The American Revolutionary War of Independence

John Adams concerning the Constitution and Christianity

John Adams concerning the Constitution and Christianity [Click to enlarge]

The American Revolution profoundly influenced the later development of the United States. To appreciate that influence and understand the relevance of the Revolution to our own times is a challenge to every citizen. To respond to the challenge is vital, for an understanding of the past is necessary to meet the problems of the future. It is not given to a single generation to acquire wisdom if it ignores those who came before. The men of the Revolution knew this. When they faced the revolutionary crisis, they sought guidance from the past, from the writings of Roman historians and philosophers and 17th-century Englishmen—Algemon Sidney, Sir Edward Coke, and, above all, John Locke.

John Locke Quote Concerning the Bible

John Locke Concerning the Bible

As the founders profited from history, so may we. Almost before the Revolution ended they began to write its history—to record the events and clarify the ideals for posterity. We are posterity. If we would attain to wisdom and to an understanding of our heritage, we must understand the American Revolution. For surely an awareness of the magnitude of the sacrifices and an appreciation of the timeless quality of the ideals that brought our country into being will strengthen us as a people.

Many paths lead toward historical understanding. If they are true paths, they enter into the reality, into the presence, into an intangible yet authentic feeling of historic events and the men who made them. Of all the approaches to history, perhaps none communicates the past more directly and universally than physical evidence. An authentic structure or historic object in its original location can convey a sense of history unmatched by books or pictures. To stand in Independence Hall is to become a part of what happened there. To visit Morristown or Valley Forge is to enter into the lives and hardships of the soldiers of the Continental Army.

Great historians have recognized the importance of historic sites and have used them to impart a special life and authenticity to their works. Francis Parkman, for example, writing in the 19th century about the epic Anglo-French struggle for the North American continent, sought out the places where it happened. He followed in the footsteps of the armies and absorbed a feeling of the battlefields. He timed his visits and site studies to coincide with the season of the year in which the events occurred. The warmth or chill of the air, the sounds and colors of the woods and landscape, even the shades of night that were relevant to the historic event he tried to capture. By making the physical environment of his subject a part of his experience he added a new dimension to his histories. In them is a quality, an expression of the drama and meaning of the events, that has seldom been duplicated.
John Milton Quote Concerning Truth & Christianity

John Milton Concerning Truth & Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Few have the imagination and genius of a Parkman, but nearly all of us respond to the great scenes of the past. Visiting them heightens our awareness. It is our good fortune that a substantial number of the places associated with the history of the American Revolution have been carefully preserved. The people of the United States, acting as individuals, in private groups, and through their local, State, or national government, have wisely set aside historic sites and buildings or erected memorials where the Americans of almost two centuries ago acted out the drama of the War for Independence. Because of the foresight of all those who have contributed to the preservation of American Revolution historic sites and battlefields, we may look forward to the opportunity during the Bicentennial to recall the events that brought us independence and freedom and to reflect on their modern relevance.

The American Revolution was more than a war—more than colonies declaring separation from the mother country. It was genuinely a people’s revolution, a painful conflict that took its toll in divided communities as well as on the field of battle. The force of its ideas carried to many lands, and America became a model for men seeking a better world. The end of the war did not diminish the impact of these ideas. As Tom Paine foresaw, “The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind. . . . ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time by our proceedings now.�

Young men predominated among those who made and fought the American Revolution. Their ideas appeal to youth today. Their strength emanated from beliefs that still underlie American ways: that all men are by nature equal, that liberty is “inhered naturally in the people,� and that the power to govern is legitimate only when given by those over whom it is to be exercised. Consequently, it is in the tradition of America to question authority, to distrust it, and to give it constant scrutiny; to restrict the use of power over the lives of men; to grant status to men for their personal qualities rather than their lineage; and to raise institutions that express human aspirations rather than deny them.

Source: Report of the Secretary of the Interior to the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission:  Published by American Revolution Bicentennial Commission 1970

National Register Sons of the American Revolution Delaware

SAR

Among the monuments that grace
Thy realm, and mark some storied place,
Make room, oh, Liberty!
For one plain stone, to tell the world
Where first in battle was unfurled
The banner of the free.

The flag beneath whose graceful folds
Each man a crown and sceptre holds—
Each, king of this proud land;
But ‘neath its white and crimson bars,
Its azure field of glittering stars,
Is felt no tyrant’s hands.

They little knew, our honored sires,
That kindled freedom’s altar fires,
This flag came at God’s call.
Nor dreamed they of a day to be
When it should float on land and sea,
High-throned over all.

Come back, dear flag, with added stars,
Come, torn with storms of other wars,
Here was thy course begun.
High waving here ‘mid loudest cheers,
And looking out across the years,
Review thy victories won.

Come, spirits of heroic dead,
Who ‘neath this banner fought and bled.
That this soil might be free;
Inspire us as we gather round
The stone set in this holy ground—
A shrine of liberty.

God of our fathers, now let fall
Thy benediction over all
This land of ours, so fair;
Be with us while we dedicate
This sacred tablet to our State—
Beloved Delaware.

Samuel Adams Liberty and Freedom Require Virtue

 

Samuel Adams Regarding Our Liberties (Click to enlarge)

Samuel Adams Regarding Our Liberties (Click to enlarge)

ARTICLE SIGNED “CANDIDUS” (Pseudonym of Samuel Adams)
[Boston Gazette, October 14, 1771.]

Messieurs Edes & Gill,

“Ambition saw that stooping Rome could bear
A Master, nor had Virtue to be free.”
[From the poem “Liberty” (1734) by James Thomson, 1700-1748]

I Believe that no people ever yet groaned under the heavy yoke of slavery, but when they deserved it. This may be called a severe censure upon by far the greatest part of the nations in the world who are involved in the misery of servitude: But however they may be thought by some to deserve commiseration, the censure is just. [Ulriucus] Zuinglius [A zealous reformer, born at Wildehausen, in Switzerland, 1487 who laid the foundation of a division from Rome in Switzerland at the time that Luther did the same in Saxony], one of the first reformers, in his friendly admonition to the republic of the Switzers, discourses much of his countrymen throwing off the yoke: He says, that they who lie under oppression deserve what they suffer, and a great deal more ; and he bids them perish with their oppressors. The truth is, All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought. Is it possible that millions could be enslaved by a few, which is a notorious fact, if all possessed the independent spirit of Brutus, who to his immortal honor, expelled the proud Tyrant of Rome, and his royal and rebellious race?” If therefore a people will not be free; if they have not virtue enough to maintain their liberty against a presumptuous invader, they deserve no pity, and are to be treated with contempt and ignominy. Had not Caesar seen that Rome was ready to stoop, he would not have dared to make himself the master of that once brave people. He was indeed, as a great writer observes, a smooth and subtle tyrant, who led them gently into slavery; “and on his brow, ‘ore daring vice deluding virtue smiled “. By pretending to be the peoples greatest friend, he gained the ascendency over them: By beguiling arts, hypocrisy and flattery, which are even more fatal than the sword, he obtained that supreme power which his ambitious soul had long thirsted for: The people were finally prevailed upon to consent to their own ruin: By the force of persuasion, or rather by cajoling arts and tricks always made use of by men who have ambitious views, they enacted their Lex Regia [Royal Law, A law by which it was claimed that the legislative power was transferred by the Roman people to the emperor]; whereby Quodplacuit principi legis habuit vigorem [Justice is the constant and perpetual will to render to every man his due]; that is, the will and pleasure of the Prince had the force of law. His minions had taken infinite pains to paint to their imaginations the god-like virtues of Caesar: They first persuaded them to believe that he was a deity [Editors Note: reminds me how some thought Obama was a god and said as much], and then to sacrifice to him those Rights and Liberties which their ancestors had so long maintained, with unexampled bravery, and with blood & treasure. By this act they fixed a precedent fatal to all posterity: The Roman people afterwards, influenced no doubt by this pernicious example, renewed it to his successors, not at the end of every ten years, but for life. They transferred all their right and power to Charles the Great: In eum transtulit omne suum jus et potestatem [He transferred all his right and power to him.]. Thus, they voluntarily and ignominiously surrendered their own liberty, and exchanged a free constitution for a Tyranny!

Samuel Adams Regarding Our Duty in Elections (Click to enlarge)

Samuel Adams Regarding Our Duty in Elections (Click to enlarge)

It is not my design at present to form the comparison between the state of this country now, and that of the Roman Empire in those dregs of time; or between the disposition of Caesar, and that of:

The comparison, I confess, would not in all parts hold good: The Tyrant of Rome, to do him justice, had learning, courage, and great abilities. It behooves us however to awake and advert to the danger we are in. The Tragedy of American Freedom, it is to be feared is nearly completed: A Tyranny seems to be at the very door. It is to little purpose then to go about coolly to rehearse the gradual steps that have been taken, the means that have been used, and the instruments employed, to encompass the ruin of the public liberty: We know them and we detest them. But what will this avail, if we have not courage and resolution to prevent the completion of their system?

Our enemies would fain have us lie down on the bed of sloth and security, and persuade ourselves that there is no danger: They are daily administering the opiate with multiplied arts and delusions; and I am sorry to observe, that the gilded pill is so alluring to some who call themselves the friends of Liberty. But is there no danger when the very foundations of our civil constitution tremble?—When an attempt was first made to disturb the corner-stone of the fabric, we were universally and justly alarmed: And can we be cool spectators, when we see it already removed from its place? With what resentment and indignation did we first receive the intelligence of a design to make us tributary, not to natural enemies, but infinitely more humiliating, to fellow subjects?And yet with unparalleled insolence we are told to be quiet, when we see that very money which is torn from us by lawless force, made use of still further to oppress us—to feed and pamper a set of infamous wretches, who swarm like the locusts of Egypt; and some of them expect to revel in wealth and riot on the spoils of our country.—Is it a time for us to sleep when our free government is essentially changed, and a new one is forming upon a quite different system? A government without the least dependence upon the people: A government under the absolute control of a minister of state; upon whose sovereign dictates is to depend not only the time when, and the place where, the legislative assembly shall sit, but whether it shall sit at all: And if it is allowed to meet, it shall be liable immediately to be thrown out of existence, if in any one point it fails in obedience to his arbitrary mandates. Have we not already seen specimens of what we are to expect under such a government, in the instructions which Mr. Hutchinson has received, and which he has publicly avowed, and declared he is bound to obey?—By one, he is to refuse his assent to a tax-bill, unless the Commissioners of the Customs and other favorites are exempted: And if these may be freed from taxes by the order of a minister, may not all his tools and drudges, or any others who are subservient to his designs, expect the same indulgence? By another he is to forbid to pass a grant of the assembly to any agent, but one to whose election he has given his consent; which is in effect to put it out of our power to take the necessary and legal steps for the redress of those grievances which we suffer by the arts and machinations of ministers, and their minions here. What difference is there between the present state of this province, which in course will be the deplorable state of all America, and that of Rome, under the law before mentioned? The difference is only this, that they gave their formal consent to the change, which we have not yet done. But let us be upon our guard against even a negative submission ; for agreeable to the sentiments of a celebrated writer, who thoroughly understood his subject, if we are voluntarily silent, as the conspirators would have us to be, it will be considered as an approbation of the change. “By the fundamental laws of England, the two houses of parliament in concert with the King, exercise the legislative power: But if the two houses should be so infatuated, as to resolve to suppress their powers, and invest the King with the full and absolute government, certainly the nation would not suffer it.” And if a minister shall usurp the supreme and absolute government of America, and set up his instructions as laws in the colonies, and their Governors shall be so weak or so wicked, as for the sake of keeping their places, to be made the instruments in putting them in execution, who will presume to say that the people have not a right, or that it is not their indispensable duty to God and their Country, by all rational means in their power to Resist Them.

“Be firm, my friends, nor let Unmanly Sloth
Twine round your hearts indissoluble chains.
Ne’er yet by force was freedom overcome.
Unless Corruption first dejects the pride,
And guardian vigor of the free-born soul,
All crude attempts of violence are vain.

Determined, hold Your Independence; for, that once destroyed,
Unfounded Freedom is a morning dream.”

The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter.—Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember, that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event.

CANDIDUS

Samuel Adams Concerning Big Government Loving Liberal Democrats

Samuel Adams concerning the Loss of Religious Liberty (Click to enlarge)

Samuel Adams concerning the Loss of Religious Liberty (Click to enlarge)

Words written September 16, 1771 by Samuel Adams; signed “Candidus”  Reworked by the editor to fit what is happening in the United States today. The same as it was in his time by enemies of the American people who with similar motives, worked against groups of Patriots then fighting to save the liberties of the people to pass onto their posterity.

When the Constitution of the United States was framed their were the Anti-Federalists (TeaParty), the Federalists (GOP) and the British Loyalists (Democrats).

“Let us ascribe Glory to God who has graciously vouchsafed to favor the Cause of America and of Mankind” ~ Samuel Adams to James Warren 1777

It has always been their [Big Government Loving Liberal Democrats] constant endeavor by all manner of arts to destroy [American Liberty]. Against this, they have discovered a unanimity, zeal and perseverance, worthy to be imitated by those who are embarked in the cause of American freedom.—It is by united councils, a steady zeal, and a manly fortitude, that the Citizens of the United States must expect to recover its violated rights and liberties. They have been actuated by a conscientious and a clear and determined sense of duty to God, their King, their country, and their latest posterity.

The evils which threaten this injured country, arise from the machinations of a few, very few discontented men false patriots who are sacrificing their country to the gratification of their own profit and ideology. It seems of late to have been the policy of these enemies of America to point their weapons against these groups only [Tea Party Patriots, Social Conservatives and Christians]; and artfully to draw off the attention of other citizens, and if possible to render those groups odious [extremely unpleasant; repulsive] to them, while it is suffering governmental vengeance for the sake of the common cause. But it is hoped that the citizens will be aware of this artifice [trickery, deceit].

At this juncture an attempt to subdue these groups to despotic power, is justly to be considered as an attempt to enslave the whole. The citizens “form one political body, of which each is a member.”—The liberties of the whole are invaded— It is therefore the interest of the whole to support each individual with all their weight and influence. Whoever seriously considers the matter, must perceive, that a dreadful stroke is aimed at the liberty of Americans: For the cause of one is the cause of all. If the IRS, EPA, DHS, HHS and other government agencies may lawfully deprive Christians, social conservatives and Tea Party Patriots of any of their Rights, it may deprive any or all the other citizens of their Rights; and nothing can so much encourage such attempts, as a mutual inattention to the interests of each other. To divide and thus to destroy, is the first political maxim in attacking those who are powerful by their association And when the slightest point touching the freedom of a single Citizen is agitated, I earnestly wish, that all the rest may with equal ardor support their brother or sister.

These are the generous sentiments of that celebrated writer, whom several have made feeble attempts to answer, but no one has yet done it.—May the American Citizens be upon their guard; and take care lest by a mutual inattention to the interest of each other, they at length become supine and careless of the grand cause of American Liberty, and finally fall a prey to the Merciless Hand Of Tyranny.

SAMUEL ADAMS REGARDING THE AMERICAN CHARACTER

Samuel Adams: Character of Americans (Click to enlarge)

Samuel Adams: Character of Americans (Click to enlarge)

ARTICLE SIGNED “CANDIDUSâ€? Written by Samuel Adams

[Boston Gazette, September 9, 1771.]

Messieurs Edes & Gill,

Perhaps there never was a people who discovered themselves more strongly attached to their natural and constitutional rights and liberties, than the British Colonists on this American Continent—Their united and successful struggles against that slavery with which they were threatened by the stamp-act, will undoubtedly be recorded by future historians to their immortal honor—The assembly of Virginia, which indeed is the most ancient colony, claimed their preeminence at that important crisis, by first asserting their rights which were invaded by the act, and by their spirited resolution to ward off the impending stroke: And they were seconded by all the other colonies, with such unanimity and invincible fortitude, that those who, to their eternal disgrace and infamy, had accepted of commissions to oppress them, were made to shudder at the thought of rendering themselves still more odious to all posterity, by executing their commissions, and publickly to abjure their detestable design of raising their fortunes upon the ruin of their country. Under the influence of the wisest administration which has ever appeared since the present reign began: The hateful act was at length repeal’d; to the joy of every friend to the rights of mankind in Britain, and of all America, except the few who either from the prospect of gain by it, or from an inveterate envy which they had before and have ever since discovered, of the general happiness of the people of America, were the promoters if not the original framers of it. This restless faction could not bear to see the Americans restored to the possession of their rights and liberties, and sitting once more in security under their own vines and their own fig trees: Unwearied in their endeavours to introduce an absolute tyranny into this country, to which they were instigated, some from the principles of ambition or a lust of power, and others from an inordinate love of money which is the root of all evil, and which had before possessed the hearts of those who had undertaken to distribute the stamped papers, they met together in cabal and laid a new plan to render the people of this continent tributary to the mother country—Having finished their part of the plan, their indefatigable [John] Randolph was dispatched to Great Britain to communicate it to the fraternity there, in order that it might be ripen’d and bro’t to perfection: But even before his embarkation, he could not help discovering his own weakness, by giving a broad hint of the design—This parricide pretended that his intention in making a voyage to England at that time, was to settle a private affair of his own; that he had nothing else in view; and that having settled that private affair, he should immediately return, and as he express’d it, lay his bones in his native country. Full of the appearance of love for his country, he express’d the greatest solicitude to do the best service he could for it, while in England; but unluckily drop’d a question, strange and inconsistent as it may appear to the reader, “What do you think, sir, of a small Duty upon divers articles of importation from Great Britain?” No sooner had he arriv’d in London, than the news was dispatch’d from the friends of America there, of a design to lay a duty upon paper, glass, painter’s colours, and tea imported into America, with the sole purpose of raising a revenue —The lucrative commission which he obtain’d while in England, in consequence of the passing of the act of parliament, whereby he was appointed one of the principal managers of this very revenue, affords but little room to doubt what his intention was in his voyage to London, notwithstanding his warm professions of concern for his native country—It is not always a security against a man’s sacrificing a country, that he was born and educated in it. The Tyrants of Rome were Natives of Rome. Such men indeed incur a guilt of a much deeper dye, than Strangers, who commit no such violation of duty and of feeling.

There was another of the cabal who embark’d about the same time, but he was call’d out of this life before he reach’d London, and de mortuis nil dico [I speak naught of the dead]—Of the living I shall speak, as occasion shall call for it, with a becoming freedom.

The whole continent was justly alarmed at the parliament’s resuming the measure of raising a revenue in America without their consent, which had so nearly operated the ruin of the whole British empire but a few months before ; & that this odious measure should be taken, so soon after the happy coalition between Britain and the colonies which the repeal of the stamp-act had occasion’d; for if one may judge by the most likely appearances, the affections of her colonists, were upon this great event, more strongly attached to the mother country if possible, than ever they had been. But the great men there had been made to believe otherwise—Nay the governor of this province had gone such a length as to assure them, that the design of the Americans in their opposition to the stamp-act, was to bring the authority of parliament into contempt—Many of his adherents privately wrote to the same purpose—All which had a tendency to break that harmony, which after the only interruption that had ever taken place and that of short continuance, had been renewed, and doubtless would have been confirmed to mutual advantage forages, had it not been for that pestilent few, who first to aggrandize themselves and their families, interrupted the harmony, and then to preserve their own importance, took every step their malice could invent, with the advantage they had gain’d of a confidence with the ministry, to prevent it’s ever being restored.

Upon the fatal news (fatal, I call it, for I very much fear it will prove so in its consequences, how remote I will not take upon me to predict) upon the news of the passing of another revenue act, the colonies immediately took such measures as were dictated to them, not by passion and rude clamour, but by the voice of reason and a just regard to the safety of themselves and their posterity. The assembly of this province, being the first I suppose who had the opportunity of meeting, prepared and forwarded a humble, dutiful & loyal petition to the King; and wrote letters to such of the British nobility and gentry as had before discovered themselves friends to the rights of America & of mankind, beseeching their interposition and influence on their behalf. At the same time they wrote a circular letter to each of the other colonies, letting them know the steps they had taken and desiring their advice & joint assistance—This letter had its different effects; on the one hand, in the deep resentment of my Lord of Hillsborough, who was pleased to call it “a measure of an inflammatory nature—Evidently tending to create unwarrantable combinations, to excite an unjustifiable opposition to the constitutional authority of parliament and to revive unhappy divisions and distractions,” &c. While on the other hand, the colonies, as appears by their respective polite answers, receiv’d it with the highest marks of approbation, as a token of sincere affection to them, & a regard to the common safety; and they severally proceeded to take concurrent measures. No one step I believe, united the colonies more than this letter ; excepting his lordship’s endeavors by his own circular letter to the colonies, to give it a different turn—But however decent and loyal—However warrantable by or rather conformable to the spirit and the written rules of the British constitution, the petitions of right and other applications of the distressed Americans were, they shared the same fate which those of London, Westminster, Middlesex, & other great cities & counties have since met with! No redress of grievances ensued: Not even the least disposition in administration to listen to our petitions; which is not so much to be wondered at, when we consider the temper of the ministry, which was incessantly acted upon by Governor Bernard in such kind of language as this ” The authority of the King, the supremacy of parliament, the superiority of government are the real objects of the attack”; while nothing is more certain, than that the house of representatives of this province in their petition to the king, and in all their letters, that in particular which was address’d to the other colonies, the sentiment of which was recogniz’d by them, expressly declare, “that his Majesty’s high court of parliament is the supreme legislative power over the whole empire, in all cases which can consist with the fundamental rights of the constitution,” and that “it was never questioned in this province, nor as they conceive in any other.” They indeed in all their letters insist upon the right of granting their own money, as a right founded in nature, the exercise of which no man ever relinquished to another & remain’d free—A right therefore which no power on earth, not even the acknowledged supreme legislative power over the whole empire hath any authority to divest them of— “The supreme power says Mr. Locke, is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary, over the lives and fortunes of the people—The supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent. For the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into society; it necessarily supposes and requires that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that by entering into society, which was the end for which they entered into it. Men therefore in society having property, they have such a right to the goods which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take their substance or any part of it from them without their consent. Without this, they have no property at all: For I have truly no property in that, which another can by right take from me when he pleases, against my consent”—These are the principles upon which alone, the Americans founded their opposition to the late acts of parliament. How then could governor Bernard with any colour of truth declare to a minister of state in general terms, that “the authority of the King, the supremacy of parliament, the superiority of government, were the objects of the attack?” Upon the principles of reason and nature, their opposition is justifiable: For by those acts the property of the Colonists is taken from them without their consent. It is by no means sufficient to console us, that the duty is reduced to the single article of Tea, which by the way is not a fact; but if it should be admitted, it is because the parliament for the present are pleased to demand no more of us: Should we acquiesce in their taking three pence only because they please, we at least tacitly consent that they should have the sovereign controul of our purses; and when they please they will claim an equal right, and perhaps plead a precedent for it, to take a shilling or a pound—At present we have the remedy in our own hands; we can easily avoid paying the Tribute, by abstaining from the use of those articles by which it is extorted from us :—and further, we can look upon our haughty imperious taskmasters, and all those who are sent here to aid and abet them, together with those sons of servility, who from very false notions of politeness, can seek and court opportunities of cringing and fawning at their feet, of whom, thro’ favor, there are but few among us : we may look down upon all these, with that sovereign contempt and indignation, with which those who feel their own dignity and freedom, will for ever view the men, who would attempt to reduce them to the disgraceful state of Slavery.

I shall continue to send you an account of facts, as my leisure will admit. In the mean time,

I am yours,

“Candidus�

SAMUEL ADAMS CONCERNING TYRANNY AND TREASON

Samuel Adams Concerning Those Who Are Against True Americans (Click to enlarge)

Samuel Adams Concerning Those Who Are Against True Americans (Click to enlarge)

“In meditating the matter of that address [the first inaugural] I often asked myself is this exactly in the spirit of the patriarch of liberty, Samuel Adams? Is it as he would express it? Will he approve of it? I have felt a great deal for our country in the times we have seen. But individually for no one as for yourself. When I have been told that you were avoided, insulted, frowned on, I could but ejaculate, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ I confess I felt an indignation for you which for myself I have been able under every trial to keep entirely passive. However, the storm is over, and we are in port.â€? Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, 1801

“I can say he [Samuel Adams] was a truly great man, wise in council, fertile in resources, immovable in his purposes, and had, I think, a greater share than any other member in advising and directing our measures in the northern war especially. As a speaker he could not be compared with his living colleague and namesake whose deep conceptions, nervous style, and undaunted firmness made him truly our bulwark in debate. But Mr. Samuel Adams, although not of fluent elocution, was so rigorously logical, so clear in his views, abundant in good sense, and master always of his subject that he commanded the most profound attention whenever he arose in an assembly by which the froth of declaration was heard with the most sovereign contempt.� Thomas Jefferson to S. A. Wells, 1819.

 

ARTICLE SIGNED CANDIDUS, Written by Samuel Adams

[Boston Gazette, August 19, 1771.]

Messieurs Edes & Gill.

It has become of late so fashionable for some persons to make their addresses to everyone whom they call a great man, that one can hardly look upon them as the genuine marks of respect to any one who is really a good man. Their addresses seem to spring altogether from political views; and without the least regard to the character or merit of the persons whom they profess to compliment in them. From the observations I have been able to make, I have been led to think that one of their designs in addressing, is to give occasion to my Lord of H______ and other great men to think, or at least to say it, whether they think so or not, that the scales have at length fallen from the eyes of the people of this town and province ; and that in consequence thereof, they have altered their sentiments, & are become perfectly reconciled to the whole system of ministerial measures; for otherwise, they might argue, could they possibly be so liberal in their addresses and compliments to those persons who are employed, and no question, are very active in carrying those measures into execution. But I should think that if a question of this consequence, namely, Whether the people have altered their sentiments in so interesting a point, is to be decided by their apparent disposition to compliment this or that particular gentleman, because he is employed in the service of administration in America, it would be the fairest method to call a meeting of the inhabitants of the Town, duly notifying them of the occasion of the meeting, and let the matter be fully debated if need be, and determined by a vote. Everyone would then see, if the vote was carried in favour of addressing, or which upon my supposition is the same thing, in favour of the measures of administration, whether it obtain’d by a large or small majority of the whole; and we might come to the knowledge of the very persons, which is much to be desired, as well as the weight of understanding and property on each side.

For my own part, I cannot but at present be of opinion, and “I have reason to believe” that my opinion is well founded, that the measures of the British administration of the colonies, are still as disgustful and odious to the inhabitants of this respectable metropolis in general, as they ever have been: And I will venture further to add, that nothing, in my opinion, can convey a more unjust idea of the spirit of a true American, than to suppose he would even compliment, much less make an adulating address to any person sent here to trample on the Rights of his Country; or that he would ever condescend to kiss the hand which is ready prepared to rivet his own fetters—There are among us, it must be confess’d, needy expectants and dependents; and a few others of sordid and base minds, form’d by nature to bend and crouch even to little great men:— But whoever thinks, that by the most refined art and assiduous application of the most ingenious political oculist, the “public eye” can yet look upon the chains which are forg’d for them, or upon those detestable men who are employ’d to put them on, without abhorrence and indignation, are very much mistaken— I only wish that my Countrymen may be upon their guard against being led by the artifices of the tools of Administration, into any indiscreet measures, from whence they may take occasion to give such a coloring. “There have been, says the celebrated American Farmer, in every age and in every country bad men: Men who either hold or expect to hold certain advantages by fitting examples of Servility to their countrymen: Who train’d to the employment, or self-taught by a natural versatility of genius, serve as decoys for drawing the innocent and unwary into snares. It is not to be doubted but that such men will diligently bestir themselves on this and every like occasion, to spread the infection of their meanness as far as they can. On the plans they have adopted this is their course. This is the method to recommend themselves to their patrons. They act consistently in a bad cause. They run well in a mean race. From them we shall learn, how pleasant and profitable a thing it is, to be, for our submissive behavior, well spoken of at St. James’s or St. Stephen’s, at Guildhall or the Royal Exchange.”

We cannot surely have forgot the accursed designs of a most detestable set of men, to destroy the Liberties of America as with one blow, by the Stamp-Act; nor the noble and successful efforts we then made to divert the impending stroke of ruin aimed at ourselves and our posterity. The Sons of Liberty on the 14th of August 1765, a Day which ought to be forever remembered in America, animated with a zeal for their country then upon the brink of destruction, and resolved, at once to save her, or like Samson, to perish in the ruins, exerted themselves with such distinguished vigor, as made the house of Dogon to shake from its very foundation; and the hopes of the lords of the Philistines even while their hearts were merry, and when they were anticipating the joy of plundering this continent, were at that very time buried in the pit they had digged. The People shouted; and their shout was heard to the distant end of this Continent. In each Colony they deliberated and resolved, and every Stampman trembled; and swore by his Maker, that he would never execute a commission which he had so infamously received.

We cannot have forgot, that at the very Time when the stamp-act was repealed, another was made in which the Parliament of Great-Britain declared, that they had right and authority to make any laws whatever binding on his Majesty’s subjects in America— How far this declaration can be consistent with the freedom of his Majesty’s subjects in America, let any one judge who pleases—In consequence of such right and authority claim’d, the commons of Great Britain very soon fram’d a bill and sent it up to the Lords, wherein they pray’d his Majesty to accept of their grant of such a part as they were then pleas’d, by virtue of the right and authority inherent in them to make, of the property of his Majesty’s subjects in America by a duty upon paper, glass, painter’s colours and tea. And altho’ these duties are in part repeal’d, there remains enough to answer the purpose of administration, which was to fix the precedent. We remember the policy of Mr. Grenville, who would have been content for the present with a pepper corn establish’d as a revenue in America: If therefore we are voluntarily silent while the single duty on tea is continued, or do any act, however innocent, simply considered, which may be construed by the tools of administration, (some of whom appear to be fruitful in invention) as an acquiescence in the measure, we are in extreme hazard; if ever we are so distracted as to consent to it, we are undone.

Nor can we ever forget the indignity and abuse with which America in general, and this province and town in particular, have been treated, by the servants & officers of the crown, for making a manly resistance to the arbitrary measures of administration, in the representations that have been made to the men in power at home, who have always been dispos’d to believe every word as infallible truth. For opposing a threatned Tyranny, we have been not only called, but in effect adjudged Rebels & Traitors to the best of Kings, who has sworn to maintain and defend the Rights and Liberties of his Subjects—We have been represented as inimical to our fellow subjects in Britain, because we have boldly asserted those Rights and Liberties, wherewith they, as Subjects, are made free.

When we complain’d of this injurious treatment; when we petition’d, and remonstrated our grievances: What was the Consequence? Still further indignity; and finally a formal invasion of this town by a fleet and army in the memorable year 1768.

Our masters, military and civil, have since that period been frequently chang’d; and possibly some of them, from principles merely political, may of late have look’d down upon us with less sternness in their countenances than a Bernard or a . . .: But while there has been no essential alteration of measures, no real redress of grievances, we have no reason to think, nay we deceive ourselves if we indulge a thought that their hearts are changed. We cannot entertain such an imagination, while the revenue, or as it is more justly styled, the Tribute is extorted from us: while our principal fortress, within the environs of the town, remains garrison’d by regular troops, and the harbour is invested by ships of war. The most zealous advocates for the measures of administration, will not pretend to say, that these troops and these ships are sent here to protect America, or to carry into execution any one plan, form’d for the honor or advantage of Great-Britain. It would be some alleviation, if we could be convinced that they were sent here with any other design than to insult us.

How absurd then must the addresses which have been presented to some particular gentlemen, who have made us such friendly visits, appear in the eyes of men of sense abroad! Or, if any of them have been so far impos’d upon, as to be induc’d to believe that such addresses speak the language of the generality of the people, how ridiculous must the generality of the people appear! On the last supposition, would not a sensible reader of those addresses, upon comparing them with the noble resolutions which this town, this province and this continent have made against Slavery, and the just and warm resentment they have constantly shown against Every man whatever, who had a mind sordid and base enough, for the sake of lucre, or the preservation of a commission, or from any other consideration, to submit to be made even a remote instrument in bringing and entailing it upon a free and a brave people; upon such a comparison, would he not be ready to conclude, “that we had forgot the reasons which urged us, with unexampled unanimity a few years ago—that our zeal for the public good had worn out, before the homespun clothes which it had caused us to have made—and, that by our present conduct we condemned our own late successful example !”—Although this is altogether supposition, without any foundation in truth, yet, so our enemies wish it may be in reality, and so they intend it shall be—To prevent it, let us Adhere TO FIRST PRINCIPLES.

“CANDIDUS�

The American Prayer-Book Revisions of 1773, 1785 and 1789

Thomas Jefferson Regarding the Advantages of Jesus (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson Regarding the Advantages of Jesus (Click to enlarge)

[Note: Full disclosure; I am neither Protestant, nor Catholic. I am what the Founders like Benjamin Franklin termed a primitive Christian. I am adding this note so that my readers do not get the impression I am something that I am not]

The American Prayer Book History:

Providing this bit of history to further demonstrate the importance of Providence [God], our Savior Jesus Christ and Prayer were to the forefathers. They ordered the Episcopal “Common Book of Prayer”  to be changed to better reflect the Revolutionary cause for independence in the united States in America, and the Constitution of the several States. Benjamin Franklin (fn.1)  in 1773 published an Abridgment of the Book of Common Prayer, anonymously with Francis Dashwood; who Franklin assisted at the request of Lord Le Despencer. Despencer also paid the expenses to have it published.

Prior to the Revolution the English Book of Common Prayer was used in the Episcopal churches in the colonies, as it was used in the English churches in England. Only one edition of it in English is known to have been published in America, and that was printed by William Bradford in 1710 under the auspices of Trinity Church, New York. Five years later a portion of the Prayer-Book, containing Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany, Church Catechism, etc., was translated into the Mohawk language, published in New York, and known as the First Mohawk Prayer-Book. Following this there were several adaptations of portions of the PrayerBook to devotional purposes, notably an Abridgement of the Book of Common Prayer, by Benjamin Franklin and Sir Francis Dashwood, printed in 1773; a Communion Office prepared by Samuel Seabury, Bishop of Connecticut, in 1786; a manual reproduced from the Scottish Liturgy of 1764; and the A, B, C, Church of England Catechism and Prayers,published in Philadelphia by the Academy of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The “Seabury Communion Office,” so-called, was prepared from the Scottish Communion Office, being in fact almost identical with that of the Office of 1764, with certain private devotions added to it. It was prepared by Bishop Seabury in pursuance of an understanding which he had with the Scotch Bishops when he was consecrated that he would endeavour to introduce the Scottish Communion Office into the services of the Church in America.

Worship according to the Book of Common Prayer was very objectionable to most of the first settlers of New England. Many of the early New England ministers had been driven out of England because they were unwilling to accept the use of the PrayerBook when Archbishop Laud sought to compel universal conformity in matters of public worship. In, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and other colonies to the south, a different feeling prevailed, and as persons were punished by law in New England for worshipping according to the Book of Common Prayer, so they were punished in Virginia for worshipping in any other way. The use of that form of worship, however, had gained ground even in the northern colonies, and at the time of the Revolution there were churches worshipping according to the Book of Common Prayer in all the colonies. After the Declaration of Independence, however, it was impossible for the priests to use the prayers for the King and the Royal family with loyalty to the new government, or even with safety to themselves. Such prayers were, therefore, omitted in most churches, and the use of the Prayer-Book made to conform to the new conditions as well as might be. When the independence of the colonies was acknowledged by England it became necessary to have the Book of Common Prayer modified to suit the new order of things, and it also became necessary to have bishops chosen and consecrated for an Episcopal Church in the United States. To preserve the apostolic succession it was thought by many that these bishops should be consecrated by the English bishops, but this could not be done without an act of Parliament permitting such bishops to be consecrated without taking the oath of allegiance to the English Crown. The Scotch bishops, however, had no such difficulty in their way, and the Reverend Samuel Seabury, having been recommended by the clergy of Connecticut, was consecrated as bishop by three Scotch bishops in Aberdeen, November 14, 1784.

In October of the following year a convention of sixteen clergymen and twenty-six lay deputies met in Philadelphia and prepared a Book of Common Prayer to be proposed for adoption by the Episcopal Church in the United States. Hence this book was known as “The Proposed Book.” The book made many important changes in the established Book of Common Prayer. It omitted the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds entirely, and also omitted from the Apostles’Creed the words ” He descended into hell,” etc. It contained a special form of prayer and thanksgiving to be used on the Fourth of July. This form was so framed that it could have been used but by few of the clergy without subjecting them to ridicule and censure, for most of them had opposed the Declaration of Independence and adhered to the Crown during the Revolution.

The Proposed Book was not well received, and was used in only a few places and for a short time. It was never, I think, used in New England. It was not even used as the basis of the Book of Common Prayer which was subsequently adopted by the Church in the United States. It is now very rare and only important as an incident in the history of the American Church. The Proposed Book was reprinted in England, and submitted to the English bishops for their examination in connection with the proceedings then on foot for the consecration of bishops in the United States. They disapproved the book because it omitted the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, changed the Apostles’ Creed, and contained a form of service to be used on the Fourth of July, and for other reasons.

In the meantime Parliament had passed an Act authorizing the English bishops to consecrate ” persons being subjects or citizens of countries outside of his Majesty’s dominions bishops” without their taking the oath of allegiance, and on Sunday the fourth day of February, 1787, in the chapel of Lambeth Palace, London, the Reverend William White was consecrated as Bishop of Pennsylvania, and the Reverend Samuel Provost as Bishop of New York. Each of them had been “elected to the office of a bishop” by a convention in the state for which he was consecrated as bishop, and the certificates of their consecration expressly state this fact. The consecration was by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of Bath and Wells and of Peterborough assisting.

On July 28,1789, a new convention of the Episcopal Church met at Philadelphia to endeavour to prepare a new Prayer-Book. The result of their work was a Book which was a revision of the Book of Common Prayer of 1662, and was published in 1790, to be in use from and after October 1 st of that year. It was printed in Philadelphia by Hall and Sellers, and its title was “The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David.” There was also printed and bound up with it the “Tate and Brady” metrical version of the Psalms and thirty-seven hymns, which were required to be used before and after Morning and Evening Prayer, and before and after sermons at the discretion of the minister. The whole of this metrical version of the Psalms was printed with the Book of Common Prayer in its successive revisions from 1790 to 1835. From 1835 to 1871 only selections were thus printed, and in 1871 the General Convention authorized the new Hymnal; and the “Selections from the Psalms of David” ceased to be printed with the Prayer-Book.

This American Book of Common Prayer had no civil sanction like the English Book, but was wholly the work of the clergy and the laity in convention. It has ever since been and is now subject to alteration to any extent by the action of both the clergy and the laity in two successive General Conventions of the Church in the United States. During the first century of its existence it has been revised seven times. These various revisions are called “Standard PrayerBooks.” The Book of 1789 is the first Standard. The second Standard was made in 1793; the third in 1822; the fourth in 1832; the fifth in 1838; the sixth in 1845 and the seventh in 1871. The eighth, which is the present Standard Book, was authorized by the General Convention in October, 1892, after the report of a committee appointed by it in 1880, who worked upon the matter for twelve years.

 

The American Prayer-Book Revisions of 1785 and 1789.

“There was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”—Rev. viii.:3.

It is most fitting that, in connection with the consideration of the “Standardâ€? Prayer Book of 1892, by the General Convention now in session in Baltimore, we should review the liturgical work our fathers did, and note the guiding principles which gave us the Prayer-Book of our first hundred years of life and growth.

Within the walls of Christ Church, Philadelphia, there gathered day after day the Churchmen of 1785 and 1789, debating, first, the changes rendered necessary to make the services “conformable to the principles of the American Revolution and the constitutions of the several States;” and secondly, the further alterations in the Book of Common Prayer which took shape in the “Proposed Book;” and then, in 1789, the practical return to the English Prayer Book as a model and guide in forming our present book. We may well and wisely review the work thus done. At our entrance upon a second century of autonomous existence; at the period in our history when the labors of a decade of years and more of liturgical study and legislation have resulted in the adoption of a new standard, we may profitably recall the story of the earlier revisions and consider in the light of a century’s experience the measures and men of 1785 and 1789.

A score or more of foolscap sheets, soiled and stained with age, largely in the handwriting of William White, and displaying the cramped, abbreviated style of writing he so uniformly employed, record the “Acts of the convention of 1785.” Of these, “The Alterations agreed upon and confirmed in Convention for rendering the Liturgy conformable to the Principles of the American Revolution and the Constitution of the several States,” afford us the results of the first attempt of our fathers at a revision of the Book of Common Prayer. It is certainly characteristic of the patriotic White, as well as thoroughly consonant with the environment of the revisers of 1785, that this first American liturgical document should begin with words such as these:

“That in the suffrages, after the Creed, instead of 0 Lord, save the King, be said, O Lord, bless and preserve these United States.”

The Churchmen of 1785 were patriots, and the shaping of our services, as we have them in the Book of Common Prayer we have used for a hundred years, was done by the very men who, in the halls of congress or on the field of battle, won for us our independence. It was the first expression of the autonomy of the American Church — this breathing, to the God who had given us our nationality, of the Church’s prayer for the benediction and preservation of the United States!

Following this patriotic aspiration were directions for the omission of the prayers for the reigning family of Great Britain, in the morning and evening services; the omission of the suffrages of the Litany for the king and royal family; and the substitution, in place of the suffrages on behalf of parliament, of the petition, “That it may please Thee to endue the Congress of these United States, and all others in authority, legislative, executive, and judicial, with grace, wisdom, and understanding, to execute justice and to maintain truth.” For the Prayer for the High Court of Parliament prescribed in the English Office when the Litany was not read, a Prayer for Congress was set forth. The Collect for the King’s Majesty was changed to comprehend “All in authority, legislative, executive, and judicial, in these United States.” The Collects for the King in the Communion Office were omitted, or similarly changed. In the answer in the Catechism to the question, ” What is thy duty towards thy neighbor?” the words, “To honor and obey the king,” were changed so as to read: ”To honour and obey my civil rulers.” In place of the observance of November 5th, January 30th, May 29th, and October 25th, a service was appointed “to be used on the Fourth of July, being the anniversary of Independence.” In the Forms of Prayer to be used at sea, the “United States of America” took the place of the reference to “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King George and his kingdom,” and the word “island” gave place to “country.” The words, “O Almighty God, the Sovereign Commander,” were omitted; and “the honour of our country” was substituted for “the honour of our sovereign.”

These changes were a necessity. At the breaking out of the war, the clergy who continued to use the state prayers in the service were subjected to interruption and insult, and often to personal peril. As the wish for independence took shape in the minds of the people, the clergy were forced to face the problem of ceasing their public ministrations, or of omitting these obnoxious prayers. In Christ Church, Philadelphia, the first formal and authoritative change in the services took place, even before its chimes had sounded far and wide, ringing in —responsive to the pealing of the State House bell—the proclamation of liberty to the world. On the Fourth of July, 1776, the vestry of this Church, from among whose worshippers and pew-holders fully half a dozen of the “signers ” were furnished, met, and ordered the omission of the prayers for the king and royal family.(fn. 2) The Virginia legislature, by formal vote, took the same step the following day. The vestry of Trinity, Boston, on the receipt of the news of the Declaration of Independence, directed their rector — the excellent Parker, afterwards the second Bishop of Massachusetts—to omit the same prayers. Elsewhere this course was followed, either by vestry vote or in glad recognition of the fact so often asserted by our fathers, and expressed in their language in the preface to our book of Common Prayer, that 4i When, in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to civil government, their ecclesiastical independence was necessarily included.” We may, then, in this connection, seek to emphasize the historic statement that in Christ Church, Philadelphia, and by the formal act of its constituted authorities, the Prayer-Book of our fathers was first adapted to the change in the civil relations of the people, and the freedom of the American Church from the duty of recognizing an alien ruler and a foreign domination first fully asserted to the world. Honor, then, is rightly due to the vestry and people of the united congregations of Christ Church and S. Peter’s, who were thus the pioneers in the work of American liturgical revision.

Bishop White tells us that at the assembling of the Convention of 1785 in Christ Church, Philadelphia, few if any of the delegates contemplated other or further changes in the Prayer Book than such as were necessary to make its language conform to the altered condition of civil affairs. The fundamental principles first formulated in White’s statesmanlike essay on The Case of the Episcopal Churches Considered, and clearly enunciated at the preliminary Convention of 1784—held in New York, and more generally attended than the meetings prior to the second Convention of 1789 —expressly limited the alterations of the liturgy to those rendered necessary by the civil independence already secured. In Connecticut and throughout New England, and in fact to a large extent in New York and New Jersey, the clergy and laity deemed themselves incompetent to undertake the revision of the liturgy while destitute of the episcopal order. So widely did this principle obtain that the Assembly of Virginia restrained the clergy by specific enactment from consenting directly or indirectly “to any alterations in the order, government, doctrine, or worship of the Church.” It was but natural, then, that the earliest representative gathering of American Churchmen from the various States laid down as a principle of the Church’s organization, that it “shall maintain the doctrines of the Gospel as now held by the Church of England, and shall adhere to the liturgy of the said Church, as far as shall be consistent with the American Revolution and the constitutions of the respective States.”

Even as late as May, 1785, the Convention of Virginia, untrammeled by the “fundamental principles” of the meeting in New York in 1784, gave an unwilling sanction to a review of the Prayer Book, accompanying its assent with the requirement of the continuance of the use of the English book “with such alterations as the American Revolution has rendered necessary.”

In the interval between the preliminary meeting of 1784 in New York and the gathering in Christ Church, Philadelphia, of the Convention of 1785, Seabury had been consecrated for Connecticut by the Scottish Bishops, and had been enthusiastically welcomed to his see by the representative Churchmen of New England and New York. At his first Convocation, held a few weeks before the meeting in Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1785, the Bishop of Connecticut, with the Rev. Samuel Parker, of Trinity Church, Boston, afterwards Bishop of Massachusetts; the Rev. Benjamin Moore, afterwards Bishop of New York, and the Rev. Abraham Jarvis, Seabury’s successor in the See of Connecticut, gave careful consideration to the matter of Prayer-Book alterations. But their action was confined to the changes deemed necessary to accommodate the Prayer-Book services to the civil constitution. “Should more be done,” writes Seabury to White, in giving an account of the Middletown Convocation, “it must be a work of time and great deliberation.” A Convention of the Churches of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, held in September, 1785, ratified the omissions and alterations agreed upon at Middletown, and postponed action on other proposed changes till after the Convocation appointed to meet at New Haven, and the Convention appointed to convene in Philadelphia.

Few more notable gatherings than that assembled in Christ Church, Philadelphia, in September, 1785, are recorded in our ecclesiastical annals. Sixteen clergymen and twenty-one laymen, of whom five clergymen and thirteen laymen were from Pennsylvania and one clergyman and six laymen from Delaware, formed this body, which organized under the presidency of William White, with the Rev. David Griffith, of Virginia, Washington’s friend and rector, as secretary. It is safe to assert that whatever may have been the results of this meeting, the rector and representatives of Christ Church, Philadelphia, certainly shaped its measures and largely influenced its decisions. Within these very walls consecrated to Church and country, where, a year before, the first ecclesiastical convention or council composed of laymen as well as clergymen had convened, it was fitting that the organization of the Church at large should be attempted. In this venerable Church, after deliberations and discussions occupying the careful thought and the earnest prayer of some of the foremost men of the time in Church and State, the foundations of the autonomous American Church were laid broad and deep. On these foundations was wisely, firmly, prayerfully, built the City of our God. Of these shapely stones was erected the fair structure, compactly fashioned, of the American Church. Within Christ Church walls, and under the overarching roof of this sacred temple, the corner-stone of our ecclesiastical system was laid.

The Convention of 1785 ratified and adopted the alterations of which we have already spoken as required by the changed conditions of civil affairs. But while this was the limit of its liturgical revision, so far as any formal or authoritative legislation was concerned, the Convention at the very outset assigned to the committee appointed to report the alterations contemplated by the fourth fundamental principle adopted by the New York meeting in 1784, the consideration of “such further alterations in the liturgy as may be advisable for this Convention to recommend to the consideration of the Church here represented.” The Dames of this committee are those of the leading Churchmen of the time. The clergymen were Provost, of New York, afterwards bishop; Abraham Beach, of New Jersey, one of the earliest to move in the matter of the organization of the American Church; White, of Pennsylvania, whose duties as president of the Convention practically prevented his service on the committee; Wharton, of Delaware, the first convert to the American Church from the Roman obedience; William Smith, removed from the charge of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, and now President of Washington College, Chestertown, Md., and Bishop-elect of the Church in that State; Griffith, afterwards Bishop-elect of Virginia; and Purcell, a brilliant but erratic clergyman of South Carolina. Of the laity there were the Hon. James Duane, of New York, a patriot and statesman; Patrick Dennis, of New Jersey, a man of character and note; Richard Peters, of Pennsylvania, a scholar, a jurist, and a vestryman of Christ Church; James Sykes, of Delaware, who had won distinction in the war; Dr. Thomas Craddock, of Maryland, a man of high character and wide influence; John Page, one of Virginia’s most noted sons; and the Hon. Jacob Read, of South Carolina, a leading patriot and publicist of his native State.

The pages of the journal contain little information as to the debates in committee or in Convention attending the preparation of what is known in liturgical history as the “Proposed Book.” Bishop White, in his Memoirs of the Church, adds but brief details to the scanty information which may be gathered incidentally from the manuscript memoranda and the unpublished or printed correspondence of the time. The changes finally agreed upon, comprising a thorough review of the Liturgy and Articles of Religion, were “proposed and recommended” for adoption at a subsequent Convention. The alterations were reported to the committee we have named, by a sub-committee, of which the Rev. Dr. William Smith was the leading spirit. We have the testimony of Bishop White that they were not reconsidered in the committee to which they were reported, and that even on their presentation in Convention “there were but few points canvassed with any material difference of opinion.” They were chiefly the work of the Rev. Dr. William Smith, whose preeminent part in this task of revision received the grateful acknowledgments of the Convention. To him, in connection with the Rev. Drs. White and Wharton, the publication of the Proposed Book was assigned. A wide liberty in the matter of further emendations or corrections was entrusted to, or certainly exercised by, the committee; and the published correspondence of the committee, carefully preserved by Dr. Smith and issued within the last few years by authority of the General Convention, is the chief source of our knowledge of the principles guiding the proposed revision.

With only marginal notices of omissions and additions which had been approved, correcting in manuscript the English books already in use, and with the manuscript schedule of changes suggested and proposed— a document still extant, and in its cramped chirography, with all its interlineations, corrections, erasures, facsimiled as one of our earliest liturgical authorities — the Convention, as a body, concluded its work of revision. There was no time or opportunity for putting these changes authoritatively in print; still, the Daily Morning Service, as proposed by the committee, was used on the closing day of the Convention. The journal records, under date of Friday, October 7, 1785, as follows: “The Convention met according to adjournment, and attended Divine Service in Christ Church; when the Liturgy, as altered, was read by the Rev. Dr. White, and a suitable sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Smith, after which the Convention adjourned,” etc. For this sermon Dr. Smith received the thanks of the Convention. In referring to the work of revision, he alludes to the work of the Convention as that “of taking up our Liturgy or Public Service where our former venerable reformers had been obliged to leave it; and of proposing to the Church at large such further alterations and improvements as the length of time, the progress in manners and civilization, the increase and diffusion of charity and toleration among all Christian denominations, and other circumstances (some of them peculiar to our situation among the highways and hedges of this new world), seem to have rendered absolutely necessary.” (fn.3)

The Proposed Book, after many and vexatious delays, at length appeared in print. Its reception, complete and in binding, is recorded by Dr. Smith in a letter addressed to Dr. White under date of April 29, 1786. Its publication awakened no enthusiasm, and it was soon evident, to quote the testimony of Bishop White, “that, in regard to the Liturgy, the labors of the Convention had not reached their object.” Even the committee entrusted with the preparation of the volume for tbe press felt and confessed the imperfection of their work. “We can only, in the different States,” writes Dr. William Smith to the Rev. Dr. Parker, of Massachusetts, under date of April 17. 1786, “receive the book for temporary use till our Churches are organized and the book comes again under review of Conventions having their bishops, etc., as the primitive rules of Episcopacy require.” South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania proposed amendments to the committee’s work. No Convention met in Delaware, and consequently no action respecting the book was taken. New Jersey formally rejected the proposed revision and memorialized the General Convention of 1786 with respect to “the unseasonableness and irregularity” of the alterations made by the committee of publication without the “revision and express approbation of the Convention itself.” The Convention of New York postponed the question of ratification of the Proposed Book “out of respect to the English bishops, and because the minds of the people are not yet sufficiently informed.” The prospect of the success of the efforts of the Convention of 1785, for securing the Episcopate in the English line of succession, served materially to hinder the ratification and general use of the Proposed Book. The objections urged by Bishop Seabury and the New England Churchmen to its adoption seemed cogent and convincing when echoed by the English archbishops and bishops. Some of the most glaring defects in this hasty and ill-considered revision were obviated by the action of the Wilmington Convention of 1786. The mutilation of the Apostles’ Creed, and the rejection of the Nicene Symbol, were now no longer insisted upon. The omitted clause, “He descended into hell,” was restored to the Apostles’ Creed, and the Nicene Creed was replaced in the Daily Offices. The temper of the times was becoming conservative. Catholic truth as held by Seabury and the Churchmen at the North was no longer decried. The crudity and incompleteness of the proposed revision was confessed by all. It practically died in the effort that gave it birth.

The action of the Wilmington Convention in removing the objections of the English archbishops and bishops to imparting the succession to the American Church sealed the fate of the Proposed Book. Its use had never been general, and in all but a few Churches it was now forever laid aside. In New England, its adoption by Trinity Church, Boston, was only temporary. At Trinity, Newport, R. I., the attempt to introduce it, we are told by Bishop Seabury, was productive of consequences that threatened the very life of the parish. Connecticut never admitted its use in any of its Churches, and in New York the influence of Provost was insufficient to secure its general introduction. It was used for a time in Christ Church, as in numerous Churches in the Middle and Southern States, but its omissions and alterations were generally distasteful, and it was, in all cases, after a brief time laid aside. The clergy returned to the use of their old office-books, the changes being noted in manuscript, as in the case of the Christ Church prayer books of the day, still religiously preserved, and showing the alterations made to render the service conformable to our civil independence and the constitutions of the independent States. (fn. 4)

In 1789 the General Convention of the Churches in the Middle and Southern States again convened in Christ Church, Philadelphia, but the desire for unity dominated in every mind the wish for liturgical changes or omissions. To the episcopate of Seabury, secured in 1784 from the Catholic remainder of the Church in Scotland, had been added the English succession conferred on White and Provoost at Lambefch in 1787. The Churches of the NewEngland States recognized Seabury as their head. The Churches of the Middle States and those at the southward were united in their acceptance of the episcopate as received from the Mother Church of England. To bring together the long-parted and ofttimes contending Churchmen of the North and South was the desire of well-nigh every heart. Through the mediatorial offices of Parker of Massachusetts — seconding and furthering measures recommended and approved, if not first suggested, by William White — this blessed union and comprehension were happily effected. The steps taken at the first Convention of 1789, held as so many of our noteworthy ecclesiastical assemblies have been from the first, in Christ Church, Philadelphia, resulted, at the second gathering of the Church in Convention in the same place and in the same year, in the welcoming of Seabury and the New England deputies to what was now in its fullest, truest sense a General Convention of the Church in the United States. In the State House, in the apartments of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to which the Convention had adjourned the day before, on Friday, October 2, 1789; by the signing of the amended Constitution, changed with this end in view, by Seabury and the New England deputies, the American Church was at length at unity in herself.

The revision of the Litany was now a primary duty. The Proposed Book does appear as a factor in the revision of 1789, which gave us the Prayer Book we now, after a century’s use, lay aside for the standard of 1892. (fn. 5) The New England deputies, under the lead of Dr. Parker of Massachusetts, who voiced the views and wishes of Seabury, “proposed that the English book should be the ground of the proceedings held without any reference to that proposed and set out in 1785.” Others contended that a liturgy should be framed de novo, “without any reference to any existing book, although with liberty to take from any, whatever the Convention should think fit.” The result of this discussion, so far as the House of Deputies was concerned, is seen in “the wording of the resolves as they stand in the Journal, in which the different committees are appointed, to prepare a Morning and Evening Prayer, to prepare a Litany, to prepare a Communion Service,” and the same in regard to the other offices of the Prayer Book. The phraseology employed in 1785 was to alter the services respectively. The latitude this change of action of the House of Deputies seemed to justify, was essentially modified by the general disposition of the Convention to vary the new book as little as possible from the English model, and the further circumstance that the House of Bishops “adopted a contrary course.” To this House of Bishops, meeting in the committee-room of the House of Assembly; and later, when “the public service” required the use of the apartment, in the apparatus-room of the College of Philadelphia; after divine service each day in Christ Church or at the College Chapel; and consisting of Seabury as Presiding Bishop, and William White—Provost being absent — is due much of the conservatism and Catholicity of the revision of 1789 as contrasted with the abortive attempt of 1785. The alterations, other than those of a political nature which had been earlier agreed upon, were mainly verbal, with the omission of repetitions. Additions were made to the Occasional Prayers; Selections of Psalms were inserted; and an Office for the Visitation of Prisoners, from the Irish Prayer Book, was added. A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving for the Fruits of the Earth was adopted — thus, first of all Christian bodies in this land, nationalizing the Thanksgiving observance. Forms of Prayer for Family Use, condensed from those of Bishop Gibson, were inserted. Besides these changes, Bishop Seabury secured the restoration to the Prayer of Consecration in the Holy Communion Office of the Oblation and Invocation found in King Edward VI.’s first Prayer Book and retained in the Scotch [Scot] Office.

In this notable improvement of the Liturgy, Seabury secured for the American revision of 1789 a closer conformity in the Eucharistic Office to primitive models, and fully met the requirement of the Concordat he had signed with the Scottish bishops on his elevation to the episcopate.

It is thus that there came down to us from the primitive days the prayers of the saints in the form and manner we have used them at our public devotions for a hundred years. Ours is the heritage of prayer coming from the historic past, and the very history of revisions and changes has an interest and value all will admit. “The prayers of my mother the Church,” cried the dying George Herbert, “there are no prayers like hers.” And we, conscious of what was secured to us by the men and measures of 1789, may thank God for the gift to us of that incomparable book of devotion which, with the slight changes and enrichments of our own revision, will, we fondly believe, be to us in the years to come what our fathers1 book of 1789 has been to us for the first century of our independent life. For the revision of 1789 — both for what it was and for what it superseded— we may ever thank our own and our fathers’ God.

 

Footnotes:

1: Benjamin Franklin during the Federal Constitutional Convention is also known for the following:

Mr. President

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other — our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many [nays] as [ayes], is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.—Our prayers, Sir, were, heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service

Mr. Sharman seconded the motion.

Mr. Hamilton & several others expressed their apprehensions that however proper such a resolution might have been at the beginning of the convention, it might at this late day, 1. bring on it some disagreeable animadversions. & 2. lead the public to believe that the embarrassments and dissentions within the convention, had suggested this measure. It was answered by Docr. Franklin, Mr. Sherman & others, that the past omission of a duty could not justify a further omission — that the rejection of such a proposition would expose the Convention to more unpleasant animadversions than the adoption of it: and that the alarm out of doors that might be excited for the state of things within. would at least be as likely to do good as ill.

Mr. Williamson, observed that the true cause of the omission could not be mistaken. The Convention had no funds.

Mr. Randolph proposed in order to give a favorable aspect to ye. measure, that a sermon be preached at the request of the convention on 4th of July, the anniversary of Independence, — & thenceforward prayers be used in ye Convention every morning. Dr. Franklin, 2ded this motion After several unsuccessful attempts for silently postponing the matter by adjourning. The adjournment was at length carried, without any vote on the motion.
2: Extract from ” Minutes of Vestry; March, i76i, to April, i784;” p. 338: “July4. At a meeting of Vestry at the Rector’s July 4, 1776. Present, Revd. Jacob Duche, Rector; Thomas Cuthbert, Church Warden; Jacob Duche. James Biddle, Robert Whyte, Peter Dehaven, Charles Redman, James Reynolds, Edmund Physick, Geradus Clarkson. Whereas, The Honorable Continental Congress have resolved to declare the American Colonies to be free and Independent States, in consequence of which it will be proper to omit those Petitions in the Liturgy wherein the King of Great Britain is prayed for as inconsistent with the said Declaration; Therefore, Resolved, That it appears to this Vestry to be necessary for the peace and well-being of the Churches to omit the said Petitions, and the Rector and Assistant Ministers of the United Churches are requested, in the name of the Vestry and their Constituents, to omit such petition as above mentioned.”

3: In this hasty revision, additional sentences were prefixed to the Order for Morning and Evening Prayer; the word Absolution was omitted from the rubrics in the daily Office; grammatical changes were made in the Lord’s Prayer; the use of the Gloria Patri was limited to its recital at the end of the “Reading Psalms;” in the Te Deum in place of “honourable” was substituted “adorable, true, and only Son,’ and for the phrase “didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb” was inserted “didst humble Thyself to be born of a pure Virgin;” the choice of Psalms and Lessons was left at the discretion of the Minister; in the Apostle’s Creed the article, ” He descended into hell,” was omitted; the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds were omitted; the suffrages after the bidding to prayer were abbreviated; the lesser Litany was shortened; for archaic words modern equivalents were substituted; verbal changes were made in the Offices; parents were allowed to be sponsors, the omission of the sign of the cross in Baptism, when particularly desired, was authorized; the phrases “I plight thee my troth.” and “with my body I thee worship,” and “pledged their troth either to other,” in the Marriage Service, were omitted; in tin Burial Office the restriction as to the use of the service in the case of those unbaptized was removed, the form of absolution in the Visitation Office was omitted, and the “declaration” in the daily offices substituted in its place, a form of Prayer, etc., for prisoners, agreed upon by the Irish Archbishops and Bishops and Clergy in 1711, was adopted with modifications, such as the substitution of the ” declaration ” for the Absolution, and the omission of the short collect ” O Saviour of the world,â€? etc.; in the Catechism the reply to the question, “When did you receive this name? ” was changed as follows: “I received it in Baptism, whereby I became a member of the Christian Church;” instead of the words “verily, and indeed taken,” in the explanation of the Sacraments, was substituted the phrase “spiritually taken;” the number of the Sacraments was expressly limited to ” two, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper;” a special prayer was inserted to be used after the General Thanksgiving instead of the service for the Churching of women; the Commination Office was omitted, the three collects being placed among the occasional prayers; twenty only of the XXXIX Articles were retained, and these were pruned and modified in their language; for the Psalter there were inserted Selections arranged for the morning and evening services for thirty days; some of the Psalms were wholly omitted, and others considerably abbreviated, the design being to obviate the necessity for the use of the “imprecatory” passages; a service was prepared for the Fourth of July; eighty-four selections of Psalms in Metre were added, and fifty-one hymns. Four leaves of tunes with the notes engraved were added at the close of the work. The title of this rare volume, of which four thousand copies were issued, but of which only a few still exist, is as follows: “The BOOK of COMMON PRAYER, And Administration of the SACRAMENTS, And other RITES and CEREMONIES, As revised and proposed to the Use of The Protestant Episcopal CHURCH, At a Convention of the said CHURCH in the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, And South Carolina, Held in Philadelphia, from September 27th to October 7th, 1785. Philadelphia: Printed by HALL and SELLERS: MDCCLXXXVI” This work was reprinted in London in 1780, and was highly praised in a critical notice in the Monthly Review (vol. 80, p. 337). It was reprinted in the Rev. Peter Hall’s Reliquia Liturgicae, and within the last few years it has been issued again and again as one of the documents of the “Reformed Episcopal Church.” The original is one of the earliest as well as rarest of the Ecclesiastical “Americana ” of the period.

4: On the eve of the Convention of 1789, under date of June 30 that year. Bishop Seabury gave fully and without reserve his criticism on the Proposed Book to his Episcopal brother of Pennsylvania:

“Was it not that it would run this letter to an unreasonable length, I would take the liberty to mention at large the objections here made to the Prayer Book published in Philadelphia 1 will confine myself to a few, and even these I should not mention but from a hope they will be obviated by your Convention. The mutilating the Psalms is supposed to be an unwarrantable liberty, and such as was never before taken with Holy Scriptures by any Church. It destroys that beautiful chain of prophecy that runs through them, and turns their application from Messiah and the Church to the temporal state and concerns of individuals. By discarding the word Absolution, and making no mention of Regeneration in Baptism, you appear to give up those points, and to open the door to error and delusion. The excluding of the Nicene and Athanasian Creed has alarmed the steady friends of our Church, lest the doctrine of Christ’s divinity should go out with them. If the doctrine of those Creeds be offensive, we are sorry for it, and shall hold ourselves so much the more bound to retain them. If what are called the damnatory clauses in the latter be the objection, cannot these clauses be supported by Scripture? Whether they can or cannot, why not discard those clauses and retain the doctrinal part of the Creed? The leaving out the descent into Hell from the Apostles’ Creed seems to be of dangerous consequence. Have we a right to alter the analogy of faith handed down to us by the Holy Catholic Church? And if we do alter it, how will it appear that we are the same Church which subsisted in primitive times? The article of the descent, I suppose, was put into the Creed to ascertain Christ’s perfect humanity, that he had a human soul, in opposition to those heretics who denied it and affirmed that His body was actuated by the Divinity For if when he died, and his body was laid in the grave, his soul went to the place of departed spirits, then he had a human soul as well as body, and was very and perfect man. The Apostles’ Creed seems to have been the Creed of the Western Church; the Nicene of the Eastern; and the Athanasian to be designed to ascertain the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity against all opposers And it always appeared to me, that the design of the Church of England, in retaining the three Creeds, was to show that she did retain this analogy of the Catholic faith, in common with the Eastern and Western Church, and in opposition to those who denied the Trinity of persons in the Unity of the Divine Essence. Why any departures should be made from this good and pious example I am yet to seek.

“There seems in your book a dissonance between the Offices of Baptism and Confirmation. In the latter there is a renewal of a vow, which in the former does not appear to have been explicitly made. Something of the same discordance appears in the Catechism.

“Our regard for primitive practice makes us exceedingly grieved that you have not absolutely retained the sign of the Cross in Baptism. When I consider the practice of the ancient Church, before Popery had a being, I cannot think the Church of England justifiable in giving up the Sign of the Cross, where it was retained by the first Prayer Book of Edward the VI. Her motive may have been good; but good motives will not justify wrong actions. The concessions she has made in giving up several primitive, and I suppose, apostolical usages, to gratify the humours of fault-finding men, shows the inefficacy of such conduct. She has learned wisdom from her experiences. Why should not we also take a lesson in her school’ If the humour be pursued of giving up points on every demand, in fifty years we shall scarce have the name of Christianity left. For God’s sake, my dear sir, let us remember that it is the particular business of the Bishops of Christ’s Church to preserve it pure and undefiled, in faith and practice, according to the model left by apostolic practice. And may God give you grace and courage to act accordingly!

“In your Burial Office, the hope of a future resurrection to eternal life is too faintly expressed, and the acknowledgment of an intermediate state, between death and the resurrection, seems to be entirely thrown out; though, that this was a Catholic. primitive, and apostolic doctrine, will be denied by none who attend to this point. The Articles seem to be altered to little purpose. The doctrines are neither more clearly expressed nor better guarded; nor are the objections to the old Articles obviated. And, united, this seems to have been the case with several other alterations: they appear to have been made for alteration’s sake, and at least nave not mended the matter they aimed at. That the most exceptionable part of the English book is the Communion Office may be proved by a number of very respectable names among her clergy. The grand fault in that Office is the deficiency of a more formal Oblation of the Elements, and of the Invocation of the Holy Ghost to sanctify and bless them. The Consecration is made to consist merely in the Priest’s laying his hands on the elements and pronouncing. ‘, This is my Body” etc., which words are not consecration at all, nor were they addressed by Christ to the Father, but were declarative to the Apostles. This is so exactly symbolizing with the Church of Rome in an error; — an error, too, on which the absurdity of Transubstantiation is built, that nothing but having fallen into the same error themselves, could have prevented the enemies of the Church from casting it in her teeth. The efficacy of Baptism or Confirmation, of Orders, is ascribed to the Holy Ghost, and His energy is implored for that purpose; and why He should not be invoked in the consecration of the Eucharist, especially as all the old Liturgies are full to the point, I cannot conceive. It is much easier to account for the alterations of the first Liturgy of Edward the VI., than to justify them; and as I have been told, there is a vote on the minutes of your Convention, anno. 1786, I believe, for the revision of this matter, I hope it will be taken up, and that God will raise up some able and worthy advocate for this primitive practice, and make you and the Convention the instruments of restoring it to His Church in America. It would do you more honour in the world, and contribute more to the union of the Churches than any other alterations you can make, and would restore the Holy Eucharist to its ancient dignity and efficacy. . . .

“Hoping that all obstructions may be removed by your Convention, and beseeching Almighty God to direct us in this great work of establishing and building up His Church in peace and unity, truth and charity, and purity.

“I remain with great regard and esteem,

“Your affectionate Brother and very humble servant,

“SAMUEL, Bp. Connect.” [A]

No more able or convincing arguments could have been prepared. The words of Seabury in this critique are worthy of the closest reading, the most careful consideration. They give us in calm and temperate language the plea of the New England Churches and their spiritual head for the primitive faith and order and the Catholic use.

[A] First printed in Perry’s Hist. Notes and Documents, forming Vol. III. of The Reprint of the Early Journals, 1785-1835.

5: Bishop White had written to Seabury, under date of May at, i787, that ” if it should be thought advisable by ye general body or our Church to adhere to ye English Book of Common Prayer (yc political parts excepted), I shall be one of ye first, after ye appearance of such a disposition, to comply with it most punctually. Further than this, if it should seem ye most probable way of maintaining an agreement among ourselves, I shall use my best endeavors to effect it At ye same time, I must candidly express my opinion, that ye review of ye Liturgy would tend very much to ye satisfaction of most of ye members of our communion, and to its future success and prosperity The worst evil which I apprehend from a refusal to review is this: that it will give a great advantage to those who wish to carry ye alterations into essential points of doctrine. Reviewed it will unquestionably be in some places, and ye only way to prevent its being done by men of ye above description is ye taking it up as a general business.”

Seabury had written to Parker of Boston, under date of February 13, 1788, ” I never thought there was any heterodoxy in the Southern Prayer Book; but I do think the true doctrine is left too unguarded, and that the Offices are — some of them—lowered to such a degree, that they will, in a great measure, lose their influence.”

It was, therefore, with the full approval of the men who certainly occupied representative positions in the Churches, both of the Northern, the Middle, and the Southern States, that the “Proposed Bookâ€? was laid upon the shelf at the meeting in 1789.

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Rush: The War of Independence and Future Hope for America July 4th 1776

Benjamin Rush: Father of American Psychiatry

BenjaminRushPaintingbyPeale

Benjamin Rush writes, to Rev. Mr. [William] Gordon, at Roxbury, Mass., December 10, 1778:

Dear Sir.

It gave me great pleasure to find from your last letter that your feelings & Opinions accord so exactly with mine on the present state of our Affairs. The time is now past, when the least danger is to be apprehended to our liberties from the power of Britain, the Arts of commissioners, or the machinations of Tories [British loyalists]. Tyranny can now enter our country only in the shape of a Whig [American Patriots]. All our jealousy Should be of ourselves. All our fears, Should be of our great men, whether in civil or military authority. Our Congress begin already to talk of the State Necessity, and of making justice yield in some cases to policy. This was the apology, I was told, for confirming the unjust Sentence that was passed upon General [Charles] Lee. Gordon tells us that in England, the Whigs in power are always Tories, and the Tories out of power are always Whigs. I think I have discovered Something of the same kind already in our country. In my opinion, we have more to dread from the Ambition, avarice, craft & dissolute Manners of our Whigs than we have from a host of Governor [George] Robinsons, Dr [John] Berkenhouts, [Thomas] Hutchinsons or [Joseph] Galloways. Virtue, Virtue, alone my dear friend, is the basis of a republic. “Fiat justitia, ruat coelum,” [Translation: “Let justice be done, though the heavens should fall“] was my maxim during the short time I acted for the public. I had no political Ambition to gratify. I neither feared nor courted any party. I loved liberty for its own Sake, & I both loved & pitied human nature too much to flatter it. But what was the consequence? my political race was Short. I thank my countrymen for dismissing me from their Service. I want no Offices nor honors from them. My temper & my business render me alike independent of the world. But still I will love them, & watch for their happiness. I long to see the image of God restored to the human mind. I long to see Virtue & religion supported & vice & irreligion banished from Society by wise & equitable governments. I long to see an Asylum prepared for the persecuted & oppressed of all countries, & a door opened for the progress of knowledge, literature, the Arts, & the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the ends of the earth. And these great events are only to be accomplished by establishing & perpetuating liberty in our country. O! best of blessings! Who would not follow thee blindfold? Who would not defend thee from the treachery of friends as well as from the malice of enemies? But I must stop. When liberty, the liberty we loved, and contended for in the years 1774 & 1776 is my Subject, I know not where to begin, nor where to end. 0! come celestial stranger & dwell in this our land. Let not our ignorance, our Venality, our luxury, our idolatry to individuals, & our Other anti-republican Vices, provoke thee to forsake the temple our Ancestors prepared for thee. Put us not off with Great Britain’s acknowledging our independence. Alas! the great Ultimatum of our modern patriots. It is liberty alone that can make us happy. And without it the memorable 4th of July 1776, will be execrated by posterity as the day in which Pandora’s box was opened in this country.

I am impatient to see your history. How many Chapters or Volumes have you allotted for the blunders of our Congress, & generals? Weak minds begin already to ascribe our deliverance to them. Had not heaven defeated their counsels in a thousand instances, we should have been hewers of wood & drawers of water to the Subjects of the king of Britain.

With compts. to Mrs Gordon &c. I
am yours sincerely,

B. Rush. Decr 10th 1778.

Revd Mr. Gordon, at Roxbury, near Boston.

Jean Lafitte: From Pirate to Patriot

Jean Lafitte

Jean Lafitte

Lafitte, The Baratarian Chief; A Tale Founded On Fact: From Pirate to Patriot.

“P. The man is a fool who surrenders himself to such unmanly, such womanish weakness.

L. Hast thou ever loved?

“P. Never.

“L. Then confine thy reproaches to subjects thou canst understand. The oak which has bowed to the blast may again become erect and majestic; the country which the earthquake has desolated may again become verdant and beautiful; but the heart whose finest feelings have been chilled by the icy hand of misfortune; whose fondest hopes have been destroyed in their bud, never recovers from the shock, but remains leafless, ruinous, desolate, and forsaken.” Old Play.

“May I never see the white cliffs of old England again, if I am not heartily glad to escape from this horrid hole!” cried, or rather muttered a weather-beaten, rough, hardy-looking seaman, as we seated ourselves Tinder the awning of the steamboat which was to convey us, with several other passengers, from the city of New Orleans, to vessels which were waiting for us at the English Turn. “I am an Englishman,” continued he, “and I care not who knows it—there is my home, and if I set my foot on that dear shore again, let me go to Davy’s locker if they again catch me in this land of Frenchmen and Mulattoes, Spaniards and Indians, Creoles and Negroes, and the cursed, quarrelsome Americans, too: —if you look squint at them, you are on your beam-ends in a moment I tread on their toes, bang’s the word, and daylight shines through you.”

As the honest tar appeared to be in a talkative mood, I determined to indulge his loquacity, and replied, “My good fellow, you appear to be quite out of humor to-day. I should conclude that you must have been shamefully misused. I have lived several months among these same Americans, and have no cause to complain of any ill-treatment whatever.”

“Several months!” echoed he, with an air of astonishment; “why, I had not been in port two days before I happened to tell a Kentuckian he lied, (and, by my soul, he did,) when he gave me a broadside which stove in my lights, and before I could muster to quarters, I was fairly carried by boarding—d**n him! but it was the first time that Anson Humber was obliged to strike his colors to a land-lubber.”

“I admit,” I replied, “that these Kentuckians are not the most polite people in the world; but if you keep on the right side of them, you will find friends till the last moment.”

“May I dangle from the yard-arm this minute,” cried the irritated sailor, “if I was ever able to tell the larboard from the starboard side of these fresh-water lobsters; wear your ship which way you will, they always strike across the beam, and are ready for raking or boarding— and by Nelson’s right arm, (peace to his memory!) I had rather ship the heaviest wave of the Atlantic than have one of these madmen to deal with.”

“Perhaps,” I replied, “you ought to blame yourself for some of the treatment of which you complain; you know, when John Bull gets plenty of corn in his garret, he is apt to be proud and dictatorial.”

“Likely enough,” said he; “you know, too, when a sailor gets his ‘three sheets spread to the wind, he fears neither God, man, nor the devil; all seas are clear, and he cares for neither shores, rocks, nor quicksands. But what’s the reason you have escaped so well? It must be because you are a gentleman: no, that can’t be the cause either, for here gentlemen shoot one another for sport.”

“But that,” I answered, “is a kind of sport which I should not like; and the simple reason why I think there is no difficulty, is, because I have attended to my own affairs.”

“Perhaps so,” he replied. “Yesterday morning, I got up early, and took a tour up the river on—what d’ye call it—the lever, lev-lev—hang it, let the name go.”

“The Levee, my good friend, you mean.”

“Yes, that’s it—on the Levee—where I saw a boat’s crew anchor a wagon and approach the spot where, like a rat in the hold, I was snugly hid behind some orange-trees. A couple of them took their stations in line, and I perceived, that as soon as they could bring their guns to bear, there was likely to be some bloodshed. Good, thought I; if you will kill each other, the more the merrier. An attempt was made to induce one of them to strike his colours, but they were nailed to the mast, and could not be taken down. The battle commenced and the first broadside told well. One was damaged in the rigging, but the other went down to the bottom completely blood-logged.”

“That was a curious affair, indeed; what became of the rest of the party?” I asked.

Why, they made all sail for the city, and as soon as they were out of sight, I steered for the same port, and soon found myself safely lodged in my old berth,” was his answer.

During the latter part of the conversation, a person, whom I had not noticed before, attracted my attention; his countenance, when I was able to catch a glimpse of it, under the large hat, with its nodding plume, which covered his head and was pulled down with an evident intention of concealment, betrayed considerable agitation; and while Anson was describing, with the carelessness and volubility of an old seaman, the fatal duel he had that morning witnessed, he arose from his seat, and with hasty and irregular movements paced the deck, but maintained a steady and total silence. His form was not of that robust and masculine kind which denotes strength purely mechanical, but there was a firmness in his step, a lightness in his movements, and an ease and gracefulness in his carriage, which indicated strength, quickness, and decision. He was well dressed, and at his side hung a sabre of the most formidable dimensions; a pair of pistols showed themselves from his holt; but as at this place all went armed, his appearance in this respect would not excite remark. His complexion had evidently once been fair, but a southern sun had browned his cheeks till few lines were left of that roseate hue, which, from the traces visible where his curling hair had shaded his temples, it was evident had once predominated. His features were femininely regular; his forehead high and proudly arched, while beneath his eyebrows, black and waving, shone a pair of eyes, which, when agitated, appeared to flash lightning, and at a glance penetrate the secret recesses of the heart. I confess I trembled involuntarily when my eyes met his, as he started to his feet, when Anson described his position during the duel. Brown as was his complexion, an instant flush passed over his countenance, and he placed his hand on the hilt of the sabre in a manner which showed he was accustomed to its use. It was, however, as instantly dropped to his side, and he resumed his former position with as much indifference as though nothing had occurred. A pair of whiskers of the most enormous size shaded his cheeks, and really met under his chin, proving the service to which he was attached, and completed the outline of the person who had so strongly engaged my attention, and who exhibited an appearance of coolness, daring, and intrepidity, which I had never before witnessed.

While I was surveying this person, Anson, undisturbed by my inattention, had continued his chatter, and it was not until I heard the word pirate, that I was roused from my revery.

“What is that about pirates!” I inquired; “was any thing said about them in the city?”

“Nothing,” said Anson, “but that there are some of the sharks off the river; and I heard one fellow swear roundly that he yesterday saw the piratical chief.”

“Why,” I replied, “did he not lodge an information against him, and let him receive the punishment due such a crime?â€?

Ah! that’s the very question I asked the fellow myself,” answered Anson, “and offered, besides, to assist in securing him, and taking him to the yard-arm, if necessary; but the fellow said it would be as much as his head was worth to think of any such thing; besides, he might want a favour himself in that line some day or other, and it was best not to meddle with other folks’ matters.”

“Well, Anson,” said I, “if they meddle with us, we must pay them in their own coin; and it will not be your fault, I presume, if they do not receive change to the full amount.”

“No, it will not—but they said,” continued Anson, “that the chief of the gang killed a man yesterday, because he recog-recog-recognised, I think they called it—and charged the fellow with being the robber of his vessel and cargo. I do not mean he stabbed him in the dark, as a Spaniard or Frenchman would, but he told him it was false: so they shot at one another like gentlemen.”

The stranger again rose from his seat and walked across the deck, but remained silent. By this time, Anson had talked himself out of breath, and concluded to take a bit of a nap on the deck; and as the stranger appeared to shun observation, and showed no disposition to converse, we dropped down the river in silence.

Evening found us on board the fine stout brig Cleopatra, laden with indigo, cochineal, and a quantity of specie. She was a British vessel, just arrived from Santa Cruz, and employed as a cartel in exchanging some prisoners, by direction of the commanding officer on the West India station. From New Orleans she was to proceed to New York, and I gladly availed myself of the opportunity offered to visit my native region, from which business and war had so long kept me. The stranger, on parting with us as we went on board the Cleopatra, bade us adieu with the manners of a gentleman, and, while Anson Humber was cursing some of the rigging which had been procured at New Orleans, as a mere Yankee contrivance, he, in a half-suppressed tone of voice, whispered, “There are rovers on the deep; should difficulty overtake you, remember Lafitte.” As he pronounced these words, he leaped into a small boat which floated alongside the steamboat in which we had descended the river, and, amidst the darkness of the evening, was soon out of sight among the craft which almost covered the surface of the waters.

“By the powers !” exclaimed Anson, who had caught the tones of the stranger’s voice, low as they were uttered, “that is the very man who killed the other up the Levee yesterday morning: ah! I smell another rat, too; he is the pirate himself,” continued Anson, with a kind of shudder—” my head does not feel half so safely seated on my shoulders as it did ten minutes ago; but can we not overhaul him? I should like to lay alongside of him, well armed as he is.”

“If you should, Anson, brave as you are, it is my opinion you would find yourself in a more disagreeable predicament than when you were boarded by a Kentuckian. If, however, we meet with a pirate, we need fear nothing. A dozen such fellows as you are might enable us to bid defiance to old Neptune himself.” “You are right, sir,” replied the sailor, “while that flutters,” (pointing to the colours which streamed gayly in the wind,) “I will insure the safety of the Cleopatra. But I am so sleepy, that if the vessel was striking on breakers, or pirates were boarding, I could hardly keep awake.” So saying, he stowed himself in his hammock, and in a few minutes nothing was to be heard but the waves of the Mississippi as they dashed against the vessel, the measured pace of the sentinel as he traversed the quarter-deck, or the heavy breathing of those of the crew, who, after a hard day’s labour, were refreshing themselves in the sweet embraces of sleep.

I too threw myself on my bed, but not to sleep. A thousand circumstances united to interest my mind and keep me wakeful. I was about to return to the land of my fathers, the, home of my childhood. Home! that endearing word !—what tender recollections crowd upon die mind, when ten thousand charms of that delightful place present themselves in all their sweetness and freshness. Long as I had been separated from my native State—long as I had traversed the various regions of the globe—long as it had been since half the wide world had interposed between me and the place where I had first tasted the pleasures and pains of life, I had not forgotten a single scene around which memory lingered with such interest. The village spire, which threw its shadow over the green, where with the companions of my boyhood; we wrestled, jumped, laughed, ran, and sported, while the ball flew rapidly round the circle—the gloomy churchyard, which, when a truant boy, I had so often shudderingly passed, when the pale moon glimmered athwart the marbles which crowded the sacred enclosure, and, to my affrighted imagination, appeared to people the dreary place with the tenants of that world from which no traveller returns—the hills I had often climbed —the green valleys I had often crossed—the mountains among which I had so often roved in pursuit of such game as they afforded, all passed in review; and I even thought with rapture on the huge rock which was shaded with the branches of my favourite walnut-tree, and where, happy as the squirrel which barked over my head, I had spent many an hour, cracking the nuts which every wind made to rattle down around me.

The various countries and scenes through which I had passed since I first became a wanderer from the land of my childhood, now that my imagination pictured those wanderings as drawing to a close, rose in all their various shades before me, and the pains and pleasures of my peregrinations were again presented in bold relief by the powerful effect of memory. Over the civilized plains of Europe and the semi-barbarous regions of Asia I had roved. I had seen the aurora borealis dance over the regions of eternal frost—the sun in vain attempt to dissolve the chains which an Arctic winter had formed—and I had felt its fervid heat where equinoctial skies shed their debilitating and pernicious influence. I had traversed the plains of Orinoco, and the banks of the La Plata: I had climbed the Cordilleras, and, with the enthusiasm of youth, beheld the setting sun gild those bright isles of the Pacific, which are sprinkled in such profusion over the surface of its broad blue waters, and whose inhabitants are as guileless and unsuspecting as their skies are bright and cloudless. I had seen the St. Lawrence rolling its majestic stream, collected from a thousand lakes, to the ocean—and I was then floating on the bosom of the father of the rivers, which, rising among the frozen lakes and interminable forests of the north, discharges its turbid waters into the Mexican Gulf, amid the orange groves and sugar-plantations of the South; while, after years of absence had elapsed, I was about to visit the parental roof, with the intention of bringing my wanderings to a close, and spending the remainder of my days in quiet contentment and peaceful happiness. Nor was my interview with the stranger of such mysterious character and appearance forgotten. His apparent connection with the pirates, who, if report stated correctly, frequented the islands which lie off the Mississippi, and whose inhuman atrocities formed a common topic of conversation at New Orleans, I felt to be ominous of the result of our voyage; and although his words afforded a ray of hope to me, I wished I had not seen him.

Such were my feelings, as I in vain wooed the god of sleep for a temporary oblivion to my perturbed ideas; and it was not until the watch had been changed the last time that I fell asleep, from which I did not wake in the morning until the vessel was already several miles on her voyage. When I went upon deck, the vessel was floating along the current between the high woods which covered both banks of the river. Scarcely a breath of wind was to be felt—the sails hung idly against the mast, and we depended on the current alone to speed us to the ocean.

If ever there was a country over which the genius of desolation might be said to hold undisputed dominion, it is the region around the mouth of the Mississippi. Below Plaquemines it is one dreary and desolate marsh, covered with cane and reeds, and sinking gradually to the dead level of the Gulf. For miles before we reached the mouth of the river, the sea could be distinctly seen from the masthead, stretching away on each side of the point of land formed by the continual depositions of this mighty stream. Subject to overflow by the rise of the Mississippi or the inundations of the Gulf, and frequently submerged to the depth of six or eight feet by the autumnal tornadoes, no animals are to be seen; and the cormorant, as he wings his lonely way along these dreary shores, finds a precious resting-place on the banks of sand-shells which the continual breaking of the waves has raised around these pestilential marshes.

At last, the bar was passed, and we found ourselves on the broad bosom of the Gulf. The sailors, delighted with the prosperous commencement of the voyage, were all mirth and glee, and while the sails were filled with breezes which were hurrying us as we fondly imagined to New York, our port of destination, the can of grog circulated freely, and mirth and dance and song swept the hours rapidly away.

Our captain was an able officer, in whom we could repose the utmost confidence—the subalterns were experienced and attentive—the crew consisted of eleven hardy, rough sons of the ocean, making in all, including myself and two other passengers, about twenty souls on board. The vessel was a new stout ship, merchant rigged, but mounting six guns and well provided with arms and ammunition, and all the necessary implements of offensive and defensive war.—The day passed away, and it was not until the forenoon of the second day after leaving the river, that any thing occurred to vary the dull monotony of a sea-voyage. I was sitting in my cabin, arranging some packages of papers, &c, when I was roused by an unusual uproar on the deck, and the boatswain’s shrill whistle calling all hands to quarters. I speedily deposited in their trunks the papers I was reviewing, and hastened to the deck—before I reached which, however, I heard several guns fired.

The cause of alarm was a vessel of suspicious appearance, which had been bearing down for some time, apparently with the intention of crossing the Cleopatra’s course, and though the British colors were at the mast, (and they were within hail,) they neglected to answer the repeated call of Captain Bowden, who at last ordered a gun to be fired over them. To this no attention was paid—few men were to be seen on deck—and the vessel continued her course in a manner which indicated an intention to lay the vessel immediately on board our ship. At this moment, Captain Bowden hailed them and ordered them to keep off, or he would fire upon them; when the decks of the vessel were instantly crowded with armed men, the British colours were hauled down and the red flag displayed, and a heavy fire of musketry opened upon us from the pirate, for such it was evident she was. The guns of the Cleopatra could be brought to bear with admirable effect, and it was soon evident that if they could be prevented from boarding us, the conflict would not long remain doubtful.

“Three to one, my brave lads,” cried Captain Bowden, as through his glass he surveyed his assailants—” but were they five to one, we shall soon make them count one to two—sweep their deck, boys; we’ll teach the rascals to keep a respectful distance.” Finding his attempt to board unavailing, the pirate hauled out of reach of our small arms, which had done great execution among his crowded decks. The cessation of the contest was however but momentary—our assailants returned to the attack with fury, and, in spite of our exertions, succeeded in grappling our vessel. His decks exhibited a motley assemblage of ferocious-looking villains, black, white, and yellow, whose horrid imprecations and oaths were enough to appall the bravest heart, as, repulsed from our bulwarks in their attempts to board, it was only to renew the assault with double desperation and rage. Several of our bravest fellows had already fallen, when twenty or thirty of these tigers took advantage of a swell of the sea which brought the vessels in contact, and sprang on board the Cleopatra, sabre in hand. They were met by our crew with such vigour that scarcely had a minute elapsed before their numbers were reduced one half, and the remainder were wavering, when a fellow threw himself on board from the piratical vessel, put himself at the head of the assailants, and with shouts and imprecations urged his followers forward. “Hell and furies!” he cried, “shall these few men escape in this way? Send them to perdition in a moment. Remember, all or nothing.” Captain Bowden threw himself before the pirate, and a combat of the most obstinate kind ensued—terrific and desperate. A pause of some moments ensued among the other combatants, who suspended the work of death to witness a contest on which so much was depending. At last, British valour rose triumphant, and the pirate dropped mortally wounded upon the deck.

“Captain Bowden for ever!” shouted Anson, as the blood spouted from the mouth of the marauder mixed with curses and execrations, while he flew to finish the work of death upon the remainder. Anson’s bravery carried him so far that he was surrounded, and a blow was aimed at him which would have speedily sent him to Davy’s Locker, had not a blow from my sabre dropped the fellow’s head from his body, and his spouting trunk fell lifeless to the deck.

“That fellow is anchored where he won’t slip his cable these hundred years,” cried Anson, as he gave the head a kick, which sent it across the deck; “but never let me taste the roast-beef of old England again, if I don’t believe that you have wielded the sabre before now.”

“Very likely, my good fellow,” I replied; “but before we think o( roast-beef, we must rid the vessel of these villains.”

“Have at the rascals, then I” shouted Anson, as he thrust his sword to the hilt through the body of a huge negro, and before he had time to drop, seized him and threw him into the ocean. “The sharks may have him and welcome, if they can stomach the black dog; I won’t have such a stinking fellow on the Cleopatra’s deck,” said Anson, as the wave splashed against the vessel from the negro’s fall. Anson, however, had no time for soliloquizing, for he was confronted by a tall, weazel-faced Frenchman, whose rapid thrusts and skilful manoeuvres it required all his attention to meet. At last, thin as was the mark, Anson’s sabre hit, and the Frenchman fell.

“Cursed poor!” said Anson, as he placed his foot on the fallen foe and extricated his weapon; “thin as your frog-soup—a fellow might read the Assembly’s Catechism through you.”

At this instant, another vessel, which was within a few miles at the commencement of the struggle, and which, as the firing commenced, had approached us rapidly, now neared us sufficiently to enable us to discover, that, like the vessel with which we were already engaged, she was a pirate.’ When she was within fifty yards of us, her crew gave a shout, which was instantly echoed from our first assailants, and our decks were again crowded with a motley crew of desperadoes. “There is but one alternative,” said Captain Bowden to me, “we must conquer or die. Our situation is indeed desperate, but it cannot be so bad as to be hopeless.” So saying, he put himself at the head of the few remaining, and few indeed they were, for of the brave men who were so cheerful and happy in the morning, but six or eight were left—the rest lay mixed with the foes who were piled in slaughtered heaps around. Our charge was murderous, and the screams of the wounded and groans of the dying were heard above the dash of the waters, the din of the conflict, or the shouts of the combatants. The tide was quickly turned, and the deck was on the point of being speedily cleared, when a figure of the most athletic appearance, his face covered with blood from a sabre-wound in his head, around which a handkerchief was tightly bound, and his features distorted with rage, leaped from the deck of our first opponent, and, with sabre in hand, rushed upon Captain Bowden.

“Curse on your cowardice!” cried he to his followers, “shall two men drive you to the devil? If you want the whole prize, fight; if not, wait till you are obliged to share it with Lafitte.” The conflict was terrible. As Anson endeavoured to parry a blow aimed at Captain Bowden, the buccaneer, by a sudden wheel of his sabre, severed his shoulders from his body—I was covered with his blood—and giving a single groan, he fell lifeless art my feet.

“Poor fellow, thou shalt not die unrevenged,” I cried, and closed with his murderer.

By a violent effort, and before he could save himself from my impetuous attack, I had dashed him to the deck, and was on the point of transfixing him with my sabre, when my feet, which were wet with blood, slipped, and I fell upon my antagonist. He was too much injured by the fall to be able to avail himself of the advantage my accident had given him; but. I was instantly seized by a half-dozen of the pirates, and should have been speedily sacrificed, had not Captain Bowden thrown himself among them, and with his death-dealing sabre freed me from their grasp. I was hardly on my feet before the cry, “They are boarding us on the starboard quarter!” was heard; and I perceived a fresh band of murderers were already on board.

“If we must die, let us sell our lives at as dear a rate as possible,” said I to Captain Bowden; and we rushed upon the gang who were pouring upon the starboard quarter of the Cleopatra. Our swords soon thinned their numbers, but we were weary with slaughter, and there appeared no end to our toils. Four only of our crew were left, and we felt that we must soon sink under the overwhelming force which was pouring upon us from all sides. At that instant, a volley of musketry killed every man of our crew, who had hitherto escaped to assist us in stemming the torrent, and Captain Bowden and myself were surrounded by wretches, whose yells, oaths, and imprecations made them more resemble demons than human beings. To prevent being placed in a situation where we could not keep our enemies at bay, we retreated, or were rather carried by the crowd of assailants, to the corner of the vessel, where a pile of slain rose around us, and the deck was flooded with gore.

“Fools, to throw away your lives in this manner,” shouted a stentorian voice, from a person who was seen struggling through the crowd of assailants; “give them the cold lead!And this order was obeyed by a volley of balls, which brought Captain Bowden to the deck, while the life-blood flowed in torrents from his numerous wounds. “Oh, my dear wife and children! Great God, protect them!” was all he could utter before he was a lifeless corpse. The man who had given the order, and who, from his commanding manner, appeared to be the chief of pirates, had cleared his way through the assailants, and, with his drawn sabre, now confronted me. I rejoiced to see him, for his strength and the manner in which he wielded his instrument of death, convinced me that, if he conquered, my death could not be lingering—and if he fell, I should have the satisfaction of freeing the world of a monster.

The combat was obstinate: I fought with the hopelessness of desperation, and pressed my assailant so closely, that he found himself unable to resist the assault, when, by an unlucky blow, my sabre was snapped in a dozen pieces, and I stood before him unarmed and defenceless. Baring my bosom, I inwardly commended myself to my Maker, and told him to strike; but, to my surprise, he dropped the point of his weapon, and looking me earnestly in the face, as he wiped the blood from his brow, exclaimed—”Not when unarmed; brave men honour the brave—you are safe—remember Lafitte!” and I instantly recognised him as the person who had so strongly attracted my attention while on our voyage from New Orleans to the English Turn.

“Who is this, that preaches safety?â€? exclaimed a voice half choaked with rage, and in tones that made me shudder; “may damnation seize me, if he shall not atone with his blood for the murder of my brother!’ So saying, he fired a pistol, which would have shattered my brains, had not Lafitte, by an instantaneous and dexterous movement of his sabre, thrown his pistol into the air when the assassin was in the act of firing, by which means I was preserved, although I was so near that my face was severely burnt by the discharge.

“Were it not, Laborde,” said Lafitte, “that I apprehend the injury on your head has made you raving, this act of rebellion to my authority would be your last. But be careful how you tempt my forbearance too far.”

“Cowardly miscreant!” cried Laborde, “you think to rob me of my victim—but should hell, with all its legions arrayed against me, appear, I would be revenged. This vessel is my prize! this sabre shall keep possession, and this sabre shall revenge my brother.”

“Touch but a hair of this man’s head to injure him,” answered Lafitte, in a voice which showed he was accustomed to command, “and your life shall answer for that crime.”

“I care not for your threats—I bid defiance to your power; this fellow dies—nor shall heaven or hell prevent,” cried Laborde, as he flew at me with his sabre, but found his progress arrested by the herculean strength of Lafitte. “Here,” said the latter, calling some of his crew,'” take this fellow, and secure him in his vessel till he becomes more rational, and his rage has time to cool, or, by the powers above, he dies! —my authority shall not be trifled with.” He was seized, and by main strength dragged towards his ship, struggling and roaring like a mad bull, when, by a sudden exertion, he freed his arms, plunged a dagger to the heart of one of those who were endeavouring to secure him, and before Lafitte, who was giving some orders about clearing the vessels, was aware of his approach, he received a blow upon his head, which dropped him, stunned and senseless, to the deck. Lafitte’s sabre flew from his hand and fell at my feet, and ere Laborde could reach me, I was ready to receive him, as he rushed upon his devoted prey with the fury of a tiger.

“Now, cursed wretch, thou shalt die!—Lafitte himself cannot save thee!cried Laborde, his eyes flashing fire, his features distorted with rage, and yelling like a maniac. His ungovernable rage threw him off his guard, and as he made a desperate plunge at my breast, I parried the blow; his heart received the point of my weapon, and he fell lifeless upon the blood-covered deck. What would have been my fate from the rest of these wretches, had not Lafitte at that moment recovered his feet and stilled the commotion which was rising, is unknown. “Brave fellows,” said he, “in Laborde you behold the fate of him who dares to disobey my orders—shun his example. Let these vessels be taken to Barataria, and in them we shall find treasure equal to our utmost expectations, and which shall be equally shared by all.” A shout of approbation, and “Long live Lafitte!” rent the air. The decks were cleared of the dead, who, as well as the badly wounded, were committed to the waves; and when the setting sun threw his last rays on the topmasts of the Cleopatra, we were in full sail for the Island of Barataria, which I found was the rendezvous of the pirates who frequented the Gulf, and of whom Lafitte was the acknowledged chief.

The Island of Barataria, at which we arrived on the day after the capture of the Cleopatra, is one of those low, sunken islands, or rather clusters of sand-bars, which are so numerous in the Gulf of Mexico, hardly elevated above the reach of the equinoctial tornado, and, owing to the drought and heat, scarcely habitable for a considerable part of the year. Here, after considerable difficulty from intricacies of navigation, or unskillfulness of the pilot, we found ourselves at anchor, and Lafitte, accompanied by myself, immediately went on shore. A few groves of orange-trees, scattered peach-trees, and luxuriant vines were to be seen, which contrasted strongly with the few miserable huts which formed the establishment of these outlaws of civilization—this congregated mass of refuse from every nation under heaven. Plunder, assassination, and murder were here legalized. Power formed the only law; and every species of iniquity was here carried to an extent, of which no person who had not witnessed a similar den of pollution could form the most distant idea. In this place, which, as one of the pirates himself observed, “was a hell on earth, and well stocked with devils of all ranks and degrees,” were to be seen a few women, who vied with the men in trampling on all decency and decorum, and whose language and manners were a compound of all the vileness and profanity which could be collected from the wretches with whom they associated. If my first impressions were unfavourable, subsequent observations did nothing to remove them. The crews of the piratical vessels were landed—and when a division had been made of the plunder, commenced a scene of intoxication, gambling, quarrelling, and murder, which still chills my blood to remember, and which the sabre of Lafitte was required sometimes to subdue. He alone seemed to possess any command over his passions, and his voice was never heard among them in vain; while he shared the danger equally with the meanest sailor, whatever plunder was acquired was divided among them with the most scrupulous exactness. His influence over them was great, and their confidence in him unbounded.

Nearly three weeks passed away, and although I suffered at no time any contumely or insults from the pirates, and Lafitte always treated me in the most respectful manner, frequently requesting me to give myself no uneasiness, as, for whatever loss in property I might have sustained on board the Cleopatra, I should receive ample compensation, still I felt my situation irksome in the extreme. My anxiety was observed by Lafitte.

“I see,” said he, “you are anxious to leave us. I do not wish to detain you, for such company cannot be agreeable. Be patient a few days longer, and I will enable you to depart in safety. Would to heaven I could accompany you!” “And why can you not?” I asked; “what should make you hesitate? Such a life as this—one unvarying round of danger, fatigue, and crime, surely can possess no charms to a man whose very actions prove that he was born to a nobler, a better fate.”

“How,” said he, “can the notorious Lafitte, the chief of pirates, the commander of outlaws, the companion of murderers, the man whose very name carries terror from Carthagena to Havana, mix in the society of civilized men? Would the laws be silent? Would not the sword of justice leap from its scabbard at the very mention of my name? And these men, these pestilential humours in the body politic, is there not quite as much hope that justice will be done them, when collected in one mass, as when scattered abroad,to pollute the fountains of society, and spread their poisonous influence through the streams of social compact and order? As to this mode of living, it is the danger alone that furnishes to me its only charms; it is not for the sake of wealth—it is not for the bad eminence of being a sovereign among pirates; but it is because, when once unfortunate circumstances have made a man an outlaw, it is difficult to obtain admission into the pale of society; it is because I would willingly set my life on the hazard of a shot to free myself from misfortunes, which have followed close upon my heels ever since I had an existence, that you find me a pirate, a native of Barataria.”

“If I understand you, then,” I replied, “you would not hesitate to leave this place and these wretches to their fate, if the past could be buried in oblivion—if your offences against the laws could be cancelled and your safety insured.”

“Were there none concerned but myself,” he answered, “you would be perfectly correct; but these men I must not forsake—their safety must depend on my own. As to the rest, I can easily hear your implied assertion of guilt without being offended; it is scarcely possible for you to feel otherwise; but it is inevitable necessity alone that compels me to endure my present situation; most gladly would I quit it, but the hope is vain, and I must content myself to use my influence in restraining the atrocities of these men in the most effectual manner possible.” “Perhaps not,” I replied. “I know the chances are indeed small, but I think there is one in which exists a possibility of effecting your wishes; and I should be happy could I be the instrument of accomplishing them.” “Name but the means by which it can be effected,” answered he with earnestness, “and I shall feel myself for ever indebted to you.”

“I shall deal frankly with you,” I replied: “I know not on which side your feelings are enlisted in the contest which is at present raging between the United States and Great Britain; but I shall put the question plainly. Would you yourself embark in the cause of America, and use your exertions to induce your men to do so, if an act of pardon and oblivion could be obtained under the Presidential seal? ”

“Most willingly,” he answered; “let but the name of pirate be buried, and I pledge myself that these men will be found among the bravest defenders of the republic.”

“Then my best exertions shall be used in your behalf—your services will soon be wanted where they will produce the most effect. Great Britain is fitting out a powerful fleet in the West Indies, which is probably destined against New Orleans, and, from your thorough acquaintance with the whole coast of the Gulf, and the necessity of collecting a formidable force at that point, the Government of the United States would no doubt listen favourably to whatever overtures might be made in your behalf. There is one favour, however, which I shall insist upon from you, and which you will not refuse—a relation of the circumstances which induced you to become what you now appear to have been from youth, a pirate by profession.”

“By profession,” said he, smiling. “l am a pirate; but the time was when I was not. If it will be gratifying to you to have a knowledge of some of the events of my past life, I shall cheerfully comply with your request, although the recital will call to my mind scenes which have wrung my heart to its centre.

The county of Westchester, in the State of New York, was my birthplace : my name is Mortimer Wilson. In what manner I acquired my present name, you will learn from my story: it is sufficient that to the pirate I am known only as Lafitte. If to be born of honest, industrious, and respectable parents, be an advantage, that advantage I enjoyed;—if to be born of parents destitute of wealth, and compelled by misfortune to use every exertion to support a helpless and dependent family, be a disadvantage, I suffered. One of my earliest impressions, and one that I distinctly remember, was a determination to be rich; for my parents felt the evils of poverty, and riches, I imagined, furnished the means of gratifying our wishes, of whatever kind they might be. I had an uncle, living in the city of New York, a merchant of respectability, who, when on a visit to my father’s, noticed with pleasure my playfulness, repartee, and independence, and obtained my parents’ consent that I should live with him in the city, with the intention of introducing me into the mercantile business, should my progress answer the expectations he had formed of me. I was then ten years old, and my situation with my uncle was as agreeable as I could wish. His family was small, an only son and daughter, affectionate and lovely; they treated me as a brother, while, being a few years younger than myself, I obtained a complete ascendency over them; and I can safely say I knew no greater delight than witnessing and partaking in their happiness. I gave my uncle, by my proficiency in my studies, by my undeviating attention to business, and the love felt for himself and family, the highest satisfaction; nor do I remember his giving me a single unpleasant word during the whole time I resided under his benevolent and hospitable roof.

I had now reached my nineteenth year—and my uncle made me proposals of establishing me in the business on my own account, if I chose; generously offering to furnish me with whatever capital it might require—but observing, at the same time, that if it was agreeable to me, he should prefer having me continue the head of the establishment with which I was well acquainted, as it was his intention to retire from business, in favour of his son, and that nothing could please him better than to see us together advancing the interest he had laboured to acquire and promote. I assured the good man that nothing could be more gratifying to me than such an arrangement, and that his pleasure should always be a law to me; while I flattered myself that I had secured the great object of my wishes, wealth and happiness.

At, this juncture, my uncle received intelligence respecting a mercantile house in Charleston, with whom he was engaged in extensive transactions, that made it necessary for me to repair immediately to that place—and no time was lost in making preparations for my departure. I sailed for Charleston—reached that city in safety—accomplished the object of my mission—transmitted an account of my success to my uncle through the post-office—and while waiting with impatience the sailing of the vessel which was to convey me to the place where my fondest wishes were concentrated, I was attacked by the fever of the country, which raged with such violence that I was entirely deprived of my reason, and, for weeks, the friends with whom I resided despaired of my life. A strong constitution, however, enabled me to survive the attack, and, after some time, gleams of returning recollection and reason began to shoot across my bewildered imagination and memory. The first that I can distinctly recollect was a strong impression of a beautiful form which appeared to be hovering around me and administering to my wants. My imagination had converted her into an angelic being; and I fancied that I had already passed the tremendous ordeal which awaits the departed spirit—had been admitted into the mansions of the blessed, and that the form which I had beheld was my guardian angel, sent to console me for the troubles of the world I imagined I had left. Perhaps the sweet music of the piano, which, from the adjoining room, distinctly reached me, as fairy fingers pressed the keys, contributed to the delusion; for that I conceived to be the music of heaven’s minstrelsy. Returning reason, however, soon dispelled all these illusory dreams; and instead of a disimbodied spirit, I found myself a tenant of earth, and subject to the mutations of time.

I said all those illusory dreams were dispelled; but it was not so—there was one from which I could not, from which I did not wish to awake; with steps light and noiseless as those made by fairy feet— eyes brilliant and sparkling, as any that ever sparkled under the delightful skies of Italy—a form which, accustomed as I had been to the beauties of the North, far surpassed all that my imagination had ever conceived—this lovely creature watched over my bed, and though to me utterly unknown, manifested a sympathetic feeling for my welfare, a solicitude for my recovery, which endeared her to me, and caused my heart to flutter with an emotion it had never before felt.

Unable to lift my hand or utter a syllable without the greatest difficulty, I lay for hours viewing with rapture the angelic creature who hung over me, as she bathed my burning brow in the cooling fluid, or administered the reviving cordial; and when I had recovered strength enough to make the attempt of expressing my gratitude, she placed her white taper fingers on my lips, and with an accent which like an electric shock thrilled through every fibre of my own heart, required me to be silent.

“I am your physician,” added she, smiling, “and if you wish restoration to health, (heaven knows how much pleasure such an event would give!) you must follow my directions implicitly.” I moved my head in token of submission to her will, pressed her hand to my lips, and the blushing girl hastily quitted the chamber. The mystery which I had been unable to solve when reflecting on my fair attendant, as before my sickness I had never seen her, was unravelled when I had so far recovered as to be able to converse. I found myself under the hospitable roof of Colonel Mornton, a brother to the merchant on whose account I had visited Charleston, and to whose house I had been removed on account of its more retired character, and where I should be less liable to be disturbed by the noise and bustle of the city.

My fair attendant was an only daughter o/ the colonel’s, who had arrived in the city from a visit to Columbia during the first week of my sickness, and by devoting herself to my attendance, had voluntarily deprived herself of the charms which that season of the year presents to youth, when all its mirth and gayety, and crowded theatres, brilliant assemblies, splendid parties, and the fascinating ball-room, more than compensate for the deserted and dreary appearance of the city during the season when the malaria compels the inhabitants to seek refuge in the elevated parts of the country, or by a journey to the north, combine objects of pleasure and health, which are frequently so widely separated.

My health returned slowly—but never were days more delightfully passed than those which glided away in the company of Mary Mornton, the lovely person who had obtained so complete an ascendency over my whole soul, that the thought that returning health, much as I desired it, would hasten my separation from one whose presence I felt to be absolutely necessary to my happiness, threw a chill over my feelings; and I dismissed the unwelcome intruder as an enemy to my peace and happiness.

I had now so far recovered as to be able to receive company, and even to attend a few select parties, where I was introduced to a young lady, an intimate acquaintance of the lovely Mary’s, of the greatest accomplishments, and, as she fondly imagined, unrivalled beauty. On the most friendly terms with Mary, Miss Hanson was always received with pleasure at Colonel Mornton’s, and now that the rounds of pleasure had once been enjoyed, she became a daily visitor. Intent only on the transcendent excellence of the lovely Mary, I had no time to make comparisons between them; and had I undertaken it, they would undoubtedly have been partial. A brother of Miss Hanson’s, whose name was George, was frequently a visitor at my residence, sometimes in company with his sister, sometimes without; and although his cold, haughty, supercilious, and overbearing manner was far from agreeable, yet his rank, his station in society, and his prospects in life, contributed to give him an ascendency in all parties, which few felt inclined to dispute.

He had returned from Europe a short time previous to my arrival in Charleston, and the imposing superiority which a sea-voyage across the Atlantic enables a man to assume as a judge of manners and men, I concluded might not wholly have been laid aside. As it concerned myself personally, I cared but little about him; but there was one subject which gave me more uneasiness than any other, and that was the marked attention he paid to Mary. Though I closely observed her, I could see nothing in her conduct to justify any apprehensions—yet I confess i felt it would be morally impossible for her to reject the superior advantages which a union with this man presented above any I could offer.

“That is the most charming creature I ever saw,” said George to me, one evening, as we were together sitting on a sofa, while Mary and his sister were playfully discussing some question of fashion or taste, in another part of the room; “I have visited Paris and London, but, among all their fashionable circles and their beauties, I never saw a Mary Mornton. Who could have thought that the rosebud that I so heedlessly overlooked three years ago, when I left Charleston for Europe, would so soon have expanded into so beautiful a flower?”

“Perhaps no one,” I replied, with an air of indifference which ill accorded with my feelings. The compliment my heart told me was just, and I was inwardly pleased to hear it awarded, although I felt fearful of the result, should his preference be openly avowed. “Mary is indeed a fine girl—but I must be permitted to say the same of the greater part of the Charleston fair with whom I have had the happiness to become acquainted.”

“Ah, Mortimer,” said George, tapping me on the shoulder, “that maidenly blush of yours gives the lie to the pretended coldness of your words; but you had better be upon your guard, and not suffer her to run away with your heart—for it is well understood that Mary is to be mine.”

I started to my feet as he pronounced the last words, and was in the act of demanding an explanation, when I fortunately reflected that, by so doing, I must disclose what I most wished to conceal, and that I had no right whatever to make the demand; so I carelessly answered him, “that I did not consider my heart in so much danger as he supposed,” and that “Mary, if he obtained her, would doubtless make an agreeable companion.”

At this moment, Mary came laughing up to us, and taking my hand, “Mortimer,” said she, “our Miss Hanson insists on our passing the afternoon with her to-morrow, and I have promised you shall comply with her request. May I say you will do so?”

Certainly,” I answered; “l am too much indebted to you to make objections to what you propose.”

“Then I propose,” said Mary, “that you invite our friend George to forget Europe and become an American. He talks and acts as stately as if he thought of nothing less than Catholic Cathedrals, London Monuments, or Egyptian Pyramids. Now, George,” continued she, peeping archly in his face, “tell me seriously and soberly—did the belles of London or Paris eclipse the stars of our Western hemisphere?”

Upon my honour, Mary,” he replied, “the question has been fairly put, and shall be as plainly and promptly answered; it is, no! no!”

“Such, I knew, would be your answer,” replied the lovely girl. “I give you full credit for the sincerity of your reply.”

“My answer was given in sober earnest,” said George; ” and I again repeat, that the most fashionable circles of London or Paris cannot produce a parallel, in loveliness and beauty, to Mary”—

“Stop,” said she, interrupting him, “not another word of your European gallantry. Remember, Mary Mornton is a plain American girl, unaccustomed to compliments, and upon whom all such fine sayings are entirely thrown away.”

“You seem to speak, Mary,” he answered, “as if I had forgotten my country; I protest against such a supposition.”

“To-morrow we will see,” replied she, smiling, “whether I am correct.”

The carriage at this moment drove up to the door, and as I handed Miss Hanson into it, she pressed my hand and whispered, “You will not forget your promise—remember, my happiness depends on you!”

“Be assured I will not,” I hastily replied, as she drew her veil over her beautiful features—and the carriage drove off.

“Mary,” said I, after they departed, “you were too unmercifully severe with our friend George; it is well you are not a man, or you would be called out to answer for your plainness.”

“I know him well,” she answered; “at least as well as a person can know such a compound of hauteur and hypocrisy—and I neither fear nor love him. It is a disadvantage under which we girls labour, that we are obliged to listen to the impertinence of fools, and we are charged with doing so because it pleases us.”

She looked down and sighed, as she pronounced the last words; and I felt so confounded at the consequences I found myself involuntarily drawing from his assertion, ” She is to be mine,” and her implied admission, “I must endure him,” that I had no inclination to speak—and there was a silence of a minute or two.

“I see,” said Mary, “my company is tiresome after that which we have enjoyed this afternoon, and, with your leave, I will bid you good evening.”

You must not!” I replied, eagerly, taking her by the hand and reseating her beside me on the sofa; “forgive my rudeness; attribute it to ill-health; to ill-breeding; to want of confidence; to any thing rather than the cause you have named; rather than indifference to your company.”

“Well,” she replied, “I forget it all; but you must remember that as I am still your physician, you have no right to indulge in reflections which would injure your health by being pursued, and of which I am ignorant. I see,” continued she, smiling archly in my face, “you are afflicted with that awful disorder, jealousy! you are afraid of George— and well you may be, for he is a dangerous fellow.”

“I am not without apprehension on his account,” I answered. “You admit that you do not love him, and yet you are to be his.”

“To be his! Mary Mornton to be his!” interrupted the lovely girl, rising from the sofa, her countenance flushed with animation: “Who told you so! George has not dared to intimate any thing of the kind— yet why should he not! He has no idea that any person could differ with him on this subject; but he is mistaken : never, never will Mary Mornton consent to receive that man for a husband: death would be a preferable bridegroom!

But who will blame George for endeavouring to possess such excellence?” I replied. “For desiring the happiness of calling such a treasure his own! Yes, Mary, you will believe me when I tell you, that though I would rather die a thousand deaths than witness such an event, yet his feelings are so far in unison with my own, that I feel more disposed to pity than to blame him.”

“No more, Mortimer, no more; so far I will believe that you are in earnest, that you do not intend what you have said to be merely complimentary; yet, let me entreat you to be cautious: should George become apprehensive on my account, his suspicions might fall on you, and remember the consequences would be fatal.”

“Only say, Mary, that you would feel an interest in my happiness, and forgive me for doubting it, after the proofs I have already received; only say that the most ardent attachment of a person as unworthy as I am would not be viewed with indifference by you, and I could venture the displeasure of a world.”

“You are becoming too serious for a sick man,” said Mary, smiling. “But if it would be any pleasure to know that 1 feel interested in your happiness, or willing to contribute to it, (since I have never been in the habit of dissembling my sentiments,) I shall tell you frankly, that if the sincerest wishes for your welfare will be the means of averting evil, you will long be happy.”

I was in the act of attempting to express the emotions of my throbbing heart, when Mary again placed her finger on her lips, and, blushing in all the loveliness of innocence, half returned my embrace as I clasped her to my bosom.

The next day came, and, accompanied by the lovely Mary, we repaired to the mansion of General Garrett, with whom George and Miss Hanson resided. We were received with all that attention, that ease and courtly politeness, which distinguish the well-bred in all countries Miss Hanson received the compliments that were paid her without embarrassment, and George almost forgot the air of a man who had seen “vastly fine things in his day.” He soon seated himself by me. “Mortimer,” said he, “I vow I would be sick half a year myself, if by that means I could secure the company of Mary, as you have done.”

“There is little pleasure in sickness,” I replied, “yet I acknowledge it might be something of a temptation to suffer, if we could be certain of having the hours cheered by the attendance of such girls as Miss Hanson and Mary.”

“But every one,” he continued, “would not be noticed as you have been; it is natural, I believe, for the female sex to bestow their sympathy and their love on strangers, with whom they are unacquainted, and of whose character they can know nothing.”

There was an ill-natured emphasis given to this last sentence, which I suspect slightly crimsoned my countenance; but instantly regaining my composure, without appearing to notice the manner in which the words were spoken, I replied, “I believed he must be mistaken, for, although I was a stranger, and felt most sensibly the favours which had been conferred upon me by the polite attentions of the Charleston fair, yet, I never could believe that a man who conducted himself as became a gentleman, would suffer, in their estimation, by time or acquaintance.”

“Perhaps not,” answered he, coldly, “but”—

“Gentlemen,” said Mary, interrupting him, “I take the liberty of protesting in Miss Hanson’s name and my own, against your having all the conversation to yourselves; we must be permitted to assist you.” And her eyes met mine with an expression which said, “Remember— beware!

Certainly,” said I, and she took her seat between us on the sofa, while Miss Hanson placed herself beside me, and, with her usual gayety and volubility, commenced a conversation. But a few minutes, however, elapsed, before a servant entered with a message, requesting Mary to return immediately, as her mother had been taken seriously ill since we had left home. The carriage was immediately ordered, and Mary took advantage of the momentary absence of Mr. Hanson to request me to spend the afternoon where I then was.

“I shall obey you, though unwillingly,” I replied.

“I know it, I feel it,” answered she, smiling; “still you must obey. Remember, I am to be your guardian angel. Come, George, (who at that moment entered the room,) you shall be my beau; Mortimer I shall leave to make your sister amends for my absence.”

George bowed apart, and, with little abatement of his customary hauteur, handed Mary into the carriage, who kissed her hand to me as the carriage drove off; and I found myself alone with the beautiful and accomplished Miss Hanson.

“Ah, Mortimer,” said she, as we seated ourselves on the sofa, “how happy am I to have this opportunity of convincing you how much I am interested in your welfare; any thing that my fortune can command, or my influence accomplish, is at your disposal.”

“I fully estimate the value and kindness of your offer,” I replied; “and should circumstances make it necessary, shall not hesitate to avail myself of its advantages. Now, however, I must think of nothing but my return to my friends at the North, from whom I have been so long absent.”

“Then,” said she, “you intend to leave us; but, when among your friends at the North, you must remember there are some at the South by whom you will never be forgotten.” “And, there are some,” I replied, “who, while this heart shall continue to beat, will be remembered with feelings of purest delight; and, though I am compelled to leave them now, they will never be effaced from my recollection.”

I spoke with an earnestness and warmth of which I was insensible, till I perceived the cheek of my fair companion suffused with blushes— and I hastened to correct the impression which I found I had made, by saying, “that the kindness and tenderness with which I had been treated since I had arrived in Charleston, could not but leave the most lively impressions on my mind with regard to its inhabitants, and would ever be remembered with gratitude.”

“Is that the only emotion which will be excited by a remembrance of the South?” asked she, with a look and manner which left no room to mistake the meaning.

“I can hardly say,” I replied, “what feelings will predominate when reason shall be left to her sway: for here I feel more under the influence of my passion than my judgment.”

“You appear determined,” said she, smiling, “to remain ignorant of the subject on which I feel a trembling anxiety to know your opinion; but whatever indifference you may manifest, my feelings will not permit me to remain in suspense. Perhaps what I have to say will lessen me in your estimation; perhaps will by you be viewed as a violation of female propriety and decorum; but I throw myself on your mercy for forgiveness. Mortimer, I Love you!—cannot live without you—you will love me—you will make me yours—then my, whole life shall be spent in making you happy!”

Heavens! what a moment! Her beautiful countenance, flushed with the purple glow of love, reposed on my bosom, and when she threw her arms around my neck, as she finished speaking, her snowy bosom throbbed against my beating heart with electric effect; her coral lips almost touched mine, and he must have been more or less than man who could have refrained from invading their vermilion sanctuary. But the hallucination was but momentary; reason assumed her station as umpire, and the passions, victorious as they had been for a moment, now bowed in quiet submission to her sceptre. A single recollection of Mary, lovely Mary, artless and unassuming, would have sufficed to have broken the chains which a thousand such females might have woven around me. But though I could not love, most sincerely did I pity her.

“My dear Miss Hanson,” I replied, as soon as I could summon resolution enough to trust my voice, “most readily do I forgive you. I know full well the emotions of the heart are uncontrollable; and you must forgive me for saying, that you have addressed me on a subject of which I as yet know nothing, and, therefore, can say nothing, except that I shall always remember with pleasure the happy hours I have spent in your company; and, that in the important affairs of love, I must be guided by the wishes of that man who has been to me a second father, and one on whom I am dependent.”

“And is it money, then, that influences you in your desires?” she replied with earnestness. “You shall have it, to the extent of your wishes; why continue to be dependent on him, when it is so easy to be independent?”

“Ah, my dear Annette,” I answered, “the warmth of your feelings makes you overlook the consequences that would flow from my acceptance of your proposals; you have forgotten that I am young, unsettled in business, destitute of property, without powerful friends, and dependent for every thing; what would the world say? what would her parents say, should the rich, the gay, and the accomplished Annette Hanson throw herself away on a stranger, friendless and homeless?â€?

“Say not,” said she, “that you are friendless; that will never be! All your excuses only show that you do not, that you will not love me; but I deserve to be miserable. Some more fortunate, but not faithful, girl will be blessed with that affection, that love for which I in vain have [pur]sued. Be that as it may, I trust you will be happy!”

She burst into tears, and sobbed aloud.

“Lovely girl,” said I, “my heart bleeds for you. Oh, cease those tears, I am unworthy of you—forget me—let some more deserving youth share that worth which kings might be proud to possess.”

My feelings at that moment were indescribable. Most sincerely did 1 sympathize with her: I could hardly forbear weeping. At this instant, George entered the room; he looked at us with the greatest surprise.

“I perceive,” said he, “that I have intruded.”

“Not at all,” I replied, “your presence will be a relief to us both With your leave, Annette, I will retire, and call again to-morrow, when I shall hope to find you in better health and spirits!

Never,” she answered; “but go—I shall expect you to-morrow.”

I returned home. But my perturbed imagination forbade mo to rest, and when at last my feverish anxiety overcame my senses, and I slumbered for a few moments, my terrific visions were far more intolerable than the waking reality. The image of the lovely Mary flitted before me; but impassable gulfs separated me forever from her; while the beautiful and weeping Annette, with dishevelled hair and disordered dress, seemed to reproach me with something of which I was unable to form the most distant idea. Morning at last arrived, and the breakfast table, with the cheerful influence and delightful company of Mary, soon dispelled these unpleasant impressions, and restored the usual elasticity of my spirits.

“Well, Mortimer, you had a pleasant visit yesterday,” said Mary, as, after breakfast, we took our customary walk in the garden, and seated ourselves beneath a cluster of rose-bushes. “Your countenance showed the impression made upon your heart.”

“If my countenance was a true index to my feelings,” I answered “I must have looked frightful, for my impressions since yesterday have been none of the most delightful.”

“I cannot say the same,” replied Mary, laughing, “for I have fairly obtained a new lover, one who thinks he combines in his own person all the excellences of his sex; and one who would not hesitate to blow out the brains of any one who should dare to hint that he was mistaken in his estimate of himself; yes, George has at length stooped so low as to tell Mary Mornton he loves her.”

“If that is the case,” I answered in the same careless manner, “I may as well give up my pretensions at once, and the sooner I leave Charleston the better.”

“You have spoken the truth,” said Mary, her countenance at once assuming the utmost seriousness; “the sooner you leave Charleston the better—danger may attend you here—perhaps misery to us both.”

“Mary,” said I, seizing her hand, “for heaven’s sake explain yourself! Suspense is worse than certainty.”

“I have, for some time,” continued she, ” seen to what point his attentions were directed, and my object in leaving you with Miss Hanson when I was sent for yesterday, was to give him an opportunity to throw in his declaration, as the lawyers call it, if he chose, and, by at once letting him know his case was hopeless, put an end to the tedious formalities of such a suitor.”

“I have the utmost confidence, Mary, in your management,” I replied; “but I have formed a very wrong opinion of George, if he is a person, who, when his pride and will, if nothing more, are interested, will quietly take ‘no’ for an answer, and tamely surrender such an object of pursuit.”

“You are perfectly correct,” answered Mary; “from all fools, good Lord, deliver me! but especially from a self-conceited, obstinate one. George looked at me with an air of some surprise, when I coolly and plainly rejected him; it was but a moment, however. ‘I know,’ said he, ‘that you can have no possible objection to me; but perhaps you are already prepossessed in favour of some one else; perhaps that beggarly speculator from the North has been tampering with your heart, and insinuating himself into your good graces; but whoever he may be, he will ere long repent his interference.’ ‘Mr. Hanson,’ I answered, ‘you are much mistaken if you suppose that such threats or dictation can produce any effect on the mind of Mary Mornton, except it is contempt for their author—my heart is as yet my own, but when I see fit to bestow that, with my affection, on any individual, I shall do it without considering myself accountable to you or any other person, my dear parents excepted.’ ‘You appear so well when angry,’ answered George, ‘that I am sorry to leave you; yet before I go, I must assure you, that I will bear no rival in my love to you.’ So saying, he left the room, and I feel confident,” continued Mary, “that evil awaits you, if you remain in this place; remember, you are under my directions, and I command you to depart for the North immediately—yes, to-day, if possible—that fellow would not hesitate to sacrifice you to his passions.”

“And is it you, Mary, that commands me to leave you? Is it you that would bid me forsake the society of the only person that can make life tolerable? Is it you that would interpose a distance between us, that might for ever prevent our union? and all because a blustering braggadocio threatens. No, let me perish first—I fear him not.”

“You talk like a boy,” said Mary, smiling. “I am not so willing to part with you as you seem to suppose, and it is to prevent a separation, which I, of all others, should most dread, that I have laid my commands upon you; and you will obey—I know you will, and live for happiness and—Mary!

Bewitching girl,” I replied, “you shall be obeyed, however painful your request—but think not that I can absent myself long from you: I shall soon return, be the consequences what they may.”

“When you receive my leave,” said the lovely creature, “when I have fairly disposed of George—not before, remember, not till you have my leave—if you do, it is at your peril.”

At that moment, a servant arrived with a request for me to return to the house, as a gentleman wished to speak with me. I accompanied him, and at the door was met by Mr. Mornton, who informed me that Mr. Hanson had called to see me, and was then at my lodging-room, where I repaired immediately, and found George in waiting. The cold and insolent manner with which he received my salutation, the changeableness of his countenance, and the snakelike glance of his eyes, intimated plainly the gale of the passions within.

“I concluded, after you left us, last evening,” said he, “to pay my compliments to you in person, this morning. I presume we shall remain uninterrupted.â€?

Certainly, sir, if you wish.”

“I do,” he replied, and I stepped to the door and turned the key.

“Now,” said he, “I demand, without circumlocution or equivocation, the reasons of your attempt to ingratiate yourself into the affections of Miss Mornton, when you must have known her engagements to me, and especially after you had pledged yourself to my sister.”

“Your language,” I replied, “is so extraordinary and unbecoming a gentleman, that unless you state on what authority you make the demand, you will excuse me if I take no further notice of it or you, except to show you the door, where the cool air might benefit you, by producing a return of your reason.”

“I will let you know,” said he, his countenance pale with rage, “before I leave you, that I am not to be trifled with. I demand the satisfaction of a gentleman, for the imposition you have practised on my sister, and are now trying to react on Miss Mornton.”

“If your sister has given you information that has led to this conduct, she has grossly belied both herself and me. I, however, do not believe a syllable of it respecting her; and so far as Miss Mornton is concerned, she is at hand, and can speak for herself.”

I moved towards the door, when he sprang from his seat, placed his back to the door, drew a pistol from his pocket, and swore most tremendously that but one of us should leave the room alive.

“I despise you and your threats,” said I, “and would leave the room this moment in spite of you, were it not that I have no wish to injure you, and I do not intend to give you the chance of murdering me.”

“I need not,” said he, “the information of any one to assist me in detecting your villany; and no one knows my intention of giving it the chastisement it deserves. Your impudent coolness shall avail you nothing; you have affronted me in such a manner, that nothing but blood can efface the stain; you have stepped between me and happiness, and when I thought that I had secured Miss Mornton, instead of meeting a return of my love, I found that you, miscreant as you are, had interfered, and I received nothing but cold incivility and reproach!”

“Your epithets, of which you are so liberal,” I replied, “you had better reserve, in order to apply where they are more needed; and as to the satisfaction you require, you can have all that the law will give, and that is all that you will get from me. I have no intention of setting myself up as a mark for every coward to shoot at.”

“Hell and furies!” exclaimed he, gnashing his teeth with rage, “do you think to escape me in this manner? No!—Miss Mornton is too high a prize for me to part with thus easily. I again repeat, that both of us leave not this room alive; here is a pair of pistols—take your choice, and defend yourself, or, by the powers above, you shall feel the contents of the other.”

I was unarmed—my pistols, which lay in the drawer, were unloaded, and he had so much the maniac in his actions, that I thought it prudent to accept the weapon offered, but with a determination to use it only in self-defence. He cocked the pistol himself, as he handed it to me, and I had walked part of the distance across the room, to resume my seat, when, happening to cast my eyes towards him, I perceived him in the act of firing. “Stop,” said I, as I faced him and almost involuntarily presented my pistol. He fired: the ball slightly grazed the side of my head, and lodged in the wall of the chamber. Perceiving that he had not accomplished his design, and mad with desperation, he threw the pistol with all his might at my head. It struck my right arm near my shoulder, and gave it such a shock that the pistol, which I still held in my hand, was discharged; the ball passed through his heart! and he dropped dead upon the floor! I flew to him, raised him up, placed him on the sofa, and, unlocking the door, cried for help. The report of the pistols alarmed the family, and I was met at the staircase by Mr. Mornton, Mary, and the servants that attended the house.

“For God’s sake, Mortimer,” said Mr. Mornton, “what is the matter? You are as pale as death!”

“Follow me, and see for yourselves,” I answered.

The struggles of death had ceased when we entered the chamber; but the floor was swimming with blood, in the midst of which lay the pistols he had intended should accomplish his murderous design; while his right hand still grasped the dagger he had convulsively seized at the moment of falling. I briefly related the circumstances that led to the encounter and its fatal termination, and requested Mr. Mornton to give me his advice respecting the line of conduct I should pursue, promising to abide by his decision, let it be what it might.

“Mortimer,” answered Mr. Mornton, “I believe you to be innocent, and that this man has met the fate he intended for yourself; but can you establish your innocence? Your declaration will avail you nothing; his friends are powerful; you are comparatively a stranger; the penalty of the law will overtake you, unless you prevent it by an instantaneous flight. Most sincerely do I regret this unhappy occurrence, since it leaves but the alternative of flight or disgraceful death! A vessel of mine has left the wharf this morning, but will not pass the bar till you can reach it;—it is bound to Havana;—from that place you can reach New York without difficulty—or should circumstances render it possible for you to appear in this place in safety, most gladly would we welcome you to our mansion. You will decide immediately; I will myself make the necessary arrangements for seeing you on board the vessel, if you choose—there you will be in safety; if otherwise”—

I looked at Mary. She understood my meaning.

“Fly, Mortimer,” said the lovely girl, “fly! fly! Would to heaven I could fly with you! preserve a life dear to others as yourself—this storm will blow over and we will yet be happy! Innocence, in this case, will avail you nothing—you will find your enemies powerful and implacable!”

“Mary,” said I, as I clasped her convulsively in my arms, “I go because you command; because you desire; but I feel as though I should subject myself to a living death by a separation from you. Farewell! and whatever may happen, remember that Mortimer is yours and yours alone!

I carried the fainting girl in my arms to her chamber, again pressed her to my bosom, and again kissed her snowy forehead; tore myself from her, and, in company with Mr. Mornton, hastened to the wharf.

“This gentleman,” said Mr. Mornton, to a number of boatman, who were standing on the wharf, “wishes to get on board the Speedwell before she passes the bar—name your price, and huzza for the oars.”

“We would willingly oblige you, sir,” answered one of them, “but it is plainly impossible. Father Neptune himself could not work a boat against this swell.”

“It must be done,” answered Mr. Mornton.

“It cannot be done,” answered the other.

“It will be done,” replied Mr. Mornton. “Remember, you make your own terms;” taking, as he spoke, a handful of silver dollars from his pocket.

“These fellows look tempting—to your oars, lads!”

“But, if we take three times the usual fee, you will not think it unreasonable; we cannot afford to run the risk of becoming food for sharks, in such a sea as this, for nothing.”

“Here is four times the usual amount—away, as for life or death,” said Mr. Mornton.

I pressed Mr. Mornton’s hand, entreated him to neglect no exertion in my favour, and sprang into the boat, which immediately shoved off.

“Mr. Mornton is quite flush with his cash this morning,” said the master of the boat, “but he knows his object—some speculations to add to his already overgrown fortune.”

“When George gets Mary, it will go as fast as it comes,” answered his companion.

“George doesn’t catch the finest girl in Charleston so easy,” replied the other. “I heard one of the clerks say, at the warehouse, this morning, that a young merchant from the North was all the toast now, and, if that is the case, you may depend, George’s hopes are all aback.”

“Hard to the starboard!exclaimed the master. At that moment a wave struck us, and half-filled the boat with water. “Bale away, lads! One more such wave as that, and we shall be drinking grog in Charon’s ferry-boat.”

We however reached the Speedwell in safety, at the instant they were getting under way, and I bade a sad adieu to the place where were concentrated all my hopes, and all my fears; and I retired to the cabin, reflecting that I was separated from Mary! perhaps forever!

Our voyage was prosperous until we arrived at Key West, where we were hailed by a small black-looking vessel, bearing the Spanish colours, and ordered to send our papers on board. Some little delay occurred, and a shot was fired at us, which passed between our masts, without however doing any injury. The mate went on board with the papers, but was instantly seized and stabbed to the heart, while the rest of the boat’s crew attempted to save themselves by jumping overboard, with the hope of reaching the Speedwell by swimming. But one reached us, as repeated volleys of musketry were fired at them from the pirate, and they sank forever, while the waves were crimsoned with their blood. It was a dead calm at the time, and two boats, filled with ferocious-looking wretches, had left the vessel, evidently with the intention of boarding us; and they succeeded, after a desperate conflict, in which they lost nearly one-half of their crew. When they at last reached the deck, we were instantly overpowered; but what was the fate of the vessel I knew not, as I was knocked down at the termination of the conflict, and remained senseless for several hours. When I recovered, I found myself on board the pirate, with several of the gang standing round me, and to my inquiries, what had become of the Speedwell and crew, only one answer was given. “We sent them to h—ll, together, for their obstinate resistance, and you would have been there, too, had we not, owing to the confusion of the moment, and your being covered with blood, mistaken you for our lieutenant, and brought you on board before we discovered our error; but, cheer up, you are now safe, for d**n it, bad as we are, we would not murder any one in cold blood; but when our blood is up, look to the consequences.”

The vessel, with the plunder, was taken in among the keys, which line the coast of Cuba, and on one of which these villains had an establishment, where myself, a few of the crew, and part of the armament of the vessel were landed, while she proceeded to Havana to dispose of the plunder of the Speedwell. Day after day, and month after month, passed heavily away, and no information whatever was received of the vessel which had left us in that desolate and hopeless condition. They became raving, and it required the exertion of all the influence I possessed to keep them from murdering each other. Nor were my sensations much more agreeable than those of my companions. I reflected almost to madness, on the opinion that must be formed of me by my indulgent uncle in New York, and my adored Mary and her benevolent father in Charleston. There was no possibility of escaping from this place, as there was not wood enough on the island to construct a raft which would float a man across the waters which separated us from the land. After we had remained nearly half a year, and every project of escape had failed, a boat which had drifted from some wreck, during a storm, had struck upon the island, and its appearance was hailed with rapture by myself and my companions. In this we coasted Cuba, and arrived at Havana. Here I found the seaman who had taken care of me when on board the piratical vessel, suffering under the effects of the wound received from me, in defending the Speedwell. From him I learned, that the piratical vessel, immediately on her arrival at Havana, was seized, on the complaint of a British agent, for an attack upon one of his majesty’s vessels, and, in consequence had, with her crew, been sent to Jamaica for trial. They were found guilty of the most barbarous crimes, and every man of them executed. He was himself fortunately on shore at the time of the seizure, and by that means escaped. I had learned from my companions, that the crew of the Speedwell were all destroyed, and after taking out such articles as were deemed most valuable, she was scuttled and sunk. Once at Havana, my resolutions were soon formed, and a favourable opportunity occurring, I determined to repair immediately to Charleston, in defiance of every danger. The image of the lovely Mary, pale and weeping, as when she bid me farewell, haunted my imagination, whether sleeping or waking. I had suffered so much during my residence among the morasses of Cuba, and my complexion had by constant exposure become so sunburnt, that I was confident, should secrecy be necessary on my arrival, I stood in little danger of detection. But, be that as it would, there was no danger I would not have cheerfully encountered, to have listened to the sweet accents and enjoyed the delightful company of Mary. I left Havana, and reached Charleston in safety. The vessel anchored in the bay, and, with a palpitating heart, I proceeded in the boat for the city. It was dark when I presented myself at the door of Mr. Mornton’s residence, and, with a faltering hand, knocked for admittance.

The door was opened by the same servant who attended when I had before resided with Mr. Mornton. I was shown into the same room where I had so often sat, but, on inquiry for Mr. Mornton, I was informed that he was out on business, but would return in an hour. I told the servant I would wait his arrival—took a volume which was lying there, and seated myself with apparent composure. Everything in the room reminded me of her I most wished to see; a beautiful full length portrait of her was suspended over the mantelpiece, and on opening the book, the first thing that met my eyes were the following lines, in the well-known hand of Mary:

Ah, why delay his wished return? Forgive me,
Oh, forgive me, Mortimer, but joys deferr’d
Make my heart sick, and hope, with all its powers,
Can scarce suppress the anguish of my bosom!
But peace each murmur, fate itself may strive,
But cannot sever thy faithful heart from mine.

The agony of suspense was intolerable; I longed to inquire for Mary, but prudence forbade. I perceived that the servant had entirely forgotten me, and I waited impatiently the arrival of Mr. Mornton. I walked the room; I listened to every step, with the hope of catching the sound of the light and fairy footfall of the lovely Mary. The hour passed away, and Mr. Mornton arrived. I spoke; he knew my voice instantly, and seized me by the hand.

“Good heavens! Mortimer, can it be you?” exclaimed Mr. Mornton, “or is it only an illusion, to mock my senses and aggravate my misfortunes?”

“It is no illusion—I am your own Mortimer,” I replied. “Oh! where is Mary? for heaven’s sake, let me see her!—let me fly to her!”

“Good God!” answered Mr. Mornton, grasping my hand convulsively, ” are you yet to hear the fatal story? are you yet to learn that Mary is in heaven? Yes, she is gone—gone forever!” added he, as the tears trickled down his cheeks, and fell warm upon my hand.

I could not weep; I could not speak; and it was with difficulty I could support myself from sinking to the floor. The agonies of expiring nature, I am convinced, will never exceed those of that moment, when every prospect of happiness was at one fell blow destroyed, and hope, the last anchor of the wretched, torn from its moorings.

“O God!” I cried, when my agitated feelings permitted the power of utterance, “why was I spared to endure this extremity of wretchedness? why was I preserved to suffer the agonies of a living death?”

“My dear Mortimer, accuse not Omnipotence rashly,” said Mr. Mornton. “I loved her as well as you. Ah! I feel too well I loved her; my heart was bound up in the happiness of Mary; but nothing earthly could save her from the conqueror’s arms. Oh ! Mortimer, these hands closed her eyes; this bosom received her last sigh; and her dying exclamation, ‘My dear father, I am hastening to the company of my dear Mortimer!’ still sounds in my ears.”

His grief found vent in tears; and I, summoning all my fortitude, ventured to make an inquiry respecting her decease, and the time the heart-rending event took place.

“You well remember,” answered Mr. Mornton, “the manner in which you left Charleston. Though it was immediately known that Mr. Hanson fell by your hands, my endeavours were successfully exerted in preventing any attempt to pursue you till you were safe beyond their reach; and as the event was one of no uncommon occurrence, it soon ceased to be a subject of remark, and Mary flattered herself that soon you would be able to return to this place, and visit your friends in safety. In the mean time, no information whatever was received of the Speedwell, and we began to fear that she had perished at sea, and all on board had been lost. It was not until after several months of painful suspense, that the account of the execution of the pirates reached us in the papers from Jamaica:—in their confession, the capture of the Speedwell and the murder of all her crew occupied a prominent place, and accounted with awful certainty for your long silence.”

I here interrupted Mr. Mornton with a short account of the loss of the Speedwell, the manner in which I was preserved from death, my residence on the island, and my escape to Havana. After I had closed, he proceeded:

“Though I endeavoured to conceal the fatal event from Mary, it was in vain; the account was copied in the City Gazette, and was immediately noticed by her. This was the termination of Mary’s hopes—the deathblow to her happiness. The roses fled from her lips; society lost its charms; she refused to see company; and was evidently hastening to that place where the weary are at rest. Although I was much alarmed about her, I could not persuade her to believe she was in danger. She always met me with a smile, but it only served to render more visible to the watchful eye of parental anxiety the hectic flush of her lily countenance. Hoping that a change of objects, a sea-voyage to New York, and the diversity of objects which we should meet with in that place, might have a beneficial effect in restoring her to health, I proposed her accompanying me to the northern metropolis. Accustomed to yield implicit obedience to my wishes, she made no objection to the proposal, although she assured me it would do her no good; and the result verified the prediction. She declined rapidly on our voyage home, was carried from the vessel to her chamber, which she never again left. Annette watched over her with the tender anxiety of a sister, and alleviated the wearisome hours of sickness by every consolation in the power of friendship to bestow. Not a murmur escaped her. ‘My dear father,’ she would say, ‘weep not for me! we shall again meet, to be forever happy.’ While life lasted, of earthly objects you were uppermost in her affections, and the last quivering accents of her tongue vibrated with your name!”

“Lovely martyr!” I exclaimed, when he ceased speaking. “Oh, why could not I have flown to thee! why could not my bosom have received the fatal arrow, that I might have accompanied thee to a brighter and a better world! And, endeared Annette, heaven will bless thee for thy kindness to my departed Mary. May thy hopes never be blighted, like those of that lovely victim; but may the smiles of heaven shower down blessings upon thee, and thy pathway of life be strewed with flowers.”

“Though I would not deny you the sacred luxury of grief,” said Mr. Mornton, “I would entreat you not to indulge in it to excess. Tears will relieve your bursting heart, and reflection will give you fortitude to support your loss. You will retire to your chamber, for we shall never be tired of conversing and thinking of our Mary.”

“No—never!” I replied, wringing his hand, as he accompanied me to my chamber, and left me, as he concluded, to my repose. Vain attempt! my burning brain forbade the most distant approach of rest. I reflected on my loss until my imagination could bear it no longer. I became bewildered, and the last that I can recollect was my smiting my forehead and exclaiming—” Oh, Mary! would to heaven I had died with thee!”

In what manner I left Charleston, is to me utterly unknown. It was on the fifth day after I landed at Charleston, that I found myself within ten miles of Savannah, in Georgia, nearly destitute of clothing, and emaciated almost to a skeleton. The events through which I had passed appeared like a distressing dream, from which I had just awakened, and it was a considerable time before I recovered a full sense of the distressing reality of my situation. I immediately proceeded to Savannah, where the kindness of a few individuals, among whom was the captain of a South American privateer, then fitting out at that port, relieved my necessities, and by his persuasion I consented to engage in the service, as second in command. I was accordingly, by my request, introduced to the crew, who were already enlisted, as a brother of the captain, recently arrived from the North; and the name of Lafitte, which I then assumed, have continued to bear. My fortunes were desperate; life was a burden; I had nothing to lose; the situation was one which well accorded with my feelings, and I did not hesitate to accept. Our commission was from the republican government of Buenos Ayres. For several years we were prosperous; I had amassed a considerable fortune, and entertained serious thoughts of returning to New York, when, one evening, as we were on a cruise off St. Domingo, looking for some merchantmen which we knew were daily expected from Spain, we fell in with a British vessel of superior force, who ordered us, under pain of being fired into, to send our boat on board and heave to till morning. Captain Lafitte refused, a short altercation ensued, and an action of the most desperate kind commenced. The British vessel was carried by boarding, after great slaughter. Captain Lafitte was killed early in the engagement—I was severely wounded by a sabre in the head—and the third in command, vindictive in disposition and exasperated by opposition, ordered no quarters to be given, and the conquered were exterminated. By this time, the government under whose orders we were acting had been put down by the Royalists, who had effected a counter revolution. We were declared to be acting without orders from any government, and, refusing to surrender ourselves for trial, were outlawed and a reward offered for our heads. It became necessary to provide for ourselves. On the death of Captain Lafitte, I succeeded to the command, and we established ourselves on the north-west part of the Gulf, and lived on our enemies. When the South Americans were again found in arms, I espoused their cause, but a majority of my men declined acting in concert with their marine, or having our fate linked with theirs. Our numbers had increased so much, that I added two vessels to our establishment, appointed Laborde second in command, and took possession of this island, where we have successfully maintained ourselves against any attempts made against us. My correspondence with New Orleans is direct, and I receive information almost weekly of the important events going on. When the present war broke out between the United States and Great Britain, we declared ourselves on the side of the former, and have acted accordingly; and, though we fight with the halter round our necks, being considered by the government as pirates, still, unless we are driven to extremities, we shall be found faithful friends to the republic.

“Thus, sir, I have given you a short account of the manner in which I became chief of this establishment; and I can sincerely say, that if our present disabilities could be removed, most cheerfully would we perform any duty which might be assigned us in aid of the government.”

“My most persevering exertions shall be used in your favour,” I replied, “and I have reason to believe with success. I am not entirely unknown to some of the officers of the government at Washington, and a representation of your wishes would undoubtedly meet with .immediate attention from the executive.”

“For your friendly proposal, I thank you,” Lafitte replied; “it promises to restore me to that world which was once enlivened by the bewitching influence of Mary.”

“Lafitte,” said I, “I should have thought that the perils you have passed through would have obliterated every trace of that victim of love from your memory.”

“When this tide ceases to ebb and flow—when yonder Mississippi rolls its turbid waters to the frozen north—when the needle forgets to point to the pole—when this heart palpitates for the last time—then, and not till then, shall I cease to remember Mary. Forget her!—impossible!”

And he drew from his bosom a small morocco case, suspended by a ribbon, from which, wrapped in a paper, he took a beautiful miniature portrait of Mary. He kissed it with enthusiasm.

“This,” said Lafitte, “that lovely girl gave me at our last sad parting, and with such a memento daily before me, could I forget her? Well, well do I remember how the angelic Mary appeared at that moment; her long hair, with curling tresses, twining around her snowy neck, and slightly veiling her swelling bosom. Pale, ah! deadly pale were those lips I had so often kissed, in the fervour of unalloyed innocence and love.”

He again kissed the portrait, and was replacing it, when I observed that the envelope contained a number of lines of poetry, in the handwriting of Lafitte. I extended my hand for the paper.

“You are welcome to read them,” said Lafitte, smiling: “it has, I believe, been observed that every poet is a lover, and, by a parity of reasoning, every lover ought to be a poet. To that title, however, I make no pretensions—it is my first and last attempt; they were written during our first cruise, and when my heart bled at every recollection of Mary!—the evening was beautiful; the moon rode in silvery splendour through the clear blue heavens; not a breath disturbed the sleeping waters, and from the bosom of the waves the stars which glittered in the skies were reflected in all their brightness. Mary occupied my thoughts; I remembered the evenings I had spent in her delightful society; I reflected on my loss until my ideas assumed this form; they were committed to paper, and have since served to enclose this precious relic of former happiness.” They were as follows:

LINES TO THE MEMORY OF MARY MORNTON.

When death, dread monarch 1 hurls the relentless dart
And lays in dust the wise, the good, the great,
Deep streams of sorrow flow from every heart,
And nations mourn beneath the stroke of fate.

When the dark tomb its jaws insatiate close
On those dear forms whose souls were twined
with ours,
No stoic’s self could blame the tear that flows,
Or chase the memory from those painful hours.

Then let the muse indulge in sighs and tears,
O’er love that’s past, and joys for ever flown—
Oh, why so short our bliss?—it but appears,
Charms our fond hearts, and Is for ever gone.

Frail are our joys as is yon opening flower
That spreads its fragrant bosom to the skies:
Plucked by the intruder’s hand, In one short hour
Its bloom is withcr’d and its fragrance dies.

Swift pass the hours where friendship spreads her charms,
In dreams of bliss the months unheeded roll;
Nor dream we aught that tear from our fond arms
Those dear delights that twine around the soul.

Oh, happy moments still I think I view,
That tender bosom, and that mild blue eye,
Melting in love—then blame the joys that flew.
With winged haste, to pass away and die.

Yes; they are dead! yet memory lives to fling
Her snowy fingers o’er the engraven heart.
And trace those lines of love, which read, will bring
Remembrance of those joys from which we
never part.

Then all farewell—or bliss, or weal, or woe—
All are forgotten, buried—from this hour;
The muse resigns her harp to tears that flow
O’er love’s sweet memory, and her pleasing
power.

As I finished reading, my eye met Lafitte’s, and I saw a tear trembling in his eye, which was hastily wiped away.

“Who comes here?” said Lafitte, lifting his glass to his eye, and mine took the same direction.

A sloop of war had just hove in view, and the British flag was flying at her peak. Lafitte replaced the portrait in his bosom, and hastened to give orders for clearing his vessels for action. This was speedily done, and all hands were at quarters. In the mean time, the sloop had anchored, and a boat, fully manned, with the white flag flying, was approaching the shore. The bearer of the flag presented Lafitte with a letter, to which he respectfully requested an answer. Lafitte ordered some refreshments for the boat’s crew, as he requested me to accompany him to the hut we had just left, and which he always occupied when on shore. He seated himself at the table, and breaking the seal, read as follows:—

To Captain Lafitte, Commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Flotilla, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sir—His Britannic Majesty’s forces will soon visit the south-western part of the United States with an overwhelming force, and I, as commander of his Majesty’s Navy on the American station, am authorized to offer you any office in my power to bestow, together with any sum of money you may demand, if you will consent to become chief conductor of the flotilla which will be employed on this service, and which your intimate acquaintance with these shores enables you to do with so much honour to yourself and advantage to his Majesty’s service. On your answer will depend whether we are to consider and treat you as a friend or an enemy.

“With sentiments of the greatest respect, I remain your servant,

“A. Cochran, Admiral, &c.

 At Sea, September, 1814.”

Lafitte took his pen, and, without saying a word, endorsed on the margin of the letter—” No terms with tyrants!” enclosed it in an envelope, redirected it, and handed it to the officer, with “You have my answer!” The boat returned to the vessel, which immediately weighed anchor and stood out to sea.

“These fellows, if they dared, would destroy us without ceremony,” said Lafitte, as they disappeared before a fine breeze; “but when favour is wanted, they are liberal of their promises to excess, and submissive as lambs. I shall not be troubled with them anymore, unless they see fit to make an attempt upon my establishment, when they will find more sand-bars than clear seas, and more iron than silver. But there is another vessel in sight. It is my trader, from New Orleans. I shall now be able to liberate you, and, in a few days, land you at New Orleans or Mobile, as you may choose.”

Lafitte was true to his word. On the third day after the schooner’s arrival, for such was her character, I went on board, and sailed for Mobile, as from there greater facilities were offered for reaching Washington than from New Orleans. Before I left Lafitte, I was persuaded, should my mission to Washington prove successful, to return myself with the glad news to him, in person. I landed at Mobile, reached Washington, succeeded in obtaining full pardon for Lafitte and his associates, and returned to New Orleans just as the storm, which had so long been gathering, burst with all its fury upon the coast of Louisiana. I immediately returned in a government vessel to Barataria, and was received by Lafitte with the warmest expressions of gratitude. He had, a few days previous, returned from a successful cruise, in which, among others, he had succeeded in capturing a British transport, containing a large quantity of cannon, arms, &c., destined for the attack upon New Orleans. On my arrival, Lafitte called his followers together, communicated to them the intelligence of the free and full pardon guarantied them, and upon what conditions it had been received; and gave them liberty to accept or reject the offer. “Long live the President of the United States!and “Long live Lafitte!repeatedly rent the air, and they unanimously resolved to follow him as their leader.

“Brave fellows,” said Lafitte, we will prove by our swords our high sense of the favour conferred!”

All hands were now busily engaged in conveying on board the vessels the valuable property which had been collected at that place, and the quantity of specie dragged from its various lurking-places far exceeded in quantity my idea of Lafitte’s wealth. We arrived in safety at New Orleans, and were received by Commodore Patterson, who commanded on the station, with every mark of respect. Lafitte had an honourable command assigned him, and his heroic conduct, previous to and on the ever-memorable eighth of January, is already deeply marked on the page of history.

When the British, confounded at their loss and covered with disgrace, had retired to their shipping, and all apprehension of a renewed attack had subsided, New Orleans exhibited a scene of unbounded gayety and glee. A splendid ball was given in honour of General Jackson, at which most of the officers of the army and navy were present, and all the beauty and bravery of the South appeared to be concentrated on the occasion. In the course of the evening, my attention was strongly engaged by the appearance of a young lady who entered the apartment leaning on the arm of the mayor of the city. She was very beautiful, yet the freshness of youth seemed to have passed away, and a slight shade of melancholy gave her a most interesting appearance. Intimately acquainted with the mayor, I was introduced as a friend to Miss Hanson, from Charleston, and chance soon gave me an opportunity of entering into conversation with his fair companion. The conversation turned on the remarkable deliverance New Orleans had received from the invading enemy.

“I little thought,” said Miss Hanson, “when I left Charleston, two years ago, to reside in this city, that I was to witness such a scene of turmoil as that through which we have just passed; and but a few days since, my expectations were still more faint, of beholding such a happy termination of our troubles as this evening affords.”

“It did appear extremely improbable,” I replied, “and our friends in different parts of the Union will heartily rejoice at our escape from such watchwords as ‘Beauty and booty.'”

“It makes me shudder,” she answered, “to think of the danger from which we have been rescued! Not a fortnight ago, I sincerely wished myself at Charleston; but now we are safe and happy.”

“Are you a native of Charleston?” I inquired. “A few years ago, I was considerably acquainted in that city.”

“I am,” she replied; “it is but two years since, at the earnest entreaties of my uncle, who is at present mayor of this city, I left Charleston, and accompanied him here.”

“Were you acquainted at Charleston with a young lady by the name of Mary Mornton?” I asked.

“I was acquainted with her,” replied Miss Hanson; “she was my most intimate friend; but Mary reposes quietly in the grave, the victim of unfortunate love; often have I wished I could have slept with her.”

“Was her lover a villain?” I inquired.

“Oh, no! he was as far from that, as day is from night,” she answered with earnestness; “he was one of the most amiable and engaging persons I have ever seen. An unfortunate affair drove him from Charleston, and the vessel in which he sailed was taken by the pirates, and all on board murdered! Mary’s tender heart was unable to sustain the shock, and she added another to the number of those who have fallen victims to the effect of that pleasing, painful passion, faithful love. No,” she added, “it is impossible for Mortimer Wilson to be a villain.”

“You speak with warmth,” I replied; “but you are perfectly pardonable; it is so difficult to find such a person, that it is no wonder he should attract universal admiration.” She blushed deeply. “Are you acquainted with Lafitte?I continued.

“I have never seen him,” she replied, “nor have the least anxiety to become acquainted with him; after all his heroism and courage, he is but a pirate, a murderer.”

“Our hearsay opinions are sometimes incorrect,” I answered. “I once thought as you do. You shall have an opportunity of correcting your unfavourable impressions, as I have done; pardon my absence a moment.”

I flew to another room, where I found Lafitte in conversation with several officers. There was an air of melancholy in his features, and I beckoned him to follow me. He took my hand and pressed it in his.

“Once,” said he, “I, too, could be happy; but where is Mary!”

“You can still be happy, if loveliness and disinterested affection can make you so, without Mary,” I replied.

He was about to speak, but I placed my finger on my lips, and we, in a moment, found ourselves alongside of Miss Hanson.

“Miss Hanson,” said I, “I have the pleasure of making you acquainted with Captain Lafitte, of the South American service, and a volunteer in defence of our city.”

She extended her hand with a kind of involuntary shudder; but at the moment their eyes met, her countenance was instantly suffused with the deepest crimson; but as instantly became deadly pale. She tottered towards him—” Oh, Mortimer!” “Oh, Annette !”—and they were locked in each other’s arms. Her sensations were too overpowering, she fainted in his arms, and was carried to another apartment, where, when she recovered, a full understanding of the remarkable circumstances in which they found themselves and reconciliation took place. Annette’s friends were not more astonished than delighted. Lafitte had never forgotten Annette; she was second only to Mary; and if she could not fill the void in his heart which the death of that lovely victim had caused, he felt towards her all the affection which the warmest feelings of gratitude could inspire. Annette’s attachment remained unaltered; and before I left New Orleans, I saw her made the happiest of mortals, by her union with the adored Mortimer Wilson.

Extract from Hyperion by “The Patriotâ€? Josiah Quincy Jr., 1768

JosiahQuincy_byStuart1

Josiah Quincy Jr. (1744 –1775) AKA “The Patriotâ€? was an American lawyer and patriot. He was a principal spokesman for the Sons of Liberty in Boston prior to the Revolution. He was an energetic advocate for the Whig party in the pre-Revolutionary political debates. With John Adams he defended Captain Preston after the so-called “Boston Massacre,” and in 1774, when scarcely thirty years of age, he was the confidential agent in London of the patriot party. Dying on shipboard, almost in sight of his native New England coast, Josiah Quincy, J r., left behind him an infant son, whose long and honorable life, beginning before the Revolution, outlasted the war of the Rebellion. But President Josiah Quincy, of Harvard College, though he lived all his life on the family-place at Quincy, always identified himself with the city of Boston.

The commonwealth itself has no other strength or hope than the intelligence and virtue of the individuals that compose it. For the intelligence and virtue of individuals there is no other human assurance than laws providing for the education of the whole people. These laws themselves have no strength, or efficient sanction, except in the moral and accountable nature of man disclosed in the records of the Christian’s faith; the right to read, to construe, and to judge concerning which belongs to no class or caste of men, but exclusively to the individual, who must stand or fall by his own acts and his own faith, and not by those of another.The great comprehensive truths, written in letters of living light on every page of our history, — the language addressed by every past age of New England to all future ages, is this: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom, none but virtue; virtue, none but knowledge; and neither freedom, nor virtue, nor knowledge has any vigor, or immortal hope, except in the principles of the Christian faith, and in the sanctions of the Christian religion.” ~ Josiah Quincy, October 1831; Harvard University; Dedication of the Dane Law College

Extract from “Hyperion*” by The Patriot; Josiah Quincy Jr., 1768

* The first part of this extract was published in the Boston Gazette in September, 1767, on receiving information of threatening import from England; the remainder appeared in October, 1768, when British troops had landed in Boston, and taken possession of Faneuil Hall, under circumstances intended to inspire the people with alarm and terror.—Ed.

When I reflect on the exalted character of the ancient Britons, on the fortitude of our illustrious predecessors, on the noble struggles of the late memorable period, and from these reflections, when, by a natural transition, I contemplate the gloomy aspect of the present day, my heart is alternately torn with doubt and hope, despondency and terror. Can the true, generous magnanimity of British heroes be entirely lost in their degenerate progeny? Is the genius of liberty, which so late inflamed our bosoms, fled forever?

An attentive observer of the deportment of some particular persons in this metropolis would be apt to imagine, that the grand point was gained; that the spirit of the people was entirely broken to the yoke; that all America was subjugated to bondage. Already the minions of power, in fancy, fatten and grow wanton on the spoils of the land. They insolently toss the head, and put on the air of contemptuous disdain. In the imaginary possession of lordships and dominions, these potentates and powers dare tell us, that our only hope is to crouch, to cower under, and to kiss, the iron rod of oppression. Precious sample of the meek and lowly temper of those who are destined to be our lords and masters!

Be not deceived, my countrymen. Believe not these venal hirelings, when they would cajole you by their subtleties into submission, or frighten you by their vaporings into compliance. When they strive to flatter you by the terms “moderation and prudence,” tell them that calmness and deliberation are to guide the judgment; courage and intrepidity command the action. When they endeavour to make us “perceive our inability to oppose our mother country,” let us boldly answer;—In defence of our civil and religious rights, we dare oppose the world; with the God of armies on our side, even the God who fought our fathers’ battles, we fear not the hour of trial, though the hosts of our enemies should cover the field like locusts. If this be enthusiasm, we will live and die enthusiasts.

Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a “halter” intimidate. For, under God, we are determined, that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die freemen. Well do we know that all the regalia of this world cannot dignify the death of a villain, nor diminish the ignominy, with which a slave shall quit existence. Neither can it taint the unblemished honor of a son of freedom, though he should make his departure on the already prepared gibbet, or be dragged to the newly erected scaffold for execution. With the plaudits of his conscience he will go off the stage. A crown of joy and immortality shall be his reward. The history of his life his children shall venerate. The virtues of their sire shall excite their emulation.

If there ever was a time, this is the hour, for Americans to rouse themselves, and exert every ability. Their all is at a hazard, and the die of fate spins doubtful. In vain do we talk of magnanimity and heroism, in vain do we trace a descent from the worthies of the earth, if we inherit not the spirit of our ancestors. Who is he that boasteth of his patriotism? Has he vanquished luxury, and subdued the worldly pride of his heart? Is he not still drinking the poisonous draught, and rolling the sweet morsel under his tongue? He who cannot conquer the little vanity of his heart, and deny the delicacy of a debauched palate, let him lay his hand upon his mouth, and his mouth in the dust.

Now is the time for this people to summon every aid, human and divine; to exhibit every moral virtue, and call forth every Christian grace. The wisdom of the serpent, the innocence of the dove, and the intrepidity of the lion, with the blessing of God, will yet save us from the jaws of destruction.

Where is the boasted liberty of Englishmen, if property may be disposed of, charters suspended, assemblies dissolved, and every valued right annihilated, at the uncontrollable will of an external power? Does not every man, who feels one ethereal spark yet glowing in his bosom, find his indignation kindle at the bare imagination of such wrongs? What would be our sentiments were this imagination realized.

Did the blood of the ancient Britons swell our veins, did the spirit of our forefathers inhabit our breasts, should we hesitate a moment in preferring death to a miserable existence in bondage? Did we reflect on their toils, their dangers, their fiery trials, the thought would inspire unconquerable courage.

Who has the front to ask, Wherefore do you complain? Who dares assert, that everything worth living for is not lost, when a nation is enslaved? Are not pensioners, stipendiaries and salary-men, unknown before, hourly multiplying upon us, to riot in the spoils of miserable America? Does not every eastern gale waft us some new insect, even of that devouring kind, which eat up every green thing? Is not the bread taken out of the children’s mouths and given unto the dogs? Are not our estates given to corrupt sycophants, without a design, or even a pretense, of soliciting our assent; and our lives put into the hands of those whose tender mercies are cruelties? Has not an authority in a distant land, in the most public manner, proclaimed a right of disposing of the all of Americans? In short, what have we to lose? What have we to fear? Are not our distresses more than we can bear? And, to finish all, are not our cities, in a time of profound peace, filled with standing armies, to preclude from us that last solace of the wretched—to open their mouths in complaint, and send forth their cries in bitterness of heart?

But is there no ray of hope? Is not Great Britain inhabited by the children of those renowned barons, who waded through seas of crimson gore to establish their liberty? and will they not allow us, their fellow-men, to enjoy that freedom which we claim from nature, which is confirmed by our constitution, and which they pretend so highly to value? Were a tyrant to conquer us, the chains of slavery, when opposition should become useless, might be supportable; but to be shackled by Englishmen,—by our equals,—is not to be borne. By the sweat of our brow we earn the little we possess; from nature we derive the common rights of man; and by charter we claim the liberties of Britons. Shall we, dare we, pusillanimously surrender our birthright? la the obligation to our fathers discharged? Is the debt we owe posterity paid? Answer me, thou coward, who hidest thyself in the hour of trial; •If there is no reward in this life, no prize of glory in the next, capable of animating thy dastard soul, think and tremble, thou miscreant! at the whips and stripes thy master shall lash thee with on earth,—and the flames and scorpions thy second master shall torment thee with hereafter!

Oh, my countrymen! what will our children say, when they read the history of these times, should they find that we tamely gave away, without one noble struggle, the most invaluable of earthly blessings! As they drag the galling chain, will they not execrate us? If we have any respect for things sacred, any regard to the dearest treasure on earth; if we have one tender sentiment for posterity; if we would not be despised by the whole world; — let us, in the most open, solemn manner, and with determined fortitude, swear—We will die, if we cannot live freemen!

Be not lulled, my countrymen, with vain imaginations or idle fancies. To hope for the protection of Heaven, without doing our duty, and exerting ourselves as becomes men, is to mock the Deity. Wherefore had man his reason, if it were not to direct him? wherefore his strength, if it be not his protection? To banish folly and luxury, correct vice and immorality, and stand immoveable in the freedom in which we are free indeed, is eminently the duty of each individual at this day. When this is done, we may rationally hope for an answer to our prayers—for the whole counsel of God, and the invincible armor of the Almighty.

However righteous our cause, we cannot, in this period of the world, expect a miraculous salvation. Heaven will undoubtedly assist us if we act like men; but to expect protection from above, while we are enervated by luxury, and slothful in the exertion of those abilities, with which we are endued, is an expectation vain and foolish. With the smiles of Heaven, virtue, unanimity and firmness will ensure success. While we have equity, justice and God on our side, Tyranny, spiritual or temporal, shall never ride triumphant in a land inhabited by Englishmen.

An attentive observer of the deportment of some particular persons in this metropolis would be apt to imagine, that the grand point was gained; that the spirit of the people was entirely broken to the yoke; that all America was subjugated to bondage. Already the minions of power in fancy fatten and grow wanton on the spoils of the land. They insolently toss the head, and put on the air of contemptuous disdain. In the imaginary possession of lordships and dominions, these potentates and powers dare tell us, that our only hope is to crouch, to cower under, and to kiss, the iron rod of oppression. Precious sample of the meek and lowly temper of those who are destined to be our lords and masters!

Conclusion of “Observations on the Boston Port Bill.”

Thus, my countrymen, from the days of Gardiner and Morton, Gorges and Mason, Randolph and Cranfield, down to the present day, the inhabitants of this northern region have constantly been in dangers and troubles, from foes open and secret, abroad and in their bosom. Our freedom has been the object of envy, and to make void the charter of our liberties the work and labour of an undiminished race of villains. One cabal having failed of success, new conspirators have risen, and what the first could not make “void,” the next “humbly desired to revoke.” To this purpose one falsehood after another hath been fabricated and spread abroad with equal turpitude and equal effrontery. That minute detail, which would present actors now on the stage, is the province of History. She, inexorably severe towards the eminently guilty, will delineate their characters with the point of a diamond; and, thus blazoned in the face of day, the abhorrence and execrations of mankind will consign them to an infamous immortality.

So great has been the credulity of the British court from the beginning, or such hath been the activity of false brethren, that no tale inimical to the Northern Colonies, however false or absurd, but what hath found credit with the administration, and operated to the prejudice of the country. Thus it was told and believed in England, that we were not in earnest in the expedition against Canada at the beginning of this century, and that the country did everything in its power to defeat the success of it, and that the misfortune of that attempt ought to be wholly attributed to the Northern Colonies: while nothing could be more obvious, than that New England had exhausted her youngest blood, and all her treasures, in the undertaking; and that every motive of self-preservation, happiness and safety must have operated to excite these provinces to the, most spirited and persevering measures against Canada.

The people, who are attacked by bad men, have a testimony of their merit, as the constitution, which is invaded by powerful men, hath an evidence of its value. The path of our duty needs no minute delineation; it lies level to the eye. Let us apply, then, like men sensible of its importance, and determined on its fulfillment. The inroads on our public liberty call for reparation; the wrongs we have sustained call for justice. That reparation and that justice may yet be obtained by union, spirit and firmness. But to divide and conquer was the maxim of the devil in, the garden of Eden; and to disunite and enslave hath been the principle of all his votaries from that period to the present. The crimes of the guilty are to them the cords of association, and dread of punishment the indissoluble bond of union. The combinations of public robbers ought, therefore, to cement patriots and heroes: and, as the former plot and conspire to undermine and destroy the commonwealth, the latter ought to form a compact for opposition,— a band of vengeance.

What insidious arts, and what detestable practices, have been used to deceive, disunite and enslave the good people of this continent! The mystic appellations of loyalty and allegiance, the venerable names of government and good order, and the sacred ones of piety and public virtue, have been alternately prostituted to that abominable purpose. All the windings and guises, subterfuges and doublings, of which the human soul is susceptible, have been displayed on the occasion. But secrets, which were thought impenetrable, are no longer hid; characters deeply disguised are openly revealed; and the discovery of gross impostors hath generally preceded but a short time their utter extirpation.

Be not again, my countrymen, “easily captivated with the appearances only of wisdom and piety,—professions of a regard to liberty, and of a strong attachment to the public interest.” Your fathers have been explicitly charged with this folly by one of their posterity. Avoid this and all similar errors. Be cautious against the deception of appearances. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” was the saying of one, who perfectly knew the Human heart. Judge of affairs which concern social happiness by facts: judge of man by his deeds. For it is very certain, that pious zeal for days and times, for mint and cumin, hath often been pretended by those who were infidels at bottom; and it is as certain, that attachment to the dignity of government and the king’s service, hath often flowed from the mouths of men, who harboured the darkest machinations against the true end of the former, and were destitute of every right principle of loyalty to the latter. Hence, then, care and circumspection are necessary branches of political duty. And, as “it is much easier to restrain liberty from running into licentiousness, than power from swelling into tyranny and oppression,” so much more caution and resistance are required against the overbearing of rulers, than the extravagance of the people.

To give no more authority to any order of state, and to place no greater public confidence in any man, than is necessary for the general welfare, may be considered by the people as an important point of policy. But though craft and hypocrisy are prevalent, yet piety and virtue have a real existence: duplicity and political imposture abound, yet benevolence and public spirit are not altogether banished the world. As wolves will appear in sheep’s clothing, so superlative knaves and parricides will assume the vesture of the man of virtue and patriotism.

These things are permitted by Providence, no doubt, for wise and good reasons. Man was created for a rational, and was designed for an active being. His faculties of intelligence and force were given him for use. When the wolf, therefore, is found devouring the flock, no hierarchy forbids a seizure of the victim for sacrifice; so, also, when dignified impostors are caught destroying those whom their arts deceive, though their stations destined them to protect,—the sabre of justice flashes righteousness at the stroke of execution.

Yet be not amused, my countrymen! The extirpation of bondage and the re-establishment of freedom are not of easy acquisition. The worst passions of the human heart and the most subtle projects of the human mind, are leagued against you; and principalities and powers have acceded to the combination. Trials and conflicts you must, therefore, endure; hazards and jeopardies of life and fortune will attend the struggle. Such is the fate of all noble exertions for public liberty and social happiness. Enter not the lists without thought and consideration, lest you arm with timidity, and combat with irresolution. Having engaged in the conflict, let nothing discourage your vigour, or repel your perseverance. Remember that submission to the yoke of bondage is the worst that can befall a people, after the most fierce and unsuccessful resistance. What can the misfortunes of vanquishment take away, which despotism and rapine would spare ?” It had been easy,” said the great lawgiver Solon to the Athenians, “to repress the advances of tyranny, and prevent its establishment; but, now it is established and grown to some height, it would be more glorious to demolish it.” But nothing glorious is accomplished, nothing great is attained, nothing valuable is secured, without magnanimity of mind, and devotion of heart to the service. Brutus-like, therefore, dedicate yourselves at this day to the service of your country; and henceforth live a life of liberty and glory. “On the ides of March,”—said the great and good man to his friend Cassius, just before the battle of Philippi,—”on the ides of March I devoted my life to my country, and since that time I have lived a life of liberty and glory.”

Inspired with public virtue, touched with the wrongs, and indignant at the insults, offered his country, the highspirited Cassius exhibits an heroic example;—” Resolved as we are,”—replied the hero to his friend,—”resolved as we are, let us march against the enemy; for, though we should not conquer, we have nothing to fear.”

Spirits and genii like these rose in Rome, and have since adorned Britain; such also will one day make glorious this more western world. America hath in store her Bruti and Cassii—her Hampdens and Sydneys—patriots and heroes, who will form a band of brothers;—men, who will have memories and feelings, courage and swords,—courage, that shall inflame their ardent bosoms till their hands cleave to their swords, and their swords to their enemies hearts.