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328 CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, J.R.
Twenty-four hours later we stood on that same ground. Many dear friends had yielded up their young lives during the hours which had elapsed, but, though twenty thousand fellow-creatures were wounded or dead around us, though the flood-gates of heaven seemed opened, and the torrents fell upon the quick and the dead, yet the elements seemed electrified with a certain magic influence of victory, and as the great army sank down over-wearied in its tracks, it felt that the crisis and danger were passed— that Gettysburg was immortal.
May I not, then, well express the hope that never again may we or ours be called upon so to celebrate this anniversary 2 And yet, now that the passionate hopes and fears of those days are all over, now that the grief which can never be forgotten is softened and modified by the soothing hand of time, now that the distracted doubts and untold anxieties are buried and almost forgotten, we love to remember the gathering of the hosts, to hear again in memory the shock of battle, and to wonder at the magnificence of the drama. The passion and the excitement are gone, and we can look at the work we have done and pronounce upon it. I do not fear the sober second judgment. Our work was a great work,+it was well done, and it was done thoroughly. Some one has said, “Happy is the people which has no history.” Not so | As it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, so it is better to have lived greatly, even though we have suffered greatly, than to have passed a long life of inglorious ease. Our generation—yes, we ourselves have been a part of great things. We have suffered greatly and greatly rejoiced; we have drunk deep of the cup of joy and of sorrow ; we have tasted the agony of defeat, and we have supped full with the pleasures of victory. We have proved ourselves equal to great deeds, and have learned what qualities were in us, which in more peaceful times we ourselves did not respect.
And, indeed, I would here in closing fain address a few words to such of you, if any such are here, who like myself have been soldiers during the War of the Rebellion. We should never more be partisans. We have been a part of great events in the service of the common country, we have worn her uniform, we have received her pay and devoted ourselves to the death, if need be, in her service. When we were blackened by the smoke of Antietam, we did not ask or care whether those who stood shoulder to shoulder beside us, whether he who led us, whether those who sustained us, were Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Radicals; we asked only that they might prove as true as was the steel we grasped, and as brave as we ourselves would fain have been. When we stood like a wall of stone vomiting fire from the heights of Gettysburg,_nailed to
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our position through three long days of mortal hell,—did we ask each other whether that brave officer who fell while gallantly leading the counter-charge; whether that cool gunner steadily serving his piece before us amid the storm of shot and shell; whether the poor wounded, mangled, gasping comrades, crushed and torn, and dying in agony around us, had voted for Lincoln or Douglas, for Breckenridge or Bell ? We then were full of other thoughts. We prized men for what they were worth to the common country of us all, and recked not of empty words. Was the man true, was he brave, was he earnest, was all we thought of then ;not, did he vote or think with us, or label himself with our party name? This lesson let us try to remember. We cannot give to party all that we once offered to country, but our duty is not yet done. We are no longer, what we have been, the young guard of the Republic ; we have earned an exemption from the dangers of the field and camp, and the old musket or the crossed sabres hang harmless over our winter fires, never more to be grasped in these hands henceforth devoted to more peaceful labors; but the duties of the citizen, and the citizen who has received his baptism in fire, are still incumbent upon us. Though young in years, we should remember that henceforth, as long as we live in the land, we are the ancients, the veterans of the Republic. As such, it is for us to protect in peace what we preserved in war; it is for us to look at all things with a view to the common country and not to the exigencies of party politics; it is for us ever to bear in mind the higher allegiance we have sworn, and to remember that he who has once been a soldier of the motherland degrades himself forever when he becomes the slave of faction. Then, at last, if through life we ever bear these lessons freshly in mind, will it be well for us, will it be well for our country, will it be well for those whose names we bear, that our bones also do not molder with those of our brave comrades beneath the sods of Gettysburg, or that our graves do not look down on the swift-flowing Mississippi from the historic heights of Vicksburg.
GROVER CLEVELAND (1837 —)
THE ORACLE OF DEMOCRACY
HE career of Grover Cleveland has been a remarkable one. All T previous American Presidents had been chosen on the basis either of military service or of reputation as orators and statesmen. Cleveland was known neither as general nor orator, and it would appear to have been chiefly his record for inflexible integrity in office that raised him rapidly through the offices of District Attorney, Sheriff, Mayor of Buffalo and Governor of New York, to that of President of the United States. Such reputation as he possesses as an orator has been made principally since the expiration of his two terms in the Executive office, in his earnest upholding of the basic principles of the Democratic party, and in words of calm wisdom and judicious advice on other subjects of interest.
MANUAL TRAINING FOR THE COLORED RACE
[As an example of Ex-President Cleveland's addresses on public occasions, we offer the following selection from his remarks of December 11, 1902, at the opening in Philadelphia of the Berean Manual Training and Industrial School, for the purpose of giving an industrial education to people of the colored race. J
It has often occurred to me that ever since we have become a nation the American people have almost constantly been confronted with large problems, more or less perplexing, and directly affecting the political, industrial and social phases of our national welfare. This experience, in so far as it has accustomed us to difficulties, has made us a strong and strenuous people. I think it must be admitted, however, that our success in overcoming these difficulties has engrafted upon the American character such confidence in our ability to extricate ourselves from embarrassments as amounts to actual national vanity. We seem to have a contented notion that, whatever dangers press upon us, and whatever obstacles
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are to be surmounted, we “are able because we seem to be able,” and that, because we have thus far escaped threatening perils, a happy-go-lucky reliance on continued good fortune will avail us to the end of the chapter. I plead guilty as the chief among sinners in the vanity of my Americanship. I have a suspicion, however, that our serene self-confidence has sometimes not only made us very brave and daring, but has stood in the way of an early and provident treatment of national problems, which, having been allowed to grow and harden, have invited increased pain and difficulty in their rectification. I am, therefore, impressed with the importance of this occasion, because it has to do with certain conditions which, I believe, in their present stage, should be dealt with speedily and effectively. . It is foolish for us to blind our eyes to the fact that more should be done to improve the condition of our negro population ; and it should be entirely plain to all of us that the sooner this is undertaken, the sooner will a serious duty be discharged, and the more surely will we guard ourselves against future trouble and danger. We cannot forget, however, that we have to deal with those whose deficiencies do not result entirely from their lack of education, as that term is commonly used. The circumstances of their case are peculiar and exceptional. Generations of dependence and enforced monotonous daily toil, without wages or other incentive to willing labor, and without the chance of instructive or constructive work, tainted in days past the very blood of their ancestors; and from them the present generation has inherited, not only unfitness for such diversified work as best suits the needs of self-respecting American citizenship, but also listless disinclination to attempt such work. . Unquestionably all this should be corrected—and corrected speedily. But how 2 No one who has given the subject deliberate thought can doubt that, if we are to be just and fair towards our colored fellow-citizens, and if they are to be more completely made self-respecting, useful and safe members of the body politic, they must be taught to do something more than to hew wood and draw water. The way must be opened for them to engage in something better than menial service, and their interest must be aroused to the rewards of intelligent occupation and careful thrift. I believe that the exigency can only be adequately met through the instrumentality of well equipped manual training and industrial schools, conducted either independently or in connection with ordinary educational institutions. I place so much reliance on this agency for the solution of the problem of negro citizenship that I am inclined to estimate it above all others in usefulness.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (1858 —)
nobleman, in a man of black skin, born to slavery and degradation, who has raised himself, by force of character, to be an honored citizen and the admired of all generous-hearted people everywhere. Booker T. Washington, whose very name is borrowed, is in the most absolute sense a self-made man. No one could have been more destitute of advantages or more completely have made his own way. Fairly forcing himself into Hampton Institute, with nothing to help him but eagerness to learn and determination to succeed, he left it a man of education, and with the warm friendship of the whole faculty. Chosen to conduct a normal school for colored people at Tuskegee, Alabama, he found himself obliged to begin absolutely on the ground floor, without land, buildings or apparatus, and without. money to obtain them with. In the short period of twenty years he had obtained buildings and land worth over $300,000, with an endowment fund in addition of $215,000; his pupils had increased from thirty to eleven hundred, and the graduates of the institution, with an excellent literary and industrial education, were spread widely over the South. Such are the results which a man can attain with character, energy and ability to back him, and sustained by the force of a great humanitarian idea.
CAST DOWN YOUR BUCKET WHERE YOU ARE
[Booker T. Washington is a natural orator. It is largely to the effect of his oratory that he owes his success. His method is of the simplest; there is nothing ornate in his language, his words being those of every day speech ; rhetoric and flights of fancy are not thought of; a child could understand him, and yet his influence over grown men and women has been great. Indeed, his address at the opening of the Atlanta Exposition of 1895, was one of the most effective bits of natural oratory of
W E have before us to-day a significant example of an American