« AnteriorContinuar »
lumbia be weary of imbibing the benign and hallowed influences inseparably associated with the pure and sacred name of Mary Washington?
The combined qualities of her consistent, elevated, conscience-illuminated character, constitute a perfect whole, that most beautifully and strikingly illustrates alike the Woman and the Christian, in the highest and most comprehensive sense of those expressive words.
Enshrined in the Sanctuary of Home, her sublime example is the peerless boast of her country; and it shall but brighten as it recedes with revolving years.
Radiant in the zenith of Columbia's Heaven, beams the star of her fame, fixed and enduring as
«__ , the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic In Its Own Simplicity!"
u There are deeds which should not pass away,
Act!—for in action are wisdom and glory;
Fame, immortality, these are its crown;
Build on achievements thy doom of renown.
Cherish them, then, though all else should decay;
Stars that will shine on the duskiest day. J. G. Von Salis.
The remains of Mrs. Washington were interred at Fredericksburg, in Virginia, where she so long resided, and where she remained till the time of her death.
For many years after her decease her place of sepulchre was undistinguished by any mark of public respect; but more recently a tasteful and splendid monument has been erected to the memory of Mrs. Washington, under the direction of a Committee representing the citizens of her native State*
* In preparing these pages for the press, the author, having
The ceremony of laying the corner-stone of this highly appropriate mausoleum, was performed by Andrew Jackson, who was at the time President of the United States, and who was, therefore, very properly invited by the Monumental Committee to assume that honorary task.
This interesting celebration occurred on the seventh of May, 1833.
General Jackson went from the seat of government to Fredericksburg, attended by the several members of the National Cabinet and by a numerous concourse of highly respectable citizens and strangers. The inhabitants of Fredericksburg, also united in great numbers, with this imposing assemblage; and the whole scene was characterized by the most cordial and respectful interest, and by deep pathos and solemnity.
The President distinguished the occasion by an elegant eulogistic Address, from which we present
not the slightest reason to suspect their accuracy, assumed as facts the statements in relation to this public monument contained in " Knapp's Female Biography." Truth, however, compels her, most reluctantly, to admit that, after the MS. was delivered to the Publisher, a newspaper article, purporting to be written at Fredericksburg, met her eye, in which it was asserted that the tomb of Mrs. Washington has not been completed, and that it, at present, exhibits painful indications of neglect and decay.
our readers with a few paragraphs.
# # # # #
"We are assembled, fellow-citizens, to witness and assist in an interesting ceremony. More than a century has passed away since she to whom this tribute of respect is about to be paid, entered upon the active scenes of life. A century fertile in wonderful events, and of distinguished men who have participated in them. Of these our country has furnished a full share; and of these distinguished men she has produced a Washington! If he was "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen," we may say, without the imputation of national vanity, that if not the first, he was in the very first rank of those, too few indeed, upon whose career mankind can look back without regret, and whose memory and example will furnish themes of eulogy for the patriot, wherever free institutions are honored and maintained. His was no false glory, deriving its lustre from the glare of splendid and destructive actions, commencing in professions of attachment to his country, and terminating in the subversion of her freedom. Far different is the radiance which surrounds his name and fame. It shine, mildly and equally, and guides the philanthropist and citizen in the path of duty; and it will guide them long after those false lights which have attracted too much attention, shall have been extinguished in darkness.
"In the grave before us, lie the remains of his Mother. Long has it been unmarked by any monumental tablet, but not unhonored. Yom have undertaken the pious duty of erecting a column to her name, and of inscribing upon it, the simple but affecting words," Mary, the Mother of Washington." No eulogy could be higher, and it appeals to the heart of every American.
"These memorials of affection and gratitude, are consecrated by the practice of all ages and nations. They are tributes of respect to the dead, but they convey practical lessons of virtue and wisdom to the living. The mother and son are beyond the reach of human applause; but the bright example of paternal and filial excellence, which their conduct furnishes cannot but produce the most salutary effects upon our countrymen. Let their example be before us from the first lesson which is taught the child, till the mother's duties yield to the course of preparation and action which nature prescribes for him.