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statute 23d George II. ch. 29th imposed similar but more numerous restrictions-the whole and the other particulars named in the instructions being in violation of the constitution of England and of the charters predicated upon it. Constitutional and charter privileges had grown sacred by long and acknowledged usage, by learned and legal construction and by numerous declaratory Acts of the British Parliament passed when sitting under the mantle of reason, justice and sound policy. So fully convinced was Mr. Smith of the true issue between the Colonies and mother Britain that on his return home he raised a company of volunteers and was elected captain by acclamation. This was the pioneer company of Pennsylvania raised for the purpose of confronting the ugly baste-tyranny. It was nine months before the bloody affair at Lexington, showing that Mr. Smith had arrived at a correct conclusion as to the true issue. He introduced thorough discipline in his new corps and imparted to every member the same patriotic fire that illuminated his own noble soul. Around this military nucleus the bone and sinew continued to rally until a regiment was raised. Mr. Smith accepted the honorary title of Colonel but imposed the active commanding duties upon a younger man. He had put the ball in motion and was gratified to see it rolling onward with increasing momentum towards the goal of LIBERTY. When the time arrived for action this regiment did honor to all concerned.
Mr. Smith was a member of the next people's convention which convened at Philadelphia in January 1775. He was one of the foremost to oppose force to force and peril life for freedom. He was called an ultra whig and accused of treating the government of his most Christian majesty indecorously. His patriotism had carried him six months in advance of most of the leading men. No one could outstrip him in zeal in the cause of equal rights. His course was onward-right onward to action. For this the time soon arrived. In the spring of 1776 he was on a committee with Dr. Rush and Col. Bayard to organize a camp of 4500 troops to be raised in Pennsylvania. No man was better calculated to render efficient service in this important branch of business. The committee immediately prepared an appeal to the yeoman military which was approved by Congress and widely circulated. It was written in bold and forcible language pointing to the Independence of the Colonies as the great incentive to action. It had a powerful and salutary effect and met with a response from the people that caused the hirelings of the crown to fly from the province like chaff before the wind. The complement of men was promptly raised.
Almost simultaneous with the promulgation of the Declaration of In
dependence by Congress a convention of delegates convened for the purpose of raising the arch of a republican constitution and government over the Keystone State. Of this convention Mr. Smith was a prominent member and one of the committee that prepared the Declaration of Rights. For this the committee had the guidance of a polar star that had been brought to light by the illustrious Jefferson and placed in the cerulean canopy of Liberty by the Sages of Congress a few days previous. The ultraism of Mr. Smith had become an ad
. mired quality and was surnamed patriotism by the very persons who had misconceived it a few months previous. His zeal and worih were then properly appreciated. On the 20th of July he was elected to the Continental Congress without an intimation to him of the intended honor until he was officially notified of the fact. Being at the State convention in Philadelphia he immediately took his seat-enrolled his name with the apostles of Liberty upon the chart of freedom and then returned to the convention and essentially aided in completing the new government of the State.
Early in October he fully assumed his congressional duties. The instructions to the congressional delegates had become reversed in two short years. The first clause is worthy of special notice and should be printed in bold relievo and placed over both chairs in Congress-there to remain through all congressional time. Read and ponder it well ye public men who think more of your personal concerns than the business of your constituents.
“ The immense and irreparable injury which a free country may sustain by and the great inconveniences which always arise from a delay of its councils, induce us in the first place strictly to enjoin and require you to give not only a constant but a punctual attendance in Congress."
At the commencement of our free government the will of the people was respected and obeyed. Their public servants were not then their political masters. Committee rooms were not then diverted from their legitimate use by partisan caucuses. The halls of legislation were not then the forum of chaos, personal crimination-recrimination and unparliamentary procedure. The mantle of infantile purity was then hanging from the shoulders of those in high stations in all the beauty of tasteful drapery. Pro bono publico was the order of the day-pro libertate patriæ was the motto of each freeman. Mr. Smith obeyed his instructions to the letter. He entered with all his might upon the work set before him. A dark gloom hung over the cause of Liberty at that time. Many of its warmest friends considered success quite problematical. At such a time the sprightliness and proverbial drollery of Mr. Smith were a talismanic antidote against despondency. Always cheerful and elastic-spicing his conversations in private and his speeches in the forum with original wit and humor-he imparted convivial life to those around him. Amidst the waves of misfortune and the breakers of disappointment-like a buoy upon the ocean, he floated above them all and pointed the mariners of Liberty to the port of Freedom. The following extract of a letter written to his wife when Congress was on the point of retreating before Gen. Howe shows that no hyppish feelings cramped the elasticity of his mind.
“ If Mr. Wilson comes through York give him a flogging-he should have been here a week ago. I expect to come home before election-my three months are nearly up. General left this on Thursday-I wrote to you by Col. Kennedy.
“ This morning I put on the red jacket under my shirt. Yesterday I dined at Mr. Morris's and got wet coming home and my shoulder got troublesome, but by running a hot smoothing iron over it three times it got better. This is a new and cheap cure. My respects to all friends and neighbors-my love to the children. “I am your loving husband whilst
" JAMES SMITH. “ Congress Chamber, 11 o'clock."
On the 23d of November 1776 Mr. Smith was placed on the committee to devise means for reinforcing the American army and for arresting the destructive career of Gen. Howe. The powers of this committee were very properly transferred to Washington soon after. He was on the committee that laid before Congress conclusive testimony of the inhuman treatment of the American prisoners at New York. The ensuing year he declined a re-election but his constituents informed him he was public property and must be used nolens volens. He obeyed their will and continued at his post with unabated zeal and industry. When Congress was compelled to retreat to York he closed his office against his clients and placed in it, the Board of War. He sacrificed all private interests that would promote the glorious cause of Liberty. In November 1778 he resigned his seat in Congress and for a season enjoyed the comforts of domestic life. Being advanced in years and having full confidence in the ability of the United States, aided by the French, to maintain Independence-formed his excuse for leaving the field of his arduous labors. In 1780 he consented to serve in the State Legislature. He then retired finally from the public arena. He continued to pursue his professional business successfully and profitably up to 1800 having been a member of the bar for sixty years. His eccentricity, wit and humor retained all the freshness of originality to the end of his life. He was a great admirer of the illustrious Washington. A castigation from his ironical tongue was the certain consequence to any one who spoke against religion or Washington in his presence at any time or place. Upon these two points he was very sensitive. The former he adored-the latter he revered. He corre. sponded regularly with Franklin and several others of the patriarch sages of '76. He had preserved a rich cabinet of letters, all of which were burnt with his office about a year before his death.
Surrounded by an affectionate family and a large circle of ardent friends--this happy son of Erin glided smoothly down the stream of time until the 11th day of July 1806 when his frail bark was anchored in the bay of death--his immortal spirit in the haven of bliss. In life he was useful-in death happy. In life he was loved and honored-in death his loss was deeply mourned. His exit from earth left a blank not readily filled. His public and private character were unsullied by a spot or wrinkle. When living he was the life of every circle in which he moved-no one who knew him could forget him when dead. Ennui could not live in his presence. He was warm hearted, kind, affectionate and a friend to the poor. He never entertained malice. He used his opponents much as a playful kitten does a mouse-teasing without a desire to hurt them-a propensity that rendered him more formidable than a knight of the sword and pistols. Such pure originals as James Smith are like the inimitable paintings of the ancient artists-few in market and hard to be copied.
INGRATITUDE is the extract of baseness, the essence of blackness, the ergot of meanness, a concentrated poison, the spawn of a demon-the fuel of Pandemonium. Its breath is pestilence, its touch is palsy. Of all the vile acts of man towards man none throw such a freezing chill over the whole body and drive back the rushing blood upon the aching heart like base and damning ingratitude. Indifference continued, coldness persevered in, favors forgotten, friendship unrequited and sometimes cruel abuse-from one who has been the willing recipient of our love, bounty and voluntary aid-brings a palsying horror over the soul that thickens the purple current in the veins making the head sick and the heart faint.
A nation may be ungrateful as well as an individual. Thus it was with England towards the American Colonies. In addition to contributing to the support of the home government of the mother country, much blood and treasure were expended by the Americans in conquering Canada for the special benefit of Great Britain. It was owned by the French who were long the common enemy of the English. Immediately after that conquest the most ungrateful and unjust oppression was commenced by the ministry of England upon her Colonies here. To cap the climax-the very Indians the Americans had conquered and made allegiant to the mother country-that cruel mother employed to murder and scalp those who had aided her. A premium was given for scalps-not for prisoners.
Among those who essentially aided in the conquest of the Canadas was John Stark, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on the 25th of August 1728 O. S. When John was but eight years of age his father removed to what is now called Manchester. Clearing land and an occasional hunting or fishing excursion with his father was the business of John in early life. In this manner the tide of time carried him along until the 28th of April 1752 when he was taken prisoner by the St. Francois Indians. He left home with two others to visit their beaver traps and at the time of his capture was separated from them. The savages ordered him to lead them to his companions which he pretended to do but led them two miles in the opposite direction. Their position : was discovered by the discharge of their guns to call Stark to thein. The Indians proceeded below where their boat was moored and ordered Stark to hail them when they approached. He did so and told them to escape to the opposite shore. They attempted to do so-one of them was immediately shot and killed-the other Stark saved by snatching the gun from the Indian who aimed at him for which he was most cruelly treated. His companion was then taken prisoner. In about six weeks they were ransomed and restored to their anxious friends. Thus ended his first lesson in the school of peril.
In the winter of 1753 the Court of New Hampshire sent an exploring expedition into Coos County and employed young Stark as pilot to the company. He performed his undertaking to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. In 1754 a party was sent to the upper part of this county to learn if the French were erecting a fortification-if so, the reason why. Stark was again employed as conductor and led the expedition upon the track he travelled when a prisoner. On the commencement of hostilities