Franklin Repository: May 03, 1865Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Address By Rev. Dr. Harbaugh
(Column 2)Summary: A transcript of Rev. Dr. Harbaugh's speech in honor of President Lincoln.
Editorial Comment: "The citizens of Mercersburg and vicinity had appropriate ceremonies on the 19th ult., the day of the funeral of President Lincoln, and the following eloquent and touching address was delivered on the occasion by Rev. Dr. H. Harbaugh, Professor of Theology in Mercersburg:"
Full Text of Article:Speech Of A. K. McClure
The citizens of Mercersburg and vicinity had appropriate ceremonies on the 19th ult., the day of the funeral of President Lincoln, and the following eloquent and touching address was delivered on the occasion by Rev. Dr. H. Harbaugh, Professor of Theology in Mercersburg:
It is most difficult, on this solemn occasion, for one to speak for another, in the way of leading or interpreting his thoughts for him. This is one of those overwhelming events which make one's thoughts stand still; and when we feel the truth of the sacred declaration, that the heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with it. For days past, throughout the land, friend has met friend with the feeling that, in the presence of so great a sorrow, silence is the most eloquent word. Even when one ventured a word of remark or inquiry, it was with the vain hope that the one addressed might be able to express and interpret for him his own deep feeling.
When the telegraph first dropped this fearful news into the thousand cities, towns and villages all over the land, men were stunned and paralyzed with amazement. His implements dropped from the hands of the laborer; the student cast away his pen and books; the merchant closed his store; the buzzing of factories ceased; busy streets were changed into scenes of Sabbatic quiet, and over all this expressive silence rolled the solemn sound of tolling bells. The land mourned its fallen chief, as it had not mourned from the first hour of the Republic till now.
We have sometimes heard of the coming together of a marriage and a burial--where sorrow tread so closely on the heel of joy that the joyful bride, on the very day of her happy marriage, was laid out as a corpse in her wedding robes! In like manner has, during these last few days, the nation's joy been suddenly changed into mourning. Scarcely had the bells ceased tolling out their jubilations in honor of victory, and the prospect of speedy peace, with the restoration of the supremacy of law and order throughout the land, when they began to toll in sad harmony with a nation's sorrow. And though days have passed since this fearful tragedy was enacted, the national mind still labors under the subduing burden of its momentous grief--still stunned and silent!
What is this all-pervading and steadily continued feeling, but the mute utterance of the people's sense of the awfulness of the crime which has been committed. The mind cannot fathom the turpitude of this crime of regicide, or the killing of the ruler of the land. But the existing unutterable feeling furnishes proof that God, by the very constitution of our being, has underlaid our deepest life with a sense of its enormity; our nature thus spontaneously bearing witness to what has been the sense of all civilized--yea, even barbarian and semi-barbarian--as well as Christian ages and nations, that the highest possible crime is regicide.
This crime is not mere murder. We need only grade the higher crimes to enable us to see where this emormity stands on the scale of criminal depravity. The first and lowest grade is common murder or homicide, as when one man kills another. Next above this we may place suicide, wherein man assumes the disposal of his own life. Then fratricide, wherein man destroys the life of his own brother or sister, and thus in a sense becomes the murderer of his own flesh and blood. Then infanticide, where the helplessness of infancy augments the crime. Then patricide, wherein man takes the life of the father that begat him, the earthly source of his own life. Because the mother bears that "softer and tenderer name," and her life belongs to the inner circle of consecrated love, we would place next in the dreadful scale the crime of matricide. After this only do we reach that fearful apex of crime--regicide! So much as the State is above the family, so high above the murder of father and mother is the murder of the Ruler of the land--the head of the nation--the father, for the time being, of the national family. This is the dreadful crime which has startled and stunned the nation, and caused the bells throughout the land this day to dole out to responsive [illeg] muffled tones of sorrow.
To [illeg] this crime of regicide, we must [illeg] was not merely the man Abraham Lincoln, whose life the assassin has taken away [illeg] the life of the President of this Republic which he destroyed. As a man he was only as one of us, but as God's ordained organ for the administration of the government he was vastly more: He was "the Minister of God," (Rom. XIII)--the organ of "the powers that be which are ordained of God." These powers are "higher powers"--that is, they are powers that come from above, not from men. Even though, as in our own land, the Ruler, as organ of these powers, may be designated by men, his investiture is from God alone. In his office the ruling Head of the nation is God's minister. He places him there even though it be through the will and vote of the people, to be for the nation His own organ and administration of the higher powers. When the assassin assailed this Head of the nation, and this right hand of God's rule on the earth, he was making direct assault upon God's own authority in the high place of His power! On this throne of earthly power he struck down whom God had set up. He feared not the attempt, thus to wrest the government of a nation from the divine hand itself, and by his own daring act first to arrest, then annul, and finally to change the ruling Head of the nation in the face of God's investiture, and the will of millions of men!
Moreover the act of the regicide is, as far as it goes, a stroke for anarchy. A deadly thrust at the head paralyzes for the time the whole body of the nation, and abrogates government, so that if the whole nation were in a state adapted for the result, universal anarchy would ensue. It is only the virtue and loyalty of the nation that prevents the legitimate effects of the assassin's will and intention. Thanks to God for that true, vigorous, adjusting virtue of the nation which enables it to rise from so fearful a shock, and to move with such prompt firmness, harmony and power in the path of its great and solemn mission! But this does not abate the turpitude of the awful crime; on the other hand it sets its enormity only into stronger relief, as showing the high character of the government he sought to annul, and the generous loyalty of the millions against whose vigorous patriotism the crime has been perpetrated.
Such being the character of the crime which has caused our present grief, and such the horror with which this crime of regicide shows itself to be regarded by the whole nation, in harmony with the deepest sense of all civilized, and especially christianized, nations and ages, the sorrowing millions may well this day lift their hands to heaven, and ask, How is such an awful crime possible? Where is an adequate begetting and sustaining element and basis for such a crime to be found? Certainly it has been in no other way possible for it to appear except as the nursling and legitimate ripe fruit of that spirit of enormous treason which has, during the last four dreadful and bloody years, labored to consummate substantially the same crime by aiming its deadly dagger at the very heart of the Republic itself. Whether formally, and by organized conspiracy or not, still essentially and really treason and rebellion is the legitimate mother of regicide. The assassin of the President and head of the nation, whether thereunto appointed or not, is the organ of that treason which has its embodiment in the great Rebellion. It was the concentrated life of that great treason which nerved his arm and guided the fearful weapon of death. The truth of this fact beats to-day with powerful, harmonious, self-attesting assurance in the patriotic and loyal instincts of millions of sad and sorrowing hearts.
How better can we improve this sad occasion than to possess our souls more fully with a deeper sense of the enormous crime of treason; a crime when, according to the wisdom of all christian nations, can only be adequately atoned for by the penalty of death. We speak our own deep convictions, and we hope the convictions of all present, when we say that no sign of the times portends greater danger to the nation at present than that morbid and unchristian spirit which is in some quarters beginning its endeavors to avert the penalty due to treason. We dread this spirit more than all else that is before us as a nation. Such men as Beecher and Greeley, who are endeavoring to lead off in this miserable effort to degrade and ignore the internal sanctions of divine and human law, and to convert honest but unreflecting people to their crusade against the true idea and end of law and justice, are now emphatically the enemies of the Republic. This mawkish sentimentality is called "magnanimity." What a misnomer! Its true name is infidelity to the majesty of law. It offers a premium for treason; and, if successful, will be the greatest unfaithfulness and cruelty to posterity of which the rulers of our eventful age can be guilty. It will be in truth the laying up of wrath, anarchy and rebellion for our children. It will be a comforting precedent for treason in all coming ages of the Republic. It will show that treason and rebellion deserve and shall receive nothing but magnanimity, in a degraded sense of that word. It will ever show that treason, so enormous in its sweep as to people a hundred battle-field grave-yards with the bodies of brave and loyal men, has earned for itself only the right of what is falsely called magnanimous treatment. In pestiferous sentiments like these, be assured, lies deadly poison, which if allowed to work its way into the heart of our rulers and our people, will sooner or later take the nation's life as effectually as the Rebellion itself, had it succeeded, would have done, and as it has actually intended to do by bayonets, cannon, and starvation of thousands of loyal and brave men, and which it has now again attempted to do as by desperation, in the person of the assassin of the President.
Such sentiments were never come from earnest christian scholars or statesmen; they are born in the hot-bed of socialism, naturalism and humanism. They are not deep convictions, but merely shallow, irresponsible sensation utterances. They are founded on no venerable wisdom; they rest in no true christian principles--they are underlaid by no correct sense of the nature and necessary force and majesty of law. Men who utter them may be able effectually to harangue an unreflecting crowd, but when they attempt to lay experimental hands to the guidance of the high and solemn interests of States, every earnest and thinking man will exclaim: Procul, O! procul este profani!--hence, far hence ye profane.
To ask that the majesty of law be allowed to have its free course against crime is no spirit of revenge, is no want of magnanimity--betrays no absence of mercy and charity. If so God himself would fall under blame! Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne. Human governments are a parable and reflection of His own. Human law is a reflection of His will. Human justice is after the pattern of His justice. To abrogate the sanctions and penalties of His law, is to annul one of His own attributes. In the suffering of the penalty of human guilt in the person of His own Son, he has demonstrated to the world that His mercy does not abrogate His justice. Vain is the attempt of man to propose a sickly sentimentalism as a substitute that shall outdo and set aside God's immutable law against crime. Men may be tender, but law and justice are inflexible. We have heard of judges who pronounced the sentence of death on murderers with tears--but pronounced it in firm faithfulness nevertheless. The judge who thus discharges his solemn duty to the law and society is twice great in the act; great because he shows that he has all the feelings of the man, and great again because he has all the firmness of the judge. Above all his merely humane feelings rises the solemn conviction that the execution of the law is absolutely necessary for the safety of society. He feels for the criminal, but he does not suffer his feelings to carry him into a current of washy sentimentalism. He pities the criminal, but he pities society more. It is said that Washington signed the death-warrant of Andre, the spy, with tears! This is proof that he would have spared even him had not a higher obligation to honor the law rested on him. Let our rulers study this example, that the majesty of law be not changed into a mere mawkish feeling.
May not, in this view, this sad calamity be overruled in mercy by an all-wise though mysterious Providence, for the future health and safety of the Republic? Whilst we hope that all manifestations of revenge may be checked, we hope at the same time that the minds of our people and rulers may be more deeply awakened to a sense of absolute necessity of vindicating the law against treason. Vain is that policy which seeks to be wiser than God and more humane than He! Should it appear that "the minister of God," does "bear the Sword in vain," we tremble for the future of the nation. All the moral effect of all the sacrifices of the war will in that case be virtually lost. Was this dreadful tragedy--well may we ask--this sacrifice of the nation's beloved Chief and Head yet necessary to counteract this vain and sickly sentimentality? Should it serve to effect this high and solemn end, the sacrifice, dreadful as it is, will not have been in vain.
May God, in His infinite mercy, preserve in the heart of the nation a proper sense of the majesty of law, awaken among us right views of the awful crime of treason--which is the cause and essence of regicide--and deliver us from morbid sympathy for that crime which strikes at the root of all divine and human government, and which the solemn sanctions of God, and the ripest wisdom of all the past, have adjudged to be worthy of death.
I attempt no eulogy of our departed President. His earnestness, moderation, kind-heartedness, proverbial honesty and unswerving loyalty and patriotism are well known. Only when generations shall have passed away, and all the seeds of the mighty present of the nation shall come to their full fruits in the future, will his name and fame stand out in full relief on the historic page. What if it should appear, to those who shall study the events of his administration in the light of the future, that he was the leader of a high and holy patriotic purpose, which has delivered the Republic from a bondage as heavy and galling as that from which we were delivered by Washington at the first? What if our children should experience the fact that the names of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln may be sounded together with perfect accord?
(Column 4)Summary: A copy of Col. A. K. McClure's speech delivered to the Legislature on March 16, 1865, in which he admonished his colleagues to support the bill Providing Adjudication of the Border Military Claims. The piece also includes the debate that followed McClure's address.
Full Text of Article:
Delivered in the House of Representatives on Thursday evening, March 16, 1865, on the bill Providing for the Adjudication of Border Military Claims.
MR. SPEAKER:--The evening is far spent, and the House must be more than weary of this debate. I am most anxious that a vote shall be reached to-night, and for that reason until now refrained from participation in the discussion. The measure has now been very fully considered. More than four hours of debate, mainly from the foes of the bill, has presented every possible objection that ambition, timidity and personal disappointment could hurl against it; and I rise briefly to answer the main objections urged, in justice to the people I have the honor to represent.
It has been a favorite argument, or rather pretext for opposition, with those who desire the defeat of the pending bill, to characterize it as a swindle; as a deliberate attempt to deceive, defraud, and mislead the members of this House; and it has been boldly urged that it was a systematic attempt to ruin the credit of the Commonwealth. It has been assaulted by every avenue that mingled ingenuity and malice could invent. In answer to all this, sir, I appeal to the bill itself. Here it is, head it; scan every section, every line. Its language is plain; its sentences free from all ambiguity. It means precisely what it says--that the despoiled people of the border shall have some tangible evidence preserved of the losses they have sustained by the tread of armies in this war, so that the government may, in the fullness of time, requite them for their sacrifices. We have not sought to mislead any one. We have not asked that these claims be adjudicated merely as a garland to weave in the chaplet of our National sacrifices. It would be well, I confess, to do it for that reason alone if there were no better arguments in favor of it; but we ask adjudication so that there may be ultimate resolution without wrong to either government or citizen.
Let me not be misunderstood. I stated in a former speech on this question, and I repeat it now, that restitution to these sufferers is a duty the government cannot, dare not disregard. Every reason urged against it to-night is but an argument for it. If the claims are so large that they would oppress the people of the State to pay them, it proves that the losses of the few on the border are so crushing that every dictate of justice demands relief. If too much for the State, with over three millions of people, and untold millions of wealth, how must it fall upon a few thousand, who are your brethren, the brethren of your constituents, and have joined with you and yours to sustain our boasted Commonwealth for mutual protection to person, to faith, to property! If the many cannot share this burden, how are the few to bear it?
The gentleman from Philadelphia, (Mr. Ruddiman) who has just closed, cautioned his fellow members that the passage of this bill would lead to convulsions throughout the State; that it would lead to disasters which even he seemed unequal to the painful task of depicting; that men must pause upon the threshold of its passage, and learn from him the direful consequences which must follow. I beg my ardent friend from Philadelphia to quiet his sad apprehensions. Let him not commit the too common error of supposing that because he has poured out the touching strains of the Sophomore and convulsed himself with his own eloquence, the great Commonwealth will be rocked in painful, agonizing fears for her fame and credit. His chaste and exquisite rhetoric and impassioned, poetical sentences, do credit to his head; but because one heart has been moved thereby to inconsolable grief at the possibility of the success of the bill, he must not assume that the State will tremble from centre to circumference. This same bill has passed two legislatures of this State; has twice been approved by the Executive; has been carried into practical operation for two years,--all before the gentleman from Philadelphia was part of the law-making power of the State. There was scarcely a division of sentiment on the subject in either branch. It met the approbation of all, and there was no constituency that censured its representatives therefor. There was no convulsion of the Commonwealth. The sun still rose and shone with its accustomed splendor, and gilded the western skies as it faded into night. The stars still twinkled merrily and pierced the curtains of darkness. The birds sang just as sweetly; the flowers bloomed as beautifully and spread broadcast their rich fragrance as before. The seasons went and came; green spring-time, requiting harvest, golden autumn and bleak winter, all brought their blessings and their sorrows as in other days. The spheres stood firmly in their appointed work, unconscious that the time for convulsion was at hand. The body politic moved on in fulfillment of its beneficent mission to a free people, and is as yet a stranger to the grief the burning words of the gentleman have portrayed for its portion. There was no convulsion in nature or in government. Even the gentleman himself forgot to become convulsed; or if he did, history has not recorded it. His play, therefore, comes when its plot has already miscarried. It is Hamlet with Hamlet omitted. It is a palpable abortion as tragedy, and too stupidly grave for farce. It is simply a painful lesson that others have lived and legislated before the gentleman from Philadelphia, and he has forgotten it.
Previous legislatures not only cordially and with remarkable unanimity sanctioned this measure; but the legislature of this State has, almost without division of opinion, declared that these claims should be paid. In 1862, both branches passed a bill not only providing for adjudicating these claims, but also providing for their payment out of the treasury of the Commonwealth. Upon inquiry however it was found that the ordinary resources of the treasury would not meet these demands, and the bill made no provision for raising additional revenue. It was therefore re-called. At that time the credit of the State was in peril. We had just accepted war as an inexorable necessity. We were strangers to its arts and sacrifices, and were appalled at the fraternal struggle with which we were overwhelmed by causeless, cruel treason. Three millions of a loan had been put on the market and I know how the authorities vibrated between hope and fear, and by common consent these claims were postponed--not rejected--until a better day should dawn. All admitted that our means were first due to the common cause of our threatened Nationality, and the bill was modified to provide for adjudication, just as the bill before the House now, and it passed without objection. There was then no prophetic voice to tell of terrible convulsions as the legitimate fruits of such legislation, and what may seem stranger still to the gentleman from Philadelphia, there was no section or party that permitted itself to be convulsed thereby.
The faith of this Commonwealth was pledged to every citizen that its honor, its dignity and its protecting power should be faithfully maintained, and all sections of the State confessed its justice and shared in its vindication. At the time the measure was not mainly for those whom I now in part represent. The invader had not then polluted our soil. It was for the benefit of Philadelphia, of Chester, of Dauphin, of Allegheny, and of Erie, that the first bill was passed; and had no foe reached our border to spread desolation in a few counties, the counties I have named would have ardent advocates of the principle of this bill in their representatives now on the floor. Had any member then rose and advanced the arguments in opposition to the bill which have been given to-night, they would not have been listened to with common respect. But men have since learned to counsel with their fears. The corrupt have marked this measure as their prey. They have grappled with it relentlessly because it gives no promise of plunder, and the petty waves of ambition have dashed against it with ceaseless fury. The great vital principle on which it rests seems to have been forgotten or rejected.
Why, sir, are we at war to-day with the common enemy of this government? Is it simply because the North and the South differ in some abstractions? Have we slain thousands of those who were once our brethren and dotted our fair fields with untimely graves, for such a cause? By no means. We are at war for a higher and holier purpose. We have given of our blood and treasure unsparingly to preserve our government. Its blessings we regard as priceless. Not merely its glory and its honor; but its protecting power, endear it to all. It must be maintained in all its integral parts, or it is worthless. It must exercise all its prerogatives--must vindicate its might and supremacy, and give its just compensation for the tribute and fealty it exacts. It cannot demand remorselessly and withhold its protecting arm. It must have the power to shield the will to be just, and treat a wrong to its humblest supporter as a wrong to the State. This is the rule of justice, and it would be a blistering stain upon the now unblotted escutcheon of our Commonwealth, did it turn a deaf ear to those upon whom the devastation of war has fallen for the protection of all.
The gentleman from Philadelphia is quite too sweeping in his denunciation of the principle of this bill. He denounces it as "a shame," as "monstrous," and yet if he were to turn from the legislature of the State and announce to the people of his district that the duty of protection and retaliation do not form the basis of our system of government, his constituents would bid him learn his own laws and learn to respect and obey them. If in his own city his home should be destroyed by a revolt, he would be prompt to demand restitution to the uttermost farthing, and it would be promptly given. It is the accepted law, not only of Philadelphia, but of every municipality of the Commonwealth. At his home he rests in peace and safety. He yields tribute as his government demands for the common good, and receives in return the guarantee of protection or compensation in case of failure to protect. New York city is now paying two millions of dollars to those her government failed to protect from the rioters of 1863. She failed in her compact with her people, and the duty of restitution is confessed by all. She is paying more than one-half of all the losses of the border in obedience to the settled law, based on eternal justice, that protection is one of the first duties of government. Let the gentleman from Philadelphia return to his own city and tell his people that they have erred until now--that government, municipal, State and general, should merely exact and not remunerate when remiss in protection, and there are few who would accept his new teachings and applaud his wisdom. Let him stand on the hustings and proclaim there the same doctrine he proclaims here, and his people will look for truer and juster if not wiser men to enact their laws.
Such is the settled law of every city and town in the land, and wherein does the municipal government of the State differ? We have already authorized six millions of dollars to be expended to defend Pennsylvania. Not a voice was raised against it in these halls. Not a murmur comes up from the people in any part of the State. The duty to defend is confessed--it has not been questioned, and will not be until some new Daniel shall come to judgement on the issue like the gentleman from Philadelphia. Our common treasure is given with a lavish hand to defend the homes and property of the border; but defence ever came when danger was not at hand. Confessing the duty to defend, and failing therein, what must follow by every rule of logic and principle of justice? Restitution is inevitable. The only question should be as to the ability of the government. If it is able to redeem its faith, it can have no alternative without positive dishonor and perfidy to its people.
The gentleman from Philadelphia tells us of his valor in rushing to the defence of the border to protect us. He tells us he was there in person; shared the perils of the camp and enjoyed the fruits of the field. I remember well, sir, when he was there. The militia came in 1862 and their bloodless track remains. We have it in the mournful trace of desolation. We have monuments of their presence but not of their dead. But silent as history may be as to their sanguinary fields, the records of this war will preserve to posterity the evidence of their organization and service. Their pay rolls will perpetuate their achievements. (Laughter). They were not unmindful that the State should exact no unjust sacrifice from any portion of her people. With one accord they demanded their pay. If the gentleman from Philadelphia was enrolled, he too doubtless was mindful that "the laborer is worthy of his hire."
MR. RUDDIMAN--I gave no such intimation. I was not there in a military capacity. I was there in offices of kindness and humanity. I deny both the remark and the implication of the gentleman from Franklin.
MR. M'CLURE--Will the gentleman from Philadelphia inform me what offices of humanity were to perform there?--whence came the wounded and suffering of that army? What fields were crimsoned with its blood?
MR. RUDDIMAN--In the hasty call to the defence of the gentleman's homestead, numbers rushed from my own city to take up arms, and to be the guardians of the homes which the citizens were neither sufficient nor willing to be the protectors. Among them were friends of my own who left behind everything--their business interests and all that belonged to them. These men who went away thus unprovided for were subjects of solicitude to others and to myself. To attend upon them--to supply their wants--to give them what they had gone without the furnishment of--I left my home and my business in order that they might not suffer while they were doing good service for the gentleman from Franklin and his constituents.
MR. M'CLURE--I remember the occasion well, and I would not detract from the mission of humanity the gentleman was there to perform. He was not alone in his enterprise. Few of his constituents in the ranks were without their like ministers. They had more need for the gentleman from Philadelphia as Poet Laureate than as surgeon or nurse. In common with others I welcomed them as a necessity--all that I had was at their disposal to add to their comfort. They were, as a rule, of the best men of the State, but they had no thought of striking the foe. They were wanting in organization, in officers, in equipments, in their commissary and quartermaster's departments, and studied geography about the State line with more earnestness than the evolutions of battalions. They were unprepared for war--could be nothing else because of the haste with which they were thrown together. They had sense enough to know it and they determined to avoid it. Imperfectly provided for, they subsisted largely upon the inhabitants. They claimed freely and as a rule received generously. Undisciplined, and commanded mainly by politicians and political candidates, they would have been powerless before a disciplined foe. They therefore came and went, subsisted and foraged, and the last condition of our people was worse than the first. (Laughter). I state a fact known to all who were charged with any responsibility in that memorable campaign, that whatever may have been the feelings of pride and relief at their march to the border, they were vastly enhanced when the militia were got safely from the border to their homes again.
But while some marched and others refused to march when ordered to approach the enemy, there was unanimity upon one point throughout that vast army. All agreed that they must be paid. Then was the State convulsed from end to end. The militia had earned thirteen dollars per man; an election was at hand, and the State and National Government were required to observe a faith with the militia even if there should be a pause in the war for the preservation of the government. I was then in an official position connected with the military department of this State; and politicians crowded the department and demanded that all things should be set aside to pay the troops who had marched to the border. And it was done. Delegation after delegation was despatched to Washington, and there was no rest day or night until the men to whom the gentleman from Philadelphia ministered humanity were paid their wages. True the border people had lost more time; had, as a rule, given more service, and lost by the total suspension of business and the ravages of ten thousand raw and unprovided troops; but they were unthought of then, as they seem to be forgotten now. The constituents of the gentleman from Philadelphia were called to the border, at the expense of the government, to share our dangers for but a fortnight. They did all that could have been expected of them, and were entitled to compensation, but I submit that it becomes not men to boast of their own services, or the services of their constituents, as an argument against restitution to the plundered people of the border. We of the border, and not the enemy, were the sufferers--were necessarily so. We helped to pay them, and complain not of it. It was due to them. They were sent in obedience to the duty of the government to defend; and their wages, their subsistence and their damages sustained and inflicted, with equal justice should be paid. Again in 1863 the foe invaded our State, and the militia were called out. They again visited the border, and again made their chief record in their pay rolls. They were again with us to share for a few weeks the common perils of the border. So much was due to the brethren of a Commonwealth. In addition to the personal dangers shared with us by the militia, we periled everything besides. Again the question of remuneration absorbed the dignitaries and prominent men of the State. Delay could not be tolerated, and the Executive had to pledge the faith of the State without law to compensate them. I do not complain of it. They had just claim against the State for it, but was their exposure or sacrifice even a tithe of that sustained by the border people? If one was so clearly just as to override the law, what is the measure of justice in the claims of those who have been bankrupted and rendered homeless by the ravages of friend and foe? I recognize in this Hall some of the heroes whose offices of humanity made them ceaseless in their efforts to pay the militia, law or no law, and I regret to say that some of them seem now to have no higher ambition than to defame the patient, faithful, despoiled people I have the honor in part to represent.
I do not wish to be misunderstood. I do not mean to assail the patriotism or valor of our militia. Any other ten thousand men from this or any other State would have done just as they did. Their history is but the history of undisciplined troops everywhere, and their devastation, however causeless and wide-spread, is the common penalty of such defenders. I have referred to them in answer to the gentleman from Philadelphia to show that what he boasts of as an evidence of the fraternal kindness of the people to the border, was but the work of death to us. Two-thirds of the losses sustained in Franklin county, excepting the burning of Chambersburg, were inflicted by our own troops. The insurgents were in an enemy's country with veteran troops when they were with us, and discipline and order were essential to their safety, while our own men were among there friends. I would not defame them; but I cannot be silent when their heroism is boastingly contrasted with my constituents, and their brief and bloodless service made a pretext for withholding justice from the people they despoiled.
The gentleman from Warren (Mr. Brown) and the gentleman from Philadelphia (Mr. Ruddiman) join in demanding that if losses of property on the border shall be compensated, those who have given their sons and husbands as sacrifices to save our Nationality in other sections should be repaid as far as it is in the power of government to make restitution. Sir, the people whose cause I defend tonight have been second to none in their sad sacrifices of sons, and husbands, and fathers to destroy the murderous power of treason. There is not an untimely grave in the districts of the gentlemen that has not its counterpart in the beautiful valley of the Cumberland. We too have mothers stricken by the angel of death, whose sons have fallen as martyrs for our liberties. We too have widows mourning with their fatherless children the sad exactions that civil war has made. We have vacant chairs and broken circles thick as the City of Brotherly Love or the sons of the North. We have broken hearts to solace; the keenest sorrows to heal; bereavement with its terrible pall shadowing almost every home. In this our sacrifices are but the common sacrifices of loyal men in all sections, and we complain not. For this there can be no restitution. It is not in the power of mortals to restore the martyred dead; but hundreds of those who are thus bereaved to-day turn from their blackened walls and withered waste to the graves of their holy offerings for the life of the Republic. They are homeless, made so by the barbarous foe whose brutal fury they braved for your protection, but they still have sacred shrines around which their shadowed affections gather. Without habitations among the living, they have holy altars with the dead, and these alone remain to mingle the sad consolation of patriotism and love with their consuming sorrow. We boast not of these sacrifices--we complain not of them. We have given of all we possessed with unsparing hands to our common cause--our goods; our golden harvests; our substance; and our sons and fathers have not been withheld.
Sir, I am not insensible as to the probable fate of the bill in this House. I cannot be mistaken in the manifestations of sentiment already made. It does not meet with the favor of a majority of my associates, and the vote soon to be taken will consign it to death. I am prepared for the foreshadowed result. I have spared no efforts, have been instant in season and out of season to dissipate the groundless prejudices and calm the strange fears which have confronted it from the beginning. When the vote about to be taken shall have been recorded, the subject will not again agitate this House--will not again convulse the timid and arouse the malice of those who seem to hate the people who have suffered all things to preserve our government. I shall return to my disappointed constituents and present the record that has been made by this House, and they will not question the fidelity and earnestness with which their representatives have labored in behalf of the right. How deeply they will feel humiliated by the defeat of this bill, after every possible misinterpretation of their motives and wanton defamation had been employed against them, I need not here attempt to portray. I know how keenly it will strike those, already thrice smitten by the foe. They cannot but believe that their State is unmindful of them; that while it sends the tax-gatherer and demands its full measure of tribute, it forgets its solemn obligations to them. They have been taught that their flag is the symbol of power, or protection from lawlessness within and foes without, and they will believe so still. They will not falter in their duty because the popular branch of the legislative has been faithless to them and to the fame of their Commonwealth. They will bow to the decree of this House tonight, well assured that more liberal and more just men will yet control its actions. They will not complain of their government, nor will they despair of its fulfillment of its highest prerogatives. They will, as best they can, rear their homes again, plant anew their trodden fields, and make beautiful again their withered flowers. They can if need be, afford to be forgotten, even to be spurned with wanton insult by this House. They can survive it; but the Commonwealth cannot. Theirs would be but the history of the wrongs of individuals; but the blot upon the escutcheon of the State would be ineffaceable. It would impair its power; teach distrust to its people, and spread dishonor over its name and fame. No State, with our exhaustless wealth, our heroic people, our just pride and untarnished justice, can thus afford to disregard its accepted duties to any class of its citizens. He who can declare himself a citizen of Pennsylvania, should feel undoubted confidence that his boast is not an empty fraud. Rome struggled for more than a century as to whether patricians or plebeians should rule; but it was the highest pride of each to declare himself a Roman citizen. It was the signal for respect, for justice, for protection within the boundaries of civilization. And so it should be; it must be here. It may not be so now; but it will be the policy of Pennsylvania, and when it becomes accepted and established the trembling apprehensions and petty hatreds of to-night will be disowned by their authors.
Sir, I have been pained, deeply pained, at the recklessness with which disloyalty has been charged upon my immediate constituents. There may be among those I represent, some who hate their country and its cause, and it is possible that a few may have done themselves the dishonor to exact exorbitantly from those who came to defend the State. If there are such, they dare not avow it. They could not live in my county and declare by word or deed, their sympathy with the enemies of the Government. For three consecutive years the enemy has invaded our territory, and the authorities were untiring in their efforts to ascertain who, if any, gave aid and counsel to our foes. To but one was this terrible crime traced--a citizen of York, and he lives today by the clemency of the President, who took from his head the decree of death. Earnestly as the people of Franklin have differed in their political faith, and firmly as a portion of them dispute the policy of the war, I affirm it with confidence that, as a people, all stood shoulder to shoulder and man to man to bring discomfiture upon the enemy when he polluted our soil. They have been faithful in the past, and they will be faithful still. There is no duty an endangered government can impose upon them that they will not perform--no sacrifice can be demanded that they will not cheerfully yield. They know the value of government, and they will preserve it. If new graves, new bereavements are necessary to our national life, they will be given. They will give their remaining homes and green fields to the destroyer if need be to preserve to you and to them and to posterity the measureless blessings of free government. They will not reproach you because they have to bear the surges of the ruthless vandal while you can dwell in peace and plenty in your homes. They will not murmur that their seed-time and harvest come and go with nought but desolation, while yours [section missing]
wrought; and as the green moss lives in perpetual freshness on the chilly marble that marks the resting places of their martyred dead, so will they follow with unfaltering devotion to the cause of the Republic of our fathers. No studied wrong here --no perfidy elsewhere, can make them aught else than faithful, though the mournful track of war should come to every hearth-stone. They will do so because it is their duty, and they shrink not from it. However this House may manifest its indifference to their sufferings and to the dignity and fame of the Commonwealth, they will accept the wrongs inflicted upon them by war as wrongs to the State, and so within due time, our legislation declare.
In sincerest sorrow I am compelled to advert to the singular position assumed on this question by those who claim to be the peculiar supporters of government and law--my own political associates. With few exceptions they have resisted this bill with an earnestness and energy that illy becomes the advocates of the supremacy of government in all its might and prerogatives. I fear, sir, that they have done us wanton wrong--that they have doomed us to cruel embarrassments or it may be hopeless discomfiture, where our struggles have been fiercest for success. They should bear in mind that the mutations of politics deny perpetual power to any organization. In two consecutive years I served in this House in a minority of one-third and a majority of two-thirds; and I fear that the action of this House to-night will but hasten the day when the men who shall stand where I address you, will speak for the minority.
MR. BROWN--I will ask the gentleman from Franklin if he means to say that he will be on the Democratic side of the House?
MR. M'CLURE--Sir, the member from Franklin is one of those who has borne the burden and heat of the day to give success to the Union party. He has been--
MR. BROWN--Will the gentleman answer my question, whether he will vote on the other side of this House if this bill does not pass?
MR. M'CLURE--There must be few to whom any answer to the question is necessary. I have been constant in season and out of season to defend the doctrines and policy of the party with which the gentleman from Warren (Mr. Brown) and myself act. Sir, I am incapable, as he must know, and as I have ever shown on this floor, of being influenced in my political opinions or actions by any decision this House may give on this or any other question. I cannot be changed in my purposes, or efforts, no matter what may be the fate of this bill. No man has shown on this floor a more earnest devotion to the doctrines of the Union party and to the interests of the government, and the humble member who now addresses you. I have spoken of that which I fear the future must produce by the illiberal and unwise action of the House on this question.
MR. BROWN--I will put the direct question--whether if this bill is not passed he will go over to the Democratic party?
MR. M'CLURE--I can give the gentleman from Warren (Mr. Brown) facts, but cannot give him comprehension. (Laughter.) I have answered distinctly that no action of this legislature on this or any other question can make me change my political associations or convictions in any degree.
MR. BROWN--That is all right.
MR. M'CLURE--No man knew better than the gentleman from Warren (Mr. Brown) that it was all right before.
I would remind members of the House, as a fact with which we must deal, that it has become the accepted policy of the minority of this House to maintain the faith of the Commonwealth unsullied on this question. It matter not why, or for what reason. Men may impugn their purposes and declare it but an effort for power; but they have been consistent from the first, and their record is unbroken in behalf of the honor of the State. They have shown it on every test on this question. They have not counseled with their fears. They voted for it last year, and they found no convulsion, no complaint at home. I ask men who seek the supremacy of right in politics not to turn blindly away from these facts. This question will be carried to every household in the land. In spite of the selfishness that the mousing politician would arouse, the people of Pennsylvania love justice. Their appreciation of it is mightier than the sophistries that ingenuity or malice can weave around the issue. And when the revulsion comes, can the rejected and long-suffering greet the day with else than joy because justice and the honor of the State have triumphed? Look well to the lease of political power. It is at best but transitory. The wisest councils and most sagacious leaders have even failed to make it perpetual, and let the Union party not surrender its supremacy because it was forgetful of justice.
Sir, I must close. My earnestness in behalf of a people who, ever faithful in evil and good report, have been taught that it is theirs to wait and suffer, may excuse the length and ardor with which I have spoken. I have now in my feeble way fulfilled my trust, and the issue is with you. If your record shall not be in vindication of our common brotherhood as citizens of a great Commonwealth, I shall wait hopefully, confidently for the better day when the despoiled people of the border will learn that our boasted government recognizes all its obligations, and reaches out its strong arm to prevent unequal burdens from falling upon any portion of its citizens. They with me will hope and wait, and the day will come when equal and exact justice to all will be indelibly inscribed in our history by ample restitution to those upon whom has fallen the brutal fury of the foe.
(Column 1)Summary: In the wake of Gen. Johnston's surrender, the editors proclaim that the war is all but over. Yet, they caution, there is still much work to be done. The federal government faces the enormous task of bringing order to the "chaos that has swept the insurgent States."
Full Text of Article:The Assassin's End
The Rebellion is ended! The last army of crime at all formidable in numbers and prowess has surrendered to Gen. Sherman. No organized force of the foe now inhabits the States East of the Mississippi. Texas has still what is called the Trans-Mississippi rebel army under Gen. Kirby Smith; but it must rapidly waste away if it does not follow the example of the trained and battle-scarred armies of Lee and Johnston, and yield obedience to the government they sought to destroy.
Thus has Peace broken upon us through Victory. It was the only channel through which tranquillity could come with honor and the promise of endurance. The military power of treason has been utterly, hopelessly broken, and rebellion lives only in history to teach mankind to curse its authors. It has dotted our fair land with untimely graves. It has spread desolation over every State that owned its dominion. It has bereaved the whole Nation, and shadowed nearly every household circle with sadness. It has entailed a staggering debt to fall now alike upon loyal and disloyal, and it has doomed to a dishonor worse than death men who once filled the high places of the Republic.
Such are fruits of treason. It has no compensation for its terrible sacrifices. It is all exaction, desolation, despotism, death. It fades away before the vindicated majesty of the government without one redeeming virtue to plead in extenuation of its atrocity in history. Save that its warriors were brave and its leaders skillful, it has nothing in its chequered and blotted record worthy of imitation. No new Davis's and Lees will learn of this cruel war, and pant for the fame rebellion has won for its authors. All the world will shun and condemn those who so causelessly inaugurated it, and their bloody failure and unmingled shame will make future generations true to mankind, to order, and to law.
The power of Treason is conquered. Its mournful sacrifices are ended, but government has now to be inaugurated over the chaos that has swept the insurgent States. With this delicate and solemn duty the new administration is charged, and it will demand all the wise foresight and generous forbearance that our most enlightened statesmen can exercise. They are charged with a Nationality just rescued from its deadly foes and redeemed from the stain of bondage, and its perpetuity and power and prosperity are in their hands. They have started well. A faithful people is rallying to their support with an earnestness bounded by no party lines, and we look upon the past with melancholy pride, we look upon the future hopeful, even confident, that henceforth the aim of government and people will be--LIBERTY AND UNION, NOW AND FOREVER, ONE AND INSEPARABLE."
(Column 1)Summary: A chronicle of Booth's last days, from the night he shot Lincoln to his own death at the hands of Boston Corbett.[No Title]
(Column 2)Summary: The editors suggest that its Democratic rival, the Valley Spirit, "is becoming rational" because it has finally recognized that Emancipation is "the established policy of the government" and "advises that all agitation of the subject shall be abandoned by its Democratic friends."Summary of War News
(Column 3)Summary: It is reported that all paroled soldiers in the Shenandoah Valley are requested to take an oath of allegiance before going home. Among the soldiers who have thus far completed this requirement are many of Mosby's guerrillas who recently arrived in Winchester, including his second in command, Lieut. Col. Chambers.The President To The Governor Of Pennsylvania
(Column 7)Summary: A report that "a number of citizens from Pennsylvania" met with President Johnson and presented him with a letter from Gov. Curtin, in which he proffered his support for the administration.
Local Items--Taken For Booth
(Column 1)Summary: Relates that a local resident, J. Allison Eyster, Esq., "narrowly escaped arrest in Huntingdon" after he was mistakenly identified as Lincoln's assassin while visiting his brother-in-law, John Scott. Apparently, a barber in Huntingdon informed the authorities that Booth was in town after Eyster went to his shop to get a shave. In the excitement that ensued, residents searched throughout the town for the assassin but failed to find him, thus fueling the hysteria and the belief that someone had "secreted him somewhere about the town." The blunder was discovered the next morning, however, when Eyster appeared on the streets with Scott.Local Items--Horse Thieves About
(Names in announcement: J. Allison EysterEsq., John Scott)
(Column 1)Summary: A report that Washington and Quincy townships are "infested" by a gang of horse thieves, which has prompted the civil and military authorities to take drastic measures to break up the ring and capture the parties involved. It is believed that some of the stolen horses have been taken by rebel guerrillas. Last Sunday, one such thief was shot down in Harrisburg, an occurrence that the editors say will be repeated in Chambersburg should the depredations continue.Local Items--Pay Of Drafted Men
(Column 1)Summary: In response to a query made by a resident of Carlisle, the editors inform readers that only volunteers are entitled to receive the bounties provided by the act of Congress. But, they explain, all soldiers, whether volunteers or conscripts, "are on exactly the same footing" with regards clothing, rations, pay and pensions.Local Items
(Column 1)Summary: Noting that it has recently become "unsafe" for a lady to appear on the streets alone at night, the piece calls on soldiers to stop "annoying citizens."Local Items
(Column 1)Summary: An announcement that the Franklin County Bible School will hold its anniversary celebration at the Lutheran Church next Sunday. The annual sermon will be given by Rev. S. H. C. Smith.Local Items
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. H. C. Smith)
(Column 1)Summary: A notice that Benjamin Suters, a member of Company K, 210th Penna. Vol. died from the wounds he suffered in the campaign at Richmond. He was interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery.Local Items--Correction
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Suters)
(Column 1)Summary: Levi Lochbaum was selected as the Constable of Green township in the late election, not Jacob Zuck, as had been reported.Married
(Names in announcement: Levi Lochbaum, Jacob Zuck)
(Column 4)Summary: On April 20th, Henry Baley and Mary Gordon were married by D. B. Russell.Married
(Names in announcement: Henry Baley, Mary Gordon, D. B. Russell)
(Column 4)Summary: On April 19th, Moses Everett and Maggie J., daughter of Elias Shearer, were married by Rev. William A. West.Died
(Names in announcement: Moses Everett, Elias Shearer, Mary J. Shearer, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 4)Summary: On April 12th, Catharine A., daughter of Peter and Nancy Keller, died at age 19.
(Names in announcement: Catharine A. Keller, Peter Keller, Nancy Keller)
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