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the Divine Ruler of Governments, for the purpose of liberating four millions of human beings from the tyranny of Southern despots.”
Among the first to welcome General Butler to New Orleans, was Michael Hahn. He had combatted secession; had publicly announced his devotion to the Union until it became dangerous to give expression to his sentiments. Not willing to suffer martyrdom, he remained silent, patiently waiting the time when he could boldly proclaim his true sentiments. He had been a Douglass Democrat, but when he saw in President Lincoln, the preserver of the Union, he avowed his determination, publicly, “to stand by him as long as he stood faithfully by the Union.” It was that avowal that first attracted the loyal heart of Dostie towards Hahn. It was the tie that united them until separated by death. A few days after publicly proclaiming his determination to stand by Lincoln, Hahn was elected to Congress from Louisiana. Among the crowd who assembled upon the levee to wit. ness the departure for Washington of the newly elected congressmen, Flanders and Hahn, was Dr. Dostie. As the steamer left the landing he exclaimed, “Those men will stand by our good President and the true interests of Louisiana.” Upon the return of Hahn from Washington, in an address before the people of New Orleans, he said, “If any man wishes to know my political position, I will inform him that I am ready to stand or fall upon the same platform with Abraham Lincoln. I have had opportunities of studying the moral and intellectual character of our present beloved Magistrate, and in my opinion a better man could not have been elected Presi. dent of the United States. The preservation of the
Union is the great desire of his heart. When I first took my seat in Congress I thought it my duty to seek an interview with Mr. Lincoln, and state to him that I might cast votes that would displease him. The President took me by the hand and said, “Let the perpetuity of the Union be the prominent object of your official conduct, and you will not displease mc.”
Says Herndon, (the law partner of Lincoln), “ Abraham Lincoln possessed originality of thought in an eminent degree. He was, however, cautious, cool, concentrated, with continnity of reflection, was patient and enduring. These are some of the grounds of his wonderful success. He was most emphatically a remorseless analyzer of facts, things and principles. When all these processes had been well and thoroughly gone through, he could form an opinion and express it, but no. sooner. The mind of Lincoln was slow, angular and ponderous rather than quick and finely discriminating.” When the good Lincoln did discern that the Union could no longer exist with the curse of slavery gnawing at its vitals, he struck the blow, and true Union loving men, such as Dostie, Lovejoy and Hahn, gloried in the salvation of
Dostie, who had ever sympathized with such noble spirits as Clarkson, Wilberforce, Phillips and Garrison, could never for a moment stifle the sentiment that Slavery was the most atrocious of crimes. In the following address, delivered January 2d, 1864, in City Hallthe same spot where in 1860–61, speeches were made to secession crowds-after a few introductory remarks by Hon. Michael Hahn, and before an immense concourse of
people, Dr. Dostie thus expressed himself upon the national situation : Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :
“We took our place among the nations of the earth in 1789. We were then a homogeneous, happy people. Our heroic struggle for independence was fought and achieved by the people of the colonies, cemented in a perpetual union. No single State could have thrown off the shackles of British tyranny. It was only by the fraternal bonds of union that our brave republican fathers freed themselves from monarchical despotism. Our recognition by the great powers of Europe, was as one nation and homogeneous people. The immortal Declaration reads: “United colonies,” declaring themselves free and independent; and by the Constitution of the Confederation, the Continental Congress controlled and guided us to the haven of freedom and glorious nationality, and we have grown and prospered with a rapidity unequaled by any nation in the history of the world. The glorious Constitution that has enabled us thus to flourish, was adopted by the people, and not by State governments. Yes, it was by the people, in their individual and collective character, we were made one and perpetual. It was the people who, in their relation to States, yielded the power to levy taxes and impose duties, to regulate commerce, to make naturalization laws, to coin money, to regulate post-offices and post-roads, to define and punish piracies, to declare war, to provide an army and navy, to enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation, to issue letters of marque and reprisal, to emit bills of credit, to keep troops or ships of war in times of peace, and to enter into any agrec.
ment or compact, either with each other or with a foreign power. They placed all controversy that might arise between the States or individuals in the hands of the National Judiciary. After these concessions there remained no semblance of sovereignty, but simply the right of independent self-government in local or domestic affairs. Sovereignty the States never achieved. The people won their independence by their wisdom, their energies and their valor, after seven long years of struggle against British power and aggression. The Declaration of Independence sets forth the reasons and purposes of that revolution that achieved and established the freedom of our country. Not once does it mention the States, but it does mention the people in their united and national character. "State Sovereignty,''State Supremacy,' 'State Rights,' and the cursed system of slavery, were ignored and repudiated by the consummate wisdom and goodness of the founders of this nation; and the latter by the enlightened voice of the world, as the crime of crimes against humanity.
“Permit me to ask you to listen to the voice of sages, Christians, patriots, statesmen, philosophers and philanthropists of this and other nations, concerning this hellbegotten wrong and outrage. Washington said it was his first wish to free America of the curse. Jefferson, the Apostle of Liberty, said he trembled for his country, and declared it was written in the Book of Fate, that the people should be free. Patrick Henry detested slavery with all the earnestness of his nature, and believed tho time was not far distant when the lamentable evil would be abolished. Madison denied the right of property in man, and contended that the republican principle was
antagonistic to human bondage. Monroe considered slavery as preying upon the very vitals of the Union. John Randolph detested the man who defended slavery. Thomas Randolph deprecated the workings of the evil. Thomas Jefferson Randolph classes the institution' among the abominations and enormities of savage tribes, and as tending to decrease free populations. Peyton Randolph lamented its existence. Edward Randolph, as member of the Convention that framed the Constitution of our nation, moved to strike out “servitude," and in
service,” because the former was thought to express the condition of slaves, and the latter the obligation of free persons. Henry Clay would never, never, never, by word or thought, by mind or will, aid in subjecting free territory to the everlasting curse of human bondage. The great Benton, in view of the peace and reputation of the white people—the peace of the landthe world's last hope for a free government on the earth, and because it was a wrong, condemned its extension and existence. Colonel Mason contended slavery discouraged the arts and manufactures, made labor disreputable, prevented immigration of whites, who enrich and strengthen a country, produced pernicious effects on manners, made the master a petty tyrant, and invited calamities to the nation. Governor McDowell says this people was born to be free, and their enslavement is in violation of the law of Deity. Judge Iredell, of North Carolina, would rejoice when the entire abolition of slavery took place. William Pinckney, of Maryland, considered it dishonorable and iniquitous. Thomas Marshall, of Virginia, said it was ruinous to the whites. Bolling said the time would come when this degraded and op