Thoughts for the Fourth

Mercy Otis Warren, wrote a history of the Revolution, published in 1805, based on her first-hand observations. It was a remarkable undertaking in itself, all the more so because it was assumed by a woman. The words in the last chapter seem to have special relevance for the Fourth of July and this election year.

If peace and unanimity are cherished, and the equalization of liberty, and the equity and energy of law, maintained by harmony and justice, the present representative government may stand for ages a luminous monument of republican wisdom, virtue, and integrity. The principles of the revolution ought ever to be the pole-star of the statesman, respected by the rising generation; and the advantages bestowed by Providence should never be lost, by negligence, indiscretion, or guilt.

The people may again be reminded, that the elective franchise is in their hands; that it ought not to be abused, either for personal gratifications, or the indulgence of partisan acrimony. This advantage should be improved, not only for the benefit of existing society, but with an eye to that fidelity which is due posterity. This can only be done by electing such men to guide the national counsels, whose conscious probity enables them to stand like a Colossus on the broad basis of independence, endeavor to lighten the burdens of the people, strengthen their unanimity at home, command justice abroad, and cultivate peace with all nations, until an example may be left on record of the practicability of meliorating the condition of mankind.

The excerpt is from History of the Rise, Progress & Termination of the American Revolution, by Mercy Otis Warren, Vol. 3 (Boston: E. Larkin, 1805), pages 431-32.

posted July 2nd, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Independence, Warren, Mercy Otis


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