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they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.
Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned-we have remonstrated— we have supplicated—we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending-if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight! -I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak-unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the
plains of Boston! The war is inevitable-and let it come!! I repeat it, sir, let it come!!!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace-but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!-I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
OF THE RETURN OF THE REFUGEES.
[Speech in the Virginia Legislature. Quoted by Wirt.]
E have, sir, an extensive country, without population—what can be a more obvious policy than that this country ought to be peopled?-people, sir, form the strength and constitute the wealth of a nation. I want to see our vast forests filled up by some process a little more speedy than the ordinary course of nature. I wish to see these States rapidly ascending to that rank which their natural advantages authorize them to hold among the nations of the earth. Cast your eyes, sir, over this extensive country-observe the salubrity of your climate; the variety and fertility of your soil-and see that soil intersected in every quarter by bold, navigable streams, flowing to the east and to the west, as if the finger of Heaven were marking out the course of your settlements, inviting you to enterprise, and pointing the way to wealth. Sir, you are destined, at some time or other, to become a great agricultural and commercial people; the only question is, whether you choose to reach this point by slow gradations, and at some distant period-lingering on through a long and sickly minority-subjected, meanwhile, to the machinations, insults, and oppressions of enemies foreign and domestic, without sufficient strength to resist and chastise them-or whether you choose rather to rush at once, as it were, to the full enjoyment of those high destinies, and be able to cope, single-handed, with the proudest oppressor of the old world. If you prefer the latter course, as I trust you do, encourage emigration-encourage the husbandmen, the mechanics, the merchants of the old world, to come and settle in this land of promise-make it the home of the skilful, the industrious, the fortunate and happy, as well as the asylum of the distressed-fill up the measure of your population as speedily as you can, by the means which
Heaven hath placed in your power-and I venture to prophesy there are those now living who will see this favored land amongst the most powerful on earth-able, sir, to take care of herself, without resorting to that policy which is always so dangerous, though sometimes unavoidable, of calling in foreign aid. Yes, sir-they will see her great in arts and in arms-her golden harvests waving over fields of immeasurable extenther commerce penetrating the most distant seas, and her cannon silencing the vain boasts of those who now proudly affect to rule the waves.
But, sir, you must have men-you cannot get along without themthose heavy forests of valuable timber, under which your lands are groaning, must be cleared away-those vast riches which cover the face of your soil, as well as those which lie hid in its bosom, are to be developed and gathered only by the skill and enterprise of men-your timber, sir, must be worked up into ships, to transport the productions of the soil from which it has been cleared-then, you must have commercial men and commercial capital, to take off your productions, and find the best markets for them abroad-your great want, sir, is the want of men; and these you must have, and will have speedily, if you are wise. Do you ask how you are to get them?-Open your doors, sir, and they will come in the population of the old world is full to overflowing-that population is ground, too, by the oppressions of the governments under which they live. Sir, they are already standing on tiptoe upon their native shores, and looking to your coasts with a wishful and longing eye. They see here a land blessed with natural and political advantages which are not equalled by those of any other country upon earth—a land on which a gracious Providence hath emptied the horn of abundance-a land over which Peace hath now stretched forth her white wings, and where Content and Plenty lie down at every door! Sir, they see something still more attractive than all this-they see a land in which Liberty hath taken up her abode—that Liberty whom they had considered as a fabled goddess, existing only in the fancies of poetsthey see her here a real divinity-her altars rising on every hand throughout these happy States-her glories chanted by three millions. of tongues-and the whole region smiling under her blessed influence. Sir, let but this our celestial goddess, Liberty, stretch forth her fair hand toward the people of the old world-tell them to come, and bid them welcome-and you will see them pouring in from the north, from the south, from the east, and from the west; your wildernesses will be cleared and settled-your deserts will smile-your ranks will be filled -and you will soon be in a condition to defy the powers of any ad
But gentlemen object to any accession from Great Britain-and particularly to the return of the British refugees. Sir, I feel no objection
to the return of those deluded people; they have, to be sure, mistaken their own interests most wofully, and most wofully have they suffered the punishment due to their offences. But the relations which we bear to them and to their native country are now changed; their king hath acknowledged our independence--the quarrel is over-peace hath returned, and found us a free people. Let us have the magnanimity, sir, to lay aside our antipathies and prejudices, and consider the subject in a political light; those are an enterprising, moneyed people; they will be serviceable in taking off the surplus produce of our lands, and supplying us with necessaries, during the infant state of our manufactures. Even if they be inimical to us in point of feeling and principle, I can see no objection, in a political view, in making them tributary to our advantage. And as I have no prejudices to prevent my making this use of them, so, sir, I have no fear of any mischief that they can do us. Afraid of them!—what, sir, shall we, who have laid the proud British lion at our feet, now be afraid of his whelps?
BORN in Newark, N. J., 1737. DIED at Fredericton, N. B., 1818.
["The American Times." From "The Loyalist Poetry of the Revolution." 1857.]
BLESS me! what formidable figure's this
That interrupts my words with saucy hiss?
Here Violence puts on a close disguise
All emblematic of our present state.
She calls the nations-Lo! in crowds they sup
BORN in Thetford, Norfolk Co., England, 1737. DIED in New York, N. Y., 1809.
OF THE SEPARATION OF BRITAIN AND AMERICA.
[Common Sense. 1776.]
VERYTHING that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, "'tis time to part." Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof that the authority of the one over the other was never the design of heaven. The time, likewise, at which the continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument, and the manner in which it was peopled, increases the force of it. The Reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety.
The authority of Great Britain over this continent is a form of government which sooner or later must have an end: and a serious mind can draw no true pleasure by looking forward, under the painful and positive conviction, that what he calls "the present constitution" is merely temporary. As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to insure anything which we may bequeath to posterity; and by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and