C^vi.-cL.- \ 6 (o
LIFE AND CHARACTER
^ MICHAEL HAHN,
(A REPRESENTATIVE FROM LOUISIANA,)
DELIVKRED IN THK
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND IN THE SENATE,
FOKTY-NINTH CONGRESS, FIRST SKSSION.
PDBLISHED BY ORDEE OF CONGRESS.
GOVEKNMENT PRINTING OKKICK.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the bnited States of Amer-
ica in Congress assembled, That there be printed of the eulogies delivered in Con-
gress upon the late Michael Hahn, a Representative in the Forty-ninth Congress
from the State of Louisiana, twelve thousand five hundred copies, of which three
thousand copies shall be for the use of the Senate and nine 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 Michael Hahn,
to accompany said eulogies ; and for the jnirpose of engraving and printing said
portrait the sum of five hundred dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is
hereby apjjropriated out of any moneys in tlie Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Approved' July 15, 1886.
AUG 6 lyoa
Death of Michael Hahn.
PKOCHHDIXGS IN THE HOUSE.
In the House of Representatives,
March 15, 1886.
Mr. St. Martin. Mr. Speaker, it becuines my painful duty to an-
nounce the death of my colleague, Hon. Michael Hahn, a Repre-
sentative from l^ouisiana, who died Last night at his lodgings in this
city. I will not detain the House now with any remarks of tribute
to his memory. Meanwhile I offer the resolutions which I send to
The Clerk read as follows:
RcsoheJ, That the House has hearfi with sincere regret the announcement of the
liealh of Hon. Michael Hahn, late a Representative from the State of Louisiana.
Resolved by the House of RepreseiUaiives [the Senate concurring). That a select
joint committee, consisting of seven members of the House and three members of
the Senate, be appointed to take order for superintending the funeral and to escort
the remains of the deceased to their place of burial, and the necessary expenses at-
tending the execution of this order be paid out of the contingent fund of the House.
Resolved, That the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House be authorized and directed
to take such steps as may be necessary for properly carrying out the provisions of
Resolved, That the Clerk communicate the foregoing resolutions to the Senate.
4 I'liOCEEDlNGli IN THE HOUSE.
Resolved, Tliat as a fiirllier mark of respect to tlie memory of tlie deceasdl llie
Hotise do now adjourn.
The resolutions were adoptetl unanimously.
And accordingly the House adjourned.
In the House of Representatives,
March i6, 1886.
The Spkakkr announced as the committee to escort the remains of
the late Hon. Michael Hahn from Washington to New Orleans
Mr. Louis St. Martin, of Louisiana ; Mr. A. B. Irion, of Louisiana ;
Mr. C. P. Snyder, of West Virginia ; Mr. W. W. Ellsberry, of Ohio ;
Mr. F. D. Ely, of Massachusetts ; Mr. G. W. E. Dorsev, of Ne-
braska, and Mr. Joseph Lyman, of Iowa.
In the House of Representatives,
May 15, 1886.
Mr. Sr. Martin. Mr. Speaker, the House is convened under special
order that we may pay a tribute of respect to the memory of our de-
ceased colleague, the late Hon. Michael Hahn, a Representative
from the State of Louisiana, and I send to the Clerk's desk resolu-
tions which I ask to have read and considered.
The Clerk read as follows :
Resolved, That the Mouse has heard witli jirofound sorrow of the death of Hon.
Michael Hahn, late a Representative from the State of Louisiana.
Resnlved, That in the demise of our late colleague the country has sufi'ered the
loss of a wise legislator, a valuable citi/en, and an able and faithful public ser\ant.
Resohed, That as an additional mark of respect to the memory of the deceased
the House, at the conclusion of these memorial proceedings, .shall .stand adjourned.
Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate,
ADDJJEfiS OF MU. ST. M.inTTX, OF lOUISIJXA.
Address of Mr. St. Martin, of Louisiana.
Mr. Speaker, in offering these resolutions I feel it incumbent upon
me to give a brief sketch of the life and public services of my late
friend and colleague.
Michael H.^^hn was horn in Bavaria on the 24th day of Novem-
ber, i8jo. Wiren an infant, his widowed mother emigrated to the
United States, landing at \ew York and subsequently moving to
New Orleans, La. He attended the public schools, and, after grad-
uating from the high school of the city, entered the law office of that
most eminent jurist, the late Christian Roselius. After graduating in
the law de])artment of the University of Louisiana he entered upon
the practice of his profession, conjoining with it the duties of a notary
.\t an early age he was elected a school director and served for
several years. During the late war between the States, in 1862, he
was elected to Congress, but was not admitted to his seat until the
7th of February, 1863. .■\fter the expiration of his Congressional
terin he was appointed prize commissioner at New- Orleans, during
which period he purchased the New Orleans True Delta, which he
conducted editorially for some time as a Republican journal. He
was inaugurated March 4, 1864, as the first Republican governor of
Louisiana as a free State — receiving from President Lincoln on the
15th of the same month the additional powers of military governor.
This mark of esteem and confidence on the part of President Lin-
coln Governor Hahn cheri.shed as a marked distinction and held it as
the highest of his honors.
I well remember that the day before his untimely death — when he
seemed to have fully recovered his health, and not supposing then that
we were to part that day to meet no more, 1 told him in a playful man-
ner that 1 was glad to be spared the trouble of preparing his eulogy.
6 LIFE AXD rnAriACTEI! OF MICHAEL BATJN.
He s,„ilingly said: " My eulogy would have given you little „ot,h,e
It could have been written in a k.. words It would have been nee
essary su.piy to have stated that I enjoyed the friendship and confi-
dence of the martyr President." At the same time he presented the
lollowmg for my perusal :
ExixuTivE Mansion, IVas/nng/on, D. C, A/„,-cA ,3, ,864
Mv Dkar S.K: I congratulate yo„ on having fixed you,- nan,e in history as the
r. free-State governor of Louisiana. Now that you are about .0 have a Lnven-
t.on, wh.ch. an,ong other things, w.ll probably define the elective franchise. . barelv
suggest, for your private consideration, whether son,e of the colored people n,ay not'
1.. et ,n, as. for .nstance. the very intelligent, and especially those who have fo gh,
allan y ,„ our ranKs. They would probably help, in son. trying ti.e .0 con. t ,
keep the ,ewe. of liberty in the fa.ily of freedon. But this is o^.lv a sugges.iln
not to the public, but to you alone. .^g^s"™-
Hon. Michael Hahn. ^- LINCOLN.
Having been elected to the Senate of the United .States, he resigned
the governorship, but did not press hts clain. to his Senatorial seat
After avtng filled with credit and usefulness several appoint.ve posi -
ttons, he wtthdrew to his country place at Hahnville, in the parish of
Satnt Charles, where he secured so fully the confidence of his neigh-
bors that he was elected, almost w.thout opposition, police juror, rep-
resentattve to the State legislature, and district judge, serving as such
unt.l March 3, .885, when he resigned to enter upon his duties in the
Forty-n.nth Congress. His term of service in this House, though
short, gave prontise of great usefulness and activity, and had the fatal
archer spared his life he would have made his mark in this Hall and
h.s Congressional career would have been one of unttsual splendor
Mr. Speaker, it was my privilege to enjoy relations of per.sonal
fnendshtp wtth Governor Hahn for more than thirty years, and al-
though d.ffermg in our political faith, still it affords me pleasure to
bear witness that his recor.l as a citizen was such as endeared him ,0
all who knew h,m. He was noted f ,r the gentleness of h,s manners
ADDHESS OF .1//?. BLAKcnAUD, OF LOUISIANA. 7
and kimiliness of his disposition. He was a scholarly man of great
ability, coupled with great modesty. He possessed pleasing and win-
ning manners, and in all his social relations he bore the character of
an estimable, generous, kindly, and true man.
Like many other bright men, he has been cut down at the thresh-
old of a career full of promise, and which would have brought ad-
ditional luste. to an already honored name, and given a broader
.scope to his public career. Imbued with a laudable ambition to ac-
quire distinction for devotion to his adopted country, fealty to his
party, and fidelity to his friends, he was ever governed in his conduct
by a conscientious desire to perform his whole duty as became a man,
a citizen, and a public servant. His success was achieved under
most perplexing and embarrassing circumstances — standing at one
period almost alone in his advocacy of moderation, conciliation, and
justice. His conser\atism commanded the respect of his jiolitical
opp.cnents and secured a confidence which was evinced by their votes.
On the other hand, he supplied to his own party its safest and wisest
counsel and its ablest leadership
This much is honestly due the memory of my deceased colleague;
and, in closing, I can but say that by his death this bod}- has lost a
member who would have taken high rank as a legislator and made
a record that would have been alike creditable to himself and to the
State which he represented.
Address of Mr. Blanchard, of Louisiana.
Mr. .Speaker, a colored fireman at VVillard's Hotel, this city, mak-
ing his early rounds, unlocked the door of room No. 16, on the sec-
ond floor, at half past 6 o'clock on the morning of March 15, 1886,
and stepped softly into the room to kindle a fire for the comfort of
its occupant. He had advanced but a step toward the open grate
when he discovered that occupant lying prone upon his back and
surrounded by a pool of blood. Astounded by the discovery, he ran
8 LIFE AND Cnj/t.lCTFR OF MlCHJEh HAHN.
affrighted into the hall, down the neighboring stairs, and pulled up in
breathless state at the office counter, where he lelated, in a tremor of
nervous excitement, what he had just seen. He was confident that it
was a case of suicide, and to his terror-stricken gaze there appeared
to be a gaping wound in the dead man's throat.
The night-clerk and the keeper of the neighboring hack-stand, who
happened to be present, ran up the stairs as rapidly as the servant
had descended them, and were themselves in turn horrified by the
The room was the one occupied by Representative Michael Hahn,
of the second Congressional district of Louisiana, who was found 1)-
ing upon the floor in the manner described. He was in his night-
dress, which was deeply stained about the bosom with blood, and in
his right hand was clutched a handkerchief. The left was drawn up
toward the body, as if to press the side to ease pain. The feet were
toward the grate and near the fender, showing that the dead man
had stood leaning against the mantel, and in his exhaustion from the
loss of blood had fallen full length backward. Further examination
of the rootn told the rest of the melancholy story.
The sick man, finding he w as discharging blood through the mouth,
had left his bed and walked across to the mantel. The discharge
continued copiously there, as was plainly to be seen, and also after
he had fallen exhausted to the floor. The expression of the face was
calm and free from pain. The servant's story of suicide and of a gap-
ing wound in the throat was, of course, merely a matter of the imagina-
tion. Death had resulted from the bursting of a blood vessel near
the heart. Thus died Michael Hahn, who, coming to .America a
child and friendless, had carved out for himself a notable career, illus-
trating the possibilities within the reach of every American citizen,
whether native-born or foreign, under the liberal and benign institu-
tions of our belo\ed country.
The deceased was born in Bavaria, on the Rhine, on the ::4th of
November, 1830. When he was quite an infant his widowed mother,
with five children, came to the United States, stopping a short time
.idhhess oiiiu. /ir.AXcn.mi), of Lorisijyj. 9
in New York and Texas, and finally settling in New Orleans aboiu
1840. The mother died ot yellow t'ever in 1841. Young Hahn was
educated in the public schools of the city, and after finishing his
course entered upon the study of law. In April, 1851. he grad-
uated from the law department of the University of Louisiana with
the degree of LL. B. This diploma admitted him to practice in all
the courts of the State. He immediately engaged in the practice of
his profession. When but twenty-two years cf age he was elected a
school director and served for several years, being at one time presi-
dent of tlie board.
Politically he identified himself with the Democratic party, adher-
ing to that wing of the party whose recognized head was Stephen A.
Douglas, whom he supported for the Presidency in i860. He was a
member of the Douglas State committee.
After the disruption of the Charleston convention a large Union
mass meeting was held at Lafayette Square, New Orleans, May 8,
i860, at which Hahn made a strong Union speech and offered the
lesolutions adopted by the meeting.
He continued zealous and persistent in his opposition to secession.
The State seceded. After secession the legislative authorities required
all officers of the State to take a new oath of office, which prescribed a
pledge to be faithful " to the constitution and laws of the Confederate
States." He refused to subscribe to the oath, and on the arrival of
Farragut and Butler at New Orleans was prominent in forming Union
associations and in reconstructing the State.
In December, 1862, there was an election for Congress in the two
districts of the State then entirely within the Federal fines, and Hahn.
after a candidacy of but a few days, was elected from the second dis-
trict, receiving more votes than the other three candidates together.
He was not admitted to his seat until February, 1863. During his
short stay in Congress he voted for all the war measures of President
Lincoln, and he and the President very soon became close friends.
After the expiration of his Congressional term he was ai5[)ointed prize
commissioner of New Orleans.
10 11 FE AND CBARACTEIi OF UICnAEL EAIIN.
During this year (1863) lie made a number of speeches in favor of
President Lincohi's policy to re-establish a loyal State government in
Louisiana, and in a speech at Lyceum Hall, New Orleans, in Novem-
ber, 1863, he declared for the abolition of slavery in the whole State.
In January, 1864, he took charge, as owner and editor, of the New
Orleans Daily True Delta, in which he advocated emancipation, being
the first paper ever owned by a Louisianian to do so. On the recon-
struction of the State government on a loyal basis, February, 1864,
Mr. Hahn was elected the first free-State governor, and was inducted
into office in March following. In the same month President Lin-
coln invested him with the additional powers of a military governor.
A reconstruction constitution for the State having been declared
adopted, a legislature was elected thereunder, which in January,
1865, elected Governor Hahn to the United States Senate for si.x
years. In consequence of this election he resigned the office of gov-
ernor, but never pressed his claim to a seat in the Senate.
On the 4th of July, 1865, he made a speech at the emancipation
celebration in Washington, which was widely circulated.
A few months later he made a speech before the Equal Suffrage
Association of Washington, which also obtained wide circulation.
In 1867 he became editor and manager of the New Orleans Daily
Republican, and continued with eminent success in that position until
1871. During this time he received the appointment of administra-
tor of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans. On quitting journal-
istic life he retired to his plantation in Saint Charles Parish. Here
he laid out and built the pretty and thriving village of Hahnville.
He was made a school director of Saint Charles Parish, and repeat-
edly elected to represent the parish in the legislature of the State.
In 1872 he served as president of the Louisiana State educational
convention during its three days' session.
While in the legislature he served as chairman of the committee
on the judiciary and a short time as speaker.
In 1876 he was appointed State registrar of voters; in 1S78 he was
unanimously elected police juror for his parish, and in June, 1878,
ADDRESS OF MR. niANCUARD, OF LOUISIANA. 11
was appointed b\- the President superintendent of the United States
mint at New Orleans, which position he held until January, 1879.
In November, 1879, he was elected by an almost unanimous vote
judge of the district composed of the parishes of Jefferson, Saint
Charles, and Saint John, and was unanimously re-elected to that po-
sition in 1884. In November, 18S4, he was the Republican nominee
for Congress in the second Congressional district of the State. He
had repeatedly refused the nomination, but toward the close of t'.ie
campaign, two weeks before the election, being pressed to accept, he
yielded and became a candidate. His election in a district usually
Democratic by 3,000 majority attested his great po|)uIarily with the
people in and out of his own political party.
In consequence of his election to Congress he resigned his judge-
ship in March, 1885, and was serving in Congress with usefulness to
his State and credit to himself when stricken down by the ic)- hand
It is thus seen that Michael Hahn had long been a conspicuous
figure in the public and political aflairs of Louisiana, and his career
is one of which any man might well be proud.
Though an active, consistent Republican from the earliest days of
that party's existence in the South, Governor Hahn always enjoyed
the esteem and respect of even his bitterest political opponents. He
was recognized as a man of unswerving integrity and sincere devo-
tion to principle, and it was because of this that he was enabled to
retain the respect and esteem of the people generally, notwithstand-
ing his affiliation with a part) which had made itself justly odious in
Of all the leading Republicans in Louisiana he was one of the least
He was —
Said an editorial in a New Orleans paper, speaking of his death —
among the few men prominently connected w illi leconstniction who enjoyed the
respect and esteem of the conmuinily, wliose life was honorable, and wiiose recoi-d
would bear scrutiny.
12 LIFE AND CU.UUCTEE OF MICHAEL HATIN.
In disposition Governor Hahn was warm-hearted and genial, and
his courteous demeanor toward all with whom he came in contact
drew around him a large circle of devoted friends.
In positions of trust he was inflexible in the jjerformance of his
duty; in his social relations he bore the character of an estimable,
generous, kindly, and true man.
His popularitN in the immediate community in which he lived was
unexampled; his people loved him. A number of citizens in the vil-
lage of Hahnville draped their houses in black when the announce-
ment of his death was made.
The bar of the district over which he had presided as judge adopted
the following tribute to his memory on March 22 — a few days after
his death :
Resolved, That in the death of the late Mic/hael Hahn the country at large,
the State of Louisiana, and esj^iecially the district represented by him in Contjress
have suffered a loss deeply to be deplored ami difficult to be repaired.
Resolved further. That as a gentleman he was without reproach, as a politician
he was incorruptible, as a judge he was learned, just, and patient, and as a citizen
he was accessible to all, courteous without subserviency, stern without asperity,
enterprising without extravagance, appreciated and beloved by high and low as
trustworthy and energetic, and a man of high power and remarkable intellect, with-
out false pride.
Mr. Speaker, a good man has gone from among us in the noontide
of his usefulness as a member of this House ; one who, whether on
the bench, in the executive office, or in the State or National legis-
lature, was recognized by his contemporaries as just, honest, and cap-
able. And such will be the judgment of posterity.
Peace to his ashes!
Address of Mr. O'Donnell, of Michigan.
Mr. Speaker, it is a mournful pleasure to have been in\'ited to pay
a tribute to the memory of one who deserved so well of his associates.
My acquaintance with Governor Hahn began soon after the opening
.IPTll;i:SS (IF .1/7,'. ODOXyiiLL, OF MICEICAN. 13
of the ]iresent session, and Ironi familiar conversations I grew to
esteem him highly. He was modest and retiring, but e\cn in the few-
weeks he served here he gathered about him many friends. You
remember the suddenness of his demise; while those who knew him
had noted his absence from his accustomed place, no one thought death
near until his end was announced.
His departure from earthly scenes teaches us the frail tenure of ex-
istence here; it was an impressive admonition of the brevity and un-
certainty of life, an exemplification of the hollowness of ambition and
the emptiness of office. It is indeed sad to contemplate that this
quiet man should be forced into such rude acquaintance with death,
that the rending of soul and body should be accompanied with such
terrible suffering. Little did he or I realize at our last friendly inter-
change of thought that he stood on the very threshold of eternity,
that the conqueror of all mankind was already beckoning him to its
cold embrace, that his soul should so soon go forth on the mystic
journey to the hereafter.
No native of the soil of Louisiana loved the State more than this
its adopted son. I remember, sir, when I first began service in this
body I offered a bill uhich he thought, if it became a law, would
affect a great industry in Louisiana, and he at once came to me to
discuss the provisions of the measure, pointing out the injury he
feared it might entail upon the people of the State he served and
cherished. This son of a foreign monarchy loved liberty and our
institutions ; indeed his example taught patriotism to the children
of the land ; his devotion to the nation was often tried in the cru-
cible of persecution, but he ever remained true to freedom and
Representative H.'\hn lived nearly fifty-six years. More than a
third of that life was passed in the service of the people, and. though
elevated to high positions where avarice could have its sway, it is
recorded to the honor of this public servant that he died poor in this
world's goods. He was the just executi\e, the erudite jurist, and the
faithful Representative. During the fierce contests in the section
14 LIFE JXD CHAEACTEIi OF MICHAEL HAHN.
wliere he lived no one ever assailed his purity or the integrity of his
intentions. Even during the last political strife, a campaign when
plummet and press fathomed greater depths ol acrimony and injustice
in the political sea than any before, the fierce light did not beat upon
him with withering rays, and he came here the accredited Represent-
ative of the better elements of each party in his district. He sought
to serve his people and the Commonwealth which he in part repre-
sented on this floor.
The only time we heard his voice was when he appealed for the
interests of Louisiana to promote the prosperity of its great under-
taking. We all remember a bill he oftered and urged its passage.
It w-as to remove a bitter reminder to his constituency of the struggle
of two decades agone. He hoped to see the prejudices of the past
"dissolve like the winter drifts in the sunshine of spring," and rejoiced
that they were yielding to the inevitable influences of time.
Our late associate was of a genial nature and loved harmony. I
remember just before he left this House the wound inflicted on him
by party reflection, and the mournful manner in which he read to me
an article from a journal in his State and expressed the hurt he felt
from its injustice.
Little did its author realize the one he assailed would so soon join
the vanished procession of men who were. Ah, Mr. Speaker, we can
but deplore partisan malice, while kindly feeling and justice are lost
on the arid waste of political controversy. It is one of the lamenta-
ble accompaniments of our institutions that the sincerest and most
ujjright intentions are too often refracted by party atmosphere from
their aim. As I think of my friend who is gone, I am mournfully
reminded of the truth of the Arab jjroverb ■ " The word that we speak
to day, shall it not meet us again and again at the turning of the
ways to show us how it has cursed or blessed our fellows?"
The evidences of respect and regard for the memory of our de-
parted brother, shown by those in whose midst his honorable life was
passed, were a comfort to relatives and friends. To them it was a
sweet blossom of the thorny wreath of sorrow. In the harsh and
ADDRESS OF ilVi. U'DONyiCLL, OF MICBIGAS. 16
cruel contests of the troublous times and contentions which convulsed
his State, much that was unkind came to the surface; but in the
calmer years of retrospect, happily "death holds a flag of truce over
its own ; under that flag friend and foe sit peacefully together — \>ai-
sions stilled, benevolence restored, wrongs repaired, and justice
done." As time passes, bitterness and acrimony are forgotten.
Blessed be the kindly feeling! And as the past is viewed through
the mellowing atmosphere of time, old friendships are renewed, and
the grateful seed of charity and forbearance bring forth a fruitage
whose harvests blossom for all eternity.
Among the precious legacies left by the past our dead friend prized
the letters nritten him by the martyr President Lincoln. They em-
bodied the thoughts of that most imperial brain penned during "the
great evolution of history — that creative act, so to speak, which still
exercises an influence over the destinies of mankind." The great
ruler regarded him with warm feeling, commended his moderation
and wise use of power, and gratefully acknowledged his devotion to
country, liberty, and law. Well may his heart have been animated
with just pride as he read the lines, as he often did, traced by the
hand that lifted up humanity and made the flag the honest emblem
of a free and happy nation.
The life of Judge Hahn has closed. It is a tribute to the genius
of our institutions that the child of another clime came to our shores
and his worth so recognized to call him to the highest places in the
gift of his people, for they were his people and he was theirs. He
sought to build anew the broken fortunes of the section where his lot
was cast. In all positions of responsibilty and trust he exercised their
powers wisely and well, with an eye single to the ])rosperity and ad-
vancement of the nation and those whom he served.
The useful life is over. A\ith him the world's sun has gone down
in the shadow of death, but to emerge in the full light of God's eternal
day. Farewell, true patriot and friend of freedom. Thy days on
earth have been lor the benefit of others more than lor thine own,
16 UFE AND CUAIUCTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
and as we give voice to the praise due departed worth, we bestow
upon you the well-earned commendation : You left your country bet-
ter than you found it. What more need be said?
Therefore on thy unknown way.
Go in God's peace! We sbiiU slay,
But a little while ilelay.
Address of Mr. Lyman, of Iowa.
Mr. Speaker, my personal acquaintance with Michael Hahn be-
gan on the first day of the present session of Congress, when, as the
result of the chance by which our respective places in this Hall are
determined, I found myself allotted to a seat immediately on the right
of that occupied by the Representative of the second district of Lou-
isiana. From that time there sprang u[) between us a friendship which
continued steadfast, warm, and sincere until the hour of his sudden
and unexpected death.
But while, personally, until that time he had been a stranger to me,
he was not by me entirely unknown. Our deceased companion is a
liistoric character in the annals of this country for the last quarter of
a century. Being familiar with the history of his varied and eventful
career, it was with a good amount of interest that I watched the ap-
pearance in the House of the only representative of his party and of
mine from the State of Louisiana.
As we learn from the Congressional Directory, Mr. Hahn was not
to the manor born. He was not a native of the land he loved so
well, and owed no natural allegiance to the Government which he
served so faithfiillw He was born in Bavaria, November 24, 1830,
whence he came when an infant, brought by his widowed mother, to
the LInited States, landing in New York, and afterward removing to
the city of New Orleans, which city and vicinity continued to be his
home until his death. Like the majority of American youth, his edu-
cation was that of the public schools. He graduated from the high
ADDRESS OF Mli. l.YMAN, OF IOWA. 17
scliool of the hfcond municipality of his adoiited city. He studied
law in the office of Christian Roselius, esq., and attended lectures
in the law department of the University of Louisiana, from whicli
department he graduated April 7, 1851, before he had reached liis
He at once commenced the ])ractice of his chosen profession. His
ability to serve the people was promptly recognized, and when but
twenty-two years of age he was elected a member of the school board
of the city of New Orleans, and was made its president. In the days
prior to the civil war he was in politics a Democrat, and a follower of
Stephen A. Douglas, making Union speeches, and by all the power
he could command opposed secession. And even after his State had
taken the fatal step he still remained loyal to the Union, and refused
to take an oath requiring allegiance to the Confederate States gov-
ernment. When the State of Louisiana again fell into the hands of
the Federal authorities he took an active and a prominent part in the
reconstruction of the State, and was the trusted friend and adviser of
President Lincoln. In 1862 he was elected to Congress, and in Feb-
ruary, 1863, took his seat in this Hall as a Representative of the peo-
ple of Louisiana.
At the expiration of his Congressional term he was appointed prize
commissioner of New Orleans. He at this time also began the ca-
reer of a journalist. He purchased and edited the New Orleans
Daily True Delta, and, true to the principles he had always entertained,
he was a fearless and powerful advocate of emancipation. He was
elected, and on March 4, 1864, was inaugurated, the first governor of
Louisiana as a free State, to which was added during the same month,
by tbe appointment of President Lincoln, the duties and powers of
military governor. In January, 1865, he resigned the office of gov-
ernor, having been chosen to represent his State in the United States
Senate. Owing to the disturbed and unsettled condition of the coun-
try at that time he did not press his claim, and was not admitted to a
seat in the Senate. As a result of his devotion to what he deemed
the best interests of his State and country, in 1866, during the prog-
H. Mis. 380 ;}
18 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
ress of a riot in New Orleans, he received a gunshot wound, which
went with him to his grave, and made him a cripple from that time
to the end of his life.
In 1867 he became editor and manager of the New Orleans Daily
Republican, and was also appointed administrator of the Charity
Hospital of New Orleans. In 187 1 he added to his other duties and
vocations that of a sugar-planter, and removed to his sugar planta-
tion in Saint Charles Parish, where he laid out and built the village
of Hahnville. He was a school director of Saint Charles Parish, and
in May, 1872, served as president of the Louisiana State educational
convention. During the years 1872, 1874, and 1876 he was a mem-
ber of the legislature of his State. He was superintendent of the
United States mint at New Orleans in 1878, and during the fearful
ravages and excitement of the yellow-fever epidemic of that year he
remained at his post, faithful to his trust.
In November, 1879, ^^ ^'^^ elected judge of his district, and unan-
imously re-elected in 1S84, in which position he served until his term
as a member of the Forty-ninth Congress began. His career as a
youth in a strange land, as a man, as a citizen, as a student, as an ed-
ucator, as a lawyer, as a judge, as a journalist, as a politician, and as
a patriot is worthy of all commendation, and challenges the admira-
tion and imitation of every American. His death was wholly unan-
ticipated by his friends and himself. He had been absent from his
seat for several days on account of what he and all supposed was only
a slight and temporary indisposition On the Friday evening previous
to his death on Monday morning, I met him for. as events proved,
the last time m life, on this floor. He greeted me cheerfully and said
he was feeling better than he had for a long time, and that on Mon-
day morning he would be again regularly in his seat. How little
thought I then that one week from that day, and almost at the same
hour of the day, I should, as one of a committee of this House, assist
in the sad duty of laying his mortal remains away to their final rest
in the silent city of the dead, the beautiful cemetery Metairie, hard
ADDRESS OF MR. LYMAX, OF lOIVA. 19
by the Crescent City, the Queen of the South, the city of liis adop-
tion and of his labors.
How shocked was 1 when on that Monday morning, coming to the
House expecting to find my genial -neighbor in his seat, to find that
seat draped in the habiliments of mourning and to be told that Mr.
Hahn was dead! Our deceased friend was a man who appears to
have won the esteem of all classes, races, and conditions of his fel-
low-citizens. This trait of his character was strikingly illustrated at
the funeral obsequies at his home in New Orleans. All classes, rich
and poor, high and low, Anglo-Saxon and African, from the gover-
nor of the State and State and city officials to the humblest member
of society, appeared to feel that the Commonwealth and the com-
munity of his immediate home had met with a great loss, and they
all came together and mingled their tears at his bier.
Michael Hahn had the confidence of all who knew him. He
was the only Representative of his political faith from his State.
^'et a tribute of inestimable value was paid him in the sincere sor-
row at his death shown by his colleagues from his own State, differ-
ing from him politically so radically as they do. I stood by the side
of one of those gentlemen at the services held in this city, and he
said Mr. Hahn had got beyond the plane of mere politics, and was
a statesman who could act for what he believed to be the best inter-
est of his State and country. He said, " Michael Hahn could al-
ways be relied upon. I always knew where to find him." What
higher tribute could be paid to his worth ? In this connection I
may be pardoned for mentioning an incident which occurred during
the earlier days of our present session, which illustrates this phase of
his character, his devotion to the interests of the people he repre-
sented, and also the extreme modesty of the man and his distrust of
himself and of his abilities.
We had under consideration the bill or resolution authorizing the
sending of certain property of the United States to the New Orleans
K.xposition, a proposition which was generally opposed by his party
associates. I asked him what he would do about it. His answer
20 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAIIN.
was characteristic of the man : " I shall favor it ; I think it will as-
sist in developing the resources of my State, and I shall not only vote
for it but I must speak for it, even if 1 am a new member here."
And he did speak and made an- eloquent plea for it. When he sat
ilown, with his usual distrust of himself he asked, ''Did I make a
fool of myself and hurt the cause?" While he was thus modest and
distrustful of himself, there was one ]jhase of his life of which he was
justly proud, and of which he was wont to speak, and that vv-as the
friendship and confidence of Abraham Lincoln. With what pardon-
able and justifiable pride did he use to exhibit to his friends the au-
tograph letters of that great man to him, asking his advice upon
questions of reconstruction and commending his patriotic and judi-
cious efforts in that direction!
The career of our departed colaborer is one of which his friends
may well be proud. The man who, under the peculiar circumstances
surrounding our country during his active life, with all the disad-
vantages of foreign birth, could live a lifetime in a community which
was necessarily opposed to him in sentiment on almost every question,
and sustain himself and retain the entire confidence, support, and
esteem of everybody, was no ordinary man.
He has gone. In his death his adopted country and State have lost
a patriotic, devoted, and useful citizen, his city and district a faithful
and earnest Representative, and his friends a steadfast ally. Peace
to the ashes of Michael Hahn. Let all that is mortal of our dead
companion rest in the quiet tomb to which loving hands have con-
signed his remains, until the trump of the resurrection morn shall call
us all to appear before the great Judge to give an account of the
deeds done in the body; and if he shall then rise to a future as happy as
his life was useful to his country and to liis fellows, his warmest friends
can desire no better fate for him we mourn.
ADDRESS OF MR. ELY, OF MASSACBVSETTS. 21
Address of Mr Ely, of Massachusetts.
Mr. Speaker, in obedience to a graceful custom, we are convened
in this Hall to pay our tributes of respect and esteem to the memory
of a deceased member of this House. Not alone do the proprieties
sanctioned by past Congresses impel us to these services. The asso-
ciations of this House form a jjeculiar bond of union between us.
We come here strangers to each other. We take these seats, and
each looks in the other's face with courteous civility, or, it may be,
with idle curiosity. But as day follows day, and members join in the
work of legislation, meet in committee-rooms or on this floor, consult,
antagonize, compare and contrast opinions, and struggle with the
problems before them, there arises a common interest in the well-
being and destiny of all and of every one which can never be wholly
eflfaced. .\nd when death's pale flag enters this Chamber, and at his
summons a brother leaves his chair and departs to return no*more, all
hearts are moved by the bonds of goodwill here cemented to speak
the last farewell, to strew flowers on his new-made grave, and to place
on the jKinted page an appreciative estimate of those qualities which
elevated him to this distinguished post of honor and responsibility.
Animated by these emotions, I gladly avail myself of this occasion
to offer my brief tribute to the life and character of Michael Hahn.
My personal acquaintance with Mr. Hahn covered a period of scarcely
more than three months, but during, that brief time I had not failed
to observe that he was a man of calm, conservative, judicious temper-
ament, full of experience in public aflJairs, firm and decided in his
views, but gentle in his expression of them. He was evidently a man
whom it would be safe to follow. I was attracted toward him by his
quiet and unassuming manners and interesting conversation. In him
were happily blended those qualities of mind and heart which would
make him, as he was from earliest manhood to the day of his death,
the trusted public servant of those among whom his lot was most inti-
22 LIFE AND CUARACTEli OF MICUAEL HAHN.
mately cast. What a remarkable record of public service was his !
Without the influence of birth or fortune, born in a foreign land, al-
most from infancy the son of a widow, he had scarcely attained his
majority when be was selected for school director, and from that time
onward the rollmg years succeed each other not so rapidly as honor
succeeded to honor and trust to trust, until in the plenitude of his
influence and usefulness, but it may be believed not in the plenitude
of his honors, we mournfully draped his chair in this national House
of Representatives, and tenderly escorted his remains to their last
resting-place among the people who loved him so well and trusted
him so much.
Nor were his public trusts more remarkable for their number than
their variety. In all departments of public service, educational,
legislative, judicial, and executive, he seemed equally at home. It
may not perhaps be said that in any special attribute was he notably
endowed. Others may be undoubtedly named who were more elo-
quent than he, others more learned, others of stronger intellects.
But he was eloquent, he was learned, he was strong, because he was
faithful — faithful with an ingenuous, noble, inspiring faithfulness,
which bore him successfully and triumphantly through the rugged
and sometimes dangerous paths of his eventful career, and made him
equal to the performance of every duty. In war and m peace he
was ever the same calm, conservative, faithful man.
He loved his country. He never forgot his allegiance to her.
When the war of the rebellion carried the whole people of the South
willingly or unwillingly into its vortex, Michael Hahn stood aloof,
and was foremost in all measures for the maintenance of the Federal
I'nion as our fathers had established it. Considering the circum-
stances in which he was placed, this part of his career distinguishes
him as a remarkable man. By his election as the first governor of
Louisiana as a free State, by his position as military governor under
.'\brahain Lincoln, by his advocacy of the emancipation of the slaves,
ADDHESS OF J/fi. PETTIBONE, OF TEXNESSEE. 23
he acquired a national reputation, and has written his name in in-
delible characters on the scroll of his country's history.
By this devotion to his adopted country and the perpetuity of her
institutions Michael Hahn made fitting recognition of what she
had done for him. His career furnishes another illustration of the
beneficence of our beloved land to all her children, native and adopted.
Coming to our shores a fatherless boy, the doors of the public
schools of the country opened to receive him. Without money and
without price, competent teachers guided his tottering feet into paths
of learning and opened to his youthful mind store houses of knowl-
edge. He emerged from the public school well equipped to enter
on the study of that most difficult and intricate science, the law. At
the age of manhood that same country placed him on a stage of
action where all men were equal, equal under the law, equal in oppor-
tunity, equal in the inspiration which American representative gov-
ernment breathes into all her children. How well he availed him-
self of these privileges is clearly written on the pages of his life, and
will long be treasured in the memory of those to whom he was a
true friend, a faithful adviser, and a devoted public servant.
Address of Mr. Pettibone, of Tennessee.
In the late months of 1863, after the fall of Vicksburg and the
surrender at Port Hudson, when the Mississippi was again opened
from its source to the sea, it became my fortune to arrive at New
Orleans with a large contingent of the Federal .\rmy ; and then and
there I first made the acquaintance of our late associate, Hon.
Michael Hahn. He was then in power in the great city of the
South, New Orleans; but I believe that they who will recall that
time, the citizens of Louisiana in the dread period of the civil war,
will always remember that when in power he so bore himself and
carried his faculties so meek, with such just and scrupulous equity
in looking after the rights and interests of all, as that the whole of
24 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
the people of Louisiana who came in contact with him at that time
felt that in him they had a safe adviser, a true and u arm and stead-
This man, as has already been stated, was born under a foreign
sky beyond the sea. In early life he sought the shores of America.
He came to this country as thousands had come before him, believ-
ing that here was larger scope and verge and room for those who de-
sired to enjoy the blessings of liberty for themselves and their pos-
terity; and Louisiana became his foster-mother. As the years went
by he grew into the full stature of American citizenship and man-
The great civil war which was then before us, which was too much
for the wisdom of Clay and Calhoun and Webster and the sages of
that now elder time to avert, because the reasons and the causes of
it lay back almost within the Middle Ages — that great civil war was
in front of Michael Hahn in his early manhood. Through that
dark ordeal he passed as did the citizens of his State and his section
of the Union.
When the war closed, divergent interests, sharp passions, keen antag-
onisms, virulent partisanship had their influence and their jjower, as
we all know, over the States that had thrown their interests with the
Confederacy. We look back upon it now as we look back upon the
liistory of the Revolution or the great rebellion in the time of Crom-
well. A generation of men have been born since that time. To-
day and now we can come, and with calmness and clearness of mind
can measure men not as they would have been measured in the olden
(lays, but as we now see them, surrounded by the circumstances
which environed them in that time, and in the light which subsequent
experience has cast upon it.
It is well for any one of us that, when life's journey is done, it can
be said of him he was honest, he was true, he was discreet, he was pa-
triotic, he desired and loved tlie just.
Knowing Michael Hahn a generation ago, and then liaving been
.IDDEESfi OF iir. PETTIP.ONE, OF TEXNESSEE. 20
separated from him by the long years that have passed, when I learned
that he was elected to this Congress and was made a member of my
committee I joyfully renewed the old acquaintance, and I found him
what he was in the dark days of 1861 to 1865. only broader, and
widened, and ripened.
In him the elements were mixed. All the elements were so com-
bined that Nature might stand up and say to all the world. This was
a man ! That he was a man of broad principle, of profound convic-
tion, and that he had the moral courage to breast all time and all
circumstance, I think will be admitted by all who knew him. Tlie
Quaker poet Whittier (and in one of the last conversations I had with
Mr. Hahn he quoted Whittier) has described the character of this
man and his aspirations for what was right and just in the little poem
wherein he brings the Angel of Freedom and the Angel of Peace to-
gether in the dark time which we call our civil war, when, to the
pleadings of the Angel of Peace for a surcease of battle, the Angel of
Then Freedom sternly said : I shun
No pang nor strife beneath the sun
When human rights are staked and won.
I knelt with Ziska's hunted flock;
r watched in Touissaint's cell of rock;
I walked with Sidney to the block ;
The moor of Marston felt my tread ;
Through Jersey's snows the march 1 led;
My voice Magenta's charges speil.
That was the spirit with which Michael Hahn stood up in those
dark days in Louisiana. But it happened to him that, as the years
went by and age came on, the people of Louisiana came to regard
him as he was, as a true citizen of their State, wishing only the best
things for the State and for all the Southland and for all the Republic.
That the man fought life's battle well, that he was an honored citizen
of his Commonwealth and of the nation, was attested by the fact that
he was sent as a Representative to this the Forty-ninth Congress,
20 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
when long years had interposed between the sharp antagonisms of
the past and the present time.
No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose).
The bosom of his Father and his God.
Address of Mi\ Gay, of Louisiana.
Mr. Speaker, this occasion has been set apart by solemn resolu-
tion to pay the just tribute of respect to the memory of Hon. Michael
Hahn, of Louisiana.
It often happens in intercourse with our tellow-men that we do not
fully appreciate their value until the rude hand of death removes them
from our midst. This I feel to be especially true with regard to my
deceased colleague, and when made aware of his untimely, unlooked-
for death, I awoke to a partial realization of the great loss sustained
by this House, by his colleagues, by his constituency, and by the State
Michael Hahn was a native of Bavaria, and removed in 1840,
with a widowed inother, to the city of New Orleans, in the tenth year
of his age. His mother had five children, and when the yellow-fever
epidemic of 1841 visited that city she fell a victim, leaving these chil-
dren, doubly orphaned, in a strange land.
The solid metal of young MiCHAtL's nature maybe seen by watch-
ing the progress of events. He attended the public schools and
graduated in the high school of the second municipality. In his
nineteenth year we find him in the law office of Christian V oselius,
an eminent lawyer, whose pure and unblemished character no doubt
stamped itself on young Hahn.
While here, besides attending to the duties of the office, he fol-
lowed two courses of lectures in the law department of the L-niver-
sity of Lotiisiana, and graduated in April, 1851.
ADDRESS OF MR. GAY, OF LOUISIANA. 27
During his study of the law he enrned his livelihood by attention
to the agency of real estate, with which he was intrusted, and by
writing short articles for the press, lor which he developed an early
taste. His diploma admitted him to all the courts of the State, anrl
he immediately commenced the practice of law, blending with this
the duties of a notary public, receiving his commission in 1851.
When but twenty-two years of age he was elected a school director,
and served on the committee on teachers with such men as Rawle,
Jennings, and Bonford. This position he filled several times, and
was at one time president of the board and e.x officio chairman of the
committee on teachers and high schools.
In politics i\Ir. Hahn was a Democrat and a member of the Doug-
las State committee, supporting Stephen A. Douglas for President.
After the disruption of the Charleston convention he was pronounced
in his attachment to the perpetuation of the Union, and when in 1861
all persons holding oHice were required by the Louisiana legislature
to swear allegiance to the confederate government he declined.
On the arrival of F'arragut and Butler at New Orleans Mr. Hahn
was recognized as a Union man, and became prominent in devising
means for the re-establishment of the State government within the
lines of Federal control.
On the 3d of December, 1862, elections for Congress were held in
the first and second districts of Louisiana, then entirely within the
Federal lines. Mr. Hahn was elected in the second district, receiv-
ing more votes than his three competitors, Darrell, Greathouse, and
Jacob Barker, together, but was not admitted to his seat until the lytli
of February, 1863.
During his short stay in Congress he became an intimate friend of
President Lincoln, whose confidence he enjoyed. During the year
1863 he was appointed and acted as prize commissioner at New
C^rleans. He was appointed by General Banks with two others com-
missioners to liquidate the affairs of the Bank of Louisiana ; but on
his recommendation the appointments were revoked and the bank
allowed to settle its own affairs.
28 LIFE AND CHARACTEll OF MICHAEL HAlIN.
On the reconstruction of tlie State goves'nment on a loyal basis
(2 2d of February, 1864) he was elected the first free-State governor,
and was inducted into office on the 4th of March following, and on
the 15th of the same month he was invested with the additional pow-
ers of a military governor by President Lincoln.
A constitutional convention was elected and submitted a constitu-
tion, which was ratified. A legislature was elected, and in January,
1865, Governor Hahn was chosen a Senator to the Senate of the
United States for six years. He resigned his position as governor,
to take effect on the 4th of March, 1865. He never pressed his
claim to a seat in the Senate, because he approved of the reconstruc-
tion measures which were then being matured.
As a journalist, his experience was extensive. On the ist of Janu-
ary, 1864, he took charge of the New Orleans Daily True Delta. In
1867 he formed a corporation for publishing the New Orleans Daily
Republican, of which paper he continued to be the manager and
editor till 1871 with eminent success.
On retiring from editorial life he went to reside on his plantation
in Saint Charles Parish. He laid out thereon the thriving village of
Hahnville. Here he was made a school director, and in 1872 was
elected to the legislature.
In May, 1872, he served as president of the Louisiana State educa-
tional convention during its session of three days He was elected to
the legislature three successive terms, in 1872, 1874, 1876, generally
He served as chairman on the committee on the judiciary and a
short time as speaker.
On the 15th of August, 1876, he was appointed registrar of voters.
and although much discussion took place concerning the irregularity
of the election that year, both political parties approved of the con-
duct of MicHAEi, Hahn. In June, 1878, he was appointed by the
President as superintendent of the United States mint at New Orleans,
which office he held until the ist of January, 1879, remaining at his
ADDRESS OF MR. GAY, OF LOUISIANA. 29
])Ost of duty during the epidemic of 1878 and contributing iiis
services in relieving the distress caused by that scourge upon the city.
In November, 1879, he was elected by an almost unanimous vote
judge of the district composed of the parishes of Jefferson, Saint
Charles, and Saint John. In 1880, during the Presidential campaign,
he started and edited the New Orleans Ledger, supporting the Re-
publican nominees. In April, 1884, he was re-elected district judge
unanimously for four years. In October following he reluctantly
accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate for Congress
from the second district of Louisiana only two weeks before the elec-
tion, at which he received over 1,300 majority.
The mature years of Michael Hahn ran parallel with the most
exciting and trying period in the history of his adopted State. The
political caldron of i860 stirred the souls of the great masses from
one end of the land to the other. Hard feelings were engendered ;
solicitudes were entertained and nurtured.
The Sage of Auburn had declared that this country must be all
free or all slave. The people of the South knew well that it would
never be all slave.
Mr. Lincoln was elected. His motives were pure, his sentiments
were liberal, his course would doubtless have been paternal and na-
tional, but he was untried, and the minds of the South were filled
with apprehension. Webster, Clay, and Benton, alas! were dead.
Had they lived, their counsel, as oil poured upon the raging waters
of the storm, might have brought calm. But they had been removed
from our midst.
The people of the South loved their country, but the security of
their equal rights seemed to be in peril. Hence the coals were easily
fanned to a flame and the clash of arms succeeded.
The heart of Louisiana was with their whole country; but when
the hour for derision came she stood side by side with her sister
States of the South.
I recall these incidents, not to revive the recollection of events
30 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
which have passed into history, but merely to show how the subject
of this memoir was brought into greater pominence.
It was in such a crisis that Michael Hahn took his stand amid
the few who at the advent of the victorious Federal commanders in
New Orleans in 1862 could be received with confidence. It was but
natural that General Butler should look with favor upon the small
band of men of good repute who went forward in good faith to wel-
come his arrival.
In the prominent part taken by Michael Hahn during this trying
period it is worthy of remembrance and commendation that his course
was never marked by unfriendly bearing to his fellow-citizens who
had differed with him in opinion; that he evinced no malice, and he
had none; that he never used his power to oppress or annoy when it
could have been so readily done.
On the contrary, his talents and influence seem ever to have been
industriously given to re-establish order and civil government, to re-
store prosperity, and to build up the best interests of the State in the
mode he thought available. In this he was trusted far beyond what
is the ordinary lot of man. and his judgment and learning lent strengtli
to the fabric rebuilt.
He was ot a kindly, courteous disposiuon, ever walling to e.xtend the
hand of relief, and approachable by all.
When a member of Congress in 1863 he was granted permission
by the President to visit the Union military prisons to look into the
condition of Louisiana prisoners.
Many kindly acts of Governor Hahn to the people of Louisiana will
live in their grateful remembrance, and especially one recounted, when
citizens from the interior of the State were dragged, upon frivolous
charges, before the court in New Orleans and lodged in a loathsome
prison, and it became necessary in order to enlarge them to give a
heavy bond, his warm heart led him to tender his name for their rehef.
In his quiet country home he was looked up to with the confidence
of a father. His advice was sought by all, and his decisions settled
difficulties, smoothed asperities, and preserved order.
ADDHESS OF Mli. GAY, OF LOVISIAXA. 31
He was not permitted to retire Irom public life, but was compelled
to accept positions of trust, and when he consented to be a candidate
there was seldom opposition.
Mr. Hahn was a bachelor; was accustomed to living alone. In
his solitary apartments, alone, he was called upor^in the silent hour of
night to surrender his e.vistence. 'I'hat he was ready and that he met
his fate with dignit)- was plainly manifest from the calm and genial
glow which wreathed his countenance when his prostrate form was
When I gazed for the last time upon the placid, peaceful countenance
of the deceased, I was deeply impressed that the light which seemed to
shine upon his forehead was but the reflex of the gentle spirit of the
still small voice instilled by a mother and the heavenly spirit of all
grace vouchsafed to man through the sacrifice of the Son of God, which
stands ready to enter the hearts of all men who serve God with a
willing mind and with a perfect heart.
The nation has done honor to itself in bearing the mortal remains of
.Michael Hahn, in the guardian charge of his jjeers of both Houses
of Congress, to their last resting-place amid the cypress and myrtle of
his cherished home in Louisiana. They have laid him to rest in
peace in the midst of relatives, friends, and neighbors, who to him
were most dear and with whom the energies of his life had been
As one of the colleagues of Mr. Hahn 1 bear testimony to the ur-
banity of his manners, to his firmness of purpose, and to his unswerv-
ing devotion to the interests of his constituents.
His presence here gave promise of great usefulness, and I sincerely
mourn his loss.
Mr. St. Martin. Mr. Speaker, I now move the adoption of the
The resolutions were adopted unanimously; and the House there-
'R0CH1U)1NGS IN THE SENATH.
In the Senate of the United States,
March 15, 1886.
■A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Clark, its
Clefk^ conveyed to the Senate the intelligence of the death of Hon.
Michael Hahn, late a Representative from the State of Louisiana,
and communicated the action of the House thereon.
The Presiding Officer (Mr. Sewell in the chair). The message
will be laid before the Senate.
The Secretary read as follows ;
In the House of Representatives,
March 15, 1886.
Resolved, That the House has heard with sincere regret the announcement of (he
death of Hon. Michael H.\HN,late a Representative from the State of Louisiana.
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate coiiciirrmg). That a select
joint committee consisting of seven members of tlie House and tliree members of
the Senate be appointed to take order for superintending the funeral and to escort
(lie remains of the deceased to their place of burial, and the necessary expenses at-
tending the execution of this order be paid out of the contingent fund of the House
Resolved, That the .Sergeant-at-Arms of the House be authorized and directed
to take such steps as may be necessary for properly carrying out the provisions of
Resolved, That the Clerk communicate the foregoing resolutions to the Senate.
Mr. EusTis. I offer the following resolutions and move their adop-
Resolved, That the Senate has heard with deep sensibility the announcement of the
death of Hon. Micii.\el Hahn, late a Representative from the State of Louisiana.
Resolved, I'hat the Senate concur in the resoltition of the House of Representa-
34 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICHAEL HAHN.
lives providing for the appointment of a joint committee to take order for siiperin-
tendinir the funeral and escort tiie remains of the deceased to the place of burial, and
tliat the members of the committee on the part of the Senate be appointed by the
President /ro tonpore.
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House of
The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.
Mr. EuSTis. As an additional mark of respect to the memory of
Mr. Hahn I move that the Senate adjourn.
The Presiding Officer. The Senator from Louisiana moves that
the Senate adjourn.
The motion was agreed to unanimously ; and the Senate adjourned.
In the Sknate of the United States,
March i6, 1886.
The President //i' tempore announced as the members of the com-
mittee on the part of the Senate to escort the remains of the late
Representative Hahn to the place of burial in the State of Louisiana,
Mr. EusTis, Mr. Vance, and Mr. Buti.er.
In the Senate of the United States,
July 2, 1886.
Mr. EusTis. Mr. President, pursuant to notice heretofore given,
I ask that the message of the House of Representatives in relation
to the death of Mr. Hahn be laid before the Senate.
The Presiding Officer (Mr. Platt in tlie chair). The resolutions
referred to will be laid before the Senate.
The Secretary read the following resolutions of the House of Reji-
Resolved, That the House have heard with profounil sorrow of the death of Hon.
Michael Hahn', late a Representative from the State of Louisiana.
Resolved, That in the demise of our late colleague the country has suffered the
loss of a wise legislator, a valuable citizen, and an able and faithful pid)licser\ant.
rnOCEEDINGS IN TETE SENATE. 35
ResohviJ, That as an additional mark of respect to the memory of the deceased
the House, at the conclusion of tliese memorial proceedings, shall stand adjourned.
Kesoheii, Tlial the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate.
Mr. EusTis. Mr. President, I ofl'er the resolutions which I send
to the desk.
The Presiding Officer. The resolutions will be read.
The Secretary read as follows:
Resolved, That the Senate receives with deep sensibility the announcement of
the death of Hon. Michai-;l Hahn, late a member of the 1 louse of Representatives
from the State of Louisiana, and tenders to the family and relations of the deceased
the assurance of its sympathy in their bereavement.
Resolved, That the Secretary be directed to transmit to the family of Mr. Hahn
a copy of the foregoing resolution.
Address of Mr. EusTis, of Louisiana.
Mr. President, on the 14th of March, 1886, Hon. Michael Hahn,
a Representative from Louisiana, died in this city. Several of his
former associates in the House of Representatives have in eulogies
presented in detail the important incidents of his public career. It is
not necessary for me to repeat what has been so well said by those
who were brought into more intimate relations with him, and I will
only briefly refer to his prominent identification with some of the im-
portant events in the recent history of Louisiana to illustrate the char-
acter of the deceased and to delineate his connection with measures
of national importance. When he died, the Democratic press in New
Orleans united in paying a just tribute to his memory, which attested
that Mr. Hahn enjoyed the respect and esteem of his political op-
ponents. The bar and the court over which he presided as judge
when he became a candidate for Congress passed resolutions express-
ing tiieir profound respect for his judicial attainments and unimpeach-
able integrity, and as a last token of sorrow the governor, prominent
36 LIFE AND VHAllACTER OF MICHAEL EARN.
State officers, and a large concourse of people and distinguished citi-
zens, irrespective of party, attended the mournful cortege that bore
his remains to the family tomb.
Mr. Hahn was a Bavarian by birth, but came to this country at an
age so youthful that his opinions and convictions upon public ques-
tions were due exclusively to the associations he formed and to the
education he received in the country of his adoption. Before the war
he was an ardent Douglas Democrat, and after the disruption of the
Charleston convention he addressed a large Union mass-meeting held
in New Orleans on May 8, i860, at which he made a strong L'nion
speech and offered the resolutions which were adopted by the meet-
ing. This outspoken declaration of his convictions foreshadowed his
attitude of firm adherence to the cause of the Union. As a public
official, after the State had seceded, he refused to take the required
oath to support the constitution and laws of the Confederate States.
When the possibility of the emancipation of the slaves first dawned
amid the rude shock of armed conflict, as early as November, 1863,
Mr. Hahn, in a speech delivered in New Orleans, declared himself
as the champion of their freedom, and advocated the abolition of
slavery throughout the State of Louisiana. Hence, from an early
period he gained the unreserved confidence of the colored people, not
by any shallow pretense of undue solicitude for their welfare, but by
reason of his sincere convictions upon the question of slavery. 'J'heir
confidence he retained to the day of his death, for they knew that his
labors for their educational, .social, and material improvement were
disinterested, and that no selfish consideration of personal advantage
or political advancement induced him to profess to be their friend
Although recognized as a Republican leader, rather than appeal
to race prejudices or engender race animosities he preferred to live
in political retirement, asking for no rewards unless voluntarily ten-
dered to him in grateful recognition of his ability and willingness to
faithfully serve a trusting constituency. He could always rely upon the
united and hearty support of the colored people, for to them he had
ADDUESS OF Mil. El'KTIS, OF LOUISIAXA. 37
been a friend, having never deceived them by flattering their jireju-
dices or having never misled them to indulge false and exaggerated
expectations. He honestly inculcated the teachings of good-will and
good feeling between the races as most conducive to the prosperity
and good order of society and the well being of both races.
Mr. Hahn was a conspicuous figure in a* memorable movement
which had serious international significance during the war, but
which has been obscured by the overshadowing prominence of the
stirring episodes of that eventful period. Louis Napoleon was re-
strained from recognizing the Southern Confederacy only by the ob-
stinate refusal of the British ministry to co-operate with him in that
direction, the British ministry itself being controlled by the force of
public opinion m England. The oft-repeated assurances of Mr. Sew-
ard that the war would be of short duration had lost their efficacy
and had emboldened Louis Napoleon, who pointed to the fluctuating
fortunes of the contending armies as indicating an uncertainty in the
result, if not an indefinite prolongation of the struggle between the
Federal and Confederate armies.
Mr. Lincoln determined to offset this argument in favor of recog-
nition, so urgently pressed by Napoleon upon the other courts, by
making it appear that as Federal armies conquer territory civil gov-
ernment was being re-established with a view to the early reunion of
the States. Louisiana, once a province of France, was selected as
the field for this civil manifestation of restored Federal authority.
This scheme of rehabilitating a seceded State amid the clash of arms
was mainly designed to counteract the intrigues of Louis Napoleon.
New Orleans and a few riparian parishes were the only territory in
Louisiana actually and exclusively occupied by the Federal Army.
A convention representing an insignificant fragment of the State was
called. A constitution was formed and civil ofticers were elected,
and Mr. H.\hn was d\ily installed as governor-elect of the State of
So incompatible was this defonned civil government with the exi-
gency of military occupation and military domination that Mr. Lin-
38 LIFE AND CHARACTER OF MICUAEL HA UN.
coin at once invested Governor Hahn with the powers of a miUtary
governor. To the European courts was to be presented the unex-
pected spectacle of a civil government being established by the sanc-
tion of Federal authority in a State that had seceded from the Union
and of which Mr. Hahn was the chief executive. But this diplomatic
effort to inaugurate a svstem of reconstruction, intended for the pa-
triotic purpose of influencing foreign governments, was never sanc-
tioned by Congress, and this anomalous and undefined civil authority
of a military governor, so far as domestic government was concerned,
had to yield to the undiminished supremacy of military rule. From
different motives and for different reasons President Lincoln and Mr.
Hahn equally rejoiced in this triumph of civil government.
The one because he successfully arrested the predetermined pur-
pose of Louis Napoleon to recognize the Southern Confederacy,
which it was feared would form an alliance with the Latin Empire
which Napoleon was establishing in Mexico, to be protected by
France ; and the other because by the aid and assistance of the Presi-
dent of the United States he was to wear civic honors of a high grade,
representing, as he believed, the majesty of a seceded State restored
to the Union.
Mr. Hahn treasured as a valued legacy the following letter written
to him by Mr. Lincoln in connection with the events 1 have men-
E.XECUTIVE Mansion, IVai/iington, March 13, 1864.
My Dear .Sir : I congratulate you on having fixed your name in liistory as the
first free-State governor of Louisiana. Now that you are about to have a conven-
tion which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise, I barely
suggest for your private consideration whether some of the colored people may
not be let in, as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have
fought gallantly in our ranks. They would probably help in some trying time to
come to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom. Hut this is only a sug-
gestion, not to the public but to you alone.
When the Federal troops occupied New Orleans Mr. Hahn, by
reason of his having been a Union man, was in a position to give good
ADDRESS OF MR. EUSTIS, OF LOVISIAXA. 39
or bad advice to the military commanders, as regards the treatment of •
the people of that city. But he was a man entirely free from any re-
sentful or vindictive feelings, and instead of persecuting any one he
aided and befriended those whom it was in his power to assist. He
always respected the convictions of his opponents, and never allowed
any difference of opinion, even upon questions which he considered
of vital moment, to jjrejudice him in his dealings and his intercourse
« ith his fellow-men. In that respect he was truly remarkable for the
kindly disposition of his nature.
To the poor and the lowly he always showed a feehng of deep
sympathy, for he himself had risen from a very humble condition in
life, unaided except by his own efforts and the opportunities afforded
in this country to every one to gratify his ambition for advancement.
I use no mere formal or conventional expression when I state that
during his life he was a man respected and esteemed, and that his
death was as sincerely regretted by his political opponents as by
those with whom he had been politically associated.
Called upon to discharge the duties of many public offices, State
and Federal, at the time that he surrendered these various functions
no enemy, if he had any, could point to a stain upon his character.
At the time of his sudden death b.e had reentered upon a career of
promising political activity and usefulness. Full of buoyant and
hopeful expectations, he was stimulated by a renewed ambition to
devote his talents and his energies to the service of his State and
country as a representative in Congress. Those who knew him best
shared his confidence in his ability to attain signal distinction among
his distinguished associates. Pro\'idence decreed otherwise; and it
is to be hoped tliat he has reaped that rich reward in eternity for
which his exemplary life on earth undoubtedly prepared him.
Mr. President, 1 move the adoption of the resolutions.
40 LIFE AND CBARACTEB OF MICHAEL HASX
Address of Mr. Gibson, of Louisiana.
Mr. President, I rise to second the resolutions commemorative ol
the pubhc hie and services of Hon. Michael Hahn, recently a Rep-
resentative from the second Congressional district of Louisiana, who
died in this city suddenly on the 15th of March last. I was absent
on the day of his death and had not the opportunity to participate
in the funeral obsequies or in the action of the Senate.
My acquaintance with Mr. Hahn dates from the Presidential con-
test resulting in the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the
United States. He was a supporter of Stephen A. Douglas. I re-
member distinctly the large and enthusiastic meeting held in the town
of Thibodeaux during that campaign, and the strong and earnest
speech delivered by Hon. Michael Hahn. Thibodeau.x is the capi-
tal town of La Fourche Parish, the center of a wealthy, intelligent,
and cultivated population.
I have never known in my life in any land a communit) that was
more distinguished for its polished manners, its sturdy character, its
genuine hospitality, and charitable benefactions, and in which the
poor and rich alike enjoyed in a larger measure contentment and
happiness. It could boast of such citizens as Bishop Leonidas Polk,
than whom no more striking character ever shone forth in the annals
of the Christian Church in this country ; George S. Guion, the mode!
planter, the public-spirited citizen, the devout Christian, the knightl)
gentleman; Dr. James Scudday, an ornament to his profession, and
beloved as widely as he was known ; Braxton Bragg, whose name is
forever associated with the history of the war of secession, and oi
General Richard Taylor, as its senator in the State legislature, re-
nowned abroad as well as at home as one of the most, if not the most,
accomplished gentleman and brilliant conversationalist of the age
and second only to the foremost in military genius. The day Mr.
Hahn came before the audience that had a.ssembled on the occasion
relerred to he was quite unknown, but when he had closed his ad
dress there was not a person in it who had not become convinced
JDDKi:SS OF MR. GIBSOX, OF I.OCISIAXA. 41
that he was a sincere, upright, patriotic man, and an earnest and per-
The career of Mr. Hahn illustrates the beneficence of our institu-
tions as well as how much may be accomplished under them by self-
denial, hard work, inherent virtue, and earnestn'ess of purpose. Young
men mav take courage from his example. Born in Bavaria Novem-
ber 24, 1830, he was brought to the city of New Orleans when ten
years of age, one of five children under the care of a widowed mother,
v/hose early death left him to the guardianship of friends and to his
own unaided resources. He was fortunate, however, in living in a
community quick to recognize merit and in falling under the kindly
guidance and instruction of Hon. Christian Roselius, in whose office
he was chiefly prepared for the practice of the law. Christian Roselius
was for many years a leading lawver at the New Orleans bar and
educated more young men for the practice of the profession than any
other law-yer of his generation, not only as the veteran professor of law
in the University of Louisiana, but he possessed great benevolence,
and never omitted an opportunity to aid any young man of merit who
was struggling for admission to the bar or in the early years of his
The active interest which Mr. Roselius manifested in all worthy
young men 1 think was owing not only to his own experience in early
life, for he himself had reached the head of his profession in the State
of Louisiana by triumphing over all the difficulties that early poverty
ii" loses, his only weapons being an invincible will and the highest
order of ii-,tellect, but because the great lawyer had seen his own
fondest hopes crushed in the death of his only son, attractive beyond
all his compeers, a type of rarest manly beauty, and possessing every
intellectual accomplishment, cut oft' at the very threshold of his man-
hood. There still dwells upon my memory the image of Conrad
Roselius as he appeared when we first met at school, the fairest,
brightest, and most gifted of the companions of my youth.
I will not recapitulate the successive steps by which Michael
Hahn won his way to the confidence and support of a large body of
42 /J-/''A' AHU OHAUAO'lEli OF ilWUAEL HAUA.
the people of Louisiana and to tlie respect of all. He was succes-
sively director in the [jublic schools, editor ol a newspaper, Presidential
elector, governor of the State, superintendent of the mint, judge, Rep-
resentative in Congress, and founder of a village that bears his name.
And, though I differed from him widely in political opmions, I never
heard, even in seasons of political excitements, any aspersion upon,
the integrity of his character of the uprightness of his purposes. I
believe he met every duty in life in a firm, conscientious, generous
spirit. I remember reading some few years ago an address delivered
by Mr. Hahn in the village of Gretna, in which he quoted the fol-
lowing passage from Festus, and I doubt not that the noble senti-
ments therein expressed found lodgment in his memory, because his
heart beat responsive to them and they inspired the aspirations of
Let each man think himself an act of God — his mind a thought,
his life a breath of God ; and let each try by great thoughts and good
deeds to show the most of heaven he has in him :
Life is more than breatli ami tlie quicli round ot" Mood;
It is a great spirit and a busy heart.
The coward and the small in soul scarce do live.
One generous feeling — one great thouglit — one deed
Of good, ere night, would malce life lunger seem
Than if each year might number a thousand davs
Spent as this is by nations of mankind.
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on the dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most 1:
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
The PRESiDENT/n7 ietnpore. The question is on the adopi.on of
The resolutions were adojned unanimously.
Mr. EusTls. Mr. President, as a further mark of respect to the
memory of the deceased I move that the .Senate do now adjourn.
The motion was agreed to ; and the .Senate adjourned.
Lh S '12