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he still acted like himself—he still wa&; Washington. When the speedy termination of his life was announced to him, by his friend and physician, with dignified composure he awaited and welcomed the approach of death. Thus was our much loved friend, the Father Of His Country, great in war, great in peace, great in life, and great in the moment of his dissolution.
And are the eyes of Washington closed in death? Has he, who so lately was the pride of arms, who was himself a host, fallen a prey to the fell ravager of our race? The aching heart reluctates, while it is compelled to realize the tale of wo. But, mute be every murmur—checked be every tear. What though his once manly, graceful form be now mingling, with its native dust, yet Washington still lives immortal. Yes: he lives in his matchless example; he lives in those lessons of wisdom which flowed from his pen; he lives in our hearts, and in the hearts of 3. grateful country; he lives, transporting thought 1 resplendent with glory, in, the realms of ceaseless day. 3Cn Oration
ON THE DEATH OF
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON,
LATE PRESIDENT OF THE VNITED STATES.
Delivered at CHARLESTON, (S. C.) January 15, 1800, at the Request of the Inhabitants.
BY DAVID RAMSAY, M, D.
If ever any country owed to one of its citizens an incalculable debt of gratitude, that country is the United States, that citizen was the late George Washington. To do justice to his exalted merit, far exceeds my abilities. In making the attempt, I must surely fail, for none could succeed. I not only crave, but claim your indulgence. The task on which I am entering is of your appointment, and it is of such a delicate and arduous nature, that to its proper execution, not only my feeble powers, but the first abilities in the world would be inadequate.
On the nth of February, 1732, Virginia had the honour of giving birth to the illustrious man, whose death we this day deplore. His ancestors migrated from England, and were among the first settlers of this first of the British provinces in America. I cannot speak from positive anecdote, what was his situation and employment for the first twenty years of his life; but I have heard, that in his youth he was remarkably grave, silent, and thoughtful, active and methodical in business, highly dignified in his appearance and man. ners, and strictly honourable in all his deportment.
The first public notice of him, that I have seen, was in a note to a sermon, printed in London forty-five years ago, which had been preached a sliort time before, in Hanover-county, Virginia, on some public occasion, by the late President Davies. In this, the preacher observed, "I may point out to the public that heroic youth, Colonel Washington, whom I cannot but hope, Providence has hitherto preserved for some important service to his country." As no thought of American Independence was entertained at that early day, this observation could only have been founded in a knowledge of his talents and character. Indeed his appearance would have justified such a presentiment, for majesty and dignity were remarkably conspicuous in his countenance, and the figure of his person.
Very soon after young Washington was twentyone years of age, he was employed by the government of Virginia, on an embassy to negociate the removal of some French settlers from the Ohio, who had fortified themselves in the vicinity of that river, on lands claimed by the King of Great-Britain. In the execution of this trust, he travelled upwards of four hundred miles, and his route, for one half of that distance, led through pathless woods, inhabited only by savage beasts and more savage men. He was attended only by one companion, and proceeded on foot from Winchester: his negociations failing, Virginia raised three hundred men, and put them under his command, and instructed him to proceed to the Ohio. An engagement took place, between the French and Virginians, in which the former were at first defeated 5 but being afterwards reinforced with nine hundred men, they reduced Colonel Washington, after making a brave defence, to the necessity of submitting to honourable terms of capitulation.
The contest, about these lands, becoming more serious, General Braddock was sent with a regular force from Great-Britain, to support the claims of his Britannic Majesty. His impetuous valour pushed him forward into an ambuscade of French and Indians, in which he was killed, and his army routed. The remains of it were rallied, and brought off in safety, under the direction and by the address of Colonel WashIngton.
The next expedition was more successful, and restored tranquillity to the province of Virginia. When this event took place, the young citizen soldier, being no longer called to the discharge of military duty, resumed his habits of civil life, and continued therein, until a new and unexpected scene, about twenty years after, brought him forward on a much more conspicuous theatre.
In the year 1774, the British ministry completed their system for taxing their Colonies. America was roused; and, by a simultaneous impulse, formed a Congress of her most enlightened sons, to devise such measures as bid fairest to preserve her endangered liberties. To this illustrious assembly Washington was deputed, and he contributed his full proportion in forming the wife plans which were by them adopted. Great-Britain turned a deaf ear to their petitions, and proceeded to coerce the Colonies by a military force. Massachusetts being immediately attacked, had, in the first instance, embodied an army for its defence \ but as soon as it was determined to make a common cause with that much injured province, it became necessary that her local army stiould be made the army of the United Colonies, and be officered by Congress,
New-England had her Pomeroy, her Ward, and her Putnam, and many others who had seen as much, or perhaps more service than Washington; yet their wise delegates concurred in elevating the Virginian over their own favourite sons. The appointment of a commander in chief of all the armies raised, or to be raised, was effected by an unanimous vote, and without competition. Not only Congress, but the inhabitants in every part of the United Colonies, seemed, by one consent, to point to Washington, as the chosen instrument of Heaven, to guide them, through the storms of war* to the haven of peace and safety. His native modesty begat distrusts in his own breast, from which, others were free.
In his acceptance of the office, he desired, "that it might be remembered by every gentleman present, that he declared,'with the utmost sincerity, that he did not think himself equal to the command with which he was honoured."
On the third of July, 1775, he arrived at Cambridge* and entered upon the duties of his high station. Great were the difficulties which pressed on the new commander in chief. To introduce discipline and subordination among the free husbandmen, who had lately assumed the military character, and who were accustomed to act from the impulse of their own minds, was an arduous labour. To procure effective service from men who carry with them the spirit of freedom into the field, requires virtues which are rarely found . in military characters. The greater part of the Americans, officers as well as soldiers, had never seen any service, were ignorant of their duty, and but feebly impressed with the ideas of union, subordination, and discipline. To form an army of such materials, fit to take the field against British veteran troops, was the task assigned to General Washington. In effecting this, he conducted with so much prudence, as to make it doubtful whether we ought most to admire the patient, accommodating spirit of the man, or the consummate address of the general.
The American troops were only engaged for a few months' service, and were in a great measure destitute of ammunition. On the 4th of August, 1775, and for fourteen days after, the whole stock of powder in the American camp, and in the public magazines of NewEngland, was not sufficient to make ten rounds a man. Under all these disadvantages, the commander in chief adopted such efficient arrangements, as protected the country, confined the British army to Boston, and finally obliged them to evacuate that city on the 17th of March, 1776. His conduct was so pleasing to Con