Imágenes de páginas



In 1852, Dr. Dostie removed to New Orleans, where he was known for years as a popular dentist, and a gentleman of refinement. He was beloved for his upright and benevolent character; admired for his energy and ability, and respected for his love of justice and high sense of honor.

At this period of his life he was a man of commanding figure, and nobly marked features. His habitual expression was sad and thoughtful, and indicative of strong will, noble impulses and benevolent action. In manners, he was gentlemanly and winning. His frankness and gentleness combined, endeared him to a large circle of friends in New Orleans, who dreamed not that the storms of Rebellion would transform their gentle friend into “ the turbulent agitator."

As the time approached when the friends of liberty became known as antagonists to the mass of the Southern people, who were wedded to Slavery and its offspring —the Rebellion, a few in New Orleans, dared to express their hatred to treason and oppression. Conspicuous among that number was Dr. Dostie, who stood above a volcano of wrath, and defied the rebellious element that threatened the lives and happiness of those

who cherished republican principles. Said Dr. Dostie, at a time in the history of the rebellion when in New Orleans such words were considered worthy of death by the popular verdict, "I hate no human being, but rebellion to republican principles I will never cease to denounce in bitter terms. Principles rise superior to men in this conflict between freedom and slavery, and I would rather see every human being wiped out from the Southern States, than to behold the triumph of treason.” Such firmness of principles, strength of virtue, and force of mind, exhibited in the face of rebel vengeance at an early period in the Rebellion marked Dostie a victim to be selected from the revolutionary arena of Louisiana.

The patriotism and loyalty of Dr. Dostie changed his numerous friends to enemies. His popularity was sacrificed before his honesty of soul, and devotion to his Government. Said a rebel (once a friend of the Dr.'s) “Dostie has elements in his character, that might make him the most popular of men, but he has not the most remote idea of policy." Said a friend of Dr. Dostie's, “During the war I was one day walking with him, when one of the lady principals of a Seminary in New Orleans passed us. She cast upon us a look of contempt, so marked that I said to the Dr., “Is that an enemy of yours ?” He replied, “She is a lady of intellect and refinement, of whom I was once proud to say, 'she is my friend,' but with a host of old friends, she follows treason, and, judging from her manner, I must say 'she numbers herself

among my enemies.' Ex-Mayor Monroe says of him, “Dr. Dostie was my friend. He was master of the Masonic Lodge for years

[ocr errors]

to which I belonged. He was an honest Union man, a faithful, candid, conscientious friend.” He should have added, and for those virtues I used my power to murder him. “My friend," said Monroe, when the stern, just eye of Shellabarger and an Elliot were fastened upon him, in December, 1866. But in 1860–61, and July 30th, 1866, “ My victim."

It is in the tempest of revolution that the inexorable will, boldness and courage of men like Dostie appear excite traitors to villainous deeds of murder. His daring spirit, patriotic fire, and undying love for the Union made him a conspicuous mark for the venomous darts of those who bid defiance to his cherished principles.

“Dostie shall be hanged, or bow his proud head to treason's yoke,” were the words of the conspirators, who acknowledged Jefferson Davis their leader, and his mur derous policy, their rule of action.




On the 21st of August, 1861, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy, Dostie left New Orleans and went to Chicago. Said he," when I arrived in Chicago I had no means at my command. Deprived of my home and business, I was sad and gloomy. As I retired to my room for the night and reflected upon my future prospects, the darkness of despair seemed to gather around me. In the midst of this gloom, something seemed to whisper to me,“ This revolution convulsing our country is Liberty struggling for justice and right. The thought of my repinings made me ashamed of my selfish fears. I trusted in an arm of power; com posed myself to sleep, and awoke ready for action."

Surrounded by difficulties, which would have appalled a common mind, Dostie was cheerful and hopeful. For a moment a flash of despair, may have caused him to utter an expression of woe, but by an effort of his powerful will despondency was quickly cast from him. He was seldom heard to complain of any misfortune, but with a calm philosophical resignation, he could smile at woe; defy the powers of despotism, and look with contempt upon the indignities offered to himself and his friends by the enemies of his government.

In Chicago, he watched the progress of events connected with the revolution with intense interest. What hours he could spare from his business, were devoted to reading and correspondence with friends in different parts of the Union in relation to the great conflict agitating the nation.

In a letter at that time, he said, “I would gladly sacrifice my life if by so doing I could render assistance to the sacred cause of Liberty,"_little knowing that destiny had reserved his life for just such a sacrifice.

The following letter to Dr. J. C. Duell, expresses the patriotic love for the Union ever manifested by Dr. Dostie:

My Very Dear Friend,-Your letter, so kind towards me personally, and so loyal and patriotic to our grievously wronged country, was received in due course of mail. I might offer good and valid reasons for not having written sooner, but to do so would consume too much space, and I trust to your kindness to excuse the omission.

“You tell me that you and other friends supposed that most probably I was in the rebel army. You and my other friends never more misjudged a character than in thus judging of mine. Ascribe to me, if you choose, all the crimes in the criminal calendar, but never the dark, atrocious and damning sin of treason. My manhood is immaculate against it. After my God, I love my country most-her freedom-breathing inspirations—the memory of her immortal defenders—their glorious battles for the achievement of man's liberty, freedom and equality. All personal considerations are rendered contemptible in the mere comparison. I have watched the progress of the great treason with the most painful interest. I

« AnteriorContinuar »