Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of labor, at the expense of another. The highest prosperity of each is not only consistent with, but inseparable from, the highest prosperity of all. What is done for any is done for all; and all find their best encouragement and protection in the common welfare and prosperity of the whole community. We see, or ought to see, something of that mutual sympathy and succor among American laborers, of which so graphic a sketch is given by one of the prophets of Israel: “So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil. They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.”

The greatest division of labor, the most complete and cordial union among laborers, — this is the true motto and maxim which our condition suggests and inculcates; and the American farmer should be the first to adopt and cherish it.

A word or two, Mr. President and gentlemen, and only a word or two, in conclusion. In all that I have said, I have spoken, as I proposed to speak, of American agriculture, so far as it is occupied in the production of food, and through the agency of free labor, in all parts of our wide-spread land. In looking at the agriculture of Massachusetts as a separate State, we find many of the circumstances, which characterize the agricultural condition of the country at large, reversed. There is no overproduction of food, and no danger of any such over-production, for our own population within our own limits. On the contrary, it has been estimated that we are at this moment dependent on our sister States for more than three millions of bushels of breadstuffs, - being a full half of our whole consumption.

Now, so far as this fact may fairly betoken any bad cultivation on the part of our farmers ; so far as, taken in connection with other facts, it indicates a deterioration of our soil, and a progressive disproportion between the acres in cultivation and the crops which they yield, - it is a fact deeply to be deplored, and which ought to furnish a serious warning to the government and the people of the Commonwealth.

But, so far as it only indicates a greater division and distribution of labor within our own borders; so far as it is only the result of a gradual multiplication of mechanics and manufacturers among us, to consume the products, not only of our own husbandmen, but of those of other States, neighboring and remote, – it is a subject of positive and unqualified congratulation. For one, I never desire to see the day when Massachusetts shall feed herself. Nature has marked and quoted her for a different destiny. Her long line of indented sea-coast, stretching out around two noble capes, and bending in again along two noble bays, designates her unmistakably for a commercial and navigating State; and her countless fleets of coasters and fishingsmacks and merchant-ships and whalers give ample attestation that she has not been blind to her vocation. Her numerous rivers and streams, with their abundant waterfalls, designate her hardly less distinctly as a manufacturing State; and her sons, and her daughters too, are fast proving that they know how to fulfil this destiny also. A great agricultural State she was never made for. If she ever feeds herself, it will be by the decrease of her population, and not by the adequacy of her products of Her farmers will always find enough to occupy them. The perishable articles of daily consumption, which must be found at one's door, or not at all, must come always from them. Their milk, their garden-fruits and vegetables, their hay too, and their eggs and poultry, can hardly be interfered with injuriously, if at all, by any supplies from abroad, and can hardly be furnished in too large quantities at home. But the cereal grains, the beef and pork and mutton, and the butter and cheese, of other States, are, I trust, to find a still-increasing market in Massachusetts, in exchange for the products of her looms and anvils and lap-stones, and for the earnings of her commerce and fisheries. I would gladly see the United States independent of all foreign nations for all the necessaries of life, - clothing as well as food; but I do not desire to see the separate States independent of each other: first, because climate, soil, geographical position, and physical condition, designate them for different departments of industry, and their own highest prosperity will be subserved by following nature; and, second, because these mutual wants and mutual dependencies are among the strongest bonds of our blessed Union, and give the best guaranty that it shall endure for ever.

Let Massachusetts do all the farming she can; and all that she does, let her be sure to do well. Let her transmit no exhausted or impoverished soil to posterity. Let her exhibit to all the world what industry and energy and thrift and temperance and education and science can do, in overcoming the disadvantages and obstacles of a hard soil and a stern sky. Let her be a model State in agriculture, and in whatever else she undertakes. But let her not dream of feeding herself. For myself, I should feel as if either the days of the American Union were numbered, or certainly as if her own house were about to be left unto her desolate, if the time should ever come when the wheat of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the pork of Ohio, and the beef and mutton of New York and Vermont, and the yellow corn of Virginia, and the rice of the Carolinas, could find no ready market for their sale, and no willing and watering mouths for their consumption, in the old Bay State. I delight to contemplate the various members of this vast republic, as members of a common family, not all alike, but with only such distinctions as become sisters; not selfishly and churlishly attempting to do every thing for themselves, or to interfere with each other's vocation, but pursuing their different destinies in a spirit of mutual kindness and mutual reliance; freely interchanging the products of their soil and of their skill in time of peace, and firmly interposing their united power for the common protection in time of war; bearing each other's burdens; supplying each other's wants; remembering each other's weaknesses ; rejoicing in each other's prosperity; and all clustering with eager affection around the car of a common Liberty,— like the Hours in the exquisite fresco of Guido around the chariot of the Sun, -as it advances to scatter the shades of ignorance and oppression, and to spread light and freedom and happiness over the world!

Gentlemen, I can offer no better prayer to Heaven, either for human liberty or for human labor in all its branches, than that this spectacle of concord and harmony among the American States may be witnessed in still-increasing beauty and perfection as long as the Sun and the Hours shall roll on!

THE ELECTORAL VOTE OF MASSACHU

SETTS.

A SPEECH IN REPLY TO A VOTE OF THANKS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE OF

MASSACHUSETTS, DECEMBER 1, 1852.

GENTLEMEN OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, The resolution which has just been adopted calls for my most grateful acknowledgments, and I beg you to accept my hearty thanks for the kindness by which it has been prompted.

We have assembled here, gentlemen, for the discharge of a specific duty under the Constitution of the United States, and, that duty having been performed, we are about to return to our homes. The occasion has been one, however, which cannot fail to have awakened some strong emotions in all our hearts, and to have left some enduring impressions upon all our minds.

We have been called to participate in the last act of a political campaign, over the commencement and over the close of which, alike, the deepest shadows have been thrown by the death of a Clay and a Webster.

We have been called, too, to cast the vote of the Commonwealth, against the most desperate odds, and in the face of a foregone conclusion of defeat.

But, gentlemen, we have been able to lift ourselves above these clouds. We have been able to rejoice, and we do rejoice at this hour, that we have a Country which survives all personal and all political casualties, and to which no disappointments and no bereavements can sunder or shake our attachment.

That country presents to-day a proud and cheering spectacle to the lovers of civil liberty. The electors of thirty-one noble States, ranging over a vast continent, and reaching from ocean to ocean, have assembled simultaneously, at their respective capitals, to make solemn record of the will of the American people, as to the person who shall be entrusted, for four years to come, with the chief magistracy of the nation. And, as we have performed our part in this simple but sublime transaction, we cannot fail to have rejoiced in the reflection that we have not been left, like the people of so many other countries, to depend on the accidents of birth, or on the agency of bayonets, to decide who shall rule over us.

We have not forgotten, either, that this is now the seventeenth time, in the good providence of God, that such a spectacle has been witnessed in our land, and that four and sixty years have thus passed safely and securely away since the first organization of our National Government. And who can fail to rejoice in the assurance which such a lapse of time suggests and sanctions, that a free, republican, constitutional system is no longer to be considered in the light of an experiment; that it has been tried; that it has proved successful; and that henceforth the only experiment which remains for us or for our children, is, not as to the character of our institutions or the nature of our government, but as to the intelligence, the fidelity, the virtue, the vigilance, and the enlightened principle of those who preside over them, and of those who live under them?

Gentlemen, I think I may safely say that Massachusetts has nothing to reproach herself with in reference to the character and capacity of those whom she has successively designated for the highest honors of the nation. If her candidates have not always been successful, they have at least been always worthy of

success.

Her electoral vote has been given twice to George Washington; twice to John Adams; once to Thomas Jefferson ; once to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina ; once to De Witt Clinton, of New York; once to Rufus King; once to James Monroe; twice to John Quincy Adams; twice to Henry Clay; once to Daniel Webster ; once to William Henry Harrison, of Olio; and once to Zachary Taylor, of Louisiana.

And it has been our privilege to-day to add to this list of illustrious men -- of whom, alas! not one is left among the living -

« ZurückWeiter »