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The ftollowiníí artille, whieh should luwe been inserted week, but wirleh failed through non-receit of the eöpy in time, is publisrfhed at the reipiest if se vera 1 of aur readers : As a ohapter of the Mount Vernon Society has recently been ori;anize(l in Ann Arbor, it seems proper to give a brief account of the Mount Vernon Asaociation nd ita Board of Regenta. The ciuntry was so bu-y and prroccupied, In the fortiesand fifties, with itts own vigoróos growth and development - and als-j with the politiual q ustions which were yruwing in inlereat and tensity, that n had no time for retrospectiou utid oíd memories aud traditious, and past gloiies were fadiiig out of min. 1. It was at this period, that John AUgustioe Washington, ti. e 1 of he name who lived apon t;;e sacred oi! of Mount Vernon, was forced by the atiese of ciri'nmstances to offerthe ' Oíd Home" for salo. offer was iirst mafle to the legislature of ViminiH, with the tliouylit that Wasiiington'ii native state would be proud of the honor of beiug the guardián of Mount Vernon. Bi, a pusillauiinous f-pirit ruleii the fgislature and the honor was deciined. Then the offer was made to congress bnt with no greater success. These fcouless assemblies did not recognize the ciairn that the house and burial place of Washington had upon the people or the United States. What would have been the fate of Mount Vernon had no one come at this time to the rei-cue, can only be conjectured. But the need bringa always the inspiration and the det-d. It was a woman in this crisis who saved the honor of the coti'itry. Miss Cunningham, a southem wotnau of delicate physique, but grat intells-ctual force.and of an ardent patriotic spirit, remembered the enthusiastic wnrds of her mother when they were sniling up the Potomac, and the bell tolied opposite Mount Vernon. She exulaimed, "what a beautiful work it would be for the women of America to raise the money, purchase Mount Vernon and keep it in trust for the nation." Miss Cunningham feit that her mother's words were prophetic and táie time had now come for their fulfilment. With all the ardor of her nature she threw herself into the work oforganizingthe Mount Vernon Aseociation, and rousinjt up a spirit of enthusiasm all through the country. The organization was provided with a regent, Miss Cunningham fiïling that office, and a board of vice-regenta to represent the different states. The vice-regent8 appointed "lady managers" for the different counties and towns, and thus the states were thoroughly canvassed, and the whole country was aroused to a sense of its patriotic duty In rescueing the home of Washington from ruin and decay. The women worked, and the merj work ed to lielp thora, an'l leading statesmen tendered Uieir services for the good cause. E ivvard Kverett went all over the country, delivering an oration on Washington for the benefit of the Moant Vernon fund. His contribution amounted lo $87,000 towards the purchase monoy. This earnest, thorough work met with wonderful success and in three years the whole amount of$200,Ü00 was raised and the whole payment made to John Augustine Washington iu 1859. Tne regents had barely taken possession and begun the work of repa'r and re3toration, when the of the Rebellion broke out and further work was suspenaeu. uuring the war Mouut Vernon was considered neutral ground and bothUnion andConfederate soldiere showed every token of reverence and respect for the home and toiiib of Washington. At the request of a ser vant they left theirguns staeked o it side the gate, and entered the grouuds unarmed. When the war was over a sad scène of delapidation and desolation presented itself at. Mount Vernon to the regent?. The foundalions of the house were giviiig way, doors aud stuittere were off their hinges, panes broken, the piazza roof was parily suppurted by an old mast, the lavnn, meadows, and aardens were overgrown by weeds, the fences were down, the roads were badly washed, and the tomb itself was covered with mould and was crumbling away. Such was the picture that greeted the regenta who met a' Mount Vernon in the spring of 1864. ïheir treasury was empty, the boat, their source of reve,nue, had been impressed by the government, and the war, like a red-hot brand had well nigh seared from the minds of men the name and memory of Washington. But the brave women took heart of faith. For pressing needs the payment of the superintendant, and the servants, they advanced money from their own purses. Then Mr. Riggs, the treasurer, advanced thenj a loan, and after a time cong.-ess (ail thfin an imleinnity for usp of tlie boHt. Then they seeured anoiher boat, and so jjraduahy they "cot npon tlieir Wicn" and liegan In earnest Uik nork ol repair Rnd ntoratlint From that time the work has gone on bravcly and each tucceeding year has neen Mnint V'ernon growing in beauty and prosperity, ontll no every restor.ition has been made and the "mansión," gardcns. sumnier house, the "Old Torn b," the l'inning houue and the negro quarters, are restored to what they were when "Mus-ter" lived in the "Mansión" and (lispense.l a generous hospitality to friends, neighbors and conapanions In arms. Ii has been well done; and transcending this work of restonttion and the revival of the hallowed traditions of the place, is he influence of the Association iu promoting patriotism, and a reverence for Washington and the makers of the Republic. This was folt when thestruggle carne for the preservation of the Union which the fathers of our country had lnbored to establish. This influence in the promotion of a broad enlightened patriotism, non-; ectional and non-partisan, the Association aiius to perpetúate. It has other woik to do, in securing au adequate endowmetit finid to enable the Association to disocniinue the entrance fee, the present source of revenue and thus to make Mount Vernon free to the people. fhis legacy of work was bequeathed by the firsfc rádents lo their successors. The regent;) are Biso inierefcted in raisng a ''relie fund," for the pnrehafe and restoration to theirold places of the many personal effeut.s oí Wasliington hat have strayed away frota Mount Vernon. Bit the Association keeos in view its bigh c.üling as a proinoter of patriatism. Never bas our country been in prester Deed than nowofaa enlightened patriotUm to counteract the influence of oíd world ianorance and superstition, anarcbism and atbeism, which come with hordes of ourshoresand also to neutraizd ibe influence of corruption in high places, which is born of the greed in our midst. Americana have departed from thoir Repablican siraplicity, and we need to cherish the example of our great men, and to live by the principies of rectitude,elf-denial andlo e of "God and our Native Land," which Washington inculcated, urinciples upon which he fashioned hia own pure, noble life, in order to overeóme the enervating influence of wealth and luxurious living which are becommg as characteriílic of Americana as of themerchant prineesof Florence in the íniildle age?, or of the Romans under the Caesars. The Mount Vernon Associntion received it-i charler from the Virginia Legislature, and according to its provisions the Association holds Mount Vernon in trust for the nation in perpetuity, if the condition is fulfllled of keeping it in perfect order. So far the guardians of Mount Vernon have been faithful to their trust aad have worked in a spirit of love and tendernees for the memory of George and Martha Washington; and each one feela the happy assurunce that wlien her labor is over, tliere will be a suctessor upon whom her inantle will fall, and that generation after peneration, the women of America will keep as a sacred trust the Home ot WaHuington. Elizabktii A. Rathbone, Vioe-Regent for Michigan of the Mount Vernon Asvociation.


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Ann Arbor Courier