Address to the Boston school children (1865).
On Tuesday forenoon, July 28, 1865, the Seventy-Second Annual Festival of the Public Schools
took place in Music Hall.
There was, as usual, a densely crowded attendance of the parents and friends of the children.
The hall was handsomely decorated for the occasion.
The choir of children numbered twelve hundred, under the direction of Mr. Carl Zerrahn
Addresses were made by Mayor Lincoln
, Rev. Henry Burroughs, Jr.
, Hon. Richard H. Dana
, and Wendell Phillips
“I spoke without gesture,” Mr. Phillips
says, “fearing if I moved a finger, I should topple over on one side and fall into Mayor Lincoln
Fellow-Citizens: I was invited by the Mayor
to address the scholars of the schools of Boston
, but like my friend Mr. Dana
, who preceded me, I hardly know in what direction to look in the course of this address for the scholars.
I can hardly turn my back on them, nor can I turn my back on you. I shall have to make a compromise,--that everlasting refuge of Americans
[Applause.] I recollect, when I was in college, that when a classmate came upon the stage we could recognize in the audience where the family, the mother, or sister were, by noticing him when he made his first bow. He would look toward them, and they would invariably bow in return.
By this inevitable sign, I have distinguished many a mother, sister, and father among the audience to-day.