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Arad Thomas.

Pioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations online

. (page 30 of 32)
Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 30 of 32)
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and was a common superstition of the times. The
excellent and pious Baxter held the existence of
witches as certain as the punishment of the wicked,
and the great and good Sir Matthew Hale, that able
judge, and profound luminary of the law, believed in
witchcraft as sincerely as did Cotton Mather.

The superstitions of the dark ages were then enter-
tained by the most enlightened and liberal minded men
everywhere, and it would be requiring too much, to
expect our forefathers to have freed themselves from
opinions we may deem absurd, but which up to that
time, and by all otlier men then, \\ ere held woi'thy of
acceptation.

I know we are sometimes charged with using ex-
travagant eulogium in speaking of the New England
Puritans of the okhni time. But making due allow-
ance for their eccentricities of character and conduct,
resulting from circumstances with which they stood



432 PIONEER HISTORY

connected, wo may look in vain to find in the early
history of any other people, snch noble patriotism,
fervent piety, sound wisdom, and incorruptible hon^
esty as in the case before us.

They had all been trained in the same school of
adversity, and possessed in a wonderful degree Iden-
tit}^ of sentiment, sympathy and character in all their
conduct and opinions which impressed itself upon all
their laws, their individual and social arrangements,
and njion every institution and action which found
place among them.

Intiexible and steadfast in their cherished princi-
ples, they trained their children in the faith and prac*
tices of their fathers, and the combined influence of
such faith and works, we may see in their effects
upon the energy and enterprise, the love of liberty,
the respect for law and order, good morals, religion,
learning and true patriotism, which, inspired by such
examples, has ever distingushed their descendants
down tlirough the period of more than two hundred
years.

We need not sounding eulogy or words of windy
panegyric to prove the value of New England intelli-
gence, integrity and power, in moulding and guiding
the rising destinies of our country. The wisdom of
her statesmen, the heroism of her soldiers, and the
spirit and conduct of her people, secured our nation-
al independence, and established our national federa-
tion of independent States upon the broad basis of
constitutional liberty. And even up to now this ele-
ment has always been prominent, I had almost said
controlling, in the legislation of most of the States,
and at Washington.

A few years since some curious individual ascer'
tained on enquiry, that thirtj'^-six of the members of
the two Houses of Congress, then in session, were
born in the single State of Connecticut.



OK ORLEANS COT^XTY. 433

In tljf ]MJi,



Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 30 of 32)