« AnteriorContinuar »
to the police station. Nearly two miles from the Mechanics’ Institute, opposite Jackson's Square, in which the monument stands, erected to the memory of Jackson, upon which in 1862, General Butler caused to be engraven the words, " The Union must and shall be preserved," the mangled bleeding body of the patriot Dostie was taken, and in sight of that monument erected to the memory of one he had cherished, he was thrown upon the stone pavement in front of the police station by the enemies of his Government—to perish. For hours he lay on that pavement suffering the agonies of death. Six rebel physicians passed him only to mock at the agonies of the dying martyr. A friend of suffering humanity desired to raise his head at the request of Dr. Dostie, but was not permitted to do so by the policeman who guarded his “prisoner.” Governor Hahn upon hearing where Dr. Dostie had been conveyed, requested his sister to go to his friend and take him to some place of safety. She hastened to the police station in her carriage, and found the Dr. in a dying condition. Said he, “I am dying, tell my friends to bury me by my beloved wife, my only love." The Dr. was interrupted by the wretch who was guarding him, “Dr. Dostie is under arrest and cannot be removed without an order from the city authorities," said the chivalric policeman. The order was obtained, and the Dr. was removed to the Hotel Dieu, where he was tenderly and thoughtfully cared for by friends.
Never would Dostie have lived to have been carried to Hotel Dieu had we known that he was in the hands of his friends," said his enemies. Destiny had not decreed that the last moments of the noble Dostie should be spent in listening to cheers for Jeffer
son Davis and Andrew Johnson. On the night of July 30th, the dying patriot was surrounded by friends who prayed earnestly that he might be spared to labor for his beloved cause. His noble heart, patriotic life and unselfish course, had endeared him to his numerous friends, who vainly hoped that his assassinators might be cheated of their victim, and the reformer be spared for future usefulness.
Said the unselfish Dostic on that night, "I am grateful for the kindness of my friends, but there is danger in your remaining with me. Place yourselves under military protection. I cannot recover; my enemies have murdered me; I forgive them all. I should be glad to see the end of the great conflict between freedom and slavery!" Upon the suggestion of a friend that his mind might act with greater power in another world than in this, and that he might be conscious of the passing events of this world, he smilingly replied, “What a consoling thought, and in a better world I shall meet the spirit of my beloved wife, who for years has been waiting for me to meet her in Heaven. To night, I trust in her Saviour !"
A wounded policeman was taken to Hotel Dieu, who occupied a room near that of Dr. Dostie's. The Dr. upon hearing his expressions of pain, inquired who was suffering? “A policeman, perhaps, one of your murderers," was the reply. “Go," said he," and see if the agonies of that man can in any way be relieved. If I forgive my murderers, should not my friends do the same." Six days Dr. Dostie lived after he had been mortally wounded, to prove to the world that he who had been proclaimed a “fanatic,” could die a Christian, a patriot, and a philosopher. Weak from the loss of blood, suffering at times the most intense agony from his numerous wounds, he yet insisted upon seeing his friends, who came in crowds to receive a parting word from one who had ever greeted them with kindness. Said he, "I am dying, and I do not wish my friends to feel that I do not appreciate their kindness in coming to see me.” Never speaking of his own sufferings, his constant anxiety was for his wounded friends. Daily, as the sister of Governor Hahn administered to his dying wants, did he question her about her brother, Mr. Shaw, and others of the wounded, saying, “Do not deceive me, I want to know if they are in danger."
An allusion to the massacre, and the sufferings of his white and colored friends, was exceedingly painful to him. Said he, “Justice will avenge the sufferings of the colored race.” Some colored friends called to enquire after the Dr. “Let them come to me," said he. “ I want them to know that I sympathize with them in their afflictions.” “I shall die for their cause, and they will remember me kindly.” During a week of intense suffering, not an impatient word was uttered, not a murmur escaped his lips. Said the dying Christian, “I await my death with perfect resignation. I know that I may die any hour as my friend and physician Dr. Avery has informed me, that my death may be very sudden from the nature of my wounds. The change of worlds will not be unpleasant to me. My trust is in the Rock of Ages."
On the morning of Dr. Dostie's death, he requested a friend to write several letters, that he desired to dictate. Said he, “write to General Butler, that in my opinion, had he been in New Orleans on the 30th of July, that massacre would not have occu
curred. Write to General Banks, that my dying request to him was not to forget the cause of the colored man and liberty in Louisiana. Write to my mother, brothers and sisters, that I remember them in my dying hour with affection."
On Sabbath morning he secmed to have recovered strength. Many of his friends had hopes of his recovery, and thinking quiet was what he required, he was left to the care of one or two friends and the Sisters of Hotel Dieu. While conversing pleasantly with a friend, he suddenly exclaimed: “I am dying. I die for the cause of Liberty. Let the good work go on." With his fine eyes irradiated, he lifted an arm heavenward and with a placid smile, suddenly expired.
Such was the death of the liberty-loving Dostie. Said he, “I loved liberty when a child.” “I die for the cause of Liberty. Let the good work go on," were his last words. At the tidings of his death, sadness fell upon the hearts of his friends, but strange to relate, the venom of his enemies was re-enkindled at the announcement of the death of their victim--that venom was thrown into the columns of every rebel newspaper in New Orleans, to be quoted by the press in sympathy with the rebellion througout the country.
The most scurrilous articles were set afloat when Dr. Dostie lay upon his dying bed, utterly powerless to defend the truth. Some of those articles were read in his presence. Said he, “Do my enemies persist in following me to the grave with their scandal? When will the enemies of liberty learn to be just and write the truth ?” To the grave they followed their victim with falsehood and calumny. His friends proposed that his funeral should take place at Mechanics' Institute, and the military be invited to protect the funeral procession.
“If there is any demonstration over the body of Dostic it shall be torn into a thousand pieces, and his friends shall meet his fate,” were the words of the infuriated murderers of July 30th.
Consternation and fear filled the hearts of his mourning friends, who would gladly have followed the remains of their friend to his last resting place. Many said, “Let us remain at home that the body of our friend may repose in peace."
The following is from the pen of Henry C. Dibble, Esq., who followed the remains of the lamented Dostie to the grave, published in the Advocate, edited by the Rev. J. P. Newman :
“On the evening of the 6th day of August, a few of the friends of Dr. Dostie followed his remains to the tomb. The occasion was one of unusual solemnity, and when glancing around upon the faces of those dozen or more friends of the murdered man, you could not but be impressed with the depth of feeling expressed--a comingling of poignant sorrow and just indignation.
The burial ceremonies were performed by the Rev. Mr. McDonald of the M. E. Church. His remarks were few yet touching; calm, but very forcible. No one present felt like speaking. When the heart is oppressed by grief the lips refuse to give utterance thereto. The sorrow we felt was not of the nature which we experience when lamenting the removal of a friend by the natural visitation of Death--when we can attach no