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 introduced a resolution to declare the colonies independent States, and the declaration itself was written by one of her sons. She furnished to the Confederate States the father of his country, under whose guidance independence was achieved, and the rights and liberties of each State, it was hoped, perpetually established. She stood undismayed through the long night of the Revolution, breasting the storm of war and pouring out the blood of her sons like water on almost every battle-field, from the ramparts of Quebec to the sands of Georgia. By her own unaided efforts the northwestern territory was conquered, whereby the Mississippi, instead of the Ohio river, was recognized as the boundary of the United States by the treaty of peace. To secure harmony, and as an evidence of her estimate of the value of the union of the States, she ceded to all for their common benefit this magnificent region — an empire in itself. When the articles of confederation were shown to be inadequate to secure peace and tranquility at home and respect abroad, Virginia first moved to bring about a more perfect union. At her instance the first assemblage of commissioners took place at Annapolis, which ultimately led to the meeting of the convention which formed the present constitution. This instrument itself was in a great measure the production of one of her sons, who has been justly styled the father of the constitution. The government created by it was put into operation with her Washington, the father of his country, at its head; her Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, in his cabinet; her Madison, the great advocate of the constitution, in the legislative hall. Under the leading of Virginia statesmen the Revolution of 1798 was brought about, Louisiana was acquired, and the second war of independence was waged. Throughout the whole progress of the republic she has never infringed on the rights of any State, or asked or received an exclusive benefit. On the contrary, she has been the first to vindicate the equality of all the States, the smallest as well as the greatest. But claiming no exclusive benefit for her efforts and sacrifices in the common cause, she had a right to look for feelings of fraternity and kindness for her citizens from the citizens of other States, and
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