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CHAPTER XXIX.
DR. DoSTIE’s DEATH.

On the morning of the 30th of July, 1866, Dr. Dostie went to the Mechanics' Institute, conscious that his enemies desired his destruction. With no faith in Andrew Johnson, the unrepentant rebels, the City authorities, or the authorized bands of policemen; upon the military alone he relied.

Said he, “my enemies may assassinate me as they have often threatened, but the Convention has nothing to fear in presence of the United States army.” Dr. Dostie was closely watched by the conspirators. He had been so surrounded by the snares of his enemies, that whatever movement he made, whichever direction he took seemed a step towards death. “Dostie is marked s” “Dostie will never make another speech !” “Dostie shall never come out of the Mechanics’ Institute alive!” with many similar expressions were proof that his destruction was the aim of the conspirators. He was an impediment to the plans of rebels in New Orleans. “We now have Dostie and his Convention friends where we want them,” said Lucien Adams and his band of policemen, as they saw their systematic organizations ready for action. An alarm was given by bells—such as had been ordered by Monroe when General Butler approached the city in 1862—and five hundred armed policemen, and companies of firemen armed and equipped for murderous action, combined with a mob of citizens, rushed from different parts of the city to Mechanics’ Institute, to commence their massacre upon its defenceless victims. Upon hearing confusion in the street, a gentleman said to Dr. Dostie, “A policeman has fired upon a negro, he is begging for mercy.” He replied, “we cannot prevent it, we are defenceless.”

When the mob rushed to the Convention room, Dr. Dostie forgetful of self, exclaimed to the excited crowd within, “Be quiet and seat yourselves upon the floor, we shall soon be protected by the military. The United States flag waves over us.”

When the mob commenced firing upon the members of the Convention and its friends, he said, “What do you want? Have you an order of arrest? We surrender.” “They will kill us. We had better try and save ourselves,” said a friend. Dr. Dostie replied, “I am wounded; we will beg for protection.”

He went to the door where he met the infuriated mob and asked them to spare his life. He was knocked down by a brick-bat and shot—dragged down stairs by the hair of his head and thrown upon the pavement. Citizens and policemen gathered around the seemingly lifeless body of their victim and thrust it with their swords. Urged on by the mob, news-boys pierced his head with penknives. The chivalry shot and stabbed him, and shouted for Jefferson Davis and Andrew Johnson. Said an eye witness to this scene, General Alfred L. Lee, an officer of Cavalry under Banks and Sheridan:

“There was a noble man who represented the Radical sentiment of the city—Dr. Dostie. He was not a member of the Convention, but he was in the hall; he was struck with a brick and knocked down. Policemen were standing near, but instead of arresting the assaulter they stepped up to Dr. Dostie and deliberately fired into the body of the defenseless man. A citizen standing by, drew his sword from his cane and thrust it into his body. Still the doctor was not dead, and was dragged by the police through the crowd and placed in a common dirt cart. I saw this myself. One policeman sat on his body and one sat near his head. The poor man attempted to raise his head, and I saw the policeman lift his revolver and strike him on the face.” Said another eye witness, an Ex-Major General in the United States army: “I saw four policemen bear out the seemingly lifeless body of Dr. Dostie, (an earnest, sincere patriot, a preeminent Free Mason, and a gentleman against whose character no true charge was ever brought) his head hung down till it almost dragged upon the pavement, blood was streaming from his wounds, and marking the path by which he was borne. Around his inanimate form the mob rushed and blasphemed. At last a cart was reached and the body thrown in ; before it was reached several blows had been rained upon the bleeding body. The news flew among the rioters that Dostie was killed, the tidings were received with cheers and expressions of positive delight. ‘Yes,’ said the reconstructed all over the city: “Dostie has fought our cause for years, and now we have our revenge.’” Another rioter had been arrested and must be taken 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 Jefferson 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 Dostie 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 philo

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