University of California,
LIFE AND CHARACTER
BENJAIN HARVEY HILL
(A SENATOR FROM GEORGIA),
DELIVERED IN THE
SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
FORTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION,
JANUARY 25, 1883.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
JOINT RESOLUTION to print certain eulogies delivered in Congress upon the late Ben
jamin H. Hill.
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, That there be printed twelve thousand copies
of the eulogies delivered in Congress upon the late Benjamin H. Hill, a Sena
tor from the State of Georgia, of which four thousand shall be for the use
of the Senate, and eight thousand for the use of the House of Representa
tives ; and the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, directed to have
printed a portrait of said Benjamin H. Hill to accompany each copy of said
eulogies ; and for the purpose of defraying the expense of engraving and print
ing the said portrait, the sum of six hundred dollars, or so much thereof as
may be necessary, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any money
in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Approved February 23, 1883.
DEATH OF BENJAMIN HARVEY HILT.
A SENATOR FROM GEORGIA,
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Monday, December 4, 1882.
Rev. J. J. BULLOCK, D. D., Chaplain to the Senate, offered the
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, it ever becomes us to ap
proach Thee with the voice of gratitude and praise, for Thou art
good, O Lord, and Thou doest good to all, and Thy tender mercies
are over all Thy works. We thank Thee for all the goodness and
mercy which have crowned our past lives. Especially would we
offer up our humble and hearty thanks unto Thee for Thy watch
ful providence over us during the period of our separation, and
that we are permitted to meet together again under circumstances
of great mercy in the enjoyment of health, of reason, and of every
Defend and deliver us from all evil. Guide us in the way of
wisdom, of truth, and of righteousness. May we have peace in
all our borders and prosperity in all our habitations.
Bless our rulers, the President of the United States, the Presi
dent of the Senate, the Senators and Representatives in Congress,
4 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
and all others in authority. Guide and assist them to discharge
aright the duties and responsibilities which devolve upon them as
the rulers of this great country. Fill our land with the knowl
edge of Thy truth and with the fruits of righteousness. May we
long live a united, happy, and prosperous people.
God be merciful unto us and bless us, and cause His face to shine
upon us, and give us pardon and peace and eternal life. Through
Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, it becomes my most painful duty,
in this official form, to announce to the Senate the death of my
late colleague, Hon. BENJAMIN H. HILL. That patriotic citizen,
grand orator, able statesmen, and Christian gentleman died at his
residence, in the city of Atlanta, on the 16th day of August last.
The intelligence of the death of Senator Hill was received with
profound regret throughout the whole country. But the people of
Georgia, whom he had so ably served and who had so long de
lighted to honor him, were the greatest suiferers. Grief-stricken,
they bowed their heads in sorrow, and will long mourn their
But, Mr. President, having performed the melancholy duty of
announcing the death of my late colleague to the Senate, the pro
prieties of the occasion will not, at present, permit a further exten
sion of these remarks. At a future day I shall ask a suspension of
the public business, that the Senate, in connection with the House
of Representatives, may pay fitting tribute to the character, the
virtues, the ability, and the services of the deceased Senator.
I now offer the following resolutions, and move their immediate
Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow of the death of
Hon. BENJAMIN H. HILL, a Senator from the State of Georgia.
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these proceedings to the House
Resolved, As a token of respect to the memory of the deceased, that the Sen
ate do now adjourn.
The resolutions were agreed to unanimously ; and (at two o clock
and forty-five minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned.
DEATH OF BENJAMIN HARVEY HILL,
A SENATOR FROM GEORGIA.
DELIVERED IN THE SENATE
Thursday, January 25, 1883.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. This day having been set apart for
services in honor of the memory of our late brother BENJAMIN
H. HILL, the usual morning business will be dispensed with.
Mr. BROWN. I submit the resolutions which I send to the Chair,
and I ask for their immediate consideration.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The resolutions will be read.
The Acting Secretary read the resolutions, as follows :
Resolved, That earnestly desiring to show every possible mark of respect
to the memory of the Hon. BENJAMIN H. HILL, late a Senator of the United
States from the State of Georgia, and to manifest the high estimate in which
his eminent public services and distinguished patriotism are held, the busi
ness of the Senate be now suspended, that the friends and late associates of
Senator HILL may pay fitting tribute to his high character, his public serv
ices, and his private virtues.
Resolved, That in the death of Senator HILL the country has sustained a
loss which has been felt and deplored to the utmost limits of the Union.
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate communicate these resolutions
to the House of Representatives.
Resolved, That as an additional mark of respect to the memory of the de
ceased the Senate do now adjourn.
LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN R. HILL.
Address of Mr. BROWN, of Georgia.
Mr. PRESIDENT: BENJAMIN HARVEY HILL, whose life, charac
ter, and distinguished services are the. subject of our present con
sideration, was born at Hillsborough, in Jasper County, Georgia,
on the 14th day of September, 1823. His father, Mr. John Hill,
was a gentleman of limited means, without a liberal education.
But he was a man of spotless character, of very strong common
sense, and a great deal of will power, who always exerted an ex
tensive influence in his neighborhood and section.
The mother of the distinguished statesman, whose maiden name
was Parham, was a lady of very fine traits of character, whose pre
cepts and example exerted a most salutary and powerful influence
over her children. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were devoted and consist
ent members of the Methodist Church. They lived and died in
the faith, and were eminently useful in their day and generation.
When the subject of this sketch was about ten years old his
father moved from Hillsborough to the neighborhood called Long
Cane, in .Troup County, Georgia, which was his home until the
day of his death. Mr. Hill not only trained his children to habits
of morality and Christian virtue, but he caused them to labor with
their hands and earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. Being
a sober, industrious, and persevering man, he accumulated prior to
his death a considerable property, and was able to give to each of
his nine children something quite respectable to start life with. His
sou Benjamin was obedient and faithful to his parents ; he labored
hard to aid his father. While he was quite industrious, he was noted
as a very bright and promising youth. When he reached the age
of 18 years he was very anxious to improve the education which
he had been able to obtain in the country by going through a
course in the University of Georgia. But as the family was large
his father felt that he had not the means to spare, and do justice to
the other children, which were necessary to complete the collegiate
course of his son. After a family consultation it was agreed by
the mother and by a good and faithful aunt that they, out of the
ADDRESS OF MI?. BROWN, OF GEORGIA. 1
small means they had accumulated, would furnish one-half the
amount, the father furnishing the other half. Under this arrange
ment the gifted son was enabled to enter the State University.
Before he left home he promised his mother, if the means could
be raised to enable him to complete his collegiate course, that he
would take the first honor in his class.
In the university the young student was industrious, attentive,
and energetic. His progress was rapid, and his mental develop
ment very gratifying to his numerous friends in the university and
elsewhere, who watched his progress and the development of his
genius with great pride and gratification. When the commence
ment came at the end of the senior year, the faculty unanimously
awarded the first honor to young HILL. He also took all the
honors of the literary society to which he belonged. And in a famil
iar letter to a friend he said, within the last few years, that was the
proudest day of his life, and that nothing ever afforded him more
gratification than it did to write to his mother the news that filled
his heart with so much joy.
Soon after the close of his collegiate career Mr. HILL was mar
ried to Miss Caroline Holt, of Athens, Georgia, a young lady be
longing to one of Georgia s oldest and most honored families ; of
good fortune, great amiability, beauty, and accomplishments. The
happy and brilliant young couple settled in La Grange, in Troup
County, where Mr. HILL, who had already studied law and been
admitted to the bar, commenced the practice of his profession.
From the very commencement, the tact, research, and ability with
which he conducted his earliest cases gave bright promise of his
future eminence. He grew rapidly at the bar until he was soon
employed in every important case in his county, and his professional
fame spread into the adjoining counties of the State and he became
the center figure at the bar in the courts of his circuit.
In connection with his legal practice Mr. HILL purchased a
valuable plantation, and with the slaves that he obtained by his
wife and by inheritance from his father, and purchased from time
to time out of his incomes, he conducted the business of planting
on an extensive and profitable scale.
8 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Mr. HILL started life an ardent Whig; and it could not be ex^
pected that a young lawyer of his brilliant talents could long keep
out of politics. In 1851 he was elected to the house of represent
atives of the legislature of Georgia, where he soon rose to the
position of one of the ablest debaters and most influential members
of that body. After the legislature adjourned he resumed the
practice of his profession with great skill and energy.
The old Whig party having in the mean time been dissolved in
Georgia, Mr. HILL in 1855 became a member of what was known
as the American party, and was nominated by that party as their
candidate for Congress, in opposition to Hon. Hiram Warner, the
Democratic nominee. The race was an exciting one. Judge War
ner was one of the ablest and most profound men of the State,
though not a distinguished orator. Mr. HILL canvassed the dis
trict, and usually had the advantage everywhere in the popular
applause. He was defeated, however, Judge Warner securing a
In 1856 Mr. HILL was a candidate for elector for the State at
large on the Fillmore ticket. He canvassed the State with great
energy, ability, and eloquence. From the day on which he made
his first grand effort in support of his candidate must be dated his
recognition as the leader of his party in Georgia. During the
campaign he met the leading Democratic speakers at various points.
He had an animated discussion with Mr. Stephens at Lexington,
and with General Toombs at Washington, Georgia. His most ar
dent admirers were entirely content with the ability he displayed
in these contests with his distinguished opponents.
From that time forward his influence with his party was un
bounded. They not only trusted and followed him but he con
trolled them absolutely.
In 1857 the author of this sketch was nominated by the Demo
cratic party of Georgia as their candidate for governor, and Mr.
HILL was nominated by the American party for the same position.
We were both young and ardent. I was 36 years of age, he 34.
We had never met till the day of our first joint discussion, when
we were leading our respective parties as opposing candidates. The
ADDEESS OF MR. BROWN, OF GEORGIA. 9
contest was energetic and exciting. Mr. HILL displayed great
powers of eloquence in the debates, and was" an exceedingly inter
esting and formidable competitor. The contest ended in the elec
tion of the Democratic candidate.
Mr. HILL then stood among the very first men of the country
as a political debater, and occupied a very high rank as a lawyer
and as an advocate at the bar.
In 1859 he was elected by his party to the senate of Georgia.
He exhibited great power in the debates of the session, and was
without a rival the leader of his party in the legislature.
In 1860 he was again a candidate for Presidential elector, and
canvassed the State for Bell and Everett for President and Vice-
President. His speeches were exceedingly able and brilliant.
The election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency, as the South
regarded it, upon a strictly sectional platform, brought about the
overwhelming discontent in that section which resulted in the se
cession of the Southern States and the unfortunate civil war. When
a convention to consider this question was called in Georgia, Mr.
HILL was with great unanimity elected a member of it from the
county of Troup. He was an avowed Union man, and in conjunc
tion with Alexander H. Stephens, Herschell V. Johnson, Linton
Stephens, and some others, leading men of Georgia, he opposed
secession ably and earnestly until the final passage of the resolution
that it was the right and duty of Georgia to secede. When the
ordinance was passed he signed it, taking position, as did the other
distinguished gentlemen whose names I have mentioned, that as a
Georgian he owed his allegiance first to the State of his nativity,
of his manhood, and of his home ; that her people were his people,
and her fate should be his fate.
After the State had seceded, Mr. HILL was chosen one of the
delegates to the Confederate convention at Montgomery, Alabama.
In that convention he took an able and distinguished part. Soon
after the convention adjourned, when the time came to elect Con
federate senators, he was chosen for the long term, and took his
seat in the Confederate senate, which he occupied till the end of the
war. He was made chairman of the judiciary committee, and had
the confidence of President Davis to the fullest extent, and was
10 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
regarded the ablest supporter of Mr. Davis s policy in the senate.
And when the cause was waning, and our people were deeply de
pressed, Mr. HILL left the senate and went upon the stump, and
was making an able effort to arouse the spirits of the people of
Georgia and of the Confederacy to renewed resistance when General
Soon after the Confederacy failed, when many of those who had
been considered the leaders were arrested, Mr. HILL was among
the number. While President Davis was consigned to a cell in
Fortress Monroe, and Vice-President Stephens to one in Fort
Warren, and the author of this sketch, with a number of distin
guished Confederates, was incarcerated in the Carroll Prison in this
city, Mr. HILL was assigned to quarters in Fort Lafayette, in New
After the release of Mr. HILL from prison, he returned to
Georgia and resumed the practice of his profession with great energy
and splendid success. He pursued his profession, taking little part
in politics, until after the passage of the reconstruction acts in March,
1867, when it was again the misfortune of the author of this sketch
to differ with his former opponent.
After our resources were exhausted and our armies had surren
dered, I thought I saw that we were in the power and at the mercy
of a conquering Government, and I advised the people of Georgia
to acquiesce promptly in the terms" dictated by Congress; to take
part in the convention which was called by the military command
er in charge of the district embracing the State of Georgia; to
send our best men as members; to secure the best constitution pos
sible, and under it try to live a peaceable life and labor to restore
prosperity at the earliest day within our power. A majority of the
white people of Georgia differed with me on that point Mr. HILL
among them. He believed by an able and bold opposition to the
measures prescribed by Congress, and by resistance to them in every
manner not forcible, the people of the Northern and Western
States would condemn the action of Congress, restore the Democratic
party to power, and we would be saved much of the humiliation
we had been exposed to by acts of Congress which were regarded
by our people as illiberal and unjust.
ADDRESS OF MR. BROWN, OF GEORGIA. 11
When Mr. HILL espoused the cause on this line, he did it with
all the ability, earnestness, energy, and enthusiasm of his nature.
He attended the first Democratic convention held in Georgia, and
was the leading spirit and director of it. In the face of the mili
tary, with undaunted spirit, he made what was known as his "Davis
Hall speech," in the city of Atlanta, which, as a masterpiece of de
nunciation, philippic, and invective, has scarcely ever been equaled,
except in what were known as his "Bush-arbor speech" and his
"Notes on the Situation." The magic power of his declamation
and of his denunciation were overwhelming and terrific. Probably
no one of the masters of elocution who has lived on this continent
has surpassed it.
As the author of this sketch had affiliated with the reconstruc
tion party, his course shared liberally in the overwhelming and
terrific denunciation of the great orator. Reference to the replies
which were made to these vigorous assaults is not appropriate to
this occasion. The period was a stormy one. The debates were
bitter and even vindictive on both sides. It was a time of mad
ness. Social relations were sundered in many cases, and there was
for a time an upheaval of the very foundations of society. During
this extraordinary period, when the whole political fabric of the
State seemed to rock amid the throes of dissolution, no one figured
so grandly as Mr. HILL, and no one was so idolized as he.
But the people of the South were doomed to an unconditional
surrender. We were compelled to accept the reconstruction meas
ures. When we rejected the fourteenth Constitutional amendment,
the fifteenth was proposed, and we were afterward compelled to ac
cept both before we could be readmitted to representation in the
Congress of the United States.
After the reconstruction of the States was completed under the
plan dictated by Congress, and the Constitutional amendments were
adopted and incorporated into and became part of that instrument,
it was discovered by all that both the Congress and the courts would
unquestionably sustain those new provisions of the Constitution as
part of the fundamental law of this country, and that the Govern
ment would be administered accordingly.
In this state of things, in the fall of 1870 Mr. HILL became
12 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN U. HILL.
fully convinced of the fact that further resistance was useless. And
while he believed he had saved much to the State by the course he
had pursued in rallying and holding the people together and re
organizing the Democracy upon a firm basis, he did not hesitate to
advise the people of Georgia to cease further resistance to what was
then an accomplished fact.
Seeing that further resistance was fruitless, he considered it
would be criminal to continue to throw obstacles in the way of the
Government. This announcement on his part exposed him for a
time to severe criticism by those who did not understand his mo
tives. But he was as firm and lion-like in maintaining the stand
he then took as he had been in the terrible resistance which he
made to the reconstruction measures as long as he entertained any
hope that resistance might be successful. From this time forward
Mr. HILL renewed his allegiance to the Government to the fullest
extent, and did all in his power to produce quiet and contentment,
which he saw were necessary to a return of peace and prosperity
to our people.
During the period that intervened, for the next two or three
years, he pursued his law practice with his usual ability and suc
cess, and also again embarked in a large planting business in
But the people of Georgia were not content that he should re
main a private citizen. They desired the benefit of his superb
talents in the national councils ; and on the death of Hon. Gar
net McMillan, who was a member of the House of Representatives
from the ninth district of Georgia, Mr. HILL, by an overwhelm
ing majority, was elected to fill the vacancy; and he took his seat
in the House. His course there is familiar to most if not all who
hear me. Some splendid exhibitions of his oratorical powers in
that body soon gave him an extensive national reputation. His
celebrated discussion with the distinguished Representative from
Maine, Mr. Blaiue, was one of the most memorable that has ever
occurred in the House of Representatives. Each of the able an
tagonists sustained his cause in a manner entirely satisfactory to
his friends. Heated, earnest, and almost vituperative as the de
bate was between them, they learned to know each other s ability
ADDEESS OF MB. BEOWN, OF GEORGIA. . 13
and worth and were mutually benefited. Each was soon called by
his State to occupy a seat in this Chamber; and as their acquaint
ance was prolonged, it grew first into friendship and then into an
earnest admiration of each other. The letter of condolence sent
by Mr. Elaine on the death of Mr. HILL did honor alike to his
head and his heart, and was highly appreciated by the numerous
friends of the deceased Senator.
As to the course of Senator HILL in this body and the splendid
triumphs of his eloquence and his genius which have been here ex
hibited I need not speak. They are well known to the Senate,
and will long be remembered by his friends, his compeers, and an
As I have been compelled, in order to give correctly an outline
of the life and career of the great Senator, to make a passing refer
ence to the early antagonism and at one time bitterness that ex
isted between us, it affords me great pleasure to state that in later
life, when we knew each other better and were frequently thrown
together, in times less stormy and less revolutionary, when it be
came our duty to consult together to determine what was most for
the public good and what would soonest restore prosperity to our
State and our section, our relations were changed.
I had retired from public life and had no expectation that I
should ever enter it again. But I was unwilling that Mr. HILL S
splendid talents should be confined simply to the practice of his
profession, and I desired to see him in the councils of the Union.
When he ran for the House of Representatives, though not in
his district, I had a host of friends there who sustained him.
When he became a candidate for the Senate my friends held the
balance of power ; and while I had great regard for the gentleman
who then occupied the seat, I felt that Mr. HILL could do more to
serve the State in that capacity than the incumbent. And when
Governor Smith retired from the contest on the day of election
my friends gave Mr. HILL their cordial support.
At a later period, when I was called unexpectedly back into the
service of my State and took my seat in this Chamber, he met me
with the cordiality which our relations then justified. During our
14 LIFE AND CHARACTEE OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
service together that cordiality ripened into intimate and confi
dential friendship. He frequently said to me, " I regret that we
had not sooner known each other better. I regret that we were
thrown, when young and ardent, into the positions of antagonism
which we then occupied." One of the last letters I received from
him before the sad event which shocked the Union was full of con
fidence and cordial friendship. Referring to the past, he said,
" Who would then have thought that you were during my lifetime
to become my most trusted and confidential friend?" No one felt
more keenly than I did his loss, and no one shed tears of more sin
cere regret. A great man has fallen. The whole country feels
the shock. As a citizen he was patriotic, trusted, and beloved ;
as a kind and indulgent husband and father few persons can justly
be compared to him.
Mr. HILL S love for his mother, and the veneration with which
he cherished her memory after her death, were beautiful and touch
ing. It was his habit when at home to go every day into his par
lor where her portrait hung, and to look tenderly in her face, and
to bow to her on retiring. A day or two before his death, when
he was too feeble to support himself without assistance, he re
quested his attendants to carry him into the parlor, that he might
take a last look at the likeness of the face that was so dear to him.
On approaching the likeness he was visibly affected. He gazed
lovingly upon the form, and as his heart heaved with emotion and
his eyes filled with tears he said : " I shall soon be with her
again." Then, bowing most reverently and affectionately, he was
borne from the parlor, never more in this world to look upon the
form so tenderly cherished by him.
But, Senators, this sketch would be incomplete without a refer
ence to the religious character of Georgia s great statesman. As I
have already premised, his father and mother were earnest, devout,
and consistent members of the Methodist Church. At fourteen
years of age BENJAMIN H. HILL became a member of that church.
He was faithful and zealous, and lived a very exemplary life.
During the period of his youth and early manhood he was noted
for his religious devotion and his piety. For years after his happy
ADDRESS OF MB. BROWN, OF GEORGIA. 15
marriage with his lovely wife he and his family surrounded the
altar daily together in prayer and devotion.
At a later period of life, when he became more engrossed with the
courts and absorbed in politics and other public duties, he was thrown
much away from his home, and his mind was diverted to other
objects, which made heavy drafts upon his time and attention. And
during this most active period of his public career he was less at
tentive to his religious duties, which was afterwards to him a source
of great regret. But when the disease which finally terminated in
his untimely death had seized upon him, its inroads were slow, and
his sufferings were very great. During this long and trying period
his mind reverted back to the family altar, to his church rela
tions, and to his religious privileges and duties. He calmly sur
veyed the situation and reviewed his life, and his faith became
still more firmly anchored within the veil. He met his sufferings
with a patience and Christian fortitude that in its lessons and teach
ings were absolutely sublime.
While his sufferings were intense and his pain often excruciating
he never murmured, but said, " Let God s will be done, not mine."
Nothing pleased him better than the conversation of ministers of
the Gospel on religious subjects. He spoke of the atonement made
by our Saviour, of its efficiency, and of the hope that he enter
tained. He delighted to dwell on these subjects. While he suf
fered from day to day and from night to night nothing disturbed
his equanimity, nothing for a moment brought a murmur to his
lips. Brilliant and surpassing as had been many of the triumphs of
his life, his Christian resignation and fortitude and his triumph in
death were much more brilliant, much more sublime.
When his powers of speech had failed and his once eloquent
tongue had ceased to articulate and he was gently and peacefully
sinking into the embrace of death that good man, Rev. C. A.
Evans, pastor of his church, visited him, and approaching him
with great gentleness and kindness spoke words of consolation.
The dying Senator, with a heart full of love and his countenance
beaming with heavenly visions, after struggling with the impedi
ment that bound his tongue in silence, uttered audibly his last sen
tence: "Almost home."
16 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Thus quietly and peacefully passed away one whose memory we
all affectionately cherish.
But, Senators, our late companion is not dead. He has passed
behind the veil, and his form is no longer seen by us. His body
sleeps in the grave, but his immortal spirit rests in the paradise of
Mr. President, in the demise of Senator HILL the whole Union
has sustained a severe loss. But the affliction of the people of
Georgia is greater than any other can be ; they knew him ; they
loved him ; they honored and trusted him ; they almost idolized
him. And when it was announced that BENJAMIN H. HILL was
no more they bowed their heads in sorrow, and will long mourn
their irreparable loss.
But, Mr. President, Senator HILL possessed intellectual qualities
of the highest order. His genius was acknowledged by all. In
debate he was surpassingly grand and convincing. As a logician
he had few equals; as an impassioned orator he had no superior;
as a lawyer he occupied the first rank ; as an advocate at the bar
he was absolutely overwhelming ; as an American Senator he was
the peer of any one.
When I reflect upon the great oratorical powers of Senator HILL,
the splendor of his genius, the simplicity of his heart, and the pa
triotic impulses of his nature, as I had learned in later life to know
them, I conclude that the day is not distant when some great
American poet, burning with patriotic zeal as well as poetic fire,
will weave into verse, a tribute to his memory as glowing and as
just, as the immortal English bard, paid the great Irish orator, when
Ever glorious Grattan ! the best of the good !
So simple in heart, so sublime in the rest;
With all which Demosthenes wanted endued,
And his rival or victor in all he possessed.
ADDRESS OF MR. ING ALLS, OF KAN,
Address of Mr. INGALLS, of Kansas.
BEN. HILL has gone to the undiscovered country.
Whether his journey thither was but one step across an imper
ceptible frontier, or whether an interminable ocean, black, unfluc
tuating, and voiceless, stretches between these earthly coasts and
those invisible shores we do not know.
Whether on that August morning after death he saw a more
glorious sun rise with unimaginable splendor above a celestial hori
zon, or whether his apathetic and unconscious ashes still sleep in
cold obstruction and insensible oblivion we do not know.
Whether his strong and subtle energies found instant exercise
in another forum, whether his dextrous and disciplined faculties
are now contending in a higher senate than ours for supremacy, or
whether his powers were dissipated and dispersed with his parting
breath we do not know.
Whether his passions, ambitions, and affections still sway, at
tract, and impel, whether he yet remembers us as we remember
him we do not know.
These are the unsolved, the insoluble problems of mortal life
and human destiny, which prompted the troubled patriarch to ask
that momentous question for which the centuries have given no
answer "If a man die shall he live again?"
Every man is the center of a circle whose fatal circumference he
cannot pass. Within its narrow confines he is potential, beyond
it he perishes; and if immortality be a splendid but delusive dream,
if the incompleteness of every career, even the longest and most
fortunate, be not supplemented and perfected after its termination
here, then he who dreads to die should fear to live, for life is a
tragedy more desolate and inexplicable than death.
Of all the dead whose obsequies we have paused to solemnize in
this Chamber J recall no one whose untimely fate seems so lament
able, and yet so rich in prophecy of eternal life, as that of Senator
HILL. He had reached the meridian of his years. He stood upon
the high plateau of middle life, in that serene atmosphere where
18 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
temptation no longer assails, where the clamorous passions no more
distract, and where the conditions are most favorable for noble and
enduring achievement. His upward path had been through stormy
adversity and contention such as infrequently falls to the lot of men.
Though not without the tendency to meditation, reverie, and intro
spection which accompanies genius, his temperament Avas palestric.
He was competitive and unpeaceful. He was born a polemic and
controversialist, intellectually pugnacious and combative, so that
he was impelled to defend any position that might be assailed or to
attack any position that might be intrenched, not because the de
fense or the assault were essential, but because the positions were
maintained and that those who held them became by that fact
alone his adversaries. This tendency of his nature made his orbit
erratic. He was metec^ric rather than planetary, and flashed with
irregular splendor rather than shone with steady and penetrating
rays. His advocacy of any cause was fearless to the verge of te
merity. He appeared to be indifferent to applause or censure for
their own sake. He accepted intrepidly any cnoclusions that he
reached, without inquiring whether they were politic or expedient.
To such a spirit partisanship was unavoidable, but with Senator
HILL it did not degenerate into bigotry. He was capable of broad
generosity, and extended to his opponents the same unreserved
candor which he demanded for himself. His oratory was impetu
ous and devoid of artifice. He was not a posturer nor phrase
monger. He was too intense, too earnest, to employ the cheap and
paltry decorations of discourse. He never reconnoitered a hostile
position nor approached it by stealthy parallels. He could not lay
siege to an enemy, nor beleaguer him, nor open trenches, and sap
and mine. His method was the charge and the onset, He was the
Murat of senatorial debate. Not many men of this generation
have been better equipped for parliamentary warfare than he, with
his commanding presence, his sinewy diction, his confident and im
But in the maturity of his powers and his fame, with unmeasured
opportunities for achievement apparently before him, with great
designs unaccomplished, surrounded by the proud and affectionate
ADDRESS OF MR. VEST, OF MISSOURI. 19
solicitude of a great constituency, the pallid messenger with the
inverted torch beckoned him to depart. There are few scenes in
history more tragic than that protracted combat with death. No
man had greater inducements to live. But in the long struggle
against the inexorable advances of an insidious and mortal malady
he did not falter nor repine. He retreated with the aspect of a vic
tor ; and though he succumbed, he seemed to conquer. His sun
went down at noon, but it sank amid the prophetic splendors of an
With more than a hero s courage, with more than a martyr s
fortitude, he waited the approach of the inevitable hour and went
to the undiscovered country.
Address of Mr. VEST of Missouri.
Mr. President, in November, 1861, 1 first met Mr. HILL in the
provisional congress of the Confederate States.
The Confederacy was just entering upon its brief and stormy ex
istence. Its capital had recently been removed from Montgomery to
Richmond, and Jefferson Davis by a majority of only one vote in
the provisional congress had been elected president over Robert
Surrounded by unexampled difficulties, moral and physical, iso
lated and alone, with the prejudices of the entire civilized world
against them, and confronted in battle with overwhelming odds,
the Confederate congress was called upon to meet not only the ordi
nary questions and emergencies attending the formation of a new
government, but to grapple also with the exigencies and demands
of a great war, a war not for conquest or policy, but for existence.
Mr. HILL had earnestly opposed secession up to the last mo
ment, but finding that the people of Georgia were determined to
separate from the Union, he surrendered his personal opinion,
and pledged himself fully and unreservedly to the cause of the
Opposed to secession, with habits of thought and education ut
terly averse to revolution, the strange vicissitudes of this stormy
20 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
period soon found him the leader of the administration party in
the Confederate congress.
Within the limits of an address like this it would neither be
possible nor proper for me to attempt an analysis of the causes
which placed Mr. HILL in this position ; but chief among them
was the fact that having once pledged himself to the Confederacy
he could see no hope of success except in supporting the president
chosen by the people ; and having so declared himself, his great
ability naturally made him the exponent and defender of the pol
icy of the administration.
Although surrounded by difficulties and dangers almost without
parallel, and confronted by a common peril, it was very soon evi
dent that personal rivalry, the attrition of diverse opinion, and the
fierce passions of a revolutionary era had built up most determined
opposition to Mr. Davis among the leaders of the South.
That the president of the Confederate States was loyal to the
people he led, in every fiber of his nature, cannot be doubted save
by the blindest prejudice; and this being granted, whether he was
mistaken in the conduct of the war or in the policy of his admin
istration should be a sealed book to all those who sympathized and
suffered with him. It is enough to say now that never was any
public man assailed by opponents so formidable as those who at
tacked the president of the Confederate States.
Toombs, the Mirabeau of the revolution; Yancey, whose lips
were touched with fire, now the honey of persuasion and then the
venom of invective; Wigfall, brilliant, aggressive, and relentless
this was the great triumvirate which assailed Mr. Davis s adminis
tration. No power of description can do justice to the ability, elo
quence, or bitterness of the debates in which Mr. HILL, single-
handed but undaunted, met his great opponents. As the war pro
gressed and the fortunes of the Confederacy became each year more
desperate, the bitterness and violence of this parliamentary conflict
increased, until scenes of actual personal collision occurred on the
floor of the Confederate senate.
The participants have passed beyond this world s judgment, and
the issues which stirred those fierce passions are dead with the gov-
ADDRESS OF ME. VEST, OF MISSOURI. 21
eminent they affected, but the few who heard these debutes can
never forget the matchless eloquence and logic that mingled with
the roar of hostile guns around the beleaguered capital of the Con
Reluctant to embrace the Confederate cause, Mr. HILL was the
last to leave it, and I well remember that on my way from Rich
mond, after preparations had been made to abandon the capital, and
it was well known that the cause was lost, I met him in Columbus,
Georgia, engaged iu the task of rallying the people of his State in
what was then a hopeless struggle. When I told him of recent
events, of which he had not heard, he said, "All then is over, and
it only remains for me to share the fate of the people of Georgia."
How well he redeemed this pledge the hearts of his people will
answer. Thrown into prison, stripped of all except life, his courage
never failed, and in the darkest hour, when the wolves were tear
ing the victims of the war as the coyote the wounded deer, his elo
quent voice was never for one instant silent until Georgia, torn and
bleeding but yet splendid and beautiful, once more stood erect in the
sisterhood of sovereign States. Nor did he ever under any tempta
tion so far forget his manhood and honor as to
Crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning.
Accepting fully and without reservation all the legitimate conse
quences of defeat, and resolutely turning to the future with its
duties and obligations, he still retained his self-respect, and never
Bend low, and iu a bondsman s key,
With bated breath, and whispering humbleness.
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last ;
You spurn d me such a day ; another time
You call d me dog ; and for these courtesies
I ll lend you thus much moneys.
I knew Mr. HILL well, and under circumstances which enabled
me to judge accurately his attributes and qualities. Like all men
of great intellect, he was often accused of inconsistency because he
absolutely refused to be governed by the routine thought of others,
and had always the courage to change an opinion if he believed it
22 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
erroneous. His courage, indeed, both of conviction and expression,
was not excelled by that of any man, and his fortitude under the
greatest misfortunes extorted the admiration of even his enemies.
In an age when calumny and slander are the ordinary weapons
of political warfare, and personal scandal the most delicate morsel
for the public appetite, Mr. HILL was not exempt from the attacks
of the foul and loathsome creatures who crawl about the footsteps
of every public man, but he bore himself always with a dignity
which commanded the respect of all.
And what can be said of the heroism, the uncomplaining and un
faltering courage, with which he met the irony of fate that brought
him the torture of a lingering death in the destruction of that tongue
and voice which had so often awakened with their eloquence the
echoes of this Hall !
In all public and private history there is no sadder page than
this, and from it we turn away in silent awe and reverence.
In his political opinions Mr. HILL was governed by the teaching
of Madison, and no one who heard his speech in the Senate on May
10, 1879, the greatest speech in my judgment delivered here within
the last quarter of a century, will ever forget his tribute to the
statesman who can be justly termed the father of the Constitution.
Said Mr. HILL:
Sir, I want to say here now and I feel it a privilege that I can say it I be
lieve all the angry discussion, all the troubles that have come upon this coun
try, have sprung from the failure of the people to comprehend the one great fact
that the Government under which we live has no model; it is partly national
and partly Federal ; an idea which was to the Greeks a stumbling block, and
to the Romans foolishness, and to the Republican party an insurmountable
paradox, but to the patriots of this country it is the power of liberty unto the
salvation of the people. And if the people of this country would realize that
fact, all these crazy wranglings as to whether we live under a Federal or a
national Government would cease ; they would understand that we live under
both ; that it is a composite Government ; that it was intended by the framers
that the Union shall be faithful in defense of the States, that the States
shall be harmonious in support of the Union, and that the Union and the
States shall be faithful and harmonious in the support and the maintenance
of the rights and the liberty of the people.
Mr. HILL was not only an orator, but a lawyer in the front of
his profession. His mind was broad yet analytical; and he was
ADDRESS OF MR. MORGAN, OF ALABAMA. 23
averse to all radical and revolutionary methods. In my conception
of his intellect and eloquence I always associate him with Virgniaud,
the leader of the French Girondists. While neither will stand in
history with the greatest party leaders, yet as orators and parlia
mentary debaters they are entitled to places in the first rank.
Ended are his conflicts, his triumphs, and defeats. The strong,
aggressive intellect is at rest. The clarion voice which could " wield
at will the fierce democracy" is hushed forever.
Out upon the shoreless ocean his bark has drifted; but it has
not carried away all of the life that has ended. Never to mortal
hands was given a legacy more precious than that left to the peo
ple of Georgia in the memory of her great son who gave his life
to her service and his latest prayer to her honor and welfare.
Orator, statesman, patriot, farewell ! Let Georgia guard well
thy grave ; for in her soil rest not the ashes of one whose life has
done more to illustrate her manhood, whose genius has added such
glory to her name.
Address of Mr. MORGAN, of Alabama.
Mr. PRESIDENT : Alabama, the eldest daughter of Georgia, ap
proaches this sad occasion with a proud but stricken spirit. I will
litter no word in praise of the late Senator that all the people of
that State and of the South will not sanction with heartfelt re
This is an occasion when the pure serenity of truth need not
be clouded with undeserved eulogy of the dead. It would be an
injustice to the sincerity of his character, which his own history
and example would condemn, to speak of the deceased Senator in
terms that would be misleading.
A strong and rugged character such as belonged to BENJAMIN
H. HILL cannot be correctly portrayed in the soft light of adula
tion or by mere smoothness of expression or in speech tem
pered with hesitancy and caution. He was a bold, daring, and
powerful man in his intellectual and physical organism, and his
convictions when they were settled after due consideration were
24 LIFE AND CHARACTEE OF BENJAMIN JT. HILL.
always the guide to his action and the measure of his duty. He
thought much, and examined with carefulness every important
question that engaged his attention.
When he was in error he was dangerous because of the fertility
of his resources in argument, his zeal and firmness, his tact in de
bate, and the aggressive energy of his mind. When he was right
he was almost invincible.
These qualities naturally fitted him for the highest range of
achievements as an advocate and leader; but such was his independ
ence of all control by the thoughts of others that he sometimes
sacrificed the leadership of men whom he could have controlled
had he made concessions that were not of vital consequence to him
or to them.
The people often made concessions to him to avoid controversy
with one whom they greatly admired and were attached to with
affectionate regard. The following of the people under his leader
ship did not always result from their approval of his views, even
on great questions.
He was, in the American sense, a great popular orator, whose
powers were best adapted to great questions and important occa
sions in which the rights and liberties of the people were concerned
or the honor of the country was at stake. In such discussions he
sometimes rose to astonishing heights of sublimity of thought and
speech, which carried his audience with him until they seemed to
lose control of themselves. He had no faculty of imitation, and
his style of oratory was all his own. He had no model in rhetoric
or logic that he was willing to copy. He seemed to have no
thoughts that were his merely by adoption ; they were the offspring
of his own mind. His eloquence was little more than a fervid
statement of the facts or reasoning which had brought his mind to
the conclusions which he was supporting; but it was so intense as
to become almost irresistible.
When speaking to the people, in the period just preceding the
war, when the argument was closed and a resort to other methods
of defense had become a necessity, as they viewed the situation, he
turned their thoughts to the duties and dangers of the people
ADDRESS OP MR. MORGAN, OF ALABAMA. 25
of the South and of their posterity. He reviewed with pathetic
ferver their fidelity to the Constitution and the Union in all
former times of danger and trial in the second war of Inde
pendence with (irreat Britain; in the wars with the Indians, who
were supported by British and Spanish emissaries, and inspired by
the savage eloquence of Tecumseh ; and in the war with Mexico;
and, feeling that they were threatened with servile insurrection and
ultimate degradation and the loss of all protection under the Con
stitution, he urged them to their duty with such power that
Each ravished bosom felt the high alarms,
And all their huruing pulses heat to arms.
Mr. HILL was a lawyer of great ability, but his self-reliant
habits of reasoning led him to seek for arguments rather than for
precedents to support the cause he was advocating. The special-
jury system of Georgia was productive of great alertness and skill
in forensic discussion among the lawyers of Georgia, and in these
he excelled. Senators will remember how much he relied on this
faculty even in the discussion of questions of the most intricate
character. He always spoke extemporaneously, and seldom made
any use even of notes of reference to authorities.
In the strenuous controversy of high debate he was sometimes
severe, but never with willful injustice to those opposed to him.
The only soil of his fair virtue s gloss
Was a sharp wit, match d with too blunt a will ;
Whose edge none spurned that came within his power.
His political career was shaped by the events of the most diffi
cult and momentous period in American history. The success of
the rebellion of 1776 by the strength of the Union it established
made the success of the rebellion of 1860 impossible. But the
questions that were left open after the first rebellion to rankle in
the bosoms of the people made the second rebellion and the war
that followed it unavoidable.
Mr. HILL, in common with other men of that period, under
stood that the third generation of American citizens were forced
to settle by arms the questions that the first generation could not
settle in the beginning without giving up all hope of uniting the
26 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
States in a Federal Government under the new Constitution. He,
like many others, was compelled by a sense of duty to change his
attitude on questions of policy to meet the dangers as they arose
and drifted with the current of events. His fated duty and pur
pose forced him into resistance to the inevitable, but the least de
structive measure of resistance was what he always sought to
adopt. Under such circumstances he was then, and more re
cently, charged with reckless inconsistency.
That was not a just criticism either of his character or his con
duct. He was so far free from that weakness which is dignified
with the title of pride of opinion that he did not hesitate to aban
don his opinions and to disprove their soundness when subsequent
reflection satisfied him of the error. It was this trait that gave
color to the idea that he was vacillating in his political convic
If he were here and I could render to him in person the justice
which he would most appreciate, as I render to his memory what
I believe to be most true, I would say of his course in the begin
ning of the civil war and during the discussion of the events that
led to it that no man then living was more sincerely devoted to
the American Union than he was ; no man gave up the hope of
its perpetuity with more intense sorrow than he did ; no man
more firmly believed than he did that the Southern States had
just grounds for their secession ; no man deplored more sincerely
than he did that secession and war were made inevitable by the
very provisions of the Constitution that men were sworn to sup
port, and that could not in fact be supported in its provisions re
lating to slavery except by the power of the sword as against the
will of a great majority of the American people; and when the
crisis came no man was firmer than Mr. HILL in supporting with
his vote in the convention of Georgia the ordinance of secession,
against which he had entered his protest, but to which he gave his
assent when his brethren had resolved that it was the only remedy
left open to them.
This is the true history of his motives and feelings in that time
of severe trial, which so honorably explain his conduct. In the
ADDRESS OF MB. MORGAN, OF ALABAMA. 27
light of these facts there is a moral heroism in his course which
raises his fame even to a higher eminence than that which is so
freely accorded to him for his acknowledged abilities. His fidelity
to the Confederate States could not have been greater if he had
been the sole responsible author of the secession of each of the
States. His devotion to that cause after he had espoused it, and
to the people after they were involved in war, appeals to their
hearts for a tribute, which they freely render to his memory, far
exceeding eulogy and praise, the tribute of gratitude enriched by
love. None but the truest of men could have won this high dis
tinction from the people of the South. He has won it worthily,
and it will continue to bloom amid the leaves of the chaplet with
which they have crowned him for immortality.
The people of the South withdrew from the Union because they
believed that the Government of the United States had no longer
the will or the power to protect their constitutional rights. They
went out by the separate and independent action of each of the
eleven seceding States. Their union into a confederacy was itself
a great task upon the statesmanship of the leading men of the
South. Along with this task came the instant and inevitable
work of preparing for a great war.
In all these high duties Mr. HILL was an active and leading
participant as a representative of the State of Georgia.
The condition of these eleven States was perilous in the ex
treme, and required the highest #rder of capacity for government
to direct them through these dangerous straits. The individual
States had armies in the field engaged in conflicts of arms before
the Confederacy could be organized under a provisional govern
Then immediately came the great struggle, in which all the
people of all races, with only a few individual exceptions, were
united for weal or for woe. There was nothing on which the Con
federacy could rely for success except the devotion of the people to
the cause which united them. Nothing was organized, and the
material of war consisted only of resolute men. Without a mili
tary chest, or arms, munitions, equipments, transportation, or sup-
28 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF KENJANIN H. HILL.
plies, the military resources of the Confederacy consisted of ten
millions of people, of whom more than a third were slaves whose
release from bondage depended on the success of the arms of the
This population could not furnish and keep in the field more
than a half million of men even for a short campaign. Its total
arms-bearing strength could not exceed a million of men, within
the extreme limits of military levies, during the whole period of a
four years war. Their arms and ordnance stores, munitions, pro
visions, and transportation were to be dug from the mines and the
fields, and hewn from the forests, and constructed from the native
material. They had to raise the cotton and wool for clothing their
armies, and to build factories to convert them into cloth. There
was not a thousand thoroughly educated soldiers in these eleven
States. They had little money and no credit abroad. They were
shut in on land and sea by great armies and navies. They had no
fleet and no commerce. They had not the genuine sympathy of
any nation in the world.
Their adversaries were men of their own blood; powerful, war
like, rich, determined ; aroused with enthusiastic zeal for the
Union and the supremacy of its laws ; supplied with every re
source of warfare, and supported by the sympathy and assistance,
of many other great nations, whose people recruited their armies.
They could put in the field as many soldiers as the confederacy
could possibly muster, and still have a reserve of population of
20,000,000 from which to draw other armies.
This brief view of the situation will sufficiently show the gen
eral outline of the labors that Mr. HILL and his colleagues in the
Confederate congress were called to perform. They courageously
took up the task, which seemed too great for human endeavor.
Their debates are not published, but thfc tradition that has reached
us is that they were never excelled in ability and majestic eloquence.
It may be better that they have faded from human recollection.
There was little of personal rivalry in the Confederate congress.
The weight of responsibility resting upon all alike kept each in
dividual equal upon the common plane of duty. It was the per-
ADDRESS OF ME. MORGAN, OF ALABAMA. 29
formance of duty, and not daring enterprise or moving eloquence,
that was the test of a man s devotion to the common cause and of
his ability to serve it in that congress.
According to this standard Mr. HILL was honorably distin
guished among his colleagues, and was applauded by the people.
The regard of the people for him far exceeded mere admiration.
There was a strong bond of affection between them. All the sym
pathies of his high nature were aroused by their sufferings, and
grew into homage for their virtues as he witnessed their fortitude
and patience in the terrible trials of the war. He saw that their
wealth was freely given to the Confederacy; that they fed and
clothed the army without the hope of compensation ; that the poor,
the widowed, and the orphaned took refuge and found comfort in
their cheerful benevolence; that they gave up their houses for hos
pitals, and gathered from the fields and forests the simple remedies
for the wounded and sick which took the place of the ordinary
hospital supplies and medicines which were denied to them. He
saw that the women raised bread in the sun-beaten fields, with plow
and hoe, and divided it between their children at home and their
husbands and children in the army. He saw the mothers sending
their sons forth to recruit the armies as soon as they were able to
bear arms, and oftentimes to take the places of fathers and elder
brothers who had fallen in battle. He rejoiced in the heroic; spirit
of the people, and they felt that he was true to them.
The end came ; and with it came the dawn of a new hope, only
to spread its wings of light for a moment, and then to fold them
again in darkness.
With peace came the promise of restoration to civil liberty as it
is proudly impersonated in the character of the American citizen.
That promise contained the essential part of all for which the
Southern people had fought for four weary and sorrow-burdened
years. They gave up the institution which was the provoking
cause of the great conflict of arms, and felt assured that there would
no longer be occasion or excuse for a denial to them of the equal
rights enjoyed by other American citizens. They laid down their
arms and gave their paroles upon these express conditions. But
30 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
they were grievously disappointed, and, having disarmed, they had
no longer the privilege of making honorable sacrifices to vindicate
their rights. They brooded in the darkness of a hopeless doom
over a loss that was seemingly irreparable.
On such occasions men have often come forward who seem to
have been fitted and prepared beforehand for the work. They ask
the confidence of the people, and if they have the faith to give it
and the courage to follow they are led by them into a happy de
Among this class of leaders in the South Mr. HILL was con
spicuous. In the events which followed the surrender of 1865 his
courage and eloquence were displayed in their grandest power as a
leader of the people. He was maddened with the thought that
the surrender of a people who had struggled so gallantly and suf
fered so much, but were yet able to have protracted the war in
definitely, did not bring to them the rights which were expressly
included in the capitulation. With anguish of soul he witnessed
the wrongs and humiliation inflicted on them under the policy of
the reconstruction of the seceding States, by which they were held
subject as vassals under the laws of Avar when they had been
promised restoration under the laws of peace.
When the military power was thus made to supplant the civil
power in Georgia, and the disarmed people were incapable of re
sistance, he did not despair. He felt that there was in the Ameri
can heart a forum where the plea for justice could still be heard,
and he boldly demanded an audience there. Through such assist
ance he determined that Georgia should be set free from military
despotism and foreign rule. He united the people of Georgia in
a crusade against tyranny. They broke their chains, and he led
them in a triumphant march to victory. With no other weapon
but the freeman s ballot they drove out their oppressors.
His strength, when thus called into action, was a sublime ex
pression of the depth of feeling and suffering of a great spirit
maddened by a sense of cruel wrong.
As when Alcides * * * felt the euvenom d robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots Thessaliau pines ;
And Lichas from the top of (Eta threw
Into the Euboic sea
ADDRESS OF MR. MORGAN, OF ALABAJKg^T .7*1,31
so did this maddened patriot tear from the bosom of his ""native
State the deep-rooted grafts of military despotism and cast them
out from her borders. Neither Garibaldi nor Gambetta were more
patriotic or more intrepid than he was, and the nations of the earth
have recently mourned at their funerals. This homage was given
them because they had lifted up the heads of despairing peoples in
times of national calamity, and reinspired them with hope, courage,
and self-reliance. And for this cause the South mourns at the obse
quies of her patriot son, and embalms his memory with her tears.
It is not appropriate to utter all the praises our hearts would
fain bestow upon him. We prefer to leave something unsaid and
undone for the present time to signify a tenderness of feeling for
our dead who were great and good that does not now admit of
I witnessed the burial of BENJAMIN H. HILL in the bosom of
his native State. The people were there in observant masses look
ing sadly on at the simple cortege that escorted his remains to the
cemetery. They seemed to feel that he had died much too soon to
gather the full wealth of his own fame or to confer on them the
full riches of his counsels. They seem to think of him as of a
warrior slain by chance when he had put on his armor to win his
greatest victories ; as an eagle stricken in its boldest flight ; as an
oak riven with lightning in the fullness of its beauty and strength
while spreading its leaves to welcome the summer showers. They
were proud that their sorrow was honoring alike to the living and
the dead ; but they were grieved that the sad occasion had so soon
arrived. They believed, and I do, that he had not attained to the
fullness of his growth in Intellectual power and that he left unfin
ished many noble plans for the good of the country.
Mr. HILL was not always wise, yet few were wiser than he. It
cannot be said of him that he was always right, but it can be truly
said that he was never wrong from willfulness, for lack of courage,
or from inattention to the requirements of duty.
Discarding all blind confidence in fate, and deeply sensible of
responsibility to God, his noble and just spirit left this brief exist
ence for one that is eternal, satisfied with the past and confident of
32 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Though his work here was not finished, as we view such matters,
he was not reluctant to lay down the great charge intrusted to him
by a fond constituency ; for he believed that the Master had called
him to other duties which, as compared with his duties in the Sen
ate, would confer on him "a far more exceeding and eternal weight
of glory," and so assured, he departed hence with rejoicing.
Address of Mr. SHERMAN, of Ohio.
Mr. PRESIDENT: We are often called upon in the midst of our
public duties to commemorate the death of an associate who has
shared with us in the labor and responsibility of official trust. But
it rarely happens that the fatal shaft falls upon a Senator of such
physical strength and mental vigor as Senator HILL. He had
scarcely yet attained the full measure of national reputation to which
his admitted abilities would have raised him. The insidious dis
ease which sapped his life not only filled his home, his family, and
his State with pain and sorrow, but caused a sigh of sadness and
respectful sympathy in every household where his patient suifering
and premature death were known.
I am not able to speak of Senator HILL with the fullness of
information that his colleagues and personal associates have done.
They tell us how he won and held in the highest degree the respect
and esteem of his associates, that he has been honored with the con
fidence of the people of his native State, and by their suifrages for
years has filled with credit many positions of public trust. We
knew him as he appeared among us, a ready debater, an ardent but
courteous antagonist, strong, earnest, and convincing.
He came into the House of Representatives with a high reputa
tion, and both there and in the Senate maintained and advanced it
so that when the premonition of death came upon him he stood
as high in the respect and confidence of his associates as any mem
ber of this body.
He was a native of Georgia, educated in one of her universities,
and learned in the practice of law in her courts. He was distinctly
ADDRESS OF MB. SHERMAN, OF OHIO. 33
a type of the Southern mind in its best relations to the affairs of
Though his early life was spent under the influences of the insti
tutions of his native State, and though its industries were then con
fined mainly to the pursuits of agriculture, yet in his early manhood
he appreciated the important position which Georgia holds, as con
taining within her bounds the chief elements for manufacturing
industries as well as a fruitful soil for agricultural products.
He was, as I understood him, in early life attached to the Whig
party, and mainly on account of the well-known position of that
party in favor of the protective policy. He sympathized heartily
with the present prospects that in Georgia there will be a rapid de
velopment of her natural mineral resources, and that the cotton
grown on her genial soil and that of the " Sunny South " will be
made ready for her Southern looms and spindles.
He had no regrets for the past in the brightening prospects of the
future, but looked to his State, often called the " Empire State of
the South," as likely to be improved and advanced by the results
of the war to a higher plane of wealth, strength, and population.
His hope was that his State would rise with fresh vigor from the
misfortune and devastation of war by the building of railroads, the
opening of mines of coal and iron, and by the tide of immigration
and labor from other States as well as from foreign lands.
Senator HILL was consistently a Union man before the war. He
resisted the secession of his State until after the ordinance of seces
sion was passed. While his views of the construction of the Con
stitution in later years differed widely from my own, yet I never
doubted the sincerity of his opinions. To the questions that grew
out of the war I do not feel at liberty even to allude, because on
these questions we were widely apart in opinion.
Whatever his views on any subject, he always put them forth
with the utmost vigor and clearness of expression. Endowed by
nature with an ardent temperament, and cultivated by education in
the use of all the gifts of speech, he defended his opinions with
consummate ability. Whether in attack or in defense, he was an
adversary to command respect in any form of debate. He repre-
34 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
sented in a marked degree that first quality of an orator earnest
ness. His training in the practice of the law made him familiar,
to a wide extent, with precedents and decisions, upon which he drew
copiously in his arguments upon questions involving Constitutional
law and legislative and judicial power. His speeches were more
remarkable for their clear reason than for their rhetorical felicity,
and it may be said that the bent of his mind was in the direction
of dialectics rather than of literary effort.
As a man of fine natural gifts and high accomplishments, his
loss will be felt not only in his own State and neighborhood, but
in the councils, of the nation ; and after more than half a century
of a well-spent life his . countrymen will recognize, even in its
close, the elements of a well-rounded career.
Address of Mr. VOORHEES, o f Indiana.
Mr. PEESIDENT : We halt to-day for a few moments in the great
journey to say the last farewell words over a new-made grave. A
comrade in the battle of life has fallen in this high forum. The
skeleton foot of death enters with familiar step the loftiest as well
as the humblest stations of human life, and again it has invaded
the floor of the Senate. But yesterday a commanding presence
moved in our midst which we shall see no more ; a voice of pow
erful eloquence was heard which is now hushed forever ; a tower
ing intellect shed its light on human affairs which now has joined
other councils than those of earth. A great and living force has
gone out from this body and from every scene of mortal concern.
Others have more fully spoken of Senator HILL S life and pub
lic career than will be expected from me, but of his intellectual
strength, his will, and his courage I have deep and lasting im
pressions. I first met him during the reconstruction of the
Southern States which followed the war. As a member of an in
vestigating committee appointed by Congress I visited Atlanta,
and there met Mr. HILL for the first time. His appearance and
bearing strongly attracted my attention. The still intensity of his
ADDRESS OF MR. FOOEHEES, OF INDIANA 35
pale, strong face, his firm, determined features, and the clear light
of his steady, inquiring, and, as it seemed to me then, somewhat
distrustful blue eyes, combined to make on my mind the vivid and
striking portrait of a remarkable man. I recall vividly now the
self-poise, the reserve, the circumspection with which he spoke of
public questions, and sought to shelter from hurtful legislation all
the interests of his people. He was not then taking part in na
tional politics, and I doubt if such was his intention, but when he
was some time afterward elected to the House of Representatives
my opinion of his abilities and force was only confirmed when he
immediately took a conspicuous leadership in that body.
Of- the merits of the heated controversies in which he engaged
of course I do not speak in this presence, but that he was the peer
of the ablest whom he met no one will deny. His fame was at
once national, and his State only waited for the first opportunity
to bestow upon him its highest honor. After Mr. HILL became a
member of this body his daily movements and every word he ut
tered were marked and scrutinized as those of a leading and im
portant actor in public affairs. He had been a representative man
under an order of things and an attempted government which had
crumbled to the dust, and he could not be less than a representa
tive character here. To me it was always a curious and most in
teresting study to watch the workings of his brilliant and fertile
mind while he grasped the duties and the ideas of the living pres
ent, and at the same time with reverent care and devotion pro
tected the motives and the memory of a cause into which he had
poured the whole ardor of his earlier manhood. His mind was
essentially daring and progressive, and he did not seek to cling to
principles and methods which had been tried and failed ; he
simply guarded well the honor of that vast cemetery in which the
dead past lies buried.
Standing, as I once heard him say, in the ashes of desolation,
he still looked forward with an unfaltering trust to the dawn of a
new day of glory for his section, and of union and progress for
the entire country. He was a ready mounted knight, not looking
back to past fields of encounter, but prompt to enter the lists when-
36 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
ever or wherever opened. He believed with Edmund Burke that
statesmanship was the science of circumstances, and he addressed
himself with wisdom and courage to the situation in which he
found himself placed. This sometimes caused him to be accused
of inconsistency by those who forget that the circumstances which
govern the conduct of the statesman are themselves inconsistent
from day to day. The law of the world is mutation.
History is a never-ending panorama, in which the pictures are
never the same. The same grand purposes and fact of progression
are there, but the methods of public policy, the ways and means
whereby governments are created and sustained, the measures which
from time to time best promote, foster, and encourage the welfare
of the people, are as various as the different conditions of mankind
which have called them forth. The principles which have governed
one generation may have to be discarded for the safety and pros
perity of the next. The wisdom of to-day may be the folly of to
morrow in the administrative measures of peace as well as in the
tactics and strategy of war.
Senator HILL always appeared as much alive to this great fact
as any man I ever met in public life. He was always found on the
skirmish line of advanced and advancing ideas, and in the constant
encounters which necessarily take place on that line in the field of
thought, the lightning as it leaps from the sky is hardly more bril
liant or rapid than were the operations of his mind. Indeed, so
prolific was his genius when heated by the combat of discussion
that it seemed at times to partake of the eccentricity of the light
ning as well as of its brilliancy and power. But he was never al
lured in his most daring flights so far that he could not upon the
instant return to meet his adversary at the precise point in issue.
It was this quality, in great measure, and the intensity with which
he could identify himself with the actual matter in hand, regardless
of what the past had demanded of him, which made him the for
midable antagonist and the resistless orator at the bar, on the hus
tings, and in the halls of legislation.
Sir, a character such as I speak of has never in any age failed to
encounter determined opposition and deep-seated hostility. The
ADDRESS OF ME. VOORHEES, OF INDIANA. 37
overthrown antagonist, the routed adversary, never forget and are
often slow to forgive. The impetuous assault in debate, the fierce
invective, the merciless sarcasm, leave wounds which seldom alto
gether heal. This was doubtless true of the public career of the
bold, aggressive Senator whose loss we deplore ; and yet to those
who knew him well in private life how gentle, considerate, and
kind were his words and his ways ! A simple circumstance of an
accidental character brought about relations between us which re
vealed him to me in a light I did not expect, although I had been
acquainted with him for years.
I saw the self-absorbed, distant manner melt away into the gen
tlest sunshine. I realized that when he gave his confidence at all
he gave it entire ; that when he trusted he did so without res
ervation, and with an unlimited faith. While perhaps " he was
lofty and sour to those who loved him not," yet he had, in a boun
tiful degree, those elements -of nature toward friends which make
man "sweet as summer" to his fellow-man. As the world saw him
during his active career he was a warrior with his armor on, his
lance in rest and his visor down ; but away from the scenes of con
flict and in the midst of those who came close to him he was the
unassuming, generous, confiding friend. . At such times he always
spoke with singular gentleness and charity of those from whom he
differed and with whom his debates had been most heated and de
termined ; nor do I think I ever heard him speak with a show of
personal resentment of such even as had dealt most harshly and un
justly with his name -and fame.
Sir, the combination of rare and high qualities of mind and heart
possessed by Senator HILL not only account for the mourning of
Georgia over his loss, but also for the fact that his death is re
garded in every section as a national calamity. His power for
great public usefulness was recognized in every quarter of our vast,
expanded country. He had a glorious cause at heart, the construc
tion and development of a grand, harmonious future for the whole
country, adjusting his own and the kindred States and people of the
South to the existing conditions of the present day, and insuring
them their full proportion of the honor and the wealth of the na-
38 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
tion. What nobler purpose ever animated the human breast ? But
in the full meridian splendor of his mental vigor and his ripe ex
perience the unfinished task fell from his hands. That summons
to which every ear shall hearken and all mortality obey reached
him at the zenith of his powers, and with his plans of future work
all spread out before him.
When the light of the sun fades away at nightfall we behold the
harmonious fulfillment of nature s law ; but when darkness comes at
noonday we are struck with awe at the mysteries of the universe.
When eternity beckons to one whose labors are ended here, and
who walks wearily under the burden of years, we see him sink down
to his rest with resignation to the decrees as they are written; but
when death claims the great and strong, in all their pride of power
and place, we break forth in grief, and question the ways of Heaven
and earth, which are past finding out.
The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary ;
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
How capricious and various are the ways of death ! On the first
day of the new year there had gathered at the White House a vast
assemblage to pay honor to the President of the Republic. Talent,
beauty, official distinction, all were there. Heroes of the Army and
the Navy, in the brilliant decorations of their rank, made their offi
cial obeisance to their Commander-in-Chief ; the embassadors of
distant courts, blazing in scarlet and gold, paid friendly congratu
lations to the Chief Magistrate of the foremost commonwealth on
the globe ; thoughtful legislators and ermiiied judges, men of let
ters, and professors of science stood in the same presence ; female
loveliness lent its enchantment to the scene ; soft music charmed all
the air; the rich odor of flowers came with every breath, and the
lofty old halls and promenades were vocal with exclamations of
happy enjoyment. Immediately at my side, in the midst of this
radiant throng, stood one who was full of years and of honors.
But the spirit of the glass and scythe was hovering even there, and
at the touch of its icy hand I saw the venerable man of four-score
ADDRESS OF MB. VOORHEES, OF INDIANA. 39
sink down like ail infant to gentle sleep. Without moan or sigh
or pain he passed in an instant from the light, the music, and the
perfumes of earth to the world of eternal beauty beyond the sun.
Fortunate man; fortunate in life, and still more fortunate in
death ! Not a moment in the dark valley or the shadow between
the two worlds, he closed his aged eyes upon the joys of time to open
them upon the brighter visions of eternity. But how shall the
dreadful contrast which flashes 011 every mind be spoken ? To the
dead Senator whom we mourn to-day death came in its most appall
ing form, wearing its most cruel and ghastly mien. No circumstance
of torture or of horror was omitted from the awful ordeal through
which he slowly passed. He sought the aid of science, for life was
sweet to him ; but after he turned his face homeward, to abide the
will of God, as he said, among his own people, the pages of human
history in all their wide range present no more striking instance
than he did of uuquailing, lofty heroism and of sublime submission
to the decrees of Providence.
The stoic philosopher of antiquity would have taken refuge in
self-murder from the frightful aspect worn by the King of Terrors
on which the dying American statesman looked from hour to hour,
from day to day, and from month to mouth with unbroken com
posure. A little more than a year ago the world watched around
the death-bed of the slowly dying President of the United States,
and wondered at his calmness and courage ; but to him there was
administered daily hope. Not a whisper of earthly hope sustained
Senator HILL as he looked long and steadily at his inevitable doom.
And yet no murmur, wail, or lament ever escaped his lips ; he ut
tered no word of grief or disappointment that the end of his pil
grimage was so near ; no agony of suffering was ever so terrible as
to extort a single cry of pain; he never appeared so great, so calm
and strong, as face to face with the mighty monarch before whom all
must bow. And why was this ? Able, self-reliant, and intrepid
as he was, could he, unaided and alone, sustain with unclouded se
renity of mind such a conflict with approaching and painful disso
lution ? Was there no one with him to soothe and to comfort as he
passed through the furnace seven times heated ?
40 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Sir, we learn that Mr. HILL S father was a minister of the Christ
ian religion, and that he educated his son in the principles and the
practices of his own faith. It is a fact, also, that when the son
grew to manhood, and at every period of his brilliant and at times
stormy career, this faith abided with him. The good seed sown
in the morning may have seemed scorched by the sun, or choked
by the thorns and cares of the day, but it never lost root in his
mind ; and in his hour of trial it brought forth fruit more than a
hundred-fold. It enabled him to realize a home of peace and joy
beyond the reach of disease or death ; it enabled him to smile
amidst his sufferings as martyrs have smiled in flames at the stake.
Though of approaching death it might be said,
Black as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,
He shook a dreadful dart,
yet the pale and wasted orator could for himself truthfully exclaim,
" Death is swallowed up in victory." His heart could utter, if his
tongue could not, that loftiest psean of human triumph ever
chanted on the shores of time :
O Death ! where is thy sting ?
O Grave ! where is thy victory T
Sir, it is a deep and never-ending pleasure to know that in the
midst of physical wreck, decay, and pain there came to our lost
comrade in full abundance, and in compensation for all he endured,
those rich and precious consolations which this world can neither
give nor take away.
He sleeps well in the soil of his native State. His memory will
remain fresh and green in the hearts of his people. Distant and
rising generations will point out his name in the books which re
cord these times as they would point out one of the brightest stars
in the sky. And this is all of earth that remains for him. No
more will this great pulsating world, with its high, stern battle-
cries of conflict, arouse his eager spirit to action. The world
moves on without him, as the ocean rolls in unbroken and heed
less majesty over the wreck which has gone down in her bosom.
Great lives have perished at every step in the eternity of time, but
ADDRESS OF MB. EDMUNDS, OF VERMONT. 41
the giant march of events has not faltered nor the progress of the
world been defeated.
The duties of the dead Senator are all finished. Even this
solemn occasion, with his name on every lip, is nothing to him.
His silent dust is alike indifferent to praise or blame, and his im
mortal presence has passed far beyond the call of human voices.
But to us, the living, who stand where he so lately stood, this
hour is freighted with interest and admonition. We are walking
with unerring steps to the grave, and each setting sun finds us
nearer to the realms of rest. The fleetness of time, our brief and
feeble grasp upon the affairs of earth, the certainty of death, and
the magnitude of eternity all crowd upon the mind at such a mo
ment as this. They warn us to be in readiness, for no one knows
in the great lottery of life and death on whose cold, dead, pathetic
face we may next look in this narrow circle. They call upon us
to think and speak and live in charity with each other, for the
last hours that must come to all will be sweetened by recollections
of such forbearance and grace in our own lives as we invoke for
ourselves from that merciful Father into whose presence we hasten.
Address of Mr. EDMUNDS, of Vermont.
Mr. PRESIDENT : Others more nearly connected with the late
Senator by ties of location, political sympathy, and personal in
timacy have spoken of him as only those so situated can well do.
I will speak of him chiefly as he appeared to me in his public
career. He was, I think, of the very highest order of intellectual
strength, both in his perceptive and reflective faculties. He was
able to perceive with clearness the relations of public questions,
and the remote, but not less certain, effects of occurring events,
when to many others the horizon was entirely clouded and in
definite, or clothed with a distorted and illusory promise. A
Whig and American down to the time of the attempted se
cession of the Southern States in 1861, he foresaw something
of the future and opposed with earnestness and power in the
42 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
conventions of his native State the movement for secession. But
when it was resolved upon and undertaken, he gave himself up
to what he considered his duty to his State, and was thenceforth
among the foremost in sustaining the Southern cause.
The notion of fidelity to one s own State, whether her course be
thought wise and right or not, is almost a natural instinct ; and
whether it be defensible on broad grounds or not, who does not
sympathize with it? Even in this body, whose members are
Senators of the United States, and are not, in a constitutional
sense, any more representatives of the particular States that elected
them than of all the other States and the people, it is extremely
difficult to free ourselves from the feeling that we are the repre
sentatives of particular States merely, and that we are bound to
defend and promote the interests of their inhabitants without re
sponsibility for the effect of what we do upon the people of other
States. Is it not clear that the fundamental unity of all the
States, as well as the security of the rights of each, will be much
more secure, and the National Government much better admin
istered, if we remember that our obligations and our solicitudes
should be bounded by no arrangements of political geography ?
So thinking, I look with large interest and sympathy upon the
scenes and events in which the late Senator from Georgia bore so
conspicuous a part, and upon the affection and confidence that the
great mass of the people of that State felt toward him. And, dif
fering widely from him in respect of very many of his acts and
opinions, I felt deeply for him, for his family, and for his people
in the calamity that came upon him. And how much more ten
der our sympathy and admiration gre\v when we saw him bearing
the greatest of human suffering with the calmness of manly forti
tude and the supreme happiness of Christian faith, and when we
saw that all the evils of this weary life were powerless to affect
his soul, that rose " over pain to victory."
Such events as we now commemorate, interesting and solemn as
they are and must be to each one of us, are the most common and
the most certain of all. The life of man, did it end with this earthly
career, would be the most miserable of phantasms; but to those who
ADDRESS OF MR. JONES, OF FLORIDA. 43
see with the eye of faith beyond the narrow border of our mortal
life "the yoke is easy arid the burden light." On this great stage
of government the actors appear and act their parts and disappear
to come again no more, but the grand drama goes on without inter
ruption. When the greatest and apparently th^ most important
administrators of government suddenly depart there always comes
forward from the body of an intelligent people some one to fill the
vacant place and who is equal to the emergency of the time. While,
then, we are touched with the suddenness of these separations, let
us take comfort in the knowledge that oiir country s institutions
flourish in larger and larger security, and that all our people feel
more and more the depth and strength of mutual interest, sympathy,
and good will.
Address of Mr. JONES, of Florida.
Mr. PRESIDENT : It is not my intention to weary the Senate at
this hour by rehearsing the story of Mr. HILL S fame. Every
thing interesting in his public life has been graphically set forth by
his able colleague and the Senators who followed him, so that there
is nothing left for me to do except to put on record my humble testi
mony of the value of a man like Mr. HILL to this country, and my
sense of the loss which this Senate and the nation have sustained in
our deceased brother s sad and untimely death. In surveying the
great field of life and noting the progress which has been made in
every science and almost every department of knowledge, it would
seem from the little advance or change that has taken place in the
affairs of government that we have reached a point of perfection in
the art of ruling states and peoples ; that it is beyond the power of
human genius to do more than maintain the spirit and integrity of
our existing establishments.
The best labors of the great minds of this country have been de
voted to the work of settling in the public mind the great principles
of our admirable systems of government, so that at all times the
great body of the people could comprehend the line of separation
which divides authority from popular rights, and thus secure a loyal
support of government on the one hand and a steady and intelligent
44 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
devotion to liberty on the other. In those unhallowed despotisms
of the earth where man is crushed and oppressed by excessive public
power, it is the mystery which surrounds the segis and exercise of
governmental authority that sustains the unfortunate relations of
tyrant and slave. There nothing is defined, limited, or compre
hensible, but all is dark, complicated, and forbidding. The popular
mind, long enslaved by superstitious devotion to slavish names and
maxims, never sees anything of the light of truth, and power and
authority united with ignorance and submission keep millions in
bondage and chains.
You may ask, what has all this to do with the character or
merits of the deceased ? I answer that in making up my estimate
of the loss of our distinguished brother I cannot overlook the
quality which, above all others, made him both eminent and useful.
If, as I said awhile ago, we have made no progress in government
of late, and have added nothing to the discovery of the fathers for
the security or happiness of the people, it is of the highest impor
tance that the work which has been accomplished shall be maintained.
The gifted man whom we mourn to-day was especially fitted for the
great duty of keeping before the people the beacon-light of political
truth to teach them their obligations to themselves and their Gov
ernment; to impress upon their minds true conceptions of political
liberty, allegiance, and loyalty to the demands of just authority, and
the preservation of every power and authority which belong to the
people and the States. His capacity for this great duty made him
a leader of public opinion. In little matters he was not as great as
little men. But where the magnitude of the question rose to the
level of his great ability his power of. argument was felt here and
in the country.
The ordinary routine worker had then to stand aside, and every
one admired the workings of his original, incisive mind as it put
forth its powerful arguments in terse and pointed speech. This,
after all, is the highest position a public man can occupy in a
country like this. Men of detail and method and labor can be
found anywhere and at all times, but even at a time when every
thing is in a state of improvement these grand qualities of mind
which immortalized Fox, Pitt, Canning, Grattan, Webster, Clay,
ADDRESS OF MB. JONES, OF FLORIDA. 45
and Calhoun are as rare and far more important than they ever
were. It was Mr. HILL S great ability as an argumentative speaker
and writer which gave him his fame.
He was often called a great orator, but he was more than an orator
in the popular sense. He always addressed himself to the minds
of his hearers. I never knew a speaker of the same reputation
who drew less upon his imagination than Senator HILL. In his
over-anxiety to fasten conviction on the mind he would often labor
for the accuracy and precision of the mathematician. While his
vocabulary was always strong and simple, in my judgment it often
fell short of the vigor and the depth of his thoughts. Like all truly
great men, he attached more consequence to his ideas than to his
language. He was in no sense a wordy but always a thoughtful
speaker. His views of the Constitution were broad and liberal.
In his expositions of our great organic law he did not run into the
extreme maxims of unlimited power on the one hand nor seek to
abridge by too narrow bounds the authority of the Union on the
other. While he always admitted that the Constitution of the
Union was created by the people of the United States, he ever con
tended that this was accomplished through separate State agencies
the people of each State acting for themselves in the matter of rati
fication, independent of the people of every other State.
But this view did not affect in the least his opinion of the su
premacy of the Federal Constitution. He always contended that
the powers granted by the people of the several States, acting as
organized political factions, to the General Government were as ir
revocable and as binding upon the people and the States as though
they emanated from the people of the Union without regard to
State organizations. The great argument which he drew from the
mode of ratification was that the States and the Government of the
Union were parts of one system ; that there could be no question of di
vided allegiance between them ; that the Union could not exist with
out the States, although the States did exist before the Union. He
always advocated a free and liberal exercise of the powers granted
this Government, but his nature was hostile to everything that had
the appearance of usurpation. He was one of the few men in
public life who combined high abilities as a political leader with
46 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
pre-eminent legal talents. Lord Chatham at one time deprecated
the presence of the mere lawyer in Parliament, and he said that
you might shake the constitution of the land to its center and the
lawyer would sit tranquil in his cabinet, but just touch a cobweb in
the corner of Westminster Hall and the exasperated spider would
crawl out in its defense.
But this was not the case with Senator HILL. He did not sacri
fice the Constitution to the profession. He brought to the one all
the support of an enlightened statesman and patriot full of devotion
for the whole country and its institutions, and the other he adorned
with legal learning and professional abilities that will long be re
membered by the bar. Like all men of strong convictions and
great prominence, lie was? supported by devoted friends, and was
not without some enemies. Although he was fondly attached to his
high position where his talents had full play, and tenderly bound
by the ties of affection to his devoted family, the world does not
furnish an example more sublime than that which he has left us in
all the qualities of moral and physical courage, true Christian and
manly resignation, patient and uncomplaining submission to the
will of God during the long, tedious months that he awaited in
agony and suffering the period of his mortal dissolution. All the
glory of the Senate and the fame of the hustings fade into insignifi
cance before the grand spectacle presented by this Christian man
when the time arrived which tested the weakness of human nature.
Whether bleeding under the operations of the surgeon s knife or
silently feeling the gradual but sure inroads of the monster that
was preying upon him, he never murmured or complained, but
accepted the terrible situation as evidence only of Divine pleasure
and with the firm conviction that his sufferings would be rewarded
by a happier life beyond the grave.
Who can deny the value and efficiency of strong Christian faith
with such an example of its power and influence before him ?
With all the glory and renown of the world fading away before
the shadow of eternity, this strong man, accustomed to all the proc
esses of reason, under the inspiration of Christian hope was able
to leave an example of true heroism more valuable and sublime
than any left by the unbelieving philosophers of antiquity.
ADDRESS OF MM. BARROW, OF GEORGIA. 47
Address of Mr. BARROW, of Georgia.
Mr. PRESIDENT : It is perhaps true that I stand alone here upon
the point from which I consider the character of the illustrious
man in memory of whom the Senate meets to-day. All others
who surround me at this moment have recorded impressions re
ceived and stamped upon their own mature and well-settled indi
vidualities. They have studied him and measured him from the
first in the light which a long experience of their own in public;
affairs cast upon him, and the figure they contemplate is shaded
perhaps by some clouds which have never darkened the picture
upon which I am looking.
In the buoyant, hero-worshiping, enthusiastic heyday of my early
college days I first saw him and heard him. Under the ancient
and historic locusts that stand like sentinels around the court-house
at Lexington, in the old county of Oglethorpe, in Georgia, in the
last days of the summer of 1857, there first burst upon my youth
ful eye the exhibition of his wonderful oratory. Engaged in a
heated political campaign as a candidate for governor of Georgia, his
opponent being my present colleague in the Senate, conscious that
there was before him " a foeman worthy of his steel," and that in
that old Whig county, thousands of whose best people were con
gregated to hear the debate, he had an army of friends whom he
must uphold, encourage, and keep together, he put forth all his
powers. As he towered and soared in his grand swelling tributes
to the historic renown of the old Whig party, and, roused to his
highest pitch, appealed to the immense audience before him in the
name of its past, its heroes, and its mission, I felt, young Democrat
that I was, that I was a witness to an almost apostolic revelation
of eloquence ; and then when he turned upon his opponent and
began to hurl his terrible invectives, scathing, pitiless, unsparing,
his every word glittering like steel, his every accent resonant and
ringing with the very inspiration of passionate indignation, his
48 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
blazing figure was in my eyes the impersonation of every element
of vengeance and destruction, the very Apollyon of politics. It
is doubtful if any speech of his life contained as much of that
power which operates particularly upon the passions of men as this
unwritten, unpreserved phenomenal effort.
Almost undimmed by time, with the same bright hues and radi
ant lights that greeted and delighted my boyish senses, this vision
of eloquence remains. Long-after association, as much intimacy as
disparity in age would allow, frequent opportunity to hear him
again in the courts, before the people, and elsewhere, have all
passed over those first impressions leaving them almost unchanged.
Although born upon the soil of Georgia, reared in the midst of
of her home influences, surrounded all the time during which his
character was being formed by all the agencies and forces peculiar
to her people, taught in her schools, graduated from her university,
Mr. HILL was still in some respects not a typical Georgian. There
was something in his nature, an impulse, an insubordination, that
made him sometimes, when he thought he scented injustice or op
pression, break over all bounds of seeming prudence and caution
and rush into the first arena that presented itself to cast down his
glove. His nature was not discreet. At such times the circum
spect and deliberate moderation and wisdom that are characteristic
of the Georgians fretted and chafed him. He would then rebel
against the slow, fettering caution of his people and would lash out
in his fiery way against what to him seemed apathy and pusillan
It is not strange, then, that they sometimes misjudged him when
in the midst of some rebellious outbreak against what to his impet
uous nature seemed the snail-like march of his people to the threat
ened point, he rushed on in advance. Men of this mold in all ages
have been leaders, and the masses of mankind have everywhere
been saved, when saved at all, by those whom they did not com
prehend and whom they at some time would greet with the ever-
recurring verdict of the rabble, "Let him be crucified." This re
pressive power of the million upon their few great men who, rari
nantes in gurgite vasto, outlive the wave and see the dangers that
ADDRESS OF MR. B Alt ROW, OF GEORGIA. 49
gather in the future which are invisible to the submerged eyes of the
rest of us, has sometimes cost them their liberties. Its influence,
deadening, paralyzing, and disheartening, is more powerful than
ever in this age. It was exerted upon him of whom I speak more
than once, but he defied it. Alone, seeking no ally, looking with
disdain upon the clamorous multitude, taking no counsel, trusting
to his impulse and obeying it, he would burst out upon his meteoric
course athwart the political heavens. Blazing and flashing w r ith
the brilliant and almost blinding scintillations of his vivid intelli
gence, terrifying his friends as to the consequences, overwhelming
his thunder-stricken enemies, coming into collision with the lifelong
prejudices and cherished opinions of his own people, he would go
sweeping on in his grand career. And yet the Georgians always
forgave him in the end and admired and honored him.
Whatever of power and attractiveness Mr. HILL may have pos
sessed as a political orator and debater, it was before a jury that his
peculiar talents in one direction at least found their fullest play. If
in the trial of a case in which his feelings became enlisted a corrupt
and lying witness crossed his path, or the opposite party persisted
in an attempt to palm off fraud and injustice upon the court to the
injury of his client, then it was that the terrible lashes of his fiercest
invective were laid upon their backs. Xo "dint of pity," no limit
to wrath, no check or curb ever came near him then, and men are
living now who shiver at the mention of his name, as the Saracen
did at Richard s, in mindfuluess of some such merciless castigation.
His greatest power was of this sort. There was but little pathos
in him. His verdicts, and he won many, were those of the " cloud
compelling Jove" rather than the "sweet influences of Pleiades."
Many great orators have had epochs in their lives when their
style as such suffered a transformation. This was notably true of
Choate, of Lincoln, and of Gambetta. It became less impassioned
and more philosophical ; but with Mr. HILL there was a marked
and powerful exercise in his latest efforts of precisely the same great
characteristics that distinguished his earliest ; and even the tradi
tions of his college days, that still lovingly cling around the old
ivied walls of his alma mater at Athens, dim and shadowy though
50 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
they IK I , handed down from class t( class, still outline the .same
striking individuality that afterward riveted the attention of a con
Hut with all his triumphs
Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As cue that had heeu studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing lie ow d,
As twere a careless trine.
Stricken, fatally stricken in that very member which was his
strength, his glory, and his pride, turning his steps away from the
Senate after those sad and fruitless efforts to grasp a new life had
all proved unavailing, calm, composed, resolute, resigned, he sought
his own home. Happening in Atlanta on the 18th of July, just
one month before his death, I called to see him. I found him, him
who was in some respects the greatest talker I had ever known,
utterly powerless of speech. On his knee he held a paper upon
which he wrote slowly with a pencil these words :
Wish I could talk. My present doctors have given me to understand that
I cannot recover, and my time is uncertain from a few months to several
years. Have told me to employ any other doctors and remedies I see proper.
He gave it to me to read and I brought it away with me. It is
here, and those Avho know his handwriting Avill recognize the
familiar characters. His eyes as he gave it had a look of inex
pressible sadness, but not of regret or repining. He had sought
the refuge of home to die. He knew full well, as he so pathetic
ally wrote, that his "time was uncertain," but he was in the place
he had chosen to take his last look of the earth. Surrounded by
friends, in his own home, under his own native skies, amid the
scenes of his childhood, his youth, and his manhood, with the silver
sheen of the maples to greet his weary eyes in the sunlight, and the
soft lingual accents of his native South from all the myriad voices
of the street, and the subtle sweetness of the honeysuckle, the jas
mine, and the roses stealing in the long summer afternoons through
his open windows, there where the nights always bring silence and
ADDRESS OF ME. BARROW, OF GEORGIA. 51
rest and every morning its promise, he sat patiently awaiting his
summons. When it came he received it-
Like oue who wraps the drapery of his couch about him
And lies down to pleasant dreams.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on the adoption of
the resolutions presented by the Senator from Georgia [Mr. Brown].
The resolutions were agreed to unanimously ; and (at one o clock
and thirty minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
January 25, 1883.
MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE.
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Sympson, one of its clerks,
communicated to the House resolutions adopted by the Senate on
the announcement of the death of Hon. BENJAMIN H. HILL, late
a Senator of the United States from the State of Georgia.
The SPEAKER. The Chair lays before the House the resolutions
that have just been received from the Senate.
The Clerk read a * follows:
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
January 25. 1883.
Rexolved, That earnestly desiring to show every possible mark of respect to
the memory of Hon. BENJAMIN H. HILL, late a Senator of the United States
from the State of Georgia, and to manifest the high esteem in which his emi
nent public services and distinguished patriotism are held, the business of
the Senate be now suspended that the friends and late associates of Senator
HILL may pay fitting tribute to his high character, his public services, and
Resolved, That in the death of Senator HILL the country has sustained a loss
which has been felt and deplored to the utmost limits of the Union.
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate communicate these resolutions to
the House of Representatives.
Resolved, That, as an additional mark of respect for the memory of the de
ceased, the Senate do now adjourn.
Mr. HAMMOND, of Georgia. I submit the resolutions which I
send to the desk.
The Clerk read as follows :
Resolved, That the House of Representatives has received with deep sorrow
the official announcement of the death of BENJAMIN HARVEY HILL, late
United States Senator from the State of Georgia.
Resolved, That the House suspend its business, that fitting mention may be
made of his private virtues and his public worth.
Resolved, That at the conclusion of such tributes to his memory the House
shall stand adjourned.
f)4 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Address of Mr. HAMMOND, of Georgia.
Mr. SPEAKER : So many have spoken and written of the dead
Senator, so aptly have the prominent incidents of his life and
phases of his character been noticed that naught but repetition can
follow. But, representing the district in which he lived, having
practiced law at the same bar with him for twenty years, and been
long his neighbor and friend, I cannot allow this occasion to pass
without adding my tribute to the many already so worthily be
Born without wealth, he owed to a relative the opportunity for
completing his education in the University of Georgia. There, in
1844, he bore off the first honor in a class noted for men who be
came prominent in the affairs of our State.
In 1845 he began the practice of law at La Grange, Troup
County, Georgia. In February, 1848, he was admitted to the su
preme court of the State. Residing in the interior, among an agri
cultural people, he had but little use for such branches of the law
as commercial centers and seaports demand. He used no special
pleading except in the United States courts, in which, prior to the
war, the jurisdiction was limited and the business meager. He
owned few books, and no large law library was within his reach.
He did not become learned in the law by comparing system with
system, the polity of our people with those of other nations,
measuring their weights and computing their values as affected by
times, places and circumstances. But he had a strong and compre
hensive mind, and had cultivated his intellectual forces until In-
had acquired that high art so well described by Cicero : " Quse docet
rem universam tribuere in partes, latentem explicare definiendo,
obscuram explanare interpretando ; ambigua primum videre, deinde
distinguerc; postremo habuere regulam quoveraet falsa judicaren-
ter et quse, quibus positis, essent, quseque non essent, consequential
He cited but few authorities and seldom read from books. But
he had mastered our system of blended law and equity, and this
power of analysis and combination made him strong before the
ADDRESS OF MR. HAMMOND, OF GEORff
bench, searching out and applying principles to facts. His"
was clear, precise, forcible, and ornate. His splendid physique, his
graceful and manly delivery, his brilliant oratory, now mild and
persuasive, now furious as the storm, made him an advocate unsur
passed in our country.
Such ability and accomplishments commanded employment at
the highest compensation, and furnished ample means to supply the
wants and gratify the tastes of himself and family. A hundred
acres comprised his suburban home and farm. In front were per
haps twenty acres square on which grew nothing but massive oaks.
Midway between them a gravel carriage-way and granite walk led
to the top of a hill. There he built his house; square, spacious,
and on three sides shaded by a colonnade of tall and heavy Corin
thian columns. While one was struck with its adaptation to its
surroundings, the fruits and fish-ponds in rear, the flowers in front,
prepared him for the bountiful but unostentatious hospitality and
plain but tasteful adornment within the lawyer s home.
Here, in the midst of his family, of which he was at once the stay
and idol, we leave him to glance at his career in the broader field
of politics. Thus it has been epitomized by himself in the Con
gressional Directory : He was State representative in Georgia in
1851 and State senator in 1859-1860. He ran as the candidate of
the American party against Hirarn Warner in 1855, and for gov
ernor of Georgia in 1857 against Governor (now Senator) Brown.
He was presidential elector on the Fillmore and Donelson ticket in
1856, and on the Bell and Everett ticket in 1860. He was a dele
gate to the State convention of Georgia in 1861, and advocated the
Union until secession had been irrevocably resolved upon ; became
a delegate to the provisional congress of the Confederate States and
a senator in its regular congress. He was elected to the Forty-
fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Garnet t
McMillan, and was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress, but resigned
upon his election to the United States Senate. There he remained
from the 5th of March, 1877, till his death.
The time thus covered was long. It was burdened by the grand
events which led up to the war, by that terrible struggle for su-
56 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
premacy and the strife and convulsions of the people slowly wan
dering bark through untried paths to peace.
One part of it we may dwell upon, because lie always mentioned
it with such self-satisfaction that was his love for the Union of
the States. He favored the Clay compromise measures of 1850;
he supported Howel! Cobb for governor as the candidate of the
Constitutional Union party upon a platform declaring those com
promises " fair, just, and equitable/ and aided in piling up for him
a then unprecedented majority in a gubernatorial race in our State.
This platform of 1855 spoke of "the maintenance of the Union
of these United States as the paramount political good." By that
of 1856 "the perpetuation of the Federal Union" was regarded
" as the palladium of our civil and religious liberties and the only
sure bulwark of American independence." That of 1860
Resolved, That it is both the part of patriotism and of duty to recognize no
political principles other than the Constitution of the country, the Union of
the States, and the enforcement of the laws.
He opposed the calling of the Georgia State convention of 1860.
He was elected thereto to oppose secession. In that body, com
posed of the flower of our State, men superior to him in age and
political experience, he led the fight for Governor Johnson s reso
lutions for a convention of States, to defeat those of Judge Xesbit
for immediate disunion. Though his motion failed, he voted
against the declaratory resolution for secession with a minority of
less than a third of the convention. South Carolina had seceded;
Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama had gone. Georgia then seemed
to him to have no choice between joining her fortunes with theirs
and confusion and chaos within her borders. He therefore then
sought to make the convention unanimous for secession. And
when the war was over, at an expense of nearly $2,000, he placed
in front of that broad walk to his house immense iron gates, on
each of which were shown our flag and eagle, that in going in and
out he and his children might be daily reminded of the imperish
able ensigns of their country.
But while he had struggled for the Union, none doubted his de
votion to the Southern cause. While Georgia s colonial flag floated
ADDRESS OF ME. HAMMOND, OF GEORGIA. 57
over the capitol at Milledgeville lie was chosen by the convention
of 1860 as a delegate to the provisional congress, charged by a reso
lution of our State to form a government " modeled as nearly as
practicable 011 the basis and principles of the Government of the
United States of America."
The first session of our general assembly elected him senator in
the congress of the Confederate States, over Law and Governor
Johnson, who had opposed secession, and Iverson, Jackson, and
Toornbs, who had urged disunion. And in that senate the confi
dence of his State was supplemented by that of President Davis and
all the most earnest friends of the new government.
That government failed, but his career was not ended. The
war restored the Union. But how changed was the situation !
The South did not concede that its quarrel had been unjust or its
action wrong. There, as here, the soldiers gloried in their records.
There, as here, he who bore a wound received in battle was re
garded as holding a patent to the love and admiration of his fel
The Union was restored in law, but without the ante-bellum
surroundings. The Constitution was changed in essentials which
the North thought would strengthen our system, but which the
South thought subversive of the fundamental principles of our
A new element was incorporated into the body-politic. The
North thought that necessary to secure what it called " the fruits
of the war ; " the South thought that thereby her civilization was
endangered and the safeguards of constitutional liberty strained
to their uttermost. " Reconstruction " came in all its various
phases disfranchisement of former citizens and enfranchisement
of former slaves, martial law, and bayonet rule.
The South was repeating the mournful Jeremiad :
We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows. *
Our necks are under persecution ; we labor and have no rest.
Servants have ruled over us; there is none to deliver us out of their hand.
Mr. HILL heard and determined to strike for deliverance. Oc
cupying no official position, he could appeal only as a private citizen.
lie had been well trained for such work. In 1855 he had met
58 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Warner, ex-judge of our highest court, strong, logical, and of spot
less reputation for integrity, and reduced a large majority to al
most naught by commanding eloquence on the stump. In his race
for governor and canvassing as Presidential elector he had become
well known throughout the State. He was ranked among the very
best of a host of gifted men.
He never told an anecdote, indulged in no flights of fancy ; he
quoted neither poet nor classic, yet he charmed and enchained his
This new field suited his manner and disposition. His defiant
speech at Davis Hall, his denunciations at the Bush Arbor, at
Atlanta, electrified his sympathetic hearers. A larger mass was
enthused by his "Notes on the Situation," written with a pen
dipped in the very gall of bitterness. Invective was his forte, and
in these efforts he excelled himself. He chafed as a caged lion as
he saw statute after statute aimed by Congress against the political
equality of his native State and her rightful rule thrice displaced
by martial law. He believed all those measures " unconstitutional,
null, and void," and that his would l>e the glory of having them
He and his courageous comrades revived the drooping hopes and
rekindled the courage of our people, and soon saw Georgia resume
her normal position as a State in the Union, and strengthen by her
counsel and example her struggling sisters of the South. But in
all else there was signal failure. The changes wrought by Avar
were unalterable, and he accepted the inevitable.
These topics are mentioned only because they cover so large a
part of Mr. HILL S public life. They are of great weight and full
of interest, but may not be considered now. Better that the embers
die out than that they should be rekindled by exposure. With
restoration came peace and commerce and social intercourse. Pas
sions cooled, old memories revived, common interests urged to
common thought and purpose.
Soon he was elected Representative and then Senator. The
positions assigned him here on committees and in debates show
that his reputation was well established and national. His conduct
here, his votes and speeches have passed into history. They are
ADDRESS OF MB. HAMMOND, OF GEORGIA. 59
too recent to need comment or justify discussion now. The pride
of his State was seconded by the country which cheerfully counted
him among the great men of our age.
His name may not be associated with any great reform; his
genius may not be crystalli/ed in any statute of our country. This
may be because he belonged to that large class of orators who build
not themselves, but by encouragement and criticism perfect the
building of others. Or it may be that a tree so frequently and so
violently transplanted could not yield its natural fruitage until
time had cured its shocks. That time was not given. In the
/enith of his powers the end came.
That tongue so eloquent was being by a cancer destroyed. The
cruel knife, intended to stay, seemed but to hasten the catastrophe.
Nor nature nor art could arrest its progress. With mind unim
paired he waited and patiently suffered the tortures which preceded
death. As the sun rose upon the earth on the 16th of August last,
he was gone.
His long suffering had mellowed admiration into love. Our
capital city was draped in mourning, its business stopped, and its
organizations, private and public, vied with each other in expres
sions of sorrow. All parts of our State sent delegations to his
funeral. Through a long lane of sympathizing fellow-citizens,
Representatives and Senators bore him to his grave.
They had sat in the church to which he belonged and heard the
pastor, his life-long friend, tell of his early conversion and his en
during faith. Long after his power of speech was gone, as the
cruel cancer was eating his earthly life away, he thought and wrote
of life eternal. Once, when engaged in such high thought, he had
read by his pastor Paul s grand reasoning about the fact and
necessity of the resurrection. Responding, with tremulous, dying
hand he wrote :
If a grain of com will die and then rise again in infinite beauty, why may
not I die and then rise again in infinite beauty and life? How is the last a
greater mystery than the first? And by so much as I exceed the grain of
corn in this life, why may I not exceed it in the new life ? How can we limit
the power of Him who made the grain of corn to die, and then made the
same grain again in such wonderful newness of life?
His great soul had grasped the sublime " mystery " that " this
60 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
corruptible must put on incorruptiou and this mortal must put on
immortality." And when, on a later occasion, he wrote for this
man of God, "I cannot suppress a certain elation at the thought of
going," he had evidently caught the triumphant enthusiasm of the
Apostle of the Gentiles, when he concluded :
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptiou, and this mortal
shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that
is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ?
Address of Mr. SPEER, of Georgia.
Mr. SPPLVKER : To eulogize the deeds and preserve the memories
of those who either in peace or war have conferred benefits or lus
ter on their country has ever among the civilized been regarded a
privilege and a duty.
The desire of inspiring an ambition to emulate such examples
has doubtless given birth to such usages and sentiments. Nor can
it be denied that the means are conducive to a beneficial end. The
human mind is so constituted that it is not only interested, it is
aroused and stimulated by lofty ideals of excellence. Indeed, a clear
conception of what has been done, and therefore what can be done,
is an important factor in achieving eminence in any profession or
in any enterprise.
Caesar might never have won his splendid triumphs as soldier and
statesman had he not chanced to see in an obscure town in Spain a
statue of Alexander the Great. His passion for military glorv
was then and there fired by the thought that the Macedonian at
thirty years of age had conquered the world, while he, though thirty-
five, had achieved but little renown. It is certain that an intense
interest in the lives and deeds of the great men of their common
wealths formed no small part of the patriotism of the ancient Greeks.
Athens was but a vast museum of architecture, sculpture, and paint
ing dedicated to the national glory and the worship of the gods.
The city was full of the memorials of actual history. Its youth
were perpetually surrounded with incentives to patriotic devotion.
Every street and square from the Piraeus to the Acropolis was
ADDRESS OF MR. SPEER, OF GEORGIA. 61
adorned with statues (by the most consummate masters that ever
gave life to marble) of the great men of the republic: Solon the
lawgiver, Conon the admiral, Pericles the mightiest of their states
men, and Demosthenes the prince of their orators, in imperishable
marble, gave inspiration to the Athenian youth.
Twenty-three centuries have not extinguished this sentiment of
veneration for the illustrious dead. It still lives to console and ele
vate humanity. Its memorials are found to-day in every civilized
land. On the banks of the Danube, that historic river whose waves
have witnessed the march of the hordes of Attila and the paladins
of Charlemagne, whose shores have echoed to the tramp of the
Roman legions, the hymns of the crusaders, and the artillery of
Napoleon, stands a noble structure of marble called the Hall of
Heroes, a modern Valhalla, filled with the effigies of the great men
of all Germany. " By the soft, blue waters of Lake Lucerne," says
the eloquent Meagher, "stands the chapel of William Tell. In
the black aisle of the old cathedral of Innspruck the peasant of the
Tyrol kneels before the statue of Andrew Hofer. In her new senate
hall England bids her sculptors place the images of her noblest sons,
her Hampden and her Russel. In the great American Republic,
in that capital city which bears his name, rises the monument of
the Father of his Country." Yes, even in young America, the ideal
izing power of the painter and the sculptor are employed to kindle
the generous ambition of the youthful aspirant to fame. Sir, how
apposite in this connection are the melodious verses of Cowper:
Patriots have toiled, and in their country s cause
Bled nobly ; and their deeds, as they deserve,
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge
Tbeir names to the sweet lyre. The historic muse,
Proud of the treasure, marches with it down
To latest times ; and sculpture in her turn
Gives bond in stone and ever-duriug brass
To guard them and immortalize her trust.
We should not defraud the illustrious dead of their rightful re
ward, that reward which is the great moral compensation for con
temporaneous prejudice and injustice. Xay, more, we should never
take away from coining generations the strongest incentive to pa
triotism, to the love and service of their country. Rather let it be
62 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
proclaimed by memorial service and monumental marble, by noble
and beautiful art, that those who consecrate their talents or their
lives to the state will not, shall not, be forgotten ; that they shall
live in memory so long as men shall reverence law, honor patriotism,
or love liberty. Thus may we hope for a long and glorious bead-
roll of great statesmen and gallant soldiers, and that it will never
be said of this Union of States as was said of ancient Rome, "Oc-
tavius has a party and Antony has a party, but the Republic has
In conformity, then, with a usage sanctioned by the wisdom of
ages of civilization, we have assembled to pay a national tribute of
respect to the memory of BP:XJAMIX H. HILL, the late distinguished
Senator of Georgia. He has already been laid to rest beneath the
soil of that State which gave him birth, and which he served so long
and loved so well. Never were public esteem and private affection
more signally manifested than at his obsequies. The legislature of
Georgia has ordered his portrait to be placed on the walls of the
capitol. Public munificence has projected a stately monument to
mark the place of his burial and as a token of admiration for his
talents, recognition of his patriotic services, and respect and affection
for his memory.
But it is not extravagant to say that neither funeral pomp nor
public eulogy, neither the painter s pencil nor the sculptor s chisel,
can do that for his memory which he has done for it himself.
It will not be expected of me to undertake the superfluous task
of dwelling in detail on the events of his life, or of attempting an
elaborate delineation of his character. This has been done by the
ablest writers of the press with an actiteness of analysis and an opu
lence of illustration that will convey to posterity a vivid conception
of the great subject. This has been appropriately done in wise and
eloquent words in the other wing of the Capitol by Senators who
have listened with admiration to the voice of our now silent but
once matchless orator. They may have agreed with him or they
may have differed from him, but they could not fail to recognize his
lofty and chivalrous bearing, his commanding ability, his eloquent
reasoning, his ardent and devoted patriotism. These will be remem
bered when the asperities of political controversy are forgotten. I
ADDRESS OF MR. SPEER, OF GEORGIA. 63
can say, however, from an intimate personal acquaintance with him,
that he was a man of unimpeachable integrity, ever evincing by pre
cept and example his respect for morality and religion. The moral,
the religions, the charitable, the educational institutions of his State
have lost in him an influential friend and a generous benefactor.
His name was a tower of strength to every good cause in which
it was enlisted. One trait only will I stress in this presence, and
that is his patriotism. He loved his country, his whole country,
its Constitution, its laws, its liberties. He was a man to whom the
whole country was ever more than a part. Originally a member of
the old Whig party, an enthusiastic disciple of Clay and Webster,
he loved as they did the Union cemented by the blood of our Rev
olutionary fathers. He regarded that Union as a perpetual bond
of national brotherhood, and as associated with the most precious
memories of the past and freighted with the brightest hopes of the
future. In the darkest period of that fierce sectional controversy
between the Xorth and the South, which ripened into one of the
most gigantic wars in the bloodstained annals of our race until hope
had been swept away by the fiery tide of revolution, he continued
to hope and to temper the counsels of the people. He was there
after throughout the struggle steadfast to his kindred and his people.
This is characteristic of the man, and will be appreciated by the
generous everywhere. His course was such that it could not be said
of him as Dr. Johnson said of Junius:
Finding sedition in the ascendant he was able to advance it; finding the
nation combustible, he was able to inflame it.
He knew that our system of government, like all human institu
tions, however wise in theory and successful in its general operation,
is liable to abuse; that unwise laws were sometimes enacted; that
salutary laws were sometimes evaded and even resisted; that party
spirit, the bane of all free institutions, which Washington himself
pronounced the worst enemy of popular government, was sometimes
pushed to the verge of remorseless and maddening convulsion. But
he never despaired of the Republic. He had little sympathy with
that dangerous folly which pretends that our national prosperity is
on the wane; that the meridian of our country s glory ha.s been
reached and passed; that nothing is to be expected but venality in
64 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
legislative bodies and corruption in our courts of justice; that the
"American Astrea, like the goddess of old, has fled to the stars."
He held, and wisely held, that the founders of our Government
and their descendants had accomplished more and better results with
in the century of their existence than had ever been accomplished
in the same time in the history of any race. He was persuaded that
they had secured for themselves a larger amount of the substantial
blessings of life than are enjoyed by any people on the globe.
He believed that our country might, and by the blessing of Provi
dence would, reach a height of prosperity of which the world as yet
lias seen no example.
But L forbear. Six months have passed since he was taken from
us. His protracted sufferings and hopeless disease prepared us for
the inevitable result. But I can not but feel to-day, as I did when
it was first announced that Senator HILL was dead, that Georgia
had hardly another, I might say not another, such life to lose. He
was unselfish, thoughtful of all, generous and kind to all. His life
and his labors were consecrated to the welfare and happiness of
others; and, more than all, "for the profit of the people, for the
advancement of the nation."
Address of Mr. TUCKER, of Virginia.
Mr. SPEAKER: In the natural grief which Georgia feels for the
loss of her great son, it is not fitting that Virginia should manifest
her sympathy in silence at the tomb of one, who often said he felt
like standing in her presence ever with uncovered brow. In this
public calamity which touches the whole country Virginia begs to
lay the tribute of her respect on his grave.
My acquaintance with the late Senator HILL began with our en
trance into this Hall as members of the Forty-fourth Congress. It
ripened into intimacy from an association as members of the Com
mittee on Ways and Means. That relation has no doubt made it
seem appropriate that I should have been invited to say something
on this occasion.
Mr. HILL was born in Georgia in September, 1823, of a parent-
ADDRESS OF MR. TUCKER, OF VIRGINIA. 65
age which was of English origin and had for generations lived in
his native State. He loved her with the devotion of a true and
faithful son. His father, though not very liberally educated, cov
eted high culture for his children, and secured a classical education
for his distinguished son, which he completed at the University of
Georgia, at Athens, in 1844.
Mr. HILL was admitted to the bar in 1 845, and readied that em
inence in his profession early in his career which great talents,
fidelity, and enthusiasm will always secure. He entered the
legislative halls of Georgia as early as 1851. He was a candidate
for Congress in 1855 and for governor in 1857, but was defeated
on both occasions on political grounds ; but it speaks strongly for
his rapid rise in public estimation that at so early an age he was
nominated for the chief executive office of that great Common
He was a decided Whig in politics, and was on the electoral ticket
of Bell and Everett in the memorable contest of 1860.
The election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency in that year caused
the call of the convention in Georgia in January, 1861, which passed
the ordinance for the secession of that State from the Union. To
that convention Mr. HILL was elected; and in its debates he took
a prominent part in opposition to secession and in favor of awaiting
in the Union the results of the triumph of the Republican party.
When the convention decided against his views he threw himself
with all the ardor of his powerful intellect into the cause of the
Confederacy. He was elected to the provisional congress at Mont
gomery, and afterward to the senate of the Confederate States, in
which he served his State with great zeal and signal ability until
the close of the war. He was in 1865 arrested and imprisoned in
Fort Lafayette for some time by the Federal authorities ; and upon
his release returned to the bar, practicing his profession with great
success and participating with the Democratic party in the political
questions of the period of reconstruction. He was elected to the
Forty-fourth Congress and was assigned by Mr. Speaker Kerr to
a position on the Committee on Ways and Means, of which my hon
orable friend from Illinois [Mr. Morrison] was chairman. Of
that committee there remain in this House but three members, the
66 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
then chairman, the present honorable chairman of the committee
[Mr. Kelley], and myself.
In January, 1876, the debate on the amnesty bill was opened
with such a display of political excitement and sectional bitterness
as I have never seen since that time, and which I am glad to hope
will never be seen again in this Hall.
In that debate no one who heard it can ever forget the parlia
mentary eloquence and ability of Mr. Elaine and of General Gar-
field, and the no less skillful and powerful speech of Mr. HILL. It
was the battle of giants, and Mr. HILL was the equal of any man
who took part in it. It placed him at once in the front rank of
debaters in the American Congress.
Whether in the labors of the Committee on Ways and Means on
the questions of tariff and finance, or in the discussions in the House,
Mr. HILL continued while a member of this bodv to rise higher
and higher in public estimation until his election to the Senate in
the winter of 1877.
It is. not too much to say that as a Senator he fully maintained
his high reputation, and measured swords in debate on few occa
sions in which he was not victor, and in none in which he was van
A mortal disease, insidious in its progress and painful in its na
ture, ended his life in the summer of last year, and the grave has
closed upon a career w r hich, though not prolonged to old age, was
one of the most brilliant and memorable in our parliamentary his
The elements which make up the character of a remarkable man
it is interesting to analyze and portray. I feel incompetent to do
so satisfactorily in this case, for while our intercourse was always
familiar and cordial, our relations were not so close and confiden
tial as to have enabled me to judge and measure him with critical
His tall and striking person, his grave and thoughtful face, his
clear but dreamy eye, and the gleam of sunshine which lit up his
countenance when friendly intercourse detached his thoughts from
the subject in which his mind was absorbed, all combined to inter
est, attract, and impress every person who came in contact with
ADDRESS OF Mil. TUCK Ell, OF I lRGINIJ. 67
him. His ringing voice; his earnest, sometimes vehement, man
ner; his bold and aggressive style ; his strong, clear, and logical
reasoning; his exalted and eloquent declamation, and withal his
self-reliant and confident assertion of his views, made him one of
the most powerful and impressive speakers of his time.
He worked with intense and concentrated energy. His mind
was capable of great abstraction. In the companionship of his own
thoughts he became often unconscious of all around him, and his
intellectual powers then glowed with the fires of his own enthusiasm.
He was an intellectual athlete. His strength was not mere dead
force, but his sinewy frame enabled him to turn an adversary in
the decisive wrestle, when he himself seemed to be overthrown.
He was not technical in his reasoning, but cut down to the root of
the matter of debate. His nature was bold and aggressive. If his
foe was in ambush, he uncovered him and forced him into the open
field. His tactical method was assault. He struck for his enemy s
center and rarely attacked his flank. But when assailed and in
retreat, he would suddenly turn upon his foe, retrieve his loss, at
tack on flank or center as best he might, and snatch victory from
the jaws of defeat. He was formidable in the opening of battle,
chiefly for attack, but he was as dangerous in retreat at its close,
when pressed by a too confident opponent. Disaster did not dis
may mishap did not demoralize him. His ample resources were
adequate to any emergency, and lie would convert what seemed a
fatal mistake into the source of a final triumph by his quick and
bold repulse of his assailant, which he often pushed to a complete
rout of his forces. He argued from the workshop of his own
brain. He intensified thought upon the issue, and discarding au
thority and extrinsic aids, drew from the well-furnished armory of
his own mind the weapons and munitions for the conduct of his
These qualities made him a great advocate at the bar, whether
before juries or courts, and a great debater in the halls of legisla
tion ; indeed, as formidable in these respects as any man of his day.
I believe he thought best on his feet. The fervor of his intel
lect made his arguments present convictions which might pass away
and give place to others as strong under mental action at another
68 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
time. To this peculiarity in his mental operations was due what
seemed alack of consistency sometimes in the conclusions he reached.
His intellectual activity was so powerful as to make him seem in
tolerant to his opponents; but I do not believe it touched his heart.
He struck the shield of his foe as a knight in the tournament,
vigorously but without animosity; and when the strife was ended
he could lift up the adversary he had struck down and clasp him
in friendly regard with the hand which dealt the blow.
In his social life, while often abstracted by the thoughts which ab
sorbed him, he was genial, kind, and loving. Generous and brave,
he grappled to him friends with hooks of steel. Honest in his
dealing, sincere and truthful in his intercourse, and cordial in his
friendships, he died mourned by hosts of warm admirers and fol
He was not, I think, a great reader of books. For works of fic
tion he had no taste. He told me once he had never read one of
Scott s novels, after I had playfully called him in debate a Dalgetty,
of whose name and character he was ignorant. But his reading was
such as strengthened his powerful mind, and furnished his style with
the materials which gave grace and beauty to the solid and simple
Doric of his severe and classic oratory.
It was natural for such a man to have ambition. The eaglet in
his home nest on the mountain cliff feels in his unfledged wing the
power to soar toward the object on which he ever looks with un-
blenched eye. So genius, with prophetic instinct, aspires to achieve
its conscious destiny. It seeks, or at least may not, without fault,
put aside the opportunity which will enable it to do so. When Lord
Selborne reached the woolsack some friend congratulated him on
attaining the summit of his ambition. In substance he replied,
"Xot so; I have gained the opportunity to serve my country; the
summit of my ambition is to serve her well, and to do good."
Such ambition is a noble virtue. The aspiration to uphold the
right, to destroy the wrong, and to do good, is all of human glory
which it is fit for human life to aspire to win. That passion for
place and office, without consciousness of ability to fill it well and
for the public good, is base and mean ; it is a vice, the vice of our
day, and leads to crime.
ADDRESS OF MR. HOUSE, OF TENNESSEE. 69
Mr. HILL aspired for public positions from the self-conscious
ness of his fitness to serve his country in and through them. In
him it was a noble virtue.
He bore his prolonged and painful illness with patience, fortitude,
and resignation. As the hopes of continued life faded aAvay the
light of immortality gleamed upon his latterjdays with the assurance
of peace and eternal joy. The tongue which had thrilled the multi
tude and electrified the forum and the Senate, palsied by his mortal
disease, faltered and was almost still. Yet it cheers us to know that
in the death valley through which his great soul was called to pass,
God gave that tongue the power to whisper in tones of touching
tenderness and faith as his eagle eye gazed upon the opening glories
of the immortal life, "Almost home!"
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Xo farther? Ay ! through the grave, where human glory ends,
the Christian hope plants our feet upon that path which leads to
celestial glory in the bosom of our Father and our God !
Address of Mr. HOUSE, of Tennessee.
Mr. SPEAKER : When the hand of death struck the name of
BENJAMIN H. HILL, of Georgia, from the roll of Senators the
sad event was deplored not only by the State that had honored him,
but by the whole country. All realized the fact that a man of
great intellectual power had fallen, and that a vacancy had been
made in the national councils which could not be readily supplied.
I well remember the first time I ever met him. It was at a
maws-meeting during the Presidential campaign of 1860, at Knox-
ville, Tennessee. His fame even at that time, when he w r as com
paratively a young man, had traveled beyond the limits of his
own State. I recall most vividly the impression he made on me
on that occasion as one of the most eloquent and powerful popular
orators to whom I had ever listened. The crowd was numbered by
the thousand, and the speaking took place in the open air in a
beautiful grove near the town. Without much seeming effort on
70 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
his purl lie held the undivided attention of the vast assembly dur
ing an address of some two or three hours. I can never forget the
trepidation and misgivings with which I arose, according to the
programme of the day, to address the audience on the same side
of the question, through fear that it would be impossible for me
to say anything that would interest a crowd that had listened to
his magnificent effort.
I saw him no more until I met him at Richmond in the fall of
1861 as a member of the provisional congress of the Confederate
States. At the end of the provisional congress our paths diverged.
He entered the Confederate senate, where he served during the
remainder of the war.
The next time I met him was in this Hall as a member of the
Forty-fourth Congress. That Congress was the first one after the
war to which full delegations of representative men were admitted
from the Southern States. They came to Washington fully im
pressed with the difficulties and complications that surrounded
them. They felt that the people whom they represented, greatly
impoverished by the war and struggling to repair their ruined
fortunes, would be held to a strict accountability for the actions
and utterances of their representatives. Thus impressed and thus
appreciating the dangerous ground on which they stood and the
delicate relations which they sustained to the Government, they de
termined to tread the path of patriotic duty so plainly and firmlv
that none could fail to see that they fully and honestly acquiesced
in the results of the war, and were prepared to discharge in good
faith every demand imposed by the conditions of a restored Union
and the common welfare of a reunited people. I think I know the
animus of the Southern men who took their seats in this Hall as
Representatives in the Forty-fourth Congress. Whether I have
stated it truly and fairly I confidently leave the records they have
made here to determine.
Soon after the assembling of that Congress a general amnesty
bill was introduced in the House by Hon. Samuel J. Randall, of
Pennsylvania, being similar in all respects to a bill which had
on two previous occasions passed the House of Representatives but
tailed in. the Senate, The question arose of admitting Jefferson
ADDRESS OF MR. HOUSE, OF TENNESSEE. 71
Davis to the benefits of the act. A distinguished Representative
from Maine in the course of his remarks used this strong and em
phatic language :
And I, here before God, measuring niy words, knowing their full extent
and import, declare that neither the deeds of the Duke of Alva in the Low
Countries, nor the massacre of St. Bartholomew, nor the thumb-screws and
engines of torture of the Spanish Inquisition begin to compare in atrocity
with the hideous crime of Andersonville. [Applause on the floor and in the
Up to this time 110 Southern man had taken any part in the pro
ceedings. The discussion had not proceeded far before it became
evident that it was destined to provoke more or less of sectional
bitterness. The Representatives from the South deprecated and
deplored the agitation of questions growing out of the Avar. They
felt that all such agitation was mischievous in its tendency and could
be productive of no good to their section of the country, and they
were anxious that all such questions should be relegated to the
tribunal of history. But as the discussion progressed it assumed a
character which in their opinion demanded that a reply should be
made from a Southern stand-point. Mr. HILL, from his known
intimate relations with Jefferson Davis during the war, as well as
from his acknowledged ability, was generally recognized as the most
appropriate Southern man to speak for his section in a debate which
all felt was destined to become historic. But little time for prepa
ration was allowed him, as the discussion arose rather unexpectedly.
I know he felt deeply the responsibility and delicacy of his posi
tion. To defend the Confederate government against the charges
brought against it and maintain the honor of the Southern name
without saying anything that would militate against the interests of
the Southern people in the prevailing temper of the public mind of
the North required the exercise of the coolest judgment and the
nicest discrimination. Thus restrained and shackled by the grave
considerations \vhich surrounded the situation, he felt that he
could not indulge the usual freedom of debate, and was therefore
forced to meet his adversaries upon unequal terms. When he
arose to address the House he faced a most attentive audience upon
the floor and in the crowded galleries. It was an occasion of dee])
solicitude and dramatic interest. I will not risk the imputation
72 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
of intruding improper and unwelcome suggestions upon this occa
sion by even a reference to the points or details of the discussion.
It was watched with the keenest interest by both sides of this
Chamber, and in fact by the whole country. It aroused feelings
which, I am happy to say, time has softened and tempered, and
which I would be the last to recall from the shades of the unhappy
past. But justice to the dead requires that I should not omit to
say that, difficult as were the requirements of the occasion, South
ern Representatives and the Southern people felt that their good
name suffered no detriment from want of ability in its defender.
Mr. Speaker, I recall another prominent figure in that memorable
debate. James A. (rarfield, of Ohio, replied to Mr. HILL. If any
one had been railed on at that time to point out two men on this
floor whose robust health and vigorous manhood gave the greatest
promise of a long life, the selection could not have fallen upon any
two members more appropriately than upon James A. Garfield and
BENJAMIN H. HILT,. How little we know or can know of what
the future has in store for us. How soon were these two distin
guished men, who encountered each other in that debate, doomed
to leave this world under circumstances of lingering and protracted
suffering that stirred the sympathies of all.
The former in a short wliile was transferred by the voice of his
State from this House to the Senate, and before he could assume the
duties of a Senator the voice of the American people called him to
the Presidency. Honors were showered upon him with a profusion
that left ambition but little to desire. He was inaugurated amid
the well-wishes of the whole country. But while the thickly clus
tered laurels upon his brow were yet wet with morning dew at a
moment least expected, in the heart of a populous city, in sight of
the Capitol the bullet of a beastly and vulgar assassin laid him
low. The national heart stood still with horror when the first shock
of the great crime was felt. As the distinguished sufferer lay upon
his bed of pain, the hearts of his countrymen of all parties and all
sections visited the chamber where he struggled with death, breath
ing sympathy for his condition and hope for his recovery. This
painful solicitude was merged into universal sorrow when the tele
graph bore the news to every part of the country that the struggle
ADDRESS OF MR. HOUSE, OF TENNESSEE. 73
was over. The Democrat forgot that lie was a Republican Presi
dent, and the Southern man that he belonged to the North. All
party, all sectional feeling was lost in the profound gloom that per
vaded the whole country. He had met his fate and borne his great
sufferings with a patient fortitude and lofty courage which silenced
all criticism and melted all hearts, while it intensified the universal
horror with which the assassin s crime was regarded. For, Mr.
Speaker, whatever may be true of other peoples and other lauds, the
crime of assassination can never be looked upon by the American
people with other feelings than those of execration and abhorrence.
It is a noxious plant that can never flourish in our soil. General
Garfield reached the highest position to which human ambition
can aspire ; but the grandest proportions which his character ever
assumed were displayed in the heroism of his death-bed.
Mr. HILL was likewise called by the voice of his State to a seat
in the Senate. This was a field much better suited for the exercise
of his great gifts than the House of Representatives, and he soon
gained in that body the front rank as a debater and a statesman of
great and varied attainments. His speech in the Senate in the de
bate on the bill prohibiting the use of troops at the polls was recog
nized by all who heard it or read it as an effort of transcendent
ability. His analysis and exposition of our dual system of gov
ernment, defining the powers that belonged to the States and those
that belonged to the Federal Government under the Constitution,
were thorough and profound. That speech alone was sufficient to
rank him in the first class of American statesmen, and to that class
he undoubtedly belonged. As a debater he had few equals, even
among the distinguished men whose learning and ability dignify
and adorn the American Senate. Whether on the hustings address
ing the masses of the people, in the forum before judges and juries,
or in the halls of Congress discussing great questions of national
importance, he never failed to impress himself upon those who heard
him as a man of great power and ability. No antagonist, whatever
his fame or prowess, ever encountered him upon any of those fields
of intellectual gladiature without feeling that he stood in the pres
ence of a foeman worthy of his steel. But in the prime and pleni
tude of his great powers, when he felt the solid ground of a well-
74 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
earned national reputation beneath his feet and a long and a brilliant
career of honor and usefulness opening up before him, the admoni
tion of death came, not, it is true, in the guise of an assassin s bul
let, but in a form almost as tragic and no less certain.
Soon after the meeting of the present Congress I visited the court
room where President Garn eld s assassin was being tried for his
life. On leaving I met Senator HILL, and we walked some dis
tance together. On the way I inquired as to the condition of the
malady that had excited his fears and the apprehension of his
friends. I found him hopeful and cheerful, and even buoyant under
the conviction that he had experienced the worst and that he was
now in a sure way to permanent and final recovery. But not a
great while afterward I heard that he had been compelled to again
seek the offices of his surgeon. I felt then that he was a doomed
man doomed to excrutiating suffering and certain death.
"With his robust constitution and great strength of will he made
a brave fight for his life, and sought all the means within his power
to preserve and prolong it. -But all efforts proved unavailing, and
at last he went home to die. Within its peaceful bosom, surrounded
by his family and friends, and by the people who admired and loved
and honored him, he looked death calmly in the face as he watched
its approaches day by day, and knew that nothing could avert
the inevitable hour. How less than nothingness must have ap
peared to him all the glories of this world as he passed through his
terrible ordeal of suffering to the grave that he saw opening to re
ceive him. Distinguished as was his life, all the honors that clus
tered around it fade into insignificance in the presence of the sub
lime courage and Christian patience and resignation that crowned
Men in the whirl of busy life and the carnival of earthly ambi
tion may treat with a sneer or a jest the power of the Christian relig
ion to sustain the struggling soul amid the agonies of dissolving
nature and the gloom of approaching death ; but that sneer is robbed
of its sting and that jest loses its point beside the beds of protracted
suffering and lingering death from which the victorious spirits of
James A. Garfield and BENJAMIN H. HILL left their wasted tene
ments of clay.
ADDRESS OF ME. WELLBORN, OF TEXAS. 75
Mr. Speaker, sooner or later our struggle, with the last enemy must
come; for whatever may be our hopes, our ambition, our schemes
for the future, or may have been our achievements in the past, we
may be assured of one fact time will overlook and death forget
none of us. And in that solemn hour which witnesses the exchange
of worlds the obscurest Christian that has honestly endeavored dur
ing an unobtrusive life to do his duty toward God and man is more
to be envied than the tallest son of intellectual pride, though he may
have walked the mountain ranges of human thought, without God
and Avithout hope in the world.
Address of Mr. WELLBORN, of Texas.
Mr. SPEAKER : "How peaceful and how powerful is the grave!"
The qualities here ascribed to humanity s final resting-place are
none the less true because poetically asserted. The grave is an
abode of peace and an instrumentality of power. In both essentials
it is above the vicissitudes of time, "Bulwarked around and armed
with rising towers," earthly forces cannot break through nor raze.
AV hether the sun shines in brightness, or the clouds droop murk-
ilv ; whether gentle breezes touch lightly, or the storm king rides
upon the whirlwind, the condition of the grave is always that of
repose. Enraged elements may beat down the monument, remorse
less earthquakes swallow up the vault, but in the ideal grave, of
which the monument and vault are but unsubstantial types, peace
Tranquil is the sleep of him upon whose honored grave the repre
sentatives of millions of people, arrested for awhile in their ordi
nary labors, are now laying the merited tributes of a nation s es
teem ; tranquil will it remain until after the latter days, when the
promised summons spoke by angel tongue shall awake from the
embrace of death and call forth the released captive to those awards
of brightness and joy, which, on the testimonies of time, have al
ready been entered up in the record-book of eternity.
ft is not the peace, however, but the power of the grave which
the memorial services of this hour most strongly proclaim. Oppor-
76 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. BILL.
tunities neglected and opportunities abused have caused thousands,
in dying, to leave behind them but few evidences of their having
been ; or if many, only sad proofs of misspent and mischievous
lives. Hence, " Lived to little purpose," or " Lived to a bad pur
pose," would be inscribed on many tombstones if they were truly
Not so of the marble column which will point coming genera
tions to the consecrated spot where lie entombed the ashes of Geor
gia s great Senator. The matchless talents nature gave him were
early dedicated to high aims, and the fruitful opportunities the wise
improvement of those talents afforded shaped to their best uses.
From the peace of his grave, therefore, rises in power an example
worthy of all imitation, grandly illustrating how native talents use
fully employed and properly directed can achieve wide and lasting
renown in different and difficult walks of life, and how, in the su
preme solemnity of the last hour, when earth and time are fast fad
ing from view, they can nerve the soul of a feeble, wasted frame
to bravely and triumphantly cross over the dark borders of that
mysterious land before \vhose veiled terrors strong manhood is wont
The example thus presented for our contemplation is made up
from the experiences of Mr. HILL, in private, professional, and pub
lic life. Of the last two only wW I speak, leaving to others more
familiar with it the portrayal of the first. It is not my purpose to
undertake a narrative of events, but simply a hurried statement of
traits of diameter which distinguished him in the public walks to
which fortune or inclination called him. And in this I shall not
aim at completeness, but only give a few of the impressions made
on my mind by a general observation of him as a lawyer, an orator,
a statesman, and a patriot ; nor shall I communicate these impres
sions in words of studied panegyric. Too well do I recognize, as
applied to Mr. HILL, the truth of the apostrophe
Nature doth mourn for thee. There is no need
For man to strike his plaintive lyre and fail,
As fail he must, if he attempt thy praise.
The splendid triumphs of Mr. HILL S maturer years at the bar
show that he must have mastered the law as a science during the
ADDRESS OF MR. WELLBORN, OF TEXAS. 77
period of his professional pupilage. His attainments were not
limited to a few scattering rules and forms picked up from particu
lar decisions used in cases with which he was connected, but were
opinions and convictions formed from a searching and comprehen
sive study of jurisprudence as a grand system of principles resting
on immutable foundations of right and justice. For the discovery
of these principles he looked to the exercise of his own reason, and
in forensic contests relied mainly on a conscious knowledge of the
principles thus discovered. Adjudicated cases he regarded as but
instances illustrating and applying principles. In other words, his
own reason, strengthened and equipped by the pupilage before men
tioned, discovered and applied general principles; precedents were
invoked largely, if not only, to support and confirm the conclusions
of his own mind. This view accounts for the singular readiness
and accuracy with which he could meet the various and often un
expected exigencies which complicated suits are liable to develop
during the processes of trial.
Mr. HILL combined within himself the jurist and the advocate.
He was gifted with perception to discern and judgment to apply
appropriate principles to given states of facts. He had also a log
ical and perspicuous style. The union of these qualities made him
clear and forcible in the statement and proof of his premises, and
powerful if not resistless in the conclusions he sought to establish.
In law, as in politics, he was distinguished for originality of
thought rather than scholarship. His was the grander power to
originate, not the lesser faculty of appropriating the creations of
others. He was a model, not a type. However so great the excel
lency he may have attained unto in other pursuits, the judicial his
tory of Georgia, as well as the traditions of her people, will always
claim his legal attainments and forensic triumphs as among the
most brilliant experiences of his brilliant life.
To intellectuality Mr. HILL added the power to feel and to will.
These mental endowments, with his fluency of language and at
times impassioned delivery, formed for him what he became one
of the great orators of his day.
Eloquence is defined to l)e "the utterance of strong emotion in
a manner adapted to excite correspondent emotion in others. It
78 UFE AND CHARACTER OF KEXJAM1X H. HILL.
ordinarily implies elevated and forcible thought, well-chosen lan
guage, an easy and effective utterance, and an impassioned manner."
Those who ever heard Mr. HILL at the bar, in legislative halls, or
on the stump, when the energies of his nature were thoroughly
aroused, could not have failed to recognize in his effort marvelous
and unmistakable manifestations of all these qualities. I remem
ber to have heard a speech he once made on a noted occasion char-
acterixed by a critical auditor as " logic on fire." And it was logic,
burning logic; not the formal disputation of a schoolman, but the
power of passionately-expressed thought unto the conviction and
moving of his hearers :
And each man would turn
And gaze on his neighbor s face,
That with the like dumb wonder answered him.
* You could have heard
The beating of your pulses while he spoke.
The traits and acquirements which made Mr. HILL renowned as
a lawyer and an orator fitted him for greatness in the arts of gov
ernment. In these, after political engagements and official station
brought his mind to bear upon them, he soon became deeply versed,
and took rank with the foremost statesmen of his day. The ques
tion "how can men be best governed?" was with him a subject of
profound thought and philosophic research. He rightly looked
upon it as a problem whose perfect solution the great minds of the
world on memorable trials had failed to work out. The records
of history, which he widely and usefully explored, instructed him
that philosophy, with all its achievements in the realms of political
science, had not been able to impart perfection or permanency to
any civil fabric yet built, and that even the testimonies to its mighti
est triumphs were chiefly chronicled in the dismantled wrecks of
the institutions it founded. He had fully learned the great lesson
taught by ages of experience, that human infirmities will always
impress their images on political as well as other human establish
ments, and that the Utopia of fiction could never exist in fact.
The Constitution of the American Union, to which his best
thought was long and profitably given, he considered the nearest
approach to perfection in governmental structure human effort had
ADDRESS OF MR. WELLliORN, OF TEXAS. 79
yet attained. Under the methods, however, which even this in
strument provided, lie was prepared to see measures consummated
which liis judgment condemned as errors and told him were fraught
with disaster and woe. Emergencies of this kind, the crucial tests
of character, did not confound his faculties, but rather stimulated
them to the most reliable, if not highest exertions of statesmanship,
namely, to see when a thing was inevitable, and, accepting it as such
to make the best of the situation, however bad it might be. He
lost no time, therefore, in bewailing accomplished facts, but when
proposed measures against which he warred became irreversible
policies, his quick, comprehensive perception took in the whole sit
uation, and he at once applied himself not to a continuance of vain
resistance but the more sensible work of so controlling these poli
cies as to avert, as far as possible, the ruin they threatened, and
bring out of them the best attainable results. This quality of states
manship, which, on close analysis, will be found to be nothing-
more nor less than the power of judicious selection between evils,
Mr. HILL notably exhibited in his political course prior to and
during the late war.
From 1855 up to the passage of the declaratory resolution by
the convention of Georgia, January 18, 1861, he combated the
disunion sentiment with all the force and earnestness of his nature.
The motives which influenced him were his attachment to the Union
under the Constitution and his desire to avert the calamities he
profoundly believed war would bring upon the South.
For years he did all man could do to stay the swelling tide of
popular sentiment drifting his State and section, as he firmly be
lieved, into a night of storm and tempest whose starless gloom
would prove iutenser than Memphian darkness. His efforts were
ineffectual. The declaratory resolution before referred to, against
which he voted, fixed and determined Georgia s policy.
The die was cast. Then it was, under a high sense of duty to
his State, he accepted as inevitable what he had struggled to pre
vent, and recorded his vote in favor of the ordinance, believing this
to be the initial and an important step to the unification of his
people in the course they had determined against his judgment to
adopt. Of the conspicuous part he bore during the convulsive
80 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
throes that ensued I shall not speak further than to say that all in
vestigations and researches thus far made into that period of storm
and gloom have but served to confirm and draw out in bolder lines
as his shining characteristics an intellect equal to every emergency
in which he was placed, a fidelity to conviction nothing could
swerve, a resolution difficulties could not unsettle, a courage dangers
could not appall, and a fortitude whose endurance no adversities
could exhaust. This chapter of manly virtues will ever be held in
warm remembrance by his associates in misfortune and defeat, and
can but be read with respectful attention even by those who condemn
the cause in which these virtues were displayed.
Mr. HILL S abilities as a lawyer, an orator, and statesman were
subjected while he was in public life to the guidance of one grand
sentiment: " The noblest motive is the public good."
He loved his country with an intensity and ardor only lofty and
generous natures can know. Good government he considered the
highest boon that could be bestowed on a people. For this he
sought and studied long and diligently. The result of this search
and study was one of the profoundest and most valued convictions
of his life, namely, that there was no other form of government nor
had there ever been one comparable to the Union under the Con
stitution. Hear him as he tells to a listening Senate, in stately
phrase, the excellency of this Government :
It is the noblest government, the greatest government that human wis
dom ever devised, and it could not have been framed by human wisdom alone.
The human intellect never existed in this world that could from its own evo
lutions have wrought out such a thing as this Constitution of the United
States. * * * It is agovernmeut such as Roman never dreamed of, such as
Grecian never conceived, and such as European never had the power to evolve.
When the American people, either for the purpose of dismembering the States
or of destroying them, shall destroy this unparalleled government, this gov
ernment without a model, this government without a prototype, they will
have destroyed a government which seems to have been wisely adapted to
the peculiar condition of the time and to all their future wants, and they
will launch out on a sea of uncertainty the result of which uo man can fore
Hear him again, as he declares to a vast multitude at his own
home, in rapid, beautiful utterance, his admiration for the Ameri
can system of government :
ADDRESS OF MR. It ELLlSOUX, OF
My countrymen, have you ever studied this wonderful American syst
free government ? Have you compared it with former systems and noted how
our fathers sought to avoid their defects? Let me commend this study to
every American citizen to-day. To him who loves liberty it is more enchant
ing than romance, more bewitching than love, and more elevating than any
other science. Onr fathers adopted this plan with improvements in the de
tails which cannot he found in any other system. With what a noble im
pulse of patriotism they came together from different States and joined their
counsels to perfect this system, thenceforward to be known as the " Ameri
can system of free constitutional government." The snows that fall on
Mount Washington are not purer than the motives which begot it. The fresh
dew-laden zephyrs from the orange groves of the South are not sweeter than
the hopes its advent inspired. The flight of our own symbolic eagle, though
he blow his breath 011 the sun, cannot be higher than its expected destiny.
Mr. Speaker, the voice of patriotism calls to us to-day from the
grave of the great Georgian. In silence more eloquent than
stirring language it points us to the " American system of free con
stitutional government" as the "noblest government, the greatest
government that human wisdom ever devised." It impresses
upon us that this system is the one founded by Washington and
other patriots of the Revolution; that it is hallowed by sacred
memories and freighted with precious hopes; that though the right
ful inheritance of one people, humanity everywhere has an interest
in its preservation ; that, if in an evil hour it should perish, its
ruins would entomb forever the institutions of freedom and give a
new birth to the establishments of despotism.
By all these high considerations it pleads for the perpetuation of
this incomparable system of government, " this government with
out a mt)del, this government without a prototype," and points
out the path of public duty by urging as the measure of public
worth "that he. shall be the greatest patriot, the truest patriot, the
noblest patriot, who shall do most to repair the wrongs of the past
and promote the glories of the future."
Mr. Speaker, the touching scenes and incidents of Mr. HILJ/S
last sickness were a fitting close to the illustrious labors of his
active life. The intellect, the resolution, the courage, the fortitude
which had sustained him in the latter did not desert him in the
former. But, added to these, was a fuller reliance than ever on
that unseen arm which alone can guide through the dark valley
and shadow of death. So composedly did he contemplate his near
82 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
dissolution that lie was able to say, "But for the good I had hoped
to do my family aud country, I should regard the announcement
I must die as joyful tidings."
Above all, how entrancing the vision it was granted him to see
iust before death took him away, and which he pictured so aptly
in the last two words he ever spoke, "Almost home!" Home!
A magic word. The English language has no brighter, the En
glish tongue can speak no sweeter. It names the best spot on earth,
the radiant center of pure sentiments and heaven-approved attach
ments. Thitherward the wanderer in distant lands ever turns his
eye in bright expectancy ; and when he has been long and far away
and at last nears the loved place, and familiar objects begin to glad
den his eye, the tired limbs may almost give out, but the hope-
buoyed spirit exclaims, "Almost home!"
The end was at hand. The wanderings of time were over.
Eternity s glories were breaking around. The dying Senator
"spoke out in full and even triumphant accent," "Almost home!"
The pulse throbbed its last beat, and the spirit flew to its God and
Address of Mr. KASSON, of Iowa.
Mr. SPEAKER: I deeply regret that, contrary to well-ordered
custom, I am obliged to speak to-day touching the honored dead
without the preparation which properly characteri/es such an occa
sion. I learn to-day that those of my colleagues on this side of the
House who, from old association with Mr. HILL, late Senator, were
best fitted to speak of his character and to make just appreciation of
those qualities which attracted the attention of the whole country,
were by illness and other special cause prevented from taking part
in the ceremonies of this day.
Unwilling that this side of the House, which had also been a wit
ness of the distinguished ability of Senator HILL while he was a
member of this body, should be unheard on this occasion, I vent
ure to trespass on the kindness of my colleagues while I say ex
temporaneously a few words upon his character and his services.
ADDEBSS Of MB. KASSON, OF IOWA. 85
We from the States of the North had only that opportunity to
become acquainted with Mr. HILL which was offered by his com
paratively brief public career upon this floor. Some of us, includ
ing myself, were on the floor at the time of that great debate to
which so frequent reference has been made by my colleagues upon
the other side. Few men had a higher appreciation of the intel
lectual qualities developed by Mr. HILL in that discussion than
myself. My sympathy with the views which he combated could
not blind me to his power in debate.
I am obliged to speak of his qualities chiefly from my memory
of that session, and especially of that occasion. There were in him
certain traits of character which have led me to compare him with
Oliver Cromwell among persons of English history, and with but
few known to American history. He combined great self-poise
and apparent consciousness of power with a certain solid, adaman
tine honesty of purpose which gave to the movements of his in
tellect unusual, extraordinary strength. Earnest in countenance,
he expressed in that respect only the earnestness of his nature.
He moved with solidity in the development of his intellectual
forces. He could not be cast off his balance by any light attack
whatever. He kept the main objection point always in view. His
mind, like Cromwell s, was impregnated with a sense of the obliga
tions of religion. No man can be a great power in a Christian
country without this inward sense of responsibility to a greater
Power, a Power greater, higher than the people, and to whom the
people themselves owe allegiance and acknowledge responsibility.
It is the strong rock in human character to which, above all other
qualities, the people themselves attach their confidence.
While I recognize these great controliug elements of the human
mind in him, I did not fail to see that he, like most of us, was still
animated chiefly by his great sense of responsibility to that part of
the country which he represented. I recognized that same hon
esty of character when he determined that the sentiments of those
who elected him should be also fairly manifested on this floor, and
should be maintained by all the force of debate.
And while from our point of view we often thought we dis
covered in him a strength of prejudice which was ineradicable, we
84 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
also were obliged to remember that our opponents, bearing the same
relations to us as we to him, would find for the same reason, for
.identically the same cause, ground to believe that our views also
were influenced or controlled by prejudice of section and of associ
Sir, I cannot speak of Mr. HILL S character prior to his entrance
into the Forty-fourth Congress. We knew him to be a man of
power. We in the North rejoiced when we heard that his voice was
lifted to save us from the disasters that followed the opening era of
secession. We mourned when we found that naturally, if not log
ically for we appreciated that it was natural he cast in his lot
with his own State for disunion and separate government. But we
rejoiced again when at the close of that great struggle, as shown by
the gentleman from Georgia who first spoke to-day [Mr. Hammond],
he again presented himself in the front of that column which sought
to return to the Union with honesty of purpose, with perfect in
tegrity of heart, and with an earnest desire to do their duty to the
whole country as faithfully as they had done it to their own sec
tion. I prefer to remember Mr. HILL from such utterances in that
speech to which reference has been made as this :
We had well hoped that the country had suffered long enough from feuds,
from strife, and from inflamed passions; and we came here, sir, with the patri
otic purpose to remember nothing but the country and the whole country,
and, turning onr backs on the horrors of the past, to look with all earnestness
to find glories for the future.
When a man like Mr. HILL returns to what we may fairly call
his first love and his first devotion, it means more than the flippant
remark of one who desires to turn a phrase in oratory. He was
of that rugged honesty of nature that, w r hether or not wholly justi
fied by an impartial judgment in the course he took upon any ques
tion, he never failed to impress his audience with the certainty and
honesty of his conviction and of the opinion he professed to en
tertain. I mourn when such a man passes from the midst of us.
I regret deeply that the Senate will no longer hear his voice nor
have the benefit of his sound judgment.
Sir, among the many sorrows which death inflicts upon the human
breast it carries with it one blessing. It is the disposition which
then comes to us all to give to charity and justice their due dominion
ADDRESS OF MR. HOOKER, OF MISSISSIPPI. 85
over intellect and heart as we stand by the grave of the dead.
Would to God that while all are alive we could equally feel and
exercise those qualities in regard to our associates, whether oppo
nents or friends.
I take to myself, I think we can all take to ourselves, from the
comments made upon such a character as Mr. HILL S, the thought
how much more profitably, how much more agreeably, more pa
triotically our duties on this floor would be discharged if we could
carry from his grave to our work here the sentiments with which
we all find ourselves inspired as we look into the face of the dead.
No higher tribute to the character which we now commemorate
could be given than that each of us should attempt to exercise in
all our relations those virtues which we here celebrate as the en
nobling qualities of him to whose memory we this day render the
Address of Mr. HOOKER, of Mississippi.
Mr. SPEAKER : Having been invited by my friend from Georgia
[Mr. Hammond], who sits beside me, to say something on this
occasion, I have felt it my duty to accept that invitation, because
of the relations which have existed between the people of my own
State and the great State of Georgia, to whose distinguished Sena
tor we have assembled here to-day to pay the last solemn obse
quies; for while the daughter has somewhat outgrown the mother
in many respects, she has not ceased to feel filial affection for that
great country which supplied so many of her early citizens. As
it is not my custom to write speeches on any occasion, I am con
strained to speak to-day, so far as affection for the dead is con
cerned, rather from the heart than from the head.
With reference to the private life of the great statesman whose
death we mourn, I can say but little except what I gather from
the friends who lived closer to-him than it was my fortune to do.
But in regard to his public character, and the two aspects in which
it presents itself to the world at large, I will say a few words.
BENJAMIX H. HILL underwent as a part of his education the
86 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
severe training of a lawyer. It was in this aspect that he first
presented himself to the people of his own State. His mind was
formed by that vigorous discipline which belongs to the profession
of the law. It made him logical. He is said to have excelled
especially in that great power of the lawyer, the statement of his
case. This he made so simply, so briefly, so lucidly, that the most
unintelligent court must seize the salient facts of the case. It was
in his capacity as a lawyer that Mr. HILL was first known to the
people of his own State for his distinguished ability as a reasoner
and an orator. I have heard from a friend of his an incident of
his early life, when he was employed to defend a man charged
with murder. That defense was assumed by him in the courts,
and he failed.
At that time in the State of Georgia it was within the power of
the defendant in a case of this kind to appeal to the senate of the
State. Mr. HILL made that appeal, not so much in behalf of the
defendant himself as of the aged and widowed mother, from whose
heart he wished to avert the blow which would fall upon the head
of her son. He went into the State senate with his case, with a
widowed mother leaning on his arm.
This gentleman describes the scene as he witnessed it one in
which Mr. HILL looked, for the first time in his life, pallid with
excitement, because -of the great responsibility which rested upon
him; for in all his advocacy at the bar he was impressed with the
sentiment of the great responsibility resting upon the advocate and
the intimate relation, between the advocate and his client, a senti
ment which has been beautifully, though perhaps somewhat too
strongly, expressed by one of the greatest of English lawyers and
English premiers, Lord Brougham, when he declared that it is the
duty of a lawyer to stand by the interest of his client even to the
upturning of the government. Mr. HILL walked into that senate
chamber and made his appeal to the senate on the ground of the
insanity of the man who had committed the alleged murder. He
spoke for hours, and he obtained from the senate a verdict which
relieved the widowed mother and spared the life of the son.
In all his relations as a lawyer Mr. HILL achieved distinction
because he was inspired with fidelity to the great duties which
ADDRESS OF MR. HOOKER, OF MISSISSIPPI. 87
devolved upon him. But his great intellect was not destined to
be confined in its exercise to the bar, though it was the shaping
and the fashioning of that intellect by close attention to his profes
sion that prepared him for a new and different arena. I had the
pleasure of first meeting him here as we entered together the Forty-
fourth Congress. He leaped into this grand arena of debate like
Minerva from the brain of Jove, armed [cap-a-pie for any contest
that might occur. He was prepared to take rank among the first
in this hall of debate of the American Commons.
I remember especially an occasion a short time after the con
vening of the Forty-fourth Congress when he spoke here almost
from the position in which I now stand. The magnanimous, gen
erous-hearted Representative from Pennsylvania [Mr. Randall],
then the leader of this side of the House, had introduced his bill
for universal amnesty, thinking that the time had come when there
should be a restoration of the Union, not in name and word, but
in deed and in truth; that amnesty should be extended to every
citizen, from the humblest subaltern animated by a sense of duty to
the lofty-plumed chief who led the Confederate forces ; that all the
memories of the war should be blotted from the hearts and the
minds of the entire people.
In this spirit the gentleman from Pennsylvania introduced that
resolution upon which Mr. HILL S voice was first heard in this
Hall, as has been so beautifully described by my friend from Vir
ginia [Mr. Tucker]. He encountered on that occasion an orator on
the other side of the Chamber who had been for years the leader
of his party, who had at one time occupied the seat which you now
occupy, who, as a debater, as a stater of facts^ as a parliamentary
tactician, had probably no equal at that time on either side of this
It was a conflict, as the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Tucker]
has well remarked, of giants, which took us back to the older days
in these halls, when Hayne and Webster and Calhoun and Clay
and other orators of the past rendered illustrious the days in which
they lived. As has been well said, it was a battle of the giants,
and both giants fought with Damascus-like blades.
But, Mr. Speaker, it was a somewhat unequal con test, for he who
88 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
represented one side of the question was the victor and wore the
laurel wreath which crowns the victor s brow, while the other rep
resented what has become known in history as the " lost cause," and
wore the melancholy cypress, which is the emblem of defeat and
death. Therefore I say it was a somewhat unequal contest; but
those of us for whom he spoke, and spoke with so much clearness,
so much precision, so much wisdom, so much patriotism, felt that
we could appeal to the magnanimity of his great opponent ; great
he was and still is we felt that we could appeal to the magna
nimity of his great opponent in that contest that Mr. HILL had
stated his side of the question as no other man could have stated it
in this Hall.
During the time he was here as our colleague we all remember
him with the tenderest affection and esteem. We venerate his great
ability. We deplore his loss to the State who called him son, and
to the country who honored him for his patriotism and fidelity.
It was not long, Mr. Speaker, before the people of his State, in
1877, called on him to occupy a higher position. I remember his
being seated in that portion of the Hall from which he had de
livered his powerful and eloquent speech a few minutes before, and
receiving a telegram conveying to him the intelligence that the State
of Georgia had transferred him to the other end of the Capitol.
He went there, Mr. Speaker, as he came here, and at once took
his rank in that graver, more dignified body, that body of loftier
debate, took his seat there when that Chamber was filled with men
of the highest intellect in this country, when the gigantic intellectual
form of Thurman sat on one side and on the other the equally gi
gantic intellectual form of Colliding. BENJAMIN H. HILL took
his place in the Senate of the United States, as he had done in this
Hall, as the peer and equal of any man there. He had achieved
great triumph in every position of life, as lawyer, as Representative,
as Senator. He had strewed along the pathway of that life mem
orable acts and wondrous intellectual efforts, "as the giant oak of the
forest sheds its foliage in a kindly largess to the soil it grows on."
He has passed from us to another scene of action. He has passed
from us to that "home" to which he looked so fondly.
Whether speaking to his people in the State of Georgia, or ad-
ADDRESS OF MB. HOOKEE, OF MISSISSIPPI. 89
dressing the Representatives in this Hall on the most delicate ques
tions, or debating in the Senate Chamber of the United States,
there never fell from his lips any other words than words of wis
dom and patriotism. His were
"Not such words as flash
From tlie fierce demagogue s unthinking rage
To madden for a moment an d expire
Nor such as the rapt orator imbues
With warmth of facile sympathy, and molds
To mirrors radiant with fair images,
To grace the noble fervor of an hour ;
But words which bear the spirits of great deeds
Wiug d for the future ; which the dying breath
Of Freedom s martyr shapes as it exhales,
And to tbo most enduring forms of earth
Commits to linger in the craggy shade
Of the huge valley, neath the eagle s home,
Or in the sea-cave where the tempest sleeps,
Till some heroic leader bid them wake
To thrill the world with echoes."
Wherever he spoke and whatever lie said, all was for his coun
try s good. He rose superior to all partisanship because he was a
statesman, looking always to the best interests of his people.
It has been said when every other passion which sways the
human heart has been burned to ashes on its altar, ambition still
lives and rules and controls. But he had lived even until this
last passion had died out, and the last hours of his life touched
scenes in his mortal illness when he was ministered to by his lov
ing wife and equally loving daughter, which enabled him to
throw aside every passion and every emotion which rule the hu
man heart, and look forward with that feeling of hope which be
longs to the pure Christian man.
It was at this time that one of his brother members of the bar
(Mr. John W. Clampitt) of a distant State, the State of my friend
from Illinois [Mr. Springer], sent him that beautiful poem de
scribing the very condition of mind in which Mr. HILL then was.
It reached him only a few days before his death. That gentle
man is now a member of the bar of this city. I will read a few
stan/as from that pathetic poem addressed to Senator B, H. HILL,
and beginning with
90 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
I am weary of iny burcleii
And fain would rest.
Every leaf upon its shore lines
Is a gem ;
Not a withered one is drooping,
While the hand of love is looping
And into garlands grouping
All of them.
In that world there is no sorrow,
Not a tear ;
Never comes the broken-hearted,
From whose eager life departed
The hopes that once had started
Fond and dear.
Not a storm-cloud ever gathers
On the air ;
Only summer clouds are drifting,
And summer breezes sifting,
And sweetest perfume lifting
From gardens fair.
Only music soft and melting
Soothes the soul ;
And its billows mild and wooing,
With a gentle hand undoing
All the cares that were bestrewing
Each earthly goal.
Lead me to that land of beauty,
So I may abide ;
Lead me where the flowers are blooming,
Where the music mild is wooing,
Where the hand of love is moving
On every tide.
Like a little child I ll follow
Swift after thee ;
To the land of never weeping,
Where my father s love is keeping
Mortal souls who failed in reaping
1 will take my burden for a pillow
And lie down to rest ;
God s love shall dwell beside me,
And no clouds shall ever hide me
From the loving ones that guide me
To the portals of the bleat.
ADDRESS OF MR. COX, OF NEW YORK. 91
These lines fitly and appropriately describe the closing scenes of
that memorable life, which had been so distinguished in the great
events of this country. It may be said of him, Mr. Speaker, as
was said by the great Marshall of his friend Menafee, when he
was describing him after death :
His escutcheon is broad, spotless, bright, and beautiful as Bayard s ori-
llanime adorned with the lilies of France.
Senator HILL died, Mr. Speaker, in the meridian of his life, of
that singular, fatal, and insidious disease that up to this time has
defied the eye of the scientist to determine how it originates or
how it may be relieved. He passed away before he had attained
that lofty eminence that the future had evidently in store for him.
But in that dying hour, looking back over the great events in the
history of his country in which lie had borne so prominent a part,
he might well have been justified if at its conclusion the power of
speech had been restored to him, in saying in the language of the
great Latin poet as he contemplated his mighty epic :
Jamquc opus cxegi, quod nee Jovis ira, uec ignis, uec vetustiim ferruiu
Address of Mr. Cox, of New York.
Mr. SPEAKER: When a great French leader of opinion died the
other day, it was queried whether French institutions would sur
vive. " The republic is Leon Gambetta," was the sententious
phrase. Wherever the signs of sorrow were displayed over the
death of the great x Frenchman, from San Francisco to Syria, the
powerful tribune of the people, the vehement orator, the energetic
patriot was mourned as if France herself were lost. The very floral
offerings were shaped into the tricolor of France. Not so in other
lands. Disraeli dies, and though his party goes on, sadly lacking
his genius, the English Government in form and structure receives
no detriment. I saw nobles of ancient lineage and peasants of the
country he had so long represented follow his remains to its sepul-
cher. All that w r as mortal of the dead Hebrew and brilliant
92 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BEXJAMlN H. HILL.
minister received the last rites of the established church, but the
English constitution and English society received no shock.
So, too, in these cisatlantic republican commonwealths states
men and Presidents come and go like rainbows, but the state sur
vives. It is more permanent because of the monumental service
of the departed statesman it has nourished.
The eloquent Georgian and Senator whom we honor to-day
rounded an active life of rarest mold. No glamour of the sol
dier was his. He was the peerless citizen who led men by voice
and thought in perilous times, through troubles and tyrannies,
with a foresight and wisdom all too rare in this land of mercenary
grasping and unrelaxing excitement. He dies ; but his State and
the nation grow better by the emphasis of his life and the virtue
of its lessons.
It was my privilege to know Senator HILL, even before he be
came a member here. It is because of delightful, almost intimate
friendship, that his friends have assigned to me a part in these sad
The dates and events, the links connecting such details, which
make the chain of his personal history and serve to illustrate the
individual feeling and life, the character of the man these others
have touched with magnetic, loving hand.
This chain was fashioned as all character is by surrounding cir
cumstances. Those who knew him in his early days love to trace
the main elements of his character to his parentage. His father
was of slender education, but of robust virtue. He was remark
able for his invincible will and force. His mother was of an
earnest, gentle nature, full of reflective and religious qualities.
These made up the rudiments of that character which enabled him
to overcome obstacles by endurance and palliate them by persua
sion. The sturdy oak was garlanded with tenderest flowers.
Like a Grecian or Doric fane, to which the gentleman from Vir
ginia [Mr. Tucker] likened it, his character combined beauty with
The old farm-house and the red hills where he passed the scenes
of his boyhood modified these inborn elements of his nature, and
gave fresh vigor to his healthful Hie and added grace to his geu-
ADDRESS OF MR. COX, OF NKW YORK. 93
Iii his college experience the development and discipline of his
mind was prodigious. His shyness and awkwardness, born of the
country, soon gave way before his energy and ambition. From
the rustic boy, in his long jeans coat and scant trousers, he at once
became a thoughtful student, His habit of abstraction began
thus early. Whether in the Demosthenian Society, or as its anni-
versarian orator, or delivering the valedictory of his class, he im
pressed those who listened with his unequaled power of debate
and the rare felicity of his eloquence. One index of the gentle
side of his character may be noted. His theme at the junior com
mencement was the " Life, Love, and Madness of Torquato
Tasso," into which he threw all his mother s poetic sensibility
with his scholarly warmth.
Soon the scholar ripened into the advocate. Here was his
field. He had a legal mind. He drove the ..logic of the law
bravely through every obstacle of fancy and fact. His fluency of
speech and fertility of expedient, together with his power of appli
cation and study, gave him a forensic power which Lord Coke
said a ffood lawver should have for the "occasion sudden;" a
power which partial friends have compared with that of Erskine.
As a lawyer few men, even in our largest cities, have had such
success. Although diverted again and again from his jealous
mistress, the law, to canvass for Congress, legislature, elector, and
governor, he was still employed in all the leading cases of the
State. It is estimated if such estimates may be quoted here and
now that he had made a million dollars, as fees, by the time he
was fifty. He was as lavish in the expenditure and as improvi
dent in the investment of his earnings as he was indefatigable
with head and voice in their accumulation.
There is another phase of his life which gave its impress to the
scholar, the citizen, the orator, the advocate, the statesman, and
the man. It is the sectional or Southern aspect of his life.
Without this phase he w r ould not have made the mark which he
so indelibly did upon his State. He had no act of the dema
gogue, no party tactics at command, no storied lore racy of the
soil such as made the " Georgia Scenes " so whimsical and humor
ous, and little or no conversational loquacity ; but he had the re
serve which carries the battle, and thus armed he was dauntless.
94 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Yet there seems to be an unevenness aiid inconsistency in his
career and character. This unevenness may have been the result
of the vicissitudes of the eventful times when the best of men were
distracted as to duty. Inconsistency ? Gladstone, the young
Tory, becomes the venerable Liberal, and Palmerston laughed at
the vanity of consistency.
Call it what you will, State pride or local affection, and say it
is irreconcilable with a larger love of country, yet is it not the
same patriotic impulse which made Tell love the mountains of
Switzerland, and Webster the rock-bound shores of New Eng
land ? Besides, is it necessary to reconcile the love one bears the
mother with that one bears the wife ? When one is true to his
bridal troth is he less true to the mother who bore him ?
It was this State pride which led the youth to prefer his own
State University, at Athens for his education rather than follow
the advice of his teacher, who was a graduate of Yale. It was
the same sentiment which colored his after-life and gave glow and
glory to his oratory. Even while protesting against secession
ordinances on the hustings and in convention he followed with no
laggard step his State into revolt against the Federal domination.
When the question came home to him whether he would have the
unity of his Georgian people or the unity of a-11 the States, he
chose, and honestly chose, the unity of his home.
Herein lies that seeming unevenness and inconsistency which
some have observed in his character. I shall rather call it the
tough fiber of his native robust being, its nature gnarled by soil
and tempest, but none the less beautiful because it had the hard
intertwisted knot of local devotion.
True, he contended for "the Union, the Constitution, and the en
forcement of the laws." He left his lawyer s desk and sought leg
islative honors, to champion constitutional Federal unity. It was
because he thought the mother was the loving friend of his bride.
The first test of the young statesman, thirty years ago, was in
the contest for the compromise of 1850. He desired to signali/e
the end of slavery agitation, which he foresaw would end in civil
war and Southern disaster. Hence his entrance upon political life
in 1851 as a Union man.
ADDRESS OF MR. COX, OF NEW YORK. 95
Throughout his subsequent life, up to the signing of the seces
sion ordinance, he was, in its best sense, an ardent Federalist. He
was of such moderate views and so opposed to the ultraists of his
State that lie traversed Georgia proclaiming fealty to the Union.
He sounded the tocsin of revolt against the leaders of revolution.
Never was a crisis met so courageously. At a time when Yancey s
sentences thrilled the South, and when even Howell Cobb was the
coadjutor of Senator Iverson, the silver voice of BENJAMIN H.
HILL, joining that of Alexander H. Stephens, was a trumpet, not
of sedition, but of loyalty to the Union.
In his speeches, full of the fervor of that wild day, and in a
minority, he was to Southern Unionism what Gambetta was to dis
tracted France. Botli were too late to save, but both lived to re
build and restore.
It is not for me to inquire why the late Senator gave his voice
only for secession and not his arm. It was not from lack of cour
age, physical, mental, or moral; but he was doubtless continually
shadowed by his own prophecy. "Take care," he said, "that in
endeavoring to carry slavery where nature s laws prohibit its en
trance you do not lose the right to hold slaves at all ! "
The Senator had no love for the secrecies and ritual of Know-
nothiugism, and when that semi-religious and anti-American cru
sade was preached it was condemned by him. But from his con
servative habitude he defended the Fillmore administration, and
in 1860 he became a Bell and Everett Union elector. Georgia
rang from side to side with his elegant and urgent phillipics against
radicalism North and South and his fervent patriotism for the Union
of our fathers.
It is impossible to analyze a life so full of incident or a mind so
well disciplined and an oratory so alert and brilliant, without draw
ing upon the language of high encomium.
All the virtues and genius as w r ell as faults of the man and Sen
ator center around the love he bore to his own State of Georgia.
He was a native of Georgia, and had he lived till now would
have been three-score years of age. He was born in the center of
that "old red belt which encircles the State from the Savannah to
96 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
the Chattahoochee." To borrow the language of a friend in the
days of my first service here, Judge James Jackson :
He was all a Georgian. The robust physique of the man sprang from the
soil of our beloved State, and the giant intellect which so distinguished him
was equally Georgian. If honey was upon his lips, the Georgia bee gathered
it from Georgia flowers. If the silver ring of his eloquence touched all hearts,
the silver was dug out of the red old hills we love so much.
Georgia, geologically and picturesquely, under and above the
genial soil, has natural advantages and beauties which along with
her liberal institutions early attracted such adventurous minds as
the Hebrew Mendez, the English soldier Oglethorpe, and the
Methodist Wesley. Even the mounds are yet pointed out, in the
county where our Senator was born, into which De Soto delved for
gold. Her mountains dip and curl in crested grandeur toward the
west, while her savannas add their greenery and wealth to her
General James Oglethorpe, who, as Burke said, had called a prov
ince into existence and lived to see it an independent State, was
the epitome of Georgia history. Oglethorpe s life was so full of
achievement and variety that it is a romance. Pope eulogized, Dr.
Johnson admired, and Thompson celebrated him. He was not only
ready to defend his honor in the duel, but was the prisoner s friend
and the founder of an "empire State." Sir Kobert Montgomery
called the new colony which the gallant general founded "the most
delightful country of the universe." Even the poet of the Seasons,
Thompson, in his " Liberty," sang of the swarming colonists who
sought the "gay colony of Georgia." Pie eulogized it as the calm
retreat of undeserved distress, the better home of those whom bigots
chased from foreign lands. It was not built on rapine, servitude,
and woe. The very history and literature of England thus im-
bound with this colony is almost unknown to the North. Other
States, it seems, attracted more literary attention.
It was this Georgia, the asylum and hope of man, and founded
in honor, religion, and bravery, that our Senator loved. Even
John Wesley s mother, when the high church Methodist asked her
whether he should proceed to Georgia, said : " Had I twenty sons
I should rejoice if they were all so employed." The very religion
ADDRESS OF MR. COX, OF NEW YORK. 97
of Georgia had in it a courage which does not belong to our time,
when the voyage across the Atlantic is robbed of most of its
In the center and heart of this historic State, and in a county
which bears the name of the bravest soldier that ever bore a banner
to victory -Jasper and with the heroic and religious associations
of its founders, young HILL was born. At an early age he followed
his family and its fortunes to the Alabama border, near the Chat-
tahoochee River. The town of La Grange, to which they removed,
is the county seat of Troup. It was then, and is yet, noted for its
love of education and its school facilities. There are many asso
ciations in this county, and even connected with its very name,
which might well attune a young mind to thoughts of ambition in
the forum of law and politics. Giants were arrayed in Georgia in
those days, and their efforts, especially about 1833, when force bills
and nullification were rife, gave impassioned tone as well as high
temper to political discussion.
Doubtless the mind of young HILL took its hue from these sur
roundings; but in a State the very name of whose counties betoken
a lofty division of sentiment where Washington, Jackson, Jeffer
son, Franklin, and Madison speak of the Federal Constitution, and
Henry, Randolph, Troup, and Crawford speak of State sovereignty
and local liberty; but where, above all, the names of Pulaski, DC
Kalb, Morgan, and Carroll shine like primal virtues, all starry
with our Revolutionary radiance, it could not be otherwise than
that men of earnest thought should perceive a divided duty, and
that great controversial acumen and power should enter the arena
and inspire contentious oratory.
Doubtless Senator HILL was greatly influenced in his pursuits
and characteristics by such rare men and events as Georgia has
produced. These names may not be as familiar to Northern ears
now as in the days of Jackson and Calhoun, but they are still po
tential to start a spirit in Georgia, where State pride has lost but
little of its prestige by the result of the civil war. Read the roster
of Georgia s forum the brilliant lights ot her bench, bar, litera
ture, and senate : Beall, Crawford, Berrien, Mclntosh, Clayton, Col-
quitt, Cobb, Tripp, Dawson, Forsythe, Lumpkin, Lamar, Jackson,
98 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
Shorter, Reid, Warner, Johnson, Wilde, and Baldwin, not to speak
of men who yet survive, like her present wonderful chief magistrate,
and his contrast in stature and mate in intellect, Robert Toombs.
A State like this, so grand in its beginning and so splendid in its
hundred and fifty years of prosperous history, must be proud of
its heroes, whether fit
For arms and warlike aruenaucc,
Or else for wise ami civil governance,
To learn the interdcal of princes strauge;
To mark the intent of councils, and the change
Her annals are shining with the names of De Soto, Raleigh, and
Oglethorpe ; and the names of their successors under conditions of
later days detract nothing from the luster of their worth and
To emulate the fame of Hortensius, king of the forum, Cicero
never ceased his efforts till he ascended the throne of oratory. So
in this unrivaled galaxy of gifted Georgians. Emulation made
ambition reach high. From sire to sou the names of eminent
Georgians appear again and again, showing the elevating incentives
which enlivened and exalted this imperial State of the South. The
gold in her hills, the silver on the cotton-pod, the sun with its
balm, the rivers which flow from her mountains, the opulence of
her soil, are not more Georgian and imperial than the high standard
of those who gave Georgia to the world as a colony, preserved her
independence of England, brought her through fire into the federa
tion of States, and after the vicissitudes of a great civil trial rescued
her first among the recusant States from the chaos of war.
The Senator we meet to honor was 110 exception to the emula
tion and exaltation of his surroundings. His natural ardors and
ambitions thus received their stimulus and food. But the mass
ive rnind which made the great advocate and the moral heroism
which made the defender of individual and civil liberties these
are of no soil; they belong to no time. They illustrate the age of
Aristides and give a glory to the fame of Rienzi. They made
Samuel Adams and Patrick Plenry possible, not as provincial men,
but as enlarged and loving patriots.
ADDRESS OF MB. COX, OF XETT YORE. 99
He who would best portray the salient features of BENJAMIN
HARVEY HILI, must remember that his devotion to Georgia was
but the stepping-stone to a broader and loftier devotion to that
Union which he loved to serve in our councils here.
The people of New York City have not yet forgotten the ring
ing periods of Senator HILT,, in one of her halls, as he discoursed
of the magna charta and other precious monuments of popular lib
erty. To his impassioned utterance his fine frame and musical
voice gave a charm beyond the reach of art.
His State love was, sir, after all, the golden key which unlocked
the secrets of his grand elocution and opened the casket wherein
were the jewels of his splendid imagery.
When the war had ended, and his State was in the grasp of un
principled adventurers and under the heel of an unbridled satrapy,
and in the chaos Avrought by the war, he gave to the reconstruction
acts his defiance, and hurled his anathemas against its spoilers.
In 1868 he went among his people with the stride of a demi-god.
He fired their hearts, and though surrounded by bayonets and
threatened by bastiles, he uttered such sarcasm, scorn, and daunt
less defiance that the satraps who outraged every canon of law and
impulse of liberty shrank from their hateful work in the very
midst of a conquered people.
Since the war ended we know something of his Federal service
and career. The gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Kasson] has truly
given us some rare sentences of fidelity to the Union. One sen
tence he did not quote, which I well remember: "This is our
father s house. We have returned to it to stay ! " In hope and
despair; in and out of his party, in his place of business, in the
forum of his love, the bar, and outside upon the platform, the same
iieroic altitude he illustrated to the end gave him power to combat
the enemies of local and constitutional liberty. No weakness called
on him for championship that he did not respond. His State was
lifted up out of the reconstruction mire into the life and vigor of a
new r birth under the impulses of his eloquence. He gave her beauty
for ashes. Under his magic wand a new Atlantis such as Bacon
loved to picture arose above the tide of desolation ; and a new
Atlanta, with its goblin of steam and its energies, was recreated
100 LIFE A YD CASRACTER OF BENJAMIN H. HILL.
under the ribs of death. Matchless in his winged words and fear
less in his consummate bravery, he stopped at no post of trust until
he became the foremost Georgian at this Federal center; and in the
flower of his genius he laid down his eventful life with a Christian
resignation and devotion only next to that of the martyred Poly-
I doubt, Mr. Speaker, if ever man suffered in the flesh as this
man. It would not be fitting here to describe the details of that
mortal malady and those surgical agonies that racked him so long
and so terribly. He perished day by day, hopelessly perishing
with a pain which only his Christian fortitude relieved. Out of
his torture at length came deliverance ; and in the middle of August
last his courage yielded, but yielded only to death.
When the great Frenchman Gambetta was agonized by his dis
ease he cried out,-" It. is useless to dissemble. I welcome death as a
relief." This was the end of one of Plutarchian mold; but it was
not the end of our beloved American statesman. Amid the tender
farewells of his wife and family, with a patience sanctified on high
and a faith which "endured as seeing Him who is invisible," this
more than classic hero, this gentle follower of the meek and lowly
One, sought consolation, courage, and hope in his faith. His last
words, as given to his pastor, and repeated by my friends from
Virginia [Mr. Tucker] and from Texas [Mr. AVellborn], were,
It is an illustration of the sympathy and loving kindness which
make the comforts of home so tender and eloquent that two gentle
men have most touchingly referred to these last words. But to me
they have a double, almost personal, meaning.
1 remember after the war, with a tenderness all too gentle for
words, .the first greetings 1 received from this Senator. He was
pleased that I had aided to defeat, by a speech based on the consti
tutional clause as to attainder of treason, the attempt to take more
than the life estate, i. <?., the fee-simple, which belonged to the in
nocent children of the South. I had, he said, thought of the future
homes of the South. That was our first bond of friendship.
Home! best of all solaces, without whose social benignities and
affectionate sweetness all the learning, eloquence, wit, lore, and re-
ADDRESS OF MB. COX OF NEW YOIIK. 101
nowu of men fade away. His own sweet home! In the midst of
his own beloved circle, the immortal spirit looked to that home
beyond in the mansion not made with hands. Yes! oh, yes! he
was almost there his heavenly home where pain no longer tor
tures, where the world has no temptation and the grave no terror,
where, with the loved ones gone before and the loved ones to follow,
he would join in the song of the Lamb forever!
In conclusion : It remains for us that we should so live that we
be neither surprised, nor leave our duties imperfect, nor our sins
uncanceled, nor our persons unreconciled, nor God unappeased ; but
that when we descend to our graves we may rest in the bosom of
the Lord till the mansions be prepared, where we will sing and
feast eternally. Amen ! Te Deum laudamus,
This would be the language of our departed friend from his
home above, as it is the admonition of sweet Jeremy Taylor in his
"Holy Living and Dying." It comes from beyond the tomb.
To the dead he sayeth, Arise!
To the living, Follow Me !
And that voice still soundeth on
From the centuries that are gone,
To Ihe centuries that shall le.
Mr. HAMMOND, of Georgia. As has been remarked, Mr.
Speaker, by the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Kasson], there were
several gentlemen on each side of the House who were to have
spoken to-day in memory of the late distinguished Senator, but
who were unavoidably compelled to be absent on this occasion. 1
ask for them, informally, the privilege of printing in the RECORD
such remarks as they may see proper to insert in this connection.
The SPEAKER. There is no objection to the request of the gen
tleman from Georgia.
The question is on agreeing to the resolutions which have been
The resolutions were unanimously agreed to; and in pursuance
thereof the House (at \ o clock and 50 minutes p. in.) adjourned.
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