And I do earnestly commend that all unnecessary labor and recreation be suspended on said day.
Given at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, the Nineteenth day of February in the year of our lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Four, and in the Eighteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
By His Honor’s command, with the advice and
consent of the Council,
John Avery, jun. Secry.
God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
May 31, 1794.
[Independent Chronicle, June 2, 1794; a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library, and two manuscript texts (those sent to the Senate and House respectively) are in the Massachusetts Archives.]
While I attempt a short, but very respectful address to the two Branches of this new General Court, I cannot help expressing a great satisfaction in the continuance of the right which the citizens of the Commonwealth at large enjoy, of exercising their own sovereignty. In pursuance of the direction of our Constitution, which is expressive of their will, they have again in their anniversary meetings, made their free elections of such persons as they have judged meet to administer their public affairs. In this great transaction, they must surely have felt their own dignity; and however different their sentiments may have been with regard to the men of their choice, each elector having given his suffrage according to the dictates of his own conscience, must enjoy the consoling reflection of having honestly done his duty. Those in whom the people have placed their confidence, it is presumed will faithfully watch over, and guard their general interests, and take care that the liberties and the sovereignty of right belonging to this Commonwealth, shall suffer no diminution.
We are met at a very critical period—The baneful influence of war in Europe, has already too far extended itself into this remote region. A war of Kings and Nobles, against the equal Rights of Men. Their first object was to controul the common right of all civil societies, by frustrating the attempt of a magnanimous nation, to establish a Constitution of government for themselves, according to their own mind: More lately the nefarious design has been to crush the new formed Republic in its infancy:—But the god of Armies, who favors the brave in a righteous cause, has hitherto appeared for its protection, and crowned the astonishing efforts of its defenders with astonishing victories.