« PreviousContinue »
THE WASHINGTON COMMEMORATION
T Washington, the nation's capital, the day was fittingly observed, although the President, Vice-President, and many other of the prominent figures in the life of the Capital were upon the programmes of celebrations in other parts of the country.
In the House of Representatives, on Thursday, February 11, the Hon. Henry Sherman Boutell of Illinois delivered a memorial address, while on the Centenary Day itself, Mr. Boutell read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address from the Speaker's chair; Representative Frank M. Nye delivering an address on Lincoln.
The Senate passed a joint Resolution declaring the Centenary Day a special legal holiday in the District of Columbia, and in the Territories of Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, and Hawaii, and authorizing the President to issue a Proclamation to this effect. At all of the schools of the city, commemorative exercises took place; and celebrations were held by the United States Historical Society, the Grand Army of the Republic, and other organizations. One of the most notable observances of the day was the morning celebration at Howard University, a University for colored students. Here Hon. James R. Garfield, Secretary of the Interior, presided, representing the Government, as patron ex-officio of the Board. The speakers of the day were Hon. Joseph G. Cannon, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Gen. J. Warren Kiefer. Speaker Cannon was received with a tremendous hand-clapping and cheering, which persisted throughout his inspiring speech. The demonstration ended with what is known to the students as the "Howard clap"-a rhythmical hand-clapping which ends with a shout. Gen. Kiefer made the time interesting with personal recollections of the days of the Civil One of the features of the meeting was the presentation
of a painting by C. T. Webber-"The Underground Railway." This picture depicts the aiding of a fugitive slave, and contains the portraits of Levi and Catherine Coffin, who, during their life-time, assisted more than three thousand slaves to escape from bondage, and whom Harriet Beecher Stowe immortalized in her "Uncle Tom's Cabin," under the names of Simeon and Rachel Holladay-the Quaker couple who helped Eliza Harris to freedom. The presentation of the picture was made by William E. Curtis, the famous war correspondent. Another presentation was that of a bronze tablet containing the Gettysburg Address, which was presented to the University by the Lincoln Educational League, of which Levi P. Morton and William Dean Howells are prominent members.
At 3:30 in the afternoon, the mass-meeting of the day was held at the new Masonic Temple. This meeting was directly under the charge of Henry B. F. Macfarland, Commissioner of the District of Columbia. Coöperating with him were special committees from the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade. The result was a meeting vivid with interest, bringing together all classes and conditions of men in one united tribute to our old War President.
Upon the platform, supporting Commissioner Macfarland, sat the former Commissioners of the District, the various committees in charge, and the heads of the Civil War societies.
The speakers were men of national prominence, among them being the Hon. Joseph G. Cannon, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Thomas Nelson Page, the Southern writer; former Senator John B. Henderson, who penned the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery; Joaquim Nabuco, Ambassador of Brazil; Justice Wendell Phillips Stafford, of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia; the Rev. J. G. Butler, who was Chaplain in several hospitals in the city during the War; and the Rev. Dr. Abram Simon, Rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation. The Invocation was offered by Edward Everett Hale, Chaplain of the Senate. Bishop D. J. O'Connell, Rector of the Catholic University, pronounced the Benediction.
The speech of Thomas Nelson Page was a tribute of the
South to the man who stood at the head of the North in the time of dissension. Mr. Page expressed his appreciation of the honor shown him in being asked "as the Southern man, to speak on this notable occasion, to celebrate, here in the Capital of the nation, where he achieved his great and abiding fame, the Centenary of the birth of the man who, more than any other man or group of men, saved the nation." The closing words of the address of Mr. Page, speaking of the South"But the passing years are sweeping away the mist that obscured her vision, and she is coming more and more to see Lincoln as he was, as a great-hearted and large-minded man who, had he lived, might have been her defender in the hour of her greatest trial-whose last acts were acts of kindness, and whose last words were words of good will and peace toward the South as well as the North"-were enthusiastically applauded by the great gathering which included in its midst a number of Confederate veterans.
In the evening of the Centenary, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Commandery of the District of Columbia, gave a banquet, about four hundred men sitting down to the table; while the balcony was crowded with women who came to look on at the scene of festivity. The programme contained the names of men of national prominence.
On the same evening, the Central Labor Union met at Odd Fellows' Hall in honor of the day, and here addresses were made by well known statesmen, and many labor leaders, including Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, and Miss Phoebe Couzins, the Womans' Suffrage leader.
LINCOLN AND THE CHARACTER OF AMERICAN
HON. JOAQUIM NABUCO
T was not without much hesitation that I accepted the inmen
chosen to address you on this great occasion, but when I was told that I would represent here the sentiment of Latin America, I felt that was a call I could not fail to answer.
The presence at this place of any single foreign nation, in the person of its official representative, would be a sufficient acknowledgment that Lincoln belongs to all the world. But there are reasons why the other nations of this continent feel themselves more closely associated with him than the rest of the world, and why they owe him the greater gratitude after that of the United States.
We are bound, indeed, to form with you a political moral unit, and no man, after Washington, has done more than Lincoln to strengthen the magnet that attracts us to you. Washington created the American freedom; Lincoln purified it.
Personally, I owe to Lincoln, not only the choice, but the easy fulfillment of what I consider was my task in life, as it was the task of so many others the emancipation of the slaves. Nobody, indeed, could say what would have been the struggle for abolition in Brazil, if, past the middle of the nineteenth century, a new and powerful nation had sprung up in America, having for its creed the maintenance and the expansion of slavery. Through what Lincoln did, owing to the great light he kindled for all the world with his Proclamation, we could win our cause without a drop of blood being shed. In fact, we won it in a national embrace-the slave-owners themselves, with the lavishness of their letters