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Full text of "Memorial addresses on the life and character of John H. Evins (a representative from South Carolina), delivered in the House of representatives and in the Senate, Forty-eighth Congress, second session"

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^UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. ^\ 



MEMORIAL ADDRESSES 



LIFE AND CHARACTER 



JOHN H. EVINS 

(A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA), 



DELIVERED IN THE 



HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND IN THE SENATE, 



W,^, FORTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION. 



PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF CONGRESS. 



WASHINGTON: 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. 

1885. 



JOINT RESOLUTION' providing for piiiitiiig the eulogies dcliveied in Congress upon the 
late Tolin H. Evins, late a Representative in the Fortj^-eiglitli Congress from the State of 
South Carolina. 

L'esoJvcd hi) the Senate and House of Represe)itatires of the United Stales of 
America in Congress assembled, That there be printed of tlie eulogies delivered 
iu Congress upon the late John H. Evins, a Representative in the Forty- 
eighth Congress from the State of South Carolina, twelve thousand five hun- 
dred copies, of which three thousand copies sliall be for the use of the Senate 
and uiue thousand five hundred 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 John H. Evins to accompany said eulogies, and 
for the purpose of engraving and printing said jiortrait the sum of five hun- 
dred dolhtrs, or so much theieof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated 
out of any moneys in the Treasury not oiherwise appropriated. 

Apjiroved, February 12, 1885. 



ADDEESSBS 



ON THE 



Death of John H. Evins. 



PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 



In the House of Representatives, 

December I, 1884. 
Mr. Aiken. Under iustructions of the cleleg-ation from the State 
of Soutli Carolina, which State I have the honor in part to repre- 
sent on this floor, it is my sad duty to announce to the House the 
death of our late colleague, Mr. John H. Evins, and to ask the 
adoption of the resolutions which I send to the Clerk's desk. 
The Speaker. The resolutions will be read. 
The Clerk read as follows : 

Whereas death has taken from our midst the Hon. John H. Evins, of 
South Carolina, a member of this House : 

Besolved, That we have heard with much sorrow of this bereavement to 
his family and loss to his State and country. 

HesoJred, That the Clerk communicate the foregoing to the Senate. 

Resolved, Tbat as a mark of respect to the memorj^ of the deceased this 
House do now adjourn. 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to ; and in accordance 
therewith the House adjourned. 



4 life and character of john h. evins. 

In the House op Representatives, 

December 17, 1884. 
Mr. Bratton, by unanimous consent, submitted the following 
resolution ; which was read, considered, and adopted : 

Resolved, That Tuesday, tlie 20tb of Jauuary, at 2 o'clock p. m., be fixed 
as tbe time for delivering tributes to the memory of the late Hon. J. H. 
EviNS, late a Representative from South Carolina. 



In the House op Representatives, 

January 20, 1885. 
The Speaker, By order of the House this hour, 2 o'clock, has 
been set apart for the consideration of resolutions in relation to 
the death of a late member of this House from the State of South 
Carolina. The Clerk will report the resolution. 
The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That Tuesday, the 20th of January, at 2 o'clock p. m., be fixed 
as the time for delivering tributes to the memory of the late Hon. J. H. 
EviNS, late a Representative from South Carolina. 

Mr. Bratton. Mr. Speaker, I oiFer the resolutions which I 
send to the desk. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That this House has heard with profound sorrow of the death of 
Hon. John H. Evins, late a Representative from the State of South Carolina. 

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended, that fitting 
tribute may be paid to his memory. 

Resolved, That, as an additional mark of respect, the House shall, at the 
conclusion of these ceremonies, adjourn. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate. 



ADDRESS OF MB. BRATTON, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 



Address of Mr. Bratton, of South Carolina. 

Mr. Speaker : These resolutions are offered for the consideration 
of the House that we may perform a sad duty to departed worth ; 
that we may do honor to one who has occupied a seat on this floor 
for several successive terms. His career in this House is best 
known to the honorable gentlemen who were associated with him 
here, and is confidently intrusted to their care. In the exercise of 
the melancholy privilege claimed by myself on this occasion, I speak 
necessarily rather from the standpoint of the constituents of my 
distinguished and lamented predecessor, of those who knew him as 
boy and man at home, and who attested their appreciation by repeat- 
edly returning him to this truly important field of service. 

John Hamilton Evins was born in Spartanburg District, South 
Carolina, on the 18th day of July, 1830. His flUher, Samuel 
Evins, being a man of ample means, gave his son the benefit of a 
good academic and collegiate course. Mr. Evins graduated at the 
South Carolina College in the class of 1853, and at once began 
the study of law, his chosen profession. In December, 1856, he 
was admitted to the bar and entered upon the practice of his 
profession in the town of Spartanburg. He continued to be so en- 
gaged until he was called by his State to leave this quiet pursuit 
and serve her in another field. He joined the first company that 
was organized in his county for military duty in the war between 
tlie States; was elected lieutenant; afterward became captain, and 
served the cause he had espoused with faithfulness and gallantry 
until disabled for field service by a wound received at the battle of 
Seven Pines. Though retired from the field he was promoted to 
the rank of lieutenant-colonel and assigned to light duty in the rear. 
While thus employed he was called upon by the people of Spartan- 
burg to represent them in the State legislature, which he did to 
their entire satisfaction. 

At the close of the war ]\Ir. Evins reopened his law office in the 
town of Spartanburg, and devoted himself closely and successfully 



6 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

to his profession until 1876, when he was called to a higher sphere of 
honor and usefulness. He entered the Forty-fiftii Congress as the 
Representative of the fourth Congressional district of South Caro- 
lina, and served in that capacity with feithfulness to his immediate 
constituents and fidelity to the whole country, until stricken down 
by disease. His death, though sudden, was not unanticipated by 
himself and his friends. His health had been declining for a year 
prior to his demise ; and, after consultation with eminent physi- 
cians, he became satisfied that his disease was incurable. This 
conviction did not turn him aside from the path of duty ; he enter- 
tained it with calm. Christian resignation, and moved forward in 
the discharge of his public duties as undisturbed as if no shadow of 
death was impending over him. 

On the 20th of October last, at his home in Spartanburg, in the 
bosom of his family, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, while seated in 
a chair, the messenger came to call him across the river. 

He was not found unprepared for the summons. In early life 
he had made a profession of religion and attached himself to the 
Presbyterian Church, the church of his fiither. In 1867 he was 
chosen one of the deacons of the Spartanburg Presbyterian church, 
and in 1870 was called to be a ruling elder in the same church. 
From 1868 to his entrance upon his career as a member of Congress 
he was superintendent of the Suuday-school of his church, and 
devoted himself to this work with characteristic earnestness and 
singleness of purpose. 

Such, Mr. Speaker, are, as it were, the stations which mark the 
course of the life which has passed away ; the prominent events 
which, iu the livesof men as of nations, are the hill-topsandmountain 
summits seen from afar and affording a general idea of their progress 
or decay, but no definite knowledge of the causes producing them, 
nor any intimate acquaintance with their real history. They are 
but points of observation from which the thread of the real life 
may be traced, irom which the real character may be read, and the 
full history studied and learned. Subjection to such scrutiny is 
necessary to bring out the true force and merit of INIr. Evixs. 
From this, the highest plane of pul)lic service to which he at- 



ADDRESS OF MR. BRATTON, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 7 

tained, the track of liis life down through its fields of usefulness to 
his State, his county, his town, his churcli, and into the privacy of 
his family circle, glowed with the same light, and was character- 
ized by a constant and consistent uprightness born of high princi- 
ple. His cultured and highly developed moral sense kept him 
ever alive to the duty of the hour, whether it led him to the mount- 
ain-top or through the lowly vale ; whether it called him to posi- 
tions of distinction and honor or along the humble walks of true 
charity among the weak, the poor, and the needy. 

In that great conflict between the principles of good and evil 
which seems to be the heritage of humanity, and of which this 
world seems to be the battle-ground, the life of this pure-minded 
gentleman, guided by sound principles of morality and true Chris- 
tian sentiment, has made for itself no uncertain record. As a man, 
as a citizen, as a neighbor, in the conduct of his private and pro- 
fessional business, in the service of his State in both peace and 
war, in every relation of life, his influence was elevating and for 
good. 

And wlien at a critical period in the history of the State to which 
I belong, while the weight of aspersion and misrepresentation and 
. of misapprehension was bearing upon us with ruinous pressure, we 
succeeded in sending Mr. Evixs here as our representative and 
exponent, it was with the expectation that the purity and sincerity 
of his character and the honesty of his political sentiments would 
vindicate us from the one and relieve us from the other. From 
the earnest expressions of regret for his loss with which I have 
been greeted since my entrance upon this floor by gentlemen of 
both political parties and from all sections of this country, I now 
venture to indulge the hope that our expectations have been real- 
ized; that his influence here, as elsewhere, has been for good, has 
been a potent contribution toward the restoration of those relations 
of respect and confidence between the members of this •' indissolu- 
ble Union" which is so necessary to the full enjoyment by any of 
the blessings which our incomparable system of government was 
designed to secaire to all. 

In the death of Mr. EviNS we have lost one with a character for 



8 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

houesty so high that slander could not reach it, a merit so modest 
that envy never assailed it, a public spirit so uniform that suspi- 
cion of self-interest never impugned it, a Christian consistency so 
unassuming that it escaped the sneers of the scoffer, and one whose 
moderation and wisdom in his public life, unmoved by partisan or 
sectional purposes, were doing much to close the gap of estrange- 
ment between the two great sections of this Union, which, happily 
for the good of this whole country, is every day becoming narrower 
and narrower, and will soon, I hope, be a thing of the past. 



A ddress of Mr. Dibble, of South Carolina. 

I imagine, Mr. Speaker, that the contribution of the most gifted 
individual to the sum total of the world's progress and prosperity 
is of itself comparatively insignificant ; yet such contributions, 
when as-Q-regated, and transmitted with accumulations from time 
to time, make up what we call the advance of civilization — the im- 
provement of the human race. And it is likewise true that the 
enlightened policy of a nation as illustrated in the conduct of its 
public men is the safeguard of its future. The traditions of a peo- 
ple give direction to their aspirations,'^aud tend to shape their na- 
tional character. The hero or the statesman who has been through 
life a pattern of patriotic worth becomes after death the exemplar 
for the guidance of those whom he leaves behind him. It is in 
this respect that the eulogy upon the dead becomes a lesson of prac- 
tical patriotism ; the purposes of laudable ambition are transmitted 
from generation to generation ; public and private virtue are kept 
untarnished, and love of country is blended with love of the good 
and the true. And in the land where the achievements of her sons 
live after them in story and in song, ''monuments more lasting than 
brass," where history bestows, as an heir-loom, upon the children 
the honorable record of their sires — it is in such a land that free- 
dom makes her lasting habitation, safe in the stronghold of a pub- 
lic opinion, consecrated by inheritance to the perpetuation of civil 
and religious liberty. 



ADDRESS OF MR. DIBBLE, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 9 

Three thousand years ago, in the Egypt of the Ptolemies, it was 
their custom to appoint magistrates to judge tlie memory of the de- 
ceased citizen, and to award to prince and the subject alike condem- 
nation to the v^icious, and to the virtuous the honor of a public 
eulogy granted to him by liis country's laws. And although this 
custom has long since passed away, and judges sit no more in sol- 
emn quest over the ashes of the dead, yet feme has become such a 
tribunal; and as she dictates posterity listens to her decrees and 
history records them. 

It has been well said that " it is right that the tomb should be 
a barrier between flattery and the prince, and that truth should be- 
gin where power ceases." And it is a matter of satisfaction to me, 
Mr. Speaker, tliat in recounting the incidents of the life of my de- 
ceased colleague and friend there is nothing that his friends would 
desire to pass over with thecharity of silence, or that needs the em- 
bellishment of fulsome j)raise. It shall be my endeavor, therefore, 
to present in plain, unvarnished narrative the outline of his career, 
secure in the assertion that purer man never entered this House, nor 
one who was possessed of a loftier sense of honor, a more conscien 
tious devotion to duty, than John Hamilton Evins. 

Such traits of character were his by inheritance. The femilies 
of Evins and Moore (from the latter of which he was descended 
on his mother's side) brought with them from the mother country 
energy, thrift, integrity, and piety. They came first into Pennsyl- 
vania and thence to Virginia and the Carolinas. Both famifies 
settled in South Carolina on Tyger River, in what is now Spartan- 
burg County, prior to the Revolutionary war, and were ardent 
patriots in the struggle for independence. Alexander Evins, the 
grandfather of our late fellow-mernber, served as a soldier under 
"Mad Anthony Wayne," and was wounded so severely in the left 
shoulder at tlie storming of Stony Point, tliat most brilliant of all 
the battles of the war, as to have been disabled in his left arm for 
life. He changed the spelling of his surname from " Evans" to 
" Evins," substituting an ^' i " for the ''a," because a brother of 
his had espoused the side of the King; and although the Tory 
left the country the femily has retained this mode of spelling the 



10 LIFE AyD CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

name ever since. This gallant patriot lies buried in the graveyard 
of Nazareth church, the oldest Presbyterian church in Spartan- 
burg Countv — a house of worship of which he was one of the 
founders and a ruling elder. He left six sons, all of whom became 
leading citizens of their section of South Carolina, and tour of 
Avhom were at different times members of the State legislature. 
One of them was Col. Samuel N. Evins, tlie father of John H. 
EviNS. 

Among: his ancestrv on his mother's side was General Thomas 
Moore, who fought in the battle of Cowpens against the British 
when a boy sixteen years old. In mature years he was prominent 
in the politics of the State, and was a member of Congress from 
South Carolina from 1801 to 1813, and again from 1815 to 1817; 
and in the interval between the two periods of service in this 
House he was in the field in the war of 1812, as a brigadier-gen- 
eral, commanding troops on the coast of South Carolina. He was 
a man of great public spirit, and was one of the founders of the 
first high-school in Spartanburg district, an institution which is 
still in existence. He was the great-grandfather of our deceased 
colleague. 

JoHX Hamilton Evins was born at the ancestral homestead, 
on Tvp;er River, on the 18th dav of Julv, 1830. In earlv life he 
enjoved such advantages of education as the country afforded, be- 
sides the precept and example of parents who were distinguished 
for high-toned principle, broad views, liberal hospitality, and earn- 
est Christian character. He received his higher education at the 
South Carolina College in its palmiest days, and graduated from 
that institution in the class of 1853. 

I first knew him in 1855, when both of us were young men, 
living under the same roof. He was then a student of the law, 
to the practice of which he was shortly afterward admitted, and I, 
somewhat his junior, was a college student pursuing my last year's 
course. He was then, as all his associates have ever found him to 
be in later days, a warm-hearted friend, -a courteous and cheerful 
companion, a just and honoral)le man. At this period of his life, 
in easy circumstances as to fortune, living in a section where his 



ADDRESS OF MB. DIBBLE, OF SOUTH CAEOLINA. \\ 

ancestry for several generations had attained merited distinction 
in social, religious, and political circles ; fitted by a liberal educa- 
tion for tile practice of his chosen profession, and enjoying daily 
intercourse ^vith tiie people of a refined and cultivated community, 
tliere opened before him the prospect of a happy and successful 
career. My deceased friend was fortunate in the possession of 
those traits \vhich enabled him to utilize the advautatres which 
surrounded him, and to achieve as high a degree of substantial 
success as his friends could have desired. 

After his admission to the bar he was associated in practice with 
that distinguished jurist, Hon. Thomas ]^. Dawkins, afterward one 
of the judges of our State courts, and with Jefferson Choice, esq., 
an able and experienced lawyer at Spartanburg, S. C. Throughout 
his whole life he has been engaged in the active duties of the pro- 
fession, except M-hen in military service as an officer of South Caro- 
lina troops in the confederate army, or when serving his State in 
the legislature and in Congress. At the outbreak of hostilities 
between the States in 1861 he was an officer in the first company 
raised in Spartanburg, and fought gallantly in the first battle of 
Manassas and other conflicts of the war. At the battle of Seven 
Pines in 1862 he was so severely wounded in the left arm that am- 
putation Avas proposed, but he refused his consent, and assumed 
the risk of the attempt to save the arm. This was accomplished 
through the skill and attention of his brother, who was a surgeon 
in the army, and the limb was preserved, but he was so seriously 
disabled as to be incapable of further active service in the field, and 
I am satisfied that the effi?cts of this wound Avere felt by him during 
the rest of his life. He continued, however, in the performance of 
light military duty until his election to the State legislature of 
South Carolina, where he served two terms. 

At the close of the war Colonel Evins had suffered in fortune, 
in common with his neighbors, but did not repine; on the contrary, 
he went to work with all his energy to repair the disasters entailed 
upon the South by that fearful struggle. About this time he mar- 
ried Miss Hattie D. Choice, the daughter of his former partner at 
law. The union was a congenial one, and his was a happy home. 



12 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

the seat of comfort, refinement, and generous hospitality. Success- 
ful at the bar, and enjoying the esteem and confidence of all who 
knew him, he was content to devote himself to his profession and 
to take a leading part in enterprises for the development of the re- 
sources of his native county and did not aspire to political honors. 
But in the agony of final reconstruction his State summoned him to 
her service. In 1876 he was tendered the nomination for Con- 
gress from his district without solicitation on his part, and for a 
time hesitated to accept it, but finally consented to do so as an act 
of duty, and was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress by a consider- 
able majority. Since then he served continuously as the Represent- 
ative of the fourth Congressional district of South Carolina, u]) 
to the time of his death. 

Without endeavoring to enter into the details of his useful serv- 
ices as a member of this House, I will simply sum up his character 
as a public man by calling attention to that independence of tliought 
and action, that freedom from all the arts and devices of the dema- 
gogue which distinguished his career. He was one of those who 
considered that the representative should not be like a weathercock, 
turning hither and thither according to every popular breeze, but 
that he should be rather a leader than a follower of public opinion 
in regard to matters pertaining to the work of legislation. He was 
of the class celebrated in the language of the classic poet: 

Justuni ot tenaceiu propositi virum 
Non civinni ardor prava jubeutium, 

» « # » * 

Meiite quatit solida. 

In the early days of the present Congress, his health, which had 
been gradually failing for some months, became more seriously af- 
fected, and he then informed his friends and constituency of his 
intention to decline a renomination, and to retire to private life. 
It was his hope at that time, and also that of his friends, that the 
eminent medical skill which he called to his assistance would avail 
to arrest the malady which threatened him. But alas ! all fond 
anticipations of returning health were gradually dispelled by the 
inroads which disease slowly but surely made upon his constitu- 



ADDBESS OF MIL DIBBLE, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 13 

tion, until finally it was evident to himself and all his friends that 
in a short time he would be in the immediate presence of death. 

For this emergency he had the preparation of a consistent Chris- 
tian life. Calm and undismayed, and trusting in God, he was 
ready to die. I have alluded to the lines of Horace in illustration 
of his independence of thought and action as a Representative. I 
can with equal fitness apply to him, when awaiting the last mortal 
struggle, the omitted line of the stanza, and say — 

Non vultus instantis tyranni 
Mente quatit solida. 

The session of Spartanburg Presbyterian church after his death 
thus place placed among their minutes his religious record: 

Colouel EviNS made a public profesaiou of religion early in life, ioiuiuo- Naza- 
reth, the chuich of his fathers. On the 4th of July, 1867, his membership 
was transferred to this church, and on the 28th of the same mouth he was or- 
dained to the deaconship. He continued to serve in this otfice until promoted 
by the unanimous voice of the congregation to the eldership, to which he 
was ordained November 13, 1870. He was also superintendent of the Sab- 
bath-school from 1868 until he entered Congress in 1877. He was also deeply 
interested in the welfare of the church, liberal in supporting every good work 
true and wise as a counselor to his pastor, and in every respect almost valu- 
able member and ofQcer. 

* * * His unswerving fidelity to religion, his genuine and practical loy- 
alty to his own church, and his eminent purity of life, ever shone out brir<-htly 
in all the circumstances in which ho was placed, whether in the walks of 
private life, in the quiet pursuit of his profession, or amid the temptations of 
the military camp or of the national capital. 

It was at his home in Spartanburg on Monday, October 20, 1884, 
that he quietly and peacefully breathed his last, passing literally 
from sleep to death. 

And now — 

'Tis little ; but it looks, iu truth, 

As if the quiet bones were blest 

Among familiar names to rest 
And in the places of his youth. 

Were I to yield, Mr, Speaker, to the emotions which arise as I 
recall to mind many incidents of my association with my departed 
friend, and feel how closely our lives were blended iu the recent 
past, I would be unfitted for the discharge of the duty of this hour. 



14 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

And I realize that wlien the country, in her legislative halls, la- 
ments the death of one of her public servants, there is little room 
in the liturgy of memorial ceremonies for the expression of a feeling 
of personal bereavement. Only around the desolate hearthstone, 
whence the loved one has departed, or in the select circle of his 
kinsmen and dearest friends, is there appropriate place for that 
sacred sorrow wdiich shuns the public gaze; while here are uttered 
only " the lesser griefs tliat may be said." 

And yet, while we, his fellow-members, are engaged in the last 
offices of respect to his memory, and are celebrating in solemn eu- 
loo-y his public career, in his relatioDS to his State as a citizen, to 
his constituency as a Representative, and as a legislator to his 
country, it is proper also to think of him as a true and tender hus- 
band and father, a trusty and warm-hearted friend, and an earnest 
and humble Christian. 

And occasions like the present, interspersed here and there in 
the routine of our official occupations, furnish to us the opportu- 
nity for solemn reflection, teaching the frail tenure by which we 
maintain our foothold on earth ere we sink into our resting places 
beneath its surface. Is there not something for our inspiration, Mr. 
Speaker, in the example of one who has, as a sentinel upon his 
post, walked uprightly upon his appointed round holding fast to 
the watchwords of honor and of truth? 

No life 
Cau be pure in its purpose, aucl strong in its strife, 
And all life not be purer and stronger thereby. 



Address of Mr. Browne, of Indiana. 

These memorial occasions, Mr. Speaker, come to this House 
with frightful frequency. Those who meet here are one by one 
dropping by the wayside as they journey on. Not a session passes 
but we pause to embalm in the records of this body a tribute to 
the faithful public services of some honored Representative who 
has gone to "that undiscovered country." At each Congress there 



AD DEES S OF MB. BROWNE, OF INDIANA. 15 

are those who come to these halls ambitious of distinction, inspired 
by high resolves, buoyant with hope, and having promise of long 
and useful lives, who play their parts but for a day and are then 
called foi-ever from their labors. This sorrowful experience re- 
peats itself with unvarying regularity, and so it will be until the 
end. And yet how little we know of death save its certainty! 
We know it is appointed that all shall die, and that from this stern 
decree there is no appeal. To-day we speak words of tribute to 
the memory of one wdio sleeps under the sunny skies of the South; 
to-morrow we may be called to perform a like sad office for one 
whose new-made grave rests under the white raiment of the 
Northern snows. Who knows? Fortunately to none has been 
given the power to cast upon the horoscope the figure of our com- 
ing griefs, and we know 

But the pnge prescribeil, the present stnte. 

May we not here indulge the hope that of every tear of sorrow 
shed on the graves of our dead some good will be born, and that 
in the '' destroyer's pathway there will spring up bright creations 
that will iXkt'iy his power" and convert the valley of darkness into 
a pathway of light. May not this day repeat the solemn lesson 
that death reigns in all portions of time; that — 

The golden snn, 
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 
Are shining on the sad abodes of death. 

The autumn with its fruits provides disorders for us, and the winter's cold 
turns them into sharp diseases, and the spring brings flowers to strew our 
hearse, and the summer gives green turf and brambles to bind upon our 
graves. Calentures and surfeit, cold and agues are the four quarters of the 
year, aud all minister to death; and yon can go no whither but you tread on 
dead men's bones. 

I was not wholly unprepared, Mr. Speaker, for the announce- 
ment of the death of John H. Eyixs. While he was still with 
us, taking part in our counsels and in the business of this House, 
I was told by an eminent physician who had been consulted by 
him that he was incurably stricken by a malady that has long de- 
fied the skill of the medical profession, aud that his life could be 



16 LTFE AND CHARACTKE OF JOHN H. EVfSS. 

prolont>e(l but for a few months at most. It was difficult to be- 
lieve that one I saw here almost daily in the performance of his 
public duties, who moved so calmly among us, was so soon to die ; 
but, as was predicted, to that inexorable disease he soon fell a vic- 
tim. Burdened, doubtless, with the consciousness that his pil- 
grimage was near its end, he stood at the post of duty until near 
the close of the session, when he left us, and, after a brief and 
fruitless search for health, returned to his home that his grave 
miffht be made in the land of his nativity and amono- those of his 
ancestors. 

Mr. EviNS died just as he touched life's meridian. With his 
culture and intellectual equipment, his unexhausted resources, had 
health and life been spared him, what position might he not have 
attained ! Who can tell? Who can measure what of eifortand of 
achievement were prevented by that dread disease that held him in 
its grasp and drained the very fountains of his life? Who knows 
what it is to feel the life-current ebbing gently but slowly away ? 
How the icy touch of the death malady must obscure every light 
and paralyze every energy ! It was not my good fortune to know 
the deceased as he was known by those neighbors and associates 
who enjoyed his personal companionship and hospitality. Those 
who met him in the family circle, who sat at his table and by his 
hearth-stone, have fitly spoken of the excellence of his social and 
the refined purity and happiness of his domestic life. A happy 
home was his. How home hallows and elevates the human char- 
acter! How cheerless would life be without its endearments, and 
how aimless our ambitions but for the impulse it gives to our ef- 
forts ! 

All bear witness to the uprightness of his daily life and his ster- 
ling integrity of character. He exemplified the sincerity of his 
Christian faith by his works — Avorks in the fields of the Master. 
By no truer test than this can man be judged, for — 

'Tis not the wide pliylactery, 

The stubborn fast, nor stated prayers, 

That make us saints ; we judge the tree 
By what it bears. 



ADDRESS OF MR. BROWNE, OF INDIANA. 17 

That his personal and public life coninianded the respect of his 
peoj)le is shown by the unanimity with whicli he was twice chosen 
to represent them in the Ltsgislature of his State, and by four suc- 
cessive elections to a seat in this House. A manly character only 
ct)uld have inspired such confidence ; a faithful service only could 
have secured its continuance. That he went to the field, that he 
put his life to the hazard of battle for the cause that had his sym- 
pathy, proved that he had the courage to follow, rei^ard less of per- 
sonal peril, his duty as God had given him to see to it. It has 
been said : 

No one kuow.s wiial is aljsohitely riglit, but ovcry uuo knows what \m tliiuks 
to be right, and the higliost law is obeyed by hitn wlio Ibliews honestly the 
best lif;lit that shines within him and j^ains the ai)()ruval of his conscience. 

Who does better than he who puts his best thought, his higiiest 
and maturest convictions of right, into his life-work ? Perfection 
is for God alone. Among men he deserves well who follows with 
unfaltering courage where his best and most enlightened judgment 
leads. 

I but give voice to the spontaneous expression of an intelligent 
constituency, under whose eye passed in review every act of his 
private and public career, when I put on the enduring records of 
the national Congress their united testimony thatjoiix H. EviNS 
was an honest man ; that everywhere, at all times and in the largest 
and truest sense, he was an honest man and an incorruptible public 
servant; that his personal integrity was manifest in his professional 
and ])olitical life and in his e very-day dealings. It is said of him 
that as an advocate he refused to prosecute those he thought inno- 
cent, or defend the cause that was tainted with dishonesty or want- 
ing in the element of justice. What a commendable example was 
this to that high profession whose mission it is, regardless of the 
blandishments of })ower or the temptations of reward, to defend the 
rio;ht and secure redress for the wron";ed. 

My first meeting with Mr. EviNS was in the Forty-fifth Con- 
gress. A trivial circumstance led me to seek his ac(piaintance. 
Emigrants from Virginia and the Carol iuas, among whom were the 
sons of the men who fought with INlorgan on the memorable field 

2ev 



18 TIFE AND CHARACTEli OF JOHN H. EfLXS. 

(»r the ( \»\\ pens, settled more tliaii a hall' a century ai;(» in the Con- 
gressional district I ha\'ethe lionor to i-e|)i-es<'nt, and oa\e the name 
S|)artanl)ui-g to the village in which for many pleasant yeai's I 
made my home, and whose people for more than a third of" a cen- 
tury have reposed in me an nnmerited confidence. I desired to 
know the representative ot'the historie district of Spartanbnrgh, 8. 
v., a section so familiar to many of my people, and that I enjoyed 
that honor will be one of" the cherished memories of my life. My 
ac(piaintniice with him began and ended hert'. It was a brief 
friendshij), but was long enough to leave witli me enduring impres- 
sions of the man. He was of nature's nobility and a typical repre- 
sentative of that section of our Union that in the cohjnial day gave 
to our Revolution and the cause of popular government such heroic 
men as Wood and White, Moore and Roderic. 

From the first he impressed me by his dignified but gentle 
courtesy and his unostentatious personal bearing. He at once won 
my sinccrest esteem. One who knew him intimately, one of his 
distinguished colleagues hei"e, tells me that one of his most nota- 
ble charac-terislics was his unobtrusive modesty; that this kept- 
him from })ressing forward here and asserting his title to the high 
position which by reason of his learning and his talents rightfully 
belonged to him. '^Fhis statement is corroborated by my observa- 
tion. Life, however, has no brighter ornament than a true and 
unadorned modesty, and the character in which this resides is 
always enriched by the noblest of virtues. 

Mr. EviNS was in his very nature tolerant. I always found 
him most charitable to those who challenged his cherished beliefs. 
He let mere difl^erences of opinion glide — 

luto the silcut hollows of the past. 

Espousing opposite sides of the bloody controversy through 
which our people passed but a score of years ago, and widely sep- 
arated as we were in opinion on many questions, we were in full 
accord in the hope that from the reunited Republic would be ban- 
ished every hate ; that ev(;ry wound would l)e healed ; that the 
waste places would be repaired, and there be ushered in a new and 
enduring era of prosperity and fraternity. He was a disciple of 



ADDEESS OF MR. BROWNE, OF INDIANA. 19 

that great Teacher who taught tlie ins[)ii'e(l phihwopliy that the 
nio.st Iieroie revenge was the return of good for evil. With nie 
lie believed this truth should be taught in every pulpit, inscribed 
on the doors of evei'v temple and on the folds of every banner. 

It is a pleasing faith that God has planted in the human heart 
the germ of an unresting progress, and that in Plis own good time 
it will unfold a charity strong enough to paralyze the ambitions of 
men and convert armies and navies into ministers of peace and 
love. It will be a glorious era when love takes the government 
of men out of the hands of force. How beautiful would be that 
reign, how bloodless and painless its triumplis! If, as the astron- 
omers tell us, the moon with its white arms reaches down and lifts 
the mighty billows of the sea toward the stars, may not pity reach 
down and lift the impulses of the human heart to love and God, 
and I)anish violence and warfiire from the world forever? 

Mr. EviNS w'as a member of the church, a consistent follower 
of the Nazarine, and lived and died in the C'n-istian's faith that 
there is in the universe an overruling Providence and an immortal 
life beyond the grave. With that cold materialism of the age 
which teaches the annihilation of the human soul he had no sym- 
pathy. Who can believe that beyond the grave there is only 
nothingness ? 

If that marvelous microcosm, man, with all the costly cargo of his facul- 
ties and powers, were indeed a rich argosy, fitted out and freighted only for 
shipwreck and destruction, who among us that tolerate the present only 
from the hope of the future, who that have any aspirings of a high and in- 
tellectual nature ahout them, could he h ought to submit to the disgusting 
mortifications of the voyage ? 

True, no thought comes to us from the mute lips of the dead. 

They do not speak to us across the darkness. They display no 

beacon from the shoreless beyond to light us through the gloomy 

abyss; but — 

A voice within us si^eaks the startling word, 
"Man, thou shalt not die!" Celestial voices 
Hymn it 'round our souls: according har}is, 
By angel fingers touched, when the mild stars 
Of morning sang together, sound forth still 
The song of our great immortality! 



20 IJl'E AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVISS. 

Tliiik-cliistt'iiiii; orlis, jiiiil tliis our I'aii' (loiniiiii, 
The tall, dark uuiiiiitaius, ami the (.lt,'t'|i-toued Keas, 
Join ill this Koleiiiu, iiiiivcisal t;oiig. 
* « # * # 

The dying hcai' it; and, as sounds of oaiMi 
Cirow dull and distant, wake their passing souls 
To mingle in this heavenly harmony. 

Is it probable t])at ci-oative wisdom would have made gross 
matter eternal, indestruetible, and provided that sensation, life, 
only should be forever destroyed? 

Although John H. Kvin.s is dead He who every springtime 
wilh sunshine and shower touehes the bosom of the earth that the 
rose and the jasmine may come forth and shed their fragrance and 
beauty on the world will not allow a human soul, the very culmina- 
tion of his creation, to remain forever in the night of the grave. 
Sorrowing friends and a mourning household find consolation in 
this sad hour in (he thought that there is a light radiating from the 
cross haloing the world with its brightness, glowing with divine 
beantv — the light of an example and a Cl)ristian philosophy — 
that points tiie soul to a better life and implants within the human 
heart both a hope and a faith in the resurrection. 



Address of Mr. Hardeman, of Georgia, 

Mr. Speaker: The desliny of man is dissolution, and tlie history 
of material organization is decay. To know our end is the lesson 
of life, for life in its entire analysis is but a lesson; its preface the 
cradle, its finale the grave. The great voice that John heard out 
of heaven saying, "There shall be no more death," was not the 
language of earth, but the unmistakable vernaeidar of that celes- 
tial land above. "Dust to dust, earth to earth, ashes to ashes," is 
the idiom of earth, voiced by the shroud, the coffin, and the grave. 
To that voice this House is listening to-day, as it comes from the 
grave of John H. Evins, of South Carolina, who but a few months 
ago responded to our roll-call and was zealously engaged in the 
discharge of official duties and pidjlic trusts. His death has made 



ADDRESS OF MR. HARDEMAN, OF (lEOROTA. 21 

another blank pa<;v in ouv (Congressional history. How many are 
there in our l)ook of records, caeh one suggesting- to the living that 
their names will soon be written in the journal of death. Lookin<>- 
upon tho.-e pages I connnune with the past — with its hopes and 
disappointments, its victories and its defeats, its life and its death. 
The living present recalls the dead past. The "now" reviews the 
"before" and foreshadows the "hereafter." The Representatives 
living walk in the cemetery where their comrades sleep, and read 
nj)on the tombstones the epitaphs and eidogics of those who have 
l)assed away. Among the sleepers there, none were more entitled 
to res})ect than was he whose funeral ceremonies we are observing 
to-day. Born on t^outhern soil and under sinniy skies, he imbibed 
in his nature their genial attributes, as evidenced in tlie gentleness 
of his manner, the warmth of his nature, and the [)uritvof his life. 
Devoted to the South, his whole being was Hred with an ardent 
love for the welfare ot his j»eople, the honor of his secttion, and the 
glory of his State. Patriotism with him w^as an innate principle. 

It mattered not, whether upon the tented field battling for what 
he deemed "the right" or in this Hall counseling reconciliation and 
peace, but one star went before him to light his wav. That was 
the star of patriotic duty, and the light of that star was only ol)- 
scured by the night of death. lT|)right in his deportment, warm 
in his friendship, truthfid in his nature, and exemj)lary in charac- 
ter, he commanded the esteem of all who knew him. Honored 
l)y his fellow-citizens for a series of years with State and Federal 
offices, he j)ei-formed their duties with strict fidelity, retaining to 
the close of his life the unwavering confidence of those he was 
serving. Sensitive in his nature, quiet and retiring in his manners, 
studious, as far as a weak constitution would permit, he was most 
appreciated by those with whom he was best acquainted. Fidel it v 
to principle was the chart of his life. Duty discharged the rule of 
his action. He had a presentiment fi)r months that his end was 
approaching, so the summons was not unexpected and the grim 
monster found him pano[)Iicd in the armor of a Christian faith 
and ready for his sunniions. It soon came. 

On the 2(Jth October last, when nature was clothing herself in 



22 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EJ'INS. 

saftVon and autumn was searing flower and forest, he went down 
to the grave "like a shock of corn that comet h in his season." In 
scanning the actions of his life, nothing that was unmanly or unbe- 
coming met the eye; for his life was irreproachable; for. Enoch- 
like, " he walked wMtli God." Stricken down in the meridian of 
life and the zenith of his usefulness, his loss will be felt around the 
family altar, where his qualities of head and heart shone most 
brightly, in the circle of friends that he enlivened with a refined 
geniality, and in this legislative hall, where he was serving with 
ability his fourth term. A man of education and intelligence, his 
convictions were the outgrowth of an enlightened judgment, and 
though unpretentiously asserted, they were maintained with inflex- 
ible firmness — not the firmness born of self-conceit and inordinate 
vanity, but that which is prompted by a consciousness of right and 
modest merit. 

Serving with him upon a committee of this House of which he 
was chairman, I soon learned to estimate his character and appre- 
ciate his solid worth. To the members composing that committee 
it became apparent early in the session that he was laboring under 
a malady that had numbered his days. We were not surprised 
when the end was announced. The book of his life has been 
closed, and if we are not permitted to break the seals thereof we 
can profitably recall the memory of him whose name is written 
therein, associated as it is with a life of usefulness, of strict integ- 
rity, of noble impulses and Christian graces. In recalling his 
memory, in reviewing his life, we are forcibly reminded that — 

Our livos are albuuis, written tlu-onj^li 
Witb fvoinl or ill, Nvith false or true ; 
Aud as the blessed aiijjels turn 

The pages of our years, 
God grant they read the good with suiiles, 

And bless the ills with tears. 

The history we now make will live after we go hence, for, as was 
written by Paul, "None of us liveth to himself, aud no man dieth 
to himself." Truly may this be said of him whose nieiuory we now 
commemorate; for though he has j)assed away he yet lives in pre- 
cept and Christian example. As the winds that sweep over a bed 



ADDRESS OF MB. GEORGE, OF OREGON. 23 

of violets bear on tlieir wings their fragrant perfnnie, so Joes a 
pure life earry with it the fragrance of noble deeds, exenn)lary vir- 
tues, and Christian graces. But such a life is no barrier against 
the approach of the fell destroyer; and, yielding to his power, our 
companion fell. 

Theu gave bis name to tbe world again — 

His blessed past to Heaven ; tben slept in peace. 

Peaceful be the repose, for he only sleeps. The beautiful flower, 
scorched by summer's suns or blighted by autumn's frost, \yithers 
and ai)pai'eritly dies ; but it does not die; it only falls to sleep 
in the lap of winter and will bloom again when "the sjiringtime 
Cometh." So our friend has fallen to sleep on the bosom of his 
Saviour, there to remain until the Father wakes him to the joys of 
eternal life. With great satisfaction we can review his character, 
so strong in its structure, so complete in its appointments, so pol- 
ished in its finish. And callous is the heart to all instincts of the 
good and the true who can contemplate the life of such a man, so 
pure, so gentle, so lovely while in health, so ])atient in sickness, so 
calm and triumphant in death, and not exclaim with Balaam, "Let 
me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his." 



Address of Mr. George, of Oregon. 

jNIr. Speaker: I wish to add a few words of tribute to the mem- 
ory of our departed friend. 

Although I had but a limited acquaintance with Mr. Evins, I 
learned to respect him for his many good qualities of mind and 
heart. 

His integrity of character was of the highest order, and he was 
positive in his convictions of right and duty. 

As a law-maker he was not bound by local limits, but euferi'<l 
fully into the spirit of legislation I'or all sections. 

'J'h(»ugh repi'csentiug States far disttuit, we were often drawn to- 
gether on commcMi groiuid in matters of legislative interest. I 
alwavs found him kind and considerate, .sociai)le and earnest. 



24 LIFE AN1> CnARACTER OF JOHN U. EVINt<. 

I state my own impressions very briefly eoneernini;' liis life and 
character, and leave to otiiers who knew him hunger and more in- 
timately the (Inty of a more elaborate recital of his life and serv- 
ices. It is a day of sadness for all who knew him. 

( )nr late associate, so nnivc^rsally esteemed, now lies beneath the 
sod, and luider the j)ine and the palmetto of his native; State. May 
his manv good deeds long be remembered! JNIay his memory ever 
briirhten ! 



Address of Mr. DowD, of North Carolina. 

Mr. Sl'EAKKH. Mv ai'(jnaintance with the deceased may l)e said to 
have commenced nj)on tlie occasion of the fnneral of the late Presi- 
dent (larlield. Before that \ had met (\)lonel KviNS on one or 
two occasions only, and our acipiaintance was merely casual, al- 
though our homes were but sixty miles ai)art. During the l()ng 
and melancholy trip to Cleveland, Ohio, and back*, we were much 
in each other's company. There was no one in the entire ])arty 
whom T had ever met before exce])t ( 'ohmel I'^viiNS, and I naturally 
gravitated to him as a neighbor and fri(»nd. 

From the beginning of the Forty-seventh Congress oui' relations 
grew closei' and our friendshi]) stronger. l)ui'ing (hat ( ongress I 
was more intimate with (olonel FvJNS than with any other mem- 
ber of the House. W<' boarded at the sauK; hotel, occupied seats 
at the same tal)le, and sal neai- eacli other in this Hall. We often 
lunched together, occasionally attended church and theaters to- 
gether, and trcfpiently took long walks and drives through the city. 
I think [ knew him well. T believe I thoroughly iuiderstoo<l his 
charact(a'. 

I am not of those who believe that all good is in the j)ast, or 
that oidy good nuMi die. I have said upon another oci^asion that 
th(! true oifice of eulogy is not the bestowal of" indiscriminate praise. 
The highest test of character is to place the good and the bad in 
shar|) contrast. I am no enthusiast, but think I can discern the 
imperfections as well as the merits (iveii of very warm friends. Nor 
do I believe anv man can be absolutelv fi'ee from guile, or that 



ADDRESS OF Mil. DOWD, OF NOFTH CAROLINA. 25 

much good can l)e found in the woi'ld unmixed with evil. On tlie 
contraiy, I believe that everywhere within the domain of lunnan 
existence evil and good, if not actually intermixed, arc in close 
proximity. Nothing is perfect; no man can be perfec^t. And yet, 
I say with deliberation that I have never known a better man than 
John Hamilton Evixs. I have known men of greater intellects 
and greater learning, men of more obtrusive and cons])icuous (|ual- 
ities, but I have never known a more conscientious and thoroughlv 
good man. I^ong ago he must have fought life's supremest battle 
and gained the victory over self. Early in life he nuist have put 
in complete subjection those evil impulses and passions which are 
the common heritage of us all, and which surely concjuer all who 
do not coiupier them, and by which so many thousands and tens of 
thousands of wcakei' men, after struggling against them for yeais, 
have at last l)een enslaved and ruined. 

While I knew INFr. Evinh I am sure he never did anything 
whi(;h he believed was wrong. He held an easy mastery over all 
manner of temptation. Without regard to j)aiu or pleasure, he 
never for an instant hesitated between what was right and what was 
even dubious or (piestionable in its character. He was a sincere and 
gennine Christian. He believed in the Jiible, the God of the Bible, 
and all its teachings, as naturally and as implicitly as the babe 
warms and glows in the mellow radiance of a mother's love. The 
precepts of that Great Book were his gin"de through life, and its 
j)romises and assurances were, no doubt, his solace and comfort as 
he ap])roached the valley and shadow of death. I had not the 
pleasure to know much of the domestic life of Colonel EviNS, 
but it was evidently beautiful and lovely in the liighest degree. 
He left a widow, who must have been from the day of their mar- 
riage indeed "an helpmeet for liim." He left also a large and in- 
teresting family of children. A recent letter from Mrs. Evins 
contains the following patlietic an<l touching language: 

or my loss it is impossible for me as yet to speak ; bereft of such a linsbaiKl, 
with the terrible responsibility of bringiug up our chilclreu without the help 
and comfort of liis living presence, I feel my burden to be almost greater 
th.'iu I can bear. ]\Iy trust, however, is in the God of the widow and or- 
phau, and I know he will not forsake us. 



26 LIFE AND CH.lh'ACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

T ai^peiid and bet;' to present in connection with my remarks the' 
minutes of Spartanbnrg Presbyterian chnrch, adopted at a ses- 
sion held November 10, 1884, which very fully and very accu- 
rately portrays the sterling qualities and exalted merits of the 
lamented deceased : 

MuiiiUs adopted by the sessiou of S^Hirttinhuiv/ church, Xorembcr 10, 1884. 

John Hamilton Evins was Ijorn of i)ioiis pareutage., at the family home- 
stead, on Tyger River, Spartanbnrg District, Sontli Carolina, July IH, ]8W. 
His father, Col. Samnel N. Evins, was a man of l)road intellect, sterling in- 
tegrity, high-toned principle, and Cliristian zeal; and his mother a woman 
ofd(H'.ided character and earnest pieiy. He thns grew np nnder the most 
wholesome inllnences, receiving from his childhood that stamp of character 
which h<'- developed in manhood. Possessed of ani|)le means, his father gave 
him such advantages of edncation, both in the common scluxd and the col- 
lege, as the conntry atfordcnl, and he was gradnated at Sonth Carolina Col- 
lege in 1853. Soon after this he began the stndy of law at Spartanlinrg, and 
was admitted to the bar in Ihfjfi. To his profession he devoted himself with 
energy and snccess, and won a high place in tlie legal fraternity of this sec- 
tion. 

Upon the breaking out of the civil war in 18(U he promptly tendered his 
Hervic(\s to his native State, and served faithfully in the Confederate army, 
lirst as lieutenant and afterward as captain of the Spartan Rifles. He was 
severely wounded in the left shoulder at the battle of Seven Pines, and was 
disabled from further active service in the field, but was nevertheless pro- 
moted to the rank of lientenant-colonel and assigned to lighter military duty 
nearer houH". While thus detained at home he was elected to the State Leg- 
islature, and served there in the sessions of 1863 and 18()4. 

After the war ho r«!sinned the practice of law, in which he was actively and 
constantly engaged until 1870, when, in the great political struggle for the 
lecovery of the State from the hands of aliens and plunderers, ho was nomi- 
nated for Congress from the fonrth Congressional district, and was elected by 
a large majority. At three successive elections he was iigain chosen to the 
same high office, and continned to serve faithfully and well in the National 
Legislatnre nntil arrested by death. 

Colonel Evins made a pnblic profession of religion early in life, joining 
Nazareth, the chnrch of his fathers. On the 4th Jnly, 18(i7, his membership 
was transferred to this chnrch, and on the 28th of the same month he was or- 
dained to the deaconship. He continned to serve in this office nutil promoted 
by the unanimons voice of the congregation to the eldership, to which he was 
ordained November 13, 1870. He was also superintendent of the Sabbath 
sc-hool from 18(i8 until he entered Congressin 1877. He was deeply interested 
in the welfare of the chnrch, liberal in supporting every good work, true and 
wise as a counselor to his pastor, and in every respect a nu)st valuable uumu- 
bcr and officer. About <ine year ago his health began to fail, and upon con- 
sultation with eminent physicians in Washington he became convinced that 



ADDRESS OF ME. LAND AM, OF TEXAS. 27 

111" was the subject of incurable disease. He bore this fearful conviction 
calmly and with Christian courage and resignation, at the same time dili- 
gently using all human means that gave jironiise of relief. But he gradually 
sauk under the steady encroachments of disease. His heart had become se- 
riously affected and his lungs so obstructed thereby that breathing at times 
became difficult and painful- Yet his mind remained clear and his sj>irits 
cheerful. He was well aware that his days were few, but he was not dis- 
turbed at the thought, his confidence resting in God. And on Monday, Oc- 
tober 20, about 11 o'clock a. m., calmly and without a struggle, fell asleep 
while sitting in his chair at his home in Spartanburg. 

The tidings quickly si)read throughout the city, and the whole community 
mourned his loss. The next day the funeral services were held in the church 
whore he had so often and so long delighted to worship God. Au immense 
concourse of people, more than the house could contain, gathered to pay the 
last tribute of respect to one whom all honored and cherished. The pastor 
conducted the services, assisted by the Rev. R. H. Reid, the former pastor 
and warm personal friend of the deceased, and the Rev. Ellison Capers, who 
had attended with a delegation from the city of Greenville ; and the body was 
solenmly and sadly laid away in the family plat of the town cemetery to await 
the resurrection of the just. 

Colonel Evixs was married in 1865 to Miss Hattie D. Choice, the daughter 
of his former law partner, and she, Avith eight children, the youngest at in- 
fant of five months, survives him. He was a tender husband and a wise and 
conscientious parent, and the loss to his family in his untimely removal is sad 
and inestimable. 

Our lamented brother was a man of noble impulses, of exalted principles, 
and of most exemplary life. His character possessed a completeness and 
beauty rarely found on earth, and the virtues which distinguished him were 
niany, excellent, and striking. His unswerving fidelity to religion, his gen- 
uine and practical loyalty to his own church, and his eminent purity of'^life 
ever shone out brightly in all the circumstances in which he was placed, 
whether in the walks of private life, in the quiet pursuit of his profession^ 
amid the temi.tations of the military camp, or the corrupt atmosphere of the 
national capital. And withal he was a i)ublic-spirited citizen, who lived and 
labored not for selfish gain and aggrandizement, but always felt a lively in- 
terest and performed an active part in anything looking tothe welfjire of the 
community, the State, or the country. The loss of such a man may well be 
mourned and his example sacredly treasured. 



Address of Mr. Lanham, of Texas. 

Mr. Speaker: There are two oeeasioiis in tlio proceedings of 
tliis Honse when no sonnd of tnninlt eonieth to mar its grave deoo- 
riini or distnrb its solemn stillness. The one is when we bow the 
head at the voice of prayer ; the other is in the obitnary service we are 



'28 LIFE AND CHATiACTEI! OF JOnX JT. EVINS. 

acciistonuMl to |)orl()riii wlien one of" its ihcuiIk'I's lias yielded to the 
ultimate a|)|)(iii)tinei)t of our race and lijono tlie way o(" all the 
eai'th. lleverenee f'oi' the Deity and i-esi)eet for our holy reli<:;i()n 
prompt us iu the one case; regard for the dead and a forced recog- 
nition of our own mortality moye us in the other. Our attention 
is arrested, (■lainor (teases, the proprieties of dignified silence are 
ohseryed, and wo cannot escape a, serious and profound i-effection. 
The latter occasion is once more upon us, and I ol)ey tlu; impulse 
of mv heart when, participating in these ceremonies, I offer my 
humble contribution to the ^vork of this hour and attempt to bear 
testimony to the worthy life and excellent character of my de|)arted 
friend and br(»ther ( *aroliiiian. It seems not inappropriate that I 
should do so, for I hayc; known the deceased from my boyhood. 
We were born and I'cared in the same county. He was the hon- 
ored and trusted i'e|)reseutatiye of my people and kindred, [jittle 
would it haye been imagined years ago, when 1 bade him and 
other friends of mv youth fiii'ewell and (piitted my early home to 
seek a settling-place "iu the land of the setting sun," that he and 
I should long aftei'ward be i-eunited in these Halls to mingle a 
while together and enjoy the fellowship of other days, then to part 
again iu death, and that J should be called up(tn in this presence 
to perform the sad (bitv which now deyolves u|)()n me. 

Who Iviiows the wa,\s of llic worhl, 
How God will liriu!;' tlu'in iihout f 

Life is strange; personal histiir\- is mysterious. The vicissi- 
tudes ol" humanity, the multiplied and diversified incidents which 
make u]> our pilgrimages through the world, the transitions, the 
separations and reunions, the changes of the times and our changes 
ill (hem, the innumerable strange; things that come to pass along 
the journey of life; and then the fallings j)y tlie wayside, the 
scenes and eirciimstances which attend "(he ineyitai)le hour," the 
]>erio(ls and mediods at and by which we are (aken off, the inscrut- 
able purposes involved, all carry with them tluiir often sad and 
always instructive; lessons, and serve to impress ujKjn the minds of 
(houghtliil men a c<)iifirmation of that j)liilosophy which teaches 

that — 

There's a divinity that .shapes our euds, 
Koujih-hcw theni how we will. 



ADDRESS OF MB. LANHAM, OF TEXAS. 29 

I f^liall never forget how kindly and eortlially he received me 
here, the welcome he gave nie, the geuerons pleasure he evinced at 
meeting his former county-man in this body, the unselfish interest 
he took in my behalf, how readily and cheerfully he instructed me 
ill my new duties, giving me the results of his own ex[)erience and 
ofFeriiig friendly and needful suggestions for my guidance. My 
gratitude, my esteem, my affection toward him daily grew and 
strengthened by tlie renewal of our intercourse and his numerous 
oflices of friendship and kindness. Whether I can now speak of 
him as I would desire or as becomes the occasion, my tribute is at 
least sincere and heartfelt. 

He once said, "In this dark world of ours there is no richer 
gem than sorrow's diadem — a tear." I can, indeed, give to his 
memory that "test of affection," and say of a truth that I deplore 
his loss and grieve that he is no more. His death, which oc- 
curred at his home in S])artanburg, 8. C, October 20, 1884, was 
not unexpected to me, for 1 had observed with constant solicitude 
and increasing a[)i)rehension the fearful inroads which a dreadful 
and fatal malady was ra])idly making upon his strength and con- 
stitution ; and when a few weeks before the adjournment of the 
last session he was compelled to seek the supposed benefits of a 
different climate and healing waters, and told me good-bye I felt 
and feared it was the last time I should see him in the flesh. 

John Hamilton Evins was born in Spai-tanburg district, 
South Carolina, July 18, 1830. He was graduated from the 
South Carolina College in 1853, when to bear a diploma from that 
institution was to bespeak a thorough and classic education, and to 
carry a passport to the best circles of refinement and culture. He 
chose the law for his ])rofession, and successfully practi(;ed the 
same until the beginning of the war. He joined the confederate 
army, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. His array life 
meant actual service, exposure to danger and loss of blood. He 
always had "a place in the picture near the flashing of the guns," 
and was severely wounded at the battle of Seven Pines. No man 
made better record as a soldier. 

For two years he represented his district with great efficiencv 



30 LIl'E AND CIIAHAVrER OF JOHN //. EVINS. 

and ac(r|)(al)ility in tlii; Irtxislalure of liis native State, and in 187(J 

lie was nouunated for Con<!;rcss, and went vi,i;-oronsly to work in 

what then a])i)eare<l a niost ditticult uudertakinti;, to assist in tiie 

i'edeni])tion of the State he loved so well from the conditions of 

inisrnle and political degradation to which her people had been 

rednced. Immediately succeeding- the war the lot of no Southern 

Stat(! was easy; that of South Carolina was harder than all. She 

was the inviting ])rey of roving and greedy adventurers who 

gathered about her prostrate form and fattened upon her misery. 

Not the valiant soldiery who had defeated her in war — not these, 

heroic and chivalrous, who always 

KaihC tlic foe wbcii in battU- laid low, 
And batlie every wonnd with a tear — 

not {patriotic and established citizens of any State who could claim 
a permanent local habitation, or were inspired by a pure purpose 
of genuine and salutary reconstruction for the common good of 
the common countiy ; but migratory spoilsmen and local recreants, 
itinerant stirrers of strife and home agitators of discord, who never 
saw the smoke of battle, found their special field of operation in 
the Palmetto State, and sought by every means to aggravate, 
mortify, humiliate, and crush her suffering people. Disquietude 
and antagonisms were excited and kept alive as the appointed 
means of selfish gain. It was amid such conditions as these, and 
infinitely worse than here described, the recollection of which is 
not revived from any partisan motive but to illustrate his impor- 
tant service — when success seemed almost hopeless — that Colonel 
EviNS was summoned to the front by his confiding and admiring 
people, and right gallantly he bore their standard and led them on 
to victory. He was re-elected for three successive terms, and, owing 
to his declining health, voluntarily retired, wdi en it was well known 
that he could have received a fifth nomination. 

My actual knowledge of his Congressional service is limited to 
the present term and what I saw of him in the connnittee of which 
he was chairman and on the floor of the House in the last session ; 
but I have learned from others that his course has been uniformly 
commendable, manly, and pati-iotic. He seems to have possessed 



JDDUESS OF ME. LANE AM, OF TEXAS. 31 

in an unusual degree the esteem and confidence of those with whom 
he has betr. associated here, without regard to political creed or 
party affiliation. Exemplary conduct, daily walk and conversa- 
tion exceptionally pure, habits discreet and temperate, methods 
direct and honorable, a correct and stainless private and public 
life are universally affirmed of him. He was a quiet, observant, 
thoughtful man, accustomed to a careful and considerate analysis 
of the right or wrong of a measure. He was not afflicted with 
any undue or indecent eagerness for mere p/'o forma public utter- 
ance, but spoke only when actuated by a sense of duty and the 
necessity of the case, and then earnestly and honestly. 

He was singularly free from any disposition for mere empty 
display or artificial appearance. He disdained disguise and de- 
spised dissimulation. He was a thoroughly earnest man. His in- 
fluence, although quietly exerted and employing only such forces 
as appeal to reflecting minds, was always cogent and pervasive. 
All men had respect for his judgment and the rectitude and sound- 
ness of his convictions. He might not perhaps be classed as a 
great and distinguished statesman in the usual acceptation of the 
term, and yet I think he was an extraordinary man, and that he 
towered among his fellows in all the solid and sterling elements of 
character. He was safe, accurate, sound, and practical. He was 
positive, reliable, and useful ; always trusted, never doubted. In 
him, wherever a true man was wanted a true man was found. 
Such are the men who enact wise and wholesome legislation. This 
cannot be said of erratic, uncertain, and visionary men, how bril- 
liant soever they may be. It can be well remarked of him, as he 
said of his deceased colleague, Mr. O'Connor: 

No constituency ever had a more faithful and devoted Representative, 
South Carolina no truer sou, the cause of liberty no firmer fi'ieud, tjranny 
and wrong no more relentless foe. 

I come now, Mr. Speaker, to say a word of his higher manhood 
and "holier chivalry." It was once observed by an eminent 
religious philosopher that — 

In Christianity, and Pn Christianity alone, can be discovered character in 
harmonious wholeness, at once the "righteous man," high in the piactice of 



32 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

all social virtues, stern in his inflexible adhesion to the utter right, and the 
" (jood man," who has won for himself a revenue of affection, at whose name 
men's eyes sparkle and their spirits glow as if a sunbeam glinted in. 

He had this " harmonious wholeness," He was an efficient 
elder in the Presbyterian Church and a consistent Christian. He 
was always ready with hand and purse in the encouragement of 
religious enterprises. From the appeals of charity he turned not 
away. He preserved in his metropolitan associations and public 
life the vSame devotion to his religious obligations which he prac- 
ticed at home and among his friends and neighbors. 

It requires a true heroism to withstand the solicitations to vice 
and dissipation which abound in high places. It must be con- 
fessed that temptations lie thick in the pathway of a public man 
at the Federal capital. The allurements of the world, the pomp 
and pageantry of sin, are difficult to resist. To keep a conscience 
void of offense and maintain an unsullied moral or religious life 
bring into constant requisition the highest capabilities and strong- 
est forces of resolution. He who can safely pass the ordeal is 
indeed a hero and entitled to wear a victor's wreath. No human 
perception can fully discern the spiritual relations which subsist 
between a man and his Maker, but from what was seen and known 
of the deceased can be found comforting evidence upon which to 
predicate the conviction that he kept himself " unspotted from the 
M^orld." He believed that the bane of public life was immorality 
and irreligion, and carefully avoided the appearance of either. He 
exemplified the personal excellence of true Christian character. 
He died in the triumph of his faith. I believe if a man die he 
shall live again, and that the deathless spirit of my friend has 
passed the gate and entered into the city of everlasting peace. 

His day has come, not gone ; 
His sun has risen, not set ; 
His life is now beyond 
The reach of death or change. 
Not euded, but begun. 

All that was mortal of him rests in the old graveyard at home, 
among the ashes of the generations of his people who have pre- 
ceded him to the silent land. The memory of his virtues will 



ADDRESS OF MB. TILLMAN, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 33 

live oil and remain bright and beautiful in the liearts of those who 
knew and lov'ed iiiin. He has left to his family and friends, a 
heritage better than riches — a good name. Ere long and the time 
will come when each of us shall also "sleep with our fathers." 
May we profit by his example; live a life of ecpial rectitude; be 
as ready for the final de[)arture as he was, and at last rejoin him in 
the bright ^eyond. 

Address of Mr. Tillman, of South Carolina. 

Mr. Speaker: Althnugh it is as natural to die as to be born, 
yet the beginning of life is nearly always associated with joy and 
hope, while its ending is attended with sorrow and sometimes de- 
spair. 

This is especially the case when a Christian gentleman, wise, 
good, practical, [)atriotic, like our late associate, John Hamilton 
Evixs, is stricken down in the meridian of his powers and useful- 
ness. 

The death of the aged does not shock the sensibilities, because it 
is expected in the course of nature as the fulfillment of destiny; 
but the abrupt departure forever of one in the prime of life, who had 
the happiness of many in his keeping, lacerates feelings that time 
alone can heal and creates a void which nothing can fill. 

Our friend, Colonel EviNS, died at the early age of fifty-four, 
sixteen years short of the span allotted to man by the psalmist; 
and, in addition to a large family of his own to care for, he was 
the trusted friend and adviser of hundreds, yea thousands, who 
had long learned to rely upon him as guide, neighbor, benefactor, 
attorney, and lawgiver. A mere statement of these fact would be 
sufficient answer to the questions. Will John H, Evtns be missed ; 
and is the dedication of this day to the commemoration of his virt- 
nes and services a sincere tribute to his worth, or is it a ceremonious 
mockery ? 

From time immemorial, among all peoples, when a faithful and 
capable public servant has been cut off in the midst of his career, 
a suitable record of his life and character has been made, partly 
3 EV 



34 LIFE AND c'llARACTEn OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

from a sense of gratitude, hut mostly in justice to the dead and to 
encourage the living to imitate; his example. This is meet and 
pro])er. The world's successful men, who preserve their good names 
untarnished while they succeed, are too few to be permitted to pass 
into oblivion. As less than one in ten is said to so succeed, the 
best method perha])s to stimulate the living to fight the battle of 
life nobly is to make a ])ermanent I'ctiord of the conduct and ehar- 
acter of every deceased citizen who honorably ac^ted a conspicuous 
part. 

Probably nothing contributed so much to the develo})ement of 
the manhood, the intelle(;t, and the greatness of Rome as the lionors 
she paid to her illustrious dead by pronouncing elaborate funeral 
orations over them and burying them with imposing ceremonies, 
usually near a public highway, and erecting splendid monuments 
to perpetuate their fame. Propin(piity is a great moral power; 
and hence it is that the choice young spirits of every separate com- 
munity generally select their best native models by which to mold 
their own character with as much fidelity as the writing of a school- 
boy conforms to his copy-plate. The emulation which prevented 
Themistoclcs from sleeping when he reflected on the glories of 
Miltiades was an ennobling sentiment, and it should be nurtured 
in the rising generation everywhere and at all times by bestowing 
apj)ropriate honors upon the distinguished dead and by the recital 
of their merits. 

Colonel EviNS was not a great man, but he certainly had many 
great qualities of head and heart that deserve to be remembered; 
and he so conducted himself in all the relations of life, both pub- 
lic and private, that the youth of the country would do well to 
tread in his footsteps. Posterity may be able to properly appre- 
ciate the intellect and achievements of a dead man, but it is only 
his surviving contemporaries, his friends and intimate acquaint- 
ances, who can fairly estimate his character. I claim the privilege 
of attempting to do this for our late associate, not only because 
he was iny colleague here and in the legislature of our native 
State, but because we were life-long friends. I had ample oppor- 
tunity to know him well, and if I could only describe him as he 



ADDRESS OF MR. TILLMAN, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 35 

really was, without a particle of exaggeration, his memory would 
never j>erish. 

As I said, he was a remarkable man, both intellectually and 
morally, and, like nearly all noted men, he was largely indebted to 
his mother's early training for his after success. She was a women 
of unusual strength of mind and character, and so indoctrinated her 
children by precept and example in the principles of probity, in- 
dustry, and piety that Colonel Evins never forgot those principles. 
His father was likewise a man of sterling worth, and left his chil- 
dren a good property, as well as a good example to imitate. 

Both his paternal and maternal ancestors emigrated from Penn- 
sylvania to Spartanburg County, South Carolina, many years before 
the Revolutionary war. His name is of Welsh origin, but he also 
had Scotch blood in his veins, and he united, both in mind and 
character, in a high degree, the leading faculties and traits of both 
nationalities of his forefathers. He combined all the patience, pru- 
dence, conservatism, benignity, and plodding industry of the Welsh- 
man with the quickness of perception, mental acumen, clear analy- 
sis, sonnd judgment, strong religious faith, practicality, persistence, 
and thrift of the Scotchman. In a few words, he had common 
sense, an honest heart, and tireless energy — the three indispensable 
prerequisites to honorable success. 

He toiled while others slept and worked when others idled, and 
therefore it was that he outstripped more brilliant competitors. He 
never believed in luck or duplicity as a means to attain an iin(\, 
but always relied upon labor, truth, and manly methods in \vhat- 
ever he undertook. 

One secret of his success was his thorough preparation on all ac- 
casions. His motto was festina lenta. In his early days, although 
blessed with robust health, studious habits, and abundant means to 
pursue his education, he never completed his collegiate course and 
gained admission to the bar until he was twenty-six years of age. 
But when he did come to the legal fornni he was so fully equipped 
for "the occasion sudden and practice dangerous" that he at once 
took front rank aun)ng some (jf the ablest conntry lawyers in 
America, which position he held until his failing health and exact- 



36 Lll^'E AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

ing duties as a nieniher of" this House compelled liiui iu a measure 
to relinquish his profession. 

Another cause of his nearly uniform success at the bar, in tlu; 
political arena, and in private l)usiness, was his almost unerring 
judgment. While he preferred time to examine carefully every 
phase or relation of a subject, still, in an emergency, he had all the 
lightning-like accuracy of intuition belonging to the Scottish race, 
which generally is so clear-headed that it can follow a principle 
through a maze of rubbish or split a hair without cutting into either 
side. Whether with or without sufficient time to consider a given 
proposition or state of facts, he hardly ever reached a wrong con- 
clusion, and his most confidential associates, myself among tlu; 
number, habitually distrusted their own judgment when it differed 
from his. This (Jod-given faculty of common sense not only con- 
tributed largely to his success, but it likewise explained, when taken 
in connection with his honesty and industry, why he had so much 
influence both in private and public affairs. Every succeeding 
Congress in which he served only increased his strength here and 
and his popularity among his constituents. 

(>)louel EviNS was not an orator, but he was emphatically a lo- 
gician who could trace cause and effect, link by link ; not a man of 
words, but of action ; a dealer in fact, not fancies, yet he cherished 
the loftiest sentiments. He was M'ell read, particularly in history; 
but he spent the prime of his life in the laborious study of the law 
as a science, as a whole, not by mere desultory or case reading. 
He mastered not only its general principles but the qualifying ex- 
ceptions, and he was familiar with most of the leading cases, fixing 
each in both American and English jurisprudence. 

As an attorney he brought no suit except he believed it to l)c 
right. Having brought it, he as completely identified himself with 
his client's cause as if it had been his own. His mind was pre-em- 
inently judicial, equally expert at analysis or synthesis, and he 
would have adorned any bench. 

His acquirements and his tastes better fitted him for his profes- 
sion than for politics, and he made a great sacrifice both of feeling 
and interest when he left the bar to serve in Congress. But duty 



ADDRESS OF MR. TILLMAK, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 37 

called him to the ])olitieal field, and he promptly obeyed, because 
to do his whole duty was ever the dominating principle of his char- 
acter. In fact, his unselfish devotion to duty may truly be said to 
have hastened his end. 

When his State in I860 summoned her sons to arms, he was one 
of the first to respond, and went to the front with his command, 
where he proved himself a true soldier at the first battle of Manas- 
sas. He continued in active service, participating in all the skir- 
mishes and combats of the army of Northern Virginia, until, while 
engaged in a terrific struggle at Seven Pines, he received a verv 
dangerous wound in the arm by a ball which splintered the bone 
just below the shoulder-joint. For a long while he patiently en- 
dured intense agony, the irritation of the wound causing much suf- 
fering, threatening to compel amputation ; but the skillful and 
tender nursing of his brother Thomas Evins, a Confederate surgeon, 
saved his arm. Although never able to rejoin his regiment again, 
feeble as he was and with his arm still in a sling, as lieutenant- 
colonel he took command of the home-guard in Spartenl)nro> 
County, and effectually protected that and the adjoining counties 
against the incursions of deserters and native marauders fi-om the 
mountain fastnesses nniil the close of the war. 

He then resinned the practice of his profession, in which he 
soon acquired a large, paying clientage, much of which adhei-ed to 
him even after he became a member of Congress. But the double 
labor of attorney and Representative in the National Legislature 
Mas too much for his enfeebled constitution, which had never en- 
tirely recovered from the violent shock to his nervous system caused 
by his severe Mound in the war. He frequently complained in his 
latter days that he had been overworked. All of you can bear 
witness how laborious the life of a faithful Congressman is. Most 
of you remember how punctual and thorough Colonel Eyins was 
in the discharge of all his duties here until his health broke down. 
It had been against his wishes that he was translated from the 
quiet walks of private life and the lucrative practice of his pro- 
fession to the exciting, irregular, exacting fi)rum of i)olitics. He 
neither had fondness fi)r the hustings noi- rclisji fi)rthe rouol.-aud- 



38 LIFE AND CJJABACTEIl OF JOHN R. EVINS. 

tumble (Ic'batcs and scrambles of tliis House ; but as lie was se- 
lected, without any premeditation on his ])art, in 187(3, to lead a 
"forlorn hope" for Congress, he could not refuse, and his constit- 
uency would have kej)t him here indefinitely if his failing health 
had not compelled him to decline a fifth election. 

Moreover, neither the impure and heated air of this Hall, nor 
the climate of this city, with its fickle and sudden extremes, nor 
the habits and customs of public life here could prove anything but 
injurious to a man in Colonel EviNs's state of health. Bright's 
disease was said to have been the immediate cause of his death, 
but his disabling wound, his uncongenial Congressional life, and 
the trying climate of Washington, one or all, must have contril)uted 
largely to aggravate his disease if not to jiroduce it. He often 
expressed regret that he had ever permitted himself to be drawn 
into politics, but said his people would have it so, and it was his 
duty to serve them. Any one who knew him before he was badly 
wounded could not but remark, ever afterward, how sadl}^ that 
wound had marred his striking physique and commanding pres- 
ence. Before that calamity he Mas tall, erect, lithe, and strong — 
thepicture of vigorous health — with the grace, gallantry, and courtly 
bearing of a troubadour ; but after the wound, notwithstan<ling 
much of all these remained, he never was himself again. There- 
fore it may justly be said he died prematurely — a martyr to duty. 

Colonel EviNS was a singularly diffident man, particularly in 
])ublic speaking. AVhile always modest yet self-possessed in con- 
versation, he still could not rise to address a jury, the House, or 
the hustings without seeming actually bashful. One of his friends 
used to say he was th(! coolest man in a chair and the most frus- 
ti'ated man on his feet in the world. This absence of self-posses- 
sion, or ])erha])s I ought to say his lack of sufficient " brass," was 
a great drawback to him, as it often kept him from talking when 
he was much fuller of the topic under discussion than most of the 
blatant, self-sufficient orators Avho monoDolized the debate. You 
all recollect he never could rise to sjieak on this floor, even after 
seven years' service here, without l)lushing likea timid, embarrassed 
girl; yet you also remcnibei" lu; was e(ju;d to ever}' oc(aision. He 



ADDRESS OF MR. TILLMAN, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 39 

ftiilod in nothing, not even in pnblio speaking, simply because 
duty, his pole star, forbade. His lack of self-confidence as a 
speaker has been so aptly described by a friendly hand that I must 
read it: 

"When he first bcgaa to speak his natural clifFulence would so overpower 
him as to make it painful to his friends to witness his discomfiture ; but with 
an indomitable will he would subjugate his own self-consciousness, and rising 
to the demands of the occasion would soon transform an apparent failure into 
a brilliant success. He never succeeded in overcoming his natural diffidence 
only in so far as to be able always to fully meet the requirements of the cause 
which called him before the public. It was only a sense of duty that brouglit 
him before the public gaze, and that he always met at any sacriiicc to his 
personal comfort or convenience. The successof his public career was due to 
this: his conscience was stronger than his consciousness. 

And just as he always overcame his strong reluctance to public 
speaking, when it was his duty to do so, he likewise followed the 
dictates of his conscience first in espousing the cause of secession at 
the command of his State and then in regarding the war as having 
forever settled that question. No man at the South more cheer- 
fully acquiesced in the supremacy of the Union and the abolition 
of slavery than Colonel Evins, and up to the end of his busy life 
he did all he could to rebuild the ruins of the South and to restore 
fraternal relations between the sections. As he was human, of 
course he could not at all times wholly divorce himself from the 
feeling of sectionalism or partisanship, but he was as free from 
carrying either to excess by vote or speech as any member of this 
body. 

Among his many virtues he had high public spirit, and felt a 
deep solicitude, as well as aided with his means to the best of his 
al)ility, to establish every enterprise intended to develop the re- 
sources or promote the general welfare of the community in which 
he was born, lived, and died. Although reduced from atfluence to 
poverty by the war, he was so successful at the bar and other busi- 
ness that he accumulated a moderate competency for his large family. 
And notwithstanding he was a splendid economist, there was noth- 
ing of the miser about him, and his hand was open to the un- 
fortunate. No real object of charity ever appealed to him in vain. 
Nor did he pul)lish it on the house-tops when he aided the dis- 



40 LIFE AND CITARACTER OF JOHN H. EFfNS. 

tressed. Tt comes within luy knowledge that so ocneroiis was ho 
in this regard that he was often imposed upon. 

I liave briefly spoken of him as a business man, as a citi/en, a 
soldier, attorney, and legislator. What shall be said of him as a 
luisband and" father? Nothing can be .said in too much praise, in 
18(31 he married Miss Harriet Choice, of Spartanburg, a young 
lady of beauty, common sense, and rai-e accomplishments, who sur- 
vives to care for their many promising children. Every one who 
ever saw Colonel Evins in the bosom of his family always feU 
happier liiniself at beholding the unalloyed happiness of that 
liousehold. His bright children were treated as companions, as all 
cliildrcn sliould be treated by parents, so as to possess their conli- 
dence and affection, instead of being held at a distance in rebellions 
awe. His adored wife was habitually consulted about great as \\(H 
as small things. Her opinion frequently ovcri-uled his own. 

When husband and wife iiave lived together long and happily it 
is a beautifnl provision of nature that they -love each other better 
and better as old age comes on. Especially does the good husband 
seem to think, as his wife's beauty fides, that she actually gi-ows 
handsomer and wiser, until finally he learns to look up to her and 
lean upon her, or rather to honor and obey her almost as a mother. 
This was charmingly illustrated in the married life of ('oloiicl 
Eyixs. 

And here, Mr, Speaker, let us pause f »r a mcnuent to contem- 
plate the sudden, the extreme, the startling cluuiges from pi-osper- 
ity to adversity, from happiness to misery, that beset humanity. 
Less than two years ago John H. Eyins was a trusted member of 
this House, in full possession of the confidence and esteem of his 
admiring constituents, with a fair prospect of higher honors in 
store for him. He seemed to be in good health, and was blessed 
with a hap])y family, a devoted wife, promising children, troops of 
friends, prosperous business, and a bright, enduring future appeared 
assured to him and his. But wdiat a contrast between then and 
now. He in the grave, his wife a M'idow, his children orphans. 
Man, indeed, vibrates like a "pendulum between a smile and a 
tear," tmd the uncertainty toward which side his fate will swing 



ADDRESS OF MR. TILLMAN, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 41 

creates sueli an undefinable dread of the future even in the lia|»|)i- 
est and most prosperous moments that every one admits — 

Life is ill! a mist, 
And in the dark our fortunes meet ns. 

To crown Colonel Evixs's well-balanced and well-rounded char- 
acter, he was a sincere Christian, an unfldtering believer in the Pres- 
byterianism of his fothers. But Mhile he adhered tenaciously to 
the stern doctrine of ])redestination, he never confounded the acts 
of will with acts of fate, and regarded free agency as theonlv means 
of self-redemption. Nor was there any touch of l)iootrv in his 
nature. He believed, as our free Constitution provides, that i-eiig- 
ion is an aftin'r between man and his God, and that — 

If a man's belief is bad, 

It will not be improved by burning. 

To speak naught bnt truth of the living and only good of the dead 
are golden jirecepts that have come down to us from antiquity. 
When Colonel Evixs was living nothing dishonest or dishonora- 
ble was ever charged against him, although he was a tlist friend 
and an open foe. One of the noblest traits in his admirable char- 
acter was that he never would under any circumstances permit an 
absent friend to be slandered in his presence. As nothing ill could 
be said of him in the flesh, of course nothing but good can be 
spoken of him in the grave. So if he were brought to trial in- 
stead of eulogy, as the Egyptians used to try their dead, no pros- 
ecutor could appear against him. What a proud epitaph, vet lit- 
erally true. 

And how did he die? Calmly and resignedly, as every brave, 
honest man should die, wittiout cowardly repining or vain ostenta- 
tion. The land of shadows had no terrors for him, because he 
knew he ha<l to journey through it, and as he had done all the good 
his means would allow, and as little harm as the frailty of the Hesh 
would permit, he felt that he had no cause to dread the hereafter. 

I move the adoption of the resolutions offered by mv colleague. 

The resohitions were unanimously adopted ; and in accordance 
therewith the House adjourned. 



PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE. 



In the Senate of the United States, 

January 21, ]885. 

A message from tlie House of Representatives, by Mr. Clark, its 
Clerk, communicating to the Senate the resolutions of the House on 
the announcement of the death of Hon. John H. Evixs, late a 
Representative from the State of South Carolina. 

Mr. Hampton. Mr. President, I ask that the action of the House 
be laid before the Senate. 

The Presiding Officer (Mr. Cockrell in the chair). The 
Chair will lay before the Senate a message from the House of Rep- 
resentatives. 

The chief clerk read as follows : 

In the House of Eepresentatives, 

Jamiari/ 20, 1885. 
Eesolved, That this House lias heard with profound sorrow of tlie death of 
Hon. John H. Eyins, late a Representative from the State of South Carolina. 
Besolved, That the business of the House be now suspended that fitting 
tribute may be paid to his memory. 

Resolved, That as an additional mark.of respect the House shall, at the 
conclusion of these ceremonies, adjourn. 

Resolved, That the Clerk commnnicate these resolutions to the Senate. 

Mr. Hampton. Mr. President, I offer the resolutions which I 
send to the desk to be read. 

The Presiding Officer. The Senator from South Carolina 
presents resolutions, Avliich will be read. 

The Chief Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow of the death of 
Hon. John H. Evins, late a member of the House of Representatives from 
South Carolina. 

Resolved, That the business of the Senate be now suspended in order that 
fitting tribute may be paid to his memory. 

Resolved, That as an additional mark of respect the Senate shall, at the 
conclusion of these ceremonies, adjourn. 

43 



44 UFE AND CHARACTEB OF JOHN H. EVINS. 



Address of Mr. Hampton, of South Carolina. 

It lias Ikhmi (;stal)lislic(l by long eustoin that when one of our as- 
sociates ill the legislative branch of the Government falls at his 
post of (Inty \\c pause for a time from our daily routine of work- 
to pay a ])r()pe]- tribute of respect to his memory. This time- 
honored custom, which had its origin in the tenderest and noblest 
instincts of humanity, has been consecrated to us by many and sad 
j)recedents. The Senate has just done becoming honor to the 
memory of one who was, when living, its oldest member, one ol' 
its most honored and now one of its most lamented. To-day, the 
other branch of Congress, by the resolutions just read, tells us 
that death has again invaded its Halls, and sti-icken down one of 
its most useful, honored, and beloved members, Joiix H. Evixs, 
of South Carolina. 

As a Senator from the State which now mourns the loss of one 
of her truest and most devoted sons, it becomes my painful duty 
to take oflicial action here touching his death. As he was a very 
close and <lear friend, this duty is rendered doubly painful ; but, 
sii-, that pain is greatly alleviated by the fact that the best, the 
hio'hest eulogv that could be ])ronounced upon him is to speak of 
him not in the mere conventional terms of panegyric, but in the 
calm and sober language of truth. The record of his upright and 
unblemished life, from his youth to its close, gives the strongest 
evidence of the integrity of his character, and the manner of his 
death proved the sincerity of his faith as a Christian. 

John Hamilton Evins was born in Spartanburg district on 
the 18th July, 1830, of honorable and pious ])arents, who, besides 
affording him ample means for a liberal education, taught him 
early, a lesson he never forgot, that higher and better knowledge, 
the fear of the Lord. Graduating at the South Carolina College 
in 185.3, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1856, and soon 
achieved a high and honorable reputation in his profession. During 
the war he served in the Confederate army with conspicuous gal- 



' ADDRESS OF MB. HAMPTON, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 45 

laulrv, i-eceiving u .severe wound, from the effects of whicli he never 
entirely recovered. While detained at home by this wound he 
represented his district for two sessions in the legislature with the 
conscientious fidelity that marked his discharge of every public 
trust. . 

In 1876 he was elected a member of Congress from the fourth 
Congressional district in South Carolina, and he was re-elected for 
three successive terms, on each occasion by a large majority. At 
the last election he declined to become a candidate, as his health had 
failed, and he realized even then that the shadow of death was 
over him, for his physicians held out to him no hope of recovery. 
He bore their verdict dooming him to an early death with the he- 
roic fortitude of a soldier and the sublime resignation of a Chris- 
tian. His sufferings were great and constant, but he never 'mur-- 
nuired nor repined, and with everything to make him cling to life 
he resolutely looked death in the face, feeling a confident hope he 
had so lived on earth that life eternal would be his in Heaven. 

On the 20th of October last, w^ithout one pang, without one 
struggle, he was summoned to his final rest, respected, honored, 
loved, and lamented, not alone by his immediate constituents but 
by our whole State. 

Such, Mr. President, is the brief, simple narrative of a life un- 
marked by any strange or great events, but which has left an im- 
])ress for good on every one associated Avith it. It is in this aspect 
that I regard the career of Colonel EviNS as so noteworthy and so 
exemplary, and it is for this reason that I have dwelt more largely 
on his marked moral qualities than on his intellectual. But I bv 
no means underrate his attainments and his ability, for these were 
of a high order. He was an able lawyer, an admirable Eepresent- 
ative in Congress, a cultivated gentleman, and a wise counselor. 
In every position he was called on to fill he brought to its dis- 
charge a well-trained, vigorous intellect, and an ever-present sense 
of duty. Thus it was that his influence was always widely felt, 
and beneficently exercised. 

It seems to me, Mr. President, that the example left by such a 
life and the lesson taught by it are of higher value to the world 



46 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOHN H. EVINS. 

than all tlio eai'llily })riz('s that ambition, wealth, power, place can 
M in. These latter may for a time sway mankind, but in the bal- 
ance held by the hand of the Great Jndge at the last day they will 
weigh but as a feather against integrity, virtue, and i^iety. All 
these noble attributes of character were possessed in an eminent 
degree by the sidijeet of this imperfect sketch, and he surely could 
have exclaimed triumphantly and exidtingly when called to meet 

his God — 

O (leatb, where is thy stiug ? 
O grave, where is thy victory ? 



Address of Mr. Frye, of Maine. 

Mi'. Prksidknt: Having l)een a mendjer of the House of Ju^pre- 
sentatives in the Forty-sixth Congress, and having then an ac- 
(juaintancc pleasant and agreeable with Mr. EviNS, I do not feel 
at liberty to allow this oecasiou to pass without paying a brief trib- 
ute to his memory. 

I recall without difficulty the first time I ever saw him. It was 
on the Sabbath day in a crowded church. I saw a face loving, 
gentle, and without any weakness in it; and it so attracted me 
that I inquired as to its owner, and found it to be Mr. Evin.s. 
Subsequent ac(|uaintanee with him only justified to me that face as 
the index of his character. 

Mr. EviNS, of course, was not conspicuous in debate in the For- 
ty-sixth Congress. Senators know well that in that brief term of 
service, even with the highest genius for debate, he could not be. 
And he was not in any sense a wrangler, and he conld not be, for 
his spirit was never disputatious. He did not force himself to the 
front, and he could not, because he was as modest as a girl. And yet, 
sir, he had that strength of character and that acquirement whi('h 
would have made him conspicuous and prominent in j)ublic lif(! or 
anywhere in time. He had thorough culture, undaunted courage, 
earnest devotion to principle and duty, quick perception, and a pro- 
fi)und sense of resj)onsibility to God and man. He added to an 
attractive face accomplishments and graces unusual to men in act- 



ADDRESS OF MR. BUTLER, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 47 

ive, stirring life — agreeable maimers and a warm, social nature. 
But, sir, he had what seems to me greater and better than them 
all — he was a devoted, sincere, earnest Christian man. I see from 
the records of the Spartanburg Presbyterian church, in his own 
State, this: 

On tbe 4tb July, 1867, liis membersliip was traiisfenetl to tliis church, and 
on the 28th of the same month he was ordained to the dcaconsliip. He coii- 
tiuncd to serve in this ofHice until promoted by the nuanimous voice of tlie 
congregation to the eldershi]), to whicli he was ordained November 13, 1870. 
He was also superintendent of the Sabbath school from 1808 until ho entered 
Congress in 1877. 

Mr. President, it is easy for men in public life, I care not how 
eminent they may be, to gracefully acquiesce in the fundamental 
doctrines of the Bible and to talk eloquently of the glories of a 
blessed immortality to come ; but to lead in the midst of the cares 
and perplexities and enticements and allurements and distractions 
of public life a lowly, devoted, practical Christian life. 
Hoc opus, hie labor est. 

Yet, Mr. President, I have reason to believe that from the day 
Mr. EviJsrs entered upon his public life here in Congress up to its 
close he did so walk day by day. He deliberately chose the 
straight and narrow way, and walked directly toward the goal 
without swerving to the right or to the left. I believe, sir, that 
Mr. EviNS dying could say with Paul in chains at Rome, "I have 
fought the tight; I liave kept the faith." I believe, sir, that Mr. 
EviNS dying could say, " T know there is a crown prepared for 
me." And now he knows it; he wears it. 

Mr. President, may the gracious, loving God temper this heavy 
but kindlv blow to his wife and to his children. 



Address of Mr. Butler, of South Carolina. 

Mr. Peesident, I might safely leave the character of the la- 
mented EviNS where his eulogist and his own unblemished life left 
it, without stain and without reproach, but a duty of earnest friend- 
ship apart from official courtesy and custom requires that I add 



48 I'll't'' ^^''> CHAKACTEE OF JOHN Jf. JJIJXS. 

my contribution, ini])crfe('t as it is, to tlic woi'ds of praise so oen- 
(!rously and justly bestowed upon him. 

South Carolina never had a more devoted son than Joux II. 
KviNS, nor ])opular Government a more faithful advocate. The 
people never had a ehampion more honest, more courageous, nor 
this Congress a member more respected for his ])ublic and private 
worth. I knew him intimately for more tliiui a ([uarter of a cen- 
turv from his (>arly manhood — and there was not much difference 
in our years — as a friend, citizen, lawyer, soldier, representative 
of the ])eoj)le ; in every relation of life, and can therefore speak 
advisedly and accurately of him. It was our fortune to be l)orn 
in the same region of country, the Piedmont belt of South Caro- 
lina. The first horizon that greeted our visions was fringed by 
the same range of mountains, as lovely and picturesque as ever 
graced the outlines of nature. 

He preceded me in the same college but a few years. We en- 
tered the Confederate armies almost simidtaneously, although in 
different arms of that service. It was our fortune to come upon 
the arena of national politics about the same time, and here to cul- 
tivate relations of the closest personal and political friendship. 1 
knew him, therefore, as few men knew him, and venture to affirm 
that in the ehxpient tributes just paid to his memory in this Cham- 
ber and in the other Hall of Congress which he adorned so long 
and ablv, there is not one word of hyperbole or extravagant eii- 
eominm. He well deserves all that has been so gracefully said of 
him, and I only wish that in closing these mournful ceremonies of 
respect to his memory in this the highest forum which an xVmeri- 
can citizen may enter, I could command language worthy of his 
exalted character. 

I do not know that I need say more of his public life than that 
he was faithful to every i)ublic trust committed to his care. He 
held the conscientious discharge of every public duty above per- 
sonal or private considerations. In his public conduct he was hon- 
est, he was direct, he was courageous and truthful, he was always 
true to his constituents, and above all true to himself. There was 
nothing of the charlatan or demagogue in his nature. He was 



ADDUKSS OF MR. BUTLER, OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 49 

modest, conservative, considerate, and deferential. He was careful 
and painstaking, and when he made np his opinion he maintained 
it with independence, courage, and al)ility. His judgment was 
sound, and his intellectural methods were as honest and straight- 
forward as the impulses of his heart were genei'ous. He was well 
educated and well informed, but did not aspire to the plane of 
what is known as scholarship or genius. He did not sacrifice the 
practical to the ideal, nor the real to the theoretical, the substance 
to the form, and, therefore, was a safe counselor and judicious 
leader, an able, conscientious representative. 

What higher praise, Mr. President, can be conferred upon any 
public man. What more need be said to embalm his memory in 
the grateful hearts of his countrymen and establish him as an ex- 
emplar to those who come after him. This is my estimate of the 
man, sincerely entertained. True, something must be allowed to 
the partialities of friendship on occasions like this, to the license of 
rhetoric, to the flow of eulogy, and to that inclination of the human 
heart to speak nothing of the dead except what is good, but, sir, I 
invoke with confidence the voice of his people to sanction these 
words in behalf of this distinguished citizen of their State. They 
are truthful and just ; would they could be said of every public 
servant who assumes a trust for the people. Mr. Evins was as 
free from the sordid vices of our nature as the best of his race. 
He was wonderfully circumspect in his private life, and I believe 
sincerely and conscientiously true to his profession of the Christian 
religion. He made no sanctimonious parade, but walked modestly 
in the fear of God and lived up to his convictions. The duties of 
life were dearer to him than life itself. 

When he was first stricken with the disease that proved fatal to 
his life, I well remember how earnestly I urged him to leave the 
capricious winter climate of Washington and seek relief in the mild 
outdoor atmosphere of Florida, where he could successfully com- 
bat the inroads of disease on his vigorous constitution by calling to 
his assistance not only the curative powers of art and science but 
the endless resources of kindly nature. In response to my impor- 
tunities he said his duty required him to remain at his post, and he 

4 EV 



50 LIFE AND CHARACTKIl OF JOHN IT. EVINS. 

(lid and died. Possibly the time allotted him on earth was 
about to exj)ire, and the change may not have arrested his malady. 
Of this no one had knowledge, save the God who made him. But 
I refer to this incident to further illustrate what manner of man ho 
was. It was characteristic of him, and the recital will not surprise 
those who knew him best. 

Military heroes who give up their lives in the flush and excite- 
ment and glamour of battle are sustained in the discharge of duty 
by the rush and conflict of ])hysical forces, the hope of earthly 
glory and renown, and they are generally bestowed ; but the man 
who stands by his post in the civil walks of life, dying inches by 
inches, has nothing to sustain him but that high sense of duty, the 
essence of which true heroes are made. To this class Mr. EviNS 
pro])erly belonged, and such will be the verdict of his country- 
men. 

Nothing now remains for me, Mr. President, but to move the 
ado})tion of the resolutions before the Senate, whi(!h T do with the 
mournful satisfliction that they have given me the opportiniity to 
j)ay this sincere but inadequate tribute to the memory of one of the 
best of men, and that they express, as I believe, the sentiments of 
his associates and friends. 

The Presiding Officer. Will the Senate agree to the resolu- 
tions? 

The resolutions were agreed to unanimously ; and the Senate 
adjourned. 

o