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of Maryland flew to arms at the trumpet call of Massachusetts' oppressions; not to defend their own homes, not to protect their own families, but to assist a sister colony in maintaining with their blood the principles of free government.
Must we again be told that the old Maryland Line was first to drive the serried ranks of England from the heights of Harlem at the point of the bayonet, and that they bore the brunt of almost every fight thenceforth to Valley Forge? Must the generous haste with which her sons responded to the call of the conquered Carolinas be recounted, and how, from Camden to Eutaw Springs, through Guilford Court-House, Hobkirk's Hill, and Cowpens, with a determined courage born of patriotic conviction, with an impetuous valor inspired by its responsibility to the future of mankind, the Maryland Line, the tenth legion of Green's army, the old guard of the Continental forces, dashed with Morgan through the veterans of the daring Tarleton and with Howard through the Irish Buffs of the gallant Webster, and drove them, at the point of the bayonet, in panic from the field?
No hated stamp ever polluted the soil of Maryland. Her citizens in daylight, not disguised as Indians, met the ship The Good Intent, laden with dutiable articles, at the harbor of Annapolis four years before the destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor, of which our infant lips are taught to prattle, and compelled her to put back to England with her unwelcome cargo, and within six months after the destruction of the tea at Boston Harbor assembled without disguise and compelled the owner of the Peggy Stewart, with a cargo of tea, to set fire to and burn her to the water's edge.
Out of a population of about 250,000 souls she furnished to the Continental armies 5,000 militia and 15,000 regulars, 400 of whom, at the battle of Long Island, withstood six attacks of a full brigade of English veterans, covered the retreat of the Continental army, saved it from destruction and the Revolution from collapse, leaving 260 of their number on the field. Mr. Speaker, in paying tribute to one of Maryland's greatest sons I may be pardoned for this partial digression, which so naturally thrusts itself upon one's attention in reviewing the history of the time written by Northern men, who by some inadvertence seem to have overlooked the leading part the colony played in the war for human rights. In all of this, of all of this, was CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, not as a soldier, but as an organizer and maturer of provisional and permanent government in the province and the nation.
While I am aware, sir, that military deeds and fame are more dazzling and lasting in men's minds than the less dramatic life of a civil officer during war, yet it is apparent that as great ability, heroism, and patriotism is needed and may be displayed in civil office in such crises as on the tented field. The army is the executive arm of a people in such a time, while behind the glamour, the martial pomp and glory of all successful wars lies the patient, painstaking, plodding statesman, reconciling differences, quieting passion, abating jealousies, re-forming government out of the broken pieces of a former structure, recruiting armies, providing financial system, guarding foreign relations, and raising revenue, without all of which wars are impossible and their results fruitless of good to the people.
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton chose the less showy part. He formulated policy, inspired patriotism, collected troops and provided for their maintenance, guided public sentiment toward liberty, yet retained it short of license, embodied into laws rules of action for the people to fit the time, meet their aspirations, and safeguard the liberties which they won by blood and battle, not only from foreign but domestic attack.
The convention of Maryland assembled July 26, 1775, and at once adopted resolutions throwing off the proprietary power and assuming a provisional government. This convention issued its declaration of independence, known as the “Association of the Freemen of Maryland,” in which they approved the resistance of British aggression by force, pledged themselves to sustain this opposition, and gave as their principal reason for such a course not their own wrongs, but the oppression of the province of Massachusetts Bay by the British. CARROLL was a member of this convention and a signer of the articles of the association.
This association vested all the power of government in a provincial convention, and CARROLL became a member of this convention. The executive power of the new government was conferred by this convention upon a committee of safety, consisting of sixteen members, and CARROLL became a member of this committee, which had full charge of military and naval affairs. The glorious record of Maryland troops, which I have just faintly and partially reviewed, therefore was attributable in a large measure to his care and executive ability.
As a member of this committee and of the committee of observation of his county, as a commissioner with Samuel Chase, of Maryland, and Dr. Franklin to Canada to persuade her to join the colonies, as a member of Congress, as a member of the board of war and the committee on foreign applications, as a member of the senate of Maryland and of the United States Senate for many years, he did industrious, laborious, and distinguished service in conducting the war to a successful conclusion, securing the independence of the colonies and reorganizing society in the province and nation into wellregulated governments.
To follow him through the various public functions he performed would be to write the civic history of the State and nation during their struggles, and I shall but revert to some of his most distinguished services to both as a constructive statesinan.
To him perhaps more than to any other single man was due the honor for securing official action by the colony in favor of casting her lot with her sister colonies. The people of the province met in convention on May 8, 1776, to select Delegates to Congress, which was to decide whether the colonies should declare their independence, and agreed in this convention by resolutio:1 that the interests of the colonies would be best subserved by a reunion with Great Britain. CHARLES CARROLL was absent, but at a subsequent session, June 21, he was present, and, prevailing upon the delegates to reverse their former action, prepared and succeeded in having adopted a resolution instructing Maryland's Delegates in Congress “to join her sister colonies in declaring the United Colonies free and independent States," with the proviso (which showed his zealous care of the autonomy of the State), that “the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government of the colony be reserved to the people thereof."
The recent tendency to elect Senators by the popular vote gives peculiar interest to the fact that CHARLES CARROLI, of Carrollton, as a member of the first constitutional convention of Maryland, was the author of the method of electing the Senators of that State by electors chosen by the people and not by the people directly. This method, which obtained in Maryland until 1837, six years after his death, differed from that of every other colony that had up to that time framed a constitution, made the Maryland senate a famous body for many years, and furnished the model for the method afterwards prescribed in the Constitution of the United States for electing Senators thereof. It had the approval of Madison, Taney, and many others, and in the formative period of the State's early history secured the best ability of the State for the Senate and saved the people much hasty, ill-digested, and reckless legislation.
The necessity of perfect freedom of commerce between the States and the absence of any provision for it in the Articles of Confederation had perhaps as much to do with the framing of the Constitution of the United States, which made this country “one and inseparable, now and forever," as any other one thing. This necessity created the interstate-commerce clause in the Constitution, the shortest and perhaps the most benign and comprehensive provision in that great instrument; the clause through which alone it is conceded effective legislation may be enacted to regulate and control the so-called trusts. It is not, I apprehend, generally known that this necessity was first and most prominently developed in a controversy between Virginia and Maryland, which became acute in 1777. Virginia claimed the right to collect tolls on all vessels going through the capes into Chesapeake Bay, which right, if conceded, placed the trade of Maryland's principal port at the mercy of the State of Virginia.
Maryland resisted it, and in this year the two houses of the legislature appointed commissioners to meet those from Virginia to settle the jurisdiction of the rivers and the bay dividing the two States. CHARLES CARROLL, Thomas Stone, and Brice Thomas Beale Worthington were selected with others from the house to prepare instructions for the guidance of the Maryland commissioners. This dispute convinced the States that all navigable interstate waters as well as all other means of interstate commerce must be within the regulation of a central and superior government, which was afterwards accomplished by the interstate-commerce clause.
Credit may be fairly claimed for Maryland, through CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, and her other representatives, for the promotion and accomplishment of another great national benefit, which has redounded richly to the welfare of the people—the surrender by the States to the General Government of all their western lands, which afterwards comprised the great Northwest Territory. Maryland first brought this matter to the attention of Congress, and persisted in her demand by refusing to sign the Articles of Confederation until this concession was made.
Maryland had been twice shorn of her territory—once by Pennsylvania and again by Virginia—and she was unwilling that these immense and unknown tracts, extending, as was