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Let us renew to them, on this occasion, and in this presence, the expression of our confidence, that they will do their whole duty in the struggle to restore that Union and vindicate that Constitution with which the name and the fame of Washington will be for ever associated. I give you, sir,
COLONEL HOLBROOK AND THE FORTY-THIRD MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS We rejoice to know that their banner already bears the names of three battle-fields, on which they have fulfilled their pledges of devotion to the Union cause.
TRIBUTE TO CRITTENDEN.
REMARKS MADE AT A MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
AUGUST 13, 1863.
IT may not have been forgotten, that at our February meeting, in 1859, the Hon. John J. Crittenden was unanimously chosen an honorary member of this society. He was not elected, I need hardly say, on account of any peculiar claims which he was supposed to possess, either as a writer or as a student of history. He was known to some of us, indeed, who had been associated with him elsewhere, as being more than commonly familiar with the early, as well as with the later, history of our own land; and as having a strong taste, and even an eager relish, for the peculiarities and quaintnesses of the early history of New England in particular. But his name was selected for a place on our honorary roll on far different grounds. He was recognized as one of the few veteran statesmen then left in our National Councils, whose name had become identified with the honor and welfare of the American Union, and whose character and fame were destined to be among the treasures of our national history. And now that we are called on to part with that name, not only from our own roll, but from all its associations with earthly dignities and duties, we feel that we were not mistaken in our estimate of its historical significance.
Mr. Crittenden died at his residence in Frankfort, Kentucky, on the 25th of July last, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years. Entering into the service of his country as a volunteer soldier in the war of 1812, his life for more than half a century past has been a continued record of public employment and patriotic effort. In the Legislature of his native State, and more recently as its Governor; as a member of the Senate of the United States, in which he first took his seat forty-six years ago; as a member of the Cabinet of more than one President; and finally as a Representative in Congress, an office which, like our own Adams, he felt it no compromise of his dignity to accept and hold as the closing honor of his life,- he was everywhere distinguished, admired, respected, and beloved. Whatever differences of opinion may, from time to time, have been entertained as to any particular measures which he proposed or advocated, his patriotism was never doubted, nor his devoted and disinterested fidelity to his conscience and his country ever impeached.
In the sad struggles which have grown out of the present unholy rebellion, he was called on to play a part of no doubtful or secondary importance. Whether the precise measure of adjustment which he proposed, in order to arrest the unnatural blow which was aimed at the American Union, ought to have been, or could have been, adopted, and how far it would have been successful in accomplishing its object, if it had been adopted, are questions on which there will never, probably, be a perfect unanimity of opinion. But the name of Mr. Crittenden will not the less proudly be associated, in all time to come, with an honest, earnest, and strenuous effort to avert the dread calamities of civil war, and to preserve unbroken the Union and domestic peace of his beloved country.
As the leading statesman of the border States, his course was full of delicacy and difficulty. It is hardly too much to say, that had he failed or faltered in sustaining the cause of the government and of the Union, or had he sustained it on any other grounds, or in any other way, than he did, the State of Kentucky might have been lost to that cause. Nor can any one doubt that the loyal and noble attitude of that honored Commonwealth at the present hour, on which the best hopes of the Union may even now hang, is in a large degree owing to his powerful influence, his inspiring appeals, and his unwavering patriotism.
This is not the occasion for speaking of the personal qualities which so endeared Mr. Crittenden to his friends, and which made friends for him of all who knew him. Others have possessed faculties more adapted for commanding and enforcing a compliance with their wishes, their ambition, or their will; but no one of our day or generation, certainly, had more of that magnetic attraction, which secured the willing sympathy, confidence, and co-operation of all within its reach. The charm of his manner, the cordiality and generosity of his whole nature, the music of his voice, and the magic power of his eloquence, as well in conversation as in formal discourse, will be among the lasting traditions of the circles in which he moved ; and his death will be long felt, not only as a great public loss at such a period of his country's need, but as a personal sorrow to all who have enjoyed the privilege of his friendship.
A SPEECH MADE AT THE TRIENNIAL FESTIVAL OF THE MASSACHUSETTS
CHARITABLE MECHANIC ASSOCIATION, OCTOBER 14, 1863.
I THANK you, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, for this kind notice. I thank you still more for the privilege of being present here on this occasion, and of taking my seat at your table not merely as an invited guest, but as one of those honorary members to whom you have so kindly alluded. Let me congratulate you, in their name as well as in my own, on the recurrence of your Anniversary under so many gratifying circumstances. The arrival of your Association at the ripe age of threescore years is happily signalized by the fact, that you have not only been able to lend a commodious and beautiful building to our municipal councils, during the erection of their new City Hall, but have been able to furnish a man from your own ranks, and for the second time, to preside over those councils.
For the second time, did I say? I referred only to the fact that our worthy Mayor, having once withdrawn, after several successful terms of most acceptable and faithful service, had now again been called on to occupy the Municipal chair. I did not forget — the portraits on yonder wall would not have permitted me to forget — that at least three of his predecessors in the mayoralty — an Armstrong, a Wells, and a Wightman -- had also been taken from the ranks of your Association. Each one of them rendered valuable service in his turn; yet it may well be the peculiar pride of our excellent friend that he has been allowed to conduct the city safely through one of the most perilous periods of its history; and that, under his administration, renewed evidence has been given, that, however odious or onerous any particular Act of Congress may be, its execution and enforce