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SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF
fresh intelligence, or more clear and dis
tinct instructions, so that there was at last INDEPENDENCE.
a concurrence of all the colonies, and on T would be difficult to find a more strik- the 4th of July, 1776, all the members
ing picture of the true moral sublime, present, with one exception, immortalized than that presented in the “ Declaration their names by appending them to this now of Independence" of the North American most renowned of all political documents. Colonies, with its fifty-six appended sig
We have seen that a committee of five natures. Never before did human mind were appointed to draft this paper ; but its and hand give to the world a document actual execution was by the nervous and producing such results upon the physical, energetic pen of that man of prescient civil, intellectual, and religious world. intellect and unparalleled acumen, Thomas Immediately prior to the date of this in- Jefferson. After the author has listened strument, Benjamin Franklin had been with some degree of impatience to the exerting to their utmost his unrivaled criticisms offered by his colleagues, and diplomatic talents to allay those feelings submitted to a few not very material alof animosity which subsisted between terations, the instrument is adopted subGreat Britain and the infant colonies— stantially as first presented. mutual animosity occasioned by the oft We need not here quote, in whole or in repeated acts of injustice exercised by part, the production now before us; for on the former toward the latter. Notwith each return of the “Glorious Fourth " standing Franklin's righteous cause was we all listen with rapt attention to its so ably and eloquently advocated by those liberty-breathing sentiments, its soul-stirtwo far-sighted British peers, Chatham ring strains, its spirit-thrilling language. and Camden, parliament was inexorable, Leaving the document, allow us a few unyielding. Franklin's unsuccessful em words about the intrepid men who signed bassy was closed, and he directed his it, while English cannon were booming in course homeward, arriving in Philadel- their ears, British steel glittering before phia in the May of 1775; he found that their eyes, and Jack Ketch's rope danghostilities had broken out between the ling over their heads. colonists and the British forces. It was in If we count the names before us we shall the spring of 1776 that the leading states- find them fifty-six in number. Fifty-six! men of America resolved to close this The number is significant. Some one unhappy contest by an absolute and final has said of it—" The greatest fifty-six severance of the colonies from the mother the world ever saw-all Europe could not country-the colonies shall be placed un lift it.” Foremost of this grand galaxy der an independent government. No soon is the firm, undaunted, and massive signaer has this been determined upon than the ture of “ JOHN HANCOCK.” Some wisefollowing members of Congress are ap
acres would have us believe that character pointed a committee to draft a Declara- may be read by an inspection of handtion of Independence, viz. : Jefferson, writing. Perhaps this would be no diffiAdams, Franklin, Sherman and Living-cult task if—as in the instance now before ston. This committee was appointed un us—there were circumstances sufficient to der the following resolution : “Resolved, compel the writer “to throw his whole That these united colonies are, and of soul on the point of his pen.' That right ought to be, free and independent such was the case on the occasion here states; that all political connection be- brought to view is sufficiently evinced by tween them and Great Britain is, and of the oral remark which immediately sucright ought to be, totally dissolved.” Some ceeded this bold act. It is a well-known discussion was had thereon; and when the historical fact, that in consequence of his vote came to be taken for its adoption, resolute and unceasing efforts to rouse the Pennsylvania and South Carolina were colonists to war against British tyranny, against it. Delaware was divided, and John Hancock had so much incurred the New-York did not vote on account of resentment of the home government, that some informality in the instructions of her a reward of one thousand pounds had been delegates. But by the time the final and de- offered for his apprehension. It was in cisive vote was to be taken, the delegates allusion to this, when, having in such mamfrom all the colonies had either received | moth characters affixed his name to the
Declaration, he threw down the pen with parchment may not be entirely devoid of the remark: “ There! Johnny Bull can interest. At the time it was signed, Benread that without spectacles ; let him jamin Franklin was the oldest man ; his double his reward—I defy him !" His age was seventy, he having been born in grateful country is, and ever will be proud Boston, Massachusetts, in 1706. Edward of him.
Rutledge, of South Carolina, was the At no great distance from the name of youngest; his age was twenty-seven. He Hancock, we meet with the zigzag sig. was junior to Thomas Lynch, of South nature of “Stephen Hopkins," Not- Carolina, by but three months. withstanding Mr. Hopkins belonged to the Whether John Morton of Delaware, or eminently peaceful society of “ Friends," Butler Gwinnet of England, first descendwe believe, had circumstances required it, ed to the tomb, we cannot now speak conhe would not have been slow to unsheathe fidently : both died in 1777–Mr. Gwinnet the sword in defense of the liberties May 27; the day or month of Mr. Morof his beloved country. The venerable ton's death cannot now be correctly ascerpatriot seized the pen with a palsied hand tained. Charles Carrol stands forth with but with a dauntless spirit. Some one marked peculiarity on this list. Not only near him at the time, pointing to the ir- is he the only one who gives his place of regularly traced autograph, remarked residence, but he was the last survivor of “ You write with a trembling hand.” the illustrious band, and also attained to a “Ah!” it was instantly replied, “but greater age than any of the rest, he being, John Bull will find I haven't got a trem at the time of his death, November 14th, bling heart.”
1832, ninety-five. Thomas Lynch, one Further along the list we meet with of the two youngest at the time of signCharles Carrol, of Carrolton. At this ing, was also the youngest in death : he time there were to be found in this section died about 1780, aged thirty-one. Thomof the country quite a number of Carrols, as Jefferson and John Adams both died and more than one of these zealous in the on the fourth of July, of the same year, struggles of the day bore the Christian 1826 ; the former at the age of eightyname of Charles. When Carrol had sim- three, the latter ninety-one. ply written “ Charles Carrol,” a member We have been able to ascertain the near him remarked, “ There is not much several ages of fifty-three of these distindanger for you, seeing there are others guished men at the time they signed the who bear the same name.” “Is there Declaration. Their united ages present not ?" he replied, and immediately added, an aggregate of two thousand three hun“ of Carrolton," thus distinctly designat- dred and thirty-six years, giving an avering where might be found—if King George age to each of forty-four years twentyhad any special desire to see him—the seven days. The aggregate years at Charles Carrol, who had the audacity to death of fifty-two of this number, (the shake his clenched fist in the face of the ages of the other four we have no means growling lion.
of correctly ascertaining,) is three thouSuch were the men of the time; but sand three hundred and ninety-one ; averwhere did these heroes hail from? Which age sixty-five. Three of these lived to of the several bright stars of our grand be more than ninety ; twelve more than constellation claims the honor of their eighty; twenty-one attained to more than nativity? We have entered upon this seventy. Where else shall we look for inquiry with some care. The following is such instances of longevity? It will be the result of our investigation :-Virginia seen at once that the daring deed they stands foremost. She gave nine. Next had committed did not " frighten them to comes Massachusetts with eight. Mary- death." land is next in the train with five. South Most of them lived to see some of the Carolina, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, and results of this first decisive blow for the Connecticut, each contributed four. Dela- complete redemption of their country. ware, New York, and Ireland, each gave Some of them lived many years to enjoy three. Rhode Island, England and Scot- civil and religious blessings, such as the land two each. Maine, New-Hampshire, universal Creator never yet vouchsafed to and South Wales, each one.
any other people he has made. A few other facts connected with this The present month calls us again to
commemorate these noble men. While we sense in which man made London or revere, cherish, and embalm their mem- Paris, but in the sense in which he makes ories, let us most devoutly thank, adore, a yard or a garden. It is yard and garand serve that God who gave them for den scenery. The fields are surrounded the rescue of our country in the time of by fences and hedges precisely alike; the her greatest peril. “ He hath not dealt grass in one inclosure is just as high, just so with any nation, and as for his judg- as thick, and just as green as that in anments we have not known them. Praise other ; the crops all appear to be equally ye the Lord !"
good; and husbandry, like a grim and jeal
ous guardian, watches every nook, as if to (For the National Magazine.)
prevent a runaway match between nature SKETCHES IN EUROPE.
and the smallest spot of earth, compelling
even the fence corners to submit, like the N a Monday morning, considered quite other parts of the field, to the rude em
train for Windsor, to visit the castle. The fruit according to art. When I first saw sun was struggling to force his beams the scenery in the neighborhood of the through the double pall of fog and smoke English metropolis, it made a very differwhich always overhangs the great city; ent impression upon my mind, and drew the members of the Bull family were very from me, in a letter to a friend, the followgenerally in the street, felicitating them ing description. Speaking of our arrival selves upon this dubious sunshine, the in England, the letter says:
“ When we very best the metropolis ever gets; and entered the channel we found it enveloped the pedestrians, feeling it very 'ot, were in a heavy fog, through which we made crowding the shady side, when it would our way for a day and a half; at the end have been difficult for a Yankee to deter- of which time, it partly cleared away, and mine which side that might be. The en- disclosed a succession of the most beautia gine darted off at the rate of fifty miles ful landscapes my eyes ever lighted upon ; an hour, and the change of the atmos- not overwhelmingly grand like the mounphere, of which we became quickly con tain scenery of your native state, (Virscious, was as great, and almost as sudden, ginia,) but soft, gentle, charming. The as that experienced in passing from a farmers were just in the midst of their smoky room into one entirely free from hay harvest, and the air, freighted with that disagreeable vapor. London and its scent of the half-dried grass, was wafted manufactured clouds were left behind, and to our famished sense across the waters only the haze belonging alike to every of the Thames, and we drank it in as part of the island remained. My eyes though the very spirits of the flowers had seemed just to have emerged from a two bathed their fragrant pinions in it. O weeks'eclipse, and winked and rolled about how delightful are the odors of the land in astonishment at the great distance to after smelling nothing but salt water and which they could throw their glances ; and being drenched in foam for sixteen long, my poor throat, which had been converted long days! The fields lay fresh and green into a chimney, a receptacle for soot, a along the banks of the river ; their surconductor of smoke, felt itself suddenly faces looking smooth as floors, sloping freed from the strangling incubus. And away from the water's edge to what apwhen the pure, soft, sweet country air peared to be higher lands, crowned for the breathed around me, and as it swept most part with woods. And all through through my windpipe and expelled from the fields themselves, here and there, were it the last flake of soot, I felt as though scattered clumps of beautiful forest trees, some fairy, with a brush of the down of relieving by their height and their deeper wild flowers, had passed through all the green the more extended surface and blackened air cells, and cleansed them, brighter green of the fields. But the and now was sitting, full of glee, upon fields were not all covered with grass : my shoulder, flourishing her tiny brush the wheat field, ripe and ripening, was and warbling her song. “God made the there, waving in golden beauty and beckcountry,” but it was certainly not the oning the scytheman and reaper to come country between London and Windsor- and gather its stores. There also, after a this is man-made; not, indeed, in the little more careful looking, I saw the fresh
ground itself, with no growth at all upon will be as silent as if speaking were a it, just prepared to receive seed, of what crime. They must not speak, much less sort I knew not. I only knew it was a converse with these strangers, lest they pleasing contrast with the monotonous should form an acquaintance which they blue of old ocean. About every half might blush to be obliged to recognize in mile, on one side or the other of the river, some other place. I always tried to break a neat church might be seen, generally this spell of caste and suspicion; and canbuilt of stone, with a tower, and sur dor compels me to say that, in every case, rounded by tall trees. There stood the as "soon as they knew me to be an Amerifarm-houses, there grazed the cattle—not can, they threw away all restraint, appearlike poor old brindle, confined to one spot ing anxious to receive information, and on the deck of the vessel, and looking willing in turn to communicate. only in one direction, but roaming at will; 6 What river is this?” said I to a genand on the whole, there rested that pecu- tleman before me, as we crossed a slugliar mist or haze which never leaves these gish stream about thirty yards wide, which, scenes for a single day. This last fea- like a sick serpent, was slowly dragging its ture, the haze, you would think must mar slow length through the tame scenery
althe beauty of the English landscape ; but ready described. the truth is just the contrary. It is true “ This is the Thames," said he. you see objects less distinctly; but for that In a moment I thought of the Missisvery reason your view is the more delight- sippi and the other great rivers which
traverse our vast country for thousands of " 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
miles, and then through their enormous And robes the mountain in its azure hue.”
their floods into the ocean,
and feeling my bosom swell with patriotic England has no mountains of note, which pride, I unfortunately let fall the remark, distance can invest with enchantment, “ This, then, is your great river." He or clothe with azure ; but what distance answered with great delicacy and prodoes in other lands, the haze does in priety :England: it conceals the sharp angles, “ We do not consider the Thames a smooths the rough surfaces, and clothes in great river on account of its size ; but bemild, soft, mysterious raiment of mingled cause there is more business done on it light and shade every object on which it than on any other river in the world.” rests." This was written immediately. I said nothing—what could I say? The after the most intense longings for the same gentleman was not so fortunate in sight of land of any sort, and amidst the another part of the conversation. We joy of recovery from sea sickness; but were just coming in sight of the castle, still it contains much truth, and, indeed, which disclosed itself, perched on the may be considered entirely correct when edge of a bank about twenty feet high, the view one takes is open and exten- when my interlocutor asked me if I had sive. The scenery on the way to Wind “ observed upon what a wonderful elevasor was only seen a little at a time, and tion the castle was built ?" at great disadvantage-through the car Our fate at Windsor Castle was such windows.
as ordinarily befalls sight-seers at great But let us return to the cars, and engage houses ; we had to go through a great the English in conversation. The railroad many apartments and see a great many carriages, like everything else in England, fine pictures, which cost us no little laare constructed on the close-communion borious walking, tiresome standing, and principle; every man belongs to some par- hard looking; this last I consider decidticular class, distinctly marked, and must edly more severe upon the traveler than keep his place. Hence when you enter anything else. The eyes become pained the cars you do not, as in this country, by the continual strain upon them, the find yourself in a large open apartment, colors seem to run together, and finally with fifty or sixty traveling companions, all the pictures come to look very much almost any one of whom you may engage alike, and we feel disposed to shut our in conversation ; but in a small carriage eyes with the exclamation, “ Blessed is the with six or eight others, who, if they should man who first invented sleep!” The man be strangers to you and to one another, I who conducted us through the building set
out by admonishing us that we must keep part of his education, when he penned the our “ hats off while passing through the following lines of his beautiful ode “On palace.” This of course was intended to a Distant Prospect of Eton College.” remind us of the right of royalty to rever- These fields shaped and colored his inence and worship, and to assist in keeping spiration : up the hoary delusion that regal humanity
“ Ye distant spires, ye antique towers, is cast in a nobler and grander mold than That crown the watery glade that of the people. But the attempt is Where grateful science still adores vain. I take off my hat with a republican
Her Henry's holy shade ;
And ye that from the stately brow smirk, fully satisfied that the principal
Of Windsor's heights, th' expanse below difference personally between the queen Of grore, of lawn, of mead survey, and other honest women is to be found in Whose turf, whose shade, whose towers among the article of clothes.
Wanders the hoary Thames along After viewing the castle and the con
His silver-wending way.
Ah, happy hills! Ah, pleasing shade! nected grounds, we took a chaise and
Ah, fields beloved in vain, started for Stoke Pogis Church, near Where once my careless childhood stray'd, Stoke Park, for several centuries the res- A stranger yet to pain ! idence of the family of William Penn, the
I feel the gales that from ye blow famous Quaker and founder of Pennsylva
A momentary bliss bestow,
As, waving fresh their gladsome wing, nia. The estate has lately passed into My weary soul they seem to soothe, other hands. This celebrated place is And, redolent of joy and youth, about five miles from Windsor, and in
To breathe a second spring." reaching it we drove over the smoothest road I ever saw—the vehicle was scarcely of a field, a little off from the road. Its
Stoke Pogis Church stands in the midst jostled by a single obstruction, nor the horses nor the view relieved by any kind situation is beautiful and even romantic. of a hill. The surrounding country, though straw-thatched cottage which we took to
In going through the field we passed a flat, still seemed to me to have an appear: be the sexton's house, a perfect model ance of freshness and life about it, which I had not been able to find in the country Around the door-frame ran a flowering
of neatness and taste, at least outside. between London and Windsor ; but this difference may have been merely a fancy
vine, starting so regularly from the ground of my own, a bloom and sweetness shed blooming to the top, and there uniting its
on each side, running and winding and upon the landscape from kindling thoughts tendrils so perfectly, that it seemed like a and a heated imagination,-an inward change, rather than an outward diversity. fixture, and made one think it must stay I was no longer pent up in the
there always. In this door-way stood a by machinery, and assailed by sparks, but
well-looking, tidily-dressed woman, evibehind the live horses, with the top of the dently in holiday trim—the descendant, carriage down, the soft breezes gently fan- perhaps, of her who made the “ blazing”
fire and "plied the evening care," alluded ning us, the light mildly scintillating in the
to in the versehazy air, and the birds in the hedges by the wayside chirping time to the music of “For them no more the blazing hearth shall the horses' feet. Part of the way, too, I
Or busy housewife ply her evening care; was thinking of William Penn: my fancy No children run to lisp their sire's return, went back to the time when he made a
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share." part of the scenes before me; I could see him crossing these fields in his plain
We entered the church-yard, the place clothes, looking as trim and curt as the in which the poet wrote his Elegy, and cropped hedges that skirted the way.
where* But what excited me most of all was the
rests his head upon the lap of Earth," memory of the poet Gray, to see whose grave I was making this pilgrimage to and there we saw the materials of that Stoke Pogis Church. His muse pos- beautiful poem, scattered around us in every sessed me, and tenderly, yet powerfully direction. There stood “the ivy-mantled excited me. He was looking across these tower,” the steeple of the church, out of very fields, with his eye fixed on those which the poet heard the moping owl combuildings in which he received the earlier plain to the moon. It is still almost entire