« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
strong convictions and his native force of character result, which became a law. He pursued his as well as his intellectual powers became manifest studies further at Wolfeborough, New Hampshire, during the debates of this Club.
teaching a district school in the winter, and the Having saved several hundred dollars, he, in next spring he began studying at the academy in the spring of 1836, visited Washington City. Concord. While pursuing his studies here he was, How he was impressed with what he saw there he on account of his declared anti-slavery principles, related himself in a speech he delivered in Phila- chosen a delegate to an anti-slavery State Convendelphia, in 1863, as found in the Buston Advertiser tion, where he made a speech.
While he was of recent date, and is contained in the following thus pursuing the desire of his life in acquiring paragraph :
an education, a citizen of his native town, to “I saw slavery beneath the shadow of the flag whom he had loaned his hard-earned money, that waved over the Capitol. I saw the slave-pen, failed, and he was again penniless. A friend in and men, women and children herded for the Wolfeborough, however, offered to board him on markets of the far South, and at the table at which credit while he continued his studies. sat Senator Morris, of Ohio, then the only avowed cepted the offer, but only for one term-his last champion of freedom in the Senate of the United at school. Then he returned to Natick as destiStates, I expressed my abhorrence of slavery and tute of money as when he first entered the town. the slave traffic in the Capital of the Democratic He was made teacher of the Centre District School and Christian Republic. I was promptly told that and at once resumed his connection with the Senator Morris might be protected in speaking Debating Club. against slavery in the Senate, but that I would not "On finishing his school he paid his debts and be protected in uttering such sentiments. I left had twelve dollars with which to begin the world the Capital of my country with the unalterable again. On that capital he began manufacturing resolution to give all that I had, and all that I shoes for the Southern market. In this business hoped to have, of power to the cause of emancipa- he continued steadily, except when engaged in pubtion in America; and I have tried to make that lic duties, for ten years, taking an active interest resolution a living faith from that day to this. My in all local affairs that tended to the improvement political associations from that hour to the present of the town and its population. As a business have always been guided by my opposition to man, he is remembered as upright, fair and manly, slavery in every form, and they always will be so winning the respect of his workmen and of all guided. In twenty years of political life I may who transacted business with him; but he did not have committed errors of judgment, but I have accumulate wealth. His mind did not adapt itself ever striven 'to write my name' in the words of to the grooves of trade, but was continually ocWilliam Legget, in ineffaceable letters on the cupied with the more congenial affairs of politics abolition record.' Standing here to-night in the and public questions. While engaged in business presence of veteran anti-slavery men, I can say, in in Natick he married Miss Harriet Melvina Howe all the sincerity of conviction, that I would rather of that town, a lady of good education and have it written upon the humble stone that shall superior character. Three or four years later he mark the spot where I shall repose when life's built the modest house which was ever afterwards labors are done, “He did what he could to break his home." the setters of the slave,' than to have it recorded In 1840 he took an active part in promoting that he filled the highest stations of honor in the the election of General Harrison, making sixty gift of his countrymen.'
speeches or more in his behalf. During the “Upon his return to the North, he began a ensuing five years he was elected a Representative course of study in the academy in Strafford, New from Natick to the Legislature three times, and Hampshire, and at the close of the term he took twice a State Senator from Middlesex county. In the affirmative of an exhibition debate upon the 1845 Henry Wilson was selected in conjunction question, “Ought Slavery to be Abolished in the with the poet Whittier to carry to Washington District of Columbia? A quarter of a century City the great anti-slavery petition from Massaafter it was his privilege to introduce into the chusetts against the annexation of Texas. United States Senate the bill to accomplish that In 1846 he was again a member of the Leg
islature, and as such he introduced, says the body, his first speech being a very able one in "American Cyclopedia," a resolution declaring favor of the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, and the unalterable hostility of Massachusetts to the of the abolition of Slavery in the District of Cofurther extension and longer continuance of slavery lumbia. His course in the Senate, during the conin America, and her fixed determination to use test with slavery, in the settlement and occupancy all constitutional and legal means for its extinc of Kansas, was marked by the same uncompromistion. He supported this resolution in a speech ing devotion to Freedom that had characterized which was pronounced by the leading anti-slavery his previous career, and the same interest in the journals to be the fullest and most comprehensive cause of free labor, whose essential dignity he had on the slavery question that had yet been made in always nobly vindicated. any legislative body in the country. The reso- The assault on his colleague Senator Sumner, by lution was adopted by a large majority.
Brooks, Henry Wilson pronounced "brutal, murIn 1848 he was a delegate to the Whig National derous and cowardly.” This brought a challenge Convention, and on the refusal of that body to from his colleague's assailant, which was however adopt an anti-slavery platform, he withdrew from declined, considering the code as he did, a relic it, and from that party, and forthwith identified of barbarous civilization, but at the same time himself prominently with movements looking to asserting in the broadest sense the right and duty the organization of the “Free Soil" party. He of self-defence. Henceforth he was not assailed. purchased at this time the Boston Republican, a This and other incidents growing out of the disdaily newspaper, which he edited for two years. cussions of the exciting questions of the times
In 1849 he was chosen chairman of the Free made Senator Wilson a conspicuous man among Soil State Committee of Massachusetts, a post the law-makers at the National Capitol, and his which he occupied with great efficiency and sound judgment, good sense, courage, fidelity, acceptability for four years.
and his political sagacity, and his parliamentary In 1850 and again in 1851 he was chosen State experience naturally pointed public attention to Senator, and during both sessions of the Senate him as a leader of the Republican party, which he served as its presiding officer. During his was rapidly rising in importance and strength. entire career as a member of both branches of the Senator Wilson was a member of the military State Legislature, Henry Wilson was a conspicuous committee of the Senate for four years, and when champion of Freedom, and the able, out-spoken, the Republican party came into power, in 1861, unyielding opponent of slavery, and especially he was made its chairman. When war came his hostile was he to its further extension. His position was one of great labor and responsibility, speeches had the true ring of Liberty in them. as all the measures for carrying on the war origin.
Henry Wilson was a delegate to the National ated, or were matured by his committee. What Convention of the Free Soil party in 1852, which he was instrumental in accomplishing for his convened in Pittsburg, and he was chosen its country, during the perilous years of our great President. As indicating the spirit of the con- civil war is matter of history, and need not be vention it is necessary only to say that one of its detailed here at length. Suffice it to say that he resolutions denounced slavery as “a sin against was instrumental in raising several thousand men God, and a crime against man, which no law or for service, and was commissioned Colonel of one usage can make right,” and on whose banner, in of the regiments thus raised. He did not remain the ringing words of one of its resolutions, was long in command of it, however, as his services inscribed the lofty motto, "Free Soil, Free were deemed of more importance to the country Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men."
in the Senate than in the army.
His only other He was elected to the Constitutional Conven- active service in connection with the army was tion of Massachusetts in 1853, and took prom- what he rendered as a volunteer aide de camp for inent part in the discussion of that assembly. a time on the staff of General McClellan.
In 1855 Henry Wilson was chosen a meinber Henry Wilson remained a member of the Senate of the United States Senate, to fill the vacancy oc- until the 3d of March, 1873, when he took his casioned by the resignation of Edward Everett. place as President of the Senate, having been He soon took an active part in the debates of that elected the preceding November to the office of Vice-President, which, in a sense, continued him benefit thereby? There is not one of all our a member of the United States Senate, thus giving American Statesmen whom we could, with a greater him a service of twenty years in that dignified degree of pride and pleasure, present as an example body. Of the circumstances connected with his to the young men of this generation than Henry nomination as a candidate for Vice-President, and Wilson. The moral rectitude and purity of purof his triumphant election by a majority un- pose which characterized his life, his great public paralleled in the history of the country, I need not services, his useful career, his fidelity to God and further remark. And it is not necessary that I man, and his every-day practical recognition of should amplify upon his public services during the the claims of Purity, of Virtue, of Morality, of closing years of his useful life, but it is meet that Religion upon him, render it eminently appro. I should assert his fidelity to the last to the con- priate that his name should be a “household word” victions of his earlier life.
in every habitation in the land. Henry Wilson was a generous, large-hearted,
“ Well done, good and faithful servant.” kindly.disposed, amiable, noble man, accessible
“ A man among men! Look down by the most humble, open, frank, unsuspecting,
At his form, but look up sor his crown;
It is set far above-mid the stars ! disposed to look favorably upon the conduct of his
On the earth in his purpose he proved fellow-men. In “plain ness of speech and in the
As fixed as the planets; and, so grooved lack of affectation, in dress and manner, he greatly
In the Right, where that led him
Who loved him? The many—the few
All, his life and his virtues who knew; an illustration of Christian virtues and graces, and
But chiefly the lowly-THE SLAVE. in small things as well as in large movements he
He struck for man's freedom of limb
For man's freedom of soul; and the dim was always to be counted on the side of right
Light of Liberty brightened through him, doing. In this respect he gives posterity an ex
The brave! amplar of the things which were honest and of
Who mourns him? The shadows that fall good report in his day.” Henry Wilson was an
Round his coffin are shadows from all
Who knew of his life, and its worth. indefatigable worker, indeed he overtasked himself
They come with man's sighs—woman's tears and broke down prematurely, by reason thereof.
With a day that in darkness appears
With a grief that shall linger for years,
same series yet to come. By the time this series The life-history of Henry Wilson furnishes a is completed, we hope Mr. Smucker will have valuable and instructive lesson to the young men
thought of another equally attractive subject for a of our country. Will not very many of them similar series.
HISTORY AND REMINISCENCES OF THE PHILADELPHIA NAVY YARD.
BY HENRY M. VALLETTE,
THE FOURTH PAPER.
In the many views taken within the past fifty the work of demolition-yea, even while the artist years of the River Front of “Yo City of Penn," was photographing the picture, the clapboards and the two ship-houses at the Navy Yard have been scantling were tumbling about his ears. prominent and conspicuous landmarks, looming up Mr. Philip Justice, a famous builder in his day, like huge watch-towers at the city's southern boun. having obtained the contract from Government to dary, and relieving the monotony of the otherwise erect the ship-houses, commenced the smaller level stretch of housetops that lie unsteepled be. house in the year 1821, and completed it during yond. In that locality, they are now a thing of 1822. He then commenced the larger building, on the past-the larger of the two having been re- the north, and finished it some time during the folerected at League Island in almost its original pro- lowing year, receiving for the two houses $23,000. portions, while the smaller, “the Frigate House," The “launching way" of the Frigate house as it was termed, has been despoiled of its fair was not built until the year 1837, and cost dimensions, and is now doing menial duty as a $24,879.34 ; the "slip" of the large ship-house temporary receptacle of "odds and ends." Shades was completed during the year 1852, at a cost of of the launched and departed "walls of oak," $27,377.66; making the entire cost of the two can such things be?
1 Commodore Barron, in a letter to the Secretary of the The illustrations represent the ship-houses as
Navy, dated “ Philadelphia, Decb: zad 1824," says: “ The they appeared a day or two after vandal hands, large shiphouse in this yard is very complete and 1 humbly with claw and hammer, had ruthlessly commenced I think ought to serve as a model."
houses $75,257. The illustration below takes in a of iron-clads. Her armor plating had been manuview of the “ Floating Sectional Dry. Dock," factured at Pittsburg and delivered at the Yard; which was finished in July, 1851, at a cost of but previous to the vessel's completion the war $831,840.34. This Dock is a valuable and almost had happily ended, and having much unseasoned indispensable auxiliary to the Navy Yard, enabling timber in her composition, she was found to be
the Government to take up with ease and dispatch decaying rapidly; it was therefore considered insuch war-vessels as need repairs ; indeed, the Navy judicious to finish her, and she was finally broken Department has in many instances generously ex- up on the same stocks where so much labor and tended these facilities to the merchant marine in material had been fruitlessly expended upon her. cases where disabled vessels were of too heavy The second story of the building, that, in the pic. burthen to be taken on the private docks of our ture, obstructs the view of the Nebraska, was used city.
as a "Block" shop; on a portion of the groundThe wharves Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 were built at a Aoor numerous grindstones were by steam-power cost of $51,224.52. The Quay wall was finished kept constantly revolving, for the purpose of in August, 1845, and cost $4,202.29. Piers to sharpening the mechanics’ tools. In another porwharves Nos. 2 and 3 were built in 1848-49, cost- tion was an apparatus for steaming timber. There ing $17,500; and the wall around the Dock was was a frame structure to the right of this, occupied finished in July, 1851, at a cost of $3,818.75. as a machine shop; the main brick building in
The engraving on page 256 is a capital illustra- the foreground being the joiner shop, with small tion of the western front of the “Ship" and brick boiler-house attached. Of the buildings " Frigate House." The view also takes in the enumerated, the machine-shop belonged to the upper portion of a temporary shed that was placed department of Steam Engineering, and the others over the Shackamaxon (name afterwards changed to to the department of Construction and Repair. Nebraska), intended to be one of the largest class While speaking of this matter of " cost," it may