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[_Reply to the Address of the Democrats of Tammany Hall, New York,
Dec. 17th_.]

Mr. Sickles, who made the address, closed by stating that he contributed
to the cause of Hungary "a golden dollar, fresh from the free mines of
the Pacific;" adding that he trusted millions would follow, and that the
"Almighty Dollar," if still the proverb of a money-making people, would
become a symbol of its noblest instincts and truest ambition.

Kossuth, in reply, after warm thanks, declined the personal praises
bestowed on him, and sketched the series of events by which the Austrian
tyranny had converted him from insignificance into a man of importance.
He then proceeded to comment on France[*] as follows: - I hope that the
great French nation will soon succeed to establish a true republic. But
I have come to the conviction, that for freedom there is no duration in
CENTRALIZATION, which is a legacy of ambitious men. To be conquerors,
power must be centralized; but to be a free nation, self-government must
reign in families, villages, cities, counties, states. As power now is
lodged in France, the government has in its hand an army of half a
million of men, under that iron discipline which is needed in a standing
army. It has under its control a budget of more than a thousand million
francs. It can dispose of every public office in France; it has a civil
army of more than 500,000 men: the mayor of the least village derives
his appointment from the government. All the police, all the _gens
d'armes_, are in its hands. Now, gentlemen, is it not clear
that - with such authority and force, - not to become dangerous to
liberty, every President needs to be a Washington. And Washingtons are
not so thickly strewn around. Woe to the country, whose institutions are
such, that their freedom depends on the personal character of one man.
Be he the best man in the world, he will not overcome the essential
repugnance of his position to freedom. When France abandons this
_centralization_, and carries out her own principles of "Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity," by _local self-government_, she will be the
great basis of European republics. As to sovereignty of the people, I
take it that the right to cast a vote for the election of a President
once in four years does not exhaust the sovereign rights of a nation. A
people deciding about its own matters, must be everywhere master of its
own fate, in village communes as much as in electing its chief officer.

[Footnote *: The news of the _coup d'état_ had not yet reached him.]

You have spoken about certain persons who will have "peace at any
price." Of course you feel that permanent peace _cannot_ be had at
any less price, than that which buys justice: nor can there be justice,
where is no freedom. Under oppression is neither contentment nor
tranquillity. There are some who prefer being oppressed to the dangers
of shaking off oppression; but I am sure there are millions who fear
death less than enslavement. Peace therefore will not exist, though all
your Rothschilds and Barings help the despots. To withhold material aid
from the oppressed will not avert the war, but by depriving the leaders
of the means of concert will simply make the struggle more lingering: a
result surely not desired by friends of peace.

But, sir, I thank you for your dollar. The ocean is composed of drops.
The greatest results are achieved, not by individuals, but by the humble
industry of mankind, incessantly bringing man nearer to the aim
providentially destined for him. Not all the Rothschilds together can
wield such sums as poor people can; for the poor count by millions.
Those dollars of the people have another great value. One million of
them given by a million of men gives hope to the popular cause: it gives
the sympathy and support of a million men. I bless God for that word of
yours, that the one dollar should be followed by many; for then your
example would not only in a financial respect be a great benefit, but
afford a foundation for that freedom which the Almighty designs for the
nations. Here is a great glory for your country to aim at. It is
glorious to stand at the top of the pyramid of humanity; more glorious
to become yourselves the pillar on which the welfare of human nature
rests. For this, mankind looks to your country with hope and confidence.

* * * * *


[_Address in the Plymouth Church at Brooklyn, Dec. 18th, 1851_.]

The Rev. H. W. Beecher having assured Kossuth of the deep and religious
interest long felt and expressed towards him within those very walls:
Kossuth replied, declaring that he felt himself always in the power of
God, and believed Christianity and freedom to be but one cause. He went
on to add:

The cause of Hungary is strongly connected with the principle of
religious liberty on earth. In the first war of the sixteenth century a
battle was fought by the Moslems in Hungary, by which the power of our
nation was almost overthrown. At that time the monarchy was elective. A
Hungarian, who was Governor of Transylvania, was chosen king, but
another party elected Ferdinand of Austria to be King of Hungary. A long
struggle ensued, in which the Princes of Transylvania called in Turkish
aid against the House of Austria.

In the hour of necessity, the House of Austria complied with the wishes
of my nation, whenever my country had taken up arms; but no sooner was
the sword laid down, than this dynasty always neglected to perform its
promises. In the midst of the last century, under Maria Theresa, those
who did not belong to the Catholic faith were almost excluded from all
offices. Joseph succeeded, who was a tolerant man; but scarcely was he
in his grave, when the Emperor Francis renewed persecution, and it was
only in 1848, that religious liberty was established to every creed.
When the House of Austria took arms against the laws of 1848, they took
arms against religious liberty.

In our Parliament, it was Roman Catholics who stood in the van of battle
for religious liberty: but when I say this, I must state it without
drawing any commentary from it. It was reserved to our revolution to
show the development of the glorious cause of freedom. When my country
imposed on me the duty to govern the land, I was ready to show the
confidence I had in religious freedom. I chose a Catholic Minister to be
Minister of Education in Hungary, and he fully justified the confidence
I reposed in him. He has shown that our Constitution is founded upon
equality; that it regards all men as citizens, and makes no distinction
of profession. It is only under free institutions that a clergyman can
remain a clergyman with burning heart towards his own duties, and yet,
when called to perform the duties of a citizen, be no longer a clergyman
but a citizen. Could the Church of Rome have appreciated this principle,
and have acted upon it, my friend Mazzini were not now necessary for the
freedom of Italy. But as Rome did not appreciate it, the temporal power
of the Pope will probably fall at the next revolution.

My principles are, that the Church shall not meddle with politics, and
Government will not meddle with religion. In every society there are
political and civil concerns on one side, and on the other social
concerns; for the first, civil authority must be established - in
political and civil respects every one has to acknowledge the power of
its jurisdiction. But, in respect to social interests, it is quite the
contrary. Religion is not an institution - it is a matter of conscience.

For the support of these principles I ask your generous aid. You know
that whenever the House of Austria attains to any strength, its first
step is to break down religious liberty. And Austria is helped by
Russia, which is even still less propitious to these principles; you
remember the insolence or hardship to which in Russia those people are
subject who do not belong to the Greek Church; at the present time the
poor Jews are subjected to great indignities, and compelled, if not to
shave off their hair, to cut it in a particular manner, so as to
distinguish them from members of the Greek Church. But Hungary, by the
providence of God, is destined to become once more the vanguard of
civilization, and of religious liberty for the whole of the European
Continent against the encroachments of Russian despotism, as it has
already been the barrier of Christianity, against Islamism.

Kossuth then proceeded to explain, that any moneys contributed by the
generosity of the American public would not be employed as a warlike
fund, for which it would be utterly insignificant; but solely as a means
of enabling the oppressed to concert their measures. After this he
canvassed _the three props_ of Austria, and pointed out the
weakness of them all; viz. its loans, - its army, - and Russia. Its loans
run fast to a bankruptcy. Its army is composed of nations which hate it.
Under the Austrian government, the Tyrol perhaps alone has escaped
bombardments, scaffolds, and jails filled with patriots. The armies are
raised by forcible conscriptions, and contain some hundred thousand
Hungarians who recently fought and conquered Austria, whom Austria now
keeps in drill to serve against her when the time comes. As to the third
prop - Russia, - possibly for some days yet in the future it may support
Austria; but not in a long war: Austria can never stand in a long war.

I am told (said Kossuth) that some who call themselves "men of peace"
cry out for _peace at any price_. But is the present condition
peace? Is the scaffold peace? - that scaffold, on which in Lombardy
during the "peaceful" years the blood of 3742 patriots has been shed.
When the prisons of Austria are filled with patriots, is that peace? or
is the discontent of all the nations peace? I do not believe that the
Lord created the world for _such_ a kind of peace as that, - to be a
prison, - to be a volcano, boiling up and ready to break out. No: but
with justice and liberty there will be contentment, and with
contentment, peace - lasting peace, consistent peace: while from the
tyrants of the world there is oppression, and with oppression the
breaking forth of war.....

* * * * *


[_Reply to the Address of the Bar of New York, Dec. 19th, 1851_.]

A reception and a banquet to Kossuth having been prepared by the Bar at
Tripler Hall, ex-justice Jones introduced him with a short speech; after
which Judge Sandford, in the name of the whole Bar, read an ample
address, of which the following is the principal part: -

Governor Kossuth. - The Bar of New York, having participated with their
fellow-citizens in extending to you that cordial and enthusiastic
welcome which greeted your landing upon the shores of America, have
solicited the opportunity to express to you, as a member of the legal
profession, their respect for your great talents and eminent
attainments, and their admiration for the ardour and enthusiasm with
which you have devoted all your powers and energies to the sacred cause
of the emancipation of your native land. Wherever freedom has needed an
advocate, wherever law has required a supporter, wherever tyranny and
oppression have provoked resistance, and men have been found for the
occasion, it is the proud honour of our common profession to have
presented from our ranks some prominent individual who has generously
and boldly engaged in the service; and Hungary has furnished to the
world one of the most striking in the brilliant series of illustrious
examples. As early as the year 1840, the public history of Hungary had
made us acquainted with the distinguished part which a Mr. Kossuth, an
attorney, as he was then described, had performed in sustaining the laws
of his country. Mr. Kossuth, the Attorney of that day, has since matured
into the Counsellor, Statesman, Patriot, Governor, and now stands before
us the Exile more distinguished for his firmness and undaunted courage
in his last reverse than for his exaltation by the free choice of his
countrymen. After the years of your imprisonment and painful anxiety had
worn away, and the illegal measure of your arrest had been publicly
acknowledged, we found you restored to your personal liberty, and again
ardently engaged in the great cause of your country's freedom. At the
meeting of the Diet of Hungary which was held in November, 1847, and
before the flame of revolution had illuminated Europe, we found a series
of acts resolved upon by that body, which declared an equality of civil
rights and of public burdens among all classes, denominations, and races
in Hungary and its provinces, perfect toleration for every form of
religion, an extension of the elective franchise, universal freedom in
the sale of landed property, liberty to strangers to settle in the
country, the emancipation of the Jews, the sum of eight millions set
apart to encourage manufactures and construct roads, and the nobles of
Hungary, by a voluntary act, abolishing the old tenure of the lands,
thereby constituting the producing classes to be absolute owners of
nearly one half of the cultivated territory in the kingdom. This great
advance made by your country in a system of benign and ameliorating
legislation, was checked by occurrences which are too fresh in your
recollection to require a recapitulation. We welcome you among us; we
tender you our admiration for your efforts; our sympathy for your
sufferings; our cordial wishes that your persevering labours may be
successful in restoring your country to her place among nations, and her
people to the enjoyment of those blessings of civil and religious
liberty, to which, by their intelligence and bravery, and by the _laws
of nature and of nature's God_, they are justly entitled. Our
professional pursuits have led us to the study of the system of
jurisprudence which has been matured by the wisdom and experience of
ages, but which has been recognized by all eminent jurists to be founded
upon the defined principles of Christianity. From that great source of
law we have learned, that as members of the family of mankind, our
duties are not bounded by the territorial limits of the government which
protects us, nor circumscribed as to time or space. We have framed a
constitution of government, and under it have adopted a system of laws
which we are bound to execute and obey. The stability and efficiency of
our own government are dependent upon the intelligence, virtue, and
moderation of our people. It has been justly remarked by one of our most
distinguished jurists, that "in a republic, every citizen is himself in
some measure entrusted with the public safety, and acts an important
part for its weal or woe." Trained as we have been in these principles
of self-government, appreciating all the blessings which a bounteous
Creator has so profusely showered upon us, and desirous to see the
principles of civil and religious liberty extended to other nations, we
rejoice at every uprising of their oppressed people; we sympathize with
their struggles, and within the limits of our public laws and public
policy, we aid them in their efforts. If through weakness or treachery
they fail, we grieve at their misfortunes. In you, sir, we behold a
personification of that great principle which forms the corner stone of
our own revered Constitution - the right of self-government. Darkened as
has been the horizon of suffering Hungary, in you, sir, still burns that
living fire of freedom, which we trust will yet light up her firmament,
and shed its lustrous flame over her wasted lands. "The unnamed
demi-gods" whose blood has moistened her battle-fields, the martyrs
whose lives have been freely offered up on the scaffold and beneath the
axe, the living exiles now scattered through distant lands, have not
suffered, are not suffering in vain. Governments were created for the
benefit of the many, and not of the few. A day, an hour of retribution
will yet come; the Almighty promise will not be forgotten - "Vengeance is
mine - I will repay it, saith the Lord."

Kossuth thereupon replied: -

Gentlemen, - Highly as I value the opportunity to meet the gentlemen of
the Bar, I should have felt very much embarrassed to have to answer the
address of that corporation before such a numerous and distinguished
assembly, had not you, sir, relieved my well-founded anxiety by justly
anticipating and appreciating my difficulties. Let me hope, that herein
you were the interpreter of this distinguished assembly's indulgence.

Gentlemen of the Bar, you have the noble task to be the first
interpreters of the law; to make it subservient to justice; to maintain
its eternal principles against encroachment; and to restore those
principles to life, whenever they become obliterated by misunderstanding
or by violence. My opinion is, that Law must keep pace in its
development with institutions and intelligence, and until these are
perfect, law is and must be with them in continual progress. Justice is
immortal, eternal, and immutable, like God himself; and the development
of law is only then a progress, when it is directed towards those
principles which, like Him, are eternal; and whenever prejudice or error
succeeds in establishing in customary law any doctrine contrary to
eternal justice, it is one of your noblest duties, gentlemen, - having no
written Code to fetter justice within the bonds of error and
prejudice, - it is one of your noblest duties to apply _Principles_,
- to show that an unjust custom is a corrupt practice, an
abuse; and by showing this, to originate that change, or rather
development in the unwritten, customary law, which is necessary to make
it protect justice, instead of opposing and violating it.

If this be your noble vocation in respect to the Private laws of your
country, let me entreat you, gentlemen, to extend it to that Public law
which, regulating the mutual duties of nations towards each other, rules
the destinies of humanity. You know that in that eternal code of "nature
and of nature's God," which your forefathers invoked when they raised
the colonies of England to the rank of a free nation, there are no
pettifogging subtleties, but only everlasting principles: everlasting,
like those by which the world is ruled. You know that when artificial
cunning of ambitious oppressors succeeds to pervert those principles,
and when passive indifference or thoughtlessness submits to it, as
weakness must submit: it is the noble destiny - let me say, duty - of
enlightened nations, alike powerful as free, to restore those eternal
principles to practical validity, so that justice, light, and truth may
sway, where injustice, oppression, and error have prevailed. Raise high
the torch of truth; cast its beams on the dark field of arbitrary
prejudice; become the champions of principles, and your people will be
the regenerators of International law.

It will. A tempestuous life has somewhat sharpened my eye, and had it
even not done so, still I would dare to say, I know how to read your
people's heart. It is conscious of your country's power; it is jealous
of its own dignity; it knows that it is able to restore the law of
nations to the principles of justice and right; and knowing its ability,
its will shall not be lacking. Let the cause of Hungary become the
opportunity for the restoration of true and just international law.
Mankind is come to the eleventh hour in its destinies. One hour of delay
more, and its fate may be sealed, and nothing left to the generous
inclinations of your people - so tender-hearted, so noble, and so
kind - but to mourn over murdered nations, its beloved brethren in

I have but to make a few remarks about two objections, which I am told I
shall have to contend with. The first is, that it is a leading principle
of the United States not to interfere with European nations. I may
perhaps assume that you have been pleased to acquaint yourselves with
what I have elsewhere said on that argument; viz. that the United States
had never entertained or confessed such a principle, or at any rate had
abandoned it, and had been forced to do so: which indicates it to have
been only a temporary policy. I stated the mighty difference between
neutrality and non-interference; so I will only briefly remark that a
like difference exists between alliance and interference. Every
independent power has the right to form alliances, but is not under duty
to do so: it may remain neutral, if it please. Neither alliances nor
neutrality are matters of principle, but simply of policy. They may hurt
interest, but do not violate law; whereas with interference the contrary
is the case. Interference with the sovereign right of nations to resist
oppression, or to alter their institutions and government, is a
violation of the law of nations and of God: therefore non-interference
is a duty common to every power and every nation, and is placed under
the safeguard of every power, of every nation. He who violates that law
is like a pirate: every power on earth has the duty to chase him down as
a curse to human nature. There is not a man in the United States but
would avow that a pirate must be chased down; and no man more readily
than the gentlemen of trade. A gentleman who came yesterday to honour
me with the invitation of Cincinnati, that rising wonder of the
West, - with eloquence which speaks volumes in one word, designated as
_piracy_ the interference of foreign violence with the domestic
concerns of a nation. There is such a moving power in a word of truth!
That word has relieved me of many long speeches. I no longer need to
discuss the principle of your foreign policy: there can be no doubt
about what is lawful, what is a duty, against piracy. Your naval forces
are, and must be, instructed to put down piracy wherever they meet it,
on whatever geographic lines, whether in European or in American waters.
You sent your Commodore Decatur for that purpose to the Mediterranean,
who told the Dey of Algiers, that "if he claims powder, he will have it
with the balls;" and no man in the United States imagined this to oppose
your received policy. Nobody then objected that it is the ruling
principle of the United States not to meddle with European or African
concerns; rather, if your government had neglected so to do, I am sure
the gentlemen of trade would have been foremost to complain. Now, in the
name of all which is pleasing to God and sacred to man, if all are ready
thus to unite in the outcry against a rover, who, at the danger of his
own life, boards some frail ship, murders some poor sailors, or takes a
few bales of cotton - is there no hope to see a similar universal outcry
against those great pirates who board, not some small cutters, but the
beloved home of nations? who murder, not some few sailors, but whole
peoples? who shed blood, not by drops, but by torrents? who rob, not
some hundred weight of merchandize, but the freedom, independence,
welfare, and the very existence of nations? Oh God and Father of human
kind! spare - oh spare that degradation to thy children; that in their
destinies some bales of cotton should more weigh than those great
moralities. Alas! what a pitiful sight! A miserable pickpocket, a
drunken highway robber, chased by the whole human race to the gallows:
and those who pickpocket the life-sweat of nations, rob them of their
welfare, of their liberty, and murder them by thousands - these
high-handed criminals proudly raise their brow, trample upon mankind,
and degrade its laws before their high reverential name, and term
themselves "most sacred majesties." But may God be blessed, there is
hope for human nature; for there is a powerful, free, mighty people here
on the virgin soil of America, ready to protect the laws of man and of
Heaven against the execrated pirates and their associates.

But again I am told, "The United States, as a power, are not
indifferent; we sympathize deeply with those who are oppressed; we will
respect the laws of nations; but we have no interest to make them
respected by others towards others." Interest! and always interest! Oh,
how cupidity has succeeded to misrepresent the word? Is there any
interest which could outweigh the interest of justice and of right?
Interest! But I answer by the very words of one of the most
distinguished members of your profession, gentlemen, the present
Honourable Secretary of State: - "The United States, as a nation, have
precisely the same interest (yes, _interest_ is his word) in

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