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against which anything of theological bitterness or bigotry seems to have survived amid the liberality of our enlightened day.
Every few years we hear of secret societies, and even political parties, organized with the sole view of excluding the members of a single Christian church from their equal privileges as American citizens. Yet certainly the men of the Catholic faith have never been behind their countrymen, either as patriot citizens or as patriot soldiers. This spirit of bigotry would have denied the ordinary rights of Americans not only to CHARLES CARROLL and his illustrious cousins, the Archbishop, to Daniel Carroll and Thomas Fitzsimmons, who were among the framers of the Constitution, but to Montgomery and Phil. Sheridan.
The Pilgrim and the Puritan of Massachusetts encountered exile and the horrors of the winter voyage and the wilderness and the wild beast and the savage for civil and religious freedom. But even they saw “as through a glass, darkly." They fell short of that conception of freedom which prevails now. Their treatment of the Quakers and the Baptists will not bear the light to-day. Roger Williams, in his turn, made another forward step and founded his State on the principle of complete tolerance of all Christians. But he, in his turn, excluded all men whom he did not deem to be Christians from a share in the government of his Commonwealth.
The Catholic in Maryland was inspired by a like desire to establish principles of perfect religious tolerance. Even in Maryland, if Mr. Bancroft be right, as late as 1770 it was an offense punishable with death to deny the divinity of Christ. This was after the Catholic had been driven from power. Three of the five members of the committee who reported the Declaration of Independence—Mr. Jefferson, Dr. Franklin, and John Adams-were avowed Unitarians. So, if the law of Maryland had been strictly enforced, these men would have suffered death there if they had declared their faith.
Now, Mr. President, I do not speak of these things by way of reproach. The founders of these three States, foremost among mankind, set their faces toward the sunlight. They are not to be reproached because at the time they took the first step they did not take the last. I mention them only to draw the lesson that it is not fair for the American people to remember against the Catholics only the cruelty, or wrong, or blindness of past ages and to forget the cruelty or wrong in which our own ancestors had a share. The American Catholic, in the early days, laid the State which he founded on the eternal principle of religious toleration. The American Catholic did his full and noble share in winning the liberty and in framing the Constitution of the country which he loves as we do, and which we love as he does.
Let the statue of CHARLES CARROLL, the great statesman of the Revolutionary day, the survivor of the most illustrious company of men that ever assembled on the face of the earth since the Apostles, stand in yonder stately chamber, with the statue of Père Marquette, the Discoverer, and with those of their peers of every State and of every faith, until time shall be no more!
The cord of our destiny is made up of many strands. That cord we hope and believe shall never be severed. The great doctrines of the Declaration may be clouded and hidden, only, as we hope, to shine again with a new and brighter luster when the clouds have passed by. The Constitution may be amended or altered or disregarded or may perish. Other forms of rule may take the place of the simple but sublime mechanism our fathers devised. But the nation shall abide. The one principle which holds this nation together, expressed in the brief but comprehensive motto, E Pluribus Unum, shall never fail or fade-E Pluribus Unum, of many, one-of many States, one nation; of many races, one people; of many creeds, one faith; of many bended knees, one family of God. [Applause in the galleries. ]
ADDRESS OF MR. DOLLIVER, OF IOWA.
Mr. PRESIDENT: The reconstruction of the Capitol by the addition of the superb edifices in which the Congress now sits, left the old Hall of the House of Representatives deserted and silent; the scenes which had been enacted there only a memory; the voices which had been heard there only an echo of the past. There was at least a proper sentiment in the act of 1864, which for all time to come has made that historic chamber sacred by filling it with monuments which recall the great traditions of the national life.
Mr. Emerson has described the art of the sculptor as the crudest and most helpless expression of the higher faculties of the human mind. It has been even more difficult to select the men to be commemorated than to find artists equal to the task of restoring the image of their person in bronze or marble.
In selecting figures to stand in this National Gallery, the older States have an advantage over the new, and most of them have wisely chosen to perpetuate the fame of leaders conspicuous in their colonial life. The State of Maryland, among the most ancient of the American Commonwealths, has picked out two names famous and honored in her annals, both before and after the Revolution, and brings them here to take their place among their equals in this hall of fame.
In the case of one of them, John HANSON, she has done a tardy act of justice to a man whose eminence in the public service had been almost lost in the waste of time; a man who in a peculiarly appropriate sense was the representative of the national ideal throughout the Revolutionary struggle. The other, CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton, had already a defiinite and secure place among the immortals; not altogether because he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, for many of them have been literally forgotten, but because when he signed it he added his residence for the purpose, so the fascinating story ran, of enabling the British to find him when they got ready to execute him for treason, along with his wicked associates, according to law; and for the reason that he survived all his contemporaries.
Both were men of commanding talents and irreproachable virtues, and each was in a true sense a distinct embodiment of the spirit of his age. The erection of their statues in the National Capitol is particularly appropriate in these days when the foundations of the national faith are under examination in the light of passing events, and when the American people need more than ever to learn the lessons taught by our fathers.
It is always helpful and refreshing to consider the influences which worked together in the formation of the government under which we live, and it can not be doubted that the people of Maryland acted with wisdom as well as patriotism when their legislature chose from the long list of her orators, her statesmen, her soldiers, her jurists, these two names which appear side by side among the signers of the protest issued by the “ Association of the Freemen” of the State, a year before the Declaration of Independence was framed at Philadelphia, and which are associated in honorable prominence throughout the whole Revolutionary period.
In all future times as the restless throngs, passing through the corridors of the Capitol, pause for a moment before these stately figures the story of our heroic age will be told over and over again, as one generation after another is touched by the inspiration of these epoch-making lives. The State of Maryland in thus honoring the men who spoke and acted for her in the great crisis out of which the National Government arose, when with her scant population and her meager resources she devoted her blood and her treasure, without limit and without terms, to the cause of independence, has encouraged the revival of popular interest in those studies which contribute to a rational interpretation of our history as a people, for it can not be denied that the tendency is strong in the midst of prosperous material surroundings to treat with indifference and neglect the day of small things when the American Republic was taking its first feeble steps toward the arena of the world's great affairs.
The very distance of those memorable years, not to speak of the intervention of tremendous national experiences more recent, has cut off, in a measure; at least, the popular view of colonial times, leaving them dim and intangible; making Washington, for example, look more like a marble image than a man, and, with the exception of old Israel Putnam and Col. Ethan Allen, preserving hardly a human likeness of any of the great heroes who surrounded him.
Now, the history of the world, and especially of our part of it, is the most important study that can attract anybody's attention, notwithstanding so much of it is entirely incredible and so much of it obviously false. So far as it has been written down at all, it has been written, so it looks to me, more for the purpose of giving artificial importance to a few generals and a few kings than for the purpose of bringing into view the obscure millions who, after all, make up States and Commonwealths.
I have sometimes wished that some historian, some divinely gifted man or woman, might do for our own country what great creative intellects have done for other lands—what Lord Macaulay, for example, has done for England, or Thomas Carlyle for Scotland—might take us back to the sources of our strength; might show us the people themselves, their speech, their houses, their habit as they lived; might show us the unmistakable beginnings of the nation. For there, we are persuaded, around tables spread with the frugal conforts of life and about family altars made sublime by simple faith in God and man, was begun the mighty work whose outcome is the permanent self-government of this vast continent.
I stood the other day in the museum of the library of the