III. “Greek Fire” The Grass Roots Response A. Expression of Public Support for the Greek Cause
A6. A Resolution of the Senate of the State of Maryland
(Robinson, pp. 68-70) December session 1823. Tuesday, December 16, 1823.
Mr. WINDER submitted the following preamble and resolutions:
The Senate and the House of Delegates of the General Assembly of Maryland contemplate with great satisfaction the state of the country and government, as exhibited in the full and luminous message of the President to the present Congress.
... But whilst we feel a lively sense of gratitude in looking at the rapidly improving and happy condition of our country, and a just pride in contemplating the high station which the wisdom of the government, and the enterprise and patriotism of the people have given to our country in the estimation of the world; yet we entirely reciprocate the sentiment, “That there never was a period since the establishment of our revolution, when regarding the condition of the civilized world, and its bearing on us, there was greater necessity for devotion in the public servants to their respective duties, or of virtue, patriotism and union among the people”.
A confederacy of modern monarchs of Europe has existed for some years past, with avowed purposes of hostility against the system of representative government; not as a mere speculative proposition, but as a practical conduct, and which has already been carried into action in several recent instances in Europe, and in the last of them under such circumstances as manifests a fixed and settled purpose to deny to the people any or all participation in government, except so far as their sovereigns may, of their own mere will and pleasure choose to permit.
The people of the Unites [sic] States, while they appreciate the wise and salutary maxim of their government, of keeping aloof from the political agitations of Europe, have, nevertheless, been unable to hear the avowed principles of this tremendous conspiracy against the liberties of mankind without strong and indignant feelings; and have been awakened to an apprehension, that their own happy political system, viewed, as it is, by these monarchs with a secret, but ill-disguised enmity, as the practical and animating example to the rest of mankind; of the happiness of a representative government, may, when the opportunity occurs, be considered by them as a necessary victim, to ensure the final triumph of their project of universal despotism.
Under these circumstances, the Senate and the House of Delegates of the General Assembly of Maryland, perceive with lively sensibility (sic), that their (sic) is just ground to believe that this confederacy already contemplates to extend the practical application of their principles beyond the boundaries of Europe; and meditate an attempt to reduce our Sister Republics in America from their present independent condition to their former state of subjection to their faithless tyrant; thus, distinctly admonishing the people of the United States, that their local position is no security against the application of a principle, which, in its terms, embraces them.
We cannot, therefore, but view any attempt on these republics “who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence the United States have on great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged as dangerous to our peace and safety, and “as manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States,” Therefore,
Resolved, That we highly approve the frank and candid declaration on this subject contained in the President's message to Congress, as justly due to the character and spirit of the nation over which he presides, and as directed by sound wisdom and a provident view towards the true interests of the country.
Resolved, That while we hope and believe this declaration will prove a salutary warning to the confederated sovereigns, and deter them from attempting to execute their intention — yet should the event show that this hope is fallacious, we feel a confident assurance that the people of the United States will be prepared to make good the warning, and will be convinced that in employing their energy, power, and resources, in defeating such machinations against the independence of their neighbours [sic], that they are most effectually securing their own.
Resolved, That we view with deep solicitude and anxious interest the noble and heroic struggle which the Grecians are waging against their relentless and barbarous tyrant; and that we experience a high gratification in believing that he has forever lost his power over them, and that Greece will again assume an independent station among the nations of the earth.
Which were read, and made the order of the day for Thursday next.
Page 14. Thursday, December 18, 1823.
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).