selected to decide upon the size, character, design, and site of this monument.
They met frequently at his father's house.
He could remember the appearance of most of them,— Colonel Thomas H. Perkins
, William Sullivan
, and Gilbert Stuart
, the great painter, whose enormous block-tin
snuff-box attracted his youthful attention.
‘As a boy, I was present at the laying of the corner-stone of this great obelisk under whose shadow we now are. La Fayette laid the stone with appropriate and imposing masonic ceremonies.
The vast procession, impatient of unavoidable delay, broke the line of march, and in a tumultuous crowd rushed towards the orator's platform; and I was saved from being trampled under foot, by the strong arm of Mr. George Sullivan, who lifted me on his shoulders, shouting, “Don't kill the orator's son!”
and bore me through the crowd, and placed me on the staging at my father's feet.
I felt something embarrassed at that notice, as I now do at this unforeseen notice by His Excellency; but I had no occasion to make an acknowledgment of it.’
He had also noticed the ceremonies of the completion of the monument in the presence of many distinguished persons from all parts of the country, ‘some of whom,’ said Colonel Webster, ‘
I regret to say would hardly like to renew that visit, or recall that scene.
Within a few days after this, I sailed for China; and I watched, while light and eyesight lasted, till its lofty summit faded at last from view.
I now stand again at its base, and renew once more, on this national altar, vows, not for the first time made, of devotion to my country, its Constitution and Union.’
He concluded as follows:—
From this spot I take my departure, like the mariner commencing his voyage; and, wherever my eyes close, they will be turned hitherward toward this North; and, in whatever event, grateful will be the reflection that this monument still stands,—still, still is gilded by the earliest beams of the rising sun, and that still departing day lingers and plays on its summit for ever.
The services concluded by a benediction by the venerable Father Taylor
The flag thus raised, floated from its serene height during the entire war, until it was respected in Charleston, South Carolina
, as in Charlestown, Massachusetts
Few men who knew Colonel Webster
, can read the words uttered by him on this occasion, without recalling many pleasant memories connected