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recently admired in our streets was sleeping in an unknown grave; but even this sorrow did not blind an intelligent people to the magnitude of the event. Grief was chastened by honest pride. Swelling hearts were soothed by the thought that much had been done for humanity.
A desire arose at once for a monument to commemorate alike the hero and the event. But the Rebellion was then raging. It was no time for monuments. At last, with the overthrow of the Rebel arms, the time seems to have arrived. The youthful commander still sleeps with his comrades in death. There let him sleep. Westminster Abbey has no resting-place more honorable. But his patriotic sacrifice and the great event deserve commemoration, as well for gratitude as for example. Some propose a monument on the spot where he fell. This may be made; but it can be only a mound or pile of stones, to be seen by ships as they enter the harbor of Charleston. This is not enough. It will not tell the whole story.
The monument should be in Massachusetts, where the hero was born, and where the regiment was also born. Each belonged to Massachusetts, the martyr by double title: first, as he drew his breath here, and, secondly, as he commanded this regiment of Massachusetts. Let the monument be here.
Of course, no
It must be of
common stone or shaft will be sufficient.
future generations, as long as bronze shall endure, look upon him there riding always, and be taught by his example to succor the oppressed and to surrender life for duty. Especially let legislators of Massachusetts, by daily sight of the symbolic statue, be gratefully led to constant support of the cause for which he died. Here is a theme for Art, and its elements are youth, beauty, self-sacrifice, death, and a great cause.
On the Continent of Europe, by general usage, only members of a royal family are allowed the honor of an equestrian statue. In the unequalled monument by Rauch, at Berlin, the royal Fritz is mounted, but his generals are about him standing. Near by is Blücher, who was prince and marshal, also standing. In England there are equestrian statues of kings, and of the Duke of Wellington. But this is no reason why a grateful people should not decree an equestrian statue to a youthful hero, whose duty was on horseback, and who was last seen in our streets on horseback. As an American citizen he belonged to our sovereignty, and we fitly celebrate him with the highest honors. Few belonging to any royal family have so good a title. In the Republics of Italy, during the early ages, when royalty did not exist, there were equestrian statues. The first of these in merit, and one of the first in time, was the renowned statue in bronze of the condottiere Bartolommeo Coleoni, who, after a lapse of centuries, is still admired as he rides bravely in a public square of Venice, while the artist has secured the immortality of his own name by engraving it upon the girth of the saddle. It is sometimes said, on doubtful authority, that this early chieftain was the first to mount cannon on wheels, so that they could be used in the field. But
our chieftain did more than mount cannon, and the triumphant experiment with which his name is linked surpasses far anything in the life of an Italian trooper. His act was above any triumph of battle. It was a victory of ideas, and belongs to the sacred history of Humanity.
Let the monument be made. Boston has a sculptor without a superior among living artists, whose soul and genius would be in the work. Already a colored person, well known among us, with a heart full of gratitude, has subscribed five hundred dollars. Other colored persons are contributing in smaller sums, according to their means. They properly lead now in tribute to him who died in leading them. But others of ampler means must see that this generous effort does not fail. I should not suggest this, if I thought that I should take away from other things deserving aid. The present charity is so peculiar, that it appeals equally to all who are moved by patriotism, by gratitude, by sympathy, or by Art.
This article was followed by a public meeting in the Council Chamber of the State-House, at the invitation of Governor Andrew, to consider the proposition of an equestrian statue in honor of Colonel Shaw. The following committee was appointed to collect subscriptions and superintend the erection of the statue: John A. Andrew, Charles Sumner, Joshua B. Smith, Charles R. Codman, Samuel G. Howe, Robert B. Storer, Frederick W. Lincoln, Jr., James L. Little, William W. Clapp, Jr., Charles Beck, Rev. Leonard A. Grimes, Peleg W. Chandler, William G. Weld, Edward Atkinson, Charles W. Slack, Robert E. Apthorp, Henry Lee, Jr., Edward W. Kinsley, George B. Loring, Le Baron Russell, Henry I. Bowditch.
At a meeting of this committee, Charles Sumner, Samuel G. Howe, Charles Beck, George B. Loring, LeBaron Russell, Henry I. Bowditch, and Charles R. Codman were appointed a sub-committee to select an artist, to contract with him, to secure a proper place for the statue, and to superintend its erection.
THE LATE RICHARD COBDEN.
LETTER TO MRS. COBDEN, COVERING RESOLUTIONS OF THE REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTion of Massachusetts, October 5, 1865.
THE letter of Mr. Sumner first appeared in the London papers.
BOSTON, October 5, 1865.
Y DEAR MADAM,- I have been charged by the
chusetts, over which I had the honor of presiding, to communicate to you resolutions unanimously adopted by them, expressing their grateful regard for the memory of your late husband, and their sympathy in your bereavement.1
Knowing Mr. Cobden personally, as I did for many years, and corresponding with him on public questions, I confess a sense of personal loss beyond even that of my fellow-citizens. He was the good friend of my country, and he was my own private friend. Therefore, in making this communication, I desire to express my own individual grief.
His lamented death has caused a chasm not only in his own home and country, but here in the United States. We all miss him and mourn him. He was a wise and good man. An Englishman by birth, his heart and all his faculties were given to mankind, knowing 1 Ante, pp. 439, 440.
well that the welfare and true glory of his own great country were best assured by such a dedication.
Hoping that you may be consoled in your sorrow, and that your children may be blessed in life, I ask you to accept the respect with which I have the honor to be, dear Madam,
Your very faithful servant,
The following reply was received from Mrs. Cobden.
DUNFORD, MIDHURST, December 27, 1865.
MY DEAR MR. SUMNER, On behalf of myself and my children, I beg most kindly to thank you, and the members of the Republican State Convention of Massachusetts, for the resolutions, passed by them, of sympathy with us in our terrible bereavement.
These resolutions are rendered more valuable by the letter from yourself which accompanies them.
The expressions of sympathy and condolence which have reached us from public bodies and private individuals, in your and other countries, have been deeply grateful to my stricken heart; for they assure me of the wide-spread appreciation of the efforts of my beloved husband to promote the cause of international prosperity and peace
From America they are especially grateful; for his sympathy with the cause of liberty to the slave was undoubted and intense. And it was on his way to Parliament, to speak on the Canadian question in its relation to the American Union, that he contracted the illness which ended his dear and noble life.
Pray accept the kindest remembrances of myself and children, and believe me to remain,
My dear Mr. Sumner,
Yours very sincerely,
C. A. COBDEN.