2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong..

... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) online

. (page 2 of 6)
Online Library2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong.... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) → online text (page 2 of 6)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

to know him in a personal and intimate way, and as the years
rolled on I came to appreciate his splendid worth. He was the
gentlest and kindliest man I ever knew. He seemed to be full
of the milk of human kindness. I never knew him to offend
anyone, and if he did he would have been the first man to make
immediate reparation, and if one offended him he was eager to
give to him the consolation of a happy reconciliation. There
was no room in his heart for even the slightest resentment.

There is no place, perhaps, where men are more accurately
measured than in this forum, but the measure which we give
78130 — H. Doc. 151 7, 60-j J

i8 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

men here is largelv the world's measure, and we attribute to
them ability as we may note their generalship in handling some
measure upon the floor or by their eloquence in debate. In-
deed, we are apt to measure men here as they appeal to us, on
what might be called "the public scale of human action." But
the true measure of a man is recorded elsewhere. It is writ-
ten that "he that overcometh himself is greater than he that
taketh a citv. ' It is written, also, that meekness, charity,
long suffering, patience, forbearance one with another shall be
the instruments of man's measurement in the great hereafter.
These are the Master's all-conquering instruments of power.

General Meyer won his way and accomplished the things
which he did through the gentleness of his manner, the sweet-
ness of his character, the persistency of his efforts, the geniality
of his disposition, the persuasiveness and logic of his position.

He never won his contests by a brilliant dash or charge,
although as captain in the confederate army he had made
them on the field of battle, but here in this forum he won his
victories through kindliness and benevolence. If one gave him
his ear, he soon had possession of his heart. Such was this
gentle and kindly man.

General Meyer, as I have above stated, was a captain in the
confederate armv. He was a follower of what is sometimes
called the "lost cause." And yet the bravery and courage dis-
played bv the soldiers of the South, no less than that of the
soldiers of the North, the Gray as well as the Blue, will be a
common heritage to our children and our children's children
through all the ages yet to come. We are not far enough re-
moved from the war to measure its full meaning in its just
proportions. All must realize that we are but the instruments
of the Almighty's plan and purpose in the development of
civilization and the liberty of mankind. Liberty is a mighty
stream. It reaches back through all the ages that are past,

Address of Mr. Foss, oj fllinois 19

and rushes on through all the ages yet to come, until its mighty
current loses itself into the boundless ocean of the Creator's

When a century shall have rolled b\' and the historian of the
future comes to write the story of that great war in which so
many thousands were engaged on both sides, where so much
blood was spilled, where brother fought against brother in
fratricidal strife, and where untold misery and suffering has
been dragging its wearv length all these years down in the deep,
dark valley of humiliation and despair — I say, when the his-
torian comes to write the history of that great conflict in the
mellow light of history, he will, perchance, simply say, "The
North and the South, two brothers, sitting on the lap of the
Infinite; one struck the other, and the other returned the blow;
yet all the while the tender, loving arms of the Almighty Ruler
of nations were around them both."

General Meyer had been tried in the old faith. He was true
to the old gospel, and yet he preached the new, the gospel of
brotherly love and reconciliation between the two great sec-
tions of our common country. He believed that whereas the
old North and the old South had crossed swords in war, the
new North and the new South should henceforth clasp hands in
peace. And so would we all advance this sentiment, in the name
of all the dead who sleep upon the hillsides of the North and
those as well who sleep where they fell along the banks of many
a southern stream, whose slow and sluggish current seems to
murmur a solemn requiem to the dead; in the name of all the
living, whose scars give to modest lip the "voice of eulogy;"
in the name of Lee, who, at the close of the war, stated that
he willingly would have sacrificed all that he had sacrificed in
order that this blessed consummation might be brought about;
and lastly, in the name of Grant, whose patient suffering on
Mount McGregor made the "couch glorious like the cross,"

20 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

where he reiterated again and again those words which he had
spoken at the close of the war, "Let us have peace." vSo
say we all of us, a perpetual peace in the everlasting arms of
American brotherhood.

Soldier, statesman, legislative builder of the new American
Navy, reconciler of the North and South, lover of mankind,
husband, father, friend, associate, thou hast earned thy rest.
Sleep on until the angel shall call thee on resurrection mom
before the great white throne to receive thy eternal reward.

Address of Mi . Claik, oj Missouri 21

Address of Mr. Clark, of Missouri

Mr. Speaker: Louisiana was the first State carved from the
magnificent domain which Jefferson bought from Napoleon for
a song, and Missouri was the second. This close kinship, to-
gether with their intimate commercial relations, has from the
first caused them to entertain deep and abiding sympathy for
each other — deeper and more abiding than the average — in
everv jov and sorrow, in prosperity and in adversity. Being
for a long time the only States beyond the great river, they
formed the habit of fighting in pairs, and habit at last becomes
second nature.

Louisiana has been a member of the Union ninety-six years.
There are persons yet living who were old enough to walk and
talk when she was admitted into the rare and radiant sisterhood.
In the years of her statehood the world has made greater
progress in the utilitarian arts and sciences than in any three
preceding centuries. To this bewildering progress Louisiana
has contributed her part, and of the fruits thereof she enjoys
her full share. Her position at the mouth of the Mississippi
has from the first given her a prominence greater than her
acres, her population, and her wealth entitle her to. The de-
sire to possess the island of Orleans was really what made us
a continental power — a world power, for let it never be for-
gotten that we have been a world power ever since the 30th
day of April, 1803. Until we acquired the Floridas, Louisiana
was the southernmost of all our possessions, and so different
in climate and productions from the rest of our country that
she was enveloped in romance to an extraordinary degree, and
became the pet theme of poets, orators, and novelists.

2 2 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

The cosmopolitan character of her population has added a
perpetual charm to her history.

When I entered Congress, in 1893, Louisiana was represented
in the Senate by Donelson Caffery and E. D. White; and in the
House by N. C. Blanchard, Robert C. Davey, H. W. Ogden,
S. M. Robertson, Adolph Meyer, Andrew Price, and C. ].
Boatner. Of that goodly company Judge Davey is the only
one left with us. Senator Caffery, Mr. Ogden, Judge Boatner,
and General Meyer have joined the great majority; Senator
White is now Mr. Justice White of the Federal Supreme Court;
Mr. Robertson and Mr. Price are now in retirement; j\Ir. Blan-
chard, after being a Senator of the United States and supreme
judge of Louisiana, is now lieutenant-governor. This brief
recital of facts shows with what startling rapidity the dramatis
persona; change here.

To be elected to this House once is a high honor, but to be
elected nine times, as was General Meyer, is not only a high
honor, but an exceptional one. To prove this it is only neces-
sarv to state that of our membership of 391 Members onlv 4
men have served the same length of time as General MeyER —
Judge DeArmond, of Missouri, Governor Hull, of Iowa, Mr.
Jones, of Virginia, and Colonel Livingston, of Georgia. Onlv 6
have served longer — Mr. Speaker Cannon, General Bingham,
of Pennsylvania, Mr. Payne, of New York, Mr. Dalzell, of Penn-
sylvania, Colonel Hepburn, of Iowa, and Mr. Sherman, of New
York. General Meyer served his constituents faithfully and
successfully. His constituents recognized that fact and would
probably have kept him here till his death, no matter how long
his life.

He was a modest, unassuming gentleman, but a most persist-
ent worker. The suaviter in modo was developed in him to a
remarkable extent and enabled him to accomplish much with
little noise and with little friction. While representing a great

Address of Mr. Clark, oj Missouri 23

citv gives a Menibcr (.-xceptional prestige, il imposes exceptional
duties and exceptional labors. General Meyer enjoyed the
exceptional prestige and also seemed to enjoy the exceptional
duties and labors. He exercised eternal vigilance in looking
after the interests of Louisiana in general and of her great
metropolis in particular.

He was educated at the Universitx' of Mrginia; in his youth
he served in the Confederate army on the staff of Gen. John S.
Williams, of Kentucky, popularly called "Cerro Gordo" Wil-
liams. General Meyer rose to the rank of assistant adjutant-
general before his beard was grown, and in Congress he rose to
be the ranking Democrat on two great conmiittees — Naval
Affairs and District of Columbia.

General Meyer died in his sixty-sixth >ear. worn out in the
ser\'ice of his city, of his State, and of his coimtry.

24 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

Address of Mr. Broussard, of Louisiana

Mr. Speaker; In addressing you to-day 1 bear my last
tribute to the memory of one with whom I held associations
of peculiar intimacy, social, political, and official, for a period
of more than ten years — the late Admlph Meyer, of Loui-
siana. I only wish to say a few simple, honest words of the
life, character, and public services of this friend and colleague
who has gone to the peaceful slumbers of his tomb.

When my people saw fit to honor and send me here some years
ago, it was General Mever who first extended me a cordial
greeting and bade me welcome. From that time he was my
friend, and as the years passed on our friendship ripened and I
learned to regard him as an able, scholarly gentleman, devoted
to the service of his State and country. His longer legislative
experience and kindly nature made him at once my preceptor,
and as time passed I sought more and more his counsel and

General MevER was the possessor of a sunshiny, genial
nature, as well as a forgiving disposition, that never harbored
revenge. He was a plain, simple man who loved mankind. He
was small in stature and his bearing was c|uiet and unpretending,
but his step was steady and firm and was the expression of
great will power. Haliituallv social and kindly disposed, alwavs
affable and active was he. Much of his activity was the result
of that good nature which jjrompted him to readily respond to
anv call of his people; and while his generous, easy nature and
pleasing address made his presence especially desirable, his
willing kindness emboldened desire to almost demand. Many
of his fellow-citizens seemed to consider his services a sort of

Address of Mr. Proussard, of Louisiana 25

common property, and this notion he never appeared disposed
to change or modify. As a worker he was nntiring. For him
labor was not a task, but a pleasure. His ambition was to
represent his people properly and conscientiously. In com-
mittee, on the floor, at all times he was keenly alive to their
interest, and never ^et an opportunity to serv-e them pass

Sixty-five years ago, on the banks of the great Mississippi
River, at the city of Natchez, General Meyer was born. There
he passed his childhood and boyhood days, a part of the time
in school, so that when he had attained the age of iS he was
readv to enter the University of \'irginia. For two years he
zealously confined himself to intellectual pursuits in that famed
old institution. But in 1862, unable to longer restrain that
enthusiasm which stirred within him for the defense of his
countr\-, he was impelled to join the confederate ranks and
fight for country's sake. It is needless to dwell on his record,
other than to sav it was an enviable one. On enlisting he was
assigned to the staff of Gen. John S. Williams, of Kentucky.
There he served through the years of war, at the end of wliich
he held the rank of assistant adjutant-general. Not many
years ago his old commander. General Williams, testified to the
young soldier's worth in these words:

He was preeminent for soldierly qualities — the loftiest courage, fidelity,
and endurance.

His history in service is linked and written with that of the

army of Lee; its history is his history, and its fame his fame;

its valorous deeds are the sum of the many brave deeds of the

thousands of gallant men who, with him, went forth at the call

of his country to battle for her defense. When the cause for

which he had contended was lost and his country's flag forever

furled in gloom and glory, he turned his face to the vSouth and

took for his new home no less a place than Louisiana.

26 Memorial Addresses: Adolpli Meyer

There he stood with other Confederates through all the dark
days of reconstruction — days more trying than war, more
humiliating than defeat. Ever hopeful, he strove with untiring
might and effort to redeem the Southland from shameful mis-
rule and political strife and to rebuild that shattered land.

For several years General Mever lived for the most part on
a plantation not far from Xew Orleans, and about the vear
1870 he became a resident of that city. There he followed
commercial pursuits, and by his thrift, ability, and honest
efforts quickly found success. Even while he was busiest in his
own work General Meyer was ever ready to respond to the call
of his fellow-citizens in city. State, or nation. To reorganize
and build up the State militia he deemed essential. Enlisting
in this work, he unsparingly gave to it his time and the fruits
of his confederate service, and just prior to his election to
Congress he was made commander of all the Louisiana troops.
It was duty rather than desire that prompted General Meyer
to accept this charge, for of war he had had sufficient.

Eighteen years ago the people of New Orleans, appreciating
the sterling worth of Adolph Meyek, saw tit to send him to this
House as one of their Congressmen. vSo well, so faithfullv did
he serve them, guard and protect their interests, that his service
here has been unbroken for all these eighteen years. The
fruits of his labor are many, notable, and worthy. Largely
to his energetic efforts and tireless work are due the establish-
ment of the great naval station in New Orleans; the svstem
of jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi, as well as levees to
hold in check the waters of that great river; the maintenance
of the New Orleans mint; and the appropriations for a new
federal building for that city. His last good deed, his last
work in this House, and in which I had the privilege and pleas-
ure of being closely associated with him, was the securing of
an appropriation of $25,000 at the past session for the com-

Address of Mr. Broussard, of lotiisicDia 27

pletion of a monuinent to the soldiers who till in the battle of
New Orleans in the w-ar of 181 2.

To Mrs. Richardson, president of the United States Daughters
of 1776 and 1812, and her splendid organization of patriotic
women is due the happy consummation of this plan to place a
fitting shaft to the memory of those fearless men of Jackson
who saved the day at New Orleans. This organization of ladies
raised much of the money expended in the partial erection of
this monument. They interested me in their work, and when
Representative Story, of Louisiana, introduced a bill in the
State legislature to donate the grounds and unfinished monu-
ment to the United States, I went to the State capital and, with
Mr. Story, secured the passage of his measure. Besides this,
the Daughters have obligated themselves to assume the care of
the monument and contiguous grounds, relieving the Govern-
ment of all expense and responsibility.

This battle, this monument, was the theme of General
Meyer's last speech in this House. It was on the anniversary
of the battle, January 8, 1907, that he appropriately, eloquently,
and forciblv urged his fellow-Members to memoriaHze this bat-
tlefield commensurately with the splendid deeds enacted there.

Such achievements as this; his great work for his people and
his State; his generous soul; the righteousness of his daily life;
his sympathetic nature; his deeds of kindness, charity, and
generosity will rear a monument to his memory more lasting
than stone, more enduring than bronze.

Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

Address of Mr. Kahn, of Caufornia

Mr. Speaker: We have met to-day to pay a last sad tribute
of love and respect to one whose \oice was heard for many
years in these legislative halls, but who now sleeps the sleep
everlasting 'neath the balmy skies of his well-beloved Louisiana.

I first met Gen, Adulph Meyek during the Fiftv-sixth Con-
gress. He was then serving his fifth term in this House. He
had acquired an enviable position among his colleagues. He
was regarded as a man of great industry, possessing the soul
of honor. He knew the right and always dared maintain it.

One of our American poets has said :

So many Gods, so many creeds.

So many roads that wind and wind.
While just the art of being kind

Is all this great world needs.

Our lamented colleague knew "the art of being kind." I do
not think that he had it in his nature to speak a harsh or un-
kind word. He was always courteous, affable, companionable.
He would not knowingly have wounded the feelings of the hum-
blest of his fellow-creatures. Indeed, it well can be said of him

that —

None knew him but to love him.
None named him but to praise.

He had been ailing for many months when the final summons
came, and it was a matter of deep regret to all of his friends
that illness prevented his presence in the vSixtieth Congress. As
the ranking minority member of the Committee on Naval
Affairs he had taken an active interest in the upbuilding of the
American Nav\ He was proud of all the traditions that at-
tached to that branch of the Government's service. His ambi-
tion was to see the American Navy the equal of anv in the
world. He was particularly solicitous for the welfare of "the

Address oj Mr. Kalni, of California 29

men behind the guns. " and was ever ready to give his voice
and his vote to better their conditit)n

Coming, as he did, from the city of \e\v ( )rleans, the metropo-
lis of the South, he was especially well qualified to sit upon the
Committee on the District of Columbia. As a member of that
committee he readily championed any measure that tended to
make the city of Washington the most magnificent capital in
the world.

His colleagues on both committees will miss his genial pres-
ence, will listen in vain for his words of counsel.

His was a busy life during the sixty-five years he was ])er-
mitted to walk among men. Bom in 1842, he was scarcely
come to man's estate when the great struggle of the civil war
commenced. He naturally followed the fortunes of his beloved
State of Louisiana during that momentous period, and as an
officer on the staff of Gen. John S. Williams, of the confeder-
ate army, he rendered signal service to the cause which he
believed to have been right. But with the coming of peace he
gladlv returned to the pursuits of peace. He did not mourn
lor the lost cause, but immediately set to work to upbuild the
industries of a reunited country.

As a planter and as a business man fortune smiled upon him.
and he reaped the reward of industry in his commercial enter-
prises. In these days of high finance, when men of large affairs
in the business world are not always overscrupulous as to the
methods employed in accumulating wealth, it shall alwavs be
said to the everlasting credit of General .Mever that his busi-
ness career was both honorable and creditable.

His people, recognizing his sterling qualities as a citizen and
as a man, his splendid abilities, his honesty, his probitv, his
integrity, his patriotism, elected him as their Representative to
the Fifty-second Congress, and wisely continued him in that
position till the day of his death. In having thus honored him,
they honored themselves; for if ever a Representative sought

30 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

to serve his constituency faithfully, zealously, patriotically,
Gen. Adolph Meyer did. And his people recognized his great
worth — for when the news spread among them that the Grim
Reaper had cut down their friend and neighbor when he was at
the very fullness of his powers there was universal sorrow in
his city and his .State.

In the closing years of his life he was especially interested in
the improvement of the Mississippi River — the great Father of
Waters — whose improvement is especially important to the citv
of New Orleans. One of his last utterances on the floor of this
House was in relation to this subject. He had the matter close
at heart, and it must have been a great solace to him during
the long, trying days of his suffering and illness to have learned
that the question of the improvement of the great waterwavs of
our country had grown to be one of the vital issues and was
engaging the attention of the progressive men of the entire
nation, regardless of politics or partisanship.

General MevER was an optimist. During his long public
career he had faced many problems, he had participated in
many debates, he had helped to solve many great questions of
national policy; but during all of that time he had marched
forward and never backward. There was never a pessimistic
note in any of his speeches. He realized that the world was
advancing, that mankind was growing better and better. He
went about among his fellow-men with a smile and not with a
scowl. He was a man of high ideals, and in his own life he tried
to live up to those ideals.

It is these qualities that made him a gentle, a devoted hus-
band, a loving father, and a faithful and loyal friend. He is
no more. He has gone to that long sleep that knows no wak-
ing, and all is well with him. And we, who were permitted to
know him in his lifetime, who loved and honored and respected
him, will ahvavs cherish his memt)rv.

Address oj Mr. Pujo, oj Louisia)ia 31

Address of Mr. Pujo, of Louisiana

Mr. Speaker :

* * * The race is not to the swifl nor the l)nttlc to the strong, neillier
yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet
favor to men of skill; but time and chance happenetli to them all.

Mr. Speaker, this great philosophic truth, uttered nearh-
three thousand years ago by the wisest of men, was well exem-
plified bv the traits of character and life efTorts of our late
colleague, Gen. Adolph Meyer, of the First Louisiana District,
of whose memory we have met to-day to accord words of
commendation and regret.

Our late colleague was of vSemitic origin, and his conduct in
life furnishes evidence of the traditional virtues of his great
race — love of country, love of family and home, patience, thrift,
industry, and application.

Others have spoken of the principal episodes of his life, and
of his political and legislative achievements; howev^er, I do not
consider it amiss to deal more in detail with what his best
friends know to have been the pride aild ambition of his life —
the dry dock and naval station at New Orleans.

Nearly eighteen years a Member of the Congress of the United
States, he benefited his constituents, his State, and his countrv
by his tenure of service, and the history of his legislative life
confirms the wisdom of the adage that —

The race is not always to the swift * * *

Although well educated and possessing a splendid command
of language, his success was attributable more to the fairness
and strength of his arguments and the persuasive manner and
persistency of his advocacy of any cause espoused by him than
to eloquence and oratorv.

32 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

He never became discouraged at any temporary setbacks, nor

2 4 5 6

Online Library2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong.... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) → online text (page 2 of 6)