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In war, your fame is immortal as the hero of liberty. In peace, you are the patron and the firmest supporter of her rights. Your greatest admirers, and even your best friends, have now but one wish left for you: that you may long enjoy health and your present happiness. PAUL JONES, Letter, Dec. 20, '89.
THE CAUSE OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
Our cause is noble. It is the cause of mankind; and the danger to it is to be apprehended from ourselves. Shall we slumber and sleep, then, while we should be punishing those miscreants who have brought these troubles upon us, and who are aiming to continue us in them; while we should be striving to fill our battalions, and devising ways and means to raise the value of the currency, on the credit of which every thing depends? I hope not.
I trust, the goodness of the cause, and the exertions of the people, and Divine protection, will give us that honorable peace for which we are contending.
The favorable disposition of Spain, the promised succor from France, the combined force in the West. Indies, the declaration of Russia, (acceded to by other governments of Europe, and humiliating to the naval pride and power of Great Britain,) the superiority of France and Spain, by sea in Europe, the Irish claims and English disturbances, formed in the aggregate an opinion in my breast, which is not very susceptible of peaceful dreams, that the hour of deliverance was not far distant; since, however unwilling Great Britain might be, to yield the point, it would not be in her power to continue the contest. But, alas! these prospects, flattering as they were, have proved delusory, and I see nothing before us but accumulating distress.
We must not despair; the game is yet in our own hands; to play it well is all we have to do. And I trust, the experience of error will enable us to act better in future. A cloud may yet pass over us; individuals may be ruined, and the country at large, or particular States, undergo temporary distress; but certain I am, that it is in our power to bring the war to a happy conclusion.
I am very happy to be informed, by accounts from all parts of the continent, of the agreeable prospect of a very plentiful supply of almost all the productions of the earth. Blessed as we are with the bounties of Providence, necessary for our support and de
fence, the fault must surely be our own; and great indeed will it be, if we do not, by a proper use of them, obtain the noble prize for which we have so long been contending, the establishment of liberty, peace, and independence.
THE COMMON WEAL.
It appears as clear to me as ever the sun did in its meridian brightness, that America never stood in more eminent need of the wise, patriotic, and spirited exertions of her sons, than at this period. And if it is not a sufficient cause for general lamentation, my misconception of the matter impresses it too strongly upon me, that the States, separately, are too much engaged in their local concerns, and have too many of their ablest men withdrawn from the General Council, for the good of the common weal.
I think, our Political System may be compared to the mechanism of a clock, and we should derive a lesson from it; for it answers no good purpose to keep the smaller wheels in order, if the greater one, which is the support and prime mover of the whole, is neglected.
As there can be no harm in a pious wish for the good of one's country, I shall offer it as mine, that each State would not only choose, but absolutely com
pel, their ablest men to attend Congress, and that they would instruct them to go into a thorough investigation of the causes, that have produced so many disagreeable effects, in the army and country; in a word, that public abuses should be corrected.
A contemplation of the complete attainment, (at a period earlier than could have been expected,) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude.
The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition, were such as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.
It is universally acknowledged, that the enlarged prospects of happiness, opened by the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, almost exceed the power of description.
The foundation of a great empire is laid; and I please myself with the persuasion, that Providence will not leave its work imperfect.
The establishment of our new government, seemed to be the last great experiment, for promoting human happiness by a reasonable compact in civil society. It was to be, in the first instance, in a considerable degree, a government of accommodation, as well as a government of laws.
MOMENTOUS INFLUENCE OF THE REVOLUTION.
The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican Model of government, are justly considered, as deeply, perhaps as finally staked on the experiment intrusted to the hands of the American people.
SITUATION AND PROSPECTS OF THE COUNTRY.
The citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole lords and proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the world, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and independency.
They are, from this period, to be considered as the