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ADDRESS OF MR. MCCOMAS, OF MARYLAND. Mr. PRESIDENT: The State of Maryland has placed in the National Statuary Hall the bronze statues of CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton and John HANSON, and the purpose of the resolutions that I have just offered is that now they be presented to Congress for acceptance. The State statuary commission, who appreciate the courtesy of the Senate on this occasion, have well performed their office, for the works of the artist are worthy of their subjects and of a place in yonder hall.
Maryland has nearly three centuries of history wherefrom to choose two citizens illustrious in her annals and worthy of this national commemoration. My State did not accord this high honor to the founder, George Calvert, nor to Cæcilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, the father of the province; nor to the gallant leaders of the Maryland Line, to Howard, Smallwood, Williams, or De Kalb, commanders of that body of soldiers which early won the confidence of Washington, which, at Brooklyn Heights, by its discipline and bravery, saved our army when surrounded, which maintained this honorable distinction for steadiness and gallantry until in the last pitched battle of the Revolution, at Eutaw Springs, that same Maryland Line drove the flower of the English infantry at the point of the bayonet; nor to her orators or jurists or lawyers who, living before Luther Martin and William Pinkney or in their day or after them, emulated their fame and glory.
From among all her renowned sons Maryland chose CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton and JOHN HANSON as most worthy of this national commemoration.
And with reason has my State presented the statues of these illustrious men to join the company of the great and good already gathered together in the old Hall of Representatives. The story of the Revolution grows in dramatic interest as the long perspective grows. As the Revolution recedes, each
succeeding generation finds augmented fascination in the great story, and draws increasing patriotism from this inspiring panorama of our history and this immense event in the history of the English-speaking people.
The most stupid King England ever had was then on the throne. He never long endured a prime minister if his talent rose above that of a gentleman usher.
The American colonists were the least governed and the freest of English subjects. They were prosperous. They loved the Kingdom and the King. They loved the English name and tradition, the literature, the architecture and arts of England, its historic places, its very soil, for England was to them the old home. They were freemen and mostly freeholders, and they loved liberty. The history of English liberty was the history of a struggle for the rights of the individual citizen as respects person, property, and opinion, so that he shall have nothing to fear from the tyranny of an executive or of a Parliament; a struggle which began with Magna Charta and lasted down to the Bill of Rights and to the Declaration of Independence.
The indissoluble connection between taxation and representation was the basis of the English conception of freedom. That no man should be taxed without his own consent was the principle which was the root of the American Revolution.
The glorious wars of the elder Pitt had raised from the dust the standard of Great Britain, had restored her prestige and power, but had also enormously increased her debt. The colonists, under the guidance of the elder Pitt, had cheerfully given men and money. They had followed Braddock to defeat, and Howe and Amherst and Wolfe to victory. As compatriots of English veterans they had helped drive the French from the Great Lakes and from the valley of the Ohio, joined in the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the siege of Quebec, and the conquest of Canada.
The elder Pitt would not have appealed in vain to the Colonies, who loved him, to tax themselves to help pay their share of debt for these wars. But the great minister had given place to a pliant tool of a dull king.
As the burden had been partly incurred in the defense of the Colonies, George Granville resolved that the Colonies should bear their share of it. They had no representation in Parliament and therefore the Colonies replied that taxation and representation went hand in hand. Blunder followed blunder until loyalty to King and Parliament died out in the Colonies.
The province of Maryland had little cause for a change of government. The proprietary government was mild, and reposed on popular affection. The colonists were a homogeneous people, prosperous and contented, although the bigotry of the age had imposed disabilities on Catholics in the only province whose Catholic founders had dedicated it to civil and religious liberty and to the broadest toleration,
The Colonial governor, Robert Eden, was beloved and respected. The colony was rapidly growing. Maryland was the fourth colony in population and importance when she joined in the Revolution from love of liberty, and from honorable sympathy with the general welfare of her sister colonies. On this broad and generous ground she gave her adhesion to the Revolution, and authorized her delegates in the Continental Congress to concur in the Declaration of Independence.
It is because of their part in the great drama of the Revolution, their unfailing devotion to the cause of liberty, their great power and influence at critical periods of the struggle with Great Britain, their characters and lives, that Maryland has selected JOHN HANSON and CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, to dwell in enduring bronze in yonder American pantheon.
Most of the thirteen original States have contributed statues to our National Gallery. It is unfortunate that so few of the illustrious men of the Revolution have been sent to join the solemn circle there. It is to be regretted that hitherto only three of the signers of the great Declaration face each other there.
American public life in that time of trial and danger was adorned by many striking figures. Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Marshall of that generation belong to the history of the world. Many of their associates will forever live in American history. They stand in the forefront of the nation's life. Therefore I rejoice that Maryland now brings to the old Hall of Representatives for the acceptance of Congress two men of the Revolution, one of them the President of a Congress of the Revolution, the other the last of the survivors of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, that great act with which our nation's history begins.
JOHN HANSON was born in 1715 in Charles County, Md., and lived there until in 1773 he removed to Frederick County, then rapidly growing. He had nine times represented Charles County in the provincial assembly. In trying times JOHN HANSON was by nature a leader. The “Boston port bill” roused the peaceful province to make common cause with Massachusetts. We find HANSON a delegate from Frederick to a congress at Annapolis, and as chairman of the committee of observation of his county sending money to John Adams for the poor of Boston, later helping to raise two companies of riflemen in Frederick. Walking all the way, in twenty-two days Capt. Michael Cresap and Capt. Thomas Price marched their Frederick riflemen into Cambridge. The Frederick companies were the first Southern troops to join Washington.
At Annapolis in 1775 HANSON fearlessly joined in the overthrow of the proprietary government and in placing supreme control in the provincial convention. The cautious convention, hoping for reunion with Britain, had precluded our delegates in Congress from declaring for independence of the colonies. HANSON and the Frederick County patriots now assembled and resolved “That what may be recommended by a majority of the Congress equally delegated by the people of the United Colonies we will at the hazard of our lives and fortunes support and maintain, and that every resolution of the convention tending to separate this province from a majority of the colonies without the consent of the people is destructive to our internal safety.” Samuel Chase and CHARLES CARROLL had just returned from their mission to Canada, and had taken their seats in the new convention. CARROLL was mainly instrumental in causing the convention to recall its former instructions and empowering the Maryland delegates in Congress to concur “in declaring the United Colonies free and independent States.”'
JOHN HANSON, with unflagging spirit, in the legislature and in the Continental Congress supported the great struggle for independence.
During his three successive terms in the Continental Congress John HANSON was engaged in battling for another great cause, whose successful issue changed the whole course of our national life. It is recorded in the journals of Congress that “on March 1, 1781, JOHN HANSON and Daniel Carroll did sign and ratify the Articles of Confederation of the United States."
This action was the crowning historic service in HANSON'S career.
The far-reaching consequences of the struggle which ended when HANSON signed the Articles of Confederation are now better understood. We all recall that in November, 1777, Congress submitted the Articles of Confederation to the State legislatures for ratification. Within fifteen months they were ratified by all the States except Maryland. Our State refused ratification until those States claiming the northwesteru back lands, and especially Virginia, should surrender their claims of western territory to the confederation. This action of Maryland led directly to the formation of the Federal Union. In October, 1777, when the Articles of Confederation were about to be presented by Congress to the States for ratification, Maryland alone voted that Congress shall have the sole right