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Because he administered the laws strictly some called him harsh but no one dared accuse him of injustice. His integrity was beyond the . reach of slander and the assaults of malice. From his solicitude to direct a wayward son in the paths of rectitude he was reported unkind to his family. The tale was as false as the heart was base that originated it. He was all kindness and affection. His anxiety for the welfare and usefulness of this very son is proof of the deepest paternal regard. He was a friend to common school education and the sciences. Hc was the founder of the American Academy of Massachusetts in 1780. The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the Cambridge University.
Mr. Paine was a striking example of the happy results of perseverance and industry. He became greatly useful and acquired his fame without the aid of patrons in early life-rising by his own exertions and supplying the wants of his destitute and aged parents to the day of their death. His career in public and private life was marked with the purest integrity, the loftiest patriotism, the strictest morality, the most refined consistency and the most exemplary piety. His life was a continued round of usefulness-his labors a blessing to mankind-his death a loss that was keenly felt by his personal friends and the nation at large. A review of his bright examples affords the highest eulogy that can be pronounced upon his character. They will be held in veneration to the remotest period of truth-telling time by all who revere virtue and love Liberty.
A FEDERAL republican government is an unlimited partnership of the noblest character. Based upon an equality of original representative stock, an equality of interest in the welfare of the firm devolves upon each individual of the compact. Unlike monopolizing corporations that often make the poor poorer and the rich richer-each stockholder has a right to speak, vote and act upon all questions in primary meetings irrespective of the number of shares held. The specie of the firm consists in equality of representation, natural rights, protection in person, property and freedom. These precious coins cannot be diminished in quantity or reduced in quality by alloy without courting danger. To aid in preserving them pure is the duty of all and should not be entrusted to the aspiring few. Separately and collectively each and the whole are solemnly bound to pursue all honourable means to advance the general good. Each one is bound to bring every talent into use-to leave none in the dark quarry of ignorance, the quagmire of negligence or to rust by inertness. The unfaithful steward that had but one talent was condemned because he did not put it to use.
Who can tell what his talents are until he brings them to the light? Rich ores often lie deep. Many men have passed their majority without rising to mediocrity in point of developed intellect and have then suddenly risen, like a blazing meteor and illuminated the world. By several of the signers of the Declaration of Independence this was beautifully demonstrated.
Among these was John Penn, born in Caroline county, Virginia, the 17th of May 1741. He was the only child of Moses Penn who married Catharine, the daughter of John Taylor. The education of the son was confined to the commonest of common schools-the only kind then in his neighbourhood. A little learning has been called a dangerous thing but the amount taught in some common schools at the present era of light is too small to be dangerous-too limited to do much good. The most important branch of the education of that era his parents attended to themselves. By example and precept they taught him the principles of religion, social virtue and moral honesty. Upon a farm young Penn labored with his sire who had but few books and did not desire more. When John was but eighteen years of age his father died and left him a small fortune. He had an increasing thirst for knowledge but no library fountain at which he could drink and drink again until he should have within himself a living stream of mental light. He communicated his ardent desire to improve his education to his neighbor and relative, Edmund Pendleton who was a profound lawyer and an able statesman. Convinced that young Penn possessed strong native talent he made him welcome to his valuable library and became deeply interested in his improvement. After exploring the fields of general science this young philomath commenced the study of law with his relative and brought out mental ores from his long neglected intellectual quarry of a rare and rich variety. Mr. Pendleton was delighted with his pupil and the pupil delighted in pleasing him.
Mr. Penn surmounted the barriers that lay before him with an astonishing rapidity. Before some of his friends supposed he had mastered the elementary principles of Blackstone he presented himself at the court for examination-was admitted to the Bar and at once exhibited the bright plumage of a successful lawyer. But three years previous his now soaring talents were buried deep in their native quarry-unknown and unsuspected-a strong admonition to every reader under similar circumstances to examine closely the quarry of his own immortal mind. The professional eminence of Mr. Penn rose as rapidly as his appearance in the forum was surprising. He gained the confidence of the community, the respect of the courts and the esteem of his senior brethren. In 1763 he doubled his original stock in the firm of the social compact by leading to the hymenial altar the amiable and accomplished Susannah Lyme-thus avoiding the hyemal frost that creeps chillingly over lonely bachelors.
In 1774 Mr. Penn removed to North Carolina. Carrying with him a high legal reputation he soon obtained a lucrative practice. He had participated largely in the patriotic feelings that were spreading over the Colonies like an autumn fire on a prairie. He had fully imbibed the principles of his venerable preceptor who was one of the boldest of the bold Virginians in the vindication of chartered rights and was a member of the general Congress of 1774. The liberal views and splendid talents of Mr. Penn were soon appreciated by his new acquaintances. On the 8th of September 1775 he was appointed to the Continental Congress and repaired to the post of duty and honor the ensuing month. He became an active and prominent member of that venerated assembly of sages whose wisdom, sagacity and intelligence emblazoned the historic page with a new and more brilliant lustre. He served on numerous committees and acquitted himself with great credit in the discharge of every duty that devolved upon him. In the committee room, in the House, among the people-in every situation in which he moved he made the cause of liberty his primary business. So highly were his services appreciated by his constituents that they continued him in Congress until the accumulating dangers that were threatening his own state induced him to decline a re-election in 1779. He was an early and warm supporter of the Declaration of Independence. When the joyful day arrived to take the final question he most cheerfully and boldly sustained it by his vote and signature-enrolling his name with the brightest constellation of illustrious statesmen that ever illuminated a legislative chamber.
South Carolina had been devastated by Lord Cornwallis who was preparing to carry destruction to North Carolina. Emissaries from the British were already within its precincts to prepare the way for the triumphant entry of the cruel foe. Already had the friends of royal power received instructions to seize the most prominent whigs and the military stores with an assurance of immediate support. The cruelties that had been practised in South Carolina carried terror to all but hearts of oak. The sacrifice of Col. Hayne at Charleston in that state, will give the reader a faint idea of the spirit of demoniac revenge that characterized some of the refined and christianized British officers.
When that city fell into his hands, Lord Cornwallis issued a proclamation promising all who would desist from opposing the authority of the king the most sacred protection of person and property on condition that each should sign an instrument of neutrality which obligated the signers not to take up arms against the mother country and exonerated them from serving against their own. Being a prisoner and separated from his wife and six small children then residing in the country-his lady confined with the small pox-Col. Hayne finally signed the fatal instrument with great reluctance upon the solemn assurance of the highly civilized and professedly christianized English officers and James Simpson-intendant of British police, that he should never be required to bear arms in support of the crown. Like Bishop Cranmer, Col. Hayne subscribed to that which his soul detested that he might fly to the relief of his suffering family. As in the case of Bishop Cranmer his enemies pursued him with a relentless persecution that nothing but death could allay-a persecution that would have made the untutored Indian shudder at broken faith and weep tears of blood over violated vows. It was a total disregard of law, justice and humanity.
Soon after his return to his dying wife and little ones the British called at his house and ordered him into the army of the mother country and threatened him with close confinement if he refused. In vain he referred them to the conditions upon which he so reluctantly signed the article of neutrality. In vain he claimed protection under the provincial militia law that imposed a fine when a citizen chose not to render personal service. To his relentless oppressors all was a dead letter. He pointed them to the wife of his bosom-the mother of his children-sinking under the small pox and rapidly approaching another world. Their sympathy was sealed-their compassion frozen up. In a few short hours Mrs. Hayne closed her eyes in death. She rested in peace.
A different fate was in reserve for the afflicted husband. The order to enter the British army must be obeyed or immediate imprisonment would follow. By the violation of the pledges made to him on their part he correctly considered himself absolved from all obligations to the officers of the crown. He at once entered the American army, preferring death to the ranks of the invaders. A brilliant but short career in the service of his country awaited him. He was soon made a prisoner and sent to Charleston where Lord Rawdon, a general of his most Christian majesty, loaded him with irons-submitted him to a mock trial-ex parte in its proceedings and conclusions-based on revenge and cruelty, resolved on the speedy and ignominious death of his victim. Col. Hayne was sentenced to be hung. Amazement and dismay, indignation and surprise were strongly manifested by all classes. A large proportion of the friends of the crown deemed the transaction a species of murder. A petition-headed by the royal governor and numerously signed by persons of high standing who still adhered to the mother country was presented to Lord Rawdon in behalf of the unfortunate prisoner but all in vain.
“Still revenge sat brooding on his dark and sullen brow
And the grim fiends of hell urged his soul on to murder.”
The ladies of Charleston-wives and daughters of royalists and whigs, then united in a petition couched in the most moving language-praying that the life of Col. Hayne might be spared. This met with a cold reception and peremptory refusal. As a last effort to rescue their father from the gallows-his infant children, dressed in deep mourning, and bathed in tears, were led before Lord Rawdon. Upon their knees, with their suffused eyes fixed upon him, they addressed the monster in a strain of heart-moving eloquence that none but infant innocents can expressnone but fiends resist. “ Our mother is dead-spare! 0! spare our dear father!!!
“But still he stood unmoved,
So melting was this scene that veteran soldiers wept aloud and all were astounded at the demoniac course of the blood thirsty and relentless Rawdon. A request was then made that Col. Hayne might be permitted to die as a military officer and not hung as a felon. This was also denied. As a devout Christian the martyr resigned himself to his cruel fate and prepared his mind for the approaching crisis. His little son was permitted to visit him in prison. When he saw his father loaded with irons he burst into tears. The parent remarked to him, “ Why will you break my heart with unavailing sorrow? Have I not often told you that we came into this world to prepare for a better? For that better life, dear boy, your father is prepared. Instead of weeping, rejoice with
troubles are so near an end. To-morrow I set out for immortality. When I am dead bury me by the side of your mother." No imagination can fully conceive-no fancy can truly paint-no pen clearly portray, no language can half express the heart rending reality of that