« AnteriorContinuar »
the blessing of Heaven upon the efforts of those who had convened here to promote the good of society. He had bravely stepped forward when the armed policemen rushed into the door of this hall, and with his country's flag and a white handkerchief attached as the emblem of peace, he sought to prevent the effusion of blood. His latest act showed him to be a hero in his missionthe holy mission of love and human brotherhood. He was shot down with the national banner and the flag of truce in his hands, with words of peace upon his lips! He died heroically in the van, a brave soldier of the cross.
“ Around his dying bed sat his disconsolate wife and a few weeping friends. Looking upon his last agony no eye could restrain its tears. He had suffered a week from several wounds, most of the time being unconscious. Once, in a lucid interval, he said to his wife, ‘I was not wrong, I cannot think I was wrong in consenting to open the convention with prayer.'
“His last hour was almost without a struggle; he gradually sank to rest as a child closes its eyes in slumber:
“So fades the summer's cloud away;
So dies a wave along the shore.” “In another apartment of the Marine Hospital, John Henderson lay, chafing with mortal wounds. He had been long known in New Orleans as a lawyer well versed in the knowledge of his profession. His enemies were the enemies of his country, and they had not only cut him down because he loved it, but they then derided him, even in the public prints, for having once suffered from such mental malady as had affected some of the ablest jurists, sciotists, and philosophers whom the world has known.
“ After suffering excruciating pain for several weeks, John Henderson died, and his name was inscribed by the angel of liberty on the scroll of the martyrs.
“Dr. A. P. Dostie died at the Hotel Dieu on the same Sabbath evening, and about the same hour that saw Rev. Mr. Horton sink to rest. Prominent as a Unionist all through the war; active in every effort to call back the tide of lawlessness that was invading the land, he was long an object of malignant hate to the foes of liberty. His Spartan energy and perseverance, his Roman firmness and bravery, made him a shining mark for these assassins. They knew him by his manly voice and fiery eye; they felt him by the electric shock which earnest men always convey to those about them. When, with bold step he walked out of this hall at the front door, and looked his assailants in the eye, had they been of the true chivalry, they would have admired his courage. When, all unarmed, he asked them to spare his life, had they been of the true chivalry, they would have stayed their hands. But the cry was, 'Kill him! kill him !' with oaths and imprecations which cannot be here repeated. They added indignities to death. They trod upon what they supposed to be his lifeless body, and continued to add other wounds and bruises to those which were already mortal. Let us turn from the pain
“On the day he died, when the lower half of his body was paralyzed. and when his last hour stole on apace, his reason was yet clear, and his mental energy remarkable. Nobler sentiments never escaped dying lips than those uttered by Dr. Dostie. 'I want no one to avenge my death,' he said to the kind Sister of Charity who ministered to his wants.
“With patriotism worthy of the dying Sidney, he said a short time before he breathed his last, 'I am willing to die, if my death will promote the cause of liberty.'
“Some of you here were among the few who attended the burial of Dostie, at a time when even the solemn rites of sepulchre were in danger of outrage; when the public prints were endeavoring to excite further persecution; when a public funeral of any one of the martyrs would have been in danger of demoniac assault. The time and place of Dostie's interment was not generally known, and among his hosts of friends, not many were present at the burial. A few words were spoken; a fervent prayer was offered, and his mortal part was laid away in the narrow house, to rest till the last morn shall beam upon the world.
“ Others died and were buried. I cannot enumerate all. Some of them have friends to visit their graves, dressing them with flowers in the spring, and watching them with paternal solicitude through all the year. Some are at rest whose sepulchres are known only to him who looks down and watches their dust till he shall bid it rise in the newness of immortal life. Scarcely less than a hundred killed, and four hundred wounded, was the result of the massacre. So far as possible the names of all the victims should be collected for inscription upon the proposed monument to the patriot martyrs."
“But are they dead? What, they whose souls had
In faith, the American people look to Justice to vindicate, to establish, to make certain forever the republican principles upon which is erected a national structure, above which floats the American flag, upon which is engraven a charter of rights to mankind, in letters of living light, so that prejudice shall not misinterpret them; wilfullness shall not misunderstand them, nor perversity whether of King or President shall dare to interfere to prevent their fullest fruition. “To this, republicans stand pledged by the teachings of our patriot sires now echoing through our country; by the hallowed blood of our sons slain upon the battle field or starved in prisons ; by the sacred memories of the bleeding corpse of the assassinated Lincoln; by the dying prayer of the murdered sainted Horton, the victim sacrificed on the altar of equal rights; by the sole legacy of the pure patriot Dostie, massacred to establish wrong and sin, bequeathing to his mourning country in his last dying words_Let the good work go on !'”
Yes, unnumbered, glorious heroes of the battle! yes, thousands of suffering patriots murdered in prisons, now beatified, seeing your lives were not spent in vain! yes, martyred President! yes, sainted teacher! yes, nobleminded patriot! the good work by you begun, for which you laid down your lives, shall go on until every footprint of wrong or oppression by man to his fellow man shall be blotted out forever!
“They slumber, and the stranger's tread