« AnteriorContinuar »
SLAVERY AND THE REBELLION
ONE AND INSEPARABLE:
ISSUES OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
SPEECH BEFORE THE NEW YORK YOUNG MEN'S REPUBLICAN UNION, AT COOPER INSTITUTE, NOVEMBER 5, 1864.
THE following speech was delivered by Senator Sumner at Cooper Institute, New York, on the afternoon of Saturday, November 5, 1864, before one of the largest audiences ever assembled within the walls of that capacious hall. By this publication, the Young Men's Republican Union, at whose invitation the speech was delivered, brings to a close the arduous labors of its third Presidential campaign, the last of a series of political battles, begun, prosecuted, and completed in the interest and for the furtherance of the principles so nobly and eloquently reasserted in the Massachusetts Senator's last and greatest speech.
Among the auditors, on this occasion, were at least two hundred clergymen, of all denominations, from New York, Brooklyn, Newark, and other adjacent cities. Not less than one thousand ladies, and an equal number of the most eminent citizens of New York, also aided to swell the crowd that assembled to do honor to the distinguished orator, and to express the sympathy and interest they felt in the great cause in whose behalf he was announced to plead.
Besides Francis Lieber, LL. D, the widely known Professor of Political Science in Columbia College, who was chosen Chairman of the meeting by acclamation, there were upon the platform many of the men and women of New York whose names and deeds in various walks of life have illustrated the annals of Freedom's trials and triumphs in America.
Dr. Lieber, upon taking the chair, made a brief and appropriate address, at the close of which he introduced Hon. Edwin D. Morgan, who read a telegram, received from San Francisco, giving assurance of a Union victory in California: the reading of this despatch was hailed with applause and cheers. When order had been restored, the Chairman presented the orator of the occasion, who was made the recipient of an ovation such as has seldom been accorded to a speaker in New York.
The speech, throughout, was received with every evidence of enthusiasm and approval on the part of the vast audience, the applause frequently interrupting the speaker for several moments, and at times causing the hall to become the scene of the wildest excitement. Few of those who were successful in securing admission on this occasion will forget the rounds of applause, the hearty cheers, the clapping of fair hands, and the waving of hundreds of snowy handkerchiefs, by which the swarming crowd so often testified its appreciation of Mr. Sumner's scholarly diction, effective eloquence,
1 This Introduction, by the Committee of the Young Men's Republican Union, appeared as a "Prefatory Note" to the New York pamphlet edition.
and patriotic, statesmanlike utterance of these great political truths. It is but simple truth to say, that none of the many political meetings of the campaign, in New York, could at all compare with this mass meeting of the flower of our citizenship, whether regard be had to the numbers, intelligence, social position, or sound sentiments of loyalty, which were the characteristics of the great gathering of November 5th, 1864.
NELLOW-CITIZENS,- In all the concerns of life, the first necessity is to see and comprehend the circumstances about us. Without this knowledge human conduct must fail. Without this knowledge the machine cannot be worked, the ground cannot be tilled, the ship cannot be navigated, war cannot be waged, government cannot be conducted. The old Greek, suddenly enveloped in a cloud while battling with his enemies, exclaimed, "Give me to see!"-and this exclamation of the warrior is the exclamation, also, of every person in practical life, whether striving for country or only for himself. "Give me to see," that I may comprehend my duty. "Give me to see," that I may recognize my enemy. "Give me to see," that I may know where to strike.
The wise physician, before any prescription for his patient, endeavors, by careful diagnosis, to ascertain the nature of the disease or injury, and when this is done, he proceeds with confidence. Without such knowledge all medical skill must fail. You do not forget how it failed in the recent case of the Italian patriot, Garibaldi, suffering cruelly from a wound in the foot, received at the unfortunate battle of Aspromonte, which for a long time nobody seemed to understand. Eminent