(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Banquet to the Hon. Simon Cameron, given at the Jones' house, May 2d, 1862, by the people of Harrisburg"

\ 



BANQUET 



TO THE 



HON. SIMON CAMERON, 



(iifc^ti at ]t|-e ^mu' ^mUf M^ '^'^f IS62, 



BY THE 



PEOPLE OF HARRISBUEG. 



HARRISBURG : 

?RnrTKD AT "telegraph" JOB OFflOB. 

1862. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Friends of the Lincoln Financial Collection in Indiana 



http://www.archive.prg/details/banquettohonsimoOOinharr 



SPEECHES AND PROCEEDINGS 



OF THE 



Oi^MEROIsr Bi^NQUBT 



HAREISBflEG, MAT 2, 1862 



Several weeks since a nnmber of our leading 
citizens, personal friends of Hon. Simou Cam- 
eron, desiring to testify their appreciation of his 
numerous services and their esteem and regard 
for him as a man, citizen and neighbor, hon- 
ored him yrith the tender of a public eupper, 
previous to his leaving the country on the im- 
portant mission to Russia. Owing, however, to 
numerous business t!ngagemenls, his acceptance 
of this liind ofifer on the part of his friends was 
not indicated until the early part of last we«k, 
when the committee having charge of the mat- 
ter at once commenced making arrangements, 
and th« banquet oame off at the Jones' House, 
in this city, on Friday evening, May 2nd. 

rHB njVTTATIO.'J AND ITS ACOEPTANOB. 

Harrisbdrg, Pa., April 7, 1862. 
Hon. Simon Camfros, Dear Sir: — The un- 
dersigned, your personal friends aadacquiint- 
fflQces, Dct willing that you should leave tha 
country on your important mission as Minister 
Plenipotentiary to RusMa, without having re- 
ceived some manifestatiuu of the high esteem 
with which they reg iri your integrity as a man, 
and the entire confidence they have in your 
great ability as a statesman, desire that you 
indicate some future occasion when it will be 
convenient for you to join your friends in par- 
taking of a binquet. In thus tendering to 
you the honor of such an entertainment, we 
feel that we are obeying the txpressed desire of 
a bu:ge portion of your fellow citiaens who are 
not aware of this tender, but T(h» will gladly 



assemble around any board at which yon may he 
the distinguished and honored guest. 

You will please iodictte the tima most con- 
venient for you to partake of such a baD«[uet, 
in your early reply to this note. ^ 
Your friends, 

WILLIAM BUBHLBR, 

A. J. JONES, 

JNO. A. FISHER, 

WM. DOCK, 
• GEO. BERGNER, 

ROBERT A. LAMBERTOK, 

B M POLLOCK, 

DAVID McCORvJICK. 

ROBERT L. MUENCH, 

F. K. BOAS, 

CaARLESF. MUENCH, 

WM. COLDER. 

SKSf. OAIISRON'S BEFIiT. 

LocniEL, Mai/ 1, 1862. 
Gentlemen: — Your note of the 7th of April, 
inviting me to partake of a banquet, as a 
manifestation of the high estaem of my Mends 
and fellow citizens, was duly received, but I 
have been unduly delayed in answering, owing 
to the preparations incident to my departure 
for Ruseia, the embarrasment of a prosecu- 
ntioa growing out of the arrest of traitors 
while I was Secretary of War, and the neces- 
sity of my absence from home, in attendance 
on the President, to receive final Instructions 
for the government of my embjssy. These 
having been disposed of, I am now at leisure 
to acknowledge your very flattering note, and 
also to accept your very friendly invitation. 
It will afford me much pleasure to meet my 



CAMBKOK BANQUXT. 



friends and fellow citleens to-morrow (Friday) 

CTenJng, if that time will meet the prepara- 

tioDS of yonr ccmmitfee. 

With a high regard for the members of the 

committee, irulividiially, I am, gentlemen, 
Youre, truly, 
SIMON CAMERON. 

To John A. Fisher, William Dock, William 
Buehler, George Bergner, E. M. Pollock, 
A. J. Jones, Wm. Colder, David McCormick, 
Robert A. Lamberton, F. K. Boas, Charles 
F. Muench, and other members of the com- 
mittee. 

THE OOMPANT IS WAITING. 

The citizens interested ia the banquet com- 
mencid aseemblying in the large parlors of the 
Jones' House at an early hour on Friday even- 
ing. As the company arrived, they were usher- 
ed into those spacions rooms, where they were 
introduced to Gen. Cameron. During the inter 
Yal« of the arrivals and the banquet it must 
havt! been gratifying to the distinguished 
gaest of this occasion to receive the many 
TTaroa expressions of personal regard then offer- 
ed by those who had known him from boyhood 
through years of stern struggle, to the hour 
when he had fairly won some of the brightest 
honors and largest confidence of his country- 
men. Whatever tribute may have been here- 
tofore offered to Gen. Cameron in circles be- 
yond this locality, where the compliments of 
men are generally controlled by their own hopes 
of interest or gain, those which he has ever 
eecored in the circles of his own home and 
among the citizens of this city, have been of a 
character which prove that he has a hold on ou 
people which no outside attacks can affect or 
d^troy. 

THE BANQUET HAiL. 

While the company, with its distinguisufed 
guest, were thus awaiting the hour for the ban- 
quet, we availed ourselves of the courtesies and 
privileges nsu illy tendered to the reportorial 
corps, to visit the banquet hall. This, of 
course, was in the usual dining saloon of the 
hotel, which was handsomely decorated and ar- 
ranged for the occasion, presenting a scene of 
the most beautiful description. The chandel- 
liers pendant from the ceiling and brackets pro- 
jecting from the walls floo led the large hall with 
inteose lustre, amid which the bilver, china and 
glass ware of the tables, flashed with a bril- 
liancy almost overpowering to the eye. The 
tables, of which there were two running the 
«Qtire length of the hall, fairly groaned beneath 
the weight of choice edibles, prepared in a 



manner that spoke volumee for the good taste 
and proficiency of Mr. David Hntchinson^ 
to whom Col. Coveriy entrusted thia important 
part of the programme. 

THB BANQUET. 

About 8 J o'clock the doors of the banqueting 
hall were thrown open, and the company, 
numbering about one hundred and fifty, with 
their distinguished guest, proceeded to occopy 
seats around the sumptously furnished table. 

His Honor, Wm. H. Kepner, Mayor ot the 
city, occupied the h ad of the principal table, 
flanked on the left by his honor Judge Pear- 
son, and on the right by the distinguished 
guest of the evening, Gen. Cameron. Ameog 
the company, we noticed Hon. Thomas E. 
Cochran, Auditor General of the State, Wm. 
M. Kerr, Esq., Judge Murray, Wm. Colder, 
Maj. John Brady, Gen. E. C. Wilson, George 
Trullin^r, W. O. Hickok, Dr. Geo. Bailey, Dr. 
A. Patterson, J. B. Rutherford, Wm. Buehler, 
Esq , Thomas C. Nicholson, of the Treasury De- 
partment, John A. Weir, Esq., Charles F. 
Mnench, Samuel A. Power, of the Commisary 
General's Department, Cyrus J. Beese, David) 
Fleming, Esq., County Treasurer J. L. Speel, 
A. J. Herr, Esq., E. M. Pollock, David Mum- 
ma, Daniel Shell enTjerger, and a numbei 
of other leading men of the city, who vied with 
each other in their spoken and silent manifesta- 
tions of regard for the honored guest ot the 
occasion. 

The supper was discussed with a hearty aast, 
showing that the company fully appreciated its 
merits. The bill of f.ire embraced all the 
choice delicacies of the season, divided off into 
several courses, intermingled with excellent 
wines, and terminating with a desert of incom- 
parable richness. 

THE TOAST OF THB EVENING AND THB BPEKCHBS. 

Alter the cloth was removed, his honor May- 
or Kepner announced the following toast : 

Simon Cameron— A Pennsylvanian who has 
nev<r forgotten his native State— an American 
who has always been faithful to his couatry 
and his countrymen. His fellow citizens de- 
light to honor him. 

The enthusiastic applause with which this 
sentiment was greeted having somewhat eai- 
sided. 

General Cameron said: Mr Mayor and Fel- 
low Citizens: I take it for granted that I am 
expected to say something in return for the 
compliment you hf>ve been so kind as to confer 
upon me, yet I cannot speak to you, my fellow 
citizens, in any cold or formal langviage. Since 



CAMKaOK BANQDET. 



I bave come into this room all the thoughts of 
business and of duty which crowded upon my 
mind during tbediy have fled, leaving only the 
remembrance of the associations and frieod- 
ships that I have experienced during the long 
years of my resideuce in this, my home. I 
remember that this day for !y- five years ago I 
came to Harrisburg — a poor, delicate, bickly 
boy— without any reliance but on the overruling 
control ot Providence and the reward which I 
had been taught to believe would always fullow 
proper actions. The only countenance of these 
around me which I remember to have seen at 
that day, was that of my friend who sits beside 
me on the right, (Mr. 0. F. Mueuch,) who was 
then a boy younger than myself, and whom I 
met the day after entering the town. He was 
an apprentice in a printing office here, to 
which I went to obtain employment, and 
which I left with a feeling such as can be 
esperienced only by those who are willing to 
work, are without money in their purse, and are 
destitute of friends upon whom to rely, when 
toid "we cannot employ you." I cau now re- 
member the name of only onelivinghoustkeeper 
in the town at that time. I refer to Judge 
Hummel. I maJe the acquaintance of the 
honored gentleman at the same time that I be- 
came the recipient of his generous hospitality. 
The first place at which I stopped to rest 
my weary limbs after reaching the town, was 
beneath the shad« of an old willow tree in 
front of his house. He came out and spoke 
kindly to me, inviting me into his home and 
we have been friends ever since. Sir, how the 
world has changed since then ! — how has every- 
thing about me changed! A day or two after 
I saw my friend Mueach I obtained employ- 
ment. I immediately went to work with such 
a heart and will as never fail to win success. 
During the day tioie I worked for my employer 
and at night I cultivated my mmd. A few 
years of assiduous toil made me the possessor 
of a printing office. When other men slept I 
continued to toil, and felt certain that sooner 
or later I would feel equal, not alone in this 
world's goods but in the scale of merit and ca- 
pacity with other men around me. Why; sir, 
it was no uncommon thing for me to retire at 
midnight and rise at four in the morning to 
pursue my daily avocation. 

I have lived to see what was then a hamlet 
become tbe third city of the State, In my po- 
sition as a newspaper journalist I necessarily 
came in contact with the political theories and 
important questions of the day and never fail- 
ed to advocate what I conceived to be a wise 
and beneficial State policy in regard to a sys- 
tem of internal improvements. Since that day 
to the present time I may say that I have at 
least hid s.^mething to do with every work of 
improveuient connected with the progress of 
this city {■nd State. Tbe first efforts of my pen 
were directed in furtherance of the great poli- 
cy of internal improvements which brought 
forth our canal system. I next labored for years 
to secure the erection of a railroad from 



Harrisburg to Lancaster, though laughed 
at as a visionary boy who talked about 
carrying cars, wagons and freight on rails by 
steam. I am remiodeu here of an exLuession 
made at one of the meetings which we he-Id In 
favor of that railroad project — (for at that time 
I was in the habit of persuading my friends to 
go around the country and convene meetings, 
by which means I might be enabled to talk 
to the people on my favorite theme of the 
desirability of railroad communication and its 
importance)— one of the auditors upon this oc- 
casion (the meetlri^ being held at Elizibeth- 
town) was one knowu as Abraham Harnly, a 
very intelligent man, and one of the most active 
in that neighborhood. During the c-urse of 
my remarks I had happoneJ to say, " I have no 
doubt, gentleman, there are many of you pre- 
sent who will live to see tbe day when a man 
can eat his breakfast at Harrisburg, go to Phil- 
adelphia, (one hundred miles,) take his dinner, 
Uaosaot his business there, and return home to 
Harrisburg in time to go to bed, as usaal, in 
the eveuing." There was a simultaneous roar 
of laughter from the audience, which had hardly 
ceased when this old man very confidentially 
whispered in my ear, " Simon, I am glad you 
told them about goiog to Philadelphia and back 
again to Harrisburg in one day, because that 
will make them take the sheers, (shares,) but yo« 
and I know aU about that !" [Laughter.] I leave 
you to judge, gentlemen, whether my predic- 
tion was verified. After having proved success- 
ful in my endeavors in behalf of the railroad 
from Harrisburg to Lancaster, I became engaged 
in a project to construct a road from here to 
Chambersburg ; then again t j Baltimore ; then 
again to Sunbury, the place of my boyhood, and 
also to Reading ; all of which, I ^m glad to 
state, are now prosperous and in most success- 
ful operation. I mention this gentlemen, not 
boastfully, but to show what may be accom- 
plished by a determined will and a right purpose. 
In responding to the sentimentof our worthy 
Mayor my intention, gentlemen, was simply 
to speak to you familiarly as friends and neigh- 
bors, without referring to my control of 6ho 
War Department, over which I had the honor 
to preside, but in view of a charge recently made 
against me because of my exercise of the dele- 
gated power with which I was entrusted, it mfiy 
be proper for me to say to you a few words In 
relation thereto. I took a seat last year in 
Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet against my own judg- 
ment, without consulting my taste for the 
position, and, I may say, against my own 
determination. I resigned that post, wiea 
I thought my mission was ended in organ- 
izing, equipping, and supplying, under the 
most adverse circumst-inces, a larger army 
than had ever been raised in the same space of 
time of human history. When I did accept the 
place it was with the perfect understanding be- 
tween Mr. Lincoln and myself that whenever I 
thought proper to resign should I be privileged 
to do so; sind .when a vacancy occurred in the ap- 
pointment to Russia, hi) oSsred me the po^ 



CAWERON BANQUET. 



and I was glad to accept it. Why, gentlemeo, 
I toiled in that Department as no man ever 
toiled before ; I have told you thatin my younger 
years I worked for twenty hours out of the 
twenty-fcur for successive months; but that 
labor was nothing in comparison with the 
overpowering toil which I underwent at 
Wathington. To say noth'ing of the extra- 
ordinary necfssitifs of the Department, 
arising from an unforseen and threatening na 
tional emergency. The d( ors of my private 
dwelling were besieged fntm daylight to the 
lattet hours of the night ; the department was 
Eurronndtd on all hands, and at all hours. — 
Certain membtrfi of Congress, who figuie in 
the vote of censure, were ever besieging 
my doors, and often patiently waiting for hours 
to catch a part of the drippicgs frcm the War 
Department. Meanwhile I managed the deli- 
cate and trying affairs of my situation as 
wisely as I knew bow. Of course I committed 
some triors ; but I did not commit the \^rong 
with V9hich I am chaiged in the resolution of 
CoBgress. I solemnly ai-sert that neither in 
motive nor deed tan I be jftftly chargeable 
with the commissitn of any wrot g in the ad- 
ministration of thofe affairs , and I sm proud 
to say here in revitwitg my cfficial ccnduct, 
that I Bee no act which I would not repeat under 
the same circumstances Upon my appoint- 
ment to the pcsition, I found the depart- 
ment destitute of all the means of defence ; 
without guns, and with little prospect of 
purchasing the materiel of war ; I found the 
nation without an army, and I found scarcely 
a rran throughout the whole War Depaitment 
in whtm I could put my trust. The Adjutant 
General deserted. The Quaitermaster General 
ran off. The Commissary General was upon his 
death bed. More than half the clerks were dis- 
loyal. I remember that upon < te occao-on 
General Scott c^me to me apparently in great 
mental tribulatirn. Said be, "I have npentthe 
most miserable day of my life ; a friend of ay 
boyhoofl has just told me I am disgracing my 
self by staying here and berving ibis fragment 
of the government, in place of going to Vir- 
ginia and serving under the banner of my na- 
tive State; and I am pained to death." But 
the old hero was pattiotic, loyal and wise 
enough to say that his friend was wrong ; and 
he was right in lemain'ng where he was. 

It should be remembered, also, that in those 
days of peril and alarm, an outcry went up 
from all portions of the loyal States, urging 
the Govorrment to procure arms, equipments, 
and supplies, by any means, and at any cost; 
to disregard the usual routine of contracts ; 
to cut through '<red tape," and at the hazard 
of encountering speculatois and peculators, 
to prepare itself to meet the immediate 
dangers. Great as were the exertions then 
made, they fell far short of the demands of 
the people. The Administration was at that 
time censured for its' caution in guarding it- 
self against imposition, because such cauticn 
■was *n evidence of delay. 



But to proceed. You all remember, gentle- 
men, the day of the President's proclamation 
caliing upon the people of Pennsylvania (be- 
cause the demand was made upi n yt u here in 
common with other States) for troops to defend 
the national capital. My ton happening to be 
in Washington, I sent him thither with the ut- 
most despatch and a^ktd him to appeal to eve- 
ry man he met in this town and through the 
country to send down every soldier who would 
come. Within three dajs after the issuing ol 
the proclamation foor hundred and eighty 
tioops frcm Pennsylvania arrived in Washing- 
ton. They were the first to inspire the gov- 
ernment with hop*' and ccurage to contend 
with the awful ciisis then impending. They 
CKme there without aims and were furnished 
irom the arsenal at that place. Directly 
after this — within two or three days — 
three or four regiments were assembled at 
Cockeysville, Maryland, by my order. At the 
B-ioae time a number of bridges on the Philad- 
elphia and Baltimore railroad, via Wilming- 
ton, were burned or destroyed. It was at thlB 
time that the mob in Baltimore, murdered our 
unarmed soldiers in her streets on their way to 
the defence of the capital, and the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad refused to carry our troops. 
At that time when the loyally of nearly all thp 
inhabitants was doubted, Mr. Seward, the 
Secretary of State, in company with the Secre- 
tary ot the Treasury, called upon me and said 
"we muft have somebody in New York toassiBt 
the public officers there in collecting and for- 
warding troops," asking me to name any in- 
dividual whom I considered, competent for that 
purpose. I was acquainted with but a few people 
in New York, yet after a moment's reflection I 
recollected Mr. Cumminge, with whom I had an 
intimacy when be was a citizen of tl is State. 
The two gentkmc n then informed me that they 
had apipointed Mr. Cisco, of the sub-treasary 
General Dix, now in the army, Mr. Opdyke, 
the present Mayor of the city of New York, 
and Mr. Blatcbford, a citizen of New York, and 
as I have stated, requested me to name tome 
father gentlemen. I gave the name of Mr. 
Cummings and associated with it that of Gov. 
Morgan of the Slate of New Yt-ik. To show 
how guarded 1 was in these appointments, I will 
read the order that I gave upon that occasion: 

Departmknt of War, Ajiril 23, 1861. 
"In consideration of the extraordinary emer- 
gencies which demand immediate and decisive 
measures for the preseivation of the national 
capital and the defense of the National Gov- 
ernment, I hereby authorize Edwin D. Morgan, 
Governor of the State of New York, and Alex- 
ander Cummings, now iu the city of New 
York, to make all n(,cesEary arrangements for 
the transportation of troops and munitions oi 
wfir in aid and assistance of the officers of the 
at my of the United Slates, until communica- 
tion by mail and telegraph Is completely re- 
established between the cities of Washington 
and New York. Either of thtm, in case ot 



CASIBR05 BANQT7KT. 



laability to consalt with the other, may exer- 
cise the authority hereby givea. 

SIMON CAMERON, 
Secretary of War. 

It will be Eeen that I did not intru-:t those 
gentlemen with the expenditure of any money 
I was careful to give them no authority to act 
independent of the military officers of the gov- 
ernmeut. Sometime afterwards, I received a 
telegram signed by Messrs. Morgan and Cum- 
mings, asking for authority to draw mouey, 
which I referred in the usual manner to the 
Treasury Department. That is all I had to do 
with the matter, and at the end of iourteen 
days, communication having been restored, 1 
revoked their authority, as will be seen by the 
fcllowing note: 

,Wab DBPABTMEirr, May 7, 1861. 

Gbntlemen: — The extraordinary emergency 
which demanded immediate and decisive mea- 
sures for the preservation of the national capi- 
tal, and the defense of the National Govern- 
ment, rendered it necessary for this Depart- 
ment to adopt extraordinory means for that 
purpose, and having full confidence in your 
intelligence, experience and integrity, you 
were authorized to make all necessary arrange- 
ments for the transportation of troops, &c., in 
aid and assistance of the officers of the army 
of tl\e United States, untU the re-establishment 
of communication, by mails and telegraph, 
between the cities of New York and Washing- 
ton. 

Uninterrupted communication between the 
two cities being now again established, and it 
being desirable that the duties heretofore at- 
tended to by you should be hereafter perform- 
ed by the officers of the army, to whom they 
properly belong, I beg to tender you the thanks 
of this Department for the very prompt and 
efficient manner in which you have discharged 
the duties assigned you, and to request you to 
cease making purchases, procure transports, 
or attending to other duties under authority 
given, which coald be justified only by the 
emergency now happily, no longer existing. 
Respectfully, yours, 

SIMON CAMERON. 
Gov. E. D. Morgan and Alexander Cummiogs, 

Eiqrs., New York city. 

Now, gentlemen, in reafar.l to the Congres- 
sional committee of invastigiti m of which the 
country has heard sd much, I have reasjn to 
believe that the origin J iotentioQ of its 
appointment was to control the War De- 
partment and plac3 m:>ney in the pockets of 
its members. The second or third day after 
QiQ aanouncemeut of the committee, its chair- 
man called upon me and desired ihat I should 
authorize him to furnish a cdrtain regiment 
vrith arms, munitions, clothing, etc. I refused 
his application, becaasa I thoaght from my 
knowledge of his character that he was un- 
worthy of a trust. After a further colloquy 
with the chairman, I ordered him out of the 
War Department ; and of course I was attacked 
by that committee. 



The committee of investigation have made 
the additional charge upon me in my offi<^ 
connection with the government, of having 
bought a greater number of guns than were 
needed. I did order a large number of arms ; 
but I will take this occasion to answer that 
charge. It must be borne in mind that I was 
supplying an army of more than 700,000 men, 
and that the loss of arms in a single cam- 
paign has been estimated by military men to 
reach as high as fifty p, r cent. In a glance at the 
statistics I find that in round numbepe I ordered 
nearly a million of muskets, almost one hoo- 
dred thousand carbines and perhaps as many 
swords. When I took possession of the War 
Department I found that there were but few 
muskets in the arsenals, no swords of any ac- 
count, and scarcely any munitions of war. — 
Within a short time after the proclamation, it 
became apparent that there was no difficulty in 
getting troops, but there was great difficulty 
in procuring arms. I found the ordnance de- 
partment without a head; the person having 
charge there being an old man, who was con- 
ceded by those in whom I had confidence, in- 
cluding Gen. Scott, to be incompetent for the 
duties of the position. I superceded him, and 
put in his place one who was believe! to be 
fully competent, but who soon proved ki 
the opinion of my associates to be unequal 
to the crisis. I felt, personally, reluctant to 
enter into any contract myself, as I had no 
time for such details, and therefore directed 
Mr. Thomas A. Scott, my assistant, to act 
in conjunction with Col. Ripley, and that 
he should Sie that every contract was so 
guarded that, in case of failure at the end of 
thirty days, the contract should be revoketl, 
leaving to Col. Ripley to determine the qail- 
ity and price of the arms to be contracted for. 
At this time Governors of -States, officers want- 
ing arms, cabinet ministers, and members of 
Congress were constantly making application 
for arms, charging the Ordinance Department 
with inefficiency, stating that if consent were 
given they could ba procured, and I therefore 
directed Mr. Scott to act in conjunction with 
Colonel Ripley and to contract with every 
man who was willing to make a musket or 
furnish a sword, and" from whom the other 
necessary munitions of war could be obtained, 
at the same time instructing him to see that 
the chief of the ordnance department should 
fix the price and djtermiae the chaiacter ot 
the arms. Tne allegition has been repeit- 
edly iterated that I made these contracts with 
an eye to personal pre'ereace. But I have 
already proven, gentlemen, that the furthest 
limit of even my official action in the 
matter was simply to order the making.,©! 
such contracts as were necessary, leaving all 
that regarded price or quality In the hands of 
the ordnance department, and to this day, I 
scarc-.ly know any of the inlividuals with 
whom contracts were made. 

The special contract excitmg public at- 
tention was made with a party by the aame of 



CAMKRON BANQtJEt. 



Bokor, On the fifth of September, under cover 
from the President, I received a note, which I 

now read : 

WA.3HIN0I0N, Sept. 4, 1861. 
Hon. SiMOH Camkron, Secretary of War: 

Sib:— Our resident partner in Europe ad- 
TiaeB ng by last eteamer of a lot of upwards of 
one hundred thousaud stand of arms — rifled, 
percussion muskets— new and in good condi- 
tion—having been placed in his coatrol by 
making advances thereon. 

We desire to oSer them to your Department, 
and should it appear to you of suflScieat impor- 
tance to secure the immediate delivery there 
of 60 large a quantity of good arms, we would 
invito your attentioa thereto. 

We offer the arms at a price not exceeding 
eigldeen dollars each, subject to the inspection 
and approval of an armorer whom you shall 
select to accompany our authorized agent. If 
the article is not satisfactory, the Government 
will incur no expense, and if approved, you 
will liecure an article much needed. 

We also control by advances thereon over 
18,000 cavalry sabres, which we offer as above, 
at a price not to exceed $7 50 a piece. 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servants, 

(Signed) HERMAN BOKfcR & CO., 

^ 50 Cliflf street, New York. 

Also of Liege, Solinger, Remscherd, Birming- 
ham, Bown, 

This was at the time when the Queen's pro- 
clamation had piohibited, among other things, 
the exportation of arms to the United States. 
You remember, gentlemen, we sent an agent 
(Mr. Schuyler, of New York,) out to Belgium 
to procure arms for our government. He suc- 
ceeded in purchasing one hundred thousand 
g«n8 there, but being unable to ship them all 
directly, he sent a portion to England, where 
(the proclamation to which I have just referred 
being' soon after issued) he was prevented from 
transporting or using the arms in any manner. 
In tbis extremity of the large army of sol- 
diers in and about Washington, not two hun- 
dred thousand of them were armed. Upon the 
letter I have just read was the endoreement of 
the President in his own hand writing in these 
words: _ 

' ' / approve the carrying this Ihrough carefully, 
cautiously arid expeditiously. Avoid conflicts and in- 
ttrferatm. A.. LINCOLN." 

the literal meaning of the endorsement was 

that the world should not know of our military 
deficiency and weakness until the evil had been 
remedied and that care and caution were to be 
used as heretofore in keeping inviolate the se- 
cret of our defect. Fully coinciding with 
♦lie Prefcident, and in obedience to his order, 
I ptomptly directed this contract to be closed ; 
and I assure you gentlemen, without the arms 
it produced, we should not have been able to 
achieve the late glorious victories in the west. 

I may »dd, in proof of the great anxiety of 

all to obtain arms, that but a very few days be- 

..fore I left the War Department, the Cabinet 



agreed to adopt a conditional contract made 
by Mr. Schuyler for 100,000 guns in Belgium, 
which I successfully opposed on the ground 
that we had guns enough contracted for, and 
with the encouragement which had been af- 
forded to our own manufacturers, the supply 
would probably be sufficient for our future 
wants. By this means $1,800,000 have been 
retained in the country to be expended in those 
localities from which our soldiers have volun- 
teered, and this occurred after all those con- 
tracts had been completed,' of which so much 
complaint is now made. 

The investigating committee of Congress have 
said that the muskets made at the Spriufield ar- 
mory cost only $12 apiece. That assertion like 
many others that have been made in connec- 
tion with supplies for the army, is not the fact. 
Without taiung into consideration the expense 
of superintendence, the cost of buildings, ma- 
chinery or capital invested, the mere net cost of 
the gun for labor and material when there is no 
competition in time of peace, has amounted 
to $12 60. But had those guns purchased on 
my order proved to be twice more expensive 
than they actually were, then, in view of 
the fact that the army was practically use- 
less without them, I would have done ex- 
actly as I did with the beef contract, to which 
other gentlemen have seen fit to refer. When 
we expected large arrivals of soldiers from 
Pennsylvania and other States, and ther5 was 
nothing to feed them with, the Acting Com- 
missary General came to me and said, "loan 
now buy two thousand beeves if I pay two or 
three cents a pound more than they should be 
worth." 

"Well, I replied," "pay it," (applause)— 
"pay a dollar per pound rather than a soldier 
should suffer, but be guarded that your contract 
ceases when a supply can be had at the cuetom- 
ary price' ' — which was done. He made a con- 
tract for two thousand beeves, and the whole 
world rung with the announcement that the Se- 
cretary of War had cheated the government in 
order to enrich some favorite, and yet the con- 
tract was made with my personal enemies. So, 
again, I was censured at the time of the battle 
of Bull's Fiun for not having eufi&cient cavalry 
in the field. Yet I could not speak in my own 
defence, for the safety of the government com- 
pelled me to silence. Plenty of horsemen 
offered their strvices ; but I had no pis- 
tols, swords or carbines to give them ; and I 
did not want the world to know that such was 
our condition. My function was to raise an 
army of the largest kind in the shortest possi- 
ble time, and to supply them with whatever 
needful material I could first lay bands upon. 
As soon as I could obtain pistols, carbines', 
swords and holsters, I had cavalry enough. 
But then the cry was "he has got too many." 
Of course, then again I was cheating the govern- 
ment, by giving my friends all the horse con- 
tracts, [Laughter.] Well, Mr. Mayor, the 
horses have been in the service and the country 
has been saved. Those who then cried "bo 



CAMERON BANQDBT 



more horses," to- day can see advertigemeats 
for the pnvchaee of an increased number ; and 
to-day I saw also a published advertisement 
askiDg for proposals to furnish more muskets. 

Had the material resources of the government 
been, in any manner, commensurate with the 
emergency, the war would have been termi- 
Qdted 'ere this. So far as concerns myself, I 
would rather have had a million of guns too 
many than that a single soldier in any of 
our battles should have been sacri6oed for the 
want of a weapon. I suppose that had I been 
the willing tool of every man who wanted 
to rob the government, and if in place 
of attending to my duties, I had been content 
to receive men at my house and treat them to 
the hospitalities of my social and political posi- 
tion, or allowed them to control me in the 
discharge of my duties, those men who now at- 
tempt to slander me would still be most profuse 
in compliment and profession. More than this, 
had I remained in the War Department until 
this vote came ofif, I should doubtless have re- 
ceived the compliment paid to my late and es- 
teemed colleaiiue, Mr. Welles. [Laughter.] He 
was charged with having improperly eu? ployed a 
man to purchase ships ; yet the House of Rep- 
resentatives voted down a resolution to censure 
him by about the same vote that they cen- 
sured me for having secured the services of an 
employee. Mr. Welles obtained the assistance 
referred to long after the excitement and con- 
fusion attending the commencement of the 
rebellion had cea=ed. I did so at a time when 
the country was almost totally bereft of a 
government, and when we did^not know whom 
to trusc 

Now, gentlemen, I could narrate to you in 
this way many incidents of official connection 
with the War Department. Were it necessary 
I would give you some particulars connected 
with the history 01 this man Dawes, who appears 
to be most active in the persecution aQ;ainst 
me- I understand he is a little- prosecuting 
attorney living some where in Massichusetts. 
I am well aware of the real cause of his enmity, 
and I will briefly state it. Some people of 
Massachusetts, especially about the good city 
of Boston, own nearly all the stock in the Wil-^ 
miugton and Baltimore railroad. Notwith- 
standiijgthat road basaccumulated moremoney 
on account of this war, by the transportation of 
troops and war material for the government, 
than it ever did before in double the length of 
time ; (which fact was chiefly owing to the con- 
fid nee I entertained in its President,) yet the 
management of the road were displeased be- 
caase they would not have an entire monpo- 
ly of tha Government business. When the 
bridges on the Wilmiagton and Baltimore 
road were burned, it became absolutely ne- 
cegfiaiy to construct a new line of travel to 
Washington. By my direction, the Presi- 
dent of the Pennsjlvania railroad, Mr. Thomp- 
son, in connection with the Wilmington 
road, made arrangements to run a line of 
boats from Ferryyille to AjxaapollA, and suc- 



ceeded in getting the projectinto snccessful ope 
ration. This new route was used until the Bal 
timore and Ohio road was taken possession of by 
me for the government, and until the bridges 
of the Wilmington road were rebuilt. In the 
meantime, an arrangement was made with the 
Harrisburg, Reading and New Jersey roads, to 
rt duce the fare from six to four dol lars fn m New 
York to Baltimore, per soldier. Bun my action 
in this matter took money out of th-- purses of 
gentlemen in Bost )n, and Mr. Dawes, who ap- 
peired to repressnt the interests affected, be- 
came my enemy. This is the only reason for 
his opposition of which I am aware. I do not 
know him further than that he was frequently 
hanging about the War Department in commoa 
witti otner applicants for special favors. Hav- 
ing my whole timfa occupied ia preparing an 
army out of raw and undisciplined soldiers, of 
course I may have run counter to the ''esires of 
such gentlemen, and consequently, they now 
return the disfavor. 

This theme is by no means a pleasant one for 
me; but after tue recent wrong which has beea 
done me I felt that when talking to my old 
friends and neighbors I would do myself the 
simple justice t) speak plainly. It would h» 
needless for me to attempt to convince you of 
my honesty of purpose and intention ia every 
official act of my life. I am known to you 
personally, and I feel willing to abide by, and 
will fully appreciate yotft decision upon my 
character as your fellow citiz.n. [Great ap- 
plause.] 

I leave you with great reluctance. It has 
been the dream of my life to go abroad in soma 
position that would enable me to catch a 
proper glimpse of the beauty and grandeur of 
the old world ; but as the time draws near 
when I shall bid you a parting adieu, I approach 
it with the pain caused by the separation from 
old and dear friends. 

Perhaps I hav^e said enough— it may 
be too much. I desire to state to you, 
however, that my relations with the President 
have been and still are of the most cordial 
character. I enteitain as gre-it a respect for 
him as for any one with whom I have erer 
been associated. He is an hones), high-minded 
gentleman, as well as a faithful public officer. 
(A-pplause.) 

This rebellion will be ended after a while, and 
with it we will end the cause of this and all fu- 
ture internal strife, as I hope. (Great applause.) 
I have never been an abolitionist. I am not one 
now. But if I had the power, I would call into 
the field every man able to shoulder a musket, 
whether he be white or black, that this war 
might be brought to a speedy and certain close. 
And I believe we will cooiC to that. I do cct 
believe that, after a while, when the hot 
Southern climate is killing our soldiers who 
are fighting for the government, oar people 
will be content to see their sans and brothers 
die, when men acclimated to the South are able 
to defend the country, and of thrir own 
strength and wUl, to drive all the reljels out of 



10 



CAMEKON BANQITBT. 



thd land. [Applause.] Tbere cannot be a 
doubt about how this tlavery qut6tion is to be 
settled in the end. But, so far as I am con- 
cerned, I am willing to leave its difposal to the 
Great Ruler above. I would not punish tbe 
deluded rank and file after they have laid 
down their arms; I would not barm one 
hair on the heiid of a eiugle individual who 
was enticed or stduced upon misrepresentaiioo 
to join the rebel army ; but had I the leaders, 
I would do with them as I said I would do with 
the Mayor of Baltimore when he asked the 
Preeident to stnd back tbe national troops 
from Cockeysville, and not allow tbem to 
pass through Baltimore. I said "let me 
alone, and I will hang him and his whole posse 
upon the trees around the "War Department." 
Hfid I been r.llowed to do bo, our troops 
would never have been impeded in their march 
through that city, and by such a course the 
rebellion would now have been crushed. Such 
are mv opinions on that question, which, per- 
haps, I somttimes express unwisely for my own 
good ; and this is another reason for the 
passage of the resolution to which I alluded. 
Every border State Representative who thinks 
his brother or son or kindred in the rebel ranks 
does not deserve hanging for his treason, voted 
in favor of that resolution. 

[After a short pause Gen. Cameron concluded 
as follows:] 

Gentlemen, this is a contest in which we all 
have a direct interest. Pennsylvania has a 
moral power which n© other State in this Union 
possesses ; and therefore every citizen of Penn- 
cylvania can do a great deal towards bringing 
this war to an end. I have no right to give 
advice, but I shall be glad, in leaving the coun- 
try, to believe there is to be no party here but 
the party of the country — tie party lor the war 
and in favor of supporting the Administration 
in conducting the war ; because whether men 
■were opposed to Mr. Lincoln or otherwise, by his 
administration alcne is the war to be conducted. 
If Pennsylvania will stand by his wise and pa- 
triotic measures, she can aid the Presidtnt and 
control the result. I remember that in the 
war of 1812 every man who opposed the war 
was contidered an enemy of his country. I 
trust that the same beneficial rule will be ap- 
plied in the present case. [Applause.] If we 
falter in patriotic devotion, the people of the 
south will be encc^uragtd to persevere in their 
rebellious and iufamoiis design; for the war 
can only be ended by a determined and united 
policy here in the north. Why, It was only 
the other day that a letter was seen from the 
Wife of the traitor Davis, stating that "Jeflf. 
■was cruelly deceived in Pennsylvania and New 
York, where he expected the support of half 
the people, bicaufce he was ltd to believe 
more than one half of the i eople in both of 
those States were going to join tim." That is 
the current delusion in the South ; and so 
long as we give theui aid and comfort by divi- 
gions among ourselves, jufct so long will they 
be encouraged to fight the government. Let 



us all, with one heart, looking solely to buJ 
one object, go through this war ; and that be- 
ing over, we can rake up tbe old political car- 
casses of days gone by, and agaia attack each 
other with all the spirit of Whig and Demo- 
eratic fury. In the first place, kt us finish the 
tear. [Long continued applause] Short as the 
interval is before my departure, I confidently 
expect to be able to carry with me the news of 
further vital successes, which will prove to the 
powers of Europe that the Union is safe, and 
that the redemption of the nation is drawing 
nigh, and is even now at hand. 

In answer to repeated calls, Robert A. Lam- 
berton, Esq., addressed the audience hs follows: 

Mr. Mayor. It gives toe pleasure to respond 
to such a call upon such an occasion. If a 
sixteen years unbroken friendship with our dis- 
tinguished guest enables me to know anything 
of his mind and heart, this I surely know, 
that wherever he may go, this evening will be 
a very pleasant memory to him, and whatever 
years may yet be allotted to him— and may 
they be many — he will«f»er forget this gather- 
ing of hisfiiends and neighbors. And why? 
Because he can appreciate at its full worth this 
manifestation of the confidence ho enjoys and 
the esteem in which he is held by those among 
whom his life has been spent. However fierce- 
ly he may be maligned by those who know him 
least, he will remember with pleasure that they 
who know him best neither doubt nor forsake 
him. [Applause.] 

There is, perhaps, no surer test of character, 
of what a man reaUyis than the deliberate, well 
considered judgment foimed of him by his 
home people, those among whom all the days 
of his manhood have been passed and with 
whom he has been associated socially and in 
bus-ine?B. Here, then, have come together, 
alike irrespective of party ti^ or partizan affili- 
ation, the old man with hit> experience and the 
young man with his hopes, the neighbnra and 
the immediate fellow citizens of our honored 
guest, to give a clear, distinct and emphatic 
utterance of their belief in his integrity as a 
man, his usefulness as a member of our com- 
munity and his fidelity to his convictions ol 
duty when in official position. There, sitting 
ly his side, as be has just told us, is the friend 
of his earlier and later years — one of the very 
tew left among us who has known him from the 
day the orphaned boy, seeking work, came to 
our capital, though piunilees, yet with the 
stout heart of a man, to enter upon the battle 
of life. There is the friend 1 1 a lifetime, whose 
confidence has been unshaken during all the 
years that have elapsed since he who is become 
the Representative of our Government, to 
stand in the court of tl o Czir, was the humble 
printer boy. We are all here, on the eve of 
the departure of our friend and fellow citizen, 
to bid him the good-bye and wish him the 
God speed. [Applause.] 

Sir, he has referred to the malignant nssaulte 
which have been made against him by hia ene- 
mies. Thus surrounded by hia neighbors who 



CAMERCN BANQUET. 



11 



know him, the shafts fall bnrtless at his feet. 
When he is ^oxxe these cruel blows may still be 
aimed at uiiu ; but they will nrit reach''him: 
he leaves too many friends, who will not suffer 
the absent to be wn.tiged. \Vh n he returns, 
he will show that ho pospesses abundant ability 
to t^ke careof himself and tight his own battles. 
[Applause ] He has been bitterly followed bv hi:^ 
enemies ; he has been cl< se'y surrounded by 
his friends. And this is always so witn the de- 
cided, energetic, resolute man. Jh<^ pssidve 
man in life who continually presses forward in 
the struggle with the world must, in his pro- 
gress, come in contact with and pass over those 
who are in his way. Such a one wins devoteJ 
friends and makes carping enemies. 

But, sir, whilst we will not forget the true- 
hearted, open-bauded frieu^ and citizen, he is 
eminently entitled to our regard as a Pennsyl- 
vanian.. To whatever depths of baseness his 
vilifiers have descended, no one of thena that 
I can now remember has been so false as to 
challenge or doubt the devotion of Gen. Catn- 
eron to the interests of our own Common- 
wealth. Devoted to the Union of our fathers, 
he was always a Ptnnsylvanian for Pennsyl- 
vania — Pennsylvania in and of the Union. He 
has ever exhibited a just pride in her vast re- 
sources, her inexhau8ti61e store house ot min- 
erals, her manufactures, her farms, her schools 
and her churches ; and moved by tuis pride 
and his inextinguishable love of home, he has 
Bought, both in private life and official station, 
to advance her prosperity and pr mote her 
greatness. As Pennsylvauians we honor him. 
[Applause ] 

And now, sir, let him go away assured that 
as the loyalty ani truth of Pennsylvania have 
been in the past, go will they coctiLue, From 
within our borders shall go fsrth no uncertain 
sound as to the suppression of the infamous re- 
bellion convulsing the land. " Pennsylvania ha- 
given more than a hundred thousand of her 
children as a free will offering on behalf of the 
maintenance of our government. Her army 
has gone with the stern and fixed resolution 
that the Union shall be preserved, treason 
crushed out, and traitors brought to the rope. 
Our guest has mentioned a remark recently 
made to him by a lady friend of the head of 
the pseudo government of the Confederate 
States, that Jefferson Davis believed that the 
one-half of the men of Pennsylvania and New 
York would be with him and his fellow conspi- 
rators in the disruption of the Union. Upou 
what a f.>uadation of sand did the atch traitor 
build bis hopes ! How little did he understaiid 
the people of the Keystone and Empire 
States ! Why, sir, in their (ruth and honest 
frankness, they could not believe that men- 
Senators sworn to support the Constitution (!) 
could be so peijured as to raise the 
bloody hand against it and against our 
good government. But Sumter awaketied 
them. When the dastardly assault was made 
by armed thousands upon that little half-starved 
garrison, and the national emblem wa.s sub- 



jected to villian us insult, theu it was that the 
North becami- arour^ed as a strong man from 
bis sleep, and Penneylvania and New York, like 
►,'iauts linked arms and runl.ed forward to the 
(!• fence of tte capitiland the life of the nation. 
Let us all take courage ; the heinous crime of 
iri->ason will speedily be pouished— let our 
giietU and all of us remembeY, whilst the blood 
of our brethren — of his brethren' -is crying aloud 
from the ground to Him who rules in the hosts 
of Heaven, and upon earth, that He has said 
"Vengeance is mine " That vengeance is mo- 
viui< torward and Southward like a pillar of 
fire bv night, at the head of our armies. It ie 
moving with the grandeur and sublimity of the 
storm in its wrath. Already the wail of the 
deppoudent rebel is beard. Even now the key 
of the Miseiss'ppi valley isouis; the old flag 
flies in triumph over the Cie=cent city, and 
soon the great North-west will again have ac'- 
cess through its freed and opened ch;innel to 
the gulf. [Applause.] 

Let, then, the minister to Russia depart with 
fresh hope and renewed faith. Let him, when 
away over the waters and across another conti- 
nent, as he stands near the Emperor of the 
KuBsias, that firm and fast friend of oar 
nation, assure that sovereign that our people 
are as one mm ic, their devotion to the Union 
in this baptism of blood through which they 
are pissing, and that they will sweep from the 

face of the earth the traitor and his treason. 

Let him bo assured that our government will 
pass through the fiery ordearand come forth 
purer, better and stronger than ever. [Ap- 
plause.] 

And, sir, let us now say to our friend and 
guest that he bears with hi n our wishes for his 
prosperity and su cess in his usission. Whilst 
he i;, gone he will hear of the advance of our 
arms and of the valor of tLe sons of Penosyl- 
v^nia. Alre.idy wniten upon the banners 
borne in fiont of the regiments of our State are 
names iodicitlve of brave and brilliant deeds. 
Already we m;iy there read of Drainesville' Ro- 
anoke, Winchester, Falmouth and Shiloh. [Ap- 
pliuse.] When he returns, may it be to meet 
these same soldiers returned from the battle 
fields, once more having resumed the avocations 
of peace. May he then learn fi om them how the 
same flags have been planted over Yotktown— . 
how they have gleamed above the rebel capitol 
at Richmond, waved from th^ spires of Mont- 
gomery and floated again at Sumter, and over 
that nest of treason and traitors, accursed Cha- 
rleston. [Applause] Let him come homt toreal- 
ize that agam,every where, from our most north- 
erly limit to the Gulf, from the wild Atlantic 
away off to the slopes of the Pacific, the brave 
old flag is honored and respected— its stripes 
wooing the evening winds, and its stara an- 
swering back the light of the stars in the 
firmament. May he return to live once more 
among us, and to realize that our people are 
true to their history, worthy of their fathers 
and that, under the smile of the Omnipotent' ' 



12 



OAMEROK BANQUKT. 



they h ive made our Union as imperishable as 
the evorlafiiug hills. [Applause.] 

Hon. Thomas E. Cochran, Auditor General 
of the fet ite. was then loudlj' called for. He 
rose and said : 

Mr Mayok: — While it does me uufeigot-d 
pleasure to respond to the call tlint has just been 
made, I may say il is altogeih.r unexpected. 
I was not even aware of tbe entertainment that 
was p;opnscd, and only arrived in Harrisbnrg 
at an hour quits late, when, upon being iuvitid 
to come Lere, I came with gi at pleasure. I 
recoguiz-.d in the gentleman whom you and 
citizens of Harrisburg have here assembled to 
honor, one uho h;is well maintained an emi- 
nent position iu the history of our State and of 
our country. I recognized in the name of Gen- 
eral Cameron that of a citizen, who, in public 
life, hi'.s been always remarkable for the inte- 
rest he has taken in every project or raeaeure 
of public policy calculated to improve the con- 
dition of the C' mmonwealth, to lift her in the 
scale of sister States, and to make her piomi- 
aent, influential and powerful in the Union, 
which we all so love And it is eminently fit 
that, after having passed so mauy years of his 
life here in his native State, when he is about 
for the first time to voyage over the ocean sur- 
ges, and to spend some years in an honorable 
and conspicuous position at a foreign court, that 
his fellow citizeLS, who have know him long 
and well, should meet arouijd this board to 
testify iu the emphatic terms expressed by the 
gentleman who has just taken his seat, their 
confidence in his integrity, his character, and 
their resptct for the public services be has ren- 
dered to the country. 

Now, sir, it does not become me to speak of 
the individual in tbe terms which you here in 
Harrisburg may well use, for although I have 
been for many years familiar with the name, yet 
I cannot pretend to have enjoyed that familiar 
intimacy with tbe distinguished guest of the 
evening which would autboiize me to speak of 
those personal qualities that have just elicited 
such decided marks of approbation. I may, 
however, as a citizen of this Commonwealth, 
(one who has lived in it the largest portion of 
his life,) submit my testimony that on all oc- 
casions when the interests of the State were 
involved, throughout the public cireer of the 
gentleman who is now about to leave us, he 
has borae in mind as his cardinal object the 
prosperity and welfare of Pennsylvania 
first, but Pennsylvania not superior to 
the great national interests of the coun- 
try. Pennsylvania as nearest to his heart, 
which was large enough to embrace the welfare 
and the good of the whole nation. [Applause.] 
And; eir, whatever detractors may say, and 
however certain men may bti willing at this 
Bcason, when the diverse and minute parts of 
the governmectal machinery have assumed a 
certain regular position and operation— what- 
ever di^tractors may say about the transictione 
of dlfiferent bureaus during the early part of 



the confusion and disseverance of afiairs con- 
nected with the outbreak of this rebellion, yet 
it must be borne in miod by evtry candid and 
fair man that that great emergency cameupon 
a country wbt Uy unprepared to meet such a 
grave ana overwhelming issue as wf.s presented 
to it at that time. That is no fair charity 
which will permit any man to scan with an eye 
to censure measures taken in that very great 
emergency as he would scan them, very pro- 
perly and justly, under circumstances of a very 
different character. Now, sir, we know how 
we were in Pennsylvania, we all must be con- 
scious of the situation of this State at that time: 
we had no military organization here, we 
were without experience in military matters 
and had to do eveiything on the pressurejof 
tbe moment, and that, too, when the enemy — 
the rebels — were thuudering at the very gates 
of the national capitol. Was it possible for our 
State government, without experience— was it 
possible for us, without organizati»n — was it 
posBible for us, without the men and the means 
at our command, to make all needful and in- 
dispensable arrangements and preparations, 
just according to the red tape formalities, which 
were customary in the government at ordinary 
times, when the nation needed no army but a 
skeleton, to maintain the peace throughout 
every section of our great Union ? M^hy, sir, 
it is perfectly absurd for men to ttand up at 
this day and attempt to criticise, with a censo- 
rious eye, measures takfn in the very extremi- 
ty of the national life, when it was at the point 
of de^ith. I say, sir, there is great itijustice 
involved in any censure of that kind, because 
of transactions criticised under the circum- 
stances that I have stated. It is an appeal to 
the common sense, the fail judgment and the 
candor of every man who is willing to look at 
the matter fairly atd without prejudice — 
it is a fair appeal to all that is just 
and right, which authorizes us to say 
that no such censure is proper, and to fore- 
see that no such cencure will be sustained by 
the honest, the fair and the candid judgoent of 
the people of this country. [Increased ap-^ 
plause.] I do not know what selfish or im- 
proper motives may lie at the foundation of the 
recent hostility to Gen. Cameron, but I cer- 
tainly do judge from the results that it could 
not have emanated from a proper and judicious 
discrimination, or a fair comprehension of the 
state of things which existed, and which I have 
attempted to describe, during Gen. Cameron's 
administration of the War Depart a ent. I may 
be permitted to gay without vain boasting, but 
simply as a citizen of Pennsylvania, that after 
a period of doubt — a time during which there 
were grave suspicions entertained in regard to 
official operations here in this State — now, at 
this time, in the judgment of the government 
at Washington the affairs of Pennsylvania are 
admitted to have been managed with greater 
care and economy, and with greater prudence 
than probably any other State in the Union, in 
connection with thoB war. Well now, sir, I say 



CAMERON BANQUET. 



13 



it knowingly, ffr I had an nfficia] relation with 
this matter, that I donot belli: we there was a man 
connected with the opeiatioDS nf this State who 
pos8t8.>ed tbiit practicil knowledge and ntces- 
garV diill which wcmld enable him to discharge 
thoee onerons nnd unexpected duties pertaining 
to military matters according t'> dit-cipline and 
rule, or withoTit making somn mistakes. Yet 
they were discharged fully and judiciout-ly. The 
single obj-ct was to promote the gcod of the 
country, i.nd the result has been that Pennsyl- 
vania stands higher, I appreliend, in the esti- 
mation ofthe Government at Washington th n 
any otht r State in this Union. The gentleinun 
in frofft of me nods assent to that. Well, now, 
if that is sOj why not apply the same rule to 
the conduct of operations on the part of the 
General Government as you would apply to 
affairs in Pennsylvania? I know, and I am 
vrilling to state here as an individual, that mis* 
takes were made in certain departments of 
Pennsylvania, and there may have been mis- 
takes made in the governmental departments 
at Washington ; but those mistakes were 
such as any man might make in the prosecu- 
tion of his business. 

Gen. Cameron. If the gentleman will allow 
me to interrupt him, I will say now what I 
have had occasion to state already. I have 
reviewed my course since leaving the War 
Department, and upon careful consideration, I 
am free to state that during my official career 
ia the management of that Department, I did 
not commit a single act which I would not do 
again under the same circumstances. 

Mr. CocHR AS. I have not the slightest doiibt 
of it. I have not the slightest doubt that every 
measure or action undertaken by Gen. Came- 
roa was essential, at the time and under the 
circumstances, for the welfare of the country. 
That was the point of my argument, for I am 
speaking argumentatively. Under different 
circumstances, the aspect of the case might be 
totally different, and Gen. Cameron would not 
have done what he did ; but we must take into 
consideration the circumstances existing at 
the time, and base our conclusions upon those 
surroundings. 

But I have dilated more amply on that sub- 
ject than I had any expectation of doing when 
unexpectedly called upon. I am very glad to 
see that the time has come when the people 
of Harrisburg have gathered around a citizen 
whom for many years they have had reason to 
respect, and who, when he is about to feid fare- 
well, they are glad to assemble here to bid 
God speed. I hope the time will come when 
this country will be restored in all its integrity 
and prosperity to the full enjoyment of those 
blessings and privileges which, under the 
Divine Providence, have been handed down 
to us by our fathers, and I hope that when the 
gentleman who is the recipient of our farewell 
greeting this evening shall return to this 
country he will return to a re-uuited and ub~ 



broken union, where every American citizen 
will recognize every other American citizen 
as a brother and as an equal ; and where, 
from one end of this great Union to the other, 
as it was constituted under the auspices of the 
great men who have preceded our generation, 
he shall find the same old flag flying, and the 
same institutions exi-sting. And I trust that 
in that day not only shall, he find these to 
exist, but that he shall return here when our 
affairs, socially and politically, are restored to 
their ancient basis, and ourselves glad to greet 
him on his return to a country which he will 
no doubt faithfully serve in that quarter to 
which he is now delegated, as he heretofore 
served it in other official positions. 

Hon. Judge Pb,\kson was next callod for and 
spoke as follows : 

Mr. Mayor, I have not recently been addicted 
to anything like public speaking ; but there 
are some matters to whicn I would call your 
attention for a moment. We ought not only 
to consider the p^e^■eat situation of aff.irs in 
judging of a man's actions, but also the cir- 
cumstances previously connected therewith. 
My friend across the table was cal!i (i upon to 
preside in the War Department at a timn when 
it was in the most distracteil oonditiou. No 
previous preparation of any clmrsicter ha i been 
made for wagin,' war or defending the country ; 
he was called upon in an cxt'eme emergency ; 
and now at the distance of many months, when 
our army s efficient and our navy triple its 
former standing in strength and efficiency, we 
should consider the actions of the departments 
of the government at Wasliington wholly in 
view of the means at their command. At that 
time preparations were making by ih; rebels 
for attacking Washington city, yet the nation 
was without an army at the National Capital, 
and with but limited means of bringing -oldiers 
upon the ground. The various depirim-jnts of 
government were filled with disloyal clerks and 
rebel sympathisers who wtre awaitiuo: an op- 
portunity to do all tbey piesibly could do in 
aid of the rebellion. Especially were these men 
to be found in the War Department ; 'md when 
Gen. Cameron took the chair uf Spae'ary of 
War, having no confidence in his sul ordinates, 
ise was required to employ agents whom he 
could trust. At this time, wh'-n everything 
has changed, it would appear that men have 
C'^ased to consider the (xtraordiuary pt sture of 
•ffairs that then existed, and proceed to pass 
judgment upon his actions as coolly as though 
he had no pressing emergencies and cverwhelm- 
ing responsibilities to meet, and as though he 
had been able as was the present Secretary of 
War to send twenty or forty thousand soldiers 
to one point, and a like number to another, 
Gen. Cameron with difficulty obtained fifty 
men to defend the capital. 

Judge Pearson further referred to the diffi- 
culty experienced by the War Department in 
organizing and equipping a large army, in pio* 



14 



CAMERON BANQUET. 



coring meacs of transportation for the troops, 
etc. Yet in that most perilous times the gov- 
ernment bad been accused of negligence, not 
to aay corroption in the filling of contracts for 
the sustenance of the army. This State ad- 
ministration was not long since an object of 
censure for the indiscreet appliance of certain 
funds in clothing and arming her soldiers ; but 
a patient consideration of the circumstances 
attending the operations of the State Executive 
and his oflBcers had convinced the people that 
all charges of impropriety were groundless. 
Such was the case with Gen. Cameron. Had 
the movers and supporters of the resolution 
recently passed by Congress understood the 
motives and olgects of the Secretary of War, 
or viewed them from the proper stand point, 
they would havK at least hesitated to i ass cen- 
sure upon his official acts. That gentleman 
could at least console himsttlf wiih the reHec- 
tion that no one of Lis acqiiaintancee or those 
who kbew him wuuld pretend to say he had 
ever been found other than true to hie country, 
faithful to the interest.-; ui bis State atd dea- 
to his friends. [Great applause ] 

Mr. David Fleming then responded to the 
call as follows: 

Mr. Mayor: After the able speeches you 
have beard, I shall not undertike to say more 
than a few words, espetially with my prfsent 
feeble voice. 1 merely desire to bear my tes- 
timony from the observations I have made as a 
private citizen, of ihe integrity and ability wiih 
which our disiingu'shed friend has managed 
the affiirs of the War Department during the 
time of bis adminibtration. As has been said by 
tbedistinguisheil gentleman who just preceded 
nit , we must look at things from the proper 
stand point. Now, I remember very well that 
just alter this rebellion broke out, that honor- 
able gentltmau, (Judge Pearson,) who is not 
likely to be tiioved by anything like sudden 
distuibances, was then so much moved that, 
contrary to every principle of his nature, he 
was willing <o connive at the selling of liquor on ihe 
Sabbath in this ioum. [Laughter !] 

Now, sir, when that is the cane we do not 
want agy thing to conviuce us of the state of af- 
fairs at that time. No man cjuld then safely 
pr6di'.t that we would have a government to- 
day ; no man knew who of his neighbors was 
faithful to thf government. Here were soldiers 
comitjg and going without arms and without 
the lilieiihcod of obtaining them at Washing- 
ton. There was Gen. Cameron in the War De- 
partment required to find money and arms 
without any aceuratjce of obtaiiiiua: either. I 
think it was only the providence of God tiiat 
placed a man of his energy, busineiis and in- 
dustry at the hend of the War Department, in- 
stead of a min whose h mds nave been tied up 
with "red tape" all Lis life, and who might not 
be willing to undertake such a responsibility 
without the usual red tape formality. I repeat, 
gentlemen, my firm belief that the appointment 
of Geo. Oameren was proyidential ; for certainly 



history does not exhibit an Instance of any man 
who has performed the same labor and brought 
about the same results within the same length 
ot time 

But in regard to what has been done by Con- 
gress, I have only to say that the advociites of 
the resolution of censure upon General Cameron 
are men who know but little about him. Ho 
was where he could no longer serve them, and 
I suppose they acted on the priijcipl« that a 
"liviug dog is better than a dead lion." As I 
did not intend to make a speech, being called 
upon, I have said thus much for pur distin- 
guished friend ; and, when he goes to Europe, 
I say "God speed" to him, and hope tlmt upon 
returning he will 6nd i/ur country happy, uni- 
ted hud invincible. 

Mr. Chaeles F Mubnou then made eomo re- 
marks referring to the boyhood days of General 
Cameron and himself. He said that General 
Cameron had ever beeo his friend and protector, 
through whose pecuoiary aid he was enabled to 
start a printing office in this town, and for 
whose assistance upon many occ^sIoijB he felt 
extremely grateful, 'ihe speaker alluded to 
his declining health, and that it was with diffi- 
culty he could leave his home; but he could 
not forego the pleasure of again meeting big 
old friend, and assuring him of the gratitude 
acd friendship which would continue through 
life. 

Col. A, J. Herr, District Attorney of the 
couniy, was the next spe.iker. lie said: 

Mr. Mayor, I do not feel disposed to respond 
to the call, because the sentiment which was 
just announ'ed by my elderly friend, Mr. 
Muench, has stirred an emotion in my heart 
wh'ch I think ought to be expressed. It is 
simply this, that if I had m}' choice as to what 
should be engraven upon my tombsfoue after 
death, of all high soun fling praise or lettered 
sentences, I would prefer to have simply this: 
"Here lies the poor man's friend." (Applause.) 
When it happens that such sm eulogy should be 
uttered of a living man, in the presence of re- 
spectable and intelligent citizens, I think it is 
the highest n).eed of praise that one man can 
bestow upon another. 

Well, now, Mr. Mayor, wo are all here as 
friends and citizens, gathered together solely 
for the purpose nf testifying our reepect and 
esteem for a pb ilan th i opist arid a statesman. The 
motive is correct. It i- ooe in which we cannot 
too frequently indu'g^ — and one which, when 
indulged, invariably gives encouiagement to 
merit and geuius in every department of life. 
It is this dcrire to win the applause of iheir fel- 
low men which gives energy and encourage- 
rueut to the toiling younu; ; and every good 
motive that findH an u;t;-rance in its execution 
generates like motives in the breasts of others, 
Now, then, what position does General Came- 
ron occupy in our midst'/ He is a man who 
was raised among ua, and who has been con- 
nected with many of the internal improvements 
of this town and county He has shown by big 



CAKBBOir BANQU-ET. 



1» 



energy and public spirit that be is possessed of 
those trae principles that go to make a grent 
and good man ; and we of Pennsylvania — of 
thill county especially — are to-day the uncoB 
Bcious gleaners of the harvest which was sown 
mainly tbrough the instrumentality of his 
energy an! wise foresight. For what are we 
not indebted to these railroads, which ho la- 
bored so earnestly to build ? They are bringing 
to us the comforts, conveniences and wealth 
that make dur homes happy. We are indebted 
to our friend and fellow citizsn for the prosper- 
ity of our city and all the appliances of the 
railroad system. What, though he was the 
anconscious Instrument of securing this gre*t 
benefit to a community— what though he did 
not know of the responsible and truly impor- 
tant position— he lives now, in the Providtnce 
of God, to hear it said that to him we owe, toa 
certain extent, the prosperity of this State. — 
That certainly is a matter of which he should 
feel proud (Applause.) 

I recolect it was but a few days ago that an 
eld man in this town was lying upon a bed of 
sickness. He thought his days were numbered 
and that his time had come, and naturally for 
an old man his mind reverted back to his early 
days, and how well do I remember the eloquent 
tears that spoke from his eyes when he referred 
to the goodness and kindness always shown him 
by Gen. Simon Cameron, and said he, ''for all 
that I have been worth through life I am in- 
debted to the enconragiog help of that friend." 
That man talked thus when he had but little 
hope of ever rising from his bed of sickness ; 
bat he has been spared to be here and speak for 
himself, and he has told us what he said to 
myself in his sick chamber. It is a matter of 
gratification in my own mind to have heard 
bim use the expression that General Cameron 
was the poor man's friend, and more particu- 
larly is it gratifying to all of us here, when we 
know it ia the honest expression of an hone.^t 
heart. 

Well, now, Mr. Mayor, who can fail to recall 
In bis mind many little instances he has heard 
wherein oar guest has extended a like helping 
hand to other poor men ? Is there one here 
■who can truthfully assert that within his know- 
ledge. General Cameron ever Siid, be ye cloth- 
ed, or be ye warmed, and yet did not give that 
which was needful for the poor? Can any one 
tell me that any deserving person in poverty 
or ever besought our guest and friend for 
help without n ceiving that help ? It i>i true 
that the greatest compliment that can be paid 
to him, or that can be paid to any one of us, 
leaving aside all intellectuil pride, is just sim- 
ply that of "tbe poor man's friend." 

General Cameron has filled many public 
positions in life. He has been entrusted by the 
citizens of this Cjmmnn wealth with many of- 
fices of trust, in all of which he has discharged 
his duty faithfully. Yet he has been assailed 
and ruthlessly attacked. What is his crime ? 
Why, Mr. Mayor, is it not a fact undisputed 
ftnd as old as the hills, that no Tirtue ever 



yet raised its humble head, which calumnj 
did not attempt to hiss to the earth. As ia 
social life so it is in politics. Let a man rise 
but a step above the herd and a pack of hounds 
are upon his track to brio* him down. Of 
course iu some cases the politioil opponents or 
personal enemies of a man are actuated by those 
hij:h toned motives that lead men to recogniae 
merit wherever it may be ; but it has not been 
the fortune of our friend to be so treated. He 
has felt the sneer and scorn of^ his assailants, 
yet, at the same time, with an endurance that 
wins our applause and admiration; and he now 
stands completely vindicated. [Applause,] I 
believe that is our sentiment, that whatever 
may have been the motives of the men who 
stait d the resolution in Congress, whatever 
may have been the character of the men who 
advocated its passage, still iu our own midst, 
where he has lived longest and is understood 
the best, we must in justice say, he stands ao- 
quiited with the assurance of our approbition 
of his course, with the assurance he must feel 
himself, and better than all earthly considera- 
tions the assurance of an entire acquitt:il at the 
hands of the Great Judge of all. 

But when that man took possession of the 
War office, need I repeat the condition of the 
country? need I repeat the shameful tale: our 
forts dismantled, our cannon and arms stolen, 
the treasury depleted, treasoa in every depart- 
ment ; no man knowing in what he could 
trust his fellow man, Everything was in con- 
fusion, and yet out of chaos he brought order. 
He did what I say, no other man under the 
same circumstances could have dona except he 
had been raised up in the Providence of God 
for (hat particular purpose. We saw the coun- 
try in that disturbed and distracted condition, 
everything at sea, with nothing that we could 
lay our hands upon to claim or call our own, 
no man v^hom we could trust ; and yet out of 
aj^l this difficulty, he produced the harmonious 
order that we see to day pervading oar whole 
country and army. We saw our flig insulted, 
and men of the south proving tbemselves 
to be dead to all theglorious memories of the past 
as well as the blessings of the present and the 
hopes of tbe future, endeavored to sepirate thia 
Union. But, gentlemen, we are here to-night 
to feel thankful that at tbat p.^iticular crisis we 
all throughout the North fek that thing could 
never come to pass, because wo knaw and heard 
it from the hills and valleys of our own State, 
"that the genius of liberty criei out against it. 
We felt that all the glorious hopes of civilizatioQ 
plead against it; and we knew that Christianity 
frowned upon it, and .above all wa could not 
help but recognize the great fact that the phyaN 
cal geography of ttiis coiotry spjke in charac- 
ters of light as long as the Mississippi and as 
br.iad as the Atlaaiic, that separation should 
never be. FGreat applause. J And it was just 
at that moment when all these sealiments were 
caught up, when that cry of liberty was heard, 
when the hapes of Christianity began to stir, 
that tbat man made up, with a ore itive talent, 



16 



CAJITERON BAJfQCBT. 



the prand army of the Potomac, that swoie the 
tJniou ehonld never be destroyed. To him it 
iB that we are indebted, to a certain extent for 
the creation of that army of the Potomac and 
its thousands of soldiers who are now carrying 
our banner to victory. Well, is there nothing 
to be proud of in that ? Is there nothing now 
for UH, as American tiiiaens, to fed proud if, as 
■we think to ourselves that the day may come 
when the thistle of Scotland may wither, when 
thesh mrock of Ireland may decay, when the 
lilly of France may droop, but the stars of 
America, like the stars of heaven, will shiue 
with undimmed radiance, "ai-id the crash of 
matter anS the wreck of wotlis." [Ap- 
Slauje.l 

Now, Mr. Mayor, let political theorists and 
foreign statesmen inquire where the pow=j of 
this government exists. It does not exist on 
the staute books. But we know, and this war 
proves clearly and conclusively, that it exists 
ID the hearts of the loyal and true men of this 
country That is the life of this Oniou, a.ud 
this liie, like liberty itself, remains concealed 
Tintil it meets its opposite, and then, when they 
do meet, it flames forth like angry ligbtnins;, 
to blast and blight all that oppose it. [Ap- 
plause] Hert', then, in the masses of the peo 
pie, is our strength. It lies in the strong >. aads 
and true hearts of these who are beariug our 
arms, as it is to them we should look, under 
the Providence of God, for a vindication jf all 
our rights. Let us now be thankful that we 
have a government that governs, that we 
bave a CoDstitution thtt muEt and sh Ji he 
obeyed— if not obeyed wh«n written in 
parchment, why thoa obeyed when clad 
in steel — and which will ba oleyed at all 
hazards and under all consequences ; and let 
traitors know, it is now being written anew in 
the blcod of this nation, at the point of the 
bayonet. These thoughts, I gay, are started iti 
our minds by this occasion ; let us remember 
that the present position of the nation, to a 
great extent, has been brought about by the 
agency, the creative talent and ecdurance of 
the man to whom we have met here tu pay 
our honor and respect. And when he goes be 

and the sea, on the other side of the conti- 
nent, and looks back here, I do not say that 
the banners of victory from other States will 
greet his visicra ; but I do believe — yes, I hope 
and piay— that when he stands before the 
thrcu'i of the Czar of Eusfia he shall be able 
to eay to him in plain Slxou Eoglish: there 
is no divihion here ; we statd one and indivi- 
sible ; and no "pent op Utica" contracts Ameri- 



I ra's powers, but the whole continent is oore. — 
[Great applause.] 

Dattd Mvmma, Efq., then made a fow re- 
marks explanatory of the gentlemanly kindness 
and friendly intercourse for which Gen. Cam- 
eron had become proverbial in our midst. In 
referring to the appointment of that gentleman 
to a seat in the Cabinet of Mr. lincolc Mt. 
M. stated that that appointment was eecured 
by the friends of Gen. Cimeron before he liad 
any intimation of their ii^tention. His wisbcs 
wdre nor, consulted ki the matter, and it was 
O'jly upon the solicitations of his friends that 
he was induced to accept the position. In 
conclusion he expressed the sentiments of all 
who are acquainted with Q^n. Cameron, in a 
full and emphatic endorsement of his official 
career, both as a Senator of the United States 
and at the head of what constituted the most 
important and responsible department of the 
government. 

BoBT. L. MuENCH, Esq., was the last speak- 
er. After what had been said in regard to the 
esteem in whict General Camerou was held by 
those present, he considered it a work of supero- 
gation to say one word in behalf of that gen- 
tleman. He ^ad merely to 6:iy that, as hie 
father's son, he would never forget<Kb:e friend- 
ship of General Cameron. He hoped that the 
honored gutstof the evening would BOpn return 
to a happy and prosperous land, to en^oy the 
renewed friendship and regard of his fellow^ 
citizens. 

At the conclnsion of Mr. Muench'e speeoh, 
Dr. Baily proposed three cheers for Gen. Cam- 
eron, whicii were given with enthusiasm. 
Thes? were followed by three more, as if to 
confirm the first in their will and sincerity. 

The hour being late. Gen, Cameron rose, 
wiich seemed to be the signal for the ending 
of the festivities. The company present then 
individually took leave of Gen. Ctimeron, and 
as he stood at the head of the table, eaoh ap- 
proached, took him by the hand, uttered apd 
received a kindly wordof greeting and parting, 
and then retired. In these farewells, there waS' 
much that was pleasing, as they illustrated 
how noble friendship can become, when it 
binds men together in feelings of kindness and 
reciprocity. The scene was both impressive' 
and eloquent — one that will long be remembered 
by all who were present and particijated. 



;'^, ,.0'?r^./.