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Williams College, Aug. 21, 1850. Hon HENRY B. STANTON :
Dear Sir:-The undersigned, a Committee on behalf of the Adelphic Union Society, beg leave to tender to you our sincere and grateful acknowledgments for your able, eloquent and valuable Address, delivered before us last evening, and also to solicit a copy for publication. Very respectfully, yours,
R. W. SMITH, JAMES K. MILLS, CHAS. Mc E. HYDE.
GENTLEMEN :- The terms in which you convey to me the request of the Adelphic Union Society, for the publication of the Address I had the honor to deliver before them last evening, overcome my reluctance to send to the press so hastily prepared a production.
Very respectfully, your friend,
H. B. STANTON. To Messrs. Smith, Mills and Hyde, Committee, &c.
Aug. 21, 1850.
I APPEAR before you in the room of a citizen of your own State,* who had consented to address you on the present occasion, and whose eminent ability to instruct the gravity of age, and delight the buoyancy of youth, must have inspired in you anticipations of rare pleasure. I shall not attempt to fill his place, and shall deem myself fortunate if I am able, in some small measure, to mitigate the disappointment felt at the absence of one who associates in a very remarkable degree a fondness for the abstruse science of the law with a love for all that is graceful in literature; who combines surprising strength and acuteness of intellect with the most effective and fascinating forensic gifts ; and who, while strewing the path of eloquence with the choicest flowers, is ever carrying forward the heavy chain of ratiocination. All who enjoy an acquaintance with this distinguished son of Massachusetts, will join me in expressing the wish, that he may return from his foreign tour with invigorated health, and laden with spoils gathered
• Hon. Rufus Choate.
from the rich fields of jurisprudence, statesmanship, oratory and poetry, which the old world spreads before the traveller from the new.
We live in an era of Progress. Eyes scarcely dimmed with age have seen a few feeble colonies, scattered along the Atlantic coast, expand into a Confederacy of thirty independent States, extending its territory from the granite shores of New England to the golden strand of California, and from the pine forests of Lake Superior to the orange groves of the Rio Grande, teeming with twenty-five millions of intelligent and prosperous freemen, and in all the attributes of greatness attaining a first place among the nations of the earth.
Men now actively participating in the public affairs of Great Britain have seen the long-waged conflict between the prerogatives of the crown and the rights of the people, between the privileges of the aristocracy and the demands of the commonalty, result in concessions to the latter more worthy to be called a revolution than the events which dethroned the House of Stuart and crewned the Prince of Orange.
During the same period, France has been the theater of revolutions and counter-revolutions, whose history is more like a wild epic than a sober record. But, whether absolute king, revolutionary tribunal, directory, consul, emperor, constitutional king, or republican president has borne rule, the vivacious, apprehensive, comprehensive, not always discreet but never desponding genius of the people, has
impelled the nation forward in the path of improvement.
Germany, the heart of the European system, though so divided into antagonistic municipalities as to prevent unity of action among her masses, has, nevertheless, since the peace of 1815, steadily advanced towards that consummation of liberal government which her patient and persevering population will yet obtain.
And look where we may, on the banks of the Nile or the Tiber, on the shores of the Baltic or the Bosphorus, among the European colonies of North America or the quasi republics of the South, we see authority gradually yielding to the omnipresent sentiment, that governments were made for man, and not man for governments.
If we turn to other departments of human thought and action, we see progress achieving triumphs not less remarkable. A theory is faintly hinted to-day; by-and-by it is distinctly propounded; then come the attack and the defence; the defective parts are repudiated, and the sound systematized; and soon we see it revolutionizing some science or art, some dogma or creed, some custom or opinion. Grand discoveries in astronomy, geology and chemistry; unprecedented applications of light, heat, steam, electricity and magnetism; wonderful inventions of artists and artizans, flow in upon us with such rapidity and volume, that we have almost ceased to admire what would have filled with amazement the ripest minds of