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the people of the United States as a proper person to fill the office of vice-president, for four years, from the fourth day of March following. This was announced to him by a committee of the meeting, in a letter, to which he immediately replied. “The question,” he observed, respecting the acceptance or non-acceptance of this proposition, involved many considerations of great weight in my mind; as they related to the nation, to this state, and to my domestic concerns. But it is neither expedient or necessary to state the points, since one was paramount to the rest, that ‘in a republic, the service of each citizen is due to the state, even in profound peace, and much more so when the nation stands on the threshold of war.’ I have the honour frankly to acknowledge this distinguished testimony of confidence, on the part of my congressional friends and fellow citizens, gratefully to accept their proffer, and freely to assure them of every exertion in my power, for meriting in office the approbation of themselves and of the public.” The recommendation was accepted by his countrymen, and he was elected to the second office of the republic, by a majority of forty-one votes. His fellow citizens in Boston, anxious to show their respect for the man, and grateful for the services he had rendered in his long and active life, met together to congratulate him on this proud termination of his honours; and, at the same time, to vindicate his character from the charges, in which party feeling had indulged, during his administration of the government of Massachusetts. “At this interesting period,” they say, “we are happy to find that so large a majority of the citizens have united in the choice of a character, whose revolutionary services have long endeared him to every friend of his country. The uniformity of those principles which led to the establishment of our sovereignty and independence, being so unequivocally maintained in every situation in which
you have been placed, cannot but inspire a confidence in the republicans, that our national honour (under the wisdom of your councils) will be preserved against the artifices of foreign and domestic foes. We wish you, respected sir, every happimess, both political and domestic; and you may be assured that you commence the important duties of vice-president of the United States, with the most sincere congratulations of your republican friends in Massachusetts. They rely on your patriotism, and trust that the same spirit which carried the people of America through the arduous conflict of the revolution, will animate you to vindicate those national rights anticipated by our independence. We trust in Heaven, that the enemies of our country will not prevail, while the arm of Gerry is uplifted to oppose them.” On the fourth of March, 1813, Mr. Gerry was inaugurated vice-president of the United States, being attended, at the time, by his venerable friend and revolutionary companion John Adams. At the meeting of the senate on the twentyfifth of May following, he took his seat as constitutional president of that body, and delivered an address to them, setting forth at large his opinions and views on the great events of political interest which then occupied the attention of the nation. He concluded it in the following terms: “Your fellow-citizen, with sensations which can be more easily conceived than expressed, perceives that there are in the government many of his former friends and compatriots, with whom he has often co-operated in the perilous concerns of his country; and with unfeigned pleasure, he will meet the other public functionaries, whose acknowledged abilities and public services in like manner claim his high consideration and respect. With a sacred, regard to the rights of every departimentand officer of government, and with a respectful deference to their political principles and opinions, he has frankly de
clared his own; for to have concealed them at a crisis like this, might have savoured too much of a want of candour. “And may that Omnipotent Being, who with infinite wisdom and justice superintends the destinies of nations, confirm the heroic patriotism which has glowed in the breasts of the national rulers, and convince the enemy, that whilst a disposition to peace, on equitable and honourable terms, will ever prevail in their public councils, one spirit animated by the love of country will inspire every department of the national government.” * From this period Mr. Gerry devoted himself, with undeviating attention, to the duties of his office. He presided constantly over the deliberations of the senate, and, by his strict impartiality and candour, gave that satisfaction in the latest, which he had done in the earliest actions of his political life. Providence, however, did not long permit him to enjoy the dignity which he had so well earned, but called him in the midst of his honours, but full of years, from the scene of his earthly labours. The date and circumstances of his death are thus recorded, on a beautiful monument, which congress caused to be erected over his remains.
The Tomb of
Thus fulfilling his own memorable injunction—“It is the duty of every citizen, though he may have but one day to live, to devote that day to the service of his country.”
THE Delegates whose signatures are affixed to the Declaration of Independence, on behalf of the state of New-Hampshire, were Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, and Matthew Thornton, of whom the first is the subject of the present memoir.
The ancestors of Josiah BARTLETT were of Norman origin, and settled in the south of England at the time of the conquest. During the seventeenth century, a branch of this family emigrated to America, and established itself at Beverly in Massachusetts. His great-grand-father, whose name was John, lived in that town, and had several sons, one of whom, named Richard, removed to Newbury: he had eight sons and two daughters. His fifth son, Stephen, married a lady named Webster, and settled in Amesbury, Massachusetts. The subject of the present memoir was his fourth son, who was born at Amesbury in November, 1729. The family of Stephen Bartlett consisted of five sons and one daughter, who were all distinguished for good sense, for their regular and moral deportment, and quick perception.
Josiah BARTLETT was instructed, at an early age, in the rudiments of the Greck and Latin languages, which, from his natural capacity and tenacious memory, he rapidly acquired. At the age of sixteen he commenced the study of physic under
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