I. Aspects of American Philhellenism:
Edward Everett, Thomas Jefferson and Adamantios Korais; Albert Gallatin and The Marquis de Lafayette

E. Albert Gallatin and the Count de Lafayette: Philhellenic Aspects of a Friendship

E4. Albert Gallatin Speech in Honor of the Marquis de Lafayette

(Tozes 11, p. 430-432) Delivered on May 26, 1825 (Published in the daily National Intelligencer, June 11, 1825)

[...] The flame of liberty has spread from the Peruvian Andes, from the extreme west -ern boundary of the civilized world to its most remote confines in the East. Greece, the cradle of European civilization and of our own, — Greece, the classical land of firstborn liberty, had, for centuries, groaned under the most intolerable yoke. Her sons believed to be utterly debased by slavery, degenerated, lost beyond redemption: their name had become a by-word of reproach, themselves an object of contempt rather than of pity. Suddenly they awaken from their lethargy, they fly to arms, they break their chains asunder: they receive no foreign assistance; Christian powers frown upon them; they are surrounded by innumerable dangers, by innumerable enemies; they do not inquire how many these, but where they are. Every year, without a navy, they destroy formidable fleets; every year, without an army they disperse countless hosts; every year they astonish the world; they conquer its reluctant sympathy, by deeds worthy of the trophies of Salamis and Marathon, by exploits to which the love of liberty would alone have given birth, by prodigies which would be deemed fabulous, did they not happen in our own days and as under our own eyes.

Whence that renegation [sic] and its wonderful effects? From the progress of knowledge; from the superiority of intellect over brutal force. The Greeks had preserved their immortal language, the recollection of their ancestors, their religion, a national character. Patriotic individuals had, for the last fifty years, instituted schools, established printing presses, used every means to renovate and disseminate knowledge. Their stupid oppressors could not perceive or fear a progress hardly observed by Europe. But the seed was not thrown on a barren soil: the Turkish scimitar had been less fatal to the human mind than the Spanish Inquisition.

The cause is not yet won! An almost miraculous resistance may yet perhaps be over, whelmed by the tremendous superiority of numbers. And will the civilized, the Christian world, for those words are synonymous, will they look with apathy on the dreadful catastrophe that would ensue? A catastrophe which they, which even we alone could prevent with so much facility and almost without danger? I am carried beyond what I intended to say; it is due to your presence we do not know that wherever man struggling for liberty, for existence, is most in danger, there is your heart? ...

(Hatzidimitriou 40-41)

Source: Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou, Founded on Freedom and Virtue: Documents Illustrating the Impact in the United States of the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1829 (New Rochelle, New York: Aristide D. Caratzas, 2002).