Charles Rufus Skinner.

Manual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York online

. (page 22 of 31)
Online LibraryCharles Rufus SkinnerManual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York → online text (page 22 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

our embarrassments. They follow all victories and accompany all
great responsibilities. They are inseparable from every great move-
ment of reform. But American capacity has triumphed over all in the
past. Doubts have in the end vanished. Apparent dangers have
been averted or avoided, and our own history shows that progress has
come so naturally and steadily on the heels of new and grave responsi-
bilities that, as we look back upon the acquisition of territory by our
fathers, we are filled with wonder that any doubt could have existed, or
any apprehension could have been felt of the wisdom of their action
or their capacity to grapple with the then untried and mighty prob-
lems. The Republic is to-day larger, stronger, and better prepared
than ever before for wise and profitable developments. Forever in the
right, following the best impulses and clinging to high purposes, using
properly and within right limits our power and opportunities, honorable
reward must inevitably follow. — William McKinley.


Our fathers' God, from out whose hand
The centuries fall like grains of sand,
We meet to-day, united, free,
And loyal to our land and Thee,
To thank Thee for the era done,
And trust thee for the opening one.
Oh! make Thou us through centuries long,
In Peace secure, in Justice strong:
Around our gift of Freedom, draw
The safeguards of Thy righteous law;
And, cast in some diviner mould,
Let the new cycle shame the old.

— John Grcenleaf Whittier.

Let me say a word for a little more patriotism in the schools. We
have little in our every-day life to arouse patriotic ardor. We have
no frequent or great exhibitions of power; no army to stand in awe of;
no royalty to worship; no emblems or ribbons to dazzle the eye; and



but few national airs. We have elections so frequently, and then say
such terribly hard things of each other, and about the management of
government, that I imagine the children wonder what kind of a coun-
try this is that they have been born into. There is no such inculcation
of patriotism among our children as among the children of some other
lands. If I had my way, I would hang the flag in every schoolroom,
and I would spend an occasional hour in singing our best patriotic
songs, in declaiming the masterpieces of our national oratory, and in
rehearsing the proud story of our national life. — Andrew S, Draper.

In the van of the progressive movement of civilization, our country
alike greets the most ancient of nations, and the social fabric whose
many centuries know no change. Further, she has garnered within
her borders all colors, creeds, and minds. Providence has bidden
America to train, educate, uplift, blend in fraternity, eastern and
western, northern and southern humanity. Here, in these United
States, is the grandest school of the brotherhood of man! Here, the
conscience and religion are free! Here, the Fatherhood of God is
best illustrated in church, in government, and in the human institutions
which interpret Him! In the old countries, the people are feared and
despised; here, the people are trusted, made responsible, allowed to
govern themselves. Here, in marvellous harmony, local forms of free-
dom are blended with central power. — William E. Grifhs.

Bereft of Patriotism, the heart of a nation will be cold and cramped
and sordid; the arts will have no enduring impulse, and commerce no
invigorating soul; society will degenerate and the mean and vicious
triumph. Patriotism is not a wild and glittering passion, but a glorious
reality. The virtue that gave to Paganism its dazzling lustre, to Bar-
barism its redeeming trait, to Christianity its heroic form, is not dead.
It still lives to console, to sanctify humanity. It has its altar in every
clime; its worship and festivities. — Thomas F. Meagher.

The name of Republic is inscribed upon the most imperishable
monuments of the species, and it is probable that it will continue to be
associated, as it has been in all past ages, with whatever is heroic in


character, sublime in genius, and elegant and brilliant in the cultivation
of art and letters. What land has ever been visited with the influence
of liberty that did not flourish like the spring? What people has ever
worshipped at her altars without kindling with a loftier spirit, and
putting forth more noble energies? Where has she ever acted that her
deeds have not been heroic? Where has she ever spoken that her
eloquence has not been triumphant and sublime? — Hugh S. Legare.

The sheet anchor of the ship of state is the common school.
Teach,- first and last, Americanism. Let no youth leave the school
without being thoroughly grounded in the history, the principles, and
the incalculable blessings of American liberty. Let the boys be the
trained soldiers of constitutional freedom, the girls the intelligent lovers
of freemen. — Chauncey M. Depczu.

No phrase ever embodied more truth than the oft-repeated one
that " Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty/' and our work as patriots
is no less binding to-day than in the days when we wore the army blue.
Let it be our lofty aim to emulate the patriotism of those who gave
their lives that Government of the People, by the People, and for the
People, might not perish from the earth.— Oscar D. Robinson.

Patriotism is one of the positive lessons to be taught in every
school. Everything learned should be flavored with a genuine love of
country. Every glorious fact in the nation's history should be em-
phasized, and lovingly dwelt upon. The names of her illustrious
citizens should be treasured in the memory. Every child should feel
that he is entitled to a share, not only in the blessings conferred by a
free government, but also in the rich memories and glorious achieve-
ments of his country. — Richard Edwards.

A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers,
and woods, but it is principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
In poetic minds and in popular enthusiasm, this feeling becomes closely
associated with the soil and the symbols of the country. But the
secret sanctification of the soil and the symbol is the idea which they
represent; and this idea the patriot worships, through the name and



the symbol, as a lover kisses with rapture the glove of his mistress and
wears a lock of her hair upon his heart. — George W. Curtis.

I am no pessimist as to this Republic. I always bet on sunshine
in America. I know that my country has reached the point of perilous
greatness, and that strange forces, not to be measured or compre-
hended, are hurrying her to heights that dazzle and blind all mortal
eyes, but I know that beyond the uttermost glory is enthroned the
Lord God Almighty, and that when the hour of her trial has come He
will lift up his everlasting gates and bend down above her in mercy
and in love. For with her He has surely lodged the ark of His covenant
with the sons of men. And the Republic will endure. Centralism will
be checked, and liberty saved — plutocracy overthrown and equality
restored. The struggle for human rights never goes backward among
English-speaking people. The trend of the times is with us. — Henry
W. Grady.


Then, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union strong and great!
Humanity, with all its fears,
With all its hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless, on thy fate!
We know what master laid Thy keel,
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,

Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what anvils beat,
In what a forge and what a heat,

Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave, and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail.
And not a rent made by the gale;
In spite of rock and tempest roar.
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fea- to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee:
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our f-uth triumphant o'er our fears,

Are all with thee, are all with thee.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellozv.


The time has come when the history of our own country should
stand among the fundamental studies to be pursued in our schools. In
the teaching of history, we need not attach first importance to the dates
of battles, the number of men engaged upon each side, or the number
killed and wounded. These are but incidents in history. We should
teach causes and results. We need not teach that the soldiers on one
side were braver than the soldiers on the other. The " boys in gray "
who stood up against you at Gettysburg and a hundred other battle-
fields were as brave as you were. We know that they were mistaken,
but they were brave, and they were Americans. They have done their
share in making American history, and one happy result of the war
with Spain is that sectional lines have been wiped out and no longer
is there any North and South in the consideration of American bravery.
We need not spend any time in demonstrating the bravery of the
American people. It has been thoroughly tested and the whole world
knows it. I believe that we should teach these things to our children.
— Hon. Charles R. Skinner, Speech before G. A. R. Committee.

One of the definitions of patriotism is " love of country." If we
do not teach our boys and girls to love their country, how can we
teach them to be patriotic? Patriotism is sometimes misunderstood.
Patriotism is not an impulse or a sentiment, but a conviction. Where
the heart is right, there you will find true patriotism. I want a patriot-
ism that does not wait for the firing of a gun on a national holiday to
manifest itself. I want a patriotism which is good every day in the
year, and which means an understanding of public duty and a determi-
nation to perform that duty.— Hon. Charles R. Skinner, Speech before
G. A. R. Committee.

Here, at last, is its sacred secret revealed! It is in the patriotic
instinct which has brought to this field the army of Northern Virginia
and the army of the Potomac. It lies in the manly emotion with which
the generous soldier sees only the sincerity and courage of his ancient
foe and scorns suspicion of a lingering enmity. It lies in the perfect
freedom of speech, and perfect fraternity of spirit, which now for three


days have glowed in these heroic hearts, and echoed in this enchanted
air. These are the forces that assure the future of our beloved country!
May they go before us on our mighty march, a pillar of cloud by day,
of fire by night! Happy for us, happy for mankind, if we and our
children shall comprehend that they are the fundamental conditions of
the life of the Republic! Then, long after, when, in a country whose
vast population, covering the continent with the glory of a civilization
which the imagination cannot forecast, the completed century of the
great battle shall be celebrated, the generation which shall gather here,
in our places, will rise up and call us blessed! Then, indeed, the fleeting
angel of this hour will have yielded his most precious benediction; and
in the field of Gettysburg, as we now behold it, the blue and the gray
blending in happy harmony, like the mingling hues of the summer
landscape, we may see the radiant symbol of the triumphant America
of our pride, our hope, and our joy! — George William Curtis.


TE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure
these rights, governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." There
is the origin of Popular Sovereignty. Who, then, shall come in at this
day and claim that he invented it? That is the electric cord in the
Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men
together; that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of
freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.— Abraham

It is in vain for demagogism to raise its short arms against the
truth of history. The Declaration of Independence stands there. No
candid man ever read it without seeing and feeling that every word of
it was dictated by deep and earnest thought, and that every sentence
of it bears the stamp of philosophic generality. It is the summing up
of the results of the philosophical development of the age; the practical
embodiment of the progressive ideas which, far from being confined
to the narrow limits of the English colonies, pervaded the atmosphere
of all civilized nations. — Carl Schurz.

I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the
sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often
pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assem-
bled here and framed and adopted the Declaration of Independence. I
have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and
soldiers of the army who achieved that independence. I have often
inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this
confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the



separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in
the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the
people of this country, but, I hope, to the world for all future time. It
was that which you promised, that in due time the weight would be
lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is the sentiment embodied in
the Declaration of Independence. — Abraham Lincoln.

On the fourth of July, 1776, the representatives of the United
States of America, in Congress assembled, declared that these United
Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.
This Declaration, made by most patriotic and resolute men, trusting
in the justice of their cause and the protection of Providence — and
yet not without deep solicitude and anxiety — has stood for seventy-
five years, and still stands. It was sealed in blood. It has met dangers
and overcome them; it has had enemies and it has conquered them;
it has had detractors and it has abashed them all; it has had doubting
friends, but it has cleared all doubts away; and, now, to-day, raising its
august form higher than the clouds, twenty millions of people contem-
plate it with hallowed love, and the world beholds it, and the conse-
quences which have followed, with profound admiration. — Daniel

The Declaration of Independence is the grandest, the bravest, and
the profoundest political document that was ever signed by the repre-
sentatives of the people. It is the embodiment of physical and moral
courage and of political wisdom. I say physical courage because it
was a declaration of war against the most powerful nation then on the
globe; a declaration of war by thirteen weak, unorganized colonies; a
declaration of war by a few people, without military stores, without
wealth, without strength, against the most powerful kingdom on the
earth; a declaration of war made when the British navy, at that day
the mistress of every sea, was hovering along the coast of America,
looking after defenceless towns and villages to ravage and destroy. It
was made when thousands of English soldiers were upon our soil, and
when the principal cities of America were in the substantial possession
of the enemy. And so I say, all things considered, it was the bravest
political document ever signed by man. — Robert G. Ingcrsoll.


r E can give up everything but our Constitution, which is
the sun of our system. As the natural sun dispels fogs,
heats the air, and vivifies and illumines the world, even
so does the Constitution, in days of adversity and gloom,
come out for our rescue and our enlightening. If the
luminary which now sheds its light upon us and invigorates our
sphere should sink forever in his ocean bed, clouds, cold, and perpetual
death would environ us; and if we suffer our other sun, the Constitu-
tion, to be turned from us, if we neglect or disregard its benefits, if
its beams disappear but once in the west, anarchy and chaos will have
come again, and we shall grope out in darkness and despair the remain-
der of a miserable existence. — Daniel Webster.

In order to understand the theory of the American Government,
the most serious, calm, persistent study should be given to the Con-
stitution of the United States. I don't mean learning it by heart, com-
mitting it to memory. What you want is to understand it; to know
the principles at the bottom of it; to feel the impulse of it; to feel the
heart-beat that thrills through the whole American people. That is
the vitality that is worth knowing; that is the sort of politics that excels
all the mysteries of ward elections, and lifts you up into a view where
you can see the clear skies, the unknown expanse of the future. —
Charles A. Dana.

Every free government is necessarily complicated, because all such

governments establish restraints, as well on the power of government

itself as on that of individuals. If we will abolish the distinction of

branches and have but one branch; if we will abolish jury trials, and

leave all to the judge; and if we place the executive power in the same

hands, we may readily simplify government. We may easily bring it

to the simplest of all possible forms, — a pure despotism. But a separa-
23 (353)


tion of departments, so far as practicable, and the preservation of clear
lines of division between them, is the fundamental idea in the creation
of all our constitutions; and, doubtless, the continuance of regulated
liberty depends on maintaining these boundaries. — Daniel Webster.

There never existed an example before of a free community spread-
ing over such an extent of territory; and the ablest and profoundest
thinkers, at the time, believed it to be utterly impracticable that there
should be. Yet this difficult problem was solved — successfully solved
— by the wise and sagacious men who framed our Constitution. No;
it was above unaided human wisdom — above the sagacity of the most
enlightened. It was the result of a fortunate combination of circum-
stances co-operating and leading the way to its formation, directed by
that kind Providence which has so often and so signally disposed events
in our favor. — John C. Calhoun.

The Constitution of the United States, the nearest approach of
mortal to perfect political wisdom, was the work of men who purchased
liberty with their blood, but who found that, without organization, free-
dom was not a blessing. They formed it, and the people, in their intel-
ligence, adopted it. And what has been its history? Has it trodden
down any man's rights? Has it circumscribed the liberty of the press?
Has it stopped the mouth of any man? Has it held us up as objects of
disgrace abroad? How much the reverse! It has given us character
abroad; and when, with Washington at its head, it went forth to the
world, this young country at once became the most interesting and
imposing in the circle of civilized nations. — Daniel Webster.



Is it nothing, then, to be free? Is it nothing that we are Republi-
cans? Can anything be more striking and sublime than the idea of
an Imperial Republic, spreading over an extent of territory more
immense than the empire of the Caesars in the accumulated conquests
of a thousand years, without prefects, or proconsuls, or publicans,
founded in the maxims of common sense, employing within itself no
arms but those of reason, and known to its subjects only by the bless-
ings it bestows or perpetuates, yet capable of directing against a for-
eign foe aH the energies of a military despotism, — a Republic in which
men are completely insignificant, and principles and laws exercise
throughout its vast dominion a peaceful and irresistible sway, blending
in one divine harmony, such various habits and conflicting opinions;
and mingling in our institutions the light of philosophy with all that
is dazzling in the associations of heroic achievement and extended domi-
nation, and deep-seated and formidable power! — Hugh S. Lcgare.

A government founded upon anything except liberty and justice
cannot and ought not to stand. All the wrecks on either side of the
stream of time, all the wrecks of the great cities, and all the nations
that have passed away — all are a warning that no nation founded
upon injustice can stand. From the sand-enshrouded Egypt, from the
marble wilderness of Athens, and from every fallen, crumbling stone
of the once mighty Rome, comes a wail, as it were, the cry that no
nation founded upon injustice can permanently stand. — Robert G. Inger-

Liberty has been the battle-cry which has led to victory on a thou-
sand battlefields; it wrung from King John the Magna Charta; it razed
the Bastile to the ground; it peopled the solitudes of America with a
hardy race of pilgrims; it led Washington and his faithful army through
the perils and sufferings of a seven years' war. It has been the pre-




siding genius which, age after age, in Greece, Rome, Switzerland,
England, France, America, and in the South Seas, has molded constitu-
tions, framed laws, and elaborated institutions, all seeking to secure to
the individual the highest possible liberty. — Thomas J. Morgan.

Is true freedom but to break
Fetters for our own dear sake,
And with leathern hearts forget
That we owe mankind a debt?
No! True freedom is to share
All the chains our brothers wear,
And with heart and hand to be
Earnest to make others free!

They are slaves who fear to speak

For the fallen and the weak;

They are slaves who will not choose

Hatred, scoffing and abuse,

Rather than in silence shrink

From the truth they needs must think;

They are slaves who dare not be

In the right with two or three.

— James Russell Lowell.

All who stand beneath our banner are free. Ours is the only flag
that has in reality written upon it " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity " —
the three grandest words in all the languages of men. Liberty: give
to every man the fruit of his own labor — the labor of his hand and of
his brain. Fraternity: every man in the right is my brother. Equality:
the rights of all are equal. No race, no color, no previous condition,
can change the rights of men. The Declaration of Independence has at
least been carried out in letter and in spirit. To-day, the black man
looks upon his child and says: " The avenues of distinction are open to
you — upon your brow may fall the civic wreath." We are celebrating
the courage and wisdom of our fathers, and the glad shout of a free
people, the anthem of a grand nation, commencing at the Atlantic, is
following the sun to the Pacific, across a continent of happy homes. —
Robert G. Ingersoll.


The land of Freedom! Sea and shore

Are guarded now, as when
Her ebbing waves to victory bore

Fair barks and gallant men:
O many a ship of prouder name

May wave her starry fold,
Nor trail, with deeper line of fame,

The paths they swept of old!

— Oliver Wendtll Hclmes.

O Freedom! Thou are not, as poets dream,

A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,

And wavy tresses gushing from the cap

With which the Roman master crowned his slave

When he took off the gyves. A bearded man,

Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailed hand

Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword: thy brow,

Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred

With tokens of old wars: Thy massive limbs

Are strong with struggling. Power at thee has launched

His bolts and with hi- lightnings smitten thee:

They could not quench the light thou hast from Heaven.

Wm. Cullen Bryant.

In relation to the principle that all men are created equal, let it
be as nearly reached as we can. If we cannot give freedom to every
creature, let us do nothing that will impose slavery upon any other
creature. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in
your bosoms until there shall be no longer a doubt that all men are
created free and equal. — Abraham Lincoln.

Hope of the world! Thou hast broken its chains,
Wear thy bright arms while a tyrant remains:

Online LibraryCharles Rufus SkinnerManual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York → online text (page 22 of 31)