Page images
PDF
EPUB

ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR WARFIELD

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY CHARLES J. BONAPARTE introduced the
Governor in the following words: Paul Jones was an immigrant; a na-
tive of none of our States; his glory belongs to them all. To speak for the
thirteen he served and for the thirty-two since admitted to share the bless-
ings of our national liberty and national greatness, we call upon that one
which has given the nation its seat of rule and his remains their resting
place. I present to you the Governor of Maryland.

A

FTER the clear and striking portrayals of the character and genius

of John Paul Jones, to which we have just listened with so much

pleasure and profit, it would be superfluous to dwell further upon his personal traits or his wonderful naval achievements.

Whatever else may be said of him, there can be no doubt that the love of liberty was the master passion of his soul, and that he longed to have his name and fame associated with his adopted country, America.

What a remarkable fulfillment of that longing is this unique event, this splendid inspiring audience.

If “Honor's voice could provoke the silent dust, and flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of Death," then would this dead hero have heard the tribute, paid him one hundred and fourteen years after his death, by the patriotic President of the Republic which he helped to founda Republic which has grown from a confederation of thirteen feeble struggling colonies to a mighty Union of forty-five sovereign States, with eighty millions of people.

When the news was flashed across the Atlantic just one year ago that Ambassador Porter's five years of weary searching had been crowned with success, that he had found and identified the remains of John Paul Jones, I at once, as governor of this State, urged through the public press that his body should be brought here for final entombment, upon the historic soil of Maryland, in yonder beautiful memorial chapel, which is destined to be the Westminster Abbey for our naval heroes.

Upon what more hallowed or appropriate ground could the ashes of this brilliant sea fighter rest? Would he not himself have selected this in preference to all other places?

Maryland is the birthplace, the nursery, of the American Navy. Here are trained the men whose duty it is to maintain the prestige and the power of our country upon the seas of the world.

In the beginning of our national history Maryland fitted out to support the patriot cause, at her own expense, a dozen war vessels. They were small, yet they did splendid service.

Joshua Barney, a Marylander, the first commodore of our Navy, the hero of two wars, commanded one of these vessels, and flung to the breeze in Maryland the first continental flag.

A Marylander, Samuel Nicholson, was a lieutenant under John Paul Jones on the Bonhomme Richard in the battle with the Serapis, and was later the first commander of the historic Constitution.

A Marylander, Stephen Decatur, in the war with Tripoli, with eighty men, cut out the Philadelphia, manned by fivefold his own force, and surrounded by hostile batteries and war vessels.

You, Mr. President, in your admirable and exhaustive History of the Naval War of 1812, pronounce this one of the boldest expeditions of the kind on record, and Lord Nelson declared it to be the most daring act of the age.

A Marylander, Midshipman Joseph Israel, was one of the officers who perished on the night of September 14, 1804, in the harbor of Tripoli, in the attempt to destroy the Tripolitan fleet.

A Marylander, Jesse Duncan Elliott, performed a feat on Lake Erie similar to that of Decatur in Tripoli, when he captured the Detroit and the Caledonia.

A Marylander, Commodore John Rodgers, fired the first gun in the brilliant naval war of 1812.

During that war Maryland furnished forty-six officers-one-fifth of the total number—more than were furnished by any other State, and more than by all New England combined.

In the number of privateers fitted out Maryland again heads the list, and you, Mr. President, estimate that she furnished at least one-eighth of all the sailors in that war.

In the war with Mexico, Maryland was equally prominent in the Navy, and it was a son of Maryland, Capt. W. A. T. Maddox, of the John Paul Jones Commemoration

37

Marine Corps, who first raised the Stars and Stripes over that portion of our land which lies along the Pacific.

I will not dwell upon Maryland's naval record in the civil war. She furnished many gallant men who wore the blue and many equally gallant men who wore the gray in that unfortunate contest.

Maryland's record in the Spanish war is fresh in our memories. The list of her sons who fought in that war is a long one, and I have not time to mention them all.

But one name stands out conspicuously—the name of whom all Marylanders are justly proud-Winfield Scott Schley.

This Academy, the alma mater of many distinguished naval officers, renowned in peace no less than in war, who have upheld the glory of our flag, was organized by a son of Maryland—the gallant Admiral Franklin Buchanan, its first superintendent.

The present head of this institution, Admiral Sands, under whose direction such excellent work is being done to-day, is of Maryland stock, and it is a pleasing coincidence that our able and accomplished Secretary of the Navy, who is presiding over these ceremonies, is also a native of our State.

Paul Jones, on the Ranger, flew the flag of our country on the high seas which was first saluted by a foreign power. He loved that flag, and often exclaimed: “The flag and I are twins, born the same hour and from the same womb of destiny."

A Marylander immortalized in verse that “Star-Spangled Banner." How fitting, then, that the ashes of Francis Scott Key and John Paul Jones should forever rest upon the soil of Maryland.

This is sacred ground upon which we stand. Here, on October 19, 1774, the first overt act against the authority of the King of England took place.

Anthony Stewart had, in violation of the nonimportation act, brought into this harbor a cargo of tea in his brig Peggy Stewart.

This open defiance of the colonists aroused their indignation and stirred their spirit of vengeance.

Stewart, realizing his peril, abjectly apologized for his act and offered to destroy the tea. This did not satisfy the aroused patriots and Sons of Liberty.

Down from the back hills and up from the lowlands of Maryland the young patriots, led by men of bold and determined spirit and bearing aloft a banner upon which was inscribed “Liberty, or death in pursuit of it," rode to Annapolis.

Assembling in front of yonder old brick house, their leader, addressing Stewart, said: “You must burn your ship and its cargo of tea or hang."

Stewart chose not to hang, and forthwith, accompanied by the chief of the band of patriots, boarded his brig and applied the torch; and she, with her cargo, was burned to the water's edge.

For this act these young Sons of Liberty were called by the loyalists “Mohocks.” For capturing the Drake and the Serapis John Paul Jones was characterized by the British a pirate and freebooter.

The tea burning at Boston is renowned as an act of unexampled daring at that day in the defense of American liberty; but this tea burning at Annapolis far surpassed it in utter carelessness of concealment.

It was an instance of the most open and determined opposition to the oppressive measures of the British Government.

This ancient city has always been animated by a spirit of patriotism.

In that old statehouse the colonists met in July, 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence, resolved to throw off the British yoke, and for that purpose formed the Association of Freemien of Maryland.

It was in the senate chamber in that venerable building that George Washington, on the 23d day of December, 1783, handed back to Congress, his commission to command the Revolutionary forces.

In that same chamber, on January 14, 1784, the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the colonies was ratified by the Continental Congress.

In that same room, in September, 1786, there was held, at the suggestion of George Washington, a convention composed of representatives from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland.

Its deliberations resulted in the calling of a convention, out of which grew that sublime instrument, the charter of our liberties, the Constitution of the United States.

Where, then, Mr. President, could you have found a more appropriate spot for the final resting place for the body of John Paul Jones?

John Paul Jones Commemoration

39

Here it will repose amid the associations and the memorials connected with the history of our Navy, an ever-present inspiration to the young men who are here trained for service upon the sea.

As illustrating the value of an example of fighting qualities, I am reminded of an incident told by Admiral Dewey when he laid the corner stone of the memorial chapel here.

He said that a friend had asked him what thoughts were uppermost in his mind as he entered Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, when he destroyed the Spanish fleet and won that glorious victory.

Replying, he said: "I was thinking of what Farragut would do if he were here."

The American nation owes you, General Porter, a debt of gratitude for the patriotic work you did in searching for these remains.

At your own expense, with unflagging determination and devotion, you undertook and carried through to success what was declared by many to be a hopeless quest.

Your achievement is a source of great pride to your compatriots of the patriotic societies of our country and has aroused anew their enthusiasm in carrying out the purposes of their respective organizations.

Especially is this true of the society of the Sons of the American Revolution, over which at one time you presided as president-general,

All Americans, and especially we of Maryland, will ever hold you an unselfish patriot-one who loves his country and her splendid traditions.

The people of the United States can never forget the aid that France rendered our patriot fathers when they were struggling for freedom from British rule. Her generous services made the independence of the colonies possible. So, sir, the gratitude of the American people to France will continue forever.

La Fayette occupies a place in our hearts second only to that of Washington, and a monument stands on our Capitol Hill to De Kalb, who fell while leading Maryland troops in the hard-fought battle of Camden.

The French troops under command of La Fayette and Rochambeau encamped here in 1781 on the way to Yorktown, and again in 1782 on their return after the surrender of Cornwallis.

Their presence here, in March, 1781, saved our city from sack and the capitol from destruction by the British fleet, then in the Chesapeake Bay.

« PreviousContinue »