, and women of New York.--In a time like the present, which is one of action rather than words, and in such a presence, there is, indeed, an embarrassment in the language I might use to express my thoughts.
The cold logic of the head would hardly seem to do justice to the occasion, while the warm and generous impulses of the heart might be obnoxious on the charge of boasting, which is neither an evidence of patriotism nor courage.
And still, if I can say a single word — for which none but myself will be responsible — to aid or cheer you in the rugged path of duty, I am willing to contribute that word.
(Applause.) We present to-day such a spectacle as the world has never witnessed in any age or country.
In all the loyal States there beats in men and women's bosoms but one single heart.
(Applause). And that heart beats in vindication of our common country and the liberty we inherited from our fathers.
(Applause.) We have differed in opinions upon the passing questions of the hour, for they are passed, and they are a sealed book.
Let the dead bury the dead.
(Applause.) We are to-day forgetful of the past.
We live with the stirring present around us only in bright hopes of the future, and in the discharge of the duties that devolve upon us depends that future.
Why is it that you, women, in such vast numbers from this Empire City
, have gathered from your humble and your luxurious homes?
Why is it?
Why is it, but that you feel as men feel, that all that we have and all that is valuable in life is at stake and is imperilled?
(Applause.) There is nothing, from the stirring mart of commerce up to all the endearments that cluster around the domestic altar, that is not in the issue.
Of what use is commerce in all its ramifications — of what use is home with all its endearments, without it is guarded and protected by the law. All these are assailed by those who are attempting to subvert the government under which we live.
The Stars, which are the hopes, and the Stripes, which are the emblems of liberty, have been ignominiously dishonored; our public property and our fortifications have been assailed and taken by rebels from their rightful owners; and the government under which we live is threatened with subversion.
These are the things that have stirred the hearts of men and women until all are united.
(Applause.) These are the things that have brought you together here — these the causes which have united us all as one.
And let me say, there is no other course to pursue now but the vindication of the integrity of the government under which we live.
(Applause.) It is a false philanthropy — it is a false humanity — that shall falter now in this trying hour of trouble.
(Applause.) The safety of the republic consists in the energy and efficiency of the government.
(Applause.) The loyalty of the people is unquestioned.
Destruction only is with those who falter.
These are stirring times, and now we must test the question, whether we have or have not a government?
To abandon that great question now is to abandon all. (Applause.) In one sense of the word there is some truth in the allegation that the contest is a sectional one.
In the broader and more comprehensive view it is not so. It is a question of government or no government.
That is the true question which we have to settle — whether we have a government, whether we received that government from our fathers, and shall perpetuate it to those who come after us?
(Applause.) That is the question, however variously sections may array themselves upon either side.
How we are cheered along the pathway of our duty by the kind and cordial aid which woman gives!
You have met hero for the purpose of perfecting more thoroughly an organization which shall be of incalculable benefit to the cause.
Your sons, your husbands, your brothers, who have gone forth to battle for all that you hold dear and valuable to you, will be sustained in the hour of conflict and in the hour of pain, when they know that their mothers and sisters are devoting their best energies to give them comfort, whatever their condition or wherever they may be. (Applause.) Our grand cause, and the prayers that will go up to heaven for them and for their cause, will stimulate them in the hour of battle, and after it shall pass away.
(Applause.) God bless you, women of New York!
in the days of her culminated power never witnessed scenes like these.
The world has never seen it. Here palatial parlors are devoted to the manufacture of useful and necessary articles for sons, brothers and fathers, who have gone to the war. (Applause.) You have met here to systematize your work and to invite the cooperation of others throughout the land.
Let me tell you they will come from every green hillside and every valley all over New England
, my home, and from every loyal State.
(Loud applause.) They will cooperate with you; they will form one grand central point, pour in their contributions, and send to you those who are competent to alleviate the sufferings of the sick and wounded.
(Applause.) They will cooperate with you, with their humble hands and their means — will join with you in their prayers to Heaven, to aid that cause which all know to be so just.
And with your cooperation — with your prayers and appealing to the God of Heaven, for the rectitude of our purpose and the purity of our cause, we know liberty shall be perpetuated in our land.--N. Y. Herald
, April 30.