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The band played another selection, after which the Mayor delivered the following oration :




We commemorate to-day the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Boston. We have closed an important volume of our history. Before we open another, let us pause, and indulge for a few moments the natural sentiment which at such time prompts to retrospection.

We have, with great propriety, assembled in the "Old South.” This "Sanctuary of Freedom” is full of memories that belong to the occasion. All its associations are in har

with it. On this spot John Winthrop, the first Governor of the New England Colony and the founder of Boston, lived and died. Here, after it had been consecrated to religious purposes for more than two hundred years, Thatcher, and Willard, and Sewall, and Prince, and Huntington, and Wisner, and Blagden, and all the other pious ministers of this ancient society, have preached the Word of God, illustrating by their saintly lives the sincerity of their preaching.

Here was uttered the prayer — the efficacy of which piety and faith do not doubt — for the deliverance of New England from the formidable French armada that threatened its destruction in 1746. Here patriotism has uttered its most stirring eloquence and its most earnest appeals. Here the "grave, sad men” of the days which tried men's souls met to demand the removal of the royal troops. Here Otis — that "flame of fire”

protested against the impressment of seamen, and other oppressive measures of the mother-country. Here Adams denounced in thunder tones the tyranny of England. Here Quincy – ee that keen blade which so soon wore out its scabbard ” — and Warren, and Hancock, and other illustrious patriots, asserted colonial rights and prepared the people for revolution and

independence. Here in yonder gallery has stood the majestic form of Washington. Such associations make the place sacred.

The proprieties of the day would have been better observed if he who has inherited with the blood of our great governor so largely his talents and abilities, had been willing to perform the duties here assigned to me. His eloquence, learning, and scholarship would have become his theme, and been worthy this presence. All must regret that he has left the task to one who cannot hope to satisfy the demands of the occasion.

That learned and pious divine, the Rev. Thomas Prince, who for so many years officiated as the pastor of this church, in his centurial sermon preached in 1730, just after this edifice was built, or rather rebuilt, standing probably on the very spot where I now stand, well observed that it was "extremely proper that upon the close of the first century of our settlement in this chief part of the land to look back to the beginning of this remarkable transaction."

If it was thus proper on our first centennial anniversary, one hundred and fifty years ago, " to look back,” with greater reason should we do so at this time.

If it be true that history is philosophy teaching by example, then it is most proper not only to look back, but to seriously reflect upon the past, so that we may discover the causes of our national prosperity and progress, and ascertain what has contributed to the spread of those ideas which have generated civil and religious liberty, and promoted the growth of those political and social institutions by which human happiness has been so greatly increased and civilization so greatly advanced, to the end that we may so shape the present as to secure the future.

Two centuries and a half make a small space of time in the history of a nation, and yet what astounding changes have occurred in our civic annals since John Winthrop, on the 17th day of September, 1630, landed with the Puritan settlers on this peninsula ! The same ocean which bore the Pilgrims' bark to our shore still rolls in all its wild, mysterious grandeur. The same sun warms and lights the earth. In the same heaven still flames the bright belt of Orion, and its deep concave still shows the same vacant place, where the lost Pleiad conceals herself in shame for having wedded with a mortal lover ; but all else how different ! Scarcely a feature of the landscape remains to tell us how nature looked before she was subdued by civilization. The sea has been converted into land ; the hills have been levelled, the valleys filled up; the sites of the Indian wigwams are now those of the palaces of our merchant-princes, and, where " the wild fox dug his hole unscared,” art has reared her beautiful temples for the worship of God, and the dissemination of learning. Winthrop found in the territory but a single occupant, — William Blackstone. To-day the population of our municipality, with that of its suburbs, - which practically makes a part of our city, — is nearly half a million. The domain of the Great Republic in the first year of our history was a wilderness, inhabited mostly by savage tribes and savage beasts. It is now the home of fifty millions of free, prosperous, happy, and intelligent people, living in peace under the best government ever devised by man. Before Winthrop's arrival there were, it is true, some small settlements on the Atlantic coast. In Virginia a feeble colony was struggling to maintain itself. At Plymouth, a settlement, commenced in 1620, was hardly in a more prosperous condition. At Salem there were only three hundred colonists, who had come over two years before, and

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whose numbers were fast being decimated by sickness, suffering, and the hardships of the settler's life. At a few other places attempts at colonization had been made, but they were all on the eve of being abandoned.

On the monument erected at Beacon Hill by the patriots of seventy-six, " to commemorate that train of events which led to the American Revolution and finally secured liberty and independence to the United States," was this inscription, ee Americans — while from this eminence scenes of luxuriant fertility, of flourishing commerce, and the abodes of social happiness, meet your view — forget not those who, by their exertions, have secured to you these blessings.” Let us obey the injunction ; let us especially on this day recall the heroic ones who thus have a perpetual claim on our remembrance and gratitude.

The first century and a half of the history of Boston is the history of the colonization and settlement of the country; the history of the rise and growth of that invincible spirit of liberty which animated the people to assert their political rights, and ultimately led to the separation of the colonies from the mother-country and to their erection into an independent nation. If we shall "make our annals true, history of the Revolution nor of the United States, from the adoption of the Federal Constitution to the close of the great civil war, could be written without narrating the last century of our history; for Boston has taken an active part in all the great political, social, and military events which make this important epoch memorable. During all her two hundred and fifty years of life, her thoughts, sentiments, policy, and political and moral principles, and the action of her representative men, native and adopted, have largely influenced, guided, and controlled the country. Nor has she been act


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