When the question of pardoning the convicted leaders of the rebellion came up, Adams opposed it. “In monarchies,” he said, “the crime of treason and rebellion may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished; but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.” We are all glad mercy prevailed and pardon was granted. But the calm judgment of Samuel Adams, the lover of liberty, “the man of the town meeting” whose clear vision, taught by bitter experience, saw that all usurpation is tyranny, must not go unheeded now. The authority of a just government derived from the consent of the governed, has back of it a Power that does not fail.
All wars bring in their trail great hardships. They existed in the day of General Shepard. They exist now. Having set up a sound government in Massachusetts, having secured their independence, as the result of a victorious war, the people expected a season of easy prosperity. In that they were temporarily disappointed. Some rebelling, were overthrown. The adoption of the Federal Constitution brought relief and prosperity.
Success has attended the establishment here of a government of the people. We of this day have just finished a victorious war that has added new glory to American arms. We are facing some hardships, but they are not serious. Private obligations are not so large as to be burdensome. Taxes can be paid. Prosperity abounds. But the great promise of the future lies in the loyalty and devotion of the people to their own Government. They are firm in the conviction of the fathers, that liberty is increased only by increasing the determination to support a government of the people, as established in this ancient town, and defended by its patriotic sons.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By His Excellency Calvin Coolidge, Governor_
The entire State Guard of Massachusetts has been called out. Under the Constitution the Governor is the Commander-in-Chief thereof by an authority of which he could not if he chose divest himself. That command I must and will exercise. Under the law I hereby call on all the police of Boston who have loyally and in a never-to-be-forgotten way remained on duty to aid me in the performance of my duty of the restoration and maintenance of order in the city of Boston, and each of such officers is required to act in obedience to such orders as I may hereafter issue or cause to be issued.
I call on every citizen to aid me in the maintenance of law and order.
Given at the Executive Chamber, in Boston, this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-fourth.