2d session United States. 61st Congress.

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

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nienl liill and joint resohilion of llie following titles:

The message also announced that llie .Senate had passed the
following resolutions :

Resolved, That the Senate has heard uitli i)r(il"()im(l sorrow of ilic diaUi
of the Hon. Anselm Joseph McLatrin, kite a Senator from tlie State of

Resolved, That the Seerctary connminicale a cojiy of these resolutions
to the House of Representatives.

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the <lece;ised
the Senate do now adjourn.


36 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

Mr. Bowers. Mr. Speaker, the House has been advised by
a resolution of the Senate, communicated to this body, of the
recent death of Hon. AnsELM Joseph McLaurin, late a Senator
from the State of Mississippi. At a future time I shall ask
that a day be set aside in order that the House may pay proper
tribute to his memory. In the meantime I offer the following
resolutions, which I send to the desk and ask to have read.

The Clerk read as follows :

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of the death of
Hon. Anselm Joseph McLaurin, a Senator of the United States from the
State of Mississippi.

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate
and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased Senator.

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect the House do now adjourn.

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the resolutions.
The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.

Friday, February i8, igio.

Mr. Spight. Mr. Speaker, at a former day of this session
resolutions were presented to the House announcing the death
of Hon. A. T- McLaurin, late a Senator from the State of
Mississippi; and it was stated at that time that at a future
period a day would be set apart for memorial exercises. In
that connection I desire to present the following resolution.

The Speaker. The gentleman from Mississippi asks unani-
mous consent for the present consideration of the resolution
which the Clerk will report.

The Clerk read as follows :

Ordered, That there be a session of the House on Sunday, the 13th day
of March, at 12 o'clock, to be set apart for addresses on the life, character,
and public services of Hon. A. J. McLaurin, late a Senator from the State
of Mississippi.

The question was taken, and the resolution was agreed to.

Proceedings in the House 37

Sunday, April 24, igio.

The House met at 12 o'clock m.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., as
follows :

O, Thou great Father Soul, in whose boundless and unchang-
ing love we live and move and have our being, we bless Thee for
the sanctity of home with all its sweet and tender associations,
for our Republic with its sacred institutions and high ideals, for
every loyal citizen throughout its length and breadth, for its
Constitution, which recognizes no guild, no party, no section,
no creed, but would guarantee to all liberty, justice, equal rights.

We are here to-day in memory of one of her noble sons who,
early in life thrown upon his own resources, by dint of industry
and perseverance carved for himself a record worthy of all
emulation. His loyalty, ability, and integrity, recognized by the
people of his State, called him to service, which was so willingly
and faithfully performed that he was honored by them with a
place in the United States Senate, where he acquitted himself
with honor to his State and Nation.

We thank Thee for our religion, with its hopes and promises
ever inspiring men to noble life and faithful service. Senator
Mcl/AURIN recognized its great truths and identified himself
with it and died a member of his chosen church.

This be the comfort of those who knew and loved him. Let
the everlasting arms be about the members of his family and
help them to look forward with faith and confidence to that
better life where death never enters; and everlasting praise be
Thine, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The Speaker pro tempore. The Clerk will report the special
order for the day.

The Clerk read as follows:

Ordered, That there be a session of the House on Sundaj-, the loth day
of April, at 12 o'clock, to be set apart for addresses on the life, character,

38 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

and public services of Hon. A. J. McLaurin, late a Senator from the State
of Mississippi.

Mr. Candler. Mr. Speaker, I offer the following resolution,
which I send to the desk and ask to have read.
The Clerk read as follows:

Whereas the House of Representatives has heard with profound sorrow
of the death of Hon. \. J. McL.M'Rin, late a Senator of the L'nited States
from the State of Mississippi: Therefore, be it

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended that oppor-
tunity may be given for tributes to the memory of the late Senator A. J.
McLaurin, and as a particular mark of respect to the memory of the late
Senator A. J. McLaurin, and in recognition of his eminent ability and
distinguished service, the House, at the conclusion of these memorial
proceedings, shall stand adjourned.

That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the late
Senator A. J. McLaurin, and

That the Clerk be ordered to communicate these resolutions to the Senate.

The SpE.^ker pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to
the resolutions.

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.

Address of Mr. Collier of Mississippi 39

Memorial Addresses

Address of Mr. Collier of Mississippi

Mr. Speaker: AnsELM Joseph McLaurin, son of Lauchlin
and Ellen TuUus McLaurin, was born at Brandon, Miss. At the
age of 16 he entered the confederate army. After the great
struggle between the States was over, he spent two years at
the Summer^dlle Institute. In 1868 he began the practice of
law. Three years afterwards he was elected district attorney.
He rapidly attained eminence as a lawyer, especially in the
criminal branch of the profession. In 1879 Senator McLaurix
was elected to the state legislature. He was presidential
elector at large in 1888 and delegate to the constitutional con-
vention in 1890. In 1S94 he was elected to the United States
Senate to fill the unexpired term of Senator Walthall. In 1895
he serv'ed the people of Mississippi as chief executive. He was
again elected to the United States Senate in January, 1900, for
the term beginning March 4, 1901, and was reelected for the
term beginning March 4, 1907.

He had been a useful member of various legislative and ad-
ministrative bodies of his native State before he entered the
Senate of the United States. Ripe in experience when he came
into that body, he entered upon his official duties with earnest
zeal and efficiency, and with an eye single to the public welfare.
The best interests of the State and country were ever his aim,
and when he died he left behind him, as a memorial of his toil,
"an honored name, the memory of earnest deeds well done."

Nature was kind to Senator McLaurin. She bequeathed to
him rare qualities of heart and mind.

40 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

Few men possessed a greater power for making men love him.
He was probably known personally to more people than any
other man who ever lived in Mississippi. One of the reasons
for his great and unfailing political success was due to the
immense individual following he had — the great number of
personal friends among the rich and poor alike, who were ever
ready to rise at midnight, if needed, to help "AnsE," as he was
familiarly and affectionately called.

His capacity for work was apparently unlimited. He was
tireless in his services to the people. The request of the hum-
blest constituent received as prompt and faithful a response as
that of the highest in the land. He was essentially a com-
moner. He was a self-made man. In his youth he toiled in the
fields. He knew what it meant to earn his daily bread in the
sweat of his brow. From his large and varied experience in
life he knew and sympathized with the wants of his fellow-man.
He was never so happy as when doing some one a ser%nce.

Since I have been in Washington I have heard two stories
about Senator McLaurin. One cold winter's night he was on
a street car, going to his hotel. Rain mi.xed with sleet was
dashing against the car windows. He noticed that the motor-
man stood on a wet platform and that he had no overshoes.
The Senator did not know who he was or where he was from.
He only knew that out on the platform, partially protected from
the rain and sleet, a human being was standing in the wet and
cold. As the car stopped at his hotel, this United States Sena-
tor took the overshoes from his own feet and lent them to the
man driving the car.

The other story was related to me last summer. One even-
ing, after the Senate had adjourned, Senator McLaurin and
some of his friends were coming down the street. They were
stopped by an old woman who, in a voice trembling with age,

Address of Mr. Collier of Mississippi 41

inquired the way to a certain place. The party directed her as
best they could; but the old woman seemed so uncertain and so
troubled that Senator McLaurin, realizing that she was unable
to follow the directions, excused himself from his friends and
retraced his steps for several squares, until he was close enough
to point out the building the old woman was seeking, and then
hurried away to escape her voluble thanks.

These incidents were related to me long before the Senator's
death. I mention them now as illustrations showing the kind
and generous heart of the late Senator from Mississippi. The
Book of Books tells us that "by their works ye shall know
them;" and by deeds of thoughtfulness and generosity was
Senator McLaurin best known.

It was my melancholy privilege to be present at the funeral
of this great Mississippian. I had just reached home the day
before, to spend the holidays in Vicksburg, and heard the news
of his death while on the train. It was on Christmas eve.
Every store in the little town of Brandon was closed, and
people from all over the State gathered in groups and in low,
hushed tones spoke reverently and affectionately of the deceased

By a strange coincidence a brother of vSenator McLaurin,
apparently strong and well only a few weeks before, was also
stricken down suddenly and without warning. I heard the
good man who preached the funeral sermon of Senator Mc-
Laurin say that in the period of twenty-odd months, in the
same church, this was the fourth funeral sermon he had
preached in the jNIcLaurin family, three of the Senator's broth-
ers preceding him to the grave.

We have assembled here to-day to do honor to his memory.
On occasions of this kind we are confronted by the darkest of
all mvsteries, the most stupendous of all inquiries, the old, old

42 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

question of the immortality of the soul. "Whether at the end
of life's journey we shall find a door or a wall faith alone
vouchsafes a reply."

All the intellectual forces of mankind from the Chaldean
sages down ha\-e endeavored to solve this dread problem, but
to-day we are no nearer its solution than when Adam and Eve
were driven from the paradise of Eden. "The lips of the young
inquiring 'whence' and the old asking 'whither,' are alike un-
answered." All we can know is that we are born, we live, and
we must surely die. The grim reaper watches at our side from
dawn until dark and comes in a thousand ways. It reaches
forth its clammy hand and stills the lisping lips of childhood.
Its bitter stroke descends unwelcomed and unannounced upon
vigorous manhood. It halts the faltering steps of old age and
''kings and princes obey its summons with the promptitude of
the beggar and the serf."

Sophists may tell us that the "stars go down to shine on
other skies," but we know that they will "set their gold within
our skies again." The grim frosts of winter may kill the bloom
and beauty of summer, but in the early morning of the new
year w^ know that the spring will wake again and fill all the
land with radiance and all the air with song.

Something in our hearts tells us —

There is a calm for those who weep,

A rest for wearj' pilgrims found;
And while the moldering ashes sleep

I.^\v in the ground ,
The soul of origin divine,

God's glorious image freed from clay,
In heaven's eternal sphere shall shine

A star of day.

Upon the sheet anchor of immortality we base all our hopes.
"It is the rainbow of promise shining through the tears of
grief." This divine hope of a' heavenly reimion comforts our

Address of Mr. Collier of Mississippi 43

souls in the hour of desolation and robs death of its sting and
the grave of its victory.

The end must come to us all. Say what we may, act as we
will, death is terrible. It is terrible when it comes accompanied
bv the cannon's opening roar; when the clashing of the sabers
is echoed and reechoed by the sharp rattle of musketry until
men changed to demons trample each other in their lust for

It is terrible to die by the assassin's hand, when, unheralded
and unprepared, some innocent one is hurled into the awful
presence of his Maker. Come to the one who is surrounded by
loving friends, a happy home, a faithful wife and little ones to
"cluster around his knees and encircle themselves about his
heart," and it is terrible. Yet go where we may, do what we
will, it is the stern, inexorable decree of fate. It is my portion,
it is your portion; and as we stand at the lonely grave of some
one dear to us we ask —

WTiy should the tear drops bum our eyelids standing at his tomb?

Why should we hide our faces there where the ferns and the flowers bloom?

It is only a little, little while till the last of us all shall go

Out over the rim of that radiant sky and know what our dear dead know.

Death, thou art terrible, but as "we have borne the image of
the earthly we shall also bear the image of the heavenly; so
when this mortal shall have put on immortality then shall be
brought to pass the saying which is written, 'Death is swal-
lowed up in victory.'"

Senator McLaurix has gone fro;n our midst, but he is not for-
gotten. And though the voice of a friend is hushed and a
familiar face is missing, yet —

Why do the shadows oftenest come

Where the other shadows are?
Why do the hordes of anguish follow

Hard on the heels of care?

44 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

Why did Christ come sorrowing

And not to a glad refrain ?
Why was the world's redemption scheme

Bom in sorrow and pain ?
Why is the heart of motherhood

By the hand of an infant torn?
Why must a nation travail

That some great truth be bom?
Why is subtlest perfume found

In flowers that grow in shade ?
And why from dwellers in vales of tears

Are shapers of destiny made ?
Do you think the life of Christ

Would have had that power to thrill
If there had been no Gethsemane,

No Calvary's shadowy hill?
Or do you think that your own life

Would have been pure as it is to-day
If the disappointments that came to it

Passed by some other way ?

Address of Mr. Sherwood of Ohio 45

Address of Mr. Sherwood of Orao

Mr. Speaker, Senator AnsELM Joseph McLaurin was one of
that rare type of statesmen who never strayed from the straight
path of duty, and who was never away from the people whom
he loved and served so faithfully.

I knew Senator McLaurin well, and in a winter's home with
him on Capitol Hill I learned to appreciate his sterling worth
and to warm to him as a friend. I knew of his boyhood life
and of his early manhood struggles to win ' recognition and
honor in the battle of life, and recognized in him the social,
moral, and mental qualities which made him the idol of the
people of his State. Recognizing his high executive ability and
fidelity to every previous trust, the people of Mississippi made
him governor and then United States Senator. His life, his
career, his example, his achievements in the domain of law and
civics are valuable mentors to hold up to the young men of
to-day who are struggling against adverse environment. For
Senator McLaurin was born poor — poor in lucre; poor, as Mil-
ton says, in "the tool of fools," but rich in soul and brain and
hope and courage and that never-say-die spirit of his Scotch
ancestry. He was born on a farm, breathed the untainted air of
the woods and fields, and worked on a farm to the neglect of an
early education. But he gathered in that wholesome work the
physical strength and stamina so indispensable to a successful
struggle with the clash of master minds in the wide domain of

Young McLaurin first read books at night by the light of a
pine-knot fire. Not an alluring light for a well-to-do modern
collegiate; but knowledge hard to get is always absorbed with
more avidity and is sure to make a more lasting impression on

46 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

the plastic mind. Later young McLaurin studied law, and
without a preceptor, after he had acquired by his own effort
the rudiments of a plain English education. With this meager
equipment he started on his remarkable career. Successively
he was district attorney, presidential elector, member of the
constitutional convention of Mississippi, governor of the State,
and three times elected United States vSenator.

His political career is rarely exceptional. I am told he was
never defeated, cither in a nomination to which he aspired or
an election. His whole career was marked by a courageous
honesty of both purpose and action, and he never weakened in
a cause he believed to be just and he never betrayed a friend.
All in all, he ranks as the peer of any Senator Mississippi has
honored in the past; a State that has always held a high place
in that great forum of the vStates.

We should not let this occasion pass without gathering some
lesson of value to the living, especially to the young men of
to-day, who, like our departed friend in his boyhood are strug-
gling against what seems adverse fate. The brightest gleam of
hope for the poor young man of to-day is in the knowledge that
the greatest men who have ever served or shone in the high
places of power in this Republic have been, like Senator Mc-
Laurin, of humble birth, limited opportunities in boyhood, and
poor. And of this class the South has furnished the most
remarkable examples. Let me name a few in the order of merit
and commanding influence.

Gen. Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, twice President of the
United States, the commanding general of the most remarkable
victory of the war of 1812. Jackson represents the most
remarkable uplift, considering his poor beginnings, in the history
of the Republic. He was the son of a North Carolina farm
laborer, without early education, without friends of influence,
with nothing but himself. He achieved the topmost pinnacle

Address of Mr. Sherwood of Ohio . 47

of power and fame — President of the United States and the
military hero of his time.

Henrv Clav, born poor, self-educated, self-made, the foremost
orator of his time, the idol of his party; Speaker of the House
of Representatives, Senator, Cabinet member, three times
candidate for President.

Thomas H. Benton, born poor, in North Carolina, self-
educated ; thirty years in the United States Senate. Benton was
the superior of Clay in the arena of debate in the Senate and
a more thorough student of government, and he left his impress
more distinctly upon his country in his great historical work,
Thirty Years in the Senate.

And still another great son of the South, born poor, and self-
educated and self-made — John C. Calhoun; conceded to be the
most profound logician who ever sat in the Senate.

These are names to conjure with, because they stand for
something this country needs to-day more than anything else —
more recognition of manhood and less recognition of the man of
only money merit. Xot to talk history, but to illuminate some
inspiring chapters of our political history, do I mention these
great men of the South, who, like our departed friend, won
power and fame, notwithstanding the humbleness of their

And what is the true measure of greatness? Not all in
achievements. Example, fidelity to an ideal, and the value of
that ideal. It was the greatest of Athenian philosophers who
said :

It is not music nor the gymnasium, nor the schools that mold young
men. It is much more — the public example. If you take one whose life
has no high purpose and crowTi him in the theater, every boy who sees it is

Two thousand years have not changed the value of this
philosophy. Lord Byron wrote the greatest dramatic poem of

48 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

the nineteenth century — Waterloo. He was a great poet, but
not a great man. His life had no high purpose. His example
was harmful to good morals. Leopold of Belgium was one of
the greatest monarchs of modern Europe, but in his social life
he was a moral degenerate. Both his life and influence were
degenerate. Hence, no enlightened estimate can place him on a
pedestal with great men. Walt Whitman was a great man —
great as a poet, great as a man — because he gave us a new
baptism of democracy. Count Tolstoi is not only the greatest
sociologist of either the nineteenth or twentieth centuries, but
the greatest evangel of Christian brotherhood.

Senator McLaurin has left to his family, his kindred, and
his State a record of achievements that should fill their hearts
with pride and mellow the acute sorrow over his untimelv
death. And there is a deeper consolation, told with so much
pathos by Longfellow :

There is no death; what seems so is transition;

This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,

Whose portal we call death.

On this sacred Sabbath day in this historic Chamber let us
consecrate ourselves to that fervent patriotism, that high
purpose to serve the people we are honored to represent, with
the courage and fidelity which characterized our departed friend,
a statesman whose friendship added to our joys of living and
whose character and example gave us hope for the best ideals in
popular government.

Reflect that life, like any other blessing,
Derives its value from its use alone,
Not for itself, but for a noble end.

Address oj Mr. Spight of Mississippi 4.9

Address of Mr. Spight of Mississippi

Mr. Speaker, Shakespeare said:

The evil men do lives after them,

The good is oft interred with their bones.

In this respect he was a pessimist, and I am glad that I have
always been able to take a better view of life and its accom-
plishments. In taking a retrospective outline of the achieve-
ments of a man who, having left his impress upon the current
history of his day, has passed from the stage of action, I forget
his foibles, failures, and mistakes, and remember only the good
he has done. I rather agree with Joaquin Miller, "the poet of
the Sierras," that —

In men whom men condemn as ill
I find so much of goodness still ;
In men whom men pronounce divine
I find so much is sin and blot —
I hesitate to draw the line
Between the two when God has not.

Funeral orations, like epitaphs on gravestones, are often mis-
leading; and, while soothing to the bruised hearts of loved
ones, may do infinite harm to others who know facts and weigh
them in the scales of dispassionate judgment. It is, therefore,
sometimes difficult for the conservative mind to draw the line
between fulsome eulogy and truthful delineation of character.
Nil nisi bonum de mortuis — speak nothing but good of the
dead — is one thing; to indulge in extravagant and unsupported
encomiums is quite another. The former appeals to the heart
and the generous sensibilities; the latter commends itself only
to the sycophant and the hypocrite.
67675°— S. Doc. 577. 61-2 4

50 Memorial Addresses: Senator McLaurin

The life of Senator McLaurin was not free from fault, nor
have I ever known a man to whom the same criticism would
not apply. That I did not always agree with him does not
prove that he was wrong. He had his view point and I had
mine. We both may have beeri right as we were given the
light to see.

That his life was a remarkable and useful one no man who
knows his history and that of his State will deny. From ob-
scure surroundings and almost pinching poverty he rose to the
two highest offices in the power of the vState to give — governor
and United States vSenator. In this he furnishes an inspiratiom
to every American boy, no matter how discouraging early
conditions may be.

When a lad of i6 years of age, he enlisted in the Confederate

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Online Library2d session United States. 61st CongressAnselm J. McLaurin (late a senator from Mississippi) → online text (page 3 of 7)