wick, paid him a tribute that deserves to be reproduced
in this connection:
A nobler man never lived â€” hospitable, gentle, calm, self-
poised â€” a gentleman in honor, in manners, and in innate refine-
ment. A pure and loftj' soul, he seemed to me to be everything
that a man could be to be respected and loved. Successful from
his youth in his business, with a mercantile " touch of gold," he
was rich and generous, without pretension or pride; and when
the end of the war prostrated his fortune and he became old and
almost blind his easy dignity lost no feature of his serene com-
posure and out of his true heart came no complaint of man or
fortune. He accepted the dread issue of Appomattox without a
murmur and took the fate of his people with all of the fortitude
and manliness and with none of the show of the Roman Senators
who saw the barbarians enter Rome.
When the Civil War sounded its tocsin, Maj. Daniel,
then a young man of 18, promptly volunteered his services
and as a private entered a cavalrj^ troop then organizing
in his native city. At the time he was the beau ideal of
a 5'oung soldier. Straight as an arrow, handsome as a
j'oung god, witli flashing eye and graceful carriage, he
was indeed good to look upon. He was soon appointed
second lieutenant and received his baptism of fire at
Manassas. During fliis figlit he was wounded twice, the
second injury being a serious one, which incapacitated
Address of Mr. Saunders, of Virginia
him for service for several weeks. In his first battle
Maj. (then Lieut.) Daniel evinced that conspicuous gal-
lantrjr for which he was distinguished during his entire
Lieut. Daniel became Maj. Daniel and a staff officer in
March, 1863. His active service covered a period of almost
three years. During that time he participated in many
great battles, serving mainly under Gen. Jubal A. Early,
whom he extravagantly admired and was always ready
to defend against any criticisms directed against his mili-
tary conduct or capacity. This admiration was returned
by Gen. Early, who looked upon him almost as a son and
after the war followed his political fortunes with unceas-
ing interest and unwavering support. While in the act of
rallying a broken regiment at the Battle of the Wilderness,
Maj. Daniel was severely wounded by a Minie bullet,
which shattered his thigh.
This wound terminated his military activities and per-
manently crippled him. For the remainder of his life he
bore the sequel of pain occasioned by this injury with
uncomplaining fortitude. Later in his career, at a great
political gathering in his native State, an enthusiastic ad-
mirer referred to him as the " Lame Lion of Lynchburg."
This name caught the popular fancy and clung to him
from that time forward. It will always be associated with
John W. Daniel by those who knew him in life. The mere
sight of that stately figure, with its pathetic limp, ever
served to set a Virginia audience aflame and interrupt
whatever else was in progress by a storm of vociferous
and spontaneous applause.
After the war Maj. Daniel was without fortune or voca-
tion. Naturally, he turned to that profession in which his
father and grandfather had won such distinction and for
which he possessed unusual gifts of mind and character.
He entered that great school of law then presided over by
Memorial Addresses: Senator Daniel
John B. ]\Iinor and prosecuted Ids studies with the energy
â– which distinguished all his ciTorts. Shortly after leaving
the university he formed a partnei'ship with his father,
which continued until the tatter's death, in 1873. In the
practice of his profession Maj. Daniel met with immediate
success. Gifted in many directions, studious, eloquent,
splendidly ornate in illustrations, yet severelj' logical in
argument, the richness of his reasoning and his compell-
ing power of speech made him a power alike before the
courts and juries. He was the author of two books which
added greatly to his reputation as a lawyer â€” Daniel on
Attachments and Daniel on Negotiable Instruments.
The first was a compendious handbook chiefly designed
for local use and extremely serviceable at the time; the
other was on a more ambitious scale, and may be fairly
styled a monumental work. The labor of its preparation
was prodigious and its reception by the legal world most
flattering. It is a recognized authoritj- in the courts of
Great Britain, the United States, and Canada, and has run
through five editions. Maj. D.vniel early felt the lure of
politics. This was inevitable, for his ambitions ran in
this direction, but apart from personal inclination, he was
almost forced into the political arena by the imperative
demand that unsettled political conditions in Virginia
made upon the services of all genuine patriots. This was
a call that Maj. Daniel was the last man to ignore, and he
volunteered for duty with the same ardor and enthusiasm
with which he tendered his services to the cause of the
Confederacy. He was first elected to the house of dele-
gates in 1869, and served in that bodj^ for three j'ears.
Later he was elected to the State senate and reelected in
1878. Maj. Daniel was twice a candidate for the nomina-
tion for Congress in the old Lynchburg district and twice
defeated. He was also defeated as a candidate for gov-
ernor. The feeling in Virginia in 1881 over the local issue
Address of Mr. Saunders, of Virginia
of readjusterism against funderism was intense. The re-
adjusters nominated for governor William E. Cameron, a
vigorous, able, and aggressive speaker.
The Democrats turned to Maj. Daniel. Personally he
was unwilling to become a candidate. The issue was
doubtful and his private affairs required his unremitting
attention. But the call to lead was imperative and obe-
dience to its demand seemed a duty. Maj. Daniel was not
the man to shirk a duty in any form and was as willing to
lead a forlorn hope in a political engagement as on the
pitched field of murderous battle. The campaign that
followed was the most exciting ever conducted in Vir-
ginia. At times it seemed as if by the sheer force of his
intense and magnetic personality and the witchery of his
eloquence jNIaj. Daniel would carry his party's flag to
victory. But it was not to be. His opponent was elected
by a large majority. But this contest fixed Maj. Daniel's
place in the affections of his party, and from that time
forward anything that he wanted of the Democrats of
Virginia was his for the asking.
In 1884 Maj. Daniel was elected to the House of Repre-
sentatives, and before the expiration of his term was
elected to the Senate, a position that he held at the time
of his death, having just been unanimously reelected for
the fourth time. In addition to these honors, Maj. Daniel
was many times a delegate to the national conventions of
his party, and the temporary chairman of the convention
of 1896. In 1901 he was elected a member of the Virginia
constitutional convention, and took a leading part in its
deliberations. It is an open secret in that State that if he
had allowed his friends to put him forward he would have
been made president of the convention.
This brief sketch of Maj. Daniel's life affords but an
inadequate account of its honors and his activities in
many directions. He was in constant demand for public
Memorial Addresses: Senator Daniel
addresses, and liis orations on these occasions would
alone serve to establish his reputation as a great orator,
one of the greatest that tliis country has produced. The
greatest of these orations, the one perhaps that gave him
the most instant reputation, was a memorable eulogj' de-
livered in Lexington in 1883, on the occasion of the unveil-
ing of the recumbent statue of (ien. R. E. Lee. The effect
of this address was thrilling and instantaneous. Its rich
cadences lingered in the ears of his auditors like strains of
sweet and solemn music, so that thej' were loath to leave
the scene of their enchantment. Like Adam, on another
occasion, they stood still, transfixed with wonder and
The angel ended, and in Adam's ear,
So charming left liis voice, that he awhile,
Thought him still speaking, still stood transfixed to hear.
But there are many other addresses that take close rank
with this masterpiece, and will be included in the volume
of his orations soon to be published. Perhaps there is no
man in the United States who has made more speeches of
a purely political character than Maj. Daniel. He was
always at the call of his associates when a campaign was
in progress, and in any community of Virginia where con-
ditions were considered to be untoward, Maj. Daniel was
put forward to speak for his party. Even after his posi-
tion had become so assured that there was no occasion for
him to " mend his fences," he relaxed in nowise his accus-
tomed participation in the activities of the annually
recurring political contests of his State. It was character-
istic of this great man that he accepted defeat without
bitterness. He brouglit no railing accusation against his
party when he failed to secure tlie nominations to high
office upon which he had set the hope of an honorable
Address of Mr. Saunders, of Virginia
Maj. Daniel was not equipped to attain popularity by
the arts usually deemed essential. He was not a mixer.
He maintained no organization, though an organization
man. He was not a supple diplomatist. He never shirked
an issue. He was plain, direct, straightforward, and unas-
suming. He respected himself, and therefore respected
others. To trickerj' in all its forms he was vehemently
opposed. His nature was sincere and his heart as far
from deceit as heaven from earth. Scorning any form of
evasion or double dealing, he was one of those rare na-
tures who â€”
Would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his thunder.
The meditations of his heart were never concealed by
veiled or subtle forms of speech. He contemned the cyni-
cal maxim of Talleyrand that speech was given to men to
conceal their thoughts, and rejoiced to express his atti-
tude on all questions requiring expression in terms that
were incapable of misapprehension. Like the father of
poesy, he could say:
Hateful to me, as are the gates of hell.
Is he, who hiding one thing in his heart,
But his utter frankness, his sinceritj% his simplicity of
nature, his free but courteous speech, drew men to him
and held their imaginations captive in bonds stronger
than the most cunning artificer could forge for the physi-
cal restraint of their persons.
In Virginia Daniel was a sentiment. He occupied a
unique position in our State. There was no rival near his
throne. Secure in his hold upon our people, he was at
once loved, admired, and revered. Some men are loved,
others are admired, still othei's are revered, but it is given
to few to excite the three emotions on the largest and
;\lKM()itiAL Ai)i)Hi:ssKS : Sknatoh Daxii;i.
most generous scale. He was admired for the splendor of
his glowing rhetoric, the variety and sweep of his thought,
his copious diction, and his noble and stately eloquence.
He was loved because he loved much. He was revered
for his lofty conception of public and private duty, the
Spartan character of his integrity, and the essential purity
of his life.
Maj. Daniel's capacity for work was mar\'elous and his
industry unremitting. The combination of great natural
powers and indefatigable application enabled him to ac-
complish results that are little short of stupendous when
we consider the demands constantly made upon his time
by the exacting requirements of a public life that began
when he was almost a boy, and the further fact that he was
rarely free from gnawing pain, the legacy of honorable
wounds. And yet we know that much of the world's best
work has been done with pain as a constant companion.
This was true in the case of the great preacher Hall, whose
life was a long moan of agony. This was true in the case
of many others whose waking moments were a ceaseless
succession of racking torments. Maj. Daniel might have
said, as a greater genius did say in pathetic reference to
himself: " For years I have not had a day's real health. 1
have wakened sick and gone to bed weary; and I have
done my work unflinchingly." That work to-day is a
priceless treasure of this generation. Unflinchingly.
Ah! That is the word. Unflinchingly. How well it
describes Maj. Daniel's discharge of duty, his perform-
ance of all tasks, whether self-imposed or not. In tliis
unflinching attitude toward the day's work is found the
.secret of his success. The treasures of his learning were
freely used in public speech. Drawing on tlic stores of a
broad and generous culture, there was no subject which
he touclied that ho failed to illumine and adorn. He
had " the taste, the judgment, the erudition, the feeling for
Address of Mr. Saunders, of Virginia
the beautiful, the appreciation of the noble, and the sense
of the profound," which enabled him at all times to quote
well and copiously.
He was ambitious, but his ambition was honorable
aspiration to " do some valiant deed of which mankind
should hear in aftertime." His was the ambition to
achieve great things along the path of duty, not the vault-
ing ambition that overleaps itself. He had a nature of
whom friends and foes alike could say that : " If it be a
sin to covet honor, he was the most offending soul alive."
Maj. Daniel was intensely democratic and intensely pa-
triotic. His vision was large and clear. He loved the Vir-
ginia of the past, the Virginia of history and of tradition,
but he did not live in the past. He was a vital part of the
throbbing present. At times when absorbed in contem-
plation he had the look of the mystic, but he was not a
dreamer. He was strong, virile, and intense. When he
struck, he struck hard. When he allowed his thoughts to
range, they ranged widely. He did not hesitate " to lean
over the rim " of the present, and^
Dip into the future, far as human eye could see,
View the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.
In public service his object was " his country, his whole
country, and nothing but his country." Like Coriolanus,
he could say:
I do love my country's good with a respect more tender, more
holy and profound than mine own life.
In his relation to his constituents Maj. Daniel was frank-
ness itself. He was too fond of the right to pursue the
expedient. While never attacking his party or deriding
his adversaries, he never allowed himself to be swept
along by the force of a public opinion that ran counter to
his judgment. He might defer to that opinion when such
deference involved no surrender or abandonment of
Mi:m()Hial Ai)I)iu;ssi;s: SiiNATOR Daniel
principle, but his own attitude was always knownâ€” and
he never hesitated to avow it, regardless of the possible
effect upon his own personal fortunes. He possessed that
courage which is the essential of high character; that
courage of which it is said â€”
Courage, the highest gift, that scorns to bend
To mean devices for a sordid end.
Courage, an independent spark from Heaven's bright throne.
By whicli tlie soul stands raised, triumphant, higli, alone.
Great in itself, not praises of the crowd.
Above all vice, it stoops not to be proud.
Courage, the mighty attribute of powers above.
By which those great in war are great in love.
The spring of all brave acts is seated here,
As falsehoods draw their sordid birth from fear.
His ideals were not reserved for the closet or for ab-
stract contemplation. He conformed the activities of
daily life to their requirements.
Slander, whose edge is sharper than the sword, never
touched Senator Daniel. It is often said that envy assails
the noblest, and the winds howl around tlie highest peaks.
But there was something in the grave and stately decorum
of Maj. Daniel's life that quenched the fiery darts of
malice and stilled the winds of detraction. He was never
ashamed to meet the eyes of other men, for in his whole
life there was no act of which he needed to feel ashamed.
Like the great Pitt, he wrapped himself in the mantle of
his integrity. Secure within its ample and spotless folds,
he dared his adversaries to do their worst. The white
light beat upon him, but revealed no spot. He lived a
pure and noble life until the time arrived when â€”
He gave his honors to tlie world again.
His blessed heart to heaven â€”
and the soldier was at rest.
Address of jNIr. Saunders, of Virginia
He was not the type of public man whom the Roman
satirist had in mind when he penned his famous lines :
Get place, and wealth, if possible, with grace.
If not, by any means, get place, and wealth.
Inevitably the words of the Psalmist recur to us when
we recall the life and public career of Maj. Daniel. He
lived an uncorrupt life; he did the thing that was right;
he spoke the truth from his heart.
Maj. Daniel was never ruffled by adversity, but bore
prosperity and adversity alike, with moderation. His life
was marked bj' that high seriousness which Aristotle has
noted as an invariable accompaniment of preeminence.
All of his work was characterized by diligent and careful
preparation. He was not a frequent participant in the
current debates of the Senate, though well able to main-
tain himself with dignity and credit. As pointed out by
Senator Lodge in his beautiful and discriminating eulogj',
" he liked large issues, because they afforded the widest
opportunity for speculation as to causes, and for visions
of the future." Maj. Daniel's style of speech was rich
at all times and in early life florid. He loved to deal
in tropes and figures, and in his vivid utterances were
realized " the thoughts that breathe and words that burn."
He possessed in abundant measure that exuberant imagi-
nation which bodies forth the forms of things unknown,
and the poet's pen which " turns them to shapes and gives
to airy nothings a local habitation and a name." But as
time passed his style became more austere, so that his
logic was more observed than the form of words in which
it was expressed or the illustrations with which his argu-
ments were adorned. In the ordinary relations of life
Maj. Daniel was sincere, courteous, frank, and dignified.
These traits have been noted by all his eulogists. In this
connection it is not amiss to cite Senator Lodge again, for
Mkmohial Aiji)hi;.ssi:.s : Skn.vioh Daniki,
the beauty of his tribute testifies to the deptli of the im-
pression made upon tlie statesman from Massachusetts
by the charm of Maj. Daniel's personality.
" Tlie grave courtesy of liis manner, which never
wavered, liad to me a peculiar cliarni. I should not for a
moment think of hinting even that the manners now gen-
erally in vogue are not better, but they are certainly
different. Manners like those of Senator Danikl, 1 sup-
pose, would be thought to take too much time, both in
acquisition and practice, among a generation which can
employ its passing hours more usefully. Yet I can not
divest myself of the feeling, an inherited superstition, per-
haps, that manners such as his â€” serious, gracious, elabo-
rate, if you please, but full of kindness and thought for
others â€” can never really grow old or pass out of fashion."
Maj. Daniel was not rich, as men count riches. He died
as he had lived, poor in worldly goods, but rich in the
approving favor of his cotemporaries, in friendship's
smiles and the affectionate regard of his intimates. He
bequeathed a stainless life to his children, a noble herit-
age, one more to be desired than fine gold.
Maj. Daniel was a devoted husband and an affectionate
father. As a statesman he translated into the discharge
of public duties those virtues which adorned his family
relations. In this ideal private and family life maj' be
found the key to the beautj' of his public career. It was
long ago pointed out by ^schines, in a memorable ora-
tion, that: He who hates his own children, he who is a
bad parent, can not be a good leader of the people. He
who is insensible to the duties wliich he owes to those who
are nearest and who ought to be dearest to him, will never
feel a higher regard for the welfare of those who are
strangers to him. He who acts wickedly in private life,
can never be expected to show himself noble in Ins public
conduct. He who is base at home, will not acquit himself
Address of Mr. Saunders, of Virginia
with honor when sent to a foreign country in a public
capacity; for it is not the man, but the place merely that
is changed. It was the genuine quality of Maj. Daniel's
patriotism and his sensitive regard for duty which im-
pressed all who came into relation with him in his public
Maj. Daniel's style was copious, lucid, and flowing. His
arguments were richly broidered with gems of fancy and
erudition. In his lighter vein when he ranged from grave
to gay, from lively to severe, he was charming, with a most
pleasing and attractive humor and many deft and happy
turns of speech. But he never lost the grave dignity of his
manner, or, with infinite jest, undertook to " set the table
on a roar."
His eloquence, brightening whatever it tried,
Whether reason, or fancy, the gay or tlie grave.
Was as rapid, as deep, and as brilliant a tide
As ever bore freedom aloft on its wave.
He had the ear of the Senate whenever he rose to speak,
for he never failed to bring to his subject the results of
wide reading, profound reflection, and careful study.
Most fitly may that be said of him which he said
of another: He was not the servant of personal ambition
or of private ends. He was faithful to truth as he saw it;
to duty as he understood it; to constitutional liberty as he
conceived it. On March 8, 1910, the news ran through
Virginia that he had suffered a stroke of paralysis at
Daytona, and the whole State thrilled with voiceless ap-
prehension. A little later he was brought home to Lynch-
burg, and on June 29 " God's finger touched him and he
slept." The rest is silence.
It is well, ere " history fades into fable and fact becomes
clouded with doubt and controversy," that the men of this
generation should set down with loving intent, if halting
Memorial Addresses: Senator Daniel
phrase, the abundant excellencies of this great man's life.
He was indeed a
Statesman, yet friend to Truth, of soul sincere,
To action faitliful, and in lionor clear,
Who broke no promise, served no private end.
Who gained high honors, yet lost no friend.
Maj. Daniel at the time of his death was not old as men
reckon age. His natural powers were not abated nor his
ej'e dimmed. He had not reached the concluding winter
of life, merely its sober autumn, when death smote him
and ended his activities. His life had been a notable one.
He had known all the distinction that an admiring people
could heap upon him and all the joy that springs from
untiring toil. Within the years of his public service he
had compressed many crowded hours of glorious life.
That life has been, and will be, an inspiration to thousands
who turn away from the sordid bickerings of time-servers
and place-hunters to the contemplation of its beauty and
puritj\ We will not soon look upon its like again. In the
starry heavens which proclaim the handiwork of God,
revolve great orbs whose fires have long been quenched,
but to the eye of man they are still visible. Their light
streams earthward in apparently undiminished splendor.
It is so with our dead friend. The radiant glory of his life
is not ended with death.
OCT 2 1 1943