A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
The minority seceded from
it in that day as in this, and then they compromised. The
antagonism which they engrafted on the young Republic assuming,
as it does, that power, not humanity, is statute-maker, could not
be more diametrically opposed to the axiom which asserts, that
humanity, not power, is lawful arbiter of its own rights. The
man, unwashed, unmended, unlearned, is yet a safer judge of his
own interests, than is all the rank, the wealth, or the wisdom of
men or angels. Thomas Simms is a better witness as to his own
need of freedom than the combined wisdom of all the Boston
lawyers, judges, and statesmen. We can keep ice and fire upon
the same planet, but it never does to bring them too near
together. A nation proclaiming to the astonished world that
governments derive all just powers solely from the consent of the
governed, yet in the very face of this assertion enslaving the
black man, and disfranchising half its white citizens, besides
minor things of like import and consistency--do you wonder that
eighty years of such policy culminated in rebellion?

Do we expect the whole-hearted sympathy of any monarchy? Cannot
they see, also, that two entire opposing civilizations are
mustered into the conflict? They may hate slavery, and since we
have found the courage to point our cannon more directly against
the heart of that, they may rejoice so far; but do they desire to
establish the subordination of any government to the rights of
the very meanest of its subjects? Are they in love with our
plebeian heresy, that all the magnificent civil machinery of
nations is but so much base clay in the hands of the multitude of
royal potters? We are now testing the practical possibilities of
democratic theories; and there are those who would a thousand
times rather see these shattered into hopeless fragments than any
other result which could possibly transpire in the national
affairs of all Christendom. Let our democracy prove shallow,
weak, inefficient, unfitted for emergencies, and incapable of
sustaining itself under the test of determined opposition, to
them it is enough. Our great national axiom, is, _per se_, the
eternal foe of all monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, of all
possible despotism, because it is the fulcrum of a mighty lever
which must one day overturn them all, if it be not itself jostled
from its resting-place.

What are we to do with our conquered provinces of the South? Give
them all the franchises which we hold ourselves, assuredly--as
many personal rights and as many State rights--provided always
that they cease to encroach upon our liberties, and are no longer
rebels against the common Government. Now that the issue is
forced upon us, let us apply our principles unsparingly to all,
and conclude by making the slaves, men and women too, as free and
equal in all civil and political functions as their male masters.
Secretary Chase has seized the occasion of our heavy financial
troubles to give us a general national banking system; so out of
the nettle Danger to our liberal institutions let us pluck the
flower Safety to the interest of the feeblest subject. It is thus
that the darkest evil is often made nurse to the brightest good.
The black mud at its roots nourishes the pure white water-lily.
When the Southern people, white and black, male and female, are
all voters together, by simple virtue of their human needs and
rights, then, but not till then, will I consent to their freely
voting themselves into an independent nation, if they are so
disposed. Even then, democracy requires that the question shall
be decided by the suffrage of the whole country, North as well as
South. A republic can never be dismembered except by the consent
of a majority of all its citizens....

ERNESTINE L. ROSE, a native of Poland, was next introduced; she
said: Louis Kossuth told us it is not well to look back for
regret, but only for instruction. I therefore intend slightly to
cast my mind's eye back for the purpose of enabling us, as far
as possible, to contemplate the present and foresee the future.
It is unnecessary to point out the cause of this war. It is
written on every object we behold. It is but too well understood
that the primary cause is Slavery; and it is well to keep that in
mind, for the purpose of gaining the knowledge how ultimately to
be able to crush that terrible rebellion which now desolates the
land. Slavery being the cause of the war, we must look to its
utter extinction for the remedy. (Applause).

We have listened this evening to an exceedingly instructive, kind
and gentle address, particularly that part of it which tells how
to deal with the South after we have brought them back. But I
think it would be well, at first, to consider how to bring them
back!

Abraham Lincoln has issued a Proclamation. He has emancipated all
the slaves of the rebel States with his pen, but that is all. To
set them really and thoroughly free, we will have to use some
other instrument than the pen. (Applause). The slave is not
emancipated; he is not free. A gentleman once found himself of a
sudden, without, so far as he knew, any cause, taken into prison.
He sent for his lawyer, and told him, "They have taken me to
prison." "What have you done?" said the lawyer. "I have done
nothing," he replied. "Then, my friend, they can not put you in
prison." "But I am in prison." "Well, that may be; but I tell
you, my dear friend, they can not put you in prison." "Well,"
said he, "I want you to come and take me out, for I tell you, in
spite of all your lawyer logic, I am in prison, and I shall be
until you take me out." (Great laughter). Now the poor slave has
to say, "Abraham Lincoln, you have pronounced me free; still I am
a slave, bought and sold as such, and I shall remain a slave till
I am taken out of this horrible condition." Then the question is,
_How?_ Have not already two long years passed over more than a
quarter of a million of the graves of the noblest and bravest of
the nation? Is that not enough? No; it has proved not to be
enough. Let us look back for a moment. Had the Proclamation of
John C. Fremont been allowed to have its effect; had the edict of
Hunter been allowed to have its effect, the war would have been
over. (Applause). Had the people and the Government, from the
very commencement of the struggle, said to the South, "You have
openly thrown down the gauntlet to fight for Slavery; we will
accept it, and fight for Freedom," the rebellion would long
before now have been crushed. (Applause). You may blame Europe as
much as you please, but the heart of Europe beats for freedom.
Had they seen us here accept the terrible alternative of war for
the sake of freedom, the whole heart of Europe would have been
with us. But such has not been the case. Hence the destruction of
over a quarter of a million of lives and ten millions of broken
hearts that have already paid the penalty; and we know not how
many more it needs to wipe out the stain of that recreancy that
did not at once proclaim this war a war for freedom and humanity.

And now we have got here all around us Loyal Leagues. Loyal to
what? What does it mean? I have read that term in the papers. A
great many times I have heard that expression to-day. I know not
what others mean by it, but I will give you my interpretation of
what I am loyal to. I speak for myself. I do not wish any one
else to be responsible for my opinions. I am loyal only to
justice and humanity. Let the Administration give evidence that
they too are for justice to all, without exception, without
distinction, and I, for one, had I ten thousand lives, would
gladly lay them down to secure this boon of freedom to humanity.
(Applause). But without this certainty, I am not unconditionally
loyal to the Administration. We women need not be, for the law
has never yet recognized us. (Laughter). Then I say to Abraham
Lincoln, "Give us security for the future, for really when I look
at the past, without a guarantee, I can hardly trust you." And
then I would say to him, "Let nothing stand in your way; let no
man obstruct your path."

Much is said in the papers and in political speeches about the
Constitution. Now, a good constitution is a very good thing; but
even the best of constitutions need sometimes to be amended and
improved, for after all there is but one constitution which is
infallible, but one constitution that ought to be held sacred,
and that is the human constitution. (Laughter). Therefore, if
written constitutions are in the way of human freedom, suspend
them till they can be improved. If generals are in the way of
freedom, suspend them too; and more than that, suspend their
money. We have got here a whole army of generals who have been
actually dismissed from the service, but not from pay. Now, I say
to Abraham Lincoln, if these generals are good for anything, if
they are fit to take the lead, put them at the head of armies,
and let them go South and free the slaves you have announced
free. If they are good for nothing, dispose of them as of
anything else that is useless. At all events, cut them loose from
the pay. (Applause). Why, my friends, from July, 1861, to
October, 1862--for sixteen long months--we have been electrified
with the name of our great little Napoleon! And what has the
great little Napoleon done? (Laughter). Why, he has done just
enough to prevent anybody else from doing anything.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.