Washington's Birthday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.


Adding New Lustre to Humanity,
Resounded To The Remotest Regions Of the Earth. 
Magnanimous in Youth,


His Highest Ambition the Happiness of Mankind,
His Noblest Victory the Conquest of Himself,
Bequeathing to Posterity the Inheritance of His Fame,

And Building His Monument in the Hearts of His Countrymen,

He Lived the Ornament Of the Eighteenth Century, and
Died Regretted By a Mourning World.


[18] The author of this inscription is not known.  It has been transcribed from a manuscript copy written on the back of a picture-frame, in which is set a miniature likeness of Washington, and which hangs in one of the rooms of the mansion at Mount Vernon, where it was left some time after Washington’s death.—­H.B.  CARRINGTON.

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Delivered at the laying of the cornerstone of the new wing of the Capitol at Washington, July 4, 1851

Washington!  Methinks I see his venerable form now before me.  He is dignified and grave; but concern and anxiety seem to soften the lineaments of his countenance.  The government over which he presides is yet in the crisis of experiment.  Not free from troubles at home, he sees the world in commotion and arms all around him.  He sees that imposing foreign powers are half disposed to try the strength of the recently established American Government.  Mighty thoughts, mingled with fears as well as with hopes, are struggling within him.  He heads a short procession over these then naked fields; he crosses yonder stream on a fallen tree; he ascends to the top of this eminence, whose original oaks of the forest stand as thick around him as if the spot had been devoted to Druidical worship, and here he performs the appointed duty of the day.

And now, if this vision were a reality; if Washington now were actually amongst us, and if he could draw around him the shades of the great public men of his own day, patriots and warriors, orators and statesmen, and were to address us in their presence, would he not say to us: 

“Ye men of this generation, I rejoice and thank God for being able to see that our labors, and toils, and sacrifices, were not in vain.  You are prosperous, you are happy, you are grateful.  The fire of liberty burns brightly and steadily in your hearts, while duty and the law restrain it from bursting forth in wild and destructive conflagration.  Cherish liberty, as you love it; cherish its securities, as you wish to preserve it.  Maintain the Constitution which we labored so painfully to establish, and which has been to you such a source of inestimable blessings.  Preserve the Union of the States, cemented as it was by our prayers, our tears, and our blood.  Be true to God, to your country, and to your duty.  So shall the whole Eastern world follow the morning sun, so contemplate you as a nation; so shall all generations honor you, as they honor us; and so shall that Almighty power which so graciously protected us, and which now protects you, shower its everlasting blessings upon you and your posterity!”

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Washington's Birthday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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