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General Hamilton possessed many friends, anci he vas endeared to them, for he was gentle, tender, and benerolent. While he was great in the eyes of the worl], familiarity with him only increased the regard in which he was held. In bis person he was small, and short in stature. He married a daughter of general Schuyler, and left an afflicted widow and a number of children to mourn his loss.
Such was Hamilton; the soldier of the revolution; the confidant of Washington; the founder of the American system of finance; the enlightened statesman; the great counsellor; the eloquent orator; and the man of probity tried and spotless. He retired poor from an office, which, without peculation or any act that would have amounted to a breach of trust, might have rendered him as distinguished for wealth, as he was for the higher riches of his mind. His faults; for being human he had faults; are lost amidst his virtues, exeused, or forgotten.” HANCOCK, Joun, a distinguished patriot and friend of his country, was born in the year 1737, in the province of Massachusetts. The habitation of his father, which is represented as the precise place of his nativity, was situated near the village of Quincy, and by the ordinary transitions of property in America, is now annexed to the patrimony of John Adams, former president of the United States. In this neighbourhood were born and died, for many generations, the ancestors of the illustrious Samuel Adams. He graduated at Harvard college in 1754. On the death of his uncle, Thomas Hancock, Esquire, he received a very considerable fortune, and soon became an eminent merchant. He was. for several years, selectman of the town: and in 1766, he was chosen a member of the house of representatives for Boston. He there blazed a whig of the first magni.
tude. Otis, Cushing, and Samuel Adams, were the other three, who represented the capital, men of name in the revolution of their country. Being fond of public notice, he was flattered by the approbation of the people, with their marks of confidence, and the distinction he had in the general court. The political sagacity of Adams, the public spirit and patriotic zeal of Hancock, gave a lustre to the Boston seat. Of these two popular leaders, the manners and appearance were in direct opposition, notwithstanding the conformity of their political principles, and their equal devotion to the liberties and independence of their country; and this dissimilarity tended, no doubt, to aggravate the passions and animosities of their adherents. Mr. Adams was poor, and in his dress and manners, simple and unadorned. Hancock, on the other hand, was numbered with the richest individuals of his country. His equipage was splendid and magnificent; and such as at present is unknown in America. His apparel, was sumptuously embroidered with gold and silver and lace, and all the other decorations fashionable amongst men of fortune of that day; he rode, especially upon public occasions, with six beautiful bays, and with servants in livery. He was graceful and prepossessing in manners, and very passionately addicted to what are called the elegant pleasures of life, to dancing, music, concerts, routs, assemblies, card parties, rich wines, social dinners and festivities; all which the stern republiran virtues of Mr. Adams regarded with indifference, if not with contempt.
On the evening of the 5th of March, 1770, a small party of the British soldiers paraded, and being assailed by a tumultory assemblage of the people, with balls of snow and other weapons, fired upon them by the order of their officer, to disperse them. Upon which occasion several of
the crowd were wounded and a few were killed. This affray is usually termed - the massacre of Boston."
It was in commemoration of this event, Mr. Hancock delivered an oration, in 1774, from which we extract the following:
"I have always, from my earliest youth, rejoiced in the felicity of my fellow-men, and have ever considered it as the indispensable duty of every member of society to promote, as far as in him lies, the prosperity of every individual, but more especially of the community to which he belongs; and also, as a faithfuil subject of the state, to use his utmost endeavours to detect, and having detected, strenuously to oppose every traitorous plot which its enemies may devise for its destruction. Security to the persons and properties of the governed, is so obviously the design and end of civil government, that to attempt a logical proof of it, would be like burning tapers at noonday, to assist the sun in enlightening the world; and it cannot be virtuous or honourable, to attempt to support a government, of which this is not the great and principal basis; and it is to the last degree vicious and infamous to attempt to support a government, which manifestly tends to render the persons and properties of the governed insecure. Some boast of being friends to government; I am a friend to righteous government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice; but I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny. Is the present system, which the British administration have adopted for the government of the colonies, a righteous government? or is it tyranny? Here suffer me to ask (and would to Heaven there could be an answer) what tenderness, what regari), respect or consideration, has Great Britain shewn, in their late transactions, for the security of the persons or properties
of the inhabitants of the colonies? or rather, what have they omitted doing to destroy that security? They have declared that they have ever had, and of right ought ever to have, full power to make laws of sufficient validity, to bind the colonies in all cases whatever: they have exercised this pretended right by imposing a tax upon us without our consent; and lest we should shew some reluctance at parting with our property, her fleets and armies are sent to inforce their mad pretensions. The town of Boston, ever faithful to the British crown, has been invested by a British fleet: the troops of George the III. have crossed the wide Atlantic, not to engage an enemy, but to assist a band of traitors in trampling on the rights and liberties of his most loyal subjects in America; those rights and liberties which, as a father, he ought ever to regard, and as a king, he is bound, in honor, to defend from violations, even at the risk of his own life.
“But I forbear, and come reluctantly to the transactions of that dismal night, when in such quick succession we felt the extremes of grief, astonishment and rage; when Heaven, in anger, for a dreadful moment, suffered hell to take the reins; when Satan, with anid's blood, and sacriletho giously poiluted our land with the dead bodies of her guiltless sons. Let this sad tale of death nerer be told without a tear: let not the heaving bosom cease to burn with manly indignation at the barbarous story, through the long tracts of future time: let every parent tell the shameful story to his listening children till tears of pity glisten in their eyes, and boiling passions shake their tender frames; and whilst the anniversary of that ill-fated night is kept a jubilee in the grim court of paridæmonium, let all America join in one cominon prayer to Heaven, that the inhuman unprovoked murders of the fifth of March, 1770, planned by Hillsborough, and a knot of treacherous knaves in Boston, and executed by the cruel hand of Pres. ton and his sanguinary coadjutors, may ever stand on history without a parallel. But what, my countrymen, withheld the ready arm of vengeance from executing instant justice on the vile assassins? Perhaps you feared promiscuous carnage might ensue, and that the innocent might share the fate of those who had performed the infernal deed. But were not all guilty? where you not too tender of the lives of those who came to fix a yoke on your necks? but I must not too severely blame a fault, which great souls only can commit. May that magnificence of spirit which scorns the low pursuits of malice, may that generous compassion which often preserves from ruin, even a guilty villain, forever actuate the noble bosoms of Americans! But let not the miscreant host vainly imagine that we feared their arms. No; them we despised; we dread nothing but slavery. Death is the creature of a poltroon's brains; 'tis immortality to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of our country We fear not death. That gloomy night, che pale faced dioon, and the affrighted stars that
read the skv. can witness that we fear glow with rage that four revolving years have scarceiy taught us to restrain), can witness thai we fear not death; and happy it is for those who dared to insult us, that their naked bones are not now piled up an everlasting monument of Massachusetts bravery. But they retired, they fled, and in that flight they found their only safety. We then expected that the hand of public justice would soon inflict that punishment upon the murderers, which, by the laws of God and man, they had incurred.
“Patriotism is ever united with humanity and