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filial piety place those sacred remains perfectly | with his remains, after his death. When that secured in a national mausoleum, under the eye, I immortal soul, now as we trust in beatitude, and in the safe-keeping of all future generations. inhabited and animated his mortal part, where We are told that the last will and testament of was the place, what was the service to which Washington, points out the place and directs the the voice of his country called him, and he was manner of his interment; and if we remove his not there? In the toils of war, in the councils bones from their present repository, we shall of peace, he was, soul and body, devoted to violate that will, and set at defiance principles that people, whom he labored through life to dear to all civilized nations. Did indeed, then, build up into one great nation. Should that this great man by his will prohibit this people body think you, sir, at this time be less at the from doing honor to his remains, by placing service of his country, than when alive with the them in a mausoleum more suitable to his illus- imperishable soul it was Washington, and walked trious life, and to the gratitude of Americans? | the world, for human welfare? If his whole He, like all Christian men, directed by his last life doth tell us, that he placed himself at the will, that his body should have Christian burial; call of his country, then truly where should all and prescribed the manner, and selected the that remains of him, be finally found, but where place for that purpose. How shall we expound the same voice would place them? that will? It has been expounded for us; and We would not, in the language of the gentlethat too by one, who was the partner of his man from South Carolina, raise over him “a perils and triumphs, his labors and councils.pyramid, a monument, like the eternal mounOne, who shared with him all life could give tains." No, eu, the folly of ancient ambition -and stood by him in the hour of dissolution. has perished from the earth, while these its Think you, that she would have violated his monuments still stand unmoved upon its surwill: and that too, in the beginning of her be- face. This House, we trust, will endure as long reavement; in the first dark hours of her earthly as this nation endures. Let this be the Mausodesolation? “Taught by his great example, leum of Washington. We would place his she gave up those remains at the call of her remains in the cemetery built for that purpose, country. For to her, as in life to him, the under the centre of that dome which covers nation was their family; the whole people were the Rotundo. Directly over this on that floor, their children. What man can believe, that this in accordance with the Resolution two years distinguished woman, alike beloved and honored ago submitted to this House, we would erect a by a whole people, would have given her con- pedestrian statue of that man, sufficiently colossent to the removal, requested by the whole sal, and placed on a pedestal so high and massy Congress in 1799, if she had believed what the as might be required to fill and satisfy the eye, gentleman from South Carolina now tells us, in the centre of that broad and lofty room, that such removal would have violated his last which, probably, has no equal in the architecture will, and been a sacrilege committed against the of the world. sanctnary of the tomb ?
The ever-during marble will give to coming Sir, how often has the attention of the nation generations the form and the features of Washbeen called to this great consummation, so de- ington; and the traveller of future ages shall voutly wished by all the people! How often learn where he may find his tomb. This House, has the arrangement of 1799 come to the public this Mausoleum of one, who, prospered by ear, from that estimable man, tho grandson of Divine assistance, performed more for his counthat illustrious matron! How often have we try and for the human race, than any other heard from him, not in the language of rebuke, mortal, shall be a place of pilgrimage for all which was merited; no, nor of complaint which nations. Hither will come the brave, the wise, he might justly utter ; but in the language of the good, from every part of our country; not deep and heartfelt regret, that the bones of to worship, but to stand by the sepulchre and Washington were mouldering into dust, at a to relume the light of patriotism at the monudistance from that mausoleum, which the grati- | ment of Washington. tude of his country had already prepared for We must with deep and anxious regret have them! It cannot then, sir, it cannot be said, perceived, that Virginia prefers her separate that the consent of the family will be wanted and exclusive claim to these venerated remains. for us to do, what seems to have been so ear It will never be forgotten, that Washington nestly desired by them.
was a son of that distinguished State. Is not I cannot, sir, join in the pious incantation this honor enough to gratify the ambition of of some gentlemen, who would, in imagination, any people of any region of our earth? Why call up the mighty dead, and put them to inqui- so avaricious of his glory, which like that of the sition, concerning these obsequies. Who, if he sun falls with no diminished brightness on one might, would bring back from the blessedness region, because it shines on a thousand others ? of heaven, to the cares of earth, one purified She needs it not. She will still have sons spirit; or for a moment interrupt the felicities enough, warmed with noble ambition, to perof those realms of reality, by any thing which fect and preserve the fabric of her glory. agitates human feelings, in this region of dust Washington was born, and lived for his country. and shadows ? Permit me to learn from his Let the mighty base of his fame extend to his life, what his country may, with propriety, do country, his united country, and to every part of it. Then shall the young and the aspiring, wards that birth-day morning, what a succession in every region of our land, and through all of benefits, blessings, glories, seem to have been coming generations, whether of humble or ele- lighted up by that auspicious sun! Our Indevated origin, read the history of the great and pendence, institutions, government, with all the good; here they shall see by what monu- their concomitant excellences, we behold; and mental honors his country has consecrated his in all, the mighty agency of Washington! He name; and thus, he who lived the most perfect seems to stand on earth among us, in the midst man of one age, shall become the great and of his achievements, to receive our gratitude, enduring model for all future time.
and to witness his own fame. If we carry in Let ine, then, in behalf of our common coun- procession these mouldering remains, it will try, implore Virginia, and the distinguished help to bring us back to a perception of our sons of Virginia now in this Hall, to look to a common allotment, and teach us to realize his consummation of the arrangement of 1799. I and our own mortality. In the midst of our do entreat them now to recollect and regard gratulations, that such a man was born, we the unanimity of a no less distinguished delega- shall have before our eyes the memorial, that tion then, as worthy of all imitation. Let such a man has died; and the joys of the CenVirginia, " the fruitful mother of heroes and tennial Birth-Day shall be chistened by those statesmen," not disregard the memory of her teachings of wisdom which remind us that no most illustrious matron, who, at the call of her human life, no sublunary good, can endure for country, surrendered her own individual and ever. peculiar affection, to the promptings of a glo- Let us then be permitted to hope that this rious patriotism.
nation may now, at last, discharge its high obAt first, I confess it did appear to me that ligation to that venerated family, by doing there might be something, in the removal of appropriate honors to the remains of this most these remains, inappropriate to a birth-day illustrious man; so that, hereafter, the filial celebration. It is not so. These two days, I piety of no son or daughter of America may be that of his birth, and that of this celebration, agitated with the anxious fear, that some feloare separated by the whole duration of an nious hand may violate the sanctuary of his hundred years. Between these two points, tomb, and give to a foreign land the glory of what a tide of events has rolled over the world! | being the Mausoleum of WASHINGTON. When the eye of recollection looks back to- |
WILLIAM HUNTER was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in the year 1776. His father, of the same name, was a Scotch physician, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. Having joined the Pretender, in his professional capacity, he found it necessary to embark for America, soon after the battle of Culloden. Settling in Newport, he entered successfully upon the practice of his profession, and is said to have been the first lecturer on anatomy in the United States. He married a daughter of Godfrey Malbone, an eminent shipping merchant of Newport, and one of the most opulent and influential citizens in the then Colonies. He died soon after the birth of his son William, who was his youngest child.
About the year 1785, Mrs. Hunter, accompanied by her three daughters, visited England, to consult an oculist about the eyes of the eldest, whose sight had become impaired through excessive study. William was left at Newport, where he attended the famous Latin school of Robert Rogers, at which, among others, Washington Alston was his schoolmate. From this institution, he proceeded to Brown University, at Providence, where the late Jonathan Russell* was his classmate, and whence he graduated, in 1791, with great distinction, receiving the salutatory, and Russell the valedictory oration. At his mother's request, shortly after graduating, he went to England, and entered himself as a student with the celebrated surgeon, John Hunter, who was a first cousin of his father. Anatomy, however, and especially dissections, proved to be so distasteful to him, that he soon abandoned the profession of medicine, and entered himself as a student of law in the Temple at London. For some time he was under Tid, and had Chitty as a fellow-student. Afterwards, he was under the learned Arthur Murphy, who he materially assisted in his admirable translation of Tacitus. When Murphy took to Burke his dedication of that work, Hunter accompanied him. They found Burke playing at jackstraws with his son. Mr. Hunter was a frequent attendant on the debates in Parliament, and at the argument of cases in the courts of law. As this time was at a period when Pitt, Fox, and Erskine were in the maturity of their powers, a young man, ambitious to become an orator, could not fail to derive advantage from listening to them.
In 1793, Mr. Hunter returned to Newport, where he was admitted to the bar, and soon roso to the head of his profession in Rhode Island. In 1799, he was elected to represent his native town in the General Assembly, and was subsequently re-elected at different periods from that time until the year 1811. He was then chosen a Senator of the United States, in which station he remained ten years. In politics he was a Federalist. At the period of his senatorship, speeches were not so frequently made in Congress as at the present time, and there were no regular reporters, so that those senators, especially of the minority, who wished to have their speeches printed, were obliged to write them out themselves. To these circumstances, the absence of Mr. Hunter's name from the debates reported in the Annals of Congress, may, it is presumed, be ascribed.
* Jonathan Russell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1771. His early life was devoted to studying the best models of English and the classical writers, and after graduating, he was prepared for the profession of law, but subsequently relinquished it for that of commerce. His tastes, however, directed him to politics, and he was called upon to fill several positions of high diplomatic trust. For many years he was Minister Plenipotentiary from his native country at Stockholm, and in 1814, was one of the five commissioners who negotiated the treaty of Ghent. On his return to the United States, he was elected a representative in the lower House of Congress, from Massachusetts. In 1917, he received the degree of Doctor of Laws, from Brown University. Mr. Russell "had no skill as a forensic or parliamentary speaker; but he was a versatile, forcible, elegant and facile writer, and when the subject permitted, handled his pen with a caustio severity which is seldom passed.” Few of his literary productions have been preserved.
On the proposition for seizing and occupying the province of East Florida, in 1813, during the war between the United States and Great Britain, Mr. Hunter made a speech in secret session of the Senate, which he afterwards dictated to an amanuensis, and caused to be printed at Newport. This production will be found in the subsequent pages of this volume. It shows comprehensive views of the subject, expressed in a style unusually dignified and elevated, and contains passages of a high order of eloquence.
Mr. Hunter questioned the constitutionality of the Missouri restriction; voted accordingly, and failing to obtain a re-election to the Senate, he resumed his practice at the bar, and continued it until 1834, when he was appointed, by President Jackson, Chargé d'Affaires to Brazil. At Rio de Janeiro, he acquired the respect of the diplomatic body, and of the Brazilian government; and at the special request of the young emperor, was elevated to the position of Minister Plenipotentiary. During his residence in Brazil, he accumulated, from the various libraries of that country, and from every quarter to which he could gain access, vast stores of learning and research, which he would probably have published, had his life been spared.
In 1845, he returned to the United States, and on the tenth of December, 1849, died at Newport, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
As a lawyer Mr. Hunter was distinguished for the extent and variety of his learning, while his diverse accomplishments gave him power as an advocate. In person he was tall, commanding and comely. In gesture graceful, natural and appropriate. His voice had a rare depth and melody, and his elocution was distinct and dignified. His language was rich and flowing, and his fancy quite poetical. His literary attainments were of a high order. Ho was quite familiar with the Latin classics, and apt in his quotations from them. In the French and Italian languages he was also well versed, and he spoke the former with as much ease and correctness as could be expected from one who had learned it in his childhood, from the French officers who were quartered in his father's house at Newport, and who had not many opportunities for practising it after their departure.
Mr. Hunter excelled in convivial talent, and was sure at a dinner-table to command at least as much attention as any one present whenever he thought proper to speak. His wit was keen and classical. Many of his good sayings are treasured up and repeated by his contemporaries in Congress. A man important as a politician in Pennsylvania, but otherwise quite insignificant, was a candidate for the office of Secretary of the Senate. Aspiring senators were eager in canvassing for him, so much so that the surprise of a newly elected senator was excited, and he asked Mr. Hunter why it was that such eminent men should take so lively an interest in the success of the candidates. Mr. Hunter replied, "Perhaps, my friend, you have not yet been long enough in Washington to be aware that Pennsylvania avenue leads to the President's house."
On another occasion, Mr. Little, of Maryland, was indulging in remarks of a personal character upon Mr. Law, of North Carolina, in the House of Representatives. Mr. Hunter happened to be among the auditors, and a gentleman near him asked if he thought Law would answer Little in the same strain. “No, indeed," said Mr. Hunter, “ de minimis non curat lex.”
ON SEIZING EAST FLORIDA.
This speech, on the proposition for seizing i peculiarity of its construction—the duration of and occupying the Province of East Florida by its members in office, and the very mode of
their appointment, indicate the hope that it the troops of the United States, was delivered
would be, and the design that it ought to be, by Mr. Hunter, in secret session of the Senate distinguished for the consistency of its conduct? of the United States, on the second of Feb- Do not all the speculations upon the theoretic ruary, 1813:
perfection of our constitution, contemplate this,
as the body that, resisting temporary impulses, MR. PRESIDENT: It is, sir, with the utmost and opposing its own firmness to a fluctuating reluctance, that I make the attempt to suggest and imbecile policy, would give something like some remarks on the present subject. For al- system and stability to our national councils ? though the question now under consideration is Sir, I doubt not our power at all times and confessed on all sides to be one of the deepest upon great and extraordinary occasions I doubt interest and importance, involving in its deci- not the right, the expediency and propriety of sion no less a consequence than that of a change reversing our decisions. No body of men can of our relations with a friendly power from a be infallible, and therefore its decisions ought state of peace to that of war, yet we bave been not to be irreversible. All I contend for is, informed by the honorable gentleman from that a case clear and strong indeed ought to be Maryland * (whose judgment on all occasions, made out, to induce the Senate to forfeit, or from his experience and standing here, is en- even to hazard its character for stability and titled to peculiar respect) that every exertion consistency. I do not say that our deliberate will be unavailing, and that it is the pre-deter- decisions, a few months since, is such conclusive mination of a majority of this Senate to adopt proof of its absolute perfection, of its entire the present bill. If that gentleman desponds impeccability, as that it operates as an estoppel after his own able and ample discussion of the upon all subsequent inquiry, and necessarily present bill, and his own vigorous efforts to precludes all debate; but grounding myself prevent his own prediction, it would be pre- upon a well-known distinction, I do say, it is sumption in me to hope. Whoever, too, moves most persuasive, convincing and satisfactory in the discussion of this question must go on evidence of the correctness of that decision, depressed, if not alarmed, by the denunciation and that according to all the principles of parof the honorable gentleman from Georgia, who liamentary usage, deducible either from the in the overflowing of an allowable zeal and rules of a sound logic, or from judicial analoanxiety (connected as he deems the success of gies, it imposes on the honorable mover of this this bill to be with the peculiar interest and ad- proposition and all its advocates, the necessity vantage of his own State) has declared it not of substantiating, by new and further evidence, less than infatuation, that pretends to foresee by arguments not before adduced, and by conany evil consequences resulting from its adop- siderations of policy, arising out of a new tion.
juncture of our affairs—the wisdom, propriety In spite, however, of the forlorn hope to and necessity of the present proceeding. which I am condemned by the honorable gen- This too, sir, ought to be done with a cleartleman from Maryland, and the certainty of in- ness and copiousness of proof, sufficient to repel curring the penalty of the denunciation of the the warrantable, and inevitable suspicion, which honorable gentleman from Georgia (to whose always attaches to a renewed effort for a repersonal good opinion I am far from being in-jected measure; to an application for a new different), I feel myself impelled by obligations trial, upon a suggestion of new and further eviof duty, by a fair interpretation of the instruc- dence. What is the actual case ? have we new tions of my constituents in reference to another proofs ? even new statements have we had occasion, and the clearest convictions of my any thing but arguments priore refuted? Is understanding, to record my vote against the the relation of our country different? Has any present proposition; and from the pressure of new event taken place? No, sir, it is not even the same motives, I find myself induced, hope- pretended. I do therefore, on the ground of less and unpropitious as is the occasion, to as- our former decision, on the ground that we sign my reasons for that vote.
were then right, and on the absence of all new And in the first place, is it nothing, is it a inducement from proof, statement or argument, consideration worthy of no regard, that this to do away that presumption, call upon gentleHouse has but lately, after a protracted and men, as they respect themselves individually solemn discussion, rejected the very proposition upon the Senate, whose character for consiscontained in the bill before us? Is a character tency and dignity (most important and essential for consistency in its measures of no importance attributes of that character) will be comproto this branch of the legislature? Does not the mitted and hazarded with the nation, to resist
this overthrow of their best resolves—to stand *General Samuel Smith.
to their former opinions, and to permit no con VOL. II.-22