Imágenes de páginas

Major General N. P. Banks, and upon the other, the motto. “NEw GLORIES ARE BEFORE Us.”

Over the Public Schools both (white and black) the Stars and Stripes were hoisted. At noon a national salute was fired, and all the bells in the city rang a joyful peal. Thousands of the emancipated assembled upon Lafayette Square, where a battallion of the 11th Heavy Artillery, U. S. colored troops, and a Company of the 77th U. S. infantry, (colored) had assembled to listen to speeches and music. The National airs were popular on that day. The evening was spent by thousands in listening to speeches from Governor Hahn, Rev. Thomas Conway, Dr. Dostie, Judge Durell—and others.

January 9th, Governor Hahn was elected to the United States Senate. We annex his farewell Message:

“STATE of LouisianA, ExECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, NEw ORLEANs, February 27, 1865. “To the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana: “Gentlemen, I hereby resign the office of Governor, to take effect on the 3d of March proximo, so that my occupancy of the office may terminate with that date, and enable my successer to be inaugurated, if convenient to your honorable bodies, on the 4th of March. “The one year of administration which I have had as your Governor, is a period to which I shall ever advert with pride and pleasure. Called to the office by a flattering vote of the people, I entered upon its duties with diffidence, and a full sense of its responsibilities. I leave it without self-reproach, and with pride at havin performed a part however humble in the triumphs an glories which have marked the history of Louisiana the past year. At its commencement half the State—the portion excepted by proclamation—held slaves. By a vote approaching unanimity, every slave has been since set free; and slavery will never more have an existence in fact or a sanction in law in the State of Louisiana. Justice to a hitherto enslaved race has not ended here. The most extensive, as well as impartial and equal provisions have been made for their education; while our Constitution, keeping pace with the spirit of the age, has provided for their complete equality before the law, including the extension to them of the highest privilege of citizenship. I have no hesitation in saying that its terms will justify the adoption of universal suffrage whenever it shall be deemed wise and timely; and if the most devoted enthusiast shall complain that the doors have not been thrown open at once to all, he must admit, as we can claim, that our State has progressed further than three-fourths of the Northern States. We trust to vie in every noble and patriotic work with the best and foremost of our sister States. Our State has furnished, and is furnishing, in proportion to the able-bodied men in the State, a quota to the Union armies equal to that of any other State. Even in the parishes within the rebel military lines we are assured of the existence of a union feeling. “I speak of these things as encouraging signs of the times. In Louisiana, which now, as at the outset of the rebellion, can claim to be fully as loyal as Missouri, Maryland or Kentucky, her inhabitants have passed the Rubicon of their trials. The power of secessionism is waning; its influence is now scarcely felt among our people. “Our progress in civil reorganization has been equally auspicious. A constitution has been accepted by the people, which has swept away not only the last vestige of human bondage, but all the concomitant blemishes upon civilization which stood upon our statute books and were a part of our institutions. The Black Code, so long the reproach and regret of the humane and enlightened of the world, exists no more. The odious basis of representation, which gave to wealth and capital a leverage against the mechanical and industrial classes, and favored, as it was designed to, the establishment of an oligarchy among American freemen, is removed at once, without the necessity of a long and wearisome agitation, as would otherwise have been necessary for the attainment of the simple justice of equal representation. One voter is now equal to another, and entitled to the same privileges and proportional representation. Older governments and communities have had to battle for years without success for this plain, practical and essential republican measure. Our Constitution favors industry, secures the reward of labor, guarantees impartial education, invites immigration, and will be the basis of a prosperity hitherto untold in our annals.

“I leave your chief executive office in the hands of my constitutional successor, Lieutenant-Governor Wells. He has already received marks of the confidence of his fellow-citizens of this State, and is known to you for all his patriotic antecedents. I have full confidence that his administration of the government will have the support of our fellow-citizens, without distinction of party.

“For myself, I shall never forget the many and flattering marks of kindness which I have received from my fellow-citizens of Louisiana. That confidence which they have unwaveringly awarded me it will be my endeavor to merit and justify. Whether it be to serve her in the public or private station, her honor and her glory it will be my constant aim to promote, with all the humble ability I can command.

“I respectfully recommend the Legislature to take such measures as may be necessary to provide, in a fitting manner, for the inauguration of Lieut. Governor Wells into the office of Governor.


When Governor Hahn resigned his position, few doubted the firm loyalty of his successor. True Union

[ocr errors]

ists believed he would defend their interests as his predecessor had done. His official acts had been in harmony with the measures of President Lincoln whose confidence he seemed to have gained. The following characteristic letter is expressive of that confidence:

ExEcuTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 13, 1864. HoN. MICHAEL HAHN : * MY DEAR SIR: I congratulate you on having fixed }. name in history as the first Free State Governor of ouisiana. Now, you are about to have a Convention, which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise. ... I barely suggest, for your priyate consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in; as, for instance, the very i. and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. They would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom. But this is only a suggestion, not for the public, but to you alone. Truly yours, A. LINCOLN.


On the night of the 15th of April, 1865, the loyal masses of New Orleans congregrated in Lafayette Square to express their gratitude on the downfall of the rebellion. Richmond had been captured, and Lee and Johnston had surrendered their armies to the United States forces under Grant. At that immense gathering, numbering thousands, the annexed resolutions were adopted:

1. Resolved, That the loyal citizens of New Orleans have learned, with the liveliest emotions of delight, that Richmond has been captured, and that the rebel armies under Lee and Johnston have surrendered to the forces of the United States, commanded by Generals Grant and Sherman.

2. Resolved, That next to that God who rules the destinies of nations, our thanks are due to the Army and Navy of our country, who have, through a protracted conflict of unexampled magnitude and fierceness, finally overthrown its enemies, and enabled us to anticipate the not far distant day when the National flag will once more float in triumph over every square foot of the National domain.

3. Resolved, That in the struggle thus determined we hail the realization of those ideas which furnished the main issue in the conflict—the issue between slavery and freedom—and that we pledge ourselves to sustain the

« AnteriorContinuar »