By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works; Volume 2 (of 20) - With an introduction by Hon. George Frisbie Hoar
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works; Volume 2 (of 20) - With an introduction by Hon. George Frisbie Hoar" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


                    Statesman Edition VOL. II

                            Charles Sumner

                          HIS COMPLETE WORKS

                           With Introduction


                       HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR



                            LEE AND SHEPARD


                           COPYRIGHT, 1900,


                           LEE AND SHEPARD.

                          Statesman Edition.

                           OF WHICH THIS IS

                                No. 565

                            Norwood Press:
                        NORWOOD, MASS., U.S.A.



  before the Boston Mercantile Library Association, February
  17, 1847 1

  Boston Prison Discipline Society, at Tremont Temple,
  June 18, 1847 104

  Boston Daily Advertiser, July 23, 1847 151

  FAME AND GLORY. Oration before the Literary Societies of
  Amherst College, at their Anniversary, August 11, 1847 153

  State Convention of Massachusetts, at Springfield, September
  29, 1847 207

  THE LATE HENRY WHEATON. Article in the Boston Daily
  Advertiser, March 16, 1848 215

  a Mass Convention at Worcester, June 28, 1848 226

  THE LAW OF HUMAN PROGRESS. Oration before the Phi
  Beta Kappa Society of Union College, Schenectady,
  July 25, 1848 241

  THE PARTY OF FREEDOM. Speech on taking the Chair as
  Presiding Officer of a Public Meeting to ratify the Nominations
  of the Buffalo Convention, at Faneuil Hall,
  August 22, 1848 291

  Letter addressed to a Committee of the Free-Soil Party
  in Boston, October 20, 1848 299

  APPEAL FOR THE FREE-SOIL PARTY. Address of the State
  Committee to the People of Massachusetts, November 9,
  1843 316

  A LAST RALLY FOR FREEDOM. Letter to the Chairman of
  the Free-Soil Meeting at Faneuil Hall, November 9, 1848 320

  before the American Peace Society, at its Anniversary
  Meeting in the Park Street Church, Boston, May 28, 1849 323


                          FEBRUARY 17, 1847.

                      Mutato nomine, de te
          Fabula narratur.--HOR. _Sat._ I. i. 69, 70.

    And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such
    things, and doest the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of
    God?--_Rom._ ii. 3.

    There are individuals in the United States who hold more of
    their fellow-creatures in slavery than either of the Barbary
    Powers.--HUMPHREYS, _Valedictory Discourse before the
    Cincinnati of Connecticut_, p. 34.

    This was another attempt to expose Slavery before a promiscuous
    audience at a time when the subject was too delicate to be treated
    directly. Mr. Sumner commenced in the course at Boston, and
    afterwards gave the substance of his Lecture before many of the
    Lyceums of Massachusetts. Professedly historical in character, and
    carefully avoiding any discussion of slavery in our country, it
    escaped "censure," although jealous defenders of compromise were
    disturbed. Others were pleased to find their sentiments against
    slavery represented in the lecture-room.

    It was easy to see, that, under the guise of condemning the slavery
    of whites, he condemned the slavery of blacks. While showing how
    the first came to prevail, he naturally exposed the origin of all
    slavery; nor does he for a moment lose sight of slavery among
    us, which is constantly present under an _alias_. The outrage is
    exhibited not only in its original wrong and oppression, but in the
    constant efforts against it by all civilized nations, sometimes
    by ransom, sometimes by war, ending at last in bloody overthrow.
    Conspiracies and escapes are described. At that time there was
    intense interest in fugitive slaves, which was gratified by the
    stories here introduced, showing how human sympathies attend all
    seeking freedom. Elsewhere, as well as here, the North Star had
    been a guide. It was common to doubt the hardships of slavery in
    our country; but there were persons who doubted the hardships
    of slavery in the Barbary States. Nothing more common among
    compromisers than to say that our slaves did not desire freedom,
    and that they were better off than free negroes; but there were
    persons, professing to know the condition of the Barbary States,
    who insisted that there were white slaves who left with regret, and
    that they were better off than free Christians there. Thus at each
    point is this historical lecture an argument against Slavery, and
    an answer to its defenders.


History is sometimes called a gallery, where are exhibited scenes,
events, and characters of the Past. It may also be called the world's
great charnel-house, where are gathered coffins, dead men's bones, and
all the uncleanness of years that have fled. Thus is it both an example
and a warning to mankind. Walking among its pictures, radiant with
the inspiration of virtue and of freedom, we thrill with new impulse
to beneficent exertion. Groping amidst unsightly shapes without an
epitaph, we may at least derive fresh aversion to all their living

In this mighty gallery, amidst angelic light, are the benefactors of
mankind,--poets who have sung the praise of virtue, historians who
have recorded its achievements, and the good of all time, who, by
word or deed, have striven for the welfare of others. Here are those
scenes where the godlike in man is made manifest in trial and danger.
Here also are those grand pictures exhibiting the establishment of
free institutions: the signing of Magna Charta, with its priceless
privileges, by a reluctant monarch; and the signing of the Declaration
of Independence, announcing the inalienable rights of man, by the
fathers of our Republic.

On the other hand, in ignominious confusion, far down in this dark,
dreary charnel-house, is tumbled all that now remains of the tyrants,
the persecutors, the selfish men, under whom mankind have groaned.
Here also, in festering, loathsome decay, are monstrous _institutions_
or _customs_, which the earth, weary of their infamy and wrong, has
refused to sustain,--the Helotism of Sparta, the Serfdom of Christian
Europe, the Ordeal by Battle, and Algerine Slavery.

From this charnel-house let me draw forth one of these. It may not be
without profit to dwell on the _origin_, _history_, and _character_
of a custom, which, after being for a long time a by-word and a
hissing among the nations, is at last driven from the world. The easy,
instinctive, positive reprobation which it will receive from all must
necessarily direct our judgment of other institutions, yet tolerated in
defiance of justice and humanity. I propose to consider the subject of
_White Slavery in Algiers_, or, perhaps it may be more appropriately
called, _White Slavery in the Barbary States_. As Algiers was its
chief seat, it seems to have acquired a current name from that place.
Nevertheless I shall proceed to speak of White Slavery, or the Slavery
of Christians, throughout the Barbary States.

This subject may fail in interest, but not in novelty. I am not aware
of any previous attempt to combine its scattered materials.


The territory now known as the Barbary States is memorable in history.
Classical inscriptions, broken arches, and ancient tombs--the memorials
of various ages--still bear interesting witness to the revolutions it
has undergone.[1] Early Greek legend made it the home of terror and
of happiness. Here was the retreat of the Gorgon, with snaky tresses,
turning all she looked upon into stone; and here also the Garden of
the Hesperides, with apples of gold. It was the scene of adventure and
mythology. Here Hercules wrestled with Antæus, and Atlas sustained,
with weary shoulders, the overarching sky. At an early day Phoenician
fugitives transported the spirit of commerce to its coasts; and
Carthage, which these wanderers planted, became mistress of the seas,
explorer of distant regions, rival and victim of Rome. Here for a while
the energy and subtlety of Jugurtha baffled the Roman power, till at
last the whole region, from Egypt to the Pillars of Hercules, underwent
the process of "annexation" to the cormorant republic of ancient times.
A thriving population and fertile soil rendered it an immense granary.
It was filled with ancient cities, one of which was the refuge and
the grave of Cato, fleeing from the usurpations of Cæsar. At a later
day Christianity was here preached by saintly bishops. The torrent of
the Vandals, first wasting Italy, passed this way; and the arms of
Belisarius here obtained their most signal triumphs. The Saracens, with
the Koran and the sword, declared ministers of conversion, next broke
from Arabia, as messengers of a new religion, and, pouring along these
shores, diffused the faith and doctrines of Mohammed. Their empire was
not confined even by these expansive limits, but, under Musa, entered
Spain, and afterwards at Roncesvalles, in "dolorous rout,"
overthrew the embattled chivalry of the Christian world under

    [1] The classical student will be gratified and surprised by the
    remains of antiquity described by Dr. Shaw, English chaplain at
    Algiers in the reign of George the First, in his "Travels, or
    Observations relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant,"
    published in 1738.

The Saracenic power did not long retain its unity or importance; and
as we discern this territory in the dawn of modern history, when the
countries of Europe are appearing in their new nationalities, we
recognize five different communities or states, Morocco, Algiers,
Tunis, Tripoli, and Barca, the last of little moment and often included
in Tripoli, the whole constituting what was then, and is still,
called the Barbary States. This name has sometimes been referred to
the Berbers, or Berebbers, constituting part of the inhabitants; but
I delight to follow the classic authority of Gibbon, who thinks that
the term, first applied by Greek pride to all strangers, and finally
reserved for those only who were savage or hostile, justly settled,
as a local denomination, along the northern coast of Africa.[2] The
Barbary States, then, bear their past character in their name.

They occupy an important space on the earth's surface: on the north
washed by the Mediterranean Sea, furnishing such opportunities for
prompt intercourse with Southern Europe that Cato was able to exhibit
in the Roman Senate figs freshly plucked in the gardens of Carthage;
bounded on the east by Egypt, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean,
and on the south by the vast, mysterious, sandy, flinty waste of
Sahara, separating them from Soudan or Negroland. In advantage of
position they surpass every other part of Africa,--unless we except
Egypt,--communicating easily with the Christian nations, and thus, as
it were, touching the very hem and border of civilization.

    [2] Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chap. LI. Vol. IX. p.

Climate adds attractions to this region, which is removed from the cold
of the north and the burning heat of the tropics, while it is enriched
with oranges, citrons, olives, figs, pomegranates, and luxuriant
flowers. Its position and character invite a singular and suggestive
comparison. It is placed between the twenty-fifth and thirty-seventh
degrees of north latitude, occupying nearly the same parallels with the
Slave States of our Union. It extends over nearly the same number of
degrees of longitude with our Slave States, which seem now, alas! to
stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rio Grande. It is supposed to
embrace about 700,000 square miles, which cannot be far from the space
comprehended by what may be called the _Barbary States of America_.[3]
Nor does the comparison end here. Algiers, for a long time the most
obnoxious place in the Barbary States of Africa, the chief seat of
Christian slavery, and once branded by an indignant chronicler as
"the wall of the barbarian world," is situated near the parallel of
36° 30' north latitude, being the line of what is termed the Missouri
Compromise, marking the "wall" of Christian slavery in our country,
west of the Mississippi.

    [3] Jefferson, without recognizing the general parallel, alludes to
    Virginia as fast sinking to be "the Barbary of the Union."--Memoir,
    Correspondence, etc., ed. T.J. Randolph, Vol. IV. pp. 333, 334.

Other less important points of likeness occur. They are each washed,
to the same extent, by ocean and sea,--with this difference, that the
two are thus exposed on directly opposite coasts: the African Barbary
being water-bounded on the north and west, and our American Barbary on
the south and east. But there are no two spaces on the globe, of equal
extent, (and geographical testimony will verify what I am stating,)
which present so many distinctive features of resemblance, whether we
consider the parallels of latitude on which they lie, the nature of
their boundaries, their productions, their climate, or the "peculiar
domestic institution" which has sought shelter in both.

I introduce these comparisons that I may bring home to your minds, as
nearly as possible, the precise position and character of the territory
which was the seat of the evil I am about to describe. It might be
worthy of inquiry, why Christian slavery, banished at last from Europe,
banished also from that part of this hemisphere which corresponds in
latitude to Europe, should have intrenched itself in both hemispheres
between the same parallels of latitude, so that Virginia, Carolina,
Mississippi, and Texas should be the American complement to Morocco,
Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis. Perhaps common peculiarities of climate,
breeding lassitude, indolence, and selfishness, may account for
that insensibility to the claims of justice and humanity which have
characterized both regions.

                    Illustrations Of White Slavery.

The revolting custom of White Slavery in the Barbary States was for
many years the shame of modern civilization. The nations of Europe made
constant efforts, continued through successive centuries, to procure
its _abolition_, and also to rescue their subjects from its fearful
doom. These may be traced in diversified pages of history, and in
authentic memoirs. Literature affords illustrations which must not be
neglected. At one period, the French, the Italians, and the Spaniards
borrowed the plots of their stories from this source.[4]

    [4] Sismondi, Literature of the South of Europe, Chap. XXIX. Vol.
    III. p. 402.

The adventures of Robinson Crusoe make our childhood familiar with
one of its forms. Among his early trials was his piratical capture
by a rover from Sallee, a port of Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean, and
reduction to slavery. "At this surprising change of my circumstances,"
says Crusoe, "from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly
overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's prophetic discourse
to me, that I should be miserable and have none to relieve me, which
I thought was now so effectually brought to pass that it could not be
worse." And Cervantes, in the story of Don Quixote, over which so many
generations have shaken with laughter, turns aside from its genial
current to give the narrative of a Spanish captive who had escaped from
Algiers. The author is supposed to have drawn from his own experience;
for during five years and a half he endured the horrors of Algerine
slavery, from which he was finally liberated by a ransom of less than
seven hundred dollars.[5] This inconsiderable sum of money--scarcely
the price of an ordinary African slave in our own Southern States--gave
to freedom, to his country, and to mankind the author of Don Quixote.

    [5] The exact amount in our money is left uncertain both by
    Smollett and Roscoe, in their lives of Cervantes. It appears that
    it was five hundred gold crowns of Spain, which, according to his
    Spanish biographer, Navarrete, is equal to 6,770 reals, in the
    currency of the present day. (Vida de Cervantes, p. 371). The real
    is reckoned at ten cents.

In Cervantes freedom gained a champion whose efforts entitle him to
grateful mention on this threshold of our inquiry. Taught in the school
of slavery, he knew how to commiserate the slave. The unhappy condition
of his fellow-Christians in chains was ever uppermost in his mind. He
lost no opportunity of inciting attempts for their emancipation, and
for the overthrow of the "peculiar institution"--pardon the recurring
phrase!--under which they groaned. He became in Spain what, in our
day and country, is sometimes called an "anti-slavery agitator,"--not
by public meetings and addresses, but, according to the genius of
the age, mainly through the theatre. Not from the platform, but from
the stage, did this liberated slave speak to the world. In a play
entitled _El Trato de Argel_, or Life in Algiers--which, though not
composed according to rules of art, found much favor, probably from its
subject--he pictured, shortly after his return to Spain, the manifold
humiliations, pains, and torments of slavery. This was followed by
two other plays in the same spirit,--_La Gran Sultana Doña Cathalina
de Oviedo_, and _Los Baños de Argel_, or, The Galleys of Algiers. The
last act of the latter closes with the statement, calculated to enlist
the sympathies of an audience, that "this play is not drawn from the
imagination, but was born far from the regions of fiction, in the very
heart of truth." More could not be said of a tale of Slavery in our
day. Not content with this appeal through the theatre, Cervantes, with
constant zeal, takes up the same theme in the tale of "The Captive"
which he introduces into Don Quixote, and also in that of _El Amante
Liberal_, and in some parts of _La Española Inglesa_. All these may be
regarded not merely as literary labors, but as charitable efforts in
behalf of human freedom.

This same cause enlisted a contemporary genius, prolific beyond
precedent, called by Cervantes "that great prodigy of Nature," Lope de
Vega, who freely borrowed from it in a play entitled _Los Cautivos de
Argel_. At a later day, Calderon, sometimes exalted as the Shakespeare
of the Spanish stage, in one of his most remarkable dramas, _El
Principe Constante_, cast a poet's glance at Christian slavery in
Morocco. To these works, belonging to what may be called the literature
of Anti-Slavery, and shedding upon our subject a grateful light, must
be added a curious and learned volume on the Topography and History
of Algiers (_Topographia e Historia de Argel_), by Haedo, a Spanish
father of the Catholic Church, published in 1612, and containing also
two copious Dialogues,--one on Captivity (_de la Captividad_), and
the other on the Martyrs of Algiers (_de los Martyres de Argel_).
These Dialogues, besides embodying authentic sketches of suffering in
Algiers, form a mine of classical and patristic learning on the origin
and character of slavery, with arguments and protestations against
its iniquity, which may be explored with profit even in our day. In
view of this gigantic evil, particularly in Algiers, and in the hope
of arousing his countrymen to the generous work of emancipation, the
good father exclaims, in words which must thrill the soul so long as
a single fetter binds a single slave: "Where is charity? Where is
the love of God? Where is the zeal for his glory? Where is desire
for his service? Where is human pity, and the compassion of man for
man? Certainly, to redeem a captive, to liberate him from wretched
slavery, is the highest work of charity, of all that can be done in
this world."[6] The reports of the good fathers who visited this land
of bondage for the redemption of captives testify likewise. One of
these thus speaks from the depths of the heart: "The charity of Jesus
Christ obliges us; and I question not but that whosoever had seen those
miseries I have been a witness to, and the deplorable condition I left
our captives in, would have no less ardent a desire to relieve them."[7]

    [6] Pp. 140, 141.

    [7] Busnot, History of the Reign of Muley Ismael: Preface.

Not long after the bitter experience of Cervantes, another person,
of another country and language, and of a higher character, St.
Vincent de Paul, one of the saintly glories of France, encountered
the same cruel lot. Happily for the world, he escaped from slavery,
to commence at home that long career of charity--nobler than any fame
of literature--signalized by various Christian efforts against duels,
for peace, for the poor, and in every field of humanity, by which he
is enrolled among the great names of Christendom. Princes and orators
have lavished panegyrics upon this fugitive slave; and the Catholic
Church, in homage to his extraordinary virtues, has numbered him with
the saints. Nor is he the only illustrious Frenchman who has felt the
yoke of slavery. Arago, astronomer and philosopher,--devoted republican
also,--while on the coast of the Mediterranean, engaged in those
scientific labors which made the beginning of his fame, came within the
clutch of Algerine slave-dealers. What science and the world gained by
his liberation I need not say.

Thus Science, Literature, Freedom, Philanthropy, the Catholic Church,
each and all, owe a debt to the liberated Barbary slave. Let them, on
this occasion, as beneficent heralds, commend the story of his wrongs,
his struggles, and his triumphs!


                          ORIGIN OF SLAVERY.

These preliminary remarks prepare the way for the subject to which I
invite attention. Here I am naturally led to touch upon the _origin
of slavery_, and the principles which lie at its foundation, before
proceeding to exhibit the efforts for its abolition, and their final
success in the Barbary States.

The word _Slave_, suggesting now so much of human abasement, has an
origin which speaks of human grandeur. Its parent term, _Slava_,
signifying _glory_, in the Slavonian dialect, where it first appears,
was proudly assumed as the national designation of races in the
northeastern part of the European continent, who, in the vicissitudes
of war, were afterwards degraded from the condition of conquerors
to that of servitude. The Slavonian bondman, retaining his national
name, was known as _Slave_; and this term, passing from a _race_ to a
_class_, was afterwards applied, in the languages of modern Europe, to
all in his unhappy lot, without distinction of country or color.[8]
It would be difficult to mention any word which has played such
opposite parts in history,--beneath the garb of servitude concealing
its early robe of pride. And yet, startling as it seems, this word
may be received in its primitive character, by those among us who
consider slavery essential to democratic institutions, and therefore
part of the true _glory_ of the country. Lexicography, going beyond
this historical illustration, announces that "most probably the
original meaning was _independent_, _free_,"[9] thus making the slave
distinctively the freeman. In the revolutions of society, and among the
compensations of Providence for long-continued degradation, the slave
might yet regain this original ascendency, if, in an era of justice,
the highest condition were not where all are equal in rights.

    [8] Gibbon, Roman Empire, Chap. LV. Vol. X. p. 190.

    [9] Webster, Dictionary, word _Slave_.

                         SLAVERY IN ANTIQUITY.

Slavery was universally recognized by the nations of antiquity. It
is said by Pliny, in bold phrase, that the Lacedæmonians "invented
slavery."[10] If this were so, the glory of Lycurgus and Leonidas would
not compensate for such a blot. It is true that they recognized it, and
gave it a shape of peculiar hardship. But slavery is older than Sparta.
It existed in the tents of Abraham; for the three hundred and eighteen
servants born to him were slaves. We behold it in the story of Joseph,
who was sold by his brothers to the Midianites for twenty pieces of
silver.[11] We find it in the poetry of Homer, who stamps it with a
reprobation which even the Christian Cowper has hardly surpassed, when
he says,--

    "Jove fixed it certain that whatever day
     Makes man a slave takes half his worth away."[12]

    [10] "_Servitium invenere Lacedæmonii._" Nat. Hist., Lib. VII. c.

    [11] Genesis xiv. 14; Ibid. xxxvii. 28. By these and other texts
    of the Scriptures, slavery, and even the _slave-trade_, have been
    vindicated. See Bruce's Travels in Africa, Book II. Ch. 2. Vol. II.
    p. 319. After quoting these texts, the complacent traveller says he
    "cannot think that purchasing slaves is in itself either cruel or

    [12] Odyssey, tr. Pope, Book XVII., 392, 393.

In later days it prevailed extensively in Greece, whose haughty people
deemed themselves justified in enslaving all who were strangers to
their manners and institutions. "It is right for Greeks to rule
barbarians," was the sentiment of Euripides, one of the first of her
poets, echoed by Aristotle, the greatest of her intellects.[13] And
even Plato, in his imaginary Republic, the Utopia of his beautiful
genius, sanctions slavery. But notwithstanding these high names,
we learn from Aristotle himself that there were persons in his
day--pestilent Abolitionists of ancient Athens--who did not hesitate
to maintain that liberty was the great law of Nature, and to deny any
difference between master and slave,--declaring at the same time that
slavery was founded upon violence, and not upon right, and that the
authority of the master was unnatural and unjust.[14] "God sent forth
all persons free; Nature has made no man a slave,"[15] was the protest
of one of these agitating Athenians against this great wrong. I am not
in any way authorized to speak for any Anti-Slavery Society, even if
this were the proper occasion; but I presume that this ancient Greek
morality embodies substantially the principles maintained at their
public meetings,--so far, at least, as they relate to slavery.

    [13] Euripid., Iphig. in Taurid., 1400; Aristot., Polit., Lib. I.
    c. 1.

    [14] Polit., Lib. I. c. 3. In like spirit are the words of the good
    Las Casas, when pleading before Charles the Fifth for the Indian
    races of America. "The Christian religion," he said, "is equal in
    its operation, and is accommodated to every nation on the globe.
    _It robs no one of his freedom, violates none of his inherent
    rights, on the ground that he is a slave by nature, as pretended_;
    and it well becomes your Majesty _to banish_ so monstrous an
    oppression from your kingdoms in the beginning of your reign, that
    the Almighty may make it long and glorious."--Prescott, Conquest of
    Mexico, Vol. I. p. 379.

    [15] A saying attributed by the Scholiast on Aristotle's Rhetoric
    to Alcidamas, a disciple of Gorgias of Leontini. See Aristotle's
    Ethics and Politics, tr. Gillies, Vol. II. p. 26.

It is true, most true, that slavery stands on force and not on right.
It is a hideous result of war, or of that barbarism in which savage
war plays its conspicuous part. To the victor belonged the lives of
his captives, and, by consequence, he might bind them in perpetual
servitude. This principle, which has been the foundation of slavery
in all ages, is adapted only to the rudest conditions of society, and
is wholly inconsistent with a period of refinement, humanity, and
justice. It is sad to confess that it was recognized by Greece; but the
civilization of this famed land, though brilliant to the external view
as the immortal sculptures of the Parthenon, was, like that stately
temple, dark and cheerless within.

Slavery extended, with new rigors, under the military dominion of Rome.
The spirit of freedom which animated the Republic was of that selfish
and intolerant character which accumulated privileges upon the Roman
citizen, while it heeded little the rights of others. But, unlike the
Greeks, the Romans admitted in theory that all men are originally
free by the Law of Nature; and they ascribed the power of masters
over slaves, not to any alleged diversities in the races of men, but
to the will of society.[16] The constant triumphs of their arms were
signalized by reducing to servitude large bodies of subjugated people.
Paulus Æmilius returned from Macedonia with an uncounted train of
slaves, composed of persons in every sphere of life; and the camp of
Lucullus in Pontus witnessed the sale of slaves for four drachmæ, or
seventy-five cents, a head.

    [16] Institut., Lib. I. Tit. 2.

Terence and Phædrus, Roman slaves, teach us that genius is not always
quenched even by degrading bondage; while the writings of Cato the
Censor, one of the most virtuous slave-masters in history, show the
hardening influence of a system which treats human beings as cattle.
"Let the husbandman," says Cato, "sell his old oxen, his sickly
cattle, his sickly sheep, his wool, his hides, his old wagon, his old
implements, _his old slave, and his diseased slave_; and if there is
anything else not wanted, let him sell it. _He should be seller, rather
than buyer._"[17]

    [17] De Re Rustica, Cap. II.

The cruelty and inhumanity which flourished in the Republic professing
freedom enjoyed a natural home under Emperors who were the high-priests
of despotism. Wealth increased, and with it the multitude of slaves.
Some masters are said to have owned as many as ten thousand, while
extravagant prices were often paid for them, according to fancy or
caprice. Martial mentions handsome boys sold for as much as two hundred
thousand sesterces each, or more than eight thousand dollars.[18] On
the assassination of Pedanius Secundus by one of his slaves, no less
than four hundred were put to death,--an orator in the Senate arguing
that these hecatombs were in accordance with ancient custom.[19]

    [18] Epig. III. 62.

    [19] Tacitus, Ann., XIV. 43.

It is easy to believe that slavery, which prevailed so largely in
Greece and Rome, must have existed in Africa. Here, indeed, it found a
peculiar home. If we trace the progress of this unfortunate continent
from those distant days of fable when Jupiter did not

            "disdain to grace
    The feasts of Æthiopia's blameless race,"[20]

the merchandise in slaves will be found to have contributed to the
abolition of two hateful customs, once universal in Africa,--the eating
of captives, and their sacrifice to idols. Thus, in the march of
civilization, even the barbarism of slavery is an important stage of
Human Progress. It is a point in the ascending scale from cannibalism.

    [20] Iliad. tr. Pope, Book I., 556, 557.

                       SLAVERY IN MODERN TIMES.

In the early periods of modern Europe slavery was a general custom,
which yielded only gradually to the humane influences of Christianity.
It prevailed in all the countries of which we have any records.
Fair-haired Saxon slaves from distant England arrested the attention
of Pope Gregory in the markets of Rome, and were by him hailed as
_Angels_. A law of so virtuous a king as Alfred ranks slaves with
horses and oxen; and the Chronicles of William of Malmesbury show
that in our mother country there was once a cruel slave-trade in
whites. As we listen to this story, we shall be grateful again to that
civilization which renders such outrage more and more impossible.
"Directly opposite to the Irish coast," he says, "there is a seaport
called Bristol, the inhabitants of which frequently sent into Ireland
to sell those people whom they had bought up throughout England. They
exposed to sale girls in a state of pregnancy, with whom they made
a sort of mock marriage. There you might see with grief, fastened
together by ropes, whole rows of wretched beings of both sexes, of
elegant forms, and in the very bloom of youth,--a sight sufficient to
excite pity even in barbarians,--daily offered for sale to the first
purchaser. Accursed deed! infamous disgrace! that men, acting in a
manner which brute instinct alone would have forbidden, should sell
into slavery their relations, nay, even their own offspring!"[21] From
still another chronicler we learn, that, in 1172, when Ireland was
afflicted with public calamities, there was a great assembly of the
principal men, _chiefly of the clergy_, who concluded, as well they
might, that these evils were sent upon their country for the reason
that they had formerly purchased English boys as slaves, contrary to
the right of Christian liberty,--the poor English, to supply their
wants, being "accustomed to sell even their own children, not to bring
them up": wherefore, it is said, the English slaves were allowed to
depart in freedom.[22] Earlier in Irish history a boy was stolen from
Scotland, who, after six years of bondage, succeeded in reaching his
home, when, entering the Church, he returned to Ireland, preached
Christianity, and, as St. Patrick, became the patron saint of that
beautiful land.[23]

    [21] Life of St. Wulstan, Book II. Chap. 20.

    [22] Chronica Hiberniæ, or the Annals of Philip Flatsbury (in the
    Cottonian Library, Domitianus XVIII. 10); quoted in Stephen on West
    India Slavery, Vol. I. p. 6.

    [23] Biographie Générale (Hoefer), Art. _Patrice_.

On the Continent of Europe, as late as the thirteenth century, the
custom prevailed of treating all captives in war as slaves. Here
poetry, as well as history, bears its testimony. Old Michael Drayton,
in his story of the Battle of Agincourt, says of the French:--

    "For knots of cord to every town they send,
     The captived English that they caught to bind;
    _For to perpetual slavery they intend
     Those that alive they on the field should find_."[24]

    [24] Battle of Agincourt, st. 144.

And Othello, in recounting his perils, exposes this custom, when he

    "Of being taken by the insolent foe
    _And sold to slavery_; of my redemption thence."

It was also held lawful to enslave an infidel, or person who did not
receive the Christian faith. The early Common Law of England doomed
heretics to the stake; the Catholic Inquisition did the same; and the
laws of Oléron, the maritime code of the Middle Ages, treated them "as
dogs," to be attacked and despoiled by all true believers. Philip le
Bel of France, grandson of St. Louis, in 1296 presented his brother
Charles, Count of Valois, with a Jew, and paid three hundred livres for
another Jew,--as if Jews were at the time chattels, to be given away
or bought.[25] The statutes of Florence, boastful of freedom, as late
as 1415 allowed republican citizens to hold slaves not of the Catholic
Christian faith,--_Qui non sunt Catholicæ fidei et Christianæ_.[26]
Besides captive Moors, there were African slaves in Spain, before
Christopher Columbus; and at Venice Marco Polo for some time held a
slave he had brought from the Orient in the age of Dante. The comedies
of Molière, _L'Étourdi_ and _Le Sicilien_, depicting Italian usages
not remote from his day, show that at Messina even Christian women
continued to be sold as slaves.

    [25] Encyclopédie Méthodique (Jurisprudence), Art. _Esclavage_.

    [26] Biot, De l'Abolition de l'Esclavage Ancien en Occident, p.
    440,--a work crowned with a gold medal by the Institute of France,
    which will be read with some disappointment.

This rapid sketch, which brings us down to the period when Algiers
became a terror to the Christian nations, renders it no longer
astonishing that the barbarous States of Barbary--a part of Africa,
the great womb of slavery, professing Mahometanism, which not only
recognizes slavery, but expressly ordains "chains and collars" to
infidels[27]--should maintain the traffic in slaves, particularly in
Christians, denying the faith of the Prophet. In the duty of constant
war upon unbelievers, and in the assertion of right to the service
or ransom of their captives, they followed the lessons of Christians

    [27] Koran, Chap. LXXVI.

It is not difficult, then, to account for the origin of this cruel
custom. Its _history_ forms our next topic.


                       HISTORY OF WHITE SLAVERY.

The Barbary States, after the decline of the Arabian power, were
enveloped in darkness, rendered more palpable by increasing light
among the Christian nations. At the twilight of European civilization
they appear to be little more than scattered bands of robbers and
pirates, "land-rats and water-rats" of Shylock, leading the lives of
Ishmaelites. Algiers is described by an early writer as "a den of
sturdy thieves formed into a body, by which, after a tumultuary sort,
they govern,"[28]--and by still another writer, contemporary with the
monstrosity which he exposes, as the "theatre of all crueltie and
sanctuarie of iniquitie, holding captive, in miserable servitude, one
hundred and twentie thousand Christians, almost all subjects of the
king of Spaine."[29] Their habit of enslaving prisoners captured in war
and piracy arousing at last the sacred animosities of Christendom,
Ferdinand the Catholic, after the conquest of Granada, and while the
boundless discoveries of Columbus, giving to Castile and Leon a new
world, still occupied his mind, found time to direct an expedition into
Africa, under the military command of that great ecclesiastic, Cardinal
Ximenes. It is recorded that this valiant soldier of the Church,
on effecting the conquest of Oran, in 1509, had the inexpressible
satisfaction of liberating three hundred Christian slaves.[30]

    [28] A Discourse concerning Tangier: Harleian Miscellany, Vol. V.
    p. 522.

    [29] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 1565.

    [30] Prescott, History of Ferdinand and Isabella, Vol. III. p. 308.
    Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 813.

To stay the progress of the Spanish arms the government of Algiers
invoked assistance from abroad. Two brothers, Horuc and Hayradin, sons
of a potter in the island of Lesbos, had become famous as corsairs.
In an age when the sword of the adventurer often carved a higher
fortune than could be earned by lawful exertion, they were dreaded for
abilities, hardihood, and power. To them Algiers turned for aid. The
corsairs left the sea to sway the land,--or rather, with amphibious
robbery, took possession of Algiers and Tunis, while they continued to
prey upon the sea. The name of Barbarossa, by which they are known to
Christians, is terrible in modern history.[31]

    [31] Robertson, History of Charles the Fifth, Book V. Haedo,
    Historia de Argel, Epitome de los Reyes de Argel.


With pirate ships they infested the seas, and spread their ravages
along the coasts of Spain and Italy, until Charles the Fifth was
aroused to undertake their overthrow. The various strength of his broad
dominions was rallied in this new crusade. "If the enthusiasm," says
Sismondi, "which had armed the Christians in the old Crusades was
nearly extinct, a new sentiment, more rational and legitimate, united
the vows of Europe with the efforts of Charles against the infidels.
The object was no longer to reconquer the tomb of Christ, but to
defend the civilization, the liberty, the lives of Christians."[32]
A stanch body of infantry from Germany, veterans of Spain and Italy,
the flower of the Spanish nobility, knights of Malta, with a fleet of
near five hundred vessels, contributed by Italy, Portugal, and even
distant Holland, commanded by Andrew Doria, the great sea-officer of
the age,--the whole under the immediate eye of the Emperor himself,
with the countenance and benediction of the Pope, and composing one of
the most complete armaments which the world had hitherto seen,--were
directed upon Tunis. Barbarossa opposed them bravely, but with unequal
forces. While slowly yielding to attack from without, his defeat
was hastened by unexpected uprising within. Confined in the citadel
were many Christian slaves, who, asserting the rights of freedom,
obtained a bloody emancipation, and turned its artillery against their
former masters. The place yielded to the Emperor, whose soldiers
soon surrendered to the inhuman excesses of war. The blood of thirty
thousand innocent inhabitants reddened his victory. Amidst these scenes
of horror there was but one spectacle that afforded any satisfaction to
the imperial conqueror. It was that of ten thousand Christian slaves
rejoicing in emancipation, who met him as he entered the town, and,
falling on their knees, thanked him as their deliverer.[33]

    [32] Histoire des Français, Tom. XVII. pp. 101, 102.

    [33] Robertson, History of Charles the Fifth, Book V.

In the treaty of peace which ensued, it was expressly stipulated on the
part of Tunis, that all Christian slaves, of whatever nation, should
be set at liberty without ransom, and that no subject of the Emperor
should for the future be detained in slavery.[34]

    [34] Robertson, History of Charles the Fifth. Book V.

The apparent generosity of this undertaking, the magnificence with
which it was conducted, and the success with which it was crowned
drew to the Emperor the homage of his age beyond any other event of
his reign. Twenty thousand slaves freed by treaty or by arms diffused
through Europe the praise of his name. It is probable that in this
expedition the Emperor was governed by motives little higher than
vulgar ambition and fame; but the results by which it was emblazoned,
in the emancipation of so many fellow-Christians from cruel chains,
place him, with Cardinal Ximenes, among the earliest Abolitionists of
modern times.

This was in 1535. Only a few short years before, in 1517, he conceded
to a Flemish courtier the exclusive privilege of importing into the
West Indies four thousand blacks from Africa. It is said that Charles
lived long enough to repent what he had thus inconsiderately done.[35]
Certain it is, no single concession of king or emperor recorded in
history has produced such disastrous far-reaching consequences. The
Fleming sold his monopoly to a company of Genoese merchants, who
organized a systematic traffic in slaves between Africa and America.
Thus, while levying a mighty force to check the piracies of Barbarossa,
and to procure the abolition of Christian slavery in Tunis, the
Emperor, with criminal inconsistency, laid the corner-stone of a new
slavery, in comparison with which the enormity he warred against was
trivial and fugitive.

    [35] Clarkson, History of the Abolition of the Slave-Trade, Vol. I.
    p. 33.

Elated by the conquest of Tunis, filled also with the ambition of
subduing all the Barbary States, and of extirpating Christian slavery,
the Emperor in 1541 directed an expedition of singular grandeur against
Algiers. The Pope tardily joined his influence to the martial array.
But Nature proved stronger than Pope and Emperor. Within sight of
Algiers a sudden storm shattered his proud fleet, and he was driven
back to Spain, discomfited, with none of those trophies of emancipation
with which his former expedition was crowned.[36]

    [36] Robertson's Charles the Fifth, Book VI. A lamentable and
    piteous Treatise, verye necessarye for euerie Christen Manne to
    reade, wherin is contayned, not onely the high Entreprise and
    Valeauntnes of Themperour Charles the v. and his Army (in his
    Voyage made to the Towne of Argier in Affrique, etc.) Truly and
    dylygently translated out of Latyn into Frenche, and out of Frenche
    into English, 1542: Harleian Miscellany, Vol. IV. p. 504.

The power of the Barbary States was now at its height. Their corsairs
became the scourge of Christendom, while their much dreaded system of
slavery assumed a front of new terror. Their ravages were not confined
to the Mediterranean. They entered the ocean, and penetrated even to
the Straits of Dover and St. George's Channel. From the chalky cliffs
of England, and from the remote western coasts of Ireland, unsuspecting
inhabitants were swept into cruel captivity.[37] The English government
was aroused against these atrocities. In 1620, a fleet of eighteen
ships, under the command of Sir Robert Mansel, Vice-Admiral, was
despatched to punish Algiers. It returned without being able, in the
language of the times, to "destroy those hellish pirates," though it
obtained the liberation of "some forty poore captives, which they
pretended was all they had in the towne." Purchas records, that the
English fleet was indebted for information to "a Christian captive,
which did swimme from the towne to the ships."[38] Not in this respect
only does this expedition recall that of Charles the Fifth, which
received important assistance from rebel slaves; we observe also a
similar inconsistency in the government which directed it. It was in
the year 1620,--dear to all the descendants of the Pilgrims of Plymouth
Rock as an epoch of freedom,--while an English fleet was seeking the
emancipation of Englishmen held in bondage by Algiers, that African
slaves were first introduced into the English colonies of North
America,[39] thus beginning that dreadful system whose long catalogue
of humiliation and woes is not yet complete.

    [37] Guizot, Histoire de la Révolution d'Angleterre, Liv. II. Tom.
    I. p. 78. Strafford's Letters and Dispatches, Vol. I. p. 68. Sir
    George Radcliffe, the friend and biographer of the Earl, boasts
    that the latter "secured the seas from piracies, so as only one
    ship was lost at his first coming [as Lord Lieutenant to Ireland],
    and no more all his time; whereas every year before, not only
    several ships and goods were lost by robbery at sea, but also
    Turkish men-of-war usually landed and _took prey of men to be made
    slaves_."--Ibid., Vol. II. p. 434.

    [38] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. pp. 881-886. Southey, Naval
    History of England, Vol. V. pp. 60-63. There was a publication
    specially relating to this expedition, entitled "Algiers Voyage, in
    a Journall, or briefe Reportary of all Occurrents hapning in the
    Fleet of Ships sent out by the Kinge his most excellent Majestie,
    as well against the Pirates of Algiers as others," London, 1621,

    [39] Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. I. p. 189.

The expedition against Algiers was followed, in 1637, by another
against Sallee, in Morocco. Terrified by its approach, the Moors
desperately transferred a thousand captives, British subjects, to
Tunis and Algiers. "Some Christians that were slaves ashore, who
stole away out of the town and came swimming aboard," together with
intestine feud, aided the fleet, and the cause of emancipation speedily
triumphed.[40] Two hundred and ninety Britons were released, and a
promise was extorted from the enemy to redeem the wretched captives
sold away to Tunis and Algiers. Shortly afterwards an ambassador from
the King of Morocco visited England, and on his way through the streets
of London to his audience at court was attended by "four Barbary horses
led along in rich caparisons, and richer saddles, with bridles set with
stones; also some hawks; _many of the captives whom he brought over
going along afoot clad in white_."[41] Every emancipated slave was a
grateful witness to English prowess.

    [40] Journal of the Sallee Fleet: Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II. p.
    493. See also Mrs. Macaulay's History of England, Chap. IV. Vol.
    II. p. 219.

    [41] Strafford's Letters and Despatches, Vol. II. pp. 86, 116, 129.

The importance attached to this achievement is inferred from the
singular joy with which it was hailed in England. Though on a
limited scale, it was nothing less than _a war of liberation_. Poet,
ecclesiastic, and statesman now joined in congratulation. It inspired
the Muse of Waller to a poem called "The Taking of Sallee," where the
submission of the slaveholder is thus described:--

    "Hither he sends the chief among his peers,
     Who in his bark proportioned presents bears
     To the renowned for piety and force,
    _Poor captives manumised_, and matchless horse."

It gladdened Laud, and lighted with exultation the dark mind of
Strafford. "For Sallee, the town is taken," said the Archbishop in a
letter to the Earl, then in Ireland, "and all the captives at Sallee
and Morocco delivered,--_as many, our merchants say, as, according to
the price_ _of the market, come to ten thousand pounds at least_."[42]
Strafford saw in the popularity of this triumph fresh opportunity to
commend the tyrannical designs of Charles the First. "This action of
Sallee," he wrote in reply to the Archbishop, "I assure you, is full of
honor, will bring great content to the subject, and should, methinks,
_help much towards the ready, cheerful payment of the shipping
moneys_."[43] Thus was this act of emancipation linked with one of the
most memorable events of English history.

    [42] Strafford's Letters and Despatches, Vol. II. p. 131.

    [43] Ibid., p. 138.

The coasts of England were now protected; but her subjects at sea
continued the prey of Algerine corsairs, who, according to the
historian Carte, now "carried their English captives to France,
_drove them in chains overland to Marseille, to ship them thence with
greater safety for slaves to Algiers_."[44] The increasing troubles
which distracted the reign of Charles the First, and finally brought
his head to the block, could not divert attention from the sorrows of
Englishmen, victims to Mahometan slave-drivers. At the height of the
struggle between King and Parliament, an earnest voice was raised in
behalf of these fellow-Christians in bonds. Edmund Waller, who was
orator as well as poet, speaking in Parliament in 1641, said, "By the
many petitions which we receive from the wives of those miserable
captives at Algiers (being between four or five thousand of our
countrymen) it does too evidently appear that to make us slaves at home
is not the way to keep us from being made slaves abroad."[45]

    [44] History of England, Book XXII. Vol. IV. p. 231.

    [45] Works, p. 270.

Publications pleading their cause are yet extant, bearing date 1637,
1640, 1642, and 1647.[46] The overthrow of an oppression so justly
odious formed a worthy object for the imperial energies of Cromwell;
and in 1655, when, amidst the amazement of Europe, the English
sovereignty settled upon his Atlantean shoulders, he directed into the
Mediterranean a navy of thirty ships, under the command of Admiral
Blake. This was the most powerful English force which had sailed into
that sea since the Crusades.[47] Its success was complete. "General
Blak," said one of the foreign agents of Government, "has ratifyed
the articles of peace at Argier, and included therein Scotch, Irish,
Jarnsey and Garnsey-men, and all others the Protector's subjects.
He has lykewys redeemed from thence al such as wer captives ther.
_Several Duch captives swam aboard the fleet, and so escape theyr
captivity._"[48] Tunis, as well as Algiers, was humbled; all British
captives were set at liberty; and the Protector, in his remarkable
speech at the opening of Parliament, announced peace with the
"profane" nations in that region.[49] To my mind no single circumstance
gives higher impression of that vigilance with which the Protector
guarded his subjects than this effort, to which may be applied the
"smooth" line of Waller,--

            "telling dreadful news
    To all that piracy and rapine use."[50]

    [46] Compassion towards Captives: urged and pressed in Three
    Sermons on Heb. xiii. 3, by Charles Fitz-Geffry, Oxford, 1637.
    Libertas, or Reliefe to the English Captives in Algier, by Henry
    Robinson, London, 1642. Letters relating to the Redemption of
    the Captives in Argier and Tunis, by Edmond Cason, London, 1647.
    A Relation of Seven Years Slavery under the Turks of Algier,
    suffered by an English Captive Merchant, etc., together with a
    Description of the Sufferings of the Miserable Captives under that
    Merciless Tyranny, etc., by Francis Knight, London, 1640. The last
    publication is preserved in the Collection of Voyages and Travels
    by Osborne, Vol. II. pp. 465-489.

    [47] Hume says, "No English fleet, except during the Crusades, _had
    ever before sailed in those seas_." (History of England, Chap. LXI.
    Vol. VII. p. 529.) He forgot the expedition of Sir Robert Mansel,
    already mentioned (_ante_, p. 408), which was elaborately debated
    in the Privy Council as early as 1617, three years before it was
    finally undertaken, and was the subject of a special work. See
    Southey's Naval History of England, Vol. V. pp. 149-157.

    [48] Thurloe's State Papers, Vol. III. p. 527.

    [49] Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Cromwell, Part IX. Speech V.
    Vol. II. p. 235.

    [50] Panegyric to my Lord Protector, st. 9.

His vigorous sway was succeeded by the voluptuous tyranny of Charles
the Second, inaugurated by an unsuccessful expedition against Algiers
under Lord Sandwich. This was soon followed by another, with more
favorable result, under Admiral Lawson.[51] Then came a treaty, bearing
date May 3, 1662, by which the piratical government stipulated, "that
all subjects of the king of Great Britain, now slaves in Algiers, or
any of the territories thereof, shall be set at liberty, and released,
upon paying the price they were first sold for in the market; and for
the time to come no subjects of His Majesty shall be bought or sold, or
made slaves of, in Algiers or its territories."[52] This seems to have
been short-lived. Other expeditions ensued, and other treaties in 1664,
1672, 1682, and 1686,--showing, by their constant iteration, the little
impression produced upon these barbarians.[53] Insensible to justice
and freedom, how could they be faithful to stipulations in restraint of
robbery and slaveholding?

    [51] Rapin, History of England, Book XXIII. Vol. II. pp. 858, 864.

    [52] Recueil des Traitez de Paix, Tom. IV. p. 43.

    [53] Ibid., pp. 307, 476, 703, 756.

Legislation turned aside in behalf of these captives. The famous
statute of the forty-third year of Queen Elizabeth for charitable
uses designates among proper objects the "relief or redemption of
prisoners or captives," meaning especially, according to recent
judicial decision, those suffering in the Barbary States. A bequest by
Lady Mico, in 1670, "to redeem poor slaves in what manner the executors
should think convenient," came under review as late as 1835, when
slavery in the Barbary States was already dead, and the British Act
of Emancipation had commenced its operation in the West Indies; but
the court sanctioned the application of the fund to the education of
the Africans whose freedom was then beginning.[54] Thus was a charity
originally inspired by sympathy for white slaves applied to the benefit
of black.

    [54] Attorney-General _v._ Gibson, 2 Beav. R. 317, note.

During a long succession of years, complaints of English captives
continued. In 1748 an indignant soul found expression in these words:--

    "O, how can Britain's sons regardless hear
     The prayers, sighs, groans (immortal infamy!)
     Of fellow-Britons, with oppression sunk,
     In bitterness of soul demanding aid,
     Calling on Britain, their dear native land,
     The land of liberty?"[55]

But during all this time the slavery of blacks, transported to the
colonies under British colors, continued also!

Meanwhile France plied Algiers with embassies and bombardments. In 1635
three hundred and forty-seven Frenchmen were captives there. M. de
Samson was dispatched on an unsuccessful mission for their liberation.
They were offered to him "for the price they were sold for in the
market"; but this he refused to pay.[56]

    [55] The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XVIII. p. 531.

    [56] Relation of Seven Years Slavery under the Turks of Algier:
    Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II. p. 468.

Two years later, M. de Manti, who was called "that noble captain, and
glory of the French nation," was sent "with fifteen of his king's
ships, and a commission to enfranchise the French slaves." He also
returned, leaving his countrymen still in captivity.[57] Treaties
followed, hastily concluded, and abruptly broken, till at last Louis
the Fourteenth, in the pride of power, did for France what Cromwell had
done for England. Algiers, twice bombarded[58] in 1683, sent deputies
to sue for peace, and to surrender all her Christian slaves. Tunis and
Tripoli made the same submission. Voltaire, with his accustomed point,
says that by this transaction the French became respected on the coast
of Africa, where they had before been known only as slaves.[59]

    [57] Relation of Seven Years Slavery: Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II.
    p. 470.

    [58] In the melancholy history of war, this is remarked as the
    earliest instance of _bombarding_ a town. Sismondi, who never
    fails to regard the past in the light of humanity, remarks,
    that "Louis the Fourteenth was the first to put in practice the
    atrocious method, newly invented, of bombarding towns,--of burning
    them, not to take them, but to destroy them,--_of attacking, not
    fortifications, but private houses, not soldiers, but peaceable
    inhabitants, women and children,--and of confounding thousands of
    private crimes, each one of which would cause horror, in one great
    public crime, one great disaster, which he regarded only as one of
    the catastrophes of war_." (Histoire des Français, Tom. XXV. p.
    452.) How much of this is justly applicable to the recent sacrifice
    of women and children by forces of the United States at Vera Cruz!
    Algiers was bombarded in the cause of _freedom_; Vera Cruz, to
    extend _slavery_!

    [59] Siècle de Louis XIV., Chap. XIV.

An unhappy incident is mentioned by the historian, which attests how
little the French at that time, even while engaged in securing the
redemption of their own countrymen, cared for the cause of general
freedom. An officer of the triumphant fleet, receiving the Christian
slaves surrendered to him, observed among them many English, who,
with national vainglory, maintained that they were set at liberty out
of regard to the king of England. At once the Frenchman summoned
the Algerines, and, returning the foolish captives into their hands,
said: "These people pretend that they have been delivered in the name
of their monarch. Mine does not take the liberty to offer them his
protection. I return them to you. It is for you to show what you owe
to the king of England."[60] The Englishmen were hurried again to
prolonged slavery. The power of Charles the Second was impotent in
their behalf, as was the sense of justice and humanity in the French
officer or the Algerine slave-masters.

    [60] Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV., Chap. XIV.

I cannot pause to develop the course of other efforts by France; nor
can I dwell upon the determined conduct of Holland, one of whose
greatest naval commanders, Admiral de Ruyter, in 1661, enforced at
Algiers the emancipation of several hundred Christian slaves.[61] The
inconsistency which we have before remarked appears also in these two
powers. Both, while using their best endeavors for the freedom of their
white people, were cruelly engaged selling blacks into distant American
slavery,--as if every word of reprobation fastened upon the piratical,
slave-driving Algerines did not return in eternal judgment against

    [61] Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XVIII. p. 441.

                      REDEMPTION OF WHITE SLAVES.

Thus far I have followed the history of military expeditions. War has
been our melancholy burden. But peaceful measures were employed to
procure the _redemption_ of slaves, and money sometimes accomplished
what was vainly attempted by the sword. In furtherance of this
object, missions were often sent which could not be disregarded.
These sometimes had a formal diplomatic organization; sometimes they
consisted of fathers of the Church, who held it a sacred office to open
the prison-doors and let the captives go free.[62] It was through the
intervention of superiors of the Order of the Holy Trinity, dispatched
to Algiers by Philip the Second of Spain, that Cervantes obtained his
ransom; in 1580.[63] Expeditions of commerce often served to promote
similar designs of charity; and England, forgetting or distrusting all
her sleeping thunder, sometimes condescended to barter articles of
merchandise for the liberty of her subjects.[64]

    [62] To the relations of these missions we are indebted for works
    of interest on the Barbary States, some of which I am able to
    mention. Busnot, _Histoire du Règne de Muley Ismael_, à Rouen,
    1714. This is by a father of the Holy Trinity, and was translated
    into English. J.B. de la Faye, _Relation, en Forme de Journal, du
    Voyage aux Royaumes de Tunis et d'Alger pour la Rédemption des
    Captifs_, à Paris, 1726. _Voyage to Barbary for the Redemption of
    Captives in 1720, by the Mathurin-Trinitarian Fathers_, London,
    1735. This is a translation from the French. Braithwaite's _History
    of the Revolutions in the Empire of Morocco_, London, 1729. This
    contains a journal of the mission of John Russel, Esq., from the
    English government, to obtain the liberation of slaves in Morocco.
    The expedition was thoroughly equipped. "The Moors," says the
    author, "find plenty of everything but drink, but for that the
    English generally take care of themselves; for, besides chairs,
    tables, knives, forks, plates, table-linen, &c., we had two or
    three mules loaded with wine, brandy, sugar, and utensils for
    punch."--p. 82.

    [63] Roscoe, Life of Cervantes, p. 43.

    [64] Witness an illustrative record. "The following goods, designed
    as a present from his Majesty to the Dey of Algiers, to redeem near
    one hundred English captives lately taken, were entered at the
    custom-house, viz.: 20 pieces of broadcloth, 2 pieces of brocade,
    2 pieces of silver tabby, 1 piece of green damask, 8 pieces of
    Holland, 16 pieces of cambric, a gold repeating watch, 4 silver
    ditto, 20 pound of tea, 300 of loaf-sugar, 5 fusees, 5 pair of
    pistols, an escrutoire, 2 clocks, and a box of toys."--Gentleman's
    Magazine, 1734, Vol. IV. p. 104.

Private effort often secured the liberation of slaves. Friends at
home naturally exerted themselves, and many families were straitened
by generous contributions for this purpose. The widowed mother
of Cervantes sacrificed the entire pittance that remained to her,
including the dowry of her daughters, to aid the emancipation of her
son. An Englishman, of whose doleful captivity there is a record in
the memoirs of his son, obtained his redemption through the earnest
efforts of his wife at home. "She resolved," says the story, "to use
all the means that lay in her power for his freedom, though she left
nothing for herself and children to subsist upon. She was forced to
put to sale, as she did, some plate, gold rings, and bracelets, and
some part of her household goods, to make up his ransom, which came
to about one hundred and fifty pounds sterling."[65] In 1642 four
French brothers were ransomed at the price of six thousand dollars.
At this same period the sum exacted for the poorest Spaniard was "a
thousand shillings," while the Genoese, "if under twenty-two years of
age, were freed for a hundred pounds sterling."[66] These charitable
efforts were aided by the co-operation of benevolent persons. George
Fox interceded for several Quakers, slaves in Algiers, writing "a book
to the Grand Sultan and the king at Algiers, wherein he laid before
them their indecent behavior and unreasonable dealings, showing them
from their Alcoran that this displeased God, and that Mahomet had given
them other directions." Here was the customary plainness of the Quaker.
Some time elapsed before an opportunity was found to redeem them; "but
in the mean while they so faithfully served their masters, that they
were suffered to go loose through the town, without being chained or

    [65] Memoirs of Abraham Brown, MS.

    [66] Relation of Seven Years Slavery: Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II.
    p. 489.

    [67] Sewel's History of the Quakers, p. 397.

As early as the thirteenth century, under the sanction of Pope
Innocent the Third, an important association was organized to
promote emancipation. This was known as the _Society of the Fathers
of Redemption_.[68] During many successive generations its blessed
labors were continued, amidst the praise and sympathy of generous
men. History, undertaking to recount its origin, and filled with a
grateful sense of its extraordinary merits, attributed it to the
inspiration of an angel in the sky, clothed in resplendent light,
holding a Christian captive in the right hand and a Moor in the left.
The pious Spaniard who narrates the marvel earnestly declares that
this institution of beneficence was the work, not of men, but of the
great God alone; and he dwells, with more than the warmth of history,
on the glory filling the lives of its associates, surpassing far that
of a Roman triumph; for they share the name as well as the labors of
the Redeemer of the world, to whose spirit they are heirs, and to
whose works they are successors. "Lucullus," he says, "affirmed that
it were better to liberate a single Roman from the hands of the enemy
than to gain all their wealth; but how much greater the gain, more
excellent the glory, and more than human is it to redeem a captive!
For whosoever redeems him liberates him not alone from one death,
but from death in a thousand ways, and those ever present, and also
from a thousand afflictions, a thousand miseries, a thousand torments
and fearful travails, more cruel than death itself."[69] The genius
of Cervantes has left a record of his gratitude to this Antislavery
Society,[70]--herald of others whose mission is not yet finished.
Throughout Spain annual contributions for it continued to be taken
during many years. Nor in Spain only did it awaken sympathy. In
Italy and France also it labored successfully; and as late as 1748,
inspired by a similar catholic spirit, if not by its example, a
proposition appeared in England to "form a _society_ to carry on the
truly charitable design" of emancipating sixty-four English slaves in

    [68] Biot, De l'Abolition de l'Esclavage Ancien en Occident, p. 437.

    [69] Haedo, Dialogo I. de la Captividad: Historia de Argel, pp

    [70] Roscoe, Life of Cervantes, p. 50. See his story of _Española

    [71] Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XVIII. p. 413.

                       CONSPIRACIES FOR FREEDOM.

War and ransom were not the only agents. Even if history were silent,
it is impossible to suppose that slaves of African Barbary endured
their lot without struggles for freedom.

    "Since the first moment they put on my chains,
     I've thought of nothing but the weight of 'em,
     And how to throw 'em off."[72]

These are words of the slave in a play; but they express the natural
inborn sentiments of all with intelligence to appreciate the precious
boon of freedom. "Thanks be to God for so great mercies!" says the
Captive in Don Quixote; "for in my opinion there is no happiness on
earth equal to that of recovering lost liberty."[73] And plain Thomas
Phelps,--once a slave at Mequinez in Morocco, whence, in 1685, he
fortunately escaped,--narrating his adventures and sufferings, breaks
forth in similar strain. "Since my escape," he says, "from captivity,
and worse than Egyptian bondage, I have, methinks, enjoyed a happiness
with which my former life was never acquainted; now that, after a storm
and terrible tempest, I have, by miracle, put into a safe and quiet
harbor, after a most miserable slavery to the most unreasonable and
barbarous of men, now that I enjoy the immunities and freedom of my
native country and the privileges of a subject of England, although my
circumstances otherwise are but indifferent, yet I find I am affected
with extraordinary emotions and singular transports of joy; now I
know what liberty is, and can put a value and make a just estimate of
that happiness which before I never well understood.... Health can be
but slightly esteemed by him who never was acquainted with pain or
sickness; and liberty and freedom are the happiness only valuable by
a reflection on captivity and slavery."[74] Thus from every quarter
gathers the cloud of witnesses.

    [72] Southerne, Oroonoko, Act III. Sc. 2. It is not strange that
    the anti-slavery character of this play rendered it unpopular at
    Liverpool, while prosperous merchants there were concerned in the

    [73] Don Quixote, Part I. Book IV. Chap. 12.

    [74] True Account of the Captivity of Thomas Phelps: Osborne's
    Voyages, Vol. II. p. 500.

The history of Algiers abounds in well-authenticated examples of
_conspiracy against Government_ by Christian slaves: so strong was the
passion for escape. In 1531 and 1559 two separate schemes were matured,
promising for a while entire success. The slaves were numerous; keys to
open the prisons had been forged, and arms supplied; but the treachery
of one of their number betrayed the plot to the Dey, who sternly
doomed the conspirators to the bastinado and the stake. Cervantes,
during his captivity, nothing daunted by disappointed efforts, and
the terrible vengeance which attended them, conceived the plan of a
general slave insurrection, with the overthrow of the Algerine power,
and the surrender of the city to the Spanish crown. This was in accord
with that sentiment to which he gives such famous utterance in his
writings, that "for liberty we ought to risk life itself, slavery being
the greatest evil that can fall to the lot of man."[75] As late as 1763
there was a similar insurrection or conspiracy. "Last month," says a
journal of high authority, "the Christian slaves at Algiers, to the
number of four thousand, rose and killed their guards, and massacred
all who came in their way; but after some hours' carnage, during which
the streets ran with blood, peace was restored."[76] How truly is
bloodshed the natural incident of slavery!

    [75] Roscoe, Life of Cervantes, pp. 32, 310, 311. In the same
    spirit Thomas Phelps says, "I looked upon my condition as
    desperate; my forlorn and languishing state of life, without any
    hope of redemption, appeared far worse than the terrors of a most
    cruel death."--Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II. p. 504.

    [76] Annual Register, 1763, Vol. VI. p. 60.]


THE struggles for freedom could not always assume the shape of
conspiracy. They were often _efforts to escape_, sometimes in numbers
and sometimes singly. The captivity of Cervantes was filled with
such, where, though constantly balked, he persevered with courage
and skill. On one occasion he attempted to escape by land to Oran, a
Spanish settlement on the coast, but, being deserted by his guide, was
compelled to return.[77] Another endeavor was promoted by Christian
merchants at Algiers, through whose agency a vessel was actually
purchased for this purpose. And still another was favored by a number
of his own countrymen, hovering on the coast in a vessel from Majorca,
who did not think it wrong to aid in the liberation of slaves. And
this was supposed to be aided by a Spanish ecclesiastic, Father
Olivar, who, being at Algiers for the ransom of slaves, could not
resist the temptation to lend generous assistance to the struggles of
fellow-Christians in bonds. He paid the bitter penalty which similar
service to freedom has found elsewhere and in another age. He was
seized by the Dey, and thrown into chains; for the Algerine government
held it a high offence to further in any way the escape of a slave.[78]

    [77] El Trato de Argel.

    [78] Roscoe, Life of Cervantes, pp. 31, 33, 308, 309. See also
    Haedo, Historia de Argel. p. 185. I refer to Roscoe as the popular
    authority. His work is little more than a compilation from
    Navarrete and Sismondi.

Endeavors for freedom are animating; nor can any honest nature hear of
them without a throb of sympathy. Dwelling on the painful narrative
of unequal contest between tyrannical power and the crushed captive,
we resolutely enter the lists on the side of freedom; and beholding
the contest waged by a few individuals, or, perhaps, by one alone, our
sympathy is given to his weakness as well as to his cause. To him we
send the unfaltering succor of good wishes. For him we invoke vigor of
arm to defend and fleetness of foot to escape. Human enactments are
vain to restrain the warm tides of the heart. We pause with rapture on
those historic scenes where freedom has been attempted or preserved
through the magnanimous self-sacrifice of friendship or Christian aid.
With palpitating bosom we follow Mary of Scotland in her midnight
flight from the custody of her stern jailers; we accompany Grotius
in his escape from prison, so adroitly promoted by his wife; we join
Lavalette in his flight, aided also by his wife; and we offer our
admiration and gratitude to Huger and Bollmann, who, unawed by the
arbitrary ordinances of Austria, strove heroically, though vainly,
to rescue Lafayette from the dungeons of Olmütz. The laws of Algiers,
which sanctioned a cruel slavery, dooming to condign punishment
all endeavors for freedom, and especially all countenance of such
endeavors, can no longer prevent our sympathy with Cervantes, not less
gallant than renowned, who strove so constantly and earnestly to escape
his chains,--nor our homage to those Christians also who did not fear
to aid him, and to the good ecclesiastic who suffered in his cause.[79]

    [79] At the time this Lecture was delivered, the Rev. Charles T.
    Torrey was a prisoner in the Penitentiary of Maryland, paying the
    penalty for aid to escaping slaves.

The efforts to escape from slavery in the Barbary States, so far as
they can be traced, are full of interest. Each, also, has its lesson
for us at the present hour. The following is in the exact words of an
early writer. "One John Fox, an expert mariner, and a good, approved,
and sufficient gunner, was (in the raigne of Queene Elizabeth) taken
by the Turkes, and kept eighteene yeeres in most miserable bondage
and slavery; at the end of which time he espied his opportunity (and
God assisting him withall), that hee slew his keeper, and fled to the
sea's side, where he found a gally with one hundred and fifty captive
Christians, which hee speedily waying their anchor, set saile, and fell
to worke like men, and safely arrived in Spaone, by which meanes he
freed himselfe and a number of poore soules from long and intolerable
servitude; after which the said John Fox came into England, _and the
Queene (being rightly informed of his brave exploit) did graciously
entertaine him for her servant, and allowed him a yeerely pension_."[80]

    [80] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 888.

There is also in the same early source a quaint description of what
occurred to a ship from Bristol, captured by an Algerine corsair in
1621. The Englishmen were all taken out except four youths, over whom
the Turks, as these barbarians are often called by early writers, put
thirteen of their own men, to conduct the ship as prize to Algiers; and
one of the pirates, "a strong, able, sterne, and resolute fellow," was
appointed captain. "These foure poore youths," so the story proceeds,
"being thus fallen into the hands of mercilesse infidels, began to
studie and complot all the meanes they could for the obtayning of
their freedomes. First, they considered the lamentable and miserable
estates that they were like to be in,--as, to be debard for ever from
seeing their friends and countrey, to be chained, beaten, made slaves,
and to eate the bread of affliction in the gallies, all the remainder
of their unfortunate lives, to have their heads shaven, to feed on
course dyet, to have hard boords for beds, and, which was worst of
all, never to be partakers of the heavenly word and sacraments. Thus
being quite hopelesse, haplesse, and, for any thing they knew, for ever
helplesse, they sayled five dayes and nights under the command of the
pirats, when, on the fifth night, God, in his great mercy, shewed them
a meanes for their wished for escape." A sudden wind arose, when, the
captain coming to help take in the mainsail, two of the English youths
"suddenly tooke him by the breech and threw him over-boord; but by
fortune hee fell into the bunt of the sayle, where, quickly catching
hold of a rope, he (being a very strong man) had almost gotten into
the ship againe, which John Cooke perceiving leaped speedily to the
pumpe and tooke off the pumpe brake or handle and cast it to William
Ling, bidding him knocke him downe, which he was not long in doing,
but, lifting up the woodden weapon, he gave him such a palt on the
pate as made his braines forsake the possession of his head, with
which his body fell into the sea." The corsair slave-dealers were
overpowered. The four English youths drove them "from place to place
in the ship, and having coursed them from the poope to the forecastle,
they there valiantly killed two of them, and gave another a dangerous
wound or two, who, to escape the further fury of their swords, leap'd
suddenly over-boord to goe seeke his captaine." The other nine Turks
ran between-decks, where they were securely fastened. The English
now directed their course to St. Lucas, in Spain, and "in short time
(by Gods ayde) happily and safely arrived at the said port, _where
they sold the nine Turkes for gally-slaves for a good summe of money,
and, as I thinke, a great deale more then they were worth_." "He that
shall attribute such things as these to the arme of flesh and bloud,"
says the ancient historian, grateful for this triumph of freedom, "is
forgetfull, ingratefull, and in a manner atheisticall."[81]

    [81] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. pp. 887, 888.

From the same authority I draw another narrative of singular success
the following year. A company of Englishmen, being captured and carried
into Algiers, were sold as slaves. These are the words of one of
their number: "_The souldiers hurried us like dogs into the market,
where as men sell hacknies in England we were tossed up and downe to
see who would give most for us; and although we had heavy hearts and
looked with sad countenances, yet many came to behold us, sometimes
taking us by the hand, sometime turning us round about, sometimes
feeling our brawnes_ _and naked armes, and so beholding our prices
written in our breasts, they bargained for us accordingly, and at last
we were all sold._" Shortly afterward several were put on board an
Algerine corsair. One of them, John Rawlins, who resembled Cervantes
in the hardihood of his exertions for freedom,--as, like him, he had
lost the use of a hand,--arranged an uprising on board. "'Oh hellish
slaverie,'" he said, "'to be thus subject to dogs! Oh, God strengthen
my heart and hand, and something shall be done to ease us of these
mischiefes, and deliver us from these cruell Mahumetan dogs.' The other
slaves, pittying his distraction (as they thought), bad him speake
softly, lest they should all fare the worse for his distemperature.
'The worse,' (quoth Rawlins,) 'what can be worse? I will either attempt
my deliverance at one time or another, or perish in the enterprise.'"
Seizing an auspicious moment, nine English slaves, besides John
Rawlins, with other English, French, and Hollanders, "in all foure and
twenty and a boy," succeeded, after a bloody contest, in overpowering
five-and-forty Turks. "When all was done," the story proceeds, "and
the ship cleared of the dead bodies, John Rawlins assembled his men
together, and with one consent gave the praise unto God, using the
accustomed service on ship-boord, and, for want of bookes, lifted up
their voyces to God, as he put into their hearts or renewed their
memories; then did they sing a psalme, and, last of all, embraced
one another for playing the men in such a deliverance, whereby our
feare was turned into joy, and trembling hearts exhillirated, that we
had escaped such inevitable dangers, and especially the slavery and
terror of bondage worse then death it selfe. The same night we washed
our ship, put every thing in as good order as we could, repaired the
broken quarter, set up the biticle, and bore up the helme for England,
where by Gods grace and good guiding we arrived at Plimmoth the
thirteenth of February."[82]

    [82] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. pp. 889-896.

In 1685, Thomas Phelps and Edmund Baxter, Englishmen, accomplished
their escape from captivity at Mequinez. The latter had made a previous
unsuccessful attempt, which drew upon him the bastinado, disabling him
from work for a twelvemonth; "but, notwithstanding, such was his love
for Christian liberty," that he freely declared to his companion "that
he would adventure with any fair opportunity." Here the story is like
one of our own day. By devious paths, journeying in the darkness of
night, and by day sheltering themselves in bushes or in the branches
of fig-trees, they at length reached the sea. "With imminent risk of
discovery, they succeeded in finding a boat not far from Sallee. This
they took without consulting the proprietor, and rowed to a distant
ship, which, to their great joy, proved to be an English man-of-war.
Making known the exposed situation of the Moorish ships at Mamora, they
formed part of a night expedition in boats which boarded and burnt
them. "One Moor," says the account, "we found aboard, who was presently
cut in pieces; another was shot in the head, endeavoring to escape upon
the cable. We were not long in taking in our shavings and tar-barrels,
and so set her on fire in several places, she being very apt to receive
what we designed; for there were several barrels of tar upon the deck,
and she was newly tarred, as if on purpose. Whilst we were setting
her on fire, we heard a noise of some people in the hold; we opened
the skuttles, and thereby saved the lives of four Christians, three
Dutch-men and one French, who told us the ship on fire was admiral,
and belonged to Aly-Hackum, and the other, which we soon after served
with the same sauce, had the name of _Plummage Cortibe_, which was the
very ship which in October last took me captive." The Englishman, once
a captive, who tells this story, says it is "most especially to move
pity for the afflictions of Joseph, to excite compassionate regard to
those poor countrymen now languishing in misery and irons, to endeavor
their releasement."[83]

    [83] A True Account of the Captivity of Thomas Phelps at Machiness
    in Barbary, and of his strange Escape, in Company of Edmund Baxter
    and others: Osborne's Voyages, Vol. II. pp. 499-510.

Even the non-resistance of Quakers, animated by zeal for freedom,
contrived to baffle these slave-dealers. A ship in the charge of these
Christians became the prey of Algerines; and the curious story is told,
with details unnecessary here, of the manner in which the vessel was
subsequently recaptured by the crew without loss of life. To complete
this triumph, the slave-pirates were safely landed on their own shores,
and allowed to go their way in peace, acknowledging with astonishment
and gratitude this new application of the Christian injunction to do
good to them that hate you. On the return, Charles the Second, being
at Greenwich, and learning that "there was a Quaker ketch coming up
the river, that had been taken by the Turks, and redeemed themselves
without fighting," came to it in his barge, and there hearing "how
they had let the Turks go free," said to the master, with the spirit
of a slave-dealer, "You have done like a fool, for you might have had
good gain for them." And to the mate he said, "You should have brought
the Turks to me." "_I thought it better for them to be in their own
country_," was the Quaker's reply.[84]

    [84] Sewel, History of the Quakers, pp. 392-397.

These are English stories. But there is testimony also from France.
A Catholic father furnishes a chapter entitled, "Of some Slaves that
made their Escape"; and he begins by narrating the difficulties: how
the slaves, before they start, secure the assistance of certain Moors,
called _Metadores_, "who promise to conduct them among Christians for
a sum agreed on"; how they journey all night, sheltering themselves
during the day in woods, caves, or other retired places, always in
dread, and anxiously awaiting the return of darkness to cover their
movements; how the flight is long and wearisome, environed by perpetual
hardship and peril; how, if alone, there is danger of death on the
mountains, through hunger and thirst, or from lions and tigers; and
how, if retaken, there is the fearful prospect of being burned or
cruelly bastinadoed, with a constant weight of irons while at their
daily toil. "But their torments and dangers," says the father, "are
less dreadful than the thoughts of living all their days in that
miserable slavery."[85]

    [85] Busnot, History of the Reign of Muley Ismael, Chap. VII. p.

Then comes the narrative of two Frenchmen who with incredible effort
journeyed one hundred and fifty leagues, being on the road eighteen
nights "without eating anything considerable," and were at last so
near their liberty as to see a town belonging to the king of Portugal,
making them forget their fatigues, when they were unhappily retaken,
hurried back to their master, loaded with irons, and condemned to
double labor. As they were studying a second escape, they were relieved
by death, that constant friend of the slave. This narrative is followed
by that of two other Frenchmen, who commenced their escape on the 2d of
October, 1693, "having no other guide than the North Star to direct
their course." And here ensues that succession of trials which is the
lot of the fugitive slave, all of which is told at length. There was
peril in leaving the city and passing the outer guards; but when this
was done, then came the desert, with its rocks and precipices, where
they met "some tigers and many lions," making it hideous with their
roaring; but worse than tiger or lion was the fiery thirst that pursued
them; and worse than all was man, for it was from him that they feared
most. They, too, found themselves in sight of the liberty they had
sought with such pain, when, like their predecessors, they were retaken
and hurried back. Asked why they had fled, they answered, "For the sake
of liberty, and we are guilty of no other crime." Burdened with heavy
chains, they were again put to work, with the threat of being burned
alive, if they attempted the like again. But notwithstanding all this
terrible experience and the menace of death by the flames, they made
another attempt, "preferring," says the Catholic father, "all perils
and hardships before the insupportable burden of their captivity."
Again they failed, and were carried back to fearful torment, when
at last they were ransomed by the mission in the name of the French

    [86] Busnot, History of the Reign of Muley Ismael, p. 184.

In the current of time other instances occurred. A letter from Algiers,
dated August 6, 1772, and preserved in the British Annual Register,
furnishes the following story. "A most remarkable escape," it says,
"of some Christian prisoners has lately been effected here, which will
undoubtedly cause those that have not had that good fortune to be
treated with the utmost rigor. On the morning of the 27th of July, the
Dey was informed that all the Christian slaves had escaped over-night
in a galley. This news soon raised him, and, upon inquiry, it was found
to have been a preconcerted plan. About ten at night, seventy-four
slaves, who had found means to escape from their masters, met in a
large square near the gate which opens to the harbor, and, being well
armed, they soon forced the guard to submit, and, to prevent their
raising the city, confined them all in the powder-magazine. They then
proceeded to the lower part of the harbor, where they embarked on board
a large rowing polacre, that was left there for the purpose, and, the
tide ebbing out, they fell gently down with it, and passed both the
forts. As soon as this was known, three large galleys were ordered out
after them, but to no purpose. They returned in three days, with the
news of seeing the polacre sail into Barcelona, where the galleys durst
not go to attack her."[87]

    [87] Annual Register, Vol. XV. p. 130.]

The same historic authority records another triumph of freedom.
"Forty-six captives," it says, at the date of September 3, 1776, "who
were employed to draw stones from a quarry some leagues' distance from
Algiers, at a place named Genova, resolved, if possible, to recover
their liberty, and yesterday took advantage of the idleness and
inattention of forty men who were to guard them, and who had laid down
their arms, and were rambling about the shore. The captives attacked
them with pick-axes and other tools, and made themselves masters of
their arms; and having killed thirty-three of the forty, and eleven of
the thirteen sailors who were in the boat which carried the stones,
they obliged the rest to jump into the sea. Being then masters of the
boat, and armed with twelve muskets, two pistols, and powder, &c.,
they set sail, and had the good fortune to arrive here [at Palma, the
capital of Majorca] this morning, where they are performing quarantine.
Sixteen of them are Spaniards, seventeen French, eight Portuguese,
three Italians, one a German, and one a Sardinian."[88] Here, as in
other cases, I copy the precise language of the authority, without
adding a word. These simple stories show how captives have escaped and
the world has sympathized.

    [88] Annual Register, Vol. XIX. p. 176.]

                           AMERICAN VICTIMS.

Thus far I have followed the efforts of European nations, and the
struggles of European victims of White Slavery. I pass now to America,
and to our own country. In the name of fellow-countryman there is a
charm of peculiar power. The story of his sorrows will come nearer
to our hearts, and, perhaps, to the experience of individuals or
families among us, than the story of distant Spaniards, Frenchmen, or
Englishmen. Nor are materials wanting.

In earliest days, while the Colonies yet contended with savage Indians,
families were compelled to mourn the hapless fate of brothers, fathers,
and husbands doomed to slavery in distant African Barbary. Five years
after the landing at Plymouth, a returning ship, already "shot deep
into the English Channel," was "taken by a Turks man-of-war and carried
into Sallee, where the master and men were made slaves," while a
consort ship with Miles Standish aboard narrowly escaped this fate.[89]
In 1640, "one Austin, a man of good estate," returning discontented
to England from Quinipiack, now New Haven, on his way "was taken by
the Turks, and Austin and his wife and family were carried to Algiers,
and sold there for slaves."[90] Under date of 1671, in the diary of
Rev. John Eliot, first minister of Roxbury and devoted apostle to the
Indians, prefixed to the records of the church in that town, and still
preserved in manuscript, these few words tell a story of sorrow: "We
heard the sad and heavy tidings concerning the captivity of Captain
Foster and his son at Sallee." From further entries it appears
that they were redeemed after a bondage of three years. The same
record shows other victims for whom the sympathies of the church and
neighborhood were enlisted. Here is one: "20 10 1674. This Sabbath we
had a public collection for Edward Howard, of Boston, to redeem him out
of his sad Turkish captivity, in which collection was gathered 12_l._
18_s._ 9_d._ which by God's favor made up the just sum desired." Not
long after, at a date left uncertain, it appears that William Bowen
"was taken by the Turks"; a contribution was made for his redemption,
"and the people went to the public box, young and old, but, before the
money could answer the end for which the congregation intended it,"
tidings came of the death of the unhappy captive, and the contribution
was afterwards "improved to build a tomb for the town to inter their
ministers."[91] Money collected for emancipation built the tomb of the
Roxbury ministers.

    [89] Morton, New England's Memorial, p. 62.

    [90] Winthrop's Journal, Vol. II. p. 12.

    [91] Records of First Church in Roxbury, MS.

Instances now thicken. A ship, sailing from Charlestown, in 1678, was
taken by a corsair, and carried into Algiers, whence its passengers and
crew never returned. They probably died in slavery. Among these was
Daniel Mason, a graduate of Harvard University, and the earliest of
that name on the Catalogue; also, James Ellson, the mate. The latter,
in a testamentary letter to his wife, dated at Algiers, June 30, 1679,
desires her to redeem out of captivity two of his companions.[92] At
the same period, William Harris, a person of consequence in the Colony,
an associate of Roger Williams in the first planting of Providence,
and now in the sixty-eighth year of his age, sailing from Boston for
England on public business, was also taken by a corsair and carried
into Algiers. On the 23d February, 1679, this veteran,--older than the
slaveholder Cato, when he learned Greek,--together with all the crew,
was sold into slavery. The fate of his companions is unknown; but Mr.
Harris, after bearing his doom more than a year, was redeemed at the
cost of twelve hundred dollars, called by him "the price of a good
farm." The feelings of the Colony, touched by these disasters, are
concisely expressed in a private letter dated at Boston, November 10,
1680, where it is said: "The Turks have so taken our New England ships,
richly loaden, homeward bound, that it is very dangerous to goe. Many
of our neighbors are now in captivity in Argeer. The Lord find out some
way for their redemption!"[93] This prayer may be repeated still.

    [92] Middlesex Probate Files, MS.

    [93] William Gilbert to Arthur Bridge, MS.

In 1693 the subject found its way before the Governor and Council of
Massachusetts, on a petition from the relations of two inhabitants
"some time since taken by a Sallee man-of-war, and now under Turkish
captivity and slavery," for permission "to ask and receive the charity
and public contribution of well-disposed persons for redeeming them
out of their miserable suffering and slavery." The petition was granted
on the condition, "The money so collected to be employed for the end
aforesaid, unless the said persons happen to die before, make their
escape, or be in any other way redeemed; then the money so gathered to
be improved for the redemption of some others of this Province, that
are or may be in like circumstances, as the Governor and Council shall
direct."[94] Thus was the government of Massachusetts moved at that
early day to emancipation.

    [94] Council Records, fol. 323. See Jackson _v._ Phillips, 14
    Allen's Rep. 559.

Entering the next century, we meet a curious notice of a captive
Bostonian. Under date of Tuesday, January 11, 1714, Chief-Justice
Samuel Sewall, after describing in his journal a dinner with Mr.
Gee, and mentioning the guests, among whom were Increase and Cotton
Mather, adds: "It seems it was in remembrance of his landing this day
at Boston, after his Algerine captivity. Had a good treat. Dr. Cotton
Mather, in returning thanks, very well comprised many weighty things
very pertinently."[95] Among the many weighty things very pertinently
comprised by this eminent divine, it is hoped, was condemnation of
slavery. Surely, he could not then have shrunk from giving utterance to
that faith which preaches deliverance to the captive.

Leaving the imperfect records of colonial days, I descend at once to
that period, almost in the light of our own times, when our National
Government, justly careful of the liberty of its white citizens, was
aroused to put forth all its power. The war of the Revolution closed
with the acknowledgment of independence. The national flag, then
freshly unfurled, and hardly known to the world, had little power to
protect persons or property against outrages from the Barbary States.
Within three years no less than ten American vessels became their prey.
At one time an apprehension prevailed that Dr. Franklin was captured.
"We are waiting," said one of his French correspondents, "with the
greatest impatience to hear from you. The newspapers have given us
anxiety on your account, for some of them insist that you have been
taken by the Algerines, while others pretend that you are at Morocco,
enduring your slavery with all the patience of a philosopher."[96]
The property of our merchants was sacrificed. Insurance at Lloyd's in
London could be had only at advanced rates, while it was difficult to
obtain freight for American bottoms.[97] The Mediterranean trade was
closed against our enterprise. To a people filled with the spirit of
commerce, and bursting with new life, this in itself was disheartening;
but the sufferings of unhappy fellow-citizens, captives in a distant
land, awoke a feeling of a higher strain.

    [95] Journal of Chief-Justice Samuel Sewall, MS.

    [96] M. Le Veillard to Dr. Franklin, October 9, 1785: Sparks's
    Franklin, Vol. X. p. 230.

    [97] Boston Independent Chronicle, April 28, May 12, October 20,
    November 3, November 17, 1785; March 2, April 27, 1786.

As from time to time these tidings reached America, a voice of horror
and indignation swelled through the land. The slave-corsairs of African
Barbary were branded sometimes as "infernal crews," sometimes as "human
harpies."[98] This sentiment acquired new force, when, at two different
periods, by the fortunate escape of captives, what seemed to be an
authentic picture of their condition was presented to the world. The
story of these fugitives shows the hardships of their lot, and was at
the bottom of the appeal soon made to the country with such effect.

    [98] Ibid., May 18, 1786. Sparks's Franklin, Vol. IX. p. 507.

The earliest of these escapes was in 1788, by a person originally
captured in a vessel from Boston. It appears, that, on being carried
into Algiers, he, with the rest of the ship's company, was exposed
at public auction, whence he was sent to the country-house of his
purchaser. Here for eighteen months he was chained to the wheelbarrow,
and allowed only one pound of bread a day, during all which wretched
period he had no opportunity of learning the fate of his companions.
From the country he was removed to Algiers, where, in a numerous
company of white slaves, he encountered three shipmates and twenty-six
other Americans. After remaining for some time crowded together in the
slave-prison, they were all distributed among the different galleys
of the Dey. Our fugitive and eighteen other white slaves were put on
board a xebec, carrying eight six-pounders and sixty men, which, while
cruising on the coast of Malta, encountered an armed vessel of Genoa,
and, after much bloodshed, was taken, sword in hand. Eleven of the
unfortunate slaves, compelled to this unwelcome service in the cause
of a tyrannical master, were killed before the triumph of the Genoese
could deliver them from chains. Our countryman and the few remaining
alive were at once set at liberty, and, it is said, "treated with that
humanity which distinguishes the Christian from the barbarian."[99]
Such is the testimony.

    [99] Boston Independent Chronicle, Oct. 16, 1788. History of the
    War between the United States and Tripoli, pp. 59, 60.

This escape was followed the next year by others, achieved under
circumstances widely different. A ship from Philadelphia was captured
near the Western Islands and taken into Algiers. The crew of twenty-two
were doomed to bondage. The larger part were sent into the country
and chained to work with mules. Others were put on board a galley and
chained to the oars. The latter, tempted by facilities of position near
the sea, made attempts to escape, which, for a time, proved fruitless.
At last, love of freedom triumphing over suggestions of humanity, they
rose upon their overseers, killing some and confining others, then,
seizing a small galley of their masters, set sail for Gibraltar, where
in a few hours they landed as freemen.[100] Thus, by killing their
keepers and carrying off property not their own, did these fugitive
white slaves achieve their liberty.

    [100] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, pp.
    62, 63. American Museum, 1790, Part II. Vol. VIII. Appendix IV. pp.
    4, 5.


Such stories could not be recounted in vain. Glimpses opened into
the dread regions of Slavery gave a harrowing reality to all that
conjecture or imagination pictured. It was, indeed, true, that our
own white brethren, heirs to freedom newly purchased by precious
blood, partakers in the sovereignty of citizenship, belonging to the
fellowship of the Christian Church, were degraded to do the will of an
arbitrary taskmaster, sold as beasts of the field, galled by manacle
and driven by lash! It was true that they were held at market prices,
and that their only chance of freedom was in the earnest, energetic,
united efforts of their countrymen. It is not easy to comprehend
the exact condition to which they were reduced. There is no reason
to believe that it differed materially from that of other captives
in Algiers. Masters of vessels were lodged together, and indulged
with a table by themselves, though a small iron ring was attached
to one of their legs, to denote that they were slaves. Seamen were
taught and obliged to work at the trade of carpenter, blacksmith,
or stone-mason, from six in the morning till four in the afternoon,
without intermission, except for half an hour at dinner.[101] Doubtless
there is exaggeration in the accounts transmitted to us. It is,
however, sufficient to know that they were slaves; nor is there any
other human condition which, when barely mentioned, even without one
word of description, so strongly awakens the sympathies of every just
and enlightened lover of his race.

    [101] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, p.

To secure their freedom, informal agencies were promptly established
under the direction of our minister at Paris; and the _Society of
Redemption_--whose beneficent exertions, commencing so early in modern
history, were still continued--offered their aid. Our agents were
blandly entertained by that great slave-dealer, the Dey of Algiers, who
informed them that he was familiar with the exploits of Washington,
and, never expecting to see him, expressed a hope, that, through
Congress, he might receive a full-length portrait of this hero of
freedom, to be displayed in his palace at Algiers. The Dey clung to
his American slaves, holding them at prices considered exorbitant,
being, in 1786, $6,000 for the master of a vessel, $4,000 for a mate,
$4,000 for a passenger, and $1,400 for a seaman; while the agents were
authorized to offer only $200 for each.[102] In 1790 the tariff seems
to have fallen. Meanwhile one obtained his freedom through private
means, others escaped, and others still were liberated by the great
liberator, Death. The following list, if not interesting from the names
of the captives, will at least be curious as evidence of prices at that
time in the slave-market.

    [102] Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. pp. 353, 354.

  _Crew of the Ship Dolphin, of Philadelphia, captured July 30, 1785._
  Richard O'Brien, master, price demanded             2,000
  Andrew Montgomery, mate                             1,500
  Jacob Tessanier, French passenger                   2,000
  William Patterson, seaman (keeps a tavern)          1,500
  Philip Sloan,         "                               725
  Peleg Loring,         "                               725
  John Robertson,       "                               725
  James Hall,           "                               725

  _Crew of the Schooner Maria, of Boston, captured July 25, 1785._

  Isaac Stevens, master (of Concord, Mass.)           2,000
  Alexander Forsythe, mate                            1,500
  James Cathcart, seaman (keeps a tavern)               900
  George Smith, " (in the Dey's house)                  725
  John Gregory, "                                       725
  James Hermit, "                                       725
  Duty on the above sum, ten per cent                 1,647½
  Sundry gratifications to officers of the Dey's
  household                                             240⅓
                                             Sequins 18,362⅚
  This sum being equal to $34,792.[103]

    [103] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, pp.
    64, 65. Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. pp. 357, 358.

In 1793 no less than one hundred and fifteen of our fellow-citizens
were groaning in Algerine slavery. Their condition excited the
fraternal feeling of the whole people, while it occupied the anxious
attention of Congress and the prayers of the clergy. A petition from
these unhappy persons, dated at Algiers, December 29, 1793, was
addressed to Congress. "Your petitioners," it says, "are at present
captives in this city of bondage, employed daily in the most laborious
work, without any respect to persons. They pray that you will take
their unfortunate situation into consideration, and adopt such measures
as will restore the American captives to their country, their friends,
families, and connections; and your most humble petitioners will ever
pray and be thankful."[104] The action of Congress was sluggish,
compared with the patriot desires throbbing through the country.

    [104] Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. pp. 359, 360.

Appeals of a different character were now addressed to the country
at large, and these were efficiently aided by Colonel Humphreys, the
friend and companion of Washington, who was at the time our minister
in Portugal. Taking advantage of the common passion for lotteries,
and particularly of the custom, not then condemned, of employing them
to obtain money for literary or benevolent purposes, he proposed
a grand lottery, sanctioned by the United States, or particular
lotteries sanctioned by individual States, to obtain the freedom of our
countrymen. He then asks, "Is there within the limits of these United
States an individual who will not cheerfully contribute, in proportion
to his means, to carry it into effect? By the peculiar blessings of
freedom which you enjoy, by the disinterested sacrifices you made for
its attainment, by the patriotic blood of those martyrs of liberty who
died to secure your independence, and by all the tender ties of nature,
let me conjure you once more to snatch your unfortunate countrymen from
fetters, dungeons, and death."

This appeal was followed by a petition from American captives in
Algiers, addressed to ministers of every denomination throughout the
United States, praying help. Beginning with an allusion to the day of
national thanksgiving appointed by President Washington, it asks the
clergy to set apart the Sunday preceding that day for sermons, to be
delivered simultaneously throughout the country, pleading for their
brethren in bonds.

    "_Reverend and Respected_,--

    "On Thursday, the 19th of February, 1795, you are enjoined by the
    President of the United States of America to appear in the various
    temples of that God who heareth the groaning of the prisoner, and
    in mercy remembereth those who are appointed to die.

    "Nor are ye to assemble alone; for on this, the high day of
    continental thanksgiving, all the religious societies and
    denominations throughout the Union, and all persons whomsoever
    within the limits of the confederated States, are to enter the
    courts of Jehovah, with their several pastors, and gratefully to
    render unfeigned thanks to the Ruler of Nations for the manifold
    and signal mercies which distinguish your lot as a people: in a
    more particular manner, commemorating your exemption from foreign
    war; being greatly thankful for the preservation of peace at home
    and abroad; and fervently beseeching the kind Author of all these
    blessings graciously to prolong them to you, and finally to render
    the United States of America more and more an asylum for the
    unfortunate of every clime under heaven.

    "_Reverend and Respected_,--

    "Most fervent are our daily prayers, breathed in the sincerity
    of woes unspeakable, most ardent are the embittered aspirations
    of our afflicted spirits, that thus it may be in deed and in
    truth. Although we are prisoners in a foreign land, although we
    are far, very far, from our native homes, although our harps are
    hung upon the weeping-willows of Slavery, nevertheless America
    is still preferred above our chiefest joy, and the last wish of
    our departing souls shall be _her peace, her prosperity, her
    liberty forever_. On this day, the day of festivity and gladness,
    remember us, your unfortunate brethren, late members of the
    family of freedom, now doomed to perpetual confinement. _Pray,
    earnestly pray, that our grievous calamities may have a gracious
    end. Supplicate the Father of Mercies for the most wretched of his
    offspring. Beseech the God of all Consolation to comfort us by the
    hope of final restoration. Implore the Jesus whom you worship to
    open the house of the prison. Entreat the Christ whom you adore to
    let the miserable captives go free._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "_Reverend and Respected_,--

    "It is not your prayers alone, although of much avail, which we beg
    on the bending knee of sufferance, galled by the corroding fetters
    of slavery. We conjure you by the bowels of the mercies of the
    Almighty, we ask you in the name of your Father in Heaven, to have
    compassion on our miseries, to wipe away the crystallized tears of
    despondence, to hush the heartfelt sigh of distress, _and, by every
    possible exertion of godlike charity, to restore us to our wives,
    to our children, to our friends, to our God and to yours_.

    "Is it possible that a stimulus can be wanting? Forbid it, the
    example of a dying, bleeding, crucified Saviour! Forbid it, the
    precepts of a risen, ascended, glorified Immanuel! _Do unto us
    in fetters, in bonds, in dungeons, in danger of the pestilence,
    as ye yourselves would wish to be done unto. Lift up your voices
    like a trumpet; cry aloud in the cause of humanity, benevolence,
    philosophy: eloquence can never be directed to a nobler purpose;
    religion never employed in a more glorious cause; charity never
    meditate a more exalted flight._ Oh that a live coal from the
    burning altar of celestial beneficence might warm the hearts of the
    sacred order, and impassion the feelings of the attentive hearer!

    "_Gentlemen of the Clergy in New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
     Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia_,--

    "Your most zealous exertions, your unremitting assiduities,
    are pathetically invoked. Those States in which you minister
    unto the Church of God gave us birth. We are as aliens from the
    commonwealth of America. We are strangers to the temples of our
    God. The strong arm of infidelity hath bound us with two chains;
    the iron one of slavery and the sword of death are entering our
    very souls. _Arise, ye ministers of the Most High, Christians of
    every denomination, awake unto charity! Let a brief, setting forth
    our hapless situation, be published throughout the continent. Be
    it read in every house of worship on Sunday, the 8th of February.
    Command a preparatory discourse to be delivered on Sunday, the 15th
    of February, in all churches whithersoever this petition or the
    brief may come; and on Thursday, the 19th of February, complete
    the godlike work._ It is a day which assembles a continent to
    thanksgiving; it is a day which calls an empire to praise. God
    grant, that this may be the day which emancipates the forlorn
    captive, and may the best blessings of those who are ready to
    perish be your abiding portion forever! Thus prays a small remnant
    who are still alive; thus pray your fellow-citizens, chained to the
    galleys of the impostor Mahomet.

      "Signed for and in behalf of his fellow-sufferers by

                                              "RICHARD O'BRIEN,
                  "_In the tenth year of his captivity_."[105]

    [105] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, pp.

The cause which inspired this appeal will indispose the candid reader
to any criticism of its exuberant language. Like the drama of Cervantes
setting forth the horrors of the galleys of Algiers, it was "not drawn
from the imagination, but was born far from the regions of fiction, in
the very heart of truth."[106] Its earnest appeals were calculated to
touch the soul, and to make the very name of slavery and slave-dealer

    [106] Los Baños de Argel.


I should do injustice to truth, if I did not suspend for one moment
the narrative of this Anti-Slavery movement, to exhibit the pointed
parallel then recognized between slavery in Algiers and slavery in our
own country. It belongs to this history. Conscience could not plead for
the emancipation of white fellow-citizens, without confessing in the
heart, perhaps to the world, that every consideration, every argument,
every appeal for the white man, told with equal force for the wretched
colored brother in bonds. Thus the interest awakened for the slave in
Algiers embraced also the slave at home. Sometimes they were said to be
alike in condition; sometimes, indeed, it was openly declared that the
horrors of our American slavery surpassed that of Algiers.

John Wesley, the oracle of Methodism, who had become familiar with
slavery in our Southern States, addressing those engaged in the
negro slave-trade, declared as early as 1774: "You have carried the
survivors into the vilest slavery, never to end but with life,--_such_
_slavery as is not found among the Turks at Algiers_."[107] Another
writer in 1794, when sympathy with the American captives was at its
height, presses the parallel in pungent terms. "For this practice of
buying and selling slaves," he says, "we are not entitled to charge
the Algerines with any exclusive degree of barbarity. The Christians
of Europe and America carry on this commerce one hundred times more
extensively than the Algerines. It has received a recent sanction from
the immaculate Divan of Britain. Nobody seems even to be surprised by
a diabolical kind of advertisements which for some months past have
frequently adorned the newspapers of Philadelphia. The French fugitives
from the West Indies have brought with them a crowd of slaves. These
most injured people sometimes run off, and their master advertises a
reward for apprehending them. At the same time we are commonly informed
that his sacred name is marked in capitals on their breasts,--or, in
plainer terms, it is stamped on that part of the body with a red-hot
iron. Before, therefore, we reprobate the ferocity of the Algerines, we
should inquire whether it is not possible to find in some other region
of this globe a systematic brutality still more disgraceful."[108]

    [107] Thoughts upon Slavery (1774), p. 24.

    [108] Short Account of Algiers (Philadelphia, 1794), p. 18.

Not long after the address to the clergy by the captives in Algiers,
a voice came from New Hampshire, in a tract entitled "Tyrannical
Libertymen, a Discourse upon Negro Slavery in the United States,
composed at---- in New Hampshire on the late Federal Thanksgiving
Day,"[109] which does not hesitate to brand American slavery in terms
of glowing reprobation. "There was a contribution upon this day," it
says, "for the purpose of redeeming those Americans who are in slavery
at Algiers,--an object worthy of a generous people. Their redemption,
we hope, is not far distant. But should any person contribute money
for this purpose which he had cudgelled out of a negro slave, he would
deserve less applause than an actor in the comedy of Las Casas....
When will Americans show that they are what they affect to be
thought,--friends to the cause of humanity at large, reverers of the
rights of their fellow-creatures? Hitherto we have been oppressors,
nay, murderers!--for many a negro has died by the whip of his master,
and many have lived when death would have been preferable. Surely the
curse of God and the reproach of man is against us. Worse than the
seven plagues of Egypt will befall us. If Algiers shall be punished
seven fold, truly America seventy and seven fold." These words might
not impertinently be uttered in our present debates.

    [109] From the Eagle Office, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1795.

To this excitement we are indebted for the story of "The Algerine
Captive," which, though now forgotten, was among the earliest literary
productions of our country, reprinted in London at a time when few
American books were known abroad. Published anonymously, it is
recognized as from the pen of Royall Tyler, afterwards Chief Justice of
Vermont. In the form of a narrative of personal adventures, extending
through two volumes, a slave of Algiers depicts the horrors of his
condition. In this regard it is not unlike the recent story of "Archy
Moore," displaying the horrors of American slavery. The narrator,
while engaged as surgeon on board a ship in the African slave-trade,
has an opportunity which he does not neglect. After describing the
reception of the poor negroes, he says: "I cannot reflect on this
transaction yet, without shuddering. I have deplored my conduct with
tears of anguish; and I pray a merciful God, the Common Parent of the
great family of the universe, who hath made of one flesh and one blood
all nations of the earth, that the miseries, the insults, and cruel
woundings I afterwards received, when a slave myself, may expiate for
the inhumanity I was necessitated to exercise towards these my brethren
of the human race."[110] He further records his meditations and
resolves, while yet a captive of the Algerines. "Grant me," he says,
from the depths of his own misfortune, "once more to taste the freedom
of my native country, and every moment of my life shall be dedicated
to preaching against this detestable commerce. I will fly to our
fellow-citizens in the Southern States; I will, on my knees, conjure
them, in the name of humanity, to abolish a traffic which causes it
to bleed in every pore. If they are deaf to the pleadings of Nature,
I will conjure them, for the sake of consistency, to cease to deprive
their fellow-creatures of freedom, which their writers, their orators,
representatives, senators, and even their constitutions of government,
have declared to be the unalienable birthright of man."[111] This is
sound and significant.

    [110] Chap. XXX. Vol. I. p. 193.

    [111] Chap. XXXII. Vol. I. p. 213.

Not merely in the productions of literature and in fugitive essays was
such comparison presented; it was set forth on an important occasion in
the history of our country, by one of her most illustrious citizens.
The opportunity occurred in a complaint against England for carrying
away from New York certain negroes, in alleged violation of the treaty
of 1783. In an elaborate paper, John Jay, at that time Secretary for
Foreign Affairs under the Confederation, says: "Whether men can be so
degraded, as, under any circumstances, to be with propriety denominated
_goods and chattels_, and under that idea capable of becoming _booty_,
is a question on which opinions are unfortunately various, even in
countries professing Christianity and respect for the rights of
mankind." He then proceeds in words worthy of special remembrance at
this time: "If a war should take place between France and Algiers, and
in the course of it France should invite the American slaves there to
run away from their masters, and actually receive and protect them in
their camp, what would Congress, and indeed the world, think and say
of France, if, on making peace with Algiers, she should give up those
American slaves to their former Algerine masters? _Is there any other
difference between the two cases than this, namely, that the American
slaves at Algiers are WHITE people, whereas the African slaves
at New York were BLACK people?_" Introducing these sentiments,
the Secretary remarks: "He is aware he is about to say unpopular
things; but higher motives than personal considerations press him to
proceed."[112] Words worthy of John Jay!

    [112] Secret Journals of Congrese, 1786, Vol. IV. pp. 274-279.

The same comparison was also instituted by the Abolition Society of
Pennsylvania, in an address to the Convention which framed the National
Constitution. "The sufferings of our American brethren groaning in
captivity at Algiers," it says, "Providence seems to have ordained to
awaken us to a sentiment of the injustice and cruelty of which we are
guilty towards the wretched Africans."[113] Shortly afterwards it
was again brought forward by Dr. Franklin, in an ingenious apologue,
with all his peculiar humor, simplicity, logic, and humanity. As
President of the same Abolition Society which had already addressed the
Convention, he signed a memorial to the earliest Congress under the
Constitution, praying it "to countenance the restoration of liberty
to those unhappy men who alone in this land of freedom are degraded
into perpetual bondage," and to "step to the _very verge_ of the power
vested in them for _discouraging_ every species of traffic in the
persons of our fellow-men."[114] In the congressional debates on the
presentation of this memorial,--memorable not only for its intrinsic
importance as a guide to the country, but as the final public act of
a chief among the founders of our national institutions,--several
attempts were made to justify slavery and the slave-trade. The last
and almost dying energies of Franklin were excited. In a remarkable
document, written only twenty-four days before his death, and published
in the journals of the time, he gave a parody of a speech actually
delivered in Congress,--transferring the scene to Algiers, and putting
the congressional eloquence in the mouth of a corsair slave-dealer,
inveighing before the Divan against a petition from the Purists or
Abolitionists of Algiers. All the arguments adduced in favor of negro
slavery are applied by the Algerine orator with equal force to justify
the plunder and enslavement of whites.[115] With this protest against a
great wrong, Franklin died.

    [113] Brissot's Travels, Letter XXII. Vol. I. p. 253.

    [114] Annals of Congress, 1st Cong. 2d Sess. Vol. II. col. 1198.

    [115] Sparks's Franklin, Vol. II. p. 517.

Most certainly we are aided in appreciation of American slavery,
when we know that it was likened, by characters like Wesley, Jay, and
Franklin, to the abomination of slavery in Algiers. But whatever may
have been the influence of this parallel on the condition of the black
slaves, it did not check the rising sentiments of the people against
White Slavery.


The country was aroused. A general contribution was proposed. The cause
of our brethren was pleaded in churches, and not forgotten at the
festive board. At all public celebrations, the toasts "Happiness for
all" and "Universal Liberty," were proposed, not more in sympathy with
Frenchmen struggling for human rights than with our own wretched white
fellow-countrymen in bonds. On one occasion[116] they were distinctly
remembered in the following toast: "Our brethren in slavery at Algiers.
May the measures adopted for their redemption be successful, and may
they live to rejoice with their friends in the blessings of liberty!"
Generous words, apt for all in bonds!

    [116] At Portsmouth, N.H., at a public entertainment, April 3,
    1795, in honor of French successes.--Boston Independent Chronicle,
    Vol. XXVII. No. 1469.

Meanwhile the efforts of the National Government continued. President
Washington, in his speech to Congress, delivered in person to both
houses in the Representatives' Chamber, December 8, 1795, said: "With
peculiar satisfaction I add, that information has been received from
an agent deputed on our part to Algiers, importing that the terms of
the treaty with the Dey and Regency of that country had been adjusted
in such a manner as to authorize the expectation of a speedy peace,
and the restoration of our unfortunate fellow-citizens from a grievous
captivity."[117] This was effected on the 5th of September, 1795. It
was a treaty full of humiliation for the "chivalry" of our country.
Besides securing a large sum of money to the Algerine government in
consideration of present peace and the liberation of captives, it
stipulated an annual tribute of "twelve thousand Algerine sequins in
maritime stores."[118] But feelings of pride disappeared in heartfelt
satisfaction. A thrill of joy went through the land, when it was
announced that a vessel had left Algiers, having on board all the
American captives, now happily at liberty. Their emancipation was
purchased at the cost of more than seven hundred thousand dollars. The
largess of money, and even the indignity of tribute, were forgotten
in gratulations on their new-found happiness. The President, in his
speech to Congress, delivered in person, December 7, 1796, presented
their "actual liberation" as a special subject of joy to "every feeling
heart."[119] Thus did the National Government construct a bridge of
gold for Freedom.

    [117] Annals of Congress, 4th Cong. 1st Sess. col. 11.

    [118] United States Statutes at Large, Treaties, Vol. VIII. p. 133.
    Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 362.

    [119] Annals of Congress, 4th Cong. 2d Sess. col. 1593.

This act of national generosity was followed by peace with Tripoli,
purchased, November 4, 1796, for the sum of fifty-six thousand
dollars,--"$48,000 in cash, $8,000 in presents,"[120]--under the
guaranty of the Dey of Algiers, who was declared to be "the mutual
friend of the parties." By an article in this treaty, negotiated by
Joel Barlow,--out of tenderness, perhaps to Mahometanism, and to save
our citizens from that slavery which was regarded as the just doom
of "Christian dogs,"--it was expressly declared that "the Government
of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the
Christian religion."[121] By a treaty with Tunis, purchased after some
delay, but at a smaller price than that with Tripoli, all danger to our
citizens seemed to be averted. Here it was ignominiously provided, that
fugitive slaves, taking refuge on board American merchant vessels, and
even vessels of war, should be restored to their owners.[122]

    [120] Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 381, note.

    [121] Article XI.--United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII. p.
    154. Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. pp. 380, 381.

    [122] Article VI.--United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII.
    p. 157. Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 400.--This treaty has two
    dates,--August, 1797, and March, 1799. William Eaton and James
    Leander Cathcart were agents of the United States at the latter

As early as 1787 a more liberal treaty was entered into with Morocco,
which was confirmed in 1795,[123] at the price of twenty thousand
dollars; while, by a treaty with Spain, in 1799, this slave-trading
empire _expressly declared its "desire that the name of Slavery might
be effaced from the memory of man_."[124]

    [123] United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII. p. 100. Lyman's
    Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 350.

    [124] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, p.

But these governments were barbarous, faithless, regardless of humanity
and justice. Promises with them were evanescent. As in the days of
Charles the Second, treaties were made merely to be broken. They were
observed only so long as money was derived under their stipulations.
Soon again our growing commerce was fatally vexed by the Barbary
corsairs; even the ships of our navy were subjected to peculiar
indignities. In 1801 the Bey of Tripoli formally declared war against
the United States, and in token thereof "our flag-staff [before
the consulate] was chopped down six feet from the ground, and left
reclining on the terrace."[125] American citizens once more became the
prize of man-stealers. Colonel Humphreys, now at home in retirement,
came out in an address to the public, calling again for united action,
saying: "Americans of the United States, your fellow-citizens are in
fetters! Can there be but one feeling? Where are the gallant remnants
of the race who fought for freedom? Where the glorious heirs of their
patriotism? _Will there never be a truce between political parties?
Or must it forever be the fate of FREE STATES, that the soft
voice of union should be drowned in the hoarse clamor of discord?_ No!
Let every friend of blessed humanity and sacred freedom entertain a
better hope and confidence."[126] Colonel Humphreys was not a statesman
only; he was known as poet also. And in this character he made another
appeal. In a poem on "The Future Glory of the United States," he
breaks forth into indignant condemnation of slavery, which deserves
commemoration, and, whatever may be the merits of its verse, should not
be omitted here.

    [125] Lyman's Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 384.

    [126] Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, p. 75.

    "Teach me curst slavery's cruel woes to paint,
     Beneath whose weight our captured freemen faint!

       *       *       *       *       *

     Where am I? Heavens! what mean these dolorous cries?
     And what these horrid scenes that round me rise?
     Heard ye the groans, those messengers of pain?
     Heard ye the clanking of the captive's chain?
     Heard ye your freeborn sons their fate deplore,
     Pale in their chains and laboring at the oar?
     Saw ye the dungeon, in whose blackest cell,
     That house of woe, your friends, your children, dwell?
     Or saw ye those who dread the torturing hour,
     Crushed by the rigors of a tyrant's power?

     _Saw ye the shrinking slave, the uplifted lash,
     The frowning butcher, and the reddening gash?
     Saw ye the fresh blood, where it bubbling broke
     From purple scars, beneath the grinding stroke?
     Saw ye the naked limbs writhed to and fro,
     In wild contortions of convulsing woe?_
     Felt ye the blood, with pangs alternate rolled,
     Thrill through your veins and freeze with deathlike cold,
     Or fire, as down the tear of pity stole,
     Your manly breasts, and harrow up the soul?"[127]

The people and Government responded. And here commenced those early
deeds by which our navy became known in Europe. Through a reverse of
shipwreck rather than war, the frigate Philadelphia fell into the hands
of the Tripolitans. A daring act of Decatur burned it under the guns of
the enemy. Other feats of hardihood ensued. A romantic expedition by
General Eaton, from Alexandria, in Egypt, across the Desert of Libya,
captured Derne. Three several times Tripoli was attacked, and, at last,
on the 4th of June, 1805, entered into a treaty by which the freedom
of three hundred American slaves was secured, on the payment of sixty
thousand dollars; and it was provided, that, in the event of future war
between the two countries, prisoners should not be reduced to slavery,
but should be exchanged rank for rank, and if there were any deficiency
on either side, it should be made up at the rate of five hundred
Spanish dollars for each captain, three hundred dollars for each mate
and supercargo, and one hundred dollars for each seaman.[128] Thus did
our country, after successes not without what is called the glory of
arms, again purchase with money the emancipation of white citizens.

    [127] Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys, pp. 52, 53.

    [128] United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII. p. 214. Lyman's
    Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 388.

The power of Tripoli was inconsiderable. That of Algiers was more
formidable. It is not a little curious that the largest ship of this
slave-trading state was the Crescent, of thirty-four guns, built in
New Hampshire;[129] _though it is hardly to the credit of our sister
State that the Algerine power derived such important support from her_.
The lawlessness of the corsair broke forth again in the seizure of the
brig Edwin, of Salem, and the enslavement of her crew. The energies
of the country were at this time enlisted in war with Great Britain;
but even amidst the anxieties of this important contest was heard the
voice of these captives, awakening a corresponding sentiment throughout
the land, until the Government was prompted to their release. Through
Mr. Noah, recently appointed consul at Tunis, it offered to purchase
their freedom at three thousand dollars a head.[130] The answer of the
Dey, repeated on several occasions, was, that "not for two millions of
dollars would he sell his American slaves."[131] The timely treaty of
Ghent, establishing peace with Great Britain, left us at liberty to
deal with this enslaver of our countrymen. At once a naval force was
despatched to the Mediterranean, under approved officers, Commodores
Bainbridge and Decatur. The rapidity of their movements and their
striking success had the desired effect. In December, 1816, a treaty
was extorted from the Dey of Algiers, by which, after abandoning all
claim to tribute in any form, he delivered his American captives, ten
in number, without ransom, and stipulated that hereafter no Americans
should be made slaves or forced to hard labor, and, still further,
that "any Christians whatsoever, captives in Algiers," making their
escape, and taking refuge on board an American ship of war, should be
safe from all requisition or reclamation.[132]

    [129] History of the War between the United States and Tripoli, p.

    [130] Noah's Travels, pp. 69, 70.

    [131] Ibid., p. 144. National Intelligencer, March 7, 1815.

    [132] United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIII. p. 224. Lyman's
    Diplomacy, Vol. II. p. 376.

Decatur walked his deck with impatient earnestness, awaiting the
promised signature of the treaty. "Is the treaty signed?" he cried to
the captain of the port and the Swedish consul, as they reached the
Guerrière with a white flag of truce. "It is," replied the Swede; and
the treaty was placed in the hands of the brave commander. "Are the
prisoners in the boat?" "They are." "Every one of them?" "Every one,
Sir." The captive Americans now came forward to greet and bless their
deliverer.[133] Here, on a smaller scale, was the same scene which had
given such satisfaction to the Emperor Charles the Fifth at Tunis.
Surely this moment, when he looked upon emancipated fellow-countrymen
and thought how much he had contributed to overthrow the relentless
system of bondage under which they had groaned, must have been one
of the sweetest in the life of our hardy son of the sea. But should
I not say, even here, that there is now a citizen of Massachusetts,
who, without army or navy, by a simple act of self-renunciation, has
given freedom to a larger number of Christian American slaves than was
liberated by the sword of Decatur? Of course I refer to Mr. Palfrey.

    [133] Mackenzie's Life of Decatur, p. 268.

Not by money, but by arms, was emancipation this time secured. The
country was grateful for the result,--though the poor freedmen,
engulfed in unknown wastes of ocean, on their glad passage home, were
never able to mingle joys with their fellow-citizens. They were on
board the Épervier, of which no trace ever appeared. Nor did the people
feel the melancholy mockery of the National Government, which, having
weakly declared that it was "not in any sense founded on the Christian
religion," now expressly confined the protecting power of its flag to
fugitive "Christians, captives in Algiers," leaving slaves of another
faith, escaping even from Algiers, to be snatched as between the horns
of the altar and returned to continued horrors.


The success of American arms was followed by a more signal triumph
of Great Britain, acting generously in behalf of all the Christian
powers. Her expedition was debated, perhaps prompted, in the Congress
of Vienna, where, after the overthrow of Napoleon, the brilliant
representatives of European nations, with the monarchs of Austria,
Prussia, and Russia in attendance, considered how to adjust the
disordered balance of empire, and to remedy evils through joint action.
Among many high concerns was the project of a crusade against the
Barbary States, to accomplish the complete abolition of Christian
slavery. For this purpose, it was proposed to form "a holy league,"
which was earnestly enforced by a memoir from Sir Sidney Smith,[134]
the same who foiled Napoleon at Acre, and at this time president of an
association called the "Knights Liberators of the _White_ Slaves in
Africa,"--in our day it would be called an Abolition Society,--thus
adding to the doubtful laurels of war the true glory of striving for
the freedom of his fellow-man.

    [134] Mémoire sur la Nécessité et les Moyens de faire cesser les
    Pirateries des États Barbaresques. Reçu, considéré, et adopté à
    Paris en Septembre, à Turin le 14 Octobre, 1814, à Vienne durant
    le Congrès. Par W. Sidney Smith. See Quarterly Review, Vol. XV. p.
    139, where this is noticed. Schoell, Histoire des Traités de Paix,
    Tom. XI. p. 402.

Though not adopted by the Congress, this project awakened a generous
echo. Various advocates appeared in its support; and what the Congress
failed to undertake was now especially urged upon Great Britain by the
agents of Spain and Portugal, who insisted, that, _because_ this nation
had abolished the trade in blacks, it was her _duty_ to extinguish the
slavery of _whites_.[135]

    [135] Quarterly Review, Vol. XV. p. 145. Edinburgh Review, Vol.
    XXVI. p. 449, noticing a Letter to a Member of Parliament on the
    Slavery of the Christians at Algiers, by Walter Croker, Esq., of
    the Royal Navy, London. 1816. Schoell, Histoire des Traités de
    Paix, Tom. XI. p. 402.

A scandalous impediment seemed to interfere, showing itself in a
common belief that the obstructions from the Barbary States were
advantageous to British commerce by thwarting and strangling that
of other countries, and that therefore Great Britain, ever anxious
for commercial supremacy, would do nothing for their overthrow,--the
love of trade prevailing over the love of man.[136] This imputation
of sordid selfishness, willing to coin money out of the lives and
liberties of fellow-Christians, was soon answered.

    [136] Edinburgh Review, Vol. XXVI. p. 451. Osler's Life of Exmouth,
    p. 302. Mackenzie's Life of Decatur, pp. 261-263.

At the beginning of the year 1816, Lord Exmouth, already distinguished
in the British navy as Sir Edward Pellew, was despatched with a
squadron to Algiers. By general orders bearing date March 21, 1816, he
announced the object of his expedition as follows.

    "He has been instructed and directed by his Royal Highness, the
    Prince Regent, to proceed with the fleet to Algiers,
    and _there make certain arrangements for diminishing, at least_,
    the piratical excursions of the Barbary States, _by which thousands
    of our fellow-creatures, innocently following their commercial
    pursuits, have been dragged into the most wretched and revolting
    state of slavery_.

    "The commander-in-chief is confident that _this outrageous
    system of piracy and slavery rouses in common the same spirit of
    indignation which he himself feels_; and should the government of
    Algiers refuse the reasonable demands he bears from the Prince
    Regent, he doubts not but the flag will be honorably and zealously
    supported by every officer and man under his command, in his
    endeavors to procure the acceptation of them by force; _and if
    force must be resorted to, we have the consolation of knowing
    that we fight in the sacred cause of humanity, and cannot fail of

    [137] Osler's Life of Exmouth, p. 297.

The moderate object of his mission was readily obtained. "Arrangements
for diminishing the piratical excursions of the Barbary States" were
established. Ionian slaves, claimed as British subjects, were released,
and peace was secured for Naples and Sardinia,--the former paying for
subjects liberated five hundred dollars a head, and the latter three
hundred dollars. This was at Algiers. Lord Exmouth proceeded next to
Tunis and Tripoli, where, acting beyond his instructions, he obtained
from both these piratical governments the promise to abolish Christian
slavery within their respective dominions. In one of his letters on
this event he says, that, in pressing these concessions, he "acted
solely on his own responsibility and without orders,--the causes
and reasoning on which, upon general principles, may be defensible,
but, as applying to our own country, may not be borne out, _the old
mercantile_ _interest being against it_."[138] It is curious to recall
a similar distrust excited in another age by a similar achievement.
Admiral Blake, after his attack upon Tunis, appealed to the government
of Cromwell, in words applicable to the recent occasion, saying: "And
now, seeing it hath pleased God soe signally to justify us herein, I
hope His Highness will not be offended at it, nor any who regard duely
the honor of our nation, _although I expect to heare of many complaints
and clamors of interested men_."[139] Thus, more than once, in these
efforts to abolish White Slavery, did Commerce, daughter of Freedom,
fall under suspicion of disloyalty to her parent.

    [138] Osler's Life of Exmouth, p. 303.

    [139] Thurloe's State Papers, Vol. III. p. 390.

Lord Exmouth did injustice to the moral sense of England. His conduct
was sustained and applauded, not only in the House of Commons, but by
the country at large. He was sent back to Algiers--which had failed
to make any general renunciation of White Slavery--to extort this
stipulation by force. British historians regard this expedition with
peculiar pride. In all the annals of their triumphant navy there is
none where the barbarism of war seems so much to "smooth its wrinkled
front." With a fleet complete at all points, the good Admiral set sail
July 25, 1816, on what was deemed a holy war. With five line-of-battle
ships, five frigates, four bomb-vessels, and five gun-brigs, besides
a Dutch fleet of five frigates and a corvette, under Admiral Van
Capellen,--who, on learning the object of the expedition, solicited
and obtained leave to coöperate, he anchored before the formidable
fortifications of Algiers. It would not be agreeable or instructive
to dwell on the scene of desolation and blood which ensued. Before
night the fleet fired, besides shells and rockets, one hundred and
eighteen tons of powder, and fifty thousand shot, weighing more than
five hundred tons. The citadel and massive batteries of Algiers were
shattered and crumbled to ruins. Storehouses, ships, and gunboats were
in flames, while the blazing lightnings of battle were answered by the
lightnings of heaven in a storm of signal fury. The power of the Great
Slave-dealer was humbled.

The terms of submission were announced to his fleet in an order of the
Admiral, dated, Queen Charlotte, Algiers Bay, August 30, 1816, which
may be read with truer pleasure than any other in military or naval

    "The commander-in-chief is happy to inform the fleet of the
    final termination of their strenuous exertions, by the signature
    of peace, confirmed under a salute of twenty-one guns, on the
    following conditions, dictated by his Royal Highness, the Prince
    Regent of England.


    "II. _The delivery to my flag of all slaves in the dominions of the
    Dey, to whatever nation they may belong, at noon to-morrow._

    "III. To deliver also to my flag all money received by him for the
    redemption of slaves since the commencement of this year, at noon
    also to-morrow."[140]

    [140] Osler's Life of Exmouth, p. 333.

On the next day upwards of twelve hundred slaves were emancipated,
making, with those liberated in his earlier expedition, more than
three thousand, whom, by address or force, Lord Exmouth delivered from

    [141] Ibid., pp. 334, 335. Annual Register, 1816, Vol. LVIII. pp.
    97-1 05]." Shaler's Sketches of Algiers, pp. 279-294.]

Thus ended White Slavery in the Barbary States. Already it had died out
in Morocco. Quietly it had been renounced by Tripoli and Tunis. Its
last retreat was Algiers, whence it was driven amidst the thunder of
the British cannon.

Signal honors awaited the Admiral. He was elevated to a new rank in the
peerage, and on his coat-of-arms was emblazoned a figure never before
known in heraldry,--_a Christian slave holding aloft the cross and
dropping his broken fetters_.[142] From the officers of the squadron he
received a costly service of plate, with an inscription, in testimony
of "the memorable victory gained at Algiers, _where the great cause of
Christian freedom was bravely fought and nobly accomplished_."[143]
Higher far than honor were the rich personal satisfactions he derived
from the beneficent cause in which he was enlisted. In a despatch to
the Government, describing the battle, he says, in words which may
be felt by others, warring for the overthrow of slavery: "In all the
vicissitudes of a long life of public service, no circumstance has ever
produced on my mind such impressions of gratitude and joy as the event
of yesterday. _To have been one of the humble instruments in the hands
of Divine Providence for bringing to reason a ferocious government,
and destroying forever the insufferable and horrid system of Christian
slavery, can never cease to be a source of delight and heartfelt
comfort to every individual happy enough to be employed in it._"[144]

    [142] Osler's Life of Exmouth, p. 340.

    [143] Ibid., p. 342.

    [144] Ibid., p. 432. Shaler's Sketches of Algiers, p. 282.

The reverses of Algiers did not end here. Christian slavery was
abolished; but in 1830 the insolence of this barbarian government
awoke the vengeance of France to take military possession of the whole
country. Algiers capitulated, the Dey abdicated, and this considerable
power became a French colony.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus I have endeavored to present what I could glean in various fields
on the _history_ of White Slavery in the Barbary States,--often
employing the words of others, as they seemed best calculated to
convey the scene, incident, or sentiment which I wished to preserve.
So doing, I have occupied much time; but I may find my apology in the
words of an English chronicler. "Algier," he says, "were altogether
unworthy so long discourse, _were not the unworthinesse most worthy
our consideration_: I meane the cruell abuse of the Christian name,
which let us, for inciting our zeale and exciting our charitie and
thankfulnes, more deeply weigh, to releeve those there in miseries
(as we may) with our paynes, prayers, purses, and all the best
mediations."[145] To exhibit the crime of slavery is in itself
sufficient motive for any exertion.

    [145] Purchas's Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 1565.



By natural transition I am now brought to inquire into the _true
character_ of the evil whose history has been traced. Here I shall be

Slavery in the Barbary States is denounced as an unquestionable outrage
upon humanity and justice. In this judgment nobody hesitates. Our
liveliest sympathies attend these white brethren,--torn from homes,
the ties of family and friendship rudely severed, parent separated
from child and husband from wife, exposed at public sale like cattle,
and dependent, like cattle, upon the uncertain will of an arbitrary
taskmaster. We read of a "gentleman" compelled to be valet of the
barbarian emperor of Morocco;[146] and Calderon, the pride of the
Spanish stage, has depicted the miserable fate of a Portuguese prince,
degraded by the infidel Moor to carry water in a garden. But the lowly
in condition had their unrecorded sorrows, whose sum-total swells to
a fearful amount. Who can tell how many hearts have been wrung by
the pangs of separation, how many crushed by the comfortless despair
of interminable bondage? "Speaking as a Christian," says the good
Catholic father who has chronicled much of this misery, "if on the
earth there can be any condition which in its character and evils may
represent in any manner the dolorous Passion of the Son of God (which
exceeded all evils and torments, because by it the Lord suffered
every kind of evil and affliction), it is, beyond question and doubt,
none other than slavery and captivity in Algiers and Barbary, whose
infinite evils, terrible torments, miseries without number, afflictions
without mitigation, it is impossible to comprehend in a brief span of
time."[147] When we consider the author's character as a father of the
Catholic Church, it will be felt that language can no further go. The
details of the picture may be seen in the report of another Catholic
father at a later day, who furnishes a chapter on the condition of
Christian slaves in Morocco. Their torments are depicted: constrained
to work at all hours, without days of rest, without proper food;
sometimes the diversion of their master, "who makes their labor his
rest and their sufferings his pleasure"; subject at all times to his
capricious will, and the victims of horrid cruelty. One is described
who was cast naked to the dogs, but, amidst the torments he endured,
exhorted his fellow-captives to have patience, "telling them that Jesus
Christ had suffered much more for them and for him";--saying this, he
gathered up his bowels, which he drew from the mouths of the dogs,
till, his strength failing him, he expired, and they devoured him. "I
should never have done," says the father, "did I go about to relate
here all that the merchants and captives told us of cruelties, they are
so excessive."[148]

    [146] Braithwaite's Revolutions in Morocco, p. 233.

    [147] Haedo, Historia, pp. 139, 140.--Besides illustrations of the
    hardships of White Slavery already introduced, I refer briefly to
    the following: Edinburgh Review, Vol. XXVI. pp. 452-454; Quarterly
    Review, Vol. XV. p. 145; Life of General William Eaton, p. 100;
    Noah's Travels, pp. 366, 367.

    [148] Busnot, History of the Reign of Muley Ismael, Chap. VI. p.

In nothing are impiety and blasphemy more apparent than in the
auctions of human beings, where men are sold to the highest bidder.
Through the personal experience of a young English merchant, Abraham
Brown, afterwards a settler in Massachusetts, we learn how these
were conducted. In 1655, before the liberating power of Cromwell was
acknowledged, he was captured, together with a whole crew, and carried
into Sallee. His own words, in his memoirs still preserved, will best
tell his story.

"On landing," he says, "an exceeding great company of most dismal
spectators were led to behold us in our captivated condition. There was
liberty for all sorts to come and look on us, that whosoever had a mind
to buy any of us, on the day appointed for our sale together in the
market, might see, as I may say, what they would like to have for their
money; whereby we had too many comfortless visitors, both from the town
and country, one saying he would buy this man, and the other that man.
To comfort us, we were told by the Christian slaves already there, if
we met with such and such patrons, our usage would not be so bad as
we supposed; though, indeed, our men found the usage of the best bad
enough. Fresh victuals and bread were supplied, I suppose to feed us up
for the market, that we might be in some good plight against the day we
were to be sold.

"And now I come to speak of our being sold into this doleful slavery.
It was doleful in respect to the time and manner. As to the time, it
was on our Sabbath day, in the morning, about the time the people of
God were about to enjoy the liberty of God's house: this was the time
our bondage was confirmed. Again, it was sad in respect to the manner
of our selling. Being all of us brought into the market-place, we were
led about, two or three at a time, in the midst of a great concourse
of people, both from the town and country, who had a full sight of us,
and if that did not satisfy, they would come and feel of your hand and
look into your mouth to see whether you are sound in health, or to see
by the hardness of your hand whether you have been a laborer or not.
The manner of buying is this: he that bids the greatest price hath
you,--they bidding one upon another, until the highest has you for a
slave, whoever he is, or wherever he dwells.

"As concerning myself, being brought to the market in the weakest
condition of any of our men, I was led forth among the cruel multitude
to be sold. As yet being undiscovered what I was, I was like to have
been sold at a very low rate, not above fifteen pounds sterling,
whereas our ordinary seamen were sold for thirty pounds and thirty-five
pounds sterling, and two boys were sold for forty pounds apiece; and
being in this sad posture led up and down at least one hour and an
half, during which time a Dutchman, that was our carpenter, discovered
me to some Jews, they increased from fifteen to seventy-five pounds,
which was the price my patron gave for me, being three hundred ducats;
and had I not been so weakened, and in these rags (indeed, I made
myself more so than I was, for sometimes, as they led me, I pretended
I could not go, and did often sit down),--I say, had not these things
been, in all likelihood I had been sold for as much again in the
market, and thus I had been dearer, and the difficulty greater to be
redeemed. During the time of my being led up and down the market, I was
possessed with the greatest fears, not knowing who my patron might be.
I feared it might be one from the country, who would carry me where I
could not return, or it might be one in and about Sallee, of which we
had sad accounts, and many other distracting thoughts I had. And though
I was like to have been sold unto the most cruel man in Sallee, there
being but one piece-of-eight between him and my patron, yet the Lord
was pleased to cause him to buy me, of whom I may speak, to the glory
of God, as the kindest man in the place."[149]

    [149] Memoirs of Abraham Brown, MS.

This is the story of a respectable person, little distinguished in
the world. But the slave-dealer applied his inexorable system without
distinction of persons.

                     ST. VINCENT DE PAUL A SLAVE.

The experience of St. Vincent de Paul did not differ from that of
Abraham Brown. That illustrious character, admired, beloved, and
worshipped by large circles of mankind, has also left a record of his
sale as a slave.

"Their proceedings at our sale," he says, "were as follows. After we
had been stripped, they gave to each one of us a pair of drawers, a
linen coat, with a cap, and paraded us through the city of Tunis,
whither they had come expressly to sell us. Having made us take five or
six turns through the city, with the chain at our necks, they conducted
us back to the boat, that the merchants might come and see who could
eat well and who not, and to show that our wounds were not mortal. This
done, they took us to the public square, where the merchants came to
visit us, precisely as is done at the purchase of a horse or an ox,
making us open our mouths to see our teeth, feeling our sides, probing
our wounds, and making us walk about, trot, and run, then lift burdens,
and then wrestle, in order to see the strength of each, and a thousand
other sorts of brutalities."[150]

    [150] Biographie Universelle (Michaud): Art., _Vincent de Paul_.

In this simple narrative what occasion for humiliation and
encouragement! Well may we be humbled, that a nature so divine was
subject to this cruel lot! Well may we be encouraged, as we contemplate
the heights of usefulness and renown which this slave at last reached!

                          CERVANTES A SLAVE.

Here we may refer again to Cervantes, whose pen was dipped in his own
dark experience. His "Life in Algiers" exhibits the horrors of the
slave-market as it might be exhibited now. The public crier exposes
for sale a father and mother with two children. They are to be sold
separately, or, according to the language of our day, "in lots to suit
purchasers." The father is resigned, confiding in God; the mother
sobs; while the children, ignorant of the inhumanity of men, show an
instinctive trust in the constant and wakeful protection of their
parents,--now, alas! impotent to shield them from dire calamity. A
merchant, inclining to purchase one of the children, and wishing to
ascertain his bodily condition, makes him open his mouth. The child,
ignorant of the destiny which awaits him, imagines that the purchaser
is about to extract a tooth, and, assuring him that it does not
ache, begs him to desist. The merchant, in other respects estimable
enough, pays one hundred and thirty dollars for the youngest child,
and the sale is completed. Thus a human being--one of those "little
ones" who inspired the Saviour to say, "Of such is the kingdom of
heaven"--is profanely treated as an article of merchandise, and torn
from a mother's arms and a father's support. The hardening influence
of custom has steeled the merchant into criminal insensibility to this
violation of humanity and justice, this laceration of sacred ties,
this degradation of God's image. The unconscious heartlessness of
the slave-dealer and the anguish of his victims are depicted in the
dialogue which ensues after the sale.


    Come hither, child, 't is time to go to rest.


    _Signor, I will not leave my mother here,
    To go with any one._


    _Alas! my child, thou art no longer mine,
    But his who bought thee._


    _What! then, have you, mother,
    Forsaken me?_


    _O Heavens! how cruel are ye!_


    _Come, hasten, boy._


    Will you go with me, brother?


    I cannot, Juan; 't is not in my power;
    May Heaven protect you, Juan!


    Oh, my child, My joy and my delight,
    God won't forget thee!


    O father! mother! whither will they bear me
    Away from you?


    Permit me, worthy Signor,
    To speak a moment in my infant's ear?
    Grant me this small contentment; very soon
    I shall know nought but grief.


    What you would say
    Say now; to-night is the last time.


    Is the first time my heart e'er felt such grief.


    _Pray keep me with you, mother, for I know not
    Whither he'd carry me._


    _Alas! poor child,
    Fortune forsook thee even at thy birth._

    The heavens are overcast, the elements
    Are turbid, and the very sea and winds
    Are all combined against me. _Thou, my child,
    Know'st not the dark misfortunes into which
    Thou art so early plunged, but happily
    Lackest the power to comprehend thy fate._
    What I would crave of thee, my life, since I
    Must never more be blessed with seeing thee,
    Is that thou never, never wilt forget
    To say, as thou wert wont, thy _Ave Mary_;
    For that bright queen of goodness, grace, and virtue
    Can loosen all thy bonds and give thee freedom.


    Behold the wicked Christian, how she counsels
    Her innocent child! You wish, then, that your child
    Should, like yourself, continue still in error.


    _O mother, mother, may I not remain?
    And must these Moors, then, carry me away?_


    _With thee, my child, they rob me of my treasures._


    Oh, I am much afraid!


    'Tis I, my child,
    Who ought to fear at seeing thee depart.
    Thou wilt forget thy God, me, and thyself.
    What else can I expect from thee, abandoned
    At such a tender age amongst a people
    Full of deceit and all iniquity?


    _Silence, you villanous woman! if you would not
    Have your head pay for what your tongue has done._[151]

    [151] This translation is borrowed from Sismondi's Literature
    of the South of Europe, by Roscoe, Vol. III. p. 381. There is a
    letter of John Dunton, Mariner, addressed to the English Admiralty
    in 1637, which might furnish the foundation of a similar scene.
    "For my only son," he says, "is now a slave in Algier, and but
    ten years of age, and like to be lost forever, without God's
    great mercy and the king's clemency, which, I hope, may be in
    some manner obtained."--A True Journal of the Sallee Fleet, with
    the Proceedings of the Voyage, published by John Dunton, London
    Mariner, Master of the Admiral, called the Leopard: Osborne's
    Voyages, Vol. II. p. 492.

From such a scene we gladly turn away, while, in the sincerity of our
hearts, we give our sympathies to the unhappy sufferers. Fain would we
avert their fate; fain would we destroy the system of bondage that has
made them wretched and their masters cruel. And yet we must not judge
with harshness the Algerine slave-owner, who, reared in a religion of
slavery, learned to regard Christians "guilty of a skin not colored
like his own" as lawful prey, and found sanctions for his conduct
in the injunctions of the Koran, the custom of his country, and the
instinctive dictates of an imagined self-interest. It is, then, the
"peculiar institution" which we are aroused to execrate, rather than
the Algerine slave-masters glorying in its influence, nor perceiving
their foul disfigurement.

                      TESTIMONY OF GENERAL EATON.

There is reason to believe that the sufferings of white slaves were not
often greater than is the natural incident of slavery. An important
authority presents this point in an interesting light. It is that of
General Eaton, for some time consul of the United States at Tunis, and
conqueror of Derne. In a letter to his wife, dated at Tunis, April 6,
1799, and written amidst opportunities of observation such as few have
possessed, he briefly describes the condition of this unhappy class,
illustrating it by a comparison less flattering to our country than to
Barbary. "Many of the Christian slaves," he says, "have died of grief,
and the others linger out a life less tolerable than death. Alas!
remorse seizes my whole soul, when I reflect that this is, indeed,
but a copy of the very barbarity which my eyes have seen in my own
native country. And yet we boast of liberty and national justice.
How frequently, in the Southern States of my own country, have I
seen weeping mothers leading the guiltless infants to the sales with
as deep anguish as if they led them to the slaughter, and yet felt
my bosom tranquil in the view of these aggressions upon defenceless
humanity! But when I see the same enormities practised upon beings
whose complexion and blood claim kindred with my own, I curse the
perpetrators, and weep over the wretched victims of their rapacity.
_Indeed, truth and justice demand from me the confession, that the
Christian slaves among the barbarians of Africa are treated with more
humanity than the African slaves among the professing Christians of
civilized America._ And yet here sensibility bleeds at every pore for
the wretches whom fate has doomed to slavery."[152] These words are
explicit, although more terrible for us than for the Barbary States.

    [152] Life of General Eaton, p. 154.

                        INFLUENCE OF THE KORAN.

Such testimony would seem to furnish a decisive standard by which
to determine the character of White Slavery. But there are other
considerations and authorities. One of these is the influence of
religion on these barbarians. Travellers remark the kind treatment
bestowed by Mahometans upon slaves.[153] The lash rarely, if ever,
lacerates the back of the female; the knife or branding-iron is
not employed upon any human being to mark him as property of his
fellow-man. Nor is the slave doomed, as in other countries, where
the Christian religion is professed, to unconditional and perpetual
service, without prospect of _redemption_. Hope, the last friend of
misfortune, may brighten his captivity. He is not so walled up by
inhuman institutions as to be inaccessible to freedom. "And unto such
of your slaves," says the Koran, in words worthy of adoption in the
legislation of Christian countries, "as desire a written instrument
allowing them to redeem themselves on paying a certain sum, write one,
if ye know good in them, and give them of the riches of God which he
hath given you."[154] Thus from the Koran, which ordains slavery, come
lessons of benignity to the slave; and one of the most touching stories
in Mahometanism is of the generosity of Ali, the companion of the
Prophet, who, after fasting for three days, gave his whole provision to
a captive not more famished than himself.[155]

    [153] Wilson's Travels, p. 93. Noah's Travels, p. 302. Shaler's
    Sketches of Algiers, p. 77. Edinburgh Review, Vol. XXXVIII. p. 403.
    Quarterly Review, Vol. XV. p. 168.

    [154] Sale's Koran, Chap. XXIV. Vol. II. p. 194.--The right of
    redemption was recognized by the Hindoo laws. (Halhed's Code, Chap.
    VIII.  §2.) It was unknown in the British West Indies while slavery
    existed there. (Stephen on West India Slavery, Vol. I. p. 378.) It
    is also unknown in the Slave States of our country.

    [155] Sale's Koran, Chap. LXXVI. Vol. II. p. 474, note.

Such precepts and examples had their influence in Algiers. It is
evident, from the history of the country, that the prejudice of race
did not so far prevail as to stamp upon slaves and their descendants
any indelible mark of exclusion from power and influence. It often
happened that they attained to great posts in the state. The seat of
the Deys was filled more than once by humble captives who had tugged
for years at the oar.[156]

    [156] Haedo, Historia de Argel. p. 122. Quarterly Review, Vol. XV.
    pp. 169, 172. Shaler's Sketches of Algiers, p. 77. Short Account
    of Algiers, pp. 22, 25.--It seems to have been supposed, that,
    according to the Koran, the condition of slavery ceased when the
    party became a Mussulman. (Penny Cyclopædia: Art. _Slavery_.
    Noah's Travels, p. 302. Shaler's Sketches, p. 60.) In point of
    fact, freedom generally followed conversion; but I do not find any
    injunction on the subject in the Koran.

                     APOLOGIES FOR WHITE SLAVERY.

Nor do we feel, from the narratives of captives and of travellers,
that the condition of the white slave was rigorous beyond the ordinary
lot of slavery. "The Captive's Story" in Don Quixote fails to impress
the reader with any peculiar horror of the life from which he escaped.
It is often said that the sufferings of Cervantes were among the
most severe which even Algiers could inflict.[157] But they did not
repress the gayety of his temper; and we learn that in the building
where he was confined there was a chapel or oratory in which mass was
celebrated, the sacrament administered, and sermons regularly preached
by captive priests. Nor was this all. The pleasures of the theatre were
enjoyed by these slaves; and the farces of Lope de Rueda, a favorite
Spanish dramatist of the time, served, in actual representation, to
cheer this house of bondage.[158]

    [157] "_De los peores que en Argel auia._"--Haedo, Historia de
    Argel, p. 85. Navarrete, Vida de Cervantes, p. 361.

    [158] Roscoe, Life of Cervantes, pp. 303, 304. Cervantes, Baños de

The experience of the devoted Portuguese ecclesiastic, Father
Thomas, illustrates this lot. A slave in Morocco, he was able to
minister to his fellow-slaves, and to compose a work on the Passion
of Jesus Christ, much admired for its unction, and translated into
various tongues. Liberated at last through the intervention of the
Portuguese government, he chose to remain behind, notwithstanding the
solicitations of relatives at home, that he might continue to instruct
and console the unhappy men, his late companions in bonds.[159]

    [159] Biographie Universelle (Michaud): Art. _Thomas de Jesus_.
    Digby's Broad Stone of Honor, _Tancredus_, § 9, p. 181.

Even the story of St. Vincent de Paul, so brutally sold in the public
square, is not without gleam of light. He was bought by a fisherman,
who was soon constrained to get rid of him, "having nothing so contrary
except the sea." He then passed into the hands of an old man, whom he
pleasantly describes as a chemical doctor, a sovereign extractor of
quintessences, very humane and kind, who had labored for the space of
fifty years in search of the philosopher's stone. "He loved me very
much," says the fugitive slave, "and pleased himself by discoursing to
me of alchemy, and then of his religion, to which he made every effort
to draw me, promising me abundant riches and all his learning." On
the death of this master he passed to a nephew, by whom he was sold
to still another person, a renegade from Nice, who took him to the
mountains, where the country was extremely hot and desert. The Turkish
wife of the latter, becoming interested in him, and curious to know his
manner of living at home, came to see him every day at his work in the
fields, and listened with delight to the slave, away from his country
and the churches of his religion, as he sang the psalm of the children
of Israel in a foreign land: "By the rivers of Babylon there we sat
down; yea, we wept when we remembered Zion."[160] Here is a touch of
romance, which is all the more interesting when we consider the great
life in which it occurs.

    [160] Biographie Universelle: Art. _Vincent de Paul_.

The kindness of these slave-masters often appears. The English
merchant, Abraham Brown, whose sale at Sallee has been already
described, confesses, that, after he was carried home, his wounds
were tenderly washed and dressed by his master's wife, and, "indeed,
the whole family gave him comfortable words." He was furnished with
a mat to lie on, "and some three or four days after provided with a
shirt, such a one as it was, a pair of shoes, and an old doublet." His
servile toils troubled him less than "being commanded by a negro man,
who had been a long time in his patron's house a freeman, at whose
beck and command he was obliged to be obedient for the doing of the
least about the house or mill"; and he concludes his lament on this
degradation as follows: "Thus I, who had commanded many men in several
parts of the world, must now be commanded by a negro, who, with his
two country-women in the house, scorned to drink out of the water-pot
I drank of, whereby I was despised of the despised people of the
world."[161] Here the free negro played the part so often played by the
white overseer in our own country.

    [161] Memoirs, MS.

At a later day we are instructed by another authentic picture. Captain
Braithwaite, who accompanied the British Legation to Morocco in 1727,
on a generous mission of liberation, after describing their comfortable
condition, adds: "I am sure we saw several captives who lived much
better in Barbary than ever they did in their own country.... Whatever
money in charity was ever sent them by their friends in Europe was
their own, unless they defrauded one another, which has happened much
oftener than by the Moors. In short, the captives have a much greater
property than the Moors in what they get, several of them being rich,
and many have carried considerable sums out of the country, to the
truth of which we are all witnesses. Several captives keep their mules,
and some their servants; and yet this is called insupportable slavery
among Turks and Moors. But we found this, as well as many other things
in this country, strangely misrepresented."[162] Listening to such
words, I seem to hear the apologies for slavery among ourselves.

    [162] Braithwaite's Revolutions in Morocco, p. 353.

Candor compels the admission that these authorities--which, with those
who do not place freedom above all price, seem to take the sting
from slavery--are not without support from other sources. Colonel
Keatinge, who, as member of a diplomatic mission from England, visited
Morocco in 1785, says of this evil there, that "it is very slightly
inflicted," and "as to any labor undergone, it does not deserve the
name";[163] while Mr. Lempriere, who was in the same country not long
afterwards, adds: "To the disgrace of Europe, the Moors treat their
slaves with humanity."[164] In Tripoli, we are told, by a person for
ten years resident, that the same gentleness prevailed. "It is a
great alleviation to our feelings on their account," says the writer,
speaking of the slaves, "to see them easy and well-dressed; and so far
from wearing chains, as captives do in most other places, they are
here perfectly at liberty."[165] We have already seen the testimony of
General Eaton with regard to slavery in Tunis; while Mr. Noah, one of
his successors in the consulate of the United States at that place,
says: "In Tunis, from my observation, the slaves are not severely
treated; and many of them have made money."[166] And Mr. Shaler,
speaking of the chief seat of Christian slavery, says: "In short, there
were slaves who left Algiers with regret."[167] How singularly present
apologies for our slavery echo these voices from the Barbary States!

    [163] Keatinge's Travels, p. 250. Quarterly Review, Vol. XV. p.
    146. See also Chénier's Present State of Morocco, Vol. I. p. 192,
    Vol. II. p. 369.

    [164] Lempriere's Tour, p. 29O. See also pp.3, 147, 190, 279.

    [165] Narrative of a Ten Years' Residence at Tripoli, p. 241.

    [166] Travels, p. 368.

    [167] Sketches of Algiers, p. 77.

A French writer of more recent date asserts, with some vehemence, and
with the authority of an eye-witness, that the white slaves at Algiers
were not exposed to the miseries which they represented. I do not know
that he vindicates their slavery, but, like Captain Braithwaite, he
evidently regards many of them as better off than they would be at
home. According to him, they were well clad and well fed, _much better
than free Christians there_,--precisely as it is said that our slaves
are much better off than free negroes. The youngest and most comely
were taken as pages by the Dey. Others were employed in the barracks;
others in the galleys: but even here there was a chapel, as in the time
of Cervantes, for the free exercise of the Christian religion. Those
who happened to be artisans, as carpenters, locksmiths, and calkers,
were let to the owners of vessels; others were employed on the public
works; while others still were allowed the privilege of keeping a shop,
where their profits were sometimes so large as to enable them at the
end of a year to purchase their ransom. But these were often known to
become indifferent to freedom, preferring Algiers to their own country.
Slaves of private persons were sometimes employed in the family of
their master, where their treatment necessarily depended much upon his
character. If he was gentle and humane, their lot was fortunate; they
were regarded as children of the house. If he was harsh and selfish,
then the iron of slavery did indeed enter their souls. Many were bought
to be sold again for profit into distant parts of the country, where
they were doomed to exhausting labor; in which event their condition
was most grievous. But special care was bestowed upon those who became
ill,--not so much, it is said, from humanity as through fear of losing
them.[168] This whole story seems to be told of us, rather than of

    [168] Histoire d'Alger: Description de ce Royaume, etc., de ses
    Forces de Terre et de Mer, Moeurs et Costumes des Habitans, de
    Mores, des Arabes, des Juifs, des Chrétiens, de ses Lois, etc.
    (Paris, 1830), Chap. XXVII.

                          HATEFUL CHARACTER.

Whatever deductions may be made from familiar stories of White
Slavery,--allowing that it was mitigated by the genial influence
of Mahometanism,--that the captives were well clad and well fed,
much better than free Christians there,--that they were permitted
opportunities of Christian worship,--that they were often treated
with lenity and affectionate care,--that they were sometimes advanced
to posts of responsibility and honor,--and that they were known, in
contentment or stolidity, to become indifferent to freedom,--still
the institution or custom is hardly less hateful. Slavery, in all
its forms, even under mildest influences, is a wrong and a curse. No
accidental gentleness of the master can make it otherwise. Against it
reason, experience, the heart of man, all cry out. "Disguise thyself as
thou wilt, still, Slavery, still thou art a bitter draught; and though
thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less
bitter on that account."[169] Algerine Slavery was a violation of the
Law of Nature and of God. It was a usurpation of rights not granted to

    "O execrable son, so to aspire
    Above his brethren, to himself assuming
    Authority usurped, from God not given!
    He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl
    Dominion absolute; that right we hold
    By his donation; but man over men
    He made not lord, such title to himself
    Reserving, human left from human free."[170]

    [169] Sterne, Sentimental Journey: _The Passport: The Hotel at

    [170] Paradise Lost, Book XII. 64-71.

Such a God-defying relation could not fail to accumulate disaster
upon all in any way parties to it; for injustice and wrong are fatal
alike to doer and sufferer. Notoriously in Algiers it exerted a most
pernicious influence on master as well as slave. The slave was crushed
and degraded, his intelligence abased, even his love of freedom
extinguished. The master, accustomed from childhood to revolting
inequalities of condition, was exalted into a mood of unconscious
arrogance and self-confidence inconsistent with the virtues of a pure
and upright character. Unlimited power is apt to stretch towards
license; and the wives and daughters of white slaves were often pressed
to be the concubines of Algerine masters.[171]

    [171] Noah's Travels, pp. 248, 253. Quarterly Review, Vol. XV.
    p. 168.--Among the concubines of a prince of Morocco were two
    slaves of the age of fifteen, one English and the other French.
    (Lempriere's Tour, p. 147.) The fate of "one Mrs. Shaw, an Irish
    woman," is given in words hardly polite enough to be quoted. She
    was swept into the harem of Muley Ismael, who "forced her to turn
    Moor; ... but soon after, having taken a dislike to her, he gave
    her to a soldier."--Braithwaite's Morocco, p. 191

It is well, then, that it has passed away. The Barbary States seem less
barbarous, when we no longer discern this cruel oppression.

                        BLACK SLAVERY REMAINS.

The story of slavery in the Barbary States is not yet all told. While
they received white slaves from sea, captured by corsairs, they also,
time immemorial, imported black slaves out of the South. Over the vast,
illimitable sea of sand, absorbing their southern border, traversed by
camels, those "ships of the desert," were brought these unfortunate
beings, as merchandise, with gold-dust and ivory, doomed often to
insufferable torment, while cruel thirst parched the lips, and tears
vainly moistened the eyes. They also were ravished from home, and, like
their white brethren from the North, compelled to taste of slavery.

In numbers they far exceeded their white peers. But for long years
no pen or voice pleaded their cause; nor did the Christian nations,
professing a religion which teaches universal humanity without respect
of persons, and sends the precious sympathies of neighborhood to all
who suffer, even at the farthest pole, ever interfere in their behalf.
The navy of Great Britain, by the throat of its artillery, argued the
freedom of all _fellow-Christians_, without distinction of _nation_,
but heeded not the slavery of others, brethren in bonds, Mahometans
or idolaters, children of the same Father in heaven. Lord Exmouth
did but half his work. Confining the stipulation to the abolition of
Christian slavery, this Abolitionist made a discrimination, which,
whether founded on religion or color, was selfish and unchristian.
Here, again, we notice the same inconsistency which appeared in Charles
the Fifth, and has constantly recurred throughout the history of this
outrage. Forgetful of the Brotherhood of Man, Christian powers deem
the slavery of blacks just and proper, while the slavery of whites is
branded unjust and sinful.

As the British fleet proudly sailed from the harbor of Algiers,
bearing its emancipated white slaves, and the express stipulation
that Christian slavery was abolished there forever, it left behind in
bondage large numbers of blacks, distributed throughout the Barbary
States. Neglected thus by exclusive and unchristian Christendom, it
is pleasant to know that their lot is not always unhappy. In Morocco
negroes are still detained as slaves; but the prejudice of color seems
not to prevail. They have been called "the grand cavaliers of this part
of Barbary."[172] They often become the chief magistrates and rulers of
cities.[173] They have constituted the body-guard of emperors, and, on
one occasion at least, exercised the prerogative of Prætorian Cohort,
in dethroning their master.[174] If negro slavery still exists here, it
has little of the degradation it entails elsewhere. Into Algiers France
has carried the benign principle of law, which assures freedom to all
beneath its influence. And now we are cheered by the glad tidings, that
the Bey of Tunis, "for the glory of God, and to distinguish man from
the brute creation," has decreed the total abolition of human slavery
throughout his dominions.

    [172] Braithwaite's Morocco, p. 350. See also Quarterly Review,
    Vol. XV. p. 168.

    [173] Braithwaite, p. 222.

    [174] Ibid., p. 381.

Turn, then, with hope and confidence to the Barbary States! Virtues
and charities do not come singly. There is among them a common bond,
stronger than that of science or knowledge. Let one find admission, and
a goodly troop will follow. Nor is it unreasonable to anticipate other
improvements in states which have renounced a long-cherished system of
White Slavery, while they have done much to abolish or mitigate the
slavery of others not white, and to overcome the inhuman prejudice of
color. The Christian nations of Europe first declared, and practically
enforced within their own European dominions, the vital truth of
freedom, that man cannot hold property in his brother-man. Algiers and
Tunis, like Saul of Tarsus, are turned from the path of persecution,
and now receive the same faith. Algiers and Tunis help to plead the
cause of Freedom. Such a cause is in sacred fellowship with all those
principles which promote the Progress of Man. And who can tell that
this despised portion of the globe is not destined to yet another
restoration? It was here in Northern Africa that civilization was first
nursed, that commerce early spread her white wings, that Christianity
was taught by the honeyed lips of Augustine. All these are returning to
their ancient home. Civilization, commerce, and Christianity once more
shed benignant influence upon the land to which they have long been
strangers. New health and vigor animate its exertions. Like its own
giant Antæus, whose tomb is placed by tradition among the hillsides of
Algiers, it has been often felled to earth, but now rises, with renewed
strength, to gain yet nobler victories.


                        TEMPLE, JUNE 18, 1847.

    At the anniversary of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, in Park
    Street Church, May 27, 1845, Mr. Sumner was present, in company
    with his friend, Dr. S.G. Howe. Listening to the Annual Report,
    they were painfully impressed by its tone, and especially by the
    injustice done to excellent persons in Philadelphia, sustaining
    what was known as the Pennsylvania System. Without being an
    advocate of this system, or committing himself to it in any way,
    Mr. Sumner thought that it ought to be fairly considered, and
    that there should be no harsh imputations upon its supporters.
    With the encouragement of Dr. Howe, he came forward, and, in a
    few unpremeditated remarks, sought to point out the error of the
    Report, and concluded with a motion for a select committee to
    review and modify it, with power to visit Philadelphia in the name
    of the Society, and ascertain on the spot the true character of
    the system so strongly condemned. The motion prevailed, and the
    President, who was the Rev. Dr. Wayland, appointed Dr. S.G. Howe,
    Mr. Sumner, Hon. S.A. Eliot, Hon. Horace Mann, Dr. Walter Channing,
    Rev. Louis Dwight, Hon. George T. Bigelow, and Hon. J.W. Edmonds of
    New York, as the committee. This was the beginning of a prolonged
    controversy, little anticipated when Mr. Sumner first came forward,
    where feeling was displayed beyond what seemed natural to such a

    The day after this meeting, Mr. Sumner received a friendly letter
    from the President of the Society, thanking him for the remarks he
    had made, and encouraging him to persevere. This letter will be
    found in the speech preserved in this volume.

    The Committee visited Philadelphia, where they were received
    with honor and kindness by the gentlemen interested in Prison
    Discipline, and examined the Penitentiary with every opportunity
    that could be desired. An elaborate Report was prepared by Dr.
    Howe. How this failed to be adopted as the Report of the Committee,
    and to be embodied in the Annual Report of the Society, is narrated
    in the speech below. It was afterwards published as a pamphlet,
    entitled "An Essay on Separate and Congregate Systems of Prison
    Discipline, being a Report made to the Boston Prison Discipline
    Society," and is, beyond question, a most important contribution to
    the science of Prison Discipline. The proper treatment of criminals
    is here considered with singular power and sympathetic humanity.

    Disappointed in the effort to obtain a candid hearing through
    a Report, the subject was presented again at the anniversary
    of the Society, May 26, 1846. Mr. Sumner made a speech of some
    length, published in the newspapers, concluding with a motion for
    the appointment of a committee to examine and review the former
    printed Report of the Society, also the course of the Society, and
    to consider if its action could in any way be varied or amended,
    so that its usefulness might be extended. Mr. Sumner, George S.
    Hillard, Esq., Bradford Sumner, Esq., Dr. Walter Channing, Rev.
    Louis Dwight, and President Wayland were appointed the committee,
    it being understood that they would not report before the next
    annual meeting.

    Meanwhile the controversy widened in its sphere, embracing
    newspapers, and extending to Europe, where it excited uncommon
    interest. The "Law Reporter," an important law journal, edited by
    Peleg W. Chandler, Esq., thus referred to the late meeting, and to
    Mr. Sumner's speech on the occasion.

    "Mr. Sumner proceeded, in a strain of great eloquence and power,
    to condemn the course which the Society had pursued in past years,
    illustrating his points by facts which are by no means creditable
    to the Society, averring, among other things, that the statements
    contained in the Annual Reports had been pronounced false by public
    reports in this country and in Europe, and that a letter from the
    Hon. William Jay, an honorary Vice-President of the Society, and
    also a letter from Dr. Bell, a corresponding member, in favor of
    the Separate System, had both never been read to the Society, nor

    [175] Law Reporter, July, 1846, Vol. IX. p. 98.

    At the same time the Law Reporter translated and published a
    German article by Dr. Varrentrapp, of Frankfort-on-the-Main, which
    appeared originally in the _Jahrbücher der Gefängnisskunde und
    Besserungs-anstalten_ (Annals of Prisons and Houses of Correction),
    where the Reports of our Society were canvassed with great

    [176] Ibid., p. 99.

    Mr. Sumner's speech was reprinted at Liverpool in a pamphlet.
    Letters from England, France, and Germany attested the concern
    in those countries. Among the eminent persons who watched the
    discussion was M. de Tocqueville, whose letter on the subject will
    be found at the end of the speech below. At home it called forth an
    able pamphlet by Hon. Francis C. Gray, entitled "Prison Discipline
    in America," which took ground against the Pennsylvania System.

    At the succeeding anniversary, May 25, 1847, Mr. Sumner, for
    himself and two of his associates on the Committee, (Dr. Wayland
    and Mr. Hillard,) presented a Report, which was printed in the
    newspapers. Its character will be interred from the Resolutions
    with which it concluded.

    "_Resolved_, That the object of our Society is to promote the
    improvement of public prisons.

    "_Resolved_, That our Society is not, and ought not to be
    considered, the pledged advocate of the Auburn System of Prison
    Discipline, or of any other system now in existence,--and that its
    Reports should set forth, with strict impartiality, the merits and
    demerits of any and all systems.

    "_Resolved_, That we recognize the Directors of the Eastern
    Penitentiary of Pennsylvania as sincere, conscientious, and
    philanthropic fellow-laborers in the great cause of Prison

    "_Resolved_, That, if any expressions of disrespect have appeared
    in our Reports, or been uttered at any of our public meetings,
    which have justly given pain to our brethren, our Society sincerely
    regrets them.

    "_Resolved_, That our Society should strive, by increased action on
    the part of its officers and of its individual members, to extend
    its usefulness.

    "_Resolved_, That the Board of Managers be requested to organize
    a new system of action for the Society, which shall enlist the
    coöperation of its individual members."

    The adoption of these Resolutions being opposed, the meeting was
    adjourned for their consideration till the evening of May 28th,
    when Mr. Sumner supported them in a speech of some length, which
    will be found in the newspapers. Other meetings followed, by
    adjournment, on the evenings of June 2d, 4th, 9th, 11th, 16th,
    18th, and 23d. These were all at the Tremont Temple, and were
    attended by large and most intelligent audiences, evincing at
    times a good deal of feeling. They were presided over by Hon.
    Theodore Lyman, a Vice-President of the Society. The Resolutions
    were supported by Dr. Howe, Mr. Hillard, Rev. Francis Parkman,
    and Henry H. Fuller, Esq. They were opposed by Hon. S.A. Eliot
    (the Treasurer of the Society), Rev. Louis Dwight (the Secretary),
    Hon. Francis C. Gray, Bradford Sumner, Esq., Rev. George Allen,
    Dr. Walter Channing, and J. Thomas Stevenson, Esq. On the evening
    of June 18th, Mr. Sumner took the floor and reviewed the whole
    debate. Other speeches by him are omitted. This is given at length,
    as opening the main points of controversy, and especially the
    principles involved.

Mr. President,--As Chairman of the Committee whose Report and
Resolutions are now under consideration, it becomes my duty to review
and to close this debate. The reapers have been many, and the sickles
keen; but the field is ample, and the harvest abundant; so that, even
at this late period, I may hope to be no superfluous gleaner.

Before entering upon our labor, let us refresh ourselves by the
contemplation of the unquestioned good accruing from these protracted
meetings. All will feel how well it is for our Society that its
attention is at last turned in upon itself, and that it is led to that
self-examination enjoined upon every good man, with a view to future
usefulness. All, too, will feel, whatever may be the immediate vote on
the question before us, that this discussion has excited an unwonted
interest in behalf of those who are in prison, and that under its
influences a sacred sympathy has vibrated from heart to heart. Thus
much for the unquestioned good.

Mr. President, I approach this discussion with regret, feeling that I
must say some things which I would gladly leave unsaid. I shall not,
however, decline the duty which is cast upon me. In its performance I
hope to be pardoned, if I speak frankly and freely; I trust it will
be gently and kindly. I will borrow from the honorable Treasurer,
with his permission, something of his frankness, without his temper.
As I propose to adduce facts, I shall be grateful to any gentleman
who will correct me where I seem to be wrong. For such a purpose I
will cheerfully yield the floor, even to the Treasurer, though his
sense of justice did not suffer him, while on the floor, to give me an
opportunity of correcting a misstatement he made of what I said on a
former occasion.

Let me begin by a reference--which I would rather avoid--to myself and
my personal relations to this inquiry. I was brought up at the feet of
our Society. My earliest recollection of anything like the cause to
which it is devoted does not extend beyond the period of its origin.
My early partialities were in favor of its course, and of the system
of Prison Discipline it has advocated. I had read its Reports, and
circulated them at home and abroad, and felt grateful to their author.
Other studies, and some acquaintance with the elaborate labors by which
the science of Prison Discipline has been advanced in Europe, led me
first to doubt the action of our Society, and finally to the conviction
that it was not candid and just, particularly in the treatment of the
Pennsylvania System. With this impression, I attended the anniversary
of 1845, where I listened to what seemed a discreditable Report from
the Board of Managers, in which this system was treated ignorantly,
ungenerously, and unjustly, while the officer of our Society whose
duty it was to read the Report, in words which fell from him while
reading it, seemed to impeach the veracity of the Inspectors of the
Penitentiary at Philadelphia. In concurrence with a friend on my right
[Dr. HOWE], I was emboldened to ask a reference of the Report
to a select committee, with power to review and modify it, and to visit
Philadelphia, in order to ascertain on the spot the true character of
the system of Prison Discipline there practised, _and to incorporate a
report of their proceedings in the next Annual Report of the Society_.
What I said was of the moment. I spoke in behalf of the absent, and, in
a certain sense, as the representative of the unrepresented, believing
that gross injustice was done to them and to their system. My aim was
to recall the Society to that candor and justice which self-respect, to
say nothing of its Christian professions, seemed to require.

Here let me indulge in a reminiscence. It is the custom to open our
meetings with prayer. By the records of our Society it appears that
at its earliest anniversary, as long ago as 1826, this service was
performed by an eminent clergyman, the deserved favorite of his own
denomination, and much respected by all others. This public profession
of interest in the cause was followed by other manifestations of it.
He became a manager of our Society. Subsequently, yielding to the call
of the University at Providence, he left Boston and became President
of that important seat of learning. His labors were not restricted to
academic duties. By his pen, and the wide influence of his remarkable
character, he was felt in various fields of labor throughout the
country. His interest in Prison Discipline was constant, and in 1843 he
was chosen President of our Society. Placing him at its head, we justly
honored one of our earliest and most distinguished friends. He was in
the chair on the anniversary to which I have referred. His sense of
the injustice to the gentlemen of Philadelphia was great. As the most
authentic expression of his opinions on that occasion, influencing, as
they have, the subsequent proceedings of those who seek a change in the
course of our Society, I read a letter from him, written on the evening
of that anniversary.

                                          "PROVIDENCE, May 27, 1845.

    "MY DEAR SUMNER,--I cannot resist the impulse to thank
    you again for your remarks this morning. I had resolved, before
    you rose, to return home and immediately resign office in the
    Society; for I could not allow my influence, though ever so small,
    to be used for the purpose of (as it seemed to me) vilifying the
    intentions of good and honorable men. I cannot perceive how we can,
    with any show of propriety, use language, in respect to absent
    gentlemen, which, in the ordinary intercourse of society, would be
    just cause of irreconcilable variance. I agree with you entirely
    as to the object of the Society. It is to improve the discipline
    of prisons, and it should hail, as fellow-laborers, all who are
    honestly engaged in the same cause. The cause requires the trial
    of various experiments, and our business is to collect, in good
    faith, and with catholic liberality, the results of all, that
    so, by the comparison of results, the best end may be attained.
    I thank you over and over again for coming forward so nobly in
    defence of the absent, and for placing the object of the Society
    on its true basis, instead of allowing it to be a mere antagonist
    to the gentlemen at Philadelphia. In all this, of course, I mean
    no unkindness to any one. I only feel that by looking at an object
    steadily and earnestly in only one light we are all liable to lose
    sight of its wider relations.

    "I am, so far as I see, in favor of the Auburn System; but I want
    to know something of all of the systems, and am, I trust, anxious
    to learn the facts. I wrote an article in the North American
    Review, some time since, on the subject. I am inclined to the same
    view still. But this is no reason why I should disparage the labor
    of others.

    "You seem interested in this matter, and I feel rejoiced at it. I
    cannot but hope that good will come of it. Let me suggest a few
    things, by way of indication, that may possibly be improved.

    "1. Is it wise to have our Annual Reports so far _extempore_? What
    we sanction should be _ipsissima verba_. Our character as men is
    involved in what we hear and order to be published.

    "2. It seems to me that our expenditure should be used with great
    attention to results. The statistics which we have are important,
    but I doubt whether they always bear so closely on our object as
    they might. Why would it not be desirable to investigate the
    great subject of _Pauperism_, and that of _Criminal Law_, which,
    together, do almost the whole work of filling our prisons?

    "3. Do the Executive Committee really take these subjects in hand,
    and give direction to the labors of the Society? They have a very
    responsible situation, and cannot discharge it by simply auditing
    bills. Can they not be induced to labor earnestly in this matter?

    "4. It seems that John Augustus, a poor man, has done much. We
    praise him. This is well. Can we not take means for following his

    "These things have occurred to me, and I know that you will pardon
    me for suggesting them. I believe that there is here a field for
    doing great good. When I think of the good which Miss Dix, alone
    and unaided, has done, I cannot but believe that we might do more.
    To the gentlemen of your profession we specially look for aid in
    this matter. Can you labor in any philanthropic object with better
    prospect of success? Excuse my freedom. I have no right to set you
    or any one else at work. I am ashamed to be president of a society
    for which I do so little, and will gladly remove myself out of the
    way, and have earnestly desired to do so. I, however, hold myself
    ready to do anything that may be in my power to advance the cause
    in which we are engaged.

                  "I am, my dear Sir, yours very truly,
                                                  "F. WAYLAND.

    "C. SUMNER, Esq."

The committee appointed under the Resolution examined the Report of
the Managers, and visited Philadelphia. A Report prepared by their
chairman, Dr. Howe, was made a Minority Report by the votes of the
Treasurer and Secretary, officers of the Society, and both of them,
as appears from the records, involved in the authorship of the
original Report which gave occasion to the inquiry, and therefore,
it would seem, in the light of propriety, if not of parliamentary
rules, hardly competent to sit on the committee. It was next proposed
that the Report, although by a minority, should, in pursuance of the
instruction in the original Resolution, "be incorporated in the next
Annual Report." This, it appears from the records, was submitted to the
Board of Managers, May 7, 1846, where it was opposed by the Treasurer.
On May 21st it was referred to a meeting of the whole Society, convened
at the dwelling-house of the Secretary: for our association dilates
at times to dimensions ample as this large audience, and then again
shrinks, if need be, to the narrow space occupied by its Secretary. At
this meeting, on motion of the Treasurer, still another impediment was
thrown in the way of printing the Report, in pursuance of the original
Resolution. At the business meeting of the Society, May 25th, on the
day preceding the anniversary, I made still another ineffectual attempt
to have this Report appear among the transactions of the Society. This
was followed by a Resolution, on motion of Mr. Nathaniel Willis, a near
connection of the Secretary, as follows:--

    "_Voted_, That it is not expedient to discuss the subject at the
    anniversary meeting."

It was at the anniversary meeting, however, that I was determined to
discuss the subject, being assured, that, in the presence of a wakeful
public, the will of one or two individuals could not control the course
of the Society. Accordingly I took the floor and proceeded to speak,
when I was strangely encountered by the Secretary, who ejaculated:
"Mr. President, the annual meeting was interrupted in this manner last
year; there are gentlemen present who are invited by the Committee of
Arrangements to address us." On this remarkable fragment of a speech
I made no comment at the time. I shall make none now; but I cannot
forbear quoting the words of the able editor of the Law Reporter with
regard to it. "It would seem," he says, "that the addresses at the
public meetings of this Society are all cut and dried beforehand, made
to order,--a fact that might as well have been kept back, under the
circumstances, for the credit of all concerned."[177] Notwithstanding
this interference, I proceeded to expose the prejudiced and partisan
course of the Society, and its consequent loss of credit, concluding
with a motion for a committee to consider its past conduct, and the
best means of extending its usefulness. The motion, though opposed at
the time, was adopted. It is the Report of that committee which is now
before you.

    [177] Law Reporter, July, 1846, Vol. IX. p. 98.

This Report, when offered to the Society, was first opposed on grounds
of _form_. It is now opposed on other grounds, hardly more pertinent,
though not of form only. Thus at every step have honest efforts to
elevate the character of the Society, and to extend its usefulness,
been encountered by opposition. Under the auspices of the Treasurer
and Secretary, the Society shrinks from examination and inquiry. Like
the sensitive leaf, it closes at the touch. Nay, more: it repels
all endeavor to wake it to new life. It seems to have adopted, as
its guardian motto, that remarkable epitaph which for more than two
centuries has preserved from examination and intrusion the sacred
remains of the greatest master of our tongue:--

    "Good friend, for Jesus' sake, forbear
     To dig the dust enclosed here!
     Blest be the man that spares these stones,
     And curst be he that moves my bones!"

The Boston Prison Discipline Society is not William Shakespeare; nor
is it yet dead. But the maledictions of the epitaph have fallen upon
those of us undertaking to "move its bones."

The Treasurer has impeached our motives. Sir, I impeach no man's
motives; but I do submit, that, if the motives of any person are
drawn in question, it cannot be those of gentlemen originating this
inquiry, but rather of those few whose pride of opinion is intertwined
with the whole course of the Society. Again, it is said that we are
"intruders." That was the word. Is your predecessor, Sir, the Rev.
Dr. Wayland, who is one of the authors of the report, an intruder?
Are the gentlemen sustaining the Report in this debate intruders? Are
we not all members of this Society, and as such bound to exertion,
according to our abilities, in carrying forward its objects? Who shall
call us intruders? Sir, I apply this term to no man, and to no set of
men; but I cannot forbear saying, that, if its injurious suggestion
be applicable to anybody, it cannot be to those honestly striving to
elevate the character of the Society, and to extend its usefulness,
but rather to those who meet these efforts with constant opposition,
and declare, as has been done in this debate, that "it is the policy
of the Society to act by one man only." It is also insinuated that
one of the gentlemen supporting the Report, a valued friend of mine,
has shown undue confidence in his own opinions: I do not remember the
word employed. Sir, his modest character and services, which have
been gratefully recognized in both hemispheres, and his intimate
acquaintance with the subject, entitle him to speak with firmness. I
do not charge the gentleman who dealt this insinuation with vanity
or self-esteem, though it did seem to me that it came with ill grace
from one who in the course of a short speech contrived to announce
himself as Treasurer of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, next as
Treasurer of Harvard College, and, not content with this, told us that
he had once been a member of the City Government, and a Senator of the
Commonwealth! I will not follow these personalities further. I allude
to them with regret. They are a part of the poisoned ingredients--"eye
of newt and toe of frog"--which the Treasurer has dropped into the
caldron of this debate.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now pass to the question. The Report and the accompanying Resolutions
present three principal points: _first_, the duty and pledge on our
part of candor and impartiality between the different systems of Prison
Discipline; _secondly_, the duty of offering some expression of regret
to our brethren in Philadelphia on account of the past; _thirdly_,
the duty of our officers to make increased exertions, particularly by
enlisting the coöperation of individual members.

To these several propositions we have had various replies, occupying no
inconsiderable time. We have listened to the humane sentiments of my
friend on the left [Dr. WALTER CHANNING], to the inappropriate
twice-told statistics of my other friend [Mr. F.C. GRAY],
to the labored argument of my professional brother [Mr. BRADFORD
SUMNER], to the two addresses of the reverend gentleman from
Worcester [Rev. GEORGE ALLEN]. Let me say, that I have many
sympathies with this gentleman. With admiration and delight I have
recently read a production of his, entitled "Resistance to Slavery
Every Man's Duty." Here his own powers answered to the grandeur
of his cause. If he has failed in the present debate, it cannot be
from lack of ability or from shortness of time. Lastly, we have been
made partakers of that singular utterance from our Treasurer, which
abounded so largely in the excellence that Byron found in Mitford, the
historian of Greece, and which he said should characterize all good
historians,--"wrath and partiality."

It is my purpose to consider and sustain the positions of the Report
and Resolutions, and, in the course of my remarks, to repel the
objections raised against them. In doing this, I shall confine myself
to the topics which occupied the attention of the Committee. This
will lead me to put aside one suggestion, of an irrelevant character,
introduced into this debate by a friend not of the Committee: I
refer to the charge of Sectarianism. This did not enter into the
deliberations of the Committee, and formed no part of the Report.
If there be in the past course of the Society any ground for this
charge,--and on this I express no opinion,--it will doubtless find a
corrective in what has been said here. As I do not ask your acceptance
of the Report and Resolutions on this ground, so I appeal to your
candor in their behalf irrespectively of any considerations arising
from the introduction of this topic.


The first point for consideration is the duty and pledge on our
part of candor and impartiality between the different systems of
Prison Discipline. Here I might, perhaps, content myself with a bare
enumeration of these systems, and ask the Society if they are so
fully convinced with regard to the comparative merits of each as to
embrace one, and to reject, absolutely, all the others. For instance,
I mention four different systems. _First_, that of Pennsylvania,
so much discussed, the principal feature of which is separation of
prisoners from each other both by day and night, with labor in cells.
_Secondly_, that of Auburn, where the prisoners are in separate cells
by night, but labor in common workshops, in _enforced silence_, by
day. _Thirdly_, a system compounded of these two, according to which
certain prisoners are treated as at Auburn, and certain others as in
Pennsylvania,--sometimes called the Mixed System, and sometimes that of
Lausanne, from the circumstance that here, in Switzerland,--interesting
to us as the place where Gibbon wrote his great history,--there
is a prison of this character. _Fourthly_, there is still another
system,--or, perhaps, absence of system,--which is followed at Munich,
and is called after Obermaier, the benevolent head of the prison in
that place, who has rejected the separate cell of Pennsylvania by day,
and also the corporal punishment and enforced silence of Auburn. Our
own prison at Charlestown, also marked by absence of system, seems to
me not unlike that of Obermaier. A similar benevolence emanates from
the head of each of these institutions.

In each and all of these systems there is, doubtless, much that
we should hesitate to condemn, and which it becomes us, as honest
inquirers, to examine carefully and seek to comprehend. Calling upon
our Society for a pledge of candor and impartiality, it will not be
disguised that there are special reasons from its past course. Properly
to appreciate this course, and to understand the unfortunate position
of ungenerous antagonism to the Pennsylvania System which we now
occupy, it will be necessary to consider the origin and true character
of that system. This will lead to some minuteness of historical detail.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning our eyes to the condition of prisons during the last century,
we perceive that scarcely a single ray of humanity had then penetrated
their dreary confines. Idleness, debauchery, blasphemy, brutality,
squalor, disease, wretchedness, mingled in them as in a hateful sty.
All the unfortunate children of crime, the hardened felon, whose
soul was blotted by continual guilt, and the youthful victim, who
had just yielded to temptation, but whose countenance still mantled
with the blush of virtue, and whose soul had not lost all its
original brightness, were crowded together, without separation or
classification, in one promiscuous, fermenting mass of wickedness,
with scanty food and raiment, with few or no means of cleanliness, a
miserable prey to the contagion of disease, and the worse contagion of
vice and sin. The abject social degradation of the ancient Britons, in
the picture drawn by Julius Cæsar, excites our wonder to a less degree
than the well-authenticated condition of the poor prisoners in the
polished annals of George the Third.

Of all the circumstances which conspired to produce this wretchedness,
it cannot be doubted that the promiscuous commingling of the prisoners
in one animal herd was the most to be deplored. This evil arrested
general attention. In France it enkindled the burning eloquence of
Mirabeau, as in England it inspired the heavenly charity of Howard. It
was felt not only in Europe, but here in our own country. Nay, it still
continues, the scandal of this age and place, in the present jail of

In the effort to escape from this evil, persons with best intentions,
but by a not unnatural error, rushed to the opposite extreme. It
was proposed to _separate_ prisoners from each other by a system of
_absolute solitude_, without labor, books, or solace of any kind.
This was actually done in Maine, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and
Pennsylvania. Without referring particularly to other States, I ask
you to follow the course of things in Pennsylvania. In 1818 a law
was passed authorizing the building of a penitentiary at Pittsburg
"on the principle of solitary confinement of the convicts," and
"provided always that the principle of the solitary confinement of
the prisoners be preserved and maintained." In 1821 another law was
passed authorizing the same at Philadelphia. Both of these prisons were
conceived in a system of _solitude without labor_.

As such, they were justly obnoxious to criticism and censure. Thanks
to the good men who interfered to arrest this design! Thanks to our
Secretary, whose early energies were rightly directed to this end!
The soul shrinks with horror from the cell of constant and unoccupied
solitude, as repugnant to unceasing yearnings in the nature of man.
The "leads" of Venice, the cruel cages of state prisoners, inspire
us with indignation against that heartless republic. The terrors of
the Bastile, whether revealed in the pictured page of Victor Hugo,
or in the grave descriptions of dungeons where toads and rats made
their home, contain nothing to fill us with such dread as the unbroken
solitude which was the lot of many of its victims. Lafayette--whose
own experience at Olmütz should not be forgotten--has furnished his
testimony of its melancholy influence, as apparent in the condition
of those who suddenly came forth, on the morning which dawned upon
the destruction of that gloomy prison. Almost in our own time their
sufferings have been revived in the Austrian dungeons of Spielberg;
and Silvio Pellico has left to the literature of mankind the record of
horrors filling the perpetual solitude of his cell, which he vainly
strove to relieve by crying out to the iron bars of his window, to the
hills in the distance, and to the birds which sported with freedom in
the air.

A system of absolute solitude excludes every rational idea of health,
improvement, or reformation. It is an engine of cruelty and tyranny
kindred to the iron boot, the thumb-screw, the iron glove, and other
terrible instruments of a vengeance-loving government. It hardens,
abases, or overthrows the intellect and character. Such a punishment
is justly rejected in a Christian age, learning to temper justice
with mercy, and to regard the reformation of the offender among its
essential aims.

Under the pressure of these arguments, in those States where this
system had been adopted the subject was reconsidered. The discussion
was affected materially by the opinions of two remarkable men,--William
Roscoe, and Lafayette. The former is cherished as the elegant historian
of Lorenzo de' Medici and Leo X.; though, perhaps, he should be more
justly dear for those labors which crowned the close of his life,
in the fields of humanity. Lafayette--on his visit, in 1825, to the
country which had been the scene of his youthful devotion--was induced,
by a letter from Roscoe, to interest himself in Prison Discipline.
He did not surrender himself merely to the blandishments of that
unparalleled triumph,--a more than royal progress, forming one of
the most touching incidents in history,--when in advanced years he
received the gratitude of the giant republic whose feeble infancy he
had helped to cradle and protect. From his correspondence it appears
that he strove, by conversation in Maine, New Hampshire, New York,
and particularly in Pennsylvania, to influence public opinion on
the subject of Prisons, and most especially against the system of
_solitary confinement_, which he justly likened to the Bastile. His
own opinions, and those of Roscoe, were widely circulated, and were
quoted in official documents. Their precise influence it is impossible
to calculate. The system so abhorrent to our feelings, after brief
experiment, was discarded in those States where it had been in
operation; and in New York, that of Auburn, consisting of solitude by
night with labor in common by day, was confirmed, to the great joy of
Roscoe, who feared that it might yield to that of absolute solitude,
which had been tried there in 1822.

In Pennsylvania this important change took place previously to the
occupation of the new penitentiary at Philadelphia. By a law bearing
date April 23, 1829, it was expressly provided, that, after July
1, 1829, convicts should, "instead of the penitentiary punishments
heretofore prescribed, be sentenced to _suffer punishment by
SEPARATE or solitary confinement at LABOR_." It
is further provided, that the warden "shall visit every cell and
apartment, and see every prisoner under his care, at least once in
every day,"--that the overseers shall "inspect the condition of each
prisoner at least three times in every day,"--that "the physician shall
visit every prisoner in the prison twice in every week"; and further
provision is made for "visitors," among whom are "the acting committee
of the Philadelphia Society for the Alleviation of the Miseries of
Public Prisons." Here is the first legislative declaration of what has
since been called, at home and abroad, the _Pennsylvania System_. As
administered there and elsewhere, it is found to have, in greater or
less degree, the following elements: 1. Separation of the prisoners
from each other; 2. Labor in the cell; 3. Exercise in the open air; 4.
Visits; 5. Books; 6. Moral and religious instruction. Its fundamental
doctrine, and only essential element, is _separation of prisoners from
each other_, on which may be ingrafted solace of any kind needful to
health of body or mind. In 1840, M. de Tocqueville, in his masterly
report to the French Chamber of Deputies, recommending the adoption of
this system throughout France, accorded to it these characteristics.

In the history of this system, its origin is often referred to
different places. It is sometimes said to have been first recognized at
Rome by Clement XI., as long ago as 1703, in the foundation of a House
of Refuge; and again it is said to have appeared some time during the
last century in a prison of Holland,--also in one at Gloucester, in
England; while it seems to be described with tolerable clearness in the
preamble to the fifth section of an Act of Parliament drawn by Howard,
in conjunction with Sir William Blackstone, as early as 1779. Whatever
may be the claims of these different places, it is now admitted that
this system was first reduced to permanent practice, on an extended
scale, in Pennsylvania. Indeed, this State is hardly more known in
Europe for shameful neglect to pay the interest of her public debt than
for her admired system of Prison Discipline.

Now, waiving for the present, as entirely irrelevant, the question
whether this system can be practically administered so as to be
consistent with health, all must admit that it is not the constant,
unoccupied, cheerless solitude of the Bastile. Its main object is not
solitude, but separation of prisoners from each other, and bringing
them under good influences only.

In considering the Pennsylvania or Separate System, as now explained,
several questions properly arise.

1. Shall it be applied before trial? Here the answer is prompt. It
is the right of every person whom the law presumes innocent, as
is the case with all before trial, to be kept free from the touch
or contamination of those who may be felons. I well remember the
indignation of the late William Ellery Channing at an incident which
occurred in our streets, where a stranger who had fallen under
suspicion, but who proved to be innocent, was marched from the jail
handcuffed, in company with a hardened offender. He held it the duty
of the State to prevent such outrage. The principle of justice and
humanity which led him to his conclusion in this case requires the
_absolute separation_ of all prisoners before trial.

2. A more perplexing problem arises with regard to convicts for short
terms. Here, it would seem, the principle of _absolute separation_
ought to prevail.

3. It is a question of greater doubt how to treat juvenile offenders.
When we observe the admirable success of the House of Reformation at
South Boston, and of the Penal Colony at Mettray, in France, both
conducted on the social principle, we may well hesitate; though, on
the other hand, the marked success of the institution of La Roquette,
at Paris, under peculiar difficulties, shows that the principle of
_absolute separation_ may be applied even to this class of offenders.
Here certainly is a question worthy of consideration.

4. Shall the Separate System be applied in any case to women? The
authority of Mrs. Fry, in England, who at first disapproved the system,
but at the close of her valuable life approved it, even for her own
sex, also that of Mademoiselle Josephine Mallet, in France, who has
declared herself warmly for this system, entitle this question to
careful attention.

5. And, lastly, shall the Separate System be applied to convicts for
long terms? This is, indeed, the crucial question, involving statistics
of health and insanity, and many other considerations, on which much
light is shed by the experience of Europe, as well as our own country,
and also by writings of eminent characters devoted to this subject.
Here we may well hesitate, and open our minds to influences from all

       *       *       *       *       *

The way is now prepared to consider whether our Society, in unfolding
what may be called the science of Prison Discipline, has treated the
Pennsylvania System, involving the several questions already stated,
with candor and justice. The question is not whether this system is
preferable in all cases to every other, or whether there is any other
preferable to this, but simply, Has our Society been candid and just?
An examination of its course furnishes an easy answer.

It appears that our Society has failed to make any discrimination
with regard to the different classes of cases which I have set forth,
indulging in one constant, sullen, undistinguishing, uncompromising
opposition to the system in all cases,--so much so as to give occasion
for an eminent foreign writer to say that it had sworn against it
"war to the knife." Early in its existence it gave its adhesion to
the Auburn Prison, saying, "Here, then, is exhibited what Europe and
America have been long waiting to see,--a prison which may be made a
model for imitation." This adhesion was confirmed by the declaration
of an officer of our Society, at a public anniversary in 1837, that
the System of Auburn was "our system," and still more by a resolution
of similar effect offered in 1838 by the Treasurer, who now opposes,
not unnaturally, the efforts to release the Society from the bands he
helped to tie.

I do not found complaint merely on the character of advocacy which our
Reports have assumed, though it were well worthy of inquiry whether
this is not improper in an association like ours. I go further. I wish
to state distinctly, that, in the zeal of devotion to Auburn, and in
the frenzy of hostility to Pennsylvania, we have been betrayed into a
course which no candid mind can hesitate to regret. I will not dwell on
language that fell from our Secretary at the anniversary of 1845, which
was in part the occasion of the letter from President Wayland already
read; nor am I able to review all our Reports. One will be enough. I
confine myself to the Eighteenth Report, which appeared in 1843.

This Report has already been the subject of much remark here and
elsewhere. A French writer of authority, M. Moreau-Christophe,
Inspector-General of Prisons in France, has characterized it as "_a
perversion of truth_";[178] while an English author has spoken of it
in stronger terms. "With the nature of framing recurring documents
connected with public institutions we are not unacquainted," says Mr.
Adshead, "_and we believe a more flagrant instance of trickery has
never come within the range of our experience_."[179] I am unwilling to
adopt this language; but I cannot forbear terming the Report uncandid
and unjust. This I shall show; and I am especially moved to do so,
since the Treasurer has undertaken to vindicate it, and to vouch
for the accuracy of its quotations. I shall consider it under _six_
different heads.

    [178] Revue Pénitentiare, 1844, p. 421.

    [179] Prisons and Prisoners, p. 128.

_First._ It adduces against the Pennsylvania System the failure of
experiments in Maine, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, on the
principle of _absolute solitude without labor_, which, of course, were
entirely inapplicable in the discussion of a system recognizing labor
and many other solaces as essential parts of the system. Was this
candid? Was it just?

_Secondly._ Here is a more pungent instance, though not more
objectionable. The Report adduces the authority of Mr. George Combe
against "the Pennsylvania System." The article or chapter on this
point is entitled, in capitals, "DR. [MR.] COMBE'S OPINION OF
THE PENNSYLVANIA SYSTEM." Under this head are extracts from his
book of travels in America, where this eminent phrenological observer
considers the character of this system. But will the Society believe
that one at least of these extracts is garbled, so as not to express
his true and full opinion of the system? The Eighteenth Report quotes
from Combe as follows:--

    "The Auburn system of social labor is better, in my opinion, than
    that of Pennsylvania, in so far as it allows of a little more
    stimulus to the social faculties, and does not weaken the nervous
    system to so great an extent."[180]

    [180] Eighteenth Annual Report of the Prison Discipline Society,
    p. 96.

The sentence in Combe is as follows:--

    "The Auburn system of social labor is better, in my opinion, than
    that of Pennsylvania, in so far as it allows of a little more
    stimulus to the social faculties, and does not weaken the nervous
    system to so great an extent; _but it has no superiority in regard
    to providing efficient means for invigorating and training the
    moral and intellectual faculties_."[181]

    [181] Notes on the United States, Vol. I. p. 224.

Thus does our Report, while pretending to give Combe's "Opinion of
the Pennsylvania System," stop at a semicolon, and omit the latter
branch of a sentence, where the opinion is _favorable_ to the system.
And yet the Treasurer vouches for the accuracy of this quotation. "I
think I can read English," he says, "and I think the extract from Combe
properly made."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. ELIOT here rose and said, "I did not mean to vouch for the
verbal accuracy of the quotation, but that it gave the substance of Mr.
Combe's opinion, which was against the Pennsylvania System."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. SUMNER. The Treasurer, then, relies upon Mr. Combe's
authority as adverse to the Pennsylvania System. I hold in my hand
a letter from that gentleman, dated Edinburgh, March 24, 1847,
addressed to the author of the Minority Report to this Society [Dr.
HOWE], since published as an essay, and which has been
characterized in this debate as an uncompromising plea for that system.
In this letter Mr. Combe says:--

    "I have read every word of your Prison Essay with attention, and
    do not perceive any difference of principle between your views and
    mine. Your Essay is a special pleading in favor of the Pennsylvania
    System; but I do not object to it on this account. Such a pleading
    was called for in the circumstances mentioned in your preface; it
    was the thing needed to make an impression; and while it states
    strongly and eloquently the advantages of the Separate System, it
    does not conceal, although it does not dwell upon, its defects."

And yet Mr. Combe is pressed by our Report, and now by our Treasurer,
in opposition to this system; and the work is aided by publishing a
truncated sentence, and entitling it _his opinion_.

_Thirdly._ We have already observed the timely opposition of William
Roscoe to the system of _solitude without labor_, which promised to
prevail extensively in the United States. From his publication on
this subject, in 1827, our Eighteenth Report, in 1843, draws forth a
passage, and entitles it, in capitals, "MR. ROSCOE'S OPINION OF THE
PENNSYLVANIA SYSTEM." I will give the whole article or chapter. It
is as follows.


    "Mr. Roscoe, of Liverpool, said, before the new Penitentiary was

    "'At Philadelphia, as has before been observed, it is intended
    to adopt the plan of "solitary confinement in all cases," "_the
    duration of the punishment to be fixed_," and "_the whole term of
    the sentence to be exacted_," except in cases where it shall be
    made to appear, to the satisfaction of the governor, that the party
    convicted was innocent of the charge.

    "'By the establishment of a general system of solitary confinement,
    a greater number of individuals, imprisoned for _minor offences,
    will probably be put to death_, by the superinduction of diseases
    inseparable from such a mode of treatment, than will be executed
    through the whole State, for the _perpetration of the most
    atrocious crimes_; with this remarkable difference, that the law
    has provided for the heinous offender a brief, and perhaps an
    unconscious fate, whilst the solitary victim passes through every
    variety of misery, and terminates his days by an _accumulation of
    sufferings which human nature can no longer bear_.'"[182]

    [182] Eighteenth Annual Report of the Prison Discipline Society, p.

With regard to this several things are to be observed. 1. It sets
forth, as Mr. Roscoe's opinion of the Pennsylvania System, what, in
fact, was not his opinion of that system, but of another system, that
of _solitude without labor_, and was written two years before the
Pennsylvania System came into existence,--misapplying his opinion,
and therefore misrepresenting it. 2. It withholds or suppresses the
date of the extract, and the source whence it is drawn. In point of
fact, it was written before the new penitentiary was built; but it
is nevertheless entitled "Mr. Roscoe's Opinion of the Pennsylvania
System," so that the reader unfamiliar with the subject would suppose
it in reality his opinion of that system. 3. It omits an important
passage after the word "charge," without any asterisks or other mark
denoting omission,--which, if printed, would have shown conclusively
that Roscoe's remarks did not apply to the existing Pennsylvania
System, but to a system of absolute solitude, without solace of any
kind. Is it not proper, then, to say that this passage is garbled? And
yet the Treasurer's voucher for the accuracy of the quotations extends
to this also.

_Fourthly._ The opinions of Lafayette receive similar treatment to
those of Roscoe; though this case is still stronger against that most
discreditable Eighteenth Report. The article or chapter in which this
is done is as follows.


    "'As to Philadelphia,' says the General, in a letter to Mr.
    Roscoe, 'I had already, on my visit of the last year, expressed my
    regret that the great expenses of the new Penitentiary building
    had been chiefly calculated on the plan of solitary confinement.
    This matter has lately become an object of discussion; a copy of
    your letter, and my own observations, have been requested; and as
    both opinions are actuated by equally honest and good feelings,
    as solitary confinement has never been considered but with a view
    to reformation, I believe our ideas will have their weight with
    men who have been discouraged by late failures of success in the
    reformation plan. It seems to me, two of the inconveniences most
    complained of might be obviated, in making use of the solitary
    cells to separate the prisoners at night, and multiplying the rooms
    of common labor, so as to reduce the number of each room to what
    it was when the population was less dense,--an arrangement which
    would enable the managers to keep distinctions among the men to
    be reclaimed, according to the state of their morals, and their
    behavior.' 'In these sentiments,' says Mr. Roscoe, 'I have the
    pleasure most fully to concur; and I hold it to be impossible to
    give a more clear, correct, and impartial decision on the subject.'

    "'The people of Pennsylvania think,' said Lafayette, 'that the
    system of solitary confinement is a new idea, a new discovery.
    Not so;--it is only the revival of the system of the Bastile. The
    State of Pennsylvania, which has given to the world an example
    of humanity, and whose code of philanthropy has been quoted and
    canvassed by all Europe, is now about to proclaim to the world the
    inefficacy of the system, and to revive and restore the cruel code
    of the most barbarous and unenlightened age. I hope my friends of
    Pennsylvania will consider the effect this system had on the poor
    prisoners of the Bastile. I repaired to the scene,' said he, 'on
    the second day of the demolition, and found that all the prisoners
    had been deranged by their solitary confinement, except one. He
    had been a prisoner twenty-five years, and was led forth during
    the height of the tumultuous riot of the people, whilst engaged in
    tearing down the building. He looked around with amazement, for he
    had seen nobody for that space of time, and before night he was
    so much affected, that he became a confirmed maniac, from which
    situation he has never [never was] recovered.'"[183]

    [183] Eighteenth Annual Report of the Prison Discipline Society,
    pp. 95, 96.

With regard to this, also, several things are to be observed. 1. It
invokes the authority of Lafayette against the Pennsylvania System,
and quotes as his _opinion_ of that system words used with regard to
_solitude without labor_, as in the Bastile. In fact, Lafayette never
condemned what in 1843 was known as the Pennsylvania System, nor ever
expressed any opinion impugning it in any degree. His family are at
this moment among its warmest advocates in France. 2. It withholds
or suppresses the date of the extract, and the source whence it is
drawn, and does not in any way disclose to the uninformed reader that
it was actually written before the origin of the Pennsylvania System.
3. The extract purports to be from a letter of Lafayette to Roscoe;
whereas this is true only of the first paragraph. The second is from
an anonymous letter from Paris, in the "National Intelligencer" of
November 17, 1826, where the writer relates a conversation with
Lafayette concerning the prison then building in Philadelphia, in
which it was proposed to introduce _solitude without labor_. 4. After
the words "unenlightened age," in the very heart of this extract,
an important passage is omitted,--without asterisks or other mark
denoting omission,--which, if inserted, would have shown conclusively
that Lafayette's opinion was directed to a system of solitude, "without
the least employment, and without the use of books." May it not be said
justly, that the opinions of Lafayette are misrepresented and garbled?

_Fifthly._ Here I can only glance at a matter to which I alluded on a
former occasion. Our Eighteenth Report sets forth at length disparaging
pictures by Mr. Dickens of the Pennsylvania System, while it makes no
mention of opinions by Captain Hamilton (the accomplished author of
"Cyril Thornton"), Miss Martineau, Dr. Reed, Dr. Matheson, Dr. F.A.
Cox, Dr. Hoby, Captain Marryat, Mr. Buckingham, and Mr. Abdy, all of
whom have expressed themselves with more or less distinctness in favor
of that system. Nor does it make any allusion to authoritative opinions
by different commissioners from foreign governments: as Crawford, from
England, in 1834; Demetz and Blouet, from France, in 1837; Pringle,
from England, in 1838; Julius, from Prussia, in 1836; and Neilson and
Mondelet, from the Canadian government, in 1836,--all of whom reported
emphatically in favor of the Pennsylvania System. Surely it was not
candid and just to neglect all that these travellers and commissioners
had reported, while bringing forward the imaginings of Mr. Dickens, and
unearthing dateless letters of Roscoe and Lafayette, to employ them in
a cause for which they were never written.

_Sixthly._ Our Eighteenth Report is open to another objection, either
of gross ignorance or most uncandid withholding of information. It
employs these words, which appear remarkable when we consider the
actual facts: "_What will be done in other countries is evidently_
_suspended, in a great degree_, on the results of more experience in
regard to the effects of the system." Nothing more is said of what had
been done in other countries, and the reader is left to infer that
_nothing_ had been done. This was in May, 1843. Now what, _at that
time_, had been done in other countries?

In England the inspectors of public prisons had made two or more
able and extensive reports in favor of the Separate System, where
the principles on which it is founded are developed with fulness and
clearness. Parliament had passed a law authorizing the creation of a
model prison on this system at Pentonville. This had been built, and
also other prisons on the same system in different parts of the kingdom.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. DWIGHT. Will the gentleman please to state the difference
between the prisons at Philadelphia and Pentonville?

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. SUMNER. With great pleasure, so far as any exists. The
two are founded on the same principle of _separation_, though that of
Pentonville is probably administered with less austerity than that of
Philadelphia. They may differ in degree, but not in kind.

I return to a review of what had been done in 1843, when I was

In France the subject had undergone most thorough discussion, in
journals, in pamphlets, among professional men, and in official
documents. The Government and the highest authorities in state and
in medicine had declared in favor of the Separate System. Their
conclusions were founded on ample inquiries by commissions visiting
America, England, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy,
Germany, Prussia, Spain, and even Turkey. In 1836, Count Gasparin,
Minister of the Interior, wrote a circular informing the prefects of
the departments that the Government had decided to adopt exclusively
the Separate System in the _maisons d'arrêt_, or what may be called
the county jails. In 1839 the grave question of the influence of
this system on health, bodily and mental, was submitted to the
highest living authority, the Academy of Medicine, who referred it
to a committee consisting of MM. Pariset, Moré, Villermé, Louis, and
Esquirol. Their report, drawn up by the last named distinguished
authority, expressly declared that "separate imprisonment by day and
night, with labor, and conversation with the overseers and inspectors,
does not abridge the life of the prisoners, nor compromise their
reason." This report afterwards received the sanction of the learned
body to which it was addressed. In 1840, M. Rémusat, Minister of the
Interior, submitted the project of a law for the building of prisons on
the principle of _separation_. This was sustained by a masterly report
from M. de Tocqueville, dated June 25, 1840. It was followed in 1841 by
another circular from the Home Department, communicating an atlas of
plans to the departments as their guide in building prisons. I hold one
of them in my hand now.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. DWIGHT, looking at the atlas, said, "The cells here are on
a circumference, whereas in Philadelphia they are on radii."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. SUMNER. In some of the plans the cells are on a
circumference, and in some on radii. Does this make any difference in
the system?

I will proceed. In 1843, 17th April, Count Duchatel, in behalf of
the Government, introduced a bill providing for the extension of the
principle of _separation_ to all the _maisons de force_ throughout
France. It was calculated that this could not be carried into execution
at an expense less than one hundred and seven millions of francs, or
nearly twenty millions of dollars. At the same time it appeared that
the extensive prison La Roquette, in Paris, had been for several years
in most successful operation. Still further, in 1843, it was stated by
M. de Tocqueville, that, since 1838, _thirty_ prisons, containing two
thousand seven hundred and forty cells on the Separate System, had been
built, or were in an advanced state of building, in the departments of
France. Yet nothing of all this is in our Report.

In Poland, it appears that a prison on the Separate System was
commenced as long ago as 1831, and has been in successful operation
since 1835, while in 1843 appropriations were made to build three more.
Nothing of this appears in our Report.

In Denmark, after an elaborate report from a committee, a royal
ordinance declared, in 1841, that "all houses of detention to be
built for the accused shall be on the Separate System, and that all
new constructions or reconstructions which the old prisons shall
require shall be on this system, to prepare for its general adoption."
Again, another ordinance followed, June 25, 1842, on the report of a
commission that had visited England, directing the building of certain
prisons on this system. Our Report contains nothing of this.

Look at Norway. In 1838 a commission from this region was sent to
visit the principal prisons in England, Ireland, Belgium, France,
Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark. Its report was made in 1841. "Its
unanimous and _absolute_ advice was, to demand the introduction into
the prisons of Norway of the Pennsylvania System." Here again our
Report is silent.

In Sweden, the States General declared, in 1841, that the Separate
System was the most rational, and voted 1,300,000 florins for the
construction of new prisons on this system. Already before this time,
the present King of Sweden, then Crown Prince, had secured a new honor
for his throne by writing a book on prisons, where he compared the
Auburn and Pennsylvania Systems, and gave his preference to the latter.
Of this our Report says not a word.

Here, as I refer to this royal author, let me pause to offer him my
tribute of gratitude. His work, originally written in Swedish, has
been already twice translated into German, twice into French, once
into Norwegian, and once into English. It deserves to be translated
into every language of the globe. Such words from a throne find no
parallel in history. All the productions from the eighteen royal
authors of England, and the five of Scotland, mentioned in Walpole's
Catalogue, could not confer the same true honor as these few pages.
Not the "prettie versse" of Henry the Sixth; not the volume of Henry
the Eighth, which has secured to his royal successors the unchangeable
title of "Defender of the Faith"; not the "Counterblast to Tobacco,"
and other writings, teeming with pun, pedantry, vanity, Scripture, and
prerogative, of James the First; not the ballads, songs, rondeaus,
and poems of the four Jameses of Scotland. A work on "Punishments and
Prisons" by a king, written in a spirit of simplicity and gentleness,
with sympathy for the poor, the humble, the sinful, teaches us to
appreciate forms of grandeur higher than any in the ordinary pursuits
of royal ambition. Oscar is the son of Bernadotte, a marshal of the
French Empire, and elected king of Sweden; but--pardon me while I speak
what my heart feels--the author of this little book of humanity and
wisdom inspires a warmer glow of admiration than the commander of the
centre in the victory of Austerlitz, or of the timely succors that
hurried the close of the giant struggle at Leipzig. He sits on a throne
illustrated by two of the greatest sovereigns in modern Europe; but his
is a truer glory than that of Gustavus Vasa in the mines of Dalecarlia,
or of Gustavus Adolphus on the field of Lutzen.

In Holland, the penal code established in 1840, as the basis of prison
discipline, separation by night and labor in common by day. "But they
were not slow to recognize the insufficiency of this," says one of the
eminent authorities. Wherefore the States General ordered the system
of separate imprisonment, as practised at Philadelphia, with the
modifications which excluded _solitude_, separating the prisoners from
each other, and securing communication with good people. In the States
General there was only _one voice_ against this system. Again is our
Report silent.

And lastly, at Geneva, in Switzerland, a plan of a prison on the
Separate System was adopted in 1842. I have here the atlas containing a
full representation of this prison in all its parts. But of this, too,
our Report says nothing.

In view of all these things, is it not humiliating that our Society
should have put forth the statement it did with regard to "other
countries"? Most certainly, if the authors of the Eighteenth Report
were ignorant of the extensive adoption in Europe of the Pennsylvania
System, their ignorance was reprehensible, and not to be vindicated
by the apology of the Secretary, that he could not read French. If
uncandidly they withheld or suppressed this information, as I cannot
suppose, they are equally reprehensible.

Such is the Eighteenth Report of our Society! And yet this document,
seamed and botched with error and uncandid statement, injuriously
affecting the Pennsylvania System, was sent by our Society, as I have
been credibly informed, to every member of the Legislature of that
State. Surely we need not wonder that the humane and upright gentlemen
connected with the administration of prisons there felt that we had
done them wrong.


I now come to the second proposition in the Report and Resolutions
under consideration; and here I shall be brief. It is proposed
that we shall recognize the directors of the Eastern Penitentiary
of Pennsylvania as sincere fellow-laborers in the cause of Prison
Discipline, and shall declare, that, _if_ expressions have appeared
in our Reports, or been uttered at any of our public meetings, which
have justly given pain to our brethren, our Society sincerely regrets
them. Is not this a proper and most Christian resolution? What candid
or generous mind can hesitate with regard to it, particularly after
becoming acquainted with the course of our Society towards those
gentlemen and the system they have administered? But here again we
encounter the Treasurer, the Achilles of this debate, according to the
description of that martial character by Horace,--

    "Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer."

The Treasurer, with passionate emphasis, objects to any expressions
of confidence in the gentlemen of Philadelphia. He is not personally
acquainted with all of them. He is conscientious on the point. He will
not commit our tender Society by any such extravagant declaration.
To be sure, he made no opposition, when our association passed a
formal vote in its own favor, declaring nothing less than that it was
"entitled to the thanks of every friend of humanity for its successful
efforts in the cause of Prison Discipline."[184] It was all right for
us to praise ourselves; but the Treasurer cannot praise the gentlemen
of Philadelphia. He never objected to any of the hard words we have
employed with regard to them and their system. It is those soft words,
turning away wrath, which disturb his propriety.

[184] Annual Meeting, May 30, 1837: Twelfth Report.

Then, again, he dislikes what he calls an hypothetical apology. He is
startled by the _if_. He cannot say, "_If_ have uttered words which
have justly given pain to my brother, I sincerely regret it." There
is too much for him in that _if_. It is no better than _but yet_ in
Shakespeare, which was

        "as a gaoler to bring forth
    Some monstrous malefactor."

True to its vocation, this little word brings before the Treasurer
a monstrous proposition, which he cannot receive. No,--he will have
nothing to do with it. But his sudden sensitiveness with regard to the
course of the Society should not prevent us from performing a simple


The third and last proposition involved in the Report and Resolutions
is, that our Society, by its officers and individual members, ought
to strive for increased usefulness; and it is particularly urged upon
the Managers to enlist the coöperation of individual members. This,
too, is opposed violently, as if it were not the duty of all to seek
new opportunities of doing good. The Treasurer, of course, is ardent.
He does not ask the coöperation of others. It is the policy of the
Society, he says, to act by one mind only.

Look at our grandiose organization. We have a President with forty
Vice-Presidents,--or, borrowing an illustration from Turkey, "a pacha
with forty tails." Then we have a large body of foreign correspondents,
whose names we print in capitals,--"fancy men," as they have been
called, because they are for show, I suppose, like our Vice-Presidents.
Then there are scores of Directors, and a Board of Managers. Now I
know full well, that, of these, very few interest themselves so much
in our Society as to attend its sessions. At the meeting last year for
the choice of officers there were _ten_ present. We _ten_ chose the
whole array of Vice-Presidents and all. And then, too, the Secretary
politely furnished us printed tickets bearing their names and his own.
Certainly, Sir, something should be done to mend this matter. We must
cease to have so many officers, or they must participate actively in
the duties of the Society.

Look now at our annual income. Notwithstanding the special pleading of
the Treasurer, I must insist that this is upwards of $3,000, derived
partly from interest on our capital stock of $7,000, and the remainder
from subscriptions obtained through the solicitations of the Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. DWIGHT. But this is not a permanent income. It is derived
from the charity of Boston.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. SUMNER. And is not the charity of Boston permanent? I have
stated facts precisely as they are. Now it becomes a society so richly
endowed to do much for the cause to which it professes devotion. It
should make itself felt widely, not only in our own State, but wherever
Prison Discipline claims attention.

But what does it accomplish? On looking at its journal for the last
three years, it appears that the chief business of the Managers, who
have met some three or four times in the year only, has been to vote
a salary of seventeen hundred dollars to the Secretary, with fuel and
rent for his office sometimes, and also to vote him a vacation of four
months in the country during our pleasant summers. This, certainly,
so far as the Managers are concerned, is not doing much for Prison
Discipline. But the Managers are responsible for the Annual Reports of
the Society. I think it may be safely said, that, for several years,
our Society has done little besides publishing these Reports. Its
annual income and the labors of its official galaxy are all absorbed in
these. I would not disparage these documents; but, professing, as I do,
some familiarity with the kind of labor required in their preparation,
I cannot forbear repeating what I have said before, that, if we take
our last Report for an example, one month would be a large allowance of
time for its production by any one competent man. But the Treasurer
says our Society has devised a plan for a new jail in Boston, which
of itself is no inconsiderable labor,--and the Treasurer praises this
plan. My own judgment with regard to it is of very little consequence;
but I have here a letter from Dr. Julius, of Prussia, one of the
highest living authorities on the subject,--to whom the plan has been
shown,--who expresses an opinion different from that of the Treasurer.

Certainly, Sir, our Society must do more. It becomes us to imitate
sister associations in Philadelphia and New York, whose incomes are
less than ours, and whose array of organization is not so imposing, but
who, by committees and sub-committees, and committees of ladies too,
make their beneficence practically felt by those who are in prison,
while by their influence they widely affect public opinion. It becomes
us also to imitate the Board of Education in our own Commonwealth,
which not only publishes an Annual Report, but by its Secretary makes
annual visits to every part of the State, and by lectures and speeches,
by the glowing pen and the living voice, arouses the indifferent and
confirms the wavering. I trust soon to hear of lectures on Prison
Discipline, and of local societies under our auspices in every county
of the State.

Ours is a large and powerful organization, abounding in resources of
all kinds, plenteously supplied by never-failing streams of charity.
We must administer it in the spirit of charity, that we may promote
the greatest good of those who are its objects. The contributions of
which we are almoners should not run to waste. All must join in effort
to give them the widest influence. All must help place our Society in
cordial fellowship with other laborers in the same pursuits. Let me
ask you, Mr. President, to unite with your honored predecessor [Rev.
Dr. WAYLAND] in promoting these worthy objects. Commence your
new duties by guiding us in a path where we may find that universal
confidence now somewhat forfeited, and where the blessings of those in
prison, who have felt our kindness, may be ours.

       *       *       *       *       *

I believe I might leave the Report and Resolutions here, feeling that
they stand on impregnable ground. But there are two objections, each
brought by different speakers, which I have reserved to the close: one
founded on the private character of the Secretary of our Society; the
other, on the alleged superiority of the Congregate System over the
Separate System.

In interposing the private character of the Secretary, a new issue
is presented, entirely immaterial to the question on the adoption of
the Resolutions. This is discerned merely by repeating the grounds of
these. _First_, our Society ought to be candid and just; _secondly_,
it should offer a hand of fellowship to our brethren in Philadelphia;
_thirdly_, it should be more useful. These propositions are not
answered, when we declare, in eloquent phrase, that the private
character of the Secretary is good. I, too, give my homage to his
private character. I have never failed to render my tribute to his
early merit in founding and organizing this Society; nor in this
discussion, painful as it has been, and calling for severe criticism
of matters with which he is intimately connected, have I made any
impeachment of the motives by which his course is controlled. It is
my earnest desire, that the Society, under his auspices, may be more
widely felt, and develop new capacities for useful.

The other remaining objection is, that the Congregate System is
superior to the Separate System, and that the acceptance of the Report
and Resolutions will be giving adhesion to the latter. This conclusion
is not correct. Your Committee ask for candor and justice; they do
not ask for adhesion to any system. On the contrary, they expressly
disclaim such desire. But it may well be asked--and I allude to this
point not because I regard it as material to the issue--whether
_experience_ does conclusively establish the superiority of the
Congregate System. My learned friend [Mr. GRAY] who first
introduced this topic founds his conclusion mainly on a comparison
of the prisons at Philadelphia and Charlestown, where the statistics
are said to show a much larger proportion of mortality and insanity
in the former than in the latter. Admitting that the statistics
adduced are accurate (and I do not propose to question them), it is
very hasty in my friend to adopt his conclusion with regard to the
comparative merits of the two systems. In the first place, the limited
experience of these prisons, or any small number of prisons, may be
affected by circumstances irrespective of the two systems,--as, for
instance, their administration, which may be more or less defective.
And permit me to say, that the argument of my friend seems rather to
show a defect in the administration of the system at Philadelphia
than in the system itself. The system has but _one essential idea_,
the absolute separation of prisoners from each other. But it is said
that this cannot be practically carried out, consistently with health
of body and mind. It may be so. But here the highest authorities have
affirmed the opposite. The College of Medicine in France, and the
Scientific Congress at Padua in 1843, and of Lucca in 1844, pronounce
it practicable. But my friend urges, that each prisoner should be
indulged with at least two hours of society daily, and that this
is impracticable. I doubt if so much is requisite. But if this and
much more be needed, to secure for our prisons those influences most
conducive to the reformation of offenders, will it not be found? There
are Christian clergymen who find time to bless with their presence,
with prayers and texts, the gaudy celebrations of military companies;
there are young men who partake of these pomps. Cannot as many be found
who will visit those in prison?

In the next place, the conclusion is fallacious, as it is founded on
a comparison of prisons in different places, under the influence of
different circumstances of climate and situation; whereas, to render
the comparison exact, it should be between prisons in the same place,
and under the same circumstances. This I am enabled to make. There are
now at Geneva two prisons, one on the Auburn System, built in 1825, and
the other on the Pennsylvania System, built in 1843. M. Ferrière, the
chaplain of both these prisons,--and therefore, it must be supposed,
equally conversant with both,--presented to the Penitentiary Congress
at Frankfort a comparison between these two, which he states to be in
the same locality, with a unity of conditions in all respects, except
what touches the system itself. He gives the preference in every
particular to the Pennsylvania prison, and expressly declares that
there are always persons in the Auburn prison who are insane, while,
down to the present time, there have been none in the other prison.

Lastly, the conclusion of my friend is fallacious, inasmuch as it is
founded on a too narrow induction, closing his eyes to the experience
of Europe. There is the prison of Warsaw, on the Separate System,
which has been in operation since 1835. During the twelve years since
its occupation there have been only two cases of mental alienation,
one of which declared itself on the morning after the arrest, and the
other was caused by too hasty treatment of the _plica_. In France, as
we learn from an address before the Penitentiary Congress, there are
nineteen prisons on the Separate System, which have been _occupied_
since 1843. "The experience," it is said, "is not of long duration, but
it is sufficient to assure the spirits of the most fearful. The most
harmonious unanimity prevails in the observations of the physicians.
All recognize that maladies are less frequent, and shorter in duration.
It is the same with mental alienation, in the period of one to four
years to which the observations relate. No cause of insanity is
attributed by the physicians to the Separate System, as it is practised
in France, with frequent visits, labor, and an hour at least of
exercise in the open air." In England there are at this moment _thirty_
prisons on the Separate System, with thirty-five hundred cells, which
are so successful in their influences that upwards of three thousand
additional cells are to be constructed. On the Continent there are
many directors of Auburn prisons who have become dissatisfied with
their operation, and openly pronounce in favor of the Pennsylvania
System. I might dwell on the experience of Europe till the chimes of
midnight sounded in our ears; but I forbear. I cannot dismiss this
topic, however, without alluding to one suggestion, which came in such
a questionable shape that I am at a loss how to treat it.

The sentiment of patriotism is invoked, and we are gravely told that
the reference to European authority and experience which has occurred
in this debate is not consistent with a proper regard to our own
country. It is natural, Sir, for us to love our country, and to take
pride in its institutions. Whatever is done among us finds special
favor, if it be associated in any way with our country. But this
sentiment must not become a prejudice. It must not become a malign
influence to interrupt the course of truth, or interfere with questions
to which it is alien. The subject now before us belongs to science and
philanthropy, and I have yet to learn that the prejudices of patriotism
have any just foothold in these sacred demesnes. Let us welcome
knowledge, wherever it may be found. Hail holy light! from whatever sun
or star it may pour upon the eyes, from whatever country or clime it
may penetrate the understanding or the heart!

Again let me say that our Report and Resolutions stand on impregnable
grounds. And now, Mr. President, as I conclude, let me render to you
just thanks for the impartiality and amenity with which you have
presided over these debates, and may these high qualities be reflected
in the future course of our Society. Let us all unite in efforts for
increased usefulness, in harmony with one another, and with kindred
associations of our own country and of other lands. And if, from the
collisions of this discussion there have been any sparks of unkindly
feeling, may they all be quenched in the vote which is now to be taken.


The result of these debates called forth the following letter from M.
de Tocqueville, of France, addressed to Mr. Sumner.


    MY DEAR SIR,--I have read in the Daily Advertiser of
    June 1st the account of a meeting of the Boston Prison Discipline
    Society, in which you proposed a resolution, the effect of which
    was to declare that this Society ought not to be considered "the
    pledged advocate" of the Auburn System, or of any other system,
    and that it should judge all systems without taking sides in
    advance, and without prejudice. I have since learned, by the same
    paper, that the Society refused to adopt the resolution. This vote
    has surprised and pained me. I take a very lively interest in
    the reform of prisons, and I have always cherished a respectful
    attachment for the Society, which has, of its own accord, done me
    the honor to make me one of its members, and which enjoys so just a
    reputation in the philanthropic world. It is under the influence of
    these two sentiments that I feel an impulse to write to you.

    The vote of which I have spoken will cause, I do not fear to
    say, a painful surprise to almost all those in Europe who are
    devoted to the Prison question. They will interpret it as a solemn
    determination taken by the Society to make itself the champion of
    the Auburn System, and the systematic adversary of the Separate
    System. Instead of a judge, it will seem to become a party.

    I need not inform you, that, at the present day, in Europe,
    discussion and experience have, on the contrary, led almost all
    persons of intelligence to adopt the Separate System, and to
    reject the Auburn System. Most of the governments of the Old
    World have declared themselves more or less in this way, not
    hastily, but after serious inquiry and long debates. I will speak
    only of the two great free nations of Europe,--those which I know
    the best, and which are the most worthy of being regarded as an
    authority, wherever questions are decided only after discussion
    before the country, and obedience is rendered to public opinion
    alone,--France and England. Among these two nations, I can assure
    you, the Auburn System is almost universally rejected. The greater
    part of those who had previously inclined towards this system
    have completely abandoned it, when they came to discuss it, or
    to see it in operation, and have adopted, wholly or in part, the
    system of Separate Imprisonment. The two governments have followed
    the same tendencies. You know that the French government brought
    forward, a few years since, a law, of which separate imprisonment
    formed the basis. This law after a discussion of five weeks,
    the longest and most thorough which has ever taken place in our
    parliament on any question, was voted by an _immense majority_.
    If this same law has not yet been discussed in the Chamber of
    Peers, the reason is to be found in circumstances entirely foreign
    to the Penitentiary Question. The Chamber of Peers will take it
    into consideration at the opening of the approaching session; and
    among the most considerable men in this Chamber, the greater part
    have already pronounced openly in favor of its principle. As to
    the press, almost all the journals sustain the system of Separate
    Imprisonment. The journal which had most skilfully and earnestly
    combated the system has recently declared itself convinced of
    its excellence. This change has been produced, in part, by the
    experience had for many years in a large number of our prisons.
    Indeed, it may be doubted, whether, when the law shall be reported
    to the Chamber of Peers, there will be found a single person to
    combat its _principle_.

    In this state of facts and opinions, the vote which a society
    so enlightened and celebrated as that of Boston has just passed
    will not be comprehended among us; and I cannot, I confess to you,
    prevent myself from fearing that it will be injurious to the high
    consideration which the Society enjoys on this side of the ocean,
    or that, at least, it will weaken its authority. I should strongly
    regret this, not only from my interest in an association to which
    I have the honor to belong, but also from my interest in humanity,
    whose cause it can so powerfully serve.

    Be pleased to receive, Sir, the assurance of my very distinguished

                                  ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE,
              _Member of the Institute and of the Chamber of Deputies_

    TOCQUEVILLE, August 6, 1847.

  CHARLES SUMNER, Esq., Boston.



The sudden death of Mr. Stackpole has filled a large circle of friends
with poignant grief. His hale and vigorous health, of which a fresh
and manly countenance and a joyous nature were pleasing tokens, seemed
to give assurance that he would long be spared to them, while the many
accomplishments by which his life was adorned, and the kindly qualities
which grappled him to their hearts, created attachments now too rudely
severed. He had stood aloof from public affairs, and from those
concerns of business by which men become prominent before the world.
The time thus withdrawn from customary pursuits was given to family and
friends, and to the cultivation of those elegant tastes which add so
much to the grace of society.

He was a graduate of Harvard University in the class of 1824, and
afterwards studied law. His studies were careful and thorough. His
attainments were increased by travel in Europe. As a member of the
Examining Committee on Modern Languages at the University, he made his
excellent knowledge, particularly of French, useful to the community.
Had his professional studies been continued, there is reason to
believe, that, in some departments, he would have contributed in no
humble measure to the true fame of his country. An article in the
"American Jurist,"[185] entitled "Customs and Origin of Customary Law,"
written by Mr. Stackpole while still very young, drew the attention
of learned men in Europe, as much, perhaps, as was ever done by any
paper of mere jurisprudence from our country. It was the subject of
comment by the late Professor Park, at King's College, in one of his
public lectures, who read extracts from it to his classes, and it was
republished in one of the English law journals. This was at a time when
American productions found little favor from the mother country. Story
and Kent had not then compelled recognition of American law within the
precincts of Westminster Hall. This article will be read with interest
by students of jurisprudence and history, while it must always possess
peculiar attraction, as the early offering of ingenuous youth to a
stern profession ardently espoused. Perhaps nothing ever appeared in
our country, from one equally young, evincing a finer juridical spirit.

    [185] July, 1830, Vol. IV. pp. 28-63.

Mr. Stackpole has been removed from strongest family ties, from a
large cluster of friends, from enjoyments richly spread by competency
and taste, and from opportunities of usefulness which were before him
in ample fields, while his sun of life was still high and glowing in
the heavens. He has passed away as a shadow. Let us clasp and hold fast
the memory of his virtues.

                            FAME AND GLORY.

                  THEIR ANNIVERSARY, AUGUST 11, 1847.

     But if there be in Glory aught of good,
     It may by means far different be attained,
     Without ambition, war, or violence,--
     By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
     By patience, temperance.

                      MILTON, _Paradise Regained_.

     Da veniam scriptis, quorum non gloria nobis
     Causa, sed utilitas officiumque fuit.

                      OVID, _Epist. ex Ponto_, III. ix., 55, 56.

    Singulari in eo negotio usus opera Flacci Pomponii, consularis
    viri, nati ad omnia quæ recte facienda sunt, simplicique
    virtute, merentis semper quam captantis gloriam.--VELLEIUS
    PATERCULUS, _Hist._, Lib. II. Cap. 129.

    Non privatim solum, sed publice _furimus_. Homicidia compescimus,
    et singulas cædes; quid bella, et occisarum gentium _gloriosum
    scelus_?--SENECA, _Epist._ XCV. § 30.

               Tanto major famæ sitis est quam
     Virtutis! Quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam,
     Præmia si tollas?

                      JUVENAL, _Sat._ X. 140-142.

    Wealth and children are the ornament of this present life; but
    good works, which are permanent, are better, in the sight of thy
    Lord, with respect to the reward, and better with respect to
    hope.--_Koran_, tr. Sale, Ch. 18.

     For ages mingled with his parent dust,
     Fame still records Nushirovan the Just.

                From the PERSIAN, by Sir William Jones: _Life_, p. 98.

    Then Peredur returned to his mother and her company, and he said
    to her, "Mother, those were not angels, but honorable knights."
    Then his mother swooned away.--_The Mabinogion_, tr. Lady Charlotte
    Guest, Vol. I. p. 300.

    One day he met a poor woman weeping bitterly; and when he inquired
    the cause, she told him that her only brother, her sole stay and
    support in the world, had been carried into captivity by the
    Moors. Dominick could not ransom her brother; he had given away
    all his money, and even sold his books, to relieve the poor; but
    he offered all he could,--he offered up himself to be exchanged
    as a slave in place of her brother. The woman, astonished at
    such a proposal, fell upon her knees before him. She refused
    his offer, but she spread the fame of the young priest far and
    wide.--JAMESON, _Legends of the Monastic Orders: St.

    Lord! what honor falls to a knight that he kills many men! The
    hangman killeth more with a better title. It were better to be
    butchers of beasts than butchers of our brethren, for this were
    more unnatural.--WYCLIFFE, _Of the Seven Deadly Sins_.

    Gueres ou peu il s'est aydé des gens d'espée en ses ambassades,
    si-non que de ses gens de plume, ayant opinion que l'espée ne sceut
    tant bien entendre ses affaires, ny les conduire et démesler, comme
    la plume.--BRANTÔME, _Vies des Hommes Illustres et Grands
    Capitaines François_, Discours XLV.

     He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.

                      SHAKESPEARE, _Titus Andronicus_, Act I. Sc. 2.

                                Honors thrive,
     When rather from our acts we them derive
     Than our foregoers.

                          _All's Well that Ends Well_, Act II. Sc. 3.

     The purest treasure mortal times afford
     Is spotless reputation: that away,
     Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.

                              _Richard II._, Act I. Sc. 1.

    'Tis death to me to be at enmity:
     I hate it, and desire all good men's love.

                              _Richard III._, Act II. Sc. 1.

                                Never any state
     Could rise or stand without this thirst of glory,
     Of noble works, as well the mould as story.
     For else what governor would spend his days
     In envious travel for the public good?
     Who would in books search after dead men's ways?

                      F. GREVILLE, LORD BROOKE, _Fame and Honor_.

    Boccaline has this passage of soldiers. They came to Apollo to have
    their profession made the eighth liberal science, which he granted.
    As soon as it was noised up and down, it came to the butchers, and
    they desired their profession might be made the ninth. "For," say
    they, "the soldiers have this honor for the killing of men: now we
    kill as well as they; but we kill beasts for the preserving of men,
    and why should not we have honor likewise done to us?" Apollo could
    not answer their reasons, so he reversed his sentence, and made the
    soldier's trade a mystery, as the butcher's is.--SELDEN,
    _Table Talk: War_.

    The soldiers say they fight for honor, when the truth is they have
    their honor in their pocket.--_Ibid._

    Certainly, as some men have sinned in the principles of Humanity,
    and must answer for not being men, so others offend, if they be
    not more.... For great constitutions, and such as are constellated
    unto knowledge, do nothing, till they outdo all; they come short
    of themselves, if they go not beyond others.... A man should be
    something that all men are not, and individual in somewhat beside
    his proper name.

        SIR THOMAS BROWNE, _Vulgar Errors: Of Credulity and Supinity_.

     Fame, if not double-faced, is double-mouthed,
     And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
     On both his wings, one black, the other white,
     Bears greatest names in his wild aëry flight.

                          MILTON, _Samson Agonistes_, 971-974.

     The extremes of glory and of shame,
     Like East and West, become the same;
     No Indian prince has to his palace
     More followers than a thief to the gallows.

                      BUTLER, _Hudibras_, Part II. Canto I. 271-274.

     Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
     And free from Conscience, is a slave to Fame.

                          DENHAM, _Cooper's Hill_, 129, 130.

     The secret pleasure of a generous act
     Is the great mind's great bribe.

                          DRYDEN, _Don Sebastian_, Act V. Sc. 1.

On pend un pauvre malheureux pour avoir volé une pistole sur le grand
chemin, dans son besoin extrême; et on traite de héros un homme qui
fait la conquête, c'est-à-dire qui subjugue injustement les pays
d'un état voisin.... Prendre un champ à un particulier est un grand
péché; prendre un grand pays à une nation est _une action innocente et
glorieuse_.--FÉNELON, _Examen de Conscience sur les Devoirs de
la Royauté_, Direction XXV.

     Content thyself to be obscurely good;
     When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
     The post of honor is a private station.

                          ADDISON, _Cato_, Act IV. Sc. 4.

     Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favors call;
     She comes unlooked for, if she comes at all.

                          POPE, _Temple of Fame_, 513, 514.

     To glory some advance a lying claim,
     Thieves of renown and pilferers of fame.

                          YOUNG, _Sat._ III. 87, 88.

     Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb
     The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar?

                          BEATTIE, _Minstrel_, I. 1.

I would wish for immortality on earth for no other reason than for the
power of relieving the distressed.--MARIA THERESA: Coxe's
_History of the House of Austria_, Vol. II. Ch. 44.

Adieu, mon cher et illustre maître; nous avons fait un beau rêve,
mais il a été trop court. Je vais me remettre à la géométrie et à
la philosophie. Il est bien froid de ne plus travailler que pour la
gloriole, quand on s'est flatté pendant quelque temps de travailler
pour le bien public.--CONDORCET, _à Voltaire_, 1776:
_OEuvres_, Tom. I. p. 115.

    Un temps peut arriver, où les princes, lassés de l'ambition
    qui les agite, et de ce retour habituel des mêmes inquiétudes
    et des mêmes projets, tourneront davantage leurs regards vers
    les grandes idées d'Humanité; et si les hommes du temps présent
    ne doivent pas être spectateurs de ces heureuses révolutions,
    il leur est permis du moins de s'unir par leurs voeux à la
    perfection des vertus sociales, et aux progrès de la bienfaisance
    publique.--NECKER, _De l'Administration des Finances de la
    France_, Part. I. Ch. 13.

    Les nations ne doivent porter que le deuil de leurs bienfaiteurs.
    Les représentans des nations ne doivent recommander à leur hommage
    que les héros de l'humanité.--MIRABEAU, _Éloge Funèbre de

    I have had occasion to know many thousand persons in the
    course of my travels on this subject [of the Slave-Trade],
    and I can truly say that the part which these took on this
    great question was always a true criterion of their moral
    character.--CLARKSON, _History of the Abolition of the
    African Slave-Trade_, Vol. II. p. 460.

    Not thus the schoolmaster in his peaceful vocation.... His is
    a progress not to be compared with anything like a march; but
    it leads to a far more brilliant triumph, and to laurels more
    imperishable than the destroyer of his species, the scourge of the
    world, ever won. Such men--men deserving the glorious title of
    Teachers of Mankind--I have found laboring conscientiously, though
    perhaps obscurely, in their blessed vocation.... Their calling is
    high and holy; their fame is the property of nations; their renown
    will fill the earth in after ages, in proportion as it sounds not
    far off in their own times.--LORD BROUGHAM, _Speech at
    Liverpool, July 20, 1835_.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Wheeler, in his despatch (Camp Cudjah,
    August 24, 1840) to Captain Douglas, describing the storming of
    an Afghanistan fort, says: "I directed Lieutenant Paterson to
    concentrate as heavy a volley as he could close to the gate:
    this had the desired effect, shook the gate, and enabled the
    Grenadiers of the Forty-Eighth, under that officer, to force it,
    and carry the fort _in beautiful style, bayoneting all within
    it_!"--HAYDON, _Lectures on Painting and Design_, Vol. II.
    p. 262.


The literary festival which we are assembled to commemorate is called
Commencement. To an interesting portion of my hearers it is the
commencement of a new life. The ingenuous student, having completed
his term of years--a classical Olympiad--amidst the restraints of the
academy, in the daily pursuits of the lecture-room, observant of forms,
obsequious to the college curfew, at length renounces these restraints,
heeds no longer the summoning bell, throws off the youthful gown, and
now, under the auspices of Alma Mater, assumes the robe of manhood. At
such a change, the mind and heart open to impressions which may send
an influence through remaining life. A seasonable word to-day may,
peradventure, like the acorn dropped into propitious soil, shoot upward
its invigorating growth, till its stately trunk, its multitudinous
branches, and sheltering foliage become an ornament and protection of
unspeakable beauty.

Feeling more than I can express the responsibility of the position
in which I am now placed by your partial kindness, I trust that what
I shall say may be not unworthy of careful meditation, and that it
may ripen in this generous soil with no unwelcome growth. I address
the literary societies of Amherst College, and my subject will
naturally bear some relation to the occasion and to the assembly.
But though addressing literary societies, I feel that I should
inadequately perform my duty at this time, if I spoke on any topic of
mere literature, without moralizing the theme; nor could I satisfy
myself,--I think I should not satisfy you,--if I strove to excite
merely a love of knowledge, of study, of books, or even of those
classics which, like the ancient Roman roads, the Appian and Flaminian
Ways, once trod by returning proconsuls and tributary kings, still
continue the thoroughfares of nations. These things I may well leave
to the lessons of your able instructors and to the influences of this
place; nor, indeed, can I expect to touch upon any topic which, under
the mingled teachings of the pulpit and the chair, has not been already
impressed upon your minds with more force than I can command. Still,
I may not vainly indulge the hope, by singling one special theme, to
present it with distinctness and unity, so that it will be connected
hereafter, in some humble measure, with the grave and the pleasant
memories of this occasion.

To you now standing on the threshold of life, anxious for its
honors,--more anxious, I hope, for its duties,--nothing can be more
important or interesting than the inquiry, what should be your aims,
and what your motives of conduct. The youthful bosom throbbing with
historic examples is stirred by the praises lavished upon those who
have gone before, and pants for fresh fields. The laurels of Miltiades
would not suffer Themistocles to sleep. Perhaps a kindred sleeplessness
consumes the early thoughts of our day, and, in those visions which it
is said young men shall see, Fame and Glory too often absorb the sight.
Turning the attention in this direction, we may, perhaps, ascertain
the true nature of these potent attractions, and to what extent they
can be justly regarded.

       *       *       *       *       *

My subject is FAME AND GLORY. As I undertake this discussion,
I feel that I enter upon a theme which has become a commonplace of
declamation, while it has filled the aspirations of many of the noblest
natures that have lived. The great Roman orator, whose essay _De
Gloria_, surviving the wreck of antiquity, was lost in the darkness of
the Middle Ages, cannot claim exclusive possession of the topic he had
fondly made his own; nor is there enough in the chapter _De Cupiditate
Gloriæ_, by the Roman historiographer,[186] to supersede inquiry,
especially in a Christian age, when a speaker may hope to combine
lights and illustrations which had not dawned upon the Heathen.

    [186] Valerius Maximus, Lib. VIII. c. 14.

Three questions present themselves: _First_, What, in the more popular
acceptation, are Fame and Glory? _Secondly_, To what extent, if
any, are they proper motives of conduct or objects of regard? and,
_Thirdly_, What are True Fame and Glory, and who are the men most
worthy of honor? Already, in stating these questions, scenes and
characters memorable in history rise before us, while from a distance
we discern the dazzling heights of human ambition.


What, in the more popular acceptation, are Fame and Glory? In
considering this question we must look beyond the verses of poets, the
eulogies of orators, and the discordant voices whether of history or
philosophy. We must endeavor to observe these nimble-footed phantoms
from a nearer point of view, to follow their movements, to note their
principle of life, and to direct upon them the light of truth. Thus
we may hope to arrive at a clear perception of their character, and
perhaps do something by which to disenchant their pernicious power and
break their unhappy sorcery.

Fame was portrayed by the poets of antiquity as a monster, with
innumerable eyes to see, innumerable ears to hear, and innumerable
tongues to declare what she had seen and heard:--

    "Monstrum horrendum, ingens, cui quot sunt corpore plumæ,
     Tot vigiles oculi subter (mirabile dictu),
     Tot linguæ, totidem ora sonant, tot subrigit aures."[187]

    [187] Æneid, IV. 181-183.

In this character her office was different from that commonly attached
to Glory. She was the grand author and circulator of reports, news,
tidings, good or bad, true or false. Glory seems to have escaped
the unpleasing personification of her sister, Fame. These two names
were often used in the same sense; but the former more exclusively
designated that splendor of renown which was so great an object of
heathen ambition. For the present purpose they may be regarded as
synonymous, denoting, with different degrees of force, the reputation
awarded on earth for human conduct.

Glory, in common acceptance, is a form or expression of public opinion.
It is the judgment uttered by fellow-mortals upon our lives or acts.
It is the product of their voices. It is the echo of their characters
and minds. Its value and significance are, therefore, measured by the
weight justly attached to this opinion. If those from whom it proceeds
are enlightened, benevolent, and just, it may be the mark of honor. If,
on the other hand, they are ignorant, heartless, or unjust, it must be
an uncertain index, varying always in accordance with the elevation,
mediocrity, or degradation of the intellectual and moral nature.

This explanation enables us to appreciate different foundations of
Fame. In early and barbarous periods homage is rendered exclusively to
achievements of physical strength, chiefly in slaying wild beasts or
human beings termed "enemies." The feats of Hercules, filling the fable
and mythology of early Greece, were triumphs of brute force. Conqueror
of the Nemean lion and the many-headed hydra, strangler of the giant
Antæus, illustrious scavenger of the Augean stables, grand abater of
contemporary nuisances, he was hailed as hero and commemorated as god.
At a later time honor was still continued to mere muscular strength
of arm. The most polite and eminent chief at the siege of Troy is
distinguished by Homer for the ease with which he hurled a stone such
as could not be lifted even by two strong men of his day:--

    "A ponderous stone bold Hector heaved to throw,
     Pointed above, and rough and gross below;
     Not two strong men the enormous weight could raise,
     Such men as live in these degenerate days;
     Yet this, as easy as a swain could bear
     The snowy fleece, he tossed and shook in air."[188]

This was Glory in an age which had not learned to regard the moral and
intellectual nature, or that which distinguishes man from the beast, as
the only source of conduct worthy of just renown.

  [188] Iliad, tr. Pope, XII. 537-542.

As we enter the polished periods of antiquity, ambition gleams in
new forms, while we still discern the barbarism that slowly yields to
advancing light. The Olympic games echoed to the Isthmian in shouts
of praise. All Greece joined in competition for prizes awarded to
successful charioteers and athletes; and victory was hailed as a great
Glory. Poets did not disdain to sing these achievements; and the odes
of Pindar--the Theban eagle, whose pride of place is still undisturbed
in the Grecian firmament--are squandered in commemoration of these
petty or vulgar contests. In Sparta honor was the monopoly of the
soldier returning with his shield, or on it. The arts of peace yielded
servile precedence to the toils of war, in which were absorbed life
and education. Athens, instinct with the martial spirit, did not fail
to cherish the owl with the spear that belonged to her patron goddess;
poetry, eloquence, philosophy, history, art, held divided empire with
arms; so that this city is wreathed with a Glory other and higher than
that of Sparta. And yet this brilliant renown, admired through a long
succession of ages, must fade and grow dull by the side of triumphs
grander and holier than any achieved by force or intellect alone.

Rome slowly learned to recognize labors not employed in war. In her
stately and imperatorial tongue, _virtue_, that word of highest import,
was too often restricted to martial courage. Her much-prized crowns
of honor were all awarded to the successful soldier. The title to a
triumph, that highest object of ambition, was determined by the number
of enemies destroyed, and at least five thousand must have been slain
in battle without any considerable detriment to the Roman power. Her
most illustrious characters cherished this barbarous spirit. Cato the
Censor, that model Roman, hearing that the Athenian ambassadors had
captivated the youth of Rome by the charms of philosophy, abruptly
dismissed them, and, with the spirit of a Mohawk Indian, declared
his reprehension of such corrupting influence on a people whose
only profession was war. Even Cicero, in his work of beautiful, but
checkered morals, where heathenism blends with truth almost Christian,
commends to youth the Glory of war, while he congratulates his son
Marcus on the great praise he had obtained from Pompey and the whole
army, "by riding, hurling the javelin, and enduring every kind of
military labor."[189]

  [189] De Officiis, Lib. II. c. 13.

The Roman, taught the Glory of war, was also told, as a last resort,
to balk the evils of the world by taking his own life,--falling on his
sword, like Brutus, or opening his veins, like Seneca. Suicide was
honorable, glorious. A grave historian has recorded the melancholy
end of Cato at Utica, whose philosophical suicide is so familiar to
English readers from Addison's tragedy: first, the calm perusal of
Plato's Dialogue on the Immortality of the Soul; then the plunging of
the dagger into his body; the alarm of friends; the timely presence of
aid, by which the wound was closed; and when the determined patriot was
again left alone, a further ferocious persistence in his purpose till
life was extinct: yet this recital is crowned by the annunciation, that
Cato, "even by his death, gained great Glory."[190]

  [190] Dion Cassius, Lib. XLIII. c. 11.

Other stages show other elements of renown. The Huns bestowed Glory
upon the successful robber; the Scandinavians, upon the triumphant
pirate; while in Wales petty larceny and grossness of conduct were
the foundations of Fame. In the Welsh tale of "The Mabinogion," where
are stories of King Arthur, so famous in song and legend, Peredur,
whose dead father had owned "the earldom of the North," is sent by his
mother to visit where lived "the best and the boldest and the most
bountiful of men." As the son is about to leave, the mother instructs
him how to secure an honorable name. "Now hear," says the ambitious
mother to her child. "If by chance thou comest by a church, there
chant thy paternoster. When thou seest victuals and drink to satisfy
thy appetite, help thyself thereto. If thou shouldest hear a cry of
distress, go and know the cause, but in particular if it is the voice
of a female. Should any precious jewel attract thy eyes, take it;
and bestow on others also. _Thus shalt thou acquire Fame._"[191] The
processes of Fame thus rudely displayed were refined by chivalry; but
the vivid page of Froissart shows, that, while courtesy became a fresh
and grateful element, petty personal encounters with spear and sword
were the honorable feats by which applause was won and a name extended
after death. And we learn from old Michael Drayton, the poet who has
pictured the Battle of Agincourt, something of the inhuman renown there

    "Who would have Fame full dearly here it bought,
     For it was sold by measure and by weight;
     And at one rate the price still certain stood,--
    _An ounce of honor cost a pound of blood_."[192]

    [191] Southey, Chronicles of the Cid, Note 53.--In the translation
    by Lady Charlotte Guest this passage is somewhat mitigated. The
    Mabinogion, Vol. I. p. 300.

    [192] Battle of Agincourt, st. 287.

From the early literature of Spain, where Chivalry found a favorite
haunt, it appears that brutality, assassination, and murder were
glorious, while adventure in robbery and promptitude in vengeance
were favorite acts of heroism. "The Life of the Valiant Cespedes,"
a Spanish knight of renown, by Lope de Vega, reveals exploits which
were little better than performances of a brawny porter and a bully.
Passions of a rude nature were gratified at will. Sanguinary revenge
and inhuman harshness were his honorable pursuits. A furious blow of
his clenched fist, in the very palace of the Emperor at Augsburg,
knocked out the teeth of a heretic,--an achievement hailed with honor
and congratulation by the Duke of Alva, and by his master, Charles
the Fifth. Thus did a Spanish gentleman acquire Fame in the sixteenth

    [193] Sismondi's Literature of the South of Europe, Vol. IV. pp.

Such, in other places and times, have been objects of praise. Such
is the Glory achieved. Men have extolled what, according to their
knowledge or ignorance, they could best appreciate. Nor does this
rule fail in our day. The ends of pursuit vary in different parts of
the globe and among different persons; and Fame is still awarded to
conduct which reason condemns as barbarous. The North American savage
commemorates the chief who hangs at the door of his wigwam a heavy
string of scalps, the spoils of war. The New-Zealander honors the
champion who slays and then eats his enemy. The cannibal of the Feejee
Islands, only recently explored by an expedition from our shores, is
praised for his adroitness in lying,--for the dozen men he has killed
with his own hand,--for triumphant capture, in battle, of a piece of
tapa-cloth attached to a staff, not unlike one of our flags; and when
dead, his club is placed in his hand, and extended across the breast,
to indicate in the next world that the deceased was a chief and a
warrior.[194] This is barbarous Glory! But among nations professing
Christianity, in our day, there is a powerful public opinion exulting
in conduct from which we turn with disgust, as we discern it among the
savages of our forest, or the cannibals of the Pacific. The triumphs
of animal strength and of brutal violence are hailed as famous. With
perverse insensibility to the relative value of human acts, the chances
and incidents of war are exalted above the pursuits of peace. Victors
from fields moistened with a brother's blood are greeted with grateful
salutations, justly due to those only who have triumphantly fulfilled
the grand commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets.

    [194] Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, Vol.
    III. pp. 76, 80, 98.

Such is controlling public opinion in our age and country. A people
that regards success rather than those objects for which alone success
is worthy of desire,--that has not yet discerned the beauty of humble
and disinterested labor in the great causes by which mankind is
advanced,--that has not yet admired the golden link of harmony by
which all efforts of usefulness are bound together,--that has not yet
recognized the peculiar Christian sentiment of Human Brotherhood,
without difference of country, color, or race,--that does not feel, in
the concerns of state, as of private life, the enkindling supremacy of
those principles of Justice and Benevolence which send their heavenly
radiance into the home of poverty, the darkness of ignorance, and the
solitude of the prison, which exhibit the degradation of the slave
and the wickedness of war, while they exalt scholarship, invigorate
eloquence, extend science and all human knowledge,--such a people,
not unnaturally, applauds conduct less in harmony with truth, virtue,
goodness, than with its own imperfect spirit. And this is what is
called Reputation, Fame, Glory,--fickle as a breeze, unsubstantial as a
shadow. Well does the master poet of Italy say,--

    "Nought is this mundane Glory but a breath
     Of wind, that comes now this way and now that,
     And changes name because it changes side."[195]

    [195] Dante, Divina Commedia: _Purgatorio_, Canto XI. 100-102.


In determining that Glory is but a form or expression of public
opinion, valuable only according to those from whom it proceeds, the
way is prepared for the second question,--To what extent, if any, is it
a proper motive of conduct or object of regard?

If we were ready to follow implicitly those simple precepts of
Christianity which ordain exalted duties as the rule of life, this
inquiry might be answered shortly. It is well to pursue it in other

Glory occupied the philosophers of antiquity, who disputed much on its
value. Chrysippus and Diogenes held it in unbounded contempt, declaring
that it was not worth extending a finger for.[196] Epicurus, under the
natural guidance of principles enjoining repose and indifference to
public affairs, inculcated a similar contempt. His views were expressed
sententiously in the precept of his school, _Conceal thy life_; and
he did not hesitate to warn against regulating conduct by the opinion
of others or the reputation of the world. Montaigne has pleasantly
remarked, that even this philosopher, when death was at hand, relaxed
from the insensibility he had enjoined,--dwelling upon the memory of
his teachings, and by his will ordering his heirs to provide, in every
recurring January, a festival to honor the day of his birth.[197]

    [196] Cicero, De Finibus, Lib. III. c. 17.

    [197] Essays, Book II. ch. 16: _Of Glory_. The will is preserved in
    the Life of Epicurus by Diogenes Laertius, Lib. X. c. 10. See also
    Cicero, De Finibus, Lib. II. c. 30, 31.

On the other hand, Carneades maintained that Glory is to be sought for
its own sake,--an opinion which has not failed to find much sympathy
and many followers.[198] Aristotle regarded it as the greatest and most
invaluable of external goods, and warned against two extremes, both, in
his opinion, equally vicious,--excess in seeking and in avoiding.[199]
But it is to the Roman orator that we are to look for the most vivid
defence of this, the master passion of his youth, manhood, and age.

    [198] Cicero, De Finibus, Lib. III. c. 17.

    [199] Ethics, Lib. II. c. 7; Lib. IV. c. 3, 4.

The influence exerted by Cicero over the opinions of mankind renders
this feature of his character important. Of a less solid understanding
than Demosthenes and Aristotle,--the former of whom, in his most
masterly oration, vindicated for himself a crown, the badge of Glory,
while the latter, as we have already seen, was not insensible to its
attractions,--he is more conspicuous than either for the earnestness
and constancy with which he displays its influence, the frankness
with which he recognizes it as a supreme motive and reward, and the
seductive eloquence with which he commends it as an object of vehement
and perpetual ambition. On his return from those studies in Athens
by which his skill as an orator was so much enhanced, he consulted
the Oracle at Delphi, not to learn how best his great powers and
accomplishments might be devoted to the good of mankind, but by what
means he might soonest arrive at the height of Glory. The answer of
the Oracle, though imperfect and heathen, was in a higher mood than
the inquiry. It was, "By making his own genius, and not the opinion
of others, the guide of life." Arrived in Rome, he was fired by the
fame of Hortensius at the bar, and commenced his forensic career in
emulous rivalry of that illustrious lawyer. In all the manifold labors
of subsequent life, as orator, statesman, general, rhetorician, poet,
historian, critic, and philosopher, the aspiration for renown was the
_Labarum_ by which he was guided and inspired. It was to him the cloud
by day and the pillar of fire by night.

In Cicero this sentiment was ennobled, so far as possible with a desire
so selfish, by the eminent standard which he established for the Glory
so much coveted. In one of his orations he characterizes it as "the
illustrious and extended Fame of many and great deserts, either towards
friends, or towards country, or towards the whole race of men."[200]
And again, in the calmness of those philosophical speculations by which
his name is exalted, not less than by the eloquence which crushed
Catiline, won the clemency of Cæsar, and blasted the character of
Antony, he declares that "Glory is the united praise of the good, the
incorrupt voice of the true judges of eminent virtue, responding to
virtue as an echo, and, being for the most part an attendant on good
deeds, ought not to be disdained by good men."[201] This is the picture
of True Glory; nor were there any occasion of criticism, if he had
striven to do the good works to which Fame responds as an echo, without
regard to his own advancement.

    [200] Pro Marcello, 8.

    [201] Tusc. Quæst., Lib. III. c. 2.

However elevated his conception of Glory, he sought it for its own
sake. He wooed it with the ardor of a lover, and embraced it as the
bride of his bosom. In that unsurpassed effort for his early teacher,
the poet Archias, where the union of literary and professional studies
is vindicated with a beauty equal to the cause, he makes public
profession of his constant desire for Fame. In quoting his words
on that occasion, I present a vindication of this sentiment which
has exerted immeasurable influence over the educated world, and is,
beyond question, the most eloquent and engaging that ever fell from
mortal lips. "Nor is this," says he, "to be dissembled which cannot
be concealed, but it is to be openly avowed: we are all influenced
by the love of praise, and the best are chiefly moved by Glory. The
philosophers themselves inscribe their names even in those little books
which they write on contempt of Glory; in the very productions in
which they express disdain of Praise and Fame they wish to gain Praise
and Fame for themselves.... And now, O judges, I will declare myself
to you, and confess to you my love of Glory, too strong, perhaps,
but nevertheless honorable.... For virtue desires no other reward of
its toils and dangers than Praise and Glory: this being withdrawn,
what is there in our poor brief career of life that can induce us to
undertake such great labors? Surely, if the soul did not look forward
to posterity, if all its thoughts were confined within the bounds by
which the span of life is circumscribed, it would neither waste its
strength in labors so arduous, nor vex itself with so many cares and
watchings, nor would it fight so often for life itself. But now there
is in every good man a certain virtue, stirring the soul night and day
with the incentive of Glory, and admonishing us that the remembrance of
our name must not be suffered to pass away with our life, but should be
made to endure through all futurity."[202] This certainly is frank. And
in another oration Cicero sharply declares that no man exerts himself
with praise and virtue in the perils of the republic who is not moved
thereto by the hope of Glory and a regard to posterity.[203]

    [202] Pro Archia, 11.

    [203] Pro C. Rabirio, 10.

Thus distinctly recognizing human applause as an all-sufficient motive
of conduct, and professing his own dependence upon it, we cannot be
surprised at his sedulous efforts to fortify his Fame, nor even at
the iterations of self-praise with which his productions abound. In
that interesting collection of letters, so much of which is happily
spared to us, disclosing the aims and aspirations of his life, there
is melancholy evidence of the pernicious sway of this passion, even
in his noble bosom. With an immodest freedom, which he vindicates to
himself by the remarkable expression, that _an epistle does not blush_,
he invites his friend Lucceius to undertake the history of that portion
of his life rendered memorable by the overthrow of the Catilinarian
conspiracy, his exile, and return to his country; and, not content with
dwelling on the variety and startling nature of the incidents, with
the scope they would naturally afford to the accomplished historian,
whose Glory, he subtly suggests, may in this way be connected forever
with his own, as is that of Apelles with the Glory of Alexander, he
proceeds so far as to press his friend, if he does not think the facts
worth the pains of adorning, yet to allow so much to friendship, to
affection, and to that favor which he had so persuasively condemned
in his prefaces, as not to confine himself scrupulously to the strict
laws of history or the requirements of truth.[204] Thus, in the madness
of his passion for Glory, would he suborn that sacred verity which is
higher than friendship, affection, or any earthly favor!

    [204] Epistolæ ad Diversos, Lib. V. 12.--The letter to Lucceius
    seems to have been a favorite, as it is a most remarkable,
    production of its author. Writing to Atticus, he says, "_Valde
    bella est_," and seeks to interest him in the same behalf. (Ad
    Atticum, Lib. IV. 6.) Pliny, who looked to the pen of Tacitus
    for Fame, but in a higher spirit than Cicero, expressly declares
    that he does not desire him to give the least offence to truth.
    "Quanquam non exigo ut excedas actæ rei modum. Nam nec historia
    debet egredi veritatem, et honeste factis veritas sufficit."--Plin.
    Epistolæ, Lib. VII. 33.

A character like Cicero, compact of so many virtues, resplendent with
a genius so lofty, standing on one of the most commanding pinnacles
of classical antiquity, still admired by the wide world, hardly less
than by the living multitudes that once chafed about the rostrum
like a raging sea and were stilled by the music of his voice,--such
a character cannot fail to exert a too magical charm over the young,
especially where its lessons harmonize with the weakness rather than
with the sternness of our nature,--with the instinctive promptings
of selfishness, rather than with that disinterestedness which places
duty, without hope of reward, without fear or favor, above all human
consideration. It is most true that he has kindled in many bosoms
something of his own inextinguishable ardors; and the American
youth--child of a continent beyond the Atlantis of his imagination,
and lifted by institutions he had never seen, even in his vision of a
Republic--feels a glow of selfish ambition, as, in tasks of the school,
he daily cons the writings of this great master.

His influence is easily discerned in the sentiments of those whose
scholarly nurture has brought them within the fascination of his
genius. I refer, by way of example, to Sir William Jones, a character
of much purity, and of constant sympathy with freedom and humanity,
not less than with various labors of learning and literature. In one
of his early letters he said that he wished "absolutely to make Cicero
his model";[205] while in another he shows himself a true disciple, by
loyalty to the same motive of conduct which animated the Roman. "Do not
imagine," says Jones, "that I despise the usual enjoyments of youth.
No one can take more delight in singing and dancing than I do, nor in
the moderate use of wine, nor in the exquisite beauty of the ladies,
of whom London affords an enchanting variety; _but I prefer Glory, my
supreme delight, to all other gratifications, and I will pursue it
through fire and water, by day and by night_."[206] Here is frankness
kindred to that of his Roman exemplar.

    [205] Letter to H.A. Schultens, October, 1774: Life, by Lord
    Teignmouth, p. 126.

    [206] Letter to C. Reviczki, March, 1771: Ibid., p. 96.

It will be proper to pause, in this review of opinion, and endeavor,
by careful analysis, to comprehend the just office of this sentiment,
which is elevated to be the guide of conduct and aim of life.

Unquestionably, as we are constituted, Glory does exert an imperious
control. Its influence is widely and variously felt, though seeming
to diminish with advancing years, with the growth of the moral and
intellectual nature, with the development of the Christian character,
and in proportion as the great realities of existence here and
hereafter engross the soul. The child is sensitive to it in earliest
dalliance on a parent's knee. Here is an element of that unamiable
selfishness which pervades his crude nature, rendering him jealous and
envious of caress and praise bestowed upon another. His little bosom
palpitates with unrestrained ardors, which in children of a larger
growth animate conquerors, and those whom the world calls "great." As
he mingles with playmates, the same passion enters into his sports,
and attends the exercises of the school. He is covetous of evanescent
applause among his peers. He struggles for this fragile Glory,--a
bubble blown by the breath of boys.

In maturer years a similar solicitude continues, modified by period and
circumstance. The youth putting away childish things rarely forgets
the sentiment of emulation; while not insensible to the desire of
_excellence_, he is animated by the desire of _excelling_. I do not
mention this for any austere criticism, but as a psychological fact.
And when preparation gives place to action, then this same sentiment,
which absorbed the child and animated the youth, reappears in the
confirmed ambition of manhood. Now, under loftier name, and with mien
of majesty, it beckons to competition with the masters of human thought
and conduct, filling his bosom with a pleasing frenzy. He is aroused by

         "the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
    (_That last infirmity of noble mind_)
     To scorn delights and live laborious days."[207]

    [207] Milton, Lycidas, 70-72.

He burns to impress his name upon the age, and to challenge the
gratitude of posterity. For this he enters the lists with voice,
pen, or, it may be, the sword. Like Themistocles, he is sleepless
from the laurels of those who have gone before; like Alexander, he
sighs for some new world to conquer; like Cæsar, he pours fruitless
tears, because, at the age of the dying Alexander, he has done nothing
memorable; like Cicero, he dwells upon the applause of men, and draws
from it fresh inspiration to labor; and even if he writes against
Glory, it is, according to Pascal, for the Glory of writing well. This
is the _Love of Glory_, a sentiment which lurks in every stage and
sphere of life,--with the young, the middle-aged, and the old,--with
the lowly, the moderate, and the great,--under as many _aliases_ as
a culprit,--but, in all its different forms and guises, having one
simple animating essence, the passion for the approbation of our
fellow-men.[208] By a touch of exquisite nature, Dante reveals the
suffering spirits, in the penal gloom and terror of another world,
clothed in the weakness of mortal passion, and, unconscious of the true
glories of Paradise, still tormented by the desire to be spoken of on
earth.[209] And Pascal echoes Dante, when, with that point which is so
much his own, he says that "we lose life itself with joy, provided men
speak of the loss."[210]

    [208] "Nulla est ergo tanta humilitas, quæ dulcedine gloriæ non
    tangatur."--Val. Max., Lib. VIII. c. 14, § 5.


    "Però se campi d 'esti luoghi bui,
        E torni a riveder le belle stelle,
     Quando ti gioverà dicere: l'fui,
       _Fa che di noi alla gente favelle_."

                          _Inferno_, Canto XVI. 82-85.

    [210] Pensées, Part. I. Art. V. sec. 2: _Vanité de l'Homme_.

This desire lies deep in the human heart. It is a sentiment implanted
at birth. It is kindred to other sentiments and appetites, whose office
is to provide for our protection. It is like the love of wealth or
the love of power, desires which all feel in a certain degree to be
part of their being. Recognizing it, then, as an endowment from the
hand of God, we may hesitate to condemn its influence at all times and
under all circumstances. Implanted for some good, it is our duty to
comprehend its true function. This is not difficult.

The Love of Glory, then, is a motive of human conduct. But the same
Heavenly Father who endowed us with the love of approbation has
placed in us other sentiments of a higher order, more kindred to his
own divine nature. These are Justice and Benevolence, both of which,
however imperfectly developed or ill directed, are elements of every
human soul. The desire of Justice, filling us with the love of Duty,
is the sentiment which fits us to receive and comprehend the sublime
injunction of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
In the predominance of this sentiment, enlightened by intelligence,
injustice becomes impossible. The desire of Benevolence goes further.
It leads all who are under its influence to those acts of kindness,
disinterestedness, humanity, love to neighbor, which constitute the
crown of the Christian character. Such sentiments are celestial,
godlike, in their office.

In determining proper motives of conduct, it is easy to perceive that
the higher are more commendable than the lower, and that even an act
of Justice and Benevolence loses something of its charm when known to
be inspired by the selfish desire of human applause. It was the gay
poet of antiquity who said that concealed virtue differed little from
sepulchred sluggishness:--

    "Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ
     Celata virtus."[211]

    [211] Hor., Carm. IV. ix. 29, 30.

But this is a heathen sentiment, alien to reason and to truth. It is
hoped that men will be honest, but from a higher motive than because
honesty is the best policy. It is hoped that they will be humane, but
for nobler cause than the Fame of humanity.

The love of approbation may properly animate the young, whose minds
have not yet ascended to the appreciation of that virtue which is its
own exceeding great reward.[212] It may justly strengthen those of
maturer age who are not moved by the simple appeals of duty, unless the
smiles of mankind attend them. It were churlish not to offer homage
to those acts by which happiness is promoted, even though inspired by
a sentiment of personal ambition, or by considerations of policy. But
such motives must always detract from the perfect beauty even of good
works. The Man of Ross, who was said to

    "Do good by stealth, and blush to find it Fame,"

was a character of real life, and the example of his virtue may still
be prized, like the diamond, for its surpassing rarity. It cannot be
disguised, however, that much is gained where the desire of praise acts
in conjunction with the higher sentiments. If ambition be our lure, it
will be well for mankind, if it unite with Justice and Benevolence.

    [212] "Virtutum omnium pretium in ipsis est. Non enim exercentur ad
    præmium; recte facti fecisse merces est."--Seneca, Epist. LXXXI. 17.

It may be demanded if we should be indifferent to the approbation of
men. Certainly not. It is a proper source of gratification, and is one
of the just rewards on earth. It may be enjoyed when virtuously won,
though it were better, if not proposed as the object of desire. The
great English magistrate, Lord Mansfield, while confessing a wish for
popularity, added, in words which cannot be too often quoted, "But
it is that popularity which follows, not that which is run after; it
is that popularity which, sooner or later, never fails to do justice
to the pursuit of noble ends by noble means."[213] And the historian
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, who was no stranger to
the Love of Glory, has given expression to the satisfaction which he
derived from the approbation of those whose opinions were valuable. "If
I listened to the music of praise," says Gibbon, in his Autobiography,
"I was more seriously satisfied with the approbation of my judges.
The candor of Dr. Robertson embraced his disciple. A letter from Mr.
Hume overpaid the labor of ten years."[214] It would be difficult to
declare the self-gratulation of the successful author in language more
sententious or expressive.

    [213] Rex _v._ Wilkes, 4 Burrow's Reports, 2562.

    [214] Memoirs: Miscellaneous Works, p. 94.

While recognising praise as an incidental reward, though not a
commendable motive, we cannot disregard the evil which ensues when the
desire for it predominates over the character, and fills the soul,
as is too often the case, with a blind emulation chiefly solicitous
for personal success. The world, which should be a happy scene of
constant exertion and harmonious coöperation, becomes a field of
rivalry, competition, and hostile struggle. It is true that God has not
given to all the same excellences of mind and heart; but he naturally
requires more of the strong than of the many less blessed. The little
we can do will not be cast vainly into his treasury; nor need the weak
and humble be filled with any idle emulation of others. Let each act
earnestly, according to the measure of his powers,--rejoicing always
in the prosperity of his neighbor; and though we may seem to accomplish
little, yet we shall do much, if we be true to the convictions of the
soul, and give the example of unselfish devotion to duty. This of
itself is success; and this is within the ambition of all. Life is no
Ulyssean bow, to be bent only by a single strong arm. There is none so
weak as not to use it.

In the growth of the individual the intellect advances before the
moral powers; for it is necessary to know what is right before we
can practise it; and this same order of progress is observed in the
Human Family. Moral excellence is the bright, consummate flower of all
progress. It is often the peculiar product of age. And it is then,
among other triumphs of virtue, that Duty assumes her commanding place,
while personal ambition is abased. Burke, in that marvellous passage
of elegiac beauty where he mourns his only son, says, "Indeed, my
Lord, I greatly deceive myself, if, in this hard season, I would give
a peck of refuse wheat for all that is called Fame and Honor in the
world."[215] And Channing, with a sentiment most unlike the ancient
Roman orator, declares that he sees "nothing worth living for but the
divine virtue which endures and surrenders all things for truth, duty,
and mankind."[216]

    [215] Letter to a Noble Lord: Works, Vol. VII. p. 417.

    [216] Letter to James G. Birney: Works, Vol. II. p. 175.

Such an insensibility to worldly objects, and such an elevation of
spirit, may not be expected at once from all men,--certainly not
without something of the trials of Burke or the soul of Channing.
But it is within the power of all to strive after that virtue which
it may be difficult to reach; and just in proportion as duty becomes
the guide and aim of life shall we learn to close the soul against
the allurements of praise and the asperities of censure, while we
find satisfactions and compensations such as man cannot give or take
away. The world, with ignorant or intolerant judgment, may condemn;
the countenance of companion may be averted; the heart of friend may
grow cold; but the consciousness of duty done will be sweeter than the
applause of the world, than the countenance of companion, or the heart
of friend.


From this survey of Glory, according to common acceptance, and of its
influence as a motive of conduct, I advance to the third and concluding
head,--What are True Fame and Glory, and who are the men most worthy
of honor? The answer is already implied, if not expressed, in much of
the discussion through which we have passed; but it may not be without
advantage to dwell upon it more at length.

From the vicious and barbarous elements entering into past conceptions
of Glory, it is evident that there must be a surer and higher standard.
A degraded public opinion naturally fails to appreciate excellence
not in harmony with its own prejudices, while it lavishes regard upon
conduct we would gladly forget. Genius, too, in all ages, (such is the
melancholy story of Humanity,) has stooped to be sycophant, apologist,
or friend of characters never to be mentioned without disgust.
Historian, poet, and philosopher, false to every sacred office, have
pandered to the praise of those who should have been gibbeted to
the condemnation of mankind. Lucan, the youthful poet of Freedom,
offers in his "Pharsalia" the incense of adulation to the monster
Nero; Quintilian, the instructor, pauses in his grave "Institutes of
Oratory" to speak of the tyrant Domitian as _most holy_; Paterculus,
the historian, extols Tiberius and Sejanus; Seneca, the philosopher,
condescends, in his treatise on Consolation, to flatter the imbecile
Claudius; while, not to multiply instances in modern times, Corneille,
the grandest poet of France, prefaced one of his tragedies with a
tribute to the crafty tyrant Mazarin; and our own English Dryden lent
his glowing verse to welcome and commemorate a heartless, unprincipled
monarch and a servile court.

Others, while refraining from eulogy, unconsciously surrender to
sentiments and influences, the _public opinion_, of the age in which
they Live,--investing barbarous characters and scenes, the struggles
of selfishness and ambition, and even the movements of conquering
robbers, with colors too apt to fascinate or mislead. Not content with
that candor which should guide our judgment alike of the living and the
dead, they yield sympathy even to injustice and wrong, when commended
by genius or elevated by success, and especially if coupled with the
egotism of a vicious patriotism. Not feeling practically the vital
truth of Human Brotherhood, and the correlative duties it involves,
they are insensible to the true character and the shame of transactions
by which it is degraded or assailed, and in their estimate depart from
that standard of Absolute Right which must be the only measure of true
and permanent Fame.

Whatever may be temporary applause, or the expression of public
opinion, it may be asserted without fear of contradiction, _that no
true and permanent Fame can be_ _founded except in labors which
promote the happiness of mankind_. If these are by Christian means,
with disinterested motives, and with the single view of doing good,
they become that rare and precious virtue whose fit image is the
spotless lily of the field, brighter than Solomon in all his Glory.
Earth has nothing of such surpassing loveliness. Heaven may claim the
lustre as its own. Such labors are the natural fruit of obedience to
the great commandments. Reason, too, in harmony with these laws, shows
that the true dignity of Humanity is in the moral and intellectual
nature, and that the labors of Justice and Benevolence, directed by
intelligence and abasing that part which is in common with beasts, are
the highest forms of human conduct.

In determining the praise of actions, four elements may be regarded:
_first_, the difficulties overcome; _secondly_, the means employed;
_thirdly_, the motives; and, _fourthly_, the extent of good
accomplished. If the difficulties are petty, or the means employed
low, vulgar, barbarous, there can be little worthy of highest regard,
although the motives are pure and the results beneficent. If the
motives are selfish, if a desire of power or wealth or Fame intrude
into the actions, they lose that other title to regard springing from
beauty and elevation of purpose, even if the conduct be mistaken or
weak, and the results pernicious. Horne Tooke claimed for himself no
mean epitaph, when he asked for himself after death the praise of
good intentions. Still further,--if little or no good arises, and the
actions fail to be ennobled by high and generous motives, while the
means employed are barbarous and unchristian, and the difficulties
overcome are trivial, then surely there is little occasion for
applause, although worldly success or the bloody eagle of victorious
battle attend them.

Here we encounter the question, What measure of praise shall be
accorded to war, or to the profession of arms? Thus far, great generals
and conquerors have attracted the largest share of admiration. They
swell the page of history. For them is inspiring music, the minute-gun,
the flag at half-mast, the trophy, the monument. Fame is a plant whose
most luxuriant shoots have grown on fields of blood. Are these vigorous
and perennial, or are they destined to perish and fall to earth beneath
the rays of the still ascending sun?

There are not a few who will join with Milton in his admirable judgment
of martial renown:--

    "They err who count it glorious to subdue
     By conquest far and wide, to overrun
     Large countries, and in field great battles win,
     Great cities by assault. What do these worthies
     But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave
     Peaceable nations, neighboring or remote,
     Made captive, yet deserving freedom more
     Than those, their conquerors, who leave behind
     Nothing but ruin, wheresoe'er they rove,
     And all the flourishing works of peace destroy?"[217]

    [217] Paradise Regained, Book III. 71-80.

This interesting testimony finds echo in another of England's
remarkable characters, Edmund Waller,--himself poet, orator, statesman,
man of the world,--who has left on record his judgment of True Glory,
in a valedictory poem, written at the age of eighty, when the passions
of this world no longer obscured the clear perception of duty. At an
earlier period of life he had sung of war. Mark the change in this
swan-like note, which might disenchant even the eloquence of Cicero,
covetous of Fame:--

    "Earth praises conquerors for shedding blood;
     Heaven, those that love their foes and do 'em good.
     It is terrestrial honor to be crowned
     For strewing men, like rushes, on the ground:
     True Glory 'tis to rise above them all,
     Without the advantage taken by their fall.
     He that in fight diminishes mankind
     Does no addition to his stature find;
     But he that does a noble nature show,
     Obliging others, still does higher grow:
     For virtue practised such an habit gives
     That among men he like an angel lives;
     Humbly he doth, and without envy, dwell,
     Loved and admired by those he does excel.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Wrestling with Death, these lines I did indite;
     No other theme could give my soul delight.
     O that my youth had thus employed my pen,
     Or that I now could write as well as then!"[218]

    [218] Of the Fear of God, Canto 2.

Well does the poet give the palm to moral excellence! But it is from
the lips of a successful soldier, cradled in war, the very pink
of warlike heroism, that we are taught to appreciate the Fame of
literature, which, though less elevated than that from disinterested
beneficence, is truer and more permanent than any bloody Glory. I
allude to Wolfe, conqueror of Quebec, who has attracted a larger
share of romantic interest than any other of the gallant generals in
English history. We behold him, yet young in years, at the head of
an adventurous expedition, destined to prostrate the French empire
in Canada,--guiding and encouraging the firmness of his troops in
unaccustomed difficulties,--awakening their personal attachment by
his kindly suavity, and their ardor by his own example,--climbing
the precipitous steeps which conduct to the heights of the strongest
fortress on the American continent,--there, under its walls, joining
in deadly conflict,--wounded,--stretched upon the field,--faint
from loss of blood,--with sight already dimmed,--his life ebbing
rapidly,--cheered at last by the sudden cry, that the enemy is
fleeing in all directions,--and then his dying breath mingling with
the shouts of victory. An eminent artist has portrayed this scene of
death in a much admired picture. History and Poetry have dwelt upon
it with peculiar fondness. Such is the Glory of arms! Happily there
is preserved to us a tradition of this day which affords the gleam
of a truer Glory. As the commander, in his boat, floated down the
current of the St. Lawrence, under cover of night, in the enforced
silence of a military expedition, to effect a landing at an opportune
promontory, he was heard repeating to himself, in subdued voice, that
poem of exquisite charm,--then only recently given to mankind, now
familiar as a household word wherever the mother tongue of Gray is
spoken,--the "Elegy in a Country Churchyard." Strange and unaccustomed
prelude to the discord of battle! As the ambitious warrior finished the
recitation, he said to his companions, in low, but earnest tone, that
he "would rather be the author of that poem than take Quebec."[219]
He was right. The Glory of that victory is already dying out, like a
candle in the socket. The True Glory of the poem still shines with
star-bright, immortal beauty.

    [219] Grahame, History of the United States, Vol. IV. pp. 51, 52.

Passing from these testimonies, I would observe for a moment the nature
of Military Glory. Its most conspicuous element is courage, placed by
ancient philosophers among the four cardinal virtues: Aristotle seems
to advance it foremost. But plainly, of itself, it is neither virtue
nor vice. It is a quality in man possessed in common with a large
number of animals. It becomes virtue, when exercised in obedience to
the higher sentiments, with Justice and Benevolence as its objects. It
is of humbler character, if these objects are promoted by Force, or
by _the beast in man_. It is unquestionably vice, when, divorced from
Justice and Benevolence, it lends itself to the passion for wealth,
power, or Glory.

It is easy to determine that courage, though of the lion or tiger, when
employed in an unrighteous cause, cannot be the foundation of true and
permanent Fame. Mardonius and his Persian hosts in Greece, Cæsar and
his Roman legions in Britain, Cortés and his conquering companions
in Mexico, Pizarro and his band of robbers in Peru, the Scandinavian
Vikings in their adventurous expeditions of piracy, are all condemned
without hesitation. Nor can applause attend hireling Swiss, or Italian
chieftains of the Middle Ages, or bought Hessians of the British
armies, who sold their spears and bayonets to the highest bidder. And
it is difficult to see how those, in our own day, following _the trade
of arms_, careless of the cause in which it is employed, can hope for
better sympathy. An early English poet, of mingled gayety and truth,
Sir John Suckling, himself a professor of war, makes the soldier
confess the recklessness of his life:--

    "I am a man of war and might,
     And know thus much, that I can fight,
     Whether I am i' th' wrong or right,

    [220] A Soldier: Works, Vol. I. p. 82.

In such a spirit no True Glory can be achieved. And is not this
plainly the spirit of the soldier, regarded as a "machine" only,
and acting in unquestioning obedience to orders? No command of
Government, or any human power, can sanctify wrong; nor can rules of
military subordination, or prejudices of an unchristian patriotism,
dignify conduct in violation of heaven-born sentiments. The inspiring
inscription at Thermopylæ said, "O stranger, tell the Lacedæmonians
that we lie here _in obedience to their commands_";[221] but the three
hundred Lacedæmonians who there laid down their lives were stemming, in
those narrow straits, the mighty tide of Xerxes, as it rolled in upon

    [221] Simonides, apud Herod. Hist., Lib. VIII. c. 229.

To all defenders of freedom or country the heart goes forth with
cordial, spontaneous sympathy. May God defend the right! Their cause,
whether in victory or defeat, is invested with the interest which from
the time of Abel has attached to all who suffer from the violence of a
brother-man. But their unhappy strife belongs to the DISHONORABLE
BARBARISM of the age,--like the cannibalism of an earlier period,
or the slavery of our own day.

Not questioning the right of self-defence, or undertaking to consider
the sanctions of the _Institution_ of War as an established Arbiter
of Justice between nations, or its necessity in our age, all may join
in regarding it as an _unchristian institution_, and a _melancholy
necessity_, offensive in the sight of God, and hostile to the best
interests of men. A field of battle is a scene of execution _according
to the laws of war_,--without trial or judgment, but with a thousand
Jack Ketches in the odious work.[222] And yet the acts of hardihood
and skill here displayed are entitled "brilliant"; the movements
of the executioners in gay apparel are praised as "brilliant"; the
destruction of life is "brilliant"; the results of the _auto da fé_
are "brilliant"; the day of this mournful tragedy is enrolled as
"brilliant"; and Christians are summoned to commemorate with _honor_ a
scene which should rather pass from the recollection of men.

    [222] A brilliant writer, who never fails to exalt war, recognizes
    the parallel between the soldier and the executioner; but he
    finds the soldier so noble as to ennoble even the work of the
    executioner, when called to perform it.--Joseph de Maistre, Les
    Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg, Tom. II. pp. 4-13.

The example even of martial Rome may here teach us one great lesson.
Recognizing the fellowship of a common country, conflicts between
citizens were condemned as _fratricidal_. _Civil_ war was branded as
_guilt_ and _crime_. The array of opposing forces, drawn from the bosom
of the same community, knit together by the same political ties, was
pronounced _impious_, even where they appeared under such cherished
names as Pompey and Cæsar:--

    "_Impia_ concurrunt Pompeii et Cæsaris arma."[223]

As the natural consequence, victories in these fraternal feuds were
held to be not only unworthy of praise, but never to be mentioned
without blame. Even if countenanced by _justice_ or dire _necessity_,
they were none the less mournful. _No success over brethren of the
same country could be the foundation of honor._ And so firmly was
this principle embodied in the very customs and institutions of
Rome, that no _thanksgiving_ or religious ceremony was allowed by
the Senate in commemoration of such success; nor was the _triumph_
permitted to the conquering chief whose hands were red with the blood
of fellow-citizens. Cæsar forbore even to send a herald of his unhappy
victories, and looked upon them with _shame_.[224]

    [223] Lucan, Pharsalia, Lib. VII. 196.

    [224] See Illustrations at the end of this Oration.

As we recognize the commanding truth, that God "hath made of one
blood all nations of men," and that all his children are brethren,
the distinctions of country disappear, ALL WAR BECOMES
FRATRICIDAL, and victory is achieved only by shedding a brother's
blood. The soul shrinks from contemplation of the scene, and, while
refusing to judge the act, confesses its unaffected sadness.

    "The pomp is darkened, and the day o'ercast."

It was natural that ancient Heathen, strangers to the sentiment of
Human Brotherhood, should limit their regard to the narrow circle
of country,--as if there were magical lines within which strife and
bloodshed are shame and crime, while beyond this pale they are great
Glory. Preparing for battle, the Spartans sacrificed to the Muses,
anxious for the countenance of these divinities, to the end that their
deeds might be fitly described, and deeming it a heavenly favor that
witnesses should behold them. Not so the Christian. He would rather
pray that the recording angel would blot with tears all recollection of
the fraternal strife in which he was sorrowfully engaged.

This conclusion, however repugnant to the _sentiment_ of Heathenism or
the _practice_ of Christian nations, stands on the Brotherhood of Man.
Because this truth is imperfectly recognized, the Heathen distinction
between _civil_ war and _foreign_ war is yet maintained. To the
Christian, every fellow-man, whether remote or near, whether of our own
country or of another, is "neighbor" and "brother"; nor can any battle,
whether between villages or towns or states or countries, be deemed
other than _shame_,--like the civil wars of Rome, which the poet aptly
said could bear no _triumphs_:--

    "Bella geri placuit _nullos habitura triumphos_."[225]

    [225] Lucan, Pharsalia, Lib. I. 12.

The same mortification and regret with which we regard the hateful
contest between brothers of one household, kinsmen of one ancestry,
citizens of one country, must attend every scene of strife; for are we
not _all_, in a just and Christian sense, brethren of one household,
kinsmen of one ancestry, citizens of one country,--the world? The
inference is irresistible, that no success in arms against fellow-men,
no triumph over brothers, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone,
no destruction of the life which God has given to his children, no
assault upon his sacred image in the upright form and countenance of
man, no effusion of human blood, _under whatever apology of necessity
vindicated_, can be the foundation of Christian Fame.

Adverse to the prejudices of mankind as such conclusion may be, it
must find sympathy in the refined soul and the inner heart of man,
while it is in harmony with those utterances, in all ages, testifying
to the virtue whose true parent is Peace. The loving admiration,
so spontaneously offered to the Christian graces which adorned the
Scipios, hesitates at those scenes of blood which gave to them the
unwelcome eminence of "the two thunderbolts of war." The homage
freely accorded to forbearance, generosity, or forgiveness, when seen
in the spectral glare of battle, is a tacit rebuke to the hostile
passions whose triumphant rage constitutes the Glory of arms. The
wail of widows and orphans, and the sorrows of innumerable mourners
refusing to be comforted, often check the gratulations of success.
Stern warriors, too, in the paroxysm of victory, by unwilling tears
vindicate humanity and condemn their own triumphs. More than one, in
the dread extremities of life, has looked back with regret upon his
career of battle, or perhaps, like Luxembourg of France, confessed that
he would rather remember a cup of cold water given to a fellow-creature
in poverty and distress than all his victories, with their blood,
desolation, and death. Thus speaks the heart of man. No true Fame can
flow from the fountain of tears.

The achievements of war and the characters of conquerors have been
exposed by satire, under whose sharp touch we see their unsubstantial

    "Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
     From Macedonia's madman to the Swede."

Nobody has done this more plainly than Rabelais, who, in an age when
Peace was only a distant vision, gave expression to those sentiments,
often vague and undefined, which have their origin in the depths of the
human soul. In the Life of Pantagruel, that strange satire, compounded
of indecency, humor, effrontery, and learning, one of the characters,
after being very merry in hell, talking familiarly with Lucifer, and
penetrating to the Elysian Fields, recognizes some of the world's great
men, but changed after a very extraordinary manner. Alexander the Great
is mending and patching old breeches and stockings, and thus obtains
a very poor living. Achilles is a maker of hay-bundles; Hannibal, a
kettle-maker, and seller of egg-shells. All the knights of the Round
Table are poor day-laborers, employed to row over the rivers Cocytus,
Phlegethon, Styx, Acheron, and Lethe, when, according to Rabelais, "my
lords the devils have a mind to recreate themselves upon the water,
as on like occasion one hires the boatmen at Lyons, the gondoliers of
Venice, or oars of London,--but with this difference, that these poor
knights have for their fare only a bob or flirt on the nose, and in the
evening a morsel of coarse, mouldy bread."[226] Such is the wretched
contrast between the judgment of earth and that other judgment, which
cannot be arrested when earth has passed away.

    [226] Pantagruel, Book II. ch. 30.

Whatever the voice of poets, moralists, satirists, and even of
soldiers, it is certain that the Glory of arms still exercises no mean
influence over the human mind. The "red planet Mars" is still in the
ascendant. The Art of War, which a French divine has happily termed
"the baleful art of teaching men to exterminate one another,"[227] is
yet held, even among Christians, an honorable pursuit; and the animal
courage which it stimulates and develops is prized as transcendent
virtue. It will be for another age and a higher civilization to
appreciate the more exalted character of Beneficence as an Art,--the
art of extending happiness and all good influences, by word or deed,
to the largest number of mankind,--while, in blessed contrast with the
misery, degradation, and wickedness of war, shines resplendent the True
Grandeur of Peace. All then will be willing to join with the early poet
in saying,--

    "Though louder Fame attend the martial rage,
     'Tis greater Glory to reform the age."[228]

    [227] "L'art militaire, c'est à dire, l'art funeste d'apprendre
    aux hommes à s'exterminer les uns les autres."--Massillon, Oraison
    Funèbre de Louis le Grand.

    [228] Waller, Of Queen Catharine, on New Year's Day, 1683.

Then shall the soul thrill with a nobler heroism than that of battle,
while peaceful Industry, with untold multitudes of cheerful and
beneficent laborers, takes the place of War and its works,--while
Literature, full of comfort and sympathy for the heart of man, rejoices
in happiest empire,--while Science, with extensive sceptre, advances
the bounds of knowledge and power, adding unimaginable strength to
the hands of men, opening immeasurable resources in the earth, and
revealing new secrets and harmonies in the skies,--while Art, elevated
and refined, lavishes fresh images of beauty and grace,--while
Charity, in streams of milk and honey, diffuses itself through all the
habitations of the world.

Does any one ask for signs of this coming era? The increasing knowledge
and beneficence of our own day, the broad-spread sympathy with human
suffering, the widening thoughts of men, the longings of the heart for
a higher condition on earth, the unfulfilled promises of Christian
Progress, are the auspicious auguries of this Happy Future. Not to the
Great Navigator alone, but to all now toiling for the new and glorious
future, may be addressed the inspiring verses of the German poet:--

    "Steer, bold mariner, on! albeit witlings deride thee,
       And the steersman drop idly his hand at the helm;
     Ever, ever to westward! there must the coast be discovered,
       If it but lie distinct, luminous lie in thy mind.
     Trust to the God that leads thee, and follow the sea that is silent;
       Did it not yet exist, now would it rise from the flood.
     Nature with Genius stands united in league everlasting;
       What is promised by one surely the other performs."[229]

    [229] Schiller, Columbus.

As early voyagers over untried realms of waste, we have already
observed the signs of land. The green twig and fresh red berry have
floated by our bark; the odors of the shore fan our faces; nay, we
descry the distant gleam of light, and hear from the more earnest
watchers, as Columbus heard, after midnight, from the mast-head of the
Pinta, the joyful cry of _Land! Land!_ and, lo! a New World breaks upon
our morning gaze.

A new order of heroes and of great men will then be recognized, while
the history of the Past will be reviewed, to re-judge the Fame awarded
or withheld. There are many, having high place in the world's praise,
from whom a righteous Future will avert the countenance, so that they
will know at last the neglect which has thus far been the lot of better
men; but there are others, little regarded during life, sleeping in
humble or unknown earth, who shall become the favorites of True Glory.
At Athens there was an altar dedicated to the Unknown God. The time is
at hand, when the company of good men whose lives are without record or
monument will find at length an altar of praise.

Then will be cherished, not those who, from accident of birth, or
by selfish struggle, have succeeded in winning the attention of
mankind,--not those who have commanded armies in barbarous war,--not
those who have exercised power or swayed empire,--not those who have
made the world tributary to their luxury and wealth,--not those who
have cultivated knowledge, regardless of their fellow-men. Not present
Fame, nor war, nor power, nor wealth, nor knowledge, alone, can secure
an entrance to this true and noble Valhalla. Here will be gathered
those only who have toiled, each in his vocation, for the welfare of
the race. Mankind will remember those only who have remembered mankind.
Here, with the apostles, the prophets, and the martyrs, shall be
joined the glorious company of the world's benefactors,--the goodly
fellowship of truth and duty,--the noble army of statesmen, orators,
poets, preachers, scholars, men in all walks of life, who have striven
for the happiness of others. If the soldier finds a place in this
sacred temple, it will be not _because_, but _notwithstanding_, he was
a soldier.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_God alone is great!_" Such was the admired and triumphant exclamation
with which Massillon opened his funeral discourse on the deceased
monarch of France, called in his own age Louis _the Great_. It is in
the attributes of God that we find the elements of true greatness. Man
is great by the godlike qualities of Justice, Benevolence, Knowledge,
and Power. And as Justice and Benevolence are higher than Knowledge
and Power, so are the just and benevolent higher than those who are
intelligent and powerful only. Should all these qualities auspiciously
concur in one person on earth, then might we look to behold a mortal,
supremely endowed, reflecting the image of his Maker. But even
Knowledge and Power, without those higher attributes, cannot constitute
true greatness. It is by his Goodness that God is most truly known;
so also is the Great Man. When Moses said unto the Lord, "Show me thy
Glory," the Lord answered, "I will make all my Goodness pass before

    [230] Exodus, xxxiii. 18, 19.--It was a saying of Heathen
    Antiquity, that to help a mortal was to be a God to a mortal, and
    this is the way to everlasting Glory: "Deus est mortali juvare
    mortalem, et hæc ad æternam Gloriam via."--Plin., Nat. Hist., II. 7.

It will be easy to distinguish between those merely memorable in the
world's annals and those truly great. Reviewing the historic names
to which flattery or a false appreciation of character has awarded
this title, we find its painful inaptitude. Alexander, drunk with
victory and with wine, whose remains, after early death at the age
of thirty-two, were borne through conquered Asia on a funeral car
glittering with massive gold and wonderful in magnificence, was not
truly great. Cæsar, ravager of distant lands, and trampler upon the
liberties of his own country, with an unsurpassed combination of
intelligence and power, was not truly great. Louis the Fourteenth of
France, magnificent spendthrift monarch, prodigal of treasure and of
blood, always panting for renown, was not truly great. Peter of Russia,
organizer of material prosperity in his vast empire, murderer of his
own son, despotic, inexorable, unnatural, savage, was not truly great.
Frederic of Prussia, heartless and consummate general, skilled in the
barbarous art of war, who played the game of robbery with human lives
for dice, was not truly great. There is little of true grandeur in
any such career. None of the Beatitudes showered upon them a blessed
influence. They were not poor in spirit, or meek, or merciful, or pure
in heart. They were not peacemakers. They did not hunger and thirst
after Justice. They did not suffer persecution for Justice's sake.

It is men like these, that the good Abbé St. Pierre, in works deserving
well of mankind, has termed _Illustrious_, in contradistinction to
_Great_. Their influence was extensive, their power mighty, their names
famous; but they were barbarous, selfish, and inhuman in aim, with
little of love to God and less to man.

There is another and a higher company that thought little of praise or
power, whose lives shine before men with those good works which glorify
their authors. There is Milton, poor and blind, but "bating not a jot
of heart or hope,"--in an age of ignorance the friend of education,
in an age of servility and vice the pure and uncontaminated friend of
freedom, tuning his harp to those magnificent melodies which angels
might stoop to hear, and confessing his supreme duties to Humanity in
words of simplicity and power. "I am long since persuaded," was his
declaration, "that, to say or do aught worth memory and imitation,
no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of
God and of mankind."[231] There is Vincent de Paul, of France, once a
captive in Algiers. Obtaining freedom by happy escape, this fugitive
slave devoted himself with divine success to works of Christian
benevolence,--the establishment of hospitals, visiting those in prison,
the spread of amity and peace. Unknown, he repairs to the galleys at
Marseilles, and, touched by the story of a poor convict, takes the
heavy chains upon himself, that this fellow-man may leave to visit his
wife and children; and then, moved by the sorrows of France bleeding
with war, hurries to her powerful minister, the Cardinal Richelieu,
and on his knees entreats,--"Give us peace! have pity upon us! give
peace to France!"[232] There is Howard, the benefactor of those on
whom the world has placed its brand,--whose charity, like that of the
Frenchman, inspired by the single desire of doing good, illumined
the gloom of the dungeon as with angelic presence. "A person of more
ability," he says, in sweet simplicity, "with my knowledge of facts,
would have written better; but the object of my ambition was not the
Fame of an author. _Hearing the cry of the miserable, I devoted my time
to their relief._"[233] And, lastly, there is Clarkson, who, while yet
a pupil of the University, commenced those life-long labors against
slavery and the slave-trade which embalm his memory. Writing an essay
on the subject as a college exercise, his soul warmed with the task,
and, at a period when even the horrors of "the middle passage" did
not excite condemnation, he entered the lists, the stripling champion
of the Right. He has left a record of the moment when this supreme
duty flashed upon him. He was horseback, on his way from Cambridge to
London. "Coming in sight of Wade's Mill, in Hertfordshire," he says, "I
sat down disconsolate on the turf by the roadside, and held my horse.
Here a thought came into my mind, that, if the contents of the Essay
were true, _it was time some person should see these calamities to
their end_."[234] Pure and noble impulse to a beautiful career!

    [231] Of Education: Prose Works, Vol. I. p. 273.

    [232] Biographie Universelle: Art. _Vincent de Paul_.

    [233] Howard's State of the Prisons, p. 469.

    [234] Clarkson's History of the Abolition of the African
    Slave-Trade, Vol. I. p. 171.

Such are exemplars of True Glory. Without rank, office, or the sword,
they accomplished immortal good. While on earth, they labored for their
fellow-men; and now, sleeping in death, by example and works they
continue the same sacred office. To all, in every sphere or condition,
they teach the universal lesson of magnanimous duty. From the heights
of their virtue, they call upon us to cast out the lust of power,
of office, of wealth, of praise, of a fleeting popular favor, which
"a breath can make, as a breath has made,"--to subdue the constant,
ever-present suggestions of self, in disregard of neighbors, near
or remote, whose welfare should never be forgotten,--to check the
madness of party, which so often, for the sake of success, renounces
the very objects of success,--and, finally, to introduce into our
lives those sentiments of _Conscience_ and _Charity_ which animated
them to such labors. Nor should these be holiday virtues, marshalled
on great occasions only. They must become part of us, and of our
existence,--present on every occasion, small or great,--in those daily
amenities which add so much to the charm of life, as also in those
grander duties which require an ennobling self-sacrifice. The former
are as flowers, whose odor is pleasant, though fleeting; the latter are
like the costly spikenard poured from the box of alabaster upon the
head of the Lord.

To the supremacy of these principles let us all consecrate our best
purposes and strength. So doing, we must reverse the very poles of
worship in the past. Thus far men have bowed down before stocks,
stones, insects, crocodiles, golden calves,--graven images, of ivory,
ebony, or marble, often of cunning workmanship, wrought with Phidian
skill, but all _false gods_. Their worship in the future must be the
true God, our Father, as he is in heaven, and in the _beneficent_
labors of his children on earth. Then farewell to the Siren song of a
worldly ambition! Farewell to the vain desire of mere literary success
or oratorical display! Farewell to the distempered longing for office!
Farewell to the dismal, blood-red phantom of martial renown! Fame
and Glory may continue, as in times past, the reflection of public
opinion,--but of an opinion sure and steadfast, without change or
fickleness, illumined by those two eternal suns of Christian truth,
love to God and love to man.

All things will bear witness to the change, while the busy forms
of wrong and outrage disappear like evil spirits at the dawn. Then
shall the happiness of the poor and lowly have uncounted friends. The
cause of those in prison shall find fresh voices, the education of the
ignorant kindly supporters, the majesty of Peace other vindicators, the
sufferings of the slave new and gushing floods of sympathy. Then, at
last, shall the Brotherhood of Man stand confessed, filling the souls
of all with more generous life, prompting to deeds of beneficence,
conquering the Heathen prejudices of country, color, and race, guiding
the judgment of the historian, animating the verse of the poet and
the eloquence of the orator, ennobling human thought and conduct, and
inspiring those good works by which alone we attain the summits of
True Glory. Good Works! Such even now is the Heavenly Ladder on which
angels are ascending and descending, while weary Humanity, on pillows
of stone, slumbers heavily at its feet.


    _Civil War a Crime._--The terms describing civil war, employed by
    Roman writers, implicate _both sides_ in its guilt and dishonor.
    Such phrases as the following occur in the "Pharsalia" of Lucan:
    "_civile nefas_" (Lib. IV. 172); "_civilis Erinnys_" (IV. 187);
    "_crimen civile_" (VII. 398). Eutropius says: "Hinc jam _bellum
    civile_ successit, _exsecrandum et lacrimabile_." (Brev. Hist.
    Rom., Lib. VI. c. 19.) Of the war between Sulla and Marius Florus
    says: "Hoc deerat unum populi Romani malis, jam ut ipse intra se
    _parricidale bellum_ domi stringeret, et in urbe media ac foro,
    quasi harena, cives cum civibus suis gladiatorio more concurrerent.
    Æquiore animo utcumque ferrem, si plebeii duces, aut si nobiles,
    mali saltem, ducatum _sceleri_ præbuissent; cum vero, _pro
    facinus_! qui viri! qui imperatores! decora et ornamenta sæculi
    sui, Marius et Sulla, _pessimo facinori_ suam etiam dignitatem
    præbuerunt." (Epit. Rerum Rom., Lib. III. c. 21.) The condemnation
    of the historian is aroused, not because of the wickedness of
    a contest among fellow-_men_, but among fellow-_citizens_, and
    because illustrious personages joined in it. But he is impartial
    in condemning _both sides_. Marius and Sulla alike are treated as
    criminals. The same judgment seems to be expressed with regard to
    Cæsar and Pompey. "_Cæsaris furor atque Pompeii_ urbem, Italiam,
    gentes, nationes, totum denique qua patebat imperium, quodam quasi
    diluvio et inflammatione corripuit; adeo ut non recte tantum
    _civile_ dicatur, ac ne sociale quidem, sed nec externum, sed
    potius commune quoddam ex omnibus, et plus quam bellum." (Ibid.,
    Lib. IV. c. 2.) His description of what was called the Social War
    contains a principle which must condemn equally all strife among
    cognate nations or states: "Sociale bellum vocetur licet, ut
    extenuemus invidiam; si verum tamen volumus, illud civile bellum
    fuit. Quippe cum populus Romanus Etruscos, Latinos. Sabinosque
    miscuerit, et unum ex omnibus sanguinem ducat, corpus fecit ex
    membris, et ex omnibus unus est. _Nec minore flagitio socii intra
    Italiam, quam intra urbem cives rebellabant._" (Ibid., Lib. III. c.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _No triumph, thanksgiving, or holiday for a conqueror in Civil
    War._--Valerius Maximus, in his chapter on _Triumphs_, shows how
    the victories of civil war were regarded in Rome. "Although," he
    says, "any one should perform illustrious and highly useful acts
    to the Republic in civil war, he was not on this account hailed
    as Imperator; nor were any _thanksgivings_ decreed; nor did he
    enjoy a _triumph_ or _oration_: because, _howsoever necessary
    these victories might be, they were always regarded as mournful_,
    inasmuch as they were obtained, not by _foreign_, but by _domestic_
    blood. Therefore Nasica and Opimius _sorrowfully_ slew, the one
    the faction of Tiberius Gracchus, and the other that of Caius
    Gracchus. Quintus Catulus, after overthrowing his colleague, Marcus
    Lepidus, with all his seditious forces, returned to the city,
    _showing only a moderated joy_. Even Caius Antonius, the conqueror
    of Catiline, made his soldiers wipe their swords before taking them
    back to the camp. Lucius Cinna and Caius Marius, after eagerly
    draining the blood of citizens, _did not proceed immediately to the
    temples and altars of the gods_. So, too, Lucius Sulla, who waged
    many civil wars, and whose successes were most cruel and insolent,
    at his triumph, on the establishment of his power, carried in his
    procession the representations of many Greek and Asiatic cities,
    _but of no town occupied by Roman citizens_. It were grievous and
    wearisome to dwell longer on the wounds of the Republic. _The
    Senate never gave the laurel to any one, nor did any one ever
    desire that it should be given to himself, while a part of the
    state was in tears._" These last words deserve to be repeated in
    the original text: "Lauream nec Senatus cuiquam dedit, nec quisquam
    sibi dari desideravit, civitatis parte lacrimante." (Valerius
    Maximus, Lib. II. c. 8, § 7.) Florus, at the close of his chapter
    on the War with Sertorius, says, that the victorious leaders wished
    this to be regarded as a _foreign_ rather than a _civil_ war, _in
    order that they might triumph_: "Victores duces _externum_ id magis
    quam _civile_ bellum videri voluerunt, _ut triumpharent_." (Epit.
    Rerum Rom., Lib. III. c. 22.) Cæsar did not triumph over Pompey,
    although at a later day he shocked his fellow-citizens by a triumph
    over the sons of that leader. "_All the world_," says Plutarch, in
    his Life of Cæsar, "_condemned his triumphing in the calamities of
    his country, and rejoicing in things which nothing could excuse,
    either before the gods or men, but extreme necessity._ And it
    was the more obvious to condemn it, because, before this, he had
    never sent any messenger or letter to acquaint the public with any
    victory he had gained in the civil wars, _but was rather ashamed of
    such advantages_." (Lives, tr. Langhorne, Vol. IV. p. 387.)

    A similar judgment of contests and battles _between citizens_
    appears in other writers. Appian, speaking of Caius Gracchus,
    says, that "all averted their countenances from him, as _a man
    polluted with the blood of a citizen_." (De Bellis Civilibus, Lib.
    I. c. 25.) The same author, in describing the triumphs of Cæsar
    on his return from Africa, says, that "he took care that there
    should be no triumphal inscription of his victories over Romans,
    his fellow-citizens, _as both unbecoming himself, and shameful
    and of evil omen to the Roman people_." (Ibid., Lib. II. c. 101.)
    We may follow this sentiment in the History of Dion Cassius.
    After describing the victory over Catiline, he says, "The victors
    themselves greatly bewailed the loss to the Commonwealth of such
    and so many men, citizens and allies, _although justly slain_."
    (Hist. Rom., Lib. XXXVII. c. 40.) Thus the _justice_ of the
    war did not make it a source of glory. Dion says, that Pompey,
    after his success over Cæsar at Dyrrachium, "did not speak of it
    boastfully, _nor did he wreathe his fasces with laurel, feeling a
    repugnance to doing anything of this sort on account of a victory
    over citizens_." (Ibid., Lib. XLI. c. 52.) The manner in which he
    refers to Cæsar's conduct, also, after the battle of Pharsalia, is
    in harmony with that of the other classical writers. "Cæsar," he
    says, "sent no announcement of it to the people, _being unwilling
    to appear to rejoice publicly over such a victory_; wherefore he
    did not celebrate any triumph on account of it." (Ibid., Lib.
    XLII. c. 18.) But he pursued a different course with regard to
    his victory over the _foreigner_ Pharnaces, which he announced in
    that famous epigrammatic epistle, "_Veni, vidi, vici._" Dion says,
    "Cæsar was prouder of this than of any other of his victories,
    although it was not very splendid." (Ibid., Lib. XLII. c. 48.) The
    same historian alludes to his triumph over the sons of Pompey,
    "having conquered no _foreign enemy_, but destroyed so large a
    number of _citizens_." (Ibid., Lib. XLIII. c. 42.) Crowns and
    public thanksgivings were decreed to Octavius Cæsar, after his
    victories over Antony; "but," says Dion, "they did not expressly
    name Antony, and the other Romans conquered with him, either at
    first or then, _as though it were right to celebrate festivities
    over them_." (Ibid., Lib. LI. c. 19.)

    "The Tatler," in considering the Roman triumph, notices that
    "it was not allowed in a civil war, lest one part should be in
    tears, while the other was making acclamations." (No. LXIII.) And
    Hudibras, in a most suggestive passage, uses language applicable to
    all civil war:--

    "What towns, what garrisons, might you
     With hazard of this blood subdue,
     Which now ye're bent to throw away
    _In vain untriumphable fray_!"

                      Part I. Canto II. 499-502.

    _International War criminal, and as little worthy of honor as Civil
    War._--Erasmus dealt a blow at the distinction, still preserved
    among Christians, between _civil_ war and _foreign_ war. "_Plato
    civile bellum esse putat, quod Græci gerunt adversus Græcos. At
    Christianus Christiano propius junctus est quam civis civi, quam
    frater fratri._" (Erasmi Epist., Lib. XXII. Ep. 16.) The same idea
    is found in the Byzantine Gregoras: "Indecorum esse Christianis
    tanta cum acerbitate inter se armis certare, cum rationes sint
    conveniendi ad pacem et communes vires in impios vertendi."
    (Gregoras, Lib. X., De Alexandro Bulgaro, quoted by Grotius, De
    Jure Belli ac Pacis, Lib. II. cap. 23, §8, No. 3, note.) Even here
    it is rather the Brotherhood of Christians than the Brotherhood
    of Man that is recognized. Assuming the latter, international war
    becomes criminal, and as little worthy of honor as civil war. It
    is a war among brothers.

    Who can think of that contest between the two brothers Eteocles and
    Polynices without abhorrence? Who would think of awarding glory to
    Abel, if, in self-defence, he had succeeded in slaying his hostile
    brother, Cain? There is a play of Beaumont and Fletcher where two
    brothers are represented as drawing swords upon each other. When
    finally separated, they are addressed in words applicable to the
    contests of nations:--

                    "Clashing of swords
     So near my house! Brother opposed to brother!
     .. .. .. . Hold! hold!
     Charles! Eustace!
     .. .. . But these unnatural jars,
     Arising between brothers, _should you prosper,
     Would shame your victory_"

                              _The Elder Brother_, Act V. Sc. 1.

    The unreasonableness of any True Glory in such a contest is felt
    by all at the present day, though there have been monsters or
    barbarians who _gloried_ even in a kinsman's blood. Massinger, in
    his play of "The Unnatural Combat," has portrayed such a character.
    A father and son fight with each other. The father is victorious.
    His exultation in the death of his son is not unlike that which
    often attends the victories of Christian nations:--

    "Were a new life hid in each mangled limb,
     I would search and find it; and howe'er to some
     I may seem cruel thus to tyrannize
     Upon this senseless flesh, I _glory_ in it,
     .. .. . my falling _glories_
     Being made up again, and cemented
     With a son's blood."

                              _The Unnatural Combat_, Act II. Sc. 1.

    The father, whose hands are wet with a son's blood, is thus

                "The conqueror that survives
    _Must reap the harvest of his bloody labor_.
    _Sound all loud instruments of joy and triumph._"


    The soul revolts from such a triumph; but how does this differ from
    the triumphs of war? The enlightened morality of our age will yet
    confess that it is equally wrong to commemorate by thanksgiving
    or holiday any bloody success, even in a _just_ contest, over our
    _brother man_.

                              OF SLAVERY.

                   SPRINGFIELD, SEPTEMBER 29, 1847.

MR. SUMNER persevered in opposition to the Mexican War, as unjust
in character, and waged for the sake of Slavery. At a Whig meeting
in Boston, assembled in Washingtonian Hall, September 15, for the
choice of delegates to the Annual State Convention, he introduced the
following Resolutions.

    "_Resolved_, That a war of aggression, conquest, and robbery is
    a national crime of unquestionable atrocity, which good citizens
    should strive by unceasing exertion to prevent and arrest.

    "_Resolved_, That such a war becomes doubly hateful, when the lust
    of conquest is inflamed and stimulated by the passion to extend
    Slavery and to strengthen the Slave Power.

    "_Resolved_, That the present war with Mexico is unconstitutional
    in origin, unjust in character, and detestable in object, and
    that a regard for the Constitution, which is outraged, for the
    Union, which is endangered, for the lives of innocent men vainly
    sacrificed, for the principles of justice wantonly violated, and
    for the true honor of the country tarnished, should animate us
    to oppose with uncompromising earnestness the further waste of
    national treasure for purposes of aggression, and to call for the
    withdrawal of our troops within the acknowledged limits of the
    United States.

    "_Resolved_, That we are unchangeably opposed to the annexation
    of any territory to this Union, either directly by conquest, or
    indirectly as payment for expenses of the war; but if additional
    territory be forced upon us, or be acquired by purchase, or in
    any other way, then we will demand that there shall be neither
    slavery nor involuntary servitude therein, otherwise than for the
    punishment of crime."

Mr. Sumner, Hon. C.F. Adams, and J.S. Eldridge, Esq., spoke in favor
of the Resolutions; Hon. James T. Austin and William Harden, Esq.,
against them. They were finally laid on the table. The Whigs of Boston
would not commit themselves to these principles. Mr. Sumner's name was
placed at the head of the large delegation appointed by the meeting.

The Convention assembled at Springfield, September 29, 1847, and
organized with the following officers: Hon. George Ashmun, of
Springfield, President; John C. Gray, of Boston, Thomas Emerson,
of South Reading, James H. Duncan, of Haverhill, J.T. Buckingham,
of Cambridge, Samuel Wood, of Grafton, James White, of Northfield,
Theodore Hinsdale, of Litchfield, William Porter, of Lee, Truman
Clark, of Walpole, John A. Shaw, of Bridgewater, and Samuel Osborn,
of Edgartown. Vice-Presidents; John P. Putnam, of Boston, Linus B.
Comins, of Roxbury, Charles R. Train, of Framingham, and S.H. Davis, of
Westfield, Secretaries.

Mr. Webster was present, and addressed the Convention, mainly on the
Mexican War. Among the Resolutions adopted by the Convention was one
recommending him as a candidate for President of the United States.
While the Resolutions were pending, the following was moved as an
amendment by Hon. John G. Palfrey.

    "_Resolved_, That the Whigs of Massachusetts will support no men
    for the offices of President and Vice-President but such as are
    known by their acts or declared opinions to be opposed to the
    extension of Slavery."

This Resolution was the result of a conference among the more earnest
Anti-Slavery members, with whom Mr. Sumner acted, in the hope of making
opposition to the extension of Slavery a political test at the next
Presidential election. It was sustained in speeches by Mr. Palfrey,
Hon. C. F. Adams, Mr. Sumner, Hon. William Dwight, and Hon. Charles
Allen, and was opposed by Hon. Robert C. Winthrop and Hon. John C.
Gray. On the question being taken, the Resolution was declared lost.

Mr. Sumner spoke as follows.

Mr. President,--It is late, and I am sorry to trespass on unwilling
attention. The importance of the cause is my apology. The question is,
How shall we express our opposition to the extension of Slavery? Here
it is satisfactory to know that there can be no embarrassment from
constitutional scruples. It is not proposed to interfere with Slavery
in any constitutional stronghold, or to touch any so-called compromise
of the Constitution. Adopting the principle, so often declared by our
Southern friends, that Slavery is a local institution, drawing its
vitality from the municipal laws of the States in which it exists, we
solemnly assert that the power of the Nation, of Congress, of the North
as well as the South, shall not be employed for its extension, and that
this curse shall not be planted in any territory hereafter acquired.

Is it not strange, Mr. President, that we, in this nineteenth century
of the Christian era, in a country whose heroic charter declares
that "all men are created equal," under a Constitution one of whose
express objects is to "secure the blessings of liberty,"--is it not
passing strange that we should be occupied now in considering how
best to prevent the opening of new markets for human flesh? Slavery,
already expelled from distant despotic states, seeks shelter here by
the altars of Freedom. Alone in the company of nations our country
assumes the championship of this hateful institution. Far away in
the East, at "the gateways of the day," by the sacred waters of the
Ganges, in effeminate India, Slavery is condemned; in Constantinople,
queenly seat of the most powerful Mahometan empire, where barbarism
still mingles with civilization, the Ottoman Sultan brands it with the
stigma of disapprobation; the Barbary States of Africa are changed
to Abolitionists; from the untutored ruler of Morocco comes the
declaration of his desire, stamped in the formal terms of a treaty,
that the very name of Slavery may perish from the minds of men; and
only recently from the Bey of Tunis has proceeded that noble act by
which, "for the glory of God, and to distinguish man from the brute
creation,"--I quote his own words,--he decreed its total abolition
throughout his dominions. Let Christian America be taught by these
despised Mahometans. God forbid that our Republic--"heir of all the
ages, in the foremost files of time"--should adopt anew the barbarism
and cruelty they have renounced or condemned!

The early conduct of our fathers, at the formation of the Constitution,
should be our guide now. On the original suggestion of Jefferson,
subsequently sustained and modified by others, a clause was introduced
into the fundamental law of the Northwest Territory by which Slavery
has been forever excluded from that extensive region. This act of
wisdom and justice is a source of prosperity and pride to the millions
living beneath its influence. And shall we be less true to Freedom than
the authors of that instrument? Their spirits encourage us in devotion
to this cause. With promptings from their example may properly mingle
the testimony given by that evangelist of Liberty, Lafayette, who,
though born on a foreign soil, is already, by earnest labors, by blood
shed in our cause, by the friendship of Washington, by the gratitude
of every American heart, enrolled among our patriots and fathers. His
opinions of Slavery are now newly revealed to the world. From the pen
of the philanthropist Clarkson we learn that his amiable nature was
specially aroused even at its mention. "He was a real gentleman," says
Clarkson, "and of soft and gentle manners. I have seen him put out of
temper, but never at any time except when Slavery was the subject." The
thought of it in the land he had helped to redeem troubled him so that
he exclaimed to Clarkson: "_I would never have drawn my sword in the
cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding
a land of Slavery._" Shall we, whom his sword helped to free, now
found a new land of Slavery?

A proposal is made that the Missouri Compromise shall be applied to
any territory acquired from Mexico,--in other words, that all south of
the parallel of 36° 30' shall be devoted to Slavery. Are you aware,
Sir, that this line, so unhappily notorious in our history, is almost
precisely the parallel of Algiers, once the chief seat of White
Slavery? It is the proper parallel to mark a boundary so disgraceful.
Let it be called the Algerine line. At the present time there can be
no compromises. Compromise with Slavery is treason to Freedom and
to Humanity. It is treason to the Constitution also. With every new
extension of Slavery, fresh strength is imparted to that political
influence, monstrous offspring of Slavery, known as the Slave Power.
This influence, beyond any other under our government, has deranged our
institutions. To it the greater evils which have afflicted the country,
the different perils to the Constitution, may all be traced. The
Missouri Compromise, the annexation of Texas, the war with Mexico, are
only specimens of trouble from the Slave Power. It is an ancient fable
that the eruptions of Etna were produced by the restless movements of
the giant Enceladus imprisoned beneath.[235] As the giant turned on
his side, or stretched his limbs, or struggled, the conscious mountain
belched forth flames, red-hot cinders, and fiery lava, carrying
destruction and dismay to those who dwelt upon its fertile slopes.
The Slave Power is the Imprisoned Giant of our Constitution. It is
there confined and bound. But its constant and strenuous struggles
have caused, and ever will cause, eruptions of evil, in comparison
with which flames, red-hot cinders, and fiery lava are trivial and
transitory. The face of Nature may be blasted, the land may be struck
with sterility, villages may be swept by floods of flame, and whole
families entombed alive in its burning sepulchre; but all these evils
are small, compared with the deep, abiding, unutterable curse from an
act of national wrong.

    "Et fessum quoties mutat latus, intremere omnem
     Murmure Trinacriam, et coelum subtexere fumo."

                              _Æneid_, III. 581, 582.

Let us, then, pledge ourselves, in solemn form, by united exertion,
to restrain this destructive influence, at least within its original
constitutional bounds. Let us at all hazards prevent the extension of
Slavery and the increase of the Slave Power. Our opposition must keep
right on, and not look back:--

              "Like to the Pontic sea,
     Whose icy current and compulsive course
     Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
     To the Propontic and the Hellespont."

In this contest, we may borrow from the ancient Greek, who, when his
hands were cut off, fought with his stumps, and even with his teeth. We
may borrow from our party in its defence of the Tariff. We may borrow
from the slaveholders themselves, who are united and uncompromising
in their unholy cause. Let us struggle for Freedom as they struggle
for Slavery. Let us rally under our white pavilion, with its trophies
of Justice, Freedom, and Humanity, as enthusiastically as they troop
together beneath their black flag pictured over with whips, chains, and

This brings me directly to the point, How shall we make our opposition
felt? How shall it become vital and palpable? On the present occasion
we can only declare our course. But this should be in language sternly
expressive of our _determination_. It will not be enough merely to put
forth _opinions_ in well-couched phrase, and add yet other resolutions
to the hollow words which have passed into the limbo of things lost
on earth. We must give to our opinions that edge and force which they
can have only from the declared determination to abide by them at all
times. We must carry them to the ballot-box, and bring our candidates
to their standard. The recent constitution of Louisiana, to discourage
duelling, disqualifies all engaged in a duel from holding any civil
office. The Whigs of Massachusetts, so far as in them lies, must
pronounce a similar sentence of disqualification upon all not known to
be against the extension of Slavery.

It is distinctly proclaimed by the Slave Power, that no person can
receive its support who is known to be against the extension of
Slavery. The issue here offered we must join. This is due to our
character for sincerity. It will show that we are in earnest, and,
so doing, we help to check that tyrannical spirit which has thus far
intimidated the politicians--I will not say the people--of the Free
States. To those now too ready for the part of Grand Compromiser, on
a question which admits of no compromise, it will be a warning that
they can expect no support for high office from us. Our motto must be,
"Principles, and those _only_ who will maintain them."

I urge this course, at the present moment, from deep conviction of
its importance. And be assured, Sir, whatever the final determination
of this Convention, there are many here to-day who will never yield
support to any candidate, for Presidency or Vice-Presidency, who is
not known to be against the extension of Slavery, even though he have
freshly received the sacramental unction of a "regular nomination." We
cannot say, with detestable morality, "Our party, _right or wrong_."
The time has gone by when gentlemen can expect to introduce among us
the discipline of the camp. Loyalty to principle is higher than loyalty
to party. The first is a heavenly sentiment, from God: the other is a
device of this world. Far above any flickering light or battle-lantern
of party is the everlasting sun of Truth, in whose beams are the duties
of men.

                        THE LATE HENRY WHEATON.


The death of a person like Mr. Wheaton naturally arrests
attention,--even at this period of funereal gloom, when the Angel
of Death has overshadowed the whole country with his wings. He was
long and widely known in official relations, devoted for many years
to the service of his country, studious always of literature and
jurisprudence, illustrious as a diplomatist and expounder of the Law of
Nations,--with a private character so pure as to make us forget, in its
contemplation, the public virtues by which his life was elevated.

He died after a brief illness, accompanied by a disease of the brain,
on Saturday evening, March 11, 1848, at Dorchester. On that day the
remains of John Quincy Adams, who, as President of the United States,
first advanced Mr. Wheaton to a diplomatic place in the service of
his country,--after a long procession, through mourning towns and
cities, from the Capitol, which had been the scene of his triumphant
death,--were brought to their final resting-place in the adjoining town
of Quincy. The faithful friend and servant thus early followed his
venerable chief to the fellowship of another world.

The principal circumstances in Mr. Wheaton's life may be briefly told.
He was born at Providence, on the 27th of November, 1785, and was a
graduate of Brown University, in 1802. After admission to the bar,
he visited Europe, particularly the Continent, where his mind thus
early became imbued with those tastes which occupied so much of his
later years. Some time after his return, finding little inducement to
continue the practice of the law in Providence, he removed to New York.
This was in 1812. Here he became the editor of an important journal,
"The National Advocate,"--a paper afterwards merged in "The Courier and
Inquirer." His experience in this character closed May 15, 1815. As a
journalist, he is reputed to have been uniformly discreet, decorous,
and able, at a time when the fearful trials of war, in which the
country was engaged, added to the responsibilities of his position.

His labors as editor did not estrange him from the law. About this
period he became for a short time one of the justices of the Marine
Court, a tribunal now shorn of its early dignity. In 1815 he appeared
as author of a treatise on jurisprudence. This was a "Digest of the
Law of Maritime Captures and Prizes." In the judicial inquiries
incident to the administration of the Laws of War--still maintained by
the Christian world--such a treatise was naturally of much practical
utility. It may also claim the palm of being among the earliest
juridical productions of our country. Nor, indeed, has it been without
the disinterested praise of foreign nations. Mr. Reddie, of Edinburgh,
in his recent work on Maritime International Law, says, "Although it
cannot be strictly called a valuable accession to the legal literature
of _Britain_, it gives us much pleasure to record our opinion, that,
in point of learning and methodical arrangement, it is very superior
to any treatise on this department of the law which had previously
appeared in the English language."[236] No American contribution to
jurisprudence so early as 1815 has received such marked commendation
abroad. Kent and Story had not then produced those works which have
secured to them their present freehold of European fame.

    [236] Maritime International Law, Vol. II. p. 298.

In 1816 he became Reporter to the Supreme Court of the United States,
which office he held till 1827. His Reports are in twelve volumes,
and embody what may be called the _golden judgments_ of our National
Judicature, from the lips of Marshall, Livingston, Washington,
Thompson, and Story.

Mr. Wheaton's time was not absorbed by these official duties. He
entered much into the practice of his profession. His name appears as
counsel in important causes at Washington. He was editor of divers
English law books, republished in this country, with valuable notes. On
several literary occasions he pronounced discourses of signal merit.
One of these, in 1820, before the Historical Society of New York,
touches upon his favorite theme, with which his name is now so firmly
connected, the Law of Nations; another, in 1824, at the opening of the
New York Athenæum, takes a rapid survey of American literature. In 1826
he published his Life of that great lawyer, William Pinkney. It is also
understood that during all this period he was a frequent contributor to
the "North American Review."

Nor did these accumulated labors, literary and juridical, keep him from
other services. He was a member of the Legislature of New York, and in
1821 held a seat in the Convention which remodelled the Constitution
of that State. In 1825 he was placed on the commission for revising the
statutes of New York. This was the first effort of any State professing
the Common Law to reduce its disconnected and diffusive legislation to
the unity of a code. Thus is his name associated with one of the most
important landmarks in American law.

All these duties and callings he relinquished in the summer of 1827,
when he entered upon the diplomatic service, which opened before him a
new career of usefulness. It was then that he became Chargé d'Affaires
at Copenhagen, where he continued till 1835, when he was transferred
by President Jackson to Berlin, as Minister Resident. In 1837 he was
raised by President Van Buren to the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary at the same court. On July 22, 1846, he had
his audience of farewell from the King of Prussia, being recalled by
President Polk. This long term of service was passed abroad with the
intermission of a brief period in 1834, when he revisited his country
on leave of absence.

During this protracted career in foreign countries, charged with
responsible negotiations, he was not lost in the toils of office, or in
the allurements of court life. He was always a student. At Copenhagen
he prepared his "History of the Northmen, or Danes and Normans, from
the Earliest Times to the Conquest of England by William of Normandy."
This was published in 1831, both in England and in America. In 1844 it
was much enlarged, and translated into French. At the time of his death
he was occupied in preparing another edition. In 1838 he contributed
to the Edinburgh Cabinet Library a portion of the volumes entitled
"Scandinavia." By these works he earned an honorable place among our
historical writers. His History of the Northmen preceded, in time, the
productions of Bancroft and Prescott, which have since achieved so much

From literature he passed again to jurisprudence, where he has won his
surest triumphs. His "Elements of International Law" appeared in London
and the United States in 1836, and again in 1846, much enlarged. This
was followed by a "History of the Law of Nations in Europe and America,
from the Earliest Times to the Treaty of Washington," which first
appeared in French, at Leipsic, in 1841, under the title of _Histoire
des Progrès du Droit des Gens en Europe depuis la Paix de Westphalie
jusqu'au Congrès de Vienne, avec un Précis Historique du Droit des Gens
Européen avant la Paix de Westphalie_. This was originally written for
a prize offered by the French Institute. The question proposed was,
_Quels sont les progrès qu'a fait le droit des gens en Europe depuis
la Paix de Westphalie?_ It was bold and honorable in Mr. Wheaton to
venture in a foreign tongue the discussion of so great a subject.
The Greek of Cicero excited the admiration of the rhetoricians at
Rhodes and Athens, and the French of Gibbon was in harmony with his
own swelling English style; but Mr. Wheaton, whether in French or
English, is commended by matter rather than manner. On this account he
was at disadvantage before the polished French tribunal. His effort
received what was called _mention honorable_; but the prize was awarded
to a young Frenchman, whose production has never seen the light. An
impartial public opinion has awarded our countryman another prize more
than academic. The same work in English, much enlarged, is now an

Besides these classical treatises, Mr. Wheaton published an able and
thorough Inquiry into the Validity of the Eight of Visitation and
Search, particularly as recently claimed by Great Britain. Here he
upheld the views of the American government. The acknowledged weight of
his opinion in the science of law gave to his conclusions commanding

On his recent return to this country, he was welcomed with many
manifestations of regard, both public and private. Wherever he
appeared, he was a favored guest. At the last Commencement of Brown
University, he delivered the Address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
His subject was Germany. The various departments of thought and
conduct, which have been successfully occupied by the "many-sided"
mind of that country, were sketched with singular ability. His voice
was feeble, and, as he spoke, large numbers of the audience drew near
the pulpit, filling the adjacent aisles, and standing in respectful
attention, that they might follow his learned discourse.

Such were the important and diversified labors of his valuable life.
Without any adventitious aids of fortune, or special favor, he achieved
eminent place in the civilized world. By virtue of his office he lived
as an equal among nobles and princes, while his rare endowments opened
to him at will the fraternities of learning and science. And yet his
qualities were not those of the courtier. Nor did any heaven-descended
eloquence lend fire to his conversation or style. Both were simple,
grave, reserved, like his manners, attractive rather from clearness and
matter than from brilliancy or point.

His career abroad as Diplomatist was one of the longest in our
history,--longer even than that of John Quincy Adams. It was not his
fortune to affix his name to any treaty, like that of 1783, which
acknowledged our Independence, or that of Ghent in 1814, which restored
peace to England and the United States. But his extended term of
service was filled by a succession of wise and faithful labors, which
rendered incalculable good to his own country, while they impressed his
character upon the public mind of Europe. His negotiation with Denmark
was important. More important still was his careful management of our
national interests in connection with the German Zollverein. Besides
these conspicuous acts, with which all are familiar, there is his long
and constant correspondence with the Department of State at Washington,
which is known to comparatively few, although of exceeding merit.

It was his habit, contrary to the usage of many American ministers,
by regular authentic communications, to keep the Government at home
informed with regard to the position of foreign nations, as observed
by him. All the matters which prominently occupied the Continental
nations during his residence abroad, particularly those two disputes
known as the Belgian question and the Egyptian question, which seemed
for a while to fill the firmament of Europe with "portents dire," were
discussed in these despatches with instructive fulness. These may be
found in the archives of his legation, and in the Department of State
at Washington, "enrolled in the Capitol," where they will be studied by
the future historian.

His familiarity with the Law of Nations, from his position as a
diplomatist, was enhanced by mature and thorough study. For this he
was prepared by training at the bar, the influence of which may be
discerned in some of his writings. He was master alike of its learning
and its dialectics. It happened in Berlin that he was called to defend
the rights of ambassadors against an injurious usage established or
recognized by the Prussian government. All who have read his paper on
this occasion will attest the force and sharpness of his unanswered
argument. Strange that this task should have devolved upon an American
minister! Strange that the privileges of ambassadors should have found
their defender in a Cis-Atlantic citizen! His defence excited the
attention of the diplomatic body in Europe. Copies were transmitted to
the different courts, where, as I have understood, it was discussed,
and generally, if not universally, sanctioned.

Justly eminent as a practical diplomatist, his works derived new value
from the position of their author, while even his official rank was
aided by his works. His was a solitary example in our age, perhaps the
only instance since Grotius, of an eminent minister who was also an
expounder of the Law of Nations. His works, therefore, are received
with peculiar respect. Already they have become _authorities_. Such
they are regarded by the two British writers who have since appeared in
this field, Mr. Manning and Mr. Reddie. The former, in his excellent
Commentaries, refers to Mr. Wheaton's work on the Elements of
International Law as "certainly the best elementary book on the topic
that exists";[237] while Mr. Reddie announces that "this work, although
not by a British author, was certainly, at the date of its publication,
the most able and scientific treatise on International Law which had
appeared in the English language."[238] It is admitted that the method
is superior to that of Martens, Chitty, Schmalz, or Klüber.

    [237] Commentaries on the Law of Nations, Preface, p. v.

It cannot be disguised that his two works in this department are
remarkable for careful statement and arrangement, rather than for that
elegance, or glow, or freedom of discussion, by which the reader is
carried captive. His Elements afford the best view yet presented of the
Law of Nations, as practically illustrated in the adjudged cases of
England and the United States, and in recent diplomacy. But we miss in
them the fulness and variety of illustration which characterize some
of the earlier writers, and especially that genial sentiment which
interests us so constantly in Vattel. The History, which first appeared
in French, is not less important than the Elements. Here the field is
more clearly his own. This work supplies a place never before filled in
the literature of the English language, if in that of any language. To
all students of jurisprudence, nay, more, to all students of history,
who ascend above wars and battles to the principles which are at once
parent and offspring of events, this account of the Progress of the Law
of Nations is an important guide.

Had Mr. Wheaton's life been longer spared, he would have found it his
province, in the discharge of his recently assumed office as Lecturer
on the Civil [Roman] and International Law at Harvard University, to
survey again the same wide field. What further harvests he might then
have gathered it is impossible now to estimate. He never entered upon
these labors. The reaper was removed before he began to use the sickle.

    [238] Maritime International Law, Vol. II. p. 441.

Such was his life,--passed not without well-deserved honor at home and
abroad. In those two great departments of labor, History and the Law of
Nations, he is among our American pioneers. Through him the literature
and jurisprudence of our country have been commended in foreign lands:--

    "Fluminaque in fontes cursu reditura supino."[239]

Others may have done better in the high art of History; but no American
historian has, like him, achieved European eminence as a writer on
the Law of Nations; nor has any other American writer on the last
great theme been recognized abroad as historian. He was a member
of the French Institute; and I cannot forget, that, at the time of
his admission, the question, so honorable to his double fame, was
entertained by the late Baron Degérando, the jurist and philanthropist,
whether he should be received into the section of History or of
Jurisprudence. He was finally attached to the latter. Prescott and
Bancroft belong to the former.

It is as an expounder of Public International Law that his name will
be most widely cherished. In the progress of Christian civilization,
many of the rules now sustained by learned subtilty or unquestioning
submission, shaping the public concerns of nations, will pass away. The
Institution of War, with its complex code, now sanctioned and legalized
by nations, as a proper mode of adjusting their disputes, will yield
to some less questionable arbitrament. But a profound interest must
always attach to the writings of those great masters who have labored
to explain, to advance, and to refine that system, which, though
incomplete, has helped to keep the great Christian Commonwealth in the
bonds of Peace. Among these Mr. Wheaton's place is conspicuous. His
name is already inscribed on the same tablet with those of Grotius,
Pufendorf, and Vattel.

    [239] Ovid, Epist. ex Ponto, Lib. IV. Ep. v. 43.

It were wrong to close this imperfect tribute without a renewed
testimony to the purity of his life. From youth to age his career was
marked by integrity, temperance, frugality, modesty, industry. His
quiet, unostentatious manners were fit companions of his virtues. His
countenance, which is admirably preserved in the portrait by Healy, had
the expression of thoughtfulness and repose. Nor station nor fame made
him proud. He stood with serene simplicity in the presence of kings. In
the social circle, when he spoke, all drew near to listen,--sure that
what he said would be wise, tolerant, and kind.

                         EXTENSION OF SLAVERY.


The effort to establish a political test in the Whig party in
opposition to the extension of Slavery failed; but the Antislavery
sentiment was constantly active. Those who coöperated in the movement
were denounced as disturbers, and finally obtained an epithet, applied
often in sarcasm, which may be considered their highest praise. They
were called _Conscience_ Whigs, in contradistinction to _Cotton_
Whigs. The contest was continued in the newspapers, and also in the
Legislature of Massachusetts. The course of the two great political
parties compelled a final break.

General Cass, who had abandoned the Wilmot Proviso, which he once
maintained, was nominated by the Democrats as their candidate for the
Presidency. General Taylor, who was a considerable slaveholder, was
nominated by the Whigs, without any platform. It seemed impossible
for persons earnest against Slavery to sustain either. Already, in
New York, a considerable portion of the Democratic party, known as
"Barn-burners," had refused to support General Cass, and nominated
Martin Van Buren, adopting at the same time resolutions asserting the
power of Congress to prohibit Slavery in the Territories, and calling
for the exercise of this power.

At the nomination of General Taylor, Hon. Charles Allen and Hon. Henry
Wilson, of Massachusetts, delegates to the National Convention, both
refused to support the candidate. This was the signal for movement. A
call was issued for a convention to found a new party. It was signed by
Mr. Sumner and those with whom he was in the habit of acting. This was
the beginning of the separate Free-Soil organization in Massachusetts,
which afterwards grew into the Republican party. The call, which was
extensively signed, concluded by inviting "fellow-citizens throughout
the Commonwealth, who are opposed to the nomination of Cass and Taylor,
to meet in convention at Worcester, on Wednesday, the 28th day of June
current, to take such steps as the occasion shall demand in support
of the PRINCIPLES to which they are pledged, and to coöperate with
the other Free States in a convention for this purpose." It will be
observed that the people were summoned to support _principles_ and
also to coöperate with the Free States generally in this behalf. The
response was prompt and enthusiastic. As many as five thousand persons
appeared at Worcester, quickened by hostility to Slavery. The City
Hall was not large enough, and the excited multitude adjourned to the
Common, where they were called to order by Alexander DeWitt, of Oxford.
Samuel F. Lyman, of Northampton, was chosen Chairman _pro tem._, and
W.S. Robinson, of Lowell, Secretary _pro tem._ A committee, of which
Hon. E.L. Keyes, of Dedham, was chairman, reported the following list
of officers: Hon. Samuel Hoar, of Concord, President; David Heard, of
Wayland, Alanson Hamilton, of North Brookfield, Joseph L. Richardson,
of Medway, Dr. S.G. Howe, of Boston, John Wells, of Chicopee, Joseph
Stevens, of Warwick, and R.P. Waters, of Salem, Vice-Presidents;
William S. Robinson, of Lowell, William A. Wallace, of Worcester, Allen
Shepard, of Ashland, William A. Arnold, of Northampton, Secretaries. On
motion of Hon. S.C. Phillips, of Salem, a committee was appointed to
draft an address and resolutions, consisting of Mr. Phillips, Erastus
Hopkins, of Northampton, D.W. Alvord, of Greenfield, M.M. Fisher, of
Medway, A.C. Spooner, of Boston, A. Bangs, of Springfield, and E.
Rockwood Hoar, of Concord.

The Convention was first addressed by Samuel Hoar, on taking the
chair,--then by Charles Allen, Henry Wilson, Abraham Payne, of Rhode
Island, Charles Hart, of Rhode Island, J.C. Woodman, of Maine, Amasa
Walker, Lott Poole, Joshua Leavitt, Lewis D. Campbell, of Ohio, Joshua
R. Giddings, of Ohio, J.C. Lovejoy, Charles Francis Adams, Charles
Sumner, Edward L. Keyes, and E. Rockwood Hoar. The speeches were
earnest and determined, and they were received in a corresponding
spirit. No great movement ever showed at the beginning more character
and power. It began true and strong.

All the speakers united in renouncing old party ties. None did
this better than C.F. Adams, who concluded his remarks by saying:
"Forgetting the things that are behind, I propose that we press forward
to the high calling of our new occupation; and, fellow-citizens,
whatever may be the fate of you or me, all I can now add is to repeat
the words of one with whom I take pride in remembering that I have been
connected: 'Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish,' to go with
the liberties of my country is my fixed determination." To these words
Mr. Sumner alluded at the beginning of his speech.


At the close of a day crowded with exciting interest and full of best
auguries, I feel that I can add little to what you have already heard.
What can I say that shall enforce the great cause so successfully
commended by my friend from Ohio [Mr. GIDDINGS], and, lastly,
by my friend [Mr. ADAMS] who has just spoken, with the voice
of the American Revolution on his lips? One thing, at least, I can
do: I can join them in renunciation of party relations, so plainly
inconsistent with the support of Freedom. They have been Whigs; and
I, too, have been a Whig, though "not an ultra Whig." I was a Whig
because I thought this party represented the moral sentiments of the
country,--that it was the party of Humanity. It has ceased to sustain
this character. It represents no longer the moral sentiments of the
country. It is not the party of Humanity. A party which renounces its
sentiments must expect to be renounced. In the coming contest I wish it
understood that I belong to the party of Freedom,--to that party which
plants itself on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
of the United States.

The transactions in which we are now engaged recall an incident of
French history. It was late in the night, at Versailles, that a
courtier of Louis the Sixteenth, penetrating the bed-chamber of his
master, and arousing him from slumber, communicated the intelligence,
big with destiny, that the people of Paris, smarting under wrong and
falsehood, had risen in their might, and, after a severe conflict
with hireling troops, destroyed the Bastile. The unhappy monarch,
turning upon his couch, said, "It is an _insurrection_." "No, Sire,"
answered the honest courtier, "it is a _revolution_." And such is our
movement to-day. It is a REVOLUTION,--not beginning with the
destruction of a Bastile, but destined to end only with the overthrow
of a tyranny differing little in hardship and audacity from that
which sustained the Bastile of France,--I mean the Slave Power of our
country. Do not start at this similitude. I intend no unkindness to
slaveholders, many of whom are doubtless humane and honest. Such also
was Louis the Sixteenth; and yet he sustained the Bastile, with the
untold horrors of its dungeons, where human beings were thrust into
companionship with toads and rats.

By the Slave Power I understand that combination of persons, or,
perhaps, of politicians, whose animating principle is the perpetuation
and extension of Slavery, with the advancement of Slaveholders. That
such a combination exists is apparent from our history. It shows
itself in the mildest, and perhaps the least offensive form, in the
undue proportion of offices held by Slaveholders under the National
Constitution. It is still worse apparent in a succession of acts by
which the National Government has been prostituted to Slavery. Mindful
of the Missouri Compromise, with its sanction of Slavery,--mindful of
the annexation of Texas, with its fraud and iniquity,--mindful also
of the war against Mexico, in itself a great crime, where wives and
sisters have been compelled to mourn sons, husbands, and brothers
untimely slain,--as these things, dark, dismal, atrocious, rise before
us, may we not brand their unquestionable source as a tyranny hateful
as that which sustained the Bastile? The Slave Power is the criminal.

This combination is unknown to the Constitution; nay, it exists in
defiance of that instrument, and of the recorded opinions uttered
constantly by its founders. The Constitution was the crowning labor of
the men who gave us the Declaration of Independence. It was established
to perpetuate, in organic law, those rights which the Declaration had
promulgated, and which the sword of Washington had secured. "We hold
these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that
_among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness_." Such
are the emphatic words which our country took upon its lips, as it
first claimed its place among the nations of the earth. These were its
baptismal vows. And the preamble of the Constitution renews them, when
it declares its objects, among other things, to "establish justice,
promote the general welfare, and _secure the blessings of liberty_ to
ourselves and our posterity." Mark: not to establish _injustice_, not
to promote the welfare of a class, or of a few slaveholders, but the
_general_ welfare; not to foster the curse of slavery, but to secure
the blessings of _liberty_. And the declared opinions of the fathers
were all in harmony with these two charters. "I can only say," said
Washington, "that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely
than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery; but there
is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished,
and that is by legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage
will go, shall never be wanting."[240] Patrick Henry, while confessing
that he was the master of slaves, said: "I will not, I cannot justify
it. However culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my devoir to Virtue
as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and lament
my want of conformity to them. I believe a time will come, when an
opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil."[241]
And Franklin, as President of the earliest Abolition Society of the
country, signed a petition to the first Congress, in which he declared
himself "bound to use all justifiable endeavors to loosen the bands
of slavery, and promote a general enjoyment of the blessings of
freedom."[242] Thus the soldier, the orator, and the philosopher of the
Revolution, all unite in homage to Freedom. Washington, wise in council
and in battle, Patrick Henry, with tongue of flame, Franklin, with
heaven-descended sagacity and humanity, all bear testimony to the times
in which they lived, and the institutions they helped to establish.

    [240] Letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786: Writings of
    Washington, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX. p. 159.

    [241] Letter to Robert Pleasants, January 18, 1779: Goodloe's
    Southern Platform, p. 79.

    [242] Annals of Congress, 1st Cong. 2d Sess., 1198.

It is plain that our Constitution was formed by lovers of Human
Freedom,--that it was animated by their divine spirit,--that Slavery
was regarded by them with aversion, so that, if covertly alluded to,
it was not named in the instrument,--and that they all looked forward
to an early day when this evil and shame would be obliterated from the
land. Surely, then, it is right to say that the combination which seeks
to perpetuate and extend Slavery is unknown to the Constitution,--that
it exists in defiance of that instrument, and also of the recorded
opinions uttered constantly by its founders.

Time would fail me to dwell on the perpetual influence, growing with
time, which the Slave Power has exerted from the foundation of the
government. In the earlier periods of our history it was moderate
and reserved. The spirit of the founders still prevailed. But with
the advance of years, and as these early champions passed from the
scene, it became more audacious, aggressive, and tyrannical, till
at last it obtained the control of the government, and caused it to
be administered, not in the spirit of Freedom, but in the spirit of
Slavery. Yes! the government of the United States is now (let it
be said with shame), not, as at the beginning, a government merely
permitting, while it regretted Slavery, but a government openly
favoring and vindicating it, visiting also with its displeasure all who
oppose it.

During late years the Slave Power has introduced a new test for
office, which would have excluded Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.
It applies an arrogant and unrelenting ostracism to all who express
themselves against Slavery. And now, in the madness of tyranny, it
proposes to extend this curse over new soil not yet darkened by its
presence. It seeks to make the flag of our country the carrier of
Slavery into distant lands,--to scale the mountain fastnesses of
Oregon, and descend with its prey upon the shores of the Pacific,--to
cross the Rio Grande, and there, in broad territories, recently wrested
from Mexico by robber hands, to plant a shameful institution which that
republic has expressly abolished.

In the prosecution of its purposes, the Slave Power has obtained the
control of both the great political parties. Their recent nominations
were made to serve its interests, to secure its supremacy, and
especially to promote the extension of Slavery. Whigs and Democrats,--I
use the old names still,--professing to represent conflicting
sentiments, concur in being representatives of the Slave Power. General
Cass, after openly registering his adhesion to it, was recognized as
the candidate of the Democrats. General Taylor, who owns slaves on a
large scale, though observing a studious silence on Slavery, as on all
other things, is not only a representative of the Slave Power, but an
important constituent part of the Power itself.

I will not dwell upon the manner in which General Taylor was forced
upon the late Whig party. This has been amply done by others. But you
will pardon me, if I allude to the aid his nomination derived from a
quarter of the country where it should have encountered inexorable
opposition,--I refer to New England, and especially to Massachusetts.
I speak only what is now too notorious, when I say that it was the
secret influence which went forth from among ourselves that contributed
powerfully to this consummation. Yes! it was brought about by an
unhallowed union--conspiracy let it be called--between two remote
sections: between the politicians of the Southwest and the politicians
of the Northeast,--between the cotton-planters and flesh-mongers of
Louisiana and Mississippi and the cotton-spinners and traffickers of
New England,--between the lords of the lash and the lords of the loom.

And now the question occurs, What is the true line of duty with
regard to these two candidates? Mr. Van Buren--and I honor him for
his trumpet call to the North--sounded the true note, when he said
he could not vote for either. Though nominated by opposite parties,
they represent substantially the same interest. The election of either
would be a triumph of the Slave Power, entailing upon the country the
sin of extending Slavery. How, then, shall they be encountered? To
my mind the way is plain. The lovers of Freedom, from both parties,
and irrespective of all party associations, must unite, and by a new
combination, congenial to the Constitution, oppose both candidates.
This will be the FREEDOM POWER, whose single object will be to resist
the SLAVE POWER. We will put them face to face, and let them grapple.
Who can doubt the result?

I hear the old political saw, that "we must take the least of two
evils." My friend from Ohio [Mr. GIDDINGS] has already riddled
this excuse, so that I might well leave it untouched; but I cannot
forbear a brief observation. It is admitted, then, that Cass and Taylor
both are _evils_. For myself, if two evils are presented to me, I will
take neither. There are occasions of political difference, I admit,
when it may become expedient to vote for a candidate who does not
completely represent our sentiments. There are matters legitimately
within the range of expediency and compromise. The Tariff and the
Currency are of this character. If a candidate differs from me on these
more or less, I may yet vote for him. But the question before the
country is of another character. This will not admit of compromise. It
is not within the domain of expediency. _To be wrong on this is to be
wholly wrong._ It is not merely expedient for us to defend Freedom,
when assailed, but our duty so to do, unreservedly, and careless of
consequences. Who in this assembly would help to fasten a fetter upon
Oregon or Mexico? Who that would not oppose every effort to do this
thing? Nobody. Who is there, then, that can vote for either Taylor or

But it is said that we shall throw away our votes, and that our
opposition will fail. Fail, Sir! No honest, earnest effort in a good
cause can fail. It may not be crowned with the applause of men; it
may not seem to touch the goal of immediate worldly success, which
is the end and aim of so much in life. But it is not lost. It helps
to strengthen the weak with new virtue,--to arm the irresolute with
proper energy,--to animate all with devotion to duty, which in the end
conquers all. Fail! Did the martyrs fail, when with precious blood they
sowed the seed of the Church? Did the discomfited champions of Freedom
fail, who have left those names in history that can never die? Did the
three hundred Spartans fail, when, in the narrow pass, they did not
fear to brave the innumerable Persian hosts, whose very arrows darkened
the sun? Overborne by numbers, crushed to earth, they left an example
greater far than any victory. And this is the least we can do. Our
example will be the main-spring of triumph hereafter. It will not be
the first time in history that the hosts of Slavery have outnumbered
the champions of Freedom. But where is it written that Slavery finally

Assurances here to-day show that we need not postpone success. It seems
already at hand. The heart of Ohio beats responsive to the heart of
Massachusetts, and all the Free States are animated with the vigorous
breath of Freedom. Let us not waste time in vain speculations between
two candidates. Both are bad. Both represent a principle we cannot

Whatever may be said to the contrary by politicians, Freedom is the
only question now before the American people. The Bank is not alone
an "obsolete idea." All the ideas put forward in the controversies
of party are now practically obsolete. Peace has come to remove the
question of the Mexican War. We are no longer obliged to consider if an
unnecessary and unconstitutional war shall be maintained by supplies.
There is no question with regard to the Sub-Treasury. This is now
firmly established. Then comes the cause of Internal Improvements. This
is not unimportant, but happily it is removed from the domain of party.
The Chicago Convention for the express consideration of this subject
was composed of various political opinions, and I understand that its
recommendations are now sustained by opposite parties.

Of the past issues, that of the Tariff excites the most interest. This,
it will be remembered, did not find a place in the early history of
the country. Only in recent times has it occupied the attention of
politicians, and been the occasion of vehement popular appeals. Regret
is often expressed that it is the subject of party strife. It will be
in the recollection of most persons that Mr. Webster made a vigorous
effort to remove it from the list of party questions. What he was
unable to do directly has been accomplished indirectly by the Mexican
War. The debt of millions now entailed upon the country renders it
necessary to impose a tariff which will satisfy the demands of all. Of
course the debt must be paid; nor should we lose time in paying it, nor
postpone it to the next generation. The people are not ready to meet
it by direct taxation,--though, for one, I should be well pleased to
see such a corrective applied to war. It can be paid only through the
agency of a tariff, which, for this purpose, if for no other, must be
supported by all parties. The Tariff, then, like the others, is no
longer a political issue. If not obsolete, it is at least in abeyance.

These questions being out of the way, what remains for those who, in
casting their votes, regard _principles_ rather than _men_? It is clear
that the only question of present practical interest arises from the
usurpations of the Slave Power and the efforts to extend Slavery. This
is the vital question at this time. It is _the question of questions_.
It was lately said in the Convention of the New York Democracy at Utica
(and I am glad to quote that most respectable body of men), that the
movement in which we are now engaged is the most important since the
American Revolution. Something more may be said. _It is a continuance
of the American Revolution._ It is an effort to carry into effect the
principles of the Declaration of Independence, and to revive in the
administration of our government the spirit of Washington, Franklin,
and Jefferson,--to bring back the Constitution to the principles and
practice of its early founders,--to the end that it shall promote
Freedom, and not Slavery, and shall be administered in harmony with the
spirit of Freedom, and not with the spirit of Slavery.

In the last will and testament of Washington are emphatic words, which
may be adopted as the motto for the present contest. After providing
for the emancipation of his slaves, to take place on the death of
his wife, he says, "And I do hereby expressly forbid the sale or
transportation out of the said Commonwealth of any slave I may die
possessed of, _under any pretence whatsoever_."[243] So, at least,
should the people of the United States expressly forbid the sale or
transportation of any slave beyond their ancient borders, under any
pretence whatsoever.

    [243] Writings of Washington, ed. Sparks, Vol. I. p. 570.

Returning to our forefathers for their principles, let us borrow also
something of their courage and union. Let us summon to our sides the
majestic forms of those civil heroes whose firmness in council was
equalled only by the firmness of Washington in war. Let us again awake
to the eloquence of the elder Adams, animating his associates in
Congress to independence; let us listen anew to the sententious wisdom
of Franklin; let us be enkindled, as were the men of other days, by the
fervid devotion to Freedom which flamed from the heart of Jefferson.

Instructed even by our enemies, let us be taught by the Slave Power
itself. The few slaveholders are always united. Hence their strength.
Like sticks in a fagot, they cannot be broken. Thus far the friends of
Freedom have been divided. _Union_, then, must be our watchword,--union
among men of all parties. By such union we consolidate an opposition
which must prevail.

Let me call upon you, then, men of all parties, Whigs and Democrats,
or howsoever named, to come forward and join in a common cause. Let
us all leave the old organizations, and come together. In the crisis
before us, it becomes us to forget past differences, and those names
which have been the signal of strife. Only remembering our duties,
when the fire-bell rings at midnight, we ask not if it be Whigs or
Democrats who join us to extinguish the flames; nor do we make any such
inquiry in selecting our leader then. To the strongest arm and the most
generous soul we defer at once. To him we commit the direction of the
engine. His hand grasps the pipe to pour the water upon the raging
conflagration. So must we do now. Our leader must be the man who is
the ablest and surest representative of the principles to which we are

Let Massachusetts, nurse of the men and principles that made our
earliest revolution, vow herself anew to her early faith. Let
her once more elevate the torch which she first held aloft, or,
if need be, pluck fresh coals from the living altars of France,
proclaiming, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,"--Liberty to the captive,
Equality between master and slave, Fraternity with all men,--the
whole comprehended in that sublime revelation of Christianity, the
Brotherhood of Man.

In the contemplation of these great interests, the intrigues of party,
the machinations of politicians, the combinations of office-seekers,
all seem to pass from sight. Politics and morals, no longer divorced
from each other, become one and inseparable in the holy wedlock of
Christian sentiment. Such a union elevates politics, while it gives
a new sphere to morals. Political discussions have a grandeur which
they never before assumed. Released from topics which concern only the
selfish squabble for gain, and are often independent of morals, they
come home to the heart and conscience. A novel force passes into the
contests of party, breathing into them the breath of a new life,--of
Hope, Progress, Justice, Humanity.

From this demonstration to-day, and the acclaim wafted to us from
the Free States, it is easy to see that the great cause of Liberty,
to which we now dedicate ourselves, will sweep the heart-strings of
the people. It will smite all the chords with a might to draw forth
emotions such as no political struggle ever awakened before. It will
move the young, the middle-aged, and the old. It will find a voice in
the social circle, and mingle with the flame of the domestic hearth. It
will touch the souls of mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters, until
the sympathies of all swell in one irresistible chorus of indignation
against the deep damnation of lending new sanction to the enslavement
of our brother man.

Come forward, then, men of all parties! let us range together. Come
forth, all who thus far have kept aloof from parties! here is occasion
for action. Men of Peace, come forth! All who in any way feel the wrong
of Slavery, take your stand! Join us, lovers of Truth, of Justice,
of Humanity! And let me call especially upon the young. You are the
natural guardians of Freedom. In your firm resolves and generous souls
she will find her surest protection. The young man who is not willing
to serve in her cause, to suffer, if need be, in her behalf, gives
little promise of those qualities which secure an honorable age.

                      THE LAW OF HUMAN PROGRESS.

                      SCHENECTADY, JULY 25, 1848.

     Secta fuit servare modum, finemque tenere,
     Naturamque sequi, patriæque impendere vitam,
     Nec sibi, sed toti genitum se credere mundo.

                              LUCAN, _Pharsalia_, Lib. II. 381-383.

Plus les lumières se répandent, plus les écarts de la moyenne vont en
diminuant; plus, par conséquent, nous tendons à nous rapprocher de
ce qui est beau et de ce qui est bien. La perfectibilité de l'espèce
humaine résulte comme une conséquence nécessaire de toutes nos
recherches.--QUETELET, _Sur l'Homme_, Tom. II. p. 326.

       But at my back I always hear
       Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
       And yonder all before us lie
       Deserts of vast eternity.

                              MARVELL, _To his Coy Mistress_.


From opposite parts of the country, from various schools of sentiment,
we have come together, at this happy anniversary, to interchange
salutations, to mingle in friendly communion, and to catch such words
of cheer as the occasion shall convey. Here are the young, with
freshest laurel of Alma Mater, with joy brightening and hope elevating
the countenance, still unconscious of the toils which enter into the
duties of the world. Here are they, too, of middle life, on whose
weary foreheads the sun now pours his meridian ray, resting for a
moment in these pleasant retreats to renew their strength. Here, also,
are the fathers, crowned with length of days, and rich with ripened
wisdom, withdrawn from active struggle, and dwelling much in meditation
upon the Past. The Future, the Present, and the Past, all find their
representatives in our Fraternity.

I speak of _our_ Fraternity; for, though a stranger among you, yet,
as a member of this society in a sister University, and as a student
of letters in moments snatched from other pursuits, I may claim
kindred here. Let me speak, then, as to my own brethren. Invited by
your partial kindness, it is my privilege to unfold some subject,
which, while claiming your attention during this brief hour, may not
improperly mingle with the memories of this anniversary. I would, if
I could, utter truth which, while approved by the old, should sink
deep into the souls of the young, filling them with strength for all
good works. Mindful, then, of the occasion, deeply conscious of its
requirements, solicitous of the harmony which becomes our literary
festivals, I cannot banish from my thoughts a topic which is intimately
connected with the movements of the present age,--nay, which explains
and controls these movements, whether in the march of science, the
triumphs of charity, the widespread convulsions of Europe, or the
generous uprising of our own country in behalf of Freedom.

Wherever we turn is Progress,--in science, in literature, in knowledge
of the earth, in knowledge of the skies, in intercourse among men, in
the spread of liberty, in works of beneficence, in the recognition
of Human Brotherhood. Thrones, where Authority seemed to sit secure,
with the sanction of centuries, are shaken, and new-made constitutions
come to restrain the aberrations of unlimited power. Men everywhere,
breaking away from the Past, are pressing on to the things that are

Recall for one moment what has taken place during a brief span of time,
hardly exceeding a year. I do not dwell on that mighty revolution in
France, with whose throes the earth still shakes, and whose issues
are yet unrevealed; I do not pause to contemplate the character of
that Pontifical Reformer who has done so much to breathe into Europe
the breath of a new life; I can only point to Sicily and Naples,
rising against a besotted tyranny,--to Venice and Lombardy, claiming
long-lost rights,--to all Italy, filled with the thought of Unity,--to
Hungary, flaming with republican fires,--to Austria, roused at last
against a patriarchal despotism,--to Prussia, taking her place among
constitutional states,--to Germany, in its many principalities,
throbbing with the strong pulse of Freedom. These things are present to
your minds.

Other events, of a different character, are not less signs of the age.
Discovery has achieved one of its most brilliant, as also one of its
most benign results. The genius of Leverrier, traversing the spaces of
the heavens, has disclosed a new planet. By the application of ether,
the dreaded pain of the surgical knife, and even the pangs of Nature,
are soothed or removed, while Death is disarmed of something of its

These latter times have witnessed two spectacles of another nature
and less regarded, which are of singular significance,--harbingers, I
would call them, of those glad days of promise which we almost seem
to touch. I would not exaggerate, and yet I must speak of them as
they impress my own mind. To me they are of a higher order than any
discovery in science, or any success in the acquisition of knowledge,
or any political prosperity, inasmuch as they are the tokens of that
moral elevation, and of that Human Brotherhood, without distinction
of condition, nation, or race, which it is the supreme office of all
science, all knowledge, and all politics to serve. I refer to the
sailing of the Jamestown from Boston with succor to the starving
poor of Ireland, and to the meeting of the Penitentiary Congress at
Frankfort. All confess the beauty of that act, where prophecy seems
fulfilled, by which a Ship of War was consecrated to a purpose of
charity. Hardly less beautiful is the contemplation of that assembly
at Frankfort (perhaps it is new to some whom I have the honor
of addressing), where were delegates from most of the Christian
nations,--from military France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, the
States of Germany, England, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Poland, distant
Russia, and frozen Norway,--convened for no purpose of war or
diplomacy,--not to agitate selfish coalitions, not to adjust or disturb
the seeming balance of Europe, not to exalt or abase the vaulting
ambition of potentate or state, but calmly and in fraternal council
to consider what could be done for those who are in prison, to hear
the recital of efforts in their behalf among all the nations, and to
encourage each other in this work. Such a Congress forms a truer epoch
of Christian Progress--does it not?--than the Congress of Vienna, with
the bespangled presence of great autocrats distributing the spoils of
war, as the sailing of the Jamestown is a higher Christian triumph than
any mere victory of blood.

Profoundly penetrated by these things, you will confess the Progress
of Man. The earnest soul, enlightened by history, strengthened by
philosophy, nursed to childish slumber by the simple prayer, "Thy
kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," confident
in the final, though slow, fulfilment of the daily fulfilling promises
of the Future, looks forward to the continuance of this Progress during
unknown and infinite ages, as a _law_ of our being.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is of this that I shall speak to-day. My subject is THE LAW OF
HUMAN PROGRESS. In selecting this theme, I would not minister to
the pride or gratulation of the Present, nor would I furnish motives
for indifference or repose. Rather would I teach how small is the
Present and all it contains, compared with the Future, and how duties
increase with the grandeur upon which we enter, while we derive new
encouragement from knowledge of the law which is our support and guide.

The subject is vast as it is interesting and important. It might well
occupy a volume, rather than a brief discourse. In unfolding it, I
shall speak _first_ of the history of this law, as seen in its origin,
gradual development, and recognition,--and _next_ of its character,
conditions, and limitations, with the duties it enjoins and the
encouragements it affords.


And, first, of its history. The recognition of this law has been
reserved for comparatively recent times. Like other general laws
governing the courses of Nature, it was unknown to Antiquity. The
ignorance and prejudice which then prevailed with regard to the earth,
the heavenly bodies, and their relations to the universe, found fit
companionship with the wild speculations concerning the Human Family.
The ignorant live only in the Present, whether of time or place. What
they see and observe bounds their knowledge. Thus to the early Greek
the heavens were upborne by the mountains, and the sun traversed daily
in fiery chariot from east to west. So things seemed to him. But the
true Destiny of the Human Family was as little comprehended.

Man, in his origin and history, was surrounded with fable; nor was
there any correct idea of the principles determining the succession
of events. Revolutions of states were referred sometimes to chance,
sometimes to certain innate elements of decay. Plutarch did not
hesitate to ascribe the triumphs of Rome, not to the operation of
immutable law, but to the fortune of the Republic. And Polybius, whom
Gibbon extols for wisdom and philosophical spirit, said that Carthage,
being so much older than Rome, felt her decay so much the sooner;
and the survivor, he announced, carried in her bosom the seeds of
mortality. The image of youth, manhood, and age was applied to nations.
Like mortals on earth, they were supposed to have a period of life,
and a length of thread spun by the Fates, strong at first, but thinner
and weaker with advancing time, till at last it was cut, and another
nation, with newly twisted thread, commenced its career.

In likening the life of a nation to the life of an individual man,
there was error, commended by seeming truth, not yet entirely banished.
It prevails still with many, who have not received the Law of Human
Progress, teaching that all revolutions and changes are but links in
the chain of development, or, it may be, turns in the grand _spiral_,
by which the unknown infinite Future is connected with the Past.
Nations have decayed, but never with the imbecility of age.

The ancients saw that there were changes, but did not detect the
principles governing them, while a favorite fable and popular
superstition conspired to turn attention back upon the Past, rather
than forward to the Future. In the dawn of Greece, Hesiod, standing
near the Father of Poetry, sang the descending mutations through
which Mankind had seemed to travel. First came the Golden Age, so
he fabled, when men lived secure and happy in pleasant association,
without discord, without care, without toil, without weariness, while
good of all kinds abounded, like the plentiful fruits which the earth
spontaneously supplied. This was followed by the Silver Age, with
a race inferior in form and disposition. Next was the Brazen Age,
still descending in the scale, when men became vehement and robust,
strong in body and stern in soul, building brazen houses, wielding
brazen weapons, prompt to war, but not yet entirely wicked. Last,
and unhappily his own, according to the poet, was the Iron Age, when
straightway all evil raged forth; neither by day nor yet by night, did
men rest from labor and sorrow; discord took the place of concord; the
pious, the just, and the good were without favor; the man of force and
the evil-doer were cherished; modesty and justice yielded to insolence
and wrong. War now prevailed, and men lived in wretchedness.[244]

    [244] Hesiod, Opera et Dies, 109-201.

Such, according to the Greek poet, was the succession of changes
through which mankind had passed. This fable found a response. It was
repeated by philosophy and history. Plato adorned and illustrated it.
Strabo and Diodorus imparted to it their grave sanction. It was carried
to Rome, with the other spoils of Greece. It was reproduced by Ovid,
in flowing verses that have become a commonplace of literature. It was
recognized by the tender muse of Virgil, the sportive fancy of Horace,
and the stern genius of Juvenal. Songs and fables have ever exerted a
powerful control over human opinion; nor is it possible to estimate
the influence of this story in shaping unconsciously the thoughts of
mankind. It is easy to understand that the youth of Antiquity,--let me
say, too, the youth of later ages,--nay, of our own day, in our own
schools and colleges,--nurtured by this literature, should learn to
neglect the Future, and rather regard the Past. The words of Horace
have afforded a polished expression to this prejudice of education:--

    "Damnosa quid non imminuit dies?
     Ætas parentum, pejor avis, tulit
       Nos nequiores, mox daturos
          Progeniem vitiosiorem."[245]

    [245] Hor., Carm. III. vi. 45-48.

Barren as is classical literature in any just recognition of the
continuity of events, any true appreciation of the movement of history,
or any well-defined confidence in the Future, it were wrong to say
that it never found a voice which seemed, in harmony with the Prophets
and the Evangelists, to proclaim the advent of a better age. Virgil,
in his Eclogue to Pollio,--the exact meaning of which is still a
riddle,--breaks forth in words of vague aspiration, which have been
sometimes supposed to herald the coming of the Saviour. The blessings
of Peace are here foreshadowed, while the Golden Age seems to be not
only behind, but also before. Thus, notwithstanding the prejudice of
superstition and the constraint of ignorance, has the human heart, in
longings for a better condition on earth, gone forward as the pioneer
of Humanity.

To the superstition of Heathenism succeeded that of the Christian
Church. The popular doctrine of an immediate millennium, inculcated by
a succession of early fathers, took the place of ancient fable; and a
Golden Age was placed in advance to animate the hope and perseverance
of the faithful. It was believed that the anxieties and strifes
filling the lives of men were all to be lost in a blissful Sabbath of
a thousand years, when Christ with the triumphant band of saints would
return to reign upon earth until the last and general resurrection.
Vain and irrational as was the early form of this anticipation, it was
not without advantage. It filled the souls of all who received it with
aspirations for the Future, while it rudely prefigured that promised
period--then, alas! how distant!--when the whole world will glow in the
illumination of Christian truth. Among the means by which the Law of
Human Progress has found acceptance, it is only just to mention this
prophetic vision of the ancient Church.

All the legitimate influences of Christianity were in the same
direction. Christianity is the religion of Progress. Here is a
distinctive feature, which we vainly seek in any Heathen faith
professed upon earth. Confucius, in his sublime morals, taught us not
to do unto others what we would have them not do unto us; but the
Chinese philosopher did not declare the ultimate triumph of this law.
It was reserved for the Sermon on the Mount to reveal the vital truth,
that all the highest commands of religion and duty, drawing in their
train celestial peace, and marking the final goal of all Progress among
men, shall one day be obeyed. "For verily I say unto you," says the
Saviour, "till heaven and earth pass, _one jot or one tittle shall in
no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled_."

There is nothing of good so vast or beautiful, nothing so distant or
seemingly inaccessible, as to fall beyond the reach of these promises.
Though imperfectly understood, or recognized, in the night of ignorance
and prejudice, they were heralds of the dawn. In the advance of Modern
Europe, they led the way, whispering, _Onward forever!_ Long before
Philosophy deduced the Law of Human Progress from the history of man,
the Gospel silently planted it in the human heart. There it rested,
influencing powerfully, though gently, the march of events.

Slowly did it pass from the formularies of devotion into the
convictions of reason and the treasury of science. Strange blindness!
They, who, repeating the Lord's Prayer, daily called for _the coming
of his kingdom on earth_, who professed implicit faith in the final
fulfilment of the Law, still continued in Heathen ignorance of the
significance and spirit of the Prayer they daily uttered and of the
Law they daily recognized. They did not perceive that the kingdom of
the Lord was to come, and the Law to be fulfilled by a continuity of
daily labor. As modern civilization gradually unfolded itself amidst
the multiplying generations of men, they witnessed the successive
manifestations of power,--but perceived no Law. They looked upon the
imposing procession of events, but did not discern the rule which
guided the mighty series. Ascending from triumph to triumph, they saw
dominion extended by the discoveries of intrepid navigators,--saw
learning strengthened by the studies of accomplished scholars,--saw
universities opening their portals to ingenuous youth in all corners
of the land, from Aberdeen and Copenhagen to Toledo and Ferrara,--saw
Art put forth new graces in the painting of Raffaelle, new grandeur
in the painting, the sculpture, and the architecture of Michel
Angelo,--caught the strains of poets, no longer cramped by ancient
idioms, but flowing sweetly in the language learned at a mother's
knee,--received the manifold revelations of science in geometry,
mathematics, astronomy,--beheld the barbarism of the barbarous Art of
War changed and refined, though barbarous still, by the invention of
gunpowder,--witnessed knowledge of all kinds springing to unwonted
power through the marvellous agency of the printing-press,--admired
the character of _the Good Man of Peace_, as described in that work
of unexampled circulation, translated into all modern languages, the
"Imitation of Christ," by Thomas à Kempis,--listened to the apostolic
preaching of Wyckliffe in England, Huss in Bohemia, Savonarola in
Florence, Luther at Worms; and yet all these things, the harmonious
expression of _progressive_ energies belonging to Man, token of an
untiring advance, earnest of a mightier Future, seemed to teach no
certain lesson.

The key to this advance had not been found. It was not seen that the
constant desire for improvement implanted in man, with the constant
effort consequent thereon in a life susceptible of indefinite Progress,
caused, naturally, under the laws of a beneficent God, an indefinite
advance,--that the evil passions of individuals, or of masses, while
retarding, could not permanently restrain this divine impulse,--and
that each generation, by irresistible necessity, added to the
accumulations of the Past, and in this way prepared a higher Future. To
all ignorant of this tendency, history, instead of a connected chain,
with cause and effect in natural order, is nothing but a disconnected,
irregular series of incidents, like separate and confused circles
having no common bond. It is a dark chaos, embroiled by "chance, high
arbitress," or swayed by some accidental man, fortunate in position or
power. Even Macchiavelli, the consummate historian and politician of
his age,--Bodin, the able speculator upon Government,--Bossuet, the
eloquent teacher of religion and history,--Grotius, the illustrious
founder of the Laws of Nations,--whose large intelligence should have
grasped the true philosophy of events,--all failed to recognize in
them any prevailing law or governing principle.

It was reserved for a professor at Naples, Giambattista Vico, in
the early part of the last century, to review the history of the
Past, analyze its movements, and finally disclose the existence of a
primitive rule or law by which these movements were effected. His work,
entitled "The Principles of a New Science concerning the Common Nature
of Nations,"[246] first published in 1725, constitutes an epoch in
historical studies. Recent Italian admirers vindicate for its author
a place among great discoverers, by the side of Descartes, Galileo,
Bacon, and Newton.[247] Without undertaking to question, or to adopt,
this lofty homage to a name little known, it will not be doubted, that,
as author of an elaborate work devoted expressly to the philosophy
of history, at a period when history was supposed to be without
philosophy, he deserves honorable mention.

    [246] Principj di una Scienza nuova d'intorno alla comune Natura
    delle Nazioni. The fourth book is entitled _Del corso che fanno
    le nazioni_; the fifth book, _Del ricorso delle cose humane nel
    risurgere che fanno le nazioni_.

    [247] Cataldo Jannelli, Cenni sulla Natura et Necessità della
    Scienza delle Cose et delle Storie Umane. Cap. 3, sec. 6.

Vico taught regard not merely for the individual and the nation, but
the race, and showed, that, whatever the fortunes of individuals,
Humanity advances,--that no blind or capricious chance controls the
course of human affairs, but that whatever is done proceeds directly,
under God, from the forces and faculties of men, and thus can have no
true cause except in the nature of things,--excluding, of course, the
idea of chance. He recognized three principles at the foundation of
civilization: first, the existence of Divine Providence; secondly, the
necessity of moderating the passions; and, thirdly, the immortality of
the soul: three primal truths, answering to three historical facts of
universal acceptance,--religion, marriage, and sepulture. Three stages
marked the history of mankind: first, the divine, or theocratic; next,
the heroic; and, lastly, the human. These appeared in Antiquity, and
were reproduced, as he fancied, in modern times. Ingenuity and novelty
are stamped upon this exposition, which is elevated by the exclusion of
chance and the recognition of God.

While recognizing Humanity as governed by law, and with a common
dependence, the Neapolitan professor failed to perceive that this same
law and this common dependence promise to conduct it through unknown
and infinite stages. Believing monarchy a perfect government, he did
not see beyond the time of kings. Like others before him, and even
in our own day, he was perplexed by the treacherous image of youth,
manhood, and age, which he applied to nations, as to the individual
man. No discovery is complete, and that of Vico, while most ingenious
and fruitful, failed to grasp the whole law of the Future.

Meanwhile a gigantic genius in Germany,--whose vision, no less
comprehensive than penetrating, embraced the whole circumference
of knowledge and reached into the undiscovered Future, to whom the
complexities of mathematics, the subtilties of philology, the mazes of
philosophy, the courses of history, the rules of jurisprudence, and the
heights of theology were all equally familiar,--Leibnitz, that more
than imperial conqueror in the realms of universal knowledge,--the
greatest, perhaps, of Human Intelligences,--enunciated the Law of
Progress in all the sciences and all the concerns of life. The Present,
born of the Past, he said, is pregnant with the Future. It is by a
sure series that we advance, using and enjoying all our gifts for
health of body and improvement of mind. Everything, from the simplest
substance up to man, progresses towards God, the Infinite Being, Source
of all other beings; and in bold words, which may require explanation,
he says, "Man seems able to arrive at perfection": _Videtur homo ad
perfectionem venire posse_.[248]

    [248] Leibnitz, Opera Omnia (ed. Dutens), Tom. VI. p. 309:
    _Leibnitiana_, Art. LXXIV.--"Ut semper _certa serie progredi_
    valeamus." Opera Philosophica, p. 85, Art. XI., _De Scientia
    Universali_.--See also _Théodicée_, § 341.

Leibnitz saw the Law of Progress by intuition, and became its herald.
But there is no reason to believe that he appreciated its transcendent
importance as a rule of conduct, and submitted his great powers to its
influence. He saw more than Vico, but he did not discern the practical
guide he had discovered. And yet, recognizing this law, the gates of
the Future were open to him, and he saw Man in distant perspective,
arrived at heights of happiness which he cannot now conceive. The
vision of Universal Peace was to him no longer a vision, but the
practical idea of humane statesmen, while he bent his incomparable
genius to the discovery of a new agent of intercourse among men,--the
aspiration of other philosophers since his day,--a Universal Language,
where the confusion of tongues will be forgotten, and the union of
hearts be consummated in the union of speech.

Close upon Leibnitz came Lessing, whose genius, less universal, but
more exquisite, made him the regenerator of German literature. His
soul was touched by sympathy for all mankind, and he saw its sure
advance. Almost by his side was Herder, gifted among a gifted people,
who in his "Philosophy of History" portrays Humanity in its incessant
progress from small beginnings of ignorance and barbarism, when wrong
and war and slavery prevail, to the recognition of reason and justice
as the rule of life. "There is nothing enthusiastical," he says in that
work, which is a classic of German prose, "in the hope, that, wherever
men dwell, at some future period will dwell men rational, just, and
happy,--happy, not through the means of their own reason alone, but of
the common reason of their whole fraternal race."[249] In these last
words the Law of Progress is announced, with all its promises.

    [249] Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, tr. Churchill,
    Book XV. ch. 5, § 12.

In France we trace this law through a succession of master
minds,--first of whom in time, as in authority, is Descartes, the chief
of French philosophy. His life was crowded with triumphs of intellect,
and after death his spirit seemed for a time to rule all departments
of study. Like the universal soul of the Stoics, it was everywhere.
Though not formally enunciating the Law of Progress, his "Discourse on
Method," first published in 1637, acknowledged its influence in natural
science. "The experience which I have in physics," he says, "teaches
me that it is possible to arrive at a knowledge of many things which
will be very useful to life, and that we may yet discover methods by
which man, comprehending the force and the action of fire, water, air,
stars, skies, and all the other bodies which environ us, as distinctly
as we comprehend the different trades of our artisans, shall be able
to employ them in the same fashion for all the uses to which they
are appropriate, and thus shall render himself master and possessor
of Nature." In these new triumphs of knowledge, he says, "men may
learn to enjoy the fruits of the earth without trouble; their health
will be preserved, and they will be able to exempt themselves from an
infinitude of ills, as well of body as of mind, and even, perhaps, from
the weakness of old age." As I repeat these words, uttered long before
the steam-engine, the railroad, the electric telegraph, and the use of
ether, I seem to hear a prophecy, the prophecy of Science, which each
day helps to fulfil. "Without intending any slight," he continues, "I
am sure that even those engaged in these matters will confess that all
that they know is almost nothing in comparison with what remains to be
known."[250] There is grandeur in the assurance with which the great
philosopher announces the Future.

    [250] Descartes, Discours de la Méthode, Part. 6: OEuvres, Tom.
    I. pp. 192, 193.

From Descartes I come to Pascal, never to be mentioned without a
tribute to the early genius which, though removed from life at the age
of thirty-nine, left an ineffaceable trace upon the religion, science,
and literature of his time. The Law of Progress received from him its
earliest and most distinct statement as a rule of philosophy applicable
to all the sciences depending upon experience and reason. This is to
be found in that posthumous work of eloquent piety and sentiment,
_Les Pensées_, first published by his companions of Port Royal, in
1669, some time after his death; and it is not a little curious, as
an illustration of the prejudices this truth has encountered, that
the chapter where it is set forth, entitled _Of Authority in Matters
of Philosophy_, was in this early edition suppressed. Not until the
next century was the testimony of Pascal disclosed to the world. "By
a special prerogative of the human race," says he, "not only each
man advances day by day in the sciences, but all men together make
continual progress therein, as the universe grows old; because the
same thing happens in the succession of men which takes place in the
different ages of an individual. So that the whole succession of men in
the course of so many ages may be regarded as _one man who lives always
and who learns continually_. From this we see with what injustice we
respect Antiquity in its philosophers; for, since old age is the period
most distant from infancy, who does not see that the old age of this
_universal man_ must not be sought in the times nearest his birth, but
in those which are the most remote? They whom we call the Ancients
were indeed new in all things, and properly formed the infancy of
mankind; and since to their knowledge we have joined the experience of
the ages which have followed, it is in ourselves that is to be found
that Antiquity which we revere in the others."[251] We cannot admire
too much this splendid inspiration, where the expression is in harmony
with the thought. When it was said that mankind may be regarded "as one
man who lives always and who learns continually," there was indeed a
new discovery, as great as if a new continent or a new planet had been

    [251] Pascal, Pensées, Part. I. Art. 1, _De l'Autorité en Matière
    de Philosophie_: OEuvres (ed. Bossut, 1779), Tom. II.

The age enlightened by the genius of Pascal was ready to discuss
the question then at hand, on the comparative merits of Ancients
and Moderns, involving an inquiry into the principles of Progress,
particularly in art and literature. The close of the seventeenth
century witnessed this memorable debate, which extended from France to
England. French critics, under the lead of Boileau, espoused the cause
of the Ancients. Against them was Charles Perrault, conspicuous at the
time among academicians, and still remembered as author of those Fairy
Tales, including "Cinderella" and "Bluebeard," which have given him a
fame not inferior to that of his brother, Claude Perrault, with whom he
is sometimes confounded, to whom France is indebted for that perpetual
triumph in architecture, the unsurpassed front of the Louvre. In an
elaborate work, published in 1688-92, entitled "Parallel between the
Ancients and Moderns in regard to the Arts and Sciences,"[252] where
the debate is in the form of dialogue, he vindicates the Moderns in
comparison with the Ancients, and insists, that, notwithstanding the
perfection at which the latter arrived, the Moderns have an advantage
from prolonged experience and its necessary accumulations. Like Pascal,
whose remarkable words were still unpublished, he, too, sees the life
of Humanity _as the life of an individual man eternal_, and, though
recognizing epochs of retrogression in history, asserts the continuous
progress of the race, not only in the sciences, but also in morals and
the arts, not forgetting the art of the kitchen.

    [252] Parallèle des Anciens et des Modernes, en ce qui regarde les
    Arts et les Sciences.

This sentiment found similar utterance in a lively contemporary,
Fontenelle, an honored academician, whose life extended to a length
of days unequalled in the history of literature, having accomplished
one hundred years, after devoting that century of existence to the
exclusive pursuit of letters. "A good mind cultivated," says this
exceptional veteran, "is, so to speak, composed of all the minds of
the preceding ages: it is but one and the same mind that has been
cultivated during all this period. So that this man, who has lived from
the beginning of the world to the present time, has had his infancy,
when he was occupied only with the more pressing wants of life,--his
youth, when he has succeeded pretty well in matters of imagination,
such as poesy and eloquence, and when he has even begun to reason, but
with less solidity than fire. He has now reached the age of manhood,
when he reasons with more force and more intelligence than ever; but
he would be yet further advanced, if the passion for war had not for
a long time possessed him, and given him a contempt for the sciences,
to which he has at last returned.... _This man will have no old age_;
he will be ever equally capable of the things to which his youth was
fitted, and ever more and more so of those which belong to the age
of manhood: that is to say,--to quit the allegory,--men will never
degenerate, but the sound views of the entire succession of good minds
will always be added to one another."[253]--Titian, like Fontenelle,
was remarkable for unusual length of days; but the consummate artist,
among his immortal pictures, has left hardly one more worthy of
immortality than this brilliant statement, where the discovery of
Pascal is affirmed and presented with singular clearness and precision.

    [253] Fontenelle, Digression sur les Anciens et les Modernes:
    OEuvres, Tom. II. p. 249.

Thus, in France, was the Law of Progress confessed in the sciences by
Descartes and Pascal,--in literature, in arts, and even in morals,
by Perrault and Fontenelle. This was before the expiration of the
seventeenth century. It remained that it should be announced, not only
as a special law applicable to certain departments, but as a general
Law of Humanity, universal in application, guiding men in all their
labors, and erecting before them a goal of aspiration and of certain
triumph. This was done by another, who was not philosopher only, nor
statesman only, nor philanthropist only, but in whom this triumvirate
of characters blended with rare success,--Turgot, the well-loved
minister of Louis the Sixteenth. It was said of him by Voltaire, that
"he was born wise and just"; and this tribute has especial point, when
it is considered that his acceptance of this law was first announced
in an essay[254] written in 1750, at the age of twenty-three, while he
was yet at the Sorbonne. Let it be mentioned in his praise, that, as
he grew in years, in power, and in fame, he did not depart from the
happy intuitions of early life, or forget the visions which, as a young
man, he had seen. Perceiving clearly the advance already made, he drew
from it the assurance of yet further advance. In reason, knowledge, and
virtue he did not hesitate to place his own age before preceding ages.
"The corrupt of to-day," he was accustomed to say, "would have been
Capuchins a hundred years ago." He declared the capacity for indefinite
improvement a distinctive quality of the human race, belonging to the
race in general, and to each individual in particular. He did not doubt
that the progress of the physical sciences, of education, of method in
the sciences, or the discovery of new methods, would enlarge the powers
of man, rendering him capable of preserving a larger number of ideas in
the memory, and of multiplying their relations. Nor did he doubt that
the moral sense was equally capable of improvement,--that man would
become constantly better in proportion as he was enlightened,--that
the advance of society would necessarily keep pace with the advance of
morals,--that politics, founded, like other sciences, upon observation
and reason, would advance also,--that all useful truths must be finally
known and adopted, while ancient errors are by degrees annihilated, or
give place to new truths,--and that this Progress, increasing always
from age to age, has no term, or none at least which can be assigned in
the present state of human intelligence.

    [254] Sur les Progrès successifs de l'Esprit Humain: OEuvres (ed.
    Daire), Tom. II. pp. 697-611.

The early testimony of Turgot was repeated at a later day in his
precious fragment on Universal History, which, when compared with
the Introductory Discourse of Bossuet on the same theme, shows how
superior in the philosophy of history was the layman to the bishop.
All ages, says Turgot, are enchained by a succession of causes and
effects uniting the present with what has preceded, and all accumulated
knowledge is a common treasure, transmitted from generation to
generation, as an inheritance, augmented by the discoveries of each
age. In this spirit he inaugurates Universal History, giving to it a
just elevation, as the exhibition of Human Progress in all its epochs,
with all its hindrances, and crowned by all its triumphs.[255]

    [255] Plan de Deux Discours sur l'Histoire Universelle: OEuvres,
    Tom II. pp. 626-667.

Such testimony, commended by the earnestness of conviction, was not
without influence on the great movement which culminated in the earlier
revolution of France, or rather it was part of that movement. It
found welcome in many bosoms, and helped stir the vast mass. Among
those especially penetrated by it was the friend and biographer of
Turgot, who was not behind his master in this loyalty: I refer to
Condorcet. This unfortunate nobleman, conspicuous for learning and
genius, particularly in mathematics, and for honest devotion to the
principles of the Revolution, when at last proscribed, and compelled
to flee for life,--pursued by the very dogs he had helped to arouse,
but was impotent to restrain,--sought shelter with a friend, where,
in concealment, he passed the last eight months before his mournful
death. His first thought was, to send forth a vindication of himself,
addressed to his fellow-citizens; but soon renouncing this design, he
devoted what remained to him of life--during that most hateful passage
of human history, the Reign of Terror--to the preparation of a work
in which he brought his various powers to the development of the Law
of Human Progress. It is entitled "Sketch of an Historical Table of
the Progress of the Human Mind,"[256] and reviews human society in its
different stages, unfolding the order of its changes and the influences
transmitted from age to age, pointing out the different steps in the
march towards truth and happiness. From observation of man as he has
been, and as he is to-day, the author passes naturally to those new
triumphs which are his certain destiny, so long as he continues to
possess the faculties with which he is endowed, and to be governed by
the same universal laws.

    [256] Esquisse d'un Tableau Historique des Progrès de l'Esprit

Thus wrote Condorcet, while the hand of Death yet waited. He died;
but the return to reason in France was signalized by unaccustomed
homage to the victim. The Committee of Public Instruction reported,
that the sketch was "a classical work offered to republican schools by
an unfortunate philosopher, that everywhere in it the improvement of
society was recognized as the object most deserving the activity of
the human intelligence, and that pupils studying here the history of
the sciences and the arts would learn to cherish liberty and to detest
and vanquish all tyrannies"; and thereupon the National Convention
ordered three thousand copies to be distributed at the expense of the
nation.[257] And here properly closes this branch of our subject.

    [257] Rapport fait à la Convention Nationale, au Nom du Comité
    d'Instruction Publique, etc.: OEuvres de Condorcet (ed. O'Connor
    et Arago, Paris, 1847-49), Tom. VI. pp. 3-5.

The high lineage and authority of this law I have traced, not by the
enthusiasts of Humanity, not by Fénelon or Saint-Pierre, not by Diderot
or Rousseau, but by a succession of masters who are our acknowledged
guides in science, philosophy, and history. In Italy the torch was held
aloft by Vico; in Germany, by Leibnitz, Lessing, and Herder; in France
it passed through the hands of Descartes, Pascal, Perrault, Fontenelle,
Turgot, and Condorcet:--

    "Et quasi cursores, vitaï lampada tradunt,"[258]

till at last, at the close of the eighteenth century, its flame was
seen from afar. To England we seem little indebted; and yet, when I
think of Lord Bacon, I am disposed to say that we are much indebted.
This law inspired his great work on the "Advancement of Learning,"
and is expressed in its very title. It entered into his aspiration to
deliver man from present weakness by extending his power over Nature.
It is foreshadowed in his great declaration, antedating Pascal, that
Antiquity was the youth of the world,--"_Antiquitas sæculi, juventus
mundi_."[259] For a time Bacon had no successors in England. At a later
day this law was cordially embraced by Dr. Price,[260] the friend and
correspondent of Turgot. Dr. Johnson, who surely did not accept it,
shows an unconscious sympathy with it, when he says of life in pastoral
countries, that it "knows nothing of progression or advancement."[261]
Unhappy people, thus without visible Future on earth!

    [258] Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Lib. II. 78.

    [259] De Augmentis Scientiarum, Lib. I.: Works, Vol. IV. p. 34.

    [260] There is a sermon by Dr. Price, published in 1787, on _The
    Evidence of a Future Period of Improvement in the State of Mankind_.

    [261] Journey to the Hebrides: Works (Oxford, 1825), Vol. IX. p. 98.

To the eighteenth century belongs the honor--signal honor I venture to
call it--of first distinctly acknowledging and enunciating that Law of
Human Progress, which, though preached in Judea eighteen hundred years
ago, failed to be received by men,--nay, still fails to be received by
men. Writers in our own age, of much ability and unexampled hardihood,
while adopting this fundamental law, proceed to arraign existing
institutions of society. My present purpose does not require me to
consider these, whether for censure or praise,--abounding as they do in
evil, abounding as they do in good. It is my single aim to trace the
gradual development and final establishment of that great law which
teaches that "there is a good time coming,"--a Future even on earth, to
arouse the hopes, the aspirations, and the energies of Man.


The way is now prepared to consider the character, conditions, and
limitations of this law, the duties it enjoins, and the encouragements
it affords.

Let me state the law as I understand it. Man, as an individual, is
capable of indefinite improvement. Societies and nations, which are
but aggregations of men, and, finally, the Human Family, or collective
Humanity, are capable of indefinite improvement. And this is the
destiny of man, of societies, of nations, and of the Human Family.

Restricting the proposition to the capacity for indefinite improvement,
I believe I commend it to the candor and intelligence of all who have
meditated upon this subject. And this brings me to the remarkable
words of Leibnitz. He boldly says, as we have already seen, that man
seems able to arrive at perfection. Turgot and Condorcet also speak of
his "perfectibility,"--a term adopted by recent French writers. If by
this is meant simply that man is capable of indefinite improvement,
then it will not be questioned. But whatever the heights of virtue
and intelligence to which he may attain in future ages, who can doubt
that to his grander vision new summits will ever present themselves,
provoking him to still grander aspirations? God only is perfect.
Knowledge and goodness, his attributes, are infinite; nor can man hope,
in any lapse of time, to comprehend this immensity. In the infinitude
of the universe, he will seem, like Newton, with all his acquisitions,
only to have gathered a few pebbles by the seaside. In a similar
strain Leibnitz elsewhere says that the place which God assigns to man
in space and time necessarily limits the perfections he is able to
acquire. As in Geometry the asymptote constantly approaches its curve,
so that the distance between them is constantly diminishing, and yet,
though prolonged indefinitely, they never meet, so, according to him,
are infinite souls the asymptotes of God.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are revolutions in history seeming on a superficial view
inconsistent with this law. From early childhood attention is directed
to Greece and Rome; and we are sometimes taught that these two powers
reached heights which subsequent nations cannot hope to equal, much
less surpass. I would not disparage the triumphs of the ancient mind.
The eloquence, the poetry, the philosophy, the art, of Athens still
survive, and bear no mean sway upon earth. Rome, too, yet lives in her
jurisprudence, which, next after Christianity, has exerted a paramount
influence over the laws of modern communities.

But exalted as these productions may be, it is impossible not to
perceive that something of their present importance is derived from
the early period when they appeared, something from the unquestioning
and high-flown admiration of them transmitted through successive
generations until it became a habit, and something also from the
disposition, still prevalent, to elevate Antiquity at the expense
of subsequent ages. Without undertaking to decide if the genius of
Antiquity, as displayed by individuals, can justly claim supremacy,
it would be easy to show that the ancient plane of civilization never
reached our common level. The people were ignorant, vicious, and poor,
or degraded to abject slavery,--itself the sum of all injustice and all
vice. Even the most illustrious characters, whose names still shine
from that distant night, were little more than splendid barbarians.
Architecture, sculpture, painting, and vases of exquisite perfection
attest an appreciation of beauty in form; but our masters in these
things were strangers to the useful arts, as to the comforts and
virtues of home. Abounding in what to us are luxuries, they had not
what to us are necessaries.

Without knowledge there can be no sure Progress. Vice and barbarism are
the inseparable companions of ignorance. Nor is it too much to say,
that, except in rare instances, the highest virtue is attained only
through intelligence. This is natural; for to do right, we must first
understand what is right. But the people of Greece and Rome, even in
the brilliant days of Pericles and Augustus, could not arrive at this
knowledge. The sublime teachings of Plato and Socrates--calculated in
many respects to promote the best interests of the race--were limited
in influence to a small company of listeners, or to the few who could
obtain a copy of the costly manuscripts in which they were preserved.
Thus the knowledge and virtue acquired by individuals were not diffused
in their own age or secured to posterity.

Now, at last, through an agency all unknown to Antiquity, knowledge
of every kind has become general and permanent. It can no longer be
confined to a select circle. It cannot be crushed by tyranny, or lost
by neglect. It is immortal as the soul from which it proceeds. This
alone renders all relapse into barbarism impossible, while it affords
an unquestionable distinction between ancient and modern times. The
Press, watchful with more than the hundred eyes of Argus, strong
with more than the hundred arms of Briareus, not only guards all the
conquests of civilization, but leads the way to future triumphs.
Through its untiring energies, the meditation of the closet, or the
utterance of the human voice, which else would die away within the
precincts of a narrow room, is prolonged to the most distant nations
and times, with winged words circling the globe. We admire the genius
of Demosthenes, Sophocles, Plato, and Phidias; but the printing-press
is a higher gift to man than the eloquence, the drama, the philosophy,
and the art of Greece.

There is yet another country which presents a problem for the student
of Progress. In vivid phrase Sir James Mackintosh pictures the "ancient
and _immovable_ civilization of China."[262] But in these words he
spoke rather from impressions than from actual knowledge. By the side
of the impulsive movement of modern Europe, the people of this ancient
empire may appear stationary; but it can hardly be doubted that they
have advanced, though according to a scale unlike our own. It is
difficult to assign satisfactory reasons for the seeming inertness of
their national life. Perhaps I shall not err, if I refer it to peculiar
constitutional characteristics,--to inherent difficulties of their
language as an instrument of knowledge,--to national vanity on an
exaggerated scale, making them look down upon others,--to an insulation
excluding all others,--and also to the habit of unhesitating deference
to Antiquity, and of "backward-looking thoughts," cultivated by the
Chinese from the distant days of Confucius. They do not know the Law of
Human Progress.

    [262] Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations, p.

In receiving this law, two conditions of Humanity are recognized:
first, its unity or solidarity; and, secondly, its indefinite duration
upon earth. And now of these in their order.

1. It is true, doubtless, that there are various races of men; but
there is but one great Human Family, in which Caucasian, Ethiopian,
Chinese, and Indian are all brothers, children of _one_ Father, and
heirs to _one_ happiness. Though variously endowed, they are all
tending in the same direction; nor can the light obtained by one be
withheld from any. The ether discovery in Boston will soothe pain
hereafter in Africa and in Asia, in Abyssinia and in China. So are we
all knit together, that words of wisdom and truth, which first sway the
hearts of the American people, may help to elevate benighted tribes of
the most distant regions. The vexed question of modern science, whether
these races proceeded originally from one stock, does not interfere
with the sublime revelation of Christianity, the Brotherhood of Man. In
the light of science and of religion, Humanity is an organism, complex,
but still one,--throbbing with one life, animated by one soul, every
part sympathizing with every other part, and the whole advancing in one
indefinite career of Progress.

2. And what is the measure of this career? It is common to speak of the
long life already passed by man on earth; but how brief and trivial
is this, compared with the countless ages before him! According to
received chronology, six thousand years have not yet elapsed since his
creation. But the science of Geology, that unimpeached interpreter of
the Past, now demonstrates (and here the geology of New York furnishes
important evidence), that, anterior to the commencement of human
history, this globe had endured for ages upon ages, baffling human
calculation and imagination. Without losing ourselves in the stupendous
speculations with regard to different geological epochs, before the
earth assumed its present figure, and when it was occupied only by
races of animals now extinct, it may not be without interest to glance
at the age of the epoch in which we live. This, happily, we are able to

From the flow of rivers we have a gigantic measure of geological time.
It is supposed that the Falls of Niagara were once at Queenstown, and
that they have gradually worn their way back in the living rock, for
a distance of seven miles, to the place where they now pour their
thunders. An ingenious English geologist, a high authority in his
science, Sir Charles Lyell, assuming that this retreat might have
been at the rate of one foot a year, shows that the cataract must
have poured over that rock for a period of at least 36,960 years. And
the same authority teaches us that the alluvion at the mouth of the
Mississippi, the delta formed by the deposits of that mighty river
(here let it be remarked that alluvions and sand-banks are the most
recent geological formations on the surface of the earth, being nearest
to our own age), could not have been accumulated within a shorter
period than 100,500 years.[263] Even this term, so vast to our small
imagination, is only one of a series composing the present epoch;
and the epoch itself is but a unit in a still grander series. These
measurements, adopted in this branch of knowledge, can be little more
than vague approximations; but they teach, from the lips of Science, as
perhaps nothing else can, the infinite ages through which this globe
has already travelled, and the infinite ages which seem to be its
future destiny.

    [263] Lyell's Principles of Geology (7th ed.), Vol. I. p. 216.
    Lyell's Travels in North America, Ch. 2. Horner's Anniversary
    Address, for 1847, before the London Geological Society, pp. 23-27.
    D'Archiac, Histoire des Progrès de la Géologie, Tom. I. p. 358.

Thus we stand now between two infinities,--the infinity of the Past,
and the infinity of the Future; and the infinity of the Future is equal
to the infinity of the Past. In comparison with these untold spaces
before and after, what, indeed, are the six thousand years of human
history? In the contemplation of Man, what littleness! what grandeur!
how diminutive in the creation! how brief his recorded history! and yet
how vast in hopes! how majestic and transcendent in the Future!

If there be any analogy between his life on earth and that of the
frailest plant or shell-fish, as now seen in the light of science,
he must still be in his earliest and most helpless infancy. In vain
speak of Antiquity in his history; for all his present records are as
a day, an hour, a moment, in the unimaginable immensity of duration
which seems to await the globe and its inhabitants. In the sight of
our distant descendants, successive eras of the brief span which we
call History will melt into one; and as to present vision stars far
asunder seem near together, so Nimrod and Sesostris, Alexander and
Cæsar, Tamerlane and Napoleon, will seem to be contemporaries. Nor
is it any exaggeration to suppose that in the unborn ages, illumined
by a truth now, alas! too dimly perceived, the class of warriors and
conquerors, of which these are signal types, will become extinct,--like
the gigantic land reptiles and monster crocodileans belonging to a
departed period of zoölogical history.

       *       *       *       *       *

Admitting the Unity of Mankind, and an Indefinite Future on earth, it
becomes easy to anticipate triumphs which else were impossible. Few
will question that Man, as an individual, is capable of indefinite
improvement, so long as he lives. This capacity is inborn. None so
poor as not to possess it. Even the idiot, so abject in condition,
is found at last to be within the sphere of education. Circumstances
alone are required to call this capacity into action; and in proportion
as knowledge, virtue, and religion prevail in a community will that
sacred atmosphere be diffused under whose genial influence the most
forlorn may grow into forms of unimagined strength and beauty. This
capacity for indefinite improvement, which belongs to the individual,
must belong also to society; for society does not die, and through the
improvement of its individuals has the assurance of its own advance. It
is immortal on earth, and will gather constantly new and richer fruits
from the teeming generations, as they stretch through unknown time. To
Chinese vision the period of the present may seem barren, but it is
sure to yield its contribution to the indefinite accumulations which
are the token of an indefinite Progress.

Tables speak sometimes as words cannot. From statistics of life, as
recorded by Science, we learn the capacity for progress in the Human
Family; the testimony is authentic, as it is interesting. A little
more than two centuries have passed since Descartes predicted that
improvement in human health which these figures exhibit. Could this
seer of Science revisit the scene of his comprehensive labors and
divine aspirations, he might well be astonished to learn how, in
the lapse of so short a period in the life of Humanity, his glowing
anticipations have been fulfilled. From the following tables[264] we
learn that even the conqueror Death has been slowly driven back, and
his inevitable triumph postponed.

    [264] Supplied to me by the late Professor H.D. Rogers, from the
    notes of his Lectures.

_Table showing the Diminution of Mortality in different Countries._

  Deaths in England, in 1690, 1 in 33, in 1848, 1 in 47.
      " France, in 1776, 1 in 25½, in 1848, 1 in 42.
      " Germany, in 1788, 1 in 32, in 1848, 1 in 40.
      " Sweden, in 1760, 1 in 34, in 1848, 1 in 41.
      " Roman States, in 1767, 1 in 21½, in 1829, 1 in 28.

_Diminution of Mortality in Cities._

  Deaths in London, in 1690, 1 in 24, in 1844, 1 in 44.
      " Paris, in 1650, 1 in 25, in 1829, 1 in 32.
      " Berlin, in 1755, 1 in 28, in 1827, 1 in 34.
      " Vienna, in 1750, 1 in 20, in 1829, 1 in 25.
      " Rome, in 1770, 1 in 21, in 1828, 1 in 31.
      " Geneva, in 1560, 1 in 18, in 1821, 1 in 40.

Glancing at the cradle of nations and races risen to grandeur, and
observing the wretchedness by which they were originally surrounded,
we learn that no lot is removed from the influence of this law. The
Feejee Islander, the Bushman, the Hottentot, the Congo negro, is not
too low for its care. No term of imagined "finality" can arrest it.
The polished Briton, whose civilization we now admire, traces his
long-descended lineage from one of those painted barbarians whose
degradation still lives in the pages of Julius Cæsar. Slowly, and by
degrees, he has reached the height where he now stands; but this is no
"finality." The improvement of the Past is the earnest of yet further
improvement in the long ages of the Future. And who can doubt, that,
in the lapse of time, as the Christian Law is gradually fulfilled, the
elevation of the Briton will be shared by all his fellow-men?

The tokens of improvement may appear at a special period, in a limited
circle only, among the people, favored of God, enjoying peculiar
benefits of commerce and Christianity; but the happy influence cannot
be narrowed to any time, place, or people. Every victory over evil
redounds to the benefit of all. Every discovery, every humane thought,
every truth, when declared, is a conquest of which the whole Human
Family are partakers, extending by so much their dominion, while it
lessens by so much the sphere of future struggle and trial. Thus, while
Nature is always the same, the power of Man is ever increasing. Each
day gives him some new advantage. The mountains have not diminished in
size; but Man has overcome the barriers they interpose. The winds and
waves are not less capricious now than when they first beat upon the
ancient Silurian rocks; but the steamboat,

    "Against the wind, against the tide,
     Now steadies on with upright keel."

The distance between two points on the surface of the globe is the
same to-day as when the continents were upheaved from their ocean-bed;
but the art of man triumphs over such separation, and distant people
commune together. Much remains to be done; but the Creator did not
speak in vain, when he blessed his earliest children, and bade them
"multiply, and replenish the earth, and _subdue it_."

There will be triumphs nobler than any over inanimate Nature. Man
himself will be subdued,--subdued to abhorrence of vice, injustice,
violence,--subdued to the sweet charities of life,--subdued to all the
requirements of duty,--subdued, according to the Law of Human Progress,
to the recognition of that Gospel Law of Human Brotherhood, by the side
of which the first is only as the scaffolding upon the sacred temple.
To labor for this end was man sent forth into the world,--not in the
listlessness of idle perfections, but endowed with infinite capacities,
inspired by infinite desires, and commanded to strive perpetually after
excellence, amidst the encouragements of hope, the promises of final
success, and the inexpressible delights from its pursuit. Thus does the
Law of Human Progress

            "assert eternal Providence,
    And justify the ways of God to men,"

by showing Evil no longer a gloomy mystery, binding the world in
everlasting thrall, but an accident, under benign Power destined to be
surely subdued, as the Human Family press on to the promised goal of

       *       *       *       *       *

While recognizing Humanity as progressive, it is important to consider
a condition or limitation which may justly temper the ardors of the
reformer. Nothing is accomplished except by time and exertion. Nature
abhors violence and suddenness. Nature does everything slowly and by
degrees. It takes time for the seed to grow into "the bright consummate
flower." It is many years before the slender shoot grows into the tree.
It is slowly that we pass from infancy and imbecility to manhood and
strength. Arrived at this stage, we are still subject to the same
condition of Nature. A new temperature or a sudden stroke of light may
shock us. Our frames are not made for extremes; so that death may come,
according to the poet's conceit, "in aromatic pain."

Gradual change is a necessary condition of the Law of Progress. It is
only, according to the poetical phrase of Tacitus, _per intervalla
ac spiramenta temporum_, "by intervals and breathings of time," that
we can hope to make a sure advance. Men grow and are trained in
knowledge and virtue; but they cannot be compelled into this path. This
consideration teaches candor and charity towards all who do not yet
see the truth as we do. It admonishes us also, while keeping the eye
steadfast on the good we seek, to moderate our expectations, and be
content when the day of triumph is postponed, for it cannot be always.

This essential condition of the Law of Progress serves to reconcile
movement with stability, and to preserve order even in change; as in
Nature all projectile forces are checked and regulated by the law of
inertia, and the centrifugal motion of the planets is restrained by the
attraction of gravitation. In this principle of moderation, honestly
pursued, from proper motives, and promising the "well-ripened fruits
of wise delay," we find a just Conservatism, which, though not always
satisfying our judgment, can never fail to secure our respect.

But there is another Conservatism,--and its treatment belongs to this
occasion,--of a different character, which performs no good office,
and cannot secure respect. Child of indifference, of ignorance, of
prejudice, of selfishness, it seeks to maintain things precisely as
they are, deprecates every change, and, disregarding the _transitory_
condition of all that is human, blindly prays for the _perpetuity_ of
existing institutions. Such an influence is productive of disorder
rather than order, and is destructive rather than justly conservative.
Contrary to the Law of Progress, it plants itself upon ancient ways,
and vainly exalts all that was done by our ancestors, as beyond
addition and above amendment. It is well illustrated in the early

    All that is newe, and ever do crye,
    The old is better, awaye with the newe,
    Because it is false and the old is true";

and again, in the conversation between two eminent English
ecclesiastics. "Brother of Winchester," said Cranmer to Lord Chancellor
Gardyner, "you like not anything new, unless you be yourself the
author thereof." "Your Grace wrongeth me," replied the inveterate
Conservative. "I have never been author yet of any one new thing; for
which I thank my God."[265] Such a Conservatism is the bigotry of
science, of literature, of jurisprudence, of religion, of politics. An
example will exhibit its character.

    [265] Campbell's Lives of the Lord Chancellors, Vol. II. ch. 40, p.

When Sir Samuel Romilly proposed to abolish the punishment of death
for stealing a pocket-handkerchief, the Commons of England consulted
certain officials of the law, who assured the House that such an
innovation would endanger the whole criminal law of the realm. And when
afterwards this illustrious reformer and model lawyer (for, of all men
in the history of the English law, Romilly is most truly the model
lawyer) proposed to abolish the obscene punishment for high treason,
requiring the offender to be drawn and quartered, and his bowels to
be thrown into his face, while his body yet palpitates with life,
the Attorney-General of the day, in opposing this humane amendment,
asked, "Are the safeguards, the ancient landmarks, the bulwarks of
the Constitution, to be thus hastily removed?" Which gave occasion
for the appropriate exclamation in reply, "What! to throw the bowels
of an offender into his face, one of the safeguards of the British
Constitution! I ought to confess that until this night I was wholly
ignorant of this bulwark!"[266] An irrational enormity, with a fit
parallel only in our own country, where Slavery is called a "divine
institution," and important to the stability of our Constitution!

    [266] Essays of Basil Montagu, p. 69.

"_Esto perpetua!_" was the dying conservative ejaculation of Paul
Sarpi, the Venetian friar, over the constitution of his atrocious
republic; and this same phrase is invoked by Sir William Blackstone for
the British Constitution, enfolding so many inequalities and so many
abuses. It were well--and here all must agree--to exclaim of Truth, of
Justice, of Peace, of Freedom, _May it be perpetual!_ But is it not
irrational to make this claim for any institutions of human device, and
therefore finite? How can they provide for the Infinite Future? The
Finite cannot measure the Infinite. Nothing from Man's hands--nor laws,
nor constitutions--can be perpetual. It is God alone who builds for
eternity. His laws are everlasting.

Out of this pernicious prejudice have proceeded that persecution
and neglect which are the too frequent lot of the world's pioneers.
Among the ancient Greeks, the wisdom which first assigned the natural
cause of thunder and storm was condemned by conservative savages as
impiety to the gods. In the eighth century, an ignorant conservative
Pope persecuted a priest who declared that the world was round. At
a later day, to the everlasting scandal of mankind, the book of
Copernicus, unfolding the true system of the universe, was branded by
a conservative Papal bull as heretical and false, and Galileo, after
announcing the annual and diurnal motions of the earth, was sentenced
to the dungeons of the conservative Inquisition. This was in Italy;
but in England--and here we come nearer home--Harvey was accustomed
to say, that, after the publication of his book on the circulation of
the blood,--one of the epochs of modern discovery,--"he fell mightily
in his practice, and it was believed by the vulgar that he was
crack-brained, and all the physicians were against his opinion."[267]
According to him, nobody older than forty, at the time of his
discovery, received it as true. The age of forty was the dividing
line of life,--a Mason and Dixon's line,--determining the capacity to
receive that discovery. This little story may admonish all who have
passed that conservative line to be careful how they are inhospitable
to any new truth.

    [267] Aubrey's Letters and Lives, Vol. II. p. 383.

This same undue tenacity to existing things and repugnance to what is
new threw impediments in the way of successive improvements by which
travel and intercourse among men are promoted. Surely stage-coaches,
when first introduced into England, must have been welcome, though
novel, as contributing to the comfort of men. But this was not the
case universally. An early writer calls for their suppression,
breaking forth against them in this wise. "These coaches," he says,
"are one of the greatest mischiefs that hath happened of late years
to the kingdom,--mischievous to the public, destructive to trade, and
prejudicial to lands. First, by destroying the breed of good horses,
the strength of the nation, and making men careless of attaining to
good horsemanship, a thing so useful and commendable in a gentleman:
for, hereby they become weary and listless, when they ride a few miles,
and unwilling to get on horseback, not able to endure frost, snow, or
rain, or to lodge in the fields; and what reason, save only their using
themselves so tenderly, and their riding in these stage-coaches, can
be given for this their inability? Secondly, by hindering the breed
of watermen, who are the nursery for seamen, and they the bulwark of
the kingdom: for, if these coaches were down, watermen, as formerly,
would have work, and be encouraged to take apprentices, whereby their
number would every year greatly increase. Thirdly, by lessening of his
Majesty's revenues: for now four or five travel in a coach together,
without any servants, and it is they that occasion the consumption
of beer and ale on the roads; and all inn-keepers do declare that
they sell not half the drink nor pay the king half the excise they
did before these coaches set up."[268] Such was the conservative
bill of indictment against stage-coaches. The history of canals, of
steamboats, and, lastly, of railways, shows similar prejudices. Even
Mr. Jefferson (and I cannot mention him as an immoderate conservative),
when told that the State of New York had explored the route of a
canal from the Hudson to Lake Erie, and found it practicable,--that
same canal which now, like a thread of silver, winds its way through
your imperial State,--replied, that "it was a very fine project, and
might be executed a century hence." This is only a little better than
the observation of the Greenwich pensioners, who, on first seeing
the steamboat upon the waters of the Thames, as they looked out from
their palatial home, said, "We do not like the steamboat, it is so
contrary to Nature." In our own country, Fitch brought forward the
idea of a steamboat amidst ill-disguised sneers; and at a later day,
Fulton, while building his first experiment at New York, was viewed
with indifference or contempt, as a visionary; and when, at last, he
accomplished the long distance to Albany, distrust of the Future still
prevailed, and it was doubted if the voyage could be accomplished
again, or, if successful again, it was still doubted if the invention
could be of permanent value. Thus did this evil spirit perplex noble
aims! And in England, as late as 1825, railways were pronounced
"altogether delusions and impositions," and the conservative "Quarterly
Review," alluding to the opinion of certain engineers that the railway
engine could go eighteen or twenty miles an hour, says: "These gross
exaggerations may delude for a time, but must end in the mortification
of those concerned.... We should as soon expect the people of Woolwich
to suffer themselves to be fired off upon one of Congreve's ricochet
rockets, as trust themselves to the mercy of such a machine, going at
such a rate."[269]

    [268] The Grand Concern of England, 1673: Harleian Miscellany, Vol.
    VIII. pp. 539, 540.

    [269] Quarterly Review, Vol. XXXI. pp. 361, 362. Illustrations of
    this spirit might be indefinitely extended. One, made familiar
    to the world by Macaulay's History, since this Address was
    delivered, has too much point to be omitted. As late as the close
    of the reign of Charles the Second, the streets of London, with a
    population of half a million, were not lighted at night, and, as
    a natural consequence, became the frequent scene of assassination
    and outrage, perpetrated under the shelter of darkness. At last, in
    1685, it was proposed to place a light, on moonless nights, before
    every tenth door. This projected improvement was enthusiastically
    applauded and furiously attacked. "The cause of darkness," says
    Macaulay, "was not left undefended. There were fools in that age
    who opposed the introduction of what was called the new light, as
    strenuously as fools in our age have opposed the introduction of
    vaccination and railroads, as strenuously as the fools of an age
    anterior to the dawn of history doubtless opposed the introduction
    of the plough and of alphabetical writing."--_History of England_,
    Vol. I. ch. 3.

It is related that the Arve, a river of Switzerland, swollen by floods,
sometimes drives the waters of the Rhone back into the Lake of Geneva;
and the force is sometimes so great as to make the mill-wheels revolve
in a contrary direction. There are too many in the world who by their
efforts would cause the stream to flow back upon the fountain, and even
make the mill-wheels revolve in a contrary direction.

Unhappily, this same bigotry,--conservatism, if you will,--which has
blindly opposed improvement in physical comforts, sets its face more
passionately still against those movements whose direct object is the
elevation of the race. In all times and places it has persecuted the
prophets and stoned the gifted messengers of truth. Of its professors
Milton pictures the boldest type in Satan, who, knowing well the
sins and offences of mortals, would keep them ever in their present
condition, holding them fast in degradation, binding them in perpetual
slavery, nor indulging in any aspiration, except of long dominion over
a captive race, whose sorrows and hopes cannot touch his impenetrable
soul. From a sketch by another hand we learn something of his activity.
With honest plainness, characteristic of himself and his age, the
early English prelate, Latimer, says, in one of his sermons, "The Devil
is the most diligentest bishop and preacher in all England."[270] It
may be said with equal truth,--and none can question it,--that he is
the busiest and most offensive Conservative.

    [270] Of the Plough: Sermons, Vol. I. p. 65.

Time forbids my dwelling longer on the ample illustrations of this
influence: nor need I. One world-renowned example shall suffice. The
early efforts in England for the overthrow of the slave-trade were
encountered by an enmity black as the bad passions of the crime itself.
In Liverpool the excited slave-traders threatened to throw Clarkson
into the dock. But gradually the heart of the nation was touched,
until at last the people of England demanded the abolition of this
Heaven-defying traffic.

Thus ever has Truth moved on,--though opposed and reviled, still mighty
and triumphant. Rejected by the rich and powerful, by the favorites of
fortune and of place, she finds shelter with those who often have no
shelter for themselves. It is such as these that most freely welcome
moral truth, with its new commandments. Not the dwellers in the glare
of the world, but the humble and lowly, most clearly perceive this
truth,--as watchers placed in the depths of a well observe the stars
which are obscured to those who live in the effulgence of noon. Free
from egotism and prejudice, whether of self-interest or of class,
without cares and temptations, whether of wealth or power, dwelling
in the mediocrity or obscurity of common life, they discern the new
signal, and surrender unreservedly to its guidance. The Saviour knew
this. He did not call upon Priest or Levite or Pharisee to follow him,
but upon the humble fishermen by the Sea of Galilee.

Let us, then, be of good cheer. From the great Law of Progress we
derive at once our duties and our encouragements. Humanity has
ever advanced, urged by instincts and necessities implanted by
God,--thwarted sometimes by obstacles, causing it for a time, a moment
only in the immensity of ages, to deviate from its true line, or
seem to retreat, but still ever onward. At last we know the law of
this movement; we fasten our eyes upon that star, unobserved in the
earlier ages, which lights the way to the Future, opening into vistas
of infinite variety and extension. Amidst the disappointments which
attend individual exertions, amidst the universal agitations which
now surround us, let us recognize this law, let us follow this star,
confident that whatever is just, whatever is humane, whatever is good,
whatever is true, according to an immutable ordinance of Providence, in
the sure light of the Future, must prevail. With this faith, we place
our hands, as those of little children, in the great hand of God. He
will guide and sustain us--through pains and perils it may be--in the
path of Progress.

In such a faith there are motives to beneficent activity which will
endure to the last syllable of life. Let the young embrace this law;
it shall be to them an ever-living spring. Let the old cherish this
law; it shall be to them a staff for support. It will give to all,
young and old, a new appreciation of their existence, a new sentiment
of their force, a new revelation of their destiny. It will be as
another covenant, witnessed by the bow in the heavens, not only that
no honest, earnest effort for the welfare of man can be in vain, but
that it shall send a quickening influence through uncounted ages, and
contribute to the coming of that Future of Intelligence, Freedom, Peace
we would now secure for ourselves, but cannot. Though not ourselves
partakers of these brighter days, ours may be the pleasure at least of
foreseeing them, of enjoying them in happy vision, or the satisfaction,
sweeter still, of hastening by some moments the too distant epoch.

A life filled with this thought will have comforts and consolations
else unknown. In the flush of youthful ambition, or in the
self-confidence of success, we may be indifferent to the calls of
Humanity; but history, reason, and religion all speak in vain, if
any selfish works, not helping the Progress of Man, although favored
by worldly smile, can secure that happiness and content so much
coveted as the crown of life. Look at the last days of Talleyrand,
and learn the wretchedness of an old age enlightened by no memory
of generous toil, by no cheerful hope for our fellow-men. When the
weakness of years rendered him no longer able to grasp power or hold
the threads of intrigue, he surrendered himself to discouragement
and despair. By the light of a lamp trimmed in solitude he traced
these lines, the most melancholy ever written by an old man,--think
of them, politician!--"Eighty-three years of life are now passed!
filled with what anxieties! what agitations! what enmities! what
troublous complexities! _And all this with no other result than a
great weariness, physical and moral, and a profound sentiment of
discouragement with regard to the Future and of disgust for the
Past._"[271] Poor old man! Poor indeed! In loneliness, in failing
age, with death waiting at his palace-gate, what to him were the
pomps he had enjoyed? what were titles? what were offices? what the
lavish wealth in which he lived? More precious far at that moment the
consolation that he had labored for his fellow-men, and the joyous
confidence that all his cares had helped the Progress of his race!

    [271] Louis Blanc, Histoire de Dix Ans, Tom. V. ch. 10.

Be it, then, our duty and our encouragement to live and to labor,
ever mindful of the Future. But let us not forget the Past. All
ages have lived and labored for us. From one has come art; from
another jurisprudence; from another the compass; from another the
printing-press; from all have descended priceless lessons of truth
and virtue. The most distant are not without a present influence on
our daily lives. The mighty stream of Progress, though fed by many
tributary waters and hidden springs, derives something of its force
from the earlier currents which leap and sparkle in distant mountain
recesses, over precipices, among rapids, and beneath the shade of the
primeval forest.

Nor should we be too impatient to witness the fulfilment of our
aspirations. The daily increasing rapidity of discovery and
improvement, and the daily multiplying efforts of beneficence,
outstripping the imaginations of the most sanguine, furnish assurance
that the advance of man will be with a constantly accelerating speed.
The extending intercourse among the nations of the earth, and all
the children of the Human Family, gives new promise of the complete
diffusion of Truth, penetrating the most distant places, chasing away
the darkness of night, and exposing the hideous forms of Slavery,
War, and Wrong, which must be hated in proportion as they are seen.
And yet, while confident of the Future, and surrounded by heralds of
certain triumph, it becomes us to moderate our anticipations, nor
imitate those children of the Crusades, who, in their long journey from
Western Europe,

                          "to seek
     In Golgotha him dead who lives in Heaven,"

hailed each city and castle which they approached as the Jerusalem that
was to be the end of their wanderings. Though the goal is distant, and
ever advancing, the march is none the less certain. As well attempt
to make the sun stand still in his course, or restrain the sweet
influences of the Pleiades, as arrest the incessant, irresistible
movement which is the appointed destiny of man.

Cultivate, then, a just moderation. Learn to reconcile order with
change, stability with progress. This is a wise conservatism; this is
a wise reform. Rightly understanding these terms, who would not be a
conservative, who would not be a reformer?--a conservative of all that
is good, a reformer of all that is evil,--a conservative of knowledge,
a reformer of ignorance,--a conservative of truths and principles whose
seat is the bosom of God, a reformer of laws and institutions which are
but the wicked or imperfect work of man,--a conservative of that divine
order which is found only in movement, a reformer of those earthly
wrongs and abuses which spring from a violation of the great Law of
Human Progress? Blending these two in one, may we not seek to be, at
the same time, _Reforming Conservatives and Conservative Reformers_?

And, finally, let a confidence in the Progress of our race be, under
God, a constant faith. Let the sentiment of loyalty, earth-born, which
once lavished itself on King or Emperor, give place to that other
sentiment, heaven-born, of devotion to Humanity. Let loyalty to one man
be exchanged for Love to Man. And be it our privilege to extend these
sacred influences throughout the land. So may we open to our country
new fields of peaceful victory, which shall not want the sympathies and
gratulations of the good citizen or the praises of the just historian.

Go forth, then, my country, "conquering and to conquer!"--not by
brutal violence, not by force of arms, not, oh! not on dishonest fields
of blood,--but in the majesty of Peace, Justice, Freedom, by the
irresistible might of Christian Institutions!

                         THE PARTY OF FREEDOM.

                           AUGUST 22, 1848.

A Convention of the Free States was held at Buffalo, August 9, 1848,
where Martin Van Buren was nominated as President of the United States,
and Charles Francis Adams as Vice-President. Resolutions, known as
the Buffalo Platform, were adopted, declaring opposition to Slavery
wherever we are responsible for it. Among those who took part in the
Convention were S.P. Chase, of Ohio, and Preston King, of New York. The
proceedings were marked by great unanimity and enthusiasm.

A mass meeting was held at Faneuil Hall on the evening of August 22,
1848, to receive the report of the delegates at Buffalo. The meeting
was organized by the choice of the following officers:--Charles
Sumner, President;--Dr. John Ware, Franklin Haven, Levi Boles, William
Washburn, S.D. Bates, Sumner Crosby, Benjamin Rogers, Henry Lee, Jr.,
Joseph Willard, Samuel Neal, Dr. Walter Channing, Allen C. Spooner,
William B. Spooner, Rev. J.W. Olmstead, Dr. S.G. Howe, Lemuel Capen,
Simeon Palmer, Dr. H.I. Bowditch, S.P. Adams, Thomas Bulfinch, Charles
G. Davis, Bradford Sumner, David H. Williams, and James M. Whiton,
Boston; John C. Dodge, Cambridge; Samuel S. Curtis, Samuel Downer,
Jr., William Richardson, Dorchester; William S. Damrell, John Shorey,
Dedham; William C. Brown, Chelsea; T.P. Chandler, Brookline; Charles
Shute, Hingham; F.A. Kingsbury, Weymouth; Theodore Otis, Charles Ellis,
George W. Bond, Elijah Lewis, Roxbury; John B. Alley, Lynn; Thomas S.
Harlow, Medford; Charles Foster, Somerville; William H. Keith, Jas. G.
Fuller, Charlestown; George Newcomb, Quincy; Vice-Presidents;--Marcus
Morton, Jr., John S. Eldridge, Charles W. Slack, David Thaxter, Francis
Standish, J. Otis Williams, Dr. W.J. Whitney, Charles A. Phelps,
Boston; Charles Ingersoll, Cambridge; Secretaries.

This catalogue may have an interest for persons curious to know who at
that time enlisted in the movement.

On taking the chair, Mr. Sumner made the speech below, and then
introduced Richard H. Dana, Jr., Esq., of Boston, a delegate to the
Buffalo Convention, who reported what had been done there. He was
followed by John A. Andrew, Esq., who moved a series of resolutions
affirming the principles declared at Buffalo and ratifying the
nominations. The reading of these was continually interrupted by
applause. Mr. Sumner then introduced David Dudley Field, Esq., of New
York, who insisted at length upon the prohibition of slavery in the
Territories. Then came Rev. Joshua Leavitt, representing the Liberty
Party, now dissolved in the Free-Soil Party. The meeting was singularly


Grateful for this cordial welcome, I must consider it offered, not to
myself, but to the cause, whose humble representative I am. It is the
cause, the good old cause of Freedom, so familiar to early echoes of
this hall, which justly awakens your regards, irrespective of men. We
are nothing; the cause is everything.

And why, in this nineteenth century, are we assembled here in Faneuil
Hall, to vow ourselves to Freedom? Because Freedom is now in danger.
The principles of our fathers, of Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson,
nay, the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, are
assailed. Our Constitution, which was the work of Freedom-loving men,
which was watched by Freedom's champions, which, like the Ark of the
Covenant, was upborne by the early patriarchs of our Israel, is now
prostituted to the uses of Slavery. A body of men, whose principle of
union was unknown to the authors of the Constitution, have seized the
government, and caused it to be administered, not in the spirit of
Freedom, but in the spirit of Slavery. This combination is known as the
Slave Power.

The usurpation has obtained sway in both the great political factions.
I say _factions_; for what are factions, but combinations whose
sole cement is selfish desire for place and power, in disregard of
principles? Whatever may be said of individuals belonging to these
opposing combinations, it would be difficult to say whether Whigs
or Democrats, in their recent conduct as national parties, had most
succumbed to this malign influence. The late Conventions held at
Baltimore and Philadelphia were controlled by it. At Baltimore the
delegation of the most important State in the Union, known to be in
favor of the Wilmot Proviso, was refused admission to the Convention.
At Philadelphia the Wilmot Proviso itself was stifled, amidst cries of
"Kick it out!" General Cass was nominated at Baltimore, pledged against
its whole principle. At Philadelphia, General Taylor, without any
pledge on this all-important question, was forced upon the Convention
by the Slave Power; nor were principles of any kind declared by this
body of professing Whigs. These two candidates, apparently representing
opposite parties, both concur in being representatives of Slavery.
They are but leaders of the two contending factions into which the
Slave Power is divided. And this was fully proved by the action of the
Conventions at Baltimore and Philadelphia.

In marked contrast was the recent Convention at Buffalo, where were
represented the good men of all the parties,--Whigs, Democrats, and
Liberty men,--forgetting alike all former differences, and uniting in
common opposition to the Slave Power. There, by their delegates, was
the formidable and unsubdued Democracy of New York; there also was the
devoted, inflexible Liberty party of the country; there, too, were the
true-hearted Whigs and Democrats of all the Free States, who in this
great cause of Freedom are, among the faithless, faithful found; there
likewise were welcome delegates from the Slave States, from Maryland
and Virginia, anxious to join in this new and holy alliance. In
uncounted multitude, mighty in numbers, mightier still in the harmony
and unity of their proceedings, this Convention consummated the object
for which it was called. It has presented to the country a platform of
principles, and _candidates who are the exponents of these principles_.
The representatives of the parties there assembled, Whigs, Democrats,
and Liberty men, all united. In the strength and completeness of
this union I am reminded of the Mississippi, Father of Rivers, where
the commingling waters of the Missouri and Ohio are lost in a broad,
united, irresistible current, descending in one channel to the sea.

The principles which caused this union are already widely received,
and will be proclaimed by this vast assembly. Look at them. They are
frankly and explicitly expressed. They were solemnly and deliberately
considered by a large committee, and enthusiastically adopted in the
Convention. They propose not only to guard the Territories against
Slavery, but to relieve the National Government from all responsibility
therefor everywhere within the sphere of its constitutional powers.
On the subject of Slavery they adopt substantially the prayer of
Franklin, who by formal petition called upon the first Congress under
the Constitution to "step to the very verge of the power vested in
them _for discouraging_ every species of traffic in the persons of our
fellow-men."[272] They propose to bring back the government to the
truths of the Declaration of Independence and to the principles of the
fathers, so that it shall be administered no longer in the spirit of
Slavery, but in the spirit of Freedom.

    [272] Annals of Congress, 1st Cong. 2d Sess., 1198.

Other important subjects received attention: cheap postage for the
people; retrenchment of the national patronage; the abolition of
unnecessary offices; the election of civil officers by the people in
all practicable cases; improvement of rivers and harbors; free grant
to actual settlers of the public lands; and, lastly, payment of the
national debt by means of a tariff. But these matters are all treated
as subordinate to the primal principle of opposition to Slavery and
the Slave Power. No longer will banks and tariffs occupy the foremost
place, and, sounding always with the chink of dollars and cents, give
their tone to the policy of the country. Henceforward PROTECTION TO
MAN will be the true AMERICAN SYSTEM.

The candidates selected as exponents of these principles have claims
upon your support, in forgetfulness of all former differences of
opinion. They were brought forward, not because of _the Past_, but
_the Present_; I may add, they were sustained by many persons in the
Convention _notwithstanding_ the Past: Martin Van Buren, the New York
Democrat, and Charles Francis Adams, the Massachusetts Whig. But these
designations can no longer denote different principles. Those to whom
they are applied, whether Democrat or Whig, concur in making opposition
to Slavery and the Slave Power the paramount principle of political
action. The designations may now be interchanged: Mr. Adams may be
hailed as a New York Democrat, and Mr. Van Buren as a Massachusetts

Many here, once connected with the Whig party, like myself, have
voted on former occasions against Mr. Van Buren, and regard some
portions of his career with anything but satisfaction. Mr. Adams is a
younger man; but there are some, doubtless, once connected with the
Democratic party, who have voted against him. These differences, and
the prejudices they have engendered, are all forgotten, absorbed, and
lost in entire sympathy with their present position. Time changes,
and we change with it. He has lived to little purpose, whose mind and
character continue, through the lapse of years, untouched by these
mutations. It is not for the Van Buren of 1838 that we are to vote,
but for the Van Buren of _to-day_,--the veteran statesman, sagacious,
determined, experienced, who, at an age when most men are rejoicing
to put off their armor, girds himself anew, and enters the lists as
champion of Freedom. Putting trust in the sincerity and earnestness of
his devotion to the cause, and in his ability to maintain it, I call
upon you, as you love Freedom, and value the fair fame of your country,
now dishonored, to render him your earnest and enthusiastic support.

Of Mr. Adams I need say nothing in this place, where his honorable
and efficient public service and his private life are so familiar.
Standing, as I now do, beneath the images of his father and
grandfather, it will be sufficient, if I say that he is heir not only
to their name, but to the virtues, the abilities, and the indomitable
spirit that rendered that name so illustrious.

Such are our principles, and such our candidates. We present them
fearlessly. Upon the people depends whether their certain triumph
shall be immediate or postponed: for triumph they must. The old and
ill-compacted party organizations are broken, and from their ruins is
now formed a new party, _The Party of Freedom_. There were good men who
longed for this, and died without the sight. John Quincy Adams longed
for it. William Ellery Channing longed for it. Their spirits hover over
us, and urge us to persevere. Let us be true to the moral grandeur of
our cause. Have faith in Truth, and in God, who giveth the victory.

Fellow-citizens, seeing the spirit which animates your faces, I am
tempted to exclaim, that the work is already done to-night,--that the
victory is achieved. But I would not lull you to the repose which
springs from too great confidence. Rather would I arouse you to renewed
and incessant exertion. A great cause is staked upon your constancy:
for, except you, where among us would Freedom find defenders?

The sentiment of opposition to the Slave Power, to the extension of
Slavery, and to its longer continuance, wherever under the Constitution
the National Government is responsible for it, though recognized by
individuals, and adopted by a small and faithful party, is now for the
first time the leading principle of a broad, resolute, and national
organization. It is, indeed, as Mr. Webster lately said, no new idea;
it is old as the Declaration of Independence. But it is an idea now for
the first time proclaimed by a great political party: for, if the old
parties had been true to it, there would have been no occasion for our
organization. It is said, our idea is sectional. How is this? Because
the slaveholders live at the South? As well might we say that the
tariff is sectional, because the manufacturers live at the North.

It is said that we have but one idea. This I deny. But admitting that
it is so, are we not, with our one idea, better than a party with no
ideas at all? And what is our one idea? It is the idea which combined
our fathers on the heights of Bunker Hill,--which carried Washington
through a seven years' war,--which inspired Lafayette,--which with
coals of fire touched the lips of Adams, Otis, and Patrick Henry. Ours
is an idea at least noble and elevating; it is an idea which draws in
its train virtue, goodness, and all the charities of life, all that
makes earth a home of improvement and happiness.

    "Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
     Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
     The unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame."

We found now a new party. Its corner-stone is Freedom. Its broad,
all-sustaining arches are Truth, Justice, and Humanity. Like the
ancient Roman Capitol, at once Temple and Citadel, it shall be the fit
shrine for the genius of American institutions.


                           OCTOBER 26, 1848.

In the political campaign which followed the nominations at Buffalo
Mr. Sumner took an active part, addressing large audiences at all the
principal places in Massachusetts, beginning at Plymouth. On these
occasions he discussed at length the failure of the two old parties,
and the political character of their candidates, especially in contrast
with those of the Free-Soil party, vindicating the necessity of
political action against the Slave Power and the extension of Slavery.
Contemporary newspapers show the impression produced, and, in the
absence of any authentic report, are quoted here. Of his address at
Springfield one of his hearers says in a newspaper:--

    "It was a speech which, for beauty, eloquence, and convincing
    argument, I never heard equalled. With the utmost candor, with
    a power of argument not to be answered, with an array of facts
    which cannot be met, he examined the position occupied by Cass and
    Taylor. Refraining from all abuse, on the contrary dealing out
    praise where praise is due, he yet showed most conclusively that on
    the great question, the only question of importance now in issue,
    neither of these candidates could be trusted. He then spoke in a
    most beautiful manner of our candidate, Martin Van Buren, and his
    position. Extenuating nothing in his former action or opinion, he
    spoke of him _as he now is_, the true exponent of the glorious
    principles of the Buffalo Platform, which he called the Second
    Declaration of Independence. Mr. Sumner spoke for three hours, and
    to the close the hall was crowded. The bitterest opponents speak in
    the highest terms of the speech and the meeting."

Another hearer at Amherst, writing in another newspaper, is equally

    "For three hours the multitude was swayed to and fro by his
    resistless eloquence. No description can do justice to the address.
    Its framework was logic and high moral principle, ornamented with
    refined and classical allusions and glowing images. Through the
    whole he was interrupted by long and hearty cheers. Toward the
    close he expressed a fear that he was detaining his audience too
    long (the clock was then striking midnight) but he was answered by
    cries from all parts of the house, 'Oh, no! go on! go on! talk all

This introduction may explain what ensued. Mr. Sumner was nominated
for Congress, and, under the circumstances, did not feel authorized to
decline. Earnestly urging others to active support of the cause, he
could not refuse the post assigned to himself. His letter accepting the
nomination, after giving reasons for the step, proceeds to consider at
some length the philosophy of parties and the necessity for the new
organization in which he was enlisted. The nomination was communicated
to him in a letter, which is given below, with his answer. The result
will appear in the sequel.

                                          "BOSTON, October 23, 1848.


    "DEAR SIR,--At a meeting of the Ward, County, and District
    Convention of the Free-Soil Party of Suffolk, held on Thursday
    last, it being proposed to go into a nomination of candidate for
    Representative to Congress, and nominations being called for, your
    name, and yours only, was placed upon the list.

    "A member of the Convention, who represented himself as authorized
    by you for that purpose, urged, in the strongest terms, your
    disinclination to be a candidate, growing out of an early formed
    and long cherished resolution never to hold any political office;
    but, notwithstanding all that could be urged, the Convention
    nominated you, by acclamation, the Free-Soil candidate for Congress
    from District Number One, and appointed us a committee to inform
    you of the fact.

    "It seems to us, as it did to the Convention, that a political
    crisis has come which calls upon every man to forego his personal
    wishes, without regard to resolutions formed under circumstances
    totally different; and considering the extreme importance of a
    permanent Free-Soil organization, firm, enthusiastic, and united,
    we trust we shall have the great pleasure of conveying to the
    Convention your acceptance of their nomination.

                                          "S.G. HOWE,
                                          "OTIS TURNER,
                                          "MATTHEW BOLLES,
                                          "CHARLES A. PHELPS,
                                          "RICHARD HILDRETH."

                                         BOSTON, October 26, 1848.

    Gentlemen,--I have received your communication of October 23d,
    informing me that I have been nominated by the Ward, County, and
    District Convention of the Free-Soil Party of Suffolk as their
    candidate for Congress, and requesting my acceptance of that

    You state, that a member of the Convention, who represented himself
    as authorized by me for that purpose, urged in the strongest terms
    my disinclination to be a candidate, growing out of an early formed
    and long cherished resolution never to hold political office;
    but notwithstanding all that could be urged, I was nominated by

    The member of the Convention who spoke for me, at my special
    request, did not go beyond the truth. I have never held political
    office of any kind, nor have I ever been a candidate for any such
    office. It has been my desire and determination to labor in such
    fields of usefulness as are open to every private citizen, without
    the honor, emolument, or constraint of office. I would show by
    example (might I so aspire!) that something may be done for the
    welfare of our race, without the support of public station or the
    accident of popular favor. In this course I hoped to persevere.

    I was aware of the readiness with which the world attributes to
    candidates motives inconsistent with singleness and uprightness; I
    knew the viperous malignity of a party press, ready to shoot its
    venom upon those who oppose its course; for a succession of years I
    saw friends, of whose purity I was assured, a prey to the vampire
    ferocity of political partisans. Observing these things, I found in
    them fresh reason for my original determination to keep aloof from
    office, and from being a candidate for office.

    The active part which I have taken in our recent movement,
    resulting in the formation of a separate organization, has exposed
    me to something of that animosity usually reserved for candidates.
    Desirous to avoid any position suggesting desire for office, I have
    felt an additional motive for adherence to my original purpose. I
    wished to occupy such a place in our contest, as, while it left me
    free to labor, should put me above suspicion.

    You now bid me renounce the cherished idea of my life, early
    formed, and strengthened by daily experience, especially by
    circumstances at the present moment. In support of this request,
    you suggest that a political crisis has come which calls upon every
    man to forego his personal wishes.

    Upon serious deliberation, anxious to perform my duty, I feel
    myself unable to resist this appeal. In my view a crisis has
    arrived which requires the best efforts of every citizen; nor
    should he hesitate with regard to his peculiar post. Happy to serve
    in the cause, he should shrink from no labor and no exposure. When
    the fire-bell rings at midnight, when the ship which bears us
    drives furious upon a lee shore, there is no time to select the
    manner in which we will work. Not without dereliction of duty can
    we be indifferent to the call then addressed to us, nor can we fail
    to assume the responsibility or service, unwelcome though it be,
    which is cast upon us.

    This is the case now. The principles of Washington, Jefferson, and
    Franklin, the security of our Constitution, the true fame of our
    country, the interests of labor, the cause of Freedom, Humanity,
    Right, Morals, Religion, God, all these are now at stake. Holier
    cause has never appeared in history. To it I offer not vows only,
    but my best efforts, wherever they can be effectual.

    Accepting, as I now do, the nomination as Free-Soil candidate
    for Congress from our District, I might properly close this
    communication; but a topic in the letter with which you have
    honored me leads me further. While urging my consent, you allege
    "the extreme importance of a permanent Free-Soil organization,
    firm, enthusiastic, and united." Even at the hazard of wearying
    your attention, I would give you my own views.

    I agree with the Convention in the importance of the new
    organization; nor do I think there are many candid persons,
    recognizing morals as the soul of all true politics, who will
    hesitate in this conclusion.

    The evils of party organization have often been deprecated. Some
    there are, who, in visions of possible good, think these evils may
    be entirely removed. They suppose that men may be left to vote, as
    they act in other concerns, without the constraint of those giant
    combinations by whose struggle the whole land is up-torn. Some go
    so far as to oppose all associated action, as interfering with
    proper freedom and individuality of conduct. On the other hand,
    there are many who regard the phalanx and antagonism of party as a
    necessary agency in the administration of free governments. It is
    supposed that there must be two sides, whose constant watchfulness
    will prevent abuse and misrule. This idea was pointedly expressed
    by an eminent British statesman, when he gave as a toast, "A strong
    Administration and a strong Opposition."

    Without yielding to any of these extreme views with regard to the
    mischiefs or the benefits of party, all should agree that the only
    true and legitimate object of such an association is to uphold,
    advance, and develop certain principles, regarded by the members
    of the party as important to the well-being of the state. So far
    forth as the members honestly concur in these principles they may
    properly unite in action. But when they cease to join in their
    support, or when new principles are called into activity, then the
    common bond is dissolved, and a new association must be formed.

    This law, which is recognized by all intelligent minds, was
    developed by Mr. Webster at Faneuil Hall in 1825. "_New parties_,"
    he said, "may arise, growing out of new events or new questions;
    but as to those old parties which have sprung from controversies
    now no longer pending, or from feelings which time and other causes
    have now changed or greatly allayed, I do not believe that they
    can long remain. Efforts, indeed, made to that end, with zeal and
    perseverance, may delay their extinction, but, I think, cannot
    prevent it. There is nothing to keep alive these distinctions in
    the interests and objects which now engage society. New questions
    and new objects arise, having no connection with the subjects of
    past controversies, and present interest overcomes or absorbs
    the recollection of former controversies. All that are united on
    these existing questions and present interests are not likely to
    weaken their efforts to promote them by angry reflections on past
    differences. If there were nothing in _things_ to divide about, I
    think the people not likely to maintain systematic controversies
    about _men_. They have no interest in so doing. Associations formed
    to support _principles_ may be called _parties_; but if they have
    no bond of union but adherence to particular _men_, they become

    [273] Speeches and Forensic Arguments, p. 98.

    In obedience to this law, political parties in France and England,
    the only countries besides our own where experience is of service
    to us on this occasion, have undergone mutations with time. From
    the reign of Charles the Tenth to the Republic of February, the
    former country witnessed a succession of parties, representing
    the different principles struggling for mastery. It was rare
    that there were two parties only. In England the lines were more
    distinctly drawn, and the early division into two great parties
    was more strictly maintained. But here also it is found impossible
    to stand always upon the ancient ways. Much of the old distinction
    between Whig and Tory has already become traditional; the members
    of these two great antagonist combinations have recently united in
    measures demanded by the law of Human Progress. The monopoly of
    the Corn Laws, first assailed by Radicals, and then condemned by
    aristocratic Whigs, was finally overthrown by the leader of the
    Tories, who marshalled in this cause various forces never before

    In our own country parties have undergone changes. It would be
    difficult to find in the modern Democratic party, rejecting the
    Wilmot Proviso, that early party which recognized as its chief
    Jefferson, the original author of the Proviso. It would be equally
    difficult to find in the modern Whig party, which ignobly trampled
    upon the Wilmot Proviso, that other early party which aided in the
    election of Washington, the emancipator of his slaves, and the
    advocate of Emancipation.

    The party lately known as Whig is recent in origin. It cannot plead
    prescription in its favor. Twenty years have not yet elapsed since
    its birth. It is still in its minority, without any promise that it
    can reach the _age of freedom_.

    From this survey we are admonished not to hesitate in support of
    the new organization, from any vain idea of necessary permanence
    in the two old parties. Encouragement also may be drawn from the
    insufficiency of these parties as representatives of existing
    public sentiment.

    It is a humiliating reflection, forced upon us by the history of
    parties, that the professions of principle are often a mere cover
    to selfish efforts for place and power. Politics become a game, and
    principles are the counters which are used. The apparent contests
    of principle are made subservient to the contests of interest,
    and the latter is pursued to the neglect of the former. As this
    subservience becomes manifest, and as it clearly appears that
    fidelity to principle is merged in selfish ambition, surrendering
    all things to the pursuit of barren "availability," party loses
    title to the countenance of honest men. It is a faction, a cabal.
    It is an engine of mere political brokerage, by which preferment
    is procured. If I used a stronger word, I should only borrow
    the language of the great poet patriot, in describing his own
    Italy, defiled by noxious factions, whose prostitution of sacred
    principles filled the whole land with noisome odor.

    Without undertaking to apply this language in all its force to
    either of the parties convened at Baltimore or Philadelphia, it
    will be sufficient to say that they do not now embody, if they ever
    did, those principles which are accepted by large numbers of good
    men as vital and paramount. The question, then, arises, Shall these
    principles continue without any national organ? Shall they find no
    voice? Shall they be stifled? Clearly not.

    Such precisely is our condition. The important sentiment of
    hostility to the Slave Power, to the extension of Slavery, and to
    its longer continuance under the Constitution wherever the National
    Government is responsible for it, though recognized by individuals,
    and by a small, but respectable, political organization, was
    never till now put forth as the paramount principle of a large
    and national party. It is true, indeed, that here is no new idea.
    It is as old as the Revolution,--as old as Washington, Jefferson,
    and Franklin; but it is an idea neglected by both the great
    parties which have recently swayed the country. Were it recognized
    by either, there would be no occasion for the new party whose
    existence has so auspiciously begun.

    No person is so hardy as to assert that the present Democratic
    party embodies this idea. But there are partisans, who, in
    disregard of well-known facts, claim it as the property of the
    late Whig party, even in its present metamorphosis into the Taylor
    faction. It is sometimes proclaimed as their "thunder." How is this?

    It is well known that the Whigs of Massachusetts, in local
    conventions, and also in formal legislative proceedings, have
    avowed hostility to the Slave Power, to the extension of Slavery,
    and to its longer continuance under the Constitution, wherever the
    National Government is responsible for it; but the _National_ Whig
    party, or what Mr. Webster has called "the _united_ Whig party
    of the United States," has never recognized any such principles.
    Search its history, and you will find that it has been false to

    _As a party_, it has never sustained any measure for the abolition
    of Slavery in the District of Columbia. On the contrary, it
    has discountenanced all proceedings in this direction. General
    Harrison, the only President it has succeeded in electing, covertly
    took ground against it in his Inaugural Message, and Mr. Clay, the
    acknowledged representative of the party, expressed himself to the
    same effect, with a warmth which better became a better cause.
    Nor did either of these Whig statesmen admit, what Mr. Van Buren
    more than once distinctly declared, that Congress possessed the
    constitutional power to abolish Slavery in the District. That part
    of our principles, then, which touches this topic, has formed no
    portion of the _National_ Whig doctrines.

    The claim to proprietorship in the principle of opposition to the
    extension of Slavery is equally vain. Florida and Arkansas have
    both been admitted as States with slaveholding Constitutions, and
    the _National_ Whig party made no opposition.

    The annexation of Texas, when first presented, was opposed by
    many Whigs of the Slave States, _but on grounds irrespective of
    Slavery_. It was finally consummated through the agency of John
    Tyler, President by the act of the Whig party, and of John C.
    Calhoun, Secretary of State by the unanimous vote of the _Whig_
    and Democratic members of the Senate, _through joint resolutions,
    moved in the House by Mr. Milton Brown, a Slaveholding Whig from
    Tennessee, and in the Senate by Mr. Foster, a Slaveholding Whig
    from the same State_. Thus even against the annexation of Texas the
    Whig party did not present a constant and uniform front.

    The question of the extension of Slavery was distinctly presented,
    on the application of Texas for admission into our Union, with a
    Constitution which not only established Slavery, but took from the
    Legislature all power to abolish it. The spirit of New England was
    aroused. Remonstrances went up to Congress on the single ground of
    opposition to the extension of Slavery. John Quincy Adams undertook
    to present them. But, notwithstanding his earnest efforts, the
    measure was hurried through the House by the vote of every
    slaveholder present, Whig and Democrat. It went to the Senate,
    where it was ushered under the sanction in part of Mr. Berrien, a
    slaveholding Whig from Georgia, and finally triumphed in that body,
    notwithstanding the opposition of Mr. Webster, by the vote of every
    slaveholder present, Whig and Democrat. Let it be mentioned to
    their credit, that Mr. Thomas Clayton, of the Senate, and Mr. John
    W. Houston, of the House, from Delaware, and Mr. John G. Chapman,
    of the House, from Maryland, united with the friends of Freedom;
    but I understand that they are not slaveholders. The associations
    of the day on which this deed was done added to its character as a
    mockery of Human Rights. It was on the 22d of December, 1845, the
    anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock.

    At a later day this great question again entered Congress,
    overshadowing all others. In 1846, Mr. Wilmot, a Democrat, of
    Pennsylvania, in order to secure the Territories for Freedom, moved
    his Proviso, borrowed from the Ordinance of 1787. The motion was
    sustained by Northern Whigs, but opposed by slaveholders _without_
    _distinction of party_. Exertions were made to rally the Free
    States on this ground; but the _National_ Whig party, anxious to
    avoid the issue, strove, through the agency of Mr. Berrien and Mr.
    Webster, to substitute the question of _No more Territory_,--thus
    avoiding the issue upon the paramount principle, now vaunted as
    theirs, of opposition to the extension of Slavery.

    At the Whig Convention in Philadelphia two different efforts were
    made to obtain the recognition of this principle; but it was laid
    upon the table, or stifled amidst unseemly noises and cries of
    "Kick it out!"

    This same Convention nominated for the Presidency General Taylor,
    who is justly supposed, by his position, to be against the Wilmot
    Proviso, and who has been advocated recently by Mr. Berrien, a
    leading slaveholding Whig, remarkable for hostility to the Proviso,
    on the ground, thus candidly expressed, that "the Southern man
    who is farthest from us is nearer to us than any Northern man can
    be,--that General Taylor is identified with us in feeling and
    interest, was born and educated in a slaveholding State, is himself
    a slaveholder,--that his slave property constitutes the means of
    support to himself and family,--_that he cannot desert us_, without
    sacrificing his interest, his principles, the habits and feelings
    of his life,--and that with him, therefore, our institutions are
    safe." In sustaining such a candidate, while professing to be a
    Free-Soil party, the Whigs imitate those barbarians who elevate in
    their temple a Pagan idol, while professing to serve, in Gospel
    light, the only true God.

    There are leading supporters of General Taylor, not slaveholders,
    but acknowledged Whigs, who frankly disclaim the Wilmot Proviso.
    Mr. Clayton, of Delaware, is reported as declaring to the Senate,
    July 5, 1848,--"No man has a right to say that the Wilmot Proviso
    is a Whig principle, or that its opposite is a Whig principle. We
    repudiate the question altogether, as a political question. Neither
    the one side nor the other of the question forms any part of our
    platform." And my friend Mr. Choate, the accomplished orator, is
    reported as saying, in one of his recent speeches: "On all the
    great questions of the day BUT JUST SLAVERY, we mean to remain the
    same party of Whigs, one and indivisible, from Maine to Louisiana;
    upon this question alone _we always differ from the Whigs of the
    South_, and on that one we propose simply to vote them down."

    I conclude, then, that the principle of opposition to the extension
    of Slavery, like that of opposition to its longer continuance under
    the Constitution, wherever the National Government is responsible
    for it, is not recognized by the national political combination
    which supports General Taylor. None will say that this combination
    will oppose the Slave Power, of which their candidate is a
    component part.

    It is to uphold and advance these principles, thus neglected by
    others, that we have come together, leaving the parties to which
    we have been respectively attached. Now, in the course of human
    events, it has become our duty to dissolve the political bands
    which have hitherto bound us to the old organizations, and to
    assume a separate existence. Our Declaration of Independence was
    put forth at Buffalo. Let us, in the spirit of the fathers, pledge
    ourselves to sustain it with lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Our
    cause is holier than theirs, inasmuch as it is nobler to struggle
    for the freedom of others than for our own. Full of reverence for
    the fathers, I here repeat what in this contest cannot be too
    often declared. The love of Right, which is the animating principle
    of our movement, is higher than the love of Freedom. But both Right
    and Freedom inspire our cause.

    Taking our place as a new party, we fulfil the desires of many good
    men, living and dead, who have longed to see the thraldom of the
    old organizations broken. Such was the earnest hope of John Quincy
    Adams, expressed more than once. "God grant that it may come!" was
    his devout wish.

    Another person, not a politician, whose opinions exercise a wide
    influence over the present generation, the late William Ellery
    Channing, has left on record a similar aspiration. In a letter
    dated January 11, 1840, recently published in his biography,
    he says: "The Whig interest seems to be too strong to be put
    down at once. This party has the wealth, and in so rich a State
    [Massachusetts] has great advantages for perpetuating its power. No
    party, however, which thinks only of securing wealth can last long.
    There must be some higher principle."[274] And in another letter,
    dated March 1, 1842, the same patriot and philanthropist says: "The
    political state of the country is exceedingly perplexed. _The Whig
    party has little unity, and is threatened with dissolution....
    Would the Democrats break up too, and could we start afresh, the
    Government would probably be less of an evil than it is._"[275]

    [274] Memoir, Vol. III. p. 262.

    [275] Ibid., p. 263.

    Another eminent person, honored wherever the pulpit and philosophy
    of our country are known, Rev. Francis Wayland, of the Baptist
    denomination, has recently put forth sentiments in a similar
    strain. "But," says he, "it may be said that a course of conduct
    like this would destroy all political organizations, and render
    nugatory the designations in which we have for so very long prided
    ourselves. If this be all the mischief that is done, the Republic,
    I think, may very patiently endure it.... If a disciple of Christ
    has learned to value his political party more highly than he does
    truth and justice and mercy, it is surely time that his connection
    with it were broken off. Let him learn to surrender party for moral
    principle.... _Let all good men do this, and they will form a party
    by themselves, a party acting in the fear of God, and sustained by
    the arm of Omnipotence...._

    "Let virtuous men, then, unite on the ground of _universal moral
    principle_, and the tyranny of party will be crushed. Were the
    virtuous men of this country to carry their moral sentiments into
    practice, and act alone rather than participate in the doing
    of wrong, all parties would, from necessity, submit to their
    authority, and the acts of the nation would become a true exponent
    of the moral character of our people."[276]

    [276] The Duty of Obedience to the Civil Magistrate, pp. 38-40.

    I would add, that I am glad to adduce this high testimony from the
    pulpit. The Gospel is never more truly or sublimely preached than
    when the politician is told that he, too, is bound by its laws,
    and communities, whether villages, towns, states, or nations, are
    summoned, like individuals, to obey its sacred behests.

    In such a spirit our organization has been established. It is
    sometimes said, that it does not recognize certain measures of
    public policy, deemed by certain persons of special importance. If
    this be so, it does what is better, and what other organizations
    fail to do: it acknowledges those high principles which, like the
    great central light, vivify all, and without which all is dark and

    Surely the people will not be diverted from these truths by holding
    up the Sub-Treasury and the Tariff. The American people are
    intelligent and humane; they are not bulls, to be turned aside by
    shaking in their eyes a bit of red cloth, or whales, to be stopped
    by a tub. In listening to the recent pertinacious and exclusive
    advocacy which these questions have received, in disregard of
    Freedom, I am reminded of the scene, so vividly portrayed by Mr.
    Wirt, where the humor and eloquence of Patrick Henry exhibited an
    effort of selfishness in the midst of the Revolution. The American
    army was in great distress, exposed almost naked to the rigor of
    a winter sky, and marking the frozen ground over which it marched
    with the blood of unshod feet. "Where was the man," said Patrick
    Henry, "who would not have thrown open his fields, his barns,
    his cellars, the doors of his house, the portals of his breast,
    to receive the meanest soldier in that little band of famished
    patriots? Where is the man? There he stands; but whether the heart
    of an American beats in his bosom you are to judge." It was to John
    Hook that he pointed, who had brought a vexatious suit for two
    steers taken for the use of the troops. "What notes of discord do I
    hear?" said the orator. "They are the notes of John Hook, hoarsely
    bawling through the American camp, _Beef! Beef! Beef!_"[277]

    [277] Wirt's Life and Character of Patrick Henry, pp. 373, 374.

    As a separate party, following the example of other parties, and
    recognizing the necessity of such a course, we nominate candidates
    for the Presidency, Vice-Presidency, and for all State offices. We
    cannot support Taylor or Cass, nor can we support the supporters
    of Taylor or Cass. We cannot sustain men who contribute votes to
    place the power and patronage of the highest offices in hands
    which may exercise them against Freedom. I know there are some who
    will do this, wishing well to Freedom; but her friends should be
    of sterner stuff. Nor is it easy to put confidence in the moral
    firmness of men who, while this great cause is pending, can sustain
    any party or individual not unequivocally pledged to its support.

    From this statement you will perceive, Gentlemen, that I am
    convinced, with you, of "the extreme importance of a permanent
    Free-Soil organization, firm, enthusiastic, and united." In this
    conviction I find an additional motive, now that this organization
    is commencing its most difficult struggle, to accept the nomination
    which you have tendered. Let us labor together. Confident in the
    justice of our cause, we will dedicate to it our best powers,
    careless of opposing factions or the misrepresentations of a
    mendacious press,--sustaining it with enthusiasm, and yet with
    candor, with firmness, and yet with moderation. The great law of
    Human Progress, the all-prevailing might of truth and of God, are
    on our side.

          I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
                  Your faithful friend and servant,
                                          CHARLES SUMNER.


                    APPEAL FOR THE FREE-SOIL PARTY.

                           NOVEMBER 9, 1848.

    The Presidential election took place on Tuesday, November 7, 1848.
    It was soon apparent that General Taylor was chosen President.
    The large vote of the Free-Soil Party of Massachusetts gave
    encouragement for the future. The election of State officers,
    including Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, and also Members of
    Congress, was to take place a week after. Mr. Sumner, who had
    become Chairman of the Free-Soil State Committee, at once prepared
    an Address to the people of the Commonwealth, rallying them to the
    polls, which was adopted by the State Committee.


The FREE-SOIL STATE COMMITTEE offer their congratulations to
the people of Massachusetts on the result of the recent election in our

Nearly FORTY THOUSAND Freemen have, by their votes, borne
testimony against the two old political organizations, and for the
new party of FREEDOM. They have branded _Taylorism_ and
_Cassism_ as unworthy of support. In doing this they have encountered
prejudices and difficulties of a peculiar kind, in addition to the
constant, indefatigable, and well-sustained exertions of both the old

Whatever may be the result in other parts of the country,
Massachusetts, by a majority of votes, has rejected both Taylor and
Cass.[278] She has declared her want of confidence in their principles,
and her unwillingness to recognize either as the representative and
impersonation of American institutions.

    [278] The votes, as officially determined, stood: For Taylor,
    61,072; Cass, 35,284; Van Buren, 38,133.

Still further, she has declared, by the vote of nearly FORTY
THOUSAND Freemen, that Slavery shall not be extended,--that
Slavery shall not be allowed to continue under the National Government,
wherever that Government is responsible for it,--and that the Slave
Power shall no longer control the policy of our country.

To support these paramount principles, without equivocation or
compromise, at all times and in every way, she has now given her first
earnest and determined pledge. Freemen of Massachusetts! it remains
with you to redeem this pledge by further exertions.

An election of State officers and of Members of Congress will take
place on Monday, November 13th. The principles which we have upheld
in the Presidential election, as paramount to all others, let us
continue to uphold and advance through the new organization now
happily established. Following the example of the other parties, and
recognizing the necessity of such a course, we can sustain those only
who sustain this organization. We are a separate party, and, as such,
have separate candidates.

Remember, then, to vote for no man who is not willing to unite with us
in declaring opposition to Slavery and the Slave Power to be above all
other questions, and who cannot be relied upon to sustain those men
only who join in this alliance of principle.

Vote for STEPHEN C. PHILLIPS, of Salem, our candidate for
Governor, and for JOHN MILLS, of Springfield, our candidate
for Lieutenant-Governor,--men familiar with all the concerns of
the Commonwealth, of well-tried prudence, of best capacity, and of
inflexible devotion to FREEDOM.

Vote, also, for the Congressional Candidates nominated by the Free-Soil
District Conventions.

Vote, likewise, for the Senatorial Candidates nominated by the
Free-Soil County Conventions.

And, in your respective towns, vote for such Representatives only as
may be relied upon to sustain, in the Legislature of the Commonwealth,
the principles which we have at heart, and the new organization
dedicated to their support. The final success of our candidates for
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor may depend upon the firmness of these

Freemen of Massachusetts! Three months only have elapsed to-day since
the Convention at Buffalo. In this brief period we have taken our
place as one of the great parties of the country. With one bound we
have leaped to our present position. In Massachusetts we are not the
_third party_. Let our efforts in the next election show us to be

_First_ in principles we already are,--_first_ in devotion to those
truths which give dignity and security to our common country: let us be
FIRST also in numbers and power.

Stand firm, Freemen of Massachusetts! Your fidelity now will be the
cement of our new organization, and a token of that mutual confidence
which shall assure speedy success. Ours is the cause of truth, of
morals, of religion, of God. Let us be united in its support! "A stout
heart, a clear conscience, and never despair." These were the last
words addressed in writing by JOHN QUINCY ADAMS to a person
deeply interested in our movement. Let us each consider them addressed
directly to himself.

                                      CHARLES SUMNER, _Chairman_.


  BOSTON, November 9, 1848.

                       A LAST RALLY FOR FREEDOM.

                           NOVEMBER 9, 1848.

Besides speaking at all the principal centres in the State, Mr. Sumner
made what was called a "campaign speech" at Faneuil Hall on the evening
of October 31st, occupying the whole evening. John A. Andrew, Esq., was
in the chair. Of this meeting, and of Mr. Sumner's speech, the _Boston
Republican_ used strong language. "Mr. Sumner's reception was most
gratifying. The cheering was long continued and unanimous, and burst
forth at intervals during the speech, which was of surpassing ability
and eloquence. During the peroration the audience attained the highest
pitch of enthusiasm; deafening and tumultuous shouts resounded, cheer
upon cheer, until it seemed as if they would never stop."

Though this speech was never reported, Mr. Sumner was not inclined to
speak again in Faneuil Hall before the election, when he found himself
advertised for another meeting on the evening of November 9th. The
notice was in these words, which were duly capitalized: "Rally to
Faneuil Hall! Adams and Sumner, Richard H. Dana, Jr.! Once more to
the rescue!" Mr. Adams and Mr. Dana spoke, but Mr. Sumner appeared by

In the absence of the last, Mr. Adams alluded to him as a candidate in
language which belongs to this record.

    "And what shall I say of Charles Sumner? (Cheers.) From a feeling
    of delicacy he is not here to-night, and it gives me an opportunity
    to say that which I should not say to his face. Charles Sumner is a
    man of large heart,--not of that class of politicians who calculate
    availability, and the numbers of the opposition, but a man who
    takes an enlarged view of a noble system of action, and places his
    shoulder to the wheel to move it forward. He is now doing more
    to impress on the country a new and powerful moral sentiment in
    connection with the movement than any man or any ten men in the
    country. If Boston is what Boston was, she would be doing herself
    honor and the country benefit by electing him."

The letter of Mr. Sumner, when read to the audience, was received with

                                          BOSTON, November 9, 1848.

My dear sir,--It was without my knowledge--doubtless through some
misapprehension of the Committee--that my name was announced among
those to speak in Faneuil Hall to-night.

As a candidate, I feel disposed during the present week to follow what
I believe has been the usage in our District, and to avoid meeting my
fellow-citizens in public assemblies. I am happy that there are others
whose eloquent voices will rally them in the good cause.

Here in Massachusetts our new party, while yet in its cradle, shows a
giant's strength. Its enemies look on with amazement, while its friends
rejoice. Let us continue to do as we have already done.

True to the principles which have led her by a majority of her votes
to reject both Taylor and Cass, Massachusetts cannot uphold their
supporters. Her opposition to the old and vicious organizations can
be made effectual only by opposing all who sustained these obnoxious
candidates. Nor can any candid person object to this course. We are
a separate party, and as such have separate candidates. A member of
the Taylor faction might complain as well of the Cass party as of the
Free-Soil party, for not sustaining his candidate.

Our party is composed of persons from all the other parties,--drawn
together by no consideration of mere expediency or personal advantage,
but united by a common bond of principle to promote that great cause
of Freedom with whose triumph is indissolubly connected the highest
welfare of our country. Such a cause is worthy of all our energies. It
appeals to good men in the name of virtue and religion. It appeals to
the young by the best instincts of their nature. It appeals to those
who call themselves Whigs by all the professions of their party here in
times past. It appeals to those who call themselves Democrats by all
those principles which give life, dignity, and truth to the Democratic

With such a cause, at the present moment, we cannot hesitate. In the
words of Patrick Henry, which, on the eve of our earlier Revolution,
sent a thrill through the Continent, "we must fight, I repeat it, Sir,
we must fight,"--not with fire and sword, not with weapons of flesh,
but with earnest words, with devout aspirations, with sincere and
determined souls. Thus shall we conquer that opposing power, which,
through the agency of both the old political parties, now seeks to
trample down the rising struggle for Freedom.

                                  Faithfully yours,

                                          CHARLES SUMNER.


The nomination of Mr. Sumner to Congress in Boston was like a forlorn
hope. The vote stood 7,726 for Mr. Winthrop, 1,460 for Mr. Hallett, and
2,336 for Mr. Sumner. At the Presidential election, the week before,
the vote was 8,427 for General Taylor, 2,997 for General Cass, and
1,909 for Mr. Van Buren.



    That it may please Thee to give to all nations unity, peace, and
    concord.--THE LITANY.

     What angel shall descend to reconcile
     The Christian states, and end their guilty toil?


    Quæ harmonia a musicis dicitur in cantu, ea est in civitate
    concordia.--CICERO, _De Republica_, Lib. II. Cap. 42.

     Una dies Fabios ad bellum miserat omnes,
       Ad bellum missos perdidit una dies.

                                  OVID, _Fasti_, Lib. II. 235, 236.

Cum hac persuasione vivendum est: Non sum uni angulo natus; patria mea
totus hic mundus est.--SENECA, _Epistola_ XXVIII.

Illi enim exorsi sunt non ab observandis telis aut armis aut tubis;
id enim invisum illis est propter Deum quem in conscientia sua
gestant.--MARCUS AURELIUS, _Epistola ad Senatum_: S. Justini _Apologia
I. pro Christianis_, Cap. 71.

War is one of the greatest plagues that can afflict humanity: it
destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any
scourge, in fact, is preferable to it. Famine and pestilence become as
nothing in comparison with it.... Cannons and fire-arms are cruel and
damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of
the Devil.... If Adam had seen in a vision the horrible instruments his
children were to invent, he would have died of grief.--MARTIN LUTHER,
_Table-Talk_, tr. Hazlitt, pp. 331-332.

Mulei Abdelummi, assaulted by his brother and wounded in the church,
1577, would not stirre till _sala_, or prayer, was done.--PURCHAS,
_Pilgrims_, Part II. Book IX. Chap. 12, § 6, p. 1564.

A duel may still be granted in some cases by the law of England, and
only there. That the Church allowed it anciently appears by this: In
their public liturgies there were prayers appointed for the duellists
to say; the judge used to bid them go to such a church and pray, etc.
But whether is this lawful? If you grant any war lawful, I make no
doubt but to convince it.--SELDEN, _Table-Talk_: _Duel_.

I look upon the way of Treaties as a retiring from fighting like
beasts to arguing like men, whose strength should be more in their
understandings than in their limbs.--_Eikon Basilike_, XVIII.

Se peut-il rien de plus plaisant qu'un homme ait droit de me tuer parce
qu'il demeure au delà de l'eau, et que son prince a querelle avec le
mien, quoique je n'en aie aucune avec lui?--PASCAL, _Pensées_, Part. I.
Art. VI. 9.

Pourquoi me tuez-vous? Eh quoi! ne demeurez-vous pas de l'autre
côte de l'eau? Mon ami, si vous demeuriez de ce côté, je serais
un assassin; cela serait injuste de vous tuer de la sorte: mais
puisque vous demeurez de l'autre côté, je suis un brave, et cela est
juste.--_Ibid._, Part. I. Art. IX. 3.

De tout temps les hommes, pour quelque morceau de terre de plus ou de
moins, _sont convenus_ entre eux de se dépouiller, se brûler, se tuer,
s'égorger les uns les autres; et pour le faire plus ingénieusement et
avec plus de sûreté, ils ont inventé de belles règles qu'on appelle
l'art militaire: ils ont attaché à la pratique de ces règles _la
gloire_, ou la plus solide réputation; et ils ont depuis enchéri de
siècle en siècle sur la manière de se détruire réciproquement.--LA
BRUYÈRE, _Du Souverain ou de la République_.

La calamita esser innamorata del ferro.--VICO, _Scienza Nuova_, Lib.
I., _Degli Elementi_, XXXII.

     Unlistening, barbarous Force, to whom the sword
     Is reason, honor, law.

                              THOMSON, _Liberty_, Part IV. 45, 46.

Enfin, tandis que les deux rois faisaient chanter des _Te Deum_, chacun
dans son camp, il prit le parti d'aller raisonner ailleurs des effets
et des causes. Il passa par-dessus des tas de morts et de mourants,
et gagna d'abord un village voisin; il était en cendres: c'était un
village Abare, que les Bulgares avaient brûlé, _selon les lois du droit
public_.--VOLTAIRE, _Candide ou l'Optimiste_, Chap. III.

The rage and violence of public war, what is it but a suspension of
justice among the warring parties?--HUME, _Essays: Inquiry concerning
the Principles of Morals_, Section III., _Of Justice_, Part I.

A single robber or a few associates are branded with their genuine
name; but the exploits of a numerous band assume the character of
lawful and honorable war.--GIBBON, _Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire_, Chap. 50.

The glory of a warrior prince can only be written in letters of blood,
and he can only be immortalized by the remembrance of the devastation
of provinces and the desolation of nations. A warrior king depends
for his reputation on the vulgar crowd, and must address himself to
prejudice and ignorance to obtain the applause of a day, which the pen
of the philosopher, the page of the historian, often annul, even before
death comes to enshroud the mortal faculties in the nothingness from
which they came. Consult, Sire, the laws of the King of Kings, and
acknowledge that the God of the Universe is a God of Peace.--RIGHT HON.
HUGH ELLIOT, _British Minister in Sweden, to Gustavus III., November
10, 1788: Memoir_, by the Countess of Minto, p. 324.

C'est un usage reçu en Europe, qu'un gentilhomme vende, à une querelle
étrangère, le sang qui appartient à sa patrie; qu'il s'engage à
assassiner, en bataille rangée, qui il plaira au prince qui le soudoie;
et ce métier est regardé comme honorable.--CONDORCET, _Note 109 aux
Pensées de Pascal_.

C'était un affreux spectacle que cette déroute. Les blessés, qui ne
pouvaient se traîner, se couchaient sur le chemin; on les foulait
aux pieds; les femmes poussaient des cris, les enfans pleuraient,
les officiers frappaient les fuyards. Au milieu de tout ce désordre,
ma mère avait passé sans que je la reconnusse. Un enfant avait
voulu l'arrêter et la tuer, parce qu'elle fuyait.--MADAME DE LA
ROCHEJAQUELEIN, _Mémoires_, Chap. XVII. p 301.

Let the soldier be abroad, if he will; he can do nothing in this age.
There is another personage, a personage less imposing in the eyes of
some, perhaps insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust
to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military
array.--BROUGHAM, _Speech in the House of Commons, January 29, 1828_.

Was it possible for me to avoid the reflections which crowded into
my mind, ... when I reflected that this peaceful and guiltless and
useful triumph over the elements and over Nature herself had cost
a million only of money, whilst fifteen hundred millions had been
squandered on cruelty and crime, in naturalizing barbarism over the
world, shrouding the nations in darkness, making bloodshed tinge the
earth of every country under the sun,--in one horrid and comprehensive
word, squandered on WAR, the greatest curse of the human race, and
the greatest crime, because it involves every other crime within
its execrable name?... I look backwards with shame, with regret
unspeakable, with indignation to which I should in vain attempt to give
utterance, ... when I think, that, if one hundred, and but one hundred,
of those fifteen hundred minions, had been employed in promoting the
arts of peace and the progress of civilization and of wealth and
prosperity amongst us, instead of that other employment which is too
hateful to think of, and almost nowadays too disgusting to speak of
(and I hope to live to see the day when such things will be incredible,
when, looking back, we shall find it impossible to believe they ever
happened), instead of being burdened with eight hundred millions of
debt, borrowed after spending seven hundred millions, borrowed when we
had no more to spend, we should have seen the whole country covered
with such works as now unite Manchester and Liverpool, and should have
enjoyed peace uninterrupted during the last forty years, with all the
blessings which an industrious and a virtuous people deserve, and which
peace profusely sheds upon their lot.--IBID., _Speech at Liverpool,
July 20, 1835_.

Who can read these, and such passages as these [from Plato], without
wishing that some who call themselves Christians, some Christian
Principalities and Powers, had taken a lesson from the Heathen
sage, and, if their nature forbade them to abstain from massacres
and injustice, at least had not committed the scandalous impiety,
as he calls it, of singing in places of Christian worship, and for
the accomplishment of their enormous crimes, _Te Deums_, which in
Plato's Republic would have been punished as blasphemy? Who, indeed,
can refrain from lamenting another pernicious kind of sacrilege, an
anthropomorphism, yet more frequent,--that of making Christian temples
resound with prayers for victory over our enemies, and thanksgiving for
their defeat? Assuredly such a ritual as this is not taken from the New
Testament.--IBID., _Discourse of Natural Theology_, Note VIII.

War is on its last legs; and a universal peace is as sure as is the
prevalence of civilization over barbarism, of liberal governments over
feudal forms. The question for us is only, _How soon?_--EMERSON, _War:
Æsthetic Papers_, ed. E.P. Peabody, p. 42.

A day will come when the only battle-field will be the market open
to commerce and the mind opening to new ideas. A day will come when
bullets and bomb-shells will be replaced by votes, by the universal
suffrage of nations, by the venerable arbitration of a great Sovereign
Senate, which will be to Europe what the Parliament is to England,
what the Diet is to Germany, what the Legislative Assembly is to
France. A day will come when a cannon will be exhibited in public
museums, just as an instrument of torture is now, and people will be
astonished how such a thing could have been. A day will come when those
two immense groups, the United States of America and the United States
of Europe, shall be seen placed in presence of each other, extending
the hand of fellowship across the ocean.--VICTOR HUGO, _Inaugural
Address at the Peace Congress of Paris, August 22, 1849_.

Clearly, beyond question, whatsoever be our theories about human
nature and its capabilities and outcomes, the less war and cutting of
throats we have among us, it will be better for us all. One rejoices
much to see that immeasurable tendencies of this time are already
pointing towards the results you aim at,--that, to all appearance, as
men no longer wear swords in the streets, so neither by-and-by will
nations.--CARLYLE, _Letter to the Peace Congress at London, July, 1851_.

The longer I live, the more I am convinced of the necessity of a
powerful association to plead the cause of Universal Peace and
International Arbitration; and I feel confident that the time is not
far distant when war will be as impossible among civilized nations as
duelling is among civilized men.--SIR DAVID BREWSTER, _Letter to the
Peace Conference at Edinburgh, October, 1853_.

Aujourd'hui encore on bénit les drapeaux qui conduisent les hommes à
de mutuels égorgements. En donnant à un Dieu de paix le nom de _Dieu
des Armées_, on fait de l'Être infini en bonté le complice de ceux
qui s'abreuvent des larmes de leurs semblables. Aujourd'hui encore on
chante d'impies _Te Deum_ pour le remercier de ces victoires obtenues
au prix d'épouvantables massacres, victoires qu'il faudrait ou expier
comme des crimes lorsqu'elles out été remportées dans des guerres
offensives ou déplorer comme la plus triste des nécessités quand elles
ont été obtenues dans des guerres défensives.--LARROQUE, _De la Guerre
et des Armées Permanentes_, Part. III. § 4.

La monarchie, sous les formes mêmes les plus tempérées, tiendra
toujours à avoir à sa dévotion des armées permanentes. Or avec les
armées en permanence l'abolition de la guerre est impossible. Par
conséquent la grande fédération des peuples, au moins de tous les
peuples Européens, dans le but d'arriver à l'abolition de la guerre
par l'institution d'un droit international et d'un tribunal supérieur
chargé de le faire observer, ne sera réalisable que le jour où ces
peuples seront organisés sous la forme républicaine. Quand luira ce
jour?--IBID., Avant-propos, p. 6.

Sir J. Lubbock quotes the case of a tribe in Baffin's Bay who "could
not be made to understand what was meant by war, nor had they any
warlike weapons." No wonder, poor people! They had been driven into
regions where no stronger race could desire to follow them.--DUKE OF
ARGYLL, _Primeval Man_, p. 177.


Mr. President and Gentlemen,--We are assembled in what may be called
the Holy Week of our community,--not occupied by pomps of a complex
ceremonial, swelling in tides of music, beneath time-honored arches,
but set apart, with the unadorned simplicity of early custom, to
anniversary meetings of those charitable and religious associations
from whose good works our country derives such true honor. Each
association is distinct. Gathered within the folds of each are its own
members, devoted to its chosen objects: and yet all are harmonious
together; for all are inspired by one sentiment,--the welfare of the
united Human Family. Each has its own separate orbit, a pathway of
light; while all together constitute a system which moves in a still
grander orbit.

Among all these associations, none is so truly comprehensive as ours.
The prisoner in his cell, the slave in his chains, the sailor on
ocean wanderings, the Pagan on far off continent or island, and the
ignorant here at home, will all be commended by eloquent voices. I need
not say that you should listen to these voices, and answer to their
appeal. But, while mindful of these interests, justly claiming your
care, it is my present and most grateful duty to commend that other
cause, the great cause of Peace, which in its wider embrace enfolds
prisoner, slave, sailor, the ignorant, all mankind,--which to each of
these charities is the source of strength and light, I may say of life
itself, as the sun in the heavens.

       *       *       *       *       *

Peace is the grand Christian charity, fountain and parent of all
other charities. Let Peace be removed, and all other charities sicken
and die. Let Peace exert her gladsome sway, and all other charities
quicken into life. Peace is the distinctive promise and possession
of Christianity,--so much so, that, where Peace is not, Christianity
cannot be. It is also the promise of Heaven, being the beautiful
consummation of that rest and felicity which the saints above are said
to enjoy. There is nothing elevated which is not exalted by Peace.
There is nothing valuable which does not gain from Peace. Of Wisdom
herself it is said, that all her ways are pleasantness, and all her
paths are Peace. And these golden words are refined by the saying of
the Christian Father, that the perfection of joy is Peace. Naturally
Peace is the longing and aspiration of the noblest souls, whether for
themselves or for country. In the bitterness of exile, away from the
Florence immortalized by his divine poem, and pacing the cloisters of a
convent, where a sympathetic monk inquired, "What do you seek?" Dante
answered, in accents distilled from the heart, "_Peace!_"[279] In the
memorable English struggles, while King and Parliament were rending the
land, a gallant supporter of monarchy, the chivalrous Falkland, touched
by the intolerable woes of War, cried, in words which consecrate
his memory more than any feat of arms, "_Peace! peace!_"[280] Not in
aspiration only, but in benediction, is this word uttered. As the
Apostle went forth on his errand, as the son forsook his father's roof,
the choicest blessing was, "_Peace be with you!_" When the Saviour
was born, angels from heaven, amidst choiring melodies, let fall that
supreme benediction, never before vouchsafed to the children of the
Human Family, "_Peace on earth, and good-will towards men!_"

    [279] Longfellow's Poets and Poetry of Europe, p. 513.

    [280] Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, Book VII. Vol. IV. p.

To maintain this charity, to promote these aspirations, to welcome
these benedictions, is the object of our Society. To fill men in
private with all those sentiments which make for Peace, to lead men in
public to the recognition of those paramount principles which are the
safeguard of Peace, above all, to teach the True Grandeur of Peace, and
to unfold the folly and wickedness of the Institution of War and of
the War System, now recognized and established by the Commonwealth of
Nations as the mode of determining international controversies,--such
is the object of our Society.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are persons who allow themselves sometimes to speak of
associations like ours, if not with disapprobation, at least with
levity and distrust. A writer so humane and genial as Robert Southey
left on record a gibe at the "Society for the Abolition of War,"
saying that it had "not obtained sufficient notice even to be in
disrepute."[281] It is not uncommon to hear our aims characterized as
visionary, impracticable, Utopian. Sometimes it is hastily said that
they are contrary to the nature of man, that they require for success
a complete reconstruction of human character, and that they necessarily
assume in man qualities, capacities, and virtues which do not belong
to his nature. This mistaken idea was once strongly expressed in
the taunt, that "an Anti-War Society is as little practicable as an
Anti-Thunder-and-Lightning Society."[282]

    [281] Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, Vol. I.
    p. 224.

    [282] Hon. Jeremiah Mason, of Boston, to Mr. Sumner.

Never a moment when this beautiful cause was not the occasion of jest,
varying with the character of the objector. More than a century ago
there was something of this kind, which arrested the attention of no
less a person than Leibnitz, and afterwards of Fontenelle. It was where
an elegant Dutch trifler, as described by Leibnitz, following the
custom of his country, placed as a sign over his door the motto, _To
Perpetual Peace_, with the picture of a cemetery,--meaning to suggest
that only with the dead could this desire of good men be fulfilled.
Not with the living, so the elegant Dutch trifler proclaimed over his
door. A different person, also of Holland, who was both diplomatist and
historian, the scholarly Aitzema, caught the jest, and illustrated it
by a Latin couplet:--

    "Qui pacem quæris libertatemque, viator,
       Aut nusquam aut isto sub tumulo invenies";--

which, being translated, means, "Traveller, who seekest Peace and
Liberty, either nowhere or under that mound thou wilt find them."[283]
Do not fail to observe that Liberty is here doomed to the same grave as
Peace. Alas, that there should be such despair! At length Liberty is
rising. May not Peace rise also?

    [283] Leibnitz, Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus, Dissert. I. §
    1: Opera (ed. Dutens), Tom. IV. Pars 3, pp. 287, 288. Fontenelle,
    Éloge de Leibnitz: OEuvres, Tom. V. p. 456.

Doubtless objections, to say nothing of jests, striking at the heart of
our cause, exert a certain influence over the public mind. They often
proceed from persons of sincerity and goodness, who would rejoice to
see the truth as we see it. But, plausible as they appear to those who
have not properly meditated this subject, I cannot but regard them--I
believe that all who candidly listen to me must hereafter regard
them--as prejudices, without foundation in sense or reason, which
must yield to a plain and careful examination of the precise objects

Let me not content myself, in response to these critics, with the
easy answer, that, if our aims are visionary, impracticable, Utopian,
then the unfulfilled promises of the Scriptures are vain,--then the
Lord's Prayer, in which we ask that God's kingdom may come on earth,
is a mockery,--then Christianity is no better than the statutes of
Utopia. Let me not content myself with reminding you that all the
great reforms by which mankind have been advanced encountered similar
objections,--that the abolition of the punishment of death for theft,
so long delayed, was first suggested in the "Utopia" of Sir Thomas
More,--that the efforts to abolish the slave-trade were opposed, almost
in our day, as visionary,--in short, that all endeavors for human
improvement, for knowledge, for freedom, for virtue, all the great
causes which dignify human history, and save it from being a mere
protracted War Bulletin, a common sewer, a _Cloaca Maxima_, flooded
with perpetual uncleanness, have been pronounced Utopian,--while, in
spite of distrust, prejudice, and enmity, all these causes gradually
found acceptance, as they gradually came to be understood, and the
aspirations of one age became the acquisitions of the next.

Satisfactory to some as this answer might be, I cannot content myself
with leaving our cause in this way. I shall meet all assaults, and
show, by careful exposition, that our objects are in no respect
visionary,--that the cause of Peace does not depend upon any
reconstruction of the human character, or upon holding in check the
general laws of man's being,--but that it deals with man as he is,
according to the experience of history,--and, above all, that our
immediate and particular aim, the abolition of the Institution of War,
and of the whole War System, as _established_ Arbiter of Right in the
Commonwealth of Nations, is as practicable as it would be beneficent.

I begin by putting aside questions, often pushed forward, which an
accurate analysis shows to be independent of the true issue. Their
introduction has perplexed the discussion, by transferring to the great
cause of International Peace doubts which do not belong to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of these is the declared right, inherent in each individual,
to take the life of an assailant in order to save his own
life,--compendiously called the _Right of Self-Defence_, usually
recognized by philosophers and publicists as founded in Nature and the
instincts of men. The exercise of this right is carefully restricted
to cases where life itself is in actual jeopardy. No defence of
property, no vindication of what is called _personal honor_, justifies
this extreme resort. Nor does this right imply the right of attack;
for, instead of attacking one another, on account of injuries past or
impending, men need only resort to the proper tribunals of justice.
There are, however, many most respectable persons, particularly of
the denomination of Friends, some of whom I may now have the honor of
addressing, who believe that the exercise of this right, even thus
limited, is in direct contravention of Christian precepts. Their
views find faithful utterance in the writings of Jonathan Dymond, of
which at least this may be said, that they strengthen and elevate,
even if they do not always satisfy, the understanding. "We shall be
asked," says Dymond, "'Suppose a ruffian breaks into your house, and
rushes into your room with his arm lifted to murder you; do you not
believe that Christianity allows you to kill him?' This is the last
refuge of the cause. Our answer to it is explicit,--_We do not believe
it_."[284] While thus candidly and openly avowing an extreme sentiment
of non-resistance, this excellent person is careful to remind the
reader that the case of the ruffian does not practically illustrate the
true character of War, unless it appears that war is undertaken simply
for the preservation of life, when no other alternative remains to a
people than to kill or be killed. According to this view, the robber on
land who places his pistol at the breast of the traveller, the pirate
who threatens life on the high seas, and the riotous disturber of the
public peace who puts life in jeopardy at home, cannot be opposed by
the sacrifice of life. Of course all who subscribe to this renunciation
of self-defence must join in efforts to abolish the Arbitrament of
War. Our appeal is to the larger number who make no such application
of Christian precepts, who recognize the right of self-defence as
belonging to each individual, and who believe in the necessity at times
of exercising this right, whether against a robber, a pirate, or a mob.

    [284] On the Applicability of the Pacific Principles of the New
    Testament to the Conduct of States, p. 10.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another question, closely connected with that of self-defence, is
the asserted _Right of Revolt or Revolution_. Shall a people endure
political oppression, or the denial of freedom, without resistance? The
answer to this question will necessarily affect the rights of three
million fellow-citizens held in slavery among us. If such a right
unqualifiedly exists,--and sympathy with our fathers, and with the
struggles for freedom now agitating Europe, must make us hesitate to
question its existence,--then these three millions of fellow-men, into
whose souls we thrust the iron of the deadliest bondage the world has
yet witnessed, must be justified in resisting to death the power that
holds them. A popular writer on ethics, Dr. Paley, has said: "It may be
as much a duty at one time to resist Government as it is at another to
obey it,--to wit, whenever more advantage will in our opinion accrue
to the community from resistance than mischief. The lawfulness of
resistance, or the lawfulness of a revolt, does not depend alone upon
the grievance which is sustained or feared, but also upon the probable
expense and event of the contest."[285] This view distinctly recognizes
the right of resistance, but limits it by the chance of success,
founding it on no higher ground than expediency. A right thus vaguely
defined and bounded must be invoked with reluctance and distrust. The
lover of Peace, while admitting, that, unhappily, in the present state
of the world, an exigency for its exercise may arise, must confess the
inherent barbarism of such an agency, and admire, even if he cannot
entirely adopt, the sentiment of Daniel O'Connell: "Remember that no
political change is worth a single crime, or, above all, a single drop
of human blood."

    [285] Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, Book VI. ch. 3.

       *       *       *       *       *

These questions I put aside, not as unimportant, not as unworthy of
careful consideration, but as unessential to the cause which I now
present. If I am asked--as advocates of Peace are often asked--whether
a robber, a pirate, a mob, may be resisted by the sacrifice of life, I
answer, that they may be so resisted,--mournfully, necessarily. If I
am asked to sympathize with the efforts for freedom now finding vent
in rebellion and revolution, I cannot hesitate to say, that, wherever
Freedom struggles, wherever Right is, there my sympathies must be.
And I believe I speak not only for myself, but for our Society, when
I add, that, while it is our constant aim to diffuse those sentiments
which promote good-will in all the relations of life, which exhibit
the beauty of Peace everywhere, in _national_ affairs as well as
_international_, and while especially recognizing that central truth,
the Brotherhood of Man, in whose noonday light all violence among men
is dismal and abhorred as among brothers, it is nevertheless no part
of our purpose to impeach the right to take life in self-defence or
when the public necessity requires, nor to question the justifiableness
of resistance to outrage and oppression. On these points there
are diversities of opinion among the friends of Peace, which this
Society, confining itself to efforts for the overthrow of War, is not
constrained to determine.

Waiving, then, these matters, with their perplexities and difficulties,
which do not in any respect belong to the cause, I come now to
the precise object we hope to accomplish,--_The Abolition of the
Institution of War, and of the whole War System, as an established
Arbiter of Justice in the Commonwealth of Nations._ In the accurate
statement of our aims you will at once perceive the strength of our
position. Much is always gained by a clear understanding of the
question in issue; and the cause of Peace unquestionably suffers often
because it is misrepresented or not fully comprehended. In the hope of
removing this difficulty, I shall _first_ unfold the true character
of War and the War System, involving the question of Preparations for
War, and the question of a Militia. The way will then be open, in the
_second_ branch of this Address, for a consideration of the means by
which this system can be overthrown. Here I shall exhibit the examples
of nations, and the efforts of individuals, constituting the Peace
Movement, with the auguries of its triumph, briefly touching, at the
close, on our duties to this great cause, and the vanity of Military
Glory. In all that I say I cannot forget that I am addressing a
Christian association, for a Christian charity, in a Christian church.


AND, first, of _War and the War System in the Commonwealth of
Nations_. By the Commonwealth of Nations I understand the Fraternity of
Christian Nations recognizing a Common Law in their relations with each
other, usually called the Law of Nations. This law, being established
by the consent of nations, is not necessarily the law of all nations,
but only of such as recognize it. The Europeans and the Orientals often
differ with regard to its provisions; nor would it be proper to say,
that, at this time, the Ottomans, or the Mahometans in general, or
the Chinese, have become parties to it.[286] The prevailing elements
of this law are the Law of Nature, the truths of Christianity, the
usages of nations, the opinions of publicists, and the written texts or
enactments found in diplomatic acts or treaties. In origin and growth
it is not unlike the various systems of municipal jurisprudence, all of
which are referred to kindred sources.

    [286] Since the delivery of this Address, Turkey and China have
    accepted our Law of Nations.

It is often said, in excuse for the allowance of War, that nations
are independent, and acknowledge no _common superior_. True, indeed,
they are politically independent, and acknowledge no common political
sovereign, with power to enforce the law. But they do acknowledge
a common superior, of unquestioned influence and authority, whose
rules they are bound to obey. This common superior, acknowledged by
all, is none other than the Law of Nations, with the Law of Nature as
a controlling element. It were superfluous to dwell at length upon
opinions of publicists and jurists declaring this supremacy. "The Law
of Nature," says Vattel, a classic in this department, "is not less
_obligatory_ with respect to states, or to men united in political
society, than to individuals."[287] An eminent English authority, Lord
Stowell, so famous as Sir William Scott, says, "The _Conventional
Law of Mankind_, which is evidenced in their practice, _allows_ some
and _prohibits_ other modes of destruction."[288] A recent German
jurist says, "A nation associating itself with the general society of
nations _thereby recognizes a law common to all nations_, by which its
international relations are to be regulated."[289] Lastly, a popular
English moralist, whom I have already quoted, and to whom I refer
because his name is so familiar, Dr. Paley, says, that the principal
part of what is called the Law of Nations derives its obligatory
character "_simply from the fact of its being established, and the
general duty of conforming to established rules_ upon questions
and between parties where nothing but _positive regulations_ can
prevent disputes, and where disputes are followed by such destructive

    [287] Law of Nations, Preface.

    [288] Robinson's, Chr., Admiralty Reports, Vol. I. p. 140.

    [289] Heffter, Das Europäische Völkerrecht der Gegenwart, § 2.

    [290] Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, Book VI. ch. 12.

The Law of Nations is, then, the Supreme Law of the Commonwealth of
Nations, governing their relations with each other, determining their
reciprocal rights, and sanctioning all remedies for the violation of
these rights. To the Commonwealth of Nations this law is what the
Constitution and Municipal Law of Massachusetts are to the associate
towns and counties composing the State, or what, by apter illustration,
the National Constitution of our Union is to the thirty several States
which now recognize it as the supreme law.

       *       *       *       *       *

But the Law of Nations,--and here is a point of infinite importance
to the clear understanding of the subject,--while anticipating and
providing for controversies between nations, recognizes and establishes
War as final Arbiter. It distinctly says to nations, "If you cannot
agree together, then stake your cause upon _Trial by Battle_." The mode
of trial thus recognized and established has its own procedure, with
rules and regulations, under the name of Laws of War, constituting a
branch of International Law. "The Laws of War," says Dr. Paley, "are
part of the Law of Nations, and founded, as to their authority, upon
the same principle with the rest of that code, namely, upon the fact
of their being _established_, no matter when or by whom."[291] Nobody
doubts that the Laws of War are established by nations.

    [291] Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, Book VI. ch. 12.

It is not uncommon to speak of the _practice_ of War, or the _custom_
of War,--a term adopted by that devoted friend of Peace, the late
Noah Worcester. Its apologists and expounders have called it "a
judicial trial,"--"one of the highest trials of right,"--"a process of
justice,"--"an appeal for justice,"--"a mode of obtaining rights,"--"a
prosecution of rights by force,"--"a mode of condign punishment." I
prefer to characterize it as an INSTITUTION, established by
the Commonwealth of Nations as Arbiter of Justice. As Slavery is an
Institution, growing out of local custom, sanctioned, defined, and
established by Municipal Law, so War is an Institution, growing out
of general custom, sanctioned, defined, and established by the Law of

Only when we contemplate War in this light can we fully perceive
its combined folly and wickedness. Let me bring this home to your
minds. Boston and Cambridge are adjoining towns, separated by the
River Charles. In the event of controversy between these different
jurisdictions, the Municipal Law establishes a judicial tribunal, and
not War, as arbiter. Ascending higher, in the event of controversy
between two different counties, as between Essex and Middlesex, the
same Municipal Law establishes a judicial tribunal, and not War, as
arbiter. Ascending yet higher, in the event of controversy between two
different States of our Union, the Constitution establishes a judicial
tribunal, the Supreme Court of the United States, and not War, as
arbiter. But now mark: at the next stage there is a change of arbiter.
In the event of controversy between two different States of the
Commonwealth of Nations, the supreme law establishes, not a judicial
tribunal, but War, as arbiter. War is the institution _established_ for
the determination of justice between nations.

Provisions of the Municipal Law of Massachusetts, and of the National
Constitution, are not vain words. To all familiar with our courts it
is well known that suits between towns, and likewise between counties,
are often entertained and satisfactorily adjudicated. The records of
the Supreme Court of the United States show also that States of the
Union habitually refer important controversies to this tribunal. Before
this high court is now pending an action of the State of Missouri
against the State of Iowa, founded on a question of boundary, where
the former claims a section of territory--larger than many German
principalities--extending along the whole northern border of Missouri,
with several miles of breadth, and comprising more than two thousand
square miles. Within a short period this same tribunal has decided
a similar question between our own State of Massachusetts and our
neighbor, Rhode Island,--the latter pertinaciously claiming a section
of territory, about three miles broad, on a portion of our southern

Suppose that in these different cases between towns, counties, states,
War had been _established_ by the supreme law as arbiter; imagine the
disastrous consequences; picture the imperfect justice which must have
been the end and fruit of such a contest; and while rejoicing that in
these cases we are happily relieved from an alternative so wretched and
deplorable, reflect that on a larger theatre, where grander interests
are staked, in the relations between nations, under the solemn sanction
of the Law of Nations, War is _established_ as Arbiter of Justice.
Reflect also that a complex and subtile code, known as Laws of War, is
established to regulate the resort to this arbiter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Recognizing the irrational and unchristian character of War as
established arbiter between towns, counties, and states, we learn to
condemn it as established arbiter between nations. If wrong in one
case, it must be wrong in the other. But there is another parallel
supplied by history, from which we may form a yet clearer idea: I refer
to the system of _Private Wars_, or, more properly, _Petty Wars_,
which darkened even the Dark Ages. This must not be confounded with
the _Trial by Battle_, although the two were alike in recognizing
the sword as Arbiter of Justice. The _right to wage war_ (_le droit
de guerroyer_) was accorded by the early Municipal Law of European
States, particularly of the Continent, to all independent chiefs,
however petty, but not to vassals; precisely as the _right to wage
war_ is now accorded by International Law to all independent states
and principalities, however petty, but not to subjects. It was
mentioned often among the "liberties" to which independent chiefs were
entitled; as it is still recognized by International Law among the
"liberties" of independent nations. In proportion as any sovereignty
was absorbed in some larger lordship, this offensive _right_ or
"liberty" gradually disappeared. In France it prevailed extensively,
till at last King John, by an ordinance dated 1361, expressly forbade
Petty Wars throughout his kingdom, saying, in excellent words, "We by
these presents ordain that all challenges and wars, and all acts of
violence against all persons, in all parts whatsoever of our kingdom,
shall henceforth cease; and all assemblies, musters, and raids of
men-at-arms or archers; and also all pillages, seizures of goods and
persons illegally, _vengeances and counter-vengeances_, surprisals
and ambuscades.... All which things we will to be kept and observed
everywhere without infringement, on pain of incurring our indignation,
and of being reputed and held disobedient and rebellious towards us and
the crown, and at our mercy in body and goods."[292] It was reserved
for that indefatigable king, Louis the Eleventh, while Dauphin, as late
as 1451, to make another effort in the same direction, by expressly
abrogating one of the "liberties" of Dauphiné, being none other than
the _right of war_, immemorially secured to the inhabitants of this
province.[293] From these royal ordinances the Commonwealth of Nations
might borrow appropriate words, in abrogating forever the Public
Wars, or, more properly, the Grand Wars, with their _vengeances and
counter-vengeances_, which are yet sanctioned by International Law
among the "liberties" of Christian nations.

    [292] Cauchy, Du Duel considéré dans ses Origines, Liv. I. Seconde
    Époque, Ch. V. Tom. I. pp. 91, 92.

    [293] Du Cange, Dissertations sur l'Histoire de St. Louis, Diss.
    XXVII. (XXIX.): _Des Guerres Privées_.

At a later day, in Germany, effective measures were taken against the
same prevailing evil. Contests there were not confined to feudal
lords. Associations of tradesmen, and even of domestics, sent defiance
to each other, and even to whole cities, on pretences trivial as those
sometimes the occasion of the Grand Wars between nations. There are
still extant _Declarations of War_ by a Lord of Frauenstein against
the free city of Frankfort, because a young lady of the city refused
to dance with the uncle of the belligerent,--by the baker and other
domestics of the Margrave of Baden against Esslingen, Reutlingen,
and other imperial cities,--by the baker of the Count Palatine
Louis against the cities of Augsburg, Ulm, and Rottweil,--by the
shoeblacks of the University of Leipsic against the provost and other
members,--and, in 1477, by the cook of Eppenstein, with his scullions,
dairy-maids, and dish-washers, against Otho, Count of Solms. Finally,
in 1495, at the Diet of Worms, so memorable in German annals, the
Emperor Maximilian sanctioned an ordinance which proclaimed a permanent
Peace throughout Germany, abolished the _right_ or "liberty" of Private
War, and instituted a Supreme Tribunal, under the ancient name of
Imperial Chamber, to which recourse might be had, even by nobles,
princes, and states, for the determination of disputes without appeal
to the sword.[294]

    [294] Coxe, History of the House of Austria, Ch. XIX. and XXI.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Trial by Battle_, or "judicial combat," furnishes the most vivid
picture of the Arbitrament of War, beyond even what is found in the
system of _Petty Wars_. It was at one period, particularly in France,
the universal umpire between private individuals. All causes, criminal
and civil, with all the questions incident thereto, were referred to
this senseless trial. Not bodily infirmity or old age could exempt a
litigant from the hazard of the Battle, even to determine differences
of the most trivial import. At last substitutes were allowed, and,
as in War, bravoes or champions were hired for wages to enter the
lists. The proceedings were conducted gravely according to prescribed
forms, which were digested into a system of peculiar subtilty and
minuteness,--as War in our day is according to an established code,
the Laws of War. Thus do violence, lawlessness, and absurdity shelter
themselves beneath the Rule of Law! Religion also lent her sanctions.
With presence and prayer the priest cheered the insensate combatant,
and appealed for aid to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

The Church, to its honor, early perceived the wickedness of this
system. By voices of pious bishops, by ordinances of solemn councils,
by anathemas of popes, it condemned whosoever should slay another in a
battle so impious and inimical to Christian peace, as "a most wicked
homicide and bloody robber"[295]; while it treated the unhappy victim
as a volunteer, guilty of his own death, and handed his remains to
unhonored burial without psalm or prayer. With sacerdotal supplication
it vainly sought the withdrawal of all countenance from this great
evil, and the support of the civil power in ecclesiastical censures.
To these just efforts let praise and gratitude be offered! But, alas!
authentic incidents, and the forms still on record in ancient missals,
attest the unhappy sanction which Trial by Battle succeeded in
obtaining even from the Church,--as in our day the English Liturgy,
and the conduct of the Christian clergy in all countries, attest the
unhappy sanction which the Institution of War yet enjoys. Admonitions
of the Church and labors of good men slowly prevailed. Proofs by
witnesses and by titles were gradually adopted, though opposed by the
selfishness of camp-followers, subaltern officers, and even of lords,
greedy for the fees or wages of combat. In England Trial by Battle was
attacked by Henry the Second, striving to substitute Trial by Jury.
In France it was expressly forbidden by that illustrious monarch, St.
Louis, in an immortal ordinance. At last, this system, so wasteful of
life, so barbarous in character, so vain and inefficient as Arbiter of
Justice, yielded to judicial tribunals.

    [295] "Statuimus, juxta antiquum ecclesiasticæ observationis
    morem, ut quicumque tam impia et Christianæ paci inimica pugna
    alterum occiderit seu vulneribus debilem reddiderit, _velut
    homicida nequissimus et latro cruentus_, ab Ecclesiæ et omnium
    fidelium coetu reddatur separatus," etc.--Canon XII. Concil.
    Valent.,--quoted by Cauchy, Du Duel, Liv. I. Première Époque, Ch.
    III., Tom. I. p. 43, note.

The Trial by Battle is not Roman in origin. It may be traced to the
forests of Germany, where the rule prevailed of referring to the sword
what at Rome was referred to the prætor; so that a judicial tribunal,
when urged upon these barbarians, was regarded as an innovation.[296]
The very words of surprise at the German custom are yet applicable to
the Arbitrament of War.

    [296] "Nunc agentes gratias, quod ea Romana justitia finiret,
    feritasque sua novitate incognitæ disciplinæ mitesceret, et solita
    armis decerni jure terminarentur."--Velleius Paterculus, Lib. II.
    c. 118.

The absurdity of Trial by Battle may be learned from the instances
where it was invoked. Though originally permitted to determine
questions of personal character, it was extended so as to embrace
criminal cases, and even questions of property. In 961 the title to
a church was submitted to this ordeal.[297] Some time later a grave
point of law was submitted. The question was, "Whether the sons of a
son ought to be reckoned among the children of the family, and succeed
equally with their uncles, if their father happened to die while their
grandfather was alive." The general opinion at first was for reference
of the question to the adjudication of arbiters; but we are informed by
a contemporary ecclesiastic, who reports the case, that the Emperor,
Otho the First, "taking better counsel, and unwilling that nobles
and elders of the people should be treated _dishonorably_, ordered
the matter to be decided by champions with the sword." The champion
of the grandchildren prevailed, and they were enabled to share with
their uncles in the inheritance.[298] Human folly did not end here. A
question of theology was surrendered to the same arbitrament, being
nothing less than whether the Musarabic Liturgy, used in the churches
of Spain, or the Liturgy approved at Rome, contained the form of
worship most acceptable to the Deity. The Spaniards contended zealously
for the liturgy of their ancestors. The Pope urged the liturgy having
his own infallible sanction. The controversy was submitted to Trial by
Battle. Two knights in complete armor entered the lists. The champion
of the Musarabic Liturgy was victorious. But there was an appeal to
the ordeal of fire. A copy of each liturgy was cast into the flames.
The Musarabic Liturgy remained unhurt, while the other vanished into
ashes. And yet this judgment, first by battle and then by fire, was
eluded or overthrown, showing how, as with War, the final conclusion
is uncertain, and testifying against any appeal, except to human

    [297] Robertson, History of Charles V., Vol. I. Note 22.

    [298] Widukindii, Res Gestæ Saxonicæ, Lib. II. c. 10: Monumenta
    Germaniæ Historica, ed. Pertz, Scriptorum Tom. III. p. 440.

    [299] Robertson, History of Charles V., Vol. I. Note 22.--The
    Duel has a literature of its own, which is not neglected by
    Brunet in his _Manuel du Libraire_, where, under the head of _Les
    Combats Singuliers_, Tom. VI. col. 1636-1638, _Table Méthodique_,
    28717-28749, will be found titles in various languages, from
    which I select the following: Joan. de Lignano, Tractatus do
    Bello, de Repressaliis, et de Duello, Papiæ, 1487; Tractatus de
    Duello, en Lat. y en Castellano, por D. Castillo, Taurini, 1525;
    Alciat, De Singulari Certamine, Lugd., 1543. In the development of
    civilization how can the literature of War expect more honor than
    that of the Duel?

An early king of the Lombards, in a formal decree, condemned the Trial
by Battle as "impious"[300]; Montesquieu, at a later time, branded
it as "monstrous"[301]; and Sir William Blackstone characterized it
as "clearly an unchristian, as well as most uncertain, method of
trial."[302] In the light of our day all unite in this condemnation. No
man hesitates. No man undertakes its apology; nor does any man count
as "glory" the feats of arms which it prompted and displayed. But the
laws of morals are general, and not special. They apply to communities
and to nations, as well as to individuals; nor is it possible, by
any cunning of logic, or any device of human wit, to distinguish
between that domestic institution, the Trial by Battle, established by
Municipal Law as arbiter between individuals, and that international
institution, the grander Trial by Battle, established by the Christian
Commonwealth as arbiter between nations. If the judicial combat was
impious, monstrous, and unchristian, then is War impious, monstrous,
and unchristian.

    [300] Liutprandi Leges, Lib. VI. cap. 65: Muratori, Rerum Italic.
    Script., Tom. I. Pars 2, p. 74.

    [301] Esprit des Lois, Liv. XXVIII. ch. 23.

    [302] Commentaries, Book IV. ch. 33, Vol. IV. p. 418.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been pointedly said in England, that the whole object of king,
lords, and commons, and of the complex British Constitution, is "to
get twelve men into a jury-box"; and Mr. Hume repeats the idea, when
he declares that the _administration of justice_ is the grand aim of
government. If this be true of individual nations in municipal affairs,
it is equally true of the Commonwealth of Nations. The whole complex
system of the Law of Nations, overarching all the Christian nations,
has but one distinct object,--_the administration of justice_ between
nations. Would that with tongue or pen I could adequately expose
the enormity of this system, involving, as it does, the precepts of
religion, the dictates of common sense, the suggestions of economy, and
the most precious sympathies of humanity! Would that now I could impart
to all who hear me something of my own conviction!

I need not dwell on the waste and cruelty thus authorized. Travelling
the page of history, these stare us wildly in the face at every turn.
We see the desolation and death keeping step with the bloody track; we
look upon sacked towns, ravaged territories, violated homes; we behold
all the sweet charities of life changed to wormwood and gall. The soul
is penetrated by the sharp moan of mothers, sisters, and daughters, of
fathers, brothers, and sons, who, in the bitterness of bereavement,
refuse to be comforted. The eye rests at last upon one of those fair
fields, where Nature, in her abundance, spreads her cloth of gold,
spacious and apt for the entertainment of mighty multitudes,--or,
perhaps, from curious subtilty of position, like the carpet in Arabian
tale, contracting for the accommodation of a few only, or dilating
for an innumerable host. Here, under a bright sun, such as shone at
Austerlitz or Buena Vista, amidst the peaceful harmonies of Nature,
on the Sabbath of Peace, are bands of brothers, children of a common
Father, heirs to a common happiness, struggling together in deadly
fight,--with madness of fallen spirits, murderously seeking the lives
of brothers who never injured them or their kindred. The havoc rages;
the ground is soaked with commingling blood; the air is rent by
commingling cries; horse and rider are stretched together on the earth.
More revolting than mangled victims, gashed limbs, lifeless trunks,
spattering brains, are the lawless passions which sweep, tempest-like,
through the fiendish tumult.

    "'Nearer comes the storm and nearer, rolling fast and frightful on.
     Speak, Ximena, speak, and tell us, who has lost and who has won?'
     'Alas! alas! I know not, sister; friend and foe together fall;
     O'er the dying rush the living; pray, my sister, for them all!'"

Horror-struck, we ask, wherefore this hateful contest? The melancholy,
but truthful, answer comes, that this is the _established_ method of
determining justice between nations!

The scene changes. Far away on some distant pathway of the ocean,
two ships approach each other, with white canvas broadly spread to
receive the flying gale. They are proudly built. All of human art
has been lavished in their graceful proportions and compacted sides,
while in dimensions they look like floating happy islands of the sea.
A numerous crew, with costly appliances of comfort, hives in their
secure shelter. Surely these two travellers must meet in joy and
friendship; the flag at mast-head will give the signal of fellowship;
the delighted sailors will cluster in rigging and on yard-arms to look
each other in the face, while exhilarating voices mingle in accents of
gladness uncontrollable. Alas! alas! it is not so. Not as brothers,
not as friends, not as wayfarers of the common ocean, do they come
together, but as enemies. The closing vessels now bristle fiercely
with death-dealing implements. On their spacious decks, aloft on all
their masts, flashes the deadly musketry. From their sides spout
cataracts of flame, amidst the pealing thunders of a fatal artillery.
They who had escaped "the dreadful touch of merchant-marring rocks,"
who on their long and solitary way had sped unharmed by wind or wave,
whom the hurricane had spared, in whose favor storms and seas had
intermitted their immitigable war, now at last fall by the hand of
each other. From both ships the same spectacle of horror greets us.
On decks reddened with blood, the murders of the Sicilian Vespers and
of St. Bartholomew, with the fires of Smithfield, break forth anew,
and concentrate their rage. Each is a swimming Golgotha. At length
these vessels--such pageants of the sea, such marvels of art, once so
stately, but now rudely shattered by cannon-ball, with shivered masts
and ragged sails--exist only as unmanageable wrecks, weltering on the
uncertain wave, whose transient lull of peace is their sole safety.
In amazement at this strange, unnatural contest, away from country
and home, where there is no country or home to defend, we ask again,
Wherefore this dismal scene? Again the melancholy, but truthful, answer
promptly comes, that this is the _established_ method of determining
justice between nations.

Yes! the barbarous, brutal relations which once prevailed between
individuals, which prevailed still longer between communities composing
nations, are not yet banished from the great Christian Commonwealth.
Religion, reason, humanity, first penetrate the individual, next larger
bodies, and, widening in influence, slowly leaven nations. Thus,
while condemning the bloody contests of individuals, also of towns,
counties, principalities, provinces, and denying to all these the right
of _waging war_, or of appeal to _Trial by Battle_, we continue to
uphold an atrocious _System_ of folly and crime, which is to nations
what the System of Petty Wars was to towns, counties, principalities,
provinces, also what the Duel was to individuals: for _War is the Duel
of Nations_.[303] As from Pluto's throne flowed those terrible rivers,
Styx, Acheron, Cocytus, and Phlegethon, with lamenting waters and
currents of flame, so from this established System flow the direful
tides of War. "Give them Hell," was the language written on a slate
by an American officer, speechless from approaching death. "Ours is a
damnable profession," was the confession of a veteran British general.
"War is the trade of barbarians," exclaimed Napoleon, in a moment of
truthful remorse, prompted by his bloodiest field. Alas! these words
are not too strong. The business of War cannot be other than the trade
of barbarians, cannot be other than a damnable profession; and War
itself is certainly Hell on earth. But forget not, bear always in mind,
and let the idea sink deep into your souls, animating you to constant
endeavor, that this trade of barbarians, this damnable profession, is
part of the War System, sanctioned by International Law,--and that
War itself is Hell, recognized, legalized, established, organized, by
the Commonwealth of Nations, for the determination of international

    [303] Plautus speaks in the _Epidicus_ (Act III. Sc. iv. 14, 15) of
    one who obtained great riches by the _Duelling Art_, meaning the
    Art of War:--

          "_Arte duellica_
     Divitias magnas indeptum."

    And Horace, in his Odes (Lib. IV. Carm. xv. 4-9), hails the age of
    Augustus, as at peace, or _free from Duels_, and with the Temple of
    Janus closed:--

          "Tua, Cæsar, ætas
      ... vacuum _duellis_
     Janum Quirini clausit."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Put together," says Voltaire, "all the vices of all ages and places,
and they will not come up to the mischiefs of one campaign."[304] This
strong speech is supported by the story of ancient mythology, that Juno
confided the infant Mars to Priapus. Another of nearer truth might be
made. Put together all the ills and calamities from the visitations of
God, whether in convulsions of Nature, or in pestilence and famine,
and they will not equal the ills and calamities inflicted by man upon
his brother-man, through the visitation of War,--while, alas! the
sufferings of War are too often without the alleviation of those gentle
virtues which ever attend the involuntary misfortunes of the race.
Where the horse of Attila had been a blade of grass would not grow;
but in the footprints of pestilence, famine, and earthquake the kindly
charities spring into life.

    [304] Dictionnaire Philosophique, Art. _Guerre_.

The last hundred years have witnessed three peculiar visitations of
God: first, the earthquake at Lisbon; next, the Asiatic cholera, as it
moved slow and ghastly, with scythe of death, from the Delta of the
Ganges over Bengal, Persia, Arabia, Syria, Russia, till Europe and
America shuddered before the spectral reaper; and, lastly, the recent
famine in Ireland, consuming with remorseless rage the population of
that ill-starred land. It is impossible to estimate precisely the
deadly work of cholera or famine, nor can we picture the miseries which
they entailed; but the single brief event of the earthquake may be
portrayed in authentic colors.

Lisbon, whose ancient origin is referred by fable to the wanderings
of Ulysses, was one of the fairest cities of Europe. From the summit
of seven hills it looked down upon the sea, and the bay bordered with
cheerful villages,--upon the broad Tagus, expanding into a harbor ample
for all the navies of Europe,--and upon a country of rare beauty,
smiling with the olive and the orange, amidst grateful shadows of the
cypress and the elm. A climate offering flowers in winter enhanced the
peculiar advantages of position; and a numerous population thronged
its narrow and irregular streets. Its forty churches, its palaces, its
public edifices, its warehouses, its convents, its fortresses, its
citadel, had become a boast. Not by War, not by the hand of man, were
these solid structures levelled, and all these delights changed to

Lisbon, on the morning of November 1, 1755, was taken and sacked by
an earthquake. The spacious warehouses were destroyed; the lordly
palaces, the massive convents, the impregnable fortresses, with the
lofty citadel, were toppled to the ground; and as the affrighted people
sought shelter in the churches, they were crushed beneath the falling
masses. Twenty thousand persons perished. Fire and robbery mingled
with earthquake, and the beautiful city seemed to be obliterated. The
nations of Europe were touched by this terrible catastrophe, and succor
from all sides was soon offered. Within three months, English vessels
appeared in the Tagus, loaded with generous contributions,--twenty
thousand pounds in gold, a similar sum in silver, six thousand barrels
of salted meat, four thousand barrels of butter, one thousand bags of
biscuit, twelve hundred barrels of rice, ten thousand quintals of corn,
besides hats, stockings, and shoes.

Such was the desolation, and such the charity, sown by the earthquake
at Lisbon,--an event which, after the lapse of nearly a century, still
stands without a parallel. But War shakes from its terrible folds
all this desolation, without its attendant charity. Nay, more; the
Commonwealth of Nations _voluntarily agrees, each with the others_,
under the grave sanctions of International Law, to invoke this
desolation, in the settlement of controversies among its members,
while it expressly declares that all nations, not already parties to
the controversy, must abstain from any succor to the unhappy victim.
High tribunals are established expressly to uphold this arbitrament,
and, with unrelenting severity, to enforce its ancillary injunctions,
to the end that no aid, no charity, shall come to revive the sufferer
or alleviate the calamity. Vera Cruz has been bombarded and wasted
by American arms. Its citadel, churches, houses, were shattered, and
peaceful families at the fireside torn in mutilated fragments by the
murderous bursting shell; but the English, the universal charities,
which helped to restore Lisbon, were not offered to the ruined Mexican
city. They could not have been offered, without offending against the
_Laws of War_!

       *       *       *       *       *

It is because men see War, in the darkness of prejudice, only as an
agency of attack or defence, or as a desperate sally of wickedness,
that they fail to recognize it as a form of judgment, sanctioned and
_legalized_ by Public Authority. Regarding it in its true character,
as an _establishment_ of the Commonwealth of Nations, and one of
the "liberties" accorded to independent nations, it is no longer
the expression merely of lawless or hasty passion, no longer the
necessary incident of imperfect human nature, no longer an unavoidable,
uncontrollable volcanic eruption of rage, of _vengeances and
counter-vengeances_, knowing no bound; but it becomes a gigantic and
monstrous Institution for the adjudication of international rights,--as
if an earthquake, or other visitation of God, with its uncounted woes,
and without its attendant charities, were legally invoked as Arbiter of

Surely all must unite in condemning the Arbitrament of War. The
simplest may read and comprehend its enormity. Can we yet hesitate?
But if War be thus odious, if it be the Duel of Nations, if it be the
old surviving Trial by Battle, then must its unquestionable barbarism
affect all its incidents, all its machinery, all its enginery, together
with all who sanction it, and all who have any part or lot in it,--in
fine, the whole vast System. It is impossible, by any discrimination,
to separate the component parts. We must regard it as a whole, in its
entirety. But half our work is done, if we confine ourselves to a
condemnation of the Institution merely. There are all its instruments
and agencies, all its adjuncts and accessaries, all its furniture
and equipage, all its armaments and operations, the whole apparatus
of forts, navies, armies, military display, military chaplains, and
military sermons,--all together constituting, in connection with the
Institution of War, what may be called the WAR SYSTEM. This
System we would abolish, believing that religion, humanity, and policy
require the establishment of some peaceful means for the administration
of international justice, and also _the general disarming of the
Christian nations_, to the end that the prodigious expenditures now
absorbed by the War System may be applied to purposes of usefulness
and beneficence, and that the _business_ of the soldier may cease

While earnestly professing this object, I desire again to exclude
all question of self-defence, and to affirm the duty of upholding
government, and maintaining the supremacy of the law, whether on
land or sea. Admitting the necessity of Force for such purpose,
_Christianity revolts at Force as the substitute for a judicial
tribunal_. The example of the Great Teacher, the practice of the early
disciples, the injunctions of self-denial, love, non-resistance to
evil,--sometimes supposed to forbid Force in any exigency, even of
self-defence,--all these must apply with unquestionable certainty
to the established System of War. _Here, at least, there can be no
doubt._ If the sword, in the hand of an assaulted individual, may
become the instrument of sincere self-defence, if, under the sanction
of a judicial tribunal, it may become the instrument of Justice also,
_surely it can never be the Arbiter of Justice_. Here is a distinction
vital to the cause of Peace, and never to be forgotten in presenting
its claims. The cautious sword of the magistrate is unlike--oh, how
unlike!--the ruthless sword of War.

       *       *       *       *       *

The component parts of the War System may all be resolved into
PREPARATIONS FOR WAR,--as court-house, jail, judges,
sheriffs, constables, and _posse comitatus_ are _preparations_ for
the administration of municipal justice. If justice were not to be
administered, these would not exist. If War were not sanctioned by the
Commonwealth of Nations, as the means of determining international
controversies, then forts, navies, armies, military display, military
chaplains, and military sermons would not exist. They would be useless
and irrational, except for the rare occasions of a police,--as similar
preparations would now be in Boston, for defence against our learned
neighbor, Cambridge,--or in the County of Essex, for defence against
its populous neighbor, the County of Middlesex,--or in the State of
Massachusetts, for defence against its conterminous States, Rhode
Island and New York. Only recently have men learned to question these
preparations; for it is only recently that they have opened their eyes
to the true character of the system, in which they are a part. _It will
yet be seen, that, sustaining these, we sustain the system._ Still
further, it will yet be seen, that, sustaining these, we wastefully
offend against economy, and violate also the most precious sentiments
of Human Brotherhood,--taking counsel of distrust, instead of love, and
provoking to rivalry and enmity, instead of association and peace.

Time does not allow me to discuss the nature of these preparations; and
I am the more willing to abridge what I am tempted to say, because,
on another occasion, I have treated this part of the subject. But
I cannot forbear to expose their inconsistency with the spirit of
Christianity. From a general comprehension of the War System, we
perceive the unchristian character of the preparations it encourages
and requires, nay, which are the synonyms of the system, or at least
its representatives. I might exhibit this character by an examination
of the Laws of War, drawn from no celestial fount, but from a dark
profound of Heathenism. This is unnecessary. The Constitution of our
own country furnishes an illustration remarkable as a touch-stone
of the whole system. No town, county, or state has the "liberty" to
"declare War." The exercise of any proper self-defence, arising from
actual necessity, requires no such "liberty." Congress is expressly
authorized to "declare War,"--that is, to invoke the Arbitrament of
Arms. And the Constitution proceeds to state, that all "giving aid
and comfort" to the enemy shall be deemed traitors. Mark now what
is said by a higher authority. "Love your enemies"; "If thine enemy
hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." Under the War System,
obedience to these positive injunctions may expose a person to the
penalty of the highest crime known to the law. Can this be a Christian
system? But so long as War exists as an Institution this terrible
inconsistency must appear.

The character of these preparations is distinctly, though
unconsciously, attested by the names of vessels in the British Navy.
From the latest official list I select an illustrative catalogue.
Most are steamships of recent construction. Therefore they represent
the spirit of the British Navy in our day,--nay, of those War
Preparations in which they play so conspicuous a part. Here are the
champions: Acheron, Adder, Alecto, Avenger, Basilisk, Bloodhound,
Bulldog, Crocodile, Erebus, Firebrand, Fury, Gladiator, Goliah, Gorgon,
Harpy, Hecate, Hound, Jackal, Mastiff, Pluto, Rattlesnake, Revenge,
Salamander, Savage, Scorpion, Scourge, Serpent, Spider, Spiteful,
Spitfire, Styx, Sulphur, Tartar, Tartarus, Teazer, Terrible, Terror,
Vengeance, Viper, Vixen, Virago, Volcano, Vulture, Warspite, Wildfire,
Wolf, Wolverine!

Such is the Christian array of Victoria, Defender of the Faith! It may
remind us of the companions of King John, at another period of English
history,--"Falkes the Merciless," "Mauleon the Bloody," "Walter Buck,
the Assassin,"[305]--or of that Pagan swarm, the savage warriors of our
own continent, with the names of Black-Hawk, Man-Killer, and Wild-Boar.
Well might they seem to be

         "all the grisly legions that troop
     Under the sooty flag of Acheron!"

As a people is known by its laws, as a man is known by the company he
keeps, as a tree is known by its fruits, so is the War System fully and
unequivocally known by the Laws of War, by its diabolical ministers,
typical of its preparations, and by all the accursed fruits of War.
Controlled by such a code, employing such representatives, sustained
by such agencies, animated by such Furies, and producing such fruits
of tears and bitterness, it must be open to question. Tell me not that
it is sanctioned by any religion except of Mars; do not enroll the
Saviour and his disciples in its Satanic squadron; do not invoke the
Gospel of Peace, in profane vindication of an _Institution_, which,
by its own too palpable confession, exists in defiance of the most
cherished Christian sentiments; do not dishonor the Divine Spirit of
gentleness, forbearance, love, by supposing that it can ever enter into
this System, except to change its whole nature and name, to cast out
the devils which possess it, and fill its gigantic energies with the
inspiration of Beneficence.

    [305] Matthew Paris, Historia Major, p. 274.

I need say little of military chaplains or military sermons. Like the
steamships of the Navy, they come under the head of Preparations. They
are part of the War System. They belong to the same school with priests
of former times, who held the picture of the Prince of Peace before
the barbarous champion of the Duel, saying, "Sir Knight, behold here
the remembrance of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who willingly
gave his most precious body to death in order to save us. Now ask of
him mercy, and pray that on this day he may be willing to aid you, if
you have right, for he is the sovereign judge."[306] They belong to the
same school with English prelates, who, in the name of the Prince of
Peace, consecrate banners to flaunt in remote war, saying, "Be thou in
the midst of our hosts, as thou wast in the plains of India and in the
field of Waterloo; and may these banners, which we bless and consecrate
this day, lead them ever on to glorious victory." No judgment of such
appeals can be more severe than that of Plato, who called men "most
impious," who by prayer and sacrifice thought to propitiate the Gods
towards slaughter and outrages upon justice,--thus, says the heathen
philosopher, making those pure beings the accomplices of their crimes
by sharing with them the spoil, as the wolves leave something to
the dogs, that these may allow them to ravage the sheepfold.[307]
Consenting to degrade the "blessedness" of the Gospel to the "impiety"
of the War System, our clergy follow long established custom, without
considering the true character of the system whose ministers they
become. Their apology will be, that "they know not what they do."

    [306] Cauchy, Du Duel, Liv. I. Seconde Époque, Ch. III. Tom. I. p.

    [307] Plato, Laws, Book X. ch. 13, 14.

Again I repeat, so long as the War System prevails under the sanction
of International Law, these painful incongruities will be apparent.
They belong to a system so essentially irrational, that all the
admitted virtues of many of its agents cannot save it from judgment.

Here the question occurs, Is the _Militia_ obnoxious to the same
condemnation? So far as the militia constitutes part of the War System,
it is impossible to distinguish it from the rest of the system. It is
a portion of the extensive apparatus provided for the determination of
international disputes. From this character it borrows the unwholesome
attractions of War, while disporting itself, like the North American
Indian, in finery and parade. Of the latter feature I shall speak only
incidentally. If War be a Christian institution, those who act as its
agents should shroud themselves in colors congenial with their dreadful
trade. With sorrow and solemnity, not with gladness and pomp, they
should proceed to their melancholy office. The Jew Shylock exposes
the mockery of street-shows in Venice with a sarcasm not without echo

                          "When you hear the drum,
     And the vile squeaking of the wry-necked fife,
     Clamber not you up to the casements then,
     Nor thrust your head into the public street,
     To gaze on Christian fools with varnished faces;
     But stop my house's ears,--I mean my casements:
     Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
     My sober house."

Not as part of the War System, but only as an agent for preserving
domestic peace, and for sustaining the law, is the militia entitled to
support. And here arises the important practical question,--interesting
to opponents of the War System as to lovers of order,--whether the
same good object may not be accomplished by an agent less expensive,
less cumbersome, and less tardy, forming no part of the War System,
and therefore in no respect liable to the doubts encountered by the
militia. Supporters of the militia do not disguise its growing
unpopularity. The eminent Military Commissioners of Massachusetts,
to whom in 1847 was referred the duty of arranging a system for its
organization and discipline, confess that there is "either a defect
of power in the State government to an efficient and salutary militia
organization, or _the absence of a public sentiment in its favor_, and
a consequent unwillingness to submit to the requirements of service
which alone can sustain it"; and they add, that they "have been met,
in the performance of their task, with information, from all quarters,
of its general neglect, and of the certain and rapid declension of
the militia in numbers and efficiency."[308] And the Adjutant-General
of Massachusetts, after alluding to the different systems which
have fallen into disuse, remarks, that "the fate of each system is
indicative of public sentiment; and until public sentiment changes,
_no military system whatever can be sustained in the State_."[309] Nor
is this condition of public sentiment for the first time noticed. It
was remarked by the Commissioners charged by the Legislature with this
subject as long ago as 1839. In their Report they say, "It is enough to
know that all attempts, hitherto, to uphold the system, in its original
design of organization, discipline, and subordination, _are at last
brought to an unsuccessful issue_."[310]

    [308] Mass. Senate Documents, 1848: Doc. No. 13, pp. 4, 5.

    [309] Ibid., Doc. No. 15, p. 23.

    [310] Mass. House Documents, 1839: Doc. No. 6, p. 14.

None familiar with public opinion in our country, and particularly in
Massachusetts, will question the accuracy of these official statements.
It is true that there is an indisposition to assume the burdens of
the militia. Its offices and dignities have ceased to be an object of
general regard. This, certainly, must be founded in the conviction
that it is no longer necessary or useful; for it is not customary with
the people of Massachusetts to decline occasions of service necessary
or useful to the community. The interest in military celebrations
has decayed. Nor should it be concealed that there are large numbers
whose honest sentiments are not of mere indifference, who regard with
aversion the fanfaronade of a militia muster, who not a little question
the influence upon those taking part in it or even witnessing it, and
look with regret upon the expenditure of money and time.

If such be the condition of the public mind, the Government must
recognize it. The soul of all effective laws is an animating public
sentiment. This gives vitality to what else would be a dead letter.
In vain enact what is not inspired by this spirit. No skill in the
device of the system, no penalties, no bounties even, can uphold it.
Happily, we are not without remedy. If State Legislatures are disposed
to provide a substitute for this questionable or offensive agency, as
conservator of domestic quiet, it is entirely within their competency.
Let the general voice demand the _substitute_.

Among powers reserved to States, under the National Constitution, is
that of _Internal Police_. Within its territorial limits, a State has
municipal power to be exercised according to its own will. In the
exercise of this will, it may establish a system, congenial with the
sentiment of the age, to supply the place of the militia, as guardian
of municipal quiet and instrument of the law. This system may consist
of unpaid volunteers, or special constables, like fire companies in
the country, or of hired men, enrolled for this particular purpose,
and always within call, like fire companies in Boston. They need
not be clad in showy costume, or subjected to all the peculiarities
of military drill. A system so simple, practical, efficient,
unostentatious, and cheap, especially as compared with the militia,
would be in harmony with existing sentiment, while it could not fail to
remedy the evils sometimes feared from present neglect of the militia.
Many attempts have been made to reform the militia. _It remains, that a
proper effort should be made to provide a substitute for it._

An eminent English jurist of the last century,--renowned as scholar
also,--Sir William Jones,--in a learned and ingenious tract,
entitled "An Inquiry into the Legal Mode of Suppressing Riots, with
a Constitutional Plan of Future Defence," after developing the
obligations of the citizen, under the Common Law, as part of the Power
of the County, presents a system of organization independent of the
military. It is not probable that this system would be acceptable
in all its details to the people of our community, but there is
one of his recommendations which seems to harmonize with existing
sentiment. "Let companies," he says, "be taught, in the most private
and orderly manner, for two or three hours early every morning, until
they are competently skilled in the use of their arms; _let them not
unnecessarily march through streets or high-roads, nor make any the
least military parade, but consider themselves entirely as part of
the civil state_."[311] Thus is the soldier kept out of sight, while
the citizen becomes manifest; and this is the true idea of republican
government. In the midst of arms the laws are silent. Not "arms," but
"laws," should command our homage and quicken the patriotism of the

    [311] Works, Vol. VIII. p. 494.

While divorcing the Police from the unchristian and barbarous War
System, I confess the vital importance of maintaining law and order.
Life and property should be guarded. Peace must be preserved in our
streets. And it is the duty of Government to provide such means as are
most expedient, if those established are in any respect inadequate, or
uncongenial with the Spirit of the Age.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must not close this exposition without an attempt to display the
inordinate expenditure by which the War System is maintained. And here
figures appear to lose their functions. They seem to pant, as they toil
vainly to represent the enormous sums consumed in this unparalleled
waste. Our own experience, measured by the concerns of common life,
does not allow us adequately to conceive the sums. Like the periods
of geological time, or the distances of the fixed stars, they baffle
imagination. Look, for an instant, at the cost to us of this system.
Without any allowance for the loss sustained by the withdrawal of
active men from productive industry, we find, that, from the adoption
of the National Constitution down to 1848, there has been paid directly
from the National Treasury,--

    For the Army and Fortifications, $475,936,475
    For the Navy and its operations, 209,994,428

This immense amount is not all. Regarding the militia as part of
the War System, we must add a moderate estimate for its cost during
this period, being, according to the calculations of an able and
accurate economist, as much as $1,500,000,000.[313] The whole presents
an inconceivable sum-total of _more than two thousand millions_ of
dollars already dedicated by our Government to the support of the War
System,--nearly twelve times as much as was set apart, during the same
period, to all other purposes whatsoever!

    [312] American Almanac, 1849, p. 162. United States Executive
    Documents: 28th Cong. 1st Sess., No. 15, pp. 1018-19; 35th Cong.
    1st Sess., No. 60, pp. 6, 7.

    [313] Jay's War and Peace, p. 13, note; and "True Grandeur of
    Nations," _ante_, Vol. I. p. 79.

Look now at the Commonwealth of Europe. I do not intend to speak of War
Debts, under whose accumulated weight these nations are now pressed
to earth, being the terrible legacy of the Past. I refer directly to
the existing War System, the establishment of the Present. According
to recent calculations, its annual cost is not less than a _thousand
millions_ of dollars. Endeavor, for a moment, by comparison with other
interests, to grapple with this sum.

It is larger than the entire profit of all the commerce and
manufactures of the world.

It is larger than all the expenditure for agricultural labor, producing
the food of man, upon the whole face of the globe.

It is larger, by a hundred millions, than the value of all the exports
sent forth by all the nations of the earth.

It is larger, by more than five hundred millions, than the value of all
the shipping belonging to the civilized world.

It is larger, by nine hundred and ninety-seven millions, than the
annual combined charities of Europe and America for preaching the
Gospel to the Heathen.

Yes! the Commonwealth of Christian Nations, including our own country,
appropriates, without hesitation, as a matter of course, upwards of
a thousand millions of dollars annually to the maintenance of the
War System, and vaunts its three millions of dollars, laboriously
collected, for diffusing the light of the Gospel in foreign lands!
With untold prodigality of cost, it perpetuates the worst Heathenism
of War, while, by charities insignificant in comparison, it doles to
the Heathen a message of Peace. At home it breeds and fattens a cloud
of eagles and vultures, trained to swoop upon the land; to all the
Gentiles across the sea it dismisses a solitary dove.

Still further: every ship-of-war that floats costs more than a
well-endowed college.

Every sloop-of-war that floats costs more than the largest public
library in our country.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is sometimes said, by persons yet in leading-strings of inherited
prejudice, and with little appreciation of the true safety afforded
by the principles of Peace, that all these comprehensive preparations
are needed for protection against enemies from abroad. Wishing to
present the cause without any superfluous question on what are called,
apologetically, "defensive wars," let me say, in reply,--_and here
all can unite_,--that, if these preparations are needed at any time,
according to the aggressive martial interpretation of self-defence
in its exigencies, there is much reason to believe it is because
the unchristian spirit in which they have their birth, lowering and
scowling in the very names of the ships, provokes the danger,--as the
presence of a bravo might challenge the attack he was hired to resist.

Frederick of Prussia, sometimes called the Great, in a singular spirit
of mingled openness and effrontery, deliberately left on record, most
instructively prominent among the real reasons for his war upon Maria
Theresa, _that he had troops always ready to act_. Thus did these
_Preparations_ unhappily become, as they too often show themselves,
_incentives_ to War. Lord Brougham justly dwells on this confession
as a lesson of history. Human nature, as manifest in the conduct of
individuals or communities, has its lesson also. The fatal War Spirit
is born of these preparations, out of which it springs full-armed. Here
also is its great aliment; here are the seeds of the very evil it is
sometimes vainly supposed to avert. Let it never be forgotten, let it
be treasured as a solemn warning, that, by the confession of Frederick
himself, it was the possession of _troops always ready to act_ that
helped to inspire that succession of bloody wars, which, first pouncing
upon Silesia, mingled at last with the strifes of England and France,
even in distant colonies across the Atlantic, ranging the savages of
the forest under hostile European banners.[314]

    [314] "Que l'on joigne à ces considérations _des troupes toujours
    prêtes d'agir_, mon épargne bien remplie, et la vivacité de mon
    caractère: c'étaient les raisons que j'avais de faire la guerre à
    Marie-Thérèse, reine de Bohême et d'Hongrie." These are the very
    words of Frederick, deliberately written in his own account of
    the war. Voltaire, on revising the work, dishonestly struck out
    this important confession, but preserved a copy, which afterwards
    appeared in his own Memoirs. Lord Brougham, in his sketch of
    Voltaire, says that "the passage thus erased and thus preserved is
    extremely curious, and for honesty or impudence has no parallel
    in the history of warriors."--Brougham, Lives of Men of Letters,
    _Voltaire_, p. 59.

But I deny that these preparations are needed for just self-defence. It
is difficult, if not impossible, to suppose any such occasion in the
Fraternity of Christian Nations, _if War ceases to be an established
Arbitrament_, or if any state is so truly great as to decline its
umpirage. There is no such occasion among the towns, counties, or
states of our extended country; nor is there any such occasion among
the counties of Great Britain, or among the provinces of France; but
the same good-will, the same fellowship, and the same ties of commerce,
which unite towns, counties, states, and provinces, are fast drawing
the whole Commonwealth of Nations into similar communion. France and
England, so long regarded as natural enemies, are now better known to
each other than only a short time ago were different provinces of the
former kingdom. And there is now a closer intimacy in business and
social intercourse between Great Britain and our own country than there
was at the beginning of the century between Massachusetts and Virginia.

       *       *       *       *       *

Admitting that an enemy might approach our shores for piracy or
plunder or conquest, who can doubt that the surest protection would
be found, not in the waste of long-accumulating preparation, not in
idle fortresses along the coast, built at a cost far surpassing all
our lighthouses and all our colleges, but in the intelligence, union,
and pacific repose of good men, with the unbounded resources derived
from uninterrupted devotion to productive industry? I think it may be
assumed as beyond question, according to the testimony of political
economy, that the people who spend most sparingly in Preparations for
War, all other things being equal, must possess the most enduring
means of actual self-defence at home, on their own soil, before
their own hearths, if any such melancholy alternative should occur.
Consider the prodigious sums, exceeding in all two thousand millions
of dollars, squandered by the United States, since the adoption of
the National Constitution, for the sake of the War System. Had such
means been devoted to railroads and canals, schools and colleges, the
country would possess, at the present moment, an accumulated material
power grander far than any it now boasts. There is another power,
of more unfailing temper, which would not be wanting. Overflowing
with intelligence, with charity, with civilization, with all that
constitutes a generous state, ours would be peaceful triumphs,
transcending all yet achieved, and surrounding the land with an
invincible self-defensive might, while the unfading brightness of a
new era made the glory of War impossible. Well does the poet say with
persuasive truth,--

        "What constitutes a State?
    Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
        Thick wall or moated gate;
    Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
        Not bays and broad-armed ports,
    Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride:
        No: MEN, high-minded MEN."[315]

Such men will possess a Christian greatness, rendering them unable to
do an injury; while their character, instinct with all the guardian
virtues, must render their neighbors unable to do an injury to them.

    [315] Sir William Jones, Ode in Imitation of Alcæus: Works, Vol. X.
    p. 389.

The injunction, "In time of Peace prepare for War," is of Heathen
origin.[316] As a rule of international conduct, it is very
questionable in a Christian age, being vindicated on two grounds only:
first, by assuming that the Arbitrament of War is the proper tribunal
for international controversies, and therefore the War System is to be
maintained and strengthened, as the essential means of international
justice; or, secondly, by assuming the rejected dogma of an Atheist
philosopher, Hobbes, that War is the natural state of man. Whatever
may be the infirmities of our passions, it is plain that the natural
state of man, assuring the highest happiness, and to which he tends
by an irresistible heavenly attraction, is Peace. This is true of
communities and nations, as of individuals. The proper rule is, In time
of Peace cultivate the arts of Peace. So doing, you will render the
country truly strong and truly great; not by arousing the passions of
War, not by nursing men to the business of blood, not by converting the
land into a flaming arsenal, a magazine of gunpowder, or an "infernal
machine," just ready to explode, but by dedicating its whole energies
to productive and beneficent works.

    [316] True Grandeur of Nations, _ante_, Vol. I., pp. 97, seqq.

       *       *       *       *       *

The incongruity of this system may be illustrated by an example. Look
into the life of that illustrious philosopher, John Locke, and you will
find, that, in the journal of his tour through France, describing the
arches of the amphitheatre at Nismes, he says, "In all those arches,
to support the walls over the passage where you go round, there is
a stone laid, about twenty inches or two feet square, and about six
times the length of _my sword, which was near about a philosophical
yard long_."[317] Who is not struck with the unseemly incongruity
of the exhibition, as he sees the author of the "Essay concerning
Human Understanding" travelling with a sword by his side? But here
the philosopher only followed the barbarous custom of his time.
Individuals then lived in the same relations towards each other which
now characterize nations. The War System had not yet entirely retreated
from Municipal Law and Custom, to find its last citadel and temple in
the Law and Custom of Nations. Do not forget, that, at the present
moment, our own country, the great author, among the nations, of a new
Essay concerning Human Understanding, not only travels with a sword
by the side, like John Locke, but lives encased in complete armor,
burdensome to limbs and costly to treasury.

    [317] King's Life of Locke, Vol. I. p. 99.

Condemning the War System as barbarous and most wasteful, the token
and relic of a society alien to Christian civilization, we except
the Navy, so far as necessary in arrest of pirates, of traffickers
in human flesh, and generally in preserving the police of the sea.
But it is difficult for the unprejudiced mind to regard the array of
fortifications and of standing armies otherwise than obnoxious to the
condemnation aroused by the War System. Fortifications are instruments,
and standing armies are hired champions, in the great Duel of Nations.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here I quit this part of the subject. Sufficient has been said to
expose the War System of the Commonwealth of Nations. It stands before
us, a colossal image of International Justice, _with the sword, but
without the scales_,--like a hideous Mexican idol, besmeared with human
blood, and surrounded by the sickening stench of human sacrifice. But
this image, which seems to span the continents, while it rears aloft
its flashing form of brass and gold, hiding far in the clouds "the
round and top of sovereignty," can be laid low; for its feet are clay.


I come now to the means by which the War System can be overthrown. Here
I shall unfold the tendencies and examples of nations, and the sacred
efforts of individuals, constituting the Peace Movement, now ready to
triumph,--with practical suggestions on our duties to this cause, and a
concluding glance at the barbarism of Military Glory. In this review I
cannot avoid details incident to a fruitfulness of topics; but I shall
try to introduce nothing not bearing directly on the subject.

Civilization now writhes in travail and torment, and asks for
liberation from oppressive sway. Like the slave under a weary weight
of chains, it raises its exhausted arms, and pleads for the angel
Deliverer. And, lo! the beneficent angel comes,--not like the Grecian
God of Day, with vengeful arrows to slay the destructive Python,--not
like the Archangel Michael, with potent spear to transfix Satan,--but
with words of gentleness and cheer, saying to all nations, and to all
children of men, "Ye are all brothers, of _one_ flesh, _one_ fold,
_one_ shepherd, children of _one_ Father, heirs to _one_ happiness. By
your own energies, through united fraternal endeavor, will the tyranny
of War be overthrown, and its Juggernaut in turn be crushed to earth."

In this spirit, and with this encouragement, we must labor for that
grand and final object, watchword of all ages, the Unity of the Human
Family. Not in benevolence, but in selfishness, has Unity been sought
in times past,--not to promote the happiness of all, but to establish
the dominion of one. It was the mad lust of power which carried
Alexander from conquest to conquest, till he boasted that the whole
world was one empire, with the Macedonian phalanx as citadel. The same
passion animated Rome, till, at last, while Christ lay in a manger,
this single city swayed a broader empire than that of Alexander. The
Gospel, in its simple narrative, says, "And it came to pass in those
days that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus that _all the
world_ should be taxed." History recalls the exile of Ovid, who,
falling under the displeasure of the same emperor, was condemned to
close his life in melancholy longings for Rome, far away in Pontus, on
the Euxine Sea. With singular significance, these two contemporaneous
incidents reveal the universality of Roman dominion, stretching from
Britain to Parthia. The mighty empire crumbled, to be reconstructed for
a brief moment, in part by Charlemagne, in part by Tamerlane. In our
own age, Napoleon made a last effort for Unity founded on Force. And
now, from his utterances at St. Helena, the expressed wisdom of his
unparalleled experience, comes the remarkable confession, worthy of
constant memory: "The more I study the world, the more am I convinced
of the inability of brute force to create anything durable." From
the sepulchre of Napoleon, now sleeping on the banks of the Seine,
surrounded by the trophies of battle, nay, more, from the sepulchres of
all these departed empires, may be heard the words, "They that take the
sword shall perish by the sword."

       *       *       *       *       *

Unity is the longing and tendency of Humanity: not the enforced Unity
of military power; not the Unity of might triumphant over right; not
the Unity of Inequality; not the Unity which occupied the soul of
Dante, when, in his treatise _De Monarchia_, the earliest political
work of modern times, he strove to show that all the world belonged
to a single ruler, the successor of the Roman Emperor: not these; but
the voluntary Unity of nations in fraternal labor; the Unity promised,
when it was said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one
in Christ Jesus"; the Unity which has filled the delighted vision of
good men, prophets, sages, and poets, in times past; the Unity which,
in our own age, prompted Béranger, the incomparable lyric of France,
in an immortal ode, to salute the Holy Alliance of the Peoples,[318]
summoning them in all lands, and by whatever names they may be called,
French, English, Belgian, German, Russian, to give each other the hand,
that the useless thunderbolts of War may all be quenched, and Peace
sow the earth with gold, with flowers, and with corn; the Unity which
prompted an early American diplomatist and poet to anticipate the time
when nations shall meet in Congress,--

    "To give each realm its limit and its laws,
     Bid the last breath of dire contention cease,
     And bind all regions in the leagues of Peace;
     Bid one great empire, with extensive sway,
     Spread with the sun, and bound the walks of day,
     One centred system, one all-ruling soul,
     Live through the parts, and regulate the whole";[319]

the Unity which inspired our contemporary British poet of exquisite
genius, Alfred Tennyson, to hail the certain day,--

    "When the war-drum throb no longer, and the battle-flags be furled,
     In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World."[320]

    "Peuples, formez une sainte alliance,
       Et donnez-vous la main."

                          _La Sainte Alliance des Peuples._

    [319] Barlow, Vision of Columbus, Book IX. 432-438.

    [320] Locksley Hall.

Such is Unity in the bond of Peace. The common good and mutual consent
are its enduring base, Justice and Love its animating soul. These
alone can give permanence to combinations of men, whether in states
or confederacies. Here is the vital elixir of nations, the true
philosopher's stone of divine efficacy to enrich the civilization of
mankind. So far as these are neglected or forgotten, will the people,
though under one apparent head, fail to be really united. So far
as these are regarded, will the people, within the sphere of their
influence, constitute one body, and be inspired by one spirit. And
just in proportion as these find recognition from individuals and from
nations will War be impossible.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not in vision, nor in promise only, is this Unity discerned. Voluntary
associations, confederacies, leagues, coalitions, and congresses of
nations, though fugitive and limited in influence, all attest the
unsatisfied desires of men solicitous for union, while they foreshadow
the means by which it may be permanently accomplished. Of these I will
enumerate a few. 1. The _Amphictyonic Council_, embracing at first
twelve, and finally thirty-one communities, was established about the
year 1100 before Christ. Each sent two deputies, and had two votes in
the Council, which was empowered to restrain the violence of hostility
among the associates. 2. Next comes the _Achæan League_, founded
at a very early period, and renewed in the year 281 before Christ.
Each member was independent, and yet all together constituted one
inseparable body. So great was the fame of their justice and probity,
that the Greek cities of Italy were glad to invite their peaceful
arbitration. 3. Passing over other confederacies of Antiquity, I
mention next the _Hanseatic League_, begun in the twelfth century,
completed in the middle of the thirteenth, and comprising at one time
no less than eighty-five cities. A system of International Law was
adopted in their general assemblies, and also _courts of arbitration,
to determine controversies among the cities_. The decrees of these
courts were enforced by placing the condemned city under the ban, a
sentence equivalent to excommunication. 4. At a later period, other
cities and nobles of Germany entered into alliance and association
for mutual protection, under various names, as _the League of the
Rhine_, and _the League of Suabia_. 5. To these I add the combination
of _Armed Neutrality_ in 1780, uniting, in declared support of certain
principles, a large cluster of nations,--Russia, France, Spain,
Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, and the United States. 6. And still
further, I refer to Congresses at Westphalia, Utrecht, Aix-la-Chapelle,
and Vienna, after the wasteful struggles of War, to arrange terms of
Peace and to arbitrate between nations.

These examples, belonging to the Past, reveal tendencies and
capacities. Other instances, having the effect of living authority,
show practically how the War System may be set aside. There is,
_first_, the Swiss Republic, or _Helvetic Union_, which, beginning so
long ago as 1308, has preserved Peace among its members during the
greater part of five centuries. Speaking of this Union, Vattel said,
in the middle of the last century, "The Swiss have had the precaution,
in all their alliances among themselves, and even in those they have
contracted with the neighboring powers, _to agree beforehand on the
manner in which their disputes were to be_ _submitted to arbitrators,
in case they could not adjust them in an amicable manner_." And
this publicist proceeds to testify that "this wise precaution has
not a little contributed to maintain the Helvetic Republic in that
flourishing condition which secures its liberty, and renders it
respectable throughout Europe."[321] Since these words were written,
there have been many changes in the Swiss Constitution; but its present
Federal System, established on the downfall of Napoleon, confirmed
in 1830, and now embracing twenty-five different States, provides
that differences among the States shall be referred to "special
arbitration." This is an instructive example. But, _secondly_, our own
happy country furnishes one yet more so. The United States of America
are a National Union of thirty different States,--each having peculiar
interests,--in pursuance of a Constitution, established in 1788, which
not only provides a high tribunal for the adjudication of controversies
between the States, but expressly _disarms_ the individual States,
declaring that "_no State shall, without the consent of Congress, keep
troops or ships of war in time of peace, or engage in war, unless
actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of
delay_." A _third_ example, not unlike that of our own country, is the
_Confederation of Germany_, composed of thirty-eight sovereignties,
who, by reciprocal stipulation in their Act of Union, on the 8th of
June, 1815, deprived each sovereignty of the _right of war_ with its
confederates. The words of this stipulation, which, like those of
the Constitution of the United States, might furnish a model to the
Commonwealth of Nations, are as follows: "_The Confederate States
likewise engage under no pretext to make war upon_ _one another, nor
to pursue their differences by force of arms, but to submit them to
the Diet_. The latter shall endeavor to mediate between the parties by
means of a commission. Should this not prove successful, and a judicial
decision become necessary, provision shall be made therefor through
a well-organized Court of Arbitration, to which the litigants shall
submit themselves without appeal."[322]

    [321] Law of Nations, Book II. ch. 18, § 329.

    [322] Acte pour la Constitution Fédérative de l'Allemagne du 8
    Juin, 1815, Art. XI. par. 4: Archives Diplomatiques, Vol. IV. p. 15.

Such are authentic, well-defined examples. This is not all. It is
in the order of Providence, that individuals, families, tribes, and
nations should tend, by means of association, to a final Unity. A law
of mutual attraction, or affinity, first exerting its influence upon
smaller bodies, draws them by degrees into well-established fellowship,
and then, continuing its power, fuses the larger bodies into nations;
and nations themselves, stirred by this same sleepless energy, are now
moving towards that grand system of combined order which will complete
the general harmony:--

    "Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus
     Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet."[323]

History bears ample testimony to the potency of this attraction. Modern
Europe, in its early periods, was filled with petty lordships, or
communities constituting so many distinct units, acknowledging only
a vague nationality, and maintaining, as we have already seen, the
"liberty" to fight with each other. The great nations of our day have
grown and matured into their present form by the gradual absorption of
these political bodies.

    [323] Æneid, Lib. VI. 726, 727.

Territories, once possessing an equivocal and turbulent independence,
feel new power and happiness in peaceful association. Spain,
composed of races dissimilar in origin, religion, and government,
slowly ascended by progressive combinations among principalities and
provinces, till at last, in the fifteenth century, by the crowning
union of Castile and Aragon, the whole country, with its various
sovereignties, was united under one common rule. Germany once consisted
of more than three hundred different principalities, each with the
_right of war_. These slowly coalesced, forming larger principalities;
till at last the whole complex aggregation of states, embracing abbeys,
bishoprics, archbishoprics, bailiwicks, counties, duchies, electorates,
margraviates, and free imperial cities, was gradually resolved into
the present Confederation, where each state expressly renounces the
_right of war_ with its associates. France has passed through similar
changes. By a power of assimilation, in no nation so strongly marked,
she has absorbed the various races and sovereignties once filling
her territory with violence and conflict, and has converted them all
to herself. The Roman or Iberian of Provence, the indomitable Celtic
race, the German of Alsace, have all become Frenchmen,--while the
various provinces, once inspired by such hostile passions, Brittany and
Normandy, Franche-Comté and Burgundy, Gascony and Languedoc, Provence
and Dauphiné, are now blended in one powerful, united nation. Great
Britain, too, shows the influence of the same law. The many hostile
principalities of England were first merged in the Heptarchy; and these
seven kingdoms became _one_ under the Saxon Egbert. Wales, forcibly
attached to England under Edward the First, at last assimilated
with her conqueror; Ireland, after a protracted resistance, was
absorbed under Edward the Third, and at a later day, after a series
of bitter struggles, was united, I do not say how successfully, under
the Imperial Parliament; Scotland was connected with England by the
accession of James the First to the throne of the Tudors, and these
two countries, which had so often encountered in battle, were joined
together under Queen Anne, by an act of peaceful legislation.

Thus has the tendency to Unity predominated over independent
sovereignties and states, slowly conducting the constant process of
crystallization. This cannot be arrested. The next stage must be the
peaceful association of the Christian nations. In this anticipation
we but follow analogies of the material creation, as seen in the
light of chemical or geological science. Everywhere Nature is busy
with combinations, exerting an occult incalculable power, drawing
elements into new relations of harmony, uniting molecule with molecule,
atom with atom, and, by progressive change, in the lapse of time,
producing new structural arrangements. Look still closer, and the
analogy continues. At first we detect the operation of cohesion,
rudely acting upon particles near together,--then subtler influences,
slowly imparting regularity of form,--while heat, electricity, and
potent chemical affinities conspire in the work. As yet there is only
an incomplete body. _Light_ now exerts its mysterious powers, and
all assumes an organized form. So it is with mankind. First appears
the rude cohesion of early ages, acting only upon individuals near
together. Slowly the work proceeds. But time and space, the great
obstructions, if not annihilated, are now subdued, giving free scope to
the powerful affinities of civilization. At last, light, thrice holy
light, in whose glad beams are knowledge, justice, and beneficence,
with empyrean sway will combine those separate and distracted elements
into one organized system.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus much for examples and tendencies. In harmony with these are
_efforts of individuals_, extending through ages, and strengthening
with time, till now at last they swell into a voice that must be
heard. A rapid glance will show the growth of the cause we have met
to welcome. Far off in the writings of the early Fathers we learn
the duty and importance of Universal Peace. Here I might accumulate
texts, each an authority, while you listened to Justin Martyr, Irenæus,
Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, Aquinas. How beautiful it appears in the
teachings of St. Augustine! How comprehensive the rules of Aquinas,
who spoke with the authority of Philosophy and the Church, when he
said, in phrase worthy of constant repetition, that the perfection
of joy is Peace![324] But the rude hoof of War trampled down these
sparks of generous truth, destined to flame forth at a later day. In
the fifteenth century, _The good Man of Peace_ was described in that
work of unexampled circulation, translated into all modern tongues, and
republished more than a thousand times, "The Imitation of Christ," by
Thomas-à-Kempis.[325] A little later the cause found important support
from the pen of a great scholar, the gentle and learned Erasmus. At
last it obtained a specious advocacy from the throne. Henry the Fourth,
of France, with the coöperation of his eminent minister, Sully,
conceived the beautiful scheme of blending the Christian nations in one
confederacy, with a high tribunal for the decision of controversies
between them, and had drawn into his plan Queen Elizabeth, of England.
All was arrested by the dagger of Ravaillac. This gay and gallant
monarch was little penetrated by the divine sentiment of Peace; for
at his death he was gathering materials for fresh War; and it is too
evident that the scheme of a European Congress was prompted less by
comprehensive humanity than by a selfish ambition to humble the House
of Austria. Even with this drawback it did great good, by holding aloft
before Christendom the exalted idea of a tribunal for the Commonwealth
of Nations.

    [324] "_Perfectio gaudii est pax._"--Aquinas, Summa Theologica,
    Prima Secundæ, Quæst. LXX., Art. III. Concl.

    [325] De Imitatione Christi, Lib. II. cap. 3.

Universal Peace was not to receive thus early the countenance of
Government. Meanwhile private efforts began to multiply. Grotius, in
his wonderful work on "The Rights of War and Peace," while lavishing
learning and genius on the Arbitrament of War, bears testimony in
favor of a more rational tribunal. His virtuous nature, wishing to
save mankind from the scourge of War, foreshadowed an Amphictyonic
Council. "It would be useful, and in some sort necessary," he says,--in
language which, if carried out practically, would sweep away the War
System and all the _Laws of War_,--"to have Congresses of the Christian
Powers, where differences might be determined by the judgment of those
not interested in them, and means found to constrain parties into
acceptance of peace on just conditions."[326] To the discredit of his
age, these moderate words, so much in harmony with his other effort for
the union of Christian sects, were derided, and the eminent expounder
was denounced as rash, visionary, and impracticable. The sentiment in
which they had their origin found other forms of utterance. Before
the close of the seventeenth century, Nicole, the friend of Pascal,
belonging to the fellowship of Port-Royal, and one of the highest
names in the Church of France, gave to the world a brief "Treatise on
the Means of preserving Peace among Men,"[327] which Voltaire, with
exaggerated praise, terms "a masterpiece, to which nothing equal has
been left to us by Antiquity." Next appeared a little book, which is
now a bibliographical curiosity, entitled "The New Cineas,"[328]--after
the pacific adviser of Pyrrhus, the warrior king of Epirus,--where
the humane author counsels sovereigns to govern in Peace, submitting
their differences to an established tribunal. In Germany, at the close
of the seventeenth century, as we learn from Leibnitz, who mentions
the preceding authority also, a retired general, who had commanded
armies, the Land-grave Ernest of Hesse Rhinfels, in a work entitled
"The Discreet Catholic," suggested a plan for Perpetual Peace by
means of a tribunal established by associate sovereigns.[329] England
testified also by William Penn, who adopted and enforced what he
called the "great design" of Henry the Fourth. In a work entitled "An
Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe," the enlightened
Quaker proposed a Diet, or Sovereign Assembly, into which the princes
of Europe should enter, as men enter into society, for the love of
peace and order,--that its object should be justice, and that all
differences not terminated by embassies should be brought before this
tribunal, whose judgment should be so far binding, that, in the event
of contumacy, it should be enforced by the united powers.[330] Thus, by
writings, as also by illustrious example in Pennsylvania, did Penn show
himself the friend of Peace.

    [326] De Jure Belli ac Pacis, Lib. II. cap. 28, § 8.

    [327] Traité des Moyens de conserver la Paix avec les Hommes:
    Essais de Morale, Tom. I. pp. 192-318. This little treatise has
    been printed in a recent edition of the _Pensées_ of Pascal.
    Notwithstanding this great company, and the praise of Voltaire in
    his _Écrivains du Siècle de Louis XIV._, the reader of our day will
    be disappointed. See Hallam, Introduction to the Literature of
    Europe, Part IV. ch. 4, Vol. III. p. 393.

    [328] Le Nouveau Cynée, ou Discours des Occasions et Moyens
    d'establir une Paix générale et la Liberté du Commerce par tout le
    Monde: Paris, 1623. A copy, found in one of the stalls of Paris, is
    now before me.

    [329] Leibnitz. Observations sur le Projet d'une Paix Perpétuelle
    de l'Abbé de S. Pierre: Opera (ed. Dutens), Tom. V. pp. 56, 57.

    [330] Clarkson, Life of William Penn, Ch. VI. Vol. II. pp. 82-85.

       *       *       *       *       *

These were soon followed in France by the untiring labors of the good
Abbé Saint-Pierre,--the most devoted among the apostles of Peace,
and not to be confounded with the eloquent and eccentric Bernardin
de Saint-Pierre, author of "Paul and Virginia," who, at a later
day, beautifully painted the true Fraternity of Nations.[331] Of a
genius less artistic and literary, the Abbé consecrated a whole life,
crowned with venerable years, to the improvement of mankind. There
was no humane cause he did not espouse: now it was the poor; now it
was education; and now it was to exhibit the grandeur and sacredness
of human nature; but he was especially filled with the idea of
Universal Peace, and the importance of teaching nations, not less than
individuals, the duty of doing as they would be done by. This was his
passion, and it was elaborately presented in a work of three volumes,
entitled "The Project of Perpetual Peace,"[332] where he proposes a
Diet or Congress of Sovereigns, for the adjudication of international
controversies without resort to War. Throughout his voluminous writings
he constantly returns to this project, which was a perpetual vision,
and records his regret that Newton and Descartes had not devoted their
exalted genius to the study and exposition of the laws determining the
welfare of men and nations, believing that they might have succeeded in
organizing Peace. He dwells often on the beauty of Christian precepts
in government, and the true glory of beneficence, while he exposes the
vanity of military renown, and does not hesitate to question that false
glory which procured for Louis the Fourteenth the undeserved title of
Great, echoed by flattering courtiers and a barbarous world. The French
language owes to him the word _Bienfaisance_; and D'Alembert said "it
was right he should have invented the word who practised so largely the
virtue it expresses."[333]

    [331] Harmonies de la Nature: OEuvres, Tom. X. p. 138. Voeux
    d'un Solitaire: Ibid., Tom. XI. p. 168.

    [332] Le Projet de Paix Perpétuelle.--A collection of the works
    of Saint-Pierre, in fourteen volumes, entitled _OEuvres de
    Politique_, appeared at Amsterdam in the middle of the last
    century. But this collection is not complete; I have several other
    volumes. Brunet introduces him into his Bibliographical Pantheon
    among "Modern Reformers"; but the space allowed is very scanty by
    the side of his namesake. His works are sympathetically described
    and analyzed in a volume published since this Address, entitled
    _L'Abbé de Saint-Pierre, sa Vie et ses OEuvres_, par G. de

    [333] Éloge de Saint-Pierre: OEuvres, Tom. XI. p. 113. See, also,
    Bescherelle, Dictionnaire National, under _Bienfaisance_.

Though thus of benevolence all compact, Saint-Pierre was not the
favorite of his age. A profligate minister, Cardinal Dubois,
ecclesiastical companion of a vicious regent in the worst excesses,
condemned his efforts in a phrase of satire, as "the dreams of a good
man." The pen of La Bruyère wantoned in a petty portrait of personal
peculiarities.[334] Many turned the cold shoulder. The French Academy,
of which he was a member, took from him his chair, and on the occasion
of his death forbore the eulogy which is its customary tribute to
a departed academician. But an incomparable genius in Germany,--an
authority not to be questioned on any subject upon which he spoke,--the
great and universal Leibnitz, bears his testimony to the "Project of
Perpetual Peace," and, so doing, enrolls his own prodigious name in the
catalogue of our cause. In observations on this Project, communicated
to its author, under date of February 7, 1715, while declaring that
it is supported by the practical authority of Henry the Fourth, that
it justly interests the whole human race, and is not foreign to his
own studies, as from youth he had occupied himself with law, and
particularly with the Law of Nations, Leibnitz says: "_I have read it
with attention, and am persuaded that such a project, on the whole, is
feasible, and that its execution would be one of the most useful things
in the world._ Although my suffrage cannot be of any weight, I have
nevertheless thought that gratitude obliged me not to withhold it, and
to join some remarks for the satisfaction of a meritorious author, who
ought to have much reputation and firmness, to have dared and been able
to oppose with success the prejudiced crowd, and the unbridled tongue
of mockers."[335] Such testimony from Leibnitz must have been grateful
to Saint-Pierre.

    [334] Les Caractères, _Du Mérite Personnel_, Tom. I. p. 93.

    [335] Observations sur le Projet d'une Paix Perpétuelle; Lettre à
    l'Abbé de S. Pierre: Opera (ed. Dutens), Tom. V. pp. 56-62.

I cannot close this brief record of a philanthropist, constant in an
age when War was more regarded than Humanity, without offering him an
unaffected homage. To this faithful man may be addressed the sublime
salutation which hymned from the soul of Milton:--

    "Servant of God, well done! well hast thou fought
     The better fight, who single hast maintained
     Against revolted multitudes the cause
     Of Truth, in word mightier than they in arms,
     And for the testimony of truth hast borne
      ... reproach, far worse to bear
     Than violence: for this was all thy care,
     To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
     Judged thee perverse."[336]

Waking hereafter from its martial trance, the world will rejoice to
salute the greatness of his career.[337] It may well measure advance in
civilization by the appreciation of his character.

    [336] Paradise Lost, Book VI. 29-37.

    [337] The _Nouvelle Biographie Générale_ concludes its notice of
    him thus:--"Après avoir mérité le beau surnom de _Solliciteur pour
    le bien public_, l'Abbé de Saint-Pierre mourut, en 1743, à l'âge de
    quatre-vingt-cinq ans."

Contemporary with Saint-Pierre was another Frenchman, to whom I have
already referred, who flashed his genius upon the game of War. La
Bruyère exhibits men, for the sake of a piece of land more or less,
_agreeing among themselves_ to despoil, burn, and kill each other,
even to cutting throats, and, for the doing of this more ingeniously
and safely, inventing a beautiful system, known as the Art of War, to
the practice of which is attached what is called _Glory_. The same
satirist, who lived in an age of War, likens men to animals, even to
dogs barking at each other, and then again to cats; and he furnishes a
picture of the latter, counted by the thousand, and marshalled on an
extended plain, where, after mewing their best, they throw themselves
upon each other, tooth and nail, until nine or ten thousand of them
are left dead on the field, infecting the air for ten leagues with
an intolerable stench,--and all this for the love of Glory. But how,
says the satirist, can we distinguish between those who use only tooth
and nail and those others, who, first substituting lances, darts, and
swords, now employ destructive balls, small and large, killing at
once, while, penetrating a roof, they crash from garret to cellar,
sacrificing even women and children? Wherein is the Glory?[338]

    [338] Caractères, _Du Souverain_, Tom. I. p. 332; _Des Jugements_,
    Tom. II. pp. 57-59.

Saint-Pierre was followed by that remarkable genius, Jean Jacques
Rousseau, in a small work with the modest title, "Extract from the
Project of Perpetual Peace by the Abbé Saint-Pierre."[339] Without
referring to those higher motives supplied by humanity, conscience,
and religion, for addressing which to sovereigns Saint-Pierre incurred
the ridicule of what are called practical statesmen, Rousseau
appeals to common sense, and shows how much mere worldly interests
would be promoted by submission to the arbitration of an impartial
tribunal, rather than to the uncertain issue of arms, with no adequate
compensation, even to the victor, for blood and treasure sacrificed. If
this project fails, it is not, according to him, because chimerical,
but because men have lost their wits, and it is a sort of madness to be
wise in the midst of fools. As no scheme more grand, more beautiful, or
more useful ever occupied the human mind, so, says Rousseau, no author
ever deserved attention more than one proposing the means for its
practical adoption; nor can any humane and virtuous man fail to regard
it with enthusiasm.

    [339] Extrait du Projet de Paix Perpétuelle de M. l'Abbé de

The recommendations of Rousseau, reaching Germany, were encountered by
a writer now remembered chiefly by this hardihood. I allude to Embser,
who treats of Perpetual Peace in a work first published in 1779, under
the title of "The Idolatry of our Philosophical Century,"[340] and at
a later day with a new title, under the _alias_ of the "Refutation
of the Project of Perpetual Peace."[341] Objections common with the
superficial or prejudiced are vehemently urged; the imputation upon
Grotius is reproduced; and the project is pronounced visionary and
impracticable, while War is exalted as an instrument more beneficent
than Peace in advancing the civilization of mankind. At a later day
Hegel gave the same testimony, thus contributing his considerable name
to vindicate War.[342]

    [340] Die Abgötterei unsers Philosophischen Jahrhunderts.

    [341] Widerlegung des Projects von Ewigen Frieden.

    [342] Philosophie des Rechts, §§ 321-340: Werke, Band VIII. pp.

The cause of Saint-Pierre and Rousseau was not without champions in
Germany. In 1763 we meet at Göttingen the work of Totze, entitled
"Permanent and Universal Peace, according to the Plan of Henry the
Fourth";[343] and in 1767, at Leipsic, an ample and mature treatise by
Lilienfeld, under the name of "New Constitution for States."[344] Truth
often appears contemporaneously to different minds having no concert
with each other; and the latter work, though in remarkable harmony with
Saint-Pierre and Rousseau, is said to have been composed without any
knowledge of their labors. Lilienfeld exposes the causes and calamities
of War, the waste of armaments in time of Peace, and the miserable
chances of the battle-field, where, in defiance of all justice,
controversies are determined as by the throw of dice; and he urges
submission to Arbitrators, unless, in their wisdom, nations establish a
Supreme Tribunal with the combined power of the Confederacy to enforce
its decrees.

    [343] Ewiger und Allgemeiner Friede nach der Entwurf Heinrichs IV.

    [344] Neues Staatsgebäude.

It was the glory of another German, in intellectual preëminence
the successor of Leibnitz, to illustrate this cause by special and
repeated labors. At Königsberg, in a retired corner of Prussia, away
from the great lines of travel, Immanuel Kant consecrated his days
to the pursuit of truth. During a long, virtuous, and disinterested
life, stretching beyond the period appointed for man,--from 1724 to
1804,--in retirement, undisturbed by shock of revolution or war, never
drawn by temptation of travel more than seven German miles from the
place of his birth, he assiduously studied books, men, and things.
Among the fruits of his ripened powers was that system of philosophy
known as the "Critique of Pure Reason," by which he was at once
established as a master-mind of his country. His words became the text
for writers without number, who vied with each other in expounding,
illustrating, or opposing his principles. At this period, after an
unprecedented triumph in philosophy, when his name had become familiar
wherever his mother-tongue was spoken, and while his rare faculties
were yet untouched by decay, in the Indian Summer of life, the great
thinker published a work "On Perpetual Peace."[345] Interest in the
author, or in the cause, was attested by prompt translations into the
French, Danish, and Dutch languages. In an earlier work, entitled
"Idea for a General History in a Cosmopolitan View,"[346] he espoused
the same cause, and at a later day, in his "Metaphysical Elements of
Jurisprudence,"[347] he renewed his testimony. In the lapse of time
the speculations of the philosopher have lost much of their original
attraction; other systems, with other names, have taken their place.
But these early and faithful labors for Perpetual Peace cannot be
forgotten. Perhaps through these the fame of the applauded philosopher
of Königsberg may yet be preserved.

    [345] Zum Ewigen Frieden, 1795; Verkündigung des nahen Abschlusses
    eines Tractats zum Ewigen Frieden in der Philosophie, 1796:
    Sämmtliche Werke, Band VI. pp. 405-454, 487-498.

    [346] Idee zu einer Allgemeinen Geschichte in Weltbürgerlicher
    Absicht: Sämmtliche Werke, Band IV. pp. 141-157.

    [347] Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Rechtslehre, §§ 53-61, _Das
    Völkerrecht_: Sämmtliche Werke, Band VII. pp. 141-157.

By Perpetual Peace Kant understood a condition of nations where there
could be no fear of War; and this condition, he said, was demanded
by reason, which, abhorring all War, as little adapted to establish
right, must regard this final development of the Law of Nations as
a consummation worthy of every effort. The philosopher was right in
proposing nothing less than a reform of International Law. To this,
according to him, all persons, and particularly all rulers, should bend
their energies. A special league or treaty should be formed, which may
be truly called a _Treaty of Peace_, having this peculiarity, that,
whereas other treaties terminate a single existing War only, this
should terminate forever all War between the parties to it. A Treaty of
Peace, tacitly acknowledging _the right to wage War_, as all treaties
now do, is nothing more than a _Truce_, not Peace. By these treaties an
individual War is ended, but not the _state of War_. There may not be
constant hostilities; but there will be constant fear of hostilities,
with constant threat of aggression and attack. Soldiers and armaments,
now nursed as a Peace establishment, become the fruitful parent of new
wars. With real Peace, these would be abandoned. Nor should nations
hesitate to bow before the _law_, like individuals. They must form one
comprehensive federation, which, by the aggregation of other nations,
would at last embrace the whole earth. And this, according to Kant,
in the succession of years, by a sure progress, is the irresistible
tendency of nations. To this end nations must be truly independent; nor
is it possible for one nation to acquire another independent nation,
whether by inheritance, exchange, purchase, or gift. A nation is not
property. The philosophy of Kant, therefore, contemplated not only
Universal Peace, but Universal Liberty. The first article of the great
treaty would be, that every nation is free.

These important conclusions found immediate support from another German
philosopher, Fichte, of remarkable acuteness and perfect devotion to
truth, whose name, in his own day, awakened an echo inferior only to
that of Kant. In his "Groundwork of the Law of Nature,"[348] published
in 1796, he urges a Federation of Nations, with a Supreme Tribunal,
as the best way of securing the triumph of justice, and of subduing
the power of the unjust. To the suggestion, that by this Federation
injustice might be done, he replied, that it would not be easy to find
any common advantage tempting the confederate nations to do this wrong.

    [348] Grundlage des Naturrechts: _Ueber das Völkerrecht_:
    Sämmtliche Werke, Band III. pp. 369-382.

The subject was again treated in 1804, by a learned German, Karl
Schwab, whose work, entitled "Of Unavoidable Injustice,"[349] deserves
notice for practical clearness and directness. Nothing could be better
than his idea of the Universal State, where nations will be united, as
citizens in the Municipal State; nor have the promises of the Future
been more carefully presented. He sees clearly, that, even when this
triumph of civilization is won, justice between nations will not be
always inviolate,--for, unhappily, between citizens it is not always
so; but, whatever may be the exceptions, it will become the general
rule. As in the Municipal State War no longer prevails, but offences,
wrongs, and sallies of vengeance often proceed from individual
citizens, with insubordination and anarchy sometimes,--so in the
Universal State War will no longer prevail; but here also, between the
different nations, who will be as citizens in the Federation, there may
be wrongs and aggressions, with resistance even to the common power. In
short, the Universal State will be subject to the same accidents as the
Municipal State.

    [349] Ueber das Unvermeidliche Unrecht.

The cause of Permanent Peace became a thesis for Universities. At
Stuttgart, in 1796, there was an oration by J.H. La Motte, entitled
_Utrum Pax Perpetua pangi possit, nec ne?_ And at Leyden, in 1808,
there was a Dissertation by Gabinus de Wal, on taking his degree
as Doctor of Laws, entitled _Disputatio Philosophico-Juridica, de
Conjunctione Populorum ad Pacem Perpetuam_.[350] This learned and
elaborate performance, after reviewing previous efforts in the cause,
accords a preëminence to Kant. Such a voice from the University is the
token of a growing sentiment, and an example for the youth of our own

    [350] At the Paris Peace Congress of 1849, since the delivery of
    this Address, with Victor Hugo as President, and Richard Cobden
    as an active member, Mr. Suringar, of Amsterdam, referred to this
    Dissertation, and announced a copy of it which had been given him
    for presentation to the Congress by the son of the author, John de
    Wal, Professor of Jurisprudence at Leyden. My own copy is a valued
    present from Elihu Burritt.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile in England the cause was espoused by that indefatigable
jurist and reformer, Jeremy Bentham, who embraced it in his
comprehensive labors. In an Essay on International Law, bearing
date 1786-89, and first published in 1839, by his executor, Dr.
Bowring,[351] he develops a plan for Universal and Perpetual Peace in
the spirit of Saint-Pierre. Such, according to him, is the extreme
folly, the madness, of War, that on no supposition can it be otherwise
than mischievous. All Trade, in essence, is advantageous, even to the
party who profits by it the least; all War, in essence, is ruinous: and
yet the great employments of Government are to treasure up occasions
of War, and to put fetters upon Trade. To remedy this evil, Bentham
proposes, first, "The reduction and fixation of the forces of the
several nations that compose the European system"; and in enforcing
this proposition, he says: "Whatsoever nation should get the start
of the other in making the proposal to reduce and fix the amount of
its armed force would crown itself with everlasting honor. The risk
would be nothing, the gain certain. This gain would be the giving an
incontrovertible demonstration of its own disposition to peace, and of
the opposite disposition in the other nation, in case of its rejecting
the proposal." He next proposes an International Court of Judicature,
with power to report its opinion, and to circulate it in each nation,
and, after a certain delay, to put a contumacious nation under the ban.
He denies that this system can be styled visionary in any respect:
for it is proved, _first_, that it is the interest of the parties
concerned; _secondly_, that the parties are already sensible of this
interest; and, _thirdly_, that, enlightened by diplomatic experience in
difficult and complicated conventions, they are prepared for the new
situation. All this is sober and practical.

    [351] Bentham's Works, Part VIII. pp. 537-554.

       *       *       *       *       *

Coming to our own country, I find many names for commemoration. No
person, in all history, has borne his testimony in phrases of greater
pungency or more convincing truth than Benjamin Franklin. "In my
opinion," he says, "there never was a good War or a bad Peace"; and he
asks, "When will mankind be convinced that all Wars are follies, very
expensive, and very mischievous, and agree to settle their differences
by arbitration? Were they to do it even by the cast of a die, it would
be better than by fighting and destroying each other." Then again he
says: "We make daily great improvements in natural, there is one I wish
to see in moral philosophy,--the discovery of a plan that would induce
and oblige nations to settle their disputes without first cutting one
another's throats. When will human reason be sufficiently improved to
see the advantage of this?"[352] As diplomatist, Franklin strove to
limit the evils of War. To him, while Minister at Paris, belongs the
honor of those instructions, more glorious for the American name than
any battle, where our naval cruisers, among whom was the redoubtable
Paul Jones, were directed, in the interest of universal science,
to allow a free and undisturbed passage to the returning expedition
of Captain Cook, the great circumnavigator, who "steered Britain's
oak into a world unknown."[353] To him also belongs the honor of
introducing into a treaty with Prussia a provision for the abolition
of that special scandal, Private War on the Ocean.[354] In similar
strain with Franklin, Jefferson says: "Will nations never devise a more
rational umpire of differences than Force?... War is an instrument
entirely inefficient towards redressing wrong; it multiplies, instead
of indemnifying losses."[355] And he proceeds to exhibit the waste of
War, and the beneficent consequences, if its expenditures could be
diverted to purposes of practical utility.

    [352] Letter to Josiah Quincy, Sept. 11, 1783; to Mrs. Mary Hewson,
    Jan. 27, 1783; to Richard Price, Feb. 6, 1780: Works, ed. Sparks,
    Vol. X. p. 11; IX. p. 476; VIII. p. 417.

    [353] Franklin's Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. V. pp. 122-124.
    Collections of Mass. Hist. Soc., Vol. IV. pp. 79-85.

    [354] Franklin's Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. II. pp. 485, 486. Lyman's
    Diplomacy of the United States. Vol. I. pp. 143-148.

    [355] Letter to Sir John Sinclair, March 23, 1798: Transactions of
    the American Philosophical Society, Vol. IV. pp. 320, 321.

To Franklin especially must thanks be rendered for authoritative words
and a precious example. But there are three names, fit successors of
Saint-Pierre,--I speak only of those on whose career is the seal of
death,--which even more than his deserve affectionate regard. I refer
to Noah Worcester, William Ellery Channing, and William Ladd. To dwell
on the services of these our virtuous champions would be a grateful
task. The occasion allows a passing notice only.

In Worcester we behold the single-minded country clergyman, little
gifted as preacher, with narrow means,--and his example teaches what
such a character may accomplish,--in humble retirement, pained by
the reports of War, and at last, as the protracted drama of battles
was about to close at Waterloo, publishing that appeal, entitled "A
Solemn Review of the _Custom_ of War," which has been so extensively
circulated at home and abroad, and has done so much to correct the
inveterate prejudices which surround the cause. He was the founder, and
for some time the indefatigable agent, of the earliest Peace Society in
the country.

The eloquence of Channing was often, both with tongue and pen, directed
against War. He was heart-struck by the awful degradation it caused,
rudely blotting out in men the image of God their Father; and his words
of flame have lighted in many souls those exterminating fires that can
never die, until this evil is swept from the earth.

William Ladd, after completing his education at Harvard University,
engaged in commercial pursuits. Early, through his own exertions,
blessed with competency, he could not be idle. He was childless; and
his affections embraced all the children of the human family. Like
Worcester and Channing, his attention was arrested by the portentous
crime of War, and he was moved to dedicate the remainder of his days
to earnest, untiring effort for its abolition,--going about from place
to place inculcating the lesson of Peace, with simple, cheerful manner
winning the hearts of good men, and dropping in many youthful souls
precious seeds to ripen in more precious fruit. He was the founder of
the American Peace Society, in which was finally merged the earlier
association established by Worcester. By a long series of practical
labors, and especially by developing, maturing, and publishing the plan
of an International Congress, has William Ladd enrolled himself among
the benefactors of mankind.

Such are some of the names which hereafter, when the warrior no longer
usurps the blessings promised to the peacemaker, will be inscribed on
immortal tablets.

Now, at last, in the fulness of time, in our own day, by the labors
of men of Peace, by the irresistible cooperating affinities of
mankind, nations seem to be visibly approaching--even amidst tumult
and discord--that Unity so long hoped for, prayed for. By steamboat,
railroad, and telegraph, outstripping the traditional movements of
government, men of all countries daily commingle, ancient prejudices
fast dissolve, while ancient sympathies strengthen, and new sympathies
come into being. The chief commercial cities of England send addresses
of friendship to the chief commercial cities of France; and the latter
delight to return the salutation. Similar cords of amity are twined
between cities in England and cities in our own country. The visit to
London of a band of French National Guards is reciprocated by the visit
to Paris of a large company of Englishmen. Thus are achieved pacific
conquests, where formerly all the force of arms could not prevail.
Mr. Vattemare perambulates Europe and the United States to establish
a system of literary international exchanges. By the daily agency of
the press we are sharers in the trials and triumphs of brethren in
all lands, and, renouncing the solitude of insulated nationalities,
learn to live in the communion of associated states. By multitudinous
reciprocities of commerce are developed relations of mutual dependence,
stronger than treaties or alliances engrossed on parchment,--while,
from a truer appreciation of the ethics of government, we arrive at the
conviction, that the divine injunction, "Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you," was spoken to nations as well as to individuals.

From increasing knowledge of each other, and from a higher sense
of duty as brethren of the Human Family, arises among mankind an
increasing interest in each other; and charity, once, like patriotism,
exclusively national, is beginning to clasp the world in its embrace.
Every discovery of science, every aspiration of philanthropy, no
matter what the country of its origin, is now poured into the common
stock. Assemblies, whether of science or philanthropy, are no longer
municipal merely, but welcome delegates from all the nations. Science
has convened Congresses in Italy, Germany, and England. Great causes,
grander even than Science,--like Temperance, Freedom, Peace,--have
drawn to London large bodies of men from different countries, under
the title of _World Conventions_, in whose very name and spirit of
fraternity we discern the prevailing tendency. Such a convention,
dedicated to Universal Peace, held at London in 1843, was graced by
many well known for labors of humanity. At Frankfort, in 1846, was
assembled a large Congress from all parts of Europe, to consider what
could be done for those in prison. The succeeding year witnessed, at
Brussels, a similar Congress, convened in the same charity. At last,
in August, 1848, we hail, at Brussels, another Congress, inspired by
the presence of a generous American, Elihu Burritt,--who has left his
anvil at home to teach the nations how to change their swords into
ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks,--presided over by
an eminent Belgian magistrate, and composed of numerous individuals,
speaking various languages, living under diverse forms of government,
various in political opinions, differing in religious convictions, but
all moved by a common sentiment to seek the abolition of War, and the
Disarming of the Nations.

The Peace Congress at Brussels constitutes an epoch. It is a palpable
development of those international attractions and affinities which
now await their final organization. The resolutions it adopted are so
important that I cannot hesitate to introduce them.

    "1. That, in the judgment of this Congress, an appeal to arms
    for the purpose of deciding disputes among nations is a custom
    condemned alike by religion, reason, justice, humanity, and the
    best interests of the people,--and that, therefore, it considers it
    to be the duty of the civilized world to adopt measures calculated
    to effect its entire abolition.

    "2. That it is of the highest importance to urge on the several
    governments of Europe and America the necessity of introducing
    a clause into all International Treaties, providing for the
    settlement of all disputes by Arbitration, in an amicable manner,
    and according to the rules of justice and equity, by special
    Arbitrators, or a Supreme International Court, to be invested with
    power to decide in cases of necessity, as a last resort.

    "3. That the speedy convocation of a Congress of Nations, composed
    of duly appointed representatives, for the purpose of framing a
    well-digested and authoritative International Code, is of the
    greatest importance, inasmuch as the organization of such a body,
    and the unanimous adoption of such a Code, would be an effectual
    means of promoting Universal Peace.

    "4. That this Congress respectfully calls the attention of
    civilized governments to the necessity of a general and
    simultaneous disarmament, as a means whereby they may greatly
    diminish the financial burdens which press upon them, remove
    a fertile cause of irritation and inquietude, inspire mutual
    confidence, and promote the interchange of good offices, which,
    while they advance the interests of each state in particular,
    contribute largely to the maintenance of general Peace, and the
    lasting prosperity of nations."

In France these resolutions received the adhesion of Lamartine,--in
England, of Richard Cobden. They have been welcomed throughout Great
Britain, by large and enthusiastic popular assemblies, hanging with
delight upon the practical lessons of peace on earth and good-will to
men. At the suggestion of the Congress at Brussels, and in harmony
with the demands of an increasing public sentiment, another Congress
is called at Paris, in the approaching month of August. The place of
meeting is auspicious. There, as in the very cave of Æolus, whence have
so often raged forth conflicting winds and resounding tempests, are to
gather delegates from various nations, including a large number from
our own country, whose glad work will be to hush and imprison these
winds and tempests, and to bind them in the chains of everlasting Peace.

Not in voluntary assemblies only has our cause found welcome. Into
_legislative halls_ it has made its way. A document now before me, in
the handwriting of Samuel Adams, an approved patriot of the Revolution,
bears witness to his desire for action on this subject in the Congress
of the United States. It is in the form of a Letter of Instructions
from the Legislature of Massachusetts to the delegates in Congress
of this State, and, though without date, seems to have been prepared
some time between the Treaty of Peace in 1783 and the adoption of the
National Constitution in 1789. It is as follows.

    "GENTLEMEN,--Although the General Court have lately
    instructed you concerning various matters of very great importance
    to this Commonwealth, they cannot finish the business of the
    year until they have transmitted to you a further instruction,
    which they have long had in contemplation, and which, if their
    most ardent wish could be obtained, might in its consequences
    extensively promote the happiness of man.

    "You are, therefore, hereby instructed and urged to move the
    United States in Congress assembled to take into their deep and
    most serious consideration, whether any measures can by them be
    used, through their influence with such of the nations in Europe
    with whom they are united by Treaties of Amity or Commerce, that
    National Differences may be settled and determined without the
    necessity of WAR, in which the world has too long been
    deluged, to the destruction of human happiness and the disgrace of
    human reason and government.

    "If, after the most mature deliberation, it shall appear that
    no measures can be taken _at present_ on this very interesting
    subject, it is conceived it would redound much to the honor of the
    United States that it was attended to by their great Representative
    in Congress, and be accepted as a testimony of gratitude for most
    signal favors granted to the said States by Him who is the almighty
    and most gracious Father and Friend of mankind.

    "And you are further instructed to move that the foregoing Letter
    of Instructions be entered on the Journals of Congress, if it may
    be thought proper, that so it may remain for the inspection of the
    delegates from this Commonwealth, if necessary, in any _future_

    [356] MSS. of Samuel Adams, belonging to the historian, George

I am not able to ascertain whether this document ever became a
legislative act; but unquestionably it attests, in authentic form,
that a great leader in Massachusetts, after the establishment of that
Independence for which he had so assiduously labored, hoped to enlist
not only the Legislature of his State, but the Congress of the United
States, in efforts for the emancipation of nations from the tyranny of
War. For this early effort, when the cause of Permanent Peace had never
been introduced to any legislative body, Samuel Adams deserves grateful

Many years later the subject reached Congress, where, in 1838, it was
considered in an elaborate report by the late Mr. Legaré, in behalf
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives,
prompted by memorials from the friends of Peace. While injudiciously
discountenancing an Association of Nations, as not yet sanctioned
by public opinion, the Committee acknowledge "that the union of all
nations in a state of Peace, under the restraints and the protection of
law, is the ideal perfection of civil society"; that they "concur fully
in the benevolent object of the memorialists, and believe that there is
a visible tendency in the spirit and institutions of the age towards
the practical accomplishment of it at some future period"; that they
"heartily concur with the memorialists in recommending a reference to
a Third Power of all such controversies as can safely be confided to
any tribunal unknown to the Constitution of our own country"; and that
"such a practice will be followed by other powers, and will soon grow
up into the customary law of civilized nations."[357]

    [357] Reports of Committees, 25th Cong. 2d Sess., No. 979.

The Legislature of Massachusetts, by a series of resolutions, in
harmony with the early sentiments of Samuel Adams, adopted, in 1844,
with exceeding unanimity, declare, that they "regard Arbitration as
a practical and desirable substitute for War, in the adjustment of
international differences"; and still further declare their "earnest
desire that the government of the United States would, at the earliest
opportunity, take measures for obtaining the consent of the powers of
Christendom to the establishment of a general Convention or Congress of
Nations, for the purpose of settling the principles of International
Law, and of organizing a High Court of Nations to adjudge all cases
of difficulty which may be brought before them by the mutual consent
of two or more nations."[358] During the winter of 1849 the subject
was again presented to the American Congress by Mr. Tuck, who asked
the unanimous consent of the House of Representatives to offer the
following preamble and resolution:--

    "Whereas the evils of War are acknowledged by all civilized
    nations, and the calamities, individual and general, which are
    inseparably connected with it, have attracted the attention of many
    humane and enlightened citizens of this and other countries; and
    whereas it is the disposition of the people of the United States to
    coöperate with others in all appropriate and judicious exertions to
    prevent a recurrence of national conflicts; therefore,

    "_Resolved_, That the Committee on Foreign Affairs be directed to
    inquire into the expediency of authorizing a correspondence to
    be opened by the Secretary of State with Foreign Governments, on
    the subject of procuring Treaty stipulations for the reference
    of all future disputes to a friendly Arbitration, or for the
    establishment, instead thereof, of a Congress of Nations, to
    determine International Law and settle international disputes."[359]

    [358] Mass. House Documents, Sess. 1844, No. 18.

    [359] Congressional Globe, 30th Cong. 2d Sess., Jan. 16, 1849, p.
    267. See also House Journal, Feb. 5, p. 372.

Though for the present unsuccessful, this excellent effort prepares the
way for another trial.

Nor does it stand alone. Almost contemporaneously, M. Bouvet, in the
National Assembly of France, submitted a proposition of a similar
character, as follows:--

    "Seeing that War between nations is contrary to religion, humanity,
    and the public well-being, the French National Assembly decrees:--

    "The French Republic proposes to the Governments and Representative
    Assemblies of the different States of Europe, America, and other
    civilized countries, to unite, by their representation, in a
    Congress which shall have for its object a proportional disarmament
    among the Powers, the abolition of War, and a substitution for that
    barbarous usage of an Arbitral jurisdiction, of which the said
    Congress shall immediately fulfil the functions."

In an elaborate report, the French Committee on Foreign Affairs, while
declining at present to recommend this proposition, distinctly sanction
its object.

At a still earlier date, some time in the summer of 1848, Arnold Ruge
brought the same measure before the German Parliament at Frankfort,
by moving the following amendment to the Report of the Committee on
Foreign Affairs:--

    "That, as Armed Peace, by its standing armies, imposes an
    intolerable burden upon the people of Europe, and endangers civil
    freedom, we therefore recognize the necessity of calling into
    existence a _Congress of Nations_, for the purpose of effecting a
    general disarmament of Europe."

Though this proposition failed, yet the mover is reported to have
sustained it by a speech which was received with applause, both in
the assembly and gallery. Among other things, he used these important

    "There is no necessity for feeding an army of military idlers and
    eaters. There is nothing to fear from our neighbor barbarians, as
    they are called. You must give up the idea that the French _will_
    eat us up, and that the Prussians _can_ eat us up. Soldiers must
    cease to exist; then shall no more cities be bombarded. These
    opinions must be kept up and propagated by a Congress of Nations. I
    vote that the nations of Europe disarm at once."

In the British Parliament the cause has found an able representative
in Mr. Cobden, whose name is an omen of success. He has addressed many
large popular meetings in its behalf, and already, by speech and motion
in the House of Commons, has striven for a reduction in the armaments
of Great Britain. Only lately he gave notice of the following motion,
which he intends to call up in that assembly at the earliest moment:--

    "That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying that
    she will be graciously pleased to direct her Principal Secretary of
    State for Foreign Affairs to enter into communication with Foreign
    Powers, inviting them to concur in treaties binding the respective
    parties, in the event of any future misunderstanding which cannot
    be arranged by amicable negotiation, to refer the matter in dispute
    to the decision of Arbitrators."

Such is the Peace Movement.[360] With the ever-flowing current of time
it has gained ever-increasing strength, and it has now become like a
mighty river. At first but a slender fountain, sparkling on some lofty
summit, it has swollen with every tributary rill, with the friendly
rains and dews of heaven, and at last with the associate waters
of various nations, until it washes the feet of populous cities,
rejoicing on its peaceful banks. By the voices of poets,--by the
aspirations and labors of statesmen, philosophers, and good men,--by
the experience of history,--by the peaceful union into nations of
families, tribes, and provinces, divesting themselves of "liberty"
to wage War,--by the example of leagues, alliances, confederacies,
and congresses,--by the kindred movements of our age, all tending to
Unity,--by an awakened public sentiment, and a growing recognition of
Human Brotherhood,--by the sympathies of large popular assemblies,--by
the formal action of legislative bodies,--by the promises of
Christianity, are we encouraged to persevere. So doing, we act not
_against_ Nature, but _with_ Nature, making ourselves, according to
the injunction of Lord Bacon, its ministers and interpreters. From no
single man, from no body of men, does this cause proceed. Not from
Saint-Pierre or Leibnitz, from Rousseau or Kant, in other days,--not
from Jay or Burritt, from Cobden or Lamartine, in our own. It is
the irrepressible utterance of the longing with which the heart of
Humanity labors; it is the universal expression of the Spirit of
the Age, thirsting after Harmony; it is the heaven-born whisper of
Truth, immortal and omnipotent; it is the word of God, published in
commands as from the burning bush; it is the voice of Christ, declaring
to all mankind that they are brothers, and saying to the turbulent
nationalities of the earth, as to the raging sea, "Peace, be still!"

    [360] It will be remarked that this history stops with the date of
    this Address.

       *       *       *       *       *

GENTLEMEN OF THE PEACE SOCIETY,--Such is the War System of
the Commonwealth of Nations; and such are the means and auguries of
its overthrow. To aid and direct public sentiment so as to hasten the
coming of this day is the chosen object of this Society. All who have
candidly attended me in this exposition will bear witness that our
attempt is in no way inconsistent with the human character,--that we do
not seek to suspend or hold in check any general laws of Nature, but
simply to overthrow a barbarous Institution, having the sanction of
International Law, and to bring nations within that system of social
order which has already secured such inestimable good to civil society,
and is as applicable to nations in their relations with each other as
to individuals.

Tendencies of nations, as revealed in history, teach that our aims are
in harmony with prevailing laws, which God, in his benevolence, has
ordained for mankind.

Examples teach also that we attempt nothing that is not directly
practicable. If the several States of the Helvetic Republic, if
the thirty independent States of the North American Union, if the
thirty-eight independent sovereignties of the German Confederation,
can, by formal stipulation, divest themselves of the _right of war
with each other_, and consent to submit all mutual controversies
to Arbitration, or to a High Court of Judicature, then can the
Commonwealth of Nations do the same. Nor should they hesitate, while,
in the language of William Penn, such surpassing instances show that
_it may be done_, and Europe, by her incomparable miseries, that _it
ought to be done_. Nay, more,--if it would be criminal in these several
clusters of States to reëstablish the Institution of War as Arbiter of
Justice, then is it criminal in the Commonwealth of Nations to continue

Changes already wrought in the Laws of War teach that the whole System
may be abolished. The existence of laws implies authority that
sanctions or enacts, which, in the present case, is the Commonwealth
of Nations. This authority can, of course, modify or abrogate what
it originally sanctioned or enacted. In the exercise of this power,
the Laws of War have been modified, from time to time, in important
particulars. Prisoners taken in battle cannot now be killed; nor can
they be reduced to slavery. Poison and assassination can no longer be
employed against an enemy. Private property on land cannot be seized.
Persons occupied on land exclusively with the arts of Peace cannot be
molested. It remains that the authority by which the Laws of War have
been thus modified should entirely abrogate them. Their existence is
a disgrace to civilization; for it implies the _common consent_ of
nations to the Arbitrament of War, as regulated by these laws. Like
the Laws of the Duel, they should yield to some arbitrament of reason.
If the former, once so firmly imbedded in Municipal Law, could be
abolished by individual nations, so also can the Laws of War, which
are a part of International Law, be abolished by the Commonwealth of
Nations. In the light of reason and religion there can be but one Law
of War,--the great law which pronounces it unwise, unchristian, and
unjust, and forbids it forever, as a crime.

Thus distinctly alleging the practicability of our aims, I may properly
introduce an incontrovertible authority. Listen to the words of an
American statesman, whose long life was spent, at home or abroad, in
the service of his country, and whose undoubted familiarity with the
Law of Nations was never surpassed,--John Quincy Adams. "War," he says,
in one of the legacies of his venerable experience, "by the common
consent and mere will of civilized man, has not only been divested of
its most atrocious cruelties, but for multitudes, growing multitudes
of individuals, has already been and is abolished. _Why should it not
be abolished for all?_ Let it be impressed upon the heart of every one
of you, impress it upon the minds of your children, _that this total
abolition of War upon earth_ is an improvement in the condition of man
entirely dependent on his own will. He cannot repeal or change the
laws of physical Nature. He cannot redeem himself from the ills that
flesh is heir to. But the ills of War and Slavery are all of his own
creation; he has but to will, and he effects the cessation of them

    [361] Oration at Newburyport, July 4, 1837, pp. 56, 57.

Well does John Quincy Adams say that mankind have but to _will_ it, and
War is abolished. Will it, and War disappears like the Duel. Will it,
and War skulks like the Torture. Will it, and War fades away like the
fires of religious persecution. Will it, and War passes among profane
follies, like the ordeal of burning ploughshares. Will it, and War
hurries to join the earlier institution of Cannibalism. Will it, and
War is chastised from the Commonwealth of Nations, as Slavery has been
chastised from municipal jurisdictions by England and France, by Tunis
and Tripoli.

       *       *       *       *       *

To arouse this _public will_, which, like a giant, yet sleeps, but
whose awakened voice nothing can withstand, should be our endeavor.
The true character of the War System must be exposed. To be hated, it
needs only to be comprehended; and it will surely be abolished as soon
as this is accomplished. See, then, that it is comprehended. Exhibit
its manifold atrocities. Strip away all its presumptuous pretences,
its specious apologies, its hideous sorceries. Above all, men must no
longer deceive themselves by the shallow thought that this System is
the necessary incident of imperfect human nature, and thus cast upon
God the responsibility for their crimes. They must see clearly that
it is a monster of their own creation, born with their consent, whose
vital spark is fed by their breath, and without their breath must
necessarily die. They must see distinctly, what I have so carefully
presented to-night, that War, under the Law of Nations, is nothing but
an Institution, and the whole War System nothing but an Establishment
for the administration of _international justice_, for which the
Commonwealth of Nations is directly responsible, and which that
Commonwealth can at any time remove.

Recognizing these things, men must cease to cherish War, and will
renounce all appeal to its Arbitrament. They will forego rights, rather
than wage an irreligious battle. But, criminal and irrational as is
War, unhappily, in the present state of human error, we cannot expect
large numbers to appreciate its true character, and to hate it with
that perfect hatred making them renounce its agency, unless we offer an
approved and practical mode of determining international controversies,
as a _substitute_ for the imagined necessity of the barbarous ordeal.
This we are able to do; and so doing, we reflect new light upon the
atrocity of a system which not only tramples upon all the precepts of
the Christian faith, but defies justice and discards reason.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. The most complete and permanent substitute would be a Congress
of Nations, with a High Court of Judicature. Such a system, while
admitted on all sides to promise excellent results, is opposed on two
grounds. _First_, because, as regards the smaller states, it would
be a tremendous engine of oppression, subversive of their political
independence. Surely, it could not be so oppressive as the War System.
But the experience of the smaller States in the German Confederation
and in the American Union, nay, the experience of Belgium and Holland
by the side of the overtopping power of France, and the experience of
Denmark and Sweden in the very night-shade of Russia, all show the
futility of this objection. _Secondly_, because the decrees of such
a court could not be carried into effect. Even if they were enforced
by the combined power of the associate nations, the sword, as the
executive arm of the high tribunal, would be only the melancholy
instrument of Justice, not the Arbiter of Justice, and therefore not
condemned by the conclusive reasons against international appeals
to the sword. From the experience of history, and particularly from
the experience of the thirty States of our Union, we learn that the
occasion for any executive arm will be rare. The State of Rhode Island,
in its recent controversy with Massachusetts, submitted with much
indifference to the adverse decree of the Supreme Court; and I doubt
not that Missouri and Iowa will submit with equal contentment to any
determination of their present controversy by the same tribunal. The
same submission would attend the decrees of any Court of Judicature
established by the Commonwealth of Nations. There is a growing sense of
justice, combined with a growing might of public opinion, too little
known to the soldier, that would maintain the judgments of the august
tribunal assembled in the face of the Nations, better than the swords
of all the marshals of France, better than the bloody terrors of
Austerlitz or Waterloo.

The idea of a Congress of Nations with a High Court of Judicature is
as practicable as its consummation is confessedly dear to the friends
of Universal Peace. Whenever this Congress is convened, as surely it
will be, I know not all the names that will deserve commemoration
in its earliest proceedings; but there are two, whose particular
and long-continued advocacy of this Institution will connect them
indissolubly with its fame,--the Abbé Saint-Pierre, of France, and
William Ladd, of the United States.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. There is still another substitute for War, which is not exposed
even to the shallow objections launched against a Congress of Nations.
By formal treaties between two or more nations, Arbitration may be
established as the mode of determining controversies between them. In
every respect this is a contrast to War. It is rational, humane, and
cheap. Above all, it is consistent with the teachings of Christianity.
As I mention this substitute, I should do injustice to the cause and to
my own feelings, if I did not express our obligations to its efficient
proposer and advocate, our fellow-citizen, and the President of this
Society, the honored son of an illustrious father, whose absence
to-night enables me, without offending his known modesty, to introduce
this tribute: I mean William Jay.

       *       *       *       *       *

The complete overthrow of the War System, involving the disarming of
the Nations, would follow the establishment of a Congress of Nations,
or any general system of Arbitration. Then at last our aims would be
accomplished; then at last Peace would be organized among the Nations.
Then might Christians repeat the fitful boast of the generous Mohawk:
"We have thrown the hatchet so high into the air, and beyond the skies,
that no arm on earth can reach to bring it down." Incalculable sums,
now devoted to armaments and the destructive industry of War, would be
turned to the productive industry of Art and to offices of Beneficence.
As in the dead and rotten carcass of the lion which roared against the
strong man of Israel, after a time, were a swarm of bees and honey,
so would the enormous carcass of War, dead and rotten, be filled with
crowds of useful laborers and all good works, and the riddle of Samson
be once more interpreted: "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of
the strong came forth sweetness."

Put together the products of all the mines in the world,--the
glistening ore of California, the accumulated treasures of Mexico
and Peru, with the diamonds of Golconda,--and the whole shining heap
will be less than the means thus diverted from War to Peace. Under
the influence of such a change, civilization will be quickened anew.
Then will happy Labor find its reward, and the whole land be filled
with its increase. There is no aspiration of Knowledge, no vision of
Charity, no venture of Enterprise, no fancy of Art, which may not then
be fulfilled. The great unsolved problem of Pauperism will be solved at
last. There will be no paupers, when there are no soldiers. The social
struggles, so fearfully disturbing European nations, will die away in
the happiness of unarmed Peace, no longer incumbered by the oppressive
system of War; nor can there be well-founded hope that these struggles
will permanently cease, so long as this system endures. The people
ought not to rest, they cannot rest, while this system endures. As King
Arthur, prostrate on the earth, with bloody streams pouring from his
veins, could not be at ease, until his sword, the terrific Excalibar,
was thrown into the flood, so the Nations, now prostrate on the earth,
with bloody streams pouring from their veins, cannot be at ease, until
they fling far away the wicked sword of War. King Arthur said to his
attending knight, "As thou love me, spare not to throw it in"; and this
is the voice of the Nations also.

Lop off the unchristian armaments of the Christian Nations, extirpate
these martial cancers, that they may feed no longer upon the life-blood
of the people, and society itself, now weary and sick, will become
fresh and young,--not by opening its veins, as under the incantation of
Medea, in the wild hope of infusing new strength, but by the amputation
and complete removal of a deadly excrescence, with all its unutterable
debility and exhaustion. Energies hitherto withdrawn from proper
healthful action will then replenish it with unwonted life and vigor,
giving new expansion to every human capacity, and new elevation to
every human aim. And society at last shall rejoice, like a strong man,
to run its race.

Imagination toils to picture the boundless good that will be achieved.
As War with its deeds is infinitely evil and accursed, so will this
triumph of Permanent Peace be infinitely beneficent and blessed.
Something of its consequences were seen, in prophetic vision, even
by that incarnate Spirit of War, Napoleon Bonaparte, when, from his
island-prison of St. Helena, looking back upon his mistaken career,
he was led to confess the True Grandeur of Peace. Out of his mouth
let its praise be spoken. "I had the project," he said, mournfully
regretting the opportunity he had lost, "at the general peace of
Amiens, of bringing each Power to an immense reduction of its standing
armies. I wished a European Institute, with European prizes, to
direct, associate, and bring together all the learned societies of
Europe. Then, perhaps, through the universal spread of light, it
might be permitted to anticipate for the great European Family the
establishment of an American Congress, or an Amphictyonic Council; and
what a perspective then of strength, of greatness, of happiness, of
prosperity! What a sublime and magnificent spectacle!"[362]

    [362] Las Cases, Memorial de Sainte-Hélène, November, 1816.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is our cause. In transcendent influence, it embraces human
beneficence in all its forms. It is the comprehensive charity,
enfolding all the charities of all. None so vast as to be above its
protection, none so lowly as not to feel its care. Religion, Knowledge,
Freedom, Virtue, Happiness, in all their manifold forms, depend upon
Peace. Sustained by Peace, they lean upon the Everlasting Arm. And this
is not all. Law, Order, Government, derive from Peace new sanctions.
Nor can they attain to that complete dominion which is our truest
safeguard, until, by the overthrow of the War System, they comprehend
the Commonwealth of Nations,--

    "And Sovereign LAW, _the WORLD'S collected will_,
        O'er thrones and globes elate,
     Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill."[363]

    [363] Sir William Jones, Ode in Imitation of Alcæus.

In the name of Religion profaned, of Knowledge misapplied and
perverted, of Freedom crushed to earth, of Virtue dethroned, of human
Happiness violated, in the name of Law, Order, and Government, I call
upon you for union to establish the supremacy of Peace. There must be
no hesitation. With the lips you confess the infinite evil of War. Are
you in earnest? Action must follow confession. All must unite to render
the recurrence of this evil impossible. Science and Humanity everywhere
put forth all possible energy against cholera and pestilence. Why not
equal energy against an evil more fearful than cholera or pestilence?
Each man must consider the cause his own. Let him animate his
neighbors. Let him seek, in every proper way, to influence the rulers
of the Nations, and, above all, the rulers of this happy land.

The old, the middle-aged, and the young must combine in a common cause.
The pulpit, the school, the college, and the public street must speak
for it. Preach it, minister of the Prince of Peace! let it never be
forgotten in conversation, sermon, or prayer; nor any longer seek,
by specious theory, to reconcile the monstrous War System with the
precepts of Christ! Instil it, teacher of childhood and youth! in the
early thoughts of your precious charge; exhibit the wickedness of
War and the beauty of Peace; let your warnings sink deep among those
purifying and strengthening influences which ripen into true manhood.
Scholar! write it in your books, so that all shall read it. Poet!
sing it, so that all shall love it. Let the interests of commerce,
whose threads of golden tissue interknit the Nations, enlist the
traffickers of the earth in its behalf. And you, servant of the law!
sharer of my own peculiar toils, mindful that the law is silent in
the midst of arms, join to preserve, uphold, and extend its sway.
Remember, politician! that our cause is too universal to become the
exclusive possession of any political party, or to be confined within
any geographical limits. See to it, statesman and ruler! that the
principles of Peace are as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by
night. Let the Abolition of War, and the Overthrow of the War System,
with the Disarming of the Nations, be your guiding star. Be this your
pious diplomacy! Be this your lofty Christian statesmanship!

As a measure simple and practical, obnoxious to no objection, promising
incalculable good, and presenting an immediate opportunity for labor,
I would invite your coöperation in the effort now making at home and
abroad to establish Arbitration Treaties. If in this scheme there is a
tendency to avert War,--if, through its agency, we may hope to prevent
a single war,--and who can doubt that such may be its result?--we ought
to adopt it. Take the initiative. Try it, and nations will never return
to the barbarous system. They will begin to learn War no more. Let it
be our privilege to volunteer the proposal. Thus shall we inaugurate
Permanent Peace in the diplomacy of the world. Nor should we wait for
other governments. In a cause so holy, no government should wait for
another. Let us take the lead. Let our republic, powerful child of
Freedom, go forth, the Evangelist of Peace. Let her offer to the world
a Magna Charta of International Law, by which the crime of War shall be
forever abolished.

       *       *       *       *       *

While thus encouraging you in behalf of Universal Peace, the odious
din of War, mingled with pathetic appeals for Freedom, reaches us
from struggling Italy, from convulsed Germany, from aroused and
triumphant Hungary. At bidding of the Russian Autocrat, the populous
North threatens to pour its multitudes upon the scene; and a portentous
cloud, charged with "red lightning and impetuous rage," hangs over the
whole continent of Europe, which echoes again to the tread of mustering
squadrons. Alas! must this dismal work be renewed? Can Freedom be
born, can nations be regenerated, only through baptism of blood? In
our aspirations, I would not be blind to the teachings of History, or
to the actual condition of men, so long accustomed to brute force,
that, to their imperfect natures, it seems the only means by which
injustice can be crushed. With sadness I confess that we cannot expect
the _domestic_ repose of nations, until tyranny is overthrown, and
the principles of _self-government_ are established; especially do I
not expect imperturbable peace in Italy, so long as foreign Austria,
with insolent iron heel, continues to tread any part of that beautiful
land. But whatever may be the fate of the present crisis, whether it be
doomed to the horrors of prolonged strife, or shall soon brighten into
the radiance of enduring concord, I cannot doubt that the Nations are
gravitating, with resistless might, even through fire and blood, into
peaceful forms of social order, where the War System will cease to be

Nay, from the experience of this hour I draw the auguries of Permanent
Peace. Not in any international strife, not in duel between nation and
nation, not in selfish conflict of ruler with ruler, not in the unwise
"game" of War, as played by king with king, do we find the origin of
present commotions, "with fear of change perplexing monarchs." It is
to overturn the enforced rule of military power, to crush the tyranny
of armies, and to supplant unjust government,--whose only stay is
physical force, and not the consent of the governed,--that the people
have risen in mighty madness. So doing, they wage a battle where all
our sympathies must be with Freedom, while, in sorrow at the unwelcome
combat, we confess that victory is only less mournful than defeat.
Through all these bloody mists the eye of Faith discerns the ascending
sun, struggling to shoot its life-giving beams upon the outspread
earth, teeming with the grander products of a new civilization.
Everywhere salute us the signs of Progress; and the Promised Land
smiles at the new epoch. His heart is cold, his eye is dull, who does
not perceive the change. Vainly has he read the history of the Past,
vainly does he feel the irrepressible movement of the Present. Man has
waded through a Red Sea of blood, and for forty centuries wandered
through a wilderness of wretchedness and error, but he stands at last
on Pisgah: like the adventurous Spaniard, he has wearily climbed the
mountain heights, whence he may descry the vast, unbroken Pacific Sea;
like the hardy Portuguese, he is sure to double this fearful Cape
of Storms, destined ever afterwards to be the Cape of Good Hope. I
would not seem too confident. I know not, that, in any brief period,
nations, like kindred drops, will commingle into one,--that, like the
banyan-trees of the East, they will interlace and interlock, until
there are no longer separate trees, but one united wood,

                      "a pillared shade
     High overarched, and echoing walks between";

but I rest assured, that, without renouncing any essential qualities
of individuality or independence, they may yet, even in our own day,
arrange themselves in harmony; as magnetized iron rings,--from which
Plato once borrowed an image,--under the influence of potent unseen
attraction, while preserving each its own peculiar form, cohere in a
united chain of independent circles. From the birth of this new order
will spring not only international repose, but domestic quiet also; and
Peace will become the permanent rule of civilization. The stone will be
rolled away from the sepulchre in which men have laid their Lord, and
we shall hear the new-risen voice, saying, in words of blessed truth,
"Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here I might fitly close. Though admonished that I have already
occupied more of your time than I could venture to claim, except for
the cause, I cannot forbear to consider, for a brief moment, yet one
other topic, which I have left thus far untouched, partly because
it is not directly connected with the main argument, and therefore
seemed inappropriate to any earlier stage, and partly because I wished
to impress it with my last words. I refer to that greatest, most
preposterous, and most irreligious of earthly vanities, the monstrous
reflection of War,--_Military Glory_.

Let me not disguise the truth. Too true it is that this vanity is still
cherished by mankind,--that it is still an object of ambition,--that
men follow War, and count its pursuit "honorable,"--that feats of brute
force are heralded "brilliant,"--and that a yet prevailing public
opinion animates unreflecting mortals to "seek the bubble _reputation_
even in the cannon's mouth." Too true it is that nations persevere
in offering praise and thanksgiving--such as no labors of Beneficence
can achieve--to the chief whose hands are red with the blood of his

Whatever the usage of the world, whether during the long and dreary
Past or in the yet barbarous Present, it must be clear to all who
confront this question with candor, and do not turn away from the
blaze of truth, that any glory from bloody strife among God's children
must be fugitive, evanescent, unreal. It is the offspring of a deluded
public sentiment, and will disappear, as we learn to analyze its
elements and appreciate its character. Too long has mankind worshipped
what St. Augustine called the _splendid vices_, neglecting the simple
virtues,--too long cultivated the flaunting and noxious weeds, careless
of the golden corn,--too long been insensible to that commanding law
and sacred example which rebuke all the pretensions of military glory.

Look face to face at this "glory." Study it in the growing illumination
of history. Regarding War as an established Arbitrament, for the
adjudication of controversies among nations,--like the Petty Wars
of an earlier period between cities, principalities, and provinces,
or like the Trial by Battle between individuals,--the conclusion is
irresistible, that an enlightened civilization, when the world has
reached that Unity to which it tends, must condemn the partakers in its
duels, and their vaunted achievements, precisely as we now condemn the
partakers in those wretched contests which disfigure the commencement
of modern history. The prowess of the individual is forgotten in
disgust at an inglorious barbarism.

Observe this "glory" in the broad sunshine of Christian truth. In
all ages, even in Heathen lands, there has been a peculiar reverence
for the relation of Brotherhood. Feuds among brothers, from that
earliest "mutual-murdering" conflict beneath the walls of Thebes, have
been accounted ghastly and abhorred, never to be mentioned without a
shudder. This sentiment was revived in modern times, and men sought
to extend the circle of its influence. Warriors, like Du Guesclin,
rejoiced to hail each other as brothers. Chivalry delighted in
fraternities of arms sealed by vow and solemnity. According to curious
and savage custom, valiant knights were bled together, that their
blood, as it spurted forth, might intermingle, and thus constitute them
of _one blood_, which was drunk by each. So did the powerful emperor
of Constantinople confirm an alliance of friendship with a neighbor
king. The two monarchs drank of each other's blood; and then their
attendants, following the princely example, caught their own flowing
life in a wine-cup, and quaffed a mutual pledge, saying, "We are
brothers, of _one blood_."[364]

    [364] Du Cange, Dissertations sur l'Histoire de Saint Louys par
    Jean Sire de Joinville, Diss. XXI. Ibid.: Petitot, Mémoires
    relatifs à l'Histoire de France, 1^{re} Série, Tom. III. p. 349.
    Sainte-Palaye, Mémoires sur l'Ancienne Chevalerie, Part, III.
    Tom. I. p. 225. The same attempt at Brotherhood appears in the
    "Loka-Lenna, or Strife of Loc," quoted by Sir Walter Scott in his
    Notes to the Metrical Romance of "Sir Tristrem," p. 350:--

    "Father of Slaughter, Odin, say,
     Remember'st not the former day,
     When in the ruddy goblet stood,
     For mutual drink, our blended blood?"

By such profane devices men sought to establish that relation, whose
beauty they perceived, though they failed to discern, that, by the
ordinance of God, without any human stratagem, it justly comprehended
all their fellow-men. In the midst of Judaism, which hated Gentiles,
Christianity proclaimed love to all mankind, and distinctly declared
that God had made of _one blood_ all the nations of men. As if to keep
this sublime truth ever present, the disciples were taught, in the
simple prayer of the Saviour, to address God as Father in heaven,--not
in phrase of exclusive worship, "_my_ Father," but in those other words
of peculiar Christian import, "_our_ Father,"--with the petition, not
merely to "forgive _me my_ trespasses," but with the diviner prayer,
to "forgive _us our_ trespasses": thus, in the solitude of the closet,
recognizing all alike as children of God, and embracing all alike in
the petition for mercy.

Confessing the Fatherhood of God, and the consequent Brotherhood of
Man, we find a divine standard of unquestionable accuracy. No brother
can win "glory" from the death of a brother. Cain won no "glory," when
he slew Abel; nor would Abel have won "glory," had he, in strictest
self-defence, succeeded in slaying the wicked Cain. The soul recoils
from praise or honor, as the meed of any such melancholy triumph. And
what is true of a conflict between _two_ brothers is equally true of a
conflict between _many_. How can an army win "glory" by dealing death
or defeat to an army of its brothers?

The ancient Romans, not knowing this comprehensive relation, and
recognizing only the exclusive fellowship of a common country,
accounted _civil war fratricidal_, whose opposing forces, even under
well-loved names of the Republic, were _impious_; and then, by unerring
logic, these masters in War constantly refused "honor," "thanksgiving,"
or "triumph," to the conquering chief whose sword had been employed
against _fellow-citizens_, though traitors and rebels. As the
Brotherhood of Man is practically recognized, it becomes impossible
to restrict the feeling within any exclusive circle of country, and
to set up an unchristian distinction of honor between _civil war_ and
_international war_. _As all men are brothers, so, by irresistible
consequence_, ALL WAR MUST BE FRATRICIDAL. And can "glory"
come from fratricide? None can hesitate in answer, unless fatally
imbued with the Heathen rage of nationality, that made the Venetians
declare themselves Venetians first and Christians afterwards.

Tell me not of homage yet offered to the military chieftain. Tell
me not of "glory" from War. Tell me not of "honor" or "fame" on its
murderous fields. All is vanity. It is a blood-red phantom. They who
strive after it, Ixion-like, embrace a cloud. Though seeming to fill
the heavens, cloaking the stars, it must, like the vapors of earth,
pass away. Milton likens the contests of the Heptarchy to "the wars of
kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air."[365] But God, and the
exalted judgment of the Future, must regard all our bloody feuds in the
same likeness,--finding Napoleon and Alexander, so far as engaged in
War, only monster crows and kites. Thus must it be, as mankind ascend
from the thrall of brutish passion. Nobler aims, by nobler means, will
fill the soul. There will be a new standard of excellence; and honor,
divorced from blood, will become the inseparable attendant of good
works alone. Far better, then, even in the judgment of this world, to
have been a doorkeeper in the house of Peace than the proudest dweller
in the tents of War.

    [365] History of England, Book IV.: Prose Works (ed. Symmons),
    Vol. IV. p. 158.

There is a pious legend of the early Church, that the Saviour left
his image miraculously impressed upon a napkin which had touched his
countenance. The napkin was lost, and men attempted to supply the
divine lineaments from the Heathen models of Jupiter and Apollo. But
the true image of Christ is not lost. Clearer than in the venerated
napkin, better than in color or marble of choicest art, it appears in
each virtuous deed, in every act of self-sacrifice, in all magnanimous
toil, in any recognition of Human Brotherhood. It will be supremely
manifest, in unimagined loveliness and serenity, when the Commonwealth
of Nations, confessing the True Grandeur of Peace, renounces the
War System, and dedicates to Beneficence the comprehensive energies
so fatally absorbed in its support. Then, at last, will it be seen,
_there can be no Peace that is not honorable, and no War that is not

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes.
The punctuation and spelling are as in the original publication with
the exception of some minor errors and the following:

Line 1308 inhabiants is now inhabitants.
Line 5931 pen is now peu.
Line 11490 candidades is now candidates.
Line 14496 bibiographical is now bibliographical.
Line 15668 fufilled is now fulfilled.

Pages 154 and 324 were numbered blank pages.

The oe ligature has been expanded.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works; Volume 2 (of 20) - With an introduction by Hon. George Frisbie Hoar" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.