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Full text of "Jotham Warren Horton"

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 




JoTHAM Warren Horton. 



1892 

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The presence and power for righteousness of 
good men upon the earth, is second only to the direct 
influence of the hfe of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Except for occasional illustrations of man in 
exalted action, the monotonous routine of daily toil 
might so root humanity in the soil of its ever present 
material necessities as to dwarf the spiritual nature 
which is the source of all real heroism. 

The Kingdom of Heaven cometh not with ob- 
servation. The truths of Christianity and related social 
reforms are so gentl}^ and widely pervasive in our time, 
that many who reap the present blessings of christian 
civilization may forget its cost. 

Aside from the sad duty of throwing laurels on 
the grave of our beloved brother, the conviction is irre- 
sistible that the young men of this age should not 
forget the stern lessons of the past: if they would 
worthily join in the Gloria Patria and devout Te Deum 
of this victorious century, it will be well that they listen 
to the Passion Music of its patriots and martyrs. 

J. Ellen Foster. 



FROM PRESIDENT HOVEY, 
Of the Baptist Theoi^ogicai, Seminary. 



Newton Centre, Feb. 9, i8g2. 

Mrs. Charles IV. Fierce : 
Dear Friend : 

I have read with deep interest the papers concern- 
i7ig the death and funeral of Mr. Horto7i. Fhey seem 
to me exceedingly appropriate and valuable a7id I am 
glad you propose to put them in a form which will 
enable others to read and preserve thejn. Your brother, 
my dear and honored pupil, ivas a Clnistian martyr, a?id 
I believe the lesson of fidelity which his death teaches 
ought to be preserved arid learned by this generation. 

Respectfully and cordially yours, 

ALVAH HOVEY. 



Rev. Jotham Warren Horton. 



Rev. Jotham Warren Horton was the son of 
Rev. Jotham Horton, at one time pastor of Broomfield 
St., M. E. Church, was born in Boston, and died there 
February, 1853. 

He was for many ^-ears a minister of the M. E. 
Church in New England, in which he became a pioneer 
abolitionist, and with his gentle but heroic wife, bore 
the burdens and shared the sacrifices of that form of 
aggressive Christianity. 

His eldest son, Jotham W., died a martvr to 
freedom by the hands of a mob in New Orleans August 
5, 1866. At the time, he was pastor of the Coloseum 
Place Church. 



The grandfather was a shipsmith and did the 
iron work on the historic frigate Constitution. The 
ship yard where lapped the waters of the bay, lay only 
a few rods from the humble home. 

That site, now covered with granite wharves 
and commercial store houses, was the nursery of 
patriotism. 

The anvil chorus there rehearsed and rever- 
berating thro' the years has been the inspiration to 
many a deed of valor. 

The grandmother, being of the Warren family, 
sang often to him the remembered songs of the Revo- 
lution and could but leave to her descendants the 
strongest love of liberty and devotion to the cause of 
human freedom. 



Last Hours of a New Ori^eans Martyr. 



AN AFFECTING SKETCH. 



" Good-by, Emmie," lie said, " I shall not be 
gone long. It can't take more than ten minutes to 
open the Convention, and then I shall come right 
away. Look for me at three o'clock, at farthest," and 
the young pastor kissed his wife and hurried away to 
the city. 

That day was destined to be one among the 
most memorable in the annals of human wickedness 
since the famous St. Bartholomew's. 

The members of the Union Convention had 
looked forward to it with apprehension. They knew 
that the spirit of the late rel^ellion still survived in 
New Orleans, and they could not hope that they 
should be permitted to assemble without some moles- 
tation from disorderly individuals, but they had no 
suspicions that the masses of the city would rise 
against them, organized for deliberate bloodshed. 
They did not know that all the arms had been bought 

< 



up, till the gun-shops contained not so much as a 
pocket-pistol. They did not know that the Mayor had 
telegraphed to the President that there would certainly 
be a riot, and had received the assurance that the 
military would not interfere with the civil power. 
They did not know that the police force had been in- 
creased by the addition of a gang of blood-thirsty men, 
and that the municipal authorities had agreed upon 
signals, and arranged to begin the riot themselves. 
Watched by no suspicion, and awed by no Butler's 
strong right hand, the conspirators were suffered to 
perfect their preparations, and when the morning of 
the 30tli of July dawned, the treacherous officials ap- 
peared at the station-house fully armed, and waiting 
the opportunity for their bloody work. 

The pastor of the Coloseum Place Church, 
Rev. Jotham W. Horton, had been requested to open 
the Convention with prayer. Moved by the warmest 
christian sympathy for the freedmen, this young New 
England minister had gone to the south with his wife, 
to give hi«HDest euergies to their welfare. He was a 
man of sincere piety and a large heart ; pure as a little 
child, self-denying where duty was concerned to an ex- 
tent that often made him suffer, and so peaceable that 
though repeatedly insulted, and even once fired upon, 



10 



and though conscious that he was fatally marked by 
nialigant disloyalists, he would never go armed. 

After taking leave of his wife, Mr. Horton pro- 
ceeded in the cars from his residence in Carrolton to 
the city. Ever apt to look hopefully on the worst pros- 
pects, and slow to suspect evil of his fellow-men, he 
had felt no fears of injury for this day, beyond perhaps 
a forcible seizure and commitment to the parish prison. 

The hour arriving for opening the Convention, 
Mr. Horton having entered the hall, stood up to offer 
prayer just as the clock struck twelve. Strongly and 
fervently his words came up, breathing petitions for 
the peace of his country and the deliverance of the 
oppressed. God heard him, but with that prayer His 
servant's work ended, and then He gave him for a little 
while to the cruel wrath of his enemies, that He might 
make that wrath praise Him. Immediately on the 
sounding of the stroke of noon from the city clocks, 
and simultaneously with the opening of Mr. Horton's 
prayer, the armed police filed out of the several 
stations, three hundred strong, and marched toward 
the institute. Some of them entered the hall during 
the prayer, a mob in the meantime rapidly collect- 
ing round the door, and hardly had the good man 



11 



uttered the closing " amen " when a miscreant fired a 
bullet at his head. 

There could be no longer any doubt of the in- 
tentions of the officers and the mob. The latter as- 
sailed the windows and crushed in at the doors. 
" Kill him ! kill him ! " they yelled. " Shoot every 
cursed Yankee in the house ! " Just then all the bells 
in the city began to toll. It was the preconcerted 
signal of slaughter, and now the horrors of the day 
began. 

The disloyalist ruffians rushed in with pistols, 
knives and clubs, and commenced their appointed 
work of murder. Resistance was hopeless. The Con- 
vention broke up in the wildest confusion, some of its 
members falling dead, and many mortally wounded in 
the hall, while a few who could, fled. The Union men 
saw that they were doomed. Instead of protecting 
them, and arresting the rioters at the firing of the first 
shot, as with their force they could easily have done, 
the police headed the attack, and there is reason to 
believe that one of their number fired the first shot. 

Mr. Horton received five balls in his body and 
fell. These balls were fired by policemen. Not satis- 
fied with their work, they seized him, battered his head 
with their billies, stabbed him, kicked and dragged 



12 



him on the pavements to the first station, the mob fol- 
lowing behind, cursing, beating and trampling him 
with their shoes. Thrusting him into a cell, he was 
left mangled and senseless. 

Meantime the shopkeepers of the city had closed 
their stores, and strolled about, gratified spectators of 
the fiendish carnival, greeting the murderers of Horton 
and every squad of policemen that passed them drag- 
ging a bleeding loyalist, with shouts of " Good, good ! 
Kill the white nigger." 

Around the Mechanics' Institute and in the 
adjacent streets upwards of one hundred negroes lay 
weltering in their blood, and the dead carts drove by 
loaded with warm corpses, and bodies of the wounded, 
still writhing with life, all tumbled indiscriminately 
together. 

In one of these carts the mangled Horton was 
fiung, after lying awhile at the station-house, and under 
a stifling load of dead and wounded negroes, his 
stomach crushed in by a blow of a heavy plank, he 
was taken to the Marine Hospital. 

Furious with the taste of blood, the police and 
their fellow Thugs raged up and down some of the 
streets of the city, calling out the names of well known 
loyalists, declaring their intention to slaughter every 



13 



Union man in New Orleans. In the midst of the ex- 
citement and carnage, the bayonets of Federal troops 
appeared, and further murder was prevented. The 
mob dispersed, and the blood-stained streets and bat- 
tered windows and muffled groans from distant hospi- 
tal wards alone testified to the horrors of the 30th of 
July. 

As the hours of that bloody day passed, the 
wife of Mr. Horton waited at her home, five miles 
distant, for his return. Three o'clock came, the limit 
he had set for his absence. She looked long and anx- 
iously to catch a glimpse of him approaching along the 
familiar street. He did not come, and her anxiety 
grew into alarm. To add to her terror, a breathless 
messenger arrived at her residence, and warned her 
that she would not be safe there that night, for trouble 
had happened at the State House, and the secessionists 
were searching for all the Unionists in the city and 
suburbs. Hastily summoning the negro servant, she 
told her to bar the doors and windows, and with a few 
hurried preparations then set off' for the city, to learn 
the fate of her husband. 

Having formerly boarded with a Mrs. E , 

she took her way first to her house and made know^n 
her anxious errand. She was told of the riot and 



14 



massacre, and at once feared the worst. Several }' oung 
men who boarded at the house volunteered to search 
for Mr. Horton. They returned late in the evening, 
but could give her no news, save that he had been 
badly Avounded. They dared not communicate their 
own convictions of his fate. 

Only the darkness of the dangerous streets and 
the restraint of friends prevented the almost distracted 
woman from going forth that night to continue the 
search herself. iVs it was, the night brought no sleep 
to her eyes, and as soon as it was morning she started 
on her sad errand. 

Information had been received through the city 
papers that Gen. Baird, tlie military commandant, 
had released all who had been arrested and confined 
by the police, giving the name of her husband among 
the rest, and stating that he had returned home. 
Acting on this representation, she went alone to Carrol- 
ton, but only to return bv the next train ; he was not 
there. Without waiting for breakfast she set off for 
Gen. Baird's headquarters ; a young Methodist clergy- 
man, Mr. Henry, one of Mrs. E 's boarders, insist- 
ing on being her company. 

No sooner did Gen. Baird see Mrs. Horton and 
knew who she was, than he ex])ressed mucli surprise 



15 



that her husband had not been seen, and told her he 
had ordered his release ; perhaps she would find him 
at the City Hall. To this place she immediately went, 
but she searched in vain. He had not been there. 
She then hurried to the first police station, determined 
to wring from the brutal officers a confession of what 
they had done with her husband. Entering the office, 
she forced her way within the rails, and asked of the 
clerk what had been done with her husband. The 
man declared that " Preacher Horton " had been sent 
by him to Charity Hospital, and she at once hurried 
thither. Again she was disappointed. He had not 
been seen there ! (The truth was, the cart which car- 
ried Mr. Hor ton's body had stopped there, and been 
sent away, as it appeared to be occupied only by 
blacks.) The horrible idea now suggested itself to the 
afflicted woman that her husband had been conveyed 
away with a load of dead bodies, and had been buried 
alive, but, as a last resort, she determined to visit the 
Marine Hospital. This was in a low and distant part 
of the city, and devoted entirely to negroes, and she 
could not have believed he would be carried there by 
his worst enemies, but at a friend's suggestion she 
sought the place, still accompanied by Mr. Henr}^ 

Arrived at the gate, she was refused entrance, 



16 



but catching a glimpse of Dr. Harris, the head surgeon, 
whom she knew, she called to him and asked him if her 
husband was there. Dr. Harris could give her no posi- 
tive assurance, but immediately ordered the servant to 
admit her. Forgetting her weariness in her joy that 
her long quest had at last succeeded, the faithful 
woman bounded up the steps and without waiting to 
be directed, rushed in among the patients, found out 
her husband, and sank exhausted upon his bosom. 
What a spectacle ! The form she loved a bruised and 
helpless mass of flesh and blood, his head swollen 
to the size of two, his left arm useless and his right 
shattered and mangled. He moved perpetually about 
with the restless, nervous gestures of a dreaming infant. 
So badly trampled and beaten was his head and face 
that his eyes were blinded, and a painful retching, pro- 
duced b}" the injuries to his stomach, obstructed his 
breath and speech. But through all the anguish and 
darkness of his wreck he knew his wife. That she 
should have recognized him is a miracle to all who 
do not understand the inspired sagacity of a wife's 
affection. 

" Wipe my face, Emmie," he gasped, as if she 
had been bending over him ever since he fell. 

Worn and broken-hearted, the poor woman sat 



17 



down by her husband's side, and tried to strengthen 
herself for the task of soothing and comforting his last 
hours, for she knew too well that he could not live. 
Nineteen long hours she had searched for him, and 
now to find him thus ! 

Few comforts were to be found in that hospital, 
though the attendants, seeing her distress, evidently 
meant to treat her kindly. Up to this time the woun- 
ded man had lain in the Warden's room, but on the 
next morning, which was Wednesday, he was moved to 
a more airy apartment. The operation of trepanning 
was then performed on his head, though with little 
hope of permanent benefit. When this was over and 
the burden ui^on his brain was thus relieved, the 
sufferer looked up and repeated : 

" When I can read ray title clear 
To mansions in the skies, 
I'll bid farewell to every fear, 
And wipe my weeping eyes. 

" Should earth against my soul engage " 



Here weakness prevented him, and he whispered to his 
wife, " You finish it." 

He slept a good deal, but seemed always con- 
scious of his wife's presence, frequently putting up his 



18 



restless hand to touch her face, and remind himself, in 
his blindness, of her loved features. When he talked, 
it was of his unfinished work, his conviction of the jus- 
tice of the cause in which he fell, his anxieties for his 
wife, left alone in a cruel world, and of his enemies and 
murderers always forgivingly, as if they knew^ not 
what they did. At different times, too, he spoke of the 
riot, relating facts and incidents as I have set them 
down. 

It afflicted him much to leave his w4fe penniless. 
He had had a little money in his pocket when he 
came to the Convention, but that, with the gold studs 
in his bosom, had been plundered by some of the 
ruffians who took part in mutilating his person. 

Thus he lingered until the sixth day after his 
injury. When the morning of Sunday, the e5th of 
August came, he remembered that he had an appoint- 
ment to exchange pulpits with a colored brother in the 
city, and said : 

" Emmie, w^e must send word to Bro. Miles that 
I can't come. I don't feet quite well enough to 
preach." • 

As time went on, his mind began to wander, 
and he fancied himself in his own pulpit. He invoked 
the Divine Blessing, he gave out hymn and sung, 



19 



wounded and suffering as he was ; his wife, who wept 
as she thought of the melody of his own fine voice, 
joining him at his request, half choked by her tears. 
Then he prayed with her, sung again, and preached, 
taking for his text, " Out of the abundance of the heart 
the mouth speaketh." After these exercises, he ex- 
pressed his wish to close with the Lord's Supper, and 
immediately began the beautiful ceremony. His wife, 
anxious to gratify him, skillfully aided with such 
meagre conveniences as were at hand, to carry out his 
touching fancy. He partook with her what seemed 
to him the symbolic bread and wine. # 

" We both drink from the same cup, Emmie," 
said he. 

Another hymn, a benediction, and the sufferer 
began to grow weak, as if, indeed, his work was done. 

" I'm going now, Emmie," he whispered. I'm 
sorry you can't come with me. In the fall you'll 
come." 

Then there were no more connected sentences, but 
incoherent syllables of prayer, and whispers of saintly 
hope, " In the vale — the vale — home yonder — good- 
by," and at six o'clock that Sabbath evening the gentle- 
spirited Horton fell asleep in Jesus. 



20 



Thus perished a martyr to freedom and equal 
rights, as sincere and pure a man as God ever wel- 
comed " through great tribulation " to the immortal 
pleasures of His presence. 

To the tender consideration of her friends, never 
so numerous as now, and to the merciful consolation 
of Almighty God, who never pitied her as He now 
pities her, we commend the weeping widow, and pray 
that she may long live to share the honor of her mar- 
tyred husband's fame. 

Theron Brown. 



(From a Boston Journal.) 

Funeral of the 
Late Rev. Jotham W. Horton. 

Tremont Temple (Boston) was nearly filled last 
Wednesday, with those who had assembled to pay their 
last respects to this martyr of liberty. On the platform 
were seated about one hundred clergymen of various 
denominations, and several prominent citizens of the 
State. Directly in front of the stage were the remains, 
enclosed in a metallic burial case, painted in imitation 
of rosewood. The inscription simply read. Rev. Jotham 
W. Horton, died August 5, 1866. Aged 40 years. 

Previous to the ceremonies, the Dead March 
in Saul was performed on the organ. The services 
were opened with the singing of an appropriate anthem 
by a quartette from the Temple choir. Rev. Mr. 
Chapin, of New Orleans, of the committee of arrange- 
ments, took occasion to remark that twenty years ago 



22 



the friends of freedom assembled in the same place to 

mourn over the death of a martyr for liberty, Rev. 

Charles T. Torrey, a son of Massachusetts, and that 

again they were collected for a similar purpose. 

The nineteenth Psalm was read by Rev. Mr. 

Avery, and prayer offered by Rev. Dr. Eddy. Rev. 

Baron Stow read the resolutions of the Conference of 

Baptist ministers in Boston, and gave a brief sketch of 

the career of the fallen hero. Addresses were made by 

Rev. Drs. True and Kirk, full of earnestness, pathos 

and sentiment awakened by the occasion. It had been 

expected that Gov. Bullock would be present to speak, 

but being unavoidably absent he sent the following 

letter : 

Boston, Aug. 28, 1866. 
My Dear Sir : 

I deeply regret that an engagement which 
requires my absence from town to-morrow will prevent 
my acceptance of the invitation of the committee of ar- 
rangements to be present at the funeral services of the 
late Rev. J. W. Horton, and address those who may be 
in attendance. 

If it were in my power to be with you, I might 
well deem silence to be the most eloquent tribute I 
could pay to his memory, and the most impressive 



23 



lesson to this community. His death speaks to us 
all The pall that covers the battered remains of this 
minister of the gospel needs only to be lifted, to awaken 
emotions of shame and horror, and to instruct us in the 
duties of our time. 

He fell a martyr in the cause of freedom and 
the rights of man, himself innocent, unprovoking, 
abandoned b}^ government to the violence of a mob, 
and murdered, as Gen. Sheridan has said, by the Mayor 
and Police of New Orleans. The insatiate spirit of 
slavery, surviving its own nominal destruction by the 
Constitution of the land, has been permitted by Federal 
authority to break forth with new violence, and massa- 
cre our fellow-citizens, without even the pretext of 
excuse which used to be pleaded when slavery had a 
legal existence. If this state of things shall not 
quicken our sensibility and conscience, I know not 
wdiat will. 

By the ordination of Divine Providence the 
blood of Massachusetts has sprinkled the altars of sac- 
rifice in all our historic ages. It becomes our duty to 
accept the instruction, and apply it. To us, among 
whom he lived till he went forth on his mission of 
mercy, the blood of Horton cries and pleads as to his 
own kindred. It solemnly appeals to us to be faithful 



24 



in the cause of the rights of human nature for which 
he laid down his hfe. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect and 
esteem, 

Very truly, Your obedient servant, 

Alexander H. Bullock. 

The pall-bearers w^ere, Lieut. Gov. Clafflin, Hon. 
Joseph Pond, President of the Massachusetts Senate, 
Prof. H. B. Hackett, Rev. J. C. Chapman, Rev. H. C. 
Graves and Rev. Theron Brown. 

Mr. Horton was born at Nantucket, April 25, 
1826, and w^as the son of the late Rev. Jotham Horton. 
He was converted while quite young, and afterwards 
joined the Baptist Church, of which faith he subse- 
quently became a preacher. For five years he w^as a 
clerk in the Baptist Missionary Rooms, and two years 
he was employed in the office of the Evangelist, at 
New York. At this time he became convinced of his 
duty to become a minister, and entered the New^ton 
Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1859. 
During his studies in Newton he w^on the confidence 
and love of his teachers by faithfulness in study and 
nobility of spirit. He was ordained and installed 



in the pastorate of a church in Milford, New Hamp- 
shire, soon after, where he remained until the capture 
of Port Royal. Becoming deeply interested in the col- 
ored people, he immediately resigned and went to 
South Carolina, laboring on the island of St. Helena- 
In 1868 he was sent by the Baptist Home Missionary 
Society to New Orleans, to preach C'hrist to all who 
would listen, without regard to complexion or race. 
Here he was instrumental in organizing a Young Men's 
Christian Association, which is still in existence, sus- 
taining daily prayer meetings, and otherwise laboring 
for the redemption of lost humanity. In that city he 
remained, until by a dispensation of an all-wise Provi- 
dence, he was brutally massacred, because of his sym- 
pathy with the Freedmen, and whose only crime w^as that 
he invoked the divine blessing upon a convention 
of peaceable citizens. , 

It was not merely sorrow at the decease of this 
servant of God, nor pity for the bereaved widow, which 
brought together so many people and caused so deep 
emotions. It was to express intense indignation at this 
wicked spirit — so universal in the South which vents 
itself at every opportunity in barbarity and murder 



26 



it was for this they were assembled, and to ally them- 
selves thus publicly with the cause of justice and 
humanity, to give evidence of their sympathy with the 
work in which he was engaged, and tacitly to proffer 
whatever support they may be able to give to the prin- 
ciples in defence of which he laid down his life. God 
grant that it be not in vain. 



*'^e toill sroallou) up beatl) in uictorg, anb tl)e £or5 
(Sob tuill mipc atoa^ tears from off ail faces : for tl)e €oxb 
l)atl) spoken it.''