Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lincoln Assassination: President Lincoln on "FREE, AND EQUAL." (1865)

We note and share the following from the 'Note of the Week' section of the August 5, 1865 edition of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser published in Honolulu:

From Mr. Charles Sumner's eulogy on Abraham Lincoln, delivered in Boston, we make the following extracts which, with the speech alluded to, might be made use of by the people in answer to the authorities quoted by the antiquated Minister of Foreign Affairs and his colleagues, which we be so unfortunate as to be plunged into another Constitutional Convention. The speech mentioned was made during his great contest with the Hon. S.A. Douglas:


But the topic to which the future President returned with the most frequency, and to which he clung with all the grasp of his soul, was the practical character of the Declaration of Independence in announcing the Liberty and Equality of all men. These were no idle words, but substantial truth binding on the conscience of mankind. I know not if this grand pertinacity has been noticed before; but I deem it my duty to say, that to my mind it s by far the most important  of that controversy, and one  of the most interesting in the biography of the speaker. The words which he then uttered live, after him, and nobody can hear of that championship without feeling a new motive to fidelity in the cause of Liberty and Equality.

He finished his speech on this occasion by saying:

"I leave you, hoping that the lamp of Liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal."

He has left us now, and for the last time, and I catch the closing benediction of that speech, already sounding through the ages, like a choral harmony.

Lincoln Assassination: A Masterly Tribute from an Unexpected Source (1865)

The following was published on the first page of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, published in Honolulu, dated July 8, 1865. The illustration below was included in Punch Magazine, not the Alta California or the Honolulu Commercial Advertiser. 

[From the Alta California]
A Masterly Tribute from an Unexpected Source.

Perhaps no paper in Europe has more persistently misrepresented, defamed and insulted the people of America and our martyred President than Punch, and certainly none has winged its shafts with a deeper venom, or sent them home with surer aim. It is therefore with no little surprise and, (must we own it, also, with pleasure as well,) that, on taking up the number for May, 1865, received by Overland Mail, by George H. Bell, in advance of the regular packages, we find in place of the usual caricature of American subjects, a full page cartoon representing a couch, on which a corpse is lying draped in the Stars and Stripes; Columbia, with face hidden in the pillow, weeping over her dead, and a negro slave- no, a negro boy, a slave no longer-crouching on the floor at the feet in an attitude of unutterable grief, his broken fetters lying beside him, and in the centre of the picture Britannia, with sympathy and sorrow in her face, placing with reverent hand another wreath of evergreen upon the great of the martyred Father of Freedom. Accompanying the cartoon is an elegiac poem of nineteen stanzas, than which no nobler tribute has been paid to our Nation's dead. We give it entire:

You lay a wreath on murdered LINCOLN'S bier,
You, who with mocking pencil won't to trace,
Broad for the self-complacent British sneer,
His length of shambling limb, his furrowed face.

His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt, bristling hair,
His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease,
His lack of all we prize as debonair,
Of power or will to shine, of art to please.

You, whose smart pen backed up the pencil's laugh,
Judging each step, as though the way were plain;
Reckless, so it could point its paragraph,
Of chief's perplexity, or people's paid.

Beside this corpse, that bears for winding sheet
The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew,
Between the mourners at his head and feet,
Say, scurril jester, is there room for you?

Yes, he had lived to shame me from my sneer,
To lame my pencil, and confute my pen-
To make me own this hind of princes peer,
This rail-splitter, a true-born king of men.

My shallow judgment I had learnt to rue,
Noting how to occasion's height he rose,
How is quaint wit made home-truth seem more true,
How, iron-like, his temper grew by blows.

How humble yet how hopeful he could be;
How in good fortune and in ill the same;
Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he,
Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame.

He went about his work-such work as few
Ever had laid on head and heart and hand-
As one who knows, where there's task to do,
Man's honest will must Heaven's good grace command.

Who trusts the strength will with the burden grow,
That God makes instruments to work His will,
If but that will we can arrive to know,
Nor tamper with the weights of good and ill.

So he went forth to battle, on the side
That he felt clear was Liberty's and Right's,
As in his peasant boyhood he had plied
His warfare with rude Nature's thwarting mights-

The uncleared forest, the unbroken soil,
The iron bark, that turns the lumberer's axe,
The rapid, that overbears the boatsman's toil,
The prairie, hiding the mazed wanderer's tracks.

The ambushed Indian, and the prowling bear-
Such were the needs that helped his youth to train;
Rough culture-but such trees large fruit may bear,
If but their stocks be of right girth and grain.

So he grew up, a destined work to do,
And lived to do it, four suffering long years'
Ill-fate, ill-feeling, ill-report, lived through,
And then he heard the hisses change to tears.

The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise,
And took both with the same unwavering mood;
Till, as he came on light, from darkling days,
And seemed to touch the goal from where he stood.

A felon hand, between the goal and him,
reach from behind his back, a trigger prest-
And those perplexed and patient eyes were dim,
Those gaunt, long-laboring limbs were laid to rest.

The words of mercy were upon his lips,
Forgiveness in his heart and on his pen,
When this vile murderer brought swift eclipse
To thoughts of peace on earth, good will to men.

The Old World and the New, from sea to sea,
Utter one voice of sympathy and shame!
Sore heart, so stopped when it at last beat high,
Sad life, cut short just as its triumph came.

A deed accurst! Strokes have been struck before
By the assassin's hand, whereof men doubt
If more of horror or disgrace they bore;
But thy foul name, like Cain's, stands darkly out.

Vile hand, that grandest murder on a strife,
Whate'er its grounds, stoutly and nobly striven,
And with the martyr's crown crow nest a life
With much to praise, little to be forgiven! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HPR Interview with Professor Justin Vance: Native Hawaiians in the American Civil War.

Go to this link at Hawaii Public Radio. Scroll down to "Appomattox, Civil War History: Justin Vance." 

Professor Justin Vance was interviewed by HPR on the subject of Native Hawaiians in the American Civil War. 

He's an organizer of Hawaii’s participation in a national event called 'Bells across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox.' 

It will commemorate the anniversary of the meeting of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee that brought a formal end to the war. 

On Thursday at 9:15 a.m., Our Lady of Peace will ring its bells for 4 minutes, along with thousands of others across the nation.

Honoring the Memory of Lincoln in Honolulu: The Friend, June 1, 1865

The Friend, Honolulu: June 1, 1865
Page 1, col. 1-2

It affords us gratification to record the fact that every possible effort has been made by loyal Americans and others in Honolulu to honor the memory and becomingly notice the death of President Lincoln. 

The sad intelligence was received May 5th, and on the following day at 12 o'clock M. there was at Fort street Church the largest gathering of foreigners, for religious purposes, we have ever seen in Honolulu. Mr. McBride, our Minister Resident, appropriately stated the object for which the assembly had been called together. 

The choir followed with appropriate music. Select portions of Scripture were read, and a prayer offered by the Rev. S. C. Damon. His Honor, Chief Justice Allen, then addressed the audience, and was followed by the Rev. E. Corwin. Their addresses have already been published. All the exercises were most solemn and impressive. 

Religious exercises becoming the occasion were also held in the Roman Catholic and Reformed Catholic Churches. 

The Hawaiian Government ordered the National Flag lowered, and all officers to wear crape for fourteen days. We cannot imagine any observance, omitted, the performance of which could have added a deeper solemnity to the day, or been the! occasion of showing additional respect to the Illustrious Dead. Events of such momentous magnitude as the closing of the civil war in America, and the death of President Lincoln, occur but seldom in the slow progress of centuries. The Great Rebellion had most marvelously disturbed the elements ol society and trade throughout the world, and now to have, from the receding thunder clouds of war, an angry flash prostrates the noble man at the head of the great Republic, makes the civilized world stand aghast. We hope the waves of political strife and civil war will soon subside, and when the elements do become tranquil and calm, may it be in obedience to Him who said to the troubled waters of the Galilean Lake, eighteen hundred years ago, " Peace, be still."

Lincoln Assassination (April 15). In Memory of Abraham Lincoln, The Pacific Commercial Advertiser of July 29, 1865

The following poem by "Gravity Joy" was published on the front page of the July 29, 1865 edition of Honolulu's Pacific Commercial Advertiser:

In Memory of Abraham Lincoln
by "Gravity Joy"

Toll the ponderous, deep-toned Bell,
With cadent pauses grand!
Roll the solemn, echoing Knell
From Mountain-top to Strand
Let the heavy, pendant hammer
Wake a mournful, brazen clamor-
Spread a melancholy glamour
O'er the Land!

Near and far, let Patriots all,
Weep o'er the Stricken Just
Efer and funeral plume and pall
Give to his Holy Dust!
Let the Wall our deep grief urges
Swell to mighty, vocal Surges
Antheming a Nation's Dirges
O'er it's Trust!

Borne safely through the Battle-Wrath
By God's abundant Power
Torn from his heaven Appointed Path
In his High Zenith-Hour!
But Forevermore, the Story
How the Wrongs of Ages Hoary
He subdued, shall be his Glory-
Stand his Tower!

Crushed he the Monster, Slavery,
For Darkness gave he Light;
Hushed the Rebellious Knavery,
Restored the Country's Right
"Malice to None; but Charity
To All," without disparity-
Ehoue this such Christian Rarity
in him Bright!

Oh, his Sweet Heroism shall nerve
To braver deeds the Brave!
No More shall Freedom's Progress swerve
No More shall toil the Slave!
He shall Live in Hist'ry's pages
As Earth's Purest, Best of Sages,
Truth shall Radiate through Ages
From his Grave!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Waifs from the Bay State (54th Massachusetts Regiment, 1863)

Source: Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Honolulu: August 20, 1863
[Correspondence of the P.C. Advertiser]

MY DEAR ADVERTISER: -THURSDAY, May 28th,1863, was a great day for Massachusetts and for the United States, for it witnessed a great moral victory, -prejudice forgotten, hatred conquered, the brotherhood of man vindicated and Boston hurrahing for a Regiment of Negroes, as they marched along to take their places in the army of the United States. On that day the 54th Mass. Regiment, composed of Americans of African descent, was embarked for the seat of war.

Troops have been raised in the Carolinas by Gen. Hunter, in Louisiana by Gen. Banks, and at the West by Adj. Gen. Thomas, but this is the first black regiment raised in a loyal State, and Massachusetts has alone dared to recognize the manhood of the negro and show faith in his capacity. From 1620, when the negro slave was first planted in Virginia, to 1863, the claim of the African to humanity had not been recognized. 

The Proclamation of January 1st spoke with liberty to three millions, but the great, practical question still existed -“What shall be done with the negro? Shall he be made a political serf? Shall he be allowed to come North and compete with white men? Some cursed him; others would colonize him to Liberia or Texas. But the question was still unsolved. Two years of war has made it a reality to the nation, and now they understand it. The negro is a man, not a chattel. We are in war, let him fight for us. The first regiment has gone; and as I watched them march through the streets of the modern Athens, the Star-Spangled Banner waved over them, stepping to the Old John Brown Hymn, I asked myself if this was the Boston that a few years ago sent Thomas Sims and Anthony Burns back to slavery! 

The course of the black man was a perfect ovation. Beacon Street fluttered with banners, bouquets and handkerchiefs waived by fair hands, and the old Common was covered with an admiring, applauding multitude. It being “Anniversary week,” the crowd was much greater than it would have been at any ordinary time.           

The regiment formed in line on the side of the Common nearest to the Public Garden, and went through with the manual before His Excellency Gov. Andrew and two Major Generals, each with a numerous and showing staff. The Governor then reviewed them, by marching completely around them, and the regiment in turn marched around the allotted parade ground by company, saluting His Excellency as they passed him- all the while Gilmore's Band playing its most inspiring strains. I’ll venture that a prouder man could not be found that day, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, than its Executive Head. In fact, the Governor’s lofty step and triumphant air, indicated his feelings. And well he might be proud. Here in the heart of Boston was a regiment of Negroes, acknowledged by all to be the best drilled regiment that has ever left the State, their blue uniforms contrasting finally with the rich hue of the complexions, handling their rifles as if they knew what they were, and impatient to strike for themselves, their race still in bondage, and for the government which sends them forth. The 54th Massachusetts has been recruited from all parts of the loyal States, a good proportion coming from Pennsylvania. They have been in camp only about two months, and yet in excellence of drill, general discipline, dignity and military bearing, it is unsurpassed by any regiment I have ever seen. While in camp at Readville it was remarkable for order, cleanliness and good behavior, as the residents in the neighborhood testify. On the day of their departure, every man was up at the roll-call, and during all the exciting and fatiguing parade and march through the streets, there was not one straggler or one drunk, a fact without parallel in the history of this or any war. Gov. Andrew has selected its officers with the utmost care, appointing only those who have seen active service. They are, moreover, all gentlemen and of the firmest anti-slavery convictions. The Colonel, Mr. Shaw, is a scion of Beacon Street, and the Lieut. Col. Mr. Hallowell, is from one of the best Philadelphia families, and but few regiments can show on the rosters so many from the noblest blood of America. The design of this is to ensure good treatment of the men, and to command respect and social position for the regiment in the army. It was hoped that the 54th would be allowed to march through Broadway, N. Y.,  Chestnut St., Philad., Pratt St., Baltimore to Washington. The friends of the race thought this would disarm the popular prejudice against it more speedily than anything else. But the government, and wisely no doubt, sent it by steamer direct to Newbern to Gen. Foster's Dept.  Meanwhile the work of recruiting colored soldiers is proceeding with increased vigor, and the 55th Massachusetts has already 500 men in camp, under drill.

Many of the negroes are not satisfied because no commissions are given to black men; but the majority prefer to be officered by white men, and this is the wise policy of the government at present. When their courage and capacity to command is amply proved, promotions will, no doubt, be made and commissions given them, and the late reports of their valor at Port Hudson makes this not a far distant probability.  

The cry is now “Let us use the negro; let him do something for himself; let him fight!” And in this all classes are joining, Abolitionists, Republicans, Democrats and even Copperheads so far as they approve of fighting at all. 

The sight of the 54th Massachusetts will strike terror into Rebeldom. It is earnest of what is yet to come. The vital strength of the Rebellion, so long despised by us, is now turned against them, and with 200 such regiments, it would be ground to powder.      

Among the crowd that day on the Boston Common I recognized two retired Lahaina merchants, one San Francisco-Honoluluan and a native of Maui and his sister, who were expecting to return tither in the fall. Nearby, in his carriage, was a merchant prince from Hilo. We all agree that our life the islands has rid us of our prejudice against color, and some of us could say that such a prejudice we never possessed, four we were brought up in the purifying of that doctrine which opens so eloquently the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom- “God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell in unity and blessedness.”

A few days since I was present at the U. S. Court in Boston, and witnessed the indictment of Capt. Cook, of the whaleship Tahmaroo, for engaging in the slave trade. He pleaded guilty as the evidence against him was irresistible. The principal witness was a kanaka from Maui, one of the boatsteerers, whose testimony was clear and explicit. The court, in which Justices Sprague and Clifford sit, is one of the ablest of the Federal Courts, and has a large part in the adjudicating upon the prices taken by the U. S. cruisers and Blockaders. The prosecution is conducted in a most able manner by the Hon. R. H. Dana, jr., the US District Attorney, who is well known at the islands.

I noticed that you expressing doubts in regard to the passage of the act reducing the rate of postage from the Eastern States to the Pacific Coast. from ten to three cents per half ounce. The act passed at the last session and goes into operation on the 1st of July, as you are doubtless by this time informed.  

With aloha, yours truly,


    JUNE 10TH, 1863.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rebel Steamers in Chinese Waters (1864)

Source: The Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Honolulu: March 19, 1864. 

The Tribune says: Our London correspondence contains some precise information on a point of importance, which has as yet attracted little or no attention. The news in a nutshell is this: at this moment there is a fleet of six rebel war steamers in Chinese waters. These vessels were fitted out in England by Sherod Osborne, an English naval captain. The crews were recruited among the officers and men of her Britannic Majesty's Navy. They were under contract to the Chinese Government, but when they reached China a disagreement arose between Osborne and the Chinese authorities, and the vessels were not delivered but thrown on the market and sold at auction- Osborne, officers, crew, guns and all -to Jeff Davis. It is intimated, not unnaturally, that Osborne had some slight expectation of reaching this result when he left England. Funds for the purpose are said to have been provided in part by the sale of the rebel ram in the Clyde. There are now but few American ships in East Indian waters, and it is thought that these, being thus thrown in company with rebel pirates, may be destroyed previous to an attack being made on San Francisco. In order to show their respect for British neutrality, the British crews take an oath of naturalization as citizens of the Confederacy when the flag changes. If, therefore, San Francisco should happen to be burned and plundered, John Bull washes his hands of all responsibility.