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ADDRESS TO THE DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, CONTINENTAL HALL, WASHINGTON, OCTO
BER 11, 1915
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, at whose meeting in the City of Washington on October 11, 1915, the following address was delivered, was organized in Washington, October 11, 1890. The objects of the Society, as stated by Article 2 of its Constitution, are:
“1. To perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, by the acquisition and protection of historical spots, and the erection of monuments; by the encouragement of historical research in relation to the Revolution and the publication of its results; by the preservation of monuments and relics, and of the records of the individual services of Revolutionary soldiers and patriots, and by the promotion of celebrations of all patriotic anniversaries.
* 2. To carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, 'to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion, and afford to young and old such advantages as shall develop in them the largest capacity for performing the duties of American citizens.
“3. To cherish, maintain, and extend the institution of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty."
MADAM PRESIDENT AND LADIES AND GENTLEMEN :
Again it is my very great privilege to welcome you to the City of Washington and to the hospitalities of the Capital. May I admit a point of ignorance? I was surprised to learn that this association is so young, and that an association so young should devote itself wholly to memory I cannot believe. For to me the duties to which you are consecrated are more than the duties and the pride of memory.
There is a very great thrill to be had from the memories of the American Revolution, but the Ameri
can Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation, and the duty laid upon us by that beginning is the duty of bringing the things then begun to a noble triumph of completion. For it seems to me that the peculiarity of patriotism in America is that it is not a mere sentiment. It is an active principle of conduct. It is something that was born into the world, not to please it but to regenerate it. It is something that was born into the world to replace systems that had preceded it and to bring men out upon a new plane of privilege. The glory of the men whose memories you honor and perpetuate is that they saw this vision, and it was a vision of the future. It was a vision of great days to come when a little handful of three million people upon the borders of a single sea should have become a great multitude of free men and women spreading across a great continent, dominating the shores of two oceans, and sending West as well as East the influences of individual freedom. These things were consciously in their minds as they framed the great Government which was born out of the American Revolution; and every time we gather to perpetuate their memories it is incumbent upon us that we should be worthy of recalling them and that we should endeavor by every means in our power to emulate their example.
The American Revolution was the birth of a nation; it was the creation of a great free republic based upon traditions of personal liberty which theretofore had been confined to a single little island, but which it was purposed should spread to all mankind. And the singular fascination of American history is that it has been a