The End of the War
“Is the condition of the United States at large, and particularly of the States which went into rebellion, no better, or not much better ... in 1881 than in 1861?”
Throughout the country harsh and violent declamations, or at least deep and surly mutterings of discontent and menace; a great party, whose registered popular vote had exceeded by a quarter of a million that of its antagonist, and which for days after the election had been commonly conceded a majority of the electoral colleges, chocking with disappointments embittered by a sense of outrage; a large part of the successful party accepting its success with profound disgust at the methods by which it had been secured; overwhelming adverse majorities in both houses of Congress; all branches of industry and commerce depressed, and, at best, but semi-animate; the public credit, as indicated by the Federal securities, below that of many European nations, or of many States of the Union; the paper currency of the country still many degrees below par, still wholly irredeemable, its redemption declared by the party which had all but seized the government to be for an indefinite period impossible, and its volume threatened by a multitudinous public sentiment with unlimited augmentation; several States, formerly in rebellion, disordered by new dissensions, in which shameless fraud was in collision with sanguinary violence and rival claimants of state governments were kept from each other’s throats only by the illegal interference of Federal authority, — these were the conditions and environments with which the president now about to retire entered upon his duties four years ago. Only once in the history of the republic had the skies been so overcast with gloom at the opening of a presidential term. Less only than the dangers and difficulties which beset the nation at the crisis of dissolution in 1861 were those which menaced it in the dispirited election of 1877; but the requirements of good sense, discretion, non-partisan patriotism, and whatever else there may be which makes up statesmanship were greater, rather than less, at the outset of Hayes’s administration than at the outset of Lincoln’s. For if Lincoln had to face a threatened rebellion, he faced it with the resolute support of a vast party which had carried him with rare enthusiasm to the position, his presence in which was the avowed pretext for rebellion; while Hayes, less fortunate, was far from being the chosen champion of his party, — was regarded by its most active managers rather as an accidental intruder into its highest honors, and as one whose failure, should he fail, might be a useful lesson to future nominating conventions.
Adverse and discouraging as were the circumstances in which Mr. Hayes assumed the presidency, how far have they altered for the accession of Mr. Garfield? And how much may this leader, who put on his armor four years ago in doubt and danger and dispute, boast himself in putting it off? Rightly to compare the two dates, in their political aspects, will be to determine with approximate accuracy the place to be occupied in history by the administration whose existence reaches from the one date to the other. It is true that the post hoc propter hoc argument is too apt to involve a fallacy. But if it is the legitimate function of the chief officer of the nation to execute the laws firmly yet reasonably, so that peace and order may result from the absence of discontent; to collect and disburse the revenues with efficiency and economy; to manipulate the currency (since the blunders of former legislation compel the executive to meddle with the currency) in such manner that it may increase in value and stability; to manage the public debt so that its principal may be steadily diminished, and its interest charge reduced to a minimum, while at the same time a constantly growing friendship and respect mark the sentiments of foreign nations toward this country, it certainly is not unreasonable, when all these facts are found to exist in a higher degree at the close of an administrative term than at its beginning, to adjudge that the administrative functions have been well discharged.
To any man, entering in troublous times upon the task of directing the executive government of a great nation, it might well seem that four years formed a sadly inadequate period in which to correct ingrown abuses; to purge and purify large departments of the public service fallen into great disrepute, if not into utter corruption; to reëstablish order and the dominion of law in vast regions given over to lawless violence; and to placate a sensitive and warlike population, sore with the chagrin of defeat, yet conscious of the great political power restored to it by the deliberate action of its victors. It would seem that for any such man to handicap himself with a declaration at the outset which barred the way to a possible reëlection was to condemn his presidential career to a fate, at best, of outlined reforms, of efforts and attempts, of beginnings without completion. Judging, however, after the event, one is forced to doubt whether, with all the ability and integrity which the out-going president has shown, his administration does not owe some part of the success and honor which have attended it to that “self-denying ordinance” which deprived it of all ambition except to achieve honor and success. Nor is it too much to say that the argument drawn from the presidential terms of 1869 to 1877, for a constitutional prohibition of reëlection, receives all the corroboration it could require from the history of the administration of 1877-1881, the first which ever performed its work under the influence of such a limitation.
It is easy, as has been said above, to err in attributing to a government too large a measure of the prosperity or distress of its people. Yet, four years ago it was still doubtful whether the whole southern third of the United States—a vast empire of itself, of immense resources, although prostrated by war and social revolution—should continue for a generation to come to be a mere range of subject yet hostile provinces, whose prosperity and development, their internal production and their commerce with the rest of the nation, were to be repressed and throttled by a sullen and chronic anarchy. It is little enough to say that the instant springing up throughout those States of a strong confidence and content, as soon as the character of the new government was made known by its acts, added everywhere to the acres planted for crops; added everywhere something to the land-owner’s valuation of his land, and thus in two ways to his real or fancied purchasing ability; that this repose and confidence, this prosperity and hopefulness, acted with the stimulus of an enlarged market upon all departments of northern production, and all together, with their mutual reaction, upon the foreign commerce and importation which is the final expression of national prosperity.
It is therefore a shallow wisdom which denies credit to Mr. Hayes’s administration for the reduction of the national debt, the refunding at low interest, and the resumption of specie payments, because it was by the planting and watering of the whole people, which Providence crowned with unusual increase, that the national revenue was enlarged and the national credit enhanced to a point that made these changes possible. For the one thing that was, at the accession of President Hayes, absolutely within the uncontrolled power of the executive to determine was the question whether the disorders which are the natural sequel of a long civil war should continue for four years, through the intervention of the Federal government, to prevail throughout extensive regions. This question it answered, instantly and firmly, in the teeth of doubts and threats on the part of a large proportion of the party which had raised it to power, in the negative. The state of things which but a few months before had made it possible for a Federal official, standing with a file of Federal soldiers at the door of the statehouse at Columbia, to pass upon the credentials of members of the South Carolina legislature, and admit or exclude them at his discretion, may or may not have been a desirable state of things; but at least it was not legal or constitutional. It would not have been tried, at that time, at the Boston or the Albany state-house. In short, it was a sequel of war; it was a form of war itself; it was the silencing of law in the presence of arms. And when the executive made known that thenceforward no intervention should be possible in South Carolina or Louisiana which was not lawful in Pennsylvania or Illinois, his act was a proclamation of peace, as distinctly as sixteen years before the president’s call for troops had been a declaration of war.
“Beati pacificatores!” It is much to have cleansed Augean stables; to have directed the vast and intricate machinery of government with an integrity and decency that leave no opportunity for either suspicion or investigation; to have brought an irredeemable currency to par; to have reduced the public debt by hundreds of millions, and its interest charge by tens of millions; to have guided public opinion, somewhat by practice and more by precept, toward that organization of the administrative service which shall preclude its debasement for party ends; to have seen the governments of many States pass, during his four years of office, from the hands of the opposition to those of his own party, while the house of representatives undergoes the like change, and the senate but narrowly escapes it: and all these things have befallen the administration of the outgoing president. But behind all, and a potent factor not only in all these, but in the general prosperity of the nation, is that great fact which his administration partly recognized and partly made, that the war is ended. “Four years of fierce hostilities,” the future historian will say, “were followed by the amazingly brief period of twelve years of social disorder and reorganization; until, under President Hayes, who took office by a disputed title which threatened greatly to impair his moral strength, the exasperations of the conflict were allayed, and the nation entered upon a period of prosperity in which the revolted States appear to have had even a larger share than those which had reduced them to allegiance. So general, in fact, was the Southern acquiescence in Mr. Hayes’s methods that when his successor, a man understood to be of like character, was elected by Northern votes alone, the only newspapers in which partisan disappointment was expressed in threats and denunciations were those of Northern democrats, while his lately rebel antagonists betook themselves to the news or the jests of the period with avowed indifference or contentment. No more emphatic illustration could be given of that profound change which, though no doubt it had been for years before in preparation and progress, subsequent generations have come to associate distinctively with the golden age—the Saturnia regna—of President Hayes.”
Thus the future historian. But will he not also have to record that this peace was delusive, that this prosperity was hollow; that the war waged directly for union and indirectly for the rights of man had ended in an illusory success, in which the real triumph was with rebels restored to citizenship and power, and might better never have been waged at all? Every one has heard passionate declamations of that tenor, and often from men to whom the imagined disappointment had a personal intensity from the fact that their own labor and their own blood had been expended for the cause which they now deem to have been lost. Let me paraphrase the angry ejaculations of a friend who, though now distinguished at the bar and elevated to the bench, had hurried from college to the camp when hardly of the military age, and had served honorably through the war, bearing now in his body that rare badge of “derring-do,” a sabre-scar.
“No, sir!” exclaimed the colonel-judge. “This isn’t what I risked my life and shed my blood and gave up four of my best years for. To see these same rebels whom I was fighting all that time, who did their best to destroy this government, in undisputed control of every State that we conquered from them, — both houses of Congress full of their brigadier-generals, — unrepentant, too, sir; to read every day of the outrages by which they frighten the negroes into voting the democratic ticket, of their swindling the poor wretches out of their wages or their share of the crops, until they have left their houses by thousands, in organized emigration, to escape this infernal tyranny! — I tell you, sir, that if any one had said to me that in fifteen years after the war was over this would be the condition of things, I should probably have told him he lied; but if I had believed him, I would have resigned my commission and gone home to make money, as some of the rest did!”
Now it is nearly hopeless to argue against a conclusion based upon such experience and moved so by sentiment. Yet it may be worth while for any one to think about it who is not too much in a passion to think, using the modes of thought which we were wont to use before 1860. And so far as the writer’s point of view can guide the reader’s it is that of the most “stalwart” prepossession, of earnest antislavery birth and education, and of service through the war from a belief in it.
The question raised by my friend’s indignant lamentation, however doubtful or difficult the answer to it may be, is in itself a very simple one. It is merely this: Is the condition of the United States at large, and particularly of the States which went into rebellion, no better, or not much better, in a humanitarian sense, or from the point of view of the student of political or social science, in 1881 than in 1861? If the question must be answered in the. negative, then our unspeakable sufferings and sacrifices may indeed have been in vain.
It is a commonplace of historical philosophy that contemporary events, or those nearly contemporary, are most difficult to judge justly. But perhaps the hardest of all are those for the comprehension of which some knowledge is required of a period which has just passed beyond personal recollection, and yet which is not distant enough to have become known to us through the work of the historian, as distinguished from the annalist or the chronicler. Now any man may fairly say that he knows all about the United States of to-day; and, whatever be the color or the lucidity of the medium through which he takes his impressions, it is not easy to convict him of ignorance. But to a vast body of intelligent men, including myriads who served in the war, the ante-bellum condition of their country is a matter wholly beyond personal recollection, except from mere childish impressions; and, at the best, such recollection is darkened and beclouded, not merely by the lapse of more than half their life-time, but by the overwhelming stress of the events which, during that time, have convulsed the country and the world. I propose, therefore, to accept as true the strongest statements of my friend, or of the bitter newspapers which daily voice his griefs, as to the facts of 1881. But I want him to consider them for a moment in the light of 1861.
Perhaps it would be enough to recall the purposes which, when the war began, and as long as it lasted, were continually avowed as its sole motive and justification. Except by a very slender body of humanitarian sectaries, any intention to affect, in the remotest way, the institution of slavery was at first universally disclaimed. It was not long, it is true, before the hopes of this little cluster of reformers had gradually become the desire and set purpose of the majority of Northern men; but it would be a gross historical blunder to find the origin or the impulse of the war in any such design. On the contrary, it seems that after it had been raging for nearly a year so furious an original abolitionist as Mr. Wendell Phillips—an orator who was never thought to drag far in the rear of the most advanced opinions—had only got so far as to be ready to urge upon the government a measure abolishing slavery, “securing compensation to loyal slave-holders.” (Speeches and Lectures, pages 438, 439.) So that one might fairly think that, in that direction at least, the results of the war were radical enough to content any one not less conservative than Mr. Phillips.
Nor was the war, for years after it had become flagrant, in any one’s view an aggressive war on the part of the United States. The defense of the national authority against open violence; the reëstablishment of the constitution and the laws where their supremacy had been subverted; “the repossession of the forts, places, and property which had been seized from the Union” (President’s Proclamation of April 15, 1861), — these alone were then and long after motives and purposes sufficient to stir all the North into the highest glow of self-sacrifice. However inadequate they may now seem, in the electric light generated by these twenty years of collision, no one who was then a man, unless all his faculty of memory is gone, will venture to say that he would then have deemed those objects unworthy to be fought for. And however, from year to year, the defense of the nation needed to be more and more conducted with what the military writers call the “offensive return,” it would require some hardihood to maintain that, down to the last days of actual hostilities, if the mere restoration of the status quo ante bellum, together with the prohibition of slavery, had been offered as conditions of peace, twenty thousand men out of twenty million would have voted to continue the fighting.
So, too, in the chaotic period which immediately followed the war, when its original purpose to “hold, occupy, and possess” the whole territory of the republic had been most triumphantly accomplished, there was no phrase more universally upon men’s lips, as expressing the common purpose of the most diverse minds, than this: “To restore the States lately in rebellion to their normal relations to the Union.” How this ought to be done, or could best be done, — as to this there was broad divergence of opinion; but there was entire unanimity as to the end to be sooner or later attained. Nor did any one then doubt what those normal relations were. They were the relations sustained by the same States in 1860, or by the States which had not gone into rebellion in 1865. What every one meant then, whether he knew it or not, was that in due time the State of South Carolina should, like the State of Massachusetts, under its own constitution, choose its own officers and make its own laws; that Mississippi might, like Pennsylvania, cope with its own mobs or be overrun by them; that if Connecticut should send Eaton to the senate, Georgia might send Hill to meet him; and that Louisiana, equally with Maine and New York, might hold its fraudulent elections and falsify its returns. It would be too much to say that every one had thought this all out, but it was none the less inseparably inclosed in the common thought of all men. Nor could any one have declared himself confident, if he had reflected so far, that the local laws of those States would be moulded by external rather than by local sentiment, just as Western laws for the collection of debts are abhorrent to Eastern views; or that their congressmen could be depended upon, in national legislation, to consult and follow the opinions of Vermont or of the Western Reserve.
Suppose, then, that at any time before the final catastrophe of the war it had been said to my impulsive friend, “The rebels offer to drop their arms, to submit to the Federal authority as declared in the constitution, to prohibit slavery beyond the possibility of its restoration, to forfeit all political rights, except as a triumphant North shall of mere grace concede them from year to year to successive individuals or classes, on the sole condition that they may go about their peaceful avocations without being harassed by prosecutions for treason.” Does any one believe his ardor would have led him to prefer the further effusion of his blood and hazard of his life to such a conclusion of the contest? And if he had been at the same time warned, by one possessed of second-sight, that before many years the lax liberality of Northern republicans would have restored political franchises to every rebel, and that consequently their civil and military leaders would have come to represent them in both houses of Congress, would he not have answered somewhat thus? “Of course, in due time, whether sooner or later, that is inevitable. There can be no republican institutions under which a vast body is permanently disfranchised, or is permitted only to choose such representatives as will misrepresent it. We outvoted them before the war; we will outvote them more overwhelmingly now, and they will never try again to right themselves by arms. Of course their temper and influence will be malignant and pernicious, but their ‘normal relations to the Federal government’ entitle them to be, as they used to be, both malignant and pernicious.” And would he not have scouted the seer and his prophetic pretensions if he had ventured to add, what we have now seen and heard? “But the rebel brigadiers will vote from year to year taxes upon themselves, poor as they are, to pay interest on the debt incurred in crushing the life out of them. They will vote more taxes, and more and more, for bountiful pensions to Federal soldiers whose bullets they carry in their own persons, and will see themselves surrounded, when they return home, by their own crippled comrades and their comrades’ widows and orphans, depending only upon the private alms of an impoverished people. You will find many of them more sensitive to the national honor than many a Federal brigadier. No further off than 1876, the country will be saved, by the Roman firmness of a rebel brigadier, Gibson, of Louisiana, withstanding the great mass of the democratic party in his post of vantage as holding the balance of power in the committee on banking and currency, from a measure designed to drive the nation backward from specie payments. Another, Gordon, of Georgia, is to be the most earnest, able, and independent advocate of a reformed and purified civil service in either house of Congress. Another, Key, of Tennessee, is to serve for more than three years, under a republican president, himself still a democrat, as postmaster-general of the United States, and that with universal respect. The vice-president of the Confederate States is to exhibit, during a congressional service of many years, a singularly broad patriotism and freedom from sectional prejudice. The general second in command of all the rebel armies, Joseph Johnston, of Virginia, will serve upon the military committee of the house, and will elicit from his most hostile party adversaries the encomium that ‘no man in Congress can be more surely depended upon to stand by the regular army than Joe Johnston.’ And of another rebel brigadier, Lamar, of Mississippi, when, after long service in Congress, his life is for a while in danger from sickness, Northern republican papers will say that for his fidelity, integrity, and patriotism his death would be a national misfortune. To my stalwart friend, in 1864, all this foretold history would have seemed the sanguine dream of an enthusiast. He would have remembered the teachings of all the most radical of reformers that generations, not a few years only, would hardly suffice to purge the Southern communities from the venom of slavery enough to allow such things to be hoped for. There might have been fresh in his mind the speech of Mr. Wendell Phillips in May, 1863, in which he taught such things as these: —
“The South will not only not believe itself beaten, but the materials which make up its army will not retire back to peaceful pursuits. Where are they going to retire? They don’t know how to do anything. You might think they would go back to trade. They don’t know how to trade; they never bought or sold anything. You might think they would go back to their professions. They never had any. You might think they would go back to the mechanic arts. They don’t know how to open a jackknife. … Now, that South, angry, embittered, having arms in its hands, what is it going to do? Shoot, burn, poison, vent its rage on every side. Guerrilla barbarities are but the first drops of the shower, the first pattering drops of the flood of barbarism which will sweep over the Southern States, unless our armies hold them. When England conquered the Highlands, she held them, — held them until she could educate them; and it took a generation. That is just what we have to do with the South.” (Speeches, etc., pages 4543, 544.)
And so my stalwart friend, answering him who prophesied smooth things, would have said, “I have been taught otherwise. What you tell me is better than I hope for, — is too good to be possible. We are about to accomplish all we have fought for. God be praised for it! But for more generations than one these barbarous States, in their normal relations to the Union, must be passing through a slow process of education; and not until those are gone who took part in the conflict can there be any patriotism, any fidelity to constitutional allegiance, — anything but malignant sectional passion, seeking constantly to dishonor the Federal name and to weaken the national power.”
If one could but figure to himself a “fire-eating” South Carolinian of 1860, or a Massachusetts abolitionist of the same period, withdrawn from all intermediate cognition of events for forty years, and set down upon earth now, to gather from the ordinary speech of men his knowledge of the present state of things, I think one could have little trouble in concluding whether we have moved much in that interval. Fancy, for example, if you can, that with the knowledge, the experiences, the passions, of 1860 alone—those of the next twenty years wholly wanting—these persons should hear mentioned the movement which we have come to call the negro exodus. Would not one of them burst into a rapture of joy at the increased activity of the “underground railroad” which used to help slaves from bondage to Canada? Would the other think of anything else, after his own spasm of anger had subsided, than the need of more stringent provisions for the recovery of fugitive slaves? And if they should then learn that the movement spoken of, so far from being furtive or clandestine, was wholly in the light of day; that the refugees came by families, by whole communities, crowding the railroad trains and the Mississippi steamboats, would there be in the mental constitution of either of such men the necessary apparatus for comprehending what was told them?
Nor would your explanations, for a time, help them very much to a clear understanding. Every phrase you would use would fall with a dull astonishment upon senses not trained to receive it. Explain that the motive of this extensive disturbance is found in the charge that the employers of these poor people have been cheating them out of their wages, or their share of the crops. The very mention of “wages,” or of a “share of the crops,” in connection with the Southern negro; the statement that when he is dissatisfied he gets on board a steamboat with his family and goes somewhere else, if it could have been grasped by the intelligence of 1860, would have carried with it by implication into such a mind the idea of a completed revolution, the very beginning of which was hardly within the most sanguine hopes of the one, or the gloomiest midnight terror of the other.
Here, too, is a newspaper dispatch of a few months ago, which I suppose made no more impression upon my patriot colonel, as he glanced over the telegraphic news, than the announcement of a bank defalcation in Illinois or a burglary in Maine: —
“NEW ORLEANS, March 26th. — The farm hands of St. John’s parish have struck for one dollar. They receive seventy-five cents. It is stated that the negroes make threats, but no violence is reported.”
Yet it would help us a little to comprehend the infinite distance which separates 1880 from 1860, if we could imagine the reading of such an item to a group of Louisiana planters smoking their after-dinner cigars upon the veranda of a Saratoga hotel, twenty years ago. Of course, it would have been to them but a joke, and a very poor one; but suppose they could have been persuaded to take it au sérieux, and to find a meaning in its terms. It speaks in a language all unknown to them. “Farm hands;” “struck;” “they receive seventy-five cents;” “the negroes make threats:” in every phrase, unless treated as a bold and coarse metaphor, there is implied a social cataclysm such as not one of them had suffered himself to contemplate in fancy otherwise than as the final wreck and crash of the cosmos. Yet. even this convulsion would have seemed to them a conservative tranquillity, if compared with that suggested by the hint that there had been considerable migrations of the working classes, impelled by an undue pressure upon their preferences in voting at elections. This would have seemed to them to be a revolution gone beyond the most radical abolitionist’s subversive fancy.
Suppose yourself, further, to be submitting to such a knot of gentlemen a complaint, quite bitterly made of late, that some Southern legislatures have curtailed unduly their appropriations for colored schools and colleges. Remember that Southern planters had not been much in the habit of taxing themselves to maintain colleges or schools for whites; and that, as for the negro race, the act of teaching one of them his letters was at that date a crime to be punished by the penitentiary, if the offender was fortunate enough to escape more summary and severe punishment from the unanimous fury of the community. Tell these gentlemen that in 1878 the report of the Federal commissioner of education, an officer never dreamed of in 1860, will show that in Virginia alone there are 14,247 schools for colored children, having 676,000 pupils. If they believed your enthusiastic second-sight, would not their natural ejaculation be; “There could be but one terror added to the picture you have drawn. You say the negroes are free; they travel about the country to suit themselves; they vote; they have free schools; they have colleges supported by taxes upon white land-holders: you might as well put arms in their hands, and make a militia of them!” And what resources of language would remain to express their emotions if there could have been brought before their minds, in such form that they could receive the picture as a just forecasting of the near future, a view of the entire country disturbed, in 1880, by a discussion whether a South Carolina colored cadet at West Point is as civilly treated by his white fellow-students as a colored student is at Yale or Harvard; with a vignette of Governor Hampton reviewing the several negro military companies of the city of Charleston, and pronouncing his high approval of their discipline and soldierly bearing? Would not every one of them have declared, with his whole soul, that whenever a Hampton should be capable of doing that the world would be so changed that they would not care to live in it? And would not they on the one part, and Mr. Wendell Phillips on the other, have frankly agreed in 1860 that whenever every man, white or black, should be free to go and come, to vote and to be educated, to do whatever he likes, all over the United States, subject only to the danger of lawless outrage in communities which never were closely law-abiding; whenever Mrs. Stowe, whose books no man could offer for sale in the South but at the hazard of his life, should spend her winters upon her own orange-plantation in Florida, while the drama of Uncle Tom’s Cabin should be performed in Charleston and New Orleans as long as negroes could be found with half-dollars to pay for seeing it, — that whenever this should be true the long contest would in fact as well as in name be concluded, and the passions, in the exasperation of which so many men on both sides of Mason and Dixon’s line had found fame and power, could have no further pretext for existence?
And this is, indeed, the sum of the whole matter. Is it not a great matter? Could ever a twenty years’ seclusion from the world have covered a more stupendous political and social revolution than this which we, who have moved with it, instead of being left behind by it, fail so often and so profoundly to appreciate? The establishment of Christianity as the religion of the empire by Constantine was little more than the recognition of the change which had been for three centuries supervening upon “creeds outworn.” If a French viscount who had received his lettre de cachet in 1788 had lain forgotten by all but his keeper in the oubliette of a remote château in Brittany until 1808, there would have been much, no doubt, in the France upon which his eyes then opened to startle and to grieve him. But there would have been far more that was wholly unchanged during the interval of his retirement. A dynasty of which he had never dreamed was upon the throne, and many a tradesman’s son whom he had known was blazing with military rank, and even with titles of nobility named from distant battlefields in Italy and Germany, while many of the old noblesse were exiled, or at home in poverty. But he would have needed a year’s study of newspapers and law-hooks to be entirely assured that institutions had been profoundly modified. The tremendous convulsion of the 4th of August, 1789, left in twenty years far less impression upon France—it was, in fact, with all its corollaries and results, a less tremendous social and political revolution—than that which began on the 13th of April, 1861, in the harbor of Charleston.
And this is the revolution to which my friend, whose lamentation I have quoted, contributed his toil and blood. And I say to him now, It was worth all it cost. There are many things in the Southern States which you do not like, nor I. The barbarism which we used to hate and denounce has not yet wholly given place to sweetness and light. But the greatest revolution in history has been accomplished; our own eyes have been permitted to see the salvation for which we used to pray, but which we so little hoped to see; and we may better chant the Nunc Dimittis than the Misere.