Oregon spectator. (Oregon City, O.T. [i.e. Or.]) 1846-1855, July 23, 1846, Image 4

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    THE SPECTATOR.
Fourth of July Celebration at Salem.
Mr. Editor Tim Committee of Arrange
inents request that you publish tho following
candensed summary of the proccdings of the
4th of July celebration, near Salem, Chum
pocg county.
At 12 o'clock the Rangers, under the com
mand of Cupt. Bennett, together with an im
mense assemblage of citizens, were formed
about 400 yards from tho Camp Meeting
stand, and marched in good order to the
stand by Lieutenant Holt. Tho heavy fall
of rain prevented the ladies from marching
as was anticipated ; however, there was in
attendance at the stand, a large number of
tho Oregon fair. After order was restored,
by the company being seated, a most solemn,
touching, and pathetic prayer was o fibred up
to Almighty God by the Rev. D. Leslie, the
chaplain, when the Declaration of Indepen
dence was read by J. Smith, Esq.; after which
W. G. T'Vault delivered an oration, suitable
to the occasion, and satisfactory to the audi
ence, as follows :
Ladies and Gentlemen The importance
of the occasion will be but little apology for
my appearing in the situation I now do. Tho
story of our country's sufferings, our coun
try's triumphs, though often and eloquently
told, is still a story that must not be forgot
ten, though I may tell you no new thing, of
that which I shall speak, is to the descen
dants of the heroic men who lighted the bea
con of liberty and unfurled by its blaze the
triumphant banner. The recital, however
unvarnished and unadorned, you will listen
to, for it never can ialbhcavy onthc ears of
the descendants of the American patriots.
We have met to commemorate the day
which gave our nation birth ; in this we all
possess a common interest, and you with fa
ces glowing with sympailiy and joy, prove
the feelings which the occasion hath excited.
If indeed there be anything in association to
effect the mind of man, wo need not strive to
repress the emotion which agitate us here.
If our purposes had never been conceived
if we, ourselves, had never been bom, the
4th of July, 1770, would have been a day
upon which all subsequent history would have
dwelt with striking emphasis, and the glories
of that day will stand a point of attraction to
the cause of successive generations while sci
ence and Christianity prevails, and the mul
titudes of the earth remain enlightened.
But we are Americans ; we live in what
may be called the early age of this great con
tinent, and we know that our posterity, thro'
all time, are here to suffer and enjoy the al
lotment ofdi vine and human enactments. We
see before us a probable train of great events;
wc know that our own fortunes have been
happily cast, and it is therefore that we should
be moved by the contemplation of occurren
ces which has guided our destiny, and settled
the condition in which we should po$& that
portion of our existence which God allots to
man on earth.
We cannot read oven the discovery of the
now world without feelings of strong personal
pride and interest in tho event, without be
ing reminded how much it has effected our
own fortunes and our own existence. It is
therefore impossible for us to contemplate
with unaffected minds that interesting, 1 may
say, that most touching and pathetic scene,
when tho great discoverer stood upon tho deck
of his own shattered bark, tho shades of night
falling upon tho sea ; yet no man sleeping,
tossed upon tho billows on an unknown ocean;
yet the stronger billows of alternato hope and
despair, extending forward his harassed
frame, straining westward his anxious and
eager eye, till heaven at last granted him a
moment of rapture and ecstasy in blessing his
vision with the sight of the new world.
Nearer to our times, more closely connect
ed with our fates, therefore equally interest
ing to vtir feelings and affections, are tho set
tlement of our own beloved county, by col
onists from England, when the pious few who
landed at Plymouth Rock, on tho 22d of Do.
ccniber, 227 years ago, the thou pilgrims nnd
forlorn hope of the bcttlemont of this mighty
continent, as well as ho achievement of our
national independence. Wo cherish every
memorial of thoso worthy ancestors; wo cele.
brato their patience and fortitude ; wo ad
mire their daring enterprise ; wo touch our
children to venerate thoir piety, and wo are
justly proud of being descendants from men
who havo set tho world an example of found
iug civil institutions on tho grcat'aud united
principles of human freedom and human
knowledge. Tjo us, their children, tho story
of their labors and sufferings can never b'o
without its interest. No vigor of youth ; no
maturity of manhood, will over lead tho na
tion to forget the spot where its infuuey was
cradled, nourished and dofended.
But the great event in tho history of our
continent, which wo aro now met to com
memorate, that prodigy of modern times, at
once the wonder and blessing of tho world, is
the 4th day of July, 1770, that gave birth to
the declaration of independence, and secured
for us that blessing which God has made man
capable of enjoying "liberty upon equal
rights and privileges," brought about by the
American revolution.
In u day of extraordinary prosperity and
happiness, of high national power, wo have
assembled together on the beautiful plains of
the Willamette ; far, far towards the setting
sun by our love of country, by our udmiru
tion of exalted character, by our gratitude
for signal services and patriotic devotion.
Events so various and important that they
might crowd and distinguish centuries, arc
iti our times compressed within the compass
of a singlo life. When has it happened that
history has had so much to record in the
same term of years as since the ltith day of
April, 1770 the dav on which tho first blood
was spilt that forever separated America from
Great Britain, and gave to the former not
only a rank. among the notions of the earth,
but that which only can exalt a nation liltcr
ty und free institutions, which arc the dura
ble foundations of its glory and rising pros
perity. Its tranquility and happiness; its in
creasing population and wealth, the rapidity
of which is unexampled in the annuls of the
world.
Our own revolution, under other circum
stances, might itself have been expected to
occasion u war of half a century, has been
achieved, 28 sovereign and independent states
erected ; a general government established
over them, so safe, so wise, so free, so patri
otic, nnd so practical, that wo might well
wonder the establishment should havo been
accomplished so soon, were it not fo." the
greater wonder it should have been establish,
ed at all. Two or three millions of pcopis
have been augmented to upwards of twenty,
and tho great forest of the west prostrated bv
the successful arm of industry, and tho dw ell.
ers on the shores of the Atlantic become the
neighbors of the hardy pioneers of tho valley
of the mighty Mississippi, and even the sum
mit of the great Stony mountains, is no Ion
ger a barrier to tho enterprising Anglo-Saxon
; the institutions, cradled and nourished
by experience to maturity, urc annually
transported across tho summit and through
the sandy desert to the shores of tho Pacific,
uud ere long, the inhabitants of tho beautiful
and productive valleys of the Columbia will
be ingrafted into the great republic, and be
come the key to commerce between the nev-er-ending
enterprise of tho U. States and the
east. At present wo havo a commerce which
leuves no sea unexplored ; navies that takes
no law from superior forces ; revenues ade
quate to all emergencies of tho government.
Europe, within thn period of our existence
as a nation, has been agitated by a mighty
revolution ''at has shaken to tho centre her
political fabric, and dashed against one un
olher thrones that had stood truuquil for ages.
On this, our continent, our own example has
been followed, even within the memory of
many who are present; colonies have sprung
up to bo nations ; Texas has taken tho lead,
and will be a beacon light to others, to cheer
them on in that truly christian faith, that the
people uro capable of self-governmont, and
if permitted to judge of the futuro from tho
past, wo are sanguine that tho day is not far
distant when- tho eagle of liberty and self
government will cry aloud in accents not to
bo misunderstood, and proclaim to the inhab
itants of North America glad tidings of great
joy. You wcro created to govern, not to be
governed ; the institutions of your govern
ment, founded upon equal rights, entitle you
to tho admiration of tho world.
In view of our own cxaltod station, wo uro
led to inquire where aro our fathers who be
queathed to us our national honor and our
Individual huppincsn? those voncrables who,
for us, faced the roar of the hostile cannon;
witnessed tho conflagration of their own hous
cs; the ground strown with tho dead and the
dying; tho impetuous charge; the steady and
successful repulse; tho loud call to repeated
assault; tho summoning of ull that was man
ly to repeated resistance ; thousands of bo
soms freely and fearlessly bared in an in
stant to whatever of terror there may bo in
war or death? Where are thoy now? for they
witness them no more. All is poaco. Alas!
they aro not hero; they aro gathered to their
fathers, nnd livo only to their country in her
grateful remembrance, ami their own bright
example. With them we remember the
names of our beloved Washington, tho fa
thcr of his country, and a host of other he
roes and statesmen, eminent, revered, and
beloved ; among those mon of noblo daring,
thcro was one who now sleeps in tho bosom
of his own native soil he was a gallant
young stranger, who left his delightful home;
the people he came to succor wcro not his
people he knew them only in tho wicked
story of their wrongs; ho wus no morcenary
wretch, striving for tho spoils of the van
quished ; he ranked umong nobles and look
ed unawed upon kings; ho was no friendless
outcast; his kinsmen were about him; pcucc,
tranquility and innocence shed their mingled
delight around him, and to crown the en
chantment of the situation, had a wife, said
i to be lovely even beyond her sex, and graced
with every accomplishment tfiut would ren
der her irresistible, ut the age of 15 had
blessed him with her love, and made him the
partner of her life; the evidence itself would
have convinced you that this is but a feint
picture of the reulity; yet from ull theso he
turned away, and comes like a lofty tree that
shakes down its green glories to battle with
the winter's siorm ; he came, but not in the
day ot success! ul rebellion ; not when the
new risen sun of independence had burst the
cloud of time and curcerd to its place in the
heavens; he camo when darkness curtuiued
the bills, and the tempest was abroad in its
anger wl)cu the plow stood still in the field
of promise, and briers cumbered tho garden
of beauty when fathers werr dying und mo
titers weeping when the .ifo was binding
up the gashed bosom ' . tier husband, and the
maiden was wipiV the death-damp from the
brow of her If .cr; he camo when the brave
began to fur . the power of man and the pious
to doubt t1 i favor of God. It wus then, when
tho gallant stranger joined the rank! of a
Ecrsccuted people freedom's little phalanx
id a grateful welcome with them he
courted tho battle's rage with theirs, his
arm was lifted ; with theirs, his blood was
shed long und doubtful was the conflict.
At length kind heaven smiled on the good
cause, und the beaten invuders fled; tho pro.
fano wus driven from thn temple of liberty;
many brave struck the redeeuung blow for
their own freedom ; hut wiu, like tills man,
has bared his bosom iff the cause of strait
gers? Others have lived in tho lovo of thoir
own people ; but who, like this man, has
drank tho sweetest cup of welcome with
strangers? Matchless chief of glory ! Gen
orations of men, yet unborn, will repeat the
beloved name of Lafayette.
But we turn to that imperishable glory be
qucathed to us, their children that imper
ishable glory that is blazing over tho gorge
ous fields of liberty. The star-spangled ban
ner, with her golden eagle of equal rights, is
the common heritage of ovory American citi.
zen, when he dwells on the sublime and
eventful scenes enacted at Bunker's Hill,
Trenton, Yorktown, Chippewa, New Orleans,
the Thames, and on tho proud waves of Erie
and Champlain, tho firo of national cnthusi
asm will sparkle in his oyc, and tho flush of
national superiority will mantle in his check,
and he will triumphantly exclaim, I am an
American citi7.cn, and her Union is mino.
And now let us indulge in honest cxulta
tation, in tho conviction of tho benefit which
tho example of ourcountry has produced, and
is likely to produco ; and let us so endeavor
to comprehend in all its magnitude, and ho
feel in all its importance, the part assigned
to us in tho great drama of human affairs,
placed at the head of a system of a represen
tative and popular government, thus far our
example shows that such, governments aro
compatible, not only with respectability and
jtowor, but with repose, with peace, with se
curity of personal rights. Our history hith-
orto proves that the popular form is practi
cable, and that with wisdonf and knowledge
men may govern themselves, and tho duty
incumbent on uh is to persevere in tho con
sistency of tho cheering example, und take
caro that nothing may weaken its forco and
authority with tho world. If, in our case, tho
representative system ultimately fuiln, Hpu
lar systems of government must be pronoun
ced impossible v No combination of circum
stances mom favorable to the experiment
can ever (to exacted to occur; the lust hopes
of mankind therefore rests with us; uud if it
should bo procluimn J that our example hud
become an argument against the experiment,
tho knell of populur liberty would ho sound
ed throughout tho eurth. These uro excite
ments to duty they ure not suggestion1 of
doubt.
While the spirit of union triumphs, we huve
nnthing to fear from the animosities of purty,
however turbulent, they wilj bo harmless;
like tho commotions of tho physicul world,
they will be necessury. May thn day be fur
distunt when it shttll w said of this country
that it has no parties; for it must ulso be said,
ifuny be bold enough to say it, thut they have
no liberties. Let huwk-oyed jealousy he
forever on the nlert, to watch the footsteps of
power fear not purty zeal, for it is the
salt of jour existence. There are no pur
ties under u despotism there, no mun lin
gers round u hullot.hox; no mint distracts Ins
betid olioiit the science of government there
is n culm sea.
It is no vain remark to make here that the
eyes of the world Jiavu been watching our
republican form of gooriiuicnt for 70 years,
during which time wn huve rim the glorious
race of empire ; friends have guzed in fear,
tod foes in scorn: but feur has turned to joy,
and scorn is lost in wonder. 'Die great ami
united experiments of American -tatcuien
huve succeeded. Mankind beholds the sjiec.
tacle of u lurid, whose crow u is u isdoni
whose heraldry is talent; a land where pub-
lie sentiment is suprcne, ami where ccr
mun erects the pyramid of his own tame.
Hut the cry of ci 'TV American citizen is,
ourcountn! our country! On our country
heaven's highest blessings are di Mending.
1 would not, for I need not, use the language
of inflation ; but the decree has gone forth,
and us sure us the blue arch of bciiM-n is in
beuuly ulxivo u, so sure will it spun tho
mightiest domini'n of tho earth ; imagina
tion cannot outstrip reality, when it coutem
plates our destinies as a people.
One half century ugo, the rich and eteu
sis country situute between the Allcghtiuv
and Stony mountains, slept in solitury love,
lincss ; fifty yeurs changed the churaeti r of
that country, and very nearly blotted from
its face the peculiar people that once inlmb
ited it. Art in u greut measure has Usurp
ed the power of nature; the children of edu
cation ure too (Kiwerful for the tribes of ubo
Jiglnccs that inliiiln't this continent. As u
ace, they have withered, uud will continue
to do so until their arrows urc all broken
their springs nil dried up; ticir w igw ams re
turned to the dust ; their ijouucil fires will
go out ; their war-cry will not be heurd
they havo been long sinking before the iiiigh
ty tide which bus been pressing them from
the rining of the sun to the setting; they will
soon hear the roar of the Just wave that will
settle over them forever; Niges hence the in
quisitive white man, a.s he stands by soino
growing city, will wonder to what maimer
of persons they belonged.
American citizens, you should feel proud
thut your destiny has been cast, ut this pur
ticulur uge of ihe world, where the pious
men in the desert region may build u city of
refuge, around which they may erect an im
pregnuble wall of safety, to enjoy and 6r
petuutn religious freedom; tho sucred herald
of civil liberty, on the liorick columns of
which u majestic temple has been raised,
nnd they who dwell within its wulls, will
never bow in bondage to man, until they for
get to bend in reverence to God.
Tho regular toasts read on tho occasion,
will bo found in unothor pnrt of this pupor.
New Root. Mr. Hunnay, of Dalquhairn,
has obtained ono or two varieties of tho pot a
to, from South America. Tho icuna has also
been introduced by him, a, root something be
tween tho yam and tho potato. ' This year
ho has about a score of sets, which are prom
ising to do remarkably well. In tho event
of their coming to tho proper maturity, wo
havo no doubt the use of them will gradual
ly spread. Dumfries Herald,