowledge is power, is true, and broad as true. A man will 
be better fitted to fill any occupation in life for a higher edu- 
cation, if he has been educated aright. Out upon any other 
iheory. Let the people everywhere be made to feel this, as the 
graduates do honor to their privileges, by meeting the just 
claim that society has upon them and the questions about graded 
schools and free colleges will fail to be discussed for want of 
an opponent. 

. Jtlffw*. 

JO'" ■- 

.»«»-!5.*!».r::. r;rs.8»>- a»»i 


BO* ' 






To trace the causes that led to the American Eevolntion, to 
narrate the events of the scruggle for independence, or to con- 
sider the effect which the establishment of '^ the great Bepnb- 
lic " has had upon the fortunes of the race in other lands — 
these have been the usual and appropriate themes for discourse 
upon each return of our national anniversary. And where con 
we find more exalted or more exalting subjects for reflection ? 
It is not the deed of a day, the events of a year, the changes of 
a century, that explain the condition of a nation. Else we 
might date from the 4th of July, 1776, the rise of the American 
people, and so far as we as a nation are concerned, we might 
disregard all prior history as completely as we do the years be- 
yond the flood. But this we cannot do, for the primitive 
Briton, the resistless Roman, the invading Done, the usurping 
Saxon, the conquering Norman, have all left their separate and 
distinguishable stamp upon the England of to-day. As from 
Coedmon to Chaucer, from Spenser to Shakspeare, from Milton 
to Macaulay, we trace the progress of our language and litera- 
ture from the unintelligible Saxon to the English of our time ; 
so the development of political ideas has its great eras, chiefly 
written in blood. From the fall of Boadicea to the landing of 
Hengist, from the death of Harold to the triumph at Runny- 
mede, from the wars of the Roses to the rise of the Reforma- 
tion, from the fields of Edgehill and Worcester, through the 
restoration and expulsion of the Stuarts down to the days of 
George III, we may trace the steady advance of those nations 
of society and of government which culminated in fhe act of an 
American Congress a century ago proclaiming us a united and 
independent people. When the barons of John assembled on 
that httle islet in the Thames to wrest from their reluctant king 


{he right of Magna Charta, thero were the same spirit, and the 
same purpose that prevailed nearly six centnries after in the 
Coogreaa at PhiladelpLia, and the actors were the asuae in blood 
and lineage. The charging cry at Danbar, " Let God arian, 
and let His enemies be scattered," rang oat a hnndred and 
twenty-five years later from another Puritan camp on Booker 
Hill. So history repeats itself in the ever-recurring conflict of 
ideas, with the difference of time, and place and people, and 
with this further difference in the resTilt, that while in and^it 
times the priudpal characters in the historic drama were the 
conqueror, the conquered and the victim, these in modem days 
become the oppressor, the oppressed and the deliverer, Charlea 
Stuart falls beneath Cromwell and Ireton, George HI yields to 
Washington and Greene, serfdom and slavery vanish before 
Ilomanoff and Lincoln. 

But we must turn from this wide field of history to one of 
narrower limits, to one so small that it seems insignificant to 
that class of minds which measures States only by the acre, aa 
cloth by the yard ; to those men who, to be consistent, should 
consider Daniel Lambert a greater man than Napoleon Bona- 
jwirte, or the coutinont of Africa a richer possession than 
Athens in the days of Peiicles. There are many jnst snch 
men, and the materiaUstic tandency of our times is adding to 
their number. It^ is in vaiu to remind them that from one of 
the smallest States of antiquity arose the philosophy and the 
art that rule the world to-day, Judea should have been an em- 
pire and Bethlehem a Babylon to impress such minds with the 
grandeur of Hebrew poetry or the eubliraity of Christian faith. 
But for those to whom ideas are more than acres, men greater 
I machiuLTy, ami murdl uor!h ;i mi^-htier influence than 


would have been filled with wonder at the phenomena of its 

Hear too a less familiar voice from beyond the sea, a German 
writer of the philosophy of history. Beciting the principles 
of Roger WiUiams, their successful establishment in Bhode 
Island, and their subsequent triumph, he says: " They have 
given laws to one quarter of the globe, and dreaded for their 
moral influence, they stand in the background of every demo- 
cratic struggle in Europe." (2) It is of our ancestors, people 
of Providence, that thes& words were written, and of them and 
their descendants that I am called to speak. 

To condense two hundred and forty years of history within 
an Iiour is simply impossible. We can only touch upon a few 
salient points, and illustriito the progress of Providence by a very 
few striking statistics. Passing over the disputed causes which 
led to the banishment of Roger Williams from Massachusetts, 
we come to the undisputed fact that there existed, at that time, 
a close alliance between the church and the State in the colony 
whence he fled, and that he severed that union at once and for- 
ever in the city which he founded. Poets had dreamed and 
philosophers had fancied a state of society where men were free 
and thought was imtrammelled. Sir Thomas More and Sir 
PhiHp Sydney had written of such things. Utopias and Arca- 
dias had their place in literature, but nowhere on the broad 
earth had these ideas assumed a practical form till the father 
of Providence, the founder of Bhode Island, transferred them 
from the field of fiction to the domain of fact, and changed them 
from an improbable fancy to a positive law. It was a trans- 
formation in politics — ^the science of applied philosophy — more 
complete than that by which Bacon overthrew the system of 
Aristotle. It was a revolution, the greatest that in the latter 
days had yet been seen. From out this modern Nazareth, 
whence no good thing could come, arose a light to enlighten 
the world. The " Great Apostle of Beligious Freedom " here 
first truly interpreted to those who sat in darkness the teach- 
ings of his mighty Master. The independence of the mind had 
had its assertors, the freedom of the soul here found its cham- 
pion. We begin then at the settlement of this city, with an 


idea tbat was novel and startling, eren amid the philosophical 
fipectUiitions of the seventeenth centoiy, a great original idea, 
which was to compass a continent, " give laws to one quarter 
of the globe," and nfter the lapse of two centories to become 
the muTersal property of the western world by being accepted 
in its completeness by that neighboring State, to whose perae- 
cations Bhode Island owed its origin. Boger Williams was 
the incarnation of the idea of soul hberty, the Town of Provi- 
dence became its organization. This is history enough if there 
were nought else to relate. Portsn^oath, Newport and War- 
wick soon followed with their antinomian settlers to cany ont 
the some principle of the underilved independence of the soul, 
the accountabihty of man to his Maker, alone in all religions 
concerns. After the miion of the four original towus into one 
colony, under the Parliamentary patent of 1613, confirmed and 
continued by the Boyal charter of 1663, the history of t^e 
town becomes so included in that of the colony, in all matters 
of general interest, that it is difficult to divide them, llie 
several towns, occupied chiefly with their own narrow interests^ 
present Httle to attract in their local administrafion, bat spoke 
mainly through their representatives in the colonial assemUy, 
upon all subjects of general importance. It is there that we 
must look for most of the facts that make history, the progress 
of society, the will of the people expressed in action. To these 
records we must often refer in sketching the growth of Provi- 

It was in June, 1636, that Roger Wilhams, with five com- 
panions (3) crossed the Seekonk to Slate Bock, where he was 
welcomed by tbe friendly Indians, and pursuing bis way around 
the headland of Tockwotten, sailed up the Mooshassuck, th«n 


The first division of land was made in 1638, in which fifty-four 
names appear as the owners of *' home lots *' extending from 
Main to Hope streets, besides which each person had a six acre 
lot assigned him in other parts of the purchase. The granters 
conld not sell their land to any but an inhabitant without con- 
sent of the town, and a penalty was imposed upon those who 
did not improve their lands. The government established by 
these primitive settlers was an anomely in history. It was a 
pure democracy, which, for the first time guarded jealously the 
rights of conscience. The inhabitants, *' masters of families** in- 
corporated themselves into a town and made an order that no 
man should be molested for his conscience. The people met 
montlily in town meeting and chose a clerk and treasurer at each 
meeting. The earliest written compact that has been preserved 
is without date but probably was adopted in 163t. It is sign- 
ed by thirteen persons (5.) We have not time to draw a pic- 
fnire of these primitive meetings held beneath the shade of some 
iBpreading tree where the fathers of Providence, discussed and 
bedded the most delicate and difficult problems of practical po- 
litics, and reconciled the requirements of life with principles then 
>anknown in popular legislation. The records are lost and here 
^nd there only a fragment has been preserved by unfriendly 
luands to give a hint of those often stormy assemblies where there 
no precedents to guide, and . only untried principles to be 
stablished by the dictates of common sense. Of these the case 
Verin, reported by Winthrop, is well known wherein liberty 
conscience and the rights of woman were both involved with 
^:^ most delicate question of family discipline. It is curious 
enough that one form of the subject now known under the gene- 
'^al name of women's rights, destined more than two centuries 
later to become a theme of popular agitation, should here be 
:^ore8hadowed so early in Khode Island, the source of so many 
^ovel ideas and the starting point of so many important move- 

Heligious services had no doubt been held from the earHest 
Bettlement, but the first organized church was formed in 1638, 
the first Baptist church in America. 

From the earliest days of the colony to the dose of the recent 


civil strife, the war record of the State has been a brilliant one. 
As early as 1665, in the Dutch war she did more than the Xew 
England Confederacy, from which she bad been basely excluded. 
Her exposed condition, by reason of the Indiana, fosteared this 
feeling in the first instance, and long habit cultivated the martial 
spint of the people till it became a second nature. Her mara- 
time advantages favored coounerdal enterprise, and the two 
combined prepared her for those naval exploits which in after 
years shed so mach gloiy on the State. The three Indian wars, 
the three wars with Holland (1652-8, 1667, 1672-4), andthe two 
with France (1667, 1690), in the seventeenth centoiy, the three 
SpaniBh( 1702-13, 1789-48,1762-3), and the three EVench wars 
(1702-13, 1744-8, 1754-63) of the eighteenth, had trained the 
American colonies to conflict, and prepared them for the greater 
struggle about to come. At the outbreak of the fourth inter- 
colonial war, known as the " old French war," this colony with 
less than forty thousand inhabitants and eighty-three hundred 
fighting men, sent fifteen hundred of these upon various naval 
expeditions, besides a regiment of eleven companies of infantry, 
seven hundred and fifty men under Col Christopher Harris, 
who marched to the siege of Crown Point. Thus more than 
one-quarter of the effective force of the colony was at one time, 
on sea and land, in privateers, in the royal fleets and in the camp, 
learning that stem lesson which was soon to redeem a conti- 
nent. Is itsurprising then that when the ordeal came the con- 
duct of Rhode Island was prompt Mid decisive ? It is said that 
small States ore always plucky ones, and Bhode Island confirm- 
ed the historic truth. 

The passage of the stamp act (Feb. 27. : 


take effect, the Governors of all the Colonies, but one, took the 
oath to sustain it Samael Ward, ''the Goyemor of Khode 
Island stood alone in his patriotic refosal," says Bancroft Nor 
was it the last as it was not the first time that Rhode Island 
stood alone in the van of progress. Non-importation argu- 
ments were eveiywhere made. The repeal of the odious act 
(Feb. 22, 1766) came too late, coupled as it was with a decla- 
ratory act asserting the right of Parliament *' to bind the Col- 
onies in all cases." Then came a new development of patriotic 
fervor instituted by the women of Providence. Eighteen young 
ladies of leading families of the town met at the house of Dr. 
Ephraim Bowen (March 4, 1766), and from sunrise till night, 
employed the time in spining flax. These " Daughters of Lib- 
erty," as they were called, resolved to use no more British goods, 
and to be consistent they omitted tea from the evening meaL 
So rapid was the growth of the association that their next meet- 
ing was held at the Court House. The " Sons of Liberty " were 
associations formed at this time in all the Colonies to resist 
oppression, but to Providence belongs the exclusive honor of 
this union of her daughters for the same exalted purpose. This 
is the second time we have had occasion to notice that women 
has oome conspicuously to the £ront in the annals of Providence, 
when great principles were at stake. But we claim nothing 
more for our women than the same spirit of self-denial 
and lofty devotion that the sex has everywhere shown in 
the great crises of history. The first at the cross and the first 
at the sepulchre, the spirit and the blessing of the Son of God 
have ever rested in the heart of woman. 

Side by side with the struggle for freedom grew the effort for 
a wider system of education. It was proposed to establish four 
free public schools. This was voted down by the poorer class 
of people who would be most benefitted by the movement. Still 
the measure was partially carried out, and a two story brick 
building was erected in (1768). The upper story was occupied 
by a private school, the lower, as a free school. Whipple Hall, 
which afterwards became the first district school, was at this 
time chartered as a private school in the noith part of 
the town, and aU the schools were placed in charge of a 



committee of nine, of vhom the Town Conndl formed a pari 
The next year a great stimalus was given to the educational 
movement in the town. Two years had passed since Bhode 
Island OoIlegG was eBtablished at Warren, and the first class of 
sevon students was nbont to graduate. Commencement day gave 
rise to the earliest legal holidiiy in oar history. A rivahy among 
the chief town^ of the Colony for the permanent location ol 
what is now Brown Uuiversity, resnlted in its removal two years 
later (1771) to ProvideDCe. Tfais now venerable institnlioil, 
whoso foundation was a protest against sectarianism in educa- 
tion, has become the honored head of a ^stem of public and 
privat* schools, which for completeness of design, for perfection 
of detail, and for thoroughness of work, may safely chaUeng« 
comparison with any other organized educational system in the 

There are some significant facts connected with~lhe Centen- 
nial Esposition in Philadelphia, which serve to show the i-elative 

importance of this city in the industrial summary of the coun- 
iry. One is that in the three principal buildings Providence 
occupies the crntre and most conspicions place. We all know 
the man who commands Presidents and Emperors, and they 
obey him — who says to Don Pedro " come," and he cometh, 
and to President Grant " Do this," and he doeth it, and we 
Lave seen the mighty engine tbatfrom the centre of Machinery 
Hall, moves fourteen Eicri'S of the world's most cunning iu- 
dnstiy. The Corliss engine proudly sustains the supremacy of 
Providence amid the marvels of both bemis^ihereB, Facing 
the central area of the main exhibition building, the Qorham 


ment Society, and Ehall learn that little Bhode Island ranks as 
the fifth State in the amount of its contributions to the fondH 
of this department, being surpassed only by New York, Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts. A city which occupies 
these positions in the greatest Exposition of the century has 
no cause to shun comparison between its past and its present. 

>» « 4e ♦ 4c #: 

But by far the greatest event of its bearing upon the pros- 
perity of Providence was the introduction of water which, after 
being four times defeated by popular vote, was finally adopted 
in 1869. The work commenced the next year, and the water 
was first introduced from the Pawtuxet river in November, 1871 . 
The question, whether Providence was to become a metropolis 
of trade and manufactures or to continue as a secondary city, 
was thus settled in favor of progress. The stimulus given in 
the right direction was immediate and immense. The overflow 
of population soon required the city limits to be extended, and 
the annexation of the Ninth and Tenth Wards caused an in- 
crease of forty-six per cent, from the census of 1870 to that of 
1875, a showing which no other city in the country can equal. 

That the city of Providence has its future in its own hands 
is apparent. With the vast wealth and accumulated industries 
of a century at its disposal ; with the result which this latest 
measures of improvement has produced as an encouragement ; 
and with the experience of other less favored seaports as a 
guide, there would seem to be the ability and the inducement to 
take the one remaining step necessary to secure the supremacy 
which nature indicates for the head waters of Narragansett 
bay. While our northern and western railroad connections are 
already very large and are rapidly reaching their requisite ex- 
tension there remains only the improvement of the harbor and 
adjacent waters of the bay, which can be made at comparatively 
small expense, to make Providence the commercial emporium 
of New England. There is no mere fancy in this idea. It is an 
absolute fact, attested by the history of Glasgow, and fore- 
shadowed by the opiniona of those who have thought long and 
carefully upon the subject. It is a simple question of engi- 
neering and of enterprise, and it will be accomplished. When 


Frovidence bad twelve thousand inbabitanta, as it had within 
tbe life time of many ot us wbo do not yet cotmt oarselves as 
old, bad some seer foretold that tbe centennial of tbe natioa 
Tvonld Bee tbe quiet town tranaformed into tbe growing dt; 
Etarting upon ite aecond hundred thousand of population, it 
would have seemed a for more atartling statement than thia 
with wbicb we now close the Centennial Address— that tiie 
child la already bom wbo will see more than half a million of 
people within oar city, which will then be tbe oommercial me- 
tropolis of New England. 

19th of July, aa appears by the Secret Journal, Congress re- 
solved that the Declaration pas^d on the 4tli be fairly engrossed 
on parchment, with the title and style of "The Unanimous 
Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America," and the 
some, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress; 
and the 2cl day of August following, the Declaration being 
engrossed and compared with the original, was signed by the 

Absent members afterwards signed as ihsy came in, and it 
bears tlie names of some who were not chosen memberB of 
Congress until after the 4fh of July. 

"We must be unanimous," said Hincoct ; "there must be 
no palling different ways ; wo must all hang together." "Yes." 
replied Franklin, "we must indeed all hang together, or moeti 
assuredly wo shall all hang separately." 

On the 9th of July Washington cacsed the Declaration to be 
read at the head of each brigade of the anny, " The General 
hopes," he said io his orders, " that this important event will 
serve as a fresh incentive to every officer and soldier to act 
with fidelity, as knowing that now the peace and safety of the 
country depend, under God, solely on the success of our arms, 
and that he is now in the service of a State possessed of suffi- 
cient power to reward hia merit and advance him to the highest 
honors of a free country," 

The people of the City of New York not only indulged them- 
selves in the usual demonstrations of joy by the ringing of bells 
and the like, but also concluded that the leaden statue of bis 
Majesty, George the Third, in the Bowling Green, might now 
be turned to good account. They therefore pulled down the 
tifatue, imd th<i lead was nin iotp liulleta for Ihe 


in which his Majesty the King of Great Britain acknowledges 
the American Colonies as free, sovereign, and independent 
States ; " treats with them as such for himself, his heirs, and 
successors, and relinquishes all claims to the Government, pro- 
prietary and territorial rights of the same, and any part thereof." 
After coming through the night of the Revolution, 

Onr aoceston, with Joy. beheld *' the rays of freedom ponr 
0*er every nation, race, and climo— on every sea and shore ; 
Snch glories as the patriarch Tiewcd, when, 'mid the darkest s¥iee, 
He saw, abore a rained world, the bow of promise rise.'* 

With a view of maintaining the Declaration of Independence a 
resolution was passed making an appropriation to the committee 
of safety for a supply of gun flints for the troops at New York, 
and the secret committee were instmcted to ** order the gun 
flints belonging to the continent and then at Rhode Island, to 
the commanding general at New York." An agent was also 
sent to Orange county, New York, for a supply of flint-stone, 
and a board was empowered to " employ such number of men 
as they should think necessary to manufacture flints for the 

Additional measures were also taken to arm the militia, pro- 
vide flying camps, and to procure lead, to build ships, make 
Ipowder, to manufacture cannon and small arms, and provide 
generally for vigorous warfare. 

Colonel Washington had been appointed Commander-in-chief 
of the American forces in June, 1775, by the unanimous voice 
of the colonies. In accepting the trust, he declared, " with the 
utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command 
with which I am honored. '^ His modesty, perhaps, gentlemen, 
would not suit the fashion of the present time. 

It is necessary merely to allude to the present appliances of 
war in contrast with the means then accessible, namely, the 
monster cannon ; the giant powder, with shot and shell in pro- 
portion to the explosive power ; the mailed ship, propelled by 
steam ; the perfected rifle, with its percussion caps and longer 
range than the musket, and no anxiety about a plentiful supply 
of flints, such as exercised our patriotic sires. 

Ever since 1776 the subject of the Declaration has afforded 


fourth of July orators an opportunitj to glorify the Eagle as 
theaymbol of America. 

Toil have often been tuld of the victor; of this saue Ameri- 
can eagle over the Btitiiih Lion, in a kind of allegorical de- 
Bcription. liat this was more poetio than historic. £i the 
common-senBe moments of tlie youngest as well aa of the " old- 
eat inhubitants," we should not think the contest between two 
Huch forces exiictly equal 1 

Tobias Smollett, the English novelist, reoondles the laon 
iritb the Eagle thus : 

"Xhyiplril Indepeadenee letneahus. 

Lord of the Llou heart ud Katie ej*, 
Th; tlep* 1 toMirw wllh mj b«om bare, 

Not heed IheiUrni that hovia alimg the iky. " 

The eagle, no matter what ma; be said of his predatory 
habite, and of the scriplural expression that " where the carcass 
is there will the eagles be gathered together," triumphs. He 
is seen on the buttons of our warriors, on our coin, and the 
seal of the United States, the last-named designed by a com- 
mittee consisting of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and 
Thomas Jefferson. Wilson, the American omitbologist, says of 
the bird : " Formed by nature for braving the severest cold, 
feeding equally on the produce of the sea and of the l&nd, 
possessing powers of flight capable of outstripping even the 
tempests themselves, unawed by anything but mui, and &om 
the etberal heights from which he soars, looking abroad at one 
glance on an immeasurable expanse of forests, fields, lakes, and 
ocean deep below him, he appears indifferent to the localities 
of change of seasons, as in a few coinutes he can pass from 


banners. One of the arrangements was a rattlesnake divided in 
thirteen parts, with the initial letters of the colonies to each, and 
the motto " Unite or Die I" And another, the rattlesnake, in 
the act of striking, the motto being, " Don't tread on me I" The 
rattles were thirteen in number. This device, stranger than that 
of '' Excelsior," was a favorite with the colonists, and was meant 
to signify retaliation for the wrong upon America : 

The aoAke m» ready with hiB rattle. 
To warning give of ooming lutttle. 

Something may here be said about the American flag, the one 
that has taken the place of all others. It was not till the 1 4th 
of June, 1177, that the design of the flag was formally adopted 
by the Continental Congress, although it is said a similar flag 
flew over the headquarters at Cambridge more than a year before 
that time. The act of Congress thus described it : *' The flag of 
the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red 
and white, the Union thirteen stars, white, in a blue field, rep- 
resenting a new constellation." 

This continued to be the flag until two new States were ad- 
mitted into the Union, namely, Vermont, in March, 1791, and 
Kentucky, in June, 1792, when Congress passed an act, June 
13, 1794, making an alteration in the flag, which provided that 
from and after the first day of May, 1795, the flag of the United 
States shall be fiiteen stripes, with fifteen stars. There seems 
to have been no further agitation of the subject tmtil 1816, when 
a bill was introduced making another alteration in the flag. 
The number of stripes were restored to thirteen, the stars to 
correspond to the number of States in the Union, a new star to 
be added to the flag whenever a new State shoidd be admitted, 
the star to be placed there on the 4th day of July thereafter. 

Among the reasons for altering the flag was that " There was 
a prospect at no distant period that the number of States would 
be considerably multiplied, and this rendered it highly inexpe- 
dient to increase the number of stripes on each flag, which must 
be limited in size." As a consequence of this arrangement we 
have now thirty-seven stars, vdth room for many more on the 
azure field; and additional brightness will be added this cen- 


tennial ^ear to oar constellation by the ulver beams of Col- 

Thia Hae hu for » oentiDT " bnvwl the battle *Dd tin bneM i" 
A bluing Ugbt npini t^e land, k bcAeon on M4t. 

It vould be a mistake to sujipuse that out forefatbets con- 
quered Great Britain. The qiieation might be put in this vray: 
Great Britain did not conquer tbem. She found, after experi- 
ence, that, having to transport, at enormoos expense, large 
bodies of troops across the ocean— three thousand miles, in sail- 
ing vessels— was very unprofitable, as they did not accomplish the 
desired object, namely, the subjugation of the Colonists, who, of 
determined spirit, and having rcsulved to be free and independ- 
ent of British rule, were not to be frightened from their patxiotic 
purpose by coats of red, typical of tbe fire that boomed from 
their unfiiendly cannon, and, besides, Holland havingjoined the 
belligerents a^'oinst England, and Euglanil having been homili- 
ated by the crowning battle of the contest — the surrender of 
CornwaUis — she departed from our soil, leaving the ColoQists 
in full possession. 

It was not until 1789 thst the General or Federal Govern- 
ment went into full operation. At that time the ]>opalation 
was supposed to be three millions, but in the eigbfy-seven years 
past it has, from various causes, increcsed to forty millions. 
The American eagle, which could fly over onr original country 
without stopping to drink or to rest, finds that he cannot now 
without frequent 3top[)ages on his course for refreshments, ^ 

owing to enlarged limits, accomplish the distance from ocean ^^ 
to ocean without complaiuing, in bis own natural way, of a ^^^ 
weary wing. 

A hundred years ago tbe people never thought of railroads,^ .^^^ 
the steam engine and the dectric telegraph — those great revoln — m-m 
tiotiizers in everythiug t^at pcrtiiius to individual and nnfinnuf'^pry , 
comfort — or jf they did, there is no record of the fact, Th^.xif 
traveling was on horseback, in gigs, and wagons, and eanyalls^S-f J 
and sailing vessels, and row boats. And think : the time t 



magnificent steamer across the Atlantic in eight or nine day 
3,000 miles — and the same distance is traveled frjm Washing- 
ton to the Pacific Ocean, by railroad, in seven days. An experi- 
mental trip recently showed that the journey from New York to 
San Francisco could be made in eighty-three hours and thirty- 
four minutes, or at the rate of one thousand miles a day ! And, 
instead of waiting for weeks or months to receive intelligence 
from remote parts of our own country, and the world at large, 
the path of the subtle fiuid, electricity, affords an instantaneous 
means of intercommunication, and thus annihilates sj^acc ! 

If our Revolutionary sires could reappear on earth, and see 
these wondrous things, together with the results of inventive 
genius, and progression in the arts and sciences, then* expres- 
sions of surprise would be equal to, if they did not exceed, 
those of the hero of the Eaatskill mountains — ^but in a more 
agreeable sense — when he awoke from his long slumber, to be 
startled by the actual changes which meanwhile had taken place I 
We ourselves can scarcely realize the growth of the infant Re- 
public, from its cradle in Independence Hall to the present time, 
when it stands forth in the pride of manhood with unconquer- 
able strength ! 

It may here be appropriately mentioned that the first voyage 
across the Atlantic in a steam vessel was performed by the steam- 
ship Savannah in 1819. She was built in New York the year 
previous. On nearing Liverpool she was discerned from a 
lookout, and, as notbiug of that kind had been seen there before, 
supposing a ship was on fire, one of the King's cruisers was 
sent to her reliel 

An item of the past will not be uninteresting in connection 
with the subject of locomotion. The Pennsylvania Gazette, of 
Philadelphia, January 3, 1776, had the " latest dates," namely : 
ten days from Boston, and five days from New York. The 
" freshest " foreign dates from London were sixty days old, and 
these contained " an humble address of the House of Commons 
to the King," in which they say : 

" No other use has been made of the moderation and for- 
bearance of your Majesty and your.Parliament but to strengthen 
the preparations of this desperate conspiracy, and that the 


rebelliooB war new levied is become more general, and mani- 
festly carried on for the purpose of establisluiig an independent 
empire ; and ve hope and trciat that we shall, by the blessing 
of God, put snch strength and force into your Ufqesty'B hands 
BS may soon defeat and sappress this rebellion, and enable yonr 
Majesty to accomplish your ^acioos wish of xeatioring order 
traDquility, and happiness through all the parts of yoor united 

The King graciously returned his fervent {hanks for this 
loyal address, saying : "I promise myself the most happy con- 
sequences from the dntiful and affectionate aasarancea of the 
support of my faithful Commons on this great and important 
oonjnnctare, and I have a firm oonfidenoe tliat by the blesaing 
of Ood and the jnstice of the oanse, and by the assistanoe of 
my Parliament, I shall be enabled to snpprees tins dangerona 
rebellion, and to attain the most desirable end of restoring my 
enbjects in America to the free and happy condition and to the 
peace and prosperity which they enjoyed in their constitntional 
dependence before the brealdog oat of these nnhappy di»- 

The King and Commons not being as soccessfol as they an- 
ticipated, his Majesty sent to this coantry Admiral Tisconnt 
Howe and (General William Howe, general of his Majesty's foroee, 
as a commissioner in the interests of peace, and it ia some- 
what singular that their dag~ship bore the name of ournaticmal 
symbol the Eagle — off the coast of the Province of Massachu- 
setts. He declared the purpose of the King " to deliver all his 
sabjects from the calamities of war and other oppressions they 
BOW undergo, oud restore the colonies to peace ;" and lie was 


Jolin Qaincy Adams, in his oration delivered July 4, 1831 , 

daid ''Frederick the First of Brunswick constituted himself 

King of Prussia, by putting a crown upon his own head. 

Kapoleon Bonaparte invested hid brows with the crown of 

Xiombardy, and declared himself King of Italy. The Declara^ 

tion of Independence was the crown with which the people of 

cmited America, rising in gigantic stature as one man, encircled 

^heir brows, and there it remains. There, long as this globe 

iBhall be inhabited by human beings, may it remain a crown of 

imperishable glory. 

My friends, it is a solemn truth that there is not now on earth 

man intelligent person who Hved on the Fourth of July, 1776. 

>Ve read of the heroic struggles of the Continental army ; their 

"^eant of discipline and poverty, and the scarcity of money with 

^"^hich to purchase the needed supplies, and of the many sacri- 

^oes they made in the cause to which the best men that ever 

Hived consecrated their lives and fortunes, and all else they held 

^ear of ease and comfort ; men who set the world an example 

zan the stiaggle for freedom, which they eventually established. 

TTheir Constitution and the laws they passed to put it into op- 

^oration attest their wisdom and the knowledge of the needs of 

^e people in their new condition. 

My friends, in what condition will our country be one him- 
^ed years henc? — the fourfch of July, 1976? Will the same 
dbrm of government we now have be preserved ? Will it afford 
Hie same protection of personal freedom, property and human 
eights? • Will the proud banner still wave over a tmited and 
inrosperous people? These are questions to be answered by 
succeeding generations. If they are true to the teachings and 
examples of our Revolutionary sires the Republic will endure. 
If not, thdn the bright, and we might say this haughty Repubhc 
will pass into history with that of Rome, and for similar causes* 
There can be no republic that is not founded on the virtue, in- 
telligence, and assent of the people. Enforced government be- 
longs to tyranny. 

We have additional cause of rejoicing in the fact, that, al- 
though national encounters have cursed the world ever since 
nations have had an existence, there is now no war between any 


nations. This is nn era of peace. Evea the oldest natious, in- 
clailing China and Japan, and others of the Kast, oome wi'.h 
those of Europe to the happy oentennial greeting. They bring 
vith them, to exhibit near our own, their asefnl and ornamen- 
tal products ; all compatible with peace, imd calculated to 
stimulate a beneficial riTalry. 

Not far from vhere we are assembled lie the ashes of one 
whose character the entire world admires. 

His name is seldom hear<l, excepting when it is uttered to 
dcsigiiato the city which he founded. There was a time when it 
was more publicly hitnoreil than it is now ; but still his memory 
is cherishcLl by many patriotic hearts. Whatever may be the 
mutations in public affairs — whosoeTer may, for the time being, 
occupy the larger share of public attention, either as a warrior 
or OS a statesman, the name of Waahingten, with its patriotic 
associations, will always be precious to the lover of hber^. But, 
alas ! his teiichings arc too often disregarded, and we have not 
yet completed tlie monument to liia memory. We may, however, 
without ft dissenting voice, on tliis Centennial day, the first that 
we hare seen, and the last that we shall ever see, recall a few 
words from his Farewell Address, although it was written eighty 
years ago. He said : 

" The unity of government which constitutes us one people is 
also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in 
the edifice of your real iudepemlence ; the support of your tran- 
quillity at homo, and your peace abroad ; of your safety, of your 
prosi^rity ,- of that very hberty which you so highly prize." 

And the Father of his Country further advised " his friends 
and fellow-citizens " to " indignantly frown upon the first dawn- 
V iittemi)t toiilionate any r. 


And again : "It is substantially true that virtue or morality 
is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed 
extends with more or less force to every species of free govern* 
meni Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indif- 
ference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric. 
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, inititutions 
for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the 
structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is 
essential that public opinion should be enlightened." 

My friends, let us cherish the heavenly principle of " Peace 
on earth, good will to man," and by word and example en- 
deavor to cultivate in the hearts of those who are taking our 
places in the active scenes of life a love for law and liberty — a 
respect for the institutions of others, while preferring our own — 
and the enforcement of the duty of elevating the best men only 
to office, those who will see that the EepubUc suffers no detri- 
ment, for the acts of the pubHc agent should be the reflex of the 
will of the constituency. A few should not plunder the many. 
To permit such practices is to sanction them. And let all wrong- 
doers be punished either by public opinion or by the criminal 
court, and public agents remember that the Government is for 
the people and not for themselves. 

It was said aforetime, '' Power is always stealing from the 
many to the few ; " therefore if we would continue free we must 
guard against every encroachment on our liberties. And then 
there can be no doubt the EepubHc will endure, strengthened 
in population with the corresponding prosperity, presenting an 
example to the world at large for emulation, and conferring the 
richest blessings on the entire human race I 




JULY 4th, 1876. 
Fellow-Citizeks : — The citizfena of Burliogton have invited to 
this festal gathering the civil authorities of the several towns of 
the county, with their ci^ic sodetiea and all their people, and 
they have deputed me, in their behalf, to bid you all welcome to 
a participation .in the appointed doings and appropriate enjoy- 
ments of the day. 

' One hundred years of national life t a hundred years of lib- 
erty, guarded by constitution and law ; a cycle completed this 
day which includes in it the first establishment of the American 
Union and its later vindication : the first proclamation of nni- 
versal human freedom and equality, and their later crystaliza- 
tiou in an amended constitution, and the consummation in his- 
toric fact of the self-evident truths of the Great Declare 

As in the first Continental Congress, on the ipotion of Benja- 
min Franklin, prayer was offered to Almighty God for guidance 
and strength for the great work then in hand, 80 now, having 
entered into the labors of the fathers, it is befitting the occodon 
that we lift upoureycB to the hills from whence cometh our help 
— to the good God and Father of us all — and that we offer de- 
vout praises and aLloration to Him whoBC kind hand has led n 




JULY 4th, 1876. 

Mb. President and Citizens of Chittenden County : — An 
apology seems out of place on such an occasion as the present. 
But I must excuse myself for the disappointment I am about to 
cause you, of which I gave your committee timely warning. 
From their vote and from the published accounts of the pre- 
parations for the centennial celebrations throughout the coun- 
tzy you had the right to expect from me an address which 
should present the principal events of the last hundred years 
in your coimty in their proper historical succession, in accord- 
ance with the suggestion of the President of the United States 
and of the proprieties of the occasion. Such an address I can- 
not give you for several reasons. I shall mention only one. 
Had I be€^ equal to the labor of gathering the facts — of col- 
lating and compressing them within the brief hour here al- 
lowed me — I should then have threshed a harvest which has 
been gathered by others ; I should have opened no new field 
of enquiry, contributed no new fact to the sum of historical 
knowledge. For be it known that among the other treasures 
which you have preserved are all the materials for a history of 
your county, and every township it comprises. So thoroughly 
has the field been gleaned, that no sheaf has been left for me. 
That ctntennial orator who shall stand here after another hun- 
dred years will find ready to his hand every fact, circumstance 
and particular in the history of Chittenden coimty for the first 
hundred years which I could have gathered had my time and 
industry both been unlimited. He will then, I hope, find in 
every township a public hbrary, such as you have in this city. 
In each of them there will be new editions of the histories of 


Williams, Allen, Hoskins, Tboropeon, the two Halls, and that 
wonderful repository nf fact and incident, the "Vermont His- 
torical Gazetteer." After he has exhausted these he will never 
thint of hunting in the obscoritj of the past for any poor 
nddi'oss of mine. 

I think earnest students of the eurly history of Vermont wiD 
find one inquiry difficult to answer. It is this : How was it 
possible that a few scattered settlers, deficient in resources and 
poor in purse, could accomplish the results which they did ac- 
complish ? In 1774 they numbered scarcely more than 1,500 
families. They were dispersed from the Winooski and the 
Qrent Bend of the Connecticut to the MossachiiHettfi line. 
They had no means of ass<>Bsing taxes, no organizatioii which 
was not purely voluntary. They had already maintained them- 
BbItck against the Power of New Tork through a struggle of 
nearly ten years. They sprang to arms at the sommons of re- 
Tolution. They captured Ticonderago, raised a r^ment which 
made the name of Green Mountain Boys historical, joined in 
the invasion of Canada, saved the remnant's at Wooster's army, 
and barred their long frontier against invasion. Believed for 
a Bpa<-e from arms, they came into convention to form b con- 
stitution. The news of Burgoyne's invasion and St. Clair's 
retreat, arrested their deliberations. Again they hurried to the 
frontier, fought the battle of Bennington, raised another regi- 
ment and paid its expenses ont of Tory property. Again they 
kept an invading army idle for many months which almost oat- 
numbered their population, and sent them back to the place 
from whence they came. Once more we find them in conven- 
tiou nt Windsor, finishing the first constitution, the most demo- 


by history. \NTiere upon all the earth shall we find any like 

number of men with the abihty to plan, the courage to execute, 

such an enterprise as they carried out ? Surely it will be to our 

advantage if we can find out the causes of their success. In 

those caiises we may find the secrets of some of our failures. I 

j)ropose to examine some of these causes, to set before you a few 

of the prominent traits in the character of our ancestors, 

"through which they secured the inheritance now enjoyed by a 

:ffortunate posterity. The subject upon which I shall attempt 

<o address you will be " The Conditions of Success in Civil and 

military Life in Vermont One Hundred Years Ago." 

Xiooking back now to the work of our fathers, the first gi'eat 
:^act that meets the eye is the abihty and skill with which they 
^appropriated individual resources to the common good. Tlieu 
-ai^uer ivasted a useful man. They knew how to utilize each 
-other. They improved not only every natural quality or acquir- 
^jd abihty, but even 2>ersonal defects and peculiarities for the 
<»iii8e of the people. In this respect they were far wiser than 
^their posterity, and herein, beyond doubt, lay one of the great 
asecrets of their power. They understood the value of union, of 
"onited action everywhere, in the family, -the community, the 
township and the state. What union did for them we shall sue. 
A pyramid of granite block with no cementing material to2)i^les 
down. You may build a tower of willows and so bind them to- 
gether that an earthqutdie wiU not overthrow it. Unite a peo- 
ple perfectly and no blow struck from without can injure them, 
no external enemy overcome them. The power of Spain has 
not sufficed to suppress an insurrection in a single province of 
Cuba. Unite the people of the island as Vermonters were 
united and they might defy the armies and navies of the 

We cannot organize success because of individual peculiari- 
ties- A. and B. are both strong men, but they are so imlike that 
they repel each other. Bring them in contact and they will 
fight. Look now at the men whose characters our fathers could 
assimilate, whose diversities they could make an element of 
strength. Let us name a few of the leaders, who resembled 
each other in one respect only — they were all patriots. 

r,o 2 


There was Ethan Allen, a man of giant frame and iron mus- 
cle, in manner rough, but in soul as gentle as a woman, impa- 
tient of restraint, intolerant of opposition, his mind imdiscip- 
iined and in constant revolt against all control, human or 

Ira Allen, his brother, a bom diplomatist, smooth and pol- 
ished in address, equally sldUed in concealing his own thonglits 
and in discovering those of others. 

Seth Warner, the soldier, open and generous, into whoaa 
soul jealousy or vice of any kind could find no by way to enter, 
tlie Bayard of Vermont, without fear and without reproach. 

Their First Governor, a plain, simple farmer, but shrewd and, whom men could take into their confidence in spite 
of themselves, whose rule of life it was to make the best of 
every body, because, to use a rather Irish expression, which he 
applied daily, " ho knew they always turned out better than he 
thought they would." 

The two Fays, Jonas and Joseph, masters of the caucus, so 
systematic that no convention could be held regular that had 
not a Fay for its secretary. 

The Robinsons, negotiators, pioneers in all missions to other 
States and powers. Nathanial and Daniel Chipman, educated 
trained lawyers, slightly aristocratic, faithful servants of the 
chui-ch by law estabhshed. Stephen R. Bradley, a democrat 
by nature, the best political writer of his time. Sbenezer 
Allen, who could not write a sentence correctly, but who could 
and did write the first American Emancipation proclamation. 
Remember Baker, who always doubted which he hated most, a 
Yorker, a Tory, or an Indian. Cochran, a hunter and guide, a 
philosopher and a patriot — and I might name a score of others, 
1 »ut these will servo to make leaders enough for all our political 
parties, for as many sects as ever opposed the Pope — so unlike 
c ach other in all things, that you woidd not suppose they could 
>ruiig from the same race. Had they been like ourselves, 

leaders, but each would have led a dif- 



ITth century, burst the fetters of the Church and State, and 
shook the centres of monarchy to their bases mth the proposi- 
tion, that the powers of government were derived from the 
people, should be employed for the benefit of the people, that 
any system of religion which taught the contrary was no true 
system or religion. For this faith they might be and were 
l>roken on the wheel, but from it they would not turn. They 
"^vere Republicans in religion and in politics. Emigrating from 
"Unrope into the free air of this Western World, these prin- 
^dples became a part of themselves, their descendants carried 
'fthem into Western Connecticut and Massachusetts, and from 
^tlience into this wilderness, where they confronted all the dan- 
and deprivations of a new settlement. They were patriots 
birth, by growth and by education. However much they 
:3iught differ in other afifairs, they were all agreed that they would 
znot tolerate any invasion of their rights of person or property. 
That was tyranny, and tyranny was to be resisted to the death. 
TThey were taught by their fathers — their lives were perpetual 
^dllostrations of the necessity of united action. In their case 
^vision was destruction — union, perfect union of opinion, re- 
sources, characters and powers alone could preserve them. 

I now ask your atbention to some of the consequences to the 
3)er8on and the community of this Common unity of action and 
opinion, among those men, who differed so widely among them- 
selves. I need not remind you that in their time the telegraph, 
the railway and the steamboat had not been invented. There 
was scarcely a highway upon the Grants. Men went from place 
to place on foot or on horseback, following Indian trails or lines 
marked trees. You will scarcely credit the assertion that under 
such circumstances the full effective strength of the new settle- 
ment could be mustered at any given point with nearly as much 
celerity as now. The statement is almost incredible, but you 
will hear my proofs before you reject it. I take them from his- 
tory. It was on the 4th of May, 1775, when Allen summoned 
his first men to march ux^on Ticonderoga. He lost a full day 
waiting for boats on the shore of the lake, and even then cap- 
tured the fort in the morning twylight of May 10th. There 
was then a block bouse near ijio north end of the bridge at 


Winooski. It was called Fort Frederic, garrisoned by men en- 
gaged in sorveying or clearing the intervales above. They were 
nnder the command of Remember Baker. In some way, Allen's 
summons reached Baker in time to Qpable him to call in his 
men, equip them, embark them on a flat-boat, sail down the 
river to its mouth, row or sail up the lake, capture a boat filled 
with escaping British soldiers, on the way to Canada, and to 
reach Crown Point in time to take part in the capture of that 
fort, before noon of the 10th of May. Could you do much better 

I find the fact also recorded that in the winter of 17T6, an 
express from Albany brought the news to Bennington that Sir 
John Johnson, with five hundred Tories and a body of Indians, 
was marching upon Tyron County, then at the eve of insurreo- 
tion. The Yorkers — the pco2:>lc who had kidnapped Baker, and 
declared Allen an outlaw — implored the Green Mountain boys 
to help them. Did they arswer, you are the men who, with 
strong hand, without right, for more than years have been 
striving to rob us of our homes ? No I no ! Within twelve hours 
after the news reached the Grants, that more than nineiy Green 
Mountain boys, armed, equif)ped and provisioned, were on the 
march, and every one of these Vcrmonters was furnished by a 
single town. They joined Schuyler, marched to Johnstown, and 
received the surrender of the invading force. 

David Wooster, a captain in the French war, had a New York 
grant of lands in the town of Addison, in 1761, the Yermonters 
who had expelled Col. Eeid from the meadows of £he Otter 
Creek, found Wooster serving writs on the settlers of the lands 
he claimed. They tied him and his sheriff to a tree, threatened 
them with the Beech seal, and released them only when they 
had vrithdrawn their writs, and promised to go and sin no 

We next hear of Wooster in midwinter of 1776. Montgomery 

LS^f al ien. Wooster is iu command of a defeated and dispirited 

jind the smallpox 's epidemic among the 

who have traversed the 


<3ol. Warner. *' Otu' prospect is dubious," he says. " I have 

sent to General Schuyler, Gen. Washington and to Congress * 

"=* * but you know how long it will be before we can have re- 

Hief from them. You and the valiant Green Mountain Corps 

are in our neighborhood. * * * You all have arms and ever 

stand ready to lend a helping hand to your brother in distress." 

Had I time I would read the whole of this touching letter. He 

implores Warner to send him help, " Let the men set out at 

once * * ♦ * by tens, twenties, thirties or fifties. It will 

have a good effect on the Canadians. 1 am confident IshaU see 

you here with your men in a very short time" 

This letter was written near Montreal on the 6th of January, 
and on the 22nd, only 10 days later, Schuyler withdrew his re- 
quest upon Washington for reinforcements, because, as he said, 
Warner had been so successful in sending men to Wooster's 
aid. Again the courage and celerity of the Vermonters saved 
the army. They formed Wooster's rear guard, standing hke a 
wall between him and his pursuers, and fought all the way from 
the St Lawrence to the Islands of Lake Champlain. Nor did 
they relax their watchful care until June, when the last weary, 
wounded soldier of that army was safely sheltered within the 
walls of Ticonderoga. 

I could give many other illustrations of their promptness in 
marching to j^rotect a friend or destroy an enemy. Let us now 
note their conduct in a difficult emergency. 

The embryo State never passed through a darker period than 
that between the advance of Burgoyne and the battle of Benn- 
ington. The retreat of St. Clair left the whole western frontier 
unprotected. Burgoyne scattered his proclamations, setting 
forth his own strength and offering protection to all who would 
abandon the patriot cause. All the provisions brought to his 
camp would be paid for in gold. The defection was frightful. 
Every wavering man accepted his offers. Even one member of 
the councUf to his eternal disgrace be it said, deserted. The peo- 
ple were poor. They had no money or credit. Alarm and con- 
fusion everywhere prevailed. A volunteer force must be raised, 
armed, fed and clothed, or the contest in this quarter was ended. 
How could it be done ? 


Bat there was a little band of men known ae the Goancil 
of Safety which was neither discouraged nor dismayed. They 
took account of their reBOurces oa coolly as a few weeks before 
they hod discussed the proviBioRS of the new conBtitation. The 
prime necessity of the moment was to raise an adeqaate force ot 
Tolanteers, and put a Btop to these desertiona. Both objects 
were accomplished by a single resolntion, conceived, adopted, 
and its execution provided for in a single sosdon. 

Ira Allien, then a statesman 26 years old, was its aathor. It 
provided for a committee of sequestration, with power to oon- 
fiscate the estates of the Tories and out of the proceeds raise 
and pay the voluteers. It stopped desertions instantly. Vol- 
nutcers promptly oame forward. This resolntion was the first 
and a most fatal blow struck at the army of Burgoyne. 

Let me now call your attention to an illustration of the prac- 
tical common BonsewLich'appeara to have controlled the actions 
of our ancestors. I refer you to their first convention to frame 
a constitution. It convened at Wind^^or in Jnly, 1777. Half 
its members came direct from their regiments to the conveo- 
tion. Bnrgoyne was approaching with an army which twice 
outnumbered all the men on the Grants able to bear arms. 
CongresB had just declared that the idea of forming a new State 
here was in substance derogatory to that body and a violation 
of the rights of New York. 

Cool and undismayed the delegates met in convention. Ira 
Allen has written that " the business being new and of great 
consequoiice required serious deliberation." No doubt ot that 
A draft of the constitution wag presented, by whom prepared 
we do not know. They examined it section by section. In tJie 
mlddt of the debute an express arrivfcd with r 


by the flashes of the lightning, they formed a State. The con- 
stitution was read through and virtually adopted. A vote ap- 
pointing the Committee of Safety followed, an adjournment to 
December, the storm passed over, and within two hours of the 
arrival of the express the members were on their way to defend 
their famihes and their fiiesides. 

They came together again in December, stirring events had 
happened meantime in which they had been actors. The bat- 
tles of Bennington and Hubbardton had been fought ; Bur- 
goyne had surrendered, Ticonderoga had been retaken, the 
frontier had been cleared of the invador, and many of the vol- 
unteers had returned to their homes. The convention finished 
its work without delay. They adopted a preamble and ratified 
the constitution. They decided that it was not expedient to 
submit their work to a popular vote. They named the 12 th of 
March for their first election, and sent Ira Allen to Connecticut 
to have the constitution printed. 

"We must not assume that wide differences of opinion did not 
exist among the members of that body in respect of the govern- 
ment they were about establishing. Wide and honest differen- 
ces did exist — which probably then coiold not have been satis- 
factorily adjusted. I make this reference for the single purpose 
of showing the wisdom which these plain men displayed in deal- 
ing with these questions. To-day such questions would be 
wrangled over in convention, fiercely debated by the press, and 
after months of acrimonious discussion decided to the satisfac- 
tion not of the people, but of a party. 

Our fathers recognized the necessity of some kind of a gov- 
ernment, estabhshed it, and postponed their differences until it 
had been submitted to the test of experience. Instead of mak- 
ing a permanent Constitution, to be changed only by the weary 
processes adopted in other States, they provided for a conven- 
tion to recommend changes every seven years. This provision 
satisfied everybody. It originated your council of censors, and 
furnished what experience has shown to be the very best me- 
thod of amending a constitution. 

There was a wise purpose in the omission to submit the ques- 
tion to a popiolar vote. Vermont was surrounded by watchful 


enemiea Congreaa had just denounced the piojectof a separate 
State. New York woa using every artifice to divide and dis- 
tract the people. New Hampshire was intent on the same pur- 
pose. It was doubtful whether the popular vote would then 
have (^ven a majority for any constitution. The convention es- 
caped the danger by not submitting it, and their constituenta 
ratified their decision. 

I hold this original constitution, as printed in Hartford, in m; 
hand. In view of the circumstances in which it ^as made it is 
a remarkable document. I might well have matle it, as I first 
intended, the exclusive subject of my address to-day, for I de- 
clare without reservation that it is in my judgement the wisest, 
the most liberal, the best State paper to be found in AmericaD 
constitutional histjjry. I can only use it now as an illustration 
of the wisdom, the patriotism and the unselfish motives which 
controUed the men who gave it to their posterity. 

Let me cite an exarople of the promptness with which these 
men iu a criticid emergency took into their confidence a stranger 
to their councils, and the veiy leader of the opposition, when 
his peculiar ability was required to extricate the State from 

The negotiations with the British commander, in Canada, 
which so long protected the stJtte from invasion and kept an 
army idle, were known to but few of the leaders of the Vermont- 
ers. Had they been made public these leaders would have lost 
the public confidence and the British must have overrun the 

The object of Haldimand, the British commander, was to 
make a. separate treaty with the Yermonters, by which the State 
should be placed under British protection. Ira Allen and Dr. 


proclamation at the proper moment. An accident had well 
nigh made everything pubUc and thrown the State into Si 
Leger*8 handa 

Gen. Enos, with Cols. Fletcher and Walbridge, had a small 
force on the west shore of the lake. Some scouts from the two 
armies met, fired on each other, and one of the Vermont ser- 
geants was killed. To the surprise of the Vermont officers* 
who were not in the secret, the next day St. Leger sent the 
sergeant's body, with his clothing and arms, into their lines, 
with a note of apology for his death. Enos despatched an 
express, with St. Leger's note, and his own comments upon 
it, to the Govei-nor, at Charlestown, where the Legislature was 
in session. The messenger, on his way, and at Charlestown, 
made the fact public that the British General had apologized 
for killing Sergeaut Tupper. A crowd gathered, suspicions oi 
treachery were rife, and the excitement was intense. They 
demanded that the dispatches brought by the messenger should 
be immediately made public. The situation was most critical. 
Had the dispatch been read, the negotiations must have been 
made public, and Vermont would have been lost without 
substantial resistance. 

The prudent Governor quietly announced to the excited 
people that the dispatches were very important, that he 
should have to peruse them in private, and would make them 
public next morning, after consulting the board of war. This 
satisfied the impatient multitude, and they dispersed. 

He called the board of war together. They were in the secret. 
They acted without hesitation. Then, as now, there were two 
parties. There wos one man, and probably only one man, who 
could revise hose dispatches, lay them before the people, and 
send them peacefully away. That man was the leader of the 
opposition to Chittenden and the Aliens. He was a young and 
able lawyer, who had recently come into the State, who sus- 
pected, but was not in the secret of the negotiations with the 
British. You might suppose they hesitated, lest he might ex- 
pose their plans, and advance his own party by their ruin. Not 
for one moment. They sent for him, laid open the whole 
matter, and asked his aid. And he was true as steel — swept 


aside evet; other coDsideratioo, and applied himseUt^ the work 
Id hand as earnest]; as if he hod been reeiKnisible for all the 
dealing with the emeny. St Legar's note, the dispatches from 
Enos and his Colonels, were placed in his hands, and he retired- 
The next nioming these papers were read to the Legislature 
and the people. There was not a word in them relating to the 
armistice or the n^^tiatioDS with Haldiman — not a word apon 
suspicion coold be fotmded. The excitement ceased. Legisla- 
tore and people went about their ordinary bosinees. The fell 
of Comwallis soon followed. St. Letter imd his arm; went back 
to the place whence they came, and once more the infant State 
was ont of danger. It is due to history to say that the young 
lawyer to whom I refer was Nathaniel Ghipman. 

To my mind there is a nobility in this high confidence be- 
tween opposing party leaders in the integrity of each other 
which takes tbem out of the ranks of party and raises them into 
the purer atmosphere of patriotism. 

I would also refer to some o! the piinciples dedaied in this first 
constitntion-its declaration 90 years in advance of the nation 
that " government is for the people, without partiality or preju- 
dice against any particular sect, class or denomia&tdon of men 
whatever" — that " all men axeequally free — that no person shall 
be held as a slave — that no man's religious opinions can be 
controlled by law — that afllrms the right to bear arms — the 
right to trial by jury — tho right to hold papers and property 
sacred from thu grasp of the bailiff or the ferret eyes of the 
detective — that it is the duty of every man to have some pro- 
fession, trade or farm— that public services deserves' compen- 
sation, but to where the profila of an office lead many to apply 
for it they onght to be lessened by tbo Legislature" — prindple^ 


a public servant, were qualities for which our ancestors were 
distinguished, and by the use of which they attained success. 

And they possessed another quality of which I ought to give 
you some illustrations. You may call it judicious selection, 
the skill which always selects the right man for a place, the 
choice of the -fittest — or by whatever name you please. 

This power of selection is one of the highest which men can 
exercise — the test of human ability — for no man from the Great 
Alexander to our own great soldier, who did not possess it, was 
ever successfol. We have a school in physics which declares 
that the economy of creation is based upon this principle of 
selection, and it has many able advocates, I have not time to cite 
cases. I will refer you to history for them. 

I will'sum up the argument on this point in a single proposi- 
tion. Whenever they had a pubhc duty to perform, they always 
selected their best man for that place, and when they had placed 
him there instead of engaging in petty warfare upon him, they 
sustained him by their counsel and advice — ^yes, by their fortunes 
and their blood. This support of their leaders is one of the 
noblest traits in their characters. Not more firmly and patient- 
ly until the going down of the sun did Aaron and Hur stay up 
the hands of Moses when they were heavy, than did these men 
sustain their leaders always, and especially in the dark and des- 
pondent hours, when they were most ready to sink under the 
weight of their burdens. 

I have thus given you an imperfect sketch of the leading char- 
acteristics of the men who founded Vermont, and whose memo- 
ries we delight to honor to- day. Imperfect as it is, it will sug- 
gest the question to you. Who are the men in our time who 
have shown themselves to be true heirs of these ancestral glo- 
ries ? Who that lives to-day is to be honored at our next cen- 
tennial as we honor these men ? Has human nature degenerat- 
ed? Is the race of great men dead ? No ! I answer a thousand 
times no ! 

The fault is with ourselves. We have departed from the ways 
of our fathers. We no longer act upon the principles through 
which they achieved success. 

No one will deny that as a nation we have departed from the 


faith and practice of Uie founders of Yennont. Not Vennonters 
aloDe — perhaps they have offended leas in this reflpeot than 
others — but all the people of all the States. The existing greed 
tor ofSce — ^that con-apting theory which defines office to be the 
spoil of the defeated, and the property of the saccesaftil politi- 
oisQ, the TiudictiTe spirit of party which diacoTers no virtue in 
a political opponent, and which strikes by foul means as readily 
as by fair — which seems to have driven oat of onr political life 
all the charncteristiG traits of the statesman and the gentleman, 
and to have substituted in their places the vocabnlaryoftbe fish 
market and the morals of the gnmbling house I which fiTln the 
party press with abusive attacks upon private character, and 
causes ncwspaperstoreek with scandals so foul that we fear to 
introduce them into our dwellings — these ore practices of receoit 
invention for which we shall search in vain the history of the old- 
en times. That theyQrehurtful,that in these daysthe greatest 
danger to our Republic and its perpetuity we know right weU. 
If I can say one word in this reBpect for reformation, if I can 
make one Vermonter adopt and practice henceforth the ancient 
and the better way, my time will not be wholly lost. 

That one of the necessary results of this diseased public ojnn- 
ion is to drive from public life a great number of our best men 
who ought to be there, yoa well know. It is a sacrifice at best 
for ft citizen to take office, but if when he leaves it he is to be 
subject to inquisition Iiis patriotism must be higher than the av- 
erage if it will induce him to enter public hfe at al!. Manyare 
lead iu consequence todespair of the Republic, for that is indeed 
a gloomy condition of public afiairs when bad men seek and good 
men will not accept public employment We should neither 
shun these fears nor entertain these anticipations. I do not be- 


citizen. Must a foreigner like Goldwin Smith remind us that 
our character and institutions have just been submitted to 
the tremendous strain of civil war, and that war hlwajs is fol- 
lowed by great disturbances in morals and business ? In our 
case, without preparation, we went from a condition of peace 
into the very whirl of rebellion. We suppressed it after years 
of fighting, and after we absorbed our mighty armies again into 
the pursuits of x>eace. We have done this with less of change, 
with less of danger to popular integrity than any other nation 
eyer experienced. In proof of this statement aUow me to refer 
to one or two periods and events in the history of the Anglo- 
Saxon race. I will take first that period of English history 
which followed the death of Queen Anne and the accession of 
that very fine and exemplary King, the first Greorge, during 
which happened those memorable events, the expulsion of 
James IL and the exclusion of his heirs from the succession. In 
this period occurred those awful massacres, proscriptions and 
executions in England and Ireland, which brought the country 
into the very horrors of revolution. The animosity of spirit 
which then characterized the two great parties ^as never 
equalled before or since. Whig and Tory became personal as 
well as political enemies. Each made the other odius by at- 
tacks which toudied the lowest depths of scurrility. A Tory 
paper was quite moderate which said " to desire the Whigs to 
forbear lying would be unreasonable. It is their nature and 
they could not subsist without it." The Whigs repHed with 
equal courtesy. The most abusive pamphlets, ribald and dis- 
gnsting, yes the foulest caricatures were openly sold in the pub- 
lic streets. "The Art of Billingsgate," and "Bobberies of a 
Jacobite Ministry,^' were popular publications. Paralysis of 
business, universal distrust, the Mug House riots. High church 
mobs, stock jobbing frauds, the Mississippi schemes, the South 
sea bubble ; the debasement of art and Hterature were followed 
by the impeachment of an entire ministry at the head of which 
were Bolingbroke, and Ormond. The excesses of the common 
people against the dissenters led them to cut ofif the ears and 
tail of an ox, to tie squibs and crackers in their places, and 
having lighted these they drove the tortured animal into a dis- 
senting diurch and congregation. 


All these excesses brought in the reign of libel and of attacks 
on personal character HJmilftr to that we daily read, for England 
had then traveled for » long difitanoe the rood apon whiob we 
have joAt entered. Tbere wero tben as I trust there are now a 
few men of both partias who were bold eitoogh to denoonoe the 
extremists and to cboi^ them with much of the respoosibiUtj 
for the existing corraption. Among them was Addison. Listen 
to his utterances on this subject in England in the year 1712 : 

" Would a gOTemmeQt set an everlasting mark c^ their dis- 
pleasore apon one of those infumoiiB writers who makm his 
court to them by tearing to pieces the reputation of a compet- 
itor, we should qoickly see an end put to this race of vermin 
that are a scandal to government and a reproach to fantnao 
nature. Such a proceeding would make a minister shine in 
history, and would fill all mankind with a juM abhorrence of 
persons who should treat him unworthily, and employ a, 
him those arms which he scorned to make use of against his 

" Every one who has in him either the sentiments of a Christian 
or a gentleman, cannot but be highly oflfended at this wicked and 
ungenerous practice, which is so mudi in use among us at pree- — 
ent that it is become a kind of national crime, and diatiDguiBLess 
us irom nil the goyemments that lie about us. Scurrilitf now-" 
passes for wit — and he who can call names in the greatest van — 
ety of phrases, is looked upon to have the shrewdest pen, By-= 
this means the honor of famiUes is ruined ; the highest posts— 
are rendered cheap and vile in the sight of the people, and the^ £»x^'~^ 
noblest virtues and most exalted parts exposed to the coiitempt> A<^^ 
of the vicious and the ignorant Should a foreigner who know? * 


in public life, the press and people of England shonld gloat over 
what they profess to consider our downfall, and hold np to view 
their own purity? Whatever others may say, England is the 
last countiy to attack any other on the ground of the immoral- 
ity of its goyemment or the corruptions of its public men. For 
erearj instance of a corrupt American, in which corruption was 
proyen, or even feared, a ^ore of worse cases in England may 
be produced. Do they charge Americans with the use of money 
in legislation,* they may find a precedent in their own Parlia- 
ment^ when the Speaker distributed the money and bought 
Parliamentary yotes enough to carry through a treaty. But it 
is undignified to pursue the parallel I unite with the whole 
American people in denouncing corruption under all its many 
forms ; I regret that we must admit its existence among us, 
but with them I demand that, like any other crime, it shall be 
proyen before I admit that it has infected the body of the peo- 
ple, and when they cry of party, and party injustice, shall be 
heard no more, and all the wrongs committed and passionate 
conclusions reached in time of excitement are corrected, im- 
partial history will say, that during all the strain to which we 
haye been subjected in the past decade, the heart of the Amer- 
ican people was never infected but always pure, l&at the few 
exceptions existing only prove the rule, and that the disciphne 
which we now go through will bring us out finally as the first 
great nation who passed through a mighty war, to conquest 
and victory, and then absorbed her military strength into her- 
self, leaviiig no permanent influence upon the pubUc virtue or 
upon ancient institutions to which posterity cannot point with 
honor and with pride! 

For our future is full of hope. Has not England herself re- 
covered? She was once the country of pocket purchasable 
boroughs, the very sin^s of electoral corruption ; the capital of 
her aristocracy was invested in sinecure offices of honor and of 
profit Once she carried measures through wholesale bribery, 
and once as I have shown you, private character and personal 
integrity counted for as little as it apparently does with us. 
But now there is not a country on earth more free from general 
scandal ; none in which private character, whether of peer or 

616 ouB HATioHiL tvaoxx. 

pensant, stAtesmftn or private citizen, is more efiBoeotly pro- 
tected. It is shielded not only b; law, bat hy tbe higher law, 
of public opinion. True, occosionall; low and scnmlons cewft- 
paperB apnng ap, and achieves an ephemeral snocess by intro- 
ducing there the press warfare which we ongfat to condenm- 
A noted case of this sort arose oat of the Tichbome trial, and 
tbera are others more recent ; bat they are soon ornahed be- 
neath the force of law and pnblic opinion like nozons Termin. 

Bat this admonishes me to bring these deaaltory remarks to 
a close. I have fallen short of the demands of the occasion 
and of yoor just expectations. It is a great occasion. Never 
since the landing on Plymoath Bock has the Nation kept soch 
a holiday. It is a great occasion for Vennont Throogbont 
twenty-^ix yoara our fathers toiled and labored, SofTered and 
and bled for the right to enter the Union of the States. To-day 
no member has a place of higher honor. This day is welcomed 
throughout the nation as the greatest thanksgiving erer cele- 
brated. In it we cross the line of centuries and commence 
another period of onr national existence. Looking backward or 
forward we discover abundant reason why we should greet thin 
morning with a roar of rejoicing cannon, and flash upon the 
darkness of to-night the blazs of nniversal illuminatioti. It is 
a high privilege to stand before the people to-day gathered in 
mighty audiences in a thousand places, to recall to their minds 
the virtues and the glories of their ancestors. It is a grand 
expeiience, surrounded by the morning gloriesof that tientuty, 
standing before its open gate, to see spanning tlie entire hori- 
zon the bow of future promise to posterity and to humanly. 
Oura is n glorious heritage indeed. To learn how oar fothera 

lined it for us is nlso to Icam how we and o 


of tropical everglades, with its mines of gold and silver and all 
metak, its fertility in all tiiat sustains human life and promotes 
human comfort — ^inhabited by an intelligent and progressive 
people with room enough for thrice their number. Let it give 
thanks for the free constitutions under which aU the people live 
— for their wise legislatures, for their love of education, their 
general industry, frugahty, temperance and enterprise. Let it 
be said in their praise that they welcome to the protection of 
their flag the oppressed of every land, that no slave lives be- 
neath its folds> that no taint of color, no accident of birth ex- 
cludes any man from the highest privileges which that flag pro- 
tects, and let it proclaim the mighiy fact that the government 
under which we live has now been tested by the heats of a 
century, by foreign war and domestic rebellion, by all the acci- 
dents and all the events which have wrecked other governments, 
while it has only demonstrated the strength of ours, because 
of that still greater and more momentous fact that the strength 
of our government consists in the honor, the patriotism, and the 
integrity of the people, and if these virtues can be preserved, 
our nation will endure as long as earth endures, until the fount- 
ains of the great deep are broken up and the elements themselves 
dissolve in fervent heat A great thanksgiving of the people 
of a hemisphere forty miUions in number is an occasion of 
mighty signiflcance, when like ours it demands of all the world 
the recognition of the principles of popular government based 
upon virtue of the people. It reduces the service of political 
economy to a single axiom which a child can comprehend ; 
Pre9erve the virtue of the people ! Freaerve the virtue of the 
people ! ! Away with all political creeds and litanies, which re- 
quires philosophers to comprehend them and put them into 
practice. As stated in our flrst constitution, our government is 
for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, 
and it is built and for one century has been sustained upon the 
virtue and integrity of the people. 

Simple as this creed appears to be it imposes a duty upon 
every individual citizen. Because there is not now in all the 
nation, people more intelligent than that which I am address- 
ing, so there is no place where this duty is so easily performed 
as among such a p€(^ple. 


Will ;oa my friends undertake its perfomanoe, here in thu 
Queen Citf iind prosperous county, with all your Datnral and 
acquired advantages, your commnnitiee in which intelligence is 
so widely diffused. You have here, as yon alvrayB should hare, 
two political parties, each honest and earnest in itsconnotiona. 
£:ich is represcuted by an enterprising newspaper. WHl yon 
gentlemen who conduct these newspapers, take care that no at- 
tack npou the character of an oppodng candidate no gibe or 
slur, no libel or coarse insinuation finds a place in yom- col- 
umns? Will you give to your opponent credit for the same 
good intentions which you claim for yoarselvee? Ton lead^s 
of these parties, will you bo at the same time ooorteons genUe- 
meo, more ready to speak kindly than coarsely of the other 
Bide ? Will you set before your Lumblest followers an example 
of purity in speech and dignity of deportment, not alone in 
caiicneand convention, but in your daily life and couYersation ? 
Will you citizens one and all remember that except within the 
limited range of party elections, there should be no divisions 
among you? The word itself should be excluded from use. 
In your city and town governments, those little demoivacies in 
which great men have said our strength consisted, in your edu- 
cational systemB, your internal improvements, your plans for 
the reformation of the young, the suppori of the poor, and the 
pnniahment of crime— in the control of your pubUc libraries — 
in all your plans for the advancement of the people in litera- 
ture and the arts — in your charitable and benevolent institu- 
tions, will you come back to the ways of your fothers and prac- 
tice that unity for the results of which we give thanks this day? 
In these public matters will you employ the same discrettou 
which you use in yonr privMt,.' iiffaire. ^Vill you select the fit- 


of for the oommon good. What a factor would sach a state 
become in the future of our country. She would send repre- 
sentatives to both branches of Congress, whose public and pri- 
vate lives would honor their State and themselves, and she 
would keep them there so long as they gave her faithful service, 
and represented a state and not a party. Her judges would 
keep the records of her judiciaiy pure while the ermine of other 
States is draggled in the mire of political organization. And 
so in every station, high or low, there would be an honest, 
&ithfal pubhc servant laboring earnestly in the service of his 
employers and cordially sustained by the grateful praises of the 

Personal independence of opinion, perfect unity of the people, 
celerity of action in public affairs careful selection of the fittest 
man for every office, having in view the qualities which that 
special office demanded, the appropriation to the public service 
of the best men vnthout much regard to their opinions upon 
matters of private concern, charity for honest errors of judg- 
ment by public men, punishment with an unrelenting and mer- 
ciless hand of corruption and venaUty, svdft reduction to pri- 
vate life of the imfaithful pubhc officer, long service and cordial 
support of the faithful public servant, recognition of the value 
of good character in public life against assault, courtesy tovrards 
each other and personal friendship among pohtical opponents, 
mutual confidence between pohtical enemies in times of pubhc 
danger, a readiness to compromise extreme opinions upon the 
basis of mutual concession — ^these, if I read the lesson of their 
hves correctly, were the qualities which made our fathers suc- 
cessful Though few in numbers and weak in other resources, 
though surrounded by dangers apparently insurmountable, they 
were undismayed and unconquerable. Speaking through theii 
ovm hves to us, their posterity, they seem to me to recommend 
that we should protect our heritage and dehver it to our pos- 
terity by the exercise of the same virtuous qualities. 

It is said that in early days, when the future of Vermont was 
all uncertain, and enemies threaten her on every side, an Artist 
sketched her emblematic picture from a landscape which was 
spread out before him. We do not know his name, for he was 


only ft priTate soldier, vhoae brnkh was a knife point, and whone 
oanvaas was the hem that kept hie powder dry. In the ton- 
ground of his picture stood a lofty evergreen. It was the noble 
pine^ emblem of the l^aTest olan of Scottish monntaina — th6 
nnoonqtienible MoQregor. Its tmnk rose naked and majestic, 
skyward tor many tatJioios, and then threw oat its branches on 
ereiy side. It was a model of aelf-reliant independence, strong 
to resist the whirlwind and the etorm. Beneath it stood ttiat 
domestic animal whose product has given celebri^ to your 
dairies and wealth to their ownera On the right their emblem 
of agricultore, the plough, stood in mid-furrow ; on the left 
hand the acres of yellow grain attested that harreet followed 
seed in its appointed time. For in the background were two 
mouutain peaks, their bases fringed by broad intervals, shadowyT 
valleys and itdling hills, which suggested qoiet rivets and dysta 
brooks. Their flanks were covered as with a garment by dark 
forests, and their green tinted tops soared upward until they 
touched fleecy clouds which floated in an atmosphere of ctdor- 
leas purity. Across the depression between them rolled a wave of 
light which, spreading outward from a central focus, cast a soft 
halo over the whole landfcape ; out of it, over the far horizon, 
flashed the morning beams of the rising sun. Mountain, valley 
hill, plain, forest and cleared field seemed to spring into life as 
they were touched by the warmth of its early harvest rays. 
Beneath the artist wrote the word Vermont, over it the wonls 
" Freedam and Unity." He was at once historian, painter, and 
prophet He gave to Art a noble design, and to a State a motto 
and a seal. Vermont, the State which stands to-day in the 
prime and strength and full vigor of political manhood, an un- 
challenged witness of the patriotism and wisdom of her founders, 


virtaes. Let our children be ianght the lesson of a brave and 
earnest loyalty to the State and to each other. Let strife and 
riyalry exist only in enterprises for the public good. Then, 
when at the dose of each coming century, her children come 
together as we do now to take counsel from the lives of their 
anceeters^ and renew their resolutions for the preservation of 
the heritage, though other States may be whirled by the current 
of events toward revolution and ruin, there will be one State 
whose foundations only become more firm and strong as the 
weight of centuries settle them together — she is still the home 
of a f^e, virtuous, intelligent and brave people. Her name is 
Vermont, and her motto is ** Freedom and Uniiy,*^ 




8T*TE8 BOILDINO, 007INOTON, KY., JULY 4t^ 1876- 

The first of dramatists makes memory the warder of the brain ; 

and one of the first of thinkers, in ancient story, _makes history 
philosophy teaching by example. The recurrence of this anni- 
versary, for the one-himdredth time, rouses the memory and en- 
forces the example. The heroic actors and events, In the origin 
of many States of renown, are obacured or colored in the shadow 
of hblc ; they ore often illusive images, mere mental phantasms. 
The heroic actors and events of republican America <mi the other 
hand, are eminently real in substance and distinct in ontline. 
They are familiar in the emotions of 'popular affectdon — ideal- 
ized, — DO doubt, but real ; fixed as venerated portraits of the 
past on the endnriug canvass of history, the phenomena of their 
thcoties and of their practice still attract and instmct by their 
traditional presence. Indeed, their forms move, their voices 
speak, their eyes flash ; wo feel their breath and their potential 
spoil upon us. The great event thunders in the eor ; the hennc 
actors loom before the eye ; there is no mirage to obscure — no 
optical illusion to deceive, llieir principles were founded in 
truth OB unerring as the wisdom of creation; and when we at> 
tempt to speak of their titauic works, measored by the visible re- 
sults which form the actual and the indestructable of our day, 


Standing, as we now stand, inspired by such memories, and 
ennobled by such realities, at such a time, and in such a pres- 
ence, with solemn and imposing rites, the comer-stone has been 
laid of a massive and costly pile, for the administration of jus- 
tice, the receipt of revenue and the diffusion of intelligence. 

It is a fitting type of the solidity of our institutions, for it is 
as firm as the adamantine rock from which it was hewn ; it is 
a fitting emblem of our Federal Union, for it is Indiana marble, 
supported by Kentucky soil ; it is a fitting memorial of the 
benevolence of our form of government, for it is to establish jus- 
tice, diffuse intelligence, provide for the common defense, and 
promote the general welfare. In the language of Mr. Webster, 
we say : 

" Let it rise ! let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming ; let 
the earliest hght of the morning gild it, and parting day linger 
and play on its summit." 

The stoty of the origin and construction of our federative sys- 
tem, forms a link in the general development and progress of 
society at large. Pohtical and personal complacency, ordinarily, 
on these occasions, prompt us to contemplate the events com- 
posing it, apart from their essential affinities in the stream of 
progression which rises from immutable laws ; but amid the 
vicissitudes which encompass every movement in the growth of 
the human race, the link is never broken, the affinities are never 
dissolved ; they are inseparably bound up with the functional 
mass of causes and effects which come before and follow after. 

Human destiny is a unit in the tendencies of human govern- 
ment ; man is everywhere and at all times, philosophically, the 
same dramatic actor in a world of vanishing forms and immu- 
table laws. States and nations, or other similar divisions or 
societies of men make, as strong as iron and as durable as brass, 
constitutions and compacts, institutes and codes, statutes and 
ordinances, and while yet they waking dream of the permanency 
of their statecraft, the fabric crumbles, and anon the remnants 
are fashioned into new forms, alike subject to like tempests of 

The political state of man is that of constitutional unrest ; his 
spiritual nature is dissatisfied with his human nature ; he is in a 

53i ona hatioiul jubilem. 

conditioii of internal conflict ; be breaks orer barriers which Ilia 
imperfectionB interpose, and pnsbes atray from wbat is, to what 
IB to come ; the morcb of his career is orer a rough road of irri- 
tating iiDpediments, but it is a forward march. 

He confronts and tramples upon obstacles and diaaatera and 
strides over them — now constructii^, now dissolTiDg tcanm — 
impelled by immutable laws, bis course is always onward. 
" Empires are only sand-hills in the hour-glass of Time ; they 
crumble spontaneously away by the process of their own 

With our construction came Qreat Briton's colonial i 
tion. The poUtical ligament which bound us to her glorious 
and indomitable races was severed forever. A century has 
elapsed since her colonial empire was dissolved as to us, and 
since the federal structure of these States was founded. The 
comer-atone of a most complex edifioe was then laid, tedenl, 
state and municipal ; and wliile here the " sound of the axe, 
hammer and tool of iron," was keeping time with the music of 
falling forests, the war-whoop of the red man, the hum of in- 
dustry, and the grand diapason of the formation of Sovereign 

" A thonaand yeua aoanM Mrvs to tana • Btata. 
An hoar may 1^ it In th* dart--" 

then red havoc burst upon Europe ; land and sea shook viU) 
tile thunder of battle ; " the earthquake voice of victory," and 
started Britannia, whose march is o'er the monntain-vaTee," 
and whose "home is on the deep," maintained a long, bloody 

and doubtful, but finally trIumpUaot, struggle for her very name 


or the tyranny of the few, alternately shocked mankind with 
their competitiye atrocities. All Europe trembled with the tread 
of the squadrons and blazed with the fire of musketry and can- 

Suddenly all mankind paused to gaze upon a first-rate figure, 
of antique mould and pensive aspect, yet in the dawn of youth. 
He was a lawyer's son, an orphan of Corsica, a school boy of 
Brienne, a sub-lieutenant of artillery. He left school distin- 
guished in mathematics, tolerably versed in history and geo- 
graphy, a laggard in Latin and other studies of his course. He 
appeared in the streets of Paris without a sou. He wrot