Unveiling of the monument to the Richmond HowitzersAt Richmond, Virginia, December 13, 1892.
With the Oration of Leigh Robinson, of Washington, D. C.A noble Defence of the South—The services of the Howitzers Glowingly Rehearsed.
[From the Richmond Dispatch, December 14, 1892.] The weather of Tuesday, December 13, 1892, was not propitious for the Howitzer Monument unveiling. It lacked every suggestion of a gala occasion, and could but carry many Howitzers and other veterans back to the days when, half-starved and half-clad, they shivered over a handful of fire. But the driving, penetrating rain and piercing blast could not daunt the spirit of the men whose guns had been heard upon every battlefield from Bethel to Appomattox, nor those who had stood shoulder to shoulder with the heroic Howitzers. The step of the veterans was not as jaunty as it was in the period from 1861 to 1865, but their hearts glowed with the recollections of that period, and there was no lack of enthusiasm from the beginning to the end of the ceremonies. The unveiling was a success in all of its details, and the memorial now stands forth an object-lesson to future generations. It is an imperishable illustration in the history of a people whose valor, fortitude,  and unselfish devotion to principle have no parallel in the annals of war.
Significance of the memorial.What does the Howitzer Monument mean? What does it stand for? It means more than that this one fell under his gun never to rise again, or that one will go to his grave a physical wreck. It stands for more than physical courage. It means also that the survivors were among the rebuilders of the devastated South. It stands also for a moral courage that could rise superior to any adversity. In the crowd of veterans that assembled in the Theatre yesterday were hundreds who, when the war closed, were absolutely penniless, but whose energy, enterprise, self-denial, and patience constitute the foundation stones upon which the present prosperity of Richmond and Virginia is reared. These, no less than the gallant youths who offered up their lives amid the rush and smoke of battle, and whose memory will never fade from the Southern heart, are typified in ‘No 1 in position and out,’ but ready for whatever may betide. The figure stands for the spirit of the South—not only the spirit that was invincible in war, but the spirit that defied being broken or humiliated in peace.
Military with the Veterans.The military of the city entered into the spirit of the occasion with the zeal that always characterizes them when called upon to aid the veterans in giving eclat to their undertakings. All arms of the service—infantry, artillery, and cavalry—were splendidly represented in the column which escorted the Howitzer veterans and the two Confederate camps to the site of the monument and saluted the memorial after it was unveiled.
Exercises at the Theatre.Dr. Dame's Prayer—Mr. White presents the orator.
The exercises at the Theatre began a few minutes after 2 o'clock. The lower part of the building was occupied by the Howitzer Association, Lee and Pickett Camps of Confederate Veterans, and the present Howitzer Battery. The galleries were thrown open to the general public, and in the throng that gathered in them were many ladies.  On the stage, in addition to Mr. J. Blythe Moore, president of the Howitzer Association, Rev. Dr. Dame, who offered the prayer; Mr. W. L. White, who introduced the orator, and Mr. Robinson, the orator, were Bishop Randolph, Mr. W. L. Sheppard, Hon. J. Taylor Ellyson, F. D. Hill, James T. Gray, Thomas Booker, J. M. Fourqurean, Judge George L. Christian, Carlton McCarthy, Rev. J. Calvin Stewart, Colonel W. E. Cutshaw, Major Henry C. Carter, E. D. Starke, D. S. McCarthy, Colonel G. Percy Hawes, Captain Beaureguard Lorraine, Captain E. J. Bosher, and others. The banner of the veteran Howitzers was borne by Mr. Thomas Booker, Rev. Dr. Dame holding the right and Mr. James T. Gray the left cord. The music was furnished by the Howitzer Band.
Prayer by Dr. Dame.Mr. J. Blythe Moore called the assemblage to order and introduced Rev. Dr. W. M. Dame, who, he said, would open the exercises with prayer. Before commencing his prayer, Dr. Dame requested the audience to join with him in reciting the Apostles' Creed, the creed of all Christian faiths; after which he offered a fervent invocation of the Divine blessing. After imploring the help of God in our daily troubles, he said: ‘We thank Thee, O God, that at the call of duty our people were ready to do and to suffer for the cause of righteousness, freedom and truth. We thank Thee for the deeds of sacrifice that gemmed the story of our struggle for liberty.’ The minister then alluded to the many brave comrades who had fallen in battle. Some, he said, were blessed with the Spirit of God, who in calling them away was simply taking His own unto Himself. But there were others to whom the grace of the Lord had not been revealed. For these he asked forgiveness. Dr. Dame then referred to his comrades who had survived the great struggle of days gone by, and who, despite many vicissitudes, had been able to restore their country to the prosperity which it now enjoys. He prayed earnestly for those who had fallen and were now degraded. In concluding his prayer Dr. Dame asked God to continue to show us the way of righteousness and to keep us ever ready to respond to every just and noble cause. The audience then united with Dr. Dame in repeating the Lord's Prayer. This was deeply impressive, as was the repeating of the Apostles' Creed at the opening of the prayer.
The orator introduced.Mr. W. L. White then introduced the orator of the occasion, Mr. Leigh Robinson, of Washington, and in so doing said: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Proud of the distinguished honor conferred upon me by the Association, I present to you with pleasure and satisfaction the silvery-tongued orator of the Howitzer battalion, as brave and chivalrous in war as he has become renowned in peace. At the battle of Bethel, the first land engagement of the war it will be remembered, the Howitzers received their first baptism of fire. There the Confederates successfully met and defeated the Federals against odds of from three to four to one, driving them panic-stricken back to the guns of Fortress Monroe, and causing them to leave their dead and wounded upon the field from which they were driven as ‘leaves upon the strand.’ Among the prominent men killed were Lieutenant Grebble, commanding the artillery, and Major Winthrop, of Boston, a volunteer commander of the famous Billy Wilson Zouaves, and I may be pardoned for saying here, a braver man never drew sword in defence of any cause. The next day a flag of truce was sent for his body, with the inquiry from General Butler, ‘What artillery was that which did such magnificent firing and execution?’ General McGruder smiled and said: ‘Why, sir, it was nothing more than a parcel of school-boys, with primers in their pockets.’ And true it was, for but few had reached the age of manhood. It is of these boys and their heroism, from Bethel to Appomattox, that our distinguished orator will speak to you this afternoon, and while one of the battalion survives to recite and recall the daring deeds of the Confederate dead and living, it can never be said of the honored dead: Out of the world's way, out of its light,
Out of the ages of worldy weather—
Made one with death, filled full of the night,
Forgotten as the world's first dead are forgotten.
We have read of the valor of the heroes of Marathon, Thermopylae, and ancient Macedonia, but, Mr. President, I have the honor to present to this audience this afternoon not only a gifted orator,  but a ‘Virginian’ (to the manner born), a Howitzer, and a hero of one of the grandest armies that was ever marshalled upon a field of battle. To this large and cultivated audience he needs no further introduction, and I present to you Mr. Leigh Robinson, an adopted citizen of Washington City.
Mr. Robinson's Oration. He Defends the South and tells of the Howitzers' deeds.As Mr. Robinson walked down the stage he was warmly received. He has a clear, musical voice and enunciated with a distinctness which made every word he uttered heard in all parts of the building. He said: My Friends and Fellow-Howitzers I cannot better introduce what I have to say than by the words of a legend of the East: ‘When the lofty and barren mountain was first upheaved into the sky, and from its elevation looked down on the plains below and saw the valley and less elevated hills covered with verdant and fruitful trees, it sent up to Brahma something like a murmur of complaint: “Why thus barren? Why these scarred and naked sides exposed to the eye of man?” And Brahma answered: “The very light shall clothe thee, and the shadow of the passing cloud shall be as a royal mantle. More verdure would be less light. Thou shalt share in the azure of heaven, and the youngest and whitest cloud of a summer's sky shall nestle in thy bosom. Thou belongest half to us.” ’ ‘So was the mountain dowered, and so, too,’ adds the legend, ‘have the loftiest minds of men been in all ages dowered. To lower elevations have been given the pleasant verdure, the vine, and the olive. Light, light alone—and the deep shadow of the passing cloud—these are the gifts of the prophets of the race.’ And so, I will add, so is it with the eminence of self-sacrifice. Out of convulsive wrestle are they lifted. The winds and the rains contemn them. The hail strips them bare. The lightning by which they are torn is their only sceptre. The tents of the tempest are pitched on all their summits of endeavor, and the deep scar of the tempest signed upon their brow is their diadem. And yet as the mountains are the backbone of the earth, and put their own chains on the continents which anchor to them, making our earth an earth of mountains, so  from age to age the true heart rallies to the moral eminences of which I speak. All that is soundest in us clings with a voluntary homage to the suffering heights. Consciously or unconsciously, the high instinct of mankind receives their lofty yoke. Heaven and earth mingle on their summits. Over the wide landscape of humanity falls the eloquence of their light and their shadow. Infinitely true is it ‘to bear is to conquer.’
Their constancy perfect and pure.Never was constancy so perfect and so pure as that of the people of the South to their warriors. For once gratitude to the past is not inspired by the hope of favors to come. The mercenary motive is curiously absent. The knee which bends, the heart which throbs, is the welcome of respect to the intrinsically worthy—the unbought homage never truly known safe by virtue in misfortune when, like a queen, but like a queen in exile, she counts the number of her suitors by the poverty of her rewards. This is the proud pathos of defeat with honor. Thus heroes conquer even in their fall. So reign their ashes ‘dead but sceptred.’ It were sad indeed if no word could be spoken in behalf of that ‘story's purity,’ the justification whereof is now removed from the forum of arms to the bar of history and the scales of time and truth. The story of anti-slavery agitation to-day is written for the world by the enemies of the South, and truth is not always the weapon of their choice. We are the camp of slaves; they are the camp of freedom. The victor is wont to have his own pleasant version of the cause, which has been accepted by stoic fate, if not by Cato's justice. That in the middle of the nineteenth century there were many men opposed to slavery is certainly no matter for surprise and as little for condemnation. It may seem, indeed, a slight inconsistency that every one of the colonies which joined in the Declaration of Independence was at the time a slave-holding colony. Nevertheless, it is the fact that each shared a common responsibility therefor which differed in degree with the differing utility thereof.
Slavery not the real issue.The issue between the North and the South was not so much an issue between freedom and slavery as the issue whether those who had formed a Federal compact with slave-holding States upon an  agreement not to interfere with their slaves had any greater right to do so than they had in the case of Cuba and Brazil, with whom they had no such compact. The supreme issue was whether the government of the United States was one of such unlimited authority that it could do what it pleased by giving fine names to usurpation, as when the guest at a hotel complains that the brand he wants has not been brought, the waiter, before his eyes, rubs off the undesired label and puts on the desired one. The real issue was whether, under the fine name of ‘general welfare,’ the whole power of the government could be perverted to private welfare; and whether, in keeping with the Federal compact, under the fine name of freedom, Commonwealths could be extinguished. So far as slavery was concerned, a century hence history will chiefly discover a race betwen the very lightly and very heavily encumbered, and the great self-applause of the former that they were the first to reach the goal. It is not so exact to say that slavery in the South was the cause of the war, as to say that it afforded the opportunity for the war. It is proper to bear in mind the abrupt revolution of society which was demanded by those who would be themselves unaffected by the revolution. The first book of Justinian, which gives us our definition of justice— Juslitia est constans et perpetua voluntas jus suum cuique tribuendi— gives also the derivation of slavery: Servi antem ex eoappellati sunt, quod imperatores captivas vendere, aeperhoe servare non occidere solent; qui etiam mancipia dicti suni, quod abhostibus manu cafiuntur. A strong man has his antagonist at his mercy, is able to take the life of him; rather than suffer him to live antagonist will do so. In humanity's great internecine war, wherein survival is conquered by exterminating hostility, root and branch, the conqueror leads back the captive of his spear. Their relations are those of victor and victim.
The First redeeming side.The fact of supremacy has been settled, and by the rule of primitive war one life is forfeit to the other. When, then, the victor did not slay, but spared the victim—suffered him to live; not as rival, to be sure, but as subject; to retributively serve in return for the life which had been donated, and was gratuity—it was the very charity of a redeeming gospel, breaking through the crust of ‘Old Dispensations’ of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; tempering with the hand of mercy the iron hand. It is not extravagant to say that  this was the first redeeming sign in the storm and terrible joy of war. The stronger included the weaker; the two were cooperant— social, not dissocial. Their blows, no longer rival, rang in unison, each sending the other farther. It was a large concession to humanity when Caesar at the battle of Pharsalia granted permission to every man in his army to save one enemy. Only the nomad life existed until servitude existed. The ‘mighty hunter’ had no accumulated spoil wherewith to feed dependents. Outside of his limited and mutable camp his hand was against every man and every man's against him. No civilization could ripen in the saddle of the Bedouin or under his restless tents. He neither plants nor builds. That which to-day were the incurable evil of society—that it be stationary—in the beginning was the one anchor of hope; that the human group should stay in one place long enough to catch the contagion of humanity. Property in the soil arose with property in man. All progress, all empire, all the law, and all the piety of the ancient time grew up around this centre. Competition, as a motive force, is about coeval with the impulses thrown into the great world scales by the voyage of Columbus. Voluntary co-operation has just begun. There was no permanent property until there was permanent force, nor continuous production until there was servitude. This was the inexorable necessity of civilized life. Prior to it man cannot be said to have even lived by bread. But by it man planted himself behind the stone wall on which has grown the moss of ages, and ceased himself to be the rolling stone which gathers no increase. He stood upon the ancient ways and boundaries and said to the predatory nomad without, ‘Thus far and no farther.’
How agriculture became stable.The stability of agriculture came for the first time when men could be fastened to the soil and forced to work it; when unanimity of labor had been acquired. The army of labor, like the army of battle, was first victorious when it poured its sinew and its fire from the iron energy of a single will. It was the slave-holder, and only the slaveholder who could take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt and store it against the years of famine. It was from agriculture that the city sprang, after which man was no longer dependent, like the wild beast, upon the lair of nature. The first great stride of progress which carried man to civilized permanence was borne upon the  back of slaves. However rude, however violent this origin, the substance of it was the protection by strength of weakness, which could not save itself, and the unconditional service of that weakness to its only saviour. Slavery meant salvation. On this agricultural basis and organized social strength all ancient civilization was reared, and on this same organization modern Europe had been formed. For six thousand years slavery had been the customary law of the civilized world. Undoubtedly the elements existed of another structure of society, which may be considered to have been prophesied from the beginning by the very nature of a being organized to communicate, and still more certainly included in the realization of the era, which displaced Caesar's tribute. This is the movement, much retarded, oft reversed, but inevitable, and on the whole invincible movement toward the reign of commerce. But the retirement and disappearance of the old supremacy has been a very slow retreat—inch by inch stubbornly contested. Not until the memory of men now living did the sceptre decisively pass from the agricultural dominion, and slavery was not doubtful until that sceptre began to waver. In 1713 the twelve judges of England, headed by Chief-Justice Holt, replied to the crown: ‘In pursuance of his Majesty's order in council, hereunto annexed, we do humbly certify your opinion to be that negroes are merchandise.’ During the whole of the eighteenth century England reserved to herself by the treaty of Utrecht the monopoly of importing negroes to all the Spanish colonies—that is to say, to nearly all South America. The fact is noted by the annotator of Talleyrand's Memoirs that when the English colonies had a proportion of twenty blacks to one white it occurred to them to be indignant at the immorality of the traffic. The declaration that the slave-trade was repugnant to universal morals was signed by the European powers for the first time at the Congress of Vienna, and not then by Portugal or Spain.
Slavery forced upon Virginia.But—such is the irony of fate!—there was one country of the world, and that a purely agricultural dominion, which in the eighteenth century opposed itself to slavery with all the power it could wield. That country was Virginia, the patriarch of the colonies. Slavery had been forced upon Virginia, and in the teeth of her remonstrance, by the arbitrary power of Great Britain. Twentythree  statutes were passed by the House of Burgesses to prevent the importation of slaves, and all were negatived by the British King. She was the first State not only to prohibit the slave-trade, but to make it punishable with death. In the midst of the Revolution, as early as October, 1778, her law went forth that thereafter no slave should be imported by sea or land into the jurisdiction of her Commonwealth. One of her first acts when she had shaken from her the power of the throne was to write that edict of emancipation for territory of her own which she ever denied it was in the power of any one to write for her. She wrote it for the territory which her enterprise and valor had wrested from the grasp of France. Whatever she might choose to do herself, it were hard to conceive a more arrogant claim than that the North could deprive her of an equal right in the territory of her own donation. Even in respect to this territory the agreement of Virginia was without any equivalent whatever, and the ordinary principle of nudum paclum might have been applied to it. The treaty of independence with Great Britain in 1783 carefully stipulated that the British should not carry away ‘any negroes or other property of the American inhabitants,’ as afterwards the treaty of Ghent, in 1814, spoke of ‘slaves or other private property.’ At the former period certainly no authoritative expression of the thirteen colonies would have denied that there was property in man. It is true that in those States where negro labor was unfriended by the climate, and therefore unprofitable to the master, the slaves were few, and at the date of the Constitution had virtually worn out in Massachusetts. This influence of soil and climate following in the tow of the sutler and deeper force, now swiftly growing to man's estate—the rising force—one might say the rising world of commerce—these potent persuasions were already combining to force the issue between the former and the latter reign.
The Constitution a distinct bargain.The Constitution of the United States was therefore a distinct bargain between the North and the South for the security of slave property, for which a redundant consideration was received by the former in the control and regulation of commerce by a simple majority instead of a two-thirds vote. From Virginia came the chief opposition to the continuance of the slave-trade. That trade was continued for twenty years; not by the vote of the solid South,  but of a solid New England. ‘Twenty years,’ exclaimed Madison, ‘will produce all the mischief that can be apprehended from the liberty to import slaves;’ and George Mason rebuked the melancholy choice of Mammon, for that ‘some of our eastern brethren had from a lust of gain engaged in this nefarious traffic.’ With a prophet's majesty he implored the South to reject the provision extorted as the price of this concession—the provision to pass commercial laws by simple majorities. ‘This,’ he said, ‘would be to deliver the South, bound hand and foot, to the eastern States, and enable them to say, in the words of Cromwell on a certain occasion, “The Lord hath delivered them into our hands.” ’ Public opinion had as yet experienced no violent displacement as to the merchantable quality of negroes; for the very States in which slavery itself had ceased, or was ceasing to exist, were those most actively engaged in the traffic in slaves.1
The King denounced by Jefferson.In the original draft of the Declaration, Jefferson had denounced the King for warring against human nature. ‘Determined to keep an open market, where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable traffic. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them.’ This denunciation was stricken out partly in deference to South Carolina and Georgia. ‘But,’ adds Jefferson, ‘our Northern, brethren also, I believe, felt a little tender under these censures; for, though their people had few slaves  themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others.’ The importation of slaves into the South was continued by Northern merchants and Northern ships until it was prohibited by the spontaneous action of the Southern States themselves, which preceded, or was contemporaneous with, the legislation of Congress in 1807. Antecedent to the adoption of the Constitution, South Carolina passed an act prohibiting, under severe penalties, the importation of negroes from Africa. In 1803 this act was repealed for the reason, assigned in Congress by Mr. Lowndes, that it was impossible, without aid from the general government, ‘to prevent our Eastern brethren from introducing them into the country.’ ‘Had we received,’ he said, ‘the necessary aid from Congress, the repeal would never, in my opinion, have taken place. * * I wish the time had arrived when Congress could legislate conclusively on the subject.’
Favored as long as profitable.I fail to find the evidence that property in man was an obnoxious doctrine at the North until property in man wholly ceased there to be lucrative. Small as the number of slaves necessarily was to the north of Maryland, in several of them slavery existed for more than fifty years after the adoption of the Constitution. Where the interest was so limited and the emancipation so gradual, no great shock to society could well occur, especially as in the bulk of cases the emancipator, with no qualms of conscious whatever, received the full value of his slaves from those who bought them. The historian Bancroft is authority for the statement that more slaves were emancipated by last will and testament in Virginia than were ever set free in Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. Moreover, emancipation in the North, when it came, was accompanied by no recognition of equality. Prior to 1861 no negro in Massachusetts had ever been a member of its Legislature, or served upon the jury, or in the militia, or been appointed to any office beyond one of menial grade. This was freedom, with the recognition and opportunity of freedom severely omitted—‘the name of freedom graven on a heavier chain’—heavier because it was the expression of a more invincible barrier than that of law, and breathed a more superlative scorn. In the second volume of his Commentaries, Chancellor Kent thus describes the relation of the races: ‘The African race are essentially a degraded caste of inferior rank and condition in society. Marriages are forbidden  between them and the whites in some of the States, and when not absolutely contrary to law, they are revolting and regarded as an offence against public decorum. By the Revised Statutes of Illinois, published in 1829, marriages between whites and negroes or mulattoes are declared void, and the persons so married are liable to be whipped, fined, and imprisoned. By an old statute of Massachusetts, of 1705, such marriages were declared void, and are so still.’ [This summary was cited and corroborated by the Chief-Justice of Connecticut as late as 1834.] The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided in 1837 that a negro or mulatto was not entitled to exercise the right of suffrage. It was not until July 4, 1827, that New York was ranked among the free States, and when the Constitution of 1846 was adopted negro suffrage was negatived by a vote of four to one. As late, certainly, as the date of the Dred Scott decision the Constitution of New Jersey restricted the right of suffrage to all white persons. This course of legislation in the North illustrated the recognized discrepancy of the races. Statute did not confer it, and statute could not take it away. Slavery in the South rested upon the natural supremacy of the white race over the black, and the total and inevitable disqualification of the latter for an equal struggle with the former.
Those subjected not our equals.Slavery in the South, unlike Oriental bondage, Roman servitude, and feudal villainage, was not the subjection of equals, differing only in opportunity, but the subordination of one extreme of humanity to the other; of the most abject to the most enlightened. The real inequality of the races had made subordination prescriptive. No higher encomium could possibly be pronounced upon the practical beneficence of Southern institutions, than the one tacitly sanctioned by the last amendment—viz.: that they had been sufficient to educate the lowest of earth's savages to take his place among the highest of earth's freemen. As population increases it becomes cheaper to hire labor than to buy or own it; or, borrowing the phrase of Carlyle, to hire for years rather than for life. The labor of slavery ceases to be worth the capital involved in its support. The coercion of authority is replaced by the coercion of want, and the obligation to protect by the liberty to oppress. Nothing could be truer or wiser than that which was said by John Randolph in the Senate of the United States: ‘The natural  death of slavery is the unprofitableness of its most expensive labor. * * The moment the labor of the slave ceases to be profitable to the master—or very soon after it has reached that stage—if the slave will not run away from the master the master will run away from the slave; and this is the history of the passage from slavery to freedom of the villainage of England.’ The reasons of geography and worldly gain, which created such divergence of destiny North and South, are given by Judge McLean in his dissenting opinion in the Dred Scott case. ‘Many of the States on the adoption of the Constitution, or shortly afterwards, took measures to abolish slavery within their respective jurisdictions, and it is a well-known fact that a belief was cherished by the leading men South, as well as North, that the institution of slavery would gradually decline until it would become extinct. The increased value of slave labor in the culture of cotton and sugar prevented the realization of their expectations. Like all other communities and States, the South were influenced by what they considered their own interests.’ The peculiarity of the situation was that while the people of the South were acting ‘like all other communities and States,’ they were abused and accused as though none other had ever been so wicked, and as though their abusers and accusers had ever lived void of offence before God and man. The accusers, who had so comfortably purged themselves of their own sins, suffered such a very brief interval to elapse, before arraying themselves in their white raiment for the excommunication of others who, it is true, had moved more slowly, but who had so very much more difficulty to overcome and expediency to resist.
They were sold to us.One cannot but recall that which is narrated of Zachary Macaulay, the father of Thomas Babingham, who made a fortune in the slave trade, and when that was done joined the anti-slavery people, and secured some handsome appointments by attacking the aforesaid business. It was well said on the floor of the Virginia Legislature by John Thompson Brown in answer to English invective: ‘They sold us these slaves—they assumed a vendor's responsibility—and it is not for them to question the validity of our title.’ And it was equally relevant to say to some others: ‘Your position involves the right of a grantor to revoke a grant without the consent of the  grantee for value and the right of one party to a compact to retain the whole consideration moving to him while repudiating every other.’ A scheme of gradual emancipation had been proposed by Jefferson as early as 1776 and the general scheme of it approved by the convention which framed Virginia's Constitution in that year, but no action was taken, because ‘the public mind would not bear it.’ ‘Nothing,’ wrote Jefferson, ‘is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free, nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion, have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.’ Here plainly was a difficult air for statesmanship to breathe, a problem which might well vex the noblest. By what bond, other than the one existing, could darkest Africa and free America, the antipodes in race as in geography, dwell side by side in useful co-operation? Whatever might be written in the book of fate, when its was equally legible that the two races, equally free, could not live in the same government, what was the solution? This, on a very different scale from anything which ever existed in the North, was the problem which confronted the South—springing from no choice or voice of her own, but against her choice and against her voice. In 1830 there were movements in Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia for the gradual emancipation of their slaves, and in Virginia the movement had nearly succeeded. It was the aggression of the Abolitionists which arrested the movement in all these States.
The problem at the North.Connecticut will serve to illustrate the simplicity of the problem encountered at the North. In 1784 a scheme of gradual emancipation was enacted for the slaves, some three thousand in number, then in the State. It was not until 1848 that the emancipation of this small number was completed. Down to 1848 by the law of the State slaves were chattels, which could be sold by legal process, and which were assets in the hands of an executor. Gradual as this emancipation was, the preamble to the act of 1784 declares that it was, as soon as it could be done ‘consistent with the rights of individuals and the public safety.’ What ‘individual right,’ what ‘public safety’ was ever cared for by the inimical commonwealths which banded with such zeal for the reproof and edification of the  South? Having no longer any sins of their own to repent of, there was nothing left for them to do but to repent day and night of the wickedness of the South. There were allevations to this kind of repentence, which reduce its heroic dimensions. It was a vicarious transaction, which eluded altogether the crown of thorns for the angels of repentence, and plaited it exclusively for the brows of those whose sins they ransomed. They repented proudly. One might speculate, as to what might have been the effect upon their trivial task, had Canada possessed the power and disposition to play their part (with the unrestricted right to do so, which resided no longer in the North); had every wind from that further North borne the poisioned arrow of a hate which never slept. Is it the rule for men to be convinced by execration and imprecation? It were a severe tax upon credulity to be expected to believe that the benevolence which referred to slave-holders as ‘blood-hounds,’ and to their community as the ‘small-pox’ seriously desired to convert the sinners so approached. If missionaries thus approach the heathen, their rate of progress is accounted for. This was not the frame of mind wherewith to convert opinion, but was the frame of mind wherewith to persecute opinion.
Clay's plaintive reply.There is something almost plaintive in the reply of Henry Clay to Mr. Mendenhall. It was as meek as an imperious spirit knew how to be. ‘Without any knowledge of the relations in which I stand to my slaves or their individual condition, you, Mr. Mendenhall, and your associates, who have been active in getting up this petition, call upon me forthwith to liberate the whole of them. Now, let me tell you that some half dozen of them from age decrepitude, or infirmity are wholly unable to gain a livelihood for themselves and are a heavy charge upon me. Do you think that I should conform to the dictates of humanity by ridding myself of that charge and sending them forth into the world with the boon of liberty to end a wretched existence in starvation? * * I own about fifty who are probably worth $15,000. To turn them loose upon society without any means of subsistence or support would be an act of cruelty. Are you willing to raise and secure the payment of $15,000 for their benefit if I should be induced to free them? The security of that sum would materially lessen the obstacle in the way of their emancipation.’  But even when such security was provided by the slave-holder himself the way was far from smooth. One instance occurs to me with which was associated a revered relative of my own—John Randolph; and I can never mention the name of this transcendent flame of genius without recalling the incalculable debt which Virginia owes to his singleness of heart and purity of service. John Randolph, by a will executed in the presence of Mark Alexander and Nathaniel Macon, had made Judge William Leigh, the residuary devisee and legatee of his valuable estate, subject to certain specific legacies and provisions. The most important of these provisions was that of the means to enable the executor of the will to transport the slaves of the estate (set free by a previous clause) and settle them in some other State or territory. He appointed Judge Leigh his executor. The will was contested on the ground of the mental unsoundness of the testator. Judge Leigh, well aware that the emancipation of these slaves had been the undeviating purpose of Randolph's life, relinguished his absorbing interest under the will that he might become a witness in support of it and so at least accomplish the particular intent to which I have referred. To this extent the will was, in effect, sustained, and Judge Leigh was appointed commissioner to transport and settle the negroes as provided therein. The State selected for the settlement was Ohio; but when the commissioner landed, his first interview was with a mob formed to resist and repel the negro settlement. The clearest glimpse of the State of feeling is derived from the newspapers of the time.
Newspapers on the situation. [from the National Intelligencer, July 15, 1846.]‘The Cincinnati (Ohio) Chronicle of the 9th instant says that the emancipated slaves of John Randolph, who recently passed up the Miami Canal to their settlement in Mercer county, Ohio, met with a warm reception at Bremen. The citizens of Mercer county turned out en masse and called a meeting, or rather formed themselves into one immediately, and passed resolutions to the effect that said slaves should leave in twenty-four hours, which they did, in other boats than the ones which conveyed them there. They came back some twenty three miles, at which place they encamped, not knowing what to do.’  [From the National Intelligencer, July 24, 1846.] ‘The Sidney (Ohio) Aurora of the 11th says these negroes (the Randolph negroes) remain on Colonel Johnson's farm, near Piqua. That paper condemns in decided terms the conduct of the citizens in Mercer in the late outbreak, and insists that they should have made their objections known before the land was purchased, and not waited until they had drawn the last cent they would expect out of the blacks (some $32,000), and then raised an armed force and refuse to let them take possession of their property, as they have done. We look upon the whole proceeding as outrageous in the extreme, and the participants should be severely punished. What makes the thing worse is the fact that a number of those who were fiercest in their opposition to the blacks, and loudest in their threats to shoot, &c., were the very persons who sold them land, received wages for constructing the buildings, and actually pocketed a large amount of money for provisions not two weeks before the arrival of the poor creatures whom they have so unjustly treated.’
The Randolph negroes. [National Intelligencer, August 10, 1846.]‘The last Piqua (Ohio) Register says: “These unfortunate creatures have again been driven from lands selected for them. As we noticed last week an effort, which it was thought would be successful, was made to settle them in Shelby county, but, like the previous attempt in Mercer, it has failed. They were driven away by threats of violence. About one-third of them, we understand, remained at Sidney, intending to scatter and find homes wherever they can. The rest of them came down here to-day, and are now at the wharf in boats. The present intention is to leave them wherever place can be found for them. We presume, therefore, they will remain in the State, as it is probable they will find situations for the whole of them between this and Cincinnati.” ’ [National Intelligencer, August 15, 1846.] ‘It is said that these unfortunate creatures have been again driven away by threats of violence from the lands which had been secured for them in Ohio, and that Judge Leigh, despairing of being able to colonize them in a free State, has concluded to send them to Liberia.’
The response was violence and scorn.The negroes were finally allowed to occupy the land for which they had paid, but what a very invigorating sympathy did these two emancipators excite in this free State! Here was one Virginian who had emancipated by will numerous slaves, and here was another who had relinquished a large estate to secure the fulfillment of this part of the will. The response to them from the North was mob violence and contumelious scorn. What was a poor belated Virginian to do? If his slaves went North with his consent, stones and curses were good enough for them; they were only welcome when they went without it. In effect it was said, ‘Your negroes are intolerable to us; we are not willing to accept the companionship of a very small number, even on the terms of no cost to ourselves and all their expenses paid; but we will not cease to weary you with our importunity to set free and provide for your millions,’ and to do it, as Mr. Mendenhall said, ‘forthwith.’ Crusaders are not unapt to be a trifle derelict in magnetism when their solicitude is to convert everyone except themselves. That which the North demanded of the South, as their expository supplement has shown, involved the admission of the improvised freedman to all those privileges which in the land of the crusaders had been so curiously overlooked, including that which at the North could not possibly exist — the power at the polls to exchange the barbarism of Africa for the civilization of the United States. Mr. Freeman, in his ‘Impressions of the United States,’ with the judicial calm which tempers all his writings,2 has stated the problem as it was and is presented to the South. ‘There is, I allow difficulty and danger in the position of a class enjoying civil but not political rights, placed under the protection of the law, but having no share in making the law or in choosing its makers. But surely there is still greater difficulty and danger, in the existence of a class of citizens who at the polling-booth are equal to other citizens, but who are not their equals anywhere else. We are told that education has done and is doing much for the once-enslaved race. But education cannot wipe out the eternal distinction that has been drawn by the hand  of nature. No teaching can turn a black man into a white one. The question which in days of controversy the North heard with such wrath from the mouth of the South, “Would you like your daughter to marry a nigger?” lies at the root of the matter.3 Where the closest of human connections is in any lawful form looked on as impossible there is no real fellowship. The artificial tie of citizenship is in such cases a mockery.’
What emancipation meant.The sequel has shown that the emancipation which descended from the North meant a reconstruction of society, which could only be made effective by force. It carried in its wake the expulsion of a State legislature from its proper hall by the bayonets of the United States. It meant—the emancipators themselves being judge—that government of force which is indispensable when nature is superseded. It meant that which for eight years we had—a government of the bayonet, by the bayonet, and for the bayonet. One who has gained his title to popular applause by meriting the title of ‘Czar,’ very lately renewed his adhesion to this peculiar type of popular government. ‘They said,’ he exclaimed, ‘we could not coerce a State. We coerced eleven. I wish our Republicans had more courage, and we should coerce them until liberty prevails all over this land.’ In one sense the speech is logical. It is the reasoning of logicians who, ‘false to freedom, sought to quell the free.’ Only by force bills is the argument of the South refuted. And yet it is a droll idea of liberty which seeks to instill its blessings at the point of the sword. The distinction between freedom and despotism grows so alarmingly indistinct. No better proof could be given of the extent to which the movement, vainly resisted by the South, has revolutionized free institutions, than that such a compulsory freedom should have been the serious thought and purposed order of the day. ‘What is all the noise in the street?’ said a gentleman in conscription time in New York. ‘Oh, nothing, sir,’ said Pat, ‘they are only forcing a man to turn volunteer.’ Such would be the comedy of the new logic if its serious adoption does not turn it into tragedy.  Nevertheless in the same year in which Virginia emancipation was receiving such cold comfort in Ohio, on all other questions—financial, economic, and constructive — the mind of Thomas Jefferson had become the governing mind of the country. The principle of ‘justice to all and special privileges to none’ became in this year the unmistakable choice of the States and of the people, and was dethroned only by the civil war. The tariff of this year had restored the revenue standard, which four years earlier had been displaced. It was soon made manifest that this tariff could only be criticised as being too high, and that the welfare of the country called for still further reduction, which in 1857 was ended.
Massachusetts with Virginia.Upon this, the only important financial issue of the time, Massachusetts was seen side by side with Virginia — the State of the Adamses with the State of Jefferson. The country was thriving, and the one problem was to guide the natural flow of prosperity within natural bounds. The type of government which bases its appeal for support upon governmental aids to special interests, and alliance, if not partnership with them; upon bounties to favored classes and the influence purchased by such favor; had received a complete, and, had it not been for the passions of the anti-slavery agitation, there is every reason to believe a final defeat. From the time of the decisive overthrow of this class legislation in 1846, and because of such overthrow the country had prospered.4 No party appeared in any force from 1846 to 1860 to dispute the salutary tendency of this legislation. It was ‘a condition and not a theory,’ which was thus impregnable. The just reward of the general industry did not stagger under burdens imposed for the creation of excessive dividends to a few. On every legitimate subject of debate the State's-rights administration of affair had extorted the acquiescence if not the welcome of traditional foes. Government was honestly administered and not honeycombed by the corruption which is to-day referred to as the necessity of politics. There was  prosperity without bounties; trade without subsidies; a character which could stand alone, and implore no staff for either infancy or old age. The winds of onward movement filled every sail. The gallant masts did not bend as the goodly timbers sped forward with the goodly freight.
Only Alaska exceptedAlaska alone excepted (and in some sense this, too, is no exception) all the additions to Federal territory have been made under Southern administrations; and now, as the result of the war with Mexico, there was another not inferior to that of 1803, but which was, nevertheless, in the language of the South's great statesman, ‘the forbidden fruit.’ At the time of the Missouri compromise the prophetic mind of this New World had read the result of that much-vaunted business in the foundations on which it rested. The notes of alarm fell upon his ear like a ‘fire-bell in the night,’ and with a patriot's fire he translated to his countrymen the significance of those feet, ‘part of iron and part of clay.’ ‘The leaders of Federalism, defeated in their schemes of obtaining power by rallying partisans to the principles of monarchism — a principle of personal, not of local division — have changed their tack, and thrown out another barrel to the whale. They are taking advantage of the virtuous feeling of the people to effect a division of parties by a geographical line; they expect this will insure them on local principles the majority they could never obtain on principles of Federalism. * * Are our slaves to be presented with freedom and a dagger?’ This was what Jefferson termed ‘treason against human hope.’ Never was truer sentence written than one which has been often, but cannot be too often, quoted: ‘A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men will never be obliterated, and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.’
Kept by the South.But never was the power of persistent misstatement so signally exhibited as in the accepted belief that this compromise, reluctantly assented to by the South as one in derogation of her rights, was by the South broken and by the North kept. The opposition to the compromise came invariably from the North, whenever the South was the beneficiary of it. It was the South which proposed the  extension of the line to the Pacific and the North which rejected it. The settlement of 1820 had been already dishonored by denial, and by denial from the North, when, in 1850, it was ignored and annulled on both sides of the line. This was the exceeding wickedness of the South—to think that the name should correspond with the reality; to think that when the reality had ceased to exist the utility of the name was not excessive; that when the practical operation of the compromise had been repudiated by the North, with every expression of scorn and contempt, the dead letter need cumber the statute-book no longer. And, after all, what was the practical effect of such a settlement, as derived from actual experience? It had been witnessed in the case of New Mexico (the most important of the Territories), which had been organized for more than ten years, which was open to slavery by the settlement of 1850, whose climate was suitable, which adjoined Texas. It had an area of two million square miles, and at the end of ten years there were upon its soil only twenty-two slaves, and of these only ten were domiciled. Did it injure the negro? Did it augment slavery?
Jefferson the author of freedom.If there was one man who more than any other was the author of freedom in this Western Hemisphere, that man was Thomas Jefferson. He was not seeking to augment or prolong slavery when he wrote to Mr. Holmes, of Massachusetts, who agreed with him: ‘Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one State to another would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier and proportionately facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation by dividing the burthen on a greater number of coadjutors.’ This was the great iniquity which caused the whole western reserve of Ohio in a single day to turn from the Whig to Republican.5  It was not the South which arrayed itself against the only sovereignty known to this country—the sovereignty of law. The constitutional position of the South received the sanction of the only umpire known to the Constitution. The final sanction, known as the Dred Scott decision, was the inevitable sequel to prior adjudications, and could have been no other than it was; and those prior adjudications, like the votes of the two Houses in 1838, had been too reasonable to awaken agitation or serious comment. The adjudication was that the Territories secured to the States by the common blood and treasure (and, it might have been added, more largely secured by the blood and treasure of the South, if the donations to the general government be considered)—that these Territories were secured equally to all the States, and not unequally to any, and that it was to deprive the citizen of his property without due process of law — to take his slave from him merely because the latter was found in the common territory of the United States. The adjudication was that the Federal Union rested on the basis of Federal equality. At least the school of construction, which proclaimed the judgment of this tribunal to be the ultimate reason, when it was planted on the side of the Bank of the United States, should have been estopped to denounce their own canonized authority.
Wanted the slave law nullified.Fourteen Northern States passed laws to practically nullify the fugitive slave law, but in doing so they not only violated the compromise and the compact of the Constitution, but the law as their own courts expounded it. The highest courts of these States (including that of Massachusetts, speaking through Chief-Justice Shaw), whenever the occasion arose to pass upon this law, uniformly supported it. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin did give a hasty opinion against it, but quickly retracted it. The lawless legislation was not South, but North, as tried by the exclusive jurisprudence of the latter. Never were people more completely covered by all the planopy of law—even the law of vindictive Commonwealths—than the people of the South. It was in this state of the law of the land, as expounded by the highest Federal tribunal, that a party arose which sought no suffer-age, offered no candidates, and excluded recognition in all that portion of the country which is called the South. It was a declara  tion of war against fifteen of the States of the Union and against the Federal compact upon which they stood. It was an appeal to one portion of the country, and that the most powerful portion, to know no rest until they had destroyed the other. It had no other reason of existence than to slit the North from the South by one clean cut, and then to mass the former against the latter. It had one memorable predecessor in the convention of Northern States (from which every Southern State was excluded), which met at Harrisburg in 1828 to frame the tariff known to history as ‘The Bill of Abominations.’ The ‘abominations’ of that bill had been driven from the field in demoralized route and disorder. By their own intrinsic force they could make no further stand. Only on the back of this new agitation could they again ride into power. The States which could no longer be banded under the invocation of an imaginary interest were at last and permanently banded under the banner of a real enmity.6 This opinion may be reinforced by that of a cool, dispassionate, Free-Soil Democrat—the ablest Northern statesman of his time and surpassed by none of any time. It was the opinion of Samuel J. Tilden that if the Republican party should be successful the Federal government in the Southern States ‘would cease to be self-government, and would become a government by one people over another distinct people—a thing impossible with our race except as a consequence of successful war, and even then incompatible with our democratic institutions.’7 This was what the statesmen of the South foresaw and looked courageously in the face. The success of the party ranged against them meant the government of the South by the North and for the North—the relation of victor and victim. Lincoln was the representative of opinions and interests confined to one-half of the country and pledged to an irrepressible conflict with the other. The tariff which sprang from the first throes of the convulsion gave audible warning, that one of the spoils which belonged to the victor was the taxing power of the government, to be used to throw the  substance of one-half of the States into the lap of the other; the supplies of the South to be intercepted by the receipt of customs, which would divert the profits of her industry into the pocket of the North.
Virginia came forward.Nevertheless, when every right of property and every right of government was at stake, Virginia took counsel, not of her fears, but of her patriotic love for the Union, which she had done so much to enlarge; for which she had stripped herself of the whole northwest territory. She had given not principalities, but empires to the general government. What those who now condemned her had sacrificed for the Union was far less legible. Her voice was raised for peace. She pointed out that every practical issue which could possibly arise on the slavery question had been settled by the inexorable logic of events; that Kansas had already prohibited slaves, and it might be added negroes; that no territory north of Kansas could possibly be expected to do otherwise, but to allay apprehension she reiterated the proffer of the South to stipulate against admission on such terms. The relation to this subject of the territory south of Kansas was fixed by the compromise of 1850, and it was not the South which desired to disturb it. Virginia said to the North: ‘The only thing left open to possible agitation the South will stipulate in your favor.’ The North claimed all the territories for their citizens and their institutions. The South was content to ask no more than the right of ingress into a part or one-half of the territories for her citizens and their property. The South said: ‘You blame us for effacing from the statute-book the dead letter of the Missouri compromise. Very well, then; we will restore that letter in form which you have so invariably repudiated in fact. Lawless as we deem it, for the sake of the Union we will seek to make it lawful by consent;’ and the offer was disdained. The answer to the Peace Conference was the fleet of war despatched to Charleston; the proclamation of the 15th of April, 1851, the transfer of the construction of the Constitution from the bench to the bayonet; the silence of the laws by the arms of the United States. Not until the compact of the Constitution was shattered beyond the reach of surgery by the summons of the North to armed war against the South did Virginia declare that an order of things ‘outside the Constitution’ was no compact for her.
To overthrow every Southern Commonwealth.That union of the purse and the sword which was the theme of such impassioned declamation at the North, when the object was to divide the South against Andrew Jackson, was welcomed with avidity, when the object was not the protection of a bank, but only the overthrow of every Commonwealth of the South. It was elsewhere than in Virginia that the value of the Union had heretofore been computed. It was with the secession of New England that Hamilton threatened Jefferson, unless the debts of the States were assumed by the general government. The purchase and admission of Louisiana were held to justify the secession of New England, and for the very reason that the admission of any new State into the Union altered the Federal compact to which the Commonwealths of New England had acceded, by altering their relative weight therein. The embargo, the non-intercourse act, and the hostilities with Great Britain were deemed justifiable grounds for a dissolution of the Union; and the ‘Hartford Nation,’ which assembled in Congress to draw the necessary papers, was only restrained by that glory of New Orleans, which was a victory over New England quite as much as over Old England. The annexation of Texas was considered a ground for separation of the States, and for reasons which were once more based on the federative character of the Union, and the alteration of the relative importance of its members. On the 1st of February, 1850, Mr. Hale offered in the Senate a petition and resolutions asking that body to devise ‘without delay some plan for the immediate, peaceful dissolution of the American Union.’ And Chase and Seward voted for its reception. It was New England who taught us the memorable words, ‘amicably if we can violently if we must.’8  And what were the invasions which she could not stand without the threat and preparation of disunion? The measures which doubled the continent of free government and gave the Mississippi to us to be our inland sea and Mediterranean of commerce. And Virginia! When for the first time did she recoil with just and natural horror from the fate which was prepared for her? Not until she had no other alternative than to make good her right to free government out of the Union, or to submit to ‘freedom and a dagger’ in it. Like the desert-bird who ‘unlocks her own breast’ to satisfy her offspring, Virginia had partitioned and repartioned her own territory to feed the Union—and this was her reward! That enemies and accusers who had counted so critically the profit of the Union, who at every step of its progress had weighed so nicely its commercial value, who had shouted so loudly that unless it was a Union which was profitable, it was no Union for them; that they who had been preaching and practicing disunion ever since there had been a Union; that they should have been the executioners of the State which had served it best and loved it most, was the curious revenge of time.
Has not plead like a culprit.Virginia then took her stand against the prostration of every guaranty of the Federal compact and the complete overthrow of the terms upon which alone she had acceded to it. That she honestly thought this her enemies concede; that she justly thought, and, so far as the argument of reason is concerned, incontrovertibly thought, it, history will finally determine. The South has not to plead like a culprit before the world. It was the name and not the truth of freedom which was victorious against us. I await with confidence the final verdict, because of an abiding faith that every appearance is to reality as the gourd to the oak. Virginia stood for the liberation of trade, for free association with the world. Far better than all anti-slavery agitation was this agency  to unbind the fetters of mankind. She took her stand against the blind egotism of the narrow self-sufficiency which would isolate each community from every other and tear asunder all the bands of sympathy wherewith nature joins the populations of the earth; wherewith and whereby nature fortifies that mind of man which is never strong by its single strength. I will not confine this idea by my own poor words, but give it rather in the words of New England, speaking through the lips of the purest champion of her cause—one might say its conscience: ‘Free trade!’ exclaimed Dr. Channing; ‘this is the plain duty and plain interest of the human race. To level all barriers to free exchange; to cut up the system of restriction, root and branch; to open every court on earth to every province—this is the office of enlightened humanity. To this a free nation should especially pledge itself. Freedom of the seas; freedom of harbors; and intercourse of nations free as the winds—this is not a dream of philanthropists. We are tending towards it, and let us hasten it. Under a wiser and more Christian civilization we shall look back on our present restrictions as we do on the swaddling bands by which in darker times the human body was compressed. The growing freedom of trade is another and glorious illustration of the tendency of our age to universality.’
Stood for the Federal Union.Virginia stood for the Federal Union; a union, as the name imports, which is created by treaty and reposes on the terms of that treaty. An involuntary Federal Union—a Federal Union extorted by force is a solecism. Every government, it is said, should contain within itself the means of its own preservation. Therefore, a Federal Union should contain the means of preserving the only basis of federation, the rights of the component States. A Federal Union which could readily be turned into a consolidation would be provided with the means of its own destruction.9 A Union, by naming itself Federal, expresses its ligament to be, not coercion, but convention. A Federal Union is the first and noblest agency of that growing force of which, not  universal subjection, but universal emancipation is the dream. The great transition of the latter centuries is the transition from the feudal to the Federal age, and from force to compact—that is, from force to freedom, which is the free dominion of the law—the coercion of ideas instead of the coercion of arms. To convince is to conquer. The flower of hope, which springs eternally, is the hope to change the law of power into the power of law; and in this strife of opposites the first-born son of mediation is Federal Union; the union of choice and affinity in place of constraint; the union of force in place of the union by force. As the tie is willing it is real; as it is real it is strong. It is through federation, not through centralization, that the true synthesis of the people comes.
A federation of the world.If the day ever comes ‘when the war-drum shall throb no longer’ it will be ushered in, not by the empire, not by the imperial consolidation, but by ‘the federation of the world.’ The mighty import of this heaving and throbbing time is that by its constitutions, rearrangements and resources by the grace of its swift light and ready movement, for man's coerced and driven obedience, there may now be inaugurated his spontaneous energies in willing union. It was for the exalted idea of self governed freedom, which Virginia had been foremost to proclaim, that she now took up arms and suffered martyrdom. But if a hostile criticism urge, ‘Your own involuntary servitude at home was at war with all this fine preachment of willing union,’ the answer is: 1. It was the condition with which you deliberately made your bargain and received your redundant consideration, which was and still is redundantly retained. 2. The institution of slavery was fastened upon us by others, and very largely by those who seized it as a pretext for war against us. It is not for them to revile us for not solving in a day the tremendous problem which, on a scale so diminutive, consumed more than half a century of their own time. Slavery was the flail in their hand wherewith to beat down freedom. It was constitutional government and the rights of the States; it was the reality of a Federal Union, which they sought ‘to put in course of ultimate extinction.’ They were guilty of what Jefferson called ‘treason against human hope.’ Slavery was our mode of dealing with a problem, for whose  presence in our midst our accusers in old England and New England were responsible. 3. Had emancipation been the only thing desired, the economic reasons which had been so successful at the North would not have been wholly idle at the South. The forces which put an end to slavery in Russia and Brazil were not obliged to lose their cunning elsewhere—those irresistible forces of the brain of commerce, out of whose ceaseless throb is nurtured the opinion, which rules at last the world and all the brave empire thereof. By the side of this Titan the Abolitionist was a puny arm which could only misdirect the mightier one and make it mischevious—‘dashing with his oar to hasten the cataract, waving with his fan to give speed to the winds.’ Our accusers dealt with their own problem at their own convenience. What right had they to force us to do otherwise?10 Undoubtedly we were not prepared to exchange the freedom of the white race for the slavery of the black. Undoubtedly we were not prepared for an emancipation which meant the enthronement of the negro. 4. Never was there a great trust so nobly fulfilled as that incurred by the South for the institution of slavery, imposed upon her from the same magnanimous source whence her crucifixion for it also proceeded. If any labor in any land ever more convincingly proclaimed that it was subject to a more enlightened supremacy than force I do not recall it. For four years of war all force was withdrawn from the negro, but his affection, his obedience and his fidelity did not withdraw. A beneficial subordination and no other could have stood this test.
Emblematic of this cause.Of this cause the statute this day unveiled is emblematic; and if I have left myself but little time to tell the story of valor, of which it is also an emblem, it is because that story is beyond the reach of  controversy. On the 9th of November, 1859, the Howitzer company was organized. It saw service for the first time in the John Brown raid—the real beginning of the war. It seemed then to George Wythe Randolph, the first captain of this glowing strength, that if his mighty ancestor could speak once more from his lofty eminence, he would shout, ‘to arms!’ For the practical interpretation of the Constitution and the Federal Union which it organized, had come to this: That a peaceful village south of the Potomac might be invaded at midnight for the purpose of midnight murder, and the invader be made by legal execution not a murderer but a martyr, so that the bells of Northern churches tolled his requiem as he expired, and in the words of one of his eulogists, ‘the gallows was made as sacred as the cross.’ The John Brown raid was the vivid revelation of a spirit which left no alternative between a battle for the compact of the Constitution or its unconditional surrender. The Richmond Howitzers did not organize to surrender without a blow the heritage of their fathers, and at the tap of the drum the company grew to a battalion. Like Gonsalvo when he pointed to Naples, they preferred to die one foot forward than to secure long life by one foot of retreat. We hear much of ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave,’ but the two are one. It is only a ‘home of the brave’ which can be a ‘land of the free.’ Only so long as men are brave in the assertion of their rights are they free in the possession of them. The rights which we have now we owe to the fact that we once stood, not languidly, but with clear determination for them—to the respect which is compelled by the courage of conviction.
The Howitzer chapter.It is the Howitzer chapter of this history that we are here to celebrate to-day. Wonderful must it have been to any soldier of the ‘Old World’ to witness the daily picture in that Howitzer camp—officers and men seated around the common camp-fire, as though the difference of rank were nominal and temporal only, and the only real and eternal thing the cause which joined their hearts and hands. It was the picture of what Jefferson called the Roman principle, which esteems it honorable for the general of yesterday to act as a corporal to-day. Every man was a brigadier around the camp-fire, and every man was subject to a discipline of honor more unsparing than the laws of war to every real dereliction. And how absolutely did those  command, just because they never spared themselves! To be first in rank was to be first in danger and side by side in every hardship. It was on the extreme right at Fredericksburg when Stuart and Pelham, from the force of habit, were leading artillery in what fairly seemed a cavalry charge, that the gallant Utz was torn from his horse and from his life by the shell to which he opposed his invincible breast. This day is his memorial service. And how tenderly, when the pitiless rain had ceased, we bent over the still form of Randolph Fairfax—the offering of our grand old ally in every fight, the Rockbridge artillery—how tenderly we bent over that marble sleep and gazed for the last time on the fair, bright brow of the beautiful boy. How we watched through all that winter, while one, not of the Howitzers, but in authority over us, was sinking, and the very light of learning itself seemed to flicker in the socket as the life of Lewis Coleman put on its spiritual body. It was in the first clench of that long death grip which lasted from the Wilderness to Appomattox that as John Thompson Brown rode to the front of his batteries to secure an advance position, a bullet from the brown brush which hid the enemy's sharpshooters laid him in the dust. The beat of one of the warmest hearts, making a man's breast like a woman's, there ceased, and the bright outlook of a life all aflame with generous and manly hopes had fallen quenched. The sword presented to him by those Howitzers who, under his orders, had fired the first, and over his memory did afterwards fire the last shot in the war, clung to him as he fell. He fell with a harness of honor on him, worthy his father's son.
A face with A lasting brightness.If I wanted a picture of the intrepid calm which knows how to face unmoved a crashing world, there could be found no truer face for it than that of David Watson—a countenance which only seemed to light up in the rage of battle, but which kindled with a lasting brightness in the bloody angle at Spotsylvania Courthouse. And if I sought as a companion piece that bright, joyous valor which meets danger, not as simple duty, but clasps her as bride, whose descent into danger is like the sea-bird's toss upon the waves, I would draw it from Ned McCarthy, down to the hour when his bright day sank with the setting sun, in the fires of Cold Harbor. Peer of any whom I have named, firm with the firmest, cool with the coolest, brave with the bravest, patient, heroic, and magnanimous was Henry Jones.  These were men worthy of renown in any field. Their courage knew no danger. On the restless front of battle they were stars. I count it my greatest pride to have been their humblest follower. And of that following what shall I say? I will say that I count it the best of all academics, the noblest university. No craven graduates in the firm tuition of God's discipline. The lesson of courage in daily jeopardy; of patience under privation and strain; the pursuit of high aims in disdain of earthly menace or disaster was taught to me, I trust not all in vain, by the Howitzer battalion. The heart to scorn death—nay, the heart to scorn self, the surrender of all for duty—was preached by their detachments from Bethel to Appomattox and from Manassas to Manassas—and then at the last, the highest, the bravest of all courage, the courage which shrinks not from defeat.
No silk-and-satin warriors.They were no warriors of the silk-and-satin kind, who joined their. throat of thunder to the grand tones of that epic of wrath. Seasoned veterans, with the faces of boyhood, stood behind the ordnance, which had been drawn from Yorktown to the Chickahominy, and which rang from Gettysburg to Petersburg. Never once were the cannoneers driven from the guns which had been captured for them from the enemy. The strength of conflict was in their sinews, the strength of conviction in their hearts. They moved in obedience to a principle which ruled the whole heart, and wielded the whole strength. They were made by pressure and fire as a diamond is made. As they faced storm after storm they added cubits to their stature. Far beyond all material triumph in building the character of a people is the struggle for that ‘baptism’ which we name ‘the answer of a good conscience.’ From this source only comes the fortitude for that unshaken struggle with life's reverses which counts for more than all the exploits of romance. None really, none lastingly conquer who trim their sails or their souls for every breeze and have no permanent chart. ‘All that pass from this world,’ said John Foster, ‘must present themselves as from battle, or be denied to mingle in the eternal joys and triumphs of the conquerors.’
Battles of spiritual victory.I witnessed that wonderful sight as tried by all the past, four years of battles, which stand forth as scenes of a transfiguration; wherein as the war strain grew more tense, the warrior grew more noble—  battles which were images of spiritual growth and spiritual victory, wherein each in turn registered one more ascendancy of man's higher nature, wherein his ignobility was trampled by his nobility under foot, so that as rank by rank mortality was thinned the ranks of the immortals were recruited. For here soldiers presented themselves like disciples as a living sacrifice on the altar of all they revered. On God's great altar their lives were laid. Their battles were the litanies of heroes. Their valor was consecrated not under fame, but under duty. Their welcome to the foe as day by day he gained on them in numbers, but not renown, stands out for me as the most illustrious portrait of man's spiritual wrestle, wherein he greets a world in arms against him as his appointed angel, the true arena to which his sponsors in baptism devoted him. They steadily ascended on their ladder of pain. It was like the struggle of a strong will in a weak body. As in Angelo's figure, the soul grew as the body wasted. When the only way in which the victorious cause could commend itself to the ‘consent of the governed’ was to ‘wear out by attrition’ all who failed to perceive its beauty; when such a warfare ‘did like pestilence maintain its hold and wasted down by glorious death that race of natural heroes.’
Obedient to their Captain.Our little band shared with their brothers the desolating tempest until it was their glory to stand with the 7,000 of Appomattox. Obedient to their great captain to the last, at his word, and only at his word, did they surrender. They wept as they dismouted their guns. It was still the courage which is 10th to yield. When all was lost save honor their roll remained the roll of honor. The surrender of themselves to their great captain and his cause had been their great surrender which swallowed up all other. Of such is the kingdom which is victorious over defeat. It is the panoply which no defeat can pierce. The great souls of sacrifice, wherein civilization hath its root and whereof is its true branch—they truly have their symbol in that bush burning in the desert, ever self-consuming and ever unconsumed. Rightly we make the supreme effort of that war our measure. For if our mind was evil the blows we struck would have betrayed all its evil counsel; and as sheep know their shepherd, so do virtuous actions troop around a virtuous cause. If the heart of the South was the black and barbarous thing her enemies have painted a spear of fire should have discovered a shape so foul. That  heart has been tried in the fire; it has passed through the fire. I would not be guilty, and believe I am not guilty of irreverence when I say that in the midst of the fiery ordeal into which that heart was thrown there was one walking by it in the flames, whose form was as the Son of God. To adhere to success is easy. Constancy under an adverse star is the rare and holy virtue. The standard of steadfast honor has been borne aloft by men, who knew there was for them no other reward than the self-respect which only such fidelity can purchase. The heroic temper of that heart and the army it supplied, in victory and defeat, is a parable of the constancy of the human mind, which does us more good to-day than all our oppressions have done us harm.
The embodiment of the story.Our embodiment of this story is the work before which we will stand to-day with uncovered heads—and I might add with uncovered hearts. From our own ranks sprang the genius which has created it. Our own fellow-Howitzer is our artist. The companion of our toils preserves them for us. He has translated into temporal bronze the infinite meaning of our struggle and our sorrow; the image of a soul which can arm itself against the executioner of the body; as it were, the free soul in the captive body. The delicate and living lines, the lines of solemn thought and silent sorrow, which unite and converge upon the clear countenance of honor, outline a spirit over which the great calm has come of one who has leared the worst that fate can do. It is the truth which is wrought by action into a unanimity of soul and body, making each a portrait of the other. There is our Howitzer, ‘his soul well-knit and all his battles won.’ There he stands, waiting in silence. The breastwork he surmounts he has made his own. He stands upon the rampart which is only built in a people's heart. He who stands there is victor. There he stands, with mute appeal, as if to say: ‘The self I sacrifice is the lower and transitory self to the higher and eternal.’ A prayer in bronze supplicates the heavens—that prayer of which it has been written, qui precari novit premi polest opprimi non potest. A figure of faith stands upon the pedestal of war. To plant the hopes of reason on the prophesies of the heart, as Leverrier planted himself on the calculations of his science, is faith. To follow the heart's sense of rectitude through doubt and disaster; to stand in the crash which drives virtue to despair; to see the overthrow of hope and all its  leaves of promise trampled like a rebel in the dust, and still not to doubt, not to despair, is faith. In the vast mysteriousness which throws its deep but tender shadow across our way faith fears not. The very darkness is a lamp. On the face of the deep is felt a foothold from an unknown world, and the countenance is kindled by a sun which is not seen.
A statue of the soul's strength.There is a ritual which the inarticulate communion of all natural things repeats—the languages of the leaf and flower; the sweet blossom of spring and the sweeter sorrow of the falling year; the patient returning of the stars; the looks of living and the tears of silent things; the uproar of city and of sea; the gentleness around the clamor, seeming anger of the universe, the sweetness above its storms. We dedicate to-day a statue of the soul and the soul's strength. Kneeling souls requite it with their homage. It is our chapter in the last book of the Iliad of Chivalry. It is our hero on whose tranquil face is graved ‘the light of duty beautifully done.’ As we draw aside the veil of the martial form and bared brow of duty, let us also unveil the voice which says: ‘The very light shall clothe thee, and the shadow of the passing cloud shall be as a royal mantle. Thou shalt share in the azure of Heaven, and the youngest and whitest cloud of a summer's sky shall nestle in thy bosom. Thou belongest half to us.’ At the conclusion of his remarks Mr. Robinson was liberally applauded, and just before he resumed his seat a number of the veterans arose and heartily congratulated him upon his splendid effort. Judge Christain then extended an invitation to all the old members of the battalion to be present at the banquet, after which Bishop Randolph, who occupied a seat upon the stage, dismissed the audience with the benediction.
March to the grounds.The veteran and military Display—Unveiling scene.
Immediately upon leaving the Theatre the various organizations commenced forming in line preparatory to the march to ‘Howitzer Place,’ and a large crowd assembled on Broad street to see the  parade start. The procession moved about half-past 3 o'clock, and followed the route as printed in the Dispatch. Despite the fact that the weather was exceedingly disagreeable and a cold, drizzling rain was falling, the streets along the entire line were crowded with spectators. A detachment of twenty police under command of Captain E. P. Hulce headed the procession, and after them came Chief-Marshal Henry C. Carter and his staff. Major Carter wore a white sash, and presented a very soldierly appearance as he rode his spirited charger. By his side was Captain E. D. Starke, chief of staff, and behind these two rode the following aids: Hon. George L. Christian, Colonel G. Percy Hawes, Captain E. J. Bosher, and Captain Beauregard Lorraine. The chief of staff and aids wore red sashes. Next came the First Virginia regiment, with the staff officers at the head of the organization. The popular infantrymen made an excellent showing, and all six companies turned out large numbers of men. Major W. E. Simons, the commandant, and Captain E. M. Crutchfield, the adjutant of the First battalion of artillery, followed after the infantrymen, and behind them came the Howitzer band, and then the other officers of the battalion.
Artillerymen, old and young.The next organization in the procession was the present Howitzer battery, commanded by Captain John A. Hutcheson. Nearly every member of the company was in the line, and the handsome artillerymen, with their soldierly bearing and flashing sabres, made a magnificent display. The cannoneers wore their overcoats and paraded dismounted. The old warriors of the Howitzer Association followed the young artillerymen and turned out an immense number of veterans. Mr. D. O. Davis commanded the organization, and Messrs. James T. Gray, Thomas Booker and Rev. Mr. Dame bore the flag. Some of the most prominent business men of the city were in this division of the column. Behind the war-time cannoneers followed two carriages containing their invited guests. In one of these sat Messrs. Leigh Robinson, Blythe Moore, and Mayor Ellyson, while the other was occupied by Colonel Shields, Colonel W. E. Cutshaw, and Mr. W. L. White.  The Richmond Light Infantry Blues, commanded by Captain Sol. Cutchins and headed by their splendid band, preceded the veterans of Lee and Pickett camps. The Lee Camp veterans were headed by Colonel A. W. Archer, while Mr. H. A. Wallace commanded the old soldiers of Pickett Camp. The drum-corps of the former organization enlivened this section of the column with their inspiring music. After the two camps came the staff of the First Virginia regiment of cavalry. The plumed officers in their full-dress uniforms presented a very martial appearance. Colonel W. F. Wickham headed them. Along with these officers rode Colonel John S. Cunningham, a member of the staff of Governor Holt, the Chief Executive of North Carolina. Next came a platoon of cavalry, composed of the Ashby Light Horse and Stuart Horse Guards. Major H. M. Boykin commanded the troopers.
A crowd at the grounds.The procession was a splendid one, and the superb military display attracted universal attention. Long before the column reached Howitzer Place the neighborhood was filled with people, who eagerly waited in the rain to see the veil lowered. Men, women and children lined the sidewalks of the streets bounding Howitzer Place, and the windows of all the residences facing the plat were crowded with spectators. The weather, which in the early part of the day had been exceedingly depressing, if anything became more disagreeable than ever when the column halted at the grounds and the rain began to fall quite fast, but the elements failed to dampen the enthusiasm of those who participated in the ceremonies. The members of the Association, animated once more with their old-time martial emotions, entered the enclosed section in which the monument stood, and after them came the veterans of Lee and Pickett Camps. It was a pleasing sight to note the reverential look upon the faces of those who silently gazed at the handsome memorial, which was still shrouded in its white covering. The unpropitious surroundings, the drizzling rain, the wet ground, and the leaden sky were all forgotten in that moment, and all present thought of still darker days and of times when sorrow and hardship drew them still more closely together.
The unveiling scene.In one corner of the plat a large Confederate flag, much the worse for wear, floated against the winter sky and added to the sombre effect of its surroundings. The present battery on reaching the grounds withdrew to the field which adjoins Harrison street on the west, and awaited the signal to fire the salute. All the cavalrymen drew up their horses on the northern side of Howitzer Place, while the infantry forces halted near by. This was the panorama presented to the view of the spectators immediately before the canvas was lowered. Just before this took place, however, Captain Carlton McCarthy attempted to send up an immense red, white and blue paper balloon. A huge Confederate flag was attached to it, and had the effort been successful the aerial ship would have created the wildest enthusiasm, but unfortunately the balloon, after getting thoroughly inflated, became wet, and could not be set afloat. The pedestal of the monument, which was not covered, was adorned with several bouquets, and the bright garlands looked exceedingly pretty against the cold, gray stone.
Prayer by the chaplain.The unveiling ceremonies, though exceedingly simple, were of the most impressive nature. After all the military and veteran organizations had been assigned to their places, Mr. J. B. Moore commanded silence, and Rev. W. W. Landrum, the chaplain of the present battery, ascended the steps of the pedestal, and in a moment, despite the rain, all heads were uncovered, and all faces bowed in prayer. The minister, in a clear voice, made still more audible by the silence of the assembly said:
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we desire to recognize Thy authority in all our ways. Standing here in the great temple of nature, we, the veterans of the Confederate army and the citizen-soldiers of Virginia, lift up our praises to Thee as the God of nations and the Arbiter of Battles. We cheerfully submit to Thy righteous will in bringing into unsuccessful issue the great struggle for Southern independence, begun so bravely, continued so heroically, and ended with the loss of all save honor. Command Thy blessing upon our  united country, and grant that the States of this Union, North and South, may be hereafter one and inseparable in bonds of indissoluble and perpetual union. And now, O Lord, we thank Thee for the nobler past of the States lately forming the Southern Confederacy, for their courage, self-sacrifice, devotion to duty, and all those national characteristics which commanded the admiration of the civilized world. We bless Thee for the precious heritage of glory bequeathed by the South to succeeding generations. And we beseech Thee to cause our beloved section to advance in all just and righteous prosperity. Above all, give unto us loyalty to Thee and to the institutions of sound morality and true religion. Accept, most merciful God, this statue, we pray Thee, which we have erected as a memorial of Southern valor and as an object-lesson to inspire our youth with love of country and patriotic deeds. Grant that it may long withstand the war of the elements and the crumbling tooth of time. Grant that generations yet unborn in looking upon this embodiment in bronze of the most exhalted manhood and soldiership may emulate and even surpass the character and conduct of their sires. Bless our aged veterans and all the volunteers. Bless us all. And, finally, when we have fought the fight and won the victory admit us, through the riches of Thy grace, into the eternal home of the soul, there to meet again those who have gone before. “And Thine shall be the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Amen.