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Full text of "Memorial addresses on the life and character of William M. Lowe, (a representative from Alabama), delivered in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, Forty-seventh Congress, second session .."

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4-TH CoNttirEss. I IKinsE Ol'^ REPRF.SKNTATn'ES. ^ Mis. Doc. 
•■id Scssiuii. s ( No. 30. 



William M. Lowe, 









01 7L' 



[Priii.ic I>i;s()LUTiox — No. 11.] 

JOIXT KESOLUTION to i)rint certain eiilogicM delivered in uphn the Lite Will- 
iam M. Lowe. 

Ii'csolved by the Seiiaie. and House of lieprescntativcs of the Viiilcd Slnfes of 
Jiiicricii ill Congress assembled, That there be jirinted of the eulogies delivered 
in t'ongress upon the late William M. Lowe, a iiieniber of the I'orty-seveuth from the State of Alabama, twelve thousand eopie.?, of which 
three thousand .shall be for the use of the Senate and nine thousand for the 
use of the House of Representatives ; and the Secretary of the Treasury be, 
and he is hereby, directed to have printed a portrait of the said William M. 
Lowe, to accompany said eulogies; aud for the purpose of engraving or 
printing said portrait the sura of five hundred dollars, or so much thereof as 
may be necessary, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any 
moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. 

Approved, P'ebruary 23, 1883. 



Death oi" Wilciam M. Lowe. 


In the House of RErRESEXXATivES, 

Dcrembcr 4, 1S82. 

Mr. Herbert. Mr. Spwikcr, I rise t<> amiuunce that siiico the 
adimimnuMit of tliis House in August my eolleague, Hon. Wile- 
lAM M. Lowe, died at iiis resideneo in Hnntsville, Alabama ; 
and making to-day simjiiy this sad aunouneement tliat he lias 
gone from among us forever, I give notice that on some future 
occasion a motion will he made to tix a day upon which this 
House shall pay appropriate honors to liis memory. 

I now yield to the gentleman from Ohio, who has a similar an- 
nonucemeut to make. 

Mr. Taylor. Mr. Speaker, with feelings of the deepest per- 
sonal sornjw I liave to announce the death of mv iiouoral)le col- 
league, Jonathan T. Ui'DE(;raff, late a member of this House 
from the State of Ohiov Tiie experience of Mr. Updeoraff in 
this Hall, his fidelity to the pui)lic service, liis integritv, and his 
ai)ility cause his loss to be deplored i)y this body and by the 
country. His private character and social (pialities give to his 
death ground for peculiar grief to those who knew him best. 

I ask the action of the House on tlie following resolution. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Eesohed, That the House has heard with sincere regret the aunouneeiiient 
of the death duriug tlie hite recess of H n. Wii.i.iAM M. Lowe, hite a Rep- 


reseutative f om tlic State of Alaliama, and of Hon. Jonathan T. UpijK- 
GliAFF, a Eeiireseutative tVoui the State of Ohio. ' 

Resolved, That tho Clerk coiuiiuiiiicate the fmegoiiig resolutiou to the Sen- 

Resolfcd, That as a mark of respect to the deceased the House do now ad- 

The resolution was uiianiiiiouslv a(lo|)tecl ; and accordinolv tlic 

House adjourned. 

In the of Repeesentatives, 
, Fchmary 3, 1883. 

Mr. Oates. The liour having arrive<l, aeeording- to the order of 
the House, for eulogies on the late Hon. AViLLiAUt M. Lowe, of 
Alabama, I submit the rcsolnlions wliidi 1 send to the C'lerk's 

The Clerk I'ead as follow.s : 

Resolved, That the House of Representatives has received with profound 
sensibility the announcement of the death of Hon. William M. Lowe, hite 
a Kepresentative from the State of Alabama. 

Resolved, Tliat tlie business of tliis House bo now suspended, in order to 
afford an opportunity for the expression of proper tributes to the memory of 
the deceased. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect the House, .at the conclusion of 
such memorial services, adjourn, .and tliat these resolutions be transmitted 
to the Senate for its action thereon. 

The resolutions were adopted unanimously. 

Address of Mr. Oates, of Alabama. 

Mr. Speakeu: "Paint me as I am," .sai<l Oliver Cromwell to 
young Lely; "if you leave out .the scars and wrinkles I will iKjt 
pay you a .shilling." 

One of Shakespeare's great creations, in contemplation of imme- 
diate death, exclaims, "Speak of me as I am; notiiing extenuate, 
nor .set down aught in malice;" and so shall I sjieak in ])aying the sad tribute to my late colleague and I'riend. In the plainest 
language and witliout the employment of figures of speech J shall 


endeavor to paint him as lio was, altliongli I am conscions of my 
inability to do so according to his merits. 

William Manning Lowe was Lorn in Huntsville, Madison 
County, Alabama, on the 16th day of January, 1842, and died in 
tliat town on the 12th day of (October, 1882, in the fort^y-lirst year 
of liis age. His ancestry was of the highest respectability. On 
the paternal side he descended from a family of Marylandei's who 
came over from England with I^ord Baltimore. His father, Gen- 
eral Bartley j\I. Lowe, was born in Edgefield District, South Car- 
olina, in the year 1797, but soon thereafter his father, who had been 
a captain of volunteers in the Rcvulutionary war, removed to 
Flwida and accepted service under the Spanish Government, for 
which he received large grants of land. General Lowe upon reach- 
ing manhood located in Huntsville, and engaged in merchandising 
with such success that he soon became the "merchant prince" of 
that town. 

He married a Miss jManning, who was of a wealthy and intelli- 
gent family. He was for many years president of the State bank 
at Huntsville. He took an active part in politics, and was at one 
time a Presidential elector and supporter of General Jackson. In 
the later years of his life he was engaged in the commission busi- 
ness in New Orleans, ^^•here he became well known, as he was at 
home, for his ability as a financier, his high integrity, and public 
spirit. He died at his home in Huntsville in 1867 at the age of 70 
years, respected and honored by all who knew him. He left six 
children, three sons and three daughters. Dr. John T. Lowe, who 
was chief surgeon of General Loring's division of the Confederate 
army during the late war, is an eminent physicijin. Robert J. Lowe, 
the next oldest, was a lawyer, and represented Madison Countv in 
the State legislature in 1859 with signal al)ilitv for one so vonna;. 
He attended the Baltimore convention, and was a warm supporter 
of Breckinridge for the Presidency in I860. "When Mr. Lincoln 
was elec^ted he was fired with the spirit of secession, volunteered in 
the first company that left his county in 1861, and from the fatigjLie 
and exposure incident to camp life and the forced mai-ch of General 
Johnston to reach the first battle of IManassas, contracted typhoid 
fever, of which he died. 


Mv liitr (•(illcaguc, till' yoiiiiiicst son, 'was the liriji'litost and most 
iiitelk'ctiial oftlie inmates of that grand ol 1 lioiiicstcad situated oil 
one of the picturesque hills of the classic town of Huntsville. The 
father, justly proud of his fair-haired, bright-eyed hoy, was so in- 
dulgent that the latter scarcely knew restraint. This too great l)ut 
perhaps pardonahle indulgence made its impression on the youthful 
mind, and, cou|)led witii his native independence, so shaped the 
character of the man that he never could gracefully submit to a 
line of discipline opposed to his conviction or inclination. 

His father gave him the best opportunities for mental training. 
He attended school at Florence, Alabama, the Uni\crsity of Ten- 
nessee, and the University of Virginia, and acquired a classical 

In 1860, long before he attained his majority, he was a strong 
advocate of the election of Douglas, notwithstanding his father and 
brothers were active supporters of Breckinridge for the Presidency. 
And, on the election of Mr. Lincoln, when they were for secession, 
he, with eijual firmness, opposed this doctrine, contending that 
tliei-e was no suttieient cause for a dissolution of the l^nion. liut 
when the tocsin of war was sounded and his State called for troops, 
he volunteered as a private in the same company with his brother, 
in the Fourth Alabama Kegiment of infantry, -with which he jiartiei- 
pated in the first battle of Manassas, and in the midst of that con- 
flict fell severely, and it was thought at the time mortally, wounded. 
He was left upon the field amongthe dead until tin' battle wasovcr 
before he was removed and cared fi)r. 

After several months of suffering he recovered, but a deep sc;u- 
on his forclK^id ever n'maincd an infallible testimony of his gal- 
lantrv upon that momentous occasion. He was afterward promoted 
to a captaincy and served for a time on the staff of (ieneral With- 
ers, and wasaiiain wounded near Murfreesborough, Tennessee. He 
was sni)sc(juently, at ids own re(piest, transferred to Ctencral Clan- 
t(m's stalf in the cavalry arm of the service, and was soon after 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant-coloMei, serving with Ciauloii 
through his canqiaigns in .Vlabama, Georgia, and Tennessee until 
captured a( the battle of Franklin. Thence he was taken to Camp 


C'luisc iiiid Fort Dclawan', wheiT lir was confined as a prisoner of 
\var until three niontlis after the surrendi^r. He was ottered his 
parole much earlier upon taking the oatii of'allegianee to the United 
States, but this he persistently refused, and remained in prison till 
President Johnson, who knew something of his antecedents, caused 
him to be released without taking any oath at all. 

In the fail of the year ISO") Colonel LoWR was elected solicitor 
of the Huntsville circuit, which ofiii'c lie iichl and discharged the 
duties thereof witii great crctlit to himself and satisfaction to the 
people until displaced by the reconstruction measures of Congress in 
18GS. During his official term he developed such strength of 
character and so much political tact in reorganizing the Democratic 
party that he at once became a leader in the politics of the State. 
He was a delegate from liis district to the national Democrati*^ con- 
vention, held in New York in 1868, which nominated Mr. Sey- 
mour for the Presidency. I met him for the first time in that 
convention. I favored the nomination <if General Hancock upon 
a platform accepting as accomplished fiuts the reconstruction of the 
Southern States, recognizing them as acts of the conquering ]K)wer, 
and ]n-etermitting the constitutionality, wisdom, and injustice of 
the reconsti-uction measures to be dealt with by the people under 
the mellowing influences of time. When T made my views known 
to Colonc'l Lowe I found a happy concurrence of opinion. But we 
were the voungest niembers of the delegation from our State and 
unable to c<introl its action. Some lively di.scussions, however, 
were had in the connnittce-room. Perhaps the liveliest of these 
occurred when our chairman, who was one of the four ex-governors 
(ju the delegation, dclibd'atrly proposed a resolution recommending 
the Democrats of Alabama to hold the Presidential election inde- 
pendent and in defiance of the then existing State government. 
I trust that I commit no breach of propriety in mentioning this cir- 
cumstance, since that distinguished chairman's loyalty has long 
since been assured beyond cpiestion by a change in his party rela- 
tions. , 

Standing together njum every question under consideration, at 
our first acquaintance, a strong personal attachment sprang np be- 


tween Culoiicl LiiWE aiul myself, wliicli (■(intimiod iin;ili;it('il to tlic 
close of his life, althouali \ve diftfTed — intensely, rudieally diifered — 
politically dnring the last four years. 

In November, 1870, he was elected ti-om his county to the lower 
house of the general assembly, a house composed largely of such men 
as Hons. G. W. Hewitt, B. B. Lewis, Taul Bradfoi-d, N. N. Clements, 
subsecpiently members of Congress, and J. P. Hubbard, H. T. Taul- 
Miin, Oliver Semmes, R. K. Boyd, J. M. Cannichael, and others, 
whose names I cannot at this moment recall, who have since risen 
to distinction, and proven tiiemselves men of first-class ability. At 
the organization Colonel IjOWE received several votes for speaker, 
but was not a candidate. I was also a member of that house, 
which brought me in close persoual contact, and gave me the best 
opportunities for observing his character, habits, and mental en- 

He was abstemious and never indulged in strong drink, al- 
though cheerful, sportive, and fond of the gay world. 

It cannot be said that he was either a hard worker or a great 
student. He was a tiiinker; He read much, and was quite 
familiar vith a large munber of books, but he thought more. His 
mind was broad and comprehensive, yet critically exacting and 
accurate in controversy, except when disposed to indulge in irony 
or ridicule, in which iiis wit claimed tiie privilege of exaggera- 
tion. He possessed a splendid legal mind, yet lie was not a 
great or profound lawyer. No man ever did or ever will attain 
eminence in tiiis the greatest of professions except through long 
years of laborious and unremitting study and ap])lication, whicii 
the world calls genius. 

While my departed tricnd esteemed the law a great science, it 
had no sncli enchantment for him. His tastes were political. They 
were in acconl with his aml)ition, to which he subordinated all other 
considerations consistent with honor an<l integrity. He was an ac- 
coni])lisiied scholar, j)rofound tiiinker, strong, terse, and elegant in 
diction ; lie was a convincing writei', and, with a keen a|i]>reciatioii 
of the ridiculous and his unsurpassed conversational ])owers,hewas 
one of the most comjianionable and entertaining men T ever knew. 


His litiTarv taste was of a liigli m-dci- and liis mind nvcU 
.stored with the most select and useful information which could be 
made available as the basis of a statesman's character. He pos- 
sessed ijoetic genius and wrote some beautiful fugitive verses. 
One of these little poems was reproduced some years ago in the 
Saturday Evening Post of New York, and pronounced by that 
paper to be quite equal to some of the best stanzas of Lord Byron ; 
vet he never esteemed himself a poet nor sought reputation as 
such. He had a purpose in life, a destiny chosen l)y himself 
Keenly alive to either praise or censure, yet reputation won in 
other fields than such as tended to political preferment was l)y that 
fact, in his estimation, shorn of half its value. 

His thoughts and methods were peculiarly his own. They were 
original and eccentric. He never imitated. His respect for pre- 
cedent was marked by expediency. His reverence for anticpiities 
was moderate and he refused to adhere to a practice or princi{)le 
merelv because it was hoary with age. He cared little for what 
men had done or were inclined to do. He adopted the line of 
policv wliich suited him l)est, and like a railroad bridged streams, 
tunneled mountains, and took his own independent course. 

Original in thought, he was yet more original in the skillful 
utilization of ideas which he extracted from others and dressed in 
his own peculiar garb with such consummate art that all the world 
acknowledged them his iiwn. Hence during his service in the 
State legislature I feel assured that the surviving members of 
that l)ody will bear me out in asserting that Colonel Lowe, legiti- 
mately I concede, made more rejiutation out of the work he did 
than any other member of that unusually able house of rcpresenta- 

In 1875 I served witli him in the convention of one hundred 
delegates which framed the j)resent excellent constitution of A la- 
V)ama. These delegates were chosen not on account of personal ])op- 
ulai'ity so much as for their knowledge and experience in matters 
of statecraft, legislative, judicial, and executive. In that conven- 
tion of distinguished men Colonel Lowe not only sustained the 
high reputation he had previously won, but added fresh laurels 
to it. 


Ill 1870 ln' was a candidate for tlic Democratic nomination for 
( 'oiigress in tiie eighth district. The convention assemliled at De- 
catur, and in its oruanizatioii adopted that foolish and niischievoiis 
two-thirds rule, which has no place in any code of parliamentary 
law and shonld never have found one in any State or district nomi- 
nating convention. Other candidates were before the convention, 
hut Colonel Lowe was the choice of the majority. He never could, 
however, R'ceive the two-thirds of the votes which the rule rei|uired 
to secure his uoiuination. Hence, after between one and two hun- 
dred fruitless ballotings, the names of all the candidates were 
withdi'awn, and Hon. W. W. Garth, who had not been a candi- 
date, Init was a IjOWE delegate in the convention, was then nomi- 
nated, an(lsubsef|nently elected. 

Although disappointed, if not mortified at tlie action of the con- 
vention, Colonel LiiAVE siqiported Mr. Garth as he was in honor 
bound to do. 

In 1878 Mr. Garth was again nominated by the Democrats. 
Colonel LoWK refused to go before the convention, infereutiallv, 
I would say, because he saw that he could not be nominated on ac- 
count of another old party custom of giving a member a second 
nomination if he beha\'ed himself during his first term. But be 
this as it niay. Colonel Lowe announced himself an independent 
Democratic-Greenback ('andidate against Mr. Garth. 

Up to this time he had been a prominent and consistent Demo- 
crat. It was claimed by many, and I believe denied by no one, 
that he had done more for the success of that jiarty since the late 
war than any <ither man in North Alabama. He was constitution- 
ally and l)v education a Democrat; not a |i(ilitical martinet, or what 
he styled "Ijourl)t)n," but a Democrat of liberal, enlarged, and cou- 
servative views on (|uestions of e<'onoiny and jiolicy. 

But ii-s to the cjiaracter, powers, and puiposes of the funda- 
mental law of our Government, he was as sound a Democrat as I 
ever heard discourse upon that subject. He felt that his jjurty had 
not recognize<l his services nor rewarded him a-s he was entitled, 
that lie hail liceii set aside unjustly, and his proud and ambitious 
xiul relicllcd against it. He seized upon the (ireenback policy, 


wliirli as a Democrat he was iuelinrd iKincstly to believe the best 
iinaiieial policy in the administration of the (iovernment, and ad- 
vocated it with such signal ability that he won to his standard 
many supporters. 

A cousidei-able number of Democrats, from personal admiration 
and attachment, believing that" his merits entitled him to higher 
consideration than the Democratic conventions had accorded iiim, 
gave him their su]tport with alacrity. While on the other hand 
many ci|uallv warm personal friends, standing tirmly by the action 
of their party in convention, liecame alienated and put forth stren- 
uous ettbrts to defeat him. The contest was an exciting one. 
Two-thirds of the wealth and intelligence and all the newspapers 
but one in the district supported Mr. (Jarth. 

The opposing candidates met in joint discussion and were greeted 
everywhere by large and enthusiastic audiences. Tiie Kepubiicans 
of the district being in a hopeless minority, so that they could not 
electa candidate of their own, flocked to Lowe's .standard as birds 
'Ax to cover in a tempest. His supporters, composed of incongru- 
ous elements, were united alone upon the question of his election. 
They constituted, therefore, a great personal following — in fact a 
"Lowe party." He was successful. He defeated ]Mr. (Jartli by 
over 2,()()0 majority. 

Colonel Lo^VE at the time he broke from his old party repudi- 
ated none of its fundamental principles, Init only its methods ; 
and, while doubtless he felt that his grievances fully justified his 
course, I am constrained to believe that it was the great mis- 
take of his life. The sense of justice in men of any party, how- 
ever tardy in action, will eventually assert itself and reward true 
merit within tlieir own ranks if he who possesses it uncomplainingly 
exercises the virtue of })atience. Had he adhered to his party and 
retained his health he would most likely have held a seat in the 
other end of this Capitol to-day. His prospects were more 
promising than those of any man in the State of his age. But of 
splendid physique, manly form, -a mind well stored witii th<> choic- 
est literature and politeal information, his countenance radiant with 
intelligence, a voice as clear and musical as the lute of Orpheus, his 


sublime courage and confidence in his own ability to make his fame 
so brilliant as to obliterate forever any dark spots of inconsistency 
ui)on it consiiirod to lead him resistlessly forward. He could not 
possess his ambitious soul in patience. 

In the Forty-sixth Congress he was not cons])icnous and added 
but little to his former reputation. Like every ol)serving and sen- 
sible man who becomes a member of tliis House of Representatives, 
he saw that here he became a student for a time, instead of a 
teacher, and that it was best for his reputation that he should wait 
and learn from more experienced members before he undertook to 
apply the metewand of legislation to the most important and com- 
plicated proceedings. 

In 1880 he was a candidate for re-election. The Democrats 
nominated General Joseph Wheeler, who was personally very popu- 
lar, jjarticnlarly on account of his brilliant career in the late war. 
As in the previous election, except with greater energy, every effort, 
was made by the Democracy to defeat Colonel Lowe. Nearly 
every newspaper in the district and throughout the State opposed 
him and advocated Wheeler's election. The best speakers and 
campaigners were sent into the district from different parts of the 
State to canvass and speak against him. He met upon the stump 
any who wished a joint discussion witli him. 

He possessed the courage of his (-onvictions, was aggressive and 
bold, with a sarcasm that was withering and a power to ridicule 
which was unique and unrivaled. At times he was pathetic and 
eloiiucnt; not a great orator in the popular sense of that word, but 
;ui earnest, impressive, effective, and captivating sj)eaker. Always 
cool, courageous, and self-possessed, he was a fearful antagonist in 

General Ia V. AValkcr, an ciniiient lawyer, statesman, and p<iliinic, 

at the bar meeting held in lluntsville on the death of Colonel LoWK, 

amons other things gave utterance to the following high estimate 

of his deceaseil townsman's ability : 

lion. Wii.i.iAM M. Lowe -was a man of ox( cptionally rare aliilities. As a 
political fleliater ho was the only peer of William L. Yancey. Had his con- 
vci-sations been rodnced to writing they wonltl have been as readable as those 
of Dr. .Johnson. Two years ago when I was assigned to meet him in political 


deliate at Tuscnmbia I folt tliat my position was iufallible. I nnnle my siicecli 
and tliouglit it nnauswcvable ; but wbeu Colonel LoWE bad eoiicludod bis 
reply I bad very grave doubts as to wbetlier I bad been rigbt. 
His speecb in his own behalf — 

Said General Walker — 
in the late remarkaVile contest between himself and General Wheeler for the 
seat in Congress was the most exhaustive argument in defense of the justness 
of his side of the case that could have been made; and if posterity will do it- 
self the credit to read it carefully it will certainly be benefited thereby. 

The election was close, but. General Wheeler was awarded tlie 
certificate hv a majority of 43 votes on the face of the returns. 
Colonel Lowe contel^ted, and was seated by this House in June 
last. The speech to wliieh General ^^'alker alluded was not de- 
livered before the House, but merely printed in the Record. 

Prior to the assembling of the present Congress Colouel Lowe 
had lost his mao-nificent voice and could only converse in a whisper. 
Before that affliction he was one of the finest singers lever heard. 
Often have I. been enraptured by hearing him play upon thcguitar 
and sing with deep, melodious voice that beautiful song, " I am 
dying, Egypt, dying," composed by the brave, the heroic (icneral 
W. H. Lytle, the night before he fell, September 20, 18(33, in front 
of my regiment at the battle of Chickamauga. But now the voice 
of the singer, like that of the composer. Federal and Confederate, 
brethren of a common country, alike honored and lamented, is 
silent in death. 

Colonel Lowe left Washington in July last, while Congress was 
still in session, and went to Colorado in quest of health, and re- 
mained there until September tuider the impression tliat tiie pure 
and rarefied air of that elevated country was greatly Vtenefiting 
him. lu the latter part of August the Democrats of his district 
met in convention and nominated for Congress Hon. Luke Pryor, 
a man of high character and acknowledged ability. Colonel Lowe 
saw in tliis that if he would be his own successor in Congress an- 
otiier teri-ilile intellectual battle had to be fought and won. 

Disease could not repress his ambition nor curb his plucky spirit. 
He came home and entered the field as a candidate for the Forty- 
eio-lith Congress. He and his friends tiiought his health somewhat 
improved. He engaged actively in the canvass, but on the Sth of 


October he retunied home from the western part of his distriet very 
much exhausted and took to liis bed. Growing worse, lie was re- 
moved to the honse of his widowed sister, Mrs. Nicholas Davis, 
wliere he received his friends, was very cheerful, and seemed to 
have no a})prciicnsion of aj)proachino- dissolution. F^ven on the 
11th he discussed his campaign, with givat confidence in the cer- 
tainty of his election. His diiticulty in breathing- increased as the 
evening wore away, the family became alai-med, and his phv- 
sicians were snmmoned, but their skill was nnavailing. That de- 
ceptive and dreadful destroyer of human life, consumption, had 
found a permanent lodgment within the breast of that once robust 
and powerful man. No human agency could arrest it, and at 7 
o'clock on the morning of the l'2th day of October last that fierv 
and ambitious soul took leave of its earthly tenement, and Wii.i,- 
lAM Mannin<! Lowe was dead. The next day, at a meeting of 
the members of the bar, the following resolution was adopted: 

Besolred, In the deatb of Hon. Wii.i.i\M M. Lowe tbe Hniit.svilk' bar feels 
itself bereaved of oue of its bouoreil and distinguished members. He was a 
man of rare abilities, superior literary attaiunients, unusual powers of dis- 
crimination, and cogent, powerful, and deductive eloquence. He possessed 
a judicial mind, and his legal arguments were always clear and lucid, and liad 
he confined himself to the profession of the law be would have naclied high 
eminence as a lawyer. 

Captain Humes, who presided at the meeting, said : 

Colonel Lowk's conspicuous and distinguisbed career, bis pre-eminent tal- 
ent and peisonal virtues deserve the highest eulogy, and I cannot, feeling as 
I do upon this subject, mar the solemnity of the occasion by any ill-timed 
impromptu remarks. 

George S. Gordon, esq., said : 

Colonel Lowe's mind was, I have often thought, like a conservatory tilled 
with exotics, bis diligent gleanings from the lield of letters; and no florist 
could uiilize and arrange more effectually or skillfully than be the cuttings 
from bis mental treasures; and if amid its beauties were found the flowers of 
fragrance too overpowering, flowers with danger-petals springing from golden 
calyxes, plants with luxuriance of bloom and growth toonnrestrained, lotus 
remember that the same God who Trade the perfect flowers made also these, 
and made ourselves and our departed brother. » » « j recall the rich 
melody of bis voice in song as itoftcn thrilled me. » • « I hc^ar distinctly 
now bis whispered tones, produced by disease, which by the very contrast 
bring to mind flu- clai'ion notes of one of his tinest songs. 


Mr. Speaker, such were the sentiments expressed uimu that sad 
occasion by those who knew liim well. These show the estimate 
placed upon him bv his professional Ijrethrcn and fellow-townsmen 
who had opposed him jxilitieally since liis defection from the Demo- 
cratic partv. The newspapers of the country generally paid liigh 
editorial tributes to his memory, while a deep sorrow was felt by 
his constituents for the death of one so courageous, so brilliant, and 
of such rare attainments. At Cholet, wlien young Bouchamps fell 
before the unerring fire of Kleber's intrepid battalions, the sorrow 
felt Lv the Yendeans was no less poignant and the demoralizatiou 
not much greater than that which prevailed among Colonel Lowe's 
immediate supporters when their intrepid leader fell before the 
scvthe of Time. He had faults, for he was human. Perhaps the 
greatest was his impatient and lofty ambition. But he sought its 
gratification by the boldest and most defiant methods, and never 
would stoop to conquer. He was altogether heroic, and sought 
ratlier than shrank from controversy and responsibility, and was a 
born leader of men. 

He never married, and, after the war had swept away the tiimily 
patrimony, resided with and aided in the maintenance of his sis- 
ters. The Huntsvillc Iude])eu(h'nt speaks of his attachment ti.i his 
sisters in the following Ijeautiful language: 

Through his stormy aud eventful life his strong ;iu(l unselfish fraternal 
devotion to a household widowed and orphaned shone out as a star on a 
dark aud tempestuous sea. 

He has crossed over the turbident I'iver of death, aud in Christ- 
ian faith, let us hope, rests under the shade of the trees on the 
other side. He has finished the laliors of this life and passed be- 
yond human vision into " the undiscovered country, from whose 
bourn no traveler returns." 

Between two worlds life hovers like a star, 
'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge. 
How little do we know that whi<^h wo are! 
How less what we may be ! The eternal surge 
Of time aud tide rolls on, aud bears afar 
Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge. 
Lashed from the foam of ages; while the graves 
Of emjiires heave but like some passing waves. 


Address of Mr. Herbert, of Alabama. 

Mr. Speaker : Tlic biography ami character of Wilijaji j\I. 
TjOWE have been so fully and so ably portrayed by his intimate 
friend, my colleague, that little is left for uie to say. I come sim- 
ply to lay a flower on tlie grave of my dead friend. 

I remember well when I first lu ard his name. It was in the 
winter of 1867— '68. That political revolution Icnown as recon- 
struction was in progress in Alabama. The future was as dai'k 

and uncertain as the past had l)ccn lil ly and disastrous. The 

deepest anxiety pervaded every heart, and men who had not lost 
hope were taking counsel together for the welfare of the State. 

I remember well a letter written during that winter to General 
Clanton from North Alabama. It was from Colonel Lowe. Liv- 
ing in different portions of the State and having served in different 
portions of the Confederate army, he and I had never met ; but thixt 
letter, written in confidence to a trusted friend and leader, im- 
pressed me so that I shall never forget it. It was conservative in 
tone, wise in its counsels, statesmanlike, patriotic, and there was a 
brave, cheery ring about it that sounded like the distant notes of 
the bugle that betokens help in the coming battle. 

We met afterward, and the admiration I had for the writer of that 
letter increased when I knew the man. And I watched his 
long afterward with sincere admiration. He M'as, as my colleague 
has said, a born leader of men, and as such, though but a young 
man, he took and held his place during that never-to-be-forgotten 
conflict fiir supremacy that wagci! with varying success between the 
two great ])olitical ))arties in Alabama from 1868 to 1874. By his 
courage, his fidelity, his activity, and unsurpassed services in that 
memorable .struggle he won for himself all (i\cr the .State hosts ol 
friends, who, though when he had felt himself impelled to change 
his political relations wished him defi'at, could never yet (piite for- 
get to love him and never ceased to admire him. 


He was born to be adiiiired. Stately in figure, dignified in liis 

carriage, he was ever fearless in his purjiose. 

Yet of maiiuers mild 

And -svinning every heart he knew to please, 
Nobly to please ; while ecinally he scoriieil 
Of adulation to receive or give. 

He was from his youth ambitious of political preferment. He 
aspired to become a j)illar of state. He was and avowed himself 
to be a politician, for he declared that statesmanship, the science of 
governing men ^visely and well, was the noblest of all sciences. 

His \vas not the comnKjn ambition hit off by the satirist : 

All would he deemed, e'en from the cradle, fit 
To rnle in politics, as well as wit ; 
The grave, the gay, the fopling, and the dunce 
Start lip (God bless us) statesmen all at once. 

Colonel Lowe's ambition was not only to occupy but to fill and 
adorn the place of a statesman. He well knew he could not reach 
the oDal of his amliition bv his talents alone ; that broad culture, 
liberal and polite learning, were necessary ; and so ambition and 
inclination hand in hand led him to ex])lore the domain of litera- 
ture, philosophy, biography, and history. 

Neglecting in great part the law, which to him was but a step- 
ping-stone, he reveled in these fields of thought and amassed a fund 
of information on political topics greater than was possessed by 
any man of his age in his State. Fertile in i-esources, dexterous in 
debate, magnetic in his influence, he Mas a powerful clrampion of 
whatever cause he espoused, and the impress of his opinions, 
whetlier those opinions were right or wrong, will long be felt in 
the distriet he represented on this floor at the time of his death. 

I will not attempt further to portray his character, IMr. Speaker ; 
but I cannot refrain quoting one remark of which I am reminded 
bv the saying which has just fallen from the lips of my colleague 
that Colonel Lowe never knew restraint. Diu-ing last summer 
C(jlonel Lowe was talking to a lady about her four-year-old child. 
He said : " Madam, your boy is bright and promising. I hope he 
has a great future before him ; Init let me impress upon you one 
thing — teach him to oltev. This is a lesson I never could learn. 
0172 2 


The fliilure to Icaro it lias been the bane of my life." The re- 
mark imjiros.sed me. I'erhaps he felt that the maiiiiificent strenoth 
and s])len(li(l self-confidence that had cnal)led him like a strong 
swimmer to swim against tide might, if it had lieen disciplined, 
have enabled him to achieve even greatcn- resnlts. 

He was indeed a strong man. Of this the devotion of his fol- 
lowers was a splendid testimonial. Bnt, alas! sir, strength, what 
is it? Ambition, what does it avail? 

Two years ago, when in the splendid prime of his yonng man- 
hood, disease came like a cloud on his horizon. The clond grew 
and grew ever and ever more ominous, until at last the "dark 
Plutonian shadows" of death gathered about him when in the 
midst of one of life's bitterest conflicts ; the In-ight weapons he 
had forged fir the l>attle of life dropped from him, and he sank 
into the dark and silent grave. His conflicts are over ; his battles 
are ended ; his bright ambition has gone down, even as a star that 
sinks to rest. Peace be to his memory. 

Address of Mr. Ford, of Missouri. 

]\Ir. Speaker: As one of the fifteen Greenback mcndicrs of the 
Forty-sixth Congress I very soon became well ac(juainted with 
Mr. Lowe. Our relations and intercourse were pleasant — indeed 
I may say confidential — and in him I found elements of true worth 
that im])ressc(l me most fiworably. To-day, dedicated to his mem- 
ory, I add my word of regret that his country and friends lun-e 
suffered an irreparable loss in his early demise. 

As will be remembered, the first or extra session of the Forty- 
sixth Congress was somewhat disturbed and excited ; political dis- 
cussion was indulged in with much vigor, occasionally bitter if not 
violent. To all of this Mr. LowK was opposed, regretted the 
acerbities and spirit evoked, and in our conferences, which were 
frecjuent, deprecuteil a policy that coulil only tend to arouse an- 
tagonisms and sectional animosities. 

He was thoroughlv devoted to his Government, attached to 


Amerioan institutions, and nncompromising in his fealty to tiiat 
cardinal Republican principle that a man's worth should he the 
true touchstone of merit ; hence, the accidents of birth and wealth 
were of little consequeuce in liis estimate of character. 

I have never known a man who was impelled to serve his people 
and country by loftier motives, purer instincts. He believed his 
mission was to do good, and with all the enthusiasm of the poet 
and i)rophet, his hopes wafted him into that better future where 
the unhappy past of his country might be forgotten. 

Colonel Lowe had been identified with the effort to establish 
the Southern Confederacy, had accepted the dangers and responsi- 
bilities of war ardently, honestly, but his great soul abhorred a 
feeling of estrangement, and he recognized the solidarity of the 
nation, the unity and affection that should and must characterize 
the whole people within the limits of the Republic. Profoundly 
erudite and philosophic, he had evolved a system of ethics for his 
own government. To that system he loyally adhered, and he 
loved to revel in the beautiful as portrayed l>y eminent thinkers 
of the past and present. 

He has gone from our midst, a brave, true, gentle si)irit, ad- 
mired l)y all familiar with his virtues, mourned liy a large <'irclc 
of friends and acquaintances. Integrity wi-eaths his character, 
his life the verification of the poet's truism : 

The rank is but tlie gniiipa's staiiii), 
The man 's the gow<l for a' that. 

Address of Mr. JONES, of Texas. 

Mr. Speaker : Our late colleague, ^\'IEL1AM ]\I. Loave, wa.s 
born in Huntsville, Alabama, January Kj, 1842, and died in his 
native city October 12, 1882. 

The affluent and social circumstances of his family offered every 
advantage for literary and social culture. Of a philosophic turn 
of mind, with an ardent thirst for knowledge, he embraced with 
alacritv and inqiroved with as>iduity his advantages. Besides the 


schools at home, he attended successively a school at Florence, 
Alabama, the University of Tennessee, and the University of 
A^irginia. In 1860, though just turned into the nineteenth year 
of age, profoundly impressed with the magnitude of the issues in- 
volved, he entered the political arena in support of Steplien A. 
Douglas, the exponent, in his judgment, of Union and Lilierty ; 
an ardent disciple of Jeiferson, local self-government and the 
maintenance of the Union had taken deep root in his generous 
and heroic soul. 

Interference by the Government witli the local affairs of any 
part of the people, whether in State or Territory, in whatever pre- 
tense disguised, was to his mind the same tyranny attempted by 
J]nglan(l upon the colonies. Besides, he foresaw that such inter- 
ference would provoke a sectional conflict, imperiling institutional 
liliertv on the western continent and ending in disunion or the 
humiliation of the South. His father and twobrotlicrs, older than 
himself, supported Breckinridge. They also favored secession, 
but, true to his convictions, he opposed it. His confidence in the 
virtue and intelligence of the masses of the people was too great 
to be shaken by the election of a President in accordance with the 
Constitution and laws of his country. He believed that whatever 
of error or danger involved in it would be overcome and cor- 
rected by the sober second thought of tlie people. 

Profoundly imbued witli Americanism and the genius and ))lii- 
loso])hv of our constitutional Government, he <'on]d see but little 
to fear witiiin and but little to lioi)e without the Union. He 
loved tlie Constitution and Union for blessings and future 
capabilities. Beneath the Star-Spangled Banner our people had 
increased from three to thirty millions, and throughout our vast 
domain, extending from oc^an to ocean, were the freest, happiest, 
and most prosperous of any age or country. 

In his own native State such were the conditions of ])rosperity 
as to leave but little to desire. For the sake of kindred, friends, 
State, connlry, and Inunnnity he deprecated separation, and op- 
posed it witli all tlic earnestness of a patriotic lieart. The evil 
hour came ; the die was cast ; the ])co])le of Alabama declared for 


secession. He recognized the riglit of the peo])le "to change, 
alter, or abolish their governnieut " and to form new government, 
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers 
iu such form as, in their judgment, best calculated to secure life, 
liberty, and property. 

He accepted as truth "The voice of the people is the voice of 
God;" that in the nature of things and of necessity there is a 
supreme authority, inalienable and indestructible, residing in the 
people to fix the allegiance of all citizens who elect to remain 
within the actual jurisdiction of organized go^'ernnleIlt. Besides, 
he felt that the Union he loved was gone, and could not be re- 
stored by force ; and all that was left to him was to take his life 
in his hand and obey the voice of his people, leaving the conse- 
(jucnces to (xod. He was a volunteer private in the first company 
that left Huntsville, and was severely wounded in the first battle 
at Manassas and left on the field as dead. His fortitude and 
physical resources sustained him, and after a severe and protracted 
illness, relieved by the most attentive nursing, he was so tar re- 
covered as to enable him to serve as captain (jn General J. M. 
Withers's staff in Smith's Kentucky campaign, and was again 
wounded near Murfreesborough, Tennessea Subsequently he 
served with the rank of lieutenant-colonel on General James H. 
Clantou's staff until captured at the battle of Franjvlin, Tennessee. 
Refusing to take the oath, he remained in prison for three months 
after the war, when he was released by order of President John- 

His fitther. General B. M. Lowe, a man of superior ability and 
great force of character, died soon after the war. At its close his 
large fortune had been swejit away, reducing his family to poverty 
and devolving on Colonel Lowe the charge and maintenance of 
two single sisters, to whom he seems to have devoted his life. On 
his return home after his release he applied himself assiduously to 
the study and practice of law. He rose rapidly in the profcssiim 
and soon attained the first rank at the Huntsville bar. From 
1865 to 1868 he was solicitor of the fifth Alal)ama circuit. He 
was displaced by reconstruction. He served in the house of repre- 


scntative.s of Alabama in the .se.«t^ioiis of 1871 and 1872. Ainonj;; 
liis colleague.'^ were (1. W. Hewitt, B. 13. Lewis, N. V. Clements, 
Tanl. Bradford, and W. C. Oates. He was a prominent and 
leading member, es])eeially in the session of 1872. He framed 
an election law remarkable for perspicuity and fairness, which 
passed the house with great unanimity, but foiled in the senate. 
His eulogv ujion tlie diatli of General Clanton delivered in the 
session of 1872, as characterized by a colleague there and here 
[Mr. Oates], "is unsurpassed in the English language." In 
1875 he was a prominent member of the constitutional convention, 
and contributed largely to the present excellent constitution of 

He was from boyhood a Democrat, and acted witli that party 
until 1878, when, disapproving the position of the party on the 
financial questions then agitating the public mind, and in his judg- 
ment presenting the paramcjuut issue of the day, with characteristic 
independence of thought and courage of conviction, he avowed 
himself a Greenbackcr. His eminent abilities and distinguishe<l 
moral courage rendered him at once the hope of his party and the 
dread of tiie opposition in the State of Alabama. By acclamation 
he became the candidate of his party for the Forty-sixth Congress. 
The opposition was alarmed and exerted its utmost endeavors to 
defeat him. The ablest and most popular speakers from ail parts 
of the State hastened to the help of tiie opposition in the district. 
The contest was active and earnest, and on the part of his political 
oi)i)oneuts often vituperative and vindictive. But bold in the 
ri"-ht and sti-oug in the love and confidence of the good jleople of 
North Alal)ania, the district, largely Democratic, rallied to the 
support of North Alabama's favorite son, and he was triumph- 
antly elected. 

Entering Congress at the extra session on the 18th of March, 
1871), he was a leading and influential member of his party in 
Congress. He participated in the memorable debate ou " jx.litical 
riders," and delivered a speech cogent in logic, earnest, and elo- 
quent. His eulogy on the death of Senator Houston, delivereil in 
the second session of that Congress, in ap])ropriateness, diction, 
and patlios, is rarely e(|ualed and never excelled on like occasions. 


Mr. IjOWE wa< a eamlidate for re-election. His political oppo- 
nents again rallied and concentrated all their forces against liim. 
Tlie storm burst upon his head with I'edoubled furv ; but, sus- 
tained bv the devotion of his constituents and inspired with fervid 
patriotism, his personal resources of intellect and courage were 
ecjual to the occasion, and he was again triumphantly elected. 

Soon after the election a painful and alarming malady devel- 
oped in his throat. During the winter of 1881 he gradually grew 
worse, so much so that he was unable to attend the House. At 
New York he submitted to a surgical operation, and under the ad- 
vice of his phvsician visited the State of Colorado. His health so 
improved that he returned home and engaged in the canvass of 
'82, and in the heat and burden of the strife died suddenl_y from 
constriction of the throat, and thus closed the career of one who 
died too soon. The day after his death, at a meeting of the 
Huutsville bar, to pay ti'ibute to the memory of their deceased 
brother, the speakers. Democrats, Republicans, and Greenbackers, 
sjjoke in the highest terms of him as a gentleman, lawyer, patriot, 
and statesman. General Pope Walker, speaking of his pre-emi- 
nent powers in political debate, said " He alone of all of Alabama's 
gifted and illustrious sons was the peer of Yancey." 

Though born in afHueuce and of the highest social iiink, his 
philosophy was too comprehensive and his sympathies too univer- 
sal for the narrow training of class. In all the elements of 
humanity, its hopes, fears, and liabilities, he tclt and appreciated 
common lot and universal bmtherhood. Incapable of envv,^he 
valued wt'alth for its bcnetits and deplored poverty as misfortune. 
To kindred atfectionate and devoted, to friends faithful and unfal- 
tering, to opponents generous, and to enemies placable, he illus- 
trated without ostentation the virtues of a Christian. 

By nature and culture fitted for the highest rank in his profes- 
sion and for any jjlace in the councils of state, it was natural and 
laudable that he should be ambitious. Self-poised without ego- 
tism, and self-reliant without vanity, he devoted his rare powers 
of intellect to truth and progress. 

In the ascent of the hill of life, ere he attained its summit, he 
fainted and fell. Peace to liis ashes ; blessings on his memory. 


Address of Mr. Burrows, of Missouri. 

Mr. Speaker : I would he fal.-<c t(j mv kimllier and lifttor emo- 
tious if I failed to briug my tribute, small as it is, and lay it down 
upon the newly-made grave of my political colleague, Hon. William 
M. Lowe, of Alabama, to whose memory we have set apart and 
dedicated this hour; and I am pleased to listen to the high en- 
comiums from those who knew him far better than I, his colleagues 
upon tills floor; and although they differed from him politically, 
it affords me uo small degree of pleasure to hear them speak of him 
a.s a man, neighbor, and friend, as a citizen and soldier ; for it is in 
these relations of life that we know and prove men and learn to 
place a proper estimate upon tlreir real worth to society and man- 

The vicissitudes and circuiustances surrounding human life in the 
transit through this eartlily pilgrimage is sure to bring out and de- 
velop our ("iiJabilities and |)owers, and by them we are known and 
read of men; and we are told that the good that men do lives 
after them. It is a strange comedy, however, upon human action 
that we rarely find and speak of this good until tlie person is dead 
and the ear into which it was our privilege to have spoken many 
M'ords of cheer is forever closed and they who might have been 
animated and encouraged to still loftier deeds or noble endeavors 
have i)assed from the theater of action. 

Still may we trust that the tributes of thought, whether couched 
in poetry, in beautiful and well-rounded sentences, or iu broken and 
homely phrases, as are mine, that have, may, or shall be spoken 
witliin these walls will not be entirely lost, whether they be spoken 
iu memory <if a martyred President, a dead Senator, or deceased 
Representative. l>ut may tiic lives which are here briefly carica- 
tured, as they shall be read in after years and l)y other genera- 
tions, inspire with lofty tiiought and jnire and ennoliiing piu-- 
poses and spirit the sons and daughters of oiu' race. 

It is with this incentive before me and a profound respect tor 


the deceased that I rise in my place to say tiiat when I received 
the mournful iutelligence last October that "William M. Lowe 
was dead I felt then, as I do to-day, that the people of this coun- 
try, and especially those upon whose shoulders the industries and 
burdens of the nation rest, had lost an advocate, a defender, a 
friend indeed; for in him every power of his being throbbed with 
keenest sympathy for tlie '• sons of toil," let them be under a SoutJi- 
ern sun, a Xorthern sky, or on a Western plain. 

Mr. Speaker, it was not my good fortune (hiring the months of 
the first session of tliis Congress to become as intimately acquainted 
with the deceased as I wished, from the fact that when he came 
here from the closely-contested election from tlie eigiith district of 
his State in the campaign of 1880, he did so with In-oken consti- 
tution and an impaired voice, scarcely able to sjieak above a hoarse 
whisper, and conversed with great pain and effort to himself; and 
although the embodiment of sociability and mirth and blessed with 
a most genial nature and possessing the rare faculty of interesting 
anil attracting others to himself when in the enjoyment of health, 
durino- the wearv weeks of his waiting for the tardv action of this 
body in the contested-election cases, of wliicli his was one, and 
after his admission as a raeml)er upon this floor, his caged si)irit, 
as he moved iu and out among us, ever seemed chafing under its 
physical restraints and chagrined tliat it cmdd not burst tlie bars 
of its environment and once more be free. 

Mr. Speaker, William M. Lowe was a lover of triitli and 
justice — yea, and of lilierty; and for the maintenance and advance- 
ment of these fuiidamcntal principles he was willing to do and 
dare all things in the measure of his power. His premature death 
and earlv grave, " For his sun went down at noon," are the best 
evidences of his ardor, convictions, and zeal; of his ardent atta<'li- 
ment to measures for relief and the correction of abuses that lie 
believed were pernicious of the best interests of the jieople, and 
destructive to the prosperity of and general good of the whole 

In proof of this we point with [irideto his acts and votes iu tiie 
Record of the Forty -sixth Congress. 


But M-e are not here to speak of liim as a partisan, but as a citi- 
zen, soldier, and statesman, for in all these relations he acquitted 
himself as a man. His bearing was noble, brave, manly, chival- 
rous, his reputation untarnished. His character stands out to be 
read and admired of all men. His precepts and examples will not 
perish ^^•ith tlie body, but the nuixiins of his life, charity, patience, 
justice, honor, gratitude, and friendship, shall tea(!h others, when my 
feeble words of praise sJiall have passed away. Rest, noble fellow ! 
Thy name shall not soon perish from the earth, but will be for long, 
long years embalmed in the hearts and aifections of those whom 
th(;U loved and served so nobly. IMourued, beloved, respected, and 
cherished be thy name and character forever. 

The 8i'EAKj:r. In jnirsuance of resolutions already adopted, the 
Chair now declares this House adjourned until Monday next, at 
eleven o'clock a. m. 


In the Sj:xate of tiik United States, 

Jhccmbcr 5, 1S82. 

A message fruiu the House uf Representatives, by Mr. jNIcPlier- 
son, it« Clerk, comniuuieated to the Senate tlie intelligence of the 
death of Mr. William M. Luwe, late a member of the House 
from the State of Alabama, and of Mr. Joxathan T. Updegraff, 
late a member of the House from the State of Ohio, and transmitted 
the resolutions of the Honse thereon. 

Mr. Pendleton. Mr. President, I ask the Chair to lay befu-e 
the Senate the resolutions just communicated from the House of 

The Pi!Esii)iN(; (^ffkek. Tiie Chair lays Ix-forcthe Senate res- 
olutions from the House of Re[)resentatives, which will be read. 

The Actina; Secretary read as follows: 

Uiimlred, That tUe House Lcard with .sincere regret the aiiiioiiueeiueut 
of the death, uuriug the hite recess, of Hon. \ViLLiAM II. LoWE, ti Kepreseut- 
ative frimi the State uf Ahibama, and of Hon. Jonathan T. Ui'dkgraff, a 
Representative from the State of Ohio. 

liesolvtd, That the Clerk coniuiuuicate tlie foregoing resolntion to tlie 

lUsolrctl. That as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased llie 
Honse do now adjonrn. 

Mr. Pendleton. Mr. President, as a mark of respect to the 
mcniorv of these deceased Representatives, 1 move that the Senate 
do now adjourn. 

The motion was agreed to; and (at one o'clock and fifty-eight 
minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned. 


28 life anv cbaracter of william m. lowe. 

In the Senate of the United States, 

February 3, 1883. 

A message from the House of Rejjreseutatives, by Mr. William 
K. Mehaffev, one of its clerks, transmitted to the Senate the res- 
olutions adopted by that IkhIj concerning the death of William 
M. Lowe, late a member of the House from the State of Alabama. 

Mr. MoRCiAN. Mr. President, I ask that the resolutions just re- 
ceived from the House be laid before the Senate. 

The Presiding Officer. The Chair lays before the Senate the 
resolutions of the House, which will be read. 

The Actiue; Secretary read as follows : 

liesolced, That the House of RepresentativeH has received with profound 
seusil)ility the aunounoenient of the death of Hon. William M. Lowe, late a 
Eepreseutative from the State of Alabama. 

Resolved, That the business of this House be now suspended in order to af- 
ford opportunity for the expression of proper tributes to the memory of the 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect this House, at the conclusion of 
such memorial service, adjourn ; and that these resolutions be transmitted to 
the Senate for its action thereon. 

Mr. Mouf^AN. Mr. President, I present resolutions on the sub- 
ject of the resolutions just sent to us by the House of Kepresenta- 

The Presiding Officer. The resolutions offered l)y tlie Sena- 
tor from Alabama will now be read. 

The Acting Secretary read as follows: 

Resolvid, That the commnnicatiim from the House of Representatives an- 
nouncing the death of Hon. William JI. Lowe, of Alabama, while a mem- 
ber of that body, is received by the Senate with sym|)athy in the expressions 
of sorrow in the resolution of the House and with regret. 

2. That the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of the proceedings of 
the Senate on this occasion to the family of the deceased. 

3. That as a mark of respect to the memory of "Mr. Lowe the Senate do now 


Address of Mr. MoRGAN, of Alabama. 

Mr. President: William Manning Lowe was a native of 
Alabama. He was boiii iii Huutsville, near the place where he 
died. His family were uf the best class. His fother was eminent 
for his ability and high clianicter in the mercantile circles of the 
South, and was greatly esteemed by a large and most res|)ectabk' 
class of acquaintances. 

In his youth Colonel IjOWE had advantages which he indus- 
triously improved to acquire learning and to accomplish himself 
by the study of the best authors in literature. His attainments 
were rich and varied and gave him a power of expression that was 
singularly strong and eloquent. He was educated at Florence, 
Alabama, and in the University of Tennessee, and afterward took 
a law course at the University of Virginia. His knowledge of 
the law was put to good account for the public in the office of 
solicitor to jn-osecute the pleas of the State, which he held from 
1865*to 1868. 

The public career of C^olonel I^owe began in the army of tiie 
Confederate States, and in a time that extinguished in death so 
many splendid lives and developed so many men of great powez's 
who otherwise would have had no opportunity to impress the 
world with their genius or strength. 

Wars have been the subjects of lamentation by all Ciiristian 
nations through every generation, but they come nevertheless, and 
seeui to increase in frequency as the enginery of destruction and 
death becomes more efficient. 

It seems to be true that every generation has its time of warfare, 
and will incur any risk to identify itself witii the history of some 
great military struggle. It is not merely the fame that men win 
in such conflicts that induces them to engage in war, but there is 
in the breast of every spirited man a love of martial exercises, a 
conrting of danger, a love of adventure, a (juadium ccrtaminis, 
that urges him to engage in arms upon almost any otvasioii that is 
"justified by honor." 

One luindred niillioiis of animal taxation t(> give pensions to 
those wlio were disabled in the late civil war is jnstified, even in the 
minds of those who were the enemies in arms of the pensioners, 
by a sense of grateful appreeiation of the services the^s rendered to 
their country, and of the gallant manner in which they demeaned 
themselves in the theater of war where the people were such anx- 
ions and often such delighted spectators. And so, when any gal- 
lant soldier dies, whatever may have been his social character, the 
people pass by his delinquencies, if lie had any, not in mere chari- 
table forgctfnlness, but as matters of little moment, while they can 
recall with ])ride and satisfaction the honoi-s lie has won in the 
l)loody fields of battle. 

It is also rarely the case that civic honors of the highest class 
arc wilhlicld from men who have earned a reputation for courage, 
devotion, and skill in the fields of battle. Six times in our com- 
paratively short history men have been chosen to the Presidency 
wild had evinced great skill in military command but had not been 
c(ins])icnous for statesmanship until after tliey iiad been elect("d and 
inanourated in office. 

Mr. IjOWE laid the foundations of his political career in his 
gallant conduct in the raidvs of the Confederate army* and so strong 
was his hold upon the affection of the people from this cause that 
many of them supported him who believed that Ids course as a 
politician was not the best for those he represented. 

The first battle of Manassas was the most striking incident in 
American iiistorv. All that had preceded it in the history of the 
war was mere preliminary skirmishing. 'Jliat was the first gen- 
eral engagement between the oj)posing armies. The field was ojien, 
gently undulating, wide in extent, and without natural or artificial 
obstacles to obstruct any great military maneuver ; either army 
coidd have marched for four or five miles on that field in line of 
battle. Xeither army had its flanks covered by any natural pro- 
tection or military works. The forests that onee covered the field 
had long ago disappeared; a lew low stone fences ;uid patches of 
youna- pine and a few scattering houses were the only shelter that 
even small bodies of men coulil find. On such a field neithcrarmy 


could possess any considerable advantage even in the positions of 
field artillery. The members of the o])posing hosts were niucli tlie 
same. The infantry arms tiien in use were all of old patterns and 
were of short range. Neither army liad been long in the field, 
and the greaf body of the officers were without military training 
such as is found in well-organized standing armies. 

Each armv was made u|) for the greater part (if citizen soldiery. 
They were armies of militia, many of tiie soldiers scarcely accus- 
tomed to the cumbrous harness and heavy liaggage that tliey were 
then required to carry until they were weaiy and discouraged. 

The men were in all essential respects the same in eacli army 
except the difference in political opinions which divided them. 
Tlie l)attle in which they were about to engage was the first great 
act in a tragedy of warfare that has never been e(pialed in all that 
makes war grand, destructive, and terrible in the liistory of 
Christian nations. 

The scene they were about to open was nothing more than po- 
litical controversy intensified into war by a universal appeal to 
arms. It is no disparagement to later and l)etter trained and bet- 
ter equipped armies to say that no armies that were ever marshaled 
were composed of better material. They were volunteer armies 
.such as it i.s likely no other country could produce, and their fight- 
iuff on that field has demonstrated that in three months' time, or 
less, we can improvise an army of citizen soldiery that are equal 
to the defense of our counti-v against any possible comlMnation of 
military power. 

If there is a uenius of American liberty, which we represent on 
the dome of our Cajjitol in the bronze image there as a goddess, 
.she looked with sad eyes on the field of Manassas on that SabbatJi 
mornino-, wlu'U tlie dun cloud of war oiiscureil the risiuij sun and 
left the earth to be lit up with the fierce flashes of artillery and 
musketry, when, under the light of a July sun, for hours together 
the contending ranks could only discern the lines of their antag- 
onists by the lines of fire which rolled without ceasing from the 
muzzles of their guns. It was not the sudden charge and as sud- 
den retreat tliat usually characterizes the action of raw troops 



which (leseribos the tactics of that field; it was tlic obstinate and 
death-defying conflict of men who had no thought but victory and 
no sentiment but duty to hold them steady in their dreadful work. 

Strategic changes in the positions of the forces were made on thai 
field in accordance with settled ])lans of military operations care- 
fully prepared beforehand on both sides, and during all of tiiat 
long and sultry day these plans were executed until the shattered 
columns could no longer be nuistered in proper military organiza- 
tions, the one army retiring, the other not being able to pursue. 
The troops were steady and firm, and were moved with the pre- 
cision and celerity of trained soldiery. The staff of both armies 
was incomplete, and sometimes brigades and divisions were in com- 
mand of officers who had never before seen their regimental and 
company officers under their control. The losses on both sides 
were heavy, the field was almost without supplies of water, the 
ambulance corps were imperfectly organized and were poorly sup- 
plied with vehicles or stretchers, and the wounded lay upon the 
field almost without attention. 

Mr. Lowe entered the Confederate army in the Fourth Kegiment 
of Alabama Infantry as a private soldier, and in tliat capacity was 
fighting in that battle. Then the post of a 2>i"ivate in the ranks 
Mas the post of honor. Personal preferment was almost unknown 
among those who took up arms on either side. They understood 
the questions involved in the contest, and were fighting to main- 
tain theii'- convictions. No man in the ranks of either army prob- 
ably understood those questions more perfectly than this accom- 
plished yiiung sclidlar and lawyer. I doubt if lu^ could have been 
induced to fiy-ht in defense of a cause that did not command the 
honest suffrages of his sedate judgment. His heart did not I'ule 
his judgment where the issues to be decided affected the welfare 
of the country. 

The Fourth .Alabama Kegiment has become renowned in South- 
ern history for the gallantry of its men on that field. Its gallant 
colonel, Egbert Jones, and its major, Charles S. Scott, fell on the 
field, the first to die and the other to survive dangerous wounds 
and to render to his eonntrvmen the duty and advantage of a true 


heart, and a superior intellect. That rewinient was ahnost cut to 
pieces after a long and tierce struggle with a gallant foe. When 
its field-officers fell, the scattered companies attached themselves, 
with decimated ranks, to other commands, and continued the 
arduous conflict until the field was Mon. 

As the day receded, the liody of Private William ^I. I^()^\■E 
w:as borne from the field in the arms of his comrades, to die, as 
was then believed. He was wounded with a nuisket-ball in his 
forehead. The deadly missile sjiared his life oidy by the breadth 
of a hair. His vigorous constitution trium])hed over death, and 
he struggled back into life to enjoy the honors he had nobly won 
in the hearts of a people who will never cease to honor his mem- 
ory as a faithful and brave soldier. 

Later in the war he rejoined the army and held the ranks suc- 
cessively of lieutenant, captain, and lieutenant-colonel, command- 
ing troops in the field and acting on stafl:\luty with distinction and 
with the approval of his superior officers and his comrades. 

When the war had I'losed ^Ir. Lowe again t(jok up his jtrofes- 
sion, in which he accpiircd a good reputation for ability. During 
the period of reconstruction he was very intense in his opposition 
to that policy, and took a leading and influential place in the op- 
position. His high intelligence and courage soon gave to him a 
prominent position, and he found in the public service his most 
congenial employment. He was elected to the legislature from his 
native county in 1870, and his service there disclosed an enter- 
prising sjjirit which indicated his mental independence of the 
thraldom of fixed opiuiims and methods of government sanctified 
by time. He was incisive and aggressive in the enforcement of 
his convictions. 

He was next elected to the constitutional convention of Ala- 
bama, in 1875, and exhibited in that Ixxly th<' ability to deal with 
the gravest questions of constitutional law. 

He then became, in 1879, a candidate for Congress as a Green- 
back-Democrat, and had the support of the Republican party in 
his district. He was elected over a gentleman of nuich ability 
after a heated "canvass of the district. 

0172 .3 


That <'ontest gave rise to nuuli ill-feeling between Mr. LoWE 
and liis former Democratic associates. This feeling wa.s much in- 
tensified in the next campaign, in which his opponent, Hon. Joseph 
Wheeler, got the certificate and was seated, but afterward, on a 
contest, was held not to be entitled to the office. 

In the midst of all these contests before the people Mr. Lowe 
was distinguished for remarkable ability as a popular leader. 
Great numbers of men who apologized to themselves for a depart- 
ure fi'om their political convictions followed him and became his 
personal partisans because they admired and k^ved him. As a 
friend he was worthy of their aifection, for he -was true to his 
friends. I opposed his political course with inflexible determina- 
tion, but I admired his genius and courage in leadership, and re- 
membering how his public life had lieen gallantly prefaced with a 
glorious devotion to his convictions, I never spoke of him except 
in terms of resj^ect. 

I now express with pride the voice of the people of Alabama, 
who esteem him for the tender care which he has ever bestowed so 
freely and generously upon those dear to him by kindred ties; 
they admire him for his distinguished abilities as an orator and 
scholar, and honor him in his grave for his patriotism. 

Address of Mr. Lapham, of New York. 

Mr. Pkesident: It was not until a short time since that I 
was asked by the Senatoi's from Alabama to take part in the me- 
morial services in memory of their late colleague in the House. I 
come, therefore, without time for |)rcparatiou to the consideration 
of those topics suggested by the occasion. 

Mr. President, my acquaintance with Mr. Lowe began with 
his entrance into the Forty-sixth Congress as a member of the 
House of Representatives, where I had the honor of a seat. He 
bore by nature the marks of being more than a contmon man, of 
being a man designed, if he had lived and carried out his aspira- 
tions, to have iiiatle liis mark in the world. .Vlthough he was 


comp.iratively young, lie had already achieved what may l)e re- 
garded as an unusual distinction. He i-ose from the ranks of a pri- 
vate to the position of lieutenant-colonel in the army of the Con- 
federacy during his service there. He acted as the solicitor of 
the fifth judicial district of his State from the year 1865 to 1868, 
inclusive, a period of four years. He was then chosen to the leg- 
islature of liis State, as has been said, in the year 1870, and so 
marked were his abilities in that body that in the year 1875 he 
was elected as one of the members of the convention to frame a 
constitution for that State. That constitution, as I remember the 
reading of it, bears evideuce that it was the work of men of 
genius and of iiigh character. 

But little occurred to indicate nmch witli respect to the temper- 
ament, character, and sentiments of Mi-. Lowe during the first 
sessions of the Forty-sixth Congress, but in the third session of 
said Congress, and soon after the opening of that session, he intro- 
duced into the House and had referred to. the Committee on the 
Judiciarv a series of resolutions relating to the laws of the several 
States of the Union with reference to the right of suffrage. Those 
resolutions went, if I rememlier right, to the Judiciary Committee 
of the House. Whether they were acted upon by the conunittee 
or became the subject of further action by the House I am not ad- 
vised. These are the resolutions : 

Whereas the laws of several of the States of this Union regulate within 
their respective jurisdictions the exercise of the elective franchise by pre- 
scribing certain conditions, taxes, or requirements which are claimed by 
citizens of those States and by a report of a committee of the United States 
Senate in this Congress to be a violation of the Constitution of the United 
States and of the rights of citizens thereunder ; and 

Wliereas such regulations of the elective franchise in such States, espe- 
cially in the States of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Dela- 
ware, Virginia, and Georgia, are claimed to be restrictions upon the elective 
franchise whereby certain citizens are excluded from participation in the 
right to vote ; and 

Whereas it is made the duty of Congress to secure to each State a repub- 
lican form of government, and once in ten years to apportion among the 
States their shares of representation in Congress pursuant to the Constitu- 
tion : Therefore, 

Be it resolved, That a committee of this House, consisting of five members, 
be appointed by the Speaker to examine into the matters relating to the ex- 


ercise of the elective franchise in the several States so far as the same may 
be in violation of the Coustitntion of the United States or atfected thereliy ; 
and to report to this House whether such regulations or restrictions of suf- 
frage should diminish the representation of such State or States in Congress 
pursuant to the fourteeutli article of the Constitution, and to wliat extent 
such representatiou should be diminished under the apportionment to be 
made pursuant to the census of 1880. 

And he it further resolved, Tliat said committee shall have power to sit dur- 
ing the sessions of the House, or otherwise, and shall have power to send 
for persons and papers, administer oaths, and to employ a stenographer, 
clerk, and two messengers ; and that the sum of $3,000 be, and hereby is, ap- 
propriated for the expenses of said committee from the House contingent 
fund, to be paid on drafts of the chairman of said committee. 

Mr. Lowe was elected to rejiresent his district in the j)rcsoiit 
Congress, but the certificate of election was given to his competi- 
tor, and he was able to obtain his seat only after a long and pro- 
tract(!d controversy, and at tlieend of tliat controversy we find hini 
repeating tiie same sentiments with M'hich he entered the third 
session of the Forty-sixth Congress. I quote fiom the remarks 
submitted by him to the House at the conclusion of that contest: 

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the time has come at last wlieu I may si)eak 
for myseli', and not only for myself, but for the disfranchised jieople of my 
district. I am glad, sir, that I have an opportunity to be heard before a 
body which is the sole ,indge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of 
its meml)ors, and which is bound by puljlic interest a-nd jirivate conscience 
to do justice in the canse. • 

->f * if * # -ff « 

The prevalent idea of a strong government in other countries is the 
weakest of all governments with us. What is the power of standing armies 
and the menace of great navies to the desperate purjiose of au outraged 
people? Sir, our ancestors were right. That government is the strongest 
which rests upon the consent of the governed, which enlists the respect and 
affection of the largest proportion of its people. The iron despotism of the 
Czar or llie military empire of the Kaiser is the weakest government in the 
world, becanse it lacks this vital principle upon which strong and free gov- 
ernments are founded. It lacks this princi)dp, which all exi)crieuci' teaches 
us caniu)t be destroyed by force or denied by fraud without assailing the 
social compact itself. It stands pre-eminent in government and society like 
the chiefe-st of all the virtues; "whether there \m' )irophecies they shall 
fail ; whether there be tongues they shall cease ; whether there be knowl- 
edge it shall vanish away," but the right preservative of all rights will re- 
main. I shall not despair, Mr. Speaker, of free suffrage until I despair 
of free govennnent itself. It is the sanction by which the House now sits 


ill judgment upon iiie and the basis of tlie confidence with which I now ad- 
dress yon. It is the glovy and saCety of oiir system, as we believe onr sys- 
tem is, by the blessing of God, the hope and refuge of the world. 

It will lie seen, Mr. President, from these sentiments that Mr. 
Lowe had marked ont for himself a career in Congi-ess npoii one 
of the great issues which are now before the country ; and his hav- 
ing been providentially called away illustrates, whatever may be 
our opinions with respect to ourselves or others, how little in 
truth we are ; " what shadows we are and what shadows we pur- 
sue." The sentiment \A'as well exjiressed by that great and good 
man, Abraham Tjincoln, in the memorable debate between himself 
and the late Senator r)()Uglas, in which, after speaking of the princi- 
])les embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the neces- 
sity of preserving them, he used substantially these words : 

In a great contest like this I am nothing; Judge Douglas is nothing ; no 
man is anything; the preservation of these great principles is paramount to 
all personal considerations. 

From this scene of activity and of apparent and ])rospective 
usefulness Mr. Lowe has been suddenly summoned away, and we 
may say in conclusion what has been written by one of the best of 
our poets with regard to such an event : 

When we are gone, 
The generation that comes after us 
Will have far other thoughts than ours. Our ruins 
Will serve to build their palaces or tombs. 
They will possess the world that we think ours, 
And fashion it far otherwise. 
Men die and are forgotten. The great world 
Goes on the same. Among the myriads 
Of men that live, or have lived, or shall live. 
What is a single life, or thine or mine? 
We must make room for otlier.s. 

The Presiding Officer. The ipiestion is on the adoption of 
the resolutions offi'red by the Senator from .Vlabama [Mr. Mor- 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to ; and the Senate