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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1796
Volume 105, Page 280   View pdf image (33K)
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the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a
guarantee of the plans by which they were effected.--Profoundly penetrated
with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to
unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence--
that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual--that the
free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained--
that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom
and virtue--that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these states, under the
auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so
prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending
it to the applause, the affection and adoption of every nation which is yet a
stranger to it.

    Here, perhaps, I ought to stop.  But a solicitude for your welfare, which
cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that
solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation,
and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which
are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which
appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people.
These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in
them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no
personal motive to bias his counsel.  Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to
it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar

    Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation
of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

    The unity of government which constitutes you one people, is also now dear
to you.  It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence,
the support of your tranquility of home, your peace abroad; of your
safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize.  But
as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes and from different quarters,
much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the
conviction of his truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which
the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively
(though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you
should properly estimate the immense value of your national union, to your collective
and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual and
immoveable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it
as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation
with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a
suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon
the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from
the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

    For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest.  Citizens by
birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate
your affections.  The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national
capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any
appellation derived from local discriminations.  With slight shades of difference,
you have the same religion, manners, habits and political principles.  You have
in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty
you possess are the work of joint councils, and joint efforts, of common dangers,
sufferings and successes.

    But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your
sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which they apply more immediately to
your interest.--Here every portion of our country finds the mot commanding
motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1796
Volume 105, Page 280   View pdf image (33K)
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