The following is the address of Jacob C. Lansing, Esq. to the President, accompanied with the President’s response, which we were unable to lay before our readers last week;
Delegated by a large and most respectable portion of my fellow-citizens to address you upon your arrival in this place, permit me in this public manner in their behalf to tender to you a cordial welcome to this ancient town, from which emanated the first declaration of Independence or solemn covenant to resist the tyrannical usurpations of the British Government, a true copy of which I now deliver to you.
The prominence of your public career for the last twenty-five years has not passed by unwitnessed and unknown to us, and we derive great satisfaction and pleasure from the fact that in all your various public stations and relations you have ben fully sustained by public opinion. This is clearly demonstrated by your elevation to the supreme Magistracy of these United States by the most decided voice of sixteen millions of freeman.
Although we are aware that the administration of the Government by the Chief Magistrate is at all times subject to great embarrassments arising not only from the high and often peculiar and delicate responsibilities of the station, but also from political asperities deriving their origin from motives of ambition oftener than from mistaken views of cardinal measures, yet we rejoice to observe that both houses of Congress at the close of the last Session of Congress by their late act placing at the disposal of the President fifty thousand men and twenty millions of dollars have admirably demonstrated the entire confidence of the Nation in your ability and integrity in guiding and managing the affairs of State.
Your pacific course and policy in regard to the Border difficulties and the Maine boundary question afford additional evidence of your firmness and prudence in the management of the public affairs by which the evils of war (had other counsels prevailed) have been entirely averted, and those difficulties are thereby in a fair way of a happy and amicable adjustment.
We entertain a decided conviction that the great and leading measures of your administration have received and will continue to receive the most decided approbation of the people of these states. Many other subjects suggest themselves to us upon which we should be happy to dwell and enlarge the time and the occasion permit.
But be assured sir that we entertain the most unfeigned approbation and respect for your character publicly, privately, and personally, and that we most sincerely invoke the smiles of a Benificent Providence upon all the past and future incidents of your life.
To which the President replied as follows:
This very friendly reception, and the approbation of my conduct which you have an earnestly and forcibly expressed in behalf of my fellow citizens of Lansingburgh here assembled, is very grateful to my feelings. You may assure them, sir, that I regard it as the most acceptable reward for whatever successful efforts, it may have been my good fortune to make to the public service and that it will stimulate me to perseverance in a course which is attended with such gratifying consequences.
I have read, with intense interest, the proceedings of the inhabitants of this place in 1775, which you have put into my hands. It presents a striking exhibition of the pure patriotism and inflexible resolution of the men who achieved the American revolution—the greatest political and most useful military result, which is recorded in the history of mankind. The period when these noble resolutions to sustain the Continental Congres [sic] and Provincial Convention in their resistance to oppression, were adopted was emphatically a time that tried men’s souls and when words were things; and it is an honor to be in any way associated with an act so creditable to those who were engaged in it. I have, sir, looked over the names which are subscribed and am gratified to find even with my limited knowledge of the subject, how many of their descendants are yet the known and inflexible supporters of the principles in which these proceedings had their origin. You do well, sir, to preserve this honorable memento of the patriotism of the earl inhabitants of your thriving town. It can scarcely be necessary to say that a compliment like this, which I have received, proceedings from such a source, cannot fail of being most highly appreciated.
Democratic Press and Lansingburgh Advertiser. August 17, 1839: 2 cols 3-4.
1775 May 22 Town of Lansingburgh and Patent of Stone Arabia, [N. Y.] Freemen, freeholders, and inhabitants. “General association.” Copy. 1 p. “A true copy of the original association paper drawn this 15th of June 1775 per me Ch’s Tillman town clerk.”
— —. Newspaper clipping. (Both with: Lansing to Van Buren, 1839, Aug. 8).
Ford, Worthington Chauncey and Elizabeth Howard West. Calendar of the papers of Martin Van Buren. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1910. 11.
See also Jefferson and Madison pass through Lansingburgh (1791)