William E. (William Eaton) Chandler.

Words of William E. Chandler; address of June 8, 1915, on the 150th anniversary of the chartering of the town of Concord .. (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 2)
Online LibraryWilliam E. (William Eaton) ChandlerWords of William E. Chandler; address of June 8, 1915, on the 150th anniversary of the chartering of the town of Concord .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Words of William £. Chandler

Address of June 8, 1915, on the 150th
Anniversary of the Chartering of the

mstorieg of Concord— Three Incidents in Con-
cord History— John P, Hale and Franklin

The Present War — Its Horrors — Edna Dean
Proctor's Poem— Peace Letters— The United
States Not a Colonizing Nation— Make Haste
Slowly — Opinions of Secretaries Long and
Herbert— The Proper Size of Our Navy.

A copy of this pamphlet will be mailed to any person sending a postal card request therefor.

183 5 December 28th 1915

Words of William E. Chandler

Address of June 8, 1 9 1 5, on the 1 50th
Anniversary of the Chartering of the


Mr. Chandler's Birthplace 1

The Two Histories of Concord:

By Rev. Nathaniel Bouton in 1855 2

By Leading Citizens of Concord in 1903 2-3

The True Principles of the Progress, Prosperity and Greatness of Commu-
nities Like Concord 4

Three Incidents in the Growth of Concord:

(1) The John P. Hale and Franklin Pierce Debate in the Old North

Church on June 5, 1845 4

(2) The Refusal by the Citizens of Concord in October, 1856, to give

a Non-partisan Pubhc Reception to President Pierce . 4

(3) The Unveiling in the State House Yard in Concord of a Statue
of Franklin Pierce, erected by the State of New Hampshire, on
November 25, 1914 5

Sketch of the Lives of John P. Hale and Franklm Pierce 5-7

The Present War of the Christian Nations. "I am afraid" 7

The Horrors of the War in Europe — Edna Dean Proctor's Poem of Abdul-
lah of Cairo. "By the Prophet, if these be Christians where
shall we find the heathen? " 8, 16


Letter of Februaiy 23, 1915, to William W. Thayer, Secretary of the New

Hampshu-e Peace Society 9

Keep Calm, Moderation of Speech, The United States Not a Colonizing

Nation 10

Letters to Senator George C. Perkins, January 15, and February 1 and 8.

" Reasons for Making l^a^te Slowly. " 11

Opinions of Naval Secretaries V

John D. Long and Hilary A. Herbert 12

The Proper Size of Our Navj-. Mr. Chandler's Speech in the Senate on

May 13, 1892 14, 15

December 28, 1915.


June 8, 1915.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Citizens of Concord, Felloio Legislators:
My first appearance in this my native home was on the
28th day of December in the year 1835, within the dwelling
house which was directly north of the old Call's Block (His-
tory, Vol. 1, page 599) and was known as the Call house, then
standing on what is now the corner of State and Park streets,
whereon is the marvelously beautiful edifice of the New
Hampshire Historical Society given by Edward Tuck from
his home in Paris, France, for the use and blessing of his
native state. South nearby (History, Vol. 2, page 745) is
the pubKc school building, in the various grades of which I
was educated; north adjoining which is the present church
edifice of the Second Congregational Society, Unitarian, of
which I have all my life been a member; and opposite the
Call's Block lot whereon the United States government
building now stands, behold the New Hampshire State
House, within which have been conferred upon me the highest
pubHc honors of my life.

For seventy-nine and one-half years I have continued a
legal resident in Concord, voting at its elections after 1856
and responding earnestly to every call of duty from its

The present elaborate celebration of the one hundred and
fiftieth anniversary of the chartering of the town of Concord,
with the making of a record of the ceremonies, is for the

mutual rejoicing and complaisant contemplation of events
already well related and is not necessary as a history except
of the last ten years. No such perfect record of any com-
munity has ever been made as the two existing histories of
Concord— those of 1855 and 1903.

The first of these histories is by Rev. Nathaniel Bouton,
that of Concord "from its first grant in 1725 down to 1855."

Any historical narrative of any community made by only
one writer does not exist, more accurate, complete and
attractive than this by Doctor Bouton, and it is a pleasure
for me to praise and honor a minister and an author whom
I respected and loved, and members of whose family are still
dear to my heart.

The next history of Concord is that of 1903, "from the
original grant in 1725 to the opening of the twentieth cen-
tury." It is the joint production of citizens of Concord,
originated in 1896 by the City Government, with Henry
Robinson as mayor, and was carried forward to completion by
him and Mayors Albert B. Wood worth, Nathaniel E. Martin,
Harry G. Sargent and Charles R. Corning, with a City Com-
mission specially incorporated by the Legislature on March
24, 1903. The record announces James O. Lyford as the
editor; Amos Hadley was the author of the general narrative,
in sixteen chapters; Joseph B. Walker described the physical
features and development, and contributions of important
chapters and articles were made by Henry McFarland,
Jacob H. Gallinger, Charles R. Corning, James O. Lyford,
John C. Ordway, Frank W. Rollins, Howard F. Hill, Thomas
C. Bethune, Frank Battles and WiHiam W. Flint. The illus-
trations were in charge of Henry B. Colby and prepared
under the supervision of Benjamin A. Kimball, while the
reading of the revised proof was the contribution of Edward


N. Pearson and the indispensable index was made by the
accompHshed Miss Harriet L. Huntress.

Isaac A. Hill, John M. Mitchell, Benjamin A. Kimball,
James L. Norris, Lewis Downing, Jr., John M. Hill, John
Kimball, Leland A. Smith, George A. Cummings, Edson J.
Hill, Franklin D. Ayer, E. J. Aiken, Woodbridge Odhn,
Lyman D. Stevens, John Whitaker, Daniel B. Donovan,
Milon D. Cummings, Cyrus R. Robinson and Giles Wheeler
were important promoters of the work, some of them as
members of the Cit}^ Commission.

An account of the construction of the history was made
by that literary ornament of Concord, Miss Frances M.
Abbott, which was published in the Granite Monthly of
January, 1904, and is a model of completeness and concise-
ness. She also contributed to the history a chapter on
Domestic Customs and Social Life. I venture to give adjec-
tives of praise only to the two female workers in the construc-
tion of the incomparable "History of Concord," which is
such an accurate and complete record of the city's fame.

It was not my lot to be able to make any contribution to
this wonderful history of my beloved city, but on Old Home
Day, August 24, 1904, at Contoocook River Park, it was my
privilege to deliver an address containing a careful analysis
and enthusiastic eulogy of the History, and to express my
unbounded gratitude to its authors, all of whom, except the
deserving author of the general narrative, gave their minds
and hearts to the work without compensation. A copy of
my address was furnished with every copy of the large two-
volume History, which tribute of mine I consider it a privi-
lege to have been allowed thus to make something like a part
of those remarkable volumes.

On this occasion it is not my purpose and would not be my
privilege to make a long discourse; so that beyond a state-
ment of my constant affection and fidelity to my birthplace
and the only legal home I ever had, I shall venture to present
but one idea. Senator Proctor once invited me to a celebra-
tion of the Loyal Legion, telling me that there would be
many speakers and that one idea would be enough if it was
a good one. He then commanded me to speak to the toast,
"The Soldiers and Sailors of the L^nited States from 1776
to 1896," and gave me ten minutes in which to do it!

My one present idea is that the progress, prosperity and
greatness of communities like Concord, and of nations
like ours, result from the brave assertion of all individual
differences of opinion with full and free debate thereon,
and, as soon as human nature will permit, a decision and
final ending of controversy thereon, the expulsion of anger,
and animosity, and the systematic cultivation in the future
of continuous co-operation guided by 7nutual and true

Without such a national principle, popular harmony
will always be precarious and unity of national growth
uncertain, while with its free exercise national greatness
is sure.

This being my idea, I illustrate it today only by three
incidents in the history of Concord.


The John P. Hale and Franklin Pierce debate in the Old
North Church in Concord on June 5, 1845.


The refusal by the citizens of Concord in October, 1856,
to give a non-partisan public reception to President Pierce.


The unveiling in the State House yard at Concord, front-
ing Main Street, of a statue of Frankhn Pierce, erected by
the commonwealth of New Hampshire on November 25,

John P. Hale of Rochester and Franklin Pierce of Hills-
borough were Bowdoin College classmates and political
associates and personal friends. When the question of the
annexation of Texas arose, Mr. Hale, then a member of Con-
gress, wrote his famous Texas letter, dated January 7,
1845, opposing the annexation of any more slave territory;
and on February 12 the Democratic State Convention, under
the lead of Franklin Pierce, reassembled and removed Hale's
name from the ticket. Next, on June 5, at Concord, came
the famous, impassioned meeting between the two brilliant
orators, the result of which was the defeat of the Democratic
party in the state at the election of 1846 and the election of
Mr. Hale as Speaker of the House and United States Sena-
tor; with Anthony Colby as Governor.

Then followed the long and bitter anti-slavery and seces-
sion combat; the annexation of Texas; the war with Mexico;
the compromises in 1850; the election in 1852, with Hale a
Free Soil candidate against him, of Franklin Pierce as Presi-
dent; the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854; and
the struggle in 1856 to elect Fremont over Buchanan as

During this canvass. President Pierce came to Concord,
and an effort was made to give him a non-partisan reception.
It was opposed, and by practically an unresisted vote, in an
immense meeting in Depot Hall, voted down. The men who
bravely did this had received no visit to his home from their
President between March 4, 1853, and Octobei, 1856, and.

much admired and beloved as he had been by.qll the people
of Concord, they then regaided him as more than any other
person responsible for the bloody struggle in bleeding Kansas.
The Democrats, in their indignation, gave the President an
immense, partisan demonstration, but the Republicans had
done their duty. Concord, in November, gave 452 plu-
rality for Fremont, and New Hampshire gave him more than
5,000; while in 1852 General Pierce had received 229 ma-
jority in Concord and nearly 7,000 in the state.

But fifty-eight years later Concord saw another sight.
Time had worked the wonders of the nineteenth century in
the United States. The growth of slavery had been checked.
Kansas had been made free. Abraham Lincoln had been
made President. Secession had been proclaimed and a war
of rebellion declared by the South, but victory in that war
had been achieved by the armies of the Union under the
leadership of Grant and Sherman and Sheridan and the other
heroes of the North. As a result of the war, slavery had been
abolished and citizenship and suffrage conferred upon the
colored race. Even the terrible calamities of the murders of
Lincoln and Garfield and McKinley were seen to have pro-
ceeded from no considerable number of assassins.

The United States in the interest of humanity had liberated
from the harsh rule of Spain the island of Cuba and the
islands of the Philippines.

Prosperity unbounded had come to the whole country.
The national honor had been maintained to every national

In New Hampshire the statue of Daniel Webster had been
placed in the State House yard at Concord with that of
General John Stark and also statues of both of them in the
National Gallery in the Capitol at Washington; a statue of

John P. Hale had been also erected in the State House
grounds, and the time had come for a like recognition of the
true meiits of President Franklin Pierce.

This appropriate event took place on November 25, 1914.
All reluctance had disappeared. The Legislature and Gov-
ernor had directed the erection of the statue. All real ob-
jection had vanished, and on that day the statue of President
Pierce was unveiled and given to the people with fitting
ceremonies duly made of record. Without distinction of
party, the political leaders, with discriminating praise, with
just judgment and with sincere affection at last placed
President Pierce upon the pinnacle of fame to which he had
been entitled.

The Present War of the Christian Nations.
I cannot close without uttering a sad and gloomy thought.
The growth and glory of our city, our state and our nation
has been thus accomplished and illustrated, only to be at
this moment put in peril by the distress and horror arising
from the world-wide European War of 1914-1915; so that
every public occasion is oppressed and subdued by a paralyz-
ing sadness.

This whole globe is but a speck in the unbounded universe
and it is now full of the tortures of murderous warfare. I
expressed to a thoughtful friend the despairing idea that the
only real ending of such woes would be that the world itself
should come to an end. Two days later I saw attributed to
Cardinal Gibbons the expression of the thought that the end
of the world might be at hand. How can this be otherwise?
Will God preserve our material earth to continue to be the
horrible human habitation it now appears?
I am afraid!

It seems to me that the greatest duty and labor to which
the people of the world can commit themselves is the estab-
lishment of international treaties for the prevention of the
devastations and horrors of war.

''A task for the thirty -five neutral nations" is once again
stated by the Neiv York Independent of May 24 to be under-
taken by their proposed conference at Washington "to sit
in continuous session until the war is over," and to go on to
provide guarantees against war *' until after diplomacy,
mediation, commissions of inquiry, arbitration and economic
pressure have failed." The Independent says: "Let Presi-
dent Wilson call immediately the thirty-five neutral nations

From Edna Dean Proctor.

From the same number of the Independent listen to our
noble and far-seeing New Hampshire poetess, Edna Dean
Proctor, speaking through Abdallah of Cairo.

By the Prophet, if these be Christians, where shall we find

the heathen?
If this is their Gospel of Love, where shall we look for Hate?
With the lilies of Peace their Jesus in temple and shrine is

But they raven like wolves in the fold when the moon is late.

And for whaV^ For the market, for greed of gold and

To rule to the uttermost sea and the shores no foot has trod,
Their impious fleets cleave the sky, but never a pinion
Bears the beleagured spirit to regions above the clod.

Hark to the roar of battle, the wail for the dead and the dying !
Prating of Light, these Christians have shrouded the earth

in gloom.
Each unto God or Goddess for conquest and gain is crying —
I will repeat the Fatiha and leave them to their doom.

[See on pages 16 and 17 the whole of the Abdallah poem, with an explanatory
note by Miss Proctor.]


Mr. Chandler, on account of impaired health, is not likely
long to continue to write much for publication. It is, there-
fore, appropriate that there should be annexed to his address
at Concord of June 8 extracts from two recent publications

of his.


A letter of February 23, 1915, to William W. Thayer,
Esq., Secretary of the New Hampshire Peace Society:

At this exciting period it is important that every American
citizen should keep calm on the subject of War, and that
advocates of Peace should continue to urge their views in
reasonable words intended to be not at all offensive to any
of the warring nations.

Our relations with Mexico are critical.

Of equal if not greater importance is moderation of speech
in connection with the war in Europe. Preaching peace by
us to the warring nations will have no effect at this time.
The most terrifying event in the world's history has been the
beginning of that war and its extent and continuance. But
it is not by any means certain that it should end prematurely;
that is, without a reasonable certainty that it will not soon
begin again. So pronunciamentos from the United States
should be moderately expressed and our real influence
reserved until the time comes when our nation can propi-
tiously offer aid in friendly and judicious mediation and


Neither is tliis an appropriate time to agitate for vast
immediate expenditures for the army and navy of the United
States. Dehberation and care in new constructions of forts,
ships, guns, explosives, submarines and aeroplanes is ad-
visable because we have plenty of time, and should learn
what the events of this war will teach us before we over-
burden our people with appalling taxation for war prepara-
tion, on the idea that we may at any moment become in-
volved in war with one of the great nations. The suggestion
is preposterous.

Of course we should keep on with our ordinary military


The question how large should be our continuous and
complete military and naval preparation ought not to be
settled either in a time of apathy or in a time of excitement.
Because we are not a colonizing nation we are not going to
prepare for war as a colonizing nation does. We ought to
have a close alliance with our parent nation, speaking the
same language. But England has 350,000,000 of colonists
while we have none except in the Philippines and those we
intend to part with in due time, I hope, aided in the plan by
a treaty with England and Japan. We shall never have a
war with a European nation unless we have another Euro-
pean nation and probal)ly more than one as an ally.

We are sure to have an alliance with Argentine, Brazil
and Chile and possibly with substantially all the nations of
the Western Hemisphere. What folly to talk of our main-
taining a navy as big as England's and an army as big as


Peace, prosperity and an overflowing treasury are to be


our fortune, and peace will be preserved quite as well by
prosperity and gold in the treasury as by huge armaments
whose expense may crush out the vitality of the common
people of our country.


Extracts from letters of Mr. Chandler to United States
Senator George C. Perkins of the Committee on Naval Af-
fairs, dated January 15, February 1 and February 8, 1915,
with extracts from letters to Secretary Daniels from ex-
Secretaries John D. Long (of December 24, 1914) and Hilary
A. Herbert (of January 30, 1915).

Washington, D. C, Jan. 15, 1915.
Hon. George C. Perkins,

United States Senator.
My Dear Senator Perkins: I venture to advise you to refrain
(1) from bringing politics into naval legislation or adminis-
tration, (2) from making haste in naval construction or
expenditure, (3) from weakening civilian control in the navy
department, and (4) I urge you not to forget the duty that is
due from congress to the taxpayers of the United States.

Reasons for Making Haste Slowly.
There is a potent reason for not hurrying present naval
construction. Until the present war in Europe is over we
cannot be at all certain in what direction large expenditures
ought to be made. It is not to be expected that whatever
may be revealed big battleships will be no longer built. But
such is the terrifically destructive power of Zeppelins and
aeroplanes and of submarines that no more large war ships
should be built until every possible device is developed for the


protection of the ships. One, two or three more protective
decks may be required, one, two or three more ship's bottoms
may be advisable. Who can now tell? It is the height of
folly not to study questions like these, before making vast
additional expenditures. We can spend money enough in
various ways — upon submarines and flying machines, upon
guns and explosives — to use up all the appropriations that
can wisely be made within the next few years. If is not my
purpose in this brief letter to discuss the question whether
our country is in any danger of immediate war with any
powerful nation. The blindest man can see our absolute
safety till long after the present European war ends. During
this period we should study the art of modern war with dili-
gence and wisdom and make sure that when we next spend
vast sums for dreadnoughts we are as certain what we ought
to do as investigation into a dreadful war all around the globe
can make us. . . . Already we are told that five of
our battleships — the famous Oregon, and the Indiana, Mas-
sachusetts, Kentucky and Kearsarge, are obsolete and should
be replaced by new ships!

From Hon. John D. Long:

I am very much struck with the great development of the
navy since my day. I think that you are right on the one
hand, maintaining the present reasonable program of naval
construction, adapted to our ordinary preservation of the
peace, but not, on the other hand, getting panic-stricken
over the present European condition as if we were in danger
of attack by the great nations which will come out of that
conflict bankrupt and exhausted and recognizing the vital
need of a long peace for their recuperation.

From Hon. Hilary A. Herbert:

The old maxim, Festina lente, never was more applicable
than it is to our naval program now.


Now is precisely the time when we should keep cool and
study carefully the lessons that are being taught by the war

in Europe.


We have already before us several lessons from this war
about the efficiency of submarines, of contact mines, of
fast fighting ships, of swift commerce destroyers, or long-
range guns; and we have learned also something about aero-
planes and Zeppelins, but we do not know yet the relative
values of all these or what are to be the decisive factors in
the great naval war that is now on, and that, before it is
ended, will try out to the utmost every implement of destruc-
tion that human ingenuity has been able to devise.

Twelve months hence we shall know better how much we
should expend for naval construction and what to spend it



If Germany should win, even though her success should be
a vast menace to America, no one can for a moment believe
that, exhausted as the winner in this great war mil be when
it is over, our country would be in danger of immediate
attack from that quarter.


Extract from Mr. Chandler's speech in the Senate on May
13, 1892, on the pending Naval Appropriation Bill.

The Proper Size of Our Navy.

Mr. President: I wish to say before concluding what I
think should be the navy of America. I do not think that
we should undertake to build a navy equal to that of the
great European powers. I do not think that any Senator, or
any public man in America, or any naval officer advocates
anj^ such enlargement of the navy. I have stated in the
report, to which I have alluded, how far I think we should go
in the direction of naval construction.

Coast defense should be first amply provided for. All the
arts of naval warfare should be kept alive among our people.
Industries necessary to the construction of any kind of war
vessels or guns should be domesticated. We should restore
the flag of our merchant ships and revive the carrying trade
in American vessels in all the waters and in all the commer-
cial ports of the globe, and protect our mercantile marine
when thus reestablished. We should construct and main-
tain a navy superior to that of any nation of the Western
Hemisphere, and to that of the nation owning the island of
Cuba; and there we can stop, it is to be hoped, for many

Mr. President, it is hardly to be supposed that the United
States will ever become engaged in a war with any one of the
great European powers without having, at the same time,
an alliance of some sort with some one of the other great
European powers. We certainly cannot undertake to build
a navy that shall be superior to that of all the great European
naval powers. If all those powers should combine against
us, of course thev would be irresistible, and it would be im-


possible for us to undertake to meet them upon the ocean


Online LibraryWilliam E. (William Eaton) ChandlerWords of William E. Chandler; address of June 8, 1915, on the 150th anniversary of the chartering of the town of Concord .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 2)