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ON RESIGNING THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF MASSACHUSETTS, JANUARY 17, 1812.
[“ COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
“ Thursday, 16th January, 1812. “The Speaker signified that his duty elsewhere would not permit him to officiate in the House, after to-morrow.
“ Friday, 17th January, 1812. "On motion of the Hon. Mr. Bigelow, of Medford
“ Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of this House be presented to the Hon. Joseph Stou, Esq., for his able, faithful, and impartial discharge of the duties of the chair, during the present year.
“ The foregoing Resolution, being passed in a very full House, and by the Clerk declared to be unanimous, the Speaker rose and addressed them as follows:"]
GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Tue flattering commendations, recorded in your recent vote, claim, in return, the most sincere expressions of my gratitude. To the good opinion of my fellow-citizens I could never pretend an indifference; and I am free to confess, that the approbation of the Representatives of an enlightened people could not have been conveyed in a manner, better calculated to excite my highest sensibility
The time has now arrived, when it becomes necessary for me to ask your indulgence to retire from the chair, which your suffrages heretofore assigned me. On this occasion, which is probably the last, on which I shall ever have the privilege to address you, I feel an unusual interest mingled with inexpressible melancholy. I have to bid farewell to many distinguished friendships, which have been the pride and pleasure of my life. With many of you I have, for a series of years, shared the labors and the duties of legislation, sometimes with success, and sometimes with defeat. With all of you I have rejoiced to coöperate in support of the character and principles of our native state--a state, which was the cradle, and, I trust in God, will be the perpetual abode, of liberty.
May I be permitted to add that, during the period, in which I have had the honor to preside over your deliberations, the manly confidence, the elevated candor, and the invariable decorum of the House, have smoothed a seat, which, though adorned with
flowers and honors, is to the ingenuous mind the thorny pinnacle
Called, as I now am, to act in other scenes, I cannot but feel the deepest humility in weighing my own deficiencies, and the new responsibility imposed upon me; at the same time I cannot but recollect, that I leave my legislative associates amidst perils, which may truly be said to try men's souls. I am not unconscious of the difficulties, which surround the public councils ; nor of the gloom and the silence, which presage approaching storms. Many of the revolutionary worthies of our native state, to whom we might look for support, are gathered to their fathers. I might mention the names of Bowdoin, Hancock, Adams, and Sumner, and embrace no very distant period. Within my own short political life, the tomb has closed over the generous Knox, the intrepid Lincoln, the learned Dana, and the accomplished Sullivan. But the fame of their achievements has not passed away; the laurels yet freshen and repose on their sepulchres ; and the memory of their deeds will animate their children boldly to dare, and gloriously to contend for their injured country. I persuade myself, that the flame kindled in the Revolution will burn with inextinguishable splendor; that, when the voice of the nation shall call to arms, this hall will witness an heroic firmness, an eloquent patriotism, and a devotion to the public weal, which have not been exceeded in the annals of our country
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Since this volume was printed, I have been furnished with a copy of the deed of the “Tutors' Lot,” so called, referred to on page 400, by John Bulkley. It is dated 20th of December, 1645; and contains a grant of a quarter part of an orchard or lot, owned in common with three other persons, to President Dunster, during his continuance in the office of President of the College ; and after his resignation or death, it is given to the College. “Tum velim,” says the grant, " ut Collegium tanquam astròy tenue ab alumno maxime benevolo sibi in perpetuum appropriaret.” There is not the slightest allusion to any particular use, to which it was to be specially applied. It was most probably called “Tutors' Lot,” because some of the owners then were, or afterwards became, Tutors; or the Lot was occupied by Tutors under the College. Of the then four owners, three received their education at the College ; namely, George Downing, John Alcock, and John Bulkley.