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The Early Settlers' Anniversary. .
JULY 22, 1888.
When the twenty-second of July occurs on Sunday, as it did this year, the following Monday, by a provision in the constitution of the Association, is commemorated. The weather on the twenty-third was remarkably fine and delightful. The Association convened at ten o'clock A. M., at Music Hall, in the city of Cleveland. Seventy-seven new memberships were received, and many were the heartfelt congratulations which were exchanged, with a grip of the hand, between “old acquaintances," before the assemblage was called to order.
In the absence of President Rice, who expected to be present, but was unable, Honorable John Hutchins, the first vice-president, presided. The exercises of the day were opened with prayer by the chaplain, Rev. Thomas Corlett, and were of unusual interest. They consisted of speeches, music and song, and the inauguration of a statue to General Moses Cleaveland. The introductory address, prepared by President Rice, was ead by Honorable A. J. Williams, chairman of the Executive Committee.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE ASSOCIATION: The birthday of the city of Cleveland has become not only historical but memorable as the anniversary of our Association. This year is
especially significant, and may be regarded as the year of our jubilee, because it is the year in which we have achieved a favorite enterprise—the erection of a beautiful bronze statue in honor of General Moses Cleaveland, the founder of our city.
It is indeed a matter of mutual congratulation that the enterprise has been accomplished by the efforts and under the auspices of our Association. It is doubtful, however, if this could have been done without the material aid which we have received from our appreciative fellow-citizens. For this timely generosity and approval on their part we desire to express our grateful acknowledgments.
The Association, in addition to the erection of the statue, has achieved much more work than was “ dreamed of in its philosophy.” The more it has done, the more it finds to do. It is a work that is as agreeable as it is useful in character. It consists mainly in renewing early acquaintances in a social way, and in gathering from the wayside of pioneer life the few remaining leaflets which seem touched with the golden hues of autumn, and which are, therefore, emblematic of the mingled hopes and fears and experiences of the primitive fathers and mothers of the Western Reserve. It is these leaflets that constitute the 'Annals' of our Association as published from year to year in pamphlet form. In the aggregate they embrace eight hundred and thirty pages of pioneer literature, and seem to have a recognized value, if we may judge from the fact that they have already found their way into many public as well as private libraries.
The pioneers of the Reserve were a race of heroic, enduring, patient men and women, and yet intelligent, upon whose “like we shall never look again.” For the most part they were immigrants from New England and lineal descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers. They believed in themselves, and proved themselves worthy of their ancestry by giving ample evidence that they had inherited the spirit of Plymouth Rock, with a liberal share of its grit. It was this that enabled them to conquer what was literally a “howling wilderness."
In achieving this conquest, the women were as brave and meritorious as the men, and should be equally recognized in the history of the times. But, somehow or other, it has happened, ever since the days of Adam and Eve, that women have been comparatively veiled or ignored in history, while the men have been made central luminaries. Yet, brilliant as the men may appear, many of them, like the sun, have dark spots in their character. But in this enlightened age the women excel the men in devotion to benevolent and Christian work, and can not only.write history, but make it.
It is true, however, that man has' his proper sphere, and woman hers, by divine assignment. In some respects, man may be superior to woman; yet, after all, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. This must be admitted when we consider that it is the influence of woman that molds the infant mind and elevates man to the standard of a true manhood. It is in this way that woman gives strength and character to civil government and virtually rules the world.
As individual members of this Association it matters not whether we descended from a Puritan ancestry or from some other ancestry, so long as our hearts beat in unison, and we are loyal in the support of the popular government under which we live. The truth is, we Americans are an admixture of all nationalities. It is 'this transfusion of blood that characterizes the citizens of the United States and develops in them a higher degree of mental and physical power and inventive genius than is possessed by any other people on the face of the earth.
Our Association began its career with but nineteen memberships. This is our ninth annual meeting. Our numbers, in the meantime, have increased with wonderful rapidity. We closed the last year with an enrollment of seven hundred and thirty memberships. This year will probably swell the number to eight hundred.
Yet in our progress more or less shadows have fallen upon the sunlight of our pathway. During the past nine years of our existence as a fraternity, one hundred and fortyseven of our number have taken their final departure to the
silent realm where sorrow never comes and where the weary are at rest. We find consolation, however, in the thought that they were all worthy members of our fraternity, who led exemplary lives, and who have left to us a rich legacy of endeared remembrances.
“Still all are shadows, man or flower,
Passing with time;
Lone and sublime."
Yet the great living world of mankind, ever pulsating with activities, takes but little note of those who depart this life, whether known or unknown to fame. No man is so great or important in the world but another equally great may be readily found to fill his place. Even the greatest men of the world, in taking their leave, create but a ripple on the ocean wave of unmeasured time—a ripple that soon disappears and is forgotten.
He is the truly great man who does most to promote the welfare of his fellow-men. In fact, every man may, if he will, shape his own destiny. It is his life work that survives him and imprints itself on character, not only on his own but on that of others. It should, therefore, be his highest aim to live in accordance with the dictates of the divinity that “stirs within
a divinity that pervades and controls the universe.
Professor Rechab Tandy now sang the song ever dear to the early settler, “ Auld Lang Syne,” and his pleasing voice struck a responsive chord in every heart present. What memories crowded upon those present while the song was being rendered will never be known except to themselves.
THE ANNUAL NECROLOGICAL REPORT.
BY REV. THOMAS CORLETT, CHAPLAIN. We have this day reached the ninth anniversary of our Early Settlers' Association. With a beginning of nineteen persons