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1819. July 4. FRANKLIN DEXTER. Town Orator..
1820. July 4. THEODORE LYMAN. Town Orator.
1834. July 4. RICHARD SULLIVAN FAY. City Orator.
FREDERICK ROBINSON. Boston Trades Union.
1835. July 4. JEROME VAN CROWNINGSHIELD SMITH. South Boston.
HUNDRED BOSTON ORATORS.
To the sages who spoke,
Strike the harp-strings of glory!
Let the song of the ransomed
Remember the dead,
And the tongue of the eloquent
Hallow the story.
O'er the bones of the bold
Be that story long told,
And the beacon-fire raised
That gave light to the world.
"THE origin of our national independence may be traced to the native fervid sense of freedom," says Tudor, "which our ancestors brought with them, and fostered in the forests of America, and which, with pious care, they taught their offspring never to forego;" and it was not until the expiration of one century and a half that the colonists inflexibly resolved to govern themselves, uncontrolled by the mother country. Innumerable tendencies accelerated this determination. The noble wife of the elder Adams, in writing to Mrs. Cranch, remarked, with laudable pride:-"Amongst those who voted against receiving an explanatory charter, in the Massachusetts, stands the name of our venerable grandfather Quincy, accompanied with only one other, to his immortal honor." By vesting the governor with the veto power, opposing an elected speaker of the house, and forbidding them to adjourn at their own option more than two days, King George the First
inflicted a fatal wound on the dominant power of Old England over New England, and showed himself unworthy an aspiration of holy George Herbert, in the days of the Mayflower Pilgrims,—
"Religion stands on tiptoe in our land,
Ready to pass to the American strand!”
It is evident, however, that Madam Adams was mistaken regarding the minority. On turning to the records of the council, we find there were four who voted in the negative; and the records of the house exhibit the names of thirty-two who negatived also the acceptance of this oppressive charter. As it will gratify the descendants of this honored minority to know this fact of their ancestors, we have carefully transcribed their names. The record is dated Jan. 15, 1725: Isaiah Tay, William Clark, Esq., Ezekiel Lewis, Thomas Cushing, Boston; John Wadsworth, Milton; John Quincy, Esq., Braintree; John Torrey, Weymouth; Capt. Thomas Loring, Hingham; John Brown, Mendon; Edward White, Brookline; John Sanders, Haverhill; John Hobson, Rowley; Benjamin Barker, Andover; Joseph Hale, Boxford; Samuel Tenney, Bradford; Capt. William Rogers, Wenham; Joseph Davis, Amesbury; Richard Ward, Newton; John Rice, Sudbury; Capt. Samuel Bullard, Sherburne ; Joseph Wilder, Lancaster; Capt. Edward Goddard, Framingham; John Blanchard, Billerica; Daniel Pierce, Woburn; Jonathan Sargent, Malden; Samuel Chamberlain, Chelmsford; Thomas Bryant, Scituate; Nathaniel Southworth, Middleboro'; Isaac Cushman, Plympton; Elisha Bisby, Pembroke; Edward Shove, Dighton; William Stone, Norton. There were forty-eight in the affirmative.
According to Pemberton's Massachusetts Chronicle,-a manuscript of great value, in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society,— in an article regarding the odious Writs of Assistance to the officers of the customs, it is stated that the power of the Court of Exchequer had never been exercised by the Superior Court, for a period of about sixty years after the act of this province investing them with such power had been in force. The writ, which was the first instance of their exercising that power now granted, was never requested; or, if solicited, was constantly denied for this long course of years, until Charles Paxton, Esq., the Commissioner of the Revenue, applied for it in 1754. It was granted by the court in 1756, sub silentio, and continued until the demise of George the Second.
The first clarion notes that aroused to independence were sounded by the patriotic James Otis, in the February term of 1761, of the Superior Court, in the council-chamber of the town-house, where he delivered an eloquent argument in opposition to the arbitrary Writs of Assistance. The elder Adams said that Otis "burst forth as with a flame of fire, and every man was made ready to take arms against it." The name of Liberty-tree owes its origin to a popular gathering under its branches, Aug. 14, 1765, expressive of indignation at revenue oppressions. The event, however, which most effectually inflamed popular wrath, was that of the fifth of March, 1770, when five citizens were killed in King-street by regulars of the standing army. The people were resolved to assert their rights, though rivers of blood rolled down that street. The patriotic Lathrop, of the Second Church, delivered a warm sermon on the Sabbath after the event; and in another, in 1778, said, "The inhabitants of these States must have been justified by the impartial world, had they resolved, from that moment, never to suffer one in the livery of George the Third to walk this ground."
The immediate origin of the massacre was an attack of a mob on the sentinel who was stationed before the custom-house at the corner of Royal Exchange Lane, where the king's treasure was deposited. The regular loaded his gun, and retreated up the steps as far as he could, and often shouted for protection. A corporal and six privates of the main guard, stationed near the head of King-street, directly opposite the door on the south side of the town-house, were sent to his relief, who, after being grossly insulted and attacked, fired upon the crowd. Three men were instantly killed, five men were dangerously wounded, and several slightly injured.
The most exciting causes which urged to a decided disaffection in the people of Boston towards the mother country may be traced to the circumstances related in the narrative of the town, published shortly after the massacre. While the town was surrounded by British ships of war, two regiments landed, Oct. 1, 1768, and took possession of it; and, to support these, two other regiments arrived, some time after, from Ireland, one of which landed at Castle Island, and the other in the town. They were forced upon the people contrary to the spirit of the Magna Charta,-contrary to the very letter of the bill of rights, in which it is declared that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be