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anknown English gentleman. The mutilated inscription, as it appears upon the back of the portrait at Mount Vernon, was published in Alden's Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions, as early as the year 1814.
The following is a copy of the original on the back of the Sharpless profile given by Mr. Smith to Mr. Hal] ·
The DEFENDER of his COUNTRY,
The FOUNDER of LIBERTY,
The FRIEND Of MAN.
HISTORY and TRADITION are explored in vain
For a Parallel to his Character.
In the Annals of MODERN GREATNESS,
He stands alone,
And the noblest Names of Antiquity
Lose their Lustre in his presence.
Born the Benefactor of Mankind,
He was signally endowed with all the Qualities
Appropriate to his Illustrious Career.
Nature made him Great,
And, Heaven directed,
He made himself Virtuous.
Called by his country to the Defence of her Soil
And the vindication of her Liberties,
He led to the Field
Her Patriot Armies;
and displaying in rapid and brilliant successions
The united Powers
Of Consummate Prudence
And Heroic Valour,
Ho triumphed in Arms
Over the most powerful Nation
Of Modern Europe;
His Sword giving Freedom to America,
His Counsels breathing Peace to the world.
After a short repose
From the tumultuous Vicissitudes
Of a Sanguinary War,
The astounding Energies of
Were again destined to a New Course
Of Glory and Usefulness.
The Civic Wreath
Was spontaneously placed
By the Gratitude of the Nation,
On ne Brow of the DELIVERER of his COUNTRY.
He was twice solemnly invested
With the Powers of Supreme Magistracy,
By the Unanimous Voice of
A Free People;
And in his EXALTED and ARDUOUS station,
His Wisdom in the Cabinet
Transcended the Glories of the Field,
The Destinies of Washington
Were now complete.
Having passed the Meridian of a Devoted Life,
Having founded on the Pillars
Of NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE
The SPLENDID FABRIC
Of a Great Republic,
And having firmly established
The Empire of the West,
He solemnly deposited on the Altar of his Conintry,
His Laurels and his Sworil,
And retired to the Shades
Of PRIVATE LIFE.
A Spectacle so New and so Sublime,
Was contemplated by Mankind
With the Profoundest admiration:
And the name of WASHINGTON,
Adding new Lustre to Ilumanity,
To the remotest regions of the Earth.
Magnanimous in Youth,
Glorious through Life,
Great in Death,
His highest Ambition
The Happiness of Mankind,
His noblest victory
The Conquest of Himself.
Bequeathing to America
The Inheritance of his Fame,
And building his Monument
In the Ileurts of his Countrymen,
The Ornament of the 18th Century;
IPMENTED BY A MOURING WORLD.
One hundred and sixteen years ago, Mount Vernon received its name, and from that time until the present year (1859) it has been owned and occupied by a Washington.
Lawrence Washington, as we have seen, named it in honor of his gallant friend, and from him it descended to his halfbrother, George, who occupied it more than forty years. By him it was bequeathed to his nephew, Bushrod, who lived there twenty-seven years. It then passed into the possession of John Augustine Washington, a son of Bushrod's brother Corbin. He died three years afterward, leaving it to his widow. At her death, in 1855, it became the property of her son, John Augustine Washington, who resides there.
For many years the Mount Vernon estate had been decaying. The ravages of time and the rust of neglect were rapidly destroying all that had received the care and culture of General Washington's mind and hand; and thoughtful and patriotic visitors often felt saddened when they saw the mansion and its dependent buildings, and other visible memorials of the great and good Father of his Country, evidently perishing.
The sad thoughts of these visitors led to patriotic action, and for a long time there was a growing desire felt throughout the Union, to have Mount Vernon become the property of the nation. The young owner, unable to keep the estate in proper order, and greatly annoyed by thousands of visitors every year, many of whom took liberties about the house and grounds, in apparently utter forgetfulness that they were private property, expressed a willingness to sell it for such a purpose. Congress was asked to buy it. The application was unsuccessful.
At length an American matron conceived the idea of appealing to her countrywomen in behalf of Mount Vernon She asked them to put forth their hands to the work of obtain. ing sufficient money to purchase it, that the HOME AND TOMB OF WASHINGTON might be a national possession forever. The idea was electric, and it was felt and responded to all over the land. Her invalid daughter, strengthened by the thought of being instrumental in accomplishing the great work, took the direction of the enterprise. She printed a strong appeal to her countrywomen; organized an association, and procured a charter of incorporation for it; bargained for the purchase of the mansion and appendages, and two hundred surrounding acres of the Mount Vernon estate, for two hundred thousand dollars, and began in great earnestness the work of obtaining that amount of money, and as much more for the restoration and support of the estate. By common consent she was constituted regent or chief manager, and she appointed vice-regente in every state in the Union as assistants.
The efforts of American women have been successful. . They have been cheered and aided by the best and wisest men of their country. EDWARD EVERETT, one of our most sagacious statesmen and accomplished scholars, devoted his tongue and pen to the work. He went from city to city, like Peter the Hermit pleading for the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre, delivering an oration upon the character of Washington for the benefit of the fund; and delighted crowds who listened to his eloquent words, contributed so freely, that in less than two years he paid into the treasury of the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association, one quarter of the purchase money. The whole amount has been obtained, and now Mount Vernon is no longer a private possession, but the property of the multitudes of