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of the necessary number of slaves, in the same manner as he calculates the cost of the land. The uncertainty, too, of this species of employment, affords another ground of resemblance to commerce. Although gainful, on the whole, and in a series of years, it is often very disastrous for a single year, and as the capital is not readily invested in other pursuits, bad crops, or bad markets, not only affect the profits, but the capital itself. Hence the sudden depressions which take place in the value of such estates.
But the great and leading observation, relative to these establishments, remains to be made. It is, that the owners of the soil and of the capital seldom consider themselves at home in the colony. A very great portion of the soil itself is usually owned in the mother country; a still greater is mortgaged for capital obtained there; and, in general, those who are to derive an interest from the products, look to the parent country as the place for enjoyment of their wealth. The population is therefore constantly fluctuating. Nobody comes but to return. A constant succession of owners, agents, and factors takes place. Whatsoever the soil, forced by the unmitigated toil of slavery, can yield, is borne home to defray rents, and interest, and agencies; or to give the means of living in a better society. In such a state, it is evident that no spirit of permanent improvement is likely to spring up. Profits will not be invested with a distant view of benefiting posterity. Roads and canals will hardly be built; schools will not be founded; colleges will not be endowed. There will be few fixtures in society; no principles of utility or of elegance, planted now, with the hope of being developed and expanded hereafter. Profit, immediate profit, must be the principal active spring in the social system. There may be many particular exceptions to these general remarks, but the outline of the whole, is such as is here drawn.
Another most important consequence of such a state of things is, that no idea of independence of the parent country is likely to arise; unless indeed it should spring up in a form, that would threaten universal desolation. The inhabitants have no strong attachment to the place which they inhabit. The hope of a great portion of them, is to leave it; and their great desire, to leave it soon. However useful they may be to the parent state, how much soever they may add to the conveniencies and luxuries of life, these colonies are not favored spots for the expansion of the human mind, for the progress of permanent improvement, or for sowing the seeds of future independent empire.
Different, indeed, most widely different, from all these instances of emigration and plantation, were the condition, the purposes, and the prospects of our Fathers, when they established their infant colony upon this spot. They came hither to a land from which they were never to return. Hither they had brought, and here they were to fix, their hopes, their attachments, and their objects. Some natural tears they shed, as they left the pleasant abodes of their fathers, and some emotions they suppressed, when the white cliffs of their native country, now seen for the last time, grew dim to their sight. They were acting however upon a resolution not to be changed. With whatever stifled regrets, with whatever occasional hesita
tion, with whatever appalling apprehensions, which might sometimes arise with force to shake the firmest purpose, they had yet committed themselves to Heaven, and the elements; and a thousand leagues of water soon interposed to separate them forever from the region which gave them birth. A new existence awaited them here; and when they saw these shores, rough, cold, barbarous, and barren as then they were, they beheld their country. That mixed and strong feeling, which we call love of country, and which is, in general, never extinguished in the heart of man, grasped and embraced its proper object here. Whatever constitutes country, except the earth and the sun, all the moral causes of affection and attachment, which operate upon the heart, they had brought with them to their new abode. Here were now their families and friends; their homes, and their property. Before they reached the shore, they had established the elements of a social system, and at a much earlier period had settled their forms of religious worship. At the moment of their landing, therefore, they possessed institutions of government, and institutions of religion: and friends and families, and social and religious institutions, established by consent, founded on choice and preference, how nearly do these fill up our whole idea of country!-The morning that beamed on the first night of their repose, saw the Pilgrims already established in their country. There were political institutions, and civil liberty, and religious worship. Poetry has fancied nothing, in the wanderings of heroes, so distinct and characteristic. Here was man, indeed, unprotected, and unprovided for, on the shore of a rude and fearful wilderness; but it was politic, intelligent and educated man. Everything was civilized but the physical world. Institutions containing in substance all that ages had done for human government, were established in a forest. Cultivated mind was to act on uncultivated nature; and, more than all, a government, and a country, were to commence, with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of the christian religion. Happy auspices of a happy futurity! Who would wish that his country's existence had otherwise begun?-Who would desire the power of going back to the ages of fable? Who would wish for an origin, obscured in the darkness of antiquity?-Who would wish for other emblazoning of his country's heraldry, or other ornaments of her genealogy, than, to be able to say, that her first existence was with intelligence; her first breath the inspirations of liberty; her first principle the truth of divine religion?/
Local attachments and sympathies would ere long spring up in the breasts of our ancestors, endearing to them the place of their refuge. Whatever natural objects are associated with interesting scenes and high efforts, obtain a hold on human feeling, and demand from the heart a sort of recognition and regard. This Rock soon became hallowed in the esteem of the Pilgrims, and these hills grateful to their sight. Neither they nor their children were again to till the soil of England, nor again to traverse the seas which surrounded her. But here was a new sea, now open to their enterprise, and a new soil, which had not failed to respond gratefully to their laborious industry, and which was already assuming a robe of verdure. Hardly had they provided shelter for the living, ere they were sum
moned to erect sepulchres for the dead. The ground had become sacred, by enclosing the remains of some of their companions and connexions. A parent, a child, a husband or a wife, had gone the way of all flesh, and mingled with the dust of New England. We ! naturally look with strong emotions to the spot, though it be a wilderness, where the ashes of those we have loved repose. Where the heart has laid down what it loved most, it is desirous of laying itself down. No sculptured marble, no enduring monument, no honorable inscription, no ever burning taper that would drive away the darkness of death, can soften our sense of the reality of mortality, and hallow to our feelings the ground which is to cover us, like the consciousness that we shall sleep, dust to dust, with the objects of our affections.
In a short time other causes sprung up to bind the Pilgrims with new cords to their chosen land. Children were born, and the hopes of future generations arose, in the spot of their new habitation. The second generation found this the land of their nativity, and saw that they were bound to its fortunes. They beheld their fathers' graves around them, and while they read the memorials of their toils and labors, they rejoiced in the inheritance which they found bequeathed to them.
Under the influence of these causes, it was to be expected, that an interest and a feeling should arise here, entirely different from the interest and feeling of mere Englishmen; and all the subsequent history of the colonies proves this to have actually and gradually taken place. With a general acknowledgement of the supremacy of the British crown, there was, from the first, a repugnance to an entire submission to the control of British legislation. The colonies stood upon their charters, which as they contended, exempted them from the ordinary power of the British parliament, and authorised them to conduct their own concerns by their own counsels. They utterly resisted the notion that they were to be ruled by the mere authority of the government at home, and would not endure even that their own charter governments should be established on the other side of the Atlantic. It was not a controlling or protecting board in England, but a government of their own, and existing immediately within their limits, which could satisfy their wishes. It was easy to foresee, what we know also to have happened, that the first great cause of collision and jealousy would be, under the notion of political economy then and still prevalent in Europe, an attempt on the part of the mother country to monopolize the trade of the colonies. Whoever has looked deeply into the causes which produced our revolution, has found, if I mistake not, the original principle far back in this claim, on the part of England, to monopolize our trade, and a continued effort on the part of the colonies to resist or evade that monopoly; if indeed it be not still more just and philosophical to go farther back, and to consider it decided, that an independent government must arise here, the moment it was ascertained that an English colony, such as landed in this place, could sustain itself against the dangers which surrounded it, and, with other similar establishments, overspread the land with an English population. Accidental cses retarded at times, and at times accelerated the
progress of the controversy. The colonies wanted strength, and time gave it to them. They required measures of strong and palpable injustice, on the part of the mother country, to justify resistance; the early part of the late king's reign furnished them. They needed spirits of high order, of great daring, of long foresight and of commanding power, to seize the favoring occasion to strike a blow, which should sever, forever, the tie of colonial dependence; and these spirits were found, in all the extent which that or any crisis could demand, in Otis, Adams, Hancock, and the other immediate authors of our independence. Still it is true, that for a century, causes had been in operation tending to prepare things for this great result. In the year 1660 the English act of Navigation was passed; the first and grand object of which seems to have been to secure to England the whole trade with her plantations. It was provided, by that act, that none but English ships should transport American produce over the ocean; and that the principal articles of that produce should be allowed to be sold only in the markets of the mother country. Three years afterwards another law was passed, which enacted, that such commodities as the colonies might wish to purchase, should be bought only in the markets of the mother country. Severe rules were prescribed to enforce the provisions of these laws, and heavy penalties imposed on all who should violate them. In the subsequent years of the same reign, other statutes were passed to reenforce these statutes, and other rules prescribed, to secure a compliance with these rules. In this manner was the trade, to and from the colonies, tied up, almost to the exclusive advantage of the parent country. But laws, which rendered the interest of a whole people subordinate to that of another people, were not likely to execute themselves; nor was it easy to find many on the spot, who could be depended upon for carrying them into execution. In fact, these laws were more or less evaded, or resisted, in all the colonies. To enforce them was the constant endeavour of the government at home; to prevent or elude their operation, the perpetual object here. "The laws of navigation," says a living British writer, were nowhere so openly disobeyed and contemned as in New England." "The people of Massachusetts Bay," he adds, "were from the first disposed to act as if independent of the mother country, and having a governor and magistrates of their own choice, it was difficult to enforce any regulation which came from the English parliament, adverse to their interests." To provide more effectually for the execution of these laws, we know that courts of admiralty were afterwards established by the crown, with power to try revenue causes, as questions of admiralty, upon the construction given by the crown lawyers, to an act of parliament;-a great departure from the ordinary principles of English jurisprudence, but which has been maintained, nevertheless, by the force of habit and precedent, and is adopted in our own existing systems of government.
"There lie," says another English writer, whose connexion with the Board of Trade has enabled him to ascertain many facts connected with colonial history," There lie among the documents in the board of trade and paper office, the most satisfactory proofs, from the epoch of the English revolution in 1688, throughout every
reign, and during every administration, of the settled purpose of the colonies to acquire direct independence and positive sovereignty." Perhaps this may be stated somewhat too strongly; but it cannot be denied, that from the very nature of the establishments here, and from the general character of the measures respecting their concerns, early adopted, and steadily pursued by the English government, a division of the empire was the natural and necessary result to which everything tended.
I have dwelt on this topic, because it seems to me, that the peculiar original character of the New England colonies, and certain causes coeval with their existence, have had a strong and decided influence on all their subsequent history, and especially on the great event of the Revolution. Whoever would write our history, and would understand and explain early transactions, should comprehend the nature and force of the feeling which I have endeavoured to describe. As a son, leaving the house of his father for his own, finds, by the order of nature, and the very law of his being, nearer and dearer objects around which his affections circle, while his attachment to the parental roof becomes moderated, by degrees, to a composed regard, and an affectionate remembrance; so our ancestors, leaving their native land, not without some violence to the feelings of nature and affection, yet, in time, found here a new circle of engagements, interests, and affections; a feeling, which more and more encroached upon the old, till an undivided sentiment, that this was their country, occupied the heart; and patriotism, shutting out from its embraces the parent realm, became local to America.
Some retrospect of the century which has now elapsed, is among the duties of the occasion. It must, however, necessarily be imperfect, to be compressed within the limits of a single discourse. I shall content myself, therefore, with taking notice of a few of the leading, and most important occurrences, which have distinguished the period.
When the first century closed, the progress of the country appeared to have been considerable; notwithstanding that, in comparison with its subsequent advancement, it now seems otherwise. A broad and lasting foundation had been laid: excellent institutions had been established; much of the prejudices of former times had become removed; a more liberal and catholic spirit on subjects of religious concern had begun to extend itself, and many things conspired to give promise of increasing future prosperity. Great men had arisen in public life, and the liberal professions. The Mathers, father and son, were then sinking low in the western horizon; Leverett, the learned, the accomplished, the excellent Leverett, was about to withdraw his brilliant and useful light. In Pemberton, great hopes had been suddenly extinguished, but Prince and Colman, were in our sky; and the crepuscular light had begun to flash along the East, of a great luminary which was about to appear; and which was to mark the age with his own name, as the age of Franklin.
The bloody Indian wars, which harassed the people for a part of the first century; the restrictions on the trade of the colonies-added to the discouragements inherently belonging to all forms of