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Hull and Walker To John Adams

To John Adams, President of the United States of America:

Sir—In reviewing the history of our country, and comparing it with the convulsed state of Europe, we find the strongest reasons to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. We feel a pride in the name and character of Americans. It is our glory to be the descendants of ancestors who purchased freedom and independence by their wisdom and valour; and some of whom, on this spot, exhibited to the world an example of the unconquerable spirit of freemen. May we be inspired with firmness to imitate their virtues, and maintain the inheritance purchased by their valour. It is impossible sufficiently to estimate the Government under which we live. It has been established by our consent, and administered by our choice. We ought to make it the pole-star of our conduct, and it will prove the ark of our safety. It claims our reverence, and demands our support. With the keenest sensibility we feel the insults it has experienced, and as American soldiers, in the presence of our standard, we here solemnly declare, that we will ever be ready to be the guardians of its rights and the avengers of its wrongs.

And having sworn, when we accepted our commission, to defend the Constitution of the United States, we now, on this memorable ground, renew to you, sir, and our country, the sacred oath.

We offer to you, agreeably to act of Congress, our individual services, and pledge our lives and all that is dear to us, for the support of the Government and the defence of the Country.

That you may long live an ornament to the land which gave you birth, and a blessing to the world, is our sincere wish.

We are, in behalf of the officers of the first brigade and third division of the militia of Massachusetts,

Your most obedient servants,

William Hull, Major-General.
J. Walker, Brigadier-General.

Lexington, Massachusetts, October 2, 1798.

[From Maria Campbell and James Freeman Clarke, Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull, New York, 1848, pp. 263-264. Adams' reply is posted here.]

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