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 battles now being
fought on Southern soil, will be fought again in the Capitol at
Washington, when we shall need far-seeing statesmen to base the
new Union on justice, liberty, and equality. Ours is the work of
educating the people to make this demand.

The entire year was spent in rolling up the mammoth petition. Many
hands were busy sending out letters and petitions, counting and
assorting the names returned. Each State was rolled up separately in
yellow paper, and tied with the regulation red tape, with the number
of men and women who had signed, endorsed on the outside. Nearly four
hundred thousand were thus sent, and may now be found in the archives
at Washington. The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment made the
continuance of the work unnecessary. The first installment of 100,000
was presented by Charles Sumner, in an appropriate speech, Feb. 9th,
1864.


THE PRAYER OF ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

_Speech of Hon. Chas. Sumner on the Presentation of the First
Installment of the Emancipation Petition of the Woman's National
League._

In the Senate of the United States, Tuesday, February 9, 1864.

MR. SUMNER.--Mr. President: I offer a petition which is now lying
on the desk before me. It is too bulky for me to take up. I need
not add that it is too bulky for any of the pages of this body to
carry.

This petition marks a stage of public opinion in the history of
slavery, and also in the suppression of the rebellion. As it is
short I will read it:

"TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES:

"The undersigned, women of the United States above the age of
eighteen years, earnestly pray that your honorable body will pass
at the earliest practicable day an act emancipating all persons
of African descent held to involuntary service or labor in the
United States."

There is also a duplicate of this petition signed by "men above
the age of eighteen years."

It will be perceived that the petition is in rolls. Each roll
represents a State.[44] For instance, here is New York with a
list of seventeen thousand seven hundred and six names; Illinois
with fifteen thousand three hundred and eighty; and Massachusetts
with eleven thousand six hundred and forty-one. These several
petitions are consolidated into one petition, being another
illustration of the motto on our coin--_E pluribus unum_.

This petition is signed by one hundred thousand men and women,
who unite in this unparalleled number to support its prayer. They
are from all parts of the country and from every condition of
life. They are from the sea-board, fanned by the free airs of the
ocean, and from the Mississippi and the prairies of the West,
fanned by the free airs which fertilize that extensive region.
They are from the families of the educated and uneducated, rich
and poor, of every profession, business, and calling in life,
representing every sentiment, thought, hope, passion, activity,
intelligence which inspires, strengthens, and adorns our social
system. Here they are, a mighty army, one hundred thousand
strong, without arms or banners; the advance-guard of a yet
larger army.

But though memorable for their numbers, these petitioners are
more memorable still for the prayer in which they unite. They ask
nothing less than universal emancipation; and this they ask
directly at the hands of Congress. No reason is assigned. The
prayer speaks for itself. It is simple, positive. So far as it
proceeds from the women of the country, it is naturally a
petition, and not an argument. But I need not remind the Senate
that there is no reason so strong as the reason of the heart. Do
not all great thoughts come from the heart?

It is not for me, on presenting this petition, to assign reasons
which the army of petitioners has forborne to assign. But I may
not improperly add that, naturally and obviously, they all feel
in their hearts, what reason and knowledge confirm: not only that
slavery _as a unit_, one and indivisible, is the guilty origin of
the rebellion, but that its influence everywhere, even outside
the rebel States, has been hostile to the Union, always impairing
loyalty, and sometimes openly menacing the national government.
It requires no difficult logic to conclude that such a monster,
wherever it shows its head, is a _national enemy_, to be pursued
and destroyed as such, or at least a nuisance to the national
cause to be abated as such. The petitioners know well that
Congress is the depository of those supreme powers by which the
rebellion, alike in its root and in its distant offshoots, may be
surely crushed, and by which unity and peace may be permanently
secured. They know well that the action of Congress may be with
the co-operation of the slave-masters, or even without the
co-operation, under the overruling law of military necessity, or
the commanding precept of the Constitution "to guarantee to every
State a Republican form of government." Above all, they know well
that to save the country from peril, especially to save the
national life, there is no power, in the ample arsenal of
self-defense, which Congress may not grasp; for to Congress,
under the Constitution, belongs the prerogative of the Roman
Dictator to see that the Republic receives no detriment.
Therefore to Congress these petitioners now appeal. I ask the
reference of the petition to the Select Committee on Slavery and
Freedmen.

It was referred, after earnest discussion, as Mr. Sumner
proposed.


ANNIVERSARY OF THE LOYAL WOMEN'S NATIONAL LEAGUE.

The Anniversary of the Women's National League was held at the Church
of the Puritans, Thursday morning, May 12, 1864. The President,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, called the meeting to order, and requested the
audience to observe a few moments of silence, that each soul might
seek for itself Divine guidance through the deliberations of the
meeting. The Corresponding Secretary, Charlotte B. Wilbour, read the
call for the meeting. The Recording Secretary read the following
report of the Executive Committee:

One year ago we formed ourselves into a League, with the declared
object of EDUCATING THIRTY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INTO THE TRUE IDEA
OF A CHRISTIAN REPUBLIC, by means of tracts, speeches, appeals,
and petitions for emancipation. Whilst as women, we might not
presume to teach men statesmanship and diplomacy, we felt it our
duty to call the nation back to the a, b, c of human rights. In
looking over the history of the Republic we clearly saw IN
SLAVERY the cause not only of all our political and financial
convulsions, but of the terrible rebellion desolating our country
and our homes. To do this was a work of time and money; and we
were compelled to assume a debt of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in
starting--the item of postage alone amounting to _one
thousand_--all of which we are happy to say has been duly paid.

Our thanks are due to Robert Dale Owen, Gerrit Smith, Bradhurst
Schieffelin, Wendell Phillips, Jessie Benton Fremont, Frederick
Douglass, Henry Ward Beecher, and the Hovey Trust Fund Committee
of Boston, for their timely contributions and liberal words of
cheer. But still more are we indebted to the numberless, nameless
thousands of the honest, earnest children of toil, throughout the
country, for their responses to our call, their words of hearty
God-speed, and their "mite" offerings, ranging from five cents to
five dollars; amounting in all to $5,000. From these petitions,
thus widely scattered, we have already sent to Congress the names
of over two hundred thousand men and women, demanding an
amendment of the Constitution and an act of emancipation. And
thousands are still returning to us daily, and we hope to roll up
another hundred thousand before the close of the present session.

Leaving, then, all minor questions of banks and mints and public
improvements for Congressmen to discuss at the rate of $3,000 a
year, we decided the first work to be done was to end slavery,
and ring the death knell of caste and class throughout the land.
To this end, as a means of educating the people, we sent out
twenty thousand emancipation petitions, with tracts and appeals,
into different districts of the free States, and into the slave
States wherever our armies had opened the way.

The Woman's National League now numbers FIVE THOUSAND MEMBERS.
And in the west, where we have employed two lecturing
agents--Josephine S. Griffing, and Hannah Tracy Cutler--a large
number of auxiliary Leagues have been formed.

We have registered on our books the names of TWO THOUSAND men and
women, boys and girls, who have circulated these petitions. We
have on file all the letters received from the thousands with
whom we have been in correspondence, feeling that this canvass of
the nation for freedom will be an important and most interesting
chapter in our future history. These letters, coming from all
classes and all latitudes, breathe one prayer for the downfall of
slavery.

Massachusetts' noble Senator, Charles Sumner, who has so
reverently received, presented, and urged these petitions, has
cheered us with kind messages, magnifying the importance of our
labors. His eloquent speech, made in the Senate on presenting our
first installment--_the prayer of one hundred thousand_--we have
printed in tract form and scattered throughout the country. We
have flooded the nation with letters and appeals, public and
private, and put forth every energy to rouse the people to
earnest, persistent action against slavery, the deadly foe of all
our cherished institutions.

We proposed to ourselves in the first moments of enthusiasm to
secure, at least, _a million_ signatures--one thirtieth part of
our entire population.



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.