previous next

[118] my birthplace — my forefathers having fought for that glorious flag — to-day I say, “My country, one, undivided, and inseparable. I know no North, no South, no East, no West--nothing but my country and my country's flag.” (Immense cheering, and waving of ladies' handkerchiefs.)

The Chairman here interrupted the speaker to say, it had been just stated to him that Washington, their noble capital, was in danger; and as the steamship Baltic lay at the foot of Canal street, for the purpose of taking away volunteers to-morrow morning, he wanted five thousand of them to go at 7 o'clock in the morning. “Now, then,” said the speaker, “who will go?” (The question was answered by hundreds in a breath, who cried out lustily, “We'll all go; We'll all go.” ) “There are four regiments,” he continued, “to sail to-morrow for Baltimore. Those who want to serve their country, let them come forward and enroll themselves to protect the flag of their country.” (Cheers.)

Mr. Smith resumed — I remember these old gentlemen--(the Veterans)--and on every occasion I have met them when they appeared in public. They have been pleased to call me their young friend. Not so young, perhaps, as to make a great distinction, but yet their friend forever. In those I recognize men who have stood up in the face of the British cannon — who have listened to the whizzing of thousands of bullets, and all for the glory and freedom of our common country. (Cheers.) And in these brave old remnants of the Revolution I am proud to say that I have relatives to-day. An uncle of mine is now on this stand who has fought for the glory of his country, and is still ready to render his services, if needs be, in that country's cause. Even Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia, who got so sick after having taken a brandy cock-tail at Fort Sumter--the scion of one of the noblest families in Virginia — even Roger A. Pryor, with that dose of ipecac in his stomach, does not boast of such blood in his veins as this common plebeian born on Manhattan Island. What a ridiculous figure Pryor must have cut with that magazine of revolvers and bowie-knives surrounding the upper part of his hips. Now, we want a good square fight this time. We have, as I said before, on this island one million of souls. We have one hundred thousand voters, and every one of them is a fighting man. (Cheers.) If it is necessary, then, you and I will leave our wives and families, believing there is public corporate spirit enough in this city to support them while we are fighting for our country. (Cheers.) We will go down South and show them that though we were born north of Mason and Dixon's line, though we have cold winters, we have warm hearts and red blood in our veins. (Tumultuous cheering.) This is the time to try men's souls. Show me your traitor to-day, and I will show you the rope that is spun to hang him, (Great applause.) There is no time now for mealy mouths to talk, The summer soldiers, they may forsake the cause of freedom, but he who stands up firmly deserves the love and thanks of men and women both. (Cheers.) These were the motives which actuated the Revolutionary patriots. These are the words which exalted every American heart when the soldiers of the Revolution went to New Jersey to fight the battles of Monmouth and Trenton. (Applause.) And to-day the same words thrill every heart. This is no time for mealy mouths — no time for milk-and-water men — no time for summer soldiers — fighting is the business of the day. Who will fight? I will. Will you? (Great cheering, and cries of “Yes, Yes!” ) It is not the muscle in the street brawl that is now required; it is the heart and will — the love of liberty — the feeling that we are men. (Cheers.) No man who has cracked his whip over a nigger's shoulders shall crack it over us. (Cheers.) There is no oligarchy here. You men, with your rough felt hats — you with your cloth caps that cost two-and-six-pence--you with your silky hat that cost five dollars--you with your Grand street, Chatham street, or Broadway make of clothes — there is no distinction between us. We are all men, we are fighting for liberty. (Boisterous cheering.) It is not a question of money nor class, but one of free institutions, popular government, and manhood. (Cheers.) Let you and I, then, prove ourselves worthy of the name of Americans. No matter where you were born, “We believe these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, amongst which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We have a glorious Union cemented with the blood of our fathers, to fight for, and we say, as they said, when they fought for it--“the Union, one and forever--one and inseparable.” (Loud cheering.) There can be no secession. There is but one common sentiment actuating the North. It is no sectional thing on our part. Major Anderson, though he was forced by untoward circumstances to yield, did not allow the flag of his country to be disgraced; and whenever any American thinks of defending that flag, let him remember Major Anderson, and let no influences force him to yield one jot or tittle from that flag, from which no star shall be struck, not a stripe taken. Let no circumstances force him to yield to any domestic traitor or any foreign foe. (Cheers.)


Remarks of Edmond Blankman.

He came there, he said, as a looker-on; but when he heard the patriotic speeches of old men, ready to die for their country, he had something to say. With his fellow-citizens he had a strong right arm to use always for his country and its flag. (Cheers.) He asked them, his friends — he asked the ladies present, who were there in that assemblage, who did not love the glorious Stars and Stripes? (Applause and cries of “None, none.” ) Their brethren of the South might say that they would reduce the Capital to ashes, but in return to them he said this — Let them do their spite — let them level the city to the ground — let them despoil its beautiful edifices — and let them if they would, pull down that magnificent statue of their Washington, and he said, that from the ashes of our ruins would arise the glorious and great Constitution of our forefathers, phoenix-like, in all its integrity — the safeguard and protection of our future posterity.

After an eloquent appeal to the patriotism of the American people, the speaker closed his remarks, and the proceedings terminated.--N. Y. Herald, April 21, 24.

Many eloquent and patriotic speeches were made from the balconies of buildings on the south side of Union square, and amid a very large concourse of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Roger A. Pryor (3)
Robert Anderson (2)
J. E. West (1)
George Washington (1)
C. H. Smith (1)
J. M. Mason (1)
Archibald Dixon (1)
Edmond Blankman (1)
Americans (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 24th (1)
April 21st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: