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AN ADDRESS ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENNIAL

BIRTHDAY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.

[NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, FEBRUARY 22, 1832.]

AN ADDRESS ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENNIAL

BIRTHDAY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.*

A CENTURY has now elapsed since the birth of our immortal Washington, and ten millions of freemen can this day testify that a republic is not always ungrateful to her noblest benefactor. With what thrilling emotions have we not listened again to his last paternal counsels, and yielded the conviction of honest hearts to the truth and wisdom of all his sagacious and ever seasonable instructions! Such a farewell address was worthy of the father of his country. It is itself an invaluable legacy to the latest generations-- where liberty, integrity, the rights of man, the principles of universal equity, the calm pursuits of unambitious peaceful tranquillity, the steady progressive advancement of the human species in virtue, intelligence and happiness, shall be duly appreciated and honoured. Nor can a more appropriate tribute of respect be offered to his memory, than the solemn recital, in the ears of the people, on each returning anniversary of his birthday, of this precious valedictory. It is a text-book for our statesmen to study—and it may serve as an infallible test in the hands of the people, by which to try the spirit and character of their rulers and of all political aspirants. Let every youth commit it to memory. Let its maxims be engraven upon every American heart. It will enlighten his judgment, enlarge his conceptions, elevate and chasten his patriotism, subdue his sectional and selfish prejudices, expand his bosom with a generous philanthropy, and lead him to esteem all the citizens of every State as his brethren, and as equally entitled to all the franchises, privileges and blessings which our common constitution and representative government were designed to secure and to perpetuate.

* Delivered at Nashville, Tennessee, February 22d, 1832, immediately after the reading of the Farewell Address. On the sixth instant, the author was requested by a Committee of Arrangements, in behalf of the citizens of Nashville and its vicinity, to prepare an address for the approaching celebration of the Centennial Birthday of George Washington. He at first declined, on account of his numerous official engagements, and because he wished the duty to be assigned to a more suitable and competent individual. When assured, however, that no other person could be prevailed on to officiate, he reluctantly consented (viz. on the eighth) to make the attempt-without the least hope of fulfilling even the most moderate expectations which such an occasion was calculated to excite. . He was, moreover, afflicted with severe and painful indisposition, which rendered it impossible for him to study or write, during a greater part of the interval. On the evening of the twenty-second he was earnestly solicited by the Committee to furnish a copy of his Address for immediate publication. The rough notes, therefore, without alteration or addition, were sent to the printer; and on the twenty-fourth the Address appeared in the Nashville newspapers.

Until the declaration of our national independence, on the Fourth of July, 1776, the history of England constituted part and parcel of our own history. And if Englishmen had anything to boast of in literature, in science, in arts, in arms, in religion, in government, prior to that period, the Anglo-Americans are fairly entitled to a participation in all her glory, Shakspeare and Milton,

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