Friday, July 12, 2013

"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem"


 "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty." Such were the words of the famous English patriot, Algernon Sydney in 1659.   His words live on today as they appear as the motto on The Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The seal has undergone many changes since it's first inception in 1629 to when Nathan Cushing's design returned the seal to it's original depiction of a native American Indian in 1780.  Paul Revere was, for the second time, commissioned to engrave the seal.        Revere presented his bill on December 23, 1780 - the signed original is located at the Massachusetts Archives.  For some time subsequent engravers varied the appearance of the seal.  It was not until June 4, 1885, that the legislature enacted St. 1885, c. 288 which prescribed the seal in its present form.