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FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
of royalty, and found that the idol we bowed down to has eyes which see not, ears which hear not our prayers, and a heart like the nether millstone. We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven, and with propitious eye beholds His subjects assuming that freedom of thought and dignity of self-direction which He bestowed upon them. From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come!
Political right and public happiness, my countrymen, are dif ferent words for the same idea. Those who wander into metaphysical labyrinths, or have recourse to original contracts, to determine the rights of men, either impose on themselves or mean to delude others. Public utility is the only certain criterion.
Ye darkeners of counsel, who would make the property, lives, and religion, of millions depend on the evasive interpretations of musty parchments-who would send us to antiquated charters of uncertain and contradictory meaning, to prove that the present generation are not bound to be victims to cruel and unforgiving despotism tell us whether our pious and generous ancestors bequeathed to us the miserable privilege of having the rewards of our honest industry, the fruits of those fields which they purchased and bled for, wrested from us at the will of men over whom we have no check? Did they contract for us, that, with folded arms, we should expect from brutal and inflamed invaders that justice and mercy which had been denied to our supplications at the foot of the throne? Were we to hear with indifference our character as a people ridiculed? Did they promise for us that our meekness and patience should be insulted, that our coasts should be hăr assed, our towns demolished and plundered, our wives and offspring exposed to destitution, hunger, and death, without our feeling the resentment of mer without our exerting those powers of self-preservation which God has given us?
No man had once a greater veneration for Englishmen than I entertained. They were dear to me as branches of the same parental trunk, as partakers of the same religion and laws. I still view with respect the remains of the British constitution,
and fervid patriotism, of which these extracts give token, they will compare with the celebrated ante-Revolutionary harangues of Patrick Henry. Of the eloquence of Samuel Adams, John Adams has left the following record:
Upon great occasions, when his deepest feelings were excited, he erected himself, or rather nature seemed to erect him, without the smallest symptom of affectation, into an upright dignity of figure and gesture, and gave a harmony to his voice, which made a strong impression on spectators and auditors, the more lasting for the purity, correctness, and nervous elegance, of his style."
even as I would a lifeless body which had once been animated by a great and heroic soul. But when I am roused by the din of arms, when I behold legions of foreign assassins paid by Englishmen to imbrue their hands in our blood, when I tread over the uncoffined bones of my countrymen, neighbors, and friends, -when I see the locks of a venerable father torn by savage hands, and a feeble mother clasping her infants to her bosom, and on her knees imploring their lives from her own slaves whom Englishmen have lured to treachery and murder, when I behold my country, once the seat of industry, peace, and plenty, changed by Englishmen to a theater of blood and misery,- Heaven forgive me if I can not root out those passions which it has implanted in my bosom! Heaven forgive me if, with too resentful and impet uous a scorn, I detest submission to a people who have either ceased to be human, or have not virtue enough to feel their own servitude and abasement!
WE are now on this continent, to the astonishment of the world, three millions of souls, united in one common cause. We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior to most in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations, and foreign nations are waiting to crown our success by their alliances. These are instances of an almost astonishing Providence in our favor. Our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so that we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.
The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be perhaps humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom. Let us not look back, lest we perish, and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity, and a better preparation for defence; more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence will support us in the dignity of free, imperial States.
My countrymen, from the day on which an accommodation takes place between England and America, on any other terms than as Independent States, I shall date the ruin of this country. A
FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
politic minister will study to lull us into security by granting us the full extent of our petitions. The warm sunshine of influence would melt down the virtue which the violence of the storm rendered more firm and unyielding. In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war, and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. When the spirit of liberty, which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms, is extinct, our numbers will but accelerate our ruin, and render us the easier victims to tyranny.
Ye abandoned minions of an infatuated ministry,-if peradventure any should remain among us! - remember that a Warren and Montgomery are numbered among the dead! Con-template the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say what should be the reward of such sacrifices! Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plow and sow and reap to glut the avarice, of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war, to riot in our blood, and hunt us from the face of the earth! If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace we ask not your counsels or your arms—crouch down and lick the hands which feed you! May your chains set light upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!
THIS day we are called on to give a glorious example of what the wisest and best of men were rejoiced to view only in speculation. This day presents the world with the most august spectacle that its annals ever unfolded: Millions of freemen deliberately and voluntarily forming themselves into a society for their common defence and common happiness! Immortal spirits of Hampden, Locke, and Sydney! Will it not add to your benevolent joys to behold your posterity rising to the dignity of men, and evincing to the world the reality and expediency of your sys tems, and in the actual enjoyment of that equal liberty which you were happy when on earth in delineating and recommending to mankind?
Other nations have received their laws from conquerorssome are indebted for a constitution to the sufferings of their ancestors through revolving centuries: the people of this country alone have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth
or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote the public felicity, let him be the servant of the public!
And, brethren and fellow-countrymen, if it was ever granted to mortals to trace the designs of Providence, and interpret its manifestations in favor of their cause, we may, with humility of soul, cry out, NOT UNTO US, NOT UNTO US, BUT TO THY NAME BE THE PRAISE ! The confusion of the devices of our enemies, and the rage of the elements against them, have done almost as much toward our success as either our counsels or our arms.
The time at which this attempt on our liberties was made, when we were ripened into maturity, had acquired a knowledge of war, and were free from the incursions of intestine enemies, the gradual advances of our oppressors, enabling us to prepare for our defense,- the unusual fertility of our lands, the clemency of the seasons, the success which at first attended our feeble arms, producing unanimity among our friends, and reducing our internal foes to acquiescence, these are all strong and palpable marks and assurances that Providence is yet gracious unto Zion, that it will turn away the captivity of Jacob!
Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. Let us cherish the noble guests! Let us shelter them under the wings of universal toleration! Be this the seat of UNBOUNDED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! She will bring with her, in her train, Industry, Wisdom, and Commerce. Thus, by the beneficence of Providence, shall we behold an empire arising, founded on justice and the voluntary consent of the people, and giving full scope to the exercise of those faculties and rights which most ennoble our species!
If there is any man so base or so weak as to prefer a dependence on Great Britain to the dignity and happiness of living a member of a free and independent nation, let me tell him that necessity now demands what the generous principles of patriotism should have dictated.
We have now no other alternative than independence or the most galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains. Desolation and death mark their bloody career; whilst the mangled corses of our countrymen seem to cry out, as
CAUSE FOR INDIAN RESENTMENT.
a voice from Heaven, "Will you permit our posterity to groan under the chains of the murderer? Has our blood been expended in vain?”
Countrymen! the men who now invite you to surrender your rights into their hands are the men who let loose the merciless savages to riot in the blood of their brethren; who conveyed into your cities a merciless soldiery, to compel you to submission by insult and murder; who taught treachery to your slaves, and courted them to assassinate your wives and children; who called your patience cowardice, your piety hypocrisy! These are the men to whom we are exhorted to sacrifice the blessings which Providence holds out to us the happiness, the dignity, of uncontrolled freedom and independence.
Let not your generous indignation be directed against any among us who may advise so absurd and maddening a measure. Their number is few and daily decreasing; and the spirit which can render them patient of slavery will render them contemptible enemies. Our union is now complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved. You have in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies, and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom. They are animated with the justice of their cause; and, while they grasp their swords, they can look up to Heaven for assistance.
Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and who would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or against their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise, with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future! For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and the common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and Montgomery, it is, - THAT THESE AMERICAN STATES MAY NEVER CEASE TO BE FREE AND INDEPEND ENT!
XLV. CAUSE FOR INDIAN RESENTMENT.
You say that you have bought the country. Bought it? Yes: of whom? Of the poor, trembling natives, who knew that refusal would be vain; and who strove to make a merit of necessity, by seeming to yield with grace what they knew that they had not the power to retain.
Alas, the poor Indians! No wonder that they continue so