of Mr. Jefferson, his successor, in 1785. His return to America was received with every demonstration of joy and respect, not only from the most distinguished individuals, but from nearly every public body in the country. Notwithstanding his great age (eighty years) the public claimed his services, and he was appointed President of Pennsylvania, which office he held three years. In 1787, he was in the Convention which framed the present Constitution of the United States, and this was the last public duty he performed. The gout and stone, with which he had been afflicted many years, terminated his life on the seventeenth day of April, 1790, in the eightyfourth year of his age. A vast concourse of people followed his body to the grave, and the whole country, nay, the whole civilized world, mourned his loss.*

* Congress directed a universal mourning throughout the United States for thirty days. In France, and indeed throughout Europe, the news of his death was received with profound grief. In the National Assembly of France, the eloquent Mirabeau announced his death, and in a brief but brilliant eulogium, he used these words : “Franklin is dead !" (a profound silencc reigned throughout the hall.] “The genius which gave freedom to America, and scattered torrents of light upon Europe, is returned to the bosom of the Divinity! The sage, whom two worlds claim; the man disputed by the history of the sciences, and the history of empires, holds, most undoubtedly, an elevated rank among the human species. Political cabinets have too long notified the death of those who were never great but in their funeral orations; the etiquette of courts have but too long sanctioned hypocritical grief. Nations ought only to mourn for their benefactors; the representatives of freemen ought never to recommend any other than the heroes of humanity to their homage.

" Antiquity would have elevated altars to that mortal, who, for the advantage of the human race, embracing both heaven and earth in his vast and extensive mind, knew how to subdue thunder and tyranny! Enlightened and free Europe at least owes its remembrance and its regrets, to one of the greatest men who has ever served the cause of philosophy and of liberty.” The Deputies adopted a resolution to wear mourning for three days.




John Morton

OHN MORTON descended from ancestors
of Swedish birth, who emigrated to Amer-
ica in the early part of the seventeenth
century, and settled upon the Delaware
River, not far below Philadelphia. He

was the only child of his father, who died before his son was born, which event occurred in the year 1724. His mother, who was quite young, afterward married an English gentleman, who became greatly attached to his infant charge. Being highly educated, and a good practical surveyor, he instructed young Morton in mathematics, as well as in all the common branches of a good education. His mind was of unusual strength, and at an early age it exhibited traits of sound maturity.

Mr. Morton first accepted official station, in 1764, when he was appointed justice of the peace under the Provin- . cial government of Pennsylvania. He was soon afterward chosen a member of the General Assembly of that Province, and for a number of years was Speaker of the House. So highly were his public services appreciated, that the people were loath to dispense with them.

He was a delegate to the “Stamp Act Congress," in 1765; and in 1766, he was made high sheriff of the county in which he resided. He warmly espoused the cause of the patriots, and on that account, when, after the Lexington tragedy, military corps were formed in Pennsylvania, he was offered the command of one. This he declined, on account of other engagements, for he then held the office of presiding Judge of the Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas, and about the same time he

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was elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of the Province.

In 1774, the Assembly of Pennsylvania appointed Mr. Morton a delegate to the General Congress. He was reelected for 1775 in December of the same year, and he was also elected in 1776 to the same office. His election did not take place until some days after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, but he had the privilege of signing it in August. He was very active while in Congress, and the committee duties which he performd, were many and arduous. Among other committees on which he served, he formed one of that which reported the Articles of Confederation for the States, which were adopted, and remained the organic law of the nation until the adoption of the present Constitution in 1787.

Mr. Morton did not live to see the blessings of peace and independence descend upon his country. He died in April, 1777, in the fifty-fourth year of his age, leaving a widow and a large family of children. His death was a great public calamity, for men of his genius and patriotism were much needed at that time.

His career presented another instance of the triumph of virtue and sound principles, in rising from obscurity to exalted station.

* By virtue of his previous election, Mr. Morton was in his seat on the memorable fourth of July, 1776. The delegation from Pennsylvania then present were equally divided in opinion upon the subject of independence, and Mr. Morton was called upon officially to give a casting vote for that State. This was a solemn responsibility thrown upon him -- it was for him to decide whether there should be a unanimous vote of the Colonies for independence - whether Pennsylvania should form one of the American Union. But he firmly met the responsibility, and voted YES; and from that moment the United Colonies were declared Independent States. We have said the delegation from Pennsylvania were divided. It was thus: Morris and Dickenson were absent, and Franklin and Wilson were in favor of, and Willing and Humphrey were opposed to, the Declaration; and Morton gave the casting vote.


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EORGE CLYMER was born in Philadel

phia, in the year 1739. His father was -!

from Bristol, England, and died when George was only seven years old. His wife died before him and George was

left an orphan. William Coleman, his mother's brother, a wealthy and highly-esteemed citizen of Philadelphia, took George into his family, and in his education, and all other things, he treated him as a son. Having completed a thorough English education, he was


taken into the counting-room of his uncle, and prepared for commercial life.

Mr. Clymer was not partial to a mercantile business, for he deemed it a pathway beset with many snares for the feet of pure morality, as sudden gains and losses were apt to affect the character of the most stable, For himself he preferred literature and science, and his mind was much occupied with these subjects.

At the age of twenty-seven years he married a Miss Meredith, and entered into mercantile business with his father-in-law, and his son, under the firm of Meredith and Sons. His uncle died about the same time, and left the principal part of his large fortune to Mr. Clymer. Still he continued in business with his father-in-law, until his death; and with his brother-in-law afterward, until 1782.

Even before his marriage, when none but old commercial grievances were complained of by the Colonies, Mr. Clymer expressed decided republican principles; and when the Stamp Act aroused the resistance of the American people, he was among the most ardent defenders of the republican cause. He was a zealous actor in all the public meetings in Philadelphia ; and when, in 1774, military organizations took place preparatory to a final resort to arms, which seemed inevitable, Mr. Clymer accepted the command of a volunteer corps belonging to General Cadwallader's brigade.

When the oppressions which Boston experienced at the hands of British power, after the “ Tea Riot,"

* When the British ministry became convinced that the Americans would never submit to be taxed without their consent, they repealed several acts which were most obnoxious to the Colonies, but retained a duty upon tea. This, it was well understood in Parliament, was intended merely as a salvo for British honor, for the government had declared its right to tax the Colonies; and it was urged, that if it should, because of the opposition of the Americans, relinquish that right, it would be a virtual abdication of government in the Colonies. On the other hand, although the duty was but little more than nominal, the Americans saw in. volved in it a principle they could not sacrifice, and therefore they manfully re

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