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"Why then do we longer delay; why still deliberate? Let this most happy day give birth to the American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and conquer, but to re-establish the reign of peace and of the laws. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us! she demands of us a living example of freedom, that may contrast, by the felicity of the citizens, with the ever increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted, repose. She intreats us to cultivate a propitious soil, where that generous plant, which first sprung up and grew in England, but is now withered by the poisonous blasts of Scottish tyranny, may revive and flourish, sheltering under its salubrious and interminable shade all the unfortunate of the human race. This is the end presaged by so many omens, by our first victories, by the present ardour and union, by the flight of Howe, and the pestilence which broke out amongst Dunmore's people, by the very winds which baffled the enemy's fleets and transports, and that terrible tempest which ingulfed seven hundred vessels upon the coast of Newfoundland. If we are not this day wanting in our duty to the country, the names of the American legislators will be exalted, in the eyes of posterity, to a level with those of Theseus, Lycurgus, of Romulus, of Numa, of the three Williams of Nassau, and of all those whose memory has been, and will be, forever dear to virtuous men and good citizens.” :
After the adoption of the articles of the confederation, Mr. Lee was under the necessity of withdrawing from congress, as no representative was allowed to continue in congress more than three years in any term of six years; but he was re-elected in 1784, and continued till 1787. In November, 1784, ke was chosen president of congress. When the conatitution of the United States was submitted to the consideration of the public, he contended for the necessity of amendments previously to its adoption. After the government was organized, he was chosen one of the first senators from Virginia in 1789. This station he held till his resignation in 1792..
Mr. Lee died at his seat at Chantilly, in Westmoreland county, Virginia, June 22, 1794, in the sixty-third year of his age. He supported through life the character of a philosopher, a patriot, and a sage; and he died, as he had lived, blessing his country.
LIVINGSTON, PHILIP, whose signature is attached to our Declaration of Independence, was born at Albany, in the year 1715, and educated at Yale college, in Connecticut, where he graduated in 1737. He was a grandson of, obert Livingston, the original proprietor of the manor of Livingston, on the river Hudson, in the state of NewYork, who was born at Ancram in Scotland, in the year 1654. His father, the Reverend John Livingston, a very distinguished minister of the kirk of Scotland, having some years after found it necessary to quit his native country, on account of his “opposition to Episcopacy,” took charge of an English Prebyterian church in Rotterdam, while he himself selected America as his future residence.
The grant, or patent of the manor of Livingston, bears date 1686, and the colonial history of NewYork, from the year 1698, to the revolution, fornishes abundant evidence of the elevated standing in public life, which was maintained during that period, as well by the first proprietor of the manor, as by his immediate descendants.
At the present day, when the advantages of a liberal education are so justly appreciated, and so readily obtained; when a diploma is considered as necessary a preliminary for the counting-house as for either the pulpit or the bar, its possession con
fers no further distinction on an individual than what is enjoyed in common throughout the circle in which he moves; there is reason, however, to believe, that Philip Livingston participated in its benefits at a time when it was almost exclusively confined to the learned professions, and that to his carly attainments may, in some measure, be attributed that deference to his opinions on subjects of general interest, which the mercantile pursuits that afterwards occupied his attention, would not alone have been calculated to inspire.
His entrance into public life was as a magistrate in the city of New York, where he settled as a merchant shortly after his marriage, and which he afterwards represented in the colonial general assembly, from 1759. to 1769, inclusive. The journals of that body, during his term of service, evince his fidelity towards his constituents and a constant regard for the interests and welfare of the colony. In 1764, he submitted to the house, in his capacity of chairman of a committee appointed for that purpose, a very animated petition to the king; which was afterwards adopted, and in which the «« intimation of a design" to tax • these colonies" by laws passed in Great Britain, is made the subject of serious complaint; and, in 1768, we find his name as speaker, to an answer of the house to the celebrated Boston letter, and also, to two several memorials to the English parliament, on the subject of the existing grievances, which, in conjunction with certain explanatory resolutions, entered on the journals, occasioned the dissolution of the assembly shortly after.
The election of 1769, appears to have been warmly contested in the city and county of New York. The old members were nominated and strenuously supported by many, 6 for their noble and patriotic spirit, in boldly asserting and maintaining the rights and privileges of Americans,"
without fee or reward; while, on the other hand, several other citizens were held up in opposition by a party, respectable both as to numbers and character, but acting apparently under the influence of feelings excited by former religious controversies between the members of the church of England and the dissenters.
At the very commencement of the contest, Mr. Livingston published his determination “not to have any agency in an election which he apprehended would be productive of the most violent heats and animosities,” and persisted in this resolution notwithstanding the solicitations of both parties to dissuade him from it; another name was accordingly substituted on the old ticket, while the friends of the new candidates made a vigorous but unsuccessful attempt to accomplish their purpose by appropriating his to themselves, without his consent. He was, also, during the same year, returned as a member from the manor of Livingston, but, although the election was unanimous, it was decided by the house that his non-residence disquaJified him from taking his seat. His constituents petitioned against the decision, but to no purpose. A detail of the various circumstances which characterized the life of Mr. Livingston, from the last mentioned period until the year 1774, would he but a record of those events which preceded and terminated in the meeting of the continental congress, as he invariably took an active part in all those measures adopted by his fellow-citizens, the object of which was to obtain redress for past grievances, or prevent their recurrence for the future. An incident, however, occurred, a few days previous to his first election to the proposed congress, which may be worthy of notice from the evidence it furnishes that the conduct of Mr. Livingston, and of his colleagues, was influenced by liberal and independent views, becoming statesmen, and not by motives of sectional interests or individual popularity. Shortly after his nomination as a delegate in May, 1774, a letter, signed by several gentlemen, was directed to him, in conjunction with Jolin Jay, John Allsop, Isaac Low, and James Duane, in which they were requested, “in order to avoid the inconveniences that may arise from a contested clection," to state, explicitly, whether they • would engage to use their utmost endeavours at the proposed congress, that an agreement not to import goods from Great Britain, until the American grievances should be redressed, should be entered into by the colonies;" in answer to which they observed, that they would do every thing in their power, which, in their opinion, would be conducive to the general interests of the colonies, and that, at present, they thought the proposed measure the most efficacions one that could be adopted, but concluded with, “ Permit us to add, that we make this declaration of our sentiments because we think it right, and not as an inducement to be fa- . voured with your votes; nor have we the least objection in your electing any other gentlemen, as your delegates, in whom you repose greater coníidence.” This manly avowal was succeeded by an unanimous election, and when the time approached for them to enter on their duties, they were escorted on the 1st of September, 1774, to the vessel in which they embarked for Philadelphia, with all those testimonials of respect, to which their character and their cause so justiy entitled them.
From the year 1774 to 1778, Mr. Livingston was zealous and indefatigable in attending to his congressional duties, either as a representative from the colony, or the state of New York, although he was in the mean time also called on to assist in the formation of a state government, and to perform other public duties of a more local description. On the 22d of November, 1774, he was elected a