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halanx or Roman legion ever knew truer manhood than in those days on the American continent when the Anglo-Saxon met Anglo-Saxon in the decision of a constitutional principle that beset their beloved nation. It was more than Napoleonic, for its warriors battled for principle rather than conquest, for right rather than power. This is the spirit of these volumes, and it seems to me that it must be the spirit of every true American. It is the sacred heritage of Anglo-Saxon freedom won at Runnymede. I recall General Gordon, an American who turned the defeat of war into the victory of citizenship in peace, once saying: What else could be expected of a people in whose veins commingled the blood of the proud cavaliers of England, the blood of those devout and resolute men who protested against the grinding exactions of the Stuarts; the blood of the stalwart Dissenters and of the heroic Highlanders of Scotland, and of the sturdy Presbyterians of Ireland; the blood of those defenders of
Southern army, knows that they did not wage that tremendous conflict for slavery. That was a subject very little in their thoughts or on their lips. Not one in twenty of those grim veterans, who were so terrible on the battlefield, had any financial interest in slavery. No, they were fighting for liberty, for the right of self-government. They believed the Federal authorities were assailing that right. It was the sacred heritage of Anglo-Saxon freedom, of local self-government, won at Runnymede, which they believed in peril when they flew to arms as one man, from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. They may have been right, or they may have been wrong, but that was the issue they made. On that they stood. For that they died. Not until this fact is realized by the student of the great war will he have the solution of the problem which is presented by the qualities of the Confederate soldier. The men who made up that army were not soldiers of fortune, but soldiers of duty, who da
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Depew, Chauncey Mitchell, 1834- (search)
bitrary power for human rights. In the New World it was the conservator of liberties secured through centuries of struggle in the Old. Among the delegates were the descendants of the men who had stood in that brilliant array upon the field of Runnymede, which wrested from King John Magna Charta, that great charter of liberty, to which Hallam, in the nineteenth century, bears witness that all which had been since obtained is little more than as confirmation or commentary. There were the grandof the culmination in permanent triumph of the thousands of years of struggle for self-government, were the spirits of the soldiers of the Revolution who had died that their country might enjoy this blessed day, and with them were the barons of Runnymede, and William the Silent, and Sidney, and Russell, and Cromwell, and Hampden, and the heroes and martyrs of liberty of every race and age. As he came forward, the multitude in the streets, in the windows, and on the roofs sent up such a raptu
was, in any sense, a constitutional revolution, or a proclamation of a new civil polity. The civil institutions of the States were already perfect and satisfactory. The Union was nothing more than a convenience of the States, and had no mission apart from them. It had no value as an additional guaranty of personal liberty, nor yet for its prohibitions of invasion of individual rights. These had been declared with equal clearness and vigour five centuries before in the Great Charter at Runnymede, had been engrafted upon the Colonial Governments, and were the recognized muniments of American liberty. The novelty and value of the Federal Constitution was the nice adjustment of the relations of the State and Federal Governments, by which they both became co-ordinate and essential parts of one harmonious system; the nice arrangement of the powers of the State and Federal Governments, by which was left to the States the exclusive guardianship of their domestic affairs, and of the in
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 16. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Hagood's brigade: its services in the trenches of Petersburg, Virginia, 1864. (search)
well and his character, Guizot says that he possessed the faculty of lying at need with an inexhaustible and unhesitating hardihood which struck even his enemies with surprise and embarrassment. This characteristic seems to have been transmitted to the descendants of the pilgrims who settled in Massachusetts Bay to enjoy the liberty of persecution. If the cavalier is to carry us back to days earlier than the American Revolution, I prefer to be transported in imagination to the field of Runnymede, when the barons extorted Magna Charta from the unwilling John. But I discard all reference to the cavalier of old, because it implies a division of society into two orders, an idea inconsistent with confederate institutions. Mr. Semmes moved to amend by substituting vindice for duce, and it was agreed to. In taking his leave, the reporter was informed by Mr. Semmes that he did not know the seal was in existence and was glad to learn that it had been presented to the State of South
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 17. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The unveiling. [Richmond Dispatch, June 10, 1890.] (search)
the Cumberland, and from that teeming empire beyond the Father of Waters, whose Lone Star banner has ever blazed in Glory's van—a mighty patriot host, who, at the trumpet call of duty put aside the clinging arms of wives and little ones, or turned from aged sires and weeping mothers to attest upon these distant fields their fidelity to constitutional liberty, and who here upon Virginia's soil sealed with their brave young blood their devotion to those principles, which, since the days of Runnymede, have been the common heritage of all English-speaking folk. Well nigh one hundred years ago at Oberhausen, in Bavaria, fell in the full flush of victory, Latour d'auvergne, the first grenadier of France—and there, upon the very spot, where like a soldier he met a soldier's death, his comrades reared in that foreign land a monument to his memory, which his commanding general, in the order of the day, declared was consecrated to virtue and to courage, and placed under the protection of t
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 18. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 3 (search)
born steel, and with their brave young blood wrote the name of Georgia in crimson letters afresh in the very rubric of freedom; to you, too, our mother stretches forth her hand, which no longer wears its mailed glove, and bids you God's speed in that grand career of prosperity which has made the name of this mighty Commonwealth no less renowned in days of peace than in days of war, when she gave her all without grudge and without stint in defence of those principles which since the days of Runnymede have been the common heritage of all English-speaking folk. Her eternal defiance. Aye! Virginia, not without self-reproach that she but follows where she should have led, yields her southern sister homage, in that when cheap patriots, insolent by reason of success won by others, were seeking even in the halls of national legislation to dim with the breath of obloquy the stainless memory of our matchless leader, and to brand with infamy the cause for which he drew his sword, this gran
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 31. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The First Marine torpedoes were made in Richmond, Va., and used in James river. (search)
angeless course, 'twere cause to weep. Bryant. Since Homer first sang of the deeds of prowess performed by Hector, the godlike Achilles, and other Greek heroes before the walls of sacred Troy, and thus immortalized that place, in all nations the names of places at which notable events affecting the governments and institutions of those countries have occurred, have been carefully memorized and zealously guarded for their historical and patriotic value by the people of those countries. Runnymede has come down to us through the dim history of the Middle Ages to have a marked significance, since there it was that John, King of England, in the year 1215 A. D., signed that great instrument of human liberty guaranteeing some of the inalienable rights of man, the Magna Charta. The act of abdication, signed by the Emperor Napoleon, on April 6, 1814, at Fontainbleau, has made the name of that palace famous in French and European history. The surrender by Napoleon III of an army of 90,000
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 36. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.6 (search)
struct her delegates (in 1776) to declare independence, the declaratory resolutions adopted by Congress and offered by one of her representatives and the public appeal to the world, in the form of a declaration of independence, was drawn by another Virginian. It was in the Convention of 1776 that the first written constitution ever framed by an independent political society was adopted. In importance to the world it far exceeded the significance of Magna Charta granted by King John at Runnymede. The delegates ip the general convention from Virginia were George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason, George Wythe. Henry declined the appointment and Richard Henry Lee was appointed in his stead, but he also declined, and Dr. James McClurg, who lies buried in St. John's churchyard, was then appointed. This constitution was signed and recommended only by Washington, Blair and Madison, a minority of the delegation. During the debates in
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 3. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Anti-Slavery Poems (search)
onfounding good and ill, Slave-haters and slaveholders We struck at Slavery; to the verge Of power and means we checked it; Lo!—presto, change! its claims you urge, Send greetings to it o'er the surge, And comfort and protect it. But yesterday you scarce could shake, In slave-abhorring rigor, Our Northern palms for conscience' sake: To-day you clasp the hands that ache With ‘ walloping the nigger! ’ O Englishmen!—in hope and creed, In blood and tongue our brothers! We too are heirs of Runnymede; And Shakespeare's fame and Cromwell's deed Are not alone our mother's. ‘Thicker than water,’ in one rill Through centuries of story Our Saxon blood has flowed, and still We share with you its good and ill, The shadow and the glory. Joint heirs and kinfolk, leagues of wave Nor length of years can part us: Your right is ours to shrine and grave, The common freehold of the brave, The gift of saints and martyrs. Our very sins and follies teach Our kindred frail and human: We carp at f
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