2d session United States. 61st Congress.

Anselm J. McLaurin (late a senator from Mississippi) online

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Thackeray sought to show that George IV, commonly called
in his day "The first gentleman in Europe," was the reverse
of everything that a gentleman ought to be, he contrasted the
King at his coming-out ball as Prince of Wales with Washing-
ton resigning his command at Annapolis. It is a very noble

Address of Mr. Lodge of Massachusetts 19

passage, and then Thackeray tries to define a gentleman. Per-
haps no one has come nearer to the ideal we all have in our

What is it to be a gentleman?

He asks:

Is it to have lofty aims, to lead a pure life, to keep your honor virgin, to
have the esteem of your fellow-citizens and the love of your fireside, to bear
good fortune meekly, to suffer evil with constancy, and tlirough evil or good
to maintain truth always? Show me the happy man whose life exhibits
these qualities, and him we will salute as gentleman, whatever his rank
may be.

With these words on my lips let me now say that what I felt
most strongly in Senator McL/\urin was that he was such a
thorough gentleman. As I saw him he was always a kind,
gentle, generous, loyal friend. Thackeray, if I may quote him
.once more, defined the "snob," whom he made the subject
of the most ferocious and most brilliant satire of the last cen-
tury, as one "who meanly admires a mean thing." Senator
McL.-\URiN was incapable of mean admiration of anything, most
of all of a mean thing. He was as free from envy as he was from
subserviency. He grudged no man good fortune; he bent the
knee neither to place nor power, least of all to mere monev, the
god of modern idolatry.

Some years ago I asked him to do me a favor, to give me an
assurance which would enable me to go home on an errand of
great importance to me. He probably forgot it all and never
thought of it again. I have never forgotten what he said and
never can. The words he used as he gave me the assurance I
asked revealed to me in a flash a noble, loyal, and generous
heart; a quick and comprehending sympathy only too rarely
found. I felt that here was a man to whom I could intrust my
honor or my fortune or the welfare of those I love better far than
aught else the world can give. I felt that he would guard a

20 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

trust more sacredly than his own life, as jealously as his own
honor, and rather than fail would fall with it as "Good Sir
James" of Douglas fell among the Moorish squadrons with the
heart of the Bruce locked in its jeweled casket beneath him.
The feeling and the faith he then inspired in me have never
changed. His death only renders them more vivid and my
sorrow more keen as I make record of them here.


Address of Mr. Bailey of Texas 21

Address of Mr. Bailey of Texas

Mr. President, during the twenty years that I have served
in the two Houses of Congress I have never before partici-
pated in a memorial ser\ace, but my relations with Senator
McLaurin were such that I am not willing for these exer-
cises to close without expressing that affectionate regard in
which I cherished him for so many years. We were born in
counties which touch each other, and he was the first man of
political distinction whose personal acquaintance it was my
privilege to enjoy. I was then a mere boy, and though he was
himself a very young man, he had won a high place in the con-
fidence and esteem of the people of Mississippi. It happened
that mv father helped to secure for him the first nomination
which his people ever bestowed upon him, and many years
after that he repaid that kindness by helping to secure for me
the first nomination which I ever received at the hands of
the people.

From the first day I knew him until he passed from amongst
us there was never a moment that I did not love him. Thrown
with him in the most intimate association, which the lawyers
can well understand, or at least those of them who have prac-
ticed law at the circuit, brought in close contact with him while
we were attending court in the interior counties, which were not
reached by the railroad, and there for a week at a time, through
the day in the court room and during the night in an old-
fashioned country tavern, I learned to know him as men come
to know each other under such associations.

I have seen him under circumstances that tried a man as by
the fire, but I never knew him to do anything or to say any-
thing that his friends could not remember with satisfaction.

22 Memorial Addresses^ Senator McLaurin

He was, as the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Lodge]
has so well said, preeminently a gentleman, and he was more,
if a man can be more than that. He was as loyal a friend as
ever breathed the breath of life, and was as unselfish a patriot
as ever ser\'ed a country. Gentle as a woman and amiable as
any man ought to be, he was yet as firm against those who
entreated him to do what his conscience would not permit as
any man I have ever known. He never betrayed a trust or
deserted a friend, though he did sometimes practice the virtue
of forgiving an enemy.

Confiding as a child, I have known his confidence to be
abused, but I never heard him utter a complaint against even
those who abused it. He lived in that sublime philosophy
which teaches us that it is better to have our confidence be-
trayed by some men than it is to lose our confidence in all

Not only, Mr. President, was he all that a man, a neighbor,
a friend, a citizen, and a public servant should be, but to all
those personal qualities he added an intellectual power which
was never fully appreciated in this Chamber. Though he com-
manded the respect of every Senator on both sides, and though
his opinions were received with a certain deference, yet as one
who loved him more and more than did anybody who did not
bear his blood, I know that highly as he was appreciated by all
here, he was still not appreciated as he would have been had
God spared his life and his people continued him in their serv-
ice, because I know the quality of his intellect and I know that
it would have elevated him to a still higher place in this body.
I have seen him in the court room, where he was almost
invincible. Indeed, Mr. I^resident, I say it with affection, but I
sav it because it is the truth, he was almost an obstruction to
the administration of justice. He could come nearer, in his
addresses to the jury, "making the worse appear the better

Address of Mr. Bailey of Texas 23

reason," than any man whom it has ever been my privilege to
hear on frequent occasions. The records of the courts in the
State where we were born and where his splendid talents were
employed bear ample witness of his power in that respect; and
perhaps the highest tribute that I can pay to him, and when I
have said that I am done, is to say that he was a great and
successful criminal lawyer, who never engaged in criminal

24 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

Address of Mr. Gallinger of New Hampshire

Mr. President, others will speak at length and with particu-
larity of the life and services of our departed associate, the Hon.
AnsElm J. McL.\URiN, of Mississippi. For me a few simple
words of regard and appreciation will suffice.

I served with Mr. McL-^urin for a considerable time on an
important committee; and in that way learned to admire his
industry and ability and to highly esteem him for qualities of
heart and mind that endeared him to all with whom he came
in contact. I counted him as my friend, and his death came to
me in the nature of a personal bereavement.

Mr. President, John Fiske, in his posthumous monograph on
Life Everlasting, gives an admirable description of the faith
of to-day in immortality; a faith which pictures our indestruct-
ible consciousness of a future life. His statement expresses
what science hints at, and what philosophy confirms, as to the
world beyond. These are his words:

That solemn moment in which, for those who have gone before and for us
who are to follow, the eye of sense beholds naught save the ending of the
world, the entrance upon a black and silent eternity, the eye of faith
declares to be the supreme moment of a new birth for the disenthralled soul,
the introduction to a new era of life compared with which the present one
is not wortliy of the name. Who can tell but that this which we call life
is really death, from which what we call dcatli is an awakening? From this
vantage ground of thought the human soul comes to look without dread upon
the termination of tliis terrestrial existence. The failure of the bodily
powers, the stoppage of the fluttering pulse, the cold stillness upon the
features so lately wreathed in smiles of merriment, the corruption of the
tomb, the breaking of the ties of love, the loss of all that has given value
to existence, the dull blankness of irremediable sorrow, the knell of ever-
lasting farewells — all this is seized upon by the sovereign imagination of
man and transformed into a scene of transcending glory, such as in all the

Address of Mr. Gallinger of New Hampshire 25

vast career of the universe is reserved for humanity alone. In the highest
of creatures the divine immanence has acquired sufficient concentration
and steadiness to survive the dissolution of the flesh and assert an individ-
uality untrammeled by the limitations which in the present life everywhere
persistently surround it. Upon this view death is not a calamity, but a
boon; not a punishment inflicted upon man, but the supreme manifestation
of his exceptional prerogative as chief among God's creatures.

Mr. President, as I recall the fact that of the large number
of Senators who were here when I became a member of this
body only six remain, one of whom is to-day hovering between
life and death, I am forcibly reminded that those of us who
still remain will soon join our late associate, and the contempla-
tion of that thought leads me to quote a verse from a little
poem entitled "Sit closer, friends:"

Again a parting sail we see,

Another boat has left the shore;
A kinder soul on board has she

Than ever left the land before;
And as her outward course she bends.

Sit closer, friends.

Mr. McLaurin, whose untimely death we all deeply deplore,
belonged to a class of men not too common in this country. He
was primarily a gentleman — a gentleman at all times and under
all circumstances; a characteristic which the distinguished
Senator from JIassachusetts so interestingly dwelt upon. His
hand grasp was inspiring, and his friendly greeting was con-
tagious. There was a heartiness and sinceritv in his mannei
that endeared him to all with whom he came in contact, and
his warmth of heart and manly conduct will never be forgotten
by those who were privileged to know him as we knew him.

Men like Senator McLaurin have accomplished great results
and have left their impress on the laws and institutions of our
country. A farmer's boy, a soldier, a student, a lawyer, a
state official, and a Senator of the United States; what a record

26 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaiirin

that is for one to achieve practically unaided and alone! It
represents energy, industry, integrity, ambition, and courage.
It means that obstacles were met and overcome, and that suc-
cess was wrought by patient endurance and a sublime faith.
Glancing back over his career, when he had gained the coveted
place in the Senate, he might well have looked forward to the
accomplishment of still greater things for his State and the
Nation. And in this body he did not disappoint those who
admired and trusted him. He was a good Senator, attentive
to his duties, courteous to his associates, and sincere and honest
in his advocacy of public measures. He was a party man, but
not a bigot. He believed in the principles and policies of the
Democratic party, but he cheerfully yielded to others the right
to differ from the beliefs that he held. He was a man of high
ideals and lofty purposes. Full of humor, he was also a man
of deep convictions and serious thought.

In the death of Senator McL.^urin the State of Mississippi
lost a faithful and distinguished servant, and those of us who
served with him here cheerfully bear testimony to the fact that
the Senate of the United States will long miss his genial per-
sonality, his earnest labors, and his devoted service. His death,
so sad and unexpected, is another reminder of the inevitable
and should serve as an incentive to loftier purposes and nobler
deeds on the part of those of us who are left to continue the
labors in which he so lately participated. He is gone, but his
memorv will remain an enduring monument to an honorable,
upright, and distinguished life.

Address of Mr. Taylor of Tennessee 27

Address of Mr. Taylor of Tennessee

Mr. President, to-day the curtain has fallen upon the turbu-
lent scenes of political discussion; the swords of contention are
sheathed, and this great forum of national hope and glory is
turned into a pantheon of memory.

Another noble actor has made his final exit from the stage
of human life, and we lay aside the cares and responsibilities
of public duty to pay tribute to the blessed dead.

AnsEl:\i J. McLaurix, who but a little while ago so ably rep-
resented his State in this body and who seerried so full of health
and hope and energy, in the very noontide of his splendid career
has gone from the clamorous councils of men to the peaceful
silence of the grave; but he shall not sleep alone there, for —

All that tread the globe
Are but a handful to
The tribes that slumber in
Its bosom.

And all who breathe to-day, and all the generations yet to
come, must feel the sting that stilled his heart, and go hence
and make their beds with him.

We shall not see our beloved colleague again in this world,
but the influence of his beautiful character and charming per-
sonalitv still lingers here, like the fragrance of roses that are
faded and gone.

History may not write him as great as the greatest states-
man of his day, for he did not employ his faculties as the rep-
resentative of any special interest on this floor; yet he was great
in the superb equiUbrium of his intellectual and moral powers,
and he towered above the majority. He did not jut out like a
monolith, but his sky line was high and even and showed few

28 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

gaps in his journey from the cradle to the grave. He did not
aspire to rule the Nation, yet he ruled supreme in the hearts of
his own people. •

He had a long and eventful career, which culminated in his
election as governor of Mississippi and then to the United vStates
Senate in 1900. He was reelected in 1906, but in the midst of
his sen.-ice to his people and his country, after answering to the
roll call of the Senate for nine years, he was suddenly summoned
to answer to the roll call of eternity.

Mr. President, I believe in the philosophy which teaches that
all things were created for a purpose, and that every child born
into the world is intended to play some legitimate and honorable
part in the great drama of human destiny, looking to the final
perfection and ultimate harmony of all the elements of society
and civilization and the fulfillment of the prophecy that "every
knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God."

The noble McL.avrin played his role, and played it well. He
was one of the stars in the national cast of characters. He was
a veritable tribune of the people, believing in their sovereignty
and their virtue and always ready to defend them with the
courage of a lion. He was a lawyer of high attainment and a
close student of civic science. He had the faculty of concen-
tration, and there was no shield of sophistry that was proof
against the shafts of his reason; no helmet of hypocrisy that
could withstand the battle-ax of his logic.

He knew how to sympathize with the poor, for he himself had
suffered the privations that followed in the wake of civil war.
He had toiled in the fields for his daily bread. He had fought
his own wa\' into prominence in his chosen profession and
demonstrated the glorious truth that while poverty may hum-
ble the body it can not beggar the intellect nor starve the
aspirations of the soul.

Address of Mr. Taylor of Tennessee 29

Undaunted by the frowns of opposition he pressed through
the thorns of obscurity and climbed to the very summit of
popular favor. Undismayed by the desolation of war that sur-
rounded him, he crossed swords with adversity and won the
jeweled hand of success. He was not permitted to grow old,
but while we can not fathom the mysteries of life and death,
let us hope and believe that He who holds the universe in the
hollow of His hand, yet even marks the sparrow's fall, knows
best when to call us all, and that our colleague and friend has
only obeyed the summons to a higher destiny in a brighter and
better world.

He lived and loved, and labored and passed awav, but is it
all of life to live? Is it all of death to die? A still small voice
in every human heart ans-wers "No." The earth beneath us
and the stars above answer "No." The voice of Christ whispers
across the long stretch of nineteen centuries "No." The multi-
tudinous voices of earth and air are prophecies of a world to
be. The flowers of the fields rising from countless graves; the
unfolding leaves of the forest heralding the approach of sum-
mer; the orchards and the meadows bursting into bloom, and
myriads of winged minstrels filling the world with melodv, are
all the evangels of the Lord, demonstrating before our very
eyes the universal victory of life over death.

Mr. President, look how the rose hears the far-away call of
the sun and blushes in the presence of its God. Look how the
violet comes forth from its tiny tomb and opens its glad blue
eyes to greet the spring. Are they not God's own answers to
the question: "If a man die, shall he live again?"

If the germs of inanimate life, buried beneath the sod, so
surely respond to the silent command of summer, who can
doubt that man shall spring up out of the unconscious dust into
eternal life when God shall call? Can it be that the grass and

30 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaur in

the flowers are resurrected from the sod of earth, while man,
for whom they were made, must sleep on forever?

Sir, not only reason, but all nature, teaches us the welcome
lesson of immortality; and, although our tongues mav some-
times deny the faith that is within us, yet when we look down
upon the pallid faces and folded hands of our blessed dead, the
sweet consciousness steals over us that —

Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the smiling and the weeping —

we shall meet them again.

Address of Mr. Percy of Mississippi 31

Address of Mr. Percy of Mississippi

Mr. President, other Senators more familiar, through personal
contact and intimate association in the Senate Chamber, with
the career of Senator McLaurin in this body have borne gen-
erous tribute to the high esteem in which he was held by his
brother Senators and to the achievements which mark his
senatorial career; and now just a word of tribute from me to
the man, A. J. McLaurin, as he was known to the people of
Jlississippi. The salient features of his life are found in the
meager biographv in the Congressional Directory. Born in
Mississippi in 1848; reared on a farm; a soldier, answering his
country's call at 16; admitted to the bar at 20, from the pro-
ceeds of his practice caring for afld educating a family of 10
children; district attorney; a member of that constitutional
convention of his State which framed the constitution that has
served as a model for every one adopted since by a Southern
State; governor once; and three times elected United States
Senator, the biography is simple and unostentatious, as was the
subject of it, whose approval it had. Yet it is the story of a
life to which it is meet and proper that we should pay our trib-
ute of esteem and affection, and it is fitting that this tribute
should be spread on the records of this august body —

That, perhaps, another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, may take heart again.

For it tells of a struggle, without the adventitious aid of
wealth or influence, from the farm to the highest positions of
honor and trust within the gift of the people of a State. It is

32 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

the kind of a life story that carries inspiration and hope with
it; that tells of equal opportunity to all in this good land of
ours. Life to him was a struggle, a battle — never a "primrose
path of dalliance." He entered the arena of state politics at
a time when Mississippi's best and brainiest men were strug-
gling for political place and preferment. He pressed steadily
forward to the goal of his ambition, lowering his lance before
no foe, however redoubted he might be. Strong, virile, aggres-
sive, he became a picturesque, dominating personality in state
politics. His enemies were many, and the clan McLaurix, com-
posed of his seven brothers, numerous relatives, and the host of
friends who loved and acknowledged him as chieftain, was the
center of many a bitter fight; but the hills and dales of bonnie
Scotland never boasted of a clan more loyal to its chief nor of
one more eager to render unquestioning obedience to his everv
behest, and again and again it followed him to hard- won victory.
There were no deserters from these ranks, for unconsciously,
witliout effort, he practiced the precept —

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel.

And well he repaid their devotion. Kind and loving as a
father, the humblest follower knew that "Anse," as he loved
to have them call him, was his truest friend and protector.
In those who followed him he saw few faults, and for them
his heart and jjurse were always open. He lived close to the
heart of the plain people. He understood and sympathized
with their every hope, aspiration, and need, and he bound them
to him with ties of l()\e and gratitude.

And so he won his way to this Senate Chamber; and here,
as the years went by, the unfailing courtesy, the kindly dignity,
the patriotism which he brought to the discharge of his high
duties won the iiearts of those who iiad oft opposed him. liver

Address of Mr. Percy of Mississippi 33

growing and broadening with the flight of time, in conquering
others he had conquered self, for —

He held it truth, with him who sings

To one clear harp in divers tones.

That men may rise on stepping stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

And then, when hfe seemed to stretch fairest before him, the
sagacious leader, the loyal friend, the faithful husband, the
tender, loving father, went to join the loved ones of the clan who
waited for him on the farther shore.

Mr. President, in behalf of the Senators from North Dakota,
my colleague and mvself, I now offer the resolution I send to
the desk and ask for its adoption.

The Presiding Officer. The Secretary will read the

The Secretary read the resolution, as follows:

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memor)' of Mr. Johnson
and Mr. McLaurin, the Senate do now adjourn.

The Presiding Officer. The question is on agreeing to
the resolution submitted by the junior Senator from Mississippi.

The resolution was unanimously agreed to; and (at 2 o'clock
and 10 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until Monday, April
4, 1 910, at 12 o'clock meridian.
67675°— S. Doc. 577, 61-2 3


Tuesday, Junuary 4, t(}io.

The House met at \2 o'clock noon.

The Cha])kiin, Rev. Henry N. Coiukii, I). D., ofTcred the fol-
lowing ])rayer ;

Once more, Almighty God, our heavenly leather, in ilie dis-
pensation of Thy providence are we brought face to face with a
new year. The past is gone, with its joys and sorrows, iiopes
and disappointments, victories and defeats, leaving us the richer,
if we are wise, by its experiences. Help us, we beseech Thee,
with open hearts, clear conceptions, noble aspirations, and high
ideals to go forward with faith and eonlidence to whatsoever
Thou hast in store for us, that we may use tiie talents, few or
many, which Thou hast bestowed upon ns, that they may in-
crease to our good and add somewhat to the ])ublic weal, seek-
ing ever to fmd the best that is in ourselves and the best that
is in our fellow-men; that we may lend a helping hand to
others and glorify Thy holy name, in Cinist Jesus our l.ord.

A message from the Senate, by Mr. Parkinson, one of its
clerks, announced that the Senate had passed without amend-

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Online Library2d session United States. 61st CongressAnselm J. McLaurin (late a senator from Mississippi) → online text (page 2 of 7)