Henry Cabot Lodge.

Address delivered before the Senate and the House of Representatives and invited guests, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 1905 online

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Online LibraryHenry Cabot LodgeAddress delivered before the Senate and the House of Representatives and invited guests, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 1905 → online text (page 1 of 3)
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Senate and House of Representatives

and invited guests
On Thursday, Jan. 19, 1905.

Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge


General Court



Boston :
Wright & Potter Printing Co., 18 Post Office Square.



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Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Senators and Gentlemen
of the House of Representatives : —

I am here by your invitation, which is at once an
honor and a command. I am to speak to you of a
remarkable man and of a long and distinguished career
of public service. I am to speak to you of a man who
has taken his place in that noble company who have made
Massachusetts what she has been in the past, what she is
to-day, and to whom she owes her great part in history
and her large influence in the Union of States. Here
where Mr. Hoar rendered his first public service, here
where he was five times commissioned to represent the
State in the great council of the nation, is the fittest place
in which to honor his memory and make record of our
grief for his death. I cannot hope to do full justice
to such a theme, but the sincerity of my endeavor and
the affection which inspires it give me confidence to
proceed and assure me of your indulgence.

Men distinguished above their fellows, who have won
a place in history, may be of interest and importance to
posterity as individuals or as representatives of their
time, or in both capacities. Hobbes and Descartes, for in-
stance, are chiefly if not wholly interesting for what they
themselves were, and for their contributions to human
thought which might conceivably have been made at any

epoch. On the other hand, Pepys and St. Simon, sub-
stantially contemporary with the two philosophers, are
primarily of interest and importance as representative
men, embodiments and exponents of the life and thought
of their time. Benjamin Franklin, to take a later ex-
ample, was not only deeply interesting as an individual,
but he seemed to embody in himself the tendencies of
thought and the entire meaning and attitude of the
eighteenth century in its broadest significance. Mr. Hoar
belongs to the class which is illustrated in such a high
degree by Franklin, for he has won and will hold his
place in history not only by what he was and what he
did, but because he was a very representative man in a
period fruitful in great events and conspicuous for the
consolidation of the United States, — the greatest single
fact of the last century, measured by its political and
economic effect upon the fortunes of mankind and upon
the history of the world.

To appreciate properly and understand intelligently
any man who has made substantial achievement in art or
letters, in philosophy or science, in war or politics, and
who has also lived to the full the life of his time, we must
turn first to those conditions over which he himself had
no control. In his inheritances in the time and place of
birth, in the influences and the atmosphere of childhood
and youth, we can often find the key to the mystery
which every human existence presents, and obtain a larger
explanation of the meaning of the character and career
before us than the man's own life and deeds will disclose.

This is especially true of Mr. Hoar, for his race and
descent, his time and place of birth are full of signifi-

cance, if we would rightly understand one who was at
once a remarkable and a highly representative man. He
came of a purely English stock. His family in England
were people of consideration and substance, possessing
both education and established position before America
was discovered. Belonging in the seventeenth century
to that class of prosperous merchants and tradesmen, of
country gentlemen and farmers, which gave to England
Cromwell and Hampden, Eliot and Pym, they were Puri-
tans in religion, and in politics supporters of the Parlia-
ment and opponents of the King. Charles Hoar, sheriff
of Gloucester, and enrolled in the record of the city gov-
ernment as " Generosus " or " gentleman," died in 1638.
Two years later, his widow, Joanna Hoar, with five of
her children, emigrated to New England. One of the
sons, Leonard Hoar, chosen by his father to go to Oxford
and become a minister, entered Harvard College, then
just founded, and graduated there in 1650. He soon
after returned to England, where he was presented to
a living under the Protectorate. He married Bridget,
the daughter of John Lisle, commonly called Lord Lisle,
one of the regicides assassinated later at Lausanne, where
he had taken refuge, by royal emissaries after the King
had come to his own again. John Lisle's wife, the Lady
Alicia, died on the scaffold in 16S5, the most famous
and pathetic victim in the tragedy of Jeffreys' " Bloody
Assize." Her son-in-law, Leonard Hoar, ejected from
his living under the Act of Uniformity, studied medicine,
and, returning to New England ten years later, became
in 1672 president of Harvard College, and died in 1675.
Senator Hoar was descended from an elder brother of


the president of Harvard, John Hoar, evidently a man of
as strong character and marked abilities as the rest of
his family. The old records contain more than one ac-
count of his clashings with the intolerant and vigorous
theocracy which governed Massachusetts, and of the fines
and imprisonments which he endured ; but he never seems
either to have lost the respect of the community or to
have checked his speech. We get a bright glimpse of
him in 1690, when Sewall says, in his diary on Novem-
ber 8 of that year : —

Jno. Hoar comes into the lobby and sais he comes from
the Lord, by the Lord, to speak for the Lord ; complains that
sins as bad as Sodom's found here.

In every generation following we find men of the
same marked character, who were graduates of Harvard,
active citizens, successful in their callings, taking a full
share of public duties and in the life of their times. Sen-
ator Hoar's great grandfather, who had served in the
old French war, and his grandfather, were both in the
fight at Concord bridge. His father, Samuel Hoar, was
one of the most distinguished lawyers in Massachusetts.
He served in both branches of the State Legislature, and
was a member of Congress. Honored throughout the
State, his most conspicuous action was his journey to
Charleston, S. C, to defend certain negro sailors; and
from that city, where his life was in danger, he was
expelled because he desired to give his legal services to
protect men of another and an enslaved race.

On his mother's side Senator Hoar was a descendant

of the John Sherman who landed in Massachusetts in
1630, and became the progenitor of a family which has
been extraordinarily prolific in men of high ability and
distinction. In the century just closed this family gave
to the country and to history one of our most brilliant sol-
diers, one of our most eminent statesmen and financiers,
and through the female line the great lawyer and orator,
Mr. Evarts, and E. Eockwood Hoar, distinguished alike
as judge, as member of Congress and as Attorney-General
of the United States. In the eighteenth century we owe
to the same blood and name one of the most conspicuous
of the great men who made the revolution and founded
the United States, Roger Sherman, signer of the Declara-
tion of Independence, signer of the articles of confeder-
ation, signer of the Constitution, first Senator from Con-
necticut, and grandfather of Mr. Hoar, as he was also
of Mr. Evarts. I have touched upon this genealogy
more, perhaps, than is usual upon such occasions, not
only because it is remarkable, but because it seems to me
full of light and meaning in connection with those who,
in the years just past, had the right to claim it for their

We see these people, when American history be-
gins, identified with the cause of constitutional freedom,
and engaged in resistance to what they deemed tyranny
in Church and State. They became exiles for their
faith, and the blood of the victims of Stuart revenge is
sprinkled on their garments. They venture their lives
again at the outbreak of our own revolution. They take
a continuous part in public affairs. They feel it to be
their business to help the desolate and oppressed, from


John Hoar, sheltering and succoring the Christian
Indians, in the dark and bloody days of King Philip's
war, to Samuel Hoar, going forth into the midst of a
bitterly hostile community to defend the helpless negroes.
The tradition of sound learning, the profound belief
in the highest education, illustrated by Leonard Hoar in
the seventeenth century, are never lost or weakened in the
succeeding generations. Through all their history runs
unchanged the deep sense of public responsibility, of
patriotism and of devotion to high ideals of conduct.
The stage upon which they played their several parts
might be large or small, but the light which guided them
was always the same. They were Puritans of the Puri-
tans. As the centuries passed, the Puritan was modified
in many ways; but the elemental qualities of the power-
ful men who had crushed crown and mitre in a common
ruin, altered the course of English history and founded
a new state in a new world, remained unchanged.

So parented and so descended, Mr. Hoar inherited
certain deep-rooted conceptions of duty, of character and
of the conduct of life, which were as much a part of his
being as the color of his eyes or the shape of his hand.
Where and when was he born to this noble heritage ?
We must ask and answer this question, for there is a
world of suggestion in the place and time of a man's
birth, when that man has come to have a meaning and
an importance to his own generation as well as to those
which succeed it in the slow procession of the years.

Concord, proclaimed by Webster as one of the glories
of Massachusetts which no untoward fate could wrest
from her, was the place of his birth. About the quiet


village were gathered all the austere traditions of the
colonial time. It had witnessed the hardships of the
early settlers, it had shared and shuddered in the hor-
rors of Indian wars, it had seen the slow and patient
conquest of the wilderness. There within its boundaries
had blazed high a great event, catching the eyes of a
careless world which little dreamed how far the fire then
lighted would spread. Along its main road, overarched
by elms, the soldiers of England marched that pleasant
April morning. There is the bridge where the farmers
returned the British fire and advanced. There is the
tomb of the two British soldiers who fell in the skirmish,
and whose grave marks the spot where the power of Eng-
land on the ISTorth American continent first began to ebb.
Truly there is no need of shafts of stone or statues of
bronze, for the whole place is a monument to the deeds
which there were done. The very atmosphere is redolent
of great memories; the gentle ripple of the placid river,
the low voice of the wind among the trees, all murmur
the story of patriotism, and teach devotion to the nation,
which, from " the bridge that arched the flood," set forth
upon its onward march.

And then, just as Mr. Hoar began to know his birth-
place, the town entered upon a new phase which was to
give it a place in literature and in the development of
modern thought as eminent as that which it had already
gained in the history of the coimtry. Emerson made
Concord his home in 1835, Hawthorne came there to
live seven years later, and Thoreau, a native of the town,
was growing to manhood in those same years. To Mr.
Hoar's inheritance of public service, of devotion to duty


and of lofty ideals of conduct, to the family influences
which surrounded him and which all pointed to work and
achievement as the purpose and rewards of life, were
added those of the place where he lived, — the famous
little town which drew from the past lessons of pride
and love of country, and offered in the present examples
of lives given to literature and philosophy, to the study
of nature and to the hopes and destiny of man here and

Thus highly gifted in his ancestry, in his family and
in his traditions, as well as in the place and the com-
munity in which he was to pass the formative years of
boyhood and youth, Mr. Hoar was equally fortunate in the
time of his birth, which often means so much in the mak-
ing of a character and career. Pie was born on the 29th
of August, 1826. Superficially it was one of the
most uninteresting periods in the history of western civil-
ization; dominated in Europe by small men, mean in its
hopes, low in its ambitions. But beneath the surface
vast forces were germinating and gathering, which in
their development were to affect profoundly both Europe
and America.

The great movement which, beginning with the revolt
of the American colonies, had wrought the French revo-
lution, convulsed Europe and made ISTapoleon possible,
had spent itself and sunk into exhaustion at Waterloo.
The reaction reigned supreme. It was the age of the
Metternichs and Castlereaghs, of the Eldons and Liver-
pools, of Spanish and Neapolitan Bourbons. With a
stupidity equalled only by their confidence and insensi-
bility, these men and others like them sought to establish


again the old tyrannies, and believed that they could re-
store a dead system and revive a vanished society. They
utterly failed to grasp the fact that where the red-hot
plowshares of the French revolution had passed the old
crops could never flourish again. The White Terror
swept over France, and a little later the Due Decazes,
the only man who understood the situation, was driven
from power because he tried to establish the conditions
upon which alone the Bourbon monarchy could hope to
survive. The Holy Alliance was formed to uphold autoc-
racy and crush out the aspirations of any people who
sought to obtain the simplest rights and the most mod-
erate freedom. To us Webster's denunciation of the
Holy Alliance sounds like an academic exercise, designed
simply to display the orator's power, but to the men of
that day it had a most real and immediate meaning. The
quiet which Eussia and Austria called peace reigned over
much wider regions than Warsaw. England cringed and
burned incense before the bewigged and padded effigy
known as " George the Fourth." France did the bidding
of the dullest and most unforgetting of the Bourbons.
Any one who ventured to criticise any existing arrange-
ment was held up to scorn and hatred as an enemy of
society, driven into exile like Byron and Shelley, or cast
into prison like Leigh Hunt.

But the great forces which had caused both the Ameri-
can and French revolutions were not dead, — they were
only gathering strength for a renewed movement; and
the first voices of authority which broke the deadly quiet
came from England and the United States. When the
Holy Alliance stretched out its hand to thrust back the


Spanish colonies into bondage, Canning declared that he
would call in the " !STew World to redress the balance
of the Old ; " and Monroe announced that in that New
World there should be no further European colonization,
and no extension of the monarchical principle. Greece
rose against the Turks, and lovers of liberty everywhere
went to her aid; for even the Holy Alliance did not
dare to make the Sultan a partner in a combination
which professed to be the defender of Christianity as
well as of despotic government.

When Mr. Hoar was born the Greek revolution was
afoot; the first stirrings of the oppressed and divided
nationalities had begun ; the liberal movement was again
lifting its head and preparing to confront the entrenched,
uncompromising forces of the reaction. He was four
years old when Concord heard of the fighting in the Paris
streets during the three days of July and of the fall of
the Bourbon monarchy. When he was six years old
the passage of the reform bill brought to England a
peaceful revolution, instead of one in arms, and crumbled
into dust the system of Castlereagh and Liverpool and

The change and movement thus manifested were not
confined to politics. As Mr. Hoar went back and forth
to school in the Concord Academy, the new forces were
spreading into every field of thought and action. Re-
volt against conventions in art and literature and against
existing arrangements of society was as ardent as that
against political oppression, while creeds and dogmas
were called in question as unsparingly as the right of
the few to govern the many. In England one vested


abuse after another was swept away by the Reform Par-
liament. It was discovered that Shelley and Byron, the
outlaws of twenty years before, were among the greatest
of England's poets. Dickens startled the world and won
thousands of readers by bringing into his novels whole
classes of human beings unknown to polite fiction since
the days of Fielding, and by plunging into the streets
of London, to find among the poor, the downtrodden and
the criminal, characters which he made immortal. Car-
lyle was crying out against venerated shams in his fierce
satire on the philosophy of clothes. Macaulay was vin-
dicating the men of the great rebellion to a generation
which had been brought up to believe that the Puritans
were little better than cut-throats, and Oliver Cromwell
a common military usurper. The English establishment
was shaken by the Oxford movement, which carried New-
man to Rome, drove others to the extreme of scepticism,
and breathed life into the torpid church, sending its
ministers out into the world of men as missionaries and
social reformers.

In France, after the days of July, the romantic move-
ment took full possession of literature, and the Shake-
speare whom Voltaire rejected became to the new school
the head of the corner. The sacred Alexandrine of the
days of Louis XIV. gave way to varied measures which
found their inspiration in the poets of the Renaissance.
The plays of Hugo and Dumas drove the classical drama
from the stage; the verse of De Musset, the marvellous
novels of Balzac, were making a new era in the literature
of France.

Italy, alive with conspiracies, was stirring from one


end to the other with aspirations for national unity, and
with resistance to the tyranny of Neapolitan Bourbons
and Austrian Hapsburgs. Hungary was moving rest-
lessly ; Poland was struggling vainly with her fetters.
Plans, too, for social regeneration were filling the minds
of men. St. Simon's works had come into fashion. It
was the age of Fourier and Proudhon, of Bentham and

Such were the voices and such the influences which
then came across the Atlantic, very powerful and very
impressive to the young men of that day, especially to
those who were beginning to reflect highly and seriously
upon the meaning of life. And all about them in Amer-
ica the same portents were visible. Everything was ques-
tioned. Men dreamed dreams and saw visions. There
is a broad, an impassable gulf between the deep and
beautiful thought, the mysticism and the transcendental-
ism of Emerson, and the wild vagaries of Miller and the
Second Adventists or the crude vulgarity of Joseph
Smith; yet were they all manifestations of the religious
cravings which had succeeded the frigid scepticism of
the eighteenth century and the dull torpor of the period
of reaction. So, too, Brook Farm and the Oneida Com-
munity were widely different attempts to put into prac-
tice some of the schemes of social regeneration then
swarming in the imagination of men. Literature was
uplifting itself to successes never yet reached in the New
World. It was the period of Poe and Hawthorne, of
Longfellow and Lowell, of Holmes and Whittier. Ban-
croft and Prescott were already at work; Motley was
beginning his career with romantic novels. And then


behind all this literature, all these social experiments, all
these efforts to pierce the mystery of man's existence,
was slowly rising the agitation against slavery, — a dread
reality destined to take possession of the country's history.

These influences, these voices, were everywhere when
Mr. Hoar, a vigorous, clever, thoughtful boy of sixteen,
left his school at Concord and entered Harvard College
in 1842. Brook Farm had been started in the previous
year; the next was to witness Miller's millennium; he
was half way through college when Joseph Smith was
killed at Xauvoo. In his third year the long battle
which John Quincy Adams had waged for nearly a dec-
ade in behalf of the right of petition and against the
slave power, and which had stirred to its depths the con-
science of iSTew England, culminated in the old man's
famous victory by the repeal of the " gag rule."

As Mr. Hoar drew to manhood, the air was full of
revolt and questioning in thought, in literature, in re-
ligion, in society and in politics. The dominant note
was faith in humanity and in the perfectibility of man.
Break up impeding, stifling customs, strike down vested
abuses, set men free to think, to write, to work, to vote
as they chose, and all would be well. To Mr. Hoar,
with his strong inheritances, with the powerful influences
of his family and home, the spirit of the time came with
an irresistible appeal. It was impossible to him to be
deaf to its voice, or to shut his ears to the poignant cry
against oppression which sounded through the world of
Europe and America with a fervor and pathos felt only
in the great moments of human history. But he was the
child of the Puritans ; their elemental qualities were in


his blood ; and the Puritans joined to the highest ideal-
ism the practical attributes which had made them in the
days of their glory the greatest soldiers and statesmen in
Europe. Macaulay, in a well-known passage, says of
Cromwell's soldiers that —

They moved to victory with the precision of machines,
while burning with the wildest fanaticism of Crusaders.

Mr. Hoar, by nature, by inheritance, by every influence
of time and place, an idealist, had also the strong good
sense, the practical shrewdness and the reverence for law
and precedent which were likewise part of his birthright.
He passed through college with distinction, went to his
brother's office for a year, to the Harvard Law School,
and thence, in 1849, to Worcester, where he cast in his
fortune with the young and growing city which ever after
was to be his home. But his personal fortunes did not
absorb him. He looked out on the world about him with
an eager gaze. As he said in his old age, —

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.

The profound conviction that every man had a public
duty was strong within him. The spirit of the time was
on him. He would fain do his share. When the liberal
movement culminated in Europe in 1848, he was deeply
stirred. When, a little later, Kossuth came to the United
States, the impression then made upon him by the cause
and the eloquence of the great Hungarian sank into his
heart and was never effaced. He, too, meant to do his
part, however humble, in the work of his time. He did
not content himself with barren sympathy for the op-


pressed beyond the seas, nor did he give himself to any
of the vague schemes then prevalent for the regeneration
of society. He turned to the question nearest at hand, to
the work of redressing what he believed to be the wrong
and the sin of his native land, — human slavery. He
did not join the abolitionists, but set himself to fight
slavery in the effective manner which finally brought its
downfall, — by organized political effort within the pre-
cincts of the Constitution and the laws.

Mr. Hoar had been bred a Whig. His first vote in
1847 was for a Whig Governor, and Daniel Webster was
the close friend of his father and brother. He had been
brought up on Webster's reply to Hayne, and as a col-
lege student he had heard him deliver the second Bunker
Hill oration. In that day the young Whigs of Massa-
chusetts looked to Webster with an adoring admiration.
They —

Followed him, honored him,
Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
Made him their pattern to live and to die.

But the great command of conscience to Mr. Hoar was
to resist slavery, and the test of his faith was at hand.
He was to break from the dominant party of the State.

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Online LibraryHenry Cabot LodgeAddress delivered before the Senate and the House of Representatives and invited guests, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 1905 → online text (page 1 of 3)