Monday, April 1, 2013

1864: Observance of the 4th of July in Honolulu. (The Friend)

Source: The Friend. Honolulu: August 4, 1864.

As in former years, the anniversary of American Independence was duly observed by Americans and the public generally. The day was emphatically a holiday. "From early dawn until dewy eve," yes, even from 12 o'clock on the night of the 3rd until 12 o'clock on the night of 4th, there was one uninterrupted series of festive, gladsome and jubilant expressions of feeling. The committee of arrangements made the most ample provision for the accommodation of all who were inclined to assemble, for the purpose of listening to an address, and partaking of bountifully loaded tables. The address of J. W. Austin, Esq., was exceedingly appropriate, and has been published in the Advertiser. The addresses which accompanied the regular toasts were also very appropriate. Our limits are so narrow that we could not publish but the most meagre sketches, hence, we have selected two for insertion in our columns. The address of Mr. Hall, to be found in our columns, was delivered in reply to the toast " The Heroes of 1776." The address of Mr. Bartlett wag an impromptu affair, which called forth much applause. Other addresses were delivered by the Hon. Mr. Mc├čride the American Minister, Mr. S. N. Castle, Mr. H. A. P. Carter, Mr. McCully, Mr. A. F. Judd, and Rev. H. H. Parker.

There was one feature in all these addresses which was exceedingly gratifying, the eloquent speakers did not deem it their special duty in glorifying Yankee Doodledom, to abuse all other nationalities, and especially John Bull. We hope that species of 4th of July eloquence has forever passed away. Republicanism is the best government for Americans, but other forms of government are better suited to the people of other lands and states of society. Ike Marvel, alias D. G. Mitchell, Esq.,aptly remarks in the June number of the Atlantic, in an article upon Washington Irving, "There are those so grossly constituted as to measure a man's love of his own country by the sneers he flings at the country of others. It was not Mr. Irving's nature to sneer at even an enemy; it was not his "way of making conquests." It is quite time every true hearted and loyal American adopted this noble sentiment of Washington Irving, the biographer of the immortal Washington. America has a noble mission to perform in this world, and nobly is she now performing that mission, not by going abroad and fighting other nations, but by striving to put down rebellion within her own borders. When that is done, then will America take her stand as the friend of the friendless and down-trodden, emancipator of the enslaved, and the genuine apostle of human freedom and equality among the nations of the earth. 

After the dinner and addresses were finished the large audience entered most heartily into the measure of raising a handsome contribution to aid the funds of the Sanitary Commission. Some one presented a neatly framed copy of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. This was sold and resold, sold and resold, by Mr. Severance, at auction, at sums varying from $5 to $50 until the amount realized was $453. A portrait of Washington brought sums amounting to $90. These amounts invested in currency of the United States will not fall below $1000. We could wish ten times that amount had been raised for the noble purpose of relieving the suffering and wounded soldiers who are fighting the battles of freedom. Americans abroad ought to come forward and most generously sustain the "Sanitary Commission," "Christian Commission" and the Freedmen's Association." If our fellow citizens at home are willing to leave their families and imperil their lives under Grant and Sherman, surely we ought most rally to contribute our pittance to bind up their wounds and nurse them when lying hospitals. We sometimes feel the blood tingle in our veins when we read what loyal Americans are doing at home, while those abroad are taking no active part in this great struggle—this struggle of freedom with slavery, truth with error, freemen with the foes of liberty and abettors of oppression. Revolutions go not backward. American Independence is progressive ! Our motto is Onward

Mr. E.O. Hall's Address.
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: If there is any one thing I despise more than any other, or than all other despicable things combined, it is boasting. By this I mean a constant self-exaggeration; —a self exaggeration with everything pertaining to one's self or one's country, and a depreciating of everything, personal or national, that is not embraced in these surroundings. I do not believe that patriotism and manliness are confined to the land that gave us birth, or from whence we descended. There is virtue, there is solid worth, there are high moral qualities in every nationality that calls itself Christian and civilized at the present day. 

And it is on this account that I, for one, Mr. Chairman, look with approbation upon the gatherings of different nationalities in our cosmopolitan city, to celebrate national or j other days rendered memorable by great events or by long-time tradition. And I respect, nay, I admire the spirit-stirring and patriotic utterances on such occasions. It is eloquence rightly employed, and its effects j are well calculated to keep patriotism alive, and to stimulate that self-respect which one cannot help but feel from the reflection that j he is one of a nation that has a noble record for him to sustain. 

And it is in this spirit, I trust, Mr. Chairman, that we meet together this day, not to depreciate or ridicule the patriotism of others, but to stimulate and strengthen our own ; —to recount the glories of the past, and to point to that still more glorious future for our beloved country, which I most firmly believe is now beginning to dawn upon her. But the duty you have assigned to me relates more to the past than to the future. You have requested me to respond to the sentiment, 

"THE HEROES OF 1776!" 

And glorious old heroes they were ! Glorious in their bravery! Glorious in their patriotic devotion to their country ! Glorious in their whole-souled devotion to an idea. And that idea you have just heard read as it is contained in that immortal " Declaration of Independence," which the heroes of "76 had the heroism to make in the face of the whole world, and to maintain with their best blood, their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Shall I rehearse it again ? Yes, it is worthy to be repeated till it becomes as familiar as our household words, and engraven upon our very heart of hearts: 

"God hath created all men free and equal, and endowed them with certain inalienable rights; among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 

Thanks, a thousand thanks, ye heroes of '76, for this glorious idea! It shines down upon us like a beam of light from the very "Father of lights." And although eighty-eight years have passed since this heaven born declaration was made, it has lost not one jot or tittle of its brightness; but stands out now before the whole world radiant with augmented effulgence. 

This is the great beacon light which the heroes of '76 hang out to guide the way of the wandering to a glorious land, where a man could be a man, and where a free field and a fair chance lay all open before him, to cultivate and develop his manhood, and to rise by his own energies to the highest positions of honor. And I need not recount to this assembly of my countrymen, how many thousands, nay, millions have followed the guidance of this blessed light, and have become identified with a nation, whose history has but just begun.

There is a long-standing adage, Mr. Chairman, that "rats desert a sinking ship."
Now, sir, I believe that instinct is not confined to quadrupeds, but, bipeds are quite as likely, to know where their safety lies as they. If this is true, I call your attention to the amazing fact that there is a broad, deep and swift current of immigration from every civilized land under the sun to that great republic, where the principles of '76 are being wrought into history with a rapidity that almost bewilders the mind of the observer. 

And this is true, not merely in times of peace but it is true now, when that glorious land is engaged in a war beyond all precedent in its magnitude and desperation. A war, sir, that I verily believe would have dashed into a thousand fragments any other government in Christendom, under similar circumstances. But is it to a sinking ship that this unprecedented current of immigration is flocking ? Or does that instinct which certainly guides men to where their safety and interest lie, lead them to a land, whose future is to be onward and upward ? Such 1 believe it to be. And when we are officially told that the only limit to this broad tide of immigration is the lack of ships to convey it, we are constrained to wonder and admire the force of that attraction, which moves such mighty masses. But, sir, it would require a volume to state all the causes that combine to form this wonderful attraction ; and I will only allude to the fact that its principal element lies in the unlimited opportunity every citizen possesses of enjoying to the fullest extent, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." What more could he ask? And when these vital doctrines are embodied in the fundamental law of the land, is it at all surprising that it proves an attraction that draws men from every clime and across broad oceans, and in fact, is as irresistible as the law of gravitation itself. 

But it is not alone in the Constitution of the United States that this glorious doctrine is found ; it also forms a part of the Constitution of the pleasant land we here inhabit. And here allow me to remark, that in my humble judgment, the annunciation of this sentiment in the Constitution of 1852, is the noblest act ever performed by that well-be-loved Sovereign, Kamehameha III and one which will embalm his memory in the hearts of his people to the very latest generation. 

But I trespass upon your patience. And yet I cannot forbear the remark, that in regard to the tide of immigration that swells and surges upon the shores of our native land, let them come! There is room for millions more. They are welcome. Welcome to all the privileges and enjoyments of a noble manhood. Welcome to all the pursuits and all the honors they can attain. 

"Come from every nation, come from every 
  Our lands they are broad enough,
  Don't be alarmed. 
  For Uncle Sam is rich enough 
  To give yon all a farm." 

I said Uncle Sam was rich enough to give you all a farm. Well, he is; and his boys have something besides, on their own account. Why, sir, those boys, who have been supposed to be very devout worshippers of the "almighty dollar," as it has been called, have contributed since the commencement of this wicked rebellion more than two hundred millions of dollars, over and above all government taxes, to carry on the war and to
soothe its sorrows. And you will remember, Mr. Chairman, that when at the commencement of this civil commotion, the war cloud was rolling up black as night, our kind cousins over the water thought they had their thumb upon us, and threatened that they would not lend us a dollar, and we should have to submit to degradation and disunion for want of funds to carry on the war! Well, sir, in this emergency, our revered Uncle just asked his boys to give him a lift, and from that day to this his pockets have been filled to their utmost capacity. And while we have just heard that the treasury of the " so-called" Confederacy had not a dollar left to pay anybody or for anything, our boys have furnished two thousand millions, and will furnish as many more if they are wanted. 

These are some of the results of the work inaugurated by the founders of the republic, the "heroes of 76." And while we recall their worthy deeds and honor their memories this day, we do so with the profound remembrance that they have almost all passed away. Their chairs are vacant at the festive board, and the few remaining names can be counted almost upon your fingers. But twelve remained upon the list on the 4th of March last, and a grateful country has added to their pensions so that their pathway down the last declivity of life's journey may be free from care and anxiety. We honor the living; we revere the dead. Their memory, indeed, is a sacred trust to us. " May their sons in defense of the Union emulate the heroism of their fathers in its establishment." 

Mr. I. Bartlett's Remarks. 
Mr. President, I rise with a protest. I have listened to the addresses of those who have so eloquently responded to the regular toasts, but upon that subject which, in the terrible struggle now going on in our native land, gives to the loyal States their highest moral dignity and crowning glory, but little has been said. 

As an American and a patriot, I rejoice and am proud of the hearty enthusiasm with which our brethren are offering wealth and life for the preservation of our free institutions, and as a friend, 1 trust, of the human race, I most heartily rejoice that the aroused spirit of liberty is hastening forward to give freedom to the oppressed, and sweep away forever our national reproach. 

There hangs before us a copy of the Proclamation of Emancipation, which gives freedom to four millions of people, and which, although fearful is the price we have paid for it, is worth to the country, and worth to the world, all it has cost, even though to-day our " armies of the dead" stand in solemn phalanx two hundred thousand strong! 

"You will do," said Sheridan, when pleading before the highest tribunal of Great Britain the cause of outraged India against Warren Hastings, "in the decision of this great cause you will do such an act of justice and mercy and blessing to man, as no men but yourselves are able to grant." 

But Sheridan's prophecy of hope was uttered only to be disappointed. Mr. Hastings rose up from that investigation unscathed, and in his acquittal, that "dignified and high
tribunal" declared a principle kindred in spirit to that of a decision of later date by the Supreme Court of the United States, which the civilized world has rightly pronounced monstrous, "that black men have no rights which white men were bound to respect." 

But slavery was in the ascendant then, and its iron hand ruled the executive and the judiciary alike, and the struggle which to-day convulses the world is but the natural outgrowth of principles so horrid as this. We may be grateful that a better order of things has come, that the nation's conscience was not so fatally debauched that it could not revolt against the hateful demands of the slave power, and that, with the voice of sorrow which an unholy rebellion has caused to arise from our native land, there also mingles the shout of gladness and the songs of freedom. " You hare done," will be the language of the historian of Abraham Lincoln, " such an act of justice and mercy and blessing to man, as no man but yourself was able to grant." Hope was not disappointed in him. Called, in the Providence of God, to administer the government at a time when slavery was furious and striking at the nation's life— strong in the power of a good cause and quick in the inspiration of freedom, he has dared to do an act from which many a brave man would have shrunk ; and now, wherever the army of the Republic has gone, multitudes of down-trodden people leap at once from slavery into light and freedom and, bless God and "Father Abraham" for the precious gift of their own humanity. Thank God, the Emancipation Proclamation is a fact, for it is a proud fact in our history, and will live and be cherished as the law of the land long after the hand that penned it has crumbled back to dust, and will forever remain bright as one of the noblest waymarks in the history of the human race. Yesterday the black man was a thing in the eyes of the law, and classed with the beasts that perish ; to-day, he rejoices in his manhood, and side by side with the white man he marches in the army of the Union to carry the old flag—his flag and ours—to the remotest verge of the Republic. 

So let the old flag go, and so it will go; it shall sweep like a rainbow all over that broad land ; it shall float over every sea which the white sails of busy commerce shall gladden ; from the rivers to the ends of the earth it shall go forth, everywhere hailed with hope for the oppressed, the chosen and cherished emblem of a great and free people. It will go with a prestige of power hitherto unknown, and, better than all else, throughout all that vast domain of its nativity, from the pine shaded lakes of Maine to the gleaming waves of the Gulf of Mexico, from the Capes of the Chesepeake to the Golden Gate, no slave shall ever lift his hand to make that flag a mockery. 

Already the sky is brightening with the promise of a glorious morning, and if we meet here again on another Fourth of July, I trust we may be able to sing " The cruel war is over." But the work is not yet done, and while noble men are even now struggling for our country's weal, let us not withhold the expression of sympathies nor our prayers to Him who directs ail things. 

The war must go on until the last vestige of rebellion is blotted out, and if the time comes when our country must call upon her children who are scattered abroad to return and fight for the land of their birth, let us not be found wanting: 

"The whining shell may bunt in fire. 
     The shrieking bullet fly. 
The Heavens and earth may mingle grief, 
     The gallant soldier die:
But while a haughty rebel stands, 
     No peace, for peace is war; 
The land that is not worth our death, 
     Is not worth living for. 
Then rally round the banner, boys! 
     Its triumph draweth nigh; 
See, where above the clouds of war 
     Its seamless glories fly, 
Peace, hovering o'er the bristling van, 
     Waves palm and laurel fair, 
And Victory binds the rescued stars 
     In Freedom's golden hair."

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