Page images

them, on being appointed Governor of the Michigan Territory.

During this period, a strong party-spirit prevailed, and it was well understood that his political sentiments were not in accordance with the Government of the State.

In speaking of the third division, he writes: “I cannot, without doing injustice to my feelings, and to the officers and soldiers whom I for so many years had the honour to command, omit to express the strong attachment which to this moment I feel towards them, for their unceasing and laudable exertions to co-operate with me in every measure for their improvement in military discipline.

“ The public records of our State, and the remembrance of many, now on the stage, will bear testimony to the elevated rank of this portion of our militia, its high state of discipline, and the applause it received.

6. The division consisted of about six thousand men, with the requisite proportion of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Although the men were not furnished with uniforms by the Government, and there was no compulsion by law for their being thus equipped, yet every non-commissioned officer and soldier of the division appeared, at their own expense, in complete cloth uniform, and every way equipped for active service.

“ The annual reviews were visited by the public officers of the State, and vast numbers of citizens, not only from every part of the Commonwealth, but from the neighbouring States.

6. The high commendation which both officers and soldiers received from the Commander-in-chief, and from all ranks and classes of their fellow-citizens, gratified their ambition and rewarded their exertions.

“In this division, amidst the rage of parties, there was but one political sentiment: the defence of the country against any of its enemies, and the support of the Constitution under any administration chosen by the people. I considered it of the highest importance to inspire the officers and soldiers with these sentiments; and that military discipline without them, would be worse than useless. As an evidence of this fact, I will close these remarks by the following unanimous address of one brigade of the division, to the President of the United States, then being at his residence at Quincy, and that part of his answer which relates to the division. It must be observed that this took place when the political opinions of a large majority of the country to which the division belonged, were in direct opposition to those of President Adams.”

To John Adams, President of the United Slates of America :

SIR-In reviewing the history of our country, and comparing it with the convulsed state of Europe, we find the strongest reasons to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. We feel a pride in the name and character of Americans. It is our glory to be the descendants of ancestors who purchased freedom and independence by their wisdom. and valour; and some of whom, on this spot,* ex

* Lexington, Massachusetts.

hibited to the world an example of the unconquerable spirit of freemen. May we be inspired with firmness to imitate their virtues, and maintain the inheritance purchased by their valour. It is impossible sufficiently to estimate the Government under which we live. It has been established by our consent, and administered by our choice. We ought to make it the polestar of our conduct, and it will prove the ark of our safety. It claims our reverence, and demands our support. With the keenest sensibility we feel the insults it has experienced, and as American soldiers, in the presence of our standard, we here solemnly declare, that we will ever be ready to be the guardians of its rights and the avengers of its wrongs.

And having sworn, when we accepted our commission, to defend the Constitution of the United States, we now, on this memorable ground, renew to you, sir, and our country, the sacred oath.

We offer to you, agreeably to act of Congress, our individual services, and pledge our lives and all that is dear to us, for the support of the Government and the defence of the Country.

That you may long live an ornament to the land which gave you birth, and a blessing to the world, is our sincere wish.

We are, in behalf of the officers of the first brigade and third division of the militia of Massachusetts,

Your most obedient servants,

William Hull, Major-General.

J. WALKER, Brigadier-General. Lexington, Massachusetts, October 2, 1798.


To the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Mi

lilia of Massachusetts:. GENTLEMEN—1 have received from Major Gene

ral Hull and Brigadier-General Walker, your unanimous address from Lexington, animated with a martial spirit, and expressed with a military dignity, becoming your character and the memorable plains on which it was adopted.

An address so animated, and from the officers commanding two thousand eight hundred men, composed of such substantial citizens as are able and willing, at their own expense, completely to arm and clothe themselves in handsome uniform, does honour to that division of the militia, which has done so much honour to their country.

While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable



of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion.

Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

(Signed) JOHN ADAMS. Quincy, 11th October, 1798.

In 1805, General Hull was appointed by Congress, Governor of the Michigan Territory. The term of service was for three years. He was re-appointed two successive terms by his Government to this office, the duties of which he performed.

« PreviousContinue »