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they heard that giant say, "Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field." But, there were those who never trembled-who knew that there was a God in Israel, and who were willing to commit their cause "to his even-handed justice," and his almighty power. That their great trust was in Him, is manifest from the remarks that were continually breaking from the lips of the patriots. Thus, the patriot Hawley, when pressed upon the inequality of the contest, could only answer, "We must put to seaProvidence will bring us into port;" and Patrick Henry, when urged upon the same topic, exclaimed, "True, true; but there is a God above, who rules and overrules the destinies of nations."

stated are candidly, calmly, and mildly discussed; where neither pride, nor shame, nor anger take part in the discussion, nor stand in the way of a correct conclusion; but where every thing being conducted frankly, delicately, respectfully, and kindly, the better cause and the better reasoner are almost always sure of success. In this kind of service, as well as in all that depended on the power of composition, Mr. Jefferson was as much a master-magician as his eloquent friend Adams was in debate. They were, in truth, hemispheres of the same golden globe, and required only to be brought and put together, to prove that they were parts of the same heaven-formed whole.

On the present occasion, however, much still remained to be effected by debate. The first of Amid this appalling array that surrounded July came, and the great debate on the resoluthem, the first to enter the breach, sword in tion for independence was resumed, with fresh hand, was John Adams-the vision of his youth spirit. The discussion was again protracted for at his heart, and his country in every nerve. two days, which, in addition to the former On the sixth of May, he offered, in committee three, were sufficient, in that age, to call out all of the whole, the significant resolution, that the speaking talent of the House. Botta, the the colonies should form governments independ- Italian historian of our Revolution, has made ent of the crown. This was the harbinger of Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Lee the principal speakmore important measures, and seems to have ers on the opposite sides of this question; and been put forward to feel the pulse of the House. availing himself of that dramatic license of anThe resolution, after a bloody struggle, was cient historians, which the fidelity of modern adopted on the 15th day of May following. On history has exploded, he has drawn, from his the 7th of June, by previous concert, Richard own fancy, two orations, which he has put into Henry Lee moved the great resolution of In- the mouths of those distinguished men. With dependence, and was seconded by John Adams; no disposition to touch, with a hostile hand, one and "then came the tug of war." The debate leaf of the well-earned laurels of Mr. Lee, (which upon it was continued from the 7th to the 10th, every American would feel far more pleasure in when the further consideration of it was post-contributing to brighten and to cherish,) and poned to the 1st of July, and at the same time with no feelings but those of reverence and a committee of five was appointed to prepare, gratitude for the memory of the other great provisionally, a draught of a Declaration of In-patriots who assisted in that debate, may we dependence. At the head of this important not say, and are we not bound in justice to say, committee, which was then appointed by vote that Botta is mistaken in the relative promiof the House, although he was probably the nency of one, at least, of his prolocutors? Mr. youngest member, and one of the youngest men Jefferson has told us that "the Colossus of that in the House, (for he had served only part of Congress-the great pillar of support to the the former session, and was but thirty-two | Declaration of Independence, and its ablest adyears of age,) stands the name of Thomas Jeffer-vocate and champion on the floor of the House, son-Mr. Adams stands next. And these two was John Adams." How he supported it, can gentlemen having been deputed a sub-commit- now be only matter of imagination: for, the tee to prepare the draught, that draught, at Mr. debate was conducted with closed doors, and Adams' earnest importunity, was prepared by there was no reporter on the floor to catch the his more youthful friend. Of this transaction strains living as they rose. I will not attempt Mr. Adams is himself the historian, and the au- what Mr. Adams himself, if he were alive, could thorship of the Declaration, though once dis- not accomplish. He might recall the topics of puted, is thus placed for ever beyond the reach argument; but with regard to those flashes of of question. inspiration, those bursts of passion, which grew out of the awful feelings of the moment, they are gone for ever, with the reality of the occasion; and the happiest effort of fancy to supply their place, (by me, at least,) would bear no better resemblance to the original, than the petty crepitations of an artificial volcano to the sublime explosions of thundering Etna. Waiv

The final debate on the resolution was postponed, as we have seen, for nearly a month. In the mean time, all who are conversant with the course of action of all deliberative bodies, know how much is done by conversation among the members. It is not often, indeed, that proselytes are made on great questions by public debate. On such questions, opinions are faring, therefore, the example of Botta, let it sufmore frequently formed in private, and so form-fice for us to know, that in that moment of ed that debate is seldom known to change them. darkness, of terror, and of consternation, when Hence the value of the out-of-door talent of the election was to be made between an attempt chamber consultation where objections candidly at liberty and independence on the one hand,

and defeat, subjugation and death on the other, the courage of Adams, in the true spirit of heroism, rose in proportion to the dangers that pressed around him; and that he poured forth that only genuine eloquence, the eloquence of the soul, which, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, "moved his hearers from their seats." The objections of his adversaries were seen no longer but in a state of wreck; floating, in broken fragments, on the billows of the storm; and over rocks, over breakers, and amid ingulf ing whirlpools, that every where surrounded him, he brought the gallant ship of the nation safe into port.

The decisive step, which fixed the destiny of the nation, had now been taken: and that step It was on the evening of the day on which was irrevocable. "The die was now indeed this great victory was achieved, (before which, cast. The Rubicon had been crossed," effectuin moral grandeur, the trophies of Marengo and ally, finally, for ever. There was no return but the Nile fade away,) and while his mind was to chains, slavery and death. No such backyet rolling with the agitation of the recent ward step was meditated by the firm hearts that tempest, that he wrote that letter to the vener-led on the march of the nation: but, confiding able partner of his bosom, which has now be- in the justice of Heaven, and the final triumph come matter of history; in which, after an- of truth, they moved forward in solid phalanx, nouncing the adoption of the resolution, he and with martial step, regardless of the tempest foretells the future glories of his country, and that was breaking around them. the honors with which the returning anniver- Their confidence in the favor and protection sary of her Declaration of Independence would of Heaven, however, strong and unshaken as it be hailed, till time should be no more. That was, did not dispose them to relax their own which strikes us on the first perusal of this let- exertions, nor to neglect the earthly means of ter, is, the prophetic character with which it is securing their triumph. They were not of the stamped, and the exactness with which its pre- number of those who call upon Hercules, and dictions have been fulfilled. But, his biogra-put not their own shoulders to the wheel. Our pher will remark in it another character: the adversary was one of the most powerful nadeep political calculation of results, through tions on earth. Our whole strength consisted which the mind of the writer, according to of a few stout hearts and a good cause. But its habit, had flashed; and the firm and un- we were wofully deficient in all the sinews of doubting confidence with which, in spite of war: we wanted men, we wanted arms, we those appearances that alarmed and misled wanted money; and these could be procured weaker minds, he looked to the triumphant only from abroad. But the intervening ocean close of the struggle. was covered with the fleets of the enemy; and the patriot Laurens, one of their captives, was already a prisoner in the Tower of London. Who was there to undertake this perilous service? He who was ever ready to peril any service in the cause of his country: John Adams. Congress knew their man, and did not hesitate on the choice. Appointed a minister to France, he promptly obeyed the sacred call, and, with a brave and fearless heart, he ran the gauntlet through the hostile fleet, and arrived in safety. Passing from court to court, he pleaded the cause of his country with all the resistless energy of truth; and, availing himself adroitly of the selfish passions and interests of those courts, he ceased not to ply his efforts, with matchless dexterity, until the objects of his mission were completely attained. With the exception of one short interval of a return home, in 1779, when he aided in giving form to the constitution of his native State, he remained abroad, in France, in Holland-wherever he could be most useful-in the strenuous, faithful and successful service of his country, receiving repeated votes of thanks from Congress, till the storm was over, and peace and liberty came to crown his felicity, and realize the cherished vision of his youth.

The resolution having been carried, the draught of the declaration came to be examined in detail; and, so faultless had it issued from the hands of its author, that it was adopted as he had prepared it, pruned only of a few of its brightest inherent beauties, through a prudent deference to some of the States. It was adopted about noon of the fourth, and proclaimed to an exulting nation, on the evening of the same day. That brave and animated band who signed it-where are they now? What heart does not sink at the question? One only survives: Charles Carroll, of Carrollton-a noble specimen of the age that has gone by, and now the single object of that age, on whom the veneration and prayers of his country are concentrated. The rest have bequeathed to us the immortal record of their virtue and patriotism, and have ascended to a brighter reward than man can confer.

| separate themselves from Great Britain, and to declare these States free and independent. It was the voice of the American nation addressing herself to the other nations of the earth; and the address is, in all respects, worthy of this noble personification. It is the great argument of America in vindication of her course: and as Mr. Adams had been the Colossus of the cause on the floor of Congress, his illustrious friend, the author of this instrument, may well be pronounced to have been its Colossus on the theatre of the world.

Of that instrument to which you listen with reverence on every returning anniversary of its adoption, "which forms the ornament of our halls, and the first political lesson of our children," it is needless to speak. You know that in its origin and object, it was a statement of the causes which had compelled our fathers to

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Mr. Jefferson, meanwhile, was not less strenuously and successfully engaged at home, in forwarding and confirming the great objects of the Revolution, and making it a revolution of mind, as well as of government. Marking, with that sagacity which distinguished him, the series of inventions by which tyranny had contrived to tutor the mind to subjection, and educate it in habits of servile subordination, he proceeded in Virginia, with the aid of Pendleton and Wythe,

true that a poor attempt was made in aftertimes to wound the honor of his administration. But he bore a charmed character; and this, like every other blow that has ever been aimed at it, only recoiled to crush his accuser, and to leave him the brighter and stronger for the assault.

In 1781, his alert and active mind, which watched the rising character of his new-born country with all the jealous vigilance of an anxto break off the manacles, one by one, and de-ious father, found a new occasion to call him

into the intellectual field. Our country was yet but imperfectly known in Europe. Its face, its soil, its physical capacities, its animals, and even the men who inhabited it, were so little known, as to have furnished to philosophers abroad a theme of unfounded and degrading speculation. Those visionaries, dreaming over theories which they wanted the means or the inclination to confront with facts, had advanced, among others, the fantastic notion, that even man degenerated by transplantation to America. To refute this insolent position, and to place his country before Europe and the world on the elevated ground she was entitled to hold, the Notes on Virginia were prepared and published. He there pointed to Washington, to Franklin, and to Rittenhouse, as being alone sufficient to exterminate this heresy; and we may now point to Jefferson and to Adams, as sufficient to annihilate it. This pure and proud offering on the altar of his country, "The Notes on Virginia," honored its author abroad not less than at home; and when, shortly afterwards, the public service called him to Europe, it gave him a prompt and distinguished passport into the highest circles of science and literature.

liver the imprisoned intellect from this debasing sorcery. The law of entails, that feudal contrivance to foster and nourish a vicious aristocracy at the expense of the community, had at a previous period been broken up, on their suggestion; and property was left to circulate freely, and impart health and vigor to the operations of society. The law of primogeniture, that other feudal contrivance to create and keep up an artificial inequality among men whom their Creator had made equal, was now repealed, and the parent and his children were restored to their natural religion. And, above all, that daring usurpation on the rights of the Creator, as well as the creature, which presumes to dictate to man what he shall believe, and in what form he shall offer the worship of his heart, and this, too, for the vile purpose of strengthening the hands of a temporal tyrant, by feeding and pampering the tools of his power, was indignantly demolished, and the soul was restored to its free communion with the God who gave it.

The preamble to the bill establishing religious freedom in Virginia, is one of the most morally sublime of human productions. By its great author it was always esteemed as one of his happiest efforts, and the measure itself one of Thus actively and usefully employed in guardhis best services, as the short and modest epi-ing the fame, and advancing the honor and laptaph left by him attests. Higher praise cannot piness of his country, the war of the Revolution and need not be given to it than to say, it is in came to its close; and on the 19th of October, in all respects worthy of the pen which wrote 1781, of which this day is the anniversary, the Declaration of Independence; that it breathes Great Britain bowed to the ascendency of our the same lofty and noble spirit, and is a fit com- cause. Her last effective army struck her standpanion for that immortal instrument. ard on the heights of York, and peace and independence came to bless our land.

The legislative enactments that have been mentioned, form a small part only of an entire revision of the laws of Virginia. The collection of bills passed by these great men (one hundred and twenty-six in number), presents a system of jurisprudence, so comprehensive, profound and beautiful, so perfectly, so happily adapted to the new state of things, that, if its authors had never done any thing else, impartial history would have assigned them a place by the side of Solon and Lycurgus.

Mr. Adams was still abroad when this great consummation of his early hopes took place; and, although the war was over, a difficult task still remained to be performed. The terms of peace were yet to be arranged, and to be arranged under circumstances of the most complicated embarrassment. That the acknowledgment of our independence was to be its first and indispensable condition was well understood; and Mr. Adams, then at the Hague, with that In 1779, Mr. Jefferson was called to assume decision which always marked his character, the helm of government in Virginia, in succes- refused to leave his post and take part in the sion to Patrick Henry. He took that helm at negotiation at Paris, until the powers of the the moment when war, for the first time, had British commissioner should be so enlarged as entered the limits of the commonwealth. With to authorize him to make that acknowledgment what strength, fidelity, and ability he held it, unequivocally. I will not detain you by a reunder the most trying circumstances, the high-hearsal of what you so well know, the difficulest testimonials now stand on the journals of ties and intricacies by which this negotiation Congress, as well as those of Virginia. It is was protracted. Suffice it to say, that the firm

ness and skill of the American commissioners | diversified continent: discussions with the ministriumphed on every point. The treaty of peace ters of foreign governments, more especially was executed, and the last seal was thus put to with those of France and England and Spain, the independence of these States. on those great and agitating questions of international law, which were then continually arising; and instructions to our own ministers abroad, resident at the courts of the great belligerent powers, and who had consequently the most delicate and discordant interests to manage; presented a series of labors for the mind, which few, very few men in this or any other country could have sustained with reputation. How Mr. Jefferson acquitted himself, you all know. It is one of the peculiarities of his character to have discharged the duties of every office to which he was called, with such exact, appropriate, and felicitous ability, that he seemed, for the time, to have been born for that alone. As an evidence of the unanimous admiration of the matchless skill and talent with which he discharged the duties of this office, I hope it may be mentioned, without awaking any asperity of feeling, that when, at a subsequent period, he was put in a nomination by his friends for the office of President, his adversaries publicly objected—" that nature had made him only for a Secretary of State."

Thus closed the great drama of the American Revolution. And here for a moment let us pause. If the services of our departed fathers had closed at this point, as it did with many of their compatriots-with too many, if the wishes and prayers of their country could have averted it-what obligations, what honors, should we not owe to their memories! What would not the world owe to them! But, as if they had not already done enough, as if, indeed, they had done nothing while any thing yet remained to be done, they were ready, with renovated youth and elastic step, to take a new start in the career of their emancipated country.

President Washington having set the great example, which ingrafted on the constitution as firmly as if it had formed one of its express provisions, the principle of retiring from the office of President at the end of eight years, Mr. Adams succeeded him, and Mr. Jefferson followed Mr. Adams in the office of Vice President.

The Federal Constitution was adopted, and a new leaf was turned in the history of man. With what characters the page should be inscribed-whether it should open a great era of permanent good to the human family, or pass away like a portent of direful evil, was now to depend on the wisdom and virtue of America. At this time our two great patriots were both abroad in the public service: Mr. Adams in England, where, in 1787, he refuted, by his great work, "The Defence of the American Constitutions," the wild theories of Turgot, De Mably, and Price; and Mr. Jefferson in France, where he was presenting in his own person a living and splendid refutation of the notion of degeneracy in the American man. On the adoption of the Federal Constitution, they were both called home, to lend the weight of their character and talents to this new and momentous experiment on the capacity of man for self-government. Mr. Adams was called to fill the second office under the new government, the first having been justly conferred by the rule "detur fortiori:" and Mr. Jefferson, to take the direction of the highest Executive Department. The office of Vice President afforded, as you are aware, no scope for the public display of talent. But the leisure which it allowed, enabled Mr. Adams to pour out from his full fraught mind, another great political work, his Discourses on Davila; and, while he presided over the Senate with unexceptionable dignity and propriety, President Washington always found in him an able and honest adviser, in whom his confidence was implicit and unbounded.

Mr. Jefferson had a theatre that called for action. The Department of State was now, for the first time, to be organized. Its operations were all to be moulded into system, and an intellectual character was to be given to it, as well as the government to which it belonged, before this nation and before the world. The frequent calls made by Congress for reports on the most abstruse questions of science connected with government, and on those vast and novel and multifarious subjects of political economy, peculiar to this wide-extended and

Mr. Adams came into the office of President at a time of great commotion, produced chiefly by the progress of the revolution in France, and those strong sympathies which it naturally generated here. The spirit of party was high, and in the feverish excitement of the day much was said and done, on both sides, which the voice of impartial history, if it shall descend to such details, will unquestionably condemn, and which the candid and the good on both sides lived, themselves, to regret. One incident I will mention, because it is equally honorable to both the great men whom we are uniting in these obsequies. In Virginia where the opposition ran high, the younger politicians of the day, taking their tone from the public journals, have, on more occasions than one, in the presence of Mr. Jefferson, imputed to Mr. Adams a concealed design to sap the foundations of the republic, and to supply its place with a monarchy, on the British model. The uniform answer of Mr. Jefferson to this charge will never be forgotten by those who have heard it, and of whom (as I have recently had occasion to prove) there are many still living, besides the humble individual who is now addressing you. It was this: "Gentlemen, you do not know that man: there is not upon this earth a more perfectly honest man than John Adams. Concealment is no part of his character; of that he is utterly incapable: it is not in his nature


to meditate any thing that that he would not publish to the world. The measures of the general government are a fair subject for difference of opinion. But do not found your opinions on the notion, that there is the smallest spice of dishonesty, moral or political, in the character of John Adams; for I know him well, and I repeat it, that a man more perfectly honest never issued from the hands of his Creator." And such is now, and has long been, the unanimous opinion of his countrymen.

Of the measures adopted during his administration you do not expect me to speak. should offend against your own sense of propriety were I to attempt it. We are here to mingle together over the grave of the departed patriot, our feelings of reverence and gratitude for services whose merit we all acknowledge: and cold must be the heart which does not see and feel, in his life, enough to admire and to love, without striking one string that could produce one unhallowed note. History and biography will do ample justice to every part of his character, public and private; and impartial posterity will correct whatever errors of opinion may have been committed to his prejudice by his cotemporaries. Let it suffice for us, at this time, to know, that he administered the government with a pure, and honest, and upright heart; and that whatever he advised, flowed from the master passion of his breast, a holy and all-absorbing love for the happiness and honor of his country.

lican administration, on the true basis, and in the true spirit of the constitution; and that by them the measures of all the succeeding administrations have been continually brought to the standard of Mr. Jefferson's, as to an established and unquestionable test, and approved or condemned in proportion to their accordance with that standard. These are facts which are known to you all. Another fact I will mention, because it redounds so highly to the honor of his magnanimous and patriotic rival. It is this: that that part of Mr. Jefferson's adIministration, and of his successor treading in his steps, which was most violently opposed, the policy pursued towards the British Government subsequent to 1806, received the open, public, and powerful support of the pen, as well as the tongue, of the great sage of Quincy. The banished Aristides never gave a nobler proof of pure and disinterested patriotism. It was a genuine emanation from the altar of the Revolution, and in perfect accordance with the whole tenor of the life of our illustrious patriot sage.

Mr. Jefferson, holding the Vice Presidency, did not leave even that negative office, as, indeed, he never left any other, without marking his occupancy with some useful and permanent vestige. For it was during this term that he digested and compiled that able manual which now gives the law of proceeding, not only to the two Houses of Congress, but to all the legislatures of the States throughout the Union. On Mr. Adams's retirement, pursuing the destiny which seems to have tied them together, Mr. Jefferson again followed him in the office which he had vacated, the Presidency of the United States; and he had the good fortune to find, or to make a smoother sea. The violence of the party storm gradually abated, and he was soon able to pursue his peaceful course without any material interruption. Having forborne, for the obvious reasons which have been suggested, to touch the particulars of Mr. Adams's administration, the same forbearance, for the same reasons, must be exercised with regard to Mr. Jefferson. But, forbearing details, it will be no departure from this rule to state in general the facts, that Mr. Jefferson continued at the helm for eight years, the term which the example of Washington had consecrated; that he so administered the government as to meet the admiration and applause of a great majority of his countrymen, as the overwhelming suffrage at his second election attests; that by that majority he was thought to have presented a perfect model of a repub

Waiving all comment on Mr. Jefferson's public measures, there is yet a minor subject, which, standing where we do, seems to be a peculiar propriety in noticing; for, small as it is, it is strikingly characteristic of the man, and we have an immediate interest in the subject. It is this: the great objects of national concern, and the great measures which he was continually projecting and executing for the public good, on a new and vast scheme of policy wholly his own, and stamped with all the vigor and grandeur of his Olympic mind, although they were such as would not only have engrossed but overwhelmed almost any other man, did not even give full employment to him; but with that versatile and restless activity which was prone to busy itself usefully and efficaciously with all around him, he found time to amuse himself and to gratify his natural taste for the beautiful, by directing and overlooking in person, (as many of you can witness,) the improvements and ornaments of this city of the nation: and it is to his taste and industry that we owe, among other things which it were needless to enumerate, this beautiful avenue,* which he left in such order as to excite the admiration of all who approached us.

Having closed his administration, he was followed by the applause, the gratitude, and blessings of his country, into that retirement which no man was ever better fitted to grace and enjoy. And from this retirement, together with his precursor, the venerable patriarch of Quincy could enjoy that supreme of all earthly happiness, the retrospect of a life well and greatly spent in the service of his country and mankind. The successful warrior, who has desolated whole empires for his own aggran dizement, the successful usurper of his country's rights and liberties, may have their hours of

Pennsylvania Avenue.

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