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and, on the fall of that brave but rash commander, he conducted the retreat to the corps under Colonel Dunbar, in a manner that displayed great inilitary talent. He retired from the service with the rank of colonel; but, while engaged in agriculture at his favorite seat of Mount Vernon, he was elected senator in the national council for Frederick county, and afterwards for Fairfax. At the commencement of the revolutionary war, he was selected as the most proper person to take the chief command of the provincial troops. From the moment of taking upon himself this important office, (in June, 1775,) he employed the great powers of his mind to his favorite object; and, by his prudence, his valor, and presence of mind, he deserved and obtained the confidence and gratitude of his country, and finally triumphed over all opposition. The record of his services is the history of the whole war. He joined the army at Cambridge, in July, 1775. On the evacuation of Boston, in March, 1776, he proceeded to New York, The battle of Long Island was fought on the 27th of August, and the battle of White Plains on the 28th of October. On the 25th of December, he crossed the Delaware, and soon gained the victories at Trenton and Princeton.
The battle of Brandywine was fought on September 11th, 1777; of Germantown, October 4th; of Monmouth, February 28th, 1778. In 1779 and 1780, he continued in the vicinity of New York, and closed the important military operations of the war by the capture of Cornwallis, at Yorktown, in 1781. When the independence of his country was established by the treaty of peace, Washington resigned his high office to the Congress, and, followed by the applause and the grateful admiration of his fellow-citizens, retired into private life. His high character and services naturally entitled him to the highest gifts his country could bestow; and, on the organization of the government, he was called upon to be the first president of the states which he had preserved and established. It was a period of great difficulty and danger. The unsubdued spirit of liberty had been roused and kindled by the revolution of France; and many Americans were eager that the freedom and equality, which they themselves enjoyed, should be extended to the subjects of the French
monarch. Washington anticipated the plans of the factious, and, by prudence and firmness, subdued insurrection, and silenced discontent, till the parties, which the intrigues of Genet, the French envoy, had roused to rebellion, were convinced of the wildness of their measures, and of the wisdom of their governor.
The president completed, in 1796, the business of his office by signing a commercial treaty with Great Britain, and then voluntarily resigned his power, at a moment when all hands and all hearts were united again to confer upon him the sovereignty of the country. Restored to the peaceful retirement of Mount Vernon, he devoted himself to the pursuits of agriculture; and, though he accepted the command of the army in 1798, it was merely to unite the affections of his fellow-citizens to the general good, and was one more sacrifice to his high sense of duty.
General Washington was six feet in height; he appeared taller, as his shoulders rosé a little higher than the true proportion. His eyes were of a gray, and his hair of a brown, color; his limbs were well formed, and indicated strength; his complexion was light, and his countenance serene and thoughtful; his manners were graceful, manly, and dignified; his general appearance never failed to engage the respect and esteem of all who approached him. Reserved, but not haughty, in his disposition, he was accessible to all, in concerns of siness; but he opened himself only to his confidential friends, and no art or address could draw from him an opinion which he thought prudent to conceal.
He was not so much distinguished for brilliancy of genius as for solidity of judgment, and consummate prudence of conduct. He was not so eminent for any one quality of greatness and worth, as for the union of those great, amiable, and good qualities, which are very rarely combined in the same character. In domestic and private life, he blended the authority of the master with the care and kindness of the guardian and friend. Solicitous for the welfare of his slaves, while at Mount Vernon, he every morning rode round his estates to examine their condition; for the sick, physicians were provided, and to the weak and infirm every necessary comfort was administered.
The servitude of the negroes lay with weight upon his mind; he often made it the subject of conversation, and revolved several plans for their general emancipation. His industry was unremitted, and his method so exact, that all the complicated business of his military command and civil administration was managed without confusion and without hurry. Not feeling the lust of power, and ambitious only for honorable fame, he devoted himself to his country upon the most disinterested principles, and his actions wore not the semblance, but the reality, of virtue: the purity of his motives was accredited, and absolute confidence placed in his patriotism.
While filling a public station, the performance of his duty took the place of pleasure, emolument, and every private consideration. During the more critical years of the war, a smile was scarcely seen upon his countenance; he gave himself no moments of relaxation, but his whole mind was engrossed to execute successfully his trust. He was as eminent for piety as for patriotism; his public and private conduct evince, that he impressively felt a sense of the superintendence of God, and of the dependence of man. In his addresses, while at the head of the army and of the national government, he gratefully noticed the signal blessings of Providence, and fervently commended his country to divine benediction. In private, he was known to have been habitually devout. In the establishment of his presidential household, he reserved to himself the Sabbath, free from the interruptions of private visits or public business; and, throughout the eight years of his civil administration, he gave to the institutions of Christianity the influence of his example. Uniting the talents of the soldier with the qualifications of the statesman, and pursuing, unmoved by difficulties, the noblest end by the purest means, he had the supreme satisfaction of beholding the complete success of his great military and civil services, in the independence and happiness of his country. He died, after a short illness, on the 14th of December, 1799. He was buried with the honors due to the noble founder of a happy and prosperous republic. History furnishes no parallel to the character of Washington. He stands on an unapproached eminence-distinguished almost beyond hu
manity for self-command, intrepidity, soundness of judgment, rectitude of purpose, and deep, ever-active piety.
OHN ADAMS. John Adams, a distinguished patriot of the American revolution, was born in 1735, at Braintree, Massachusetts. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, and received the degree of master of arts, in 1753. At this time he entered the office of Jeremiah Gridley, a lawyer of the highest eminence, to complete his legal studies; and in the next year he was admitted to the bar of Suffolk. Mr. Adams at an early age espoused the cause of his country, and received numerous marks of the public confidence and respect.
He took a prominent part in every leading measure, and served on several committees which reported some of the most important state papers of the time. He was elected a member of the Congress, and was among the foremost in recommending the adoption of an independent government. It has been affirmed by Mr. Jefferson himself, that the great pillar of support to the declaration of independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of the house, was John Adams.” In 1777, he was chosen commissioner to the court of Versailles, in the place of Mr. Deane, who was recalled. On his return, about a year afterwards, he was elected a member of the Convention to prepare a form of government for the state of Massachusetts, and placed on the sub-committee chosen to draught the project of a constitution. Three months after his return, Congress sent him abroad with two commissions, one as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a peace, the other to form a commercial treaty with Great Britain. In June, 1780, he was appointed, in the place of Mr. Laurens, ambassador to Holland, and in 1782, he repaired to Paris, to commence the negotiation for peace, having previously obtained assurance that Great Britain would recognize the independence of the United States. At the close of the war, Mr. Adams was appointed the first minister to London.
In 1789, he was elected vice-president of the United States, and, on the resignation of Washington, succeeded
to the presidency, in 1797. After his term of four years had expired, it was found, on the new election, that his adversary, Mr. Jefferson, had succeeded by the majority of one yote. On retiring to his farm in Quincy, Mr. Adams occupied himself with agriculture, obtaining amusement from the literature and politics of the day. The remaining years of his life were passed in almost uninterrupted tranquillity.
The account that Mr. Adams gives, in a letter to a friend, of his introduction to George III., at the court of St. James, as the first minister from the rebel colonies, is very interesting. The scene would form a noble picture, highly honorable both to his majesty and the republican minister. Here stood the stern monarch, who had expended more than six hundred millions of dollars, and the lives of two hundred thousand of his subjects, in a vain attempt to subjugate freemen; and by his side stood the man who, in the language of Jefferson, was the great pillar of support to the declaration of independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of Congress.”' Mr. Adams says,
“At one o'clock, on Wednesday, the first of June, 1785, the master of ceremonies called at my house, and went with me to the secretary of state's office, in Cleaveland Row, where the marquis of Caermarthen received and introduced me to Mr. Frazier, his under secretary, who had been, as his lordship said, uninterruptedly in that office through all the changes in administration for thirty years. After a short conversation, Lord Caermarthen invited me to go with him in his coach to court. When we arrived in the ante-chamber, the master of the ceremonies introduced him, and attended me, while the secretary of state went to take the commands of the king. While I stood in this place, where, it seems, all ministers stand upon such occasions, always attended by the master of ceremonies, the room was very full of ministers of state, bishops, and all other sorts of courtiers, as well as the next room, which is the king's bed-chamber. You may well suppose I was the focus of all eyes. relieved, however, from the embarrassment of it, by the Swedish and Dutch ministers, who came to me, and entertained me with a very agreeable conversation during the