Address of James S. Whipple at the dedication of the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in Little Valley, New York, September 7, 1914, and the response by the Reverend Morton Fitch Trippe
Note: James S. Whipple of Salamanca, a prominent lawyer and politician, was the son of First Sergeant Henry F. Whipple, Company H, 154th New York Volunteer Infantry, who was captured at the Battle of Gettysburg and died as a prisoner of war at Andersonville, Georgia. The Reverend Morton Fitch Trippe of Salamanca was a veteran of the 9th New York Heavy Artillery, chaplain of Salamanca’s Grand Army of the Republic Post, and a missionary to Western New York Indian reservations. Their speeches were published in the Salamanca Republican Press of September 8, 1914, following an account of the ceremonies.
Of County Historical and Memorial Building
Veterans, Sons of Veterans and many Citizens Present –
Addresses by Hon. J. S. Whipple and Rev. Dr. M. F. Trippe
Little Valley, N.Y. Sept. 7. Special to the Press
The dedication exercises for the county memorial and historical building were held here yesterday. The weather was cloudy and somewhat chilly, but a large and enthusiastic crowd was in attendance, and all the program was successful carried out. Fifteen automobiles and the Little Valley Boy Scouts assisted the reception committee in caring for the incoming veterans. At the tent beside the memorial building 217 members of the G.A.R. registered and received badges and dinner checks. Fifty-seven Sons of Veterans registered and dinner was also served to about 100 wives and daughters of the veterans and S.O.V. Ample accommodations were provided at the dining hall under the grandstand at the fairgrounds and the chicken dinner with sweet potatoes served there was much enjoyed.
The march to the building was taken up at 1:30 p.m. William Bushnell was marshal of the day. He was followed by members of the Little Valley village board. Then came the Little Valley band and the Sons of Veterans of Franklinville, the latter uniformed and fully equipped with Springfield rifles and bayonets and presenting a very soldierly appearance. These were followed by the veterans who felt able to march, 75 in number, and the Little Valley fire department.
Upon the arrival at the memorial building the veterans formed in a large half circle and were photographed, after which the national emblem was unfurled at the head of the new staff on the building. The band played the Star Spangled Banner, and County Superintendent of Highways Alexander Bird led the veterans in three cheers for the flag and the Franklinville Sons of Veterans fired a salute.
The crowd then adjourned to the county park, where seats had been provided. Hon A. T. Fancher of Salamanca presided over the gathering. The exercises were opened by a selection by a quartet, composed of William Lloyd, Walter Bowen, Edward Bowen and Mr. Fish. Rev. J. B. Felt, pastor of the Congregational church offered prayer. The chairman then introduced Hon. J. S. Whipple of Salamanca, who delivered the principal address of the day. The response was made by Rev. M. F. Trippe of Salamanca, a member of the G.A.R. Mr. Whipple spoke as follows:
One need only to observe the number of people who have assembled here to appreciate the fact that all of you consider this more than an ordinary occasion. The day, the purpose for which you are here should and will be long remembered.
It is said, and with much truth, that as a people, we act promptly; nevertheless it has been nearly 50 years since the close of the Civil War, and it has taken all of that time for public sentiment and enterprise to reach the point of building a memorial in memory of our soldiers and sailors and their services.
This deliberation may at first seem to be neglect; but when we are reminded that it was an equal length of time after the battle of Bunker Hill before the Bunker Hill monument was built—a monument that signifies as much as any memorial edifice in the world—we may not justly be charged with thoughtlessness or neglect. Rather should we not believe that this long delay evidences the fact that time only accentuates the importance and value of the services of our soldiers and sailors, and that as time goes by, and our country grows and reaches out its strong protecting arms, taking in and lifting up others less fortunate, we better understand what saving the Union actually means.
This act may be justice deferred; but it is worthwhile to remember that it evidences a patriotism in a second generation that speaks volumes for the constant loyalty of our citizens and the safety of the Union.
One of the prime objects in erecting this edifice is to prove our appreciation of the importance of the victories won by our forefathers, and to publicly show our love and veneration for that generation of men who sacrificed all, even their lives, to preserve that which was won by their fathers at Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and Yorktown. Delayed though the act has been, we dedicate this structure with our hearts full of love and loyalty for our country, and wish it ever to stand, signifying the deathless patriotism of American soldiers and sailors and their loyalty to the Stars and Stripes. Just now, when all Europe is in a death struggle; when the greatest war of the world is being waged; when millions of armed men are in the field and no one knows how soon something may happen to involve this nation in the half-world wide conflict, let us renew our allegiance to the flag, strengthen our loyalty to our country and remember and emulate the valor and patriotism of our fathers.
We are at peace with the world; we stand on the heights where peace and prosperity bless our land; yet in distant countries are struggling millions, engaged in a whirlwind of war and destruction that will change the map of nations and shock the whole world. The influence and prayers of this great people should be to stop that awful, causeless, unreasonable conflict and to bring peace where war now blights those fair and foreign lands. With peace in our hearts and good will toward all men, let us turn to this peaceful scene and the sacred hallowed duty of the day.
About two years ago, in the presence of a large representation of the Grand Army posts in this county and a great concourse of people, the cornerstone of this beautiful and substantial historical and memorial structure was laid with fitting ceremonies. The work is now completed. It would seem to be entirely proper at this time to recite the facts relating to the inception of the idea and building of this structure. In 1908, a county celebration was held at Salamanca to commemorate the hundredth year of our existence as a county. That celebration was held on August 4, 5 and 6th. During those three days many thousand people attended and took part in the ceremonies. Appropriate addresses were made, a great parade representing the changing phases of life, implements, habits and customs of the people for the hundred years of changing conditions was organized and passed through the streets. A historical address of merit was delivered by Hon. Alfred Spring, justice of the supreme court, and among other things of great interest, there was a very large collection of historical relics that attracted much attention. Largely because of the interest and value of that collection, the need of a historical society and a place to assemble as many of such relics as possible was very apparent. Thereupon Col. E. A. Nash, Marc D. Johnson, Hon. Alfred Spring, I. R. Leonard, Hon. Frederick W. Kruse, Hon. C. D. Davie and J. S. Whipple associated themselves together and on the suggestion of Hon. C. D. Davie organized, first, the Cattaraugus County Historical Society; but on it appearing that such a society was considered to some extent educational and under the control of the board of regents of the state, the incorporation papers were changed on Col. Nash’s suggestion to make the name read “The Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Society.” The society organized and at once took up the subject of a suitable building to be known as the “Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building,” to be used for historical relics and as a memorial to our soldiers and sailors who enlisted in the Civil War from this county.
The society caused to be turned over to it $400 that was left after the Centennial celebration, which made a little start toward a fund for the proposed building. Following came personal contributions and appropriation by the board of supervisors, and finally the plans and this structure. Two of the original incorporators have since died—Hon. Alfred Spring and Col. E. A. Nash. On this occasion we may pause to drop a tear and speak in reverent tones of our untimely dear colleagues, their sterling worth as men and citizens and of their services to this society. Their lives were a blessing to the country in which they lived and their deaths a great loss.
The result of the incorporators’ efforts and the cooperation, labor and time given by many men and the board of supervisors now stands before you completed, unique, unlike any other so far as we know, substantially equipped, ready for occupation and use. It is an ornament, beautiful and useful, that will be a credit to those who have participated in its construction as well as the county at large through all time.
We are here today to dedicate the building to the purpose for which it was constructed. Memorial and historical structures have been erected in many countries. They have been raised for many purposes and to commemorate a wide diversity of things: acts, men and events. Some have been imposing and of great value. Many have been built on battlefields, many in city squares, and their style of architecture has been as varied as the purposes for which they have been constructed. This memorial and historical building does not represent a large sum of money, it is not especially rich in architectural design or adornment. It is a modest building in a quiet, modest place. Yet it has surrounding it and interwoven with its conception and construction much sentiment, deep respect and high regard, and is a credit not only to the society and to all who have been interested in its building, but it is a fitting memorial to our soldiers and sailors. It represents the little effort and the great. It represents individuals, and the county at large through its board of supervisors. It will represent by its contents a hundred years of transformation and growth in this county from the backwoods and primeval conditions to flowering fields and contented happy homes.
One hundred years ago today
There were no flowering fields of hay
No corn with bowing, nodding tops
No fields of oats and other crops—
Just forest trees, deep, dark and grand
Stood thick upon this western land.
It will represent in its tablets of bronze, containing the names of the nation’s defenders, the sacred memories of the past; the prayers of mothers for boys on tented fields, the loves of maidens who gave up their sweethearts for the nation’s honor and the sorrows of those who looked in vain for loved ones to return.
To my mind, the element that gives it greatest value is the memorial feature; that of gathering here of tablets of enduring bronze the names of all the soldiers and sailors who enlisted from this county during the Civil War. This structure does not compare with the monument that stands on Bunker Hill, nor does it approach the grandeur of the Washington monument at the capital of the nation; neither does it signify the sacredness that Lincoln’s monument at Springfield, Illinois, possesses for all Americans. Yet to us in Cattaraugus County it tells of the early days, of our soldiers living and dead, and represents the thought, the patient work of those who conceived and built it. It will become the shrine of soldiers and sailors living, and the registry of those who have died. It will contain the battle flags which our boys carried and defended, and the relief and mementoes gathered by many hands from hundreds of places, especially those things telling us of the habits, the lives, the implements, the customs of early settlers in this county and Western New York, who came into the wilderness, cleared away the forest, planted corn in the new land and built cabin-homes in this then new country.
It marks the change from savage state
To flowering fields and mansions great.
As we enter its portals, we will be reminded of men and days of 50 years ago. Before us will be their names. About us will be the wartime relics. In its cool and quiet chambers we may sit and study the history of our noble county and learn from the historical relics there what manner of men and women they were who blazed the trail and cleared the way in this mottled, rolling gateway of the West.
It will recall to our minds the great struggle in which the men whose names have honored place therein took honorable part. It will awaken within us memories if tented fields, of long marches, of great battles, of heroic deaths, of victories, fearful losses, defeats and prison pens. It is no ancient. It is not mysterious, grand and silent as are the pyramids, surrounded by the drifting sands of untold centuries. It tells no story of tyrants, usurpers or kings. It hides no dark secrets, and records no act of oppression. In it will be registered the names of men who fought not for selfish ends or conquest, nor mere glory. They fought to save a union of states, to enforce the provisions of the national constitution, to make all men free. They fought not only for these things, these ends, but that thereafter we might have centuries of peace, prosperity, home building, growth, greatness. In their hearts there was no selfishness, no hate. Theirs was a free-will offering, a service of love and duty to their government.
What a victory it was! A victory that lifted men up, that struck the shackles from a race of people, that reunited millions of men under one flag, that lifted the whole nation to a higher plane from which it looks down in calmness at warring nations, offering its services for peace and stands as the greatest influence for arbitration and settlement without war in the world.
On this day, with heads bared and with grateful hearts, we say to you soldiers of the Civil War: Your service was the noblest, greatest service ever given in time of war, and such a victory meant more and was the greatest victory ever won on the field of battle.
Three hundred thousand lives were given in defense of the constitution and as many men were lost in the contest to nullify its provisions and set state authority over governmental authority. The national forces won; the seceding states lost, and the nation, the union and the constitution were saved. That was a victory that will be heralded through the ages and grow greater generation after generation as we better see and understand its full meaning.
It is no wonder that we feel that the connection is the foundation on which our institutions rest. It is no wonder that most of the thoughtful people look with suspicion on any effort to change the fundamental law. No one would think of going back to the articles of confederation, that served us so poorly even when there were only a small number of states and a few people. No one would now want to try a pure democracy against this representative form of government. No one would now say that a state should have power to act up for itself in defiance of national control or dispute the principle laid down in the Minnesota rate case that defines the borderline of authority between nation and state control. Viewing it in this way, we better understand the great service our soldiers and sailors rendered.
It is, therefore, fitting that this memorial building should be dedicated on a day when the survivors of the war in this county are assembled here in annual reunion. As we look upon them, in memory we see them again in their young manhood as they marched away. We can almost hear the drums beat and see the flash of swords as they swing down the street. A thousand memories crowd thick and fast upon us. Then we raise our eyes to this memorial structure and realize that 50 years have fled, that the nation has grown great in population, states, wealth and influence, that inventive genius has wrought wonders, that we have submarines that sail under the water, flying machines that sail far above the earth, wireless telegraphy with which we can communicate our thoughts across hundreds of miles of space to friends on shipboard out at sea, electric wires under oceans, electric and gasoline carriages that travel over country roads as fast as railroad trains along the iron highway, telephones through which we talk across a thousand miles of distance as easily as with our friends at hand and modern machinery with which man’s efficiency is made ten times greater. For one, I thank that I have been permitted to live as an American citizen in the United States during this wonderful period of the last 50 years and have seen all this growth and development under this most liberal form of government.
A true picture of the last 50 years would have in it many dark clouds and a far horizon. It would have black nights lit up with flash of cannon and intermittent lights from thousands of crackling muskets. It would show many sunsets behind dark clouds, giving little hope for better things for the morrow. It would have its starless nights and depths of despair. It would contain the graves of martyred presidents and of a million dead heroes. It would have empty homes and darkened firesides. And then in the distance there would be the beautiful colors of rose-tinted morns and the golden glows of fine sunsets, and over it all would be the figure of the Goddess of Liberty, enlightening the world. What an eventful, wonderful 50 years. And we have lived in it and been part of it.
At this point it will be interesting to call attention to the view held by the great orator and statesman who delivered the address at the time the Bunker Hill monument was dedicated, June 17th, 1825, 50 years after the battle of Bunker Hill. Mr. Webster was speaking of the changed and improved conditions during the 50 years succeeding the war for independence in order that his hearers might better understand what the battle of Bunker Hill, final victory and independence meant. I have been trying to enumerate some of the wonderful results which have followed the saving of the Union, that we may better understand what that good victory meant. Mr. Webster said
“The leading reflection to which this occasion seems to invite us, respects the great changes which have happened in the 50 years since the battle of Bunker Hill was fought. And it peculiarly marks the character of the present age that, in looking at these changes and in estimating their effect on our condition, we are obliged to consider, not what has been done in our own country only, but in others also. In these interesting times, while nations are making separate and individual advances in improvement, they make, too, a common progress; like vessels on a common tide, propelled by the gales at different rates, according to their several structure and management, but all moved forward by one mighty current beneath, strong enough to bear onward whatever does not sink beneath it.
“A chief distinction of the present day is a community of opinions and knowledge amongst men in different nations, existing in a degree heretofore unknown. Knowledge has, in our time, triumphed, and is triumphing over distance, over difference of languages, over diversity of habits, over prejudice, and over bigotry. The civilized and Christian world is fast learning the great lesson, that difference of nation does not imply necessary hostility, and that all contact need not be war. The whole world is becoming a common field for intellect to act in. Energy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it exists, may speak our in any tongue, and the world will hear it. A great chord of sentiment and feeling runs through two continents, and vibrates over both. Every breeze wafts intelligence from country to country; every wave rolls it; all give it forth, and all in turn receive it. There is a vast commerce of ideas; there are marts and exchanges for intellectual discoveries, and a wonderful fellowship of those individual intelligences which make up the mind and opinion of the age. Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are ultimately answered; and the diffusion of knowledge, so astonishing in the last half-century, has rendered innumerable minds, variously gifted by nature, competent to be competitors, or fellow-workers, on the theatre of intellectual operation. From these causes important improvements have taken place in the personal condition of individuals. Generally speaking, mankind are not only better fed and better clothed, but they are able also to enjoy more leisure; they possess more refinement and more self-respect. A superior tone of education, manners, and habits prevails. This remark, most true in its application to our own country, is also partly true when applied elsewhere. It is proved by the vastly augmented consumption of those articles of manufacture and of commerce which contribute to the comforts and the decencies of life, — an augmentation which ash far outrun the progress of population. And while the unexampled and almost incredible use of machinery would seem to supply the place of labor, labor still finds its occupation and its reward; so wisely has Providence adjusted men’s wants and desires to their condition and their capacity. Any adequate survey, however, of the progress made in the last half century, in the polite and the mechanic arts, in machinery and manufactures, in commerce and agriculture, in letters, and in science, would require volumes. I must abstain wholly from these subjects, and turn, for a moment, to the contemplation of what has been done on the great question of politics and government.”
If Mr. Webster saw such phenomenal changes for good in the first 50 years after the battle of Bunker Hill, what may not be said about the unparalleled development during the 50 years since the close of the Civil War? That which he saw and spoke of as remarkable results following our independence was but a fraction of that which we have seen and experienced in the same length of time along all the lines he enumerated and along hundreds of others that even his great mind never dreamed of. We have seen our population increase from 32,000,000, to 100,000,000, and our production of useful products increase a hundred fold. All of the new inventions I have heretofore mentioned came into important use in the last 50 years, as well as improvements in machinery for farms, mining and manufacture until many of the inventions so much praised in Mr. Webster’s time have long since been discarded. Instance the improvement and development in our system of lighting. First the tallow in a dish; then the dipped candle; then the molded candle; then the fish-oil lamp; then the discovery of coal-oil and the first crude lamp in which to burn it; then gas burnt in an open tube; then a wizard of a man invented a chimney to protect the blaze and consume the smoke; then better lamps and better burners; then electricity; then mantles for the gas-burner, until lighting and heating with gas and electricity seem perfect. With all other things, art, literature and education have kept pace, and all together make in this respect the most remarkable 50 years of the world’s history.
In this connection we can truly feel proud of the fact that America has made the greatest progress along all lines of any nation in the world and has proven beyond doubt that this representative form of government is the best form of government the world has ever known. To be an American citizen, to take part in and be a part of this great world power for peace, progress, home building and happiness, is truly one of the greatest ambitions and one of the most desirable things in human life.
And now, friends and fellow citizens, our work is substantially done, and it is time so far as the society and I am concerned that the last word should be said. I have detained you long with recollections of acts and events that have transpired during the last half-century. We must not dwell too much on the past, yet in it are sacred memories and useful lessons. Out of the dead past shall come the inspiration for full duty on our part, in the active, living present.
Nearly all the blessings we enjoy were won for us, not by us. Our obligations are great. Let us not dissipate our rich inheritance, but make good use of it and leave it improved, increased, for our children. As our population increases and we get farther and farther away from the traditions of our fathers, our responsibilities and duties as citizens will become more and more important and difficult. Patriotism such as our fathers possessed may become less common and more necessary. To sustain and keep our civil and religious liberty will require the purest patriotism, the most watchful care, the highest order of statesmanship.
Let us remember that to save a nation in time of war is not all that is necessary. We must save it again and again in times of peace. To do this we must depend on and encourage education, religion, high morals and justice among the people, as well as justice on the part of the government. Without these things no people, no government can long survive. Our duties are high and honorable, our responsibilities arduous; let us not falter or fail.
As we dedicate this beautiful structure to the purposes for which it was erected, let us resolve to cherish the memories of the past with deeper respect, the rights of citizenship with higher regard; our country and our flag with profounder patriotism, and our homes with greater love and veneration. Let us hold fast to the constitution, respect the courts, support our public servants in well doing, honor and defend the flag.
Rev. Trippe’s response was as follows:
The duty assigned me on this occasion is to respond to Dr. Whipple and to express to him and his associates of the Memorial and Historical Society of Cattaraugus County and to the board of supervisors and to all who have contributed to the success of the undertaking the hearty, sincere thanks of the veterans of the county. As Dr. Whipple has said in his able and interesting address, it has been the custom from the very dawn of history to mark in stone or bronze valiant deeds and great events.
Indeed, in this country millions of treasure have been expended to commemorate the heroism of our soldiers and in this county numerous soldiers’ monuments adorn the beautiful cities of the dead. For what they signify and for what they teach we are profoundly grateful. But shafts of marble and of granite cannot serve. It’s true, they teach, but cannot practice. Memorials in form of hospitals or orphanages or like the building dedicated today are useful. They serve the living, they keep alive the memory of the departed dead.
No more appropriate memorial to patriotic devotion can be conceived than this building. Beautifully chaste and yet substantial, it is a fitting expression in stone and iron of the loyal and affectionate interest of the people of this county in their citizen soldiers and appreciation of their services rendered the country in day of its extremity.
On behalf of the soldiers gathered here and of those who, perforce, because of infirmities cannot be here, we desire to record a soldier’s appreciation, an appreciation that will intensify as the years go by, for the living heart-love of country and its heroes and heroines as expressed in the conception and erection of this memorial.
We appreciate it because it is practical. Love that begins and ends in tears is of little worth. Love that uses and can be used to benefit and uplift others is practical and therefore God-like. One of the purposes of this building is the conservation of the relics and records of the civil and all other wars that have occurred in our nation’s history. The construction of the building assures safety for all time to whatever of value that is committed to its keeping.
To the old soldier these relics and records have a special significance and value. They suggest scenes that no history has ever recorded. That rusty bayonet reads a story of the fierce hand-to-hand struggle, of uses in trenches and potato fields. That old time-touched smoothbore of less use and never reliable is now precious because a companion on many a hard fought battlefield, and surely too, regardless of germs, “we have drunk from the same canteen,” and that too for associations’ sake is precious. That saber also which saved from rout and charged to victory is dear to you because of
“The triumph and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife—
The earthquake voice of Victory,
To thee the breath of life.”
Surely here our children and our children’s children can come and with reverent vision read the story of the Great Conflict.
Far beyond the practical uses of this memorial and that which awakens in the heart of the soldiers profoundest gratitude is what the building itself represents. It is the expression not only of appreciation for the service of loyal men and women, but it signifies devotion—the sanctifying, setting apart of life and treasure to high noble ideals. It is finest, highest patriotism crystallized, yes, rather reincarnated.
Even these war relics teach progress. They tell us that much of the old must pass away, be relegated to the scrap heap. Present ideas in politics, industry, statecraft, church-craft must change and develop something surpassingly better. Dr. Whipple has spoken eloquently of the progress in the world of commerce, literature and science. His quotation from Webster is striking because it shows constant progress in material and intellectual affairs from the very beginning of our national life.
Such progress however did not prevent the horrors of four years of fratricidal war. Marvelous growth in wealth, education, science, invention, vast armaments on land and sea have not prevented war, and a war too marked by such barbarism as to betoken the utter collapse of our boasted civilization. In all this growth, almost inconceivable, these vast systems of education, these organizations for the promotion of peace and amelioration of human ills, there seems to be no preventive of war. And there is none. This mortal struggle of the so-called Christian nations of Europe seems to teach that the bestial in man is thinly veneered with something called civilization, that this being removed shows that “The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint.” Pessimism to the contrary we look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. We look for a new patriotism, and this for a moment we will discuss.
Certain principles lie at the foundation of this patriotism. The first greatest principle is Truth, and this is Righteousness. It is the life of every system of thought whether secular or religious.
Politics, government policies, commerce, business, all depend for real success upon the proportion of truth each possesses and uses. All religions even “fads” exist and grow, because of the truth possessed. Without some truth in them theories and governments crumble and perish. The new patriotism, we may say is the old thoroughly revived, for the old has truth as well as error.
Says John W. Leonard, “True patriotism, while it should be ready to resist evil, to denounce oppression and expose wrong, should be even more tireless in applauding the good, extolling justice and praising all efforts for things that exalt our country and its institutions. There was never a country in which the national ideals were brighter, the international policies more fraternal, the commercial honor more clean, the progressive spirit more general or the national purpose more exalted than in the United States today.”
This new patriotism is getting right with God, but getting right with Him is possessing in the soul of man or nation the spirit of obeying God, or more clearly “it is to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with (thy) God.” Such a patriotism whose largest, most energetic element is truth will do justice to the weak; observe treaties however obnoxious and give to so-called inferior races a “square deal.” It has no place for noisy disturbing jingoism. It antagonizes and if possible silences the advocate of force, big guns, big ships, vast armaments as making for peace.
Such a patriotism forever blots out that false sentiment, “Our country, right or wrong.” Our patriotism will see that our country is always right. This new patriotism is that one truth on which any lasting order of justice or peace can be reared, viz., that nations must be amenable to the same Christian Ethics that govern the relationships of men. There can be no double standard of ethics in the kingdom of God, or of man. Right must be right and wrong be wrong throughout the whole universe of men. If it is wrong from men to steal it is just as criminal for big nations to seize little ones. If it is wrong for men to murder it is wrong for nations to kill and destroy weaker nations, or men in any nation. If it is wrong for me to settle their disputes with their fists it is wrong for nations to adjust their quarrels by iron fists on sea or land. If it is Christian right for a man to negotiate all questions with his brother in the sweet Christian (right) spirit of forbearance, charity, even forgiveness, what else can be Christian (right) for nations? We have not believed this. We have not preached it in our pulpits, or taught it in our schools. We are going to learn now in this year of agony.
This element of the new patriotism which is eternal and absolutely right asserts energetically that these double standards of ethics or of living are the roots of decay and death in the life of men and nations. It asserts that there is only one standard for all men. What is wrong of an ordinary businessman to do is wrong for a corporation or a combination of businessmen. What is wrong for a citizen is wrong for a party or a church. That falsehood of all falsehoods, which has forever wrought the ruin of man and nations, will have no place whatever in this future patriotism.
The “end never justifies the means,” whether in business or in government or religion. That scheming, treacherous, lying, double-dealing of nation with nation, which is called “successful diplomacy” must perish off the earth, because in the new patriotism there is not only recognition of the blood unity of all nations and races, but the real feeling of the universal brotherhood of man. Before and during the Civil War there were a few men who believed in the blood-brotherhood of all men.
Since the war we as a people have been like the one of old—“troubled about many things,” and, perhaps, chiefly in getting money so that moral issues have been thrust from our political platforms. The time is at hand when the spirit of this new patriotism will thrust into party platforms issues worth fighting for.
The Civil War was fought on a moral as well as a political issue. It was a war for the preservation of the union of the states. Lincoln, honest to heart’s core, fought the war on this issue. beneath all, higher than all, was the real issue: the blood unity of the human race. God in His word declared that He “hath made of one blood all nations of men,” and the greatest President believing this issued the proclamation of emancipation. War which never settles things satisfactorily gave the slave his freedom, but has utterly failed to give him his political rights. It did, forever, settle the fact of the Union of the States. It did not settle the question of the blood unity of the human race.
Indeed the war left many issues to be settled afterward. That left-over issue declared by our fathers as “self-evident” that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The new patriotism has this to settle. The rights of all men are to be adjusted. The man in the mine, the child in the factory, the woman in the sweat-shop as well as the mine-owner, the mill-owner, the capitalist and the weakest workman shall have the utmost justice. Then there will be no more strikes. The struggle between the rich and the poor will cease. Our flag will more fully than ever before represent Equal Rights the true brotherhood of man. We shall love our country more because we shall love all countries better. Some may ask, “Is this Socialism?” We reply, No! Socialism seeks its ends by the annulling of many of the forms of society and business.
The patriotism of which we speak seeks its end through the regeneration of society, getting a new heart, clean and right, in every individual citizen, for peace among men and the beginning of Universal Peace.
One may say, “All this is Utopian. It is impracticable—the dream of a fool reformer.” Then if this be true God himself is Utopian—a dreaming reformer.
“Neither shall they learn war any more. The swords shall be beaten into plowshares, the spears into pruning-hooks.”