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agitated by a mighty revolution, which, while it | but your country's own means of distinctio
our eyes seek for you in vain amidst this broken In the mean time, both in Europe and America, band. You are gathered to your fathers, and such has been the general progress of knowl- live only to your country in her grateful rememedge; such the improvements in legislation, in brance, and your own bright example. But commerce, in the arts, in letters, and above all let us not too much griere, that you have met in liberal ideas, and the general spirit of the the common fate of men. You lived, at least, age, that the whole world seems changed. long enough to know that your work had been
Yet, notwithstanding that this is but a faint nobly and successfully accomplished. You lived abstract of the things which have happened to see your country's independence established, since the day of the battle of Bunker Hill, we and to sheathe your swords from war. On the are bat fifty years removed from it; and we light of Liberty you saw arise the light of now stand here to enjoy all the blessings of our Peace, like own condition, and to look abroad on the
“another morn, brightened prospects of the world, while we
Risen on mid-noon;'hold still among us some of those, who were active agents in the scenes of 1775, and who are and the sky, on which you closed your eyes, now here, from every quarter of New England, was cloudless. to visit, once more, and under circumstances so But-ah!-Him! the first great Martyr in affecting, I had almost said so overwhelming, this great cause! Him! the premature victim this renowned theatre of their courage and of his own self-devoting heart! Him! the head patriotism.
of our civil councils, and the destined leader of VENERABLE MEN! you have come down to as, our military bands; whom nothing brought from a former generation. Heaven has boun- hither, but the unquenchable fire of his own teously lengthened out your lives, that you spirit; him! cut off by Providence, in the hour might behold this joyous day. You are now, of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom; where you stood, fifty years ago, this very hour, falling, ere he saw the star of his country rise ; with your brothers, and your neighbors, shoul- pouring out his generous blood, like water, beder to shoulder, in the strife for your country. fore he knew whether it would fertilize a land Behold, how altered! The same heavens are of freedom or of bondage! how shall I struggle indeed over your heads; the same ocean rolls with the emotions, that stifle the utterance of at your feet; but all else, how changed! You thy name! Our poor work may perish ; but hear now no roar of hostile cannon, you see no thine shall endure! This monument may monlmixed volumes of smoke and flame rising from der away; the solid ground it rests upon may burning Charlestown. The ground strewed sink down to a level with the sea; but thy with the dead and the dying; the impetoons memory shall not fail! Wheresoerer among charge; the steady and successful repulse; the men a heart shall be found that beats to the loud call to repeated assault; the summoning transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspiraof all that is manly to repeated resistance ; & tions shall be to claim kindred with thy spirit ! thousand bosons freely and fearlessly bared in But the scene amidst which we stand does an instant to whatever of terror there may be not permit us to confine our thoughts or our in war and death; all these you have witnessed, sympathies to those fearless spirits who hazarded bat you witness them no more. All is peace. or lost their lives on this consecrated spot. We The beights of yonder metropolis, its towers have the happiness to rejoice here in the presand roofs, which you then saw filled with wives ence of a most worthy representation of the and children, and countrymen in distress and survivors of the whole Revolutionary Army. terror, and looking with unutterable emotions VETEPANS! you are the remnant of many a for the issue of the combat, bare presented you well-fought field. You bring with you marks to-day with the sight of its whole happy popu- of honor from Trenton and Monmouth, from lation, come out to welcome and greet you with Yorktown, Camden, Bennington, and Saratogi. an universal jubilee. Yonder proud ships, by a VETERANS OF HALF A CENTCET! when in your felicity of position appropriatels lying at the yoathful days. you put every thing at hazard in foot of this inonnt, and seeming fondly to cling your country's cause, good as that cause was, around it, are not means of annoyance to you, and sanguine as youth is still your fundest hopes
did not stretch onward to an hour like this! | miserable proffer was spurned, in a tone of the At a period to which you could not reasonably most lofty self-respect, and the most indignant have expected to arrive; at a moment of na- patriotism. “We are deeply affected,” said its tional prosperity, such as you could never have inhabitants," with the sense of our public caforeseen, you are now met here, to enjoy the lamities; but the miseries that are now rapidly fellowship of old soldiers, and to receive the bastening on our brethren in the capital of the overflowings of an universal gratitude. province, greatly excite our commiseration. By
But your agitated countenances and your shutting up the port of Boston, some imagine heaving breasts inform me that even this is not that the course of trade might be turned hither, an unmixed joy. I perceive that a tumult of and to our benefit; but we must be dead to contending feelings rushes upon you. The every idea of justice, lost to all feelings of huimages of the dead, as well as the persons of manity, could we indulge a thought to seize on the living, throng to your embraces. "The scene wealth, and raise our fortunes on the ruin of overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May the our suffering neighbors." These noble sentiFather of all mercies smile upon your declining ments were not confined to our immediate vi. years, and bless them! And when you shall cinity. In that day of general affection and here have exchanged your embraces; włen you brotherhood, the blow given to Boston smote shall once more have pressed the hands which on every patriotic heart, from one end of the have been so often extended to give succor in country to the other. Virginia and the Caroadversity, or grasped in the exultation of vic- linas, as well as Connecticut and New Hamptory; then look abroad into this lovely land, shiré, felt and proclaimed the cause to be their which your young valor defended, and mark the own. The Continental Congress, then holding happiness with which it is filled; yea, look its first session in Philadelphia, expressed its abroad into the whole earth, and see what a sympathy for the suffering inbabitants of Bosname you have contributed to give to your ton, and addresses were received from all quarcountry, and what a praise you have added to ters, assuring them that the cause was a comfreedoin, and then rejoice in the sympathy and mon one, and should be met by common efforts gratitude which beam upon your last days from and common sacrifices. The Congress of Masthe improved condition of mankind.
sachusetts responded to these assurances; and The occasion does not require of me any par- in an address to the Congress at Philadelphia, ticular account of the battle of the 17th of June, bearing the official signature, perhaps among nor any detailed narrative of the events which the last, of the immortal Warren, notwithstandimmediately preceded it. These are familiarly ing the severity of its suffering, and the magknown to all. In the progress of the great and nitude of the dangers which threatened it, it interesting controversy, Massachusetts and the was declared, that this colony “is ready, at all town of Boston had become early and marked times, to spend and to be spent in the cause of objects of the displeasure of the British Par- America." liament. This had been manifested in the Act But the hour drew nigh, which was to put for altering the Government of the Province, professions to the proof, and to determine and in that for shutting up the port of Boston. whether the authors of these mutual pledges Nothing sheds more honor on our early history, were ready to seal them in blood. The tidings and nothing better shows how little the feelings of Lexington and Concord had no sooner spread, and sentiments of the colonies were known or than it was universally felt that the time was at regarded in England, than the impression which last come for action. A spirit pervaded all these measures everywhere produced in Amer- ranks, not transient, not boisterous, but deep, ica. It had been anticipated, that while the solemn, determined, other colonies would be terrified by the severity of the punishment inflicted on Massachusetts,
"totamque infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet." the other seaports would be governed by a mere spirit of gain; and that, as Boston was now cut War, on their own soil and at their own doors, off from all commerce, the unexpected advan- was, indeed, a strange work to the yeomanry tage which this blow on her was calculated to of New England; but their consciences were confer on other towns, would be greedily en convinced of its necessity, their country called joyed. How miserably such reasoners deceived them to it, and they did not withhold themthemselves! How little they knew of the depth, selves from the perilous trial. The ordinary and the strength, and the intenseness of that occupations of life were abandoned; the plough feeling of resistance to illegal acts of power, was staid in the unfinished furrow; wives gave which possessed the whole American people! up their husbands, and mothers gave up their Everywhere the unworthy boon was rejected sons, to the battles of a civil war. Death might with scorn. The fortunate occasion was seized, come, in honor, on the field; it might come, in everywhere, to show to the whole world that disgrace, on the scaffold. For either and for the colonies were swayed by no local interest, both they were prepared. The sentiment of no partial interest, no selfish interest. The Quincy was full in their hearts. “Blandishtemptation to profit by the punishment of Bos- ments," said that distinguished son of genius ton was strongest to our neighbors of Salem. and patriotism, “will not fascinate us, nor will Yet Salem was precisely the place where this threats of a halter intimidate; for, under God,
we are determined, that wheresoever, whenso- | with two generations. Heaven saw fit to ordain, ever, or howsoever we shall be called to make that the electric spark of Liberty should be conour exit, we will die free men."
ducted, through you, from the new world to The 17th of June saw the four New England the old; and we, who are now here to perform colonies standing here, side by side, to triumph this duty of patriotism, bave all of us long ago or to fall together; and there was with them received it in charge from our fathers to cherish from that moment to the end of the war, what your name and your virtues. You will account I hope will remain with them forever, one cause, it an instance of your good fortune, sir, that one country, one heart.
you crossed the seas to visit us at a time which The battle of Bunker Hill was attended with enables you to be present at this solemnity. the most important effects beyond its immediate You now behold the field, the renown of which result as a military engagement. It created at reached you in the heart of France, and caused once a state of open, public war. There could a thrill in your ardent bosom. You see the now be no longer a question of proceeding lines of the little redoubt thrown up by the inagainst individuals, as guilty of treason or re- credible diligence of Prescott; defended, to the bellion. That fearful crisis was past. The ap- last extremity, by his lion-hearted valor; and peal now lay to the sword, and the only ques- within which the corner stone of our monument tion was, whether the spirit and the resources has now taken its position. You see where of the people would hold out till the object Warren fell, and where Parker, Gardner, Mcshould be accomplished. Nor were its general Cleary, Moore, and other early patriots fell with consequences confined to our own country. him. Those who survived that day, and whose The previous proceedings of the colonies, their lives have been prolonged to the present hour, appeals, resolutions, and addresses, had made are now around you. Some of them you have their cause known to Europe. Without boast- known in the trying scenes of the war. Being, we may say, that in no age or country, has hold! they now stretch forth their feeble arms the public cause been maintained with more to embrace you. Behold! they raise their force of argument, more power of illustration, trembling voices to invoke the blessing of God or more of that persuasion which excited feel- on you, and yours, forever. ing and elevated principle can alone bestow, Sir, you have assisted us in laying the founthan the revolutionary state papers exhibit. dation of this edifice. You have heard us reThese papers will forever deserve to be studied, hearse, with our feeble commendation, the not only for the spirit which they breathe, but names of departed patriots. Sir, monuments for the ability with which they were written. and eulogy belong to the dead. We give them,
To this able vindication of their cause, the this day, to Warren and his associates. On colonies had now added a practical and severe other occasions, they have been given to your proof of their own true devotion to it, and evi- more immediate companions in arms, to Washdence also of the power which they could bring ington, to Greene, to Gates, Sullivan, and Linto its support. All now saw, that if America coln. Sir, we have become reluctant to grant fell, she would not fall without a struggle. Men these, our highest and last honors, further. We felt sympathy and regard, as well as surprise, would gladly hold them yet back from the little when they beheld these infant States, remote, remnant of that immortal band. “Serus in unknown, unaided, encounter the power of cælum redeas.” Ilustrious as are your merits, England, and in the first considerable battle, yet far, oh, very far distant be the day, when leave more of their enemies dead on the field, any inscription shall bear your name, or any in proportion to the number of combatants, than tongue pronounce its eulogy! they had recently known in the wars of Europe. The leading reflection, to which this occasion
Information of these events, circulating seems to invite us, respects the great changes through Europe, at length reached the ears of which have happened in the fifty years, since one who now hears me. He has not forgotten the battle of Bunker Hill was fought. And it the emotion which the fame of Bunker Hill, peculiarly marks the character of the present and the name of Warren, excited in his youth- age, that, in looking at these changes, and in ful breast.
estimating their effect on our condition, we are Sir, we are assembled to commemorate the obliged to consider, not what has been done in establishment of great public principles of lib- our own country only, but in others also. In erty, and to do honor to the distinguished dead. these interesting times, while nations are makThe occasion is too severe for eulogy to the ing separate and individual advances in improveliving. But, sir, your interesting relation to ment, they make, too, a common progress ; like this country, the peculiar circumstances which vessels on a common tide, propelled by the gales surround you and surround us, call on me to at different rates, according to their several express the happiness which we derive from structure and management, but all moved foryour presence and aid in this solemn commemo- ward by one mighty current beneath, strong ration.
enough to bear onward whatever does not sink Fortunate, fortunate man! with what meas- beneath it. ure of devotion will you not thank God for A chief distinction of the present day is a the circumstances of your extraordinary life! community of opinions and knowledge amongst You are connected with both hemispheres and I men, in different nations, existing in a degree
heretofore unknown. Knowledge has, in our troversy. From the closet and the public halls time, triumphed, and is triumphing over dis- the debate has been transferred to the field; tance, over difference of languages, over diver- and the world has been shaken by wars of unsity of habits, over prejudice, and over bigotry. exampled magnitude, and the greatest variety The civilized and Christian world is fast learn- of fortune. A day of peace has at length sucing the great lesson, that difference of nation ceeded; and now that the strife has subsided, does not imply necessary hostility, and that all and the smoke cleared away, we may begin to contact need not be war. The whole world is see what has actually been done, permanently becoming a common field for intellect to act in. changing the state and condition of human soEnergy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it ciety. And without dwelling on particular cirexists, may speak out in any tongue, and the cumstances, it is most apparent, that, from the world will hear it. A great chord of sentiment before-mentioned causes of augmented knowland feeling runs through two continents, and edge and improved individual condition, a real, vibrates over both. Every breeze wafts intel- substantial, and important change has taken ligence from country to country; every wave place, and is taking place, greatly beneficial, on rolls it; all give it forth, and all in turn receive the whole, to human liberty and human hapit. There is a vast commerce of ideas; there piness. are marts and exchanges for intellectual dis- The great wheel of political revolution began coveries, and a wonderful fellowship of those to move in America. Here its rotation was individual intelligences which make up the guarded, regular, and safe. Transferred to the mind and opinion of the age. Mind is the great other continent, from unfortunate but natural lever of all things; human thought is the pro- causes, it received an irregular and violent imcess by which human ends are ultimately an- pulse; it whirled along with a fearful celerity; swered; and the diffusion of knowledge, so till at length, like the chariot wheels in the astonishing in the last half century, has ren- races of antiquity, it took fire from the rapidity dered innumerable minds, variously gifted by of its own motion, and blazed onward, spreadnature, competent to be competitors, or fellow-ing conflagration and terror around. workers, on the theatre of intellectual opera- We learn from the result of this experiment, tion.
how fortunate was our own condition, and how From these causes, important improvements admirably the character of our people was calhave taken place in the personal condition of culated for making the great example of popuindividuals. Generally speaking, mankind are lar governments. The possession of power did not only better fed, and better clothed, but they not turn the heads of the American people, for are able also to enjoy more leisure; they pos- they had long been in the habit of exercising sess more refinement and more self-respect. A a great portion of self-control. Although the superior tone of education, manners, and habits paramount authority of the parent State existed prevails. This remark, most true in its appli- over them, yet a large field of legislation had cation to our own country, is also partly true, always been open to our colonial assemblies. when applied elsewhere. It is proved by the They were accustomed to representative bodies vastly augmented consumption of those articles and the forms of free government; they underof manufacture and of commerce, which con- stood the doctrine of the division of power tribute to the comforts and the decencies of among different branches, and the necessity of life; an augmentation which has far outrun the checks on each. The character of our countryprogress of population. And while the unex- men, moreover, was sober, moral, and religious; ampled and almost incredible use of machinery and there was little in the change to shock their would seem to supply the place of labor, labor feelings of justice and humanity, or even to disstill finds its occupation and its reward; so turb an honest prejudice. We had no domestic wisely has Providence adjusted men's wants throne to overturn, no privileged orders to cast and desires to their condition and their capa- down, no violent changes of property to encity.
counter. In the American Revolution, no man Any adequate survey, however, of the pro- sought or wished for more than to defend and gress made in the last half century, in the polite enjoy his own. None hoped for plunder or for and the mechanic arts, in machinery and man- spoil. Rapacity was unknown to it; the axe ufactures, in commerce and agriculture, in let- was not among the instruments of its accomters, and in science, would require volumes. I plishment; and we all know that it could not must abstain wholly from these subjects, and have lived a single day under any well-founded turn, for a moment, to the contemplation of imputation of possessing a tendency adverse to what has been done on the great question of the Christian religion. politics and government. This is the master It need not surprise us, that, under circumtopic of the age; and during the whole fifty stances less auspicious, political revolutions years, it has intensely occupied the thoughts of elsewhere, even when well intended, have ter
The nature of civil government, its ends mipated differently. It is, indeed, a great and uses, have been canvassed and investigated; achievement, it is the master work of the world, ancient opinions attacked and defended; new to establish governments entirely popular, on ideas recommended and resisted, by whateverlasting foundations; nor is it easy, indeed, to power the mind of man could bring to the con- I introduce the popular principle at all, into
governments to which it has been altogether a / will be less likely to become general and involve stranger. It cannot be doubted, however, that many nations, as the great principle shall be Europe has come out of the contest, in which more and more established, that the interest of she has been so long engaged, with greatly su- the world is peace, and its first great statute, perior knowledge, and, in many respects, a that every nation possesses the power of estabhighly-improved condition. Whatever benefit lishing a government for itself. But public has been acquired, is likely to be retained, for opinion has attained also an influence over gov. it consists mainly in the acquisition of more ernments which do not admit the popular prinenlightened ideas. And although kingdoms and ciple into their organization. A necessary provinces may be wrested from the hands that respect for the judgment of the world operates, hold them, in the same manner they were ob- in some measure, as a control over the most tained; although ordinary and vulgar power unlimited forms of authority. It is owing, permay, in human affairs, be lost as it has been haps, to this truth, that the interesting struggle won; yet it is the glorious prerogative of the of the Greeks has been suffered to go on so long, empire of knowledge, that what it gains it never without a direct interference, either to wrest loses. On the contrary, it increases by the that country from its present masters, and add multiple of its own power; all its ends become it to other powers, or to execute the system of means; all its attainments helps to new con- pacification by force, and, with united strength, quests. Its whole abundant harvest is but so lay the neck of Christian and civilized Greece at much seed wheat, and nothing has ascertained, the foot of the barbarian Turk. Let us thank and nothing can ascertain the amount of ulti- God that we live in an age when something has mate product.
influence besides the bayonet, and when the Under the influence of this rapidly-increasing sternest authority does not venture to encounter knowledge, the people have begun, in all forms the scorching power of public reproach. Any of government, to think and to reason on affairs attempt of the kind I have mentioned, should of state. Regarding government as an institu- be met by one universal burst of indignation; tion for the public good, they demand a knowl- the air of the civilized world ought to be made edge of its operations, and a participation in its too warm to be comfortably breathed by any exercise. A call for the representative system,, who would hazard it. wherever it is not enjoyed, and where there is It is, indeed, a touching reflection, that while, already intelligence enough to estimate its value, in the fulness of our country's happiness, we is perseveringly made. Where men may speak rear this monument to her honor, we look for out, they demand it; where the bayonet is at instruction in our undertaking, to a country their throats, they pray for it.
which is now in fearful contest, not for works When Louis XIV. said, “I am the state," he of art or memorials of glory, but for her own expressed the essence of the doctrine of unlim- existence. Let her be assured, that she is not ited power. By the rules of that system, the forgotten in the world ; that her efforts are appeople are disconnected from the state; they plauded, and that constant prayers ascend for are its subjects; it is their lord. These ideas, her success. And let us cherish a confident founded in the love of power, and long support- hope for her final triumph. If the true spark ed by the excess and the abuse of it, are yield of religious and civil liberty be kindled, it will ing in our age, to other opinions; and the burn. Human agency cannot extinguish it. civilized world seems at last to be proceeding to Like the earth's central fire it may be smothered the conviction of that fundamental and manifest for a time; the ocean may overwhelm it; mountruth, that the powers of government are but a tains may press it down; but its inherent and trust, and that they cannot be lawfully exercised unconquerable force will heave both the ocean but for the good of the community. As knowl- and the land, and at some time or another, in edge is more and more extended, this conviction some place or another, the volcano will break becomes more and more general. Knowledge, out and flame up to heaven. in truth, is the great sun in the firmament. Among the great events of the half century, Life and power are scattered with all its beams. we must reckon, certainly, the revolution of The prayer of the Grecian combatant, when South America; and we are not likely to overenveloped in unnatural clouds and darkness, is rate the importance of that revolution, either to the appropriate political supplication for the the people of the country itself or to the rest of people of every country not yet blessed with the world. The late Spanish colonies, now infree institutions:
dependent states, under circumstances less fa
vorable, doubtless, than attended our own rev"Dispel this cloud, the light of heaven restore, Give me TO SEE—and Ajax asks no more.”
olution, have yet successfully commenced their
national existence. They have accomplished the We may hope, that the growing influence of great object of establishing their independence; enlightened sentiments will promote the perma- they are known and acknowledged in the world; nent peace of the world. Wars, to maintain and although in regard to their systems of govfamily alliances, to uphold or to cast down dy- ernment, their sentiments on religious toleration, nasties, to regulate successions to thrones, which and their provisions for public instruction, they have occupied so much room in the history of may have yet much to learn, it must be admitmodern times if not less likely to happen at all, I ted that they have risen to the condition of