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ADDRESS OF MR. WELLINGTON, OF MARYLAND. Mr. PRESIDENT: Maryland, one of the original thirteen States, to-day sends greeting to her sister Commonwealths, and, as a token of her steadfast faith in the principles advocated by the immortal Declaration of Independence, places in the American Pantheon the statues of two of her most illustrious citizens of the Revolutionary period-CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, to whose untiring energy and aggressive policy the adoption of the Declaration of Independence is in a great measure due, and JOHN HANSON, who was the first "President of the United States in Congress assembled" under the government of the Articles of Confederation. The pages of her history are illumined by many names which shall live as long as the American nation survives or the records of its history are remembered. In peace and war, in the period of settlement, during all the mutations of fortune in the Revolution, in the adoption of the Constitution, in the progress of the nation, in the great civil struggle, and in the years subsequent thereunto unto the present, she hath wrought her part through and by the heroic efforts of her sons.
From among them all have been selected these two as being most worthy to represent her in the Temple of Statues at the National Capitol.
When the adventurous spirits-heroic mariners and commanders of Europe--in the sixteenth century sought, discovered, and explored the New World, in which they fondly imagined the fabled treasures of El Dorado might be hidden,
They found not what they sought,
But Fame with her bay wreath dowers
And the land that they found is ours. But, sir, in the century following, the North American continent became the trysting place and haven of refuge of the oppressed of all European nationalities, who pledged themselves to liberty, religious toleration, and self-government. The struggles of settlement, the battles for British supremacy, are an important page in the annals of our country. The Puritan of New England, the adherent of Roger Williams who founded the Providence Plantations, the Quaker followers of Penn, the Cavaliers of Virginia, the Catholic adherents of Leonard Calvert in Maryland, the Huguenots of the Carolinas, were unlike in many things, but the mainspring of their action was freedom, independence, self-government.
The province of Maryland was granted by Charles the First to Cæcilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, bounded with much greater dimensions than now constitute the territory of the State. A number of counties in West Virginia, Delaware, and a portion of Pennsylvania were included. But, with Lord Fairfax upon the one hand and the eminent Quaker, William Penn, on the other, the boundaries were circumscribed and narrowed after many bloody encounters and valiant fights. Lord Baltimore held the colony as a feudal principality, but never viewed it personally, having delegated to his brother, Leonard Calvert, the rights of government. He was a noble, righteous, and liberal man, and under his leadership the colonists of Maryland “ laid the foundation broad and deep of civil and religious liberty."
As it was in Maryland, so it gradually became in her sister colonies. The same aspiration was felt, the same environment sought, the same object contemplated in each and every one of the colonies finally dominated by Great Britain. New Amsterdam became New York; the Spaniards returned to the southland; the French, after a desperate struggle, were forced to abandon the mainland entirely; and thus in the passage of time all elements were consolidated under English influence and the British spirit of liberty pervaded the conglomerate mass.
The founders of the colonies sacrificed the civilization of Europe to avoid coercion, and their decendants were deeply imbued with the spirit of liberty. With the ax in one hand and the rifle in the other, they penetrated the wilderness, subdued nature, and conquered the aboriginal inhabitants. As
they grew and prospered the English Government withdrew its protection and they stood alone. The American pioneer was forced to do battle for himself against a savage foe, and also to combat the enemies of Great Britain. This taught him selfreliance, to seek his own and his fellow-colonists' counsel, and gradually to form a bond of union in which mutual friendship and reciprocal aid were the component parts. There was no recognized right to form alliances among themselves, but in consequence of the similarity of their interests, laws, and at times precarious situations, they frequently united to advance the common welfare and for defense against the Indians. Finally in 1754 a Colonial Congress was held in Albany, at which delegates from seven colonies were present. resolved “thát a union of the colonies is necessary for their preservation, and Parliament should establish it.” It was not, however, until the mother country began its tyrannies and oppressions that such a union was consummated. The bold stand taken by the people of Massachusetts was approved and applauded by the other colonial legislatures, and a national feeling was manifested.
When, in 1775, the first clash of arms came in Massachusetts, a Continental Congress had already assembled, of which Peyton Randolph, of Virginia, was made the President. A year later the second Congress, having passed beyond petitions and bills of right, advanced to the supreme step of severing relations with the mother country, and announcing to the world a doctrine in governmental affairs as different to that which had preceded it as the new dispensation of the Nazarene had been in comparison with the Mosaic law. During the Middle Ages and even in modern times the feudal tenure had prevailed in Europe. There was mastership and service. The common people were serfs, the nobles held power by force, the monarchs of the kingdoms and empires ruled by right of descent and the grace of God.
The Declaration of Independence reversed these ancient
methods, denied the usurped powers, and proclaimed the right of men to govern themselves by their own consent. Kingship was abolished, nobility and its titles discarded, and a simple government of the people, through representatives chosen by themselves, assumed control in their stead.
The colony of Maryland had been in sympathy with the opposition to the encroachment of Great Britain upon what the colonists considered their “inalienable rights” and had participated in the first Continental Congress, had answered the call of Massachusetts for assistance, and the riflemen of Allegany, with other component parts of the Maryland line which was afterwards to become famous as the army of salvation upon at least two occasions, when desperate battles were fought, had been sent forward to aid the colonists of New England.
They were, however, a conservative people; they were a proprietary colony in contradistinction with those of a provincial character or charter government. Men of great landed estates, always careful, were not willing to advance in rapid strides, and they deemed in the Maryland convention, which appointed its delegates to the Continental Congress in 1776, that the time for separation from the mother country had not yet come. Therefore Samuel Chase and his colleagues sent by Maryland as delegates to the Continental Congress were restricted in their powers and instructed to vote against the adoption of the Declaration of Independence upon the part of the Maryland colonists.
It was at this point that the eloquence, ability, patriotism, and aggressive nature of CHARLES CARROLL and the conservative but steadfast character of John HANSON united and intervened and threw the weight of the influence of their native colony upon the side of those who sought for separation from Great Britain and the establishment of the Republic.
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton was born September 8, 1737, at Annapolis, in the colony of Maryland, which city was then not only the capital of the colony, but the center of wealth, power, culture, and social influence of the colonies of the South. His family was the richest in Maryland and potent in fashioning the course of events in that domain. They were of the Catholic faith and Jacobite in their tendencies. CHARLES CARROLL was, at the age of 8 years, sent to France to be educated in the religious colleges of that country. At the
At the age of 20 he departed from France and became a student of law at the Temple, in the city of London, England, where he remained for eight years, and at the end of that period was probably one of the most highly educated and cultivated men born in the colonies, for, in addition to the advantages that had been given him, he added a strong character and splendid intellect. At the age of 27, after an absence of twenty years from his native land, he returned to Maryland, and by reason of his powerful family ties, his great wealth, but, above all, on account of superior ability and a mental equipment exceeded by none of his countrymen, he at once took high station among them and began his career in the practice of the law and the management of his estates.
In the year succeeding his return to Maryland the odious “stamp act” was passed. It touched every fiber in his nature and at once ignited into a bright flame the latent fire of his patriotism. He was in the front rank of those who boldly and courageously protested at this iniquitous legislation of the mother country and pledged himself to resist the execution of the infamous law.
In 1774 the delegates to the Maryland assembly passed a resolution declaring that no more tea should be imported into that territory. In contravention of this resolution, in the year of its adoption, a brig load of this article arrived in the port of Annapolis. Intense excitement at once manifested itself. The Peggy Stewart was ready to discharge her cargo, but the noble woman in whose honor the vessel had been named, herself an ardent patriot, by an appeal to CHARLES CARROLL prevented the consummation of the project. When his advice was sought