September 17 New York. Union square meeting.

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SEPTEMBEM 17, 1866.

One Huxdrei) Thousand persons assembled iu Union Square, on the evening of
the 17th of September, 1866, iu response to the following call :



In compliance with the request of the


Held at Philadelphia the 14th August, 1866,


Who are in favor of the


And an immediate


Of the States, who desire to forget the dissensions of the past and restore peace to a
distracted country, and who approve the open, manly and patriotic course of


In opposition to the illegal assumptions and usurpations of a partisan Congress, are
requested to assemble in mass meeting at



The Anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, for the
purpose of commemorating that illustrious event, and of ratifying the
proceedings of the


as set forth in their Address and Resolutions.


The various National Union Associations and Johnson Clubs are cordially invited
to co-opprate in the movement.

By order of the Committee of Arrangements,

John Savage, I c . •

IIiRAM Ketchcm, Jr , } '^««-^<«'-»es.

From the admirable reports in the World, Daily Neics, iJaily Times, Herald and
Sun, the following general account of the Celebration is taken.
The New York Herald of September 18, says : —

Yesterday was a day long to be remembered by every lover of his native land ; long
to be remembered as the anniversary of that day on which the Federal Constitution
was adopted and made the safeguard of republican liberty by our fathers ; long to
be remembered when the memory of that eventful struggle through which we have
just passed, but from which we have not yet entirely recovered, is recalled ; for
it was the anniversary of the day when McClellan, as his country's champion, beat
back the enemy \ipon the hard fought field of Antietam. The day endeared to us by
such recollections will be especially remembered by every citizen of New York de-
voted to the sacred principles of the Constitution and the Union. It was the occasion
for a most decided and hearty response to those principles. The sentiment of the
city, the Union-loving, Coustitiition-adhering city, found utterance last evening at
Union square, in tones so decided and unfaltering as to impart renewed energy to the
contest, and to dispense hope and courage throughout the entire Union. From fifty
thousand throats went forth, as in a common voice, a manifestation of the sympathy
of the masses with the good old cause — the perfect Restoration of the Union. Fifty
thousand hearts beat responsive to the declaration of those principles so de;vr to every
loyal man. New York never saw such a demonstration before; it will be many years
ere she witness such another. It was a demonstration which testified the popular
approbation of that policy which can alone preserve the Union for which we have so
struggled, for which so many sacrifices have been made, more strongly, more un-
reservedly, more heartily than anything y^t has evidenced.


New York, the brain and centre of the nation, speaks in thunder tones by this
monster mass-meeting, silencing the discordant voices of Maine and Vermont crying
still for war. The surroundings and decorations of the meeting were quite unequal-
led as a spectacle. But better than the speakers, or the bands, or the blazing fire-
works, was the sight of the thronging thousands who gathered under the statue of
Washington, and pledged an invincible determination to put down, finally and for-
ever, the last enemies of the Union which he and the fathers framed. New York
cries aloud to all the nation — Put down the last enemies of the Union !


The attendance was by far greater than that of any political gathering ever before
assembled in this city. As early as half-past six o'clock people began to wend their
way to the place appointed, and soon the streets in every direction were lined with
the moving crowds. By i-even o'clock the open space around the southern end of the
square was blocked up witli people, so as almost to preclude the possibility of locomo-
tion in any direction. But it was not until the hour for opening the meeting had
arrived, and the processions had begun to crowd in, that the gathering attained any-
thing like its fullest proportions. At that time, when the speakers of tiie evening
emerged from tlie Maison Doree and were escorted to the grand stand, there was a
solid, compact wall of upturned anxious faces, extending from Fourth avenue on one
side as far as University place on the other. All along Broadway and' up Fourth
avenue to the northern limits of the Square, was occupied and blocked with the liv-
ing mass. Thousands, not able to secure advantageous positions in the crowds upon
the square and in the streets, betook themselves to the buildings overlooking the
Sjene, the windows, balconies, and even roofs of which they invested. By competent
judges the assemblage was estimated at fully one hundred thousand persons. It is
probable that this estimate is nearly correct.

But the gathering last evening, though almost countless as to numbers, was more
than a mass-meeting. The immense auditory appeared to be impressed with the im-
portance of the questions at issue, and anxious to learn from the speakers in what
way a satisfactory solution of these questions could be reached. The audience, too,


embraced a greatei* number of elderly cUizeus than are usually seen at an out-door
evening meeting. There were hosts of the younger stock to create and keep up an
enthusiasm that found vent in vociferous cheers wherever the speakers made points
that " told " on their hearers ; but the sedate and sober-thinking citizens Hanked
these on every side ; and, although they did not make as free a use of their lungs in
giving vent to loud hurrahs and bravos, their mutual congratulations, freely out-
spoken, gave evidence that they entered into the spirit of the gathering with as much
zest and earnestness as their confreres of lesser years. The names of President John-
son and Mayor Hoffman were never mentioned without drawing forth from the im-
mense throng cheers both loud and long. The expositions of the policy of the Presi-
dent were well received ; and the eloquent appeals to lovers of their country to act
with a spirit of patriotism and swell the ranks of the Conservative Unionists, made a
deep and decided impression on the mass of listeners, and must have carried convic-
tion to the minds of all honest thinking Radicals who might possibly have been near
the orators.

But to the meeting, as it appeared from the outside.

To the Committee of Arrangements, of whom Hon. Douglas Taylor was the Chair-
man, is due the credit of making preparations, physical, oratorical and popular, the
like of which have not been seen at any time in this metropolis. In response to cir-
culars of invitation addressed to many of our most distinguished men, resident here
and elsewhere, letters were received, some of which, regretting the impossibility of
an affirmative response, have been published in the 'rimes, World, Herald and News ;
but from the vast majority answers were received accepting gladly and cheerfully
the invitation to be present, and lend the aid of countenance and voice to an object
so broad and comprehensive in its justice and its honorable intent.

The headquarters of the various Committees was at the Maison Doree, where com-
pletest arrangements were made for the ready transaction of the thousand and one
matters that present themselves for adjudication at the eleventh hour.

In these committee-rooms statesmen from all sections, lately divided by war, met
in delighted interchange of feeling, patriotism and fraternity. By direct inquiry it
was found that not a State in the Union but that had several of their most promi-
nent citizens present, now united in labor, aim, sentiment and future destiny.
The Reception Committee consisted of the following named gentlemen :

General Nelson Taylor. Chairman.
James Gordon Bennett, Moses Taylor,

William V. Brady, Thomas Murphy,

Alexander T. Stewart, William M. Tweed,

James Wadsworth, Gideon J. Tucker,

Daniel E. Delavan, Oswald Otteudorfer,

Joseph Hoxie, James Bowen,

D. B. Allen, Matthew T. Brennan,

A. Oakey Hall, Thomas McSpedon,

• Henry Smith, Henry Clews,

D. B. Northrup, Charles G. Cornell,

Augvistus Schell, M. T. McMahon,

R. M. Blatchford, John Y. Savage,

John Anderson, Gilbert Dean,

John K. Hackett, George G. Barnard,

William P. Lee, Henry Hilton,

< Edwards Pierrepont, George W. McLean,

Edward Cooper, . Edward L. Corlies,

William Butler Duncan.
The majority of them were assembled by 7.30 last night, at the committee rooms,
where, by invitation, the orators of the evening met, and wei'e assigned to their re-
pective stands.

Loug Oefore this time, however, the Square itself presented a magnificent picture.
Central was the park, dark and gloomy, its shadings made more dense by the glim-
mering of the gaslights that here and there pierced its drab and dusky depths. In
front of the Broadway gate stood the Grand Stand — a perfect success in design and
finish. Its appearance was one of the noteworthy features of the demonstration. As
the hurrying crowd surged up Broadway and emptied into the square, the stand
actually loomed up before and beamed upon them like some vast luminous transpa-
rency, brilliant with decorations, flooded with light, shining in the mingled rays of
the moon and flash of the gas like a fairy scene in an enchanted isle. It was thirty-
six feet front, twenty-four feet deep, and forty-three feet high. The floor inclined to
the front nearly two feet. It was canopied with a dome of blue, studded with em-
bossed stars in gilt ; a cornice surrounded the dome, beneath which, about two feet
wide, was a frieze covered with inscriptions, the whole supported by graceful columns,
around which, and all other available spaces, red, white and blue draperies were en-
twined, beside large American flags fastened in profusion and taste to this temple of
oratory. Gas jets, conveniently placed, lighted up the interior for the convenience of
speakers and reporters. The cornice was red, and the frieze white and blue — the em-
blematical Union colors. In front, and standing out at a slight angle from the star-
spangkd canopy, was a large picture of President Johxson, with this inscription bor-

bering it :


q "I leel that I can afford to do right, and, so feeling, S

5 G-od being willing, I intend to do right, and so far as ^

p in me lies, I intend to administer the Government ^

^ upon the principles that lie at the foundation of it." ^

ii \/vuvuvuv\rux/v\j\; vv uuvvxAy uvxA/uvvv^

On the front frieze, in large letters, was the motto:

^jxnnnj \j\/\r\w\/\nf\J\ru\ru\f\j\r\j\nj\nj\f\/\i\f\A.

^ " One Country, One Constitution, One Destiny." S


On the north side the motto :

* AAAAAA./VnA/\A/\A/\A/\rLAAy\A/AA/1.AA/\A AA^

q " The Constitution is ray -League." S


On the east side :


? " Union for the Sake of the Union." 5

Another inscription read :


S The man who raised poverty to eminence, and placed .J
i the laurel on the moistened brow of labor." C


On the east side the motto :

Aaaaa/vaaaaaaaaaaaaj^aa/ta.a/ A/VAAAA^

-5 "I come here to-day with the Flag of my Cotintty) ^

C containing Thirty-six Stars, and the Union of the ^

States unbrolien " C



Surmoanting the dome, on a large goldeu ball, was a spread American eagle
in gilt.

There has never been designed or arranged more perfectly and fittingly a stand for
the purposes to which this was devoted.

The other stands, also arranged by Andrew J. Garvey, Esq., were not as rich in
adornment, but were equally well adapted for the convenience and ease of the speak-
ers and the press.

On the several stands east of the Square were the mottos :

^ " Eternal Hostility to every form of Tyranny." p

^ " The Union must and shall be preserved." ^

q " Peace and Restoration." b

? ♦' With Malice to none, with Charity to all." S


On the four stands west of the Square were the following inscriptions :


^ " The Constitution— Washington established it, ( -
5 Lincoln defended it, and .Tohnson will preserve it." ^

^ U1J\ A/UV VA/ U U >AJ \A/\rU UV VV\rU'XAJ\XU\AJ VA/ ^

'-' " Civil and Religious Liberty the Rights of Man." 5

'^ 'Our Country, now and forever." ^

>' \yv\jx^iAjuvvvu juvxAJVA/ u\y vvxA/\Ay vAy uv ^

^ "A union of hearts, a union of hands, p

S A union of States none can sever ; ^

5 A nation of lakes, a union of lands, C

b And the flag of our Union forever." p

.-(jT \ A/XA7irU UTJ U U\A/\A/\ A/\A/\A/XA/\AaAy VA/IA/ y

Prominently displayed on the principal stands were large portraits of Johnson
Grant, Siieridax, Sherman, Farragut and others, draped in the national colours.

On the east side of the Square, and at the corners of Fourth Avenue and Fourteenth
Street, were stationed several calcium lights, and directly opposite and across the
Square was a similar cluster of calcium reflectors. These diffused a broad sheet of


light of dazzling brilliancy in every direction, rendering tte scene so bright that the
minutest object could be seen with great distinctness for a long distance. Around
the Square and at the various stands were arranged a great number of lamp^,
gas-jets, and Chinese lanterns. The front of the Maison Doree was illuminated by a
cluster of gas jets arranged so as to represent an eagle bearing the emblematic shield,
arrows and olive branch. Red lights were constantly burning in various portions of
the Square, and the air was filled with the yncessant hissing of numberless sky-

The music was dispensed by Grafulla's band, by the bands of the several political
processions participating, and by a chorus of thirty school boys, under the direction
of Prof. Olney.

The processions were continually arriving previous to and during the progress of
the meeting. Many of these processions were very large, some numbering several
hundreds. They were all attended by bands of fifers and drummers, and every
member of the processions bore a Chinese lantern. In the processions were borne
transparencies, many of them containing sentiments of great pith and significance.
The Twentieth Ward Johnson Club had a large banner, which was borne aloft on a
wagon, and displayed the words, " In Union there is Strength," with the title of the
club and the names of its officers below. The Seventeenth Ward National Union Club
carried a banner with the words, "No Taxation without Representation. 1776—1866."
In the centre of the banner was a star, with red and white bars radiating therefrom.
The Twentieth Ward National Union Club made a fine appearance. Their principal
banner was placed on the west stand, on which appropriate mottoes were inscribed.
The Sixth Ward Pioneer Club, the Young Men's Independent Association of the Fifth
Senatorial District, the Seventh Ward Democratic Club, the Eighth Ward National
Union Club, the Tenth Ward Democratic Associatiun, the Thirteenth Ward Union
Club, the Fifteenth Ward National Union Johnson Club, the Seventeenth Ward John-
son and Hofi'man Association, and the Twentieth Ward National Union Club of Brook"
lyn, all displayed a variety of transparencies, bearing inscriptions which attracted much
attention and remark. As they reached the scene— the extent of their lines marked
by banners and transparencies, their bands discoursing music — they were all succes-
sively received with immense cheers by the assembled crowds. They took their sta"
tions around the different stands, where their banners and transparencies were dis-

At a little before eight o'clock, Hon. Douglas Taylor called the principal meeting
to order, and, after repeated rounds of applause, said :

The pleasant duty devolves on me, as Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements,
to call this vast assemblage to order ; to request your undivided attention to the dis-
tinguished gentlemen who will address you— to welcome you here, and to ask your
cordial acquiescence in the jirogramme of arrangements as fixed by the Committee. I
have another— a pleasanter and a more important duty to perform — to present to you
the eminent soldier and statesman who has been chosen to preside over your delibera-
tions. It would be entirely unnecessary for me to speak of his merits and renown.
His whole life has been one continued ser/ice to his country — first among the foremost
in the performance of every patriotic duty — " Wise in the council, valiant in the
field." It would be equally superfluous to ask for him at your hands that enthusiastic
reception to which he is so well entitled. I now beg leave to introduce to you the dis-
tinguished citizen, patriot, statesman and soldier, Major-Gen. John A. Dix. [Cheers.]

GENERAL DIX, who was greeted with long -continued applause, then spoke as
follows :

Fellow-Citizens : I thank you for asking me to preside over your proceedings this
evening. I am glad of the opportunity of saying a few words to you. I shall not go
into details— those I leave to others. But I wish to state briefly the great principles
which I conceive to be involved in the coming election. [Good.] A little more than
five years ago you were assembled on this very spot, under an impending national
peril, to save the Union from forcible dismemberment. You met the crisis in the
same spirit of patriotism with wliich the City of New York has met every danger,
every trial, and every adversity in this history of the country. [Applause.] You re-

solved that the Government of your fathers should be upheld. You resolved that the
Union should be preserved. You carried out that patriotic determination with an
expenditure of treasure and blood, which has no parallel in any other country or any
other age. After five years of toil and privation and suffering, shared with you by
the great mass of your fellow-citizens, your sacrifices and labors were crowned with
triumphant success. You believed, and you had a right to believe, that you had
earned the reward, which all noble resolutions deserve when carried into execution
with a manly spirit of self-sacrifice. You had preserved the Union from disruption;
you bad saved the Constitution from the civil convulsion, which seemed more than
once in the eyes of other nations to have involved us all in the mortal agony of a
national dissolution. You had a right to expect, when this great peril was over, a re-
storation of the domestic quietude, the security, the equal government and the un-
trammeled prosperity which the Union and the Constitution were designed to insure
to yourselves and to your children. Are you in the enjoyment of these blessings of
good government ? [" No ! no !"J Where is the internal peace for which you looked
as the first fruit of your patient struggles against the evils of a long and sanguinary
war '! Your soil is no longer trodden by hostile armies, meeting in deadly contlict — no
longer drenched, thank God, by fresh outpourings of fraternal blood. But the war of
passion and of prejudice is kept up with unmitigated bitterness, although all resist-
ance to the public authority has long since ceased. What security have you even for
a continuance of the present precarious tranquillity ? All the lessons of history teach
us that we cannot go on as we are going now — alienated from eight millions of our
own people by our own volition, making ourselves felt by them only through the pres-
sure of our power — without stirring up and exasperating anew the old feelings of en-
mity which every consideration of justice, policy and magnanimity calls on us to
soothe and subdue by a generous confidence. [Great applaftse.] Are we living under
an equal Government [-'No"] — the only Government known to the Constitution?
We are in a Union of thirty-six States, of which ten are excluded from all share in
the administration of the public affairs, while all the powers of the Government are
concentrated in the hands of the remaining twenty-six [" We won't stand it any
longer.''] Are we enjoying a prosperity free from all useless restraints? ["No.'']
Kight millions of our people, for want of the self-government to which they are
entitled, are living under a political abasement humiliating to their spirit, embar-
rassing to their industry, and discouraging to their efforts to rise up to the standard
of the new social life which is opening on "them under the altered condition of their
domestic relations. Is any man so blind as not to see that this injustice is reacting on
us — on our growth, our production, our wealth, our whole social capacity for useful
and successful progress? l> any man so biassed as not to perceive, or perceiving, so
uncandid as not to admit, that it is incumbering us with pecuniary burdens, which
we ought not to bear, and casting upon the South the weight and the odium of politi-
cal disabilities, from which they have a right to be free ? [Applause.] Fellow-citi-
zens, we are not acting the good part. We are neither generous nor just. We are
as untrue to ourselves as we are to (jthers. It is the senselessness of prejudice or the
blindness of passion to suppose that we can be false to the higher impulses of our na-
ture and to the great principles of right and justice, without drawing down upon our-
selves, in .some form or other, the retribution which is sure to fall upon the individual
or the community which disregards and sets them at defiance. [Applause.] It was
to proclaim their hostility to this policy (of which the evils I have sketched are the
inevitable results), that the members of' the Convention at Philadelphia came together
from all sections of the Union. They have spoken to you through their address and

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