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last sad interview between the father and his son. When
upon the fatal drop with the accursed halter around his neck-Col. Hayne shook hands with his friends-bade them an affectionate farewell-urged them to persevere in the glorious cause of freedom-recommended his children to the protection of three gentlemen present and the next moment was struggling in death. The sight was too much for his son-his brain became disordered-his reason fled-he died insane. With his expiring breath he faintly whispered-“ My mother is dead!-Spare! O! spare my dear father !!!”
Fortunately for North Carolina the efficient and sagacious Greene with his brave officers and half clad soldiers checked the triumphant and murderous career of the British army. The operations of this brave General were greatly accelerated by Mr. Penn. In 1780, when Lord Cornwallis penetrated the western part of the state to Charlottetown, the crisis became alarming and this bold patriot was placed at the helm of public affairs with almost unlimited power. He was authorized to seize supplies by force and do all things that he deemed necessary to repel the invading foe. He proved equal to the emergency. He knew his duty and performed it with such discretion and prudence that no complaints of injustice were heard. The state was saved from a merciless enemyTarleton was humbled-Ferguson killed and Cornwallis put on his back track at double quick time.
After discharging the duties imposed by his own state Mr. Penn retired to private life and the pursuit of his profession. In 1784 he was appointed Receiver of Taxes for North Carolina-a high encomium upon his reputation for integrity. Fatigued with public service he resigned this office in a few months. He then bid a final farewell to the perplexing duties of political life and took his exit from the public arena decked with a civic wreath of unfading honor. He again entered into the soulcheering enjoyments of domestic felicity which were soon exchanged for those of another and brighter world. In September 1788 he was gathered to his fathers and laid in the silent tomb there to await the resurrection of the great day. He was cut down just as he began to enjoy the fruits of his labors-in the prime of life and left a vacuum in society not readily filled. His grave was moistened with tears-a nation mourned his loss.
In all the relations of private life and public action Mr. Penn was a model of rare perfection. As a counsellor and advocate he stood on a commanding eminence. His forensic eloquence was strongly pathetic. The court and jury were often sussused with tears when listening to his appeals. As a patriot and statesman he stood approved by his country.
His disposition was mild and benevolent-his purposes pure and firm. He was a good and honest man. Let the young men who are just stepping on the stage of action imitate John Penn in his successful efforts to be useful. Banish the doctrine that power shall be monopolized by a few. This principle should never gain credence in a republican government where every individual is equally interested in the cardinal points of freedom-personal liberty equally secured-personal rights equally enjoyed. So long as these points are fully exemplified our UNION is safe.
The magic power of the press cannot be too highly appreciated nor its abuses too deeply deprecated. The newspapers of the day have become the controlling power of public opinion. No course of reading so fully presents the present aspect of society. Were all our editors governed by lofty patriotism, sound logic, strict justice, enlarged philanthropy, universal charity, moral courage, sterling integrity and undeviating courtesy-a harmonious tone would be given to community that would usher in the day-spring of transporting harmony. But few of the editorial corps seem to feel the high responsibility resting upon them. Too many are the automatons of political parties and issue sheets not calculated to improve the mind, correct the head or better the heart. The politics of the present day have become disgusting to genuine patriots who deem the good of their country paramount to party triumph. Demagogues discard the old landmarks of '76. Many of our laws are based upon party principles without reference to the good of our countrya very sandy foundation. Let editors banish all party control and venality from the press and send forth rays of living light that will purify our political and moral atmosphere-then our government will be healthful, vigorous and strong.
The silken cords of our Union have been strained to their utmost tension several times. We have an accumulating mass of combustible materials in our midst. Our bond of Union has been put at issue by the meddlesome and sensitive-the fanaticism of the one part and the boiling passions of the other are encouraged by demagogues-the virtue of the people can alone preserve it. A little more steam upon the locomotive of disunion-a little more fuel from the north and fire from the south may burst the boiler and destroy the beautiful engine of our Li
More than any other class-editors can insure the perpetuiry of our UNION. Let conductors of the public press soar above all
selfish and demagogue influences and become shining examples of purity in the broadest sense of the term. Then our tree of LIBERTY will continue to rise in majesty sublime and as it towers upward will send forth flashes of light upon the oppressed millions of the old world who will yet rise in all the might of their native dignity-demolish the thrones of monarchs-sing the requiem of tyrants and strike for FREEDOM-the crowning glory of man.
All the patriots of the American Revolution whose opinions we know, deprecated the venality of the press. Among the pioneer sages was Josiah Quincy who was born in Boston, Mass. in 1745. In childhood he manifested unusual talents which were highly cultivated in Harvard College where he graduated with high honors. He then read law and became an ornament to the Boston bar. His eloquence was of that commanding kind that at once rivets the attention of an audience. His logic was forcible, his demonstrations clear, his arguments convincing, his conclusions happy, his action captivating. A bright career was apparently before him which gave promise of extensive usefulness to his country and honor to himself.
He was among the first to espouse the cause of the oppressed Colonies. He was one of the boldest champions of the people. He had their confidence, esteem and admiration. Although surrounded and threatened by the myrmidons of the crown he fearlessly and publicly opposed the unrighteous pretensions of the British ministry. He lucidly pointed out the various innovations upon chartered rights that had become sacred by long enjoyment and repeatedly sanctioned by declaratory Acts of Parliament. Had the colonists tamely surrendered them they would have been unworthy of the rights of freemen. Thank God-they did not surrender them. Anxious to maintain them peaceably, they sent Mr. Quincy to England in 1774 for the purpose of reconciling existing difficulties. Among the people he found many who deprecated the course of ministers-a respectable minority of the eminent British statesmen considered the advisers of the king visionary in their plans-unreasonable in their demands. Finding that mother Britain was madly bent on ruin Mr. Quincy left for his native land. He reached Cape Ann Harbor on the 25th of April 1775 and died the same day deeply mourned by a nation just bursting into life.
His course was brilliant but transient. Like some rich flowers that bloom at distant periods only for a short time-so bloomed this distinguished patriot-then disappeared for ever from the human gaze. He bloomed long enough to richly perfume the atmosphere of patriotisn. around him and rouse those to action who inhaled the rich perfumes of LIBERTY emitted from his noble soul. With such men as Josiah Quincy our Press would be pure-our UNION safe.
When an individual is presented with both horns of the dilemmaLiberty or slavery-the one to be obtained with blood-the other a tame submission to chains-if he is worthy the name of man-his mental and physical powers are at once roused to action. He does not stop to ex plore the avenues of obtuse metaphysics, speculative dogmas or fastidious etiquette. He flies to first principles and strains his reason and genius to their utmost tension to aid him. He puts forth his mightiest efforts-boldest exertions-strongest energies to extricate himself from surrounding difficulties-impending dangers. He performs astonishing feats rather than become a serf and surmounts the cloud-capped summit of an Alpine barrier that he would have never reached under ordinary circumstances.
The same proposition may be extended to a nation. The history of the American Revolution demonstrates it most clearly. The colonists were placed upon the piercing horns of an awful dilemma-apparently doomed to slavery or death. By their unparalleled efforts, crowned with the blessing of God, they were ultimately delivered from their perilous situation and survived the gores and bruises received in the unequal conflict. This was effected by men of strong intellect, clear heads, good hearts and sound judgments-men of strong moral courage who could reason, plan, execute. The flowers of literature were not then culled to form a boquet for legislative halls. Plain common sense, sterling worth, useful knowledge, practical theorems, honesty of purpose, energy of action-all based upon pure patriotism and love of LiBERTY were the grand requisites to ensure popular favor.
All these were concentrated in George Read who was the son of John Read a wealthy and respectable planter who came from Dublin, Ireland and located in Cecil County, Maryland, where George was born in 1734. The father subsequently removed to Newcastle County, Delaware and placed this son in a school at Chester, Pennsylvania, where he received his primary tuition. From there he was transferred 10 the seminary of Rev. Dr. Allison who was eminently qualified to mould the mind for usefulness by imparting correct and liberal principles, practical knowledge and general intelligence fit for every day use combining the whole with refined classics and polite literature. Under
this accomplished teacher Mr. Read completed his education and at the age of seventeen commenced the study of law under John Moland a distinguished member of the Philadelphia bar. So astonishing was his proficiency that he was admitted to the practice of his profession at the age of nineteen with a better knowledge of the elements of law than some practitioners obtain through life. He was also well prepared to enter upon the practice of his profession, having had the entire charge of Mr. Moland's business for several months. He was one of those rare geniuses that seemed endowed with intuition.
He commenced a successful practice at Newcastle in 1754 and at once grappled with old and experienced counsellors. His thorough knowledge of the primary principles of law, his acuteness in pleading, his urbanity of manners, his noble and courteous bearing in court, gained for him the esteem and confidence of the judges, his senior brethren and of the community. As a natural consequence his practice soon became lucrative. His forte did not consist in a flowery show but in a deep-toned and grave forensic eloquence that informs the understanding and carries conviction to the mind. He rarely appealed to the passions of court or jury-preferring to stand upon the legitimate basis of the law clearly expounded-the testimony honestly stated.
On the 13th of April 1763 he was appointed Attorney General for the three lower counties of Delaware and held the office until called to the duties of legislation. The same year he led to the hymenealaltar an amiable, pious and accomplished daughter of the Rev. George Ross of Newcastle-thus adding largely to the stake he held in the welfare of his country-enhancing his earthly joys and giving him an influence and rank in society unknown to lonely bachelors. She fully supplied the vacuum abhorred by nature and proved a consolation to him amidst the toils, perils, pains and pleasures of subsequent life.
Mr. Read was a republican to the core. From the commencement to the close of the Revolution he was a bold and unyielding advocate of equal rights and liberal principles. When the questions in dispute assumed the form of serious discussion between the two countries he at once resigned the office of Attorney General held under the crown. In 1765 he was elected a member of the Delaware Assembly and was instrumental in laying deep the foundations of the superstructure of LIBERTY. He was prudent, calm and discreet in all his actions-but firm, bold and resolute. He was a member of the committee of the Delaware Assembly that so ably addressed the king upon the subject of grievances and redress. He was in favor of exhausting the magazine of petition and remonstrance-if to no purpose then to replenish