trade of husbandry,’ they set the example of
colonizing New England
, and formed the mould for the civil and religious character of its institutions.
Enduring every hardship themselves, they were the servants of posterity, the benefactors of succeeding generations.
In the history of the world, many pages are devoted to commemorate the men who have besieged cities, subdued provinces, or overthrown empires.
In the eye of reason and of truth, a colony is a better offering than a victory; the citizens of the United States
should rather cherish the memory of those who founded a state on the basis of democratic liberty; the fathers of the country; the men who, as they first trod the soil of the New World, scattered the seminal principles of republican freedom and national independence.
They enjoyed, in anticipation, the thought of their extending influence, and the fame which their grateful successors would award to their virtues.
‘Out of small beginnings,’ said Bradford
, ‘great things have been produced; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea, in some sort to our whole nation.’—‘Let it not be grievous to you,’—such was the consolation offered from England
to the Pilgrims in the season of their greatest sufferings,—‘let it not be grievous to you, that you have been instruments to break the ice for others.
The honor shall be yours to the world's end.’