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moving steadily forward in the blue waters, the “Olympia” in the lead, the white spray dashing around its bow, two fountains of foam leaping up forward, marking the explosion of Spanish torpedoes, the sunlight kissing and toying with the white stars in our banner as it ripples in the breeze, and on the bridge, standing erect, that pupil of Farragut, Dewey, the typical American sailor and the pride of his country.
Such a picture would find an appropriate place in that great Continental Hall, which I hope is soon to be erected by the loving Daughters of the American Revolution.
Let that picture be painted and let the canvass, all aglow with deeds as bright as God's own sunshine in that tropical clime, be handed down to the future generations. There is an inspiration in the noble deeds of kinsmen and countrymen that none know better than you, Daughters of the American Revolution, than you who feel tingling in your veins the blood that came to you from those who fought the battles that gave liberty to our country. It was for this that you founded your Order, that you might cherish the memories and keep bright and shining the examples of those who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure the independence of the Colonies. They made good their pledge, and their descendants, noble women of this generation, by keeping ever fresh the memory of the courage and sacrifices of their ancestors, will broaden and deepen throughout this land the spirit of patriotism without which no country can be great and no people can be free.
In the war that is just over you have had opportunity to practice the virtues your Society was organized to inculcate, and nobly have you responded. The regiment of nurses you sent to the front, the contributions you made in money, the charities you extended to the families of soldier and sailor, and the lives of two members of your Association freely given-all these proclaim in tones more eloquent than the tongue of any orator that you are worthy to enroll your names as Daughters of the sires of the American Revolution. May God bless and prosper your organizaton.
What Dewey, with Gridley, and Dyer, and Wilde, and Coghlan, and Wood and other brave officers and men, accomplished at Manila was only a part of what the sailor did in our war with Spain. The part played by our Navy as a whole in that contest was necessarily the lion's part.
It could not well have been otherwise. The control of the sea was to decide the war. I mean no word of disparagement to our soldiers. Never was American valor more splendidly displayed than on the heights around Santiago. I endorse every word that has fallen from the distinguished orator who preceded me in praise of the courage of our Army. I share with him in admiration of its heroism. But the capture of Santiago did little in itself towards ending the war. Santiago was not a strategic point. The center of Spanish power lay five hundred miles away, wholly inaccessible from that point. The army was sent to Santiago to aid in the capture of Cervera's fleet, and it nobly did its part. The fighting on land was important in this, it decided that the Spanish ships must leave that harbor and face an American squadron. When those ships came out, the battle that was fought went so far towards the destruction of the sea-power of Spain that the end of the war was in sight. Yet it was not the sea fights at Manila and Santiago alone that accomplished this result. There were other naval vessels engaged in destroying smaller vessels around the coasts of Cuba, and they did this work well. All honor to their officers and men. And the Navy was doing yet other work to bring about the end. A grim line of warships was gradually extending around the doomed island and this told the proud Spaniard his banner must come down in the Antilles unless the blockade could be broken; and the blockade could not be broken he knew, without ships. All honor to the gallant officers and men who, day and night, amid sunshine and storm, stood by their guns, kept watch and ward, and cut off the Spanish armies from hope of supplies or reinforcements.
All honor, too, to the bright-eyed, fair-haired, lovable young Bagley, who with his brave companions were the first to offer their lives for their country. All honor to Hobson and those volunteer sailors who performed with the “Merrimac" a deed of daring that must go down as a priceless heritage to the generations that are to come.
It is not too much to say, ladies and gentlemen, that in the Spanish-American war the conduct of officers and men of the American Navy is without blot. Admiral Sampson was criticised by newspapers because he did not make more effective the bombardment of San Juan. He was wisely obedient to the wise orders of the Secretary that he should not imperil his ships. He was criticised for not riding boldly into the harbor of Santiago in spite of torpedoes. Here again he was wisely obedient to wise orders. Results have vindicated the course that was followed. The flower of the Spanish Navy was eventually destroyed, and our men of war still rode the waters unhurt and ready to overwhelm, if need be, the remnant of the enemy's feet that lay cowering under its forts at home.
What Dewey accomplished in Manila harbor was repeated in the waters of Santiago. The unsurpassed courage and tact and seamanship of our officers and crews, together with the superior nerve and better marksmanship of our gunners, drove the Spaniards from their guns and sent the Spanish ships to the bottom of the sea. All honor to Sampson, and Schley, and Evans, and Taylor, and Clark, and Chadwick, and Cook, and to Wainwright for his wonderful fight in the little “Gloucester," and to Sharpe in the little "Vixen,” and to the officers and men under them on that memorable day. Manila and Santiago stand unrivaled among the naval battles of the world.
After these, and after the destruction of her smaller vessels around the Cuban coast, and when a blockade was effected, Spain's colonial garrisons were helpless, and surrender was inevitable.
I have now, ladies, as requested, sketched briefly for you the part played by the American sailor in the war with Spain. Let me close by saying for the sailor (and I feel that I have in some sort a right to speak for him) that he stands to-day before his Government, as he always stands before the flag at sundown when it is lowered, with uncovered head, hat in hand, modestly awaiting the commands of his country, ready to serve her in peace or in war.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Solo, “The Red, White and Blue” by Mrs. Kileski Bradbury, of Boston. [Elicited much applause; enthusiastic
enthusiastic demonstration; waiving of handkerchiefs, etc., from all over the house.)
PRESIDENT GENERAL. “The Stars and Stripes Forever" by the Fourth Artillery Band. [Applause.)
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The chairman of the program for this evening has but a word to say.
Mrs. FAIRBANKS. The Peace Jubilee Committee wishes to express its profound thanks to the Fourth Artillery Band which has rendered such martial and inspiring music, and to our two soloists who have given us such beautiful selections of patriotic songs. [Applause.) (10.05 p. m.)
MORNING SESSION, FEBRUARY 22, 1899.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. (10.33.) The house will be in order. We will unite in prayer with the Chaplain General; will the house please rise?
CHAPLAIN GENERAL. Let us unite in prayer. Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Thou hast been the dwellingplace of Thy people in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God. Our fathers trusted in Thee, and we, their children, trust in Thee; and in the beginning of our deliberations to-day we come seeking Thy guidance. Grant, we beseech Thee, to bless every interest dear to the Daughters of the American Revolution. Especially remember to bless the hundreds of trained nurses who have gone forth through the instrumentality of this Society to minister to our sick and wounded sailors and soldiers. In every time of danger and trial be Thou with them to direct and bless, and may they feel at all times that around and about them are Thine own everlasting arms.
Guide us and direct us to-day; we humbly beg it all in the name of Him who hath taught us to say, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Mr. FOSTER. Will you kindly turn to the song leaflets and sing "My country, 'Tis of Thee," the first, second, and fourth stanzas, everybody joining in the singing.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. We will listen to the reading of the minutes of yesterday.
READER. I am requested by the Recording Secretary General to state before reading the minutes that if the name of any delegate has been left out of the minutes, it is because it was impossible to get them. This is merely an outline of the minutes.
Mrs. Sperry, of Connecticut, takes the Chair during reading of the minutes.
Reader completes minutes.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. You have listened to the reading of the minutes of yesterday. Are there any corrections to be made? If not, they will stand approved.
Miss PIKE. I would be obliged to the Chair—this is not a mistake, I am asking this for some who did not fully understand—I would ask that it be stated that the reception tonight is to be at the new Corcoran gallery of art.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The new Corcoran gallery of art is where the Daughters' reception is to be held. This is the reception of the Daughters, it is not to the Daughters, so that I hope each Daughter will feel that she is hostess on this occasion.
Mrs. RAOUL. I was unfortunate yesterday in asking the indulgence of the Congress after the order of the day had been called, and as I am expecting to be called home at any moment, I would like to have a resolution read, that has reference only to getting rid of a disagreeable name that is particularly disagreeable to the southern Daughters. It is not a political question at all. I hope the house will indulge me and allow this resolution to be read before the order of the day is called.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The Chair is obliged to rule Mrs. Raoul out of order, as the minutes have not been approved. Are there any other corrections to be made?
Mrs. BALLINGER. I would like to ask if we understand the Official Reader correctly, to say those were but the outline of the minutes of yesterday? Do you think it would be wise for the house to pass upon the outlines? Had we not better wait until they are presented in full? There may be a great difference between the outline.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The Chair rules that all regular business in included in the outlines, Mrs. Ballinger. It is simply the debate that is left out. It is what the Congress has always accepted, simply the debate is left out.
Mrs. BALLINGER. I beg pardon.