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MICHIGAN, MY MICHIGAN

MAJ. W. C. RANSOM, 1871


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Society of Michigan: When the children of the captivity were carried away from their beloved city of Jerusalem, down to the splendid capital of the Babylonish kings, they found there a city unequalled throughout the world for its stately edifices, its curious hanging gardens, and its magnificent collection of rich works of art. There, within the walls of that great metropolis, was found everything calculated to engage the senses and attract the eye. And if art had scarcely left anything uncompleted to render that oriental capital the wonder of the world, nature had been still more lavish in the profusion of her gifts. Soft skies and the luxuriance of tropical productions lent the enchantment of their beauty to increase the bewildering loveliness of the surroundings. The lofty palm lifted heavenward its tuft of shining green, in rich contrast with gilded minaret and tower, over which it let fall its loving, shadows, while the soft breezes weighed heavy with the fragrance borrowed from the rare perfume of richest flowers, and opening blossoms of dark-leaved citron groves. But regal splendors and natural beauties such as these could not wean the affections of the Andean captives from their native land. Gladly would they steal away from the high places of their lordly captors, to seek repose amid the willows that fringed the banks of the proud Euphrates, there awhile to lose themselves in grateful memories of their early homes. So we, my friends, have gathered here to-night, forgetful of the milder skies and more genial soil that have allured us to this favored State of our adoption, for the interchange of friendly greetings, and, in the happy circumstances of the hour, to express that unfaltering interest in the fortunes of the old lake-encircled commonwealth, that springs from the warm affections of her scattered children.

MY MICHIGAN


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