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I can see how our nation is cemented by its tears into a more universal and affectionate brotherhood; I can see how the Proclamation of Freedom must become the eternal law of our hearts, if not of the land, through the martyrdom and canonization.of its author; I can see how the atrocious crime of assassination must tear away from the rebellion every friend that it had left in the civilized world abroad; and I can see how the succession of Mr. Johnson—a Southern man, known to the Southern people by the fact of his origin and principles, not amenable to the prejudices knotted and gnarled about Mr. Lincoln—shall undermine the supremacy of the Southern leaders and reconcile the deluded masses more rapidly than any acts of amnesty or promises of forgiveness.
"But what impresses me most forcibly in all this business is the new demonstration that it has given of the inherent strength and elasticity of democratic government. We have conducted the most stupendous war ever undertaken—a war that involved the blockade of six thousand miles of sea-coast—the defence of two thousand miles of frontier—the clearing and holding of the second largest river of the globe and the occupation of a territory greater than all Europe (without Eussia), not only energetically, but successfully. We have done it, without abandoning, or vitiating, or dislocating, any of our fundamental institutions. For, in the midst of this gigantic convulsion, we carried on a political canvass and a Presidential election as quietly as they choose a beadle or a churchwarden elsewhere; and now we have our principal men of office killed or disabled, and the government goes on without a jar, and society moves in its appointed ways without a ripple of outbreak or disorder. Oh yes, Americans, our goodly Ship of State, which the tempests assail with their wild fury, which the angry surges lift in their arms that they may drop her into the yawTning gulf, which the treacherous hidden rocks below grind and torture, yet sails on securely to her destined port; and when the very Prince of the Power of the Air smites her captain at the helm and the first mate in his berth, she still sails on securely to her destined port; for her crew is still there; they know her bearings, and will steer right on by the compass of Eternal Justice, and under the celestial light of Liberty."
In Brooklyn, besides the services in the various churches of all denominations, a funeral procession of the German Turnverein Saengerbund and other societies, proceeded from the Turn Hall through Grand-street, Montrose avenue, and other thoroughfares, to a square on Bushwick avenue, where a meeting was organized and addresses delivered, by Dr. Duai, Mr. Philip Wagner, and others.
In Montreal, C. E., where the Mayor, Mr. J. L. Beaudry had by proclamation invited the citizens to close their places ol business, "as a tribute of respect to the memory of the late President of the United States, and of sympathy with the bereaved members of his family, and also as an expression of the deep sorrow and horror felt by the citizens of Montreal at the atrocious crime by which the President came to an untimely end," a large public meeting was held, in which addresses were delivered in French and English, by Hon. Messrs. Dorion and McGee.
At Quebec, a similar proclamation was issued by the Mayor, and no proclamation was ever so promptly and completely re sponded to. Toronto, Prescott, and other Canadian towns showed similar sympathy with the neighboring republic.
San Francisco honored the day by the grandest procession ever witnessed on the Pacific coast, which moved through streets, clad in the habiliments of woe.
In the South even, similar marks of respect were paid. A more universal demonstration of sorrow was not made in anj city than in Memphis, where a solemn military and civic procession, numbering 20,000 persons, formed an imposing part of the ceremony, and at an impromptu meeting eloquent addresses were delivered by General Banks and General Washburn.
The procession at Nashville, which had a splendid funeral car drawn by six white and as many black horses, numbered upwards of 15,000 persons, among them Generals Thomas, Rousseau, Miller, Whipple, Fowler, and Donelson. Over ten thousand troops were in the procession; and besides Governor Brownlow, both Houses of the Legislature, the Quartermaster and Commissary Departments, and Fire Department, with their machines beautifully dressed. The various lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, Eureka and Thalia clubs, the Fenian Brotherhood and Agnomen club, also swelled the list of societies. Subsequently appropriate ceremonies were held in a field in the suburbs. Addresses were made by his Excellency Governor Brownlow, Rev. Mr. Allen, and others.
At Little Rock, on the news, the Legislature adjourned and an impressive address was delivered by Senator Snow.
At Detroit, on the 25th of April, the obsequies of President Lincoln were performed with imposing ceremonies. The procession was more than four miles in length, headed by detachments of military, followed by a magnificent funeral car, officers of the army and navy, officers of the British army, the officers of the State and City Governments. The Canadian civil officers, the public schools, Masons, Odd Fellows, various benevolent societies, the trades unions, and German societies also participated. The ceremonies concluded with an oration by Senator Howard.
New Orleans received the tidings a little later, and the city was at once arrayed in mourning. A procession on the 22d moved to Lafayette Square, composed of the Fire Department, societies and citizens; and an immense mass of people moved with calm and sorrowful steps to the vast area. Llere, after the organization of the meeting, and a prayer by Rev. Doctor Newman, with a few remarks from the Chairman, Judge Whitaker, addresses were delivered by General Banks and General Hurlbut. The following is that of General Banks.
Mr. President And Fellow-citizens—It is only since my arrival upon this platform that I have been informed of the part I am expected to take in the ceremonies of this occasion, and could wish for longer preparation, with the view of doing more perfect justice to the subject of the hour, but in accordance with the wishes of your committee I will proceed. God knows why it is, or how it is, or for what purpose it is, that we have been summoned here, but now, indeed, can we feel the nothingness of man, and that it is best for us to bow in supplication to God for His counsel and support. The language of the hour is that, not of comment, not of condolence, not of consolation, but of supplication, and we should stand before the throne of God to-day, in sackcloth and in ashes, in silent petition to Him for that counsel and support.
Human plans are failures; the ideas and purposes of God alone are successful. This very week was spontaneously and unanimously set apart by the American people as a season for thanksgiving and joy, for the great relief which the people had experienced from a terrible war, which had bereft nearly every family in the North and South of its dearest, and draped nearly every family altar as is now draped the national altar. Suddenly the skies were brightened, and universal peace was accepted by the nation as the reward of the terrible struggle in which we had been engaged. The opening of the Mississippi, the brilliant victories of the Army of the Cumberland in 1863, the fall of the rebel cities upon the Atlantic coast before the triumphant march of Sherman, the surrender of Lee to Grant, and the occupation of Mobile by the gallant chieftain who is here in our presence to-day, not waiting for the intelligence that the last army of the rebellion had surrendered to the glorious Sherman—all justified the assumption that God had given this nation permanent, lasting, honorable, and glorious peace! But while we were preparing for the announcement by the officers of the Government (always behind in instincts and purposes of power, the people of the government), unexpectedly, in the twinkling of an eye—as if with the suddenness, strength, and power of God—all of us lay low in sorrow, mourning, and despair. I believe that never before in human history were a people so horrified as by the announcement of the death of the President, and the fall of his great assistant in council and action—the Secretary of State. We know not why it is, but we have the great consolation to say that we believe it is for good to our nation. Aye, for good to the man that has fallen as our Eepresentative. He had committed no crimes. There is not a man on the continent or globe that will, or can say, that Abraham Lincoln was his enemy, or that he deserved punishment or death for his individual acts. No, Mr. President, it was because he represented us that he died, and it is for our good and the glory of our nation that God, in his inscrutable Providence, has been pleased to do this, while for the late President it is the great crowning act and security of his career. To die is "to go home"—to go to our Father and be relieved from sorrow, care, suffering, labor, and from danger; but to live, aye, sir, to live is the great punishment inflicted upon man. All that we can ask is to go when all things are ready—when duty is discharged, strength exhausted, and the triumph effected; then it is our joy to go home to "Our Father," as has been beautifully said, sir:
"When faith is strong and conscience clear,
God has given our great leader the privilege to go under circumstances like this. He had lived his time, fought his fight, and, God be thanked, had kept the faith. Let me say it reverently, that for Abraham Lincoln to live was for Abraham Lincoln to fall! He had ascended to the highest point—the highest culmination of human destiny: to be better and greater and purer he must leave us and go to the bosom of God. He is enjoying the highest culmination of glory that God has given in his wise and mysterious dispensation for the human family.
Sir, I had seen him but little, but that which I had seen stamped upon my heart the indelible feeling that he was a rare man—not a great or a successful man; many of both kinds have I seen, but he was a rare man, who believed in the power of ideas and knew that human agencies were unable to control or direct them. In the dispensation of what men call power, I have seen Mr. Lincoln give it to the right and left as if of no consequence at all; and when reproached for doing so, I have heard him say, "What harm did this generous confidence of men do me?" I have seen, amidst the hours of trial, his manifestations of patience and confidence, more almost than human, until I had come to believe that that which is designed to be done would be accomplished, if not by human power, at least by the concurrent action and support and will of God!
Though taken from us, his influence is still here, and there is not a man in this assembly to-day who is not more impressed with his spirit and purpose than he would be if Abraham Lincoln were living at this hour; nor is there a man here to-day who is not a disciple of him and the agent of his works forevermore. We may indeed be assured that his great purpose—the Union, first of all—will be carried out. We might as well expect the Mississippi to turn back at its mouth and seek again the mountain rivulets and springs, as to believe that human power is to sunder the States of the Union. Abraham Lincoln's wisdom and patriotism have led us as far as human effort can bring us, and now his blood cements forever the holy Union of the States.
You know, fellow-citizens, how deeply he was interested in the destinies of Louisiana. No friend in your midst ever thought so much about or wished so much for your good as the late President of the United States; and it was among the first wishes of his heart that the prosperity of its people, the liberty of all its races, and their elevation, should be perfected during his administration, or, as he said in one of his letters to me, "My word is out for these things, and I don't intend to turn back from it." It is not for me to act or speak in the spirit of prophecy, but I can say to you that I believe his wish will be consummated by the return of Louisiana to the Union, the honor, freedom, and elevation of all classes of its people.
To the colored people of this assembly and State, as well as of the Union, I can say that the work in which he was engaged will go on, and that the day is not far distant when they will enjoy the freedom that God and the people have given them; and also be advanced