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desire or imagination paint, -"supremely lovely and serenely great, majestic mother" of a free, happy, and united people, with Slavery and all its tyranny beaten down under foot, so that no man shall call another master, and all shall be equal before the law.
In this great victory death is swallowed up, and before us is the vision of the Republic performing all that was promised. How easy, then, the passage from sorrow to exultation!
Fellow-citizens, be happy in what you have. Mourn not the dead, but rejoice in his life and example. Rejoice, as you point to this child of the people, who was lifted so high that Republican Institutions became manifest in him. Rejoice that through him Emancipation was proclaimed. Rejoice that under him "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" obtained a final verdict never to be set aside or questioned. Above all, see to it that his constant vows are performed, and the promises of the Fathers maintained, so that no person in the upright form of man is shut out from their protection. Do this, and the Unity of the Republic will be fixed on a foundation that cannot fail. The corner-stone of National Independence is already in its place, and on it is inscribed the name of GEORGE WASHINGTON. Another stone must also have place at the corner. It is the great Declaration itself, once a promise, at last a reality. On this adamantine block we will gratefully inscribe the name of ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
IDEAS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
LETTER TO THE MAYOR OF BOSTON, ON THE CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE, JULY 4, 1865.
MY DEAR SIR,
BOSTON, July 4, 1865.
It will not be in my power to
unite with my fellow-citizens of Boston in celebrating the anniversary of our National Independence; but I rejoice that we can celebrate it so happily, with Victory as the master of ceremonies.
Do not, I pray you, Mr. Mayor, let the great day pass without reminding our fellow-citizens that victory on the field of battle is not enough. There must be the further victory found in the recognition, everywhere throughout the country, of the ideas of the Declaration of Independence.
It must be confessed, that, according to these ideas, republican government can be founded only on "the consent of the governed" and the equality of all before the law. And why not dedicate ourselves to the work of establishing these ideas?
Then will our fathers be vindicated, and our country be glorified. God save the Republic!
Accept my thanks for the invitation with which you have honored me,
And believe me, dear Sir, faithfully yours,
CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED NECESSARY IN THE
ADVICE TO COLORED CITIZENS.
LETTER TO A COMMITTEE OF COLORED CITIZENS AT SAVANNAH, JULY 8, 1865.
SAVANNAH, June 15, 1865.
HON. CHARLES SUMNER:
SIR, We, the undersigned, Committee of the Union League of Savannah, Ga., have the honor to present to you these our petitions to his Excellency Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, signed personally by the hands of some three hundred and fifty loyal citizens. We respectfully ask that you will present them to his Excellency the President, and we beg that your Honor will use all of your influence in our behalf, and oblige,
Very respectfully, your humble servants,
Jos. C. JACKSON, Chairman,
BENJ. W. ROBERTS,
JOSEPH S. TISON.
BOSTON, 8th July, 1865.
|ENTLEMEN, — Your petition asking for the right
request that I would present it to the President. I regret much that my absence from Washington has prevented me from doing this in person; but I have lost no time in forwarding the petition to the President, with my most earnest recommendation.
You need not beg me to use influence in your behalf. I cannot help doing so to the extent of my ability.
Allow me to add, that you must not be impatient. You have borne the heavier burdens of Slavery; and as these are now removed, believe the others surely will be also. This enfranchised Republic, setting an example to mankind, cannot continue to sanction an odious Oligarchy, whose single distinctive element is color. I have no doubt that you will be admitted to the privileges of citizens.
It is impossible to suppose that Congress will sanction governments in the Rebel States which are not founded on "the consent of the governed." This is the corner-stone of republican institutions. Of course, by the "governed" is meant all the loyal citizens, without distinction of color. Anything else is mockery.
Never neglect your work; but meanwhile prepare yourselves for the privileges of citizens. They are yours of right, and I do not doubt that they will be yours. soon in reality. The prejudice of caste and a false interpretation of the Constitution cannot prevail against justice and common sense, both of which are on your side; and I may add the Constitution also, which, when properly interpreted, is clearly on your side.
Accept my best wishes, and believe me, fellowcitizens,
Messrs. JOSEPH C. JACKSON, GEORGE R. J. DOLLY, PETER DUNCAN, BENJAMIN W. ROBERTS, JOSEPH S. TISON.
JUSTICE TO THE COLORED RACE.
LETTER TO A TRUSTEE FOR COLORED SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AUGUST 16, 1865.
IN reply to a representation that there was a little scheme in Washington to deprive the colored schools of their proportion of the school funds arising from taxation, Mr. Sumner wrote the following letter, which was published in Washington.
BOSTON, August 16, 1865.
EAR SIR,-I had already noticed the article on the Washington "Ostrich" before I received the paper you kindly sent me.
The Lord reigns, and I am sure the diabolism at Washington cannot continue to prevail. You will not weary in counteracting it.
Work on. Fight on. When Congress meets, we shall insist upon JUSTICE. This is the talisman by which our country is to be saved.
Accept my best wishes, and believe me, dear Sir, faithfully yours,