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TO THE LETTERS OF REPLY.
Letter from Rev. Benjamin W. Dwight...
“ J. T. Duryea.....
Stephen H. Tyng..
" Samuel Cooke
Lyman Tremain, of New York..
" James W. White, of New York..
" John K, Porter ....
Henry M. Rice, of Minnesota.
" James Y. Smith, of Rhode Island.
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RESPONSES OF LEAGUES.
Connecticut to the League...
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NATIONAL SONGS AND ODES, WRITTEN FOR THE OCCASION.
Letter and Song of Alfred B. Street, Esq..
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PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE
LETTER OF THE HON. WM. H. SEWARD, SECRETARY OF STATE OF
THE UNITED STATES.
WASHINGTON, April 3d, 1863. } MY DEAR Sır: 1 regret that I cannot attend the Loyal National League, at their inaugural mass meeting, to be held on the 11th of April, to which you have invited me. But I respectfully urge upon those who shall fortunately be able to be there, vigilance, energy, and, above all things, unanimity and concert. When that excellent patriot, Gov. Wright, of Indiana, told me that he was going to Philadelphia to attend a Union League, and asked what he should say to the League for me,“ Tell them,” I said, “ To put my name down on their roll." He replied : " But there are two Union Leagues there; the one thinks this, and is gotten ap under such and such auspices; the other thinks that, and is organized by So-and-So. In which of the two will you be enrolled ?” “In both of them," was my reply. We are now at the crisis of a revolutionary contest which involves nothing less than the transcendental question whether this unconquerable and irresistible nation shall suddenly perish through imbecility, after a successful and glorious existence of eighty years, or whether it shall survive a thousand years, diffusing light, liberty, and happiness, throughout the world. Our armies are moving on with a step firmer than those of the Roman Empire or the French Republic ever maintained. Our feets have surpassed in achievements those of any previous national power. Our credit is conquering interested avarice at home, and defying interested conspiracies abroad. All that remains now is to lift the national temper to the needful height, and fortify to the point of inflexibility the national resolution, so that we shall agree to tolerate no treason at home, and repel any and every intervention, seduction, or aggression from abroad. In order to do this, let us, in our Leagues, ask each other no questions about the past. Of what importance is it to our country now, whether a patriot citizen has been a Democrat, or a Whig, or Republican, or Conservative, or Radical heretofore? Who can say that he himsest has never erred, or that his neighbor was not sometimes wiser than himself on questions of administration that have passed away forever? Let us ask each other no questions about how the nation shall govern itself, or who shall preside in its councils in the great future that looms up before us, enveloped alternately in menacing clouds and in gorgeous sunlight. Let whoever may deserve the distinction by loyalty and energetic service now, come into place and power when this crisis is passed ; and let those who shall have survived it decide for themselves who is most wisé and most worthy of their confidence.
Let us save the country; that is labor enough, and it will be glory enough
for all of the actors of the present hour. It will eclipse even the greatness of our honored forefathers. It will leave us nothing to fear for our posterity.
I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H, SEWARD. JAMES A. ROOSEVELT, Esq., Secretary, &c.,
No. 94 Maiden Lane, New York.
LETTER FROM THE HON. S. P. CHASE, SECRETARY OF THE
WASHINGTON, April 9, 1863. GENTLEMEN: Imperative demands on my time compel me to deny myself the gratification of attending the meeting to which you kindly invite me.
You will meet to send words of cheer to our brave generals and soldiers in the field; to rebuke treason in our midst, giving, in the garb of peace, aid and comfort to treason in the panoply of war; to maintain in violate the integrity of the national territory and the supremacy of the national Constitution and laws; to strengthen the hands and nerve the heart of the President for the great work to which God and the people have called him. For what worthier purposes can American citizens now assemble ?
It is my fixed faith, gentlemen, that God does not mean that this American republic shall perish. We are tried as by fire, but our country will live. Notwithstanding all the violence and all the machinations of traitors and their sympathizers, on this or the other side of the Atlantic, our country will live.
And while our country lives, slavery, the chief source, and cause, and agent of our ills, will die. The friends of the Union in the South, before rebellion, predicted the destruction of slavery as a consequence of secession, if that madness should prevail. Nothing, in my judgment, is more certain than the fulfilment of these predictions. Safe in the states, before rebellion, from all federal interference, slavery has come out from its shelter, under state constitutions and laws, to assail the national life. It will surely die, pierced by its own fangs and stings.
What matter now how it dies? Whether as a consequence or object of the the war, what matter? Is this a time to split hairs of logic? To me it seems that Providence indicated clearly enough how the end of slavery must come. It comes in rebel slave states by military order, decree, or proclamation; not to be disregarded or set aside in any event as a nullity, but maintained and executed with perfect good faith to all the enfranchised, and it will come in loyal slave states by the unconstrained action of the people and their legislatures, aided freely and generously by their brethren of the free states. I may be mistaken in this, but if I am another better way will be revealed.
Meantime it seems to me very necessary to say distinctly what many yet shrink from saying. The American blacks must be called into this conflict, not as cattle, not now, even, as contrabands, but as men. In the free states, and, by the proclamation, in the rebel states, they are free men. The Attorney-General, in an opinion which defies refutation, has pronounced these freemen citizens of the United States. Let, then, the example of Andrew Jackson, who did not hesitate to oppose colored regiments to British invasion, be now fearlessly followed. Let these blacks, acclimated, familiar with the country, capable of great endurance, receive suitable military organization and do their part. We need their good-will, and must make them our friends by showing ourselves their friends. We must have them for guides, for scouts, for all military service in camp or field for which they are qualified. Thus employed, from a burden they will become a support, and the hazards, privations, and labors of the white soldiers will be proportionally diminished.
Some will object, of course. There are always objectors to everything practical. Let experience dispel honest fears, and refute captious or disloyal cavil.
Above all, gentlemen, let no doubt rest on our resolution to sustain, with all our hearts and with all our means, the soldiers now in arms for the republic, Let their ranks be filled up; let their supplies be sufficient and regular; let their pay be sure. Let nothing be wanting to them which can insure activity and efficiency. Let each brave officer and man realize that his country's love attends him, and that his country's hopes hang upon him; and, inspired by this thought, let him dare and do all that is possible to be dared and done.
So, gentlemen, with the blessing of God, will we make a glorious future suré. I see it rising before me-how beautiful and grand! There is not time to speak of it now; but from all quarters of the land comes the voice of the sovereign people, rebuking faction, denouncing treason, and proclaiming the indivisible unity of the republic;
and in this Heaven-inspired union of the people, for the sake of the Union, is the sure promise of that splendid hereafter. With great respect, yours very truly,
S. P. CHASE Hou. GEORGE OPDYKE, GEORGE GRISWOLD, Esq., and others,
Committee of the Loyal Union League, New York.
LETTER FROM THE HON. GIDEON WELLES, SECRETARY OF
WASHINGTON, April 10, 1863. Sır: I am honored by your invitation to be present at the inaugural mass meeting of the Loyal National League at Union Square to morrow, the anniversary of the day when the firing commenced on Fort Sumter, to renew the solemn pledge and firm resolve that the unity of the nation shall not be impaired, and that the government of our fathers shall be maintained. It will not be in my power to attend your meeting, but my heart will be with you. There are no higher earthly obligations than the preservation and perpetuation of the Constitution under which we live, and the Union that our fathers formed, both of which were assailed by traitors at Charleston on the 11th of April, 1861. Two years of causeless and embittered warfare against the most beneficent government which man has ever enjoyed, so far from weakening our efforts or exhausting our energies, only render more obligatory upon us the maintenance of the Union in its integrity, now and forever, with all the vigor we possess, and by all the means which God and nature have placed at our disposal. For one,
I am, irrespective of all past party differences or associations, the friend of every man who supports the Union, and the enemy of all who oppose it, or who sympathize or fellowship with the traitors who oppose it. Such, I doubt not, are the object and purpose of the Loyal National League, and as such it has my best wishes for its success.
GIDEON WELLES. JAMES A. ROOSEVELT, Esq., Sec'y of the League.
LETTER OF HON. J. P. USHER, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
WASHINGTON, D.O., April 10, 1863. Sir: I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your favor of the 26th of last month, wishing me to attend and address the mass meeting to be held at Union Square, in the city of New York, under the auspices of the Loyal National League of that city.
The purpose of the League being to render to the government an unwaver