the men and events of the past independently of the prejudices and passions which obscure and distort the immediate vision.
We, too, as well as the English
, have had our ‘Great Rebellion.’
It came to a dramatic close thirty-seven years since; as theirs came to a close not less dramatic some seven time thirty-seven years since.
We, also, as they in their time, formed our contemporaneous judgments and recorded our verdicts, assumed to be irreversible, of the men, the issues, and the events of the great conflict; and those verdicts and judgments, in our case as in theirs, will unquestionably be revised, modified, and in not a few cases wholly reversed.
Better knowledge, calmer reflection, and a more judicial frame of mind come with the passage of the years; passions in time subside, prejudices disappear, truth asserts itself.
this process has been going on for close upon two centuries and a half; with what result; Cromwell
's statue stand as proof.
We live in another age and a different environment; and, as fifty years of Europe
outmeasure in their growth a cycle of Cathay
, so I hold one year of twentieth century America
works far more progress in thought than seven years of Britain during the interval between its great rebellion and ours.
We who took active part in the Civil War
have not yet wholly vanished from the stage; the rear guard of the Grand Army
, we linger.
Today is separated from the death of Lincoln
by the same number of years only which separated ‘The Glorious Revolution of 1688’ from the execution of Charles Stuart
; yet to us is already given to look back on the events of which we were a part with the same perspective effects with which the Victorian Englishman
looks back on the men and events of the commonwealth.
I propose on this occasion to do so; and reverting to my text— ‘Shall Cromwell
have a Statue’—and reading that text in the gloss of Carlyle
's Latter-Day Pamphlet
utterance, I quote you Horace's familiar precept,
Mutato nomine, de te
and ask abruptly, ‘Shall Robert E. Lee
have a statue?’
I propose also to offer to your consideration some reasons why he should, and, assuredly, will have one, if not now, then presently.
Shortly after Lee
's death, in October, 1870, leave was asked in the United States Senate, by Mr. McCreery
, of Kentucky
, to introduce a joint resolution providing for the return of the estate and mansion of Arlington
to the family of the deceased Confederate Commander-in-chief
In view of the use which had then already