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technical science. He thought much, and thought justly upon the subject of education. He held several of the arts and sciences, which are taught in colleges, in great contempt. His specimen of modern learning in a tedious examination, the only object of which was to describe the properties of a “Salt Box,” published in the American Museum, for February, 1787, will always be relished as a morsel of exquisite humour.
Mr. Hopkinson possessed uncommon talents for pleasing in company. His wit was not of that coarse kind, which was calculated to set the table in a roar. It was mild and elegant, and infused eheerfulness and a species of delicate joy, rather than mirth, into the hearts of all who heard it. His empire over the attention and passions of his company, was not purchased at the expense of in
A person who has passed many delightful hours in his society, declared, with pleasure, that he never once heard him use a profané expression, nor utter a word, which would have made a lady blush, or have clouded her countenance for a moment with a look of disapprobation. It is this species of wit alone, that indicates a rich and powerful imagination, while that which is tinctured with profanity, or indelicacy, argues poverty of genius inasmuch as they have both been considered very properly as the cheapest products of the mind.
Mr. Hopkinson's character for abilities and patriotism, procured him the confidence of his countrymen in the most trying exigencies of their affairs. He represented the state of New Jersey, in Congress, in the year 1776, and subscribed the ever memorable declaration of Independence. He held an appointment in the loan office for several years, and afterwards succeeeded George Ross, Esquire, as judge of the admiralty for the state of Pennsylvania. In this station be continued till the year 1790, when he was appointer judge of the listrict court in Pennsylvania, by the illustrious Washington, then President of the United States, and in each of these judicial offices, he conducted himself with the greatest ability and integrity.
His person was a little below the common size. His features were small, but extremely animated. His speech was quick, and all his motions seemed to partake of the unceasing activity and versatility of the powers of his mind.
It only remains to add, to this account of Mr. Hopkinson, that the various causes which contributed to the establishment of the independence and federal government of the United States, will not be fully traced, unless much is ascribed to the irresistible influence of the ridicule which he poured forth, from time to time, upon the enemies of those great political events.
He was an active and useful member of three great parties, which at different times divided his native state. He was a whig, a republican, and a federalist, and he lived to see the principles and the wishes of each of those parties finally and universally successful. Although his labours had been rewarded with many plentiful harvests of well earned fame, yet his death, to his country and his friends, was premature. He had been subject to frequent attacks of the gout in his head, but for some time before his death, he had enjoyed a considerable respite from them. On Sunday evening, May 8th, 1791, he was somewhat indisposed, and passed a restless night. He rose on Monday morning at his usual hour, and breakfasted with his family. At seven o'clock, he was seized with an apoplectic fit, which in two hours put a period to his existence, in the 53d year of his age.
HOPKINS, STEPHEN, a distinguished patriot and statesman, was a native of that part of Providence, Rhode Island, which now forms the town of Scituate. He was born in March, 1707. In
his youth, he disclosed high promise of talents, and soon became esteemed for his growing worth, his early virtues, and his regular and useful life. At an early period, he was appointed a justice of the peace, was employed extensively in the business of surveying lands, and was appointed to various other offices, some of which were responsible and important; and he discharged the duties of all, wit': great ability and faithfulness, and with equal advantage to his own reputation and the public interest. In 1754, he was appointed å member of the board of commissioners, which assembled at Albany, to digest and concert à plan of union for the colonies. Shortly after this he was chosen chief justice of the superior court of the colony of Rhode Island; and in 1755, he was elevated to the office of chief magistrate of the colony, and continued in this dignified and important station about eight years, but not in succession. He was, also, for several years, chancellor of the College. At the commencement of the difficulties between the colonies and Great Britain, governor Hopkins took an early, active, and decided part in favour of the former. He wrote a pamphlet in support of the rights and claims of the colonies, called * the Rights of the Colonies examined," which was published by order of the general assembly. He was a member of the immortal congress of "76, which declared these states, (then colonies) to be “ free, sovereign and independent;" and his signature is attached to this sublime and important instrument, which has no example in the archives of nations.
Governor Hopkins was not only distinguished as a statesman and patriot, but as a man of business; having been extensively engaged in trade and navigation, and also concerned in manufactures and agriculture. He was a decided advocate, and a zealous supporter, both of civil and religious liberty, a firm patriot, a friend to his country, and a patron of useful public institutions. He possessed a sound and discriminating mind, and a clear and comprehensive understanding; was alike distinguished for his public and private virtues, being an able and faithful public officer, and an eminently useful private citizen.
Governor Hopkins finished his long, honourable and useful life, on the 20th July, 1785, in the 79th year of his age.
KNOX, HENRY, major-general in the American army during the revolutionary war, was born in Boston, July 25, 1750. His parents were of Scottish descent. Before our revolutionary war, which afforded an opportunity for the devolopement of his patriotic feelings and military talents, he was engaged in a bookstore. By means of his early education, and this honourable employment, he acquired a taste for literary pursuits, which he retained through life.
Young Knox gave early proofs of his attachment to the cause of freedom and his country. It will be recollected, that, in various parts of the state, volunteer companies were formed in 1774, with a view to awaken the martial spirit of the people, and as a sort of preparation for the contest which was apprehended. Knox was an officer in a military corps of this denomination; and was distinguished by his activity and discipline. There is evidence of his giving uncommon attention to military tactics at this period, especially to the branch of enginery and artillery, in which he afterwards so greatly excelled.
It is also to be recorded, in proof of his predominant love of country, and its liberties, that he had before this time, become connected with a very respectable family, which adhered to the measures of the British ministry, and had received great promises both of honorịr and profit, if he would
follow the standard of his sovereign. Even at this time his talents were too great to be overlooked; and it was wished, if possible, to prevent him from attaching himself to the cause of the provincials. He was one of those whose departure from Boston was interdicted by governor Gage, soon after the affair of Lexington. The object of Gage was probably not so much to keep these eminent characters as hostages, as to deprive the Americans of their talents and services. In June, however, he found means to make his way through the British lines, to the American army at Cambridge. He was here received with joyful enthusiasm: for his knowledge of the military art, and his zeal for the liberties of the coumtry, were admitted by all.The provincial congress then convened at Watertown, immediately sent for him, and entrusted solely to him the erection of such fortresses as might be necessary to prevent a sudden attack from the enemy in Boston.
The little army of militia, collected in and about Cambridge, in the spring of 1775, soon after the battle of Lexington, was without order and discipline. All was insubordination and confusion. General Washington did not arrive to take command of the troops until after this period. In this state of things, Knox declined any particular cominission, though he readily directed his attention and exertions to the objects which congress requestel.
It was in the course of this season, and before he had formally undertaken the command of the artillery, that Knox volunteered his services to go to St. John's, in the province of Canada, and to bring thence to Cambridge, all the heavy ordnance and military stores. This hazardous enterprize he effected in a manner which astonished all who knew the difficulty of the service.
Soon after his return from this fortunate expe