to defend it. Let us prove ourselves adequate to the expectations of the friends of liberty in the old world as well as in the new, whose eyes are fixed upon us. The two powers which have grown up side by side in the United States
from the beginning, self-government and slavery, stand now face to face against each other.
It is now for the first time in the history of the world, that slavery in its worst developments, makes a revolution against the morals and ethics of society; that it tries to found a State on all that is mean, contemptible, and unsound in human nature.
But such a State cannot and will not last.
If justice and liberty do not form its basis, it is doomed from the first day of its existence.
But it will not disappear of itself; it must be swept away by us, and, as peaceful means will not do, we must use iron means, and we must send to these sinners against human nature our arguments with twelve-pounders and mortars.
As my eyes are glancing over this majestic assembly, majestic as well by its numbers as by its enthusiasm, I perceive at once that every one of you, fellow-citizens, understands his duty, and that every one of you will be ready for your country's call.
This call will be war — and nothing but war — until our arms shall have won a glorious triumph, and our flag shall float again victorious from the Potomac
to the Rio Grande
If I had prepared a speech, I would not be able to recite it in the presence of such a jubilation, the booming of the cannons and the shouts, which have greeted the hero of Fort Sumter
But I will recite to you the verses of our national poet, Theodor Korner, who said that when the people rises there will be no coward found to sit idle, and who called the man a contemptible enervated fellow who would not be in the ranks of the defenders of his country, when that country called him. You do not look like cowards.
(Cries of “No, no!” ) You look like brave fellows.
(Cheers.) What are platforms, what are parties; there is a higher sentiment prevailing, and no political clique shall divide us. We are now gathered here in purpose of discussing a measure of the government.
We know what we are about; there can be no doubt about it. We see the object when we see the heroes of Fort Sumter
, when we hear the sound of the guns!
Who is blind or deaf enough not to see that we have to shoulder the musket and to go into the holy war for our adopted country.
Not the union of parties, but the union of strength is it, what we want.
We have not left our country in which we have been persecuted, and from which we are exiled, in order that we might have the same mizere
It was not for nothing that we have left there the recollections of our younger years, the playmates and our fellow-warriors in the fight for freedom.
We have got in this country that freedom for which we have fought in vain on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean
, and we will show that we are worthy of that new fatherland by defending its rights against the fiendish aggressions of ruthless rebels, who threaten the existence of this republic.
Democrats and republicans, remember the danger in which the country is, and take the musket to avert the danger for now and forever. (Mr.
S. was most heartily cheered when he left the stand.)
He observed that the Germans were disposed to show their thankfulness to this country.
It was in the German character to be thankful.
Some of those present had come here and gained positions, and those who had not, had gained the privilege to be free men and independent citizens.
For this they ought to be thankful.
There was a particular reason for them to be patriots, and this was because they were naturally republicans — not republicans in the political meaning in this country, but in the real sense of the term.
The political parties were now entirely out of question, and one party had probably made as many mistakes as the other.
We were republicans now, and as such all present ought to stand by our country.
The despots of Europe
were anxiously and hopefully watching the movements in this country.
So far, we had insisted upon the republican form of government as the only one which is right and calculated to make a people happy.
Let all those present stand by our flag.
There were other reasons why it should be done; it was this.. The war against the North
was a war against human; liberty.
The question was now, whether they (the Germans) would stand by the side of liberty, or by the side of oppression.
The government of the Union
had long been very lenient and discreet, but it had exhausted its patience.
Patience had ceased to be a virtue.
There was no question now whether war or no war; war had been wantonly and deliberately forced upon us, and they (the Germans) were ready for war. Mr. Wesendonck
created coniderable enthusiasm among the thousands of Germans present.
After he had finished his speech in English
, he continued in German
, and remarked:--It has often been asked why we make war against the South
War cannot last forever, and the South
can be exterminated, but not subjugated.
But this is not the question; we have to punish rebellion, and the victory will be on the side of the North
To be sure, the North
was very slow; the South
had had six months for preparation; they have taken a firm position; have armed themselves with all implements of modern warfare, and have the advantage of time.
has been blamed because he was too indulgent; but there was something which he had to take into consideration, namely, public opinion.
Why? We have now the North
as a unit, and we can quietly look on and be sure of success, if we fight for our rights with that tenacity of purpose which always has characterized the Germans.
We have the advantage of money and numbers, and we will have the same enthusiasm to the end which we have to-day.
Patriotism is not shown on one single day only; we must have perseverance, even if we should be defeated in the beginning; we must finally vanquish, because we are the defenders of liberty, humanity, and right.
There is no doubt but that we shall carry this war to the last extremity, because we want to give the rights to the South
which are due to them; but we want some rights for ourselves, too. We have no opposition to it if the South
introduces restraints within its own borders; but they shall not dare to intrude upon our rights; if they do so, we will whip them.
They shall not break down our palladium.
Liberty and the South
will always be in an irrepressible conflict, although by no fault of their own. There is a discrepancy in these two words.
The South have made all their institutions theme selves, but the climate has made them to some extent.
There are good men in the South
; and although I do not want to reproach the South
,. I declare that liberty and Southern institutions always will be in an irrepressible conflict.
This war is no