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As James MONROE was the revolutionary comrade of ALEXANDER MURRAY, and his unvarying friend to the day of his death, the following hasty sketch of that GREAT MAN is attempted with deep solicitude, and inserted here with a diffidence which cannot be expressed.-
CHARACTER AND OFFICIAL SERVICES OF
FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.
JAMES MONROE was born upon the soil which his ancestors acquired in the early settlements of Virginia. It was his beneficent destiny to have been born in the midst of great men ; and to have had the examples of the great, constantly within his aspiring view. That human pre-eminence, which, to human beings at a distance, assumes an inaccessible elevation, became familiar with him by being in contact with it, and almost imperceptibly rising as that ascended.
His was not a sudden flight from humble mediocrity to unrivalled eminence—but a regular gradation from minor stations, to the most elevated post occupied by living man.
In youth, he passed through the discipline of the schools, and acquired the honours of an academician. No sooner was he invested with these distinctions, than he assumed those of a character totally diverse--the insignia of a warrior.
As a young subaltern, he first faced the implacable foe of the rising Republic, at the Heights of Hærlem. At White Plains he met the same foe, clad in American armour,
At seventeen, when even hoary-headed veterans were desponding, and hoary-headed, and iron-hearted tories were exulting over the desperate emergencies of the strugling colonies, the lieutenant remained true to Washington, to AMERICA and to INDEPENDENCE.
At Trenton, in the midst of the warring elements, and the warring danger between Freemen and vassals, and at the moment of victory, he was prostrated by a wound, all but mortal. He survived--not to shew his shattered limb, or boast of a desperate wound, but to follow, to face and to fight the enemy, until they yielded, or until he fell.
As Aid-de-Camp to a superior officer, he fought in the sanguinary battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. He entered the army of the Revolution as Lieutenant-he left it a Colonel—and left it with the unqualified approbation of his comrades and of Washington, the Father of his Country.
With a man who united in himself the qualities of a great jurist, a profound statesman and a sound philosopher, Thomas Jefferson, he studied the science of law-the science of government, and the science of human nature. Deeply versed in them all, he commenced his civil, legislative, and diplomatic career; or rather he was propelled into these various and responsible situations, by the unsolicited suffrages of his discerning countrymen.
The motto that has governed his whole conduct, in every public station is found in his own official language* FROM A JUST RESPONSIBILITY I SHALL NEVER SHRINK."
At the age of twenty-three years, he was a member of the highest branch of the legislature of Virginia.
At twenty-four, he was elected a member of the most profound body of men ever convened in the Western Hemisphere, and who had to discharge the most important and solemn duty ever devolved upon an human tribunal. It was no less than to govern three millions of high-minded people, in whom was awakened the slumbering spirit of Freedom which once glowed in the bosoms of Saxon Freemen in England. They were always English Freemen in America—they had now become Independent Americans.
They had dauntlessly hurled the gauntlet of defiance at the most potent empire on earth, and had tore asunder the ligament that bound them to it. Mr. Monroe had fought with them as a soldier--he had legislated with them as civilians-he knew them theoretically and practically. Although the youngest member of that august body, and although he had acquired by intuition, the maturity of age and the wisdom of experience, he was still " Vir sapientiæ studiosus."
The course he pursued, pointed him out to the venerable, and gigantic statesmen of that unequalled assembly, as one of the rising hopes of the rising Republic. When, by the cautious limitation of civil power, he could no longer retain a seat in that body, he left it with the approbation of all.
He retired to the bosom of his native state, and found, in every citizen a warm friend. He was elected a member of the Virginia Convention, which was amongst the first to adopt the American Constitution. The year after its adoption, at the age of thirty-one, he was elected to the