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Addresses of Rev. J. K. Gutheim and Rev. Dr. Palmer, at the great meeting in New Orleans.

We are sure that our readers will be glad to have the other addresses delivered at the great meeting at New Orleans, on the 25th of April in behalf of our Society. We have not been able to secure a copy of that of General George D. Johnston, of which the papers spoke in high terms, but have great pleasure in presenting those of Rabbi Gutheim, and Dr. Palmer, in addition to the superb address of President Davis which we printed in our last number.

Address of Rabbi J. K. Gutheim

Ladies and Gentleman,--“The history of the world is the tribunal of judgment of the world.” This pithy sentence of the great German poet may in its spirit be applied to the special history of every single nation. Whatever the deeds and experiences of peoples and States--whatever the destinies and events occurring in the bosom of the human family, history transmits them in its records to posterity to render an impartial verdict. Happily, in the progress of human knowledge, history need no longer be construed from mute monuments which have been preserved from the ravages of time, but the modern historian is enabled to render a truthful account of any important event or period by examining and collating the written documents which throw light on the course of events he desires to illustrate.

True history is the result of patient research, unbiased judgment, a comprehensive, intelligent review of cause and effect, of all attainable facts and data that mark the course of events. It must be free from hasty conclusions of the moment, contracted judgments of selfishness [249] and preconceived opinions. Moreover, the historian must not sink into the annalist, who, instead of solving a problem, merely paints a picture. It is in accordance with this standard that the merits of any important cause will become manifest, and prove a stimulus to human progress.

The mighty conflict which for four long and bitter years convulsed our country, devastated our blooming fields and flourishing cities, and desolated our homes, was ended at Appomattox Courthouse. The cause for which it was waged and which had enlisted the warm sympathies and active participation of our noblest, purest and ablest minds — was lost. Seventeen years have passed since the sword was sheathed and the opposings chieftains shook hands. Peace and reconciliation, it was hoped, would follow war and resentment. But the cessation of actual hostilities did not at once re-establish general concord, mutual confidence and fraternal relations between the opposing sections. As the billows of the sea rise mountain high when lashed by the tempest, and after the war of elements has ceased, slowly, gradually, recede, until the mighty deep reassumes its wonted placid calm, thus it is with the passions of man. And our civil war forms no exception. These passions once so deep and intense, have gradually been softened by the mellowing influences of time, a better feeling and a better mutual understanding is daily spreading, and North and South can this day join hands and hearts as citizens of a united republic, who glory in the preservation of the Union.

But the question is asked, what is the aim of this Southern Historical Society? Is it not a sectional institution? Why foster creations that have a tendency to perpetuate a sectional spirit?

Permit me to answer this question by citing an incident from the history of ancient Israel.

It will be remembered that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, had received their inheritance beyond the Jordan on the express condition of sending their warriors to assist their brethren in the conquest of the promised land. They faithfully and honorably redeemed their promise, and after a seven years campaign were finally dismissed to their homes.

But no sooner had they reached the borders of the Jordan than they erected a great altar, visible from afar. When intelligence of this understanding reached the council of the people at Shiloh they were struck with amazement. They suspected that the two tribes and a half meant treason, intending to set up an independent establishment for worship, and to destroy the connection by which the tribes were linked [250] together. But in order not to act hastily, or without proper inquiry in a matter of such deep importance, they sent a delegation to investigate the subject.

The delegates proceeded on their mission, and stated the grounds of complaint. But the two-and-a-half tribes protested in the most solemn terms that their object was, in all respects, the very reverse of that imputed to them. Instead of meaning a separation, they had set up their altar as a monument to future ages of the connection between tribes separated by the river, so that if, at any time to come, their descendants should attempt to cast off the connection and assert their independence, or if the Israelites should hereafter attempt to disown their union, and declare that the people beyond the river had “no part in the Lord,” this monument might be pointed to in evidence of the fact. Hearing this explanation, the delegates expressed their approval and returned.

The application of this episode is easily made. The Southern Historical Society is anxious to set up a monument in the collection and preservation of all authentic documents, both official and unofficial, that bear on the fortunes and issues of that tremendous struggle by which “a house was divided against itself,” in order to furnish valuable materials to the impartial historian who may address himself to the task of writing a history “in which nothing is extenuated and naught set down in malice.” It is a monument which bears evidence to the strength of the Union. As a great result, the war has obliterated Mason's and Dixon's line from the map of the Republic. Let us hope and trust that henceforward no imaginary geographical line again be drawn to indicate a division of political sentiment; let us hope and trust that henceforward the only contention between the States be which shall excel the other in loyalty to the Constitution, attachment to the Union, and the zeal for establishing the fundamental rights of liberty.

The eloquent Rabbi was loudly applauded.

Address of Rev. Dr. B. M. Palmer.

Ladies and Gentlemen:--You have just heard from the lips of General Johnston the objects of this Society, and you have heard of the necessity of an endowment of only $50,000. I consider this a very moderate sum when we consider the territory over which the appeal is to be made.

The practical question arises, and a question always asked when [251] money is required of a people, is there any need of this organization, and is its work a work that must be done?

I answer both questions in the affirmative for reasons that I will briefly submit. The first is that the history of every historic people should be fully written, and nothing must be withheld which contributes to that end. The scholarly youth, when he encounters in his academic course the study of history, is appalled by its magnitude. With the map of the world spread before him, he asks, in dismay, is a lifetime sufficient to compass the history of all these lands and of the peoples who have lived and wrought upon them for 6,000 years? He is soon reassured, however, when he learns that but a very small portion of the earth's surface and few of its nations are historic. You may, for example, throw all Africa overboard, except its Mediterranean coast and a small portion that lies upon the delta of the Nile. In like manner, nearly the whole of the massive and monotonous continent of Asia may be discounted.

Even Europe, a larger portion of its territory is just emerging into history, in the only representative of the Slavonic race which has never yet fulfilled its part in history. We who have dwelt on this continent for the last 300 or 400 years are the descendants of nations that are historic, and the United States has a history which must be written.

But if it is to be written as a whole it must be written in all its parts, and the first draught must come from the actors by whom the history has been made. They can but set forth the motives of their conduct, and the principles by which they were actuated. These earlier chronicles are the original sources from which a more elaborate and philosophic record may be constructed.

For example, I was interested the other day in the argument used by La Salle with the Governor of Canada, when he suggested to him the plan of connecting the St. Lawrence with the Mississippi by a chain of forts. “I think,” said he, “that the Mississippi draws its source somewhere in the vicinity of the Celestial Empire, and that France will be not only the mistress of all the territory between the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, but will command the trade of China flowing down through the new and mighty channel which I shall open to the Gulf of Mexico.”

We smile at the geographical mistake of the explorer — only to wonder how near he comes to the truth after the lapse of two hundred years--in that stream of Asiatic commerce, which we expect to flow from our California coast and empty itself by rail into our city upon the Gulf. That we may contribute our part to the history of the [252] country at large, I would have the Southern Historical Society gather and preserve all that properly belongs to us, and transmit a true account to the generations that are to come. In the second place there are great principles underlying the struggle through which we have recently passed, which need to be expounded as held by both the combatants. It is a mistake to suppose that war is always the mere outburst of human passion. On the contrary the great wars of earth — those which have been projected upon the largest scale and protracted through the longest period, and especially occurring between members of the same race, have been the result of an antecedent conflict of opinions which seeking reconciliation in vain, appealed finally to the sword to settle the question of ascendency. Why! The thirty years war between Sparta and Attica was but the culmination of the struggle between the Doric and Ionic elements of the Grecian stock which emerged at the earliest dawn of authentic history; two nations struggled together like Jacob and Esau, even in the womb. So ancient was the feud that even the armed invasion of Persia scarcely composed it for a time, only to break forth in the war of the Peloponnesus, so fatal in its issue to the independence of both. From the outset these two were the exponents of two opposing systems of government and social discipline, Lacedaimon espousing a policy which may be defined as continental and oligarchic, while Athens represented the idea of commerce and democracy — Sparta seeking to consolidate the continental States under the supremacy of the few — Athens to weld the maritime States into a confederacy of which she should be the centre and the head. Or, take as a more modern example, the long struggle of 1648 to 1688 in English history, which was simply a contest between prerogative on the part of the Crown and privilege on the part of the people, the final issue of which was the establishment of the present English government, the freest and happiest empire on the globe. And can it be denied that great and fundamental principles lay at the heart of the civil war in which the two sections of this country were lately engaged? I am not here to discuss these principles upon the one side or the other, but it is due to historic truth that both should be set forth by the advocates who were willing to submit them to the gauge of battle. I would have the Southern expounder and the Northern expounder stand face to face, as did Lee and Grant at Appomattox, and argue the case before the nations of the earth. For this cause let the documents be preserved upon which the argument is to be founded, and the verdict is to be rendered. I assign as a third reason for the perpetuation of this Society, my conviction that the result of [253] the conflict between the North and the South will be the preservation of the principles and institutions of our fathers, in all the grand future which I hope is before us.

Mr. President, we hear on every hand about the Lost Cause. Was there ever a cause lost which was supported by truth? And can a cause be lost which has passed through such a baptism as ours? Principles never die, and if they seem to perish it is only to experience a resurrection in the future. I have lived long enough, though my observation lies chiefly in the ecclesiastical sphere, to see small minorities leaven with their principles the very majorities by which they were overwhelmed. And you have read in history that nations have morally subdued the very powers by whom they have been crushed. Rome conquered Greece, but Greece in her fall infused her philosophy and her culture into the very foe by whom she was destroyed. Rome, in her turn, civilized the very savages by whom she was overrun, so that out of the very chaos of the obliterated Roman empire emerged the present congress of European States.

Sir, there is a tribunal before which even nations must appear — a tribunal before which old causes shall be retired and the final verdict be rendered which can never again be reversed. There must come a time when the passions which have shaken the earth to its centre must subside; when the mists of error and mistake roll up and drift away after hanging their curtains long around the truth. God in his adorable Providence raises up the advocates who speak, men of a judicial build, who force these solemn historic retractions in which eternal justice throws down its shadow upon the earth. Look, for example, at Motley drawing from the archives of the Escurial itself the damning evidence that had slept for three hundred years, upon which the second Philip is convicted as the blackest felon that ever disgraced the people. Look, again, at Carlyle planting his burly form against the billows and rolling back the tide of prejudice which had swelled against Cromwell for two hundred years.

We, like all the nations, must stand before that bar and be judged. Our history is not yet finished. God grant that it may not be for centuries to come. It is a little over one hundred years since our independence of the British throne, and less than one hundred since the adoption of the Constitution under which we live. I speak, no doubt, the sentiment of every person in this large audience when I express the wish, I may even add the faith, that these United States may remain united when its government shall cover the continent from ocean to ocean. But we cannot be blind to the peril arising from this extension [254] of territory. The great kingdoms of the past have perished under this danger, being broken by their own weight. To us of this generation belongs a task as mighty as that achieved by our fathers. If they had the wisdom to devise a government admirable in its adjustments, ours is to be the statesmanship which shall apply the same in its indefinite expansion. If we shall succeed in this we shall have the glory not inferior to those who first framed the republic.

Dr. Palmer never fails to capture the crowd, and the thunders of applause with which he was greeted on this occasion showed that his address was a fitting finale of the grand meeting.

The following statement will show the financial results of this effort:

Report of committee and treasurer.

The undersigned beg leave to submit to the patrons of the meeting, held at the Opera-House Tuesday, April 25, in behalf of the Southern Historical Society, the following statement of receipts and expenditures:

Receipts from sale of tickets and donations$1,605 40
Receipts from sale of refreshments67 00
  1,672 40
Rent of Opera-House$50 00 
Gas Bill15 00 
Advertisements29 75 
Music35 00 
Telegrams4 50 
Service at the Opera-House25 00 
 159 25
Net proceeds of the meeting$1,513 15

Committee--Mrs. Percy Roberts, Mrs. Alfred Roman, Mrs. F. N. Ogden, Mrs. Francis T. Nicholls, Mrs. W. A. Johnson, Mrs. S. H. Boyd.

Fred. N. Ogden, Treasurer.

Received from General F. N. Ogden, treasurer, the sum of $1,513.15, being the net proceeds of the meeting held in this city Tuesday evening, April 25, 1882, for the benefit of the Southern Historical Society.

Geo. D. Johnston, General Agent of the Southern Historical Society.

After the above report was made, General Johnston received $29.55 [255] additional, so that the total net receipts amounted to the very handsome sum of fifteen hundred and forty-two dollars and seventy cents ($1,542.70).

Again we tender our hearty thanks to all concerned, and assure them that this grand meeting will prove to the Society a new “send off” on a career of prosperity and success in its noble work.

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