American Eloquence, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about American Eloquence, Volume 4.
the people for the results.  Not believing the soldiers responsible for the war or its purposes or its consequences, I have never withheld my vote where their separate interests were concerned.  But I have denounced from the beginning the usurpations and the infractions, one and all, of law and constitution, by the President and those under him; their repeated and persistent arbitrary arrests, the suspension of habeas corpus, the violation of freedom of the mails, of the private house, of the press, and of speech, and all the other multiplied wrongs and outrages upon public liberty and private right, which have made this country one of the worst despotisms on earth for the past twenty months, and I will continue to rebuke and denounce them to the end; and the people, thank God, have at last heard and heeded, and rebuked them too.  To the record and to time I appeal again for my justification.


OF NEW YORK. (BORN 1813, DIED 1887.)


For more than twenty-five years I have been made perfectly familiar with popular assemblies in all parts of my country except the extreme South.  There has not for the whole of that time been a single day of my life when it would have been safe for me to go South of Mason’s and Dixon’s line in my own country, and all for one reason:  my solemn, earnest, persistent testimony against that which I consider to be the most atrocious thing under the sun—­the system of American slavery in a great free republic. [Cheers.] I have passed through that early period when right of free speech was denied to me.  Again and again I have attempted to address audiences that, for no other crime than that of free speech, visited me with all manner of contumelious epithets; and now since I have been in England, although I have met with greater kindness and courtesy on the part of most than I deserved, yet, on the other hand, I perceive that the Southern influence prevails to some extent in England. [Applause and uproar.] It is my old acquaintance; I understand it perfectly—­[laughter]—­and I have always held it to be an unfailing truth that where a man had a cause that would bear examination he was perfectly willing to have it spoken about. [Applause.] And when in Manchester I saw those huge placards:  “Who is Henry Ward Beecher?”—­[laughter, cries of “Quite right,” and applause.]—­and when in Liverpool I was told that there were those blood-red placards, purporting to say what Henry Ward Beecher had said, and calling upon Englishmen to suppress free speech—­I tell you what I thought.  I thought simply this:  “I am glad of it.” [Laughter.] Why?  Because if they had felt perfectly secure, that you are the minions of the South and the slaves of slavery, they would have been perfectly still. [Applause and uproar.] And, therefore, when I saw so much nervous apprehension that, if I were

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American Eloquence, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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