The Columbia Democrat. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1837-1850, July 14, 1849, Image 1
nni.. -. a. I v 33V levT'lTtate. 5 BLOOMSBUEG, COLUMBIA ORIGINAL. 11 L CI I'M UPON EX-rilESIDKNT POLK : DELIVERED AT THE COURT-HOUSE, ELOOMSBl'RO, JULY FOURTH, 1819. lty Char Its ll.tiuclonhcu)' Ladies and Gentj.emkn : A question of the highest importance to 'the peoplo of this Union, is this : How slmll civil liberty be poipeiuated 1 Other govern ments have become corrupt; have been ty ranical ; and amid the execrations of man kind have sunk into ignoble sloth or rushed into a career of crime the precurser of decay or subjugation. How shall we escape their fate ? Undoubtedly by avoiding the errors that misled, and the vices that corrupted them, , Burihis answer does not indicate the path to bo pursued with sufficient clearness for the wants' of the multitude'. Instruction must go further than to denounce the evil to be avoided ; it must inculcate the good to be pursued. Hence those alone are true teach ers who point out to us directly the objects to be pursued and the means of attaining them. , The wisest of all teachers did not simply de nounce the abounding vices and follies of man, but taught also a positive system of the , most benignant and sublime character to en list the belief and obedience of the world. The iNquirer after truth is not to be told :inerely that tyranny is odious, and that false hood, violence, selfishness, ambition, pride and lust, have filled the earth with sorrow and wrong. After error is exposed, he is to .be instructed in truth. He is to be uilormed what thoughtful and wise men have demon strated to be truth, and is to be invoked to act aaodingly. How tnea is nnerty 10 uo pcrpetuaieu ! We have the direct and instructive reply to this question in the Pennsylvania Constitu tion of 1776, frwued by a Convention over which Benjamin Franklin presided: "A frequent recurrence to fundamental princi ples, and a firm adherence to justice, moder ation, teiupftunee, industry and frugality, are" absolutely necessary to preserve the bless ings of liberty, and keep a government free." It is manifest that ihe masses of a Slate must 1ms intelligent and virtu us, in a hiith degree, to insure it againat a lots of freedom, prosperity and power. The moral world, like the na'ural, is under Lw. and dissolution is every where the fate; of bodies that become corrupt An intelligent, reflecting and vir tuous people, are alone capacitated for free government. The mere possession ol free institutions, is no Mifficieut guaranty against degeneracy and decay. Forms of govern ment, and measures of legislation, are of se condary importance to the character and pi rit of the people. Establish ignorance, stu pidity and vice generally in society, and con stitutions aro not worth talking about. The period of the English Commonwealth was one of honor for England ; but a people too mean-spirited and vicious to exist without a scourge, voluntarily invited kingship back to tho realm, with its train of courtesans, rakes, nobles, prelates and buffoons ! The inculcation of this truth ; tho abso lute necessity of popular intelligence, integ rity and spirit; is of incalculable conse quence to America and tho world. The ex ternal form, the organization, the institutions, and the municipal laws of bociety, are noth ing to its inward life the moral and intellec tual character of its members. But, how shall we induce men to attain, ind live up to, the standard of merit requir ed. A mode of effecting this, is to present samples of true greatness and virtue to the Jeople for their instruction and imitation. F:om considering a particular instance we r?y ascend to the general rule. From the characteristics of one good man, we may foa a standard of character for all. The. recent demise of tho eleventh Presi de:!; of the United States, invites a reviewal Hi his life. We may now, with propriety, tiamine his character, and the causes and jwness of the high distinction he attained. M 1 believe, we may reap instruction from his inquiry, and hold up the subject of it as an example of virtue worthy of imitation and praise Mr. Polk died on the 15th of the last month, at tl,B ago 0f fifty-three, and but four months af!er tne cloe of his term as Chief MagiMraiA 0f the Union. The even ing of his If., :u period of expected repose fo-r stirring ifu. , ( f.are 0f action, is Py in Ul,ex,..-.-twllv shortened. 1 shall no, w,, h -j Iabored eu. logmm upon , ,. Uv ,,.. hands faithfully and fully perform ed and f(!f.ble tribute to his 1 mrv. mav Ko ventured p.ven as e - 'n'nou that duty wil 1 n rn. rv'ii a t-,, worth and me ,. quarter, without censure, !rps'iinptinn Let no ono bestow upon the lata President indiscriminate praise, but let justice be done to his conduct and his virtues. He had fail ings, but they wcro neither numerous nor striking, lie committed errors, but they were not of wantonness or intention. Ho had enemies, but they were evoked by par tisan conflicts, and illustrate but tho usual penalty paid for public distinction. Most CilI concede to him, honesty of purpose, re soluteness of action, and consistency of opin ion. Subjected to purtisau analysis, the mea sures he supported may be objected to vehe mently, while the integrity of the statesman is not seriously questioned. We stand yet too close to the events in which he was a prominent actor, to judgo with that imparti ality which is indispensable to just history, or intelligent praise. The men of another generation will sketch with fidelity what is now left unfinished, or is discolored either ba overweening friendship or unjust opposition. Dut wo may judge at once of his character and intellectual qualities, and claim for them their just position in the public estimation. A prominent trait in the character of Mr. Polk was integrity. He was immovably ho nest. The temptations to which a long pub lic career subjected him, did not, upon any known occasion, seduce him into a dishonest or disreputable action. Allied to this trait was another firmness. When interest ap parently called him to yield a just position, he stood by it, regardless of personal results. He was no worshipper of policy at the ex pense of right. He was a man of principle, and not of expediency. He was content to fight for truth, even under obloquy and mis representation, convinced that in the long run his vindication was sure. It was natural that such n man should be consistent, and ho was so. Ho was no changeling. By friend and foe his position was always distinctlykuown, and could be depended upon as permanent. Uufbehind these features of character, and of a rarer excellence, was an abiding faith in the capacity of our race for improvement. He was no scoffer at humanity. He was sensible of its corruptions, but ho did not be lieve that they were iucnr;ililr Improve, ineul, progress, amelioration ; these were, in his view, tho watchwords of hope for our race. And is it not one of the truest sub jects of praise in a public character, that with enlarged experience and in full view of a bounding evils, he does not permit himself to doubt tin; destiny of man ? To attain this point we are called to pass through a fiery or deal, and to resist the promptings of all the evil and desponding elements of our nature. True, in the spring of life we look forward with unbounded hope. Wo arc sanguine of achieving an honorable position for ourselves, and are full of confidence iu the advance ment of our race in virtue, intelligence and happiness. But few clouds darken our sky, and they cast but a transient shadow. We see all things through a poetical medium. We have a conviction that all mankind are prompted, like ourselves, by aspirations af ter the beautiful and the good. Our hearts go out toward all men, and we aro ready to submit to great sacrifices and to go through arduous labors to advance their wellare. Selfishness has not yet paralyzed our sym pathies, nor distrust poisoned our minds. We desire to break down all fetters upon individual right ; and anticipate a time when all corroding errors in societ) are to be swept away and all abuses utterly destroyed. A lime of peace, of right, of freedom, of un bounded and buoyant happinca., is soon to dawn upon the earth ! This is the spirit with which we stand on the threshold of life, and prepare to act our part in its eventful eceues. But; as we advance, a thousand discour agements encounter us. Vice, selfishness, ignorance, pafsion, folly and violence, ren der the world an apparent theatre of error, tumult and wrong. And those who at temnt to reform society are loaded with a- i - ' buKe or derided as visionaries. This is the crisis in our intellectual life : Happy he who shall escape its perils unscathed ! Too ma ny utterly abandon, at this point, what they term "the dreams of youth," and are ever af ter scoffers at "unattainable perfection." They make shipwreck of all that is noblest and purest within them, and are numbered with the children of selfishness and guile. fc'oe thorn ! pursuing tho dollar through all the avenues of thrift with a zeal that knows neither turning or pause. See ihem ! climb ing with incredible industry up all the tortu ous paths of selfish and heartless ambition to places of trust and power. See them ! groping through all tho dens of sensuality for pleasures wherein guilt and disappointment are everlastingly mingled ! Nor is this all. Corrupted themselves, they corrupt others. They are apostles of evil, sapping alike the vitals of public liberty and individual virtue Mr. Polk was not of these. Ho passed from youth to manhood, and thence to ape, nth a fresh and h' t and hor.rf.il spirit He was not smitten with despondency, nor stain ed with guilt. Regretting and avoiding thd vices and evils about him, he looked forward to a time for their repression and banishment vSTUItDAY, JULY U, 1849. ed not fi. a. . . . . --r-rr-.-L Oh It deed not fA. .i. j . v uugunoracy or national rum iaunenwAeastiside HobL'r aml H'ice ' rulers, and . wr.- t0 honor and imi e tlioir virtues, that we mav oxucci nam... All relorms received trom him a willing audi4 Chastisement. May such a time be Ion;' enco, and if approved, countenance and HeA from our beloved country, and may support. And his spirit did not flag to the last. Beneath the whitened hair of aire dwelt the same faith that had fired his zeal in boyhood by the banks of the Cumberland. Ripened, sobered, enlightened and yet stren gthened, it had survived contests, contumely and time. He carried to his last retirement nn unshaken confidence, in Goodness, Truth, and Humanity. What is higher praise for a public man than thisl It was the same lof ty, unbent, indomitable and hopeful spirit, with which Milton, old, and blind and poor, within hearing of a ribald court and surroun- 5e continue advancing permanently in lib- rty, intelligence, virtue, prosperity and tower ! ORATION; KL1VERED AT THE COURT-IIOUSR, BLOOMSBUIU, JULY FOURTH, liVJ, By Reuben W. Weaver. itizkns: This day it is just seventy-lhree years pico h new nation sprang into free existence ion a seemingly barren strip of sea-coast in e unfilled wilderness of America. We are ded by a degenerate people, sang tha advent et here to commemorate the returniug an- versary of that day. Unfettered by antiquated heresies in relig ;i and government, tho adventurous eini anls had been thrown into circumstances i privation and peril which forced them to ly upon their own energies, and to govern ein.selves. They were here untramineled . .1 . . .1 it f r vne niom-eaien customs anu laws ol a mi-batliarous feudalism; and blind Con rvutisil had not yet reared its altars nor buldedits idols for their superstitious rev pnee. I'M aided here in forming a govern tut, ail its free institutions were hence of tharacir to protect all who were iudustri is, frugl and virtuous. Tho necessities of te emjrants made legislators of them, idle lb oppression they had escaped and wan which their little communities felt, uglit tm tho tfue principles upon which o base eir laws. It is invariably true that of truth, justice and brotherhood among men Mr. Polk's opinions upon public questions, (as has beeu well said ot a distinguished his torian,) "were philosophical and therefore uncompromising." They were of the school of Progress, and few will question that they were honestly entertained. We hero ap proach ground where sentiment is permanent ly divided, and where it is vain to expect a greement or compromise. War, unending and unyielding, has ever been waged be tween Conservatism and Innovation: we aro only left to choose sides in the struggle. This much may however bo asserted in tho ear of all ; that the golden mean between an archy and tyranny is to be attained by prac tiealizing rational and just reforms, and a sentiment therefore against progression is iudefonsible and injurious. Tha blind, un reasoning fpar of change and liberalism is not even promotive of order and content ment, but exactly the opposite. Justly con sidered, liberty is the ally of order, or as my author better words it, "honest liberty is the greatest foe to dishonest license." Of all tho prominent governments of tho world, that one is at this moment the most secure which is the most free. All Europe is rock ed with commotion : war, rebellion -and ap- nrehensimi, everv where nhni.mtifirr It. the United Stales, where there is less res traint upon the citizen than in any other civ ilized country upon the globe, absolute peace and quietude prevail. The lesson is being learned that a free people are the most or derly. The country where radical reforms aro frequent, and where government itself is but a creature of the popular will, is secure and peaceful amid world-wide commotions. Let the fact be noted as a justification of lib eral opinions and an innovating policy, and let uo otio hereafter imagine that the smi ting down of abuses will be productive of anarchy and disorder. In the public record of Mr. Polk's life, we have abundant evidence of his possession of popular confidence and respect. He was the architect of his own fortunes, without extraordinary advantages by birth or con nexions; in bliort. with his character, indus try, talents und opinions only to recommend him ; yet they were sufficient to lift him into public station, and continue him there, un til the dose of life. He was in public sta tion, by repeated elections, and almost un interruotedlv. for twenty two years : two in the Legislature and two as Governor of Ten nessee ; fourteen iu Congress, and four as President of the Union. His Presidential administration was truly an eventful one. A large circle of domestic questions, many of them of a highly exci ting character, were acted upon and adjusted. A foreign war, exhibiting the patriotism and prowess of our citizen soldiery iu a most creditable aspect, was conducted to a suc cessful conclusion. Starving thousands in in the old world wero fed by contributions from the new. Territory west and south, lar ger than all Europe, was added to the Union, and a highway to Asia opened by the Pacif ic to develooc the enterprise and extend the J L power of the Republic through the centuries looming up from the future! History only, in view of results hereafter appearing, can properly estimate the importance of the e-vent.- crowded in to the pa3t four ycais. In private life Mr. Polk was distinguished for amenity of disposition, a gentlemanly de portment, and a strict regard for the rights of othcts. His reputation was absolutely with out stain or suspicion. Although childless, his domestic relations were mo.-t fortunate. His wife, who turvives him, was calculated to giace any station ; she was attached to her husband by a real affection, and will re ceive tho heartfelt sympathy of the Ameri can people in her groat and irreparable ber eavement. This imperfect sketch is now concluded W'e have the deceased before us in the purity of his character and the sincerity of his n pinions, as an example for imitation and a Fubjert for praise. If such men aro taken as mc'lrls rd cIw.tC't by m-i- "a i a oar own country Weliavo the ordeal but , being ,v firs, em republics, we have acqui..j . , .w-r. ., .,. ' . . f ,, a weighty r -nd the cause of Prog.. a freedom throughout the wonu ana ull1 time demands that we retain unimpaired the Wussings which heaven has beneficently conferred upon our country and our age. Hie benighted pilgrim of trnodom in tho old world looks here for cheer and sympathy in Ins struggles. From all nations rins hither the Macedonian cry o'er the broad Atlantic "Come over and help us." Tfce kinsmen of Kosiusco, of De Kalb, and jfayette uro battling for freedom in EuVoii 5md stretch out their arms to us imploring uta And tho' the strong arm of our government may be bound and stayed by the inexorable ureeo- dents of a despotic age, which we have ta ken to be a law to us, jet the true hearts of our generous peoplo know but the law of free Nature's God, and beat iu responsive sympathy to every throb of freedom through out the world. A loud cry of cheer Roe.sup from our laud for the struggling republicans ot all earth. It echoes ov SiJitlVS.. Tlf VOLTo, NUMBER 17. it . Z "'US' 7" f J" a spirit of repining.--y study the by-g0tl3 age to learn, "but - me-eonung ,a lor U3 t0 m ' I a.- is eloquent with admonition and instruct KM! f we heed ,ts teachings. But so too is generous pTght and g)orioU3 t0 noblest praise. oura the lot to win iU And meanwhile, may the in the attainment and enjoyment of tru,, rational, und religious freedom, until, onward and upward, man ewer true and just to the cause of Liberty, we shall attain to that glc nous era when all earth shall be one nation, and all mankind one kindred brotherhood ot' fieerneu. iv. cr ocean, .,d thrills and nerves and fires the children of Liberty. Kings tremble and flee iu dismay. Thrones totter, and crowns crumble away. The A mericaa citizen is embraced as a brother by the free of all nations. the cmitiuts to a new country, it left free to act, wi,V)stablish better laws than those which tic have escaped. Even iu our own republii vBee this exemplified in the im proved coqiutions of our western States, so far supel j0 t(l0S0 mouldering relics of. the past to yq, tlf. conservatism of our older States ' tenaciously clings. Thus, Texas and Vy,li ;;n jlave perhaps the best V:.ie COIIStitUtlp j the Union The cmigramto America were those, who, amid the dtness of despotism, stood highest upon fi mount of Progress, and caurhnhe first 's of the bright sunlight of Refinu. J'liu ifit of that ago was fur free don of tlough't'd mind and speech. Des poluin ii polit), as superstition beforo it in religinihad iflauted into Time the seed of its vn ejftual Reformation, and the Amuan eviiitiun brought forth iho first fruit the nc' cause, as a fit offering upon the or of Fredoin. From that day until this. Jgrebs las battled with Conservatism, and,fultem'g and unfailing, has won its wayh by inch into every nook of tho hab italurth. The death-knell of the antiqn atecesies iu government has been rung in tar of the despots, and is now echoed frortion to nation. I tho land ol eloquence and song, looks to fjhter day, when her patriotic tribunes shaain shake th Roman forum with the thus of their eloquence. The Pope has protreacherous to the cause of the people, andill an exile from the Vatican. Ger- m'ill and must bo again one nation. Au will be astato of Hungary, of France or eirnany. The indomitable Magyars aratned to map out Europe anew and me not expect that on that day a large sptthe new map 6hall be marked "Po lar Perhaps, even now as we aro met hee tramping of the war steed may ro soibout the citadel of Warsaw to fright thesian despot from his lair. Even Ire land smile again, while her children, altiuy days of suffering, shall find their hrgaiu; and they shall then take their haotn the willows and attune them to a sol festivity ami joy Our origen and history as a nation is an ennobling incentive to others. A baud of three millions of discontented colonists by valor and virtue carved out for themselves a name as a free people. This day seven-three years ago they pledged "their lives, their for tunes and their sacred honor" to the cause of American Independence; and now in less than three quarters of a century, that peoplo numbers twenty-five millions of happy, pros perous and independent citizens. Thirteen states have grown to thirty , and instead of a narrow strip of sea coast, we have a popu lous country extendin; fiom ocean to ocean, blessed with a genial climate and a fertile soil. Tho products of American ingenuity vie with those of the oldest nations, our agri cultural wealth can feed the famishiin: of all l ..v.,1,1, ,u,a uui nun mines, which furnish us with the sinews of war and the ornaments of peace, win tho adiniratiun and envy of the age. On tho Atlantic and on the Pacific, our harbors entice the bounteous commerce ot eveiy nation, and ull the wide expanse of the land is redolent with active life and buoy ant industry. The war whoop of the savage is changed for the din of the looms, or the ringing of the anvil. Tho light cauoe has given way to the huge leviathan of the wa ters that roars like a monster and walks our rivers and bays like a thing of life. The deer is frighted from off our mountains by the en croachments of civilization, but a steed of iron nerve and sinews, breathing fire, now speeds over mountain and plain, and drags along his ponderous train of heavy freighted cars. The very lightning is tamed, and made the harmless vehicle of intelligence. How much of ull this has been done toward the perfection of the urts and sciences by Ameri cans, the lives of Franklin, Rittenhouse, Fulton, Whitney and Morse must tell. Iu our day, men stem the stormiest ocean without sails. They rise und fly thro' mid air. They plough without horses, spin with out bauds, and calculate by machines. They have found rnctal3 that swim on the water, and others that burn under it. They have founded new empires on the earth, and dis covered new planctsi u the heavens. They read the rocks like a scroll, and decipher in them tho hihtory of races long Riuce passed away. They dig tunnels under tho sea, and build bridges over it. They travel with tho The Sabbath toavtutio::. IWniUMBKRLAND, Jlllie 20, 18l). In pursuance of a notice previously en in the several papers of this region, tha menus ot the SbaiU met in (iv;i ';,. vcntionat !0 o'clock A. M.. i,. 'umat. church oM Whl 0f thia place Ou motion Mr. Gaston wM t,.ted Chairman and J. J. A.Mortfa, Secrcf.ry. The Convention being organized was then opened with prayer by Kev. Ceor.e Foote. On motion, it was resolved, that each person in a attendance whether delegate or not be invited to take part in the Coil ventiou. On motion a committee of six, consist ing of Kev. Foote, Itittenhouse, Ciawfor.i and Messrs. Durham, Shannon and VVel rick were appealed to prepare business for the Convention. After some d sultory discussion tha Convention adjourned for recess until i o'clock P.M. 2 o'clock P. M. Convention met and proceeded to busi ness. The com. appointed to prepare ..s., lor .invention reported the fol lowing memorial. To the Honorable Senate and House of K' tprescntaiivcs of the Commonwelth of IVnnsUvania in Lejrisb.turc assembled IM i i ue .sim.scnners, ciuzcus f ihe comuion weakh of I'enn-Uvania, wouldrespe.it fully represent that they regard the right of petition an nuctedand inviofuU in every free government: and that while it is the duty ol thegoverncd to preserve a speed of the wind, and send news by the lightning. Truly our progress as a nation has been rapidly and richly blessed. But while wo contemplate ii, let us remember that all this political reformation may cost life and i nas hc(2n wo "V the stout hearts and strong trt ; and the loss will be minutely and ! ,;anc's pl 'i:iri'y toi'- Industry has enriched tne land with smiling plenty, and decorated it with the mansions where contentment and ease enjoy life. A virtuous people wero they who founded our nation, and thir frugality, temperance and integrity crown their labors with success. Thky reared their families by ctho cost of monarchy to thr world ! , the precepts of religious honesty and econo mies if terrors and i's wrongs ! Let . and sustained their wise laws and free t'fe rings of India rise in judgment a-: motitutions by the eternal vigilance ot good ghe rapacity of monarchy, and let the j and faithful citizens. Let us remember what made them a prosperous ana respected nation when we would emulate their high example ; and let tho nations of Europe remember what ofs told by tyranny. But who counts thtims of despotism ? Who tells the at and agony of those whose liveshavo blasted away by the oppressions and rations of tyranny, as the successive vdrops can waste away a rock Who Eg debts of its kingly wars be its curse jhcap up the bones of the famished en of Ireland, as its monument of in- and then let it inscribe on this niatisn. characters those were which heaven blessed I'its Bartholomew mastacres, and the ;rs of its high-pripst Windishgratj for humanity cannot and will not always The day of retribution is coming, ien the clear mulight and pure air of rial freedom will follow tit. temrst of Liti-in with success and liberty Aye, citizens, the past has bright spots It l .taph! Vengeance is the Lord,, but hai hi,llo'-Ved as80cia,io,,s !" day ire the instruments of heaven, and out- "Ke ""s'"le --P3"'S " me inner- mod penetralia ot the heart's temple We mny long for the time "When none was for a party; When all were for tho state When the great man helped the poor, And the poor mia loved the great " tctii up- m alter of an admission of the in due re- . r speci ior tne constituted autheriiics in the mailer and manner of their petitions, tk-y man claim it an a merej rigid, growi,! out their inviolable right of petition, u,hl their petitions should be heard, and acted upon as their importance demands. It is not enough that their petitions be read and relerred, or laid on tho table. Tha rik-ht of petition implies a corresponding right lo expect that their wrongs fchould be rc. dressed, in all matters affecting their per sons, their interest, ad their'conacieuce. I he reception . f petitions, nn I giving th a respectnu hearing merely, while no pn.pnaie action is had o:i the uiene petitions, 13 violability of the right of petition in thcorr but a dcniul of it in practice. It was one of the grounds of complaint of the colonies against the king of Great Britain, and one of the reasons why they took up arms lo free themselves from despotic power, that he had refused to pass laws "of inunediata and pressing importance, wholesome and necessary to the public grind." ' hat is of a Jree government in which the rea sonable ranonxtrniv.e of the people, Low ever small may be their number, i. riot ac ted upon, and their wrongs speedily redres sed. Your Petitioner! would represent that they are aggrieved by those regulations of thcgovcrniiicntiiudcr which they livc.whieh allow the public works to bo used on th Lord'3 day; That they have a right to re gard this regulation as a grievance, is evid ent from the fact, that while, men who are engaged in the ordinary avocations of the farm and of the shop on the Sabbath day, are liable to prosecution and fine, eth er men employed en iIip public works aro required by the agents of the common wealth to perform theirordinary avocations on Paid day under penalry of dismission from the public employment. We are professedly a people, claiming and entitled to enjoy equal rights. This claim is in herent in the structure of a free govern'