reward of any kind, and solely for the honor of the State
which gave him birth, and the people to whose welfare he devoted all the years of his life.
And this is attested by the glowing words with which he concluded the long and laborious task, and which are instinct with the spirit of a lofty patriotism.
Hear those words, his last public utterance, in which he invoked God's blessing on his native State:
‘And now the self-imposed task, begun some eleven years ago, is finished.
All that I care to say is that I have done the best I could, that coming generations might be able to learn what manner of men their ancestors were, and this I have done without reward or the hope of reward, other than the hope that I might contribute something to rescue the fair fame and good name of North Carolina
from the clutches of ignorance.
Our records are now before the world, and any man who chooses may see for himself the character of the people who made them.
As for myself, when I search these North Carolina
scriptures and read the story of her hundred years struggle with the mother country for constitutional government and the no less wonderful story of her hundred years struggle with the savage Indian
for very life, both culminating in her first great revolution; and then, coming down to her second great revolution, when I remember how the old State bared her bosom to the mighty storm, how she sent her sons to the field until both the cradle and the grave were robbed of their just rights; how devotedly those sons stood before shot and shell and the deadly bullet, so that their bones whitened every battle-field; when I remember how heroically she endured every privation until starvation was at her very doors, and until raiment was as scarce as food, and with what fortitude she met defeat when, after Appomattox
, all seemed lost save honor; especially when I remember how, in the darkest of all hours, rallying once more to the struggle for constitutional government, she enlisted for the war of Reconstruction, fought it out to the end, finally wresting glorious victory from the very jaws of disastrous defeat, I bow my head in gratitude and say, as our great Confederate commander, the immortal Lee
, said, when watching the brilliant fight some of our regiments were making at a critical time in one of his great battles, he exclaimed in the fulness of his heart, “God bless old North Carolina
When his work was finished, the General Assembly passed a resolution of thanks to him by a rising vote, and this honor, which his