« ПредишнаНапред »
ADDRESS OF MR. PEARRE, OF MARYLAND. Mr. SPEAKER: On the 2d day of July, 1864, the President approved an act of Congress inviting each of the States to present statues, not more than two in number, of deceased persons who had rendered such military or civic service as entitled them to commemoration as national figures in Statuary Hall in the National Capitol.
Maryland, hesitating lovingly among the multitude of her distinguished sons, Thomas Johnson, William Pinkney, William Smallwood, John Eager Howard, Samuel Chase, Otho Holland Williams, Luther Martin, Roger B. Taney, Reverdy Johnson, Henry Winter Davis, Francis Scott Key, and a score of others, has at last made her selection and has presented the two handsome bronze statues which have been added to the brilliant galaxy of statesmen and soldiers which surround the nation's Hall of Fame.
By an act of the general assembly of Maryland, approved in 1898, an appropriation was made and a commission appointed, consisting of Ex-Governor John Lee Carroll, Douglas H. Thomas, Thomas J. Shryock, Dr. Fabian Franklin, and Richard K. Cross, who were instructed to have designed and cast statues of CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and John HANSON, President of the United States in Congress assembled from 1781 to 1782.
The marked ability and artistic taste with which that commission has discharged its duty are attested by the excellence of these two statues, executed in bronze by Mr. Richard E. Brooks, of Boston, Mass.
To accept this gift of the old Commonwealth of Maryland to the Government and people of the United States, are we gathered here to-day under authority of a resolution of the House of Representatives, adopted on the 17th day of January, 1903.
The pleasant duty devolves upon me to speak to the exalted virtues of CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton. To form an adequate estimate of the character of a man who has gone before us, Mr. Speaker, we must try to view him in the light of his time and to measure him by the standard then existing. To secure the true likeness, we must paint the picture on the background of his environment while living, with the side lights and full lights of his surroundings, inquire how far he followed or disregarded precedents, and learn the extent to which his course, in crises, conformed to or violated the rules and tendencies of his education and station.
When America was discovered, it was said that the new land concealed a fountain whose perpetual waters had power to reanimate age and restore the strength of youth. The tradition was true, but the youth to be renewed was the youth of society; the life to bloom afresh was the life of the race; and this was to be accomplished by the revolution of the colonies, which was the consummation of freedom's struggle for nearly two centuries. The forces working toward it had their origin in the great mental revival of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Man, after groping through the darkness of feudalism, had at last faintly seen the light. Free inquiry, freedom of thought in spiritual affairs, was soon followed by the desire for freedom of thought and action in the temporal order. The dignity of man's individuality had been clouded by his subserviency to superior power. In the old civilization of Europe, authority and power moved from the superior to the inferior. The government esteemed itself invested by divine right with the power to furnish protection and demand submission.
But a new principle had taken possession of the heart of man. The right to apply the powers of his mind to any question, and to assert his individual judgment began to creep uponi his intelligence.
Successive ages of struggle, successive lives, and deaths of heroes in the world of thought, had brought man to the idea
of the freedom of the individual, and it was then but the work of time to carry him to the comprehension of the power that lies in the collective reason of the whole-to teach him to substitute the natural equality of man for the hereditary privilege of monarchs, to replace the irresponsible authority of a sovereign with a dependent government emanating from the harmonized opinions of equal individuals.
The spark of liberty that first glimmered in the breasts of the Anglos and Saxons in the forests of Germany kept smoldering through the centuries, now fanned into a flame by the tyranny of kings, until the Magna Charta is secured, again but a dying ember under the Tudors; now flashing fitfully in the petition and declaration of rights, and again lost sight of in foreign wars, often faint, but never dead; often hidden, but always glowing in the Anglo-Saxon breast until it burst into a blaze of beauteous glory in the Declaration of Independence, and its full effulgence rested on a free and united land.
The seventeenth century found Charles the First on the throne of England; headstrong but vacillating, arbitrary but weak; tyrannical and false, this monarch was little fitted to control the English people at a time when the leaven of liberty was working in the souls of his subjects. The divine right of kings was the political doctrine of the Stuarts; the divine right of the people was the political truth of the century.
Prerogative took the field in its stubborn contest with the popular will and never left it until the Declaration of Independence rang the death knell as well to the tyranny of kings as the tyranny of Parliaments.
In 1760 George the Third ascended the throne of England, and the tyranny of the seventeenth century, which was supposed to have died with Charles the First and the deposition of James the Second, was revived. The hand on the clock of time is turned back; civilization halts in its progress. His whole policy was bent upon the subjugation of the colonies to raise revenue, as Charles the First had done. He undertook to tax the colonies without their consent, and the stamp act was passed through Parliament with scarcely a division.
Then began the great struggle for representative government against the arbitrary power of one man.
Two great waves broke in fury over Great Britain and her colonies in America. The one ancient, the power of monarchy, rolling with all the accumulated strength of centuries; the other modern, the united will of the people, agitated by the tumultuous swellings of a popular spirit, increased by the coming flood of a newer and more modern enlightenment, rolled on in its overwhelming and resistless course.
The nobility of England had forgotten the revolution of 1688 and the lessons it had taught. The King had forgotten the lesson of the death of Charles the First, and the power to tax the colonies internally without their consent in the face of the Magna Charta, the declaration of rights, the charters of the colonies, and the determined will of the people was not only asserted as a financial necessity, but maintained as a political right.
This was the England to which CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton went in 1757, when he entered the Temple at London to study law at the age of 20, after having spent the prior period of his life from 8 years of age at St. Omers, Rheims, and Paris, in France, the home of absolute monarchy.
Such was the situation of the province of Maryland and its relation to the mother country when, in 1764, a refined and cultured aristocrat, the pampered son of a father who was the protégé of Cæcilius Calvert, and bound to the Stuarts by every tie of social contact and royal beneficence, he landed at Annapolis on the 14th of February, at the age of 27, a dis. franchised citizen by reason of his faith. CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton was of almost royal ancestry, being descended from the princely family of the Carrolls of Ely O'Carroll, Kings County, Ireland.
S. Doc. 13— 6.
He was an aristocrat by birth, breeding, education, and association. His every hereditary connection and tendency was monarchical. He did not spring from the free gentry of Great Britain, nor from the masses who, during the century of his birth, were struggling for the recognition of the inherent rights of free manhood, but from the ruling classes, who, attached to the absolute monarchy of their time, were fighting to delay, aye, to prevent, this recognition. His paternal grandfather, Charles Carroll, after his admission to the bar, became the secretary of Lord Powis, one of the ministers of James the Second, who bespoke for him the favor of Cæcilius Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, with whose commission of attorney-general of the province he came to Maryland in 1688.
By Lord Baltimore he was endowed with large landed estates, which made him and his descendants the wealthiest residents of the province, and he was ever attached to the service of the proprietary, the grant of the King.
His father, Charles Carroll the second, if I may so call him, was also connected with the proprietary by every tie, and had that pride of ancestry characteristic of caste and class, invariably binding such men to the existing order and opposing them to changes in government.
In 1761 we find him writing to his son, CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, then a student abroad, to trace back his Irish ancestry to the year 1500, in these words:
I find by history as well as by genealogy that the country of Ely O'Carroll and Dirguill, which comprehended most of King's and Queen's counties, were the territories of the O'Carrolls, and that they were princes thereof You may, as things are now circumstanced, and considering the low estate to which all the branches of our family are reduced by the struggles the ancient Irish maintained for the support of their religion, rights, and properties, and which received their finishing stroke at the Revolution, think my inquiry an idle one, but I do not think so. If I am not right, the folly may be excused by its being a general one, and I hope for your own and my sake you will gratify me by making as careful an inquiry as possible and giving me what light you can on the subject. As soon as there is peace I will send you the genealogy, in Irish and English, and I desire you will get our family, in particular, traced to its origin.