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for many years the treasurer of the colony, and, dur-
ing a period of difficulty, their agent in England. As
a soldier, he was evidently the Von Moltke of the
Pilgrims They invested him with the general com-



THE STANUISH MONUMENT. 367

mand. Even in extreme old age the very year that
he died " very auncient and full of dolorous paines "
he received his last and fullest commission against
new enemies, his old friends, the Dutch.

" It is singular that among the primitive people,
who must often in the later Indian wars have missed
his counsel and conduct, as the poet describing
Venice, sighs,

" ' Oh ! for one hour of blind old Dandole.'

no clear tradition has descended of the place where
the war-worn bones of the soldier-pilgrim lie. Sent,
like Moses, to guide and guard a feeble people to a
promised land of power that he might never see, no
man knoweth his burial-place until this day.

" More than one hundred years ago, the following
paragraph appeared in the Boston " News-Letter,"
dated Boston, January 22, 1 770 : " We hear from ?
Plymouth that the 22d day of December last was there
observed by a number of gentlemen, by the name of
the Old Colony Club, in commemoration of the land-
ing of their ancestors in that place."

" The fourth toast on that occasion, a hundred and
one years ago, was, " To the memory of that brave
man and good officer, Capt. Miles Standish."

" Over the graves of the guests at that dinner,

" ' For fifty years the grasses have beeiv growing.'



368 MILES STANDISH.

Cut the principle of public fidelity shares the immor-
tality of God and Truth. Reverence for it never dies
till the decay of nations. And to-day we come to-
gether, the dwellers in the city and the dwellers on
the shore, men of every age and all professions, to
dedicate one spot of this parental soil for an enduring
monument to the same Myles Standish of the same
unladed record. The s'unlight of near three hundred
years, that has shone fatal on many a reputation since
his baby eyes first saw the light of England, has only
brought out the lasting colors of his fame.

" Believing, as I firmly do, that he was a useful, a
necessary citizen, because he was 'that brave man
and good officer ' at a time when soldierly qualities
were essential to the very life of the infant colony, it
seems to me providential for the colonists that one of
their number was, by temper and training, unable to
sympathize with that soft tenderness for human life
which is wont to characterize saintly-minded men,
like the Rev. Mr. Robinson, who, when he heard of
the marvelous conflict where Standish, with three or
four others, in a locked room, killed the same number
of hostile chiefs that were gathering their tribes to
exterminate the English, uttered these sorrowful
words : ' Oh ! that you had converted some before
you had killed any ! '

" The soldier practised that terrible piece of econ-



THE STANDISH MONUMENT. 369

omy which no saint of the company would have
dreamed of doing with his own hand. To borrow the
diction of the time, the gauntlet of the man of wrath
was the fold of the lambs of God. It was fortu-
nate for us who believe in Plymouth Rock, that one
trained soldier, who had faced war conducted by the
Duke of Alva, came out in the Mayflower.

" Myles Standish represented the true idea of
public service, vigorous fidelity, and trained fitness
for his place. In his single heroic person he pre-
sented the true idea of the army, skilled military
force in loyal subordination to the civil authority.
The confidence that the colony reposed in him to exe-
cute their most difficult commands as a soldier, seems
to prove that he revered, in the words of Mr. Robin-
son's farewell sermon, ' the image of the Lord's power
and authority which the magistrate beareth.'

"To be the founders of states is the first of glo-
ries, according to Lord Bacon. The career of our
Pilgrim hero is a beautiful illustration of an education
fitted to the great mission for which he seemed pecul-
iarly, strangely ordained.

" In grateful memory we consecrate this spot of
earth to a monument of the great Puritan Captain.
May its shadow fall upon his grave ! For two cen-
turies the stars have looked upon it. At what mo

ment of the night the circling moon may point it out
1 6*



37-} MILES STANDISH.

with shadowy finger, no mortal knows. No mortal
ear can hear the secret whispered to the night, ' Be-
neath this spot lies all of a hero that could die.' "

Several other eloquent addresses were made upon
the occasion by General B. F. Butler, Dr. Loring,
and other gentlemen of the highest social standing.
The community is deeply indebted to Stephen M.
Allen, Esq., one of the prominent citizens of Dux-
bury, for the time and money he has devoted to
furtherance of this good enterprise. As Correspond-
ing Secretary of the Standish Memorial Association,
he has been one of the most efficient agents in push-
ing forward the truly patriotic undertaking.

On Monday, the 7th of October, 1872, the corner
stone of the Standish monument was laid. It was in-
deed a gala day in the ancient town of Duxbury. It
is estimated that ten thousand people were present.
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of
Boston, acted as escort to the procession. Several
Masonic Lodges, with their glittering paraphernalia
took part in the imposing ceremonies. As the long
procession wound up the slope of Captain's Hill,
thousands of spectators lined their path on either side.
A memorial box was deposited under the corner-stone
with a metallic plate which bore the following in-
scription :



THE STANDISH MONUMENT. 371

THE CORNER STONE

OF THE

STANDISH MEMORIAL,
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE CHARACTER AND SERVICES



CAPTAIN MYLES STANDISH,
THE FIRST COMMISSIONED MILITARY OFFICER

OF NEW ENGLAND,
Laid on the summit of Captain's Hill, in Duxbury, under

the Superintendence ot

THE ANCIENT AND HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY
OF MASSACHUSETTS,

In presence of
THE STANDISH MONUMENT ASSOCIATION,

BY THE

M. W. GRAND LODGE OF FREE MASONS,

OF MASSACHUSETTS
M. W. SERENO D. NICKERSON, GRANDMASTER,

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF OCTOBER, A. D. 1872.

Being the Two Hundred and Fifty-second Year since

the First Settlement of New England

BY THE

PILGRIM FATHERS.

SITE CONSECRATED AUGUST 17, 1871.

ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED MAY 4, 1873.

ASSOCIATION ORGANIZED, AND GROUND BROKEN, JUNE

17^ 1878.
CORNER OF FOUNDATION LAID AUGUST 9, 1872.

This fine shaft rises one hundred and ten feet from
its base, and is surmounted by a bronze statue of the



372 MILES STANDISH.

Captain, in full uniform, twelve feet in height, and is
said to be a truthful likeness. The diameter of the
shaft, at its base, is twenty-eight feet. The structure
is of the finest quality of Quincy granite. I will close
this brief narrative with the eloquent words of Gen.
Horace Binney Sargent :

" High as the shaft may tower over headland and
bay ; deep as its foundation-stones may rest ; brightly
as it may gleam in the rising or setting sun upon the
mariner returning in the very furrow that the keel of
the Mayflower made, the principles of common-sense,
a citizen soldier's education for a citizen soldier's work,
the principles of moral truth, manly honesty, prudent
energy, fidelity incorruptible, courage undauntable,
all the qualities of manhood that compel unflinching
execution of the states' behest, are firmer and high-
er and brighter still. And to crown them all is rev-
erence to the Supreme Executive of Earth and
Heaven, who knows no feebleness of heart or hand,
and whose great purpose moved the war-worn Pil-
grim's feet 'to seek his home upon this rock-bound
continent, where the unceasing waves of two unfet-
tered oceans roar the choral hymn of Freedom."



THE END.



UCSB LIBRARY




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Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottMiles Standish, the Puritan captain .. → online text (page 21 of 21)